Greetings friends from a beautiful autumn day in the Capital
I thought it timely to write a short note post-Easter. I find the Anglican Church at its best over this Season. On Friday morning I sneaked in the back of the Cathedral for the Shadows service – a service that allowed those of us present to sit and reflect on the death of our Saviour and the journey to the cross. It is important to live in the full Easter story of Jesus on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
To sit on Friday in a place of shock and bewilderment, to acknowledge the death of our dreams and aspirations and to wonder, where is God now? To deny our reality by acting like it is all good when in fact it is not. It is only as we admit our reality, can we be open to God’s transformational miracle.
On Saturday we move from shock to an awful Season of waiting and unknowing. How do we carry on living while we try to discern what could God possibly be doing? As doors in our life strongly and unexpectedly close, we wait uncomfortably in the hope that God will open other doors. But what doors could God possibly open? Our dreams lie shattered on the floor. However, we must choose in this difficult Season although we do not understand, still we believe.
Sunday – “He is risen, He is risen indeed”. We are privileged through history to know that Sunday is always coming. Those first disciples were not so blessed. Imagine the delight as their lives were filled with an ongoing wonder as the new possibilities in a resurrected Jesus unfolded. Shattered preconceived ideas had to now be rethought in light of this most extraordinary event. New possibilities abound, life is present where we could never have dreamed off seeing it. After Easter Sunday our lives are forever different.
I don’t know about you, but this three-day story is always relevant to me. I am constantly finding myself living again in these days death and loss, journeying in the unknown and then suddenly unexpectedly God does the impossible again.
I think, not only do I constantly find myself in a mixture of these days, I also experience the same is true for us as a Church. Elements of our Church experience in the present witness to the death of our dreams and hopes, in places we are learning to walk into the unknown and in the most unexpected places God is doing something new and totally unexpected.
Attending the Youth Easter camp was for me a Sunday experience. God is definitely at work within our young people. 200 young people gathered over Easter camp and it was amazing to see the next generation of leaders step into the gap and lead. I wish you could have all seen it.
Looking forward now: the Province is gathering for General Synod and our Diocesan Team is trying to prepare to discern what could the Spirit of God be saying to the Church and what is God requiring of our Diocese in that process. So please can I ask you to uphold the General Synod and our Representatives in your prayers.
Finally I mentioned a few months ago that I was training for the Oxfam trail walk of 100kms. After minimal training and a few mishaps (one of our team had to pull out at 70km with bad knees) we completed the event. Our team took 17hrs and 17mins, surprisingly we were the 11th team home out of 270 teams! What was great was watching our friends also complete the event – so well done to Scottie and Anna (Diocesan Young Adult Enablers), and to the women of Urban Vision who also completed.
Those of us who took part are trying to raise $1,000,000 towards poverty alleviation. Our Team has pledged to raise at least $2,000 towards this. So if you would like to support this cause then follow the link below:
Bishop of Wellington