Dear Friends,

Greetings at the beginning of Advent! This e-Life is longer than usual but there is a lot happening and going to happen.

It is nearly always both tough and exciting to announce the loss of a valued colleague. The Reverend Joshua (Spanky) Moore has served in this Diocese for many years in several capacities, before and after ordination. Spanky is currently Diocesan Young Adults Developer and Chaplain at the University of Canterbury. This week it is being announced in the Diocese of Nelson that Spanky has been appointed to the newly created role of Pioneering Ministry Enabler in that Diocese. For Spanky, this new role will mark a homecoming to Nelson where he grew up and where his parents still live. The appointment will be taken up in late April/early May 2021, after the completion of study leave and annual leave. Please pray for Spanky and Sara and their three children, Edith, Freddie and Victor as they prepare for this move. In the new year, I will say more about what Spanky and Sara have meant to us, how much we will miss them and that they must return one day!

We are asking every ministry unit to let us know what your schedule of Christmas Services is, so that on our Diocesan website anyone looking for an Anglican service in their permanent or holiday locality can find where the nearest service is. So far we have not had 100% response. I ask for 100% response because I find that other denominations advertise all services in all their churches and I see no reason why this Diocese cannot also be well organised on this matter. Thank you for your responses to Jo Bean as soon as possible!

Last week I announced a number of appointments. In relation to them I want to thank clergy who have given unstintingly of their time and energy to interim ministry in those parishes. Thank you to:

  • Archdeacon Katrina Hill for her oversight of the Parish of Woolston through the last six months or so;
  • Bishop David Coles for his interim ministry in the Parish of Akaroa-Banks Peninsula for nearly a year;
  • The Reverends John and Christine de Senna for their interim ministry in the Parish of Cashmere Hills through 2019 until the beginning of this week.

It was a privilege to have a busy weekend. 
On Friday night I confirmed Ederick and Mia at All Souls, Merivale-St Albans and on Sunday morning confirmed Jonathan, Alan, Islay, Lauren and Ellie at St. Stephen’s, Lincoln.

On Saturday morning, Margaret Neate was ordained deacon in a beautiful ordination service in the Transitional Cathedral, and on Sunday afternoon the Reverend Kofe Havea was inducted as Vicar of Cashmere Hills. Some photos can be seen at the end of this newsletter. 
A late Saturday afternoon meeting of the Akaroa Civic Trust was an opportunity for a very interested audience to hear Peter Guthrey (Chair, Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Trust) and myself share a presentation on the Cathedral Reinstatement Project.
Yesterday, 1 December 2020, new Privacy regulations came into effect in our country. We have given some guidance on what these regulations mean for ministry units and will give further guidance in weeks and months ahead as we understand all that is required of us. Here I want to observe to churches that are livestreaming services and/or offering recordings of services via social media, that there should be a verbal notice at the beginning of a service, and written notices on display in the venue, that the service is being livestreamed and/or available as a recording via social media.
I am very pleased to announce that Ms Cherie Dirkze has been appointed our new Diocesan Safeguarding Officer (0.5 FTE). Cherie will take up her appointment on 1 February 2021. We will say more about her role in the new year but it includes a previous role known as the Diocesan CYPSO Officer.
I am also announcing today that post ordination training in our Diocese, known as PDF (Post-ordination Development Fridays) will be led in 2021 by the Reverend Stephanie Robson (Diocesan Ministry Educator) and Mr Gareth Bezett (Director, Theology House). In making this announcement I also thank with warm appreciation the Archdeacon Susan Baldwin (Vicar of Malvern) for her leadership as Director of Post Ordination Training since 2016 and the Reverend Lynnette Lightfoot for the role she has fulfilled as one of the staff team for the past few years.
There will be a 2021 Lenten Studies and it is looking very good (as co-writer with Bishop Ellie Sanderson for the Foreword, I have had a sneak preview). The 2021 publication is a joint venture between Theology House, Christchurch and the Diocese of Wellington. The title is Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins: Through Lent with the Prophets. Contributors include Bishop Ellie Sanderson, Wellington and Jay Ruka, Co-Dean of Taranaki Cathedral. What new world might we see when we listen for God’s invitation to rebuild the ruins? Join with others in study group for Lent 2021 and look at the ruins in our lives, our Church, and our world—and seek God’s direction as we rebuild what has been destroyed. See further here re ordering and details about cost:
This week and next the Royal Commission on Abuse is conducting a Faith-based Redress Hearing. Roman Catholic survivors appear this week. Anglican and Salvation Army survivors next week. Anglican survivor evidence will be presented Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 December in Auckland. I will be present, along with other Anglican leaders. Please go to our Diocesan website to read this statement from the two Aotearoa/New Zealand-based Archbishops. We have received the following information about access to the hearing: The hearing is being broadcast publicly online. The broadcast and further details about the hearing (including summaries of the survivor evidence) is available via the following link:
The Advent/Christmas/Epiphany edition of our Diocesan Magazine is now out in parishes. Please take the opportunity to read and digest our Diocesan stories. If it’s not yet in your church, you can read it on our website here.

May I commend to you, that if you or anyone you know have experienced grief and loss this year, a number of parishes provide a Blue Christmas Service. The schedule of these services is now available on our website.  

The gospel reading this Sunday, Advent 2, Year B, Mark 1:1-8 indicates that the coming of Jesus was a striking disruption in the world of his day. One of the things we appreciate about Christmas, and thus anticipate through Advent, is the comfort it brings—familiar carols and customs, assurances of God’s love for us and (hopefully also) of family and friends’ love for us through exchanges of presents and cards. In the southern hemisphere, many of us also have the assurance of the year coming to an end with a holiday break to refresh and re-create us. Amidst the enjoyment of the comforts of the season, might we find some moments to reflect on what disruption Jesus might bring to our lives in order that we might better be aligned to the kingdom of God which he proclaimed through deed and word?
Ngā mihi nui,