Category Archives: Did you know…

Reflect – Meditate – Get Closer to God

Highlights from our March & May Selections

Grace-Filled Moments with Sr. Joan: 365 Reflections on Life, Loss, Healing and Joy.
By Joan Chittister.

The challenge of this book is to make a personal commitment each day to take up silence — to set aside quiet time for reflection and reconnection. Silence, Joan insists, is the antidote to the chaos and busyness of modern life

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Breath of the Spirit: Photographs & Joyful Words for Gentle Meditation. By Philip C. Garside – text; & Alexander Garside – photos

Pause and let these 57 full colour photographs with simple words boost your spirit.

Photographer Alexander Garside helps us to see the world through fresh eyes, and to appreciate the beauty of nature and our urban landscape. There is joy, light and life all around us.

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Attached to God: A Practical Guide to Deeper Spiritual Experience. By Krispin Mayfield.

Why do we feel so far from God sometimes? The answer is found when you take a deep look at the other important relationships in your life and understand your attachment style.

When you understand your attachment style you gain a whole new paradigm for a secure and loving relationship with God.

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Worship – Sermons – Methodist – Ideas

Highlights from our May Selection

Connections Worship Companion, Year C Volume 2. By David Gambrell.

Complete liturgies – from the call to worship to the closing charge, with prayers and litanies for every need in between – for all worshiping occasions for the season after Pentecost of Year C.

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Listeners Dare: Hearing God in the Sermon. By William H Willimon.

Willimon shares a love of preaching and also lets listeners into some of the secrets of why preaching is inherently connected to the Christian faith as one way God has chosen to relate to us and to disclose God’s will for each of us.

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Five Marks of a Methodist: The Fruit of a Living Faith. By Steve Harper.

A Methodist Loves God
A Methodist Rejoices in God
A Methodist Gives Thanks
A Methodist Prays Constantly
A Methodist Loves Others

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The Quiet Before: On the Unexpected Origins of Radical Ideas. By Gal Beckerman.

Beckerman shows that our most defining social movements – from decolonisation to feminism – were formed in quiet, closed networks that allowed a small group to incubate their ideas before broadcasting them widely.

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Celebration – Struggle – Transformation

A Thought for Today

“Somewhere in this week Jesus went through a process from celebration to struggle to transformation, from prophet and social revolutionary to victim, then to victor. From a human plane to a divine plane. From giving his supporters hope, to despair, to hope again.

I hope that you didn’t find the exercise of making flax crosses too difficult.

I’m sure you can guess why I worked through this with you. We have gone from waving flax leaves to celebrate, to struggling with crafting them, to transformation of the flax into our most important symbol as Christians.

I enjoyed practising making the crosses at home. They are a real kiwi icon. I like the way the flax comes from the land, the whenua that we sang about in our Māori introit. A flax plant is grounded in the way that our faith can be grounded. Change takes effort. We sometimes need the help of our friends to move forward to get the job done, just like we need friends on our journey of faith. And while the completed flax crosses might seem like an end point, the cross as a symbol has no end, just as God’s love for us has no end.

And just as the flax is strong, so God’s love for us, symbolised by the life, death and rising of Jesus is strong. I can’t break this flax leaf [demonstrate]. Nothing you or I can do, can defeat God’s love.”

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From the sermon – Celebration – Struggle – Transformation – 24 March 2013
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

 

PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

PowerPoint images from Breath of the Spirit

Breath of the Spirit is not just a print book and eBook.

We have used the images in the book to create a collection of 57 PowerPoint slides to display in your worship services.

The images are royalty free so long as you display the credit at the foot of the slides.

You can download the set immediately after making payment.

Click here to Order your set of 57 PowerPoint images

 

Three Top Books by Susan Jones

Three Top Books by Susan Jones

We’re All Equally Human: Conversations in a Coffee Shop Book 2. By Susan Jones.

Meet Charity; young, lesbian, Christian, in a happy relationship with Katy and disturbed by her church’s attitude to LGBTQI people. Supported by her minister, Charity shares her experiences, and gains new confidence about her identity and role in her local church.

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Progressing the Journey: Lyrics and Liturgy for a Conscious Church. By Susan Jones.

Is your church ready to explore current ideas about God – not just male, not up there, but down here with us – creation, Jesus & theology?

Then these 42 hymns, 70 gatherings, affirmations, and blessings; along with poems & reflections, will provide a valuable resource to support your worship ministry.

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Wherever You Are, You Are On The Journey: Conversations in a Coffee Shop Book 1. By Susan Jones

Do you feel there is more to Christian faith than is told on Sundays? Are you questioning whether the firmly held beliefs you grew up with are going to be useful in the next stage of your life?

Don’t panic! You have simply reached a transition point in your faith journey.

Hope and her minister/mentor Susan chat about deepening & re-enchanting faith at their local café. What will Hope do next?

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Understanding what it means to be saved

A Thought for Today

“The reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans urges us to share publicly our belief that Jesus is Lord, that God raised him from the dead and that if we do so we will be saved.

If we don’t make this profession of faith with our lips, will we still be saved?
What does it mean to be saved?

We have no way of knowing for sure in this life, what will happen when we die. Perhaps if we lead good, faithful lives we will have eternal life? Perhaps Jesus dying on the cross made this possible? Maybe.

What I do know is that we all have a choice. Either we can turn towards God, to strive to understand the messages of scripture, and to respond to God’s love for us by reflecting that in our treatment of and relationships with others.

Or we can turn away from God and go our own way and follow the way of the world.

In saying all this, I don’t stand before you as someone who is perfect. A few months ago, a young man attended worship here. He didn’t have a permanent place to live. He asked me if he could stay at my house and I said no. I’m not proud of that. But my answer would probably be the same today…

The example of Jesus’ life, and the mystery of his resurrection, are a compass, pointing our way to a safe passage through this life, saving us from the temptations of the world. This feels to me like one useful way of understanding what it means to be saved.

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From the sermon – Lent, Season of Love – 17 February 2013
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

 

Stories – Regret – Work – Workplace

Highlights from our May Selection

Stories We Tell Ourselves: Making Meaning in a Meaningless Universe. By Richard Holloway.
Throughout history we have told ourselves stories to try and make sense of our place in the universe. Richard Holloway takes us on a personal, scientific and philosophical journey to explore what he believes the answers to the biggest of questions are.

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The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward. By Daniel H. Pink.
Understanding how regret actually works and using those insights to reframe our perspective of it will help us reclaim regret as an indispensable emotion that can help us make smarter decisions, perform better at work and school, and bring greater meaning to our lives.

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Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone. By Sarah Jaffe.

Jaffe argues that, understanding the trap of the labour of love will empower us to work less and demand what our work is worth. And once freed from those binds, we can finally figure out what actually gives us joy, pleasure, and satisfaction.

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The Nowhere Office: Reinventing Work and the Workplace of the Future. By Julia Hobsbawm

Hobsbawm draws on her extensive networks in business, academia, and entrepreneurship across generations to offer new ideas about how to handle hybrid working. She also provides deep insight into how the way we work is being transformed by larger issues such as community, hierarchy, bias, identity, and security.

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Controlled by Love

A Thought for Today

“…The group learned to prepare and lead prayers and then other parts of worship services.

Some of us moved on to try preaching. It is both uncomfortable and exhilarating to preach five sermons in a year and have them critiqued by your peers, to qualify as a lay preacher. Thank you to the members of this congregation for putting up with my first attempts and encouraging me since.

Today, I’m very comfortable choosing music and prayers and putting the rest of a service together, but writing the sermon is always a challenge. I start with some initial personal responses to the Bible readings and have an overall structure in mind. But once I start writing I don’t know exactly what will come out. I’m not in total control. I must let go and let my words be directed the spirit, by intuition, by the mystery and love that flows from God…

Life isn’t like a model railway. I can’t control all of it. Sure, I need to take my duties and responsibilities to my family, business partners, customers and suppliers, church, choir and clubs seriously, but at some point, I must let go control. And that is a relief. I don’t have to do it all. I can let other people give a lead. I can leave room for the spirit to guide me in a new direction.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.”

Let’s make room in our lives for the mystery of the love of God as shown through Jesus’ example and enabled through the Holy Spirit.

Let’s re-orient our lives to accept the love of God. We don’t need to be in charge all the time. We can be controlled by love.

Amen.

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From the sermon – Controlled by Love – 12 August 2012
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL

 

Love is the point

A Thought for Today

“Do we understand the mechanism by which Jesus healed people? I don’t. Medical science lets doctors remove a cataract and enable people to regain clear eyesight. That makes sense. All people in the gospel reading needed to do was touch Jesus’ cloak, once. How could that logically work? Did these miracles really happen? That’s not the point.

Love is the point. Being involved with others in need is the point…

There is another link to Festival Singers in the song that I’ll play for you before the offering. Rosemary Russell, the composer is the choir’s director. As well as a knack for words and melody, she has a strong faith that shines through all her compositions, and they are all uplifting. Her song is about the choices we make in living our lives and responding to need.

It’s how we live that matters.
It’s who we live for that matters.

God is love, God gives love,
God shows love, we are God’s love.

Amen.

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From the sermon – Love in Action – 22 July 2012
in Let Your Light Shine Through by Philip C. Garside.

Click to order eBooks: https://payhip.com/b/FJSL