It was lovely on Sunday afternoon to be in the South Canterbury Archdeaconry for its annual Archdeaconry service, hosted at St Mary’s Timaru, with Ed Hilder, youth worker for both the Parish of Highfield, Kensington and Otipua and the Archdeaconry, preaching the sermon. During that service I commissioned Archdeacon Indrea Alexander to be our new Deputy Vicar-General.
As we journey more deeply into the Red Light mode, and the spread of Omicron, I am delighted to hear reports from ministry units of creative ways of making adaptations to worship and pastoral practice in order to continue our gathering life together in Christ and our serving of our communities, while working within the new regulatory framework: thank you everyone!
I am looking forward to the opportunity to commission the following clergy during the 5 pm Evensong at the Transitional Cathedral on Sunday 13 February 2022: Canon Mark Chamberlain to be Archdeacon for Regeneration and Mission (ARM) and Archdeacon Mark Barlow to be our new Vicar-General. Since we will be at the limit of 100 persons under the Red Light mode, I ask that if you would like to be present to support Mark Chamberlain or Mark Barlow, you get in touch with either Mark to let them know—each has been allocated a certain number of seats within the 100 for family, friends and congregational supporters.
Next Wednesday I hope we can announce a date for the commissioning of the Rev Chris Orczy to be the first St Luke’s Inner City Chaplain—this is likely to be during a mid week eucharist at the Transitional Cathedral.
I am very grateful to the Reverend Helen Roud for three years of service as Archdeacon of Christchurch: thank you, Helen! Recently Helen has indicated a need to step aside from the role of Archdeacon. Consequently I have asked Mark Chamberlain to be Acting Archdeacon of Christchurch for the time being.
Normally, towards the end of each year, a eucharist and a lunch are organised for our Retired Clergy, Clergy Widows and Widowers, and during these festivities we acknowledge anniversaries of ordinations. Covid put paid to that last year so I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge, with appreciation, the following clergy and their anniversaries (as of late 2021):
60 Years Priest: David Pickering
55 Years Priest: Ken Booth
50 Years Priest: Struan Duthie, Ken Light
40 Years Priest: Christopher Donaldson, Ron Smith, Barbara Vincent
30 Years Priest: Geoff Haworth, Bosco Peters, Mark Barlow
20 Years Priest: Michael Coleman, Diane McEvedy,
20 Years Deacon: Jessie Moffit
Last week, the Government made an announcement about stricter regulation of masking. Thus, last Wednesday I wrote that I am pleased that this Government announcement underlines my direction made previously, that I expect masks to be worn in our services—and masks must cover mouth and nose simultaneously. (A potentially helpful article on masks, published by Consumer NZ, is at https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/buying-a-mask#article-surgical-masks- ). What the Government is asking of us re the kind of masks we wear (e.g. at https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/keep-up-healthy-habits/wear-a-face-mask/ ) is the following:
- A face covering will need to be an actual mask and attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. This means scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts should not be used.
- Workers who are mandated to be vaccinated will need to wear a medical grade mask when working in public facing roles.
- You will need to wear a mask at food and drink businesses, close-proximity businesses, and events and gatherings (you will not need to wear a face mask at a gathering where you have the exclusive use of the venue, including weddings). You can take your mask off to eat or drink.
- All primary and secondary school students Year 4 and up will need to wear a face mask on public transport and Ministry of Education funded school transport services.
These changes will come into force at 11:59pm Thursday 3 February.
- On the same Covid-19 webpage we read that in the Red Light mode it is mandatory to wear a mask “inside public venues or facilities, such as museums and libraries, but not at swimming pools.”
From tonight, those of us leading worship and other gatherings should be wearing a medical grade mask attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. Face shields should only be worn if they are additional to a medical grade mask.
I remind readers of our new Diocesan webpage, with a link to my latest memo to clergy about the Red Light mode is at https://anglicanlife.org.nz/about-us/traffic-light-system-for-covid-19-management/.
This Sunday is Waitangi Day and we are blessed the day after to have a Mondayised holiday to mark the occasion. Te Raranga, our local Christchurch network of churches and church leaders have put together the following resources which may assist our reflections together on the significance and uniqueness of the Treaty of Waitangi in the development of our nation:
The Bilingual Gospel Bicentenary Statement
Reflections of Core Issues
A Reflection on the Times We Live In – Part 2
A Pākehā Perspective on a Bicultural Journey by Donald Scott
Hope Gospel Vision
This Sunday, 6 February, Ordinary 5, offers Luke 5:1-11 as the Gospel of the day: Jesus calls fishermen, notably Simon Peter, to follow him, inspiring them with the vision of a great catch of people. What is the call of Jesus on our lives? Where should we be casting our gospel nets?