All posts by David Hines

Global warming: an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff?

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Global warming: an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff?
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

David Hines © 6th November 2022

The image of an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff is a common one in politics. Left-wing and right wing politicians both use it for different policies.

Left wing politicians use it to say: let’s not be tough on criminals, let’s spend money on fixing the social background that made them that way.

Right wing politicians use it to say: let’s not throw money at unemployed people; let’s spend it on getting people back into their jobs. The national party raised this in a speech last week.

I think, there is a place for both. Sometimes we need to look to the long term, and we call it a fence at the top of the cliff.

Sometimes we need compassion now and we want an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Continue reading Global warming: an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff?

It’s scary when your GP has bad news

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It’s scary when your GP has bad news
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

David Hines © 16th October 2022

Intro

A couple of days ago I heard about a friend who was 80 years old and said he had aged more in the past year than the previous 10 years. He had a heart attack and prostate problem in the same year.

I had a similar experience this month. I went to my GP for my routine checkup, but I took a longer than usual list of questions: five of them. Two of these were old issues, up to about eight years ago, but had got so used to them I didn’t bother reporting them any longer.

Continue reading It’s scary when your GP has bad news

Religious education in state schools is coming but … key questions are still unanswered

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Religious education in state schools is coming but … key questions are still unanswered

The above include contributions from:-

Sara Passmore, NZ Humanists

Penny Ehrhardt, Secular Education Network (NZ)

Read below or download the PDF.

Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

David Hines © 9th October 2022

Introduction

After two years of waiting, I’m excited that a government proposal for religious education in state schools is about to be revealed.

But I’m also concerned, because very important questions have still not been answered, like:

  • Will it include teaching about non-religious views?
  • Will it be neutral and professional, or will it be a soft-sell of our main religions.
  • I know the release will include a report on the subject by Professor Paul Morris, but I don’t know whether his suggestions are going to be:
    • slashed back or
    • Whether this will be the start of a thorough public discussion. That would be my hope. But
  • Releasing it on November 18 also makes me suspicious. That is just before the Christmas break … this is a favourite way of burying something controversial.
Continue reading Religious education in state schools is coming but … key questions are still unanswered

The global warming crisis:
what can one church do?

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No recordings this week.

Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

David Hines © 28th August 2022

Read below, or download the PDF – to come.

Introduction

When Shirin Caldwell learned the topic I had chosen, she asked, did I realise that she, Jonathan and Brenda had already covered it a few months ago. I did hear their report and it was excellent However, I believe this topic is so massive, it needs to come up frequently, and from all angles.

The angle I want to speak about today is strategy.

Which are the actions we could take that would be:

  1. Achievable and
  2. make the greatest difference
Continue reading The global warming crisis:
what can one church do?

Christian karakia: do you think they are appropriate for state schools?

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Worship Leader:- Nina Khouri
Song Leader:- Sally Mabelle

Christian karakia: do you think they are appropriate for state schools?
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

David Hines © 3 July 2022

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Introduction

Usually when I preach in church it’s because I’ve done some homework on a subject and think it might be useful to other people. Today I’m in the opposite situation. I’ve done a survey on Christian karakia. But the problem is more complicated than I realised, so I would appreciate your input before I come to a firm conclusion. As a second step, I would like to take your conclusions to other groups, such as atheists, Jews and Muslims, and then to the government.

Continue reading Christian karakia: do you think they are appropriate for state schools?

Let’s stop apologising for God

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Let’s stop apologising for God
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service

David Hines © 16 January 2022

Introduction

My sermon today says Let’s stop making apologies for God. She’s a total nuisance.

In the Christian circles I grew up in, people were constantly saying how good God was.

They blindly ignored all the grief and harm in the world, and if anybody drew attention to it, they’d come up with excuses. Like: God sent this to test you.

If you pointed out that God did nothing whatever to help you through these troubles – after you prayed for help and nothing happened, they’d say: God aways answers your prayers: Sometimes the answer is Yes. Sometimes it’s no, and sometimes it’s wait.

I was not very old before I realised this too was crap, because that means absolutely any thing can be called God, and in practice that’s the same as there being no God at all.

So I’d like to talk about the claims religious people make for God, and the major excuses they make when she doesn’t deliver.

Continue reading Let’s stop apologising for God

Be kind, most of the time

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with David Hines,

Sally Mabelle, Nina Khouri.

Be kind, most of the time
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Read below, or download the PDF.

Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

David Hines © 10th October 2021.

Intro

When I agreed to preach at this service a couple of weeks ago, I had to pick a topic off the cuff, so I said I’d talk about how we can help people who are especially hard hit by the lockdown. In our Prime Minister’s words “Be kind”.

But eight days ago that story was overtaken by Brian Tamaki running his protest against the lockdown ….

So I’ve changed the topic a little: Be kind, most of the time.

Continue reading Be kind, most of the time

The Government’s Hate Speech Bill: What Do You Think?

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with David Hines,

Sally Mabelle, Nina Khouri.

The Government’s Hate Speech Bill: What Do You Think?
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Read below, or download the PDF – to come.

Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

David Hines © 3rd October 2021.

In July I was surprised to get a call from a member of the Association of Rationalists and Humanists asking if I had written a submission on the government’s new hate speech proposal. I hadn’t, but I was grateful for the suggestion.

I had written a a similar article a couple of years ago – taking a free speech approach, and found my thoughts had shifted a little in between.

Continue reading The Government’s Hate Speech Bill: What Do You Think?

The American Nightmare

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The American Nightmare
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David Hines © 10th January 2021

No text this week.

Discussion / Meditation

  • What can we learn from the scary situation in the USA?
  • Can we share our fears and hopes with each other?

Links

The Remarkable Story Of The Christmas Truce

Which do you prefer – the Jewish Garden of Eden? Or the Christian One?

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Which do you prefer – the Jewish Garden of Eden?
Or the Christian One?
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David Hines © 3rd January 2021

No text this week.

Discussion / Meditation

  • What was your reaction to Juliet Moses’ address?
  • Is racism a problem in New Zealand?
  • If so, what could we do about it?

Links

“Mi Chamocha/Miriam’s Song” (Song 7 of 16) from Shabbat Unplugged

The link to the Abrahamic Council discussion below is straight to Juliet Moses contribution shown in David’s talk, there is also follow up from her in response to a question starting from about 57:08.

Religious attitudes to Racism – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim views – Wellington Abrahamic Council – June 30th 2020

Let’s Celebrate
– Tune Vulpius 16th Century – Words © David Hines

Let’s celebrate how time began,
bursting to life in one huge bang,
the birthday of the whole shebang.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Beautiful Earth, with coat of green,
you’re the best planet we have seen.
Here we can breathe and dance and dream.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Running in Darwin’s relay race,
one creature dies; two take its place.
New species bloom in each free space.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

When I was born, one awesome day,
love welcomed me along the way,
fired me with hope and DNA.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Last night I heard a small voice say:
Creatures of Earth, come out and play.
Rise and enjoy this holiday.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.