Demanding Responsibility in NZ Church Finances

There will be some Mormons who will be deeply uncomfortable with the subject of my musings today. Because we Mormons have been studiously instructed to cease to think about our contributions to the church beyond sealing the brown envelope. Matters of faith and pragmatics are often held apart so as to imbue the mundane and secular with a more ‘spiritual’ aura. This is an important and understandable strategy in the development of faith which I most certainly don’t wish to… Read more

The Culture of the Brass

Some years ago while H1 was a serving as a bishop we attended a very pleasant cottage evening at the Mission President’s home.  As we prepared to leave,   Sister President  took us aside and effused, ‘Thank you so much for coming.  Its wonderful to have the brass turn up”.  I hadn’t thought about myself as ‘brass’ before and at the time was deeply discomfited by such a statement.  It did draw my attention however to the habits of our… Read more

A Mormon as an American President? What are the implications for the New Zealand church?

As Romney takes his increasingly bright nomination campaign on the road, the eyes of the world have invariably turned to questions of his faith.  Mormonism has heralded some wonderfully idiosyncratic teachings and naturally the public are asking how much faith can we have in the ability of someone to lead a nation, who fervently holds to a faith tradition which has frankly taught some pretty odd things over the years.  So much so that the PR cogs have been spinning lately… Read more

Mormon Identity In the ‘Mission Field’

I’ve been pondering on the crisis of identity when who we  are  in New Zealand feels so  dissimilar from the culture of an  indigenous American church to which we also belong.  For the Mormon church IS deeply American, and wears the stories, mythologies, politics and culture of its roots upon its loins.  The part that New Zealand holds in that lore is more ambiguous. We in New Zealand seem to have made little impression on the metropol except that a… Read more

Reflections on American Mormons at New Zealand Pulpits

  In New Zealand, I grew up hearing that American missionaries loved my congregation, my city, my country and me. They would often effuse from the pulpit, ‘We love the people of New Zealand so much’.   I’m sure those speakers hadn’t intended the opposite effect because their frequent effusions of love delivered so emphatically by passing American missionaries, and American church ‘authorities’ didn’t make me feel loved at all. I knew love in quiet and small spaces where familiar eyes… Read more

Being a Kiwi Mormon Girl

As a teenager, my sister and brothers and I would sometimes read out excerpts from’Fascinating Womenhood (Andelin, 1963) to gafaws of laughter.  Amazingly its gone into its 6th print edition and still produces a chuckle (albeit an indignant one) with statements such as: “Men admire girlishness, tenderness, sweetness of character, vivacity, and the ability to understand men.” (p. 16-17) My feminist awakening however occurred as a defiant response to the teaching material in the Young Women programme (in the early… Read more