It was wonderful to hold Synod as a complete event, run according to the planned times and dates, in one venue. And the Synod was pretty wonderful too—thanks to all who participated, and to all who enabled our service to happen and the synod business sessions to take place. In respect of the former, thanks to our preacher, Gareth Bezett, our music group, from the Parish of Burnside-Harewood and led by Liesl Clancey, and to Dean Lawrence and the staff of the Transitional Cathedral. It was lovely to share the service with Bishop Richard and Archdeacon Mere Wallace. In respect of the Synod sessions, thanks to our Edwin Boyce, our Diocesan Manager, and members of the Anglican Centre staff team, to the Reverend Michael Brantley and the Avonhead parish team, to those who led our worship, movers and seconders of bills and motions, presenters of reports, Resolutions and Minutes Committees, and to Maurice Walker, our Chancellor and Alex Summerlee, our Vice Chancellor. A special mention is for Philip Baldwin coming down from Kaikoura to handle our PowerPoint slides for one last Synod—thank you Philip!
Next week and beyond I anticipate mentioning some of our key decisions. Meanwhile, my Presidential Address to the Synod is available for download here.
On Sunday, Teresa and I were at St. Aidan’s, Bryndwr, with Gavin Holley, CPT General Manager, sharing in celebrations of the re-opening of St. Aidan’s, following earthquake repairs and betterment works, as both church and community centre for Bryndwr. This occasion was also the 71st patronal festival for the parish.
I am delighted to announce that Archdeacon Indrea Alexander will be the next Vicar of Ashburton and Archdeacon of Mid Canterbury, from late November 2022. Indrea is currently Vicar of Waimate District Cooperating Venture, Ministry Team Leader for the Parish of Marchwiel and Archdeacon of South Canterbury, so my delight at this appointment is tempered by the challenge to work on the vacancies this change entails. Please pray for Indrea and Neville as they prepare to leave South Canterbury and move to Ashburton; and pray for the Lord to supply successors for the ministries they will leave behind.
The floods in Pakistan continue to devastate the people, the land, crops, animals, and infrastructure. Please continue to pray for the situation and especially for the Church of Pakistan, its leadership and NZ mission partners working in various parts of Pakistan. An opportunity to give monetary support to flood relief is possible through the Christian World Service (an NZ ecumenical support agency) with details at cws.org.nz/what-we-do/emergencies/pakistan-flood-appeal/.
Three weeks after our return from overseas, I am still catching up on things that have happened while Teresa and I were away. I want to acknowledge, with gratitude for a life well lived in the service of God, the death of Jan Deavoll on 4 August 2022. Jan was AAW Diocesan President 1997-2000 and AAW National President 2001-2004. She was also a member of the National Council for Women, and of the Christchurch branch of Church Women United. Jan was married to Tony for 62 years and together as well as in separate roles, both Jan and Tony have served God in the life of our Diocese, parish churches (especially the Parish of Shirley), Anglican Care/City Mission, and in other ways for the benefit of the Christchurch community. Please uphold Tony and their family in your prayers while giving thanks to God for Jan’s life.
The Consider Your Call event is coming up fast: on 13 September, and the Leading Your Church into Growth conference, 18-20 October, is getting closer to. Details for both events are further down this page.
This week’s gospel is Luke 15:1-10. Together with the third parable in this chapter, these two parables speak of the relentless determination of God in his love for us to seek, find and bring home the last, the least and the lost. How great is our God!