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Message from The Right Rev'd Andrew Hedge

Greetings all

 

It has been a very busy time since the beginning of Holy Week and then throughout the season of Easter with a lot of time away from the Diocese or on the road visiting different parts of our life as a church.

 

The Chrism Masses held in Holy Week were and always are a highlight for me in our preparations for Easter. A time to reflect on the nature of ordained ministry within the life of our church and for the recommitment to the responsibilities and obligations of the orders of ordained ministry for our Deacons and Priests and for me as your Bishop. Pīhopa Ngarahu and Atipīhopa Don are hopeful that in the future we will continue to build on our recent practices of sharing these services across the amorangi and diocese.

 

Our Easter celebrations were also a joyful time to recall the centrality of hope and renewal of life in our faith. It was a pleasure to spend Easter at the Cathedral and to support the celebration of baptism in the morning service. Such an occasion brings with it a poignancy of a young child being faithfully commended into life in the church as a pilgrim with others, reminding us that our faith is one we experience in the greatest sense when we are traveling with others on a journey of learning and discovery, guided by God’s spirit.

 

Following Easter I led a small group from Woodford House to Samoa for a preparatory visit in anticipation of building a relationship between Woodford House and the Parish of All Saints’ and All Saints’ School in Apia, Samoa. This short visit was a very full few days as we developed the relationship base for future visits by students of Woodford House for discipleship, service and experiencing the beauty and depth of Samoan culture and history. We enjoyed time with Rachel and Chris Solomona while at All Saints’ School and also with them and many others when visiting the parish. Our time was very fruitful and things are looking very promising as Woodford House students prepare to make their first visit to Samoa later this year in early September. Rev’d Raewyn Hedge, Chaplain at Woodford House, and Rev’d Carl Tinnion, our Mission Rejuvenator, will be lead the students and I look forward to hearing of their reports once they return in mid-September.

 

As soon as I returned from Samoa, I had a few meetings to attend to and then turned back to the airport to begin my travels to Papua New Guinea for the consecration of The Rt Rev’d John Dubabagi, Bishop of Dogura. PNG is always an interesting place to visit and is known locally as the ‘Land of the Unexpected’. My travels included a few moments of the unexpected, both joyful and shall we say testing of patience, but the most important aspect of my time there was the continued building of relationships with the whole of ACPNG. Waiapu has held a relationship with ACPNG for the past 14 years, with great support from the H & W Williams Memorial Trust who sponsored my travel to PNG. Over that time we have developed strong connections with the Bishops, clergy and laity across the church which are proving to be important as we assist the church in its development. ACPNG has much in common with the Anglican Church of Melanesia, and also receives support and encouragement from Anglican mission agencies, Bishops and Dioceses from the Church of England and the Anglican Church of Australia. We have developed very good relationships across those networks and look forward to that continuing to evolve as we set our sights together on how we can assist the church there to flourish despite the challenges is faces as the most impoverished Province of our Communion in Oceania.

 

Since returning from PNG I’ve been involved in supporting our local Napier community at the Napier Pilot City Unity Day, local ANZAC Day commemorations, Parish visits and attending the 160th commemoration of the Battle of Gate Pa. There has also been much to do with our governance boards including a road trip with members of WASSTB to visit three of our ECEs which have or have had whanau aroha services connected with their work. It was inspiring to see the great work and ministry being done across these centres as they support tamariki and their whanau through what can often include very challenging times. The WASSTB board members are also working with me to prepare for advertising for a new Kaihautū (CEO) for Anglican Care Waiapu. I look forward to sharing that advertisement once it is ready to be released soon.

 

Last week I had the pleasure of attending St John’s Theological College on Friday for the pōwhiri for the Manukura, The Ven Dr Hirini Kaa. It was good to see the college community in good heart and voice as they offered a rousing haka and waiata with stirring korero. We enjoy having Hirini as a member of WASSTB and look forward to continuing our involvement with St John’s Theological College.

 

This week is a time for preparation for the Tikanga Pakeha Conference being held over the weekend in Havelock North and then for General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui which commences on Sunday at Omāhu Marae and then is being held at Toi Toi in Hastings, hosted by Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tairawhiti throughout next week. There is a lot of business and wananga ahead of us for these meetings, as well as the important relationship building across the church. I invite your prayers for the team from Waiapu who are joining me for these meetings; The Rev’d Jenny Chalmers, The Ven David van Oeveren, Caitlin Mockford, Tim Cross, Alison Thomson, and our Diocesan Registrar Colleen Kaye will be attending as part of the team in support of the General Secretary.

 

May the celebration of Pentecost this Sunday provide you with a renewed sense of the Aroha (Love), Rongo (Peace) and Hari (Joy) which comes from God that through God’s spirit alive within you, you may continue to serve God with all grace and wisdom.

 

Nga mihi,

 

+Andrew


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