Saturday, 6 July 2019

Thought for the week - Rev Alf Taylor

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings fellow traveller,

We arrive here today with the memory banks of our heart holding memories and thoughts, some are tinged with sadness while others bring a smile to our faces.
We come, just as we are, with our hopes and fears, our many questions, our doubts and our grief.  We exclude nothing, for all that we are is welcome in this sacred place as part of our worship this morning.

I find a couple of lines from New Zealand poet James K. Baxter helpful:
                                                        I haven’t found a cure
                                                                    For being human
                                                                                 (CP 400)
We humanoids often forget we are human, with all our human frailties and weaknesses.  Some may describe this as original sin. Alas, I don’t prescribe to such belief. Rather, each child born is born is an Original Blessing.  When we view each person and ourselves as a wonder – filled blessing, then we will see each other and ourselves in a totally different light, with all our questions, grief’s and joys.

On the entrance of the United Nations building in New York there is a poem by the (Persian) Iranian poet Saadi, which he wrote eight centuries ago, which says:

The sons of Adam are limbs of each other, 
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb 
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a human.

The Persian translation is:
    بنی آدم اعضای یک پیکرند
                                            که در آفرينش ز یک گوهرند
                                            چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار
                                            دگر عضو ها را نماند قرار
                                            تو کز محنت دیگران بی غمی
                                            نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی

This poem reminds me that we human beings are of one essence; we are interdependent and interconnected one with the other. Yes, we have different values, yet, we must learn to understand and value one other, through the values of compassion and empathy.

If we seek to allow the other to be, not seeking to change or force them into an image of what we want them to be. Rather, we seek to see and hear each other and ourselves with greater compassion and grace. For we are all held within the mystery of love’s eternal embrace.

Meanwhile peace in our practice of compassion

Spring/winter dinner

Keep this date free – 31 August for the Spring/Winter shared dinner, 6pm.

Touchstone - July 2019

This month we bring news of a recent conference celebrating 200 years of Methodism in New Zealand. Origins and impacts of Methodism in Aotearoa brought together members of the Wesley family, representatives of MCNZ, the
Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Church of the Nazarene to worship, and reflect on the theme. A variety of respected presenters shared their views and expertise and encouraged thought-provoking and inspiring discussions as summarised by Rev Dr Terry Wall.

We celebrate Methodists recently recognised for their community efforts in the Queen's Honours List and at Civic events, and our Presidential team pay tribute to two people, recently deceased, who made a huge contribution to MCNZ during their lives. Our technology guru Peter Lane draws a link between the importance of water and digital connectivity and Carol Barron, National Coordinator Methodist Alliance, reports on a range of housing initiatives that are addressing accommodation shortages throughout the country. Prince provides news from the Solomon Islands, and closer to home, our youth leaders from five Synods meet to discuss youth suicide and how the Church can contribute to improved outcomes for those at risk. 

- Ady Shannon