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Update from Bishop Andrew

It has been a busy few weeks since the General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui was held in Hastings where we were hosted by Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tairawhiti. GSTHW always has the benefit of bringing together Bishops, Clergy and Laity from around the whole province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia for a week of dedicated meetings, worship and consideration of issues that address the whole Church.


This year’s synod included the announcement of our new Senior Bishop Tikanga Pakeha, The Most Rev’d Justin Duckworth, to join as part of the Primacy in being one of our Archbishops. We acknowledge this new appointment and offer prayerful good wishes to Archbishop Justin as he settles in this role alongside Archbishop Don and Archbishop Sione.


One feature of recent synods has been the opportunity for wananga each of the main days. This year there was a focus on women in leadership in our church and we were proud to see our Diocesan Registrar, Colleen Kaye, recognised as one of the longer serving lay women in a position of leadership and invited to participate in leading a discussion on women in leadership. Colleen is the longest serving of the current Diocesan Registrars and is well respected for the various ways in which she supports the work of our church at a provincial level serving on several committees and boards outside of her commitments to Waiapu.


Last week I was unwell and unable to join a pilgrimage throughout Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tairawhiti exploring the whakapapa of faith in this part of our Diocese, however I was pleased that Graeme Brock and Colleen Kaye were both able to join the journey. Kawea te Rongopai, the journey of carrying the Good News and the stories of those who have initiated that are key to our understanding of our life as a Diocese. I am sure that in future years there will be more opportunities for us to participate together in the understanding the many stories of the origins of our faith arriving in all areas of Waiapu as part of our work to live into our whakapapa as Diocese.


This week has been a busy one with all of our boards meeting across the week. Although it makes for an intense week of meetings there is a joyful sense of connection between the various pieces of work that WASSTB, WBDT and the Standing Committee are addressing. I am impressed by the way that each of our boards are responding to the development of our Diocesan strategy and are keenly aligning their work and ministry within that vision. In a few weeks time we will be holding our Ministry Conference in Taupō and we look forward to doing some more work on the strategy together there, prior to our Diocesan Synod in October.


Finally this week we extend our joyful acknowledgement and congratulations to Sir Selwyn Parata who will be invested as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit at a ceremony in Ruatoria this weekend. Sir Selwyn has dedicated his life to serving communities through kapa haka, governance, leadership and advocacy and we are blessed by his involvement in the life of our Church. Congratulations Sir Selwyn!


Have a good week ahead everyone,




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