St Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Remuera, is supporting the campaign to ask our political leaders to expand New Zealand’s refugee quota to a more compassionate number—and to do so immediately.
“There are 22 million refugees in the world, half of whom are under 18 years old,” says Minister Glynn Cardy, “New Zealand can and must do more. ‘Welcome #500Now’ is a campaign that we think all churches, faiths, and politicians – across the spectrum – could support.”
A billboard supporting the campaign is being erected outside St Luke’s today.
Four former prime ministers have thrown their support behind this initiative to welcome more refugees immediately; Helen Clark, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Jim Bolger and Mike Moore. Each stressed that this is about generosity of spirit, as opposed to party politics.
Journalist Tracey Barnett, founder of this initiative, explained that there are plenty of ways to support this campaign. “We are asking folks to take a white board marker, write #500Now in the palm of their hand, and with their open palm outstretched, take a photo with friends, family, your team-mates or choir and email the photo to party leaders and MPs of your choice, with the query, ‘Will you commit to taking 500 more refugees now, if elected this September?’” Then post their photos on social media too, with the hash tag ‘Welcome #500Now’.
The Executive Board member of the Refugee Council of New Zealand feels this call for 500 more refugees is only a beginning to what is needed to right New Zealand’s unimpressive ranking as 95th worst in the world for the number of refugees and asylum seekers we host per capita. Today 45 percent of New Zealand’s quota refugee in-take are children. Australia takes over four times more refugees per capita than New Zealand.
Those interested in having their local printer create a sign for their building can use the artwork shown below. Videos and photos can also be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact her at 09-445-1779.
The Reverend Glynn Cardy, Minister of St Luke’s Presbyterian Church
St Lukes Christmas Billboard (Dec 2016);
Church billboard offers a sign of hope at end of tough year
AUCKLAND, 16 December 2016 – As New Zealanders prepare for another Christmas season – traditionally a time for joyous celebration – one Auckland church is acknowledging the fact that finding joy at Christmas in 2016 following the tough year that has just passed, is a struggle.
The Community of St Luke church in Remuera has posted a billboard outside their building today depicting a scenario where a battered, tired and beaten individual crawls along the ground towards a line that marks the end on 2016, and the beginning of 2017. Standing just in front of the line are Joseph and Mary, who is holding the baby Jesus, while Joseph holds a sign that simply says, 'Joy to the World'. The crawling guy manages a faint smile as he looks back.
Glynn Cardy, the minister of St Luke’s, says the billboard is reflecting the reality that it will be hard for many to find joy at Christmas this year.
“2016 has been a tough year for many Kiwis. There are many struggling to pay for food and housing. There are many weighed down by debt. In Auckland especially, the price of houses is such that most young people now face a future where they will never own their own home. Meanwhile in North Canterbury and Wellington, the damage wrought by the recent earthquakes have made life tough for many,” says Cardy.
“Is the birth of Jesus, ‘Joy to the World’, really something that will help in the face of struggles like this? How can this foreign-looking family be at all a sign of hope? In the face of earthquakes, debt, increasing poverty and inequality – as well as international turmoil in Syria, and across Europe and the US – they seem an irrelevant sideshow.
“Yet this baby grew to be the inspiration of a community seeking to embody compassion and just relationships. His followers had a vision of everyone having enough to eat with leftovers to share, of everyone having a place of shelter and belonging, of debts being not only manageable but forgiven, and, especially in times of crisis, neighbour helping neighbour, those who have made it helping those who haven’t. It was a vision that said, ‘Together we can do it, and no one will be left behind’.
“This vision, dressed up in carols, costumes, and ancient stories, is what we celebrate and remember at Christmas,” says Cardy.
NZ Herald article on St Luke Christmas Billboard;
St Lukes Interfaith Billboard (July 2016);
“The Community of St Luke is a Christian congregation embedded in the way of Jesus and in that spirit committed to learning from and with all who seek to contribute to the healing of our wounded world. In particular the Community of St Luke is deeply committed to promoting interfaith engagement as an expression of peacemaking in our time and an opportunity to share the wisdom each of our traditions brings to the nourishment and healing of the human family. “
CSL has an ongoing programme of engagement with people of other faiths.
Our pilgrimages in the worlds of our neighbours provide opportunity for participants to explore the faith worlds of other people and to receive wisdom from within their traditions and practice. We seek friendship in the presence of difference.
CSL has cherished and active links with a variety of faith communities and interfaith bodies.
CSL regards interfaith friendship as an active outworking of our commitment to the inclusive, reconciling and hospitable way represented by Jesus.
One of our Honorary assistant Ministers, The Rev Dr Keith Rowe, is identified as' Interfaith Enabler' within CSL.
Ongoing information about the CSL interfaith commitment and programme is available on the website and in the annual programme available at the church.
Community of St Luke's -
'Stitched Stories' - An heirloom needlework exhibition;
Church billboard hammers home Easter message to Donald Trump
AUCKLAND, 9 March 2016 - Donald Trump has made an appearance in Auckland today via a new Easter billboard outside a Remuera church.
The cartoon image depicts the Republican presidential hopeful looking across a scene of Jesus Christ nailed to a cross, while holding a hammer in his hand and declaring “I don’t like losers.”
Glynn Cardy, the minister of St Luke’s, says the billboard takes aim at the candidate known for calling a wide variety of people ‘losers’ because Trump’s views are in direct contradiction to the message of Jesus.
“For those of us at St Luke’s, the cross is about politics. Jesus was killed – violently, publically and shamefully – because he spoke truth to power and confronted the leaders of his day about their treatment of the outcasts,” says Cardy.
“To the Trumps of his day, and to those who see winners as having money and power, the Jesus of the Bible was a loser who associated with those rejected by society. And he died broke.
“Jesus had an alternative vision of reality, however. He was a person who sided with minorities and those who were most vulnerable, and it was this that got him killed.”
Cardy says Trump’s comments about Muslims, Mexicans and women are offensive to Christianity.
“I hope that voters in the US will see Trump’s message for what it is, and not make him a nominee for their highest office.”
Cardy says the billboard will remain up throughout the Church’s Lenten and Easter season and as long as the issue of Trump’s candidacy remains undecided.
To listen to Glynn Cardy interviewed by Jesse Mulligan on Radio NZ, click here;
To see Glynn interviewed on Stuff click here;
Additional coverage on Newshub (TV3) click here;
Community of St Lukes Billboard stolen in lead up to Easter;
Andrew Norton - Moderator PCANZ - comments on CSL recent billboard;
"I hate losers"
The church sign posted by St Luke's Presbyterian Church Remuera is a powerful and poignant depiction of the Easter message. If a picture paints 1000 words, this billboard of only 4 words ("I don't like losers") is worthy of 10,000 words or more. No matter what your political, personal or religious views are, the sign provokes a conversation starting with the question: "What on earth is going on here?"
And then many more questions quickly follow…
Who are the real winners and losers in life?
How is success measured?
What is the nature of political power?
If God were to take sides, what side would it be?
Is the Christian God of the cross a loser (weak)?
Is God powerless?
What is the power of the cross?
Some 2000 thousand years ago Jesus was hung on a cross (billboard) at the edge of town to make a political statement. Today St Luke's post their own billboard to engage in a conversation at the very core of the Christian message. Love is stronger than hate as depicted by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The story is not over yet, hang around for a bit and you will see "love wins!"
Christmas billboard portrays the Holy Family as refugees
AUCKLAND, 4 December 2015 – The Community of St Luke’s church in Remuera, Auckland, today revealed its Christmas billboard; a cartoon depicting the Holy Family of Mary and Joseph as refugees in a leaky boat being turned away at a barbed-wire border fence.
The Minister of St Luke’s, Rev Glynn Cardy, says the image aims to bring into clear focus the meaning of Christmas for a modern world that is facing an ongoing and desperate refugee crisis.
“The first Christmas involved people with few resources relying on the hospitality of those with more. This is the situation today with refugees – whether in Europe, or trying to reach Australia or even New Zealand,” says Cardy.
“Like today’s refugees, Mary and Joseph had travelled far from their families. They were vulnerable. They needed someone to make room, to make a room available, in order that Mary could give birth to Jesus.
“Christmas not only asks us to be generous and welcoming as individuals. It also asks us to make sure our Government’s policies towards refugees are generous and welcoming.”
Cardy says that for Christians to reject refugees is to reject Mary and her unborn child in their time of need.
“Rather than being greeted by a gun, a barbed-wire fence and a blunt statement ‘Sorry; there’s no room’, could not we greet refugees with shelter, food, and assistance with work?”
Newstalk ZB coverage of Dec Billboard;
St Lukes Billboard Oct/Nov:
Child and God meet. Both exclaim, “My creator!”
The metaphor of God as a creator has taken a plastering since the advent of Darwin’s evolutionary ideas. Theologians and poets have wrestled with how evolution and creation might have some compatibility.
This billboard, with its stylistic reference to Michelangelo’s depiction of God and Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, asks whether the creator metaphor has contemporary relevance and, if so, how.
On a personal level many want to believe that their existence, their personality, is not the result of random chance. They want to believe that they were made for a purpose, and some want to find that purpose in their faith. They want to address God as “My creator!” despite what science might say.
On the other hand, a number ask searching questions about the extent that God has been created by humanity. Have we, in our need for assurance and comfort, created a God with a gender and human personality? Have we, for example, in wanting to critique our systems of government, created a sovereign God to whom every system is supposedly accountable?
Creativity is a part of human DNA, and beyond it. We create in order to find meaning. Creativity is linked with happiness. Some name our relationship to God as co-creators.
Being human is also about love – needing it, and needing to give it. Part of our human DNA is belonging to each other and to a community.
It seems that both creation and evolution, and the dance between them, provide us with tools to understand ourselves, our communities, and our world. This billboard celebrates that dance.
Women, God and Christianity
29th September 2015, Glynn Cardy's address to the Aorangi Club can be read here
Spike Milligan would probably smile to see a quote of his on a church billboard. Indeed this billboard is meant to elicit a smile.
There are a number of medical strategies, as well as sailors' tales, on how to remedy seasickness. Spike simply suggests time-out.
Often life in our busy city is turbulent, throwing us this way and that. We use various coping strategies, and for some this includes medical assistance.
This billboard simply suggests time-out.
This is what the Church calls prayer. It involves stepping aside; sitting quietly; feeling the grass beneath your feet; and being aware of who you are, the pressures upon you, and your connections with others.
Prayer is also opening yourself to the mystery and wonder of the unfathomable, and the possibility of healing and restoration. This can be called 'touching God'.
Sitting under a tree can help heal all kinds of sickness.
Our thanks to Tom Tuke (cartoonist), Andrew Cardy (graphics), Peter Wallace from LeSign (who made the billboard), and the late Spike Milligan.
Reflections on Beyond the Borders Conference at St Lukes;
Reflections on Gallipoli;