This evening at 5 pm and 7 pm we are presenting the Concept Design and Estimated Costs of the Cathedral Reinstatement Project to members of Synod. Tomorrow morning news of the Design and Costs will be made public via the media. On our Diocesan website, around 10 am, we will post relevant links to this information (anglicanlife.org.nz ). This announcement will be a major milestone in the journey from 22 February 2011 to the day when we will be able to re-open the Cathedral for worship.
What an interesting Election night Saturday turned out to be. A mostly foregone election result was nevertheless full of twists and turns, some of which have been painful for MPs within our Diocesan region and, conversely, simultaneously exciting for the new MPs elected in their place. Congratulations to new electorate MPs Jo Luxton, Sarah Pallett, and Tracey McLellan. A big vote of thanks to retiring MP Ruth Dyson for her service in parliament. She has been a good friend to churches in her electorate. Gerry Brownlee will continue to speak for Christchurch as a List MP. We now await—the end of October I understand—the results of the referenda.
Last Wednesday evening the Transitional Cathedral hosted an important event as part of the NZ Antarctic week: “Days of Ice: Learning from Antarctica: Climate Change Seminar”. The speakers were excellent and I recommend viewing what they have to say (each spoke for around 10 minutes) on the recording of the event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Gy5qDpI_4
Thursday morning saw the unveiling of new Hoardings on the fence around the Cathedral in the Square. Please visit, see and interact with these Hoardings when you are next in the Square. A lot of work has gone into taking the concept of the Hoardings to the reality of their installation: a very big thank you to all contributors.
On Sunday morning it was not only lovely to be with the Parish of Christchurch St Luke’s (meeting at the Community of the Sacred Name) for their patronal festival but we also unveiled and blessed a new icon of St Luke for the parish.
Then in the evening Teresa and I were present for The Cathedral Grammar School Founders’ Day service. A notable feature of the service was the Welcome and Blessing of the Girl Choristers of Christ Church Cathedral. After Dean Lawrence blessed them, the girls sung, in a world premiere, a new anthem especially composed for them, titled “A new Psalme” and based on the Book of Judith 15:12-16:1—text adapted by Dr Marcus Tomalin and music composed by Sarah MacDonald. I personally found the words and melody hauntingly beautiful (and you can judge for yourself by going to the recording of the service at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7qBTeeATd4.
Image: Teresa Kundycki-Carrell
Please continue to pray for Mary-Jo Holdaway, Cameron Pickering and Margaret Neate as they prepare for their forthcoming ordinations (details elsewhere in this e-Life).
The St Luke’s Centre here in Christchurch works with people facing emotional and mental health challenges. They are seeking volunteer helpers. Further information and contact details for the Centre are at https://www.stlukescentre.org.nz/ .
In both the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18) and Gospel readings this Sunday, “Love your neighbour” features. Now that we know we will live with Prime Minister Ardern’s leadership for the next three years—leadership characterised by kindness—might we also renew our understanding of what it means to love our neighbour—to care for our communities, to reach out to those less well off than ourselves and to determine that we will be a nation famous not only for rugby prowess and determination to eradicate Covid-19 but also for our kindness?
Our Gospel reading (Matthew 22:34-46) clearly challenges us to Love God with every fibre of our being, as the first and greatest commandment. Is our great task as Christians in this period of history to find ways to testify to the importance of kindness being sustained through connection to the God who is the Source of All Love?