Dear Friends,

A lot is happening this week around the world and locally which relates to our responsibilities as citizens.

As global citizens we follow speeches and decisions being made abroad about democracy, trade, and climate change, with our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the thick of international things as presidents and prime ministers converge on the United Nations in New York. The summit on climate change has seen a brilliant, impassioned speech by Greta Thunberg, a modern prophet lamenting, as prophets of old once did, failure to act on the facts before us. I could only despair to wake up this morning to news of Brazilian President Bolsonaro asserting that the sovereignty of his nation was more important than whether his burning forests were contributing to destruction of our planet. Then there is news that once again the burning of fields is taking place in Indonesia with widespread effects across Indonesia and Malaysia (something I experienced firsthand in 2015). Just as we look back on the pathetic leadership of leaders of nations in the 1930s before the reality of destructive war came in 1939, so we will look back to wonder how we tolerated the pathetic responses to climate change of leaders of major polluting nations. (Click here for a recent video on climate change (in)action).

Locally we will have received our voting papers for elections to mayoralty, council, community board, health board and environmental council. Our choices matter. Our choices, perhaps most especially for council and for environmental council, count in the fight against climate change, to say nothing of other issues. Personally I am keeping an eye on what candidates for mayor and council are saying about the cathedral!

Speaking of elections, at the foot of this letter I am listing the names of those who succeeded in our elections at our recent Synod.

On Sunday Teresa and I had the privilege of worshipping at St Stephen’s Ashburton, where I confirmed Vicki Ritchie and Nicki Tabener and prayed for Anita Murray, Raewyn Crosby and Rosemary Case as they renewed their confirmation vows.

The Reverend Jo Latham’s mother, Joyce Latham died on Sunday morning. A service of thanksgiving for Joyce will be held at 3 pm Sunday 29 September at St Silas Church, Redwood, with afternoon tea to follow. Pray for Jo and her family as they mourn Joyce’s death and celebrate her life.

Last Sunday was the final service and farewell for the Reverends Matthew and Claire Ling who leave the Parish of Cashmere to return to ministry in England. Thank you Matthew and Claire for your many contributions to the life of our Diocese.

This weekend coming is busy on a number of fronts including:

  • Diocesan Cursillo Weekend at Blue Skies, Kaiapoi, beginning Thursday evening, ending late Sunday afternoon;
  • the annual Dodge Ball competition for youth groups on Friday evening – 20 teams have been entered;
  • The Lyttelton Harbour Sea Sunday service on Sunday, 4pm, at St Saviour’s at Holy Trinity, 17 Winchester St, at which seafarers past and present will be honoured, thanks will be given for the work of the Mission to Seafarers in Lyttelton; and the Reverend John McLister will be inducted as the new ‘Seafarers’ Chaplain in Lyttelton. Refreshments will be served at the Seafarers Centre,18 Norwich Quay, after the service;
  • the annual Michaelmas service which is at 7 pm that same Sunday in St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Oxford Terrace; and
  • The Kiln (young adult leaders): Double Feature 6-9pm Sunday evening at the Transitional Cathedral with worship music 6-7pm, an intermission with FREE FOOD 7-7:30pm then a Public Reading of Scripture -The ENTIRE Gospel of Mark, from 7:30-9pm.

Results of our elections at Synod:

  • Church Property Trustees: Sammy Mould, Robert Bijl, Peter Flannery
  • Craighead Diocesan School Board: Rev’d Josh Taylor
  • Lay Diocesan Nominator: Sammy Mould
  • Anglican Care Trust Board: Rev’d Peter Beck
  • St Michael’s School Board: Rev’d Lynnette Lightfoot
  • Standing Committee: Rev’d Tony Kippax, David Prosser
  • General Synod:
    • Clergy representatives: Ven. Mark Barlow; Rev’d Stephanie Robson; Rev’d Toby Behan.
    • Lay representatives: Byron Behm; Wanjiru Mariuki; Sue Robb; Vivienne Jackson

Don’t forget that Daylight Saving begins this weekend!