June 29, 2004

Civil Unions Bill(s)

With apologies to overseas readers…
…this is a big issue in New Zealand at the moment.

Steve talks about it here

I have a concern with the Civil Unions Bill and it goes like this…

I am concerned that we as Christians
are in danger of shooting ourselves in the foot
and giving away our “rights” to the term marriage.

I read a headline today from a Christian organisation,
and a colleague I respect, saying,
“Civil Unions will make marriage meaningless”
Such a headline is typical of some of the headlines
that have been hitting the Christian
(and secular) media over the past months.

What I’d like to do is put the issue of the civil unions bill(s) aside,
i don’t want to debate that at the moment,
and just talk for a minute about our use of language in it all.

You see,
I think that the only people who currently
hold the power to render the term marriage meaningless
are us.
who state they hold it in great esteem.

Marriage is special.

It is a union of two people
(different genders)
who state before God
that they wish to become one.

No-one is taking that away from us.

What we should be doing
is separating out the civil unions thing
and marriage.
They are not the same,
and will only seem to be the same if we
(or worse encourage)
the interchangable use of the terms.

What we could be saying is,
marriage is special because it is before God,
as ordained by God,
as outlined in Scripture.
And we’re not giving that away!

The civil unions bill
will allow people for whom the
“God” part of marriage is unimportant or irrelevant
(or those who don’t fit the traditional Judeo-Christian r
equirements for marriage)
to declare their committment to each other,
and their desire to have that legally acknowledged.

This does not equate to marriage.
It may have the same civil privileges and responsibilities,
but it is not marriage.
Because marriage is special,
ordained by God
and all that stuff.

In my humble opinion,
I think we should leave off the
“marriage will be meaningless
because of the civil unions bill(s)” stuff
and perhaps instead define what marriage is.


I’m sure it’s a flawed argument
(they all are after all!),
but can I ask you to at least consider it.


Posted by Lynne Taylor at 09:01 PM

June 24, 2004


This morning my world is white and crisp.
Frosted grass.
Icy puddles.

With the promise of a gloriously sunny day.

Soon Kayli and I will walk to our local hardware store
and I know that as we do,
the Southern Alps will be laid out before us
big and white and blue and glorious.

And I shall celebrate the Creator God.
Who made our world.
And declared it to be good.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 08:57 AM

Now, come on you lot….

Someone must have an opinion on Matariki.

Any takers?

(And here I was thinking I was being mildly intelligent/controversial for once…)

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 08:49 AM

June 22, 2004

Matariki – Maori New Year

Here’s the blog entry I made re Matariki – Maori New Year.

We’ve been having trouble with our site and this did a runner for a few days… but hey, it’s back now!

The suggestion has recently been made that instead of celebrating Queen’s Birthday as a public holiday, we instead celebrate Maori New Year (Matariki). This occasion, like Queens Birthday, occurs in the middle of the year (and the middle of winter, down-under).

The Maori are the people who are indigenous to New Zealand. A Treaty, signed in 1840 between chiefs of the Maori iwi (tribes) and European leaders, declared Aotearoa New Zealand to be a bicultural land.

To me, this means it is very logical that if we celebrate a Pakeha (non-Maori, or – more commonly – European or Caucasian) New Year, then it makes good sense to also celebrate Maori New Year (Matariki). If we are truly bi-cultural then neither New Year date is more important than the other.

I was interested to read comments from the local community newspaper about the issue.

If you’re interested…


Posted by Lynne Taylor at 08:55 AM

June 20, 2004

And then there’s the cochroaches

When Steve asked me to talk
to the children at Opawa
about living in the light,
I knew it had to involve cochroaches.

Nasty little things.
Scuttling around in the dark places.

Running from the light.
Ghastly, horrible things.

(Yes, I am traumatised by the blighters.
Once found half of one in a restaurant meal.
Haven’t ever quite recovered…
where is the OTHER half??
By the way
the waitress seemed to think asking,
“Do you want another meal”
to be a valid question…

So anyway
I talked with the kids
(mostly boys)
about how God wants us to live in the light.
(John 3)
To ‘fess up to bad stuff we do,
deciding to let the light, the life, the love of God
shine on us,
rather than scuttling off cochroach-like
to the nearest dark corner.

May I live so
May they continue to grow up to live so.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 05:14 PM

June 18, 2004

I didn’t confess…

When I went to the Supermarket
to collect the 23 boxes they had put aside for me,
I didn’t confess that I wasn’t going home
to pack my belongings in them.

The kind woman looked at me sympathetically
and said, “Looks like you’ll have a busy day.”

Well, yes, I did have a busy day.
But there was no packing on the agenda.

Boxes are good at casting shadows.

When we talk on Sunday night
about living in the light.
it seems appropriate to have a light shining,
that people can move into
as a way of symbolising their desire
to live in the light of God.

But the reality is that there are things in my life
that cast shadows.

Boxes, that block the light.
Shadows I can dwell in.

I acknowledge the boxes are there.
Name them.
Confess them.

And commit to living
beyond their shadows
in the light.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 06:18 PM

June 17, 2004

Native Trees

The Auckland Regional Council
is giving away native trees
at Botany today, now, as I type.

A way of encouraging Aucklanders
to value and plant native trees
and in so-doing to have more
of the lovely things in our garden.

Their plan is to give away 2000 trees in total
at different times and places around Greater Auckland.

If I lived in Auckland
(and had noticed this sooner!)
I’d have been in.

I’ve intended to plant some natives down here.
Must get to it.

I look forward to native trees
and native birds!

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 01:46 PM

On arriving…

The following is the beginning of the prayer for the day on Sacredspace

The Presence of God

To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.
God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me
even more than my most intimate friend.

It reminded me of my ever-present,
varying in intensity,
nervousness at meeting people in public places.

Will they be there already?
Will I see them?
Will I recognise them?
Are they expecting me?
If I’m there first (which I hope I’m not)
will they see me?
… Will we find each other.

If I sound highly unconfident
and slightly nutty
I’m not really….

I just do have this little bit of angst
on arrival.

Of course the intensity varies
from nil
(coffee with Steve at Ultra (still pining for Ultra))
to minimal when I know both people and place
(coffee at Circus Circus with A, B, J, K, L, M)
to mid-range
(meeting church youth group
after a service I didn’t attend
– participants unspecified! – at Coffee Culture)
to fairly high
(meeting new people
in train stations, airports etc)

But anyway…
this morning I am reminded
that God is waiting for me.

God is there already.
looking forward to connecting with me
to time spent together.

off to sit for a while with God.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 09:38 AM

June 16, 2004


Driving for the first time
from my parents in North Canterbury
to Steve’s work in Papanui,
I realised I needed a look at the map.

Stopped the car,
turned the internal light on
had a quick look.

Handed the map to Shannon (7 year old co-driver, front seat).
Drove off.
Kayli (4 year old back-seat driver) called out,
“Turn the light off”.

“Yeah”, said Shannon
“Otherwise cars will think we’re a house”.

Belly laughs from both in the front seats.

“You said that, Mum”, says Shannon.
“When we wanted to have the light on,
you said cars would thing that we’re a house”.

2.5 hours later…
Still giggling.

It seemed so logical at the time?!?

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 08:11 PM

Small things… small minds?

Once again Winnie the Pooh
has wisdom to share
from the calendar in my loo.

“How grand”, he declares
as a jack-in-the-box jumps.

May I remember to have delight
in the small things.
The simple things.

May I allow them to make me smile.

Posted by Lynne Taylor at 08:44 AM