Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Spring is such a delightful time of year! The warmth and new growth makes it easier to turn our hearts and minds to God in praise. GK Chesterton once said “Praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.” Somehow in spring the pulsation of praise beats a little stronger.

Nationally there’s a growing concern about the challenges of reaching the targeted 90% vaccination rate of eligible New Zealanders. It’s my belief that Christian leaders have a responsibility to encourage parishioners and those in our circles to be vaccinated. By getting vaccinated we can love and care for our neighbours especially children and those who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated. By getting vaccinated we can avoid debilitating lockdowns. By getting vaccinated we can support businesses and the livelihoods of many New Zealanders. It will take the hard work of all those with some form of moral authority and leadership in our community to urge as many as possible to get the jab. This is how we love our neighbour in a pandemic.

News from around the Diocese

  • Cameron Pickering will leave the Transitional Cathedral staff to begin ministry as Chaplain at Christ’s College from the beginning of 2022 academic year. Congratulations on your appointment Cameron!
  • Joshua Taylor announced his resignation on Sunday 26 September as Vicar of the Parish of Highfield, Kensington and Otipua, effective from late January 2022 in order to begin doctoral studies in theology and ministry. We wish you well Joshua and pray that you will enjoy a fruitful season of study.
  • Tonight I will represent Bishop Peter at the induction of Hamish Galloway as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church. Hamish was the Senior Minister at Hope Presbyterian for 9 years and is currently 2/3 time minister at Cashmere Presbyterian Church.
  • This week is ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ and the Mental Health Foundation urges us all to ‘Take Time to Korero—a little chat can go a long way.’ Click here to read Rev’d Dr Megan Harvey’s recent magazine article on mental health

Alert Level 2 Requirements
Given that we are still in Alert Level 2 and by way of a reminder, I quote Bishop Peter’s summary of Alert Level 2 guidelines.
“Some key features of the revised Guidelines are:

  • Government requirements re adhering to maximum numbers (now 100),
  • mandatory contact tracing;
  • my requirements for communion in one kind only, and presider and assistants at communion to be masked.
With no Government requirements for masking or physical distancing for religious gatherings, our Guidelines say that masking is recommended and talks about appropriate distancing. In some circumstances, providing Government guidelines are followed, serving of refreshments may be appropriate. Finally, I am asking that questions re the application of the Guidelines are raised in the first instance with the local Archdeacon.”

Sunday’s Scripture Readings:
For those who are celebrating St Francis Day this Sunday (we’re having a pet service!) the RCL related readings are from the Song of the Three Young Men verses 52-65 and Matthew 11:25-30. The Song of the Three is a canticle associated with Daniel chapter 3. It urges every aspect of creation to bless, praise and exult God. There is a deep connection between creation which sprang forth when God spoke and our own human capacity to know and discern God within creation. Let us be a grateful people whose hearts ‘pulsate with praise’ for the precious gift of our existence as well as creation itself which reflects God’s love and care. Matthew 11 reminds us that God’s presence in creation is often concealed from the pretentious but revealed to the ‘little ones’ – those without status or self-importance. The end of the passage contains the well-known invitation of Jesus “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” What a wonderful invitation to everyone working through the real challenges of lockdown.

Grace and peace to you all,

Canon Mark
Vicar General