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Bishop's News October 2016
Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. (Luke 14:23)
Kia ora whanau
Jenny and I often talk about how when we go tramping we feel we have so far to go as we climb a mountain – but you reach a point in your journey when you realise you've come a long way already. This is what it feels like to me following this weekend past.
On Saturday over 200 of us gathered in Palmerston North for the second of our Diocesan Leadership Training Days. Key leaders, lay and ordained, gathered for keynotes and workshops around our Diocesan values and foci. It was great to see so many from the South making the effort to travel North for a change! And great to see the hunger and energy of participants and the quality of workshops – there was so much buoyancy and excitement in the room. Great to look back and see just how far we've come from previous training events and to see the impetus continue from the Southern training day in April.
On Sunday I snuck incognito to St Thomas' Newtown for their White Sunday service. What a joy to be part of a multicultural, intergenerational, mixed socio-economic community – with a building not big enough to house all the people – what a vision of God's kingdom.
That afternoon it was back to Palmerston North for the Disability Service led by Franco Vaccarino – I was struck by the simplicity and profoundness of the whole service – a quiet Sunday afternoon with a small group of people worshipping together.
Following on from Palmerston North it was back down to Kapiti for the installation of Julie Rokotakala as the new Vicar of Kapiti. Thanks to Kapiti for their wonderful hospitality that evening. Julie has responded to a sense of call that God wished to send her and I am grateful for her faithfulness to that call. As always, God's goodness is never in question – the question rather is whether we have the courage to answer his call.
This morning at our staff meeting we spent time reflecting on re-framing our thoughts from taking things for granted, to gratitude. For me, all of the little things over the weekend have added up to point to God's graciousness to us, and just how far together we've come.