Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
Bishop Peter and Teresa send their greetings to the Diocese from the Diocese of Western Tanganyika where they are enjoying generous hospitality from Bishop Emmanuel Bwatta and the parishes they are visiting with him. “Tanzanian Anglicanism is an exciting and inspiring to experience!”
They are currently in the Kigoma Province in the northwest of the country laying a foundation stone at St Andrew’s Academy. Tomorrow they will be at the inauguration of a new church, laying the foundation of a new vicarage and visiting an orphanage. The Anglican Church in Tanzania was planted in the 1860s and today has 2.5 million members. 63% of the population of 65 million are Christian. Let’s pray that Peter and Teresa would be of great encouragement in Christ wherever they go and with whomever they meet.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Acland family as they mourn the death of Rosemary. Ro contributed hugely to the Parish of Geraldine, the Archdeaconry of South Canterbury, and our Diocese. She had a strong faith and was deeply committed to the service of God throughout her life. Ro’s funeral will be at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Geraldine at 1pm, this Saturday. Clergy wanting to attend are invited to robe with a white stole.
It is very encouraging indeed that well over 130 people from about 25 parishes have registered for the Leading your Church into Growth Conference which begins on Thursday night next week. Our presenters Rhiannon King and Harry Steele are knowledgeable, very engaging and encouraging speakers. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to be refreshed and to learn more about effective ministry practice in our changing world. It’s not too late to register but the close off is this Friday! Shoulder-tap your team now! Click here for a copy of the programme.
Ordinations are so encouraging! They’re a sign that God is moving, touching the hearts of people and inviting some to contribute to the kingdom through pastoral leadership. So let’s pray for those to be ordained at 10.30am on Saturday, 25 November at the Transitional Cathedral and let their commitment be a spur for us all in our sense of call to serve God and participate in God’s mission.
- Andrew Butcher, to be ordained priest, and to continue ministry at St Barnabas, Fendalton
- Matt Maslin, currently training at St John’s College, Auckland, to be ordained deacon with his placement to be announced soon
- Jo Cotton, to be ordained deacon and to continue her current ministry at St Barnabas, Fendalton
- Sammy Mould, to be ordained deacon, and to continue her current ministry as Diocesan Youth and Young Adults Ministry Developer.
This Sunday’s Gospel reading is Matthew 21:33-46 and might be called a ‘gospel in the gospel’ because it expresses in microcosm what Christianity is all about. It represents a great opportunity to present the good news of God to people who may have a sketchy idea of what it is, or who have perhaps never heard it at all. Its main themes include the long-suffering love of God, the estrangement and potential evil of humankind and the climax and centrality of the incarnation and the consequences of those who consistently reject God’s grace.
I met a young couple on Sunday who were in church for only the second time after being absent for many decades. They were very engaged with the service and full of joy to be present. I asked them why they had come, and they replied that it was result of a long journey. God is calling so many back to his Church through the Spirit working in the community. For our part we need to be ready to welcome, encourage and resource their ongoing journey!