Christmas 2020 – A light in the darkness

Christmas 2020 – A light in the darkness

  There’s no hiding the fact: it’s been a tough year. Politics and pandemic have made for a year that most of us would like to put behind us. Advent begins this Sunday, the traditional period before Christmas of reflection and preparation. It’s an opportunity in...

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A sting in the tale

A sting in the tale

  We all love stories. Great stories work across culture and time. They don’t simply engage and entertain; they also communicate a significant message and make an impact. Over the next month, we’ll be looking at some of Jesus’ parables, perhaps some of the most...

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We’re better together

We’re better together

  We’re excited that our children’s, youth, and groups ministries can now resume meeting in person. On Sundays over the past month, it’s been such a pleasure seeing familiar faces and meeting new people. After having online church for so long, it’s much better...

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Sarah’s Story

Sarah’s Story

  I was born in a non-Christian family, but studying in a Christian school gave me the opportunity to learn about God. Nevertheless, God was nothing more than a wish granter to me; I only prayed to Him for good grades before exams. It wasn’t until Form 3 in...

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Compassion Sunday

Compassion Sunday

  Worldwide, 385 million children live in extreme poverty. Poverty robs children of their basic rights to learn, play, and grow. In its ugliest form, poverty can lead to exploitation, child labour, and even death. At St Andrew’s we think it's unacceptable. That's...

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Hosea: A love story

Hosea: A love story

  We’re fascinated with love stories. Whether you get your fix through Korean soap operas or Hollywood rom-coms, Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson, we can’t help but be captivated by them. Perhaps it’s the drama that intrigues us, the hope which leads either to...

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Reading the Bible “one to one”

Reading the Bible “one to one”

  Two months ago, I left London to join the staff team at St Andrew's as a “Pastoral worker”. It’s been interesting trying to explain what exactly it is I do here! On paper, I help to look after the 20s-30s women by supporting the Bible study leaders and general...

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Welcome back (again)!

Welcome back (again)!

  We’re delighted that our Sunday services can resume this week. After sixteen weeks of online church, then another twelve weeks, we’ve spent a lot of time apart this year. Whilst we’re appreciative of being able to do church online, it doesn’t match being...

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The elusiveness of humility

The elusiveness of humility

  One of the often-repeated principles in the bible is humility. We meet it again this Sunday in James 4: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’ (v. 6), ‘Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up’ (v.10). However, the difficulty...

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The power of our words

The power of our words

  Perhaps you’ve heard of that saying, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’. It’s a common saying in school playgrounds. Whilst it’s memorable, it’s not accurate. The saying should go, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but...

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Have you washed your Hands?

Have you washed your Hands?

  I washed my hands ten times yesterday, why? Because we are afraid that the invisible virus might adhere to people and things around us and cause us to be infected. From the air to breathe, the banknotes we handle, the public areas we once enjoyed, all are...

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Will things get better?

Will things get better?

  This past year has been tough; a gloomy and persistent reminder that this world is not how it ought to be. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on this observation by the American writer Randy Alcorn, ‘For Christians, this present life is the closest they will come to...

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The best way to help your church

The best way to help your church

  Normally, September is an incredibly busy time for our church. It’s the start of the new school year and lots of our ministries resume after the summer break. We welcome many new people to our church, and we talk a lot about what being involved in Christian...

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Persevering with Growth Groups

Persevering with Growth Groups

 One of the things that the pandemic has highlighted, amongst many things, is that we are created to be social creatures – spending too much time in isolation is not healthy. At St Andrew’s we are committed to the diverse community God has made in Christ. We see that...

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Ministering at a distance

Ministering at a distance

  Humans are creatures built for relationship. We normally don’t thrive isolated from one another. That’s one of the reasons why many of us find the social distancing restrictions difficult. So, during these times, how can we care for one another at a distance?...

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Beating discontentment

Beating discontentment

  Your normal holiday plans have been shelved. The kids will be doing school online again. The project at work is cancelled because there’s no funding for it. Yes, you love your family, but all the extra time at home with one another can be exhausting....

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Our best refuge

Our best refuge

  Social distancing restrictions can wear you down. Compare the optimism that many of us had months ago to what you might feel like now. February: ‘Start running. Try new workouts at home’. August: ‘Walk to restaurant to get takeaway lunch. Walk home.’ February:...

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Vicar’s address, Annual Church Meeting 2020

Vicar’s address, Annual Church Meeting 2020

  It feels strange to conduct our Annual Church Meeting like this. This is the type of occasion when we should be together, not distant, watching online. But this has been a strange and difficult year, when we’ve become accustomed to being apart and meeting...

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Dealing with disappointment

Dealing with disappointment

  Maybe, like me, you’re feeling disappointed. It’s not just that it’s been a tough year. It’s also that it doesn’t look like getting easier anytime soon. Strict social distancing restrictions are back in place. Taking much needed holidays abroad aren’t possible....

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The Master Class on Prayer

The Master Class on Prayer

  When Jesus’ disciples asked him for help with prayer, he gave them the beautifully simple and wonderfully comprehensive words known to us as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. Amongst everything that has been taught in human history, there is good reason to consider this...

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We need one another

We need one another

One of the incredible images that the bible uses to describe Christian community is the human body. It’s a picture of our dependence on one another. Just as the whole body is dependent on the heart for blood and the lungs for oxygen, so Christians need one another and...

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Prayer as activism

Prayer as activism

  Perhaps you’ve been confronted more recently by injustice. George Floyd and the scourge of racism, political and social unrest in Hong Kong, the list goes on. When we see injustice, we feel compelled to do something about it: maybe take to the streets, post...

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Rejoicing in God’s goodness

Rejoicing in God’s goodness

  One of the classic Western nursery rhymes is ‘Humpty Dumpty’. Humpty Dumpty is a humanised egg, who falls off a wall and breaks. I’m reminded of him because his story seems to sum up our situation at the moment. There is this collective sense that the Humpty...

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Providing practical care at St Andrew’s

Providing practical care at St Andrew’s

  One of the characteristics of the early church was to show incredible practical care for people in need. We read in Acts 2, ‘All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need’. This...

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Welcome back!

Welcome back!

  We are so delighted that we can resume our Sunday services this week. There’s that old saying, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’. That’s certainly the case for so many of us. After sixteen weeks of online church, we’ve missed being able to see one another...

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When the Bible says difficult things

When the Bible says difficult things

  Given that our Sunday services are resuming on the 7th of June, we’ve decided to extend our ‘Tough Questions’ series for one more week. This Sunday we’ll be thinking about perhaps the most difficult question, ‘How could a loving God send anyone to hell?’. Such...

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Why bother with church?

Why bother with church?

  This Sunday, we’re finishing our series in ‘Tough Questions’ by thinking about the question, ‘Why bother with church?’. If I’m honest, this is more a question for believers than unbelievers, because almost every Christian at some stage will find church to be...

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James’ story

James’ story

Growing up I always asked deeper questions about life, such as what is the meaning of life? Why do I exist? Who am I and what am I supposed to do? But, In my early 20s I had a Nihilistic view on life. I thought that life, our lives here on earth, were meaningless,...

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Treasuring Mothers   

Treasuring Mothers   

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. It’s a day that has historic roots from medieval times in ‘Mothering Sunday’ when people in the UK returned to their ‘mother church’. Its modern version emerged about 100 years ago, founded by Anna Jarvis in the US. Of course, giving...

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Generosity during Covid        

Generosity during Covid        

  One of the great tragedies of all crises is that it is the poor and marginalized that feel the burden and the cost the most. One partner shared with me recently that “50% of our community have lost their jobs in the food and beverage industries…many families...

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Praying for our church in our city

Praying for our church in our city

Maybe you’ve been reminded recently that you’re not in control. The coronavirus has confronted us in a variety of ways with a sense of our own vulnerability and helplessness. Yet, the scriptures continually teach us that God’s people have an incredibly powerful...

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Tough Questions

Tough Questions

We are living in extraordinary times. It seems like COVID-19 has affected almost everything in life, creating the greatest global crisis since the last world war. In tough times, people ask tough questions about life. When our normal routines are disrupted and the...

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The Easter diagnosis

The Easter diagnosis

Navigating life during a pandemic tells us some things about ourselves.   Panic buying tells us that we want things to last. Whether it’s masks, sanitizer, toilet rolls, or whatever, the well-stocked shelves at home give us a sense of self-sufficiency, and order, and...

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Take the initiative to tell better news

Take the initiative to tell better news

 It’s hard to avoid spending a few hours online each day trawling through the news about COVID-19, bingeing on commentary, and discussing with other possible outcomes. This information overload is part of dealing with the anxiety of our times. COVID-19 is arguably the...

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Does the coronavirus wear the crown?

Does the coronavirus wear the crown?

  A few weeks ago many of us would have had hopes that the threat of COVID-19 was almost over. Maybe you thought, “The infection rate in HK is low. Things appear to be under control. The precautions will soon be lifted.” How circumstances have quickly changed....

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Sharing your hope during COVID-19

Sharing your hope during COVID-19

  A friend recently shared, “It feels weird to love people by distancing oneself from them physically”. The precautions against COVID-19 are necessary, but our physical disconnection can make it seem more difficult to love people. In particular, it may feel more...

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You need this more than you realise

You need this more than you realise

  For most of us, the coronavirus has changed how we do life. Maybe you’re working from home. We keep physical distance from people – no handshakes, no hugs. Wearing masks means we don’t see each other smile. You’re not going out as much to restaurants or malls....

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Let’s not hold back

Let’s not hold back

  I have some very old coins at home, some denarii and some lepta. A denarius was worth roughly a day’s wage and a lepton (known also as the widow’s mite) was worth a few minute’s works. Both of these types of coins were in circulation in Judea during Jesus’...

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When things seem out of control

When things seem out of control

You may be feeling unsettled at the moment. That’s understandable. So many of our normal routines that gives our lives a sense of rhythm and certainty are out of order. Maybe you’re working from home; projects are being delayed; schools and universities are suspended;...

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We do not know what to do

We do not know what to do

  The coronavirus gives a sense of helplessness. We try to do particular things to make ourselves feel more secure: sanitize hands, wear masks, stockpile toilet paper, avoid contact with people, get the opinions of qualified people, seek an accurate prognosis...

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Another anxious season

Another anxious season

  Living in Hong Kong recently has not been easy. The coronavirus has brought an additional sense of emotional, spiritual and physical tension. If you’re feeling stressed at this time, you’re not alone. However, in God and in one another, we can find support and...

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Call to Serve in the Air

Call to Serve in the Air

‘Put knowledge in practical use’ – was a soliloquy in which I first heard of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in a campus gathering. This was in 1993/4 while I was still undergoing my postgraduate studies in air transport management in the UK. It was also the year I...

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What do you want this year?

What do you want this year?

  With a new lunar year comes the opportunity for optimism, the thoughts of fresh possibilities in the year to come. If you stop to think about it, you cannot help but nurture hopes and maybe even make resolutions for the time ahead. This is the year — the year I take...

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Excel in this act of grace

Excel in this act of grace

One of my favourite bible passages is this: ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich’ (2 Cor 8:9). The Apostle Paul uses this incredible summary of...

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Connecting with community

Connecting with community

  Hong Kong is a stressful place to live – long work hours, small apartments, busy streets, a high cost of living and a 24/7 culture. These things take their toll on us, but it can be difficult to share our struggles – we don’t want to be a burden to others and...

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Hope Explored

Hope Explored

There are few emotions more powerful than hope. It’s a spark inside you that brings a smile to your lips; a light that shows on your face; a feeling that lifts your head and pulls you forward. Hope is what keeps us alive. But these days it often feels hard to come by....

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