Sermons
Who do you say I am?

Mark 8:27-38 I don’t know about you, but I often have a crisis of character as I try to work out who I really am. I can blame this on the roles I am now in for some of it and those I have recently been in. In my current role as Priest-in-charge of this Cathedral I struggle to know whether I am a resident of Hawera or of New Plymouth. In my previous role I was equally recognised as an... read more

World Peace Day

Today, being the nearest Sunday to the 6th August, we observe as World Peace Day. This is marked this day as it is also Hiroshima Day, the day when an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, followed a few days later by another dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The bombings effectively ended World War II by bringing about the surrender of Japan, but at a terrible price – the two cities were destroyed and casualties, mostly... read more

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness of the Risen Jesus and the first to proclaim this to his disciples, and so she could rightly be titled ‘the Apostle to the Apostles’, but she never was. Furthermore, when in the Acts of the Apostles we are told of the disciples seeking to find a replacement for Judas Iscariot, they laid down the criteria for his replacement, namely, “So one who has accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went... read more

Getting Better

When I saw the readings for today, I was unable to see what the lectionary writer was pointing me to. Usually it’s possible to discern a theme, but it wasn’t clear. This week it just wasn’t there. So, I am pleased to offer something a bit different this morning. It is largely the work of a Quaker friend, who seemed genuinely surprised when I asked her if I could use it. Despite considerable talent both as a writer and as a... read more

Out of his mind

Mark 3:20-35 Family, what do you make of your family? What do they make of you? Anything along these lines? Desmond Tutu said, “You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.” An unknown author said, “Blood's thicker than water, and when one's in trouble best to seek out a relative's open arms.” Robert Brault said, “The thing about family disasters is that you never have to wait long before the next one puts... read more

Te Pouhere Sunday - Foundations and Prosperity

Luke 6:46-49 In our Church Calendar we mark this Sunday as Te Pouhere Sunday, which celebrates our life as a three Tikanga Church: Maori, Pakeha and Pasefika in this our Anglican Church Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. On this day we celebrate our unity as three Tikanga in one Province and we celebrate our unity here in the South Pacific, a unity which knows no boundaries of race, language, politics or tradition. We celebrate our unity which transcends our... read more

Dean Peter's Farewell Sermon

Today is quite a watershed moment in my life. Today after this service I will be gainfully unemployed. In the next few days, Gay and I will be on our way back to Christchurch where I am going to retire, or as the Listener put it about us baby boomers, rewire. I think this is the fourth and final time that I am re tiring, and no doubt the re wiring will lead to all sorts of interesting ventures in the... read more

Transfiguration

In 2010 I went to Israel to study at St George’s College. Part of our course took us on a trip up the winding, narrow road to the top of Mt Tabor and to the Franciscan church marking the site on which the Transfiguration took place. Mt Tabor is no higher than the Kaitake’s but it commands a view across the plains to the sea of Galilee and on that day was bathed in such hot clear sunlight that it was... read more

Reflections on Waitangi

Isaiah 42 vs 1-9; Ephesians 2 vs 13-18; Luke 2 vs9-14 Waitangi day is near and today’s readings reflect this. Isaiah speaks of a covenant of the people; and in Ephesians we hear of the time when both are made one and a wall of partition is broken down because: “…in his flesh he has abolished our enmity”. It’s as if the Colonial Secretary Lord Normanby [in London] and then Governor Hobson, his secretary James Freeman and the Resident James Busby,... read more

Third Sunday of Advent

In their time, John and Jesus stand out because they’re not easily understood by the establishment; and this worries the ones in power. Modern day social commentator [Banksy] wryly reassures anyone who stands out: “You are an acceptable level of threat. If you were not, you would know about it.” In the gospel reading today, when asked by the puzzled authorities if he is Elijah or perhaps even the Messiah, John the Baptist replies firmly that he is not. Versions of... read more

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