Our most recent Diocesan Council meeting in mid-March began with members sharing where we had seen Kingdom moments in the way our people have responded to the tragedy in Christchurch. As we heard story after story of our faith communities responding in gracious and hospitable ways to provide space and to stand alongside our Muslim brothers and sisters, we realised that we can all be so proud of our Diocesan family.
Within hours resources were shared to support vigils and prayers, churches were opening their doors, and our people were expressing heartfelt love and support. It is great to see how responsive our family was to the needs of our communities. We are looking to continue resourcing our Diocesan family to respond, knowing that the need will not go away quickly – so watch this space for more resources from those in the Diocese with wisdom to share on interfaith engagement.
In the more routine work, we approved a 2% stipend increase, in line with the rest of the Province, and we ratified the following board appointments: Joanna Prescott and Todd Stevens to the Samuel Marsden Collegiate Trust Board, and Nick Walker to the Whanganui Collegiate Board of Trustees. We discussed again the need to find people for the various boards who bring both professional skills and passionate faith to this task. Please continue to join us in prayer for the right people to be identified for these roles, and if you or anyone you know might fit that bill, please speak to Nick Young.
Finally, Nick and his team shared that the Diocesan Board of Trustees are actively exploring property development opportunities in partnership with mission units with available land. This initiative builds on the Board’s challenge to last year’s Synod regarding stewardship and fruitful use of our assets. This will be a stage programme and if your mission unit has been considering how to better utilise or respond more effectively missionally by developing land, please get in contact with Nick Young.
Diocesan Council meets again in April. We appreciate your prayers as we continue to serve, seeking to govern well the many treasures, both people and property, entrusted to us in our Diocese.