Dear Friends,

This week is Holy Week. Yesterday, as our custom, on Tuesday, clergy were present at Chrism Eucharists (11am, St Christopher’s Avonhead; 5.30pm St Peter’s Temuka) for the renewal of their ordination vows and for the blessing of oils for anointing. Since there have been some requests for a copy of my sermon at the services, it is available online and can be read below in this e-Life.

Tomorrow, as services for Maundy (or Holy) Thursday are taking place, youth groups from around the Diocese will begin their participation at Easter Camp (held at Spencer Park). Please pray for good weather for the camp–camping is always better when the sun shines!

I am very pleased to announce the following ordinations:

To be ordained priest:

The Reverend Gabriele Anderson (Parish of Lincoln) at 7pm Thursday 16 May 2024 in St Stephen’s Church, Lincoln;

The Reverend Simon Green (Parish of St Michael’s and All Angels, Christchurch) at 7pm Friday 17 May 2024 in St Michael’s and All Angels Church, Oxford Terrace, Christchurch.

To be ordained deacon, at 10.30am Saturday 20 July 2024 in the Transitional Cathedral:

Cassie Kumanaga (nee Lee) who graduated from St John’s College at the end of 2023 and will serve in the Parish of Shirley.

Teresa Kundycki-Carrell, Lay Chaplain at The Cathedral Grammar School, who will continue to serve as Chaplain at that school.

Please pray for those named above as they prepare for their ordinations. I am delighted that Cassie and her husband, Takape, are expecting their first child in April–please pray for them as they prepare for this momentous event in their lives!

Last week I was in Auckland for a meeting of our church’s House of Bishops, meeting with our students at St John’s College and then for a special session of the Tikanga Pākehā Conference. The House of Bishops’ meeting was excellent. We agreed on a statement on the conflict in Gaza/Israel and that statement may be read in full online and within this e-Life–please feel free to distribute this statement in parish and other ministry unit communications. (On Gaza, it is noticeable this week that the patience of the USA with Israel’s intent on continuing the war is growing very thin.)

Our students at St John’s College (Ciru Mariuki, Lukas Thielmann, the Reverend Joshua Taylor) are doing well and it was lovely to catch up with them through a shared meal and individual conversations.

The outcome of the Tikanga Pākehā Conference meeting for the purpose of electing a new senior bishop (Archbishop) of our Tikanga is this:

The Tikanga Pākehā Conference (TPC) met on Friday-Saturday 22-23 March.

The process for the election of a next Senior Bishop Tikanga Pākehā is continuing. The Tikanga Pākehā House of Bishops will work with the Tikanga Pākehā Conference Coordinating Group (TPCCG) toward some process decision making, for discussion at the planned TPC prior to General Synod/Te Hīnota Whānui (GSTHW) in May.

We thank our Church for its patience, and especially our Primates, Archbishop Don Tamihere and Archbishop Sione Ulu’ilakepa, for all they continue to bear during our interregnum without a Senior Bishop Tikanga Pākehā, who also shares in the Primacy of our Province (Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia).

Archbishop (Emeritus) Philip Richardson will continue as the Coordinating Bishop Tikanga Pākehā. We also acknowledge the continuing burden carried by him, his family and diocese.

The Gospel for this Sunday 31 March 2024, Easter Day is Mark 16:1-8 or John 20:1-18. Mark’s approach to sharing the news of the risen Jesus is to give the “shock and awe” version. John’s approach (likely written some decades later than Mark’s Gospel) is to give a “let’s focus on one individual” version–so Mary is the disciple focused on as she encounters, first, Peter and the Beloved Disciple coming to the empty tomb, and then the risen Jesus himself. What do we learn about being a follower of Jesus from each version of the discovery that Jesus had been raised from the dead?