Dear Friends,

One of the most important matters addressed at Synod this year was our progress on implementing the Diocesan Mission Action Plan (DMAP) which Synod agreed to in 2021. The imminent ‘Leading your Church into Growth’ is part of this implementation (please note that registrations close on Friday 7 October. Click here to register). Other training is taking place in our diocese in respect of evangelism and mission. Work continues on forming missional clusters (small groups of leaders who work with a missional coach). At Synod we commissioned the Reverend Dr Carolyn Robertson and the Reverend Chris Ponniah as missional coaches. Tonight, at Standing Committee we have another aspect of implementation of the DMAP to consider: a series of insights and recommendations from two commissioners we appointed to review the way in which we do things (especially administration and finances) in the Diocese.

Earlier today, in my role as Visitor to the Community of the Sacred Name, I shared with clergy from the Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst, the blessing of the sisters’ new Christchurch home in Aidanfield. Please pray for Mother Alena and Sister Keleni as they settle into their new home and for all the sisters of the Community, here, in Ashburton and in Fiji and Tonga as they make decisions about the future of the Tuam Street property and enter the process of electing a new Mother.

I commend to all in South Canterbury a ministry training day in Timaru on Saturday 14 October and look forward to participating in it myself. Vicars/Priests in Charge will have details of the timing and contents of each session.

Yesterday our Diocesan representatives for General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) met to discuss the business of the forthcoming session of GSTHW in Nelson, 25-28 October. Please pray for myself, Carolyn Robertson, Lucy Flatt, Toby Behan (our clergy representatives), Byron Behm, Vivienne Jackson, Sue Robb, Ciru Muriuki (our lay representatives) and Edwin Boyce, our Diocesan Manager as we prepare for the Synod. The business of the Synod can be found at this link which gives links for the motions, bills, and reports we are considering.

Last Thursday night it was a privilege to preside at the Michaelmass in St. Michael’s and All Angels and to receive the ministry of the Word from our guest preacher, the Reverend Dr John Fox (University of Canterbury, Parish of Avonhead).

I congratulate our Chancellor, Maurice Walker, on completing 50 years’ service as a lawyer, having been admitted to the bar on 29 September 1972. Well done, Maurice!

A follow-up note to last week’s report on services to re-open the Chapel of the Upper Room at College House. I want to publicly thank Archbishop Sir David Moxon for his particular contribution to the restoration and strengthening of the chapel. Sir David has been a Diocesan representative on the College House board for several years and was the Chair of the fundraising committee that successfully oversaw fundraising for the several million dollars needed for the re-opening to be achieved. Thank you, Sir David! And, for donors reading this, thank you to all donors to the chapel.

The Reverend Dr Ken Booth is seriously ill in Nurse Maude Hospital. Friends are welcome to visit him there, providing visits are brief. Please pray for Ken and his family at this time.

The Reverend Simon Cashmore has been interim priest at Hanmer Springs for the past six months. He and Jen conclude their time there at the end of October. Thank you, Simon and Jen, for your ministry in Hanmer. I know it has been appreciated. We wish you well as you move to another part of the world. Please pray for this parish as we consider next steps for interim ministry and as we continue to seek a permanent minister.

For the preachers among us, you may be interested in Nine Lessons from the most watched sermon ever at Premier Christianity.

This week’s gospel is Luke 17:11-19. In this story there is an obvious lesson—give thanks for what God has done for us—and a not so obvious point: the gospel is for everyone. God seeks the salvation, the making whole and healing the diseases and dis-eases, of everyone.