Christchurch South Parish
St Marks Somerfield
OUR CORE VALUES:
CHRISTCHURCH SOUTH METHODIST PARISH DETAILS:
St Marks Church and Hall
CnrBarrington & Somerfield Streets, Somerfield, Christchurch 8024
See Map at the bottom of this web page.
PRESBYTER: REV ANDREW DONALDSON
C/- Parish Office, 27 Remuera Ave, Cashmere, Christchurch 8022
Phone:+64 (03) 980 5002
SUNDAY January 28th 10 a.m. Rev Andrew Donaldson
Annual Meeting after Service
SUNDAY February 4th 10 a.m. Valerie Marshall
7 p.m. Contemplative Service lead by Andrew Donaldson
SUNDAY February 11th 10 a.m. Rev Andrew Donaldson
SUNDAY February 18th 10 a.m. Rev Andrew Donldson
SUNDAY February 25th 10 a.m. Rev Andrew Donaldson
PRESBYTER'S RAMBLINGS FOR FEBRUARY:
We start 2018 in earnest as February begins. This year Easter is early and we will celebrate our first Sunday in lent on the 18th. This means we will be celebrating Easter in March. Lent gets properly underway with the celebration of Ash Wednesday on the 14th February. In some French churches it is the custom to remove all the decorations in the Church prior to Ash Wednesday. Banners etc. having been placed in a coffin are processed out of the Church. Traditionally lent is a time of repentance and contemplation. We don't quite put on sack cloth and ashes, although if you were to attend an Ash Wednesday service ash would be put on your forehead as a sign of a penitent.
Lent can easily turn into a celebration of woe. It is important that we don't get caught up in the notion of our sinful state. I think we can all agree none of us have lived perfect lives. We've lived, made mistakes and hopefully have learnt from them. To consider ourselves or others as miserable good-for-nothings is not what God desires. Nothing could be farther from the teaching of Jesus. Sin is not passed down from one generation to another. Jesus made this quite clear in his teaching. In the story of restoring the sight of a blind man the disciples ask Jesus, "Who sinned that this man be blind, this man or his parents (John 9:2)?" Jesus answered neither. While the rest of the story is problematic (the man was supposedly born blind so that God's works may be revealed in him). Putting that aside, the disciples ask this question based on an understanding that sin is passed down from one generation to another. Jesus turns this notion on its head and in so doing calls into question the assumption of the so-called sinful nature of humanity.
It is possible to rethink this in terms of what both the natural and social sciences have to offer. If the whole of human history is on a trajectory towards what we would call the Kingdom of God or the Realm of Love history might suggest that we could be on the right course. Despite everything we see through the media life appears to be getting better for greater numbers of people. It's by no means perfect and there is still a lot of work to be done. It is possible to argue that slowly we are moving to a world were human rights and freedoms including freedom of conscience are protected for all the world's inhabitants. In terms of the length of human existence these modern democratic principles have been in existence only a short time. And we do lived on a knife's edge most of that time. Sometimes it does feel like 'one step forward and two steps back'. But sometimes the opposite is true. US President Trump is starting to rethink is views on Global Warming. Sometimes we need to celebrate small but positive changes.
Rather than putting on sack cloth and ashes maybe we would be better served by reflecting on our individual and corporate lives celebrating what we have achieved and looking towards what we might do to bring the Realm of Love into fuller expression.
Phone +64 3 982 5002