Message from the Bishop
It is good to be at Level 1. From the perspective of rules, we can resume every aspect of church life as we were once used to, including communion in two kinds. But let’s respect the fact that from a pastoral perspective we may not all be in the same place as we resume gatherings together. Some of us will be more nervous than others about being in close proximity to other people. Could we take care, for instance, not to assume that everyone wants to be hugged even if “back in the day” they were happy to be hugged? Let’s respect those who may prefer to receive communion in one kind only, even as communion in two kinds is offered.
As we move forward in Level 1, we have parishes which continue to offer livestream worship services for all to access who otherwise cannot get to church services in buildings. A list of the parishes offering online services this Sunday 14 June are on our Level 1 AnglicanLife website page.
As a nation and as a church we have much to be thankful for. But let’s simultaneously be praying for all in need at this time, especially as the economic consequences of COVID-19 crash, wave after wave, upon our businesses, charities, schools, and community bodies such as sports clubs and arts organisations.
Finally, for today re COVID-19, I am both very proud of our Diocese in its faithful and flexible response to Levels 4, 3 and 2, and thankful for the enthusiastic way in which we have all embraced the challenge of being church in a new way.
Last Sunday it was good to be with God’s people at St Peter’s, Temuka in the morning and at All Saints, Cave for its deconsecration in the afternoon. This coming weekend I will be involved with BACO (the Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Ordination) in our annual Discernment Weekend at Sister Eveleen Retreat House, Sumner. Please pray for this weekend, especially for the several people who have offered themselves for discernment for ministry. May God guide and lead us through the Holy Spirit!
This week I acknowledge the death of Frank Davison whose private funeral was held last Thursday. Frank was known to many in the Diocese, through long involvement in several parishes, including latterly the Parish of Amberley. I personally thank God for Frank and his ministry of encouragement to me. Many others will join with me in this thanksgiving. Please pray for Frank’s widow, the Reverend Jane Davison and their family.
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of a new Diocesan Monitor, the Reverend David Coster, to succeed the Reverend Bruce Hansen. David Coster is an experienced, senior minister in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. We will soon be publishing and distributing replacement posters with David’s contact details to ministry units. We will formally farewell and thank Bruce Hansen as a Diocese at our Synod in September this year.
On behalf of the Diocese I offer congratulations to John Graveston who will be ordained deacon in the Diocese of Dunedin on Friday 3 July at 7:00 pm at All Saints’ Church, Dunedin. John will continue in his current role as Dunedin’s Diocesan Child Youth & Family Educator and will minister as a deacon to All Saints’ in a non-stipendiary role.
Congratulations to Tom Rainey on becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music and music education. Tom has been organist at St Augustine’s, Cashmere for many years and is a well known figure in Christchurch music circles. Click here to read the full citation for his award.
This Sunday globally is the 11th Ordinary Sunday but within our church it is celebrated as Te Pouhere Sunday–a time to celebrate our church’s constitution which binds us together as one church with three cultural strands. Thus a special prayer from our Archbishops is appended below, connecting Te Pouhere with the trials and tribulations of recent months, including the turmoil in the States and elsewhere because “Black Lives Matter”.
Finally, due to COVID-19, for some months I have hardly mentioned on e-Life the strategic Diocesan theme of this decade, Regeneration. Next week I will share some up to date thoughts with you. In Level 1 it feels much easier to dream dreams about the future!
Message from our Archbishops for Te Pouhere Sunday
As we approach Te Pouhere Sunday, a day when we celebrate the diversity of our Church and recommit ourselves to reconciliation and peace both of our history and in our contemporary Church and society, we call the Church to prayers of thanksgiving and repentance;
Ki te whānau a Te Karaiti, ki Te Haahi Tapu puta noa ki Aotearoa, ki Niu Tireni, ki Ngā Moutere a Te Moananui a Kiwa;
To our beloved family in Christ, to the Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia;
Let us continue to uphold each other in prayer and thanksgiving, and renew our commitment to be messengers of God’s unconditional love and boundless grace, and to be an instrument of God’s peace
We are emerging from a period of lockdowns, alert levels, and government interventions across the nation states that make up our Anglican Church here in the South Pacific. Our peoples have seen low levels of infection, transmission and of deaths across our islands. Let us give thanks to God for those who have served and protected so selflessly. Let us give thanks for those who have led our nations with kindness and compassion.
We know that many are suffering deep sadness and grief through the loss of loved ones during this time. Please pray that they may know God’s love surrounding and upholding then.
We know many communities, families and individuals are living with deep anxiety as they look to a future without employment or certainty. Please pray for our communities to care and provide for each other, and for the courage to build new beginnings.
We are aware of the continuing rapid spread and increase in Coronavirus infections and deaths across our world. Please pray for the peoples that are most vulnerable and most affected, and for those who continue to work tirelessly to treat the sick and stem the tide of infection. Please pray for those carers who themselves have become infected.
We watch with deep sadness the escalating anger and frustration in the United States of America. We ask you to pray for the soul of George Floyd and for his family, and for all those who have lost their lives to police brutality and racism. We pray for wise and compassionate leadership in that country and we also invite you to pray that we ourselves might have the eyes to see, and the hearts to recognise, the discrimination and racism that exists within our institutions, our communities, and within even our own attitudes and assumptions.
Loving God, you have made us in your own image,
diverse, beautiful and precious in your sight.
May we see that same precious beauty in every person, a unique creation beloved of you.
May we celebrate the life we can bring to each other.
Give us the courage to stand unequivocally for justice, for truth,
and for the reconciliation and hope that is ours through Jesus Christ.
Help us to dismantle racist agendas.
Help us to transform unjust structures.
Help us to decolonise our Christianity.
Help us to love you with all our heart, soul, and strength.
Help us to love one another as you commanded us to do.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Archbishop Fereimi Cama
Archbishop Philip Richardson
Archbishop Don Tamihere