It is hard to believe it has been a month since I last wrote. Three experiences stand out from this month:
First is the visit by Jenny and me to Wanganui Collegiate, for the Consecration and celebration of their Chapel. It was a great day where pupils, staff, parents and Old Boys and Old Girls gathered to party. Personal highlights were the InterHouse tug of war and the Consecration cake in the shape of the Chapel. In my sermon I laid down the challenge to honour the vision of the Old Boys who built the Chapel a hundred years before: the challenge to create a school where Jesus was the centre of their life together; a school that although highly successful, also realises that success is meaningless unless it is used to create a more just world – a world reflecting God’s Kingdom.
Second is the visit by Jenny and me to St Anne’s in Porirua. This Confirmation and Baptism service was the best of being Anglican: intergenerational, multi-cultural, friendly, hospitable and passionate. The Reverend Rosie Dell and her team did an amazing job. I was particularly impacted by the stories of the Confirmation candidates Jo, Donna and Daniel – real stories of God entering people’s lives and making a tangible difference.
Thirdly, we attended Dean Frank’s farewell Evensong at the Cathedral. It was a huge testimony to a faithful couple. I think all who were present were encouraged to reflect on the legacy that we will leave in our own lives. If only more people selflessly laid down their lives to join in Christ’s Kingdom work – we were challenged!
As my life has become busier, I reflect upon the need to live an intercession-led life. I am confronted with numerous pressing issues including pastoral crises, management concerns, and people wanting me to be more vocal on the Same Sex Marriage Bill before Parliament. The temptation is to spend one’s life reacting to situations. The challenge I find is instead to draw aside and to sense the invitation of the Spirit of God of how to pro-actively engage with life; and to then join in the work of the Spirit around me and not allow my life calling to be governed by the constant voices demanding attention.
Coming up in the next month I am looking forward to gathering with the Diocese at Synod as we focus on how we will head forward through some challenging issues, although, as with life, often challenges also yield opportunities. It will be exciting to explore these as a Diocese.
Living below the Line
As a family we have started planning our menu for the Living Below The Line project. As expected there seems a lot of rice and legumes on the menu. I note that Archbishop David, Bishop Philip and Bishop David are joining Kaz, Chris D and our family in this adventure. Check out the website www.livebelowtheline.com if you want to know more. Our family is entered under Duckworth Whanau. Also thanks go to Reverend John and Gail Marquet who supplied us with a LBTL food parcel of the cheapest supermarket food you have ever seen.
This weekend I am looking forward to gathering with our Diocesan Youth Workers at El Rancho in Waikanae. This will be an exciting weekend as we strategise, train and build relationships together, ultimately enabling us to see more young people find the life that God has promised.
Same gender relationships
Finally you may be aware that the Province has established a Commission to help the Anglican Church wrestle with issues surrounding same sex relationships and the Church. The Commission is called Ma Whea. For further information see
Ma Whea: Commission on Same Gender Relationships, Ordination and Blessing
Sir Anand Satyanand on Ma Whea
I encourage you to make submissions to the Commission so your voice is heard. Submissions are to be made to:
The Reverend Michael Hughes
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
P O Box 87 188