West Baptist Church

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Matters of Life and Death #6: Euthanasia

August 21st, 2011 1 Comment

‘It is a tragedy when the human spirit dies before the body. But the answer is not to kill the body too, but to revive the spirit.’  So said Prof Margaret Somerville at a recent conference on euthanasia held in Wellington. Today I tried to canvass the arguments on both sides of the euthanasia debate, […]

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Matters of Life and Death #5: Dementia and Frailty

August 14th, 2011 No Comments

I read some of Sandy’s story on Sunday: One afternoon, I left work and did not know how to get home. This was the start of a “downhill no return” into the Alzheimer’s world. I am now in my world, a world of confusion, fatigue, and most days, in severe pain. I know there are days that […]

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Free Range Preaching: Yet

January 6th, 2011 5 Comments

Why do bad things happen to good people? This might be the most-asked theological question in the world, and you’ve probably asked a variant of it yourself at some point. This week we start a short series on the ‘minor’ prophets, the short books at the end of the Old Testament. We begin with Habakkuk […]

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Luke and Rembrandt

December 19th, 2010 No Comments

This morning we had some help from the master painter, Rembrandt van Rijn, in hearing God. His painting of the events of Luke 2:22-38 is sometimes called ‘Simeon and Anna Recognise the Lord in Jesus’ (most other famous paintings of the scene are called the much less insightful ‘The Presentation at the Temple’, also this […]

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7 Sacred Days: Dying Well

September 5th, 2010 No Comments

Isn’t it crazy that most of us are so concerned about how many years we will be left on this earth, when we are not even living sensitively in the time we have now? -Robert Wicks, Seeds of Sensitivity, 50. This morning we continued our 7 Sacred Days series with a focus on Dying Well. […]

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August 14th, 2010 No Comments

We’re opening tomorrow’s church gathering with this image from my new favourite cartoonist, xkcd. Thanks, Matt, for the find.

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Easter Sunday: ‘Hope is Regaining its Health’

April 4th, 2010 No Comments

We focused on two images today at our Easter Feast: an open, empty coffin, and this photo from photojournalism site The Big Picture.  It comes from a spread of images of Easter around the world. This is the caption: Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Police Chief Victor Amato holds a […]

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Making Room: Soul Food 1

January 15th, 2010 4 Comments

“Fear is always with us: that we are not good enough or strong enough, and so will fail; that we will be hurt.  Fear that what we love will be taken from us.  Fear of dying, even fear of God, or of no God.  But God surprises us by giving us strength to bear what […]

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Walking into a New Year

January 6th, 2010 2 Comments

Joyce Rupp is an international treasure. On Sunday at West we used a short reflection on starting a new year with God, extracted from Joyce Rupp’s ‘The Road of Life’ [forgot to say: it’s in a book called May I Have this Dance?, which Tracey owns and can lend].  The piece I read out is […]

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A Tale of Two Texts

December 5th, 2009 No Comments

When Georg Frideric Handel was in the middle of writing the Hallelujah Chorus, one of the most famous pieces of music in the world, he was interrupted by his assistant, who had been banging on his study door for ages, not getting any reply.  Handel looked up, in tears, and said ‘I thought I saw […]

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