Letter to the Diocese

 

Bishop David Robinson
Bishop David Robinson

September 2014

Dear friends,

Let me begin by saying thank you to everyone for all of their efforts in making the ordination service and installation such a wonderful event. Jan and I were greatly blessed by your presence, prayers and commitment.

"The wedding has taken place, now the marriage begins" or to paraphrase, "the ordination has taken place, now the episcopate begins".

Like any good marriage the key to our relationship together as bishop and people is communication. Effective communication requires patience and a willingness to listen and to learn from one another. As I begin in this new role I am conscious that there are many gaps in my knowledge and I do ask you to be in touch whenever there are questions or information that you think I should consider.

In a world driven by individualism, it is important to remember that we are on the same team. In many marriages today the breakdown occurs because there is no sense of working together each party wants their own way and refuses to give in, even though this behaviour is highly destructive of relationship. It is important for us, as the body of Christ, to model a different way of being. To remember that we are called to work together, to share a common purpose, and to let our love for one another shine in such a way that others are drawn to faith in Christ. I am sure you will all join with me in working to make this a reality.

Loving one another and communicating love can take place in many different contexts. In my role as ministry formation and training coordinator one of the key areas I asked students to think about is context. What is the context of your ministry? What should the ministry of the church look like in this context? How are you going to do church in your context?

Behind these questions lies the awareness that no two contexts are identical and that Australian society is made up of many different contexts, cultures and sub-cultures. Each of these contexts requires a different response if we are to be successful in communicating the message of Jesus in our community. This is not an easy task; it calls us to take risks, to let go of the past and to look at new ways of being and doing church.

Jesus reminds us 'Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John12: 24). The very act of sowing is about taking risk - will the soil be good? Will it rain? But if the risk is not taken there is no opportunity for growth to occur. As you reflect upon your ministry and your context are there seeds that need to be sown, risks taken so that the kingdom of God may grow?

With every blessing
       + David
 
 

Administrator, The Revd John Coleman
Administrator, The Revd John Coleman

August 2014

Dear friends,

I woke this morning to hear that the Malaysian Airlines airplane had been shot down over Ukraine and that hundreds of lives had been tragically lost. What a waste of lives. Our sympathy and prayers go to all those who have been sadden by the loss of people traveling on that plane. I sit waiting for news of the Australians and especially the Queenslanders who have died and just hope that they are not people I know.

I see on the news about the mess that seems to be the Middle East at the present time - conflict between Israel and Palestine, the civil war in Syria, the incursion of ISIS in Iraq, just to name the most obvious. I wonder who the goodies are and who are the baddies. Who is trying to resolve these problems?

We have the drought continuing in many parts of our state (and Diocese) and pray that rains will come and bring relief to our graziers and farmers.

At times there seems to be darkness across the world and in our lives. Yet at the same time there is still light and hope. Couples are getting married trusting that the love they have for each will be life giving. We see babies born reminding us that life begins anew and of the potential that is at the essence of who we are.

It is the Christian story. The scriptures are full of images of light breaking through the darkness, of life coming from death. We trust that in the dark places of our world, God's touch will break in and through the darkness, slowly bringing the brightness of a new future.

Friends, we need to all come together to seriously offer the needs of the world to God in prayer. We need to intercede on behalf of the world. We pray that the Spirit of peace will come to those parts of the world that are at war so that people may be able to live free from the fear that conflict brings. Pray that rain will fall in the drought areas. Pray that all struggling through the burden of grief will be able to share the load with God and others. We need to pray for our world.

On another note all together: it is not long now until we welcome David Robinson as our new Bishop. Remember the consecration and installation will take place on Tuesday 2 September at St Paul's Cathedral. David and Jan will be arriving in Rockhampton in mid August.

At Synod there was discussion around the future of Lis Escop, the Bishop's residence. Some believe it should be sold, some kept and others want it redeveloped. A motion was passed whereby Diocesan Council would examine all Diocesan properties to consider the most appropriate use and try to maximize the financial return on them (including Lis Escop). No decision has yet been made regarding the Athelstane St properties although some alternatives are being considered, such as subdivision potential. Diocesan Council believes that it is important for our in-coming Bishop and his wife to have stability in where they will live. Therefore, Diocesan Council approved the purchase of a house for the Bishop to move into on arrival in Rockhampton. The house is at 1 Cobble Court, Norman Gardens, North Rockhampton. Be assured that it does not imply the sale of Lis Escop. This move means that decisions about the future of Lis Escop do not need to be rushed but rather all options can be fully considered.

Yours Sincerely,
       John
 
 

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