Message from the Bishop
The IPCC report two days ago on the extreme position our planet has arrived at in respect of global warming and consequential frequency of natural disasters should not be downplayed let alone ignored https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/aug/09/humans-have-caused-unprecedented-and-irreversible-change-to-climate-scientists-warn. Each of us as individuals, families and local communities should be asking with renewed urgency, what we can do to lessen our contribution to global warming. What our Government can make us to do to change is directly related to our willingness to change as the Team of Five Million.
Tragically over the weekend, five young men were killed in a car crash in Timaru, with one survivor being hospitalised. Please pray for grieving families, for the survivor and his family and for the people of South Canterbury. Let’s also pray for our ministers, lay and ordained, in South Canterbury as they care for those who are shocked and upset by this tragic event.
This email is being distributed just after the third of our Pre-Synod meetings and before the fourth and final meeting in St Peter’s, Temuka tonight. I have been very pleased with the turnout of synod members—thank you—and with engagement on the matters on the synod agenda. A special thank you to our host parishes for their hospitality and to local Archdeacons Nick Mountfort, Dawn Daunauda and Indrea Alexander for their organisation of the physical meetings held in Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst, Rangiora and Temuka.
Last week I mentioned the Cathedral as an important item of Synod business. Today I write about the Diocesan Mission Action Plan (DMAP), drafted by a working group through this past year and being presented to Synod for discussion and hopefully for agreement. A Synodically agreed DMAP will then be of significant assistance to the governing bodies of our Diocese, as well as to our ministry units, as we move through this decade, aiming for the Regeneration of the Diocese and needing to make decisions about best and highest use of our resources, both people, property and finances.
Apart from Pre-Synod meetings, this past week in the Diocese has included the Community of the Sacred Name’s annual festival service on Saturday morning, presided over by its Warden, Dean Lawrence Kimberley and with the Revered Doctor John Fox preaching, an episcopal visit to Cheviot on Sunday, Young Adults Worship in the Transitional Cathedral on Sunday night. Then, tomorrow evening, the Anglo-Catholic Hui 2021 begins with Mass at 5.30 pm in St Michael and All Angels.
I have been promoting the importance of vaccination against the Covid virus and am pleased to report that both my vaccination appointments are in the diary. The call to have the vaccine is a call to protect our neighbours from the virus, an outcome of fulfilling the divine command to love our neighbours as ourselves. I continue to encourage all receiving the vaccine to make a donation so that someone elsewhere in the world can also receive the vaccine. A background to and information about making a donation for the Get One, Give One scheme can be seen here.
Over the past few months a review of St. John’s College—our theological college in Auckland—has been conducted by Miriam Dean and Doug Martin. The review document is now public and the link to it can be found at the foot of an Anglican Taonga article which includes a covering letter from the Archbishops and Chairs of the Boards governing the College: https://www.anglicantaonga.org.nz/news/common_life/sjc_reviewout
This Sunday, 15 August can be celebrated as either the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Gospel: John 6:51-58) or as the Feast of St Mary, the Mother of Jesus (Gospel: Luke 1:46-55 or 2:1-7). Whether we focus on Jesus the bread of life who feeds us and gives us life, or on Mary whose example of obedience means she joyfully carries the Bread of Life within her, we are encouraged through these readings to embrace the gift of divine life offered to us in Jesus Christ.