Reflecting on my first two months as the Vicar I have been reminded of my journey that has brought me to this place. My early years being formed in a loving extended Anglican family. I trained as a primary school teacher, then abruptly changed tack, went overseas, returned home here in New Zealand for more training – not in teaching but in horticulture, learning how to grow trees and plants for over 20 years. It is at this time I learnt the meaning of words like patience, nurture and cultivate. These qualities I know about and just like those first disciples who used their fishing skills in a different way I have come to be with you to nurture and cultivate, using my skills in a different way. To cultivate relationships, community, and to be with you as together we continue to discern, how the spirit is calling us to be church in the 21st century. I feel blessed to be with you in these new and different times. Times of great change. I believe each one of us has gifts that are needed in these times to be the people of faith and action in our community that the love that surrounds us all is calling us to be.
It is important that each one of us reflects were we have come from and the skills we have learnt on the way so we can give glory to God, using those skills each one of us has in a unique way. The goal and result of Jesus’ work are the redemption of individuals and their formation into a community. These two aims belong closely together, since the purpose of redemption is not simply to deliver individuals from the consequences of where they have fallen short of their best but also to create a new life characterised by righteousness and love. Righteousness and love cannot be practiced in a vacuum but only in a community. We are such a community here in Taradale – an Anglican faith community. As Anglicans we look to three sources that together make up our church (ecclesial identity). Our traditions (did you know the Celtic church had representatives at a church council at Arles in 314 C.E.), scripture, and reason (scholarly enquiry). All of these sources must be kept in balance and all go to make up our identity as Anglican Christians here in such a beautiful part of the world.
We are a Fairtrade church