Bishop Justin moves into town

Bishop Justin Duckworth

Season’s Greetings, Whanau.

We have shifted!

Just over two weeks ago we moved into Thorndon.  After living in the beautiful Reikorangi Valley for nearly 11 years it feels good but strange to be back in the city.  The shift went well so thank you to everybody who helped carry boxes, etc.

Due to the shift Jenny and I have been thinking a lot about transitions.  It’s a little easier for me as I have at least been present in the role for 18 months; whereas Jenny is transitioning on numerous fronts.  She is leaving leadership in Urban Vision, leaving Ngatiawa (our home), two of our three children are leaving home, and finally Jenny is relocating more into wider Diocesan life.

As I reflect on our transitions and the accompanying stress, anxiety and fears, it also makes me think of the Diocese at this season.  The Diocese is in the middle of transition; transition with a new Bishop, with changes in approaches to ministry and mission.  With this season of change in the Diocese, we can all feel the classic stress of transitioning into the unknown.

It is in this potential chaos that we enter Advent.  The narrative of the Christ child entering the world on the surface seems a story of calm and tranquility (with choirs of angels providing a wonderful backing track!).

The true Christmas story was instead a complete debacle – a young teenage woman finding herself pregnant in questionable circumstances, with a partner who initially and understandably was not happy.  A difficult journey ending in a birth in a stable surrounded by local shepherds, and a quick escape from a leader committed to infanticide, ending up with the young family as refugees in Egypt.

This was not the ideal birth narrative, this was bedlam.  Into this turmoil, the Christ child is born.

My prayer for my family and the Diocese, and everyone finding themselves in the stress of adapting to an unknown future, is that in the midst of this disorder, we will realise again that God is with us.

Jenny and I, along with Luca, Jesse and Maya, wish you all a wonderful and blessed Christmas.  We do hope there will be time for each other, time to refresh and time for fun.

Christmas Blessings

Bishop of Wellington

Photo: TVNZ