In my mother’s womb

Waiapu Cathedral 1 September 2019 This sermon began gestation a couple of weeks back when I was chatting after the 8.00am service with MP and parishioner Lawrence Yule. He mentioned that he had become a member of the Select Committee on Abortion Law Reform, and was motivated by his concerns about the Bill as proposed.  […]

Rahab and the Strippers

Waiapu Cathedral, 18 August 2019 I probably had Google Maps upside down, but when I was in Christchurch recently for the Deans’ conference I walked a long way out of my way in the dark and through the cold streets of the curiously empty city in search of the Deanery. En route I happened upon […]

Toxic worship, toxic waste

Waiapu Cathedral, 11 August 2019 Participants in the Christian Education programme “Education for Ministry”, or EFM, gain practice in a process of theological reflection in which they are invited to discuss events in their lives and identify a a metaphor which they then explore for clues about the activity of God. Just in the last […]

What we’re used to

Waiapu Cathedral, 7 July 2019, Refugee Sunday   Let us not grow weary of doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. I had a “slacktivist moment” during the week which left me feeling a bit rattled. I’d had an email request from Amnesty International to sign […]

Listening for small voices

Waiapu Cathedral, 30 June 2019 (1 Kings 19) There is a little-known prayer in our New Zealand Prayer Book, published 30 years ago this year, which I believe marked a shift in a long-held attitude. It reads, in part, Compassionate God, we ask you to receive (name of a loved one) who has died by […]

Te Pouhere and human freedom

Waiapu Cathedral, Te Pouhere Sunday, 23 June 2019 We’re not in Epsom, so I imagine there won’t be many relaunched ACT voters in the house. Just a reminder, then, that David Seymour was the only MP who would have voted against gun ownership restrictions only he forgot to show up when that cross-parliamentary decision was […]

Lady Wisdom calling

Waiapu Cathedral, Trinity Sunday, 16 June 2019 I caught a bit of Breakfast TV on Friday morning, and was impressed by two young Muslims commenting about change, or the lack of it, in our society over the three months since the Christchurch Mosque Massacres. Amongst the wisdom they had to offer were two comments that […]

Let us make a church for ourselves

Waiapu Cathedral, Pentecost, 9 June 2019 It would seem I am waiting in vain for that esteemed organ, Anglican Taonga to issue any comment or analysis on the recent declaration of an extra-provincial diocese of the Anglican Church separate and distinct from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, i.e. this church. (You […]

This is the land of the living

Waiapu Cathedral, Easter 2019   Lucy Kaplansky [1] is a New Yorker, a Clinical Psychologist and folksinger, and she penned this haunting ballad about the aftermath of 9/11. “Late afternoon back in New York town Waking up as the wheels touch down Pick up my guitar and walk away Wish I was going home to […]

Mary, far from neutrality

5th Sunday in Lent: John12:1-8 Waiapu Cathedral, Napier, 7 April 2019   It has gradually been settling within me that there is no neutrality any more. Neutrality is a luxury item. For example, with the broadcasting of the Muslim call to prayer before the two minute silence we observed, Brian Tamaki said “This is Offensive […]

Repentance in Aotearoa

Waiapu Cathedral, Lent 3: Luke 13:1-9 There was a vox-pop on the TV a couple of days ago where people were responding to the announcement of expected changes to NZ’s gun laws. Embarrassingly I found myself on the same page as the woman who said “I honestly didn’t know you could buy those sorts of […]

Take the shame

Lent 1, 2019, Waiapu Cathedral Shrove Tuesday afternoon found me round the back of the Cathedral with an ancient barbie and a bottle of meths – not for a dodgy picnic but prepared to ignite a conflagration of old palm crosses to provide ashes for the next day’s observances. As the flames roared upwards – […]

“Sublime Impossibility”

Waiapu Cathedral, 17 February 2019 An email correspondent found last week’s sermon interesting, but depressing. My sincere response was, and is, if you didn’t find it depressing, you’re probably not paying attention. It’s a bit like the Nelson fires. I read this week that while climate change can’t be directly blamed for the fires, conditions […]

Apocalypse Now

   Waiapu Cathedral, 18 November 2018: Mark 13:1-8   On my Youtube radar this week was a pointedly humorous but also heartbreaking send-up called G.O.P. Jesus with a cartoon graphic of Jesus riding the Republican Party elephant. GOP Jesus has some alternative facts for his followers: “Truly I say unto you, whoever welcomes one of […]

Heavenly Worship

Revelation 7:9-17 Waiapu Cathedral, 12 May 2019, Easter 4   After the Eucharist last Sunday a parishioner said to me “I’ve never heard church music like it.” Rest assured this was a compliment. What is familiar now in Anglicanism wasn’t always the case. Before technology made pipe organs available to most churches and robed choirs […]