Tomorrow, Thursday 18 May, is Ascension Day. On this day we reflect on the cessation of Jesus’ earthly, face to face interactions with his disciples following his resurrection, with special reference to Luke’s narrative of Jesus ascending to be with his heavenly Father, Acts 1:1-11. Our reflection is also an anticipation of celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost (Sunday 28 May). May our praise continue to be the Easter “Alleluia” and our prayer for God’s church be “Come, Holy Spirit.”
I am very pleased to announce that the Reverend Ben Randall, Vicar of St. Mary’s Timaru will be Archdeacon of South Canterbury from 1 June 2023. Ben succeeds Archdeacon Mark Chamberlain who has been Acting Archdeacon of South Canterbury since November 2022. Thank you Mark for your work in this role and thank you Ben for accepting the extra responsibility.
At the weekend we sent a special e-Life out to inform the Diocese that the Reverend Ken Davy had died on Friday 12 May. His funeral is at 12.30 pm this Friday 19 May at St. John’s church, corner of High Street and Church Street, Rangiora. All are welcome. Clergy wishing to robe, please wear a white stole. The livestream link which will go live at approximately 12.15pm.
On Sunday, with Deans present from cathedrals elsewhere in our church, and many representatives drawn from church, interfaith, civic and community life, Dean Lawrence and Elizabeth Kimberley were farewelled from their Cathedral ministries at the Transitional Cathedral. Thank you for your mahi, Lawrence and Elizabeth, and our best wishes for the next chapter of your lives.
Congratulations to the Reverend Hugh Bowron who graduates PhD this weekend from the University of Otago and will become the Reverend Doctor Hugh Bowron! His research is described in this way: “Inspired in part by Dr Marie Peter’s Christchurch–St Michael’s: A Study in New Zealand Anglicanism, Hugh’s Otago history PhD thesis St Peter’s, Caversham 1864-2000 is the history of Dunedin’s traditional Anglo-Catholic parish. Three remarkable ministries – that of Bryan King, son of the famous Bryan King who sparked off the ritual riots in the East End of London, that of Edward Dering-Evans, a flamboyant missioner who married an American millionaires daughter much given to mystical visions, and of John Mortimer, a Christian Socialist, cemented in the Anglo-Catholic character of the parish, an Anglican holiness movement that has persisted in South Dunedin to the present day. The thesis assesses the rise and fall of the parish’s three mission churches, the world of St Peter’s laity, and the way in which the ministry of Fr Carl Somers Edgar completed the Oxford Movement revolution. It considers the factors that helped the parish to live, thrive and survive through the latter years of the twentieth century that were so challenging for New Zealand mainline churches.” I look forward to reading this fascinating narrative of an important slice of the life of our church.
A few days ago, Will Buthod messaged me, “I’m an Organist-Choirmaster serving the Episcopal Church in Georgia, U.S. I’m humbly reaching out to let you know that my choir will be singing a setting of the Evening Service from the NZ Prayer Book that I composed a few years ago. It incorporates elements of Anglican tradition with Māori music and folk songs. As far as I know, there may not be very many settings of the Evening Service, and so I just wanted to share with you and your Diocese, in case that may be of any interest to anyone. The service will be next Thurs, 18 May, for the Ascension, at 7:00p Eastern Time (NYC). Here are links to the live stream from our church-(https://www.holytrinitydecatur.org/) and our YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/@holytrinityparishepiscopal5016).”
This Sunday 21 May 2023, Sunday after Ascension Day, or “Ascension Day transferred” the Gospel readings are, respectively, John 17:1-11 or Luke 24:44-53. We are invited to reflect both on the journey of exaltation of Jesus through crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to be seated at the right hand of God and on our participation in the continuing mission of God in Christ in the world, primarily as witnesses to the God who is revealed in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirt.