A sermon for ‘Penal reform Sunday’, 20 October 2013
St Michael’s Anglican Church, Kelburn, Wellington

Isaiah 65:17–20; 23–25; 2 Timothy 1:8–12; Luke 17:11–19

I have been asked to consider penal reform in the light of the story of Tārore & Ngākuku, and our texts for today.

My background

In exploring this episode in our history, I’ve realised just how woefully poor my knowledge of New Zealand history is. I’m also aware of my real lack of understanding of tikanga Māori. So I’m stepping out where angels fear to tread. …

A sermon given at St Michael’s Kelburn,
Sunday, 8 March 2020
Psalm 69; Isaiah 24:4–13; John 3:1–17

Kia ora koutou

Tim the vicar has asked me to address the theme of ‘climate lament’ this morning. He last week introduced us to that typical structure of lament Psalms: turn, complain, boldly ask, trust.


But as I read a bunch of the Psalms of lament this week, I wondered whether lament was exactly the right category for us to use to think about climate change.


Now this might be more about the way I personally bring together the world of…

Sermon for St Michael’s Kelburn, 24 March 2019

Psalm 24:1–6
Luke 11:33–44
2 Peter 1:3–11

Today’s theme is ‘Holy Living on Temptation Island’. The Rev Dr Tim came up with that title. I admit I had to look up exactly what Temptation Island is. I knew it was a reality TV show, but I didn’t understand the premise. In case you’re as out of touch as I am: “On Temptation Island, four unmarried couples who are at a crossroads in their relationship travel to an exotic locale where they must decide whether to stay together or give in to the…

Waitakere Wairua © Shane Hansen

A sermon for all ages worship at St Michael’s Kelburn
Pentecost Sunday, 20 May 2018
Ezekiel 37:1–14 & Acts 2:1–21

Good morning everyone. I want to talk mostly about the Ezekiel 37 reading today and briefly touch on Acts at the end. I love this Ezekiel passage. I grew up in a church setting and it was in the air, but I’d forgotten about it for ages; so it was great to revisit it.

In a way the key to this story is a kind of pun. Do you know what a pun is? It’s a joke or a…

A paper by the late Charles C Adams, then Dean of the Natural Sciences at Dordt College, Iowa, given at the Christian Scholarship and Technology session at the 2001 conference ‘Christian Scholarship . . . for What?’. Reproduced without permission.


Two characteristic presuppositions of Christian scholarship are the unity and non-self-sufficiency of creation. These function in stark contrast to the Cartesian notions of autonomous and dichotomous substance-res cogitans and res extensa. The latter lead to the naturalistic reduction of the properties by which we describe creatures to those described by physics alone. …

14th century fresco, Kosovo

A sermon for St Michael’s Kelburn, 25 June 2017
Texts: Romans 6:1b–11, Matthew 10:24–39

Kia ora koutou!

Jesus explosion

I like how in Anglican-land we’re compelled by the liturgy to say “Thanks be to God” and “Praise to Christ, the Word” after the Bible readings every Sunday. How often have you followed along with a reading and said “Thanks be to God” with a wince?

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Wince! Thanks be to God.

Anyone who loves their father or mother more than…

At St Michael’s Anglican Church, Kelburn, Wellington, we read and discussed Pope Francis’ latest encyclical as part of our Lenten journey together. Wellington Institute of Theology asked me to reflect on the theology of Laudato Si’, and the difference it might make in our approach to our environmental situation. (Numbers in parentheses refer to the encyclical’s numbered paragraphs.)

Pope Francis is not in this long letter or short book writing ‘pure theology’. In addition to theology are anthropology, sociology, cultural criticism, international relations, spirituality and manifesto. But the document has a theological core, which I will attempt to distill for…

Recently I’ve been having a lovely time using Loomio as a meeting-support tool. Here’s roughly what I do:

  • A few days before the meeting, I start a thread with a title like: User Support Coordination Meeting, 1pm, Wednesday 10 February. I note the venue, and if I’m expecting remote participants the Google Hangout or Appear.in link for videoconferencing.
  • Then I post a draft agenda, and invite group members to add further agenda points they’d like to see covered.
  • Sometimes when I’ve sensed contention about what should be worked on in a meeting, I put up a proposal along the lines…

Delivered at Eco-Justice II seminar, Victoria University Anglican Chaplaincy, 2005

The previous two weeks’ seminars on Peak Oil and Global Warming suggest to me that business as usual may be an insufficient response to the ecological crises of our time. That economics (for instance) as it is practiced now does not have the resources within it to respond appropriately or effectively, and that making tweaks to a basically OK system isn’t enough. Murray Ward, speaking here last week, made a helpful distinction between the supply-side and the demand-side of the environmental crisis. He and many others are doing excellent work…

Enspiral’s submission to the Ministry for the Environment on setting
New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target

Who is Enspiral?

Matthew Bartlett

Looking for a bright green Jesus politics

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