John Hebenton's Podcast

John Hebenton's Podcast
Sunday sermons preached at St. George’s Anglican Church, Gate Pa, Tauranga. These are mostly based on the RCL Lectionary readings for that Sunday, with a few variations for our own lectionary in this Province, and special events here at Gate Pa.

Join the Right Party
Aug 3 • 20 min
Wrestling with the story of Jesus being compelled to act, out of compassion, getting the disciples to feed 5000 men plus women and children.
The Kingdom or Reign of Heaven is like a Gorse Bush
Jul 29 • 28 min
Letting go of our preconceptions and allowing Jesus to reframe how we see the reign of God
Having another look
Jul 20 • 19 min
Explore Refugee Sunday through lens of story of Rebekah and Jesus’ yoke
God Provides
Jun 29 • 22 min
Where is the invitation for us in this harvest festival?
Discovering Church With No Maps During Lockdown
Jun 22 • 13 min
Using our expereince of the last 3 months to reflect on trying to be church with no maps
Jun 15 • 12 min
A chance to spend time listening to and sharing with each other
Living in the Trinitarian Mystery
Jun 8 • 13 min
What is the gift of Trinity Sunday this year, and how do we live that out?
Breathing Peace and Joy
May 31 • 18 min
John explores John 20:19-23 using the words peace, breath, forgiveness, and rejoice
Where is God in all this?
May 25 • 21 min
As we reflect on the Ascension and Jesus final prayer while we continue to not meet in church and live our lives under level 2 restrictions, where do we see God at work?
Abiding in Lockdown
May 19 • 15 min
Exploring John 14:15-21 and what Jesus says about the Spirit of Truth, the Companion.
Words Offering Comfort and Hope
May 12 • 18 min
Putting John 14 back to hear what Jesus is offering us
Jesus the Door?
May 5 • 20 min
Exploring how Jesus, John and we reinterpret the Good Shepherd Tradtion for “our” time.
Eyes Wide Open in the New Normal
Apr 26 • 15 min
Ways of reading Luke 24: 13-35 while in lock-down
Practising Peace Sermon
Apr 20 • 12 min
Jesus offers peace. Being at peace is something we can practice. Now seems to be a good time to get in some practice!
It began in God (Easter 2020)
Apr 13 • 13 min
What does the story of Holy Week and Easter offer us in the grip of Covid-19 lockdown
Hikoi of Peace
Apr 4 • 15 min
What does Palm Sunday invite us into this Holy Week in the midst of a Covid—19 pandemic?
Finding Life When in Strange Times
Mar 28 • 20 min
What does Ezekiel’s vision and the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from stinky death offer us in these unsettling times?
Learning to See in Dark Times
Mar 25 • 15 min
A conversation around John 9:1-41 - the healing of the blind man
She Left the Jug Behind
Mar 17 • 14 min
Exploring how the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4 helps us live in the light of the Mosque shootings one year ago
Born Anew - the Long Story
Mar 9 • 11 min
A refelction holding together the story of the call of Abram and Sarai - blessed to be a blessing; Jesus conversation with Nicodemus (John 3); and our story
A Testing Time
Mar 2 • 16 min
A retelling of the story of Jesus in the wilderness to help us really hear the story
Join the Resistance
Feb 24 • 14 min
How to apply the beatitudes to those who have done us wrong or are our enemies
Is the Treaty a Joke?” – the Treaty of Waitangi 180 years on
Feb 18 • 103 min
Buddy Mikaere helped us look afresh at the place of the Treaty for us in Tauranga, and in New Zealand 180 years on.
Lustful Thoughts and Superbowl
Feb 17 • 21 min
What does it mean for Jesus to fulfil the law in terms of murder and adultery?
Salt and Light
Feb 11 • 22 min
Using Matthew 5:13-20 John exploresWhat does it mean for Jesus to fulfill the law? What does it mean for how I am salt and light? Last week we were given a list of kinds of people who we might aspire to be in the beatitudes. They are salt and light….
Why the Anglican Apology for the Yielding of Mission Land in Tauranga
Feb 4 • 93 min
A talk about why, In December 2018, the Anglican Church apologized to ngā iwi o Tauranga Moana, and Ngāi Tamarāwaho and Ngāti Tapu in particular, for the yeilding of the Te Papa Mission Block to the New Zealand Government in 1867.
Blessed are the Cheese-makers
Feb 3 • 17 min
Who are the cool kids, who does Jesus say the cool kids are, and what does that mean for how we live the kingdom of heaven?
The Big Picture Maybe?
Jan 28 • 17 min
What is Epiphany and what does it offer us?
Loved, Worthy and Chosen
Jan 28 • 12 min
Knowing we are truly chosen, worthy and loved.
God With Us
Dec 23, 2019 • 28 min
The prophecy from Isaiah 7:10-16, which we think is just about Jesus, is about so much more.
Joy @ Advent
Dec 16, 2019 • 16 min
What does joy mean this advent?
Immersed in the Ways of God
Dec 12, 2019 • 20 min
Advent offers a time to be immersed into the ways of God
I Wish We’d All Been Ready?
Dec 3, 2019 • 16 min
How does seeing Advent as preparing for Christ in history, mystery and majesty help us read Matthew 24
Christ our King?
Nov 25, 2019 • 25 min
A conversation around how is Christ our King, what is helpful about that and what is unhelpful?
Pay Attention
Nov 18, 2019 • 20 min
Exploring Luke 21:1-19 from diferent perspectives
The Trap
Nov 13, 2019 • 22 min
A conversation about what “resurrection of the dead” means for us, and how that affects how we live our lives
Seeing with Zacchaeus
Nov 4, 2019 • 15 min
Exploring the story of Zacchaeus and Jesus and what it might offer us on All Saints/All Souls
Wrestling with a Pharisee
Oct 28, 2019 • 20 min
Who do we hold in contempt and how might the story of the pharisee and the tax collector offer another way?
People of Faith
Oct 21, 2019 • 19 min
Wrestling with what we might pray incessantly for.
Francis and Making Room
Oct 14, 2019 • 15 min
Celebrating Francis and Penitent
Supporting the work of the Merivale Community Centre
Sep 30, 2019 • 29 min
Finding out about the work of Merivale Community Centre with Sophie Rapson
Beggars at the Gate
Sep 30, 2019 • 17 min
What are the “gates” that separate us from those in need around us
Rejoicing in Te Wiki o te Reo Maori
Sep 17, 2019 • 21 min
What frustrates and what brings us join in using Te Reo Maori in our services
What Blinds?
Sep 9, 2019 • 18 min
What blinds us and holds us captive, and how are we being invited to be healed and freed
Living in the Radiating Cosmos and Climate Change
Aug 6, 2019 • 7 min
How do we respond to climate change as people living in awe and wonder of the creating and life giving God?
Storms in the Season of Creation
Jul 29, 2019 • 31 min
What storms teach us about climate change, and the underlying issues of broken relationsips between us and God, us and creation, us and our neighbours
The Animals – our brothers and sisters
Jul 22, 2019 • 21 min
In the Season of Creation - how do we see the animals we share this world with; pets, farm animals, wild animals?
Patterns of Resilience
Jul 17, 2019 • 20 min
Justine draws on the themes of the desert, Leonard Cohen, the Japanese art of kintsugi and the life of St Peter as an example of a disciple who came through difficulty to live compassionately and courageously
The Oceans – an invitation to awe
Jul 11, 2019 • 23 min
Why the oceans are important?
Stewardship in the Season of Creation
Jul 1, 2019 • 20 min
How the Season of Creation helps us begin to think about our response to climate change/global warming
Matariki and Harvest Festival
Jun 25, 2019 • 12 min
Celebrating Harvest Festival as we begin our Season of Creation and lament our role in climate change
A Bigger Mind
Jun 17, 2019 • 17 min
Exploring ways of describing the Trinity that shape our identity and purpose in life
Breath on Me Holy Spirit
Jun 10, 2019 • 19 min
Exploring althernative stories of the giving of the Holy Spirit from Acts and what they offer us.
Living a Resurrection Life
Jun 5, 2019 • 19 min
What does a resurrrection life look like and how do we live it?
The Word
May 27, 2019 • 19 min
Exploring John 14:23-29 and the “Word” we are invited to keep in love.
Love One Another – Yeah Right!
May 20, 2019 • 18 min
Living love like Jesus loved - how easy, how hard and how important is that!
Today’s Shepherds
May 13, 2019 • 22 min
What is the Good Shepherd tradition and how do we live today so that others might see God the GOood Shepherd at work in us?
Give us Hope in our Calling
May 7, 2019 • 24 min
Exploring what difference Easter makes for how we live life?
Easter – so what?
Apr 24, 2019 • 11 min
Exploring what difference Easter makes for how we live life?
Peace March
Apr 15, 2019 • 12 min
Listening to and reflecting on Brian McLaren’s “We Make the Road by Walking”
Echoes and Threads
Apr 8, 2019 • 18 min
Using the story of Mary anointing Jesus feet to explore how we see the world - through the lens of rivalry, compliance, meaningless mechanism, or love; and asks how do we respond to this scandulous love?
The Lost Family by Any Other Name
Apr 1, 2019 • 18 min
How the titles given to Luke Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 offer different ways of reading this story and applying it to our lives.
Re-visioning Repentance
Mar 25, 2019 • 16 min
Rethinking repentance from saying sorry for wrong doing to seeing our lives and the world through the eyes of God
Determinedly Committed to Hope
Mar 20, 2019 • 24 min
How we forget to be a blessing, and how is commitedly determined to offer an alternative way
Following the Footsteps of Francis in Lent
Mar 14, 2019 • 19 min
Using the life of Saint Francis to offer themes and questions to hold during Lent
Testing our Identity
Mar 14, 2019 • 24 min
Jesus is not tempted in the wilderness but has his identity as Son of God tested - how is our identity tested in LentLent is a time for
Living in Anticipation That God’s Will Be Done On Earth As In Heaven
Mar 4, 2019 • 23 min
Hearing the wisdom sayings of Luke 6:39-49 speak from their context to ours
Living the Gospel like Francis and Tapu
Feb 25, 2019 • 18 min
Living wrapped in love as signs of the unfolding reign of God
A Plain Sermon
Feb 18, 2019 • 23 min
Lukes Beatitudes explored
My Ongoing Journey in Understanding Te Tiriti o Waitangi - The Treaty of Waitangi
Feb 14, 2019 • 113 min
In this talk Rev Dr David FRSNZ describes both his own journey in understanding the Treaty, and the changes in how it has been understood by both “crown agencies” and other historians; suggesting that the English and Te Reo Maori texts say the same thing…
Here I am Lord, Send The Other Guy!
Feb 11, 2019 • 18 min
How does the story of my call resonate with the biblical stories of call
Hard Love
Feb 6, 2019 • 21 min
The what and who of Love
Hearing the Way
Jan 28, 2019 • 21 min
Exploring Luke 4: 14-21 as the means by which Luke suggests Jesus understood God, himself and his ministry; and how we are invited to read the rest of Luke/Acts
Jan 23, 2019 • 15 min
Exploring the Story of the Wedding at Cana as John’s frist story of what “grace upon grace” looks, tastes, smells, feels, sounds like
Dangerous Love
Dec 22, 2018 • 13 min
Exploring Micah and Mary and Elizabeth as prophets to God’s relentlessly faithful and dangerous love
Joy to the Word and Such
Dec 17, 2018 • 17 min
How might we nurture the gift of Joy
A Santa Claus to Hope In
Dec 10, 2018 • 30 min
Who is Santa really? What is Hope? How do we live in hope?
Happy Advent?
Dec 3, 2018 • 13 min
How does Advent help us to realise that Christmas is important, but is not the point. How do we look beyond?
Christ the King?
Nov 26, 2018 • 18 min
What does Christ the King mean for us?
Large Stones in our Shoes
Nov 19, 2018 • 21 min
What large stones in church and in society distract us from Jesus way of generosity and compassion.
Marking the Centenary of the End of the War to End All Wars
Nov 13, 2018 • 11 min
Reflections on Armistice Day 2018 and what we might learn from our past
Tribalism, Ruth and the cost of All Saints
Nov 13, 2018 • 21 min
Using Ruth to explore how death reshapes whole communites. What is it we mark on this All Saints?
Being Blind
Oct 29, 2018 • 15 min
How we are blinded by our image of God
God, free me of god
Oct 22, 2018 • 14 min
What ideas about God do we need to be freed of?
SPCA, Francis of Assisi, and the Wolf of Gubbio
Oct 22, 2018 • 12 min
St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio, Climate Change and the work of the SPCA,
Who do you say I am?
Sep 17, 2018 • 19 min
How do we respond to Jesus questions in Mark 8?
Bad Jesus or Voices on the Edge
Sep 10, 2018 • 22 min
What is Jesus learning as be is confronted by the bold and shocking Syrophonecian woman?
Seeing into the Heart of Things
Sep 3, 2018 • 21 min
How are we to read scripture? How are we to pay attention to what is happening in our hearts and why?
The Line
Aug 27, 2018 • 21 min
How does John help us be honest about our lives of discipleship
Cursillo in Waiapu
Aug 16, 2018 • 15 min
What is Cursillo?
Bread of Life
Aug 7, 2018 • 16 min
John explores how this series of readings on Jesus being the Bread of Life help us into the Eucharist
Christains Against Poverty
Jul 23, 2018 • 25 min
What is CAP and how can we help?
Depraved Banquets, Beheading John the Baptizer, and Being LGBTIQ+ in Church
Jul 16, 2018 • 20 min
How the Beheading of John the Baptizer, the feeding of the 5000+ and 4000+, helps us into the stories of Rainbow people’s experience of God in our churches, and what eucharist has to offer all this.
Being a People of the Edge
Jul 9, 2018 • 19 min
How our prayer book be a people of the edge
Open the Doors
Jul 3, 2018 • 17 min
Graham Cameron invites us to consider leaving the doors of our church open all the time
Sufficient Success
Jun 12, 2018 • 18 min
A look at what we might measure success as using the gospel reading for the day and the gospels in general
Racist as bro or Taika Waititi, Te Pouhere and Mark
Jun 4, 2018 • 24 min
Does Taika Waititi have a point, and what does our Church Constitution - Te Pouhere - help us offer in response
Nicodemus and the Dance of Trinity
May 28, 2018 • 13 min
Learning to start with living in God rather than trying to learn about and understand God
The Work of the Holy Spirit at General Synod
May 21, 2018 • 24 min
Pentecost is less about what happened 2,000 years ago and more about what the Holy Spirit is doing now.
Nothing Can Trouble
May 14, 2018 • 12 min
John 17: 1-11- It’s OK to take risks - God will protect us
Families and Jesus
May 7, 2018 • 20 min
Exploring some of Jesus’ teaching about families, and what he offers in their place.
Resurrecting Thomas
Apr 9, 2018 • 20 min
How does Thomas help us grasp the meaning of the resurrection?
Telling our Easter Story
Apr 2, 2018 • 14 min
Telling our stories of the risen Jesus here today
Palm Sunday Rethought
Mar 25, 2018 • 13 min
What do we need to set down if we are to meet this Christ who rides of donkey?
Keeping an Eye on the Big Picture
Mar 19, 2018 • 17 min
I use a Maori proverb to explore Jesus response to some Greeks wanting to see him in John
Born in the Spirit
Mar 15, 2018 • 15 min
Using different models of conversion Graham explores being born in the Spirit
Being Disciples of the Living God
Mar 5, 2018 • 21 min
Exploring the 10 Commandments and John’s version of the clearing of the Temple and what they mean for us today
A Crisis
Feb 27, 2018 • 18 min
How Abram and Sarai teach us about the changing nature of who we are and what we live for.
Lent and Such
Feb 19, 2018 • 19 min
What is Lent and how does our understanding of the cross fit with all this?
Jesus – God Incarnate – say what?
Feb 12, 2018 • 16 min
Exploring our images of God and how the incarnation invites us to ask of each story about Jesus - “what does this teach us about the nature of God and the characteristics of the reign of God.”
A Bigger Understanding
Feb 6, 2018 • 19 min
What does Isaiah 40 and the healing of Peter’s mother in law teach us about being a community of aroha.
Epiphanies for Us
Jan 31, 2018 • 21 min
Looking ahead using Mark
Mary, Mary Quite Contrary - maybe
Dec 23, 2017 • 22 min
Who is Mary and what is the Incarnation for us - how does Mary help us into the mystery of all this?
Who are you as a person of joy?
Dec 18, 2017 • 23 min
Using the language of Mary, John the Baptiser and Francis of Assisi, who are we this Advent 3?
Advent 2 - The Beginning of Good News - Coming Ready or Not
Dec 12, 2017 • 17 min
A look at how Mark uses 2nd Isaiah to frame how he understands Jesus as the coming of God’s good news - ready or not
Advent 1 - Hope and Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women
Dec 4, 2017 • 16 min
How does the 40th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women in this province help us into Advent hope?
Christ the King for the Community of Little Ones
Nov 26, 2017 • 17 min
What does Christ the King mean for us in light of Jesus teaching about sheep and goats in Matthew
Liturgy is Life
Nov 20, 2017 • 22 min
Anglican Liturgy - forming us for life
Being Franciscan and the story of the 10 Bridesmaids - Responding to God’s love
Nov 20, 2017 • 7 min
Being good stewards in our response to all God offers us
Stewardship at St. George’s Anglican Church Gate Pa
Nov 20, 2017 • 20 min
An invitation to take some time to reflect on how we respond to God’s love in terms of time and money
All the Saints and the Parihaka Story
Nov 6, 2017 • 31 min
Graham Cameron talks about the invasion fo Parihaka Village in light of All Saints.
30 Years Being Reformed as a Franciscan Priest
Oct 30, 2017 • 21 min
Exploring being a Franciscan Priest on the 30th anniversary of being ordained priest in the Anglican Church
This Crazy Story
Oct 15, 2017 • 15 min
How the stories of the two sons, vineyard and wedding feast relate to each other when we put them back.
How to end the story?
Oct 10, 2017 • 21 min
Re-reading the story of the vineyard and bad tenants in Matthew
Francis and being all good (with lots of stuff about SPCA)
Oct 1, 2017 • 12 min
Celebrating St. Francis and the work of SPCA
Paul 7 - That Verse
Sep 2, 2017 • 23 min
John wrestles with Romans 1:26-27 which on the face of it condemns homosexuality. By putting that verse back – into the social context and the letter it comes from, John explores what Paul might really have been saying as an example of how to keep…
Paul 6 – So What?
Aug 27, 2017 • 22 min
John summarizes Romans and Paul so far and explores the “How to live this out” – which involves expanding into next weeks reading, which includes our passage/whakatauki John invites people to reflect on how they live out Paul’s framework of living in…
Paul 5- It Not About Us
Aug 20, 2017 • 19 min
To explore the gift of Pauls thinking to us in Romans 11 – to keep us humble; to help us know that it is not about us and the rewards we get; and to help keep us open, generous and compassionate to all people, all people – even those on our “least…
Paul 4 - God is so Faithful
Aug 6, 2017 • 17 min
The faithfulness of God is central to understanding Paul
Are we a Gorse Bush
Jul 30, 2017 • 14 min
To ask • What is the Kingdom of Heaven? • How would you describe the Reign of Heaven from your experience of it? • What images or stories would you tell? and explore the response in light of Pauls image of God’s faithfulness and Matthews image of…
Paul 3 - Entwined Roots
Jul 23, 2017 • 19 min
Use Matthew and Paul to explore how our roots are buried in the faithfulness of God to the covenant - the promise to restore humanity and renew creation through God’s people. When we are faithful to this (righteous) we find life
Paul 2 - Understanding Paul
Jul 17, 2017 • 29 min
This is John’s sermon from the 9th July. In it John explores Paul’s letter to the Romans by looking at the summary in Romans 1: 16-17. Using this he teases out what the God’s righteousness looks like, what faith looks like and what the Gospel of God…
Paul 1 - Who Is Paul?
Jul 2, 2017 • 29 min
John offers an introduction to St. Paul, the radical, and the letter attributed to him by way of preparing to spend the next few weeks looking at Paul’s great letter to the churches in Rome
Jun 25, 2017 • 19 min
John invites people to explore what harvest festival is about, both in terms of giving thanks, acknowledging God’s generosity, and at Matariki, linking it with climate change and land and water degradation. John then invites people to reflect on what it…
The Trinity
Jun 11, 2017 • 9 min
Bishop Andrew joined us for Trinity Sunday and to confirm two of our people. Here is his very short sermon
Flaming Justice
Jun 4, 2017 • 18 min
John explores the symbolism around the telling of Pentecost and what that offers us in our understanding and living of the Pentecost story John teaches that the Spirit is the one to be trusted – not understood. When we trust and live the Spirit then we…
What’s up with the Ascension
May 28, 2017 • 19 min
John explores some of the dangers with the Ascension, but goes on to suggest that it offers us the other side of the incarnation. He invites those listening to pray the gift of ascension, “God is us, us in God.”
May 21, 2017 • 18 min
The gift of the Spirit is that the glory of God resides in each one of us, that all may be drawn into the way of God – the way of compassion, generosity, justice and love. John invites people to reflect on this awesome gift, and awesome…
The Life, Truth and Way in the darkest of times
May 13, 2017 • 14 min
John wonders what do Jesus words in John 14:1-14 offered to the disciples in depths of grief and impending hopelessness offer us? It is Easter – what is that about what might Jesus being “the way, the truth and life” mean for us in this season what…
Abundant Life with a Blind Man
May 7, 2017 • 23 min
John explores what abundant life is for us, and in light of the healing of the blind man and Jesus use of the Good Shepherd Tradition
Walking From Pukehinahina to Emmaus and Back
Apr 30, 2017 • 8 min
Using the story of Jesus and the two disciples on their walk to Emmaus, John asks what are our stories of the Battle of Gate Pa or WWI/WWII etc?, and where is resurrection in these stories, or where do we see resurrection in light of these stories?
It Begins
Apr 16, 2017 • 6 min
A poetic reflection on the Easter story. Where have we seen the Lord? How are we resurrected now?
Why Preach on Palm Sunday
Apr 9, 2017 • 18 min
John offers some thoughts on what shapes his approach to preaching, and why he is not preaching this Palm Sunday. He then offers another way of engaging with this story with some questions
Dangerous – Living - Now
Apr 3, 2017 • 17 min
What is this whole Jesus dying for our sins thing about? John uses the story of the raising of Lazarus and the work of NT Wright to suggest that it is not about appeasing an angry God and getting into heaven. Resurrection is about now, not just the…
The Good Shepherd Strikes Again
Mar 27, 2017 • 18 min
John suggests that this gospel reading (John 9) needs to be read with the rest of John. In light of that, lets wonder where we stand in this story. What does it mean for us to have placed in our eyes the light of Christ? - what would we see…
A Voice from the Edge
Mar 19, 2017 • 21 min
John compares Nicodemus, part of the in-group and yet unable to get it, with the unnamed Samaritan women, not even part of the out-group, who gets it enough to be a “reaper”. In what ways are we reapers?
Mar 12, 2017 • 12 min
Wendy helps us explore the first story of Nicodemus in John 4, and reminds us that in God we are met by love
Who are you?
Mar 5, 2017 • 18 min
Jesus spent 40 days determining what it meant to be “Son of God” and how he would live that out – what values he would live out, how others would see him, what his legacy would be. He invites us this lent to do the same – what does it mean for us to be…
Why Worry
Feb 26, 2017 • 16 min
What do we live for? What is it all about? What distracts us from being perfect? What would our parish and diocesan reports look like if they were all about how we live out God’s compassion, generosity, justice and love?
Being Perfect
Feb 19, 2017 • 21 min
John explores Matthew 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – what does it mean to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? He talks about how this is not about being flawless but about living the Sermon on the Mount and…
Finding Our Voice
Feb 12, 2017 • 11 min
For AAW Sunday, Wendy Showan uses the film “The Kings Speech” to explore the nature of our voice
Longing for Righteousness
Feb 5, 2017 • 23 min
John explores Candlemas and the next part of the Sermon of the Mount using work done by NT Wright looking at righteousness as being image bearers.
Jan 23, 2017 • 12 min
Bonnie Hebenton uses the wonder of seeds to epxlore the story of the call of the first disciples, and invites us, like them, to think of ourselves as seeds created to spread the kingdom of God
Here we are
Dec 25, 2016 • 5 min
A reflection on Christmas used at our midnight service.
God With Us
Dec 18, 2016 • 19 min
John surveys the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke, looks at why they are so different, and explores the use of Isaiah 7 - “God with us” by Matthew– what did it mean and what does it mean for us. This week our theme is love. During this week I…
Isaiah and Joy
Dec 11, 2016 • 27 min
John talks about how Isaiah is important, and we need to hear him on his terms so that we can hear what Jesus was on about. We need to stop layering Christianity all over him and silencing his voice. During this week you are invited to take time at the…
Re-Rooting our Lives
Dec 4, 2016 • 24 min
John explores the relationship between John and Jesus, and talks about taking the axe to the roots of our identity – what shapes our lives and give our lives meaning. He suggests that this is about us needing to be rid of those elements that lead us…
Nativity Sets, The Incarnation and Hope
Nov 27, 2016 • 13 min
The first Sunday in Advent is about Hope. This Sunday we bless our Nativity sets as symbols of hope. We will hear the story of St. Francis and the first nativity crib at Greccio, and then wonder about hope.
The Crucified King
Nov 20, 2016 • 25 min
John explores what Luke suggests are the marks of Jesus Kingship what does this tell us about the nature of God what does this mean for how we exercise leadership, and what we look for in leaders offers Saints like Hilda of Whitby as an example of…
Hope on a Dark Day
Nov 13, 2016 • 18 min
How should we respond to events here and in the world that cause us anger, fear, despair? Jesus in Luke says not by focussing on these things, good or bad, but on the activity of God in which we are involved. That is how we respond to a Trump…
The God who transforms
Nov 6, 2016 • 10 min
This week our Ministry Educator, Deborah Broome preached. This is what she wrote for our pew sheet about the theme. “Haggai’s prophecies are set in the post-exilic period during the reign of Darius. The work had stalled because of discouragement;…
All the Saints – Even Zacchaeus
Oct 30, 2016 • 20 min
Was Zacchaeus already giving half his income to the poor, or was he going to give half his income because of what Jesus says to him. Both work. If he was already, then the issue is not that he was corrupt – as we assume, but that those he lived among…
Whose Goodness?
Oct 23, 2016 • 17 min
How often do we join the Pharisee and give in to the temptation that we have earned our salvation thanking God for our goodness? How often do we stand with the tax collector knowing we have nothing to offer, trusting in God’s deep love and thanking God…
Praying for Justice.
Oct 16, 2016 • 18 min
Do we pray without ceasing? what is it we pray for? and why do we pray – so that God will fix it, or something else? John explores what it means to pray unceasingly for justice, and how that prayer changes us to be people of justice.
Francis and Pets
Oct 12, 2016 • 6 min
Some thoughts on Pet Sunday as we celebrate St. Francis of Assisi.
Having Enough Faith
Oct 12, 2016 • 12 min
What does it mean to increase our faith? Is this a real question? What is it we have faith in God to do? Fix it? Be with us in the midst of life?
Being Chaste
Sep 25, 2016 • 18 min
John explores how this story (Luke 16:19-31) relates to a number of stories about humility and chastity – seeing others as belonging to God and not for use in our quest for self-fulfilment. He invites people to examine their own attitudes individually…
Sep 11, 2016 • 22 min
John talks about how these are stories of the importance of celebrating together rather than stories about the need to repent. He then invites people to bring that sense of joy to the Eucharistic table and their lives.
Eyes Lifted
Aug 21, 2016 • 7 min
A reflection to help people reflect on the healing of the stooped woman (Luke 13: 10-17); where they are in this story, and how this story speaks to their story.
The Journey, St George and Decision Making
Aug 14, 2016 • 13 min
This the Bishops sermon on our celebration of St. George and of being the Anglican Parish of Gate Pa for 54 years.
Aug 7, 2016 • 19 min
John explores the importance of the word “has” in our understanding of the Kindgom of God
Where is our heart?
Jul 31, 2016 • 19 min
John explores how where we stand affects how we read this story and then explores some different ways of reading this story bringing it back to ‘how do we honour God’s name?”
A Shocking Story
Jul 10, 2016 • 19 min
John explores the Good Samaritan story – saying that it asks who our neighbour is; and both who am I willing to be a neighbour to and who am I willing to let be a neighbour to me?
It Is Better Together
Jul 3, 2016 • 23 min
John explores this central scripture for Franciscanism and looks at why Christianity is a communal religion, as opposed to not being about me and God
Giving Thanks for the Harvest
Jun 26, 2016 • 23 min
John explores what harvest festival is about, linking it with climate change and land and water degradation, and all that with Jesus’ sense of honesty and urgency
Who are the Good Citizens?
Jun 19, 2016 • 16 min
Who is a good citizen? Was Elijah? Or Paul or Jesus? John explores todays readings wondering where they nudge us to as we seek to be good citizens.
Life Restored
Jun 5, 2016 • 20 min
John uses the Gospel reading (Luke 7:11-17 - the widows son restored to life) as a way of exploring Christian ethics in relation to last week’s budget and the ongoing issue around homelessness.
Mission to Seafarers
May 29, 2016 • 13 min
The Rev. Lance Lukin, Anglican Chaplain at the Port of Wellington, and Oceania Regional Chaplian for the Mission to Seafarers talks about this important ministry and how we can be invovled.
Pentecost on the East Coast
May 15, 2016 • 28 min
John talks about how the work of the spirit allows us to ask – what does it mean, and to continue to retell and reinterpret the story of Jesus to each new situation we find ourselves in. The story of Piripi Taumata-a-kura of Ngati Porou illustrates this.
Footprints on Mother’s Day
May 8, 2016 • 21 min
On Mothers Day, John explores what the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ offers us? He suggests that we are the people of the footprints, and uses the story of two women who helped created Mother’s Day as an example
Thoughts on Gate Pa
May 1, 2016 • 24 min
Cliff offers some thoughts around the Battle of Gate Pa
Meeting God
Apr 24, 2016 • 14 min
Wendy uses a story about a little boy and an elderly woman’s search for God to open up “John 13:31-35” - a new commandment
Resurrection is NOW!
Apr 17, 2016 • 16 min
Easter is a time for us to reflect on what resurrection means for us in our daily living and our joining in mission of God. Dorcas helps us in this task
Peter goes Fishing
Apr 10, 2016 • 13 min
A reflection that the story in John’s gospel of the resurrected Jesus appearing to Peter and some other disciples while they are fishing
Believing in Easter
Apr 3, 2016 • 18 min
John explores the importance of Thomas, both in the lectionary (we hear this reading on this Sunday every year) and for us; he is our guy saying the things we want to say. And we can follow his footsteps into belief if we are willing.
Our Darkness is Shredded
Mar 27, 2016 • 8 min
An Easter Reflection
What are we up to with all these Palms?
Mar 20, 2016 • 17 min
John explores what Luke might have thought was going on in this story, and then asks what do we think is going on with us as readers of this story today?
A Fourth Way
Mar 13, 2016 • 20 min
John uses the story of the two lost sons from the previous week to enter into all that the story of Mary washing Jesus’ feet offers us. We too are invited to see the world through the lens of love, the fourth way described by Brian McLaren. and Mary…
Fig Trees and AGM’s
Feb 28, 2016 • 16 min
John invites people to reflect on this parish and their hopes for this parish and then reflect on some of the questions he keeps asking in light of that and the gospel reading for the day: • Whose are we (who is God)? • Who are we • What is ours to…
Blessed, to be a Blessing
Feb 21, 2016 • 17 min
What pattern do we apply to scripture? What is it all about? What does all this God stuff offer us? Demand of us? God tells Abraham that he and Sarah will be blessed to be a blessing (Gen 12). That is the pattern to read scripture and understand our…
Our Desires and Lent
Feb 15, 2016 • 14 min
John explores the temptations or tests of Jesus in wilderness as tests of who he is in face of three main areas of desire that confront us all. The traditional tasks of Lent, pray, fast, give, help us notice our response to these desires and to learn…
A Call to Be on Waitangi Weekend
Feb 7, 2016 • 15 min
John explores the nature of our call in terms of who we are rather than what we are called to do, uses Brian McLaren’s thoughts on patterns and his thoughts on images to think about being called to be the image of God in this place at this time – what…
The Logic of Love
Jan 31, 2016 • 8 min
Using Brian McLaren’s thinking in “We Make the Road by Walking” John explores the concept of Logos as the logic by which we understand creation, God, and our place in all of this, and then use 1 Cor 13:1-13 to suggest that the logic of God is Love. …
Standing for the Gospel
Jan 24, 2016 • 18 min
John explores why we might stand for the gospel so that people might be more thoughtful about how they do it, rather than just do it because that is what we do
Waiting for Love
Dec 20, 2015 • 17 min
John suggests the human story of Mary and Elizabeth offer us a way into Advent and Christmas
New Images of Joy
Dec 13, 2015 • 21 min
John explores how we might beinvited into new ways of experiencing joy this advent
Unravelling Peace
Dec 6, 2015 • 20 min
John explores the idea that peace comes when we are unravelled from the threads and chords that hold us as individuals and as communities in certain ways of seeing, acting being. Peace comes when the radical change comes with repentance He then invites…
Hope in a Hopeless World
Nov 29, 2015 • 16 min
John explores the notion of hope at advent as more than just Christmas and peace to all on earth
Reign of Christ
Nov 22, 2015 • 19 min
John explores what the idea of the reign of Christ has to say to the events in Europe and the Middle East over the last few weeks/moths/years. Where might be the reign of Christ in all this? He then invites people to be signs of the reign of Christ in…
Nov 15, 2015 • 13 min
Using Mark and in light of the terrorist attacks on Beirut and Paris, Wendy explores the nature of our hope
Mission to Seafarers 2015
Nov 8, 2015 • 23 min
Rev. Marie Gilpin, one of the Chaplains at the Port of Tauranga talks about the United Mission to Seafarers in Tauranga, what it involves and how we might support this ministry. The video at the beginning of the sermon has been edited out. More…
Glimpsing the New Earth
Nov 1, 2015 • 14 min
Using the reading from Revelation John explores All Saints and asks how do we glimpse the Kingdom come in the lives of the Saints, and how do they inspire us to look for the new heaven and new earth in the here and now. On the back of that, how did we…
Seeing the Person
Oct 25, 2015 • 19 min
How easy it is to read the stories Of Job and the blind Bartimaeus and not see the people involved. But Jesus does see the person, the blind Bartimaeus, and asks him what he wants. How do we not see people? How are we ourselves not seen? What
Oct 11, 2015 • 22 min
John explores the importance of asking questions, and how the questions asked in both Job 23:1-9, 16-17and Mark 10:17-31 are our questions and reveal something of who we are .
Our Mission
Oct 4, 2015 • 13 min
Iri Mato talks about his and Kate’s time in Tanzania and Etheopia over the last 10 years and what he has learnt from this experience.
What is MAF?
Sep 26, 2015 • 13 min
Ryan Cameron talks about MAF and how he came to be joining them in Australia and PNG
Getting off the Fence
Sep 20, 2015 • 18 min
John explores where we stand when we read scripture shapes what we understand it to be saying. He uses the passages from Proverbs 31:10-31 and Mark 9:30-37 to illustrate his point. Is the reading about the capable wife really that sexist, or pointing…
Culture, Christ and Refugees
Sep 6, 2015 • 22 min
John talks about how as Christians we are to be both within our culture and outside it so that we can offer a vision of another way. And this is not easy, as we can see from all our readings. The pull back is strong, and often “The Church” is shaped by…
Wrestling with Bread
Aug 22, 2015 • 19 min
John explores John 6:56-69 and suggests that when we eat and drink God meets our deepest dears and we learn to live in, abide in life of God
What Song.mp3
Aug 18, 2015 • 22 min
My Hearts Desire
Aug 2, 2015 • 11 min
John suggests one way to understand what is going on in John 6 is the confusion between our desires and what really lies behind those desires - our hearts desire. We do not pay enough attention to our hearts desire and are motivated too much by our…
Why we use Te Reo Maori in our services
Aug 2, 2015 • 9 min
John explores some of his reasons for using te reo Maori in our services, and finishes with He Tikanga Whakapono.
Abundant Generosity
Jul 26, 2015 • 23 min
Hebrew Scripture: 2 Samuel 11: 1-15 Psalm: 14 Epistle: Ephesians 3: 14-21 Gospel: John 6: 1-21 What I want to say: Explore Social Service Sunday Love is to be the basis our understanding who we are We are invited to open our eyes wide…
ANZAC Reflections
Jul 5, 2015 • 27 min
Cliff Simons reflects on his recent time at ANZAC Cove for the commemorations of the landings at Gallipoli, and then his time in Scotland and Coventry and what they have to offer us in our ministry
Harvest Festival
Jun 28, 2015 • 19 min
John explores what harvest festival is about, and links that with Jesus offering of hope and life to both people in today’s reading. He invites to reflect on what it is they are giving thanks for, and to be inspired to generously offer more of…
Heroes with Feet of Clay
Jun 21, 2015 • 18 min
John explores the nature of our heroes and suggest that for them to inspire us we need to see them as real people. This includes great heroes of faith, including Paul and disciples. In light of that he explores the story of the calming of storm. We are…
With what can we compare the Kingdom of God?
Jun 15, 2015 • 17 min
John suggests that we bring the same kind of assumptions to this phrase, “the Kingdom of God”, as Jesus hearers did. Are we able to engage with his answer? What does it do to our understanding of who we are and what is ours to do?
Triune Mystery
May 31, 2015 • 22 min
John explores the doctrine of the trinity as something that leads us to God as multidimensional, ultimately mysterious, who invites us through the relationship within the Trinity to live by different principles
Hearing a New Way - Pentecost 2015
May 24, 2015 • 17 min
John explores the wonder of the languages, and how that might shape our understanding of the radical activity of God in Pentecost
What’s up with the Ascension
May 17, 2015 • 18 min
John explores what the Ascension of Jesus might offer us beyond Jesus goes to heaven.
Images of Love on Mothers Day
May 10, 2015 • 19 min
John talks about how mothers day is not so great for all people. He also wonder how we might need to let go of some of our understanding of love so that we might be alternative primary images of love to those around us.
May 3, 2015 • 20 min
John uses his tomatoes to explore the “I am the vine” saying, focussing on the words – prune, abide and love. He finishes by inviting the people to ask what needs pruning so that they might abide in God’s love and invite others through their lives to…
The Good Shepherd
Apr 26, 2015 • 25 min
Using Kenneth Bailey’s work in “The Good Shepherd ” John tries to enter into the world of a shepherd, and see how “David” uses this to describe his trust in God, noting that we need to be careful not to romanticise it. Then he notes how that tradition…
Loving God and Neighbour
Apr 19, 2015 • 21 min
John explores how our understanding the words “sin” and “righteousness” shape our understanding of what Jesus was on about
Easter Afresh
Apr 5, 2015 • 16 min
John offers an imagination exercise to help people enter into the Easter story, to experience it afresh, and to wonder where they meet the resurrected Christ today.
And So It Begins
Mar 29, 2015 • 10 min
John invites people to enter into the story of Palm Sunday and to hear the invitation to let go of our preconceptions, so that we might engage with the story and God in a new way.
Aiming for “He Iti Kahurangi”
Mar 22, 2015 • 17 min
John uses the whakatauki “Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei” to suggest that we keep aiming too small, too low. He then uses John’s gospel reading to suggest we need to go bigger. The cross exposes our smallness of thought –…
The Community of the Cross of Nails
Mar 15, 2015 • 21 min
The Very Revd John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, tells the story of the Community of the Cross of Nails, and invites us to be part of that story
Introducing Cursillo in Waiapu
Mar 8, 2015 • 23 min
Gail Spence, the Diocesan Lay Director for Cursillo in the Anglican Diocese of Waiapu talks about what Cursillo is and what it offers us.
Taking up our cross, and our name
Mar 1, 2015 • 19 min
John explores the importance of names, and suggest that our name be based on the character of God, and asks what name God might be inviting us into. He then explores Jesus saying that those who follow him are to pick up their cross and follow him. How…
Slowing Down to Listen
Feb 22, 2015 • 18 min
Lent is a time to slow down, embrace being still and silent, so that we might listen more deeply. It is a time to pay attention to the three questions that shape us: Whose are we. who are we, what is ours to do? In particular it is a time to reflect on…
Unconditional Love
Feb 15, 2015 • 15 min
Sam Held uses Mark 1:40-45 - the story of Jesus healing a leper to explore uncondional love He writes,”The willingness to give freely is a positive characteristic in a person, and we might add, a necessity for a follower of Christ. There is a lot to…
Feb 1, 2015 • 24 min
John briefly explores Candlemas, finishing with the importance of Christ the light - how does light Christ enable us to see ourselves and the world we live in.. Then he uses the article The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not…
Our Call
Jan 25, 2015 • 14 min
John uses the reading from Jonah (3:1-5, 10) and the Gospel (Mark 1:14-20) to reflect on our calls and to ask what we might be invited to this year.
The Problem of Mary
Dec 21, 2014 • 21 min
John explores the role Mary plays in helping us enter into the mystery of Christmas, and living out God’s faith, hope, peace and hope for all people the rest of the year. Question to reflect on Who is Mary for me? How does she help or hinder my life…
Perfect Joy
Dec 14, 2014 • 16 min
John asks what gives us joy as we approach Christmas, and then uses the readings from Isaiah and John to explore what gives God joy.
Coming Ready Or Not
Dec 7, 2014 • 19 min
Using Isaiah and Mark John suggests that God did come and is coming ready or not. So what does that mean for us preparing and waiting through this time of Advent? What does that mean for us as people about to celebrate 200 years since Gospel and…
A Time to See the Clouds
Nov 30, 2014 • 17 min
John explores Advent as a time to hear the invitation to see the world through God’s eyes, to long for all God longs for, and to be part of the coming in to being, and invites people to approach Advent slowly, out of the normal rush, taking care to be…
Talented Talents
Nov 16, 2014 • 16 min
John explores three ways Matthew 25:14-30 or the Parable of the Talents can be understood and invites people to reflect on which help them live in the presence of God now.
Staying Awake
Nov 9, 2014 • 23 min
John explores the gospel reading (Matthew 25:1-13) to suggest that we need to build lives of resilient faith that will continue to keep us in the long haul. He then invites people to think about the practices that sustain their faith, and wonders how…
Loving God and Neighbour
Oct 26, 2014 • 15 min
Readings: Psalm: Psalm 90:1-6, 3-17; First Reading: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Second Reading: 1 Thess 2:1-8; Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-46. …
Seeing the Back of God
Oct 19, 2014 • 21 min
John uses the Exodus reading (Exodus 33:12-23) to ask, “what does the back of God look like?” Moses was most concerned about how to be a distinctive people. How does our seeing the back of God help us be distinctive? And using the gospel…
Bearing Fruit
Oct 5, 2014 • 17 min
This sermon builds on last weeks sermon. This gospel reading needs to be read both in context of the gospel, where it comes in the story and what comes before and after it, and in the context of the time. When read in this way I wonder that the chief…
A Grave Responsibility
Sep 28, 2014 • 20 min
John explores the question posed to Jesus by the Jerusalem leadership about his authority using material from Rob Bell’s “Velvet Elvis”. In doing so he suggests that not only was Jesus acting as a revisionist Rabbi (You have heard it said, but I say to…
Aiming Past the Target
Sep 7, 2014 • 20 min
In this sermon John explores the notion of missional community – being a community that by the way we live for each other and the people of our local community, especially the least, we shout of God’s presence in the world. He then uses Business Secrets…
Imagine That
Aug 31, 2014 • 15 min
John uses the three readings to explore the big question – who are we? From there he asks 3 questions – what seismic shifts are we invited into ourselves? What is our vocation in this place? What is my role in that vocation?
Dogs and Such
Aug 17, 2014 • 24 min
John explores three different ways of reading the gosple for this day (Matthew 15: (10-20) 21-28). The first is that Jesus is just rude. The second that here we see both Jesus and the early Christian community struggling with the universal…
Food enough for all
Aug 3, 2014 • 19 min
Feeding of the 5000 men plus women and children is more than a nice story. It is an embodied parable about the kingdom of heaven – a kingdom or empire where all have more than enough to eat – good news indeed for the poor and hungry who have come to…
Building the Kingdom in the most surprising places
Jul 27, 2014 • 22 min
The Kingdom of Heaven is presented as being like a weed, like a woman hiding yeast in flour, like a tenant farmer finding treasure and somehow buying it, like a merchant selling all his stock to purchase a pearl of great price, like a fishing net…
Blessed be the Grittiness of life
Jul 13, 2014 • 19 min
John suggests that in the story of the sower we are offered picture of a recklessly generous God who seeks to sow life wherever. While we can read the soil types as different people, it is also us. We are a mix of soils. And that reckless God keeps on…
Making Room
Jul 6, 2014 • 20 min
John uses the story of Rebekah and the servant of Abraham to introduce being open to a different life. He then uses Richard Rohr’s “The Art of Letting Go, the wisdom of Saint Francis” to explore making room for God and opening ourselves to a greater…
The Binding of Isaac and hope
Jun 29, 2014 • 19 min
In this sermon John explores this is very hard but important reading. In it He suggests that we are given a glimpse of the angst within the Godhead around the Jesus event, and an image of the faith, love, trust and hope we are invited into as followers…
Remembering Te Ranga
Jun 22, 2014 • 20 min
Graham Cameron, (Piri Rakau and a member of St. Georges) talks about what happened here in Tauranga Moana 150 years ago, and in particular the Battle of Te Ranga. He uses Paul’s letter to the churches in Rome to offer some theological reflection on what…
Breathe In, Let Go, Move On
Jun 8, 2014 • 21 min
Pentecost invites us to let go of our past and to embrace God’s future. John uses Dianne Butler-Bass’s work to explore some of what that future might include as we prepare for our AGM, and to help people feel excited about the future rather than…
It’s not Fair
Jun 1, 2014 • 14 min
The Very Rev. Richard Giles, Visiting Fellow of St John’s College, Durham and author of Re-Pitching the Tent: Re-Ordering the Church Building for Worship and Mission , Creating Uncommon Worship: Transforming the Liturgy of the Eucharist and Time and…
Knowing our Story
May 25, 2014 • 18 min
When we think of missionary in this context we often, maybe usually think of English men and women bringing the gospel to Maori. But like Paul who had inside knowledge (He grew up in the Greek world and Luke reports he had some knowledge of Greek…
What If?
May 18, 2014 • 14 min
John uses Eleanor Catton’s graduation speech at VUW Graduation 2014 to ask “what if”. What if we take the incarnation seriously and are simply willing to trust into God made known in Jesus. Not the God taught about by Jesus, but the God whose character…
Talk to schools on the Battle of Gate Pa/Pukehinahina
May 15, 2014 • 66 min
This is the talk I gave this week to a school about the Battle and why we should commemorate both the Battle, the Battle of Te Ranga, and all that followed.
May 11, 2014 • 19 min
In this sermon John explores how we understand salvation, and how this understanding affects how we see God, ourselves, Christ, Church and mission. John then offers a way of understanding salvation using Augustine and Julian of Norwich, and then uses…
Exploring Doubt
Apr 27, 2014 • 13 min
Bonnie Hebenton uses the story of General Cameron and the Battle of Gate Pa to explore doubt, and to get into the story of doubting Thomas. Is this doubt a good thing or bad? How does doubt allow us to grow in faith?
Resurrection Now
Apr 20, 2014 • 12 min
John used the Animated The Easter Story by Geoffrey McLean (you can find this at to compare Matthews version of the story of the resurrection to Mark’s, and to invite people to consider how resurrection…
Boundless Life
Apr 6, 2014 • 20 min
John explores the story of the raising Lazarus and wonders in what ways we are bound in death. He offers the daily office as a means by which our rhythms may be shifted to God’s rhythms of life, our outlook shifted to God’s outlook of life, so that we…
Seeing Deeply
Mar 30, 2014 • 22 min
This week John uses the gospel reading of Jesus healing the blind man in John 9:1-41 to ask who are the bind people today? He goes on to offer the daily examen as a way of learning to truly see: ourselves, God and God at work in our lives and the world…
Listening Well
Mar 23, 2014 • 24 min
John explores the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman as an example of listening. He then introduces the spiritual practice of sacred reading.
Nicodemus and the Spiritual Practice Of Prayer
Mar 16, 2014 • 24 min
John uses the story of Nicodemus to introduce the spiritual practice of prayer. He suggests that in John’s gospel Jesus is one who comes from God and who makes God known. In his life Jesus makes known the life based on love offered to all, a life that…
Quest for God
Mar 9, 2014 • 26 min
I use the Genesis and Matthew stories to introduce Lent as a time to quest for God. I then go on to introduce the need for silence, solitude and fasting in the hope that those who listen will to find space for solitude and silence, and to think of ways…
Living Perfectly
Mar 2, 2014 • 18 min
In this sermon John explores what “God’s perfection” might mean, suggesting that rather than it being about without sin, guilt free, blemish free, it is much more about God’s compassion for all creation, God’s mercy, justice and love. From this he…
Am I my Brother’s Doormat?
Feb 23, 2014 • 18 min
John explores Matt 5:38-48 and suggests two things: first that it needs to be read in the context of the whole of the sermon on the Mount; and secondly that rather than suggesting to those he is talking to (the poor, marginalised, oppressed) that they…
Faithful Reading
Feb 16, 2014 • 22 min
John explores how to faithfully read and interpret scripture based on The Sermon on the Mount, and in particular Matt 5:21-37, in order to offer people the skills to faithfully read scripture for themselves in a way that is consistent with both gospel…
What Really Matters
Feb 9, 2014 • 16 min
The Sermon on the Mount, and in particular the Beatitudes, invites to consider what really matters for us in our life? Matthew the gospel writer suggests that what really matters is not honour as traditionally understood, i.e. whether born Israelite or…
Called to be Fishers of People
Jan 26, 2014 • 19 min
John invites us to let go of some more theological assumptions and explores the nature of call from a fresh perspective. In this way he invites people to reflect on their own calling and ministry in light of this story from Matthew
Letting go of our theological baggage
Jan 19, 2014 • 23 min
We look at the theological politics in John’s gospel, and how we play theological politics as well. John H then suggests that Epiphany offers a time for us to be reawakened to what Jesus teaches us about the nature of God through Jesus’ life, ministry…
Joy in Advent
Dec 15, 2013 • 17 min
In this season which seems to be all about how God offers us joy, I use the readings to explore what gives God joy, and invite people to reflect each day on how they offer God joy, and how in turn they receive joy.
Watching for Peace
Dec 1, 2013 • 18 min
Advent is time of waiting. It offers an opportunity to reflect on what we wait for and how. In this sermon John asks “what are we waiting for the Advent?”, and suggests that among other things we watch for Peace.Watching for peace is more than hoping…
Who is Christ the King?
Nov 24, 2013 • 21 min
We need to be really careful about how we talk about and live out “Christ the King.” It is too easy to just replicate what the rest of society expects and look no different.One way we can do that is to approach Christmas as a time of good news for all…
Remembering those who fought
Nov 10, 2013 • 20 min
John asks what do we remember on Remembrance Sunday? He goes on to suggest that we remember and honour those who went to fight, either voluntarily or consctiped. by working to prevent any others having to do same. He uses the reading from Haggai as an…
Honouring All the Saints
Nov 3, 2013 • 15 min
John explores All Saints/All Souls as a day to celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us, living each day as a gift both from God and those we celebrate.John also explores blessings and woes from Luke as what it really means to live each day…
Who are God’s Chosen People?
Oct 27, 2013 • 18 min
I explore the question “who are God’s Chosen People?” I suggest that we are all God’s chosen people and that we have done and can do nothing to earn that we are all invited to “see” and to respond to that by loving GodTo love God we are to love…
Letting God out of our box
Oct 13, 2013 • 20 min
Using Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 and Luke 17:11-19 John explores how God refuses to be pinned down by our rules and asks what rules that we have made about God do we need to let go of
Following Francis
Oct 6, 2013 • 16 min
To celebrate St. Francis of Assisi I tell the story of Francis and the Lepper, and Francis and the wolf of Gubbio. I apply it to our Gospel today and fisnish by asking who or what do we fear, loathe or despise, and what is a faithful trusting response.
Who is at the gate?
Sep 29, 2013 • 12 min
In this sermon I use the story of Elizabeth of Hungary to shed light on the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man. How can we live out what this story is suggestingIn response I hope people will talk about who is at their/our gate, and how do we and how…
Just Money
Sep 22, 2013 • 17 min
John explores Luke 16:1-13, the story of the Wasteful Steward. He wonders whether he really was dishonest, or lazy. He goes on to use this story to talk about the living wage concept and the upcoming local body elections.
Where has John been
Sep 15, 2013 • 29 min
John Hebenton talks about his time in the Solomon Islands, Australia and South Africa, offering some thoughts along the way.
Being Free to Choose the Better Way
Jul 20, 2013 • 17 min
Explores Lukes story of Mary and Martha, partly as it addresses the challenge of offering hospitality for house churches, and partly as Jesus opening up all roles to all people.
Who is my neighbour
Jul 14, 2013 • 17 min
Today’s Gospel reading, despite its familiarity, never fails to challenge my thinking and to kick start my efforts to live out my faith in my life!Today we hear Jesus tell a story in which three men see a man in the ditch – but only one stops to help…
Disappointed Naaman
Jul 7, 2013 • 5 min
Uses the story of Elisha healing Naaman to look at how our God will not conform to our expectations and hopes and keeps doing the unexpected
No Money?
Jul 7, 2013 • 21 min
In this sermon I explore the sending out of the seventy in Luke, using the rise of the Mendicant Orders in the Western Church. I do so in the hope that we will all hold lightly to money and grow in faith
Passing on what Mantle?
Jun 30, 2013 • 14 min
In this sermon I talk about who we are passing our mantle on to and what are we passing on?In response I hope those who hear this will reflect on the important people in their lives and how they helped shaped them today; how they seek to help shape and…
The Sinful Woman
Jun 16, 2013 • 16 min
Wendy Showan explores the story of the Sinful Woman in Luke 7, and compares her actions to Simon the Pharisee, and us.
Celebrating a Constitution! Really?
Jun 2, 2013 • 23 min
I explore why we would want to celebrate Te Pouhere, the constitution of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. I examine the central place of Te Tiriti o Waitangi tin that constitution, and use Paul to look at how the early church…
Joining the dance
May 26, 2013 • 17 min
Readings:Hebrew Scripture: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 Psalm:Psalm: 8Epistle:Romans 5:1-5Gospel: John 16:12-15 What I want to say:I suggest that a good understanding of the Trinity is important to help us understand who we are and…
Pentecost 2013.MP3
May 19, 2013 • 16 min
I suggest that the miracle of Pentecost is not that the Spirit God came down in power and allowed the early followers to win converts through signs and wonders. I think the miracle of Pentecost is:people were to able worship God in own languagethe early…
John 17 and Prayer
May 12, 2013 • 17 min
We read a lot about prayer in today’s readings. In Acts 16:16-34 Paul and Silas are on their way to pray when Paul stops to expel the spirit from a slave girl who was making a great deal of money from her fortune telling ‘gifts’. Not surprisingly, the…
Seeing, Knowing, Speaking
May 5, 2013 • 14 min
An exploration of the story in John 5 where Jesus heals the man at the pool by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. We continued to explore why we struggle to love one another, and how who we love and how we love keeps being made smaller by culture and…
All You Need is love
Apr 28, 2013 • 25 min
An exploration of the New Commandment given by Jesus as recorded by John, noting that loving one another is not easy – as New Testament (Acts, Pauls writing) show or as history church shows. Our failure to live out this “simple commandment” has led…
Being Faithful Not Cheesy
Apr 21, 2013 • 27 min
Readings:First Reading: Acts 9:36-43 Psalm:23Epistle:Rev 7:9-17 Gospel: John 10:22-30I want people to continue to embrace a bigger understanding of what it means to be the people of GodPeople to spend more time knowing “his” voice, and listening
Hearing a Call in the Here and Now
Apr 14, 2013 • 25 min
Jesus physical resurrection is a sure sign that God is in the business of redeeming this world, and is not just interested in what happens later. That means we have to be interested in God’s work of redeeming, recreating, resurrecting this world,…
Who are we?
Mar 31, 2013 • 17 min
Explores the good news of Easter using three questions:owhat is one important thing about you, and what comes to mind when you think of Easter?oWhat image of God am I given in the Easter storyoWho am I in the Easter story?