Message from the Bishop

Dear Friends,

Even as we live in challenging economic circumstances, there are opportunities to be generous beyond our own life together in this Diocese. With full awareness of our own financial challenges, I want to initiate here a Diocesan appeal for $20,000+ in order to support the Mirpurkhas Hostel in Pakistan which will close if funds cannot be found to support the next academic year, beginning this September.

Our Diocesan connection is through a mission partner known in many of our parishes who is not named here for security reasons. In bringing notice of this appeal to you, I ask that your generosity is over and above your normal giving to our annual Missions “target.”

Briefly (with further information here), The mission of the Diocese of Hyderabad, Church of Pakistan is to uplift, support and empower the marginalized communities of Sindh, Pakistan, in order to express the word of God in love and deed. The Diocesan Hostel Programme has been very significant in the Diocese in serving marginalized students from remote areas, many from new believing backgrounds. From the hostels students have been able to access schooling which otherwise is not available to them. Through the hostel programme the students also develop life and leadership skills and grow in their faith.

Hostel graduates have gone on to be leaders in many areas of the church and community. Students come to Diocesan Boys’ Hostel, Mirpurkhas at grade 9- the majority transferring from our more remote hostel (which takes students up to grades 8). The Mirpurkhas hostel is situated near a small city, from where the boys can have access to education of grade 9 and above

Unfortunately a funder for the programme has withdrawn funding for Covid-19 reasons and thus we bring this appeal to the Diocese of Christchurch, seeking $20,000+ to enable students to be supported in hostel living for 8 months, September 2020 to April 2021 (8 x $2500). It would be life changing for these students to be able to complete their studies. Our Diocesan mission colleague writes:

“If they cannot return to school or college now they will never complete their basic qualifications which the diocese has been supporting them towards, many since they were just 6 years old. This means options for livelihood are very limited (probably manual labour in a landlord’s fields), compounded by the challenge of increasing numbers out of work in these days. “

Account Name: Anglican Missions Board
Account Number: 02 0585 0001796 00
Particulars: Name or organisation name
Code: Mirpurkhas
Reference: (any other details)

Otherwise a page is being set up on the Anglican Missions Board site via which your donations can be made. Follow up information will be circulated to Parish Mission Motivators by the Diocesan Council for World Mission. Thank you for your consideration of this opportunity to support the last, the least and the lost in another corner of God’s vineyard.
I remind you that this Saturday 15 August and on Saturday 22 August there are seminars offered at the Transitional Cathedral focusing on issues involved in the two coming Referenda (details elsewhere in eLife). In respect of the EOLC Bill I note this important op-ed from Hospice NZ. On the matter of cannabis law reform I offer this question: is it rational for NZ as a nation to crackdown for many decades on tobacco smoking and more recently for many of our political and medical leaders to see sugar and sugar-based drinks as a big NO-NO while contemplating opening the floodgates to smoking or otherwise imbibing cannabis?
It was lovely to be in Hanmer for the weekend and to preach and preside at the Church of the Epiphany on Sunday morning. It was a privilege on Monday to share in the funeral service for the Rev’d Shirley Greenwood at St Andrew’s, Redcliffs. This week our major Boards meet: Anglican Care, Standing Committee and CPT. On Saturday Anglican Care has an all day strategic planning session (postponed from the season of Lock-down). Next week we hold our pre Synod meetings. There is a lot going on and I ask for your prayers for friends and colleagues across the Diocese as we are busy in the Lord’s work.
Thank you for praying for Charles Lucas (Ross and South Westland) as he recovers well from a car accident.
Supporters of the Community of the Sacred Name may like to join me at Evensong this Sunday evening, 5 pm, in the Transitional Cathedral as I am welcomed formally as the Community’s Visitor.
As we serve the Lord and seek first Jesus’ kingdom, we may find the following prayer helpful to pray. It was drawn to my attention recently and it is a beautiful prayer (CofE, Common Worship, Post Communion 8th Sunday after Trinity; based on a prayer by St Ephraem of Syria and translated by Percy Dearmer):
Strengthen for service, Lord,
the hands that have taken holy things;
may the ears which have heard your word
be deaf to clamour and dispute;
may the tongues which have sung your praise be free from deceit;
may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love
shine with the light of hope;
and may the bodies which have been fed with your body
be refreshed with the fullness of your life;
glory to you for ever.