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[6 Feb 2017 | Leave a Comment | ]
Simeon’s Affirmation – Sermon for Candlemass

Malachi
Hebrews
Luke 2. 22-40
 
Introduction
I can think of events that very few people would have predicted. Even going back 30 years to the great storm of 1987 when Michael Fish famously put at rest the thoughts of a lady who suggested a hurricane was heading towards the UK. She was essentially right all along. Few predicted the victory of the Conservatives in the last election, or the Brexit vote, and especially the election of Donald Trump. Sometimes, the generally accepted view is way off beam.
I can personally remember when in 1966 I suggested that England had a good chance of winning the World Cup. I was laughed at, and an arrogant fellow schoolboy bet me £5 it wouldn’t …

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[22 Jan 2017 | Leave a Comment | ]
Leaving Service Sermon – Revd. Paul Cowan

Isaiah 9.1-4
1 Corinthians 1.10-18
Matthew 4.12-23
3rd Sunday of Epiphany
My goodness, where on earth to start? Last week I preached for the last time at St John’s and focused very much on our journey together at St John’s over the last few years. To the congregation of St John’s who are here, please forgive me, as in this sermon I speak more so to the congregation of St George’s.
I don’t think it’s possible in these few minutes here from the pulpit to in anyway succeed in reflecting or summarising the past decade. We arrived here as a family in August 2006; Samuel was 5 and Joel 3, Hannah and I were… ten years younger than we are …

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[24 Dec 2016 | Leave a Comment | ]
Christmas Sermon

Readings: Isaiah 52.7-10, Hebrews.1.1-4, John 1.1-14
Well we’re nearly there! Only …minutes to go now to Christmas. Are you ready for Christmas? Have you got all the preparations done? Any jobs left to do when you get home? Maybe there’s still a Christmas stocking to creep into a bedroom with?
We are on the cusp of an epic moment. The Advent season of preparing, waiting, yearning, thirsting, hoping, is very nearly over. We’re here because it’s just not good enough to wake up tomorrow morning and dozily realise that, realise what??? I’ll answer that in a minute.
This moment is rather like a stumbling through the darkness of night down onto a beach. Sitting there in the gloom before …

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[5 Dec 2016 | 3 Comments | ]
My Faith Journey – Craig Brown

The Petone Baptist Church stands on Buick Street in the town where I grew up.  It’s an odd-looking building; progressive extensions have been made to the building that appear to have been added without considering that which already exists.  As architectural fusion goes, it leaves a little to be desired.
I first visited there at the age of five at the urging of my best friend, Lance Juventin.  Lance had established that if one attended Sunday School, there was a delightful old lady that would hand out smokers to the children when they left.
Now a smoker, for those of you that may not know, is a small pink, cinnamon flavoured sweet which came in a Fisherman’s Friend-like …

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[13 Nov 2016 | Leave a Comment | ]
Remembrance… lest we forget!

Psalm 23
1Thess 4.13-18
John 14.1-8
In early January, just prior to leaving St George’s, I’ve been invited to go on a rather unusual pilgrimage. With about 50 other Anglican priests, I’ll be making a pilgrimage to Auschwitz, and it’s being led by Archbishop Justin Welby. It’s going to be interesting and I’m sure a disturbing visit too. In preparation for this trip, I’ve been reading a book by Laurence Rees about Auschwitz and what led up to its creation and how it operated. As you might imagine it’s a harrowing read.
As I began reading, I sat at first secure in my understanding that these atrocities were perpetrated by evil, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt people. But the book disturbed …

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[18 Jun 2016 | Leave a Comment | ]
How Should I Vote?

The EU Referendum
I expect I am not alone here in being utterly weary of the daily bombardment for months now about the EU referendum.  As we get closer to 23rd June, the voices on both sides of the debate have been getting more and more strident. The debates have to my mind been all too negative with great prophecies of doom if we make the wrong decision as a nation. The whipping up of fear to sway us has been unseemly too; we’ll be swamped with migrants; we’ll be much worse off financially, and so on.
Into the mix and not acknowledged enough is the fact that we each have natural internal leanings. Some of us here …

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[26 Mar 2016 | Leave a Comment | ]
Come and See for Yourself!

Acts 10.34-43
Luke 24.1-12
Ok, here’s my Easter sermon in 10 words,
‘He’s alive!’
‘You’re off your heads!’
‘Come and see yourself!’
There you have it, job done!
This is basically what happens but here’s an expanded version. The women visit the tomb, they have this incredible encounter, it dawns on them that Jesus is alive, they go and tell the disciples, the disciples don’t believe them… Those women eh! All emotional and imagining things probably! Peter decides to go and see for himself.
It’s the same story in ten words for our first reading from Acts 10. In fact, it’s the same story throughout the book of Acts. Peter stands and addresses the crowds. He tells them the incredible, frankly ridiculous, unbelievable message …

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[10 Feb 2016 | Leave a Comment | ]
Not So Shiny

Exodus 34. 29-end
2 Cor 3.12-4.2
Luke 9.28-36
Sunday before Lent
There is a common theme with our three readings today.  They’re all about God’s glory shining in the world.  Shining so brightly that it’s too much for us to bear.  But rather than find myself inspired by these mountain top encounters, I feel within myself ambivalence towards them.
I could preach for you an upbeat sermon about the new life we have through Christ.  That through the redemption of Christ, the veil, the separation between us and God has been removed.  With Paul from our Corinthians reading,  I could talk of our freedom and seeing God’s glory.  Another angle is that I could go for the judgemental option, ‘Well if …