Services: Until further notice there will be no Sunday services at 102 Avonhead Road. Instead the service will be streamed online at 10am Sunday. The link for the service is:

I've been saddened ...

posted date: Friday 8th November 2019

I write this reflection on Monday 4th November as I prepare to leave Christchurch tomorrow and head to Wellington for our son Chris’s wedding, and to see our younger son Ben and our daughter-in-law Abby who currently live in London. It is obviously a joy filled occasion on so many different levels, as family and friends gather and celebrate a significant moment in Chris & Liv’s life.


But as I write, I do so with a heavy heart. This morning I received a call from one of the youth leaders to inform me that one of the boys on the fringe of the youth group took his own life over the weekend.


What words are there to describe what I am feeling? Suicide in New Zealand society is a scourge, a wound that seemingly randomly tears the hearts out of friends and family throughout this beautiful land. And sadly it is becoming so common that we can become numbed to the deep reality suicide has upon our communities.


The reasons this is happening are manifold and yet always there is a sense of the known, the unanswered question; why?


As you read this, I am sure there will be many of you who will know of others whose lives have been affected by this deeply sobering reality.


For me, as I ponder and reflect, I am confronted by the truth that Jesus came to bring life, to heal the brokenhearted, and by the reality that we face each and see every day in Aotearoa.


I have no magic words, nor an easy solution to these matters. But I do know one thing, that the Bible continues to speak truth to us, and I am drawn to these words in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”


Lord, give us a heart to pray, not simply ‘bless me’ prayers, but deep, grieving, heart-rending prayers of repentance and honesty. We pray in Jesus name that you will be lifted up and that your hand will move powerfully in this land.  Amen