Dear Friends,

Many aspects of Regeneration of the Diocese are in the hands of individual ministry units. Asking and answering questions, for instance, about where the next generation of leadership is coming from. One aspect of Regeneration of the Diocese is in the hands of Synod/Standing Committee and that is bringing a Diocesan Mission Action Plan to Synod 2021. Yesterday the working group drafting this plan got down to work. Please pray for Dr Bruce Deam (Chair), Reverend Dr Carolyn Robertson (Deputy Chair), Reverend Dr Thomas Brauer, Reverend Dr Meg Harvey and Ms Lydia Johnstone as they work on with this significant ministry.

What lovely weather—at least in Christchurch—for our holiday weekend just past! This coming weekend I am looking forward to confirming believers in two parishes, Sumner-Redcliffs and Fendalton.

The weekend after that, 10.30 am Saturday 28 November in the Transitional Cathedral, I will be ordaining Margaret Neate as a deacon in the church of God—All are welcome to this service. I am pleased to announce that Margaret will be serving a part-time curacy in the Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst from 1 December 2020. This appointment will be combined with theological study in 2021 through the University of Otago.

Also during that weekend, the Reverend Kofe Havea will be Inducted as the next Vicar of Cashmere, 3 pm Sunday 29 November in St. Augustine’s Church, Cracroft Terrace, Cashmere. Again, all welcome.

While writing about an induction, the next Induction in our Diocese after Kofe’s will be for the Reverend Edrick Corban-Banks to be Inducted as Vicar of Akaroa-Banks Peninsula at 3 pm Saturday 12 December, 2020, in Akaroa. Precise details about which church (Presbyterian or Anglican or both) the induction takes place in will be given nearer the time.

Please pray for Margaret, Kofe and Edrick as they prepare for new stages in their respective ministry journeys.

I also ask for prayer for the Reverend Elspeth Wingham, Vicar of Glenmark-Waikari and her husband John Preece and their extended family as they mourn the loss of Elspeth’s mother, Lilian Wingham, and prepare for her funeral service at 1 pm tomorrow, Thursday 19 November in the Church of the Ascension, Waikari.

A few weeks ago Archdeacon Mark Barlow (as Archdeacon for Chaplains) and I met with local Christchurch and Rolleston Prison Chaplains. As a result of that meeting I am asking for two forms of expressions of interest in relation to prison ministry. The first expression of interest is for parishes which have a worship service team willing to be considered for training, with a view to that team joining existing Sunday rosters (in which two of our parishes already figure). The second expression of interest is for potential volunteer assistant chaplains, willing to be considered by the Chaplains for training. These expressions of interest should be made via email to Veronica Cross, and in the case of individuals re assistant chaplain roles the expression of interest should include a CV with reference to past and present ministry experience.

This coming Sunday 22 November is calendrically amazing. According to the official lectionary and the formularies of our church it can be celebrated in five ways, though I estimate that across most of the Diocese the choice will be for the first way or for a hybrid of (1) and (3). If I have gotten things correct, the possibilities are: (1) Christ the King (or the Reign of Christ); (2) 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time; (3) the Sunday before Advent, often known as Stir Up Sunday (with the making of a cake mix as an illustration); (4) Aotearoa Sunday; and (5) Feast of Christ in All Creation.

Speaking of liturgical matters, the official launch of the new version of A New Zealand Prayer Book is on Sunday 29 November, Advent Sunday. I understand there will be a video (to which we will give the link) and in the same launch a wonderful new app, called Tuia, is being made available. I have seen the beta version of the app and it will be brilliant for those who pray the Daily Office and like to do so via an electronic device.

Whatever we choose to do this coming Sunday, and daily via prayers in print, online or from an app, let’s be what God has called us to be, people of faith, hope and joy through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who “reigns over all.”

Ngā mihi nui,