The Bishop of Dunedin, the Rt Rev Dr Kelvin Wright, preaching at the College Eucharist - which coincided with Holy Cross Day.
Archbishop Brown Turei administers the host to his brother Bishop Ngarahu Katene.
The Rev Dr Rangi Nicholson, the acting Ahorangi of Te Rau Kahikatea, reads the gospel for the day.
Eseta Mateiviti reads the OT lesson. She's a PhD student for the Diocese of Polynesia.
The House of Bishops met for two days in Auckland this week.
Nothing strange about that. After all, they make a point of gathering for a couple of days twice a year, and Auckland is by far the biggest city in the province.
But there was something significant about precisely where the bishops chose to spend the second day of their meeting.
For the first time in at least a couple of decades, they chose to meet at St John’s College.
The retiring Bishop of Wellington, Dr Tom Brown, told his colleagues that this was the first time they’d met there at least since 1991, when he’d been ordained bishop.
The bishops, who were extensively briefed yesterday by the College Commissioner, Mrs Gail Thomson, decided that they wouldn’t wait another 20 years before they got together again at that location.
The bishops met for two days, and the highlights of their first day – at a hotel near the airport – were presentations on domestic violence and an Anglican theology of mission.
Charles Waldegrave – the Anglican priest, psychotherapist and social policy researcher who played a key role in organising last year’s International Anglican Family Network Oceania Consultation on the Family and Violence – spoke about domestic violence in this part of the world.
The bishops also heard from their Social Justice Commissioner, Dr Anthony Dancer, on the same subject, and they pledged to support those who work against violence, within both the church and the wider community.
According to Archbishop David Moxon, the bishops have asked for the latest data and research on domestic violence to be collated and shared throughout the province so that episcopal units can best target violence in their own areas.
This collating work will be done by the Social Justice Commission, in partnership with the bishops.
“We are aware,” says Archbishop David, “that Tikanga Maori have already had two hui on this subject, and that the Diocese of Polynesia has already taken a lead on eliminating family violence in its territory.
“We are now hoping to support a three-tikanga approach across the whole church.”
The bishops then heard from the Ven John Day, Christchurch’s Archdeacon for Mission, who argued that the Anglican Church needs to become a missionary church, with a five-point Anglican theology for mission:
1. Such a church, said Archdeacon John, needs to be focused on God the Holy Trinity, and must have worship at its heart;
2. It needs to be relational – welcoming and offering hospitality to all comers;
3. It must also be incarnational, shaping itself to the local culture;
4. It must be committed to making disciples – calling people to faith, encouraging them in their giftings and transforming individuals;
5. And it must also be transformational in the broadest sense – existing for the transformation of the local church and community.
Archdeacon John finished his Powerpoint presentation with a photo of a statue of the Virgin Mary, which sits in one of Christchurch’s broken Catholic churches.
Before the February quake, that statue had faced inwards, brooding over the congregation.
During the quake, however, the statue was jolted off its base, through 180 degrees – so it now looks outwards, through a broken window, over a broken city.
That change of direction, suggested Archdeacon John, was the movement that Anglican believers needed to make.
At midday yesterday – Holy Cross Day – the bishops gathered with St John’s College students and staff for their regular weekly Eucharist.
And they finished their meeting on two poignant notes: with a farewell to Bishop Tom Brown, who is retiring early in the New Year, and with a short prayer vigil at the grave of Bishop Sir Paul Reeves, who had been interred beside the chapel exactly one month earlier.
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