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Philip Garside Books

The Ever-Widening Circles - eBooks.

The Ever-Widening Circles - eBooks.

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The Ever-Widening Circles

By Marg Shrader

You are buying a zipped file containing three eBook editions of this 192 page book in PDF, ePub and Mobi formats.

ISBNs PDF 9781991027474; ePub/Mobi 9781991027481.

Click here for Print book

Includes colour and b/w photos
Published 16 July 2023
Philip Garside Publishing Ltd


At every stage of her rich and varied life, Marg Schrader has responded to God’s call. Join her as she tells her remarkable story.

Marg was born in Melbourne. She trained as a primary school teacher and taught at two schools in Melbourne. Her first call was to become a Methodist Deaconess. She was ordained in 1965. That year Marg also met and married Warren Schrader, a widower with seven children, and moved to Christchurch.

Marg is a lifelong learner. She has taken opportunities to train whenever they arise. She has been co-director of the Wellington Marriage Guidance council, a spiritual director and a parish minister. Following Warren’s death, Marg set up The Still Point community in Palmerston North. She shared responsibility for leading it with two Catholic sisters.

Marg became the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand. As Moderator, Marg’s theme for the 1995 Assembly was One Bread, One Body. Her leadership was both strong and caring as the church discussed topics like embracing LGBT people in leadership roles and sexual abuse.

This book includes Marg’s reflections on how sexual abuse affects women’s image of God, spiritual abuse, interpreting dreams, and her experiences of spiritual retreats.

In recent years, Marg has been called to support interfaith ministry. She has explored Buddhist and other types of spirituality. And she has served as Pastoral Minister with local L’Arche communities in the Kapiti area.

When asked about her life, Marg says, “The most important thing I have done is bring up eight children. They are all amazing, good citizens, excellent partners and parents of their children, and all in really worthwhile jobs. I am so very proud of them.”

Throughout her ministries and life, Marg has always been willing to change and try new directions. God’s call has underpinned each step. Marg has blessed all who have met and worked with her by spreading God’s love in ever-widening circles.

• • •

Praise for The Ever-Widening Circles

The Ever-Widening Circles
By Marg Schrader
Reviewed by Mary Betz
in Tui Motu InterIslands March 2024

"In this beautiful memoir, Marg recalls life as a continual listening for God’s next call. Born and raised in Australia, she found her way to Christianity, becoming a primary school teacher, Methodist deaconess, college chaplain and counsellor, all by her late 20s.

In 1966, she married widowed Presbyterian minister Warren, and moved to New Zealand, parenting his seven children and one of their own. Marg was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry, and active in Spiritual Growth Ministries.

In 1992, she opened The Still Point, a centre for contemplative prayer, and soon after was elected Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. Later she continued her spiritual direction practice on the Kapiti Coast and became a pastoral minister for L’Arche. Now in her 80s, she lives in profound gratitude for the richness of life.

Marg’s remarkable energy, vitality and commitment to God and life shine through these pages, which also include some of her writing and speaking on church, abuse, dreamwork, spiritual direction and ageing. Her clear-sightedness, forthrightness and courage will be an inspiration for anyone in ministry, especially women."

• • •

The Ever-Widening Circles
Author: Marg Schrader
Reviewed by Garth Cant in
Touchstone February 2024, page 15


“This book deserves a diversity of readerships. It is personal; the story of the ever-unfolding life of one who has been a primary school teacher, and Methodist Deaconess in Australia; then wife, mother to eight children, minister, and Moderator of PCANZ. The author has packed love, excitement, compassion and adventure into her life.

If you are Presbyterian, Methodist, or more widely ecumenical in New Zealand Marg’s story will delight you. If you are local church or have given up on your local or national church, this book will resonate in all sorts of ways. If you have lived for eight or more decades, or engage with parents or grandparents in that cohort, you will be in for shared adventures and new insights.

Parts move rapidly and are compulsive reading. For anyone who has been sexually or spiritually abused by a clergyman, church leader, or fellow Christian, chapters 11 and 13 explore the effects of sexual and spiritual abuse. If you are a minister, lay preacher or youth leader seeking to make church safe, inclusive, and wholesome, these chapters are essential reading.

The book covers a range of topics from the nurturing and mutuality of Marg working with Sister Judith Ann O’Sullivan and Sister Yvonne Munro to create The Still Point retreat centre; to the multiple challenges and opportunities when the author was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand in 1995 and 1996.

Chapter titles include Moderator’s Memories, Dreams and Dream Therapy. One chapter is the keynote speech to the PCANZ Assembly, 2018. Highlights for this reviewer were L’Arche, and Old Age is Not For Wimps.

The theme “Ever-Widening Circles” takes us to where Marg is now. The book concludes with the author enjoying her life in Kapiti as it continues in new, quietly exciting, and convivial ways.”

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