Bishops’ Pastoral Letter: Belonging to the Household of God

Dear Family,

Please be assured of our prayers for you at this exceptional time as we all prepare to enter Level 4 in our national response to COVID-19. We share with you the words of our Prime Minister, spoken to our nation yesterday:

“Go home tonight and check on your neighbours, start a phone tree with your street, plan how you’ll stay in touch with one another.
“We will get through this together, but only if we stick together so please be strong and be kind.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

We have been so encouraged to hear of the work being done in our neighbourhoods by our local faith communities to create community care registers. We want to encourage all of us to take this last chance to connect with neighbours.

For those who are able, please head out to your streets, knock on doors, develop connections. We suggest that we do this between 5 and 6pm tomorrow night (25th March 2020). Go to our Community Care page for a resource to help you do this well and safely. For those already in self-isolation, please pray during this same time for those who are visiting others and building our neighbourhood networks.

As the people of God, we are never alone. As households, take this opportunity to prayerfully take a deep breath over this next day and discern who are the people that you will be closely sharing the journey with in these next weeks: the people that you will be supported by, the people that you will support, the people that are good news to you and the people that you will be good news for. This is a moment of truly being salt and light in our world.

We are confident in Christ’s faithfulness and compassion to us all.

Let us remember that Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness. Let us therefore be expectant and hopeful in this new season. Let us remember that Jesus always stands at our door and knocks (Revelation 3:20), desiring connection and fellowship with us. Every single one of us in on Jesus’ household list!

Our God is strong. Our God is kind. May you be filled afresh over this next day with the kindness and strength of God as you prepare yourselves and reach out to others.

+Justin and +Eleanor