Like me, you may be appalled that President Putin used language about “peacekeeping” to describe the movement of his troops and tanks into Ukrainian territories this week. President Putin is a Russian Orthodox Christian, but I cannot marry such language with our Lord’s beatitude, Blessed are the peacemakers. Let’s continue to pray for a peaceful resolution of this crisis in Europe which has capacity to disrupt life around the globe.
As the daily case numbers for Covid continue to dramatically rise, I ask that we keep meeting together physically for as long as this is reasonable to do so, relative to circumstances in our local districts. Church leaders have received advice that meeting together physically is important for our communities’ mental and emotional health. Please get boosted—we need the booster rates to keep rising over 90+%. When we are meeting together, masking by everyone in the gathering is vital. Where possible, please open windows and doors for good ventilation of our churches and halls—holding morning teas outside is a good idea. Finally, minimising the time we spend together inside is important—aiming for, say, a one hour service is good; extending our services for two hours duration is not good.
Over the past week I have been privileged to engage with the Diocese in various ways—participating last Thursday in a meeting of the Pegasus Archdeaconry clergy, leading the memorial service for the late Reverend Canon John Meadowcroft on Saturday afternoon, preaching at the 8am and 10am services on Sunday morning at the Transitional Cathedral, and, today, leading the 12:05pm Contemplative Eucharist at the Transitional Cathedral during which the Reverend Chris Orczy was commissioned as the first St Luke’s Inner City Chaplain.
The commissioning of Canon Mark Chamberlain as Archdeacon for Regeneration and Mission is planned for the 5pm Evensong at the Transitional Cathedral on Sunday 6 March 2022. All welcome (up to the limit of 100 vaccinated persons).
Ash Wednesday is next Wednesday, 2 March 2022. Each Ash Wednesday in Aotearoa New Zealand is an opportunity to bring Anglicans and Roman Catholics together in joint services. In an update of the notice previously given here, concerning the joint Anglican-Catholic cathedrals service in Christchurch, this service is open to people physically attending (vaccine passes, limit of 100) as well as by Livestream. I encourage Anglicans to come to this service—sometimes (I have been observing) our Anglican participation is well down on Catholic participation! For those joining this service by Livestream, the link is https://youtu.be/iUG622Es1tw.
This Sunday, 27 February, Ordinary 7, the Gospel is Luke 6:39-49. There is a lot to unpack in this passage—questions of right teaching and hypocrisy (39-42), the importance of inner character (43-45) and the critical question of the foundation we are building our lives on (46-49). I encourage preachers to feel free to focus on thus one of these parts of the whole passage.