Bishop Justin joins the DIY team

Kia ora koutou katoa

Workers at Raetihi Parish Vicarage outside the vicarage
Workers at Raetihi Parish Vicarage taking a rest from their labours

Greetings friends and family, it has been a busy end to the year. I have just finished the prizegiving season with our schools. I joked with the Principals that I was running league tables judging each Principal’s speech for content, delivery and most of all length. I was once again impressed by the calibre and achievement of the young people in our schools. However it also reminded me of the Biblical principle “for whom much is given much is expected” – we are involved in education so that our young people can be formed and educated to take their place in creating a just world; reflective of God’s Kingdom coming on earth as it is in Heaven.

Raetihi Vicarage makeover

Raetihi Parish Vicarage makeover
Raetihi Parish Vicarage makeover

I managed to escape for a few days and join many others from the Diocese in Raetihi as we DIY’d the Vicarage. It was a great few days that had many Kingdom ingredients. There was at least 35 of us from all around the Diocese; 25 were young people, and it was intergenerational (even my Dad came from Melbourne). We worked hard and laughed a lot. It was a joy to see old ones pass on skills to younger ones – Chris Casey teaching teenagers to scrape and prepare window sills for painting, and then teach them good painting technique (not that I am saying that Chris is that old!)

We experienced amazing hospitality with phenomenal meals and enough baking to force a growing Bishop to consider a diet. People have been so generous in donating building materials. However even with this input, Alison from Raetihi informed me that they were rebuilding in faith; the giving income was less than the upgrade expenditure. We both agreed though, that God’s provision was always good for his projects (just in case you missed it, this was a subtle hint to consider donating a few dollars to help!!) When I reflect on our Diocese commitment to “being family” I thought this was a great example of the family in action. I came away energised and thanking God for the people of this Diocese.

Support and goodwill

I want to take this opportunity as the year grows to an end to just say how much I have appreciated the support and goodwill we as a family have experienced as we have started this new season of ministry. I am still humbled daily by people’s grace and encouragement as I grow into this calling.

Ted Dashfield mentioned in despatches

I finish this Advent news with a few words I received from Archdeacon May Croft reflecting on her attendance at an Evensong at St Matthew’s, Masterton; a celebration of Reverend Ted Dashfield’s 60th anniversary of being Priest.

“Ted’s address was wonderful …he has a way with words and can be quite profound. He ended by saying something like ‘… oh just one more thing … it’s all about Jesus you know and how we relate to him … who we think he is.’”

May you relate deeply again to Jesus this Advent.

Blessings
+Justin, Jenny, Luca, Jesse and Maya