Please keep in touch with Bishop Richard's blog while he walks the diocese (link across to your right on this page). He will post whenever he has a phone link, which will be most days, excluding his walking on the Heaphy Track!
Yesterday I heard a lovely sermon by Eric Sears which explained the sequence of Sundays known by unusual names: Septuagesima, Sexuagesima, Quinquagesima. Eric made a very fruitful observation: the sequence of themes our church provides in the prayer book (i.e. according to the 2 year and not the 3 year RCL cycle of readings) tells the gospel in a nutshell: creation, human frailty, redemption.
It was wonderful to be part of the Diocese's second of three parts of 150th anniversary celebrations. Yesterday was the celebration of the arrival of our first bishop, Edmund Hobhouse, together with the Letters Patent making Nelson the village into Nelson the city. Of all the many stalls promoting or selling this and that, only two I could see were devoted to the Christian faith (our diocesan one and Atawhai-Hira's one for 'Christianity Explored'). Sadly many people walked by on the other side. It's a reminder that, notwithstanding our gospel analysis of the ultimate despair of a world entrenched in sin, many people in a lucky country like NZ are not desperate to find God and salvation.
That's a challenge for us, is it not!!