Common Wealth and Competition

People from the ends of the earth have been focussed on sports teams and individuals from across the Commonwealth competing at Birmingham. NZ has enjoyed welcome success, and at times we have cheered on our Pacific neighbours or countries of origin.

People from the Anglican ends of the earth have also been focussed on Britain, as the world’s Bishops meet for Lambeth Conference from July 26-August 8. In a diocesan call to prayer on Tuesday Bishop Peter listed some of the topics being considered, ranging through mission, evangelism, reconciliation, sexuality, the environment, Christian unity, discipleship, science and faith. It is challenging to ensure the church’s energy, and the media’s interest, embrace the breadth of matters that comprise our call.

Lambeth Conference, with all its human imperfections, is intended to be an “Instrument of Unity” for the international Anglican Church. Similarly, the Commonwealth countries seek to consult and cooperate in the common interests of Commonwealth peoples, and in the promotion of international understanding and world peace.

The war in Ukraine also underlines our interconnectedness. It has contributed to petrol price rises here, famine in Africa, global inflation, gas insecurity for Europe, and 5.2 million Ukrainian refugees have so far sought shelter beyond their homeland.

The need for peace is evident. This Sunday falls between the Aug 6 and Aug 9 anniversaries of the devastating nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 77 years ago. August 6 is noted in our lectionary as both Hiroshima Day and World Peace Day.

I commend to you the 2022 CWS Peace Sunday worship resources which offer prayers, all-age activities and reflections on the readings, with reference to both Japan and Ukraine.

This Sundays gospel Luke 12:32-40 calls us to live by kingdom/kin-dom values—even when there seems to be no urgency. As disciples of the Prince of Peace, we are to work daily for justice, reconciliation and the growth of love and trust. We are not to “take a break” from justice. We are to be prophets of peace, modelling to others courageous acts of apology, forgiveness, identification and redress of wrongs.

May God’s kingdom be our common wealth.

Indrea Alexander
Deputy Vicar-General