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 November 5th 10 a.m. Rev Bill Elderton
7 p.m. Contemplative Service lead by Andrew Donaldson
SUNDAY November 12th 10 a.m. Rev Andrew Donaldson
SUNDAY November 19th 10 a.m. Rev Andrew Donaldson
SUNDAY November 26th 10 a.m. Rev Andrew Donaldson
PRESBYTER'S RAMBLINGS FOR NOVEMBER:
In the lead up to the election, I was concerned that we were still not, as a nation, facing up to the significant issues that face the world and our nation. The first is our management and degrading of the environment that needs our immediate attention and the other the impact of technological advances that will have a profound effect on our day-to-day living. As a parish, we have significantly traversed environmental issues over the years, so I do not intend to say anything more about climate change and pollution in this issue of Windows. Rather explore the issue of technology and its impact on the nature of work. Certainly, in New Zealand, work often defines who we are and as such, work is a major contributor to our spiritual wellness.
In a couple of years, and we are literally only talking about 2 - 5 years, when computers will overtake the human brain in intelligence, technology will take over many of the jobs that are presently available to humans. Today scores of jobs that once were filled by recent law graduates are now competently undertaken by computer software. In the States Dr Watson, a a computer that has been to medical school now provides clearer and more up to date diagnostics than human doctors can make.
Our young people are and have the right to be concerned about the future of work. Thousands of accounting graduates will be churned out by polytechnics and universities
yet by 2030 it is estimated that there will only be 19 accounting jobs in the whole of the New Zealand economy. The parties that had appeared to be thinking this issue through were the Opportunities Party, United Future, Labour and the Greens. National, Act and the New Zealand First were less inclined to share their thinking on the matter. It maybe for them that there were more pressing issues. Our present market based capitalism has been remarkably flexible and can be at times quite sophisticated. It has up until now been able to respond by creating new markets and new jobs. These new jobs have lagged only marginally behind technological change that have displaced work. Not so today.
However, economics only works when money is changing hands. When currency stops circulating economies falter. We have got away with treating human labour as simply a unit input to production in the past where the pain of mass unemployment has usually only significantly affected low skilled jobs. What we are experiencing today is the loss of jobs in mainly professional labour markets.
If we thought change has been fast, in the past, the speed of change that is coming will be mind-blowing. I suspect capitalism as it is presently practiced will not be able to keep up. Whether or not the change in economic management heralded recently when Winston Peters announced that he was going with Labour, only time will tell. The question we need to be ready to answer is who will have the spending power to purchase all the goods and services that will be produced with little, if any, human input.
The Opportunities Party and the Greens both put forward the notion of universal payment to all New Zealanders. This is one approach. I suspect the fundamental change that is approaching us will call for a significant rethinking the framework of capitalism and our place within it. I suspect there will occur a significant paradigm shift in economic thought, what that might be is not clear, but the time is fast approaching when something will need to be done.
As Methodists, we are likely to look to our Social Principles (found in section v of the introductory documents in the Methodist Law Book) to help us navigate these uncharted waters ahead. The principles speak to how we humans might respectfully treat one another. Treating human labour as merely a unit input to production will simply not cut it.
Of course, there will always be work for the clergy. Really?
Phone +64 3 982 5002