Dear Friends,

The floodwaters have largely receded but the needed repairs and clean up are only beginning. Significant areas of our Diocese have been affected and the work required in many districts is being supported by clergy and members of our congregations. Each week for some weeks to come I will ask you to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in different districts. This week please pray for the Reverend Tony Kippax (Vicar) and the congregations of Holy Innocents, St Stephen’s, St Anne’s, St Mary’s and St Thomas’ in the Parish of Geraldine as they support people affected by the floods. [Please also see a general prayer below written by The Ven. Susan Baldwin.]

From the recently announced Queen’s Birthday Honours, I congratulate The Reverend Janice Stead (Parish of Shirley) on her award of Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport and the community and Ron Luxton, JP (Parish of Temuka) on his award of The Queen’s Service Medal for services to health and the community.

Music ministry among young adults in our Diocese has been quietly and steadily developing through recent years, with significant leadership from a member of the Diocesan Mission Team, Paul Hegglun, our Under 40s Consultant. One fruit of that development is the formation of The Fuzzy Robes and their first music release which has been taking place digitally through the past few weeks and culminates this Friday 11 June with the release of a vinyl LP. From under the radar we read this intriguing introduction to their music.

“Enshrined in mystery, Ōtautahi heavy psych-rockers The Fuzzy Robes have launched a spiritually enriching lead cut from their forthcoming debut album Night Prayers. By all accounts laid down “in secret over ten fevered wintry days and nights in remote chapels around the South Island,” Night Prayers is the recorded manifestation of a project where the cultish crew were “tasked with creating a musical setting for excerpts from A New Zealand Prayer Book, He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.””

We face many challenges in these islands, but mostly we do so with the aid of the latest and greatest in technology. A newsletter this week from Miriam Tillman, a volunteer Pharmacist at the Hospital of Hope in Mango, Togo, West Africa is a reminder that NZCMS mission partners in other countries face challenges, often without the latest and greatest of technological to aid them. Please pray for Miriam as she serves church and community in Mango.

This year our Diocesan Ministry Educator, the Reverend Stephanie Robson with the assistance of the Reverend Dr Megan Harvey is facilitating the provision of a range of seminars to assist people in the Diocese—lay and ordained—in our pastoral skills in respect of a variety of aspects of mental health. The first of these seminars are being offered this coming Monday, 14 June, on Drugs Alcohol and Families, led by the Reverend Dr Pauline Stewart. Details are listed elsewhere in this eLife.

This Sunday 13 June Teresa and I will be at St Ambrose, Aranui where I will recommission the church building after the completion of its post quake repairs. This is the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Gospel is Mark 4:26-34, the second and third of three parables in Mark 4 concerning the sowing of seed and the results of the sowing. There is just a little challenge for every preacher in verses 33 and 34 on the reason why Jesus taught in parables!