Dear Friends,

Our annual Diocesan Clergy Conference has been taking place in College House, Waimairi Road, Christchurch since Monday and concludes this evening. It has been good to be back at CH which has a long association with ministry formation in our Diocese. It has been wonderful to worship in its Chapel of the Upper Room—an extraordinary architectural gem of the late Sir Miles Warren. Thank you for your prayers for this conference. Yesterday was spent in retreat, working through various passages from John’s Gospel. Last evening after dinner we heard from Chris Clarke, CEO of the Wilberforce Foundation, and a previous speaker at Clergy Conference in 2018. Today is focused on developing our skills and competencies as ministers.

The Reverend Bob Keen has died, and his funeral is at 1 pm tomorrow, Thursday 29 June, in St Silas Church, Redwood. Bob was a very early Deacon in the Local Shared Ministry approach to parish life as it was developed in the former Parish of Bishopdale. As a Deacon he was a fine example to other Deacons who were ordained after him. He loved the Lord and worked tirelessly for the benefit of others all his adult life. Together with Rosemary, his wife, Bob was instrumental in beginning the Anglican Parish of Bishopdale. He will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him and benefitting from his kindness and practical help. Please pray for Rosemary and their family.

Teresa and I had an excellent weekend in South Canterbury, catching up with clergy and spouses, participating in meetings, and joining in the worship service at St. Augustine’s, Waimate on Sunday morning. We were able to see progress on the completion of repairs and strengthening of the tower of St. Mary’s Timaru. That progress is reported on in this Timaru Herald article.

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.

This Sunday 25 June 2023, Ordinary 12 the gospel reading is Matthew 10:40-42. English theologian, Ian Paul’s thoughts at Psephizo are worth reading. The title of his post captures the essence of the passage, “The disciples as the presence of Jesus.” In other words, we are the presence of Jesus in the world today. An awesome responsibility.