On Saturday morning Archbishop Paul Martin was installed as Archbishop of Wellington in the Catholic Church of New Zealand. In this report ++Paul says something true for all churches, including this Diocese as we work on Regeneration, implementation of our Diocesan Mission Action Plan and local ministry unit MAPs:
“If the Church is going to do anything, it has to be us who do it,” he said, emphasising the importance of individual and collective responsibility in the Church’s mission. “The church doesn’t exist in some ethereal domain without bodies and people who have lives and with all the joys and sorrows that make it up.” He dismissed the notion of waiting for some magical ‘other’ to effect change, asserting, “It’s us. You and me, with all our hang-ups and foibles, our talents, and skills”.
These wise and inspiring words bear reflection and subsequent action as we engage in being church in the mission of God in these times and in the places of our Diocese.
Our Archdeacon for Regeneration, Mark Chamberlain, is currently in England, following some bishops and their staff around their parishes, connecting with UK leaders of Leading Your Church into Growth, and attending a significant conference in respect of Regeneration of the church. He is due back next week in time for Clergy Conference, and I am looking forward to the new input he will bring to us all.
Sixty years ago, a new St Stephen’s Church was opened for the Parish of Ashburton and on Sunday a large congregation, including the Tongan Anglican congregations of Christchurch and of Ashburton (the latter a wonderful, recent development), celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the church. In the same service it was a privilege to confirm Doreen Awaikera.
This morning in The Press, our City Missioner, Corinne Haines, writes on behalf of the City Mission to appeal for fresh support (online, but behind a paywall). Please respond generously to this appeal—winter is biting, and food inflation continues to rise sharply.
Olive Webb, a parishioner in the Parish of Hororata has written and published From Behind Closed Doors: My Journey Alongside People with Intellectual Disabilities. This is a tremendous book, part autobiography and part lively history of the deconstructing of our institutionalization of people with intellectual disabilities. As a whole this is a story of how people flourish when love finds a way to offer true dignity and opportunity to all human beings. To obtain a copy, please contact Olive at email@example.com.
Please pray for those who will be ordained in late July/early August: Gabriele Anderson (Lincoln), Andrew Butcher (Fendalton), Simon Green (St Michaels and All Angels) will be ordained deacons at 10.30 am Saturday 29 July in the Transitional Cathedral. The Reverend Steven Dunne (Woodend-Pegasus) will be ordained priest in Holy Innocents, Amberley, 7 pm Friday 4 August 2023.
From Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 June, our Diocesan Clergy Conference takes place in College House, Waimairi Road, Christchurch. It will be special to be back in this place which has a long association with ministry formation in our Diocese and it will be extra-special to worship again in its Chapel of the Upper Room. I ask your prayers for this conference, that it will be a wonderful time of refreshment for all participants.
- This Sunday 25 June 2023, Ordinary 12 the gospel reading is Matthew 10:24-39. It is a compendium of teaching on discipleship which could be summarised in this way. Jesus teaches his disciples that
- he asks nothing of them which he has not experienced himself (24-25),
- to have no fear save for fear of God (26-31),
- to never be ashamed of him (32-33),
- to recognise the divisive nature of the gospel they bear (34-36),
- to belong exclusively to Jesus with relativised family ties (37),
- to be willing to die, knowing that life is found when it is lost for the sake of Jesus (38-39).