Journal 2016 - WHS Publication #102
The year 2016 has been one that we will remember. Large numbers of people in Britain and the United States have rejected the political elite and sought changes in the direction of policy. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen. There is deep concern that policies that favour isolation will impact negatively on millions who seek new lives beyond nations that are torn by war, famine and civil strife. The gospel witnesses to the way of compassion and hospitality and calls us to welcome the stranger.
The WHS Journal 2016 features in our lead article Allan Davidson's research on Methodist Great War chaplain the Rev. W. Bramwell Scott. This adds substantially to Allan's recently published and well-received study New Zealand Methodist Chaplains and Ministers at War. It is hoped to publish a review of this book in the next issue of the Journal.
Little has been written by way of reflection on the changing character of worship in New Zealand Methodism. We therefore welcome Edwin Clarke's article on Brown Bag Preaching. His sermon for Trinity Sunday illustrates his approach that offers the congregation something to take away and savour. I invite further reflection on other aspects of our experience of worship.
Lynne Wall introduces readers to a treasure that is held in the Kinder Library on behalf of Trinity College. The Book of Hours donated by A. H. Reed is one of a number of gifts that he made to the College which deserve to be better known. It reminds us of different forms of devotion and spirituality.
One of the neglected aspects of the evangelisation of Aotearoa is the role played by Maori catechists and preachers. Gary Clover makes a strong case for our recognition of their industry and effectiveness as he uncovers what can be found of the life and witness of Haimona Pita Matangi.
The WHS has been well served over the years by many dedicated to preserving and analysing the history of Methodism in New Zealand. We carry obituaries for Alan Leadley and Verna Mossong. Both stand out for their contribution to the life of the Society.
Finally, Allan Davidson reviews an important book on the history of Methodism in Australia. While he finds much to praise, he identifies some limitations as to its scope. The discovery of Arch Barrington's prison diary was a surprise to the family. It provides us with day-to-day accounts of his time in jail. The author John Pratt employs the diary to ask searching questions about dissent and conformity in wartime New Zealand.
- Terry Wall