The Seduction of Power

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual DisciplinesLeave a Comment

This is written in The Message as the opening to the introduction for Nahum: The stage of history is large. Larger-then-life figures appear on this stage from time to time, swaggering about, brandishing weapons and money, terrorizing and bullying. These figures are not, as they suppose themselves to be, at the center of the stage – not, in fact, anywhere … Read More

What Church Success Looks Like for Me

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual DisciplinesLeave a Comment

Recently I was asked why I was working on gathering a faith community, Commoners, in Hamilton when it’s obvious to some that if I did the same thing in Auckland I could probably have something that would fit the traditional definitions of reasonable success fairly quickly. It’s probably true. I’m sure that if I did in a central Auckland space, … Read More

3 Reasons Why I Love Traditional Church Buildings

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines2 Comments


Up front I need to mention that I am not part of a faith community that meets in a traditional church building. These days that seems to surprise people. The faith community I am a part of meets in a facility that houses a number of community groups. It has its own beautiful appeal that speaks of God’s redeeming work … Read More

Engaging Ramadan as a Christian Minister

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines34 Comments

Christian doing Ramadan

This year I am engaging in Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. Being an ordained Christian minister I know this raises many questions and for some, concerns. I want to take the opportunity to explain why and how I am doing this, and in the conversation that follows in the comments section, I can further answer any questions. Allow me … Read More

Christianity as Story

Reverend Francis RitchieBible, Spiritual Disciplines6 Comments

This week, thanks to an invitation from Russell Brown, I had the privilege of appearing as a panelist for Media Take on Maori TV to discuss NewsLeads within the framework of a show on the place of religion in media and society. It was an interesting show. I’m honoured to have been a part of it and personally I’m really … Read More

Lord, Have Mercy

Reverend Francis RitchiePoem, Spiritual Disciplines1 Comment

The poem I have written here is part of my emotional journey in dealing with the violence of ISIS through the lens of my own faith and my confusion around the whole issue. At the heart of my wrestle here is mercy. The poem is messy, but in it I am processing the contrast between ISIS and my own sense of spirituality … Read More

An Ash Wednesday Reflection

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual DisciplinesLeave a Comment

T.S. Eliot

Today I want to give the floor to T.S. Eliot. It may happen a couple of times during Lent as his poetry is part of my Lenten discipline this year. Eliot has a poem titled Ash Wednesday, but this snippet is the opening stanza in Choruses From ‘The Rock’. It has captured my thinking for this holy day. The Eagle … Read More