Encouragement, ideas, scriptures and news for Anglicans—
13 May 2020
Photo of the week: Teddies in lockdown excitedly watching the Cathedral Site and Worker Blessing as it was livestreamed on Facebook yesterday at 7.45am. The teddies can't wait for the site work to begin!
Let's get it started!
Message from the Bishop
Dear Friends, Every NZ family travelling on a long car journey with children has heard the plaintive cry from the back seat, “Are we there yet?” Lock-down is a similar journey (with “there” meaning resumption of most aspects of social and economic life). Last week we thought the answer to the question “Are we there yet?” would be either this Thursday 14 May or next Monday 18 May. Thus for churches, “Are we there yet?” in respect of resumed Sunday worship in our church buildings would be the Sunday following. But two days ago we heard from our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, that whatever tomorrow looks like for many people, “We (the church) are not there yet.” Confined to gatherings of no more than 10 people, most congregations are not going to be in our churches for at least two more Sundays. Church leaders are making representations to the government about the restriction to 10 or fewer for services. It appears that cinemas, restaurants and (from 21 May) bars are being treated differently to churches in respect of organising safe gatherings. Perhaps something will change today as parliament debates the legislation for Level 2 regulations. (I see, as I write this afternoon, that the government has changed funeral and tangihanga regulations. I have also learned while writing that the government is listening to feedback from churches about church life in Level 2).
Nevertheless, even if we are being treated inconsistently, I know from feedback since Monday that many in our Diocese are grateful that the announcement on Monday keeps us very safe for a while longer. Moreover, we have a couple of weeks, at least, to grow in our confidence about going out of our homes and meeting with people not in our bubbles. I know we will all be grateful that our COVID-19 statistics continue to be encouraging in the aspiration to eradicate the virus from our shores. Each ministry unit will make its own response to Monday’s announcement. Many will continue online worship. Some may resume small services. We have revised our draft guidelines for Level 2 in the light of the restriction to gatherings of no more than 10. They can be found here. (We will finalise our guidelines for Level 2 when we hear the government’s next announcement about Level 2, due 25 May 2020.) It is important that we not only prepare practically for the weeks and months ahead but also keep asking theological questions. For instance, Where is God in a Pandemic? Join Fendalton parishioners at 7.30pm on Thursday 14 May to hear theologian and author Dr Nicola Hoggard Creegan discussing a Christian response to the current pandemic. Click on this link to join the meeting: https://anglicanchurch-nz.zoom.us/j/95427063994—all are welcome. (The event is also advertised later in the newsletter.) Congratulations to Phil Trotter, well known to many in our Diocese. Through 2017 and 2018 Phil was studying at St John’s College, Auckland. He and Carol remain resident in Auckland where Phil is teaching at Laidlaw College and Carol is teaching in a primary school. Phil writes, “I received word last week that I will be awarded my Master of Ministry with Distinction.” That is a wonderful achievement! There is going to be a change of clerical leadership at Christchurch St Luke’s at the end of May. Helen Roud will finish as Interim Priest in Charge and Peter Beck will succeed her as Interim Priest in Charge from 1 June 2020. Helen will continue was Vicar of Addington and use her new found time in order to focus on Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisory Training. Yesterday was an important milestone in the Cathedral Reinstatement Project as Dean Lawrence Kimberley and Pihopa Richard Wallace led the blessing of the site, preparatory to work beginning on the first phase of reinstatement, the stabilization of the damaged building. Thank you to the more than 100 viewers who joined me and others involved in the project as we watched the live-streaming of the service. The recording can be viewed here. Please pray for two clergy families: for Thomas and Cheryl Brauer and family (Sumner-Redcliffs) as they mourn the death last night of Thomas’ mother, Ann (in Canada). Thomas and Cheryl and their children were able to visit Ann during her final illness and return here safely before the Lock-down began; for Chrissy and Kim Smith (Lincoln) as they mourn the death last Thursday of Chrissy’s mother, Joan Rowe. This Sunday’s gospel reading, John 14:15-21, introduces us to the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete (the One called alongside us—variously translated as Counsellor, Advocate, Helper). Lock-down has been a season in our lives when we have needed people walking alongside us—literally or virtually—to encourage us and support us in meeting the challenge before us. But the promise of the Paraclete is the promise of the ultimate companion—the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus remains with his disciples today and forever. Whether we can or cannot meet together, whether we are “there” yet or frustratingly faraway from where we want to be, we have the Paraclete with us. We are not alone.
Alleluia, Christ is risen!
From the Word
1 Peter 3:15b-16a
Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.
Imagesourced from the Digital Collections of the Vanderbilt University Library.
In the Media
In the Media this week... we look for positive ways to encourage and support each other. Have a read about what fellow Christians are up to around the globe...
Our Cathedral site and workers have been blessed and now the stabilisation and site establishment can get underway.
Watch the Video
of the Site and Workers' Blessing
Christ Church Cathedral
Work can now begin: first to establish the construction site and then to start the stabilisation which is the first major phase of the full reinstatement.
Reinstating the Cathedral is specialised work, and will take some time, but each day of work is a step closer to the end goal of bringing life back into the Cathedral, and city centre. This Reinstatement is being done to the Glory of God and for all people – for us and for future generations.
Click on the image to watch the video.
Due to restrictions on gatherings, parishioners and interested parties couldn't be at the site blessing in person, so instead while staying in their own bubbles, joined with the team watching it live on Facebook. Thanks Bishop and Veronica for sharing your bubble viewing with us!
Nurses Day 2020 12 May
May 12 is the birthday of perhaps the world's most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale. It is also International Nurses Day.
Here in NZ, we celebrated it yesterday, but in the Northern Hemisphere it's still going.
In honour of the founder of modern nursing, we remember all who nurse today, in hospitals, homes and tents all over the world, or have in the past, sometimes under challenging circumstances. Today's nursing and hospital staff are all champions in anybody's eyes.
Thank you for all you do every day. We couldn't survive without your skill, compassion and dedication.
To read a great article about "The Lady with the Lamp" as she is known, click here.
Image source: Stained glass window in St.Aidan's Church, Bamburgh, Northumberland (as cited in Pintrest).
Stories, ideas, humour and encouragement
Premier Christian Media
”Where the Spirit Leads”
A series of discussions of where is God in these times.
Rev'd Megan Herles-Mooar interviews Bishop Peter about the changes witnessed across the globe due to lockdown and discusses ideas about
where the church might head next.
Where is God in a Pandemic?
Join with St Barnabas Church Fendalton, on Zoom at 7.30pm on Thursday 14 May to hear theologian and author Dr Nicola Hoggard Creegan. She will stimulate participants to think deeply about a Christian response to the current pandemic – all welcome.
This is an open Zoom meeting – no signup required.
Our Children's Ministry Developer, Emma Tovey, has created a video to help us all to improve our engagement with children in our ministry units. It's a fun resource, easy and enjoyable to watch!
(Click on the image to watch the video).
Burnside-Harwood Parish's International Friends Missional Community is a gathering of people from different nationalities with a desire to develop and grow a multi-ethnic community within the parish. Planned to start before the lockdown, it's now underway via Zoom while maintaining social distancing rules. Well done Burnside-Harewood for not letting the lockdown stop your outreach and growth planning!
Join CMS for Happy Hour
Thursdays at 4pm on Zoom!
NZCMS invites you to a new weekly gig called "Happy Hour"
where you chat to missionaries and staff and talk about the realities of mission in 2020.
Join Happy Hour here on Zoom at 4pm each Thursday:
Click on this link, or copy and paste it into your web page: