Dear Friends,

Regeneration of the Diocese, amidst many things happening, remains my top priority. So it was very good to join the Young Adults Worship Night in the Transitional Cathedral on Sunday evening. These monthly evenings are drawing young adults from around greater Christchurch. It is both exciting and inspiring to be part of these evenings.

Recently I introduced one of two new ordinands heading to St John’s College, Auckland in 2021. This week I want to introduce Robert Jamieson, who is Senior Director in an advertising and branding agency. Robert is married to Leisa, a Graphic Designer (whose work includes our Diocesan Anglican Life magazine). They have three children—William, Isla and Eden—and worship in the Parish of Sumner-Redcliffs. Please pray for them as they prepare to move to Auckland.

Last Friday evening, the Reverend Watiri Maina (ordained a deacon in Christchurch in July 2019 while working in the Parish of Fendalton) was ordained priest in Christ Church Cathedral, Nelson.

David Garrett, one of NZ’s best known Christian musicians has sent this message, “This is just to let you know that the song we produced for Christchurch is now available on YouTube under the title of We will prevail David and Dale Garratt and is available to view here.”

The new Anglican Community of St Mark (previously noted here) had a lovely inauguration with dinner and liturgical event last Friday evening at St Christopher’s, Avonhead. The welcome to the representatives from the AFFIRM movement and from the new community, from Whangaparoa to Dunedin, was shared with Archbishop Philip Richardson and Bishop Richard Wallace. At the Saturday conference following, speakers included Bishop Steve Maina, Rebecca Burgess and Andrew Burgess.

On Sunday morning Teresa and I shared in worship with a combined congregation at St Paul’s, Papanui and then in the afternoon participated in a community afternoon celebrating the re-opening of St David’s, Belfast.

The rainstorm that unseasonably chilled the air that day seems to have headed north with immense flooding in the Napier area. Further afield, it is sad that the warm appreciation of Joe Biden’s victory in the US election is being dampened down by President Trump’s refusal to face facts and concede defeat.

In good news for our church, we have a new version of A New Zealand Prayer BookHe Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa available. With new eucharistic services and translations of services, as well as a revised approach to the lectionary (compared with the 1989 publication), there are over 1000 pages in this book, but all at the very reasonable price of $30 plus p and p. Details are advertised elsewhere in this e-Life.

Our gospel reading this Sunday, Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents, is always “useful” as a story encouraging us to use our skills and gifts fruitfully in the Lord’s service. But is this the meaning of the story that Jesus intended his hearers to learn? Ian Paul, at the always thoughtful blog Psephizo, in a long exegesis of this passage draws this conclusion:

“The focus of this parable is not our natural abilities, nor a mandate to neo-liberal economics. Instead, it highlights the reckless generosity of God in giving himself to us in the gracious news of what he has done for us in Jesus. But it equally highlights the truth that, if we have really received this and understood what it is, then it will transform us into those who are equally reckless and generous with this good news. If we hide it away, then it shows we have never really understood it. To be ready for Jesus’ return does not involve endless speculation, but to live a life of faithful discipleship marked by a consistent willingness to share the good news of the kingdom with others.”

May it be so among us,