Sunday sermons preached at St. George's Anglican Church, Gate Pa, Tauranga. These are mostly based on the RCL Lectionary readings for that Sunday, with a few variations for our own lectionary in this Province, and special events here at Gate Pa.
Meditating on our Ecology - Season of Creation 2
John reminds us what the Season of Creation is about. And he explores this years theme “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God”, and the central image of
Sarah and Abraham's tent which is open on all sides offering welcome, shelter, refuge, and safety to ALL in our common home - human and non human.
He then offers an Earth Examen from the Season of Creation Resources to help people engage with their local ecology.
The notes for this sermon and examen can be found here
An Invitation to Pray in the Season of Creation
John introduces this year’s theme for the season of creation, - A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God – joining worldwide church in responding to God’s invitation to work together to renew our world as an interconnected and interdependent global beloved community.
This week invite us to join in praying, using the Season of Creation Prayer
Season of Creation 2021 Prayer
Creator of All,
We are grateful that from your communion of love you created our planet to be a home for all. By your Holy Wisdom you made the Earth to bring forth a diversity of living beings that filled the soil, water, and air. Each part of creation praises you in their being, and cares for one another from our place in the web of life.
With the Psalmist, we sing your praise that in your house “even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.” We remember that you call human beings to keep your garden in ways that honour the dignity of each creature and conserve their place in the abundance of life on Earth.
But we know that our will to power pushes the planet beyond her limits. Our consumption is out of harmony and rhythm with Earth’s capacity to heal herself. Habitats are left barren or lost. Species are lost and systems fail. Where reefs and burrows, mountaintops and ocean deeps once teemed with life and relationships, wet and dry deserts lie empty, as if uncreated. Human families are displaced by insecurity and conflict, migrating in search of peace. Animals flee fires, deforestation, and famine, wandering in search of a new place to find a home to lay their young and live.
In this Season of Creation, we pray that the breath of your creative Word would move our hearts, as in the waters of our birth and baptism. Give us faith to follow Christ to our just place in the beloved community. Enlighten us with the grace to respond to your covenant and call to care for our common home. In our tilling and keeping, gladden our hearts to know that we participate with your Holy Spirit to renew the face of your Earth, and safeguard a home for all.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The notes for this sermon can be found here
The Trouble with Being Kind
It turns out in these Covid times that being kind is quite hard work. But Jacinda and James the Just are both pretty clear about how important it is to be kind, compassionate. John looks at the letter from James and Mark 7 and talks about Jesus teaching around paying attention to what is going on in the heart as a way of becoming kinder. And then he introduces the daily examen as a way of paying attention to the heart during lockdown and beyond.
The notes for can be found here
Wilderness Bread with Covid
As we start again in level four lockdown, John acknowledges the various responses to this lockdown. And he wonders how the readings from John 6 help us to respond as disciples to this situation, knowing that we are being fed by living God in all we do.
He finishes by inviting us to prayer the alternative version of the Lord's Prayer in Night Prayer (in a New Zealand Prayer Book), suggesting that this prayer shows us what being fed the living bread is about
He invites us to pray this prayer each day so that these words might shape how we are disciples during this time.
The notes for this sermon can be found here
Covid and the Bread of Life
John notes that last Friday was Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony– acknowledge brutality and cost of western war machine
He then talks about that in parts of Australia there have been antilockdown marches, many with an Antivaccine sentiment, particularly, Jesus in my vaccine. He wonders if a quick reading John 6 might support this?
He goes on to look at John, starting by exploring what the exodus story offers in our understanding of who Jesus is and what Jesus is talking about in John?
He notes that the Eucharist is always an enacted sign of the love and regard for community shown by Jesus, not a talisman for personal gain or benefit. Only in this sense, it is only like the vaccine in that it exists for the good of the whole community, not ourselves as individuals.
He then invites people to talk about how else we are fed by the living bread, and what difference that makes
You can read the notes for this here. You can also see the images that I used here too.
Rooted and established - Lessons from my garden
Andrea Andresen talks about the lessons she learnt from her time with concussion, being in her garden, and invites us to reflect on what that offers us in our faith journey.