Friday, February 08, 2008

Grow through grandparenting

How many of you have grandparents? How do we grow through these relationships? The Bible is full of stories of old connecting with young – Samuel to Eli, Ruth to Naomi, Anna and Simeon to Jesus. What wisdom can we gain from these relationships?

Grow our Sunday evening service is back, exploring these questions. Features will include “adopt-a-gramp”; top 10 oldies in our church; tips on how to grandparent, grandchild and visit a rest home; interviews with grandparents; generational stereotypes and clips from Waiting for God.

Grow through grandparenting; Feb 10, 17, 24, Sunday’s at 7 pm, cnr Hastings St East and Wilson Road

Posted by steve at 11:09 PM

Thursday, February 07, 2008

spirit2go, into the wilderness, Lent 2008

Working toward Lent this year, I have also been seeking a way for people to do spirituality without any physical link to church, while retaining some sense of shared life. How could people do a shared task, but in their own timestyles, yet be encouraged by each other? In the old days it was meet physically, same time, same place. But is that the only way?

The upshoot, the first crack, is a website (

So for Lent 2008, people can download si smith’s 40 day resource, with poetry (for a small fee). Which is great and is supplied via Proost and certainly doesn’t need me to build a website for that. But it is individualised and for me, I need people with me on the journey. Perhaps I’m oldfashioned, but I get encouraged by other’s creativity.

So … I then designed 6 assignments that link with the 40 days (for example build sand castle, visit a wilderness area – etc, more info on website). Lent covers 40 days plus Sunday’s. So that gives some lay days. And why not use that to process the 40 days in different ways? Why not have shared projects that people can do in their own time that help them process, projects that access different ways to connect with God, projects that compliment 40′s themes.

And all projects with the invitation: take pictures, sound recordings, blog journals, and email your work to the spirit2go website. So that we are encouraged by what others do. So there is a sense of shared journey.

If it works, i will want to add more projects around themes; a set around Kiwi spirituality and another set around meals in Luke and slow eating and food.

At Opawa we are also offering a physical option – paper based with a physical cross in the foyer. So people can mix and match their own combo of digital and physical. Introduction to whole concept tonight (Thursday), 7:30 pm in church foyer.

UPDATED: OK, 20 people from Opawa have signed up. Some have gone digital, some physical. And emails from 3 people in the UK, keen to join us. And a lovely note from the poet, “This internet thing is great ain’t it? Best wishes for your endeavour, it is very encouraging for me to see a bit of creativity grow legs and find uses all over the place.”

Posted by steve at 09:23 AM

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

technical query

Does anyone know if it is possible to place already existing digital images (JPEGs) onto a cell phone, in order to PXT that digital image?

(I know I can take a digital picture of the existing image with a phone, but that would lose quality. I know you can select and send PXt’s from the Vodafone gallery. But I already have the image (40 actually, one for each day of Lent :) that I want to send out)

Posted by steve at 03:59 PM

waitangi day thoughts, thanks to Paul Moon

Today in New Zealand is a public holiday in honour of Waitangi Day, that moment in 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and when the Tangata Whenua and the Crown agreed to a shared future, one nation and two people’s.

It means for me that today is a lecture day. But because Luke 10 sends the missional church out, instead of gathering my missional church leadership students together, I have sent them out, the 15 in Auckland and the 17 in Waikato, to walk their local communities. They are invited to watch and listen to what people are up to today, and what that says about the narratives of ordinary people in ordinary communities. Over the next weeks they will interact online about this and I am looking forward to reading what they discover.

In preparation for today, I have been reading Paul Moon’s The Newest Country in the World. A History of New Zealand in the Decade of the Treaty. He concludes with these thoughts:

“The idea of New Zealand was not created, it evolved in an organic fashion as much in spite of as because of the policies of its rulers in the 1840s …. Thus, although New Zealand bore all the hallmarks of a colonial dependency, its destiny had already fallen into its own hands, and was ready to given shape.”

That suggests that it’s time to move beyond the crippling ideas of colonisation. I am by no means downplaying the need for justice and restitution for the past. I am simply reminded that this country is what we have made it, all nations, Tangata whenua (people of the land) and Tangata tiriti (people of the Treaty).

And that this country will be what we have make it, all nations, Tangata whenua (people of the land) and Tangata tiriti (people of the Treaty). I am glad to be part of this organic evolution and I pray that my students and my church can be a grace-filled part of this nation’s future.

Some history here. Waitangi Day worship here. Waitangi Day sermon here

Posted by steve at 03:27 PM

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

a very GOOD day

“How was your day,” someone asked? “Very good. Very good,” was my reply.

Details are still confidential, so I will have to be somewhat vague for at least another 10 days. Midway through last year I began a process of change. I knew it would be destabilising and unsettling. I knew that I could not guarantee good outcomes. I knew it would have been so much easier for all concerned if I did nothing.

But I could not shake this sense of some new horizons. And the status quo did not line up with the horizons. To do nothing would have been easy, but unsatisfactory. So the journey began. A complicated, messy, unsettling journey.

Along the way were some unexpected detours. Processes are good, yet intuition needs to be valued. God spoke. The use of outside expertise allowed the intuition to be tested, clarified, searched. Today I watched the intuition pay off. I watched the new horizons become clearer and a team of people begin to gel.

Lessons learnt (again, apologies for needing to be vague):
- trust your intuition.
- check your intuition by using experts.
- trust the process. God can work through clear process.
- trust the process. If the process is clear and consultative and well-thought through, God can work.
- trust the process.

A very GOOD day. I hope that despite the vagueness, this post is still useful for some. I guess I am saying that leadership is messy (especially when the outcomes are not clear and will not be clear for months), that intuition needs to be valued and that you need to trust the process.

Posted by steve at 10:33 PM

Saturday, February 02, 2008

walk on into 2008


Just back from a wonderful 12 days holiday: beach time, family time, exploring New Zealand time, reading time, reflecting time. While I don’t do New Years resolutions, walk on is a theme that has emerged from one of the lectionary readings I pondered while on holiday: Philipians 3:1-14. So I wrote this in my personal journal today.

Walk on and away from some of the hard place relationships of 2007. Walk on and away from a focus on doing and toward my being in Christ. Walk on “by means of the Spirit” (Philippians 3:3), trusting in God to be in the midst of my gaps and where there is distance in the cracks of life. Walk on building on all the good at Opawa Baptist. Walk on pushing the envelope, taking risks, seeking to offer innovative leadership in all the spheres of my life.”

Posted by steve at 09:40 PM