Dear Friends in Christ,

It was good on Sunday to wake up well and to fulfil my preaching and presiding commitments at the Transitional Cathedral—the previous month was not so good as Covid kept me at home that Sunday. Then, in the evening, it was a privilege to share in a special Evensong celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Christ’s College, with Chaplain Cameron Pickering leading the service, and the Reverend Peter Beck preaching.

I am thrilled to learn that several hundred youth and young adults took part in youth worship in the Transitional Cathedral on Sunday evening, including contingents from St Margaret’s College and Craighead Diocesan School.

On Sunday, the Reverend Tony Kippax, Vicar of Geraldine, announced that he will conclude his ministry in the parish on Sunday 11 September. Tony and Christine will move to the North Island to be close to their grandchildren there. Nearer to the time of their departure I will say more about their contribution to the life of our Diocese.

On Friday night Archdeacon Ian Bourne died peacefully, at the age of 90. Ian trained for ministry at College House and was ordained deacon in 1956 and priested in 1957. While at College House and in the St Martins’ Spreydon Bible Class, Ian met and courted Margaret Bruhn (one of my lovely aunts). Throughout their married life Ian and Margaret have served Christ and Christ’s church together. With the exception of ministry in Epsom, England, 1965-67, Ian was a parish minister in the Diocese of Wellington from 1956-1995, notably serving as Vicar of Haitaitai-Kilburnie from 1971-1995. This period included two periods as Archdeacon of Wellington and a long period of service on the Prayer Book Commission which produced the 1989 NZPB. In retirement Ian continued in ministry in Wellington in a variety of ways. Several years ago, Ian and Margaret moved to Christchurch and have been worshipping in the Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst. The funeral service for Ian will be at 11:30am Monday 20 June at St Peter’s, Church Corner, Upper Riccarton. Clergy are invited to robe with white stoles and asked to arrive by 11:15am. Please remember Margaret Bourne and their three children and their families in your prayers.

Last week when I mentioned the 2022 Queen’s Birthday honours, I omitted to mention Nick Atkins JP, MNZM, of the Parish of Avonhead, who has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science and the community. Congratulations Nick! Fuller details concerning Louise Deans and Nick Atkins from our Diocese, and six other Anglicans from other Dioceses can be read on our Anglican national news site, Taonga.
This Sunday invites two directions for our ministry of the word. One direction is study and reflection on the theme of Te Pouhere or the constitutional arrangements of our church as we live our life united under one General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui yet in three Tikanga or cultural streams of Maori, Pakeha and Pasefika. In a world beset by division and struggling to find and maintain unity, can we model unity-in-diversity?
Another direction is to begin our journey through the next set of ‘ordinary’ Sundays of this season which is now post Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity. In this direction we focus our Gospel reflection on Luke—the Year C Gospel, this week, Ordinary 12, reading Luke 8:26-39, the story of Legion, from whom many demons are expelled. As we look at the Lukan passages before and after this passage, we that no force of nature, the devil, sickness or human behaviour can resist the power of Jesus. The kingdom of God—the effectual, ruling power of God over life—is being inaugurated through the work of Jesus.