Bishop’s Letter for May 2016

Bishop’s Letter for May 2016

Thank you so much to all those who held General Synod in your prayers over the last few weeks, and last week in particular.  It has been a long, tiring period for all involved, and the failure of Tikanga Pakeha to move forward on this issue is disappointing.  There are many people in our Diocese and beyond who are grieving at this time and I ask you to continue to uplift them in prayer.

The issue has not been helped by media misreporting – in particular noting ‘bitter opposition’ between Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch Dioceses, and the false accusation that Wellington General Synod representatives were not prepared to move forward.  I would like to state that this is categorically untrue – our deep desire was to move forward in the spirit of Motion 30; acknowledging two diversities of opinion.  However, we were not prepared to move forward at the expense of the schism of our Province, and ultimately Dioceses with opposing viewpoints could not come to a consensus at this time.

There will be additional public meetings held around the Diocese to provide you with feedback and hear your thoughts following General Synod – please keep an eye on Movement Online for these dates and times.

I am so proud of our General Synod team – to Simon Winn and Kaz Young, thank you for your work fighting communication and social media fires; to Kim Duxfield for her speaking on behalf of Chaplaincy on the confirmation motion; to David Kendall with his AV assistance and Tony Hill with his legal advice; to Wendy Scott, at the centre of numerous motions, and Julie Rokotakala, holding the fort as Vicar General in my absence.

There were so many other things to be proud of at General Synod too – work around climate change; addressing historic grievances between Tikanga; witnessing the grace of many people of opposing viewpoints who spoke humbly and filled with the Spirit.

It was wonderful to have Bishop John Pritchard, former Bishop of Oxford, attending General Synod with us; providing us with his wisdom and always keeping us focussed on Jesus.  Night Prayer this week has featured the lectionary readings of Romans 1, and verse 16 leapt out at me in the light of Bishop Pritchard’s teaching during the week: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile’. With confidence let us keep the Gospel of Jesus central to everything we do.

In other news, it was such a privilege to be a part of the opening of Samuel Marsden Collegiate’s new buildings last Wednesday.  Thank you to Marsden for their amazing hospitality.  Prime Minister John Key also attended – I couldn’t possibly comment as to whether he was so rattled by my prayers that he got himself kicked out of the debating chamber later that day!

In Christ

+Justin