From Alister, our Parish Priest
Greetings from my bubble to yours as we discover the new normal called level 3.
As I observe people’s responses to our experience of lockdown, and reflect on my own, I’m struck by a piece of wisdom that was expressed by Viktor Frankl. Viktor endured the sufferings of the Nazi concentration camps. From that experience he learned that while there are many things in life over which we have no control, there is always one great freedom: to choose how we will respond.
I’ve taken Viktor’s wisdom to heart and sought to apply it to this lockdown. Each day I ask, how do I choose to respond? Where do I find a gift from this experience? Perhaps you might ask that same question.
I’m looking forward to when we can again gather as a faith community for worship. This may happen at level 2 though, of course, it won’t be the same as before. There will be some very clear boundaries to ensure that we maintain the highest possible level of safety for all.
The leadership within our diocese, in consultation with the wider church in New Zealand, is working to develop resources and guidelines as we move towards the next level. I’m very impressed by the meticulous care that’s being taken by Bishop Andrew and his team. All along the way he’s consulting with vicars and priests in charge, so we can work out things for our context at St Matthew’s.
A gift of this time is that I’ve learned not to take a whole lot of things for granted: from a handshake with a stranger to having a coffee with a friend; playing with a dog I’ve met on a walk to visiting the gym; being able to walk straight into the supermarket to the physical presence of fellow Christians at worship. When all this ends may we find that we have become more like the people we want to be and are called to be – and stay that way.
Finally, a reminder that if a parishioner is in hospital I’m not able to visit them, but a small team of chaplains is working in the hospital and are able to visit patients. So please feel free to contact either Tracey Weston or myself, and we can pass on the name of a parishioner who would appreciate a visit from a chaplain.
Take care and blessings, Alister
P.S. Many of you now know that two Persian felines play a significant part in the life our family. The photo below reveals something of my challenging working conditions as I prepared resources for this Sunday J