Last Sunday (10 April) I completed a six month assignment as interim priest in the Northland-Wilton Parish, Wellington. This appointment followed the move of Canon Deborah Broome to minister in Napier.
The focus of this ministry has been to lead Sunday and other occasional worship services and to offer pastoral care for the Parish, with home visiting a priority. Two baptisms and one funeral were completed. Both Christmas, Holy Week and Easter services were highlights of this ministry time. The pre-Christmas community carol service (led jointly with the Wilton Catholics) drew 200 to attend, despite the bad weather. During Lent two study groups convened jointly with the Wadestown Anglicans. The study theme, 'Generous Hospitality' offered plenty of challenges to those of us involved.
The Northland-Wilton Anglicans humbly proclaim they are, 'The Church at the Heart of Our Community.' They are not far wrong. While at the centre of St Anne's life together is the worship of the God whom we know through Jesus Christ our Saviour, the people work hard to be caring and supportive of the wider Northland-Wilton community. The Free Food Friday barbeque offered outside St Anne's fortnightly is well appreciated and it usually takes less than an hour to get rid of the 40+ sausages available. The monthly Thursday munch draws a number of elderly and shut in people. Of particular interest is the Messy Church offered monthly on a Sunday afternoon. This offers a very creative time for children and families to be together while reflect on life and faith issues inter-generationally. The beautifully modernised St Anne's hall is well used for regular and occasional community gatherings.
While I have completed interim ministry assignments previously, notably in Island Bay and Levin Parishes, the intentional and transitional nature of such ministry has been reinforced during this time. Reflecting on this ministry I have written on this theme in a paper entitled, 'Interim Ministry Priesthood'. This is currently being reviewed. A link to it may appear soon in this News Blog.
This ministry has concluded with the appointment of the Reverend Paul McIntosh of Karori being instituted as permanent priest in charge on tomorrow - Fri 15 April.
Nga mihi ki a koe e hoa,
St Hilda's Anglican Church, Island Bay
St Hilda's Anglican Church in Island Bay is this week hosting a week of guided prayer. The Week began yesterday (Sunday) with an opening gathering in the Church with 15 participants joining the three prayer guides from Spiritual Growth Ministries. Each participant will have a daily session of 30 minutes with one of the 'guides' before all re-gathering on Friday evening for a closing group session.
The participants are representative of the Island Bay church congregations and have undertaken in addition to the formal group and individual sessions, to spend at least 30 minutes daily in the practice of prayer.
The leadership team of Jo Anastasiadis, Adrienne Thompson and Terry Alve are all trained and registered spiritual directors who are part of a group of directors who offer these Weeks of Guided prayer around Wellington and up to the Kapiti Coast. At the same time as the Week is happening at Island Bay, another 'Week' is happening on the Victoria University Campus.
More information about these Weeks and an online registration form is available HERE.
John Murawski - Religion News Service Review of this Book
Christian apologist and theologian Bishop N.T. Wright, "How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels," insists that Christianity has got heaven - a blissful realm of harp-strumming angels - all wrong, "An awful lot of ordinary church-going Christians are simply millions of miles away from understanding any of this."
"Our picture (of heaven), which we get from Dante and Michelangelo, particularly of a heaven and a hell, and perhaps of a purgatory as well, simply isn't consistent with what we find in the New Testament," Wright said. "A lot of these images of hellfire and damnation are actually pagan images which the Middle Ages picks up again and kind of wallows in."
This message has come through this afternoon:
“I am delighted to announce that The Reverend Justin Duckworth has been chosen as the next Bishop of Wellington.
Justin was nominated by an Electoral College ably chaired by Bishop Richard Ellena, and Justin’s nomination has since been formally confirmed by the House of Bishops and members of the General Synod.
Justin, who is 44, has been at the cutting edge of mission and ministry in Wellington for 25 years.
He was a co-founder and leader of Urban Vision, which runs houses in Wellington’s grittiest neighborhoods, in which young Christians live alongside folk from the margins.
Justin and his wife Jenny also pioneered Ngatiawa, a contemporary monastery which provides a welcome to those who are struggling, those seeking prayerful retreat, and those seeking a missional lifestyle.
The Electoral College clearly identified Christian lifestyle, Christian discipleship and Christian mission in Justin – and I am confident his election will challenge, invigorate and grace the church with a deep sense of the breadth and height and depth of the love of God.
A date for the Ordination of Justin to the Episcopate will be announced as soon as it is known."
Archbishop David Moxon
Primate and Senior Bishop of the New Zealand Dioceses
This is a place where we can discuss mentoring, ministry and what we have found helpful for sustaining our inner lives and good relationships.