The hours are stretching into days of waiting to find out whether the 29 miners trapped in the Pike River Coal Mine following a terrific explosion are alive or dead. Interestingly one of the features of the news coverage of the situation has been the focus on the work of churches in Greymouth and the spotlight has been on one Anglican church, Holy Trinity, Greymouth. On Saturday night a special prayer service was held in the church, and prayers and lighting of candles took place yesterday as well. One media report began, 'Greymouth went to church last night'.
I congratulate Anglican leadership in Greymouth in responding sensitively and boldly to the situation. I notice that one outcome has been repeated media interviews of clergy who have become part of the community leadership giving voice to people's hopes and fears. In the midst of trauma, worship and mission are being integrated as the church seeks to serve people in the name of Christ.