It was good to be at the first day of the first Preaching Course, in Amberley, on Saturday. It is not too late for aspiring preachers to enrol for the second course, in Ashburton, starting Saturday 12 August (details at https://theologyhouse.ac.nz/courses/).
On Sunday afternoon it was a delight to be back at Sister Eveleen Retreat House, Sumner, to commission its new Director, Antje Duda. Over the past year or so, significant improvements have been made to the bedrooms in the upper accommodation block. In the past these rooms were more “monastic cells” than bedrooms. A Diocese in Regeneration mode will always grow from spiritual retreats, and I look forward to Antje’s leadership in this area over the years ahead.
It was a very wet weekend and some of our parish rooves, downpipes and drains have been found wanting. I am grateful that CPT staff have been promptly informed of damage to property.
Pray for Gabriele Anderson (Lincoln), Andrew Butcher (Fendalton), Simon Green (St Michaels and All Angels) who will be ordained deacons at 10.30 am this Saturday 29 July in the Transitional Cathedral. Our preacher will be Acting Dean Bosco Peters. All are welcome. For those unable to be physically present at the service the Live stream link is: https://youtube.com/live/3p4XpQO1SXU.
Six days later, the Reverend Steven Dunne (Woodend-Pegasus) will be ordained priest in Holy Innocents, Amberley, 7 pm Friday 4 August 2023. The preacher at this service will be Archdeacon Dawn Baldwin.
That same weekend, I will formally induct the Reverend Ben Randall as Archdeacon of South Canterbury at 5 pm Sunday 5 August 2023 in St. Mary’s Church, Timaru. In the same service we will offer a liturgical welcome to the Archdeaconry of South Canterbury to the Reverend Stephanie Robson and pray for her new chaplaincy ministry at Craighead.
All are welcome to these services—clergy are invited to robe, red stoles.
In a new development, or, more accurately, a renewal of a past custom, our church is encouraging a “Mission Month” focus each year for ministry units, preferably focusing on August or September each year. Resources focused on the 5 marks of mission are being prepared by Anglican Missions (AM) and NZCMS. For the August Mission Month, resources including posters, and children’s resources, go to this link—these resources can be printed and/or inserted in a church PowerPoint slideshow. All are encouraged to: print and pin up a poster, learn about one of our Anglican Missions projects, pray for global mission during Sunday services, and use the children’s resources.
NZCMS is working with Anglican Missions on creating sermons on the marks of mission. NZCMS also have 3 short videos of Mission Partners that churches could show to profile the work of the global Mission Partners that the whole Anglican Church supports. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Anglican Missions within the Anglican Church here in NZ gives us an opportunity to be part of something bigger than our individual parishes can manage ourselves.
While focused on overseas mission, I am pleased to report that a SOMA NZ mission in the Diocese of Kondoa, Anglican Church of the Province of Tanzania (in the central area of Tanzania) will take place 8-22 August at the invitation of Bishop Given Gaula. Please pray for local members of the team, Anton and Christine Nikoloff, and the Reverend Peter Akester from Anglican Life Rangiora. The team is led by the Reverend Ian Hardcastle from Whangaparaoa. The mission will include seminars to equip leaders and parishioners in selected locations to be able to exercise ministry in healing and deliverance as well as the grow in confidence in using the spiritual gifts that God has given them.
Another quote for our focus on Regeneration of the Diocese in this decade:
“Developing a new children and families ministry in your church is pioneering ministry”—Rachel Gardener
This Sunday 30 July 2023, Ordinary 17 the gospel reading is Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. With this passage we complete the parables taught by Jesus in this chapter of Matthew. In each of five parables ‘the kingdom of heaven is like’ something: mustard seed, yeast, hidden treasure, a fine pearl, a net with all kinds of fish. Jesus appears to be saying that the kingdom of heaven is:
- a growing phenomenon which starts small and becomes very large (mustard seed)
- a powerful influence working through the whole world (yeast)
- something utterly worth being part of and belonging to (hidden treasure, fine pearl)
- a bit messy because it grows and develops in such a way that both evil and righteous people are caught up in its life (fishing net).