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Please stay safe and be kind to one another.



Vicar’s Reflection: Passion Sunday. Sunday 29th March 2020, Lent 5


In ancient Greek sporting contests such as the first Olympic Games the events were called agons or agonies which means conflict, struggle or contest. This could be a contest in athletics, in chariot or horse racing, or in music or literature. From this word ‘agon’ we also get 'agony', and in theatre or storytelling the unfolding drama between protagonist (hero) and antagonists (villains). It is this meaning that has given rise to the name: ‘Passion’ Sunday and the term ‘the Passion or Agony of Christ’. In these last days before His crucifixion, we see Jesus our protagonist striving, fighting and struggling against the antagonistic forces of evil. Even Jesus’ friends and companions slip from being protagonists to antagonists as they abandon, deny and betray him. Jesus’ weapons in this struggle however are not the usual ones of the gladiator or athlete. His weapons are truth, righteousness, forgiveness, reconciliation and love. He specifically rejected the traditional violent means of defence and retaliation. All this is foreshadowed in the story of the raising of Lazarus. This event is like the point at which Jesus deeply understands the agon that lies before him, while at the same time he is able to reassure his companions, and perhaps himself that God, our great protagonist, can overcome even the stark reality of death. We can remember and encourage ourselves as we face the sobering reality of lock-down to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19. This agon will pass. God will deliver us from even this evil.

Alex Czerwonka


Dear friends, as well as being Passion Sunday some other things were to happen on 29 March. Firstly we were going to baptise Tyler Magnus Paul, son of Bryony Edwards and Robert Paul and grandson of Sue & Tim Edwards. Sadly, Covid 19 Alert Level 4 put that out of possibility until further notice. Secondly we were to hold our Parish Annual General Meeting, an important review and goal setting part of Parish life, and election of vestry and other office holders. This has been postponed until further notice. As many may be wondering what is now to happen, our Regional Dean has written to us the letter below.


From Rev Paul Williamson, Regional Dean in the Bay of Plenty


Dear Parishioners of St. Luke’s, Rotorua.


It had been our plan to outline the process going ahead for Alex’s retirement, for the Interregnum, and for the Parish Consultation at the AGM on 29 March (now cancelled). This email is by way of announcing alternative arrangements going ahead for all those things.


I have attached the handout I was going to distribute at the AGM, but, while that still contains much interesting information for you to read, I will outline below the new arrangements which supersede that handout.


1 … AGM - this is postponed, and current office holders roll-over until a future suitable time yet to be decided.

2 … Alex’s farewell (proposed for Sunday 26 April) is now deferred - we will look for a suitable date during the interregnum.

3 … Alex will concluded his ministry at St Luke’s as planned on Thursday 30 April.

4 … Bishop Andrew has arranged for Rev Anne Crisp (previously Vicar of St Peter’s, Palmerston North) to commence as Interim Priest commencing 1 May for an initial three months. That arrangement will continue, but her ability to be physically present will depend on whether we are still in lock-down.


The search for a new Vicar

1 … A Parish Consultation (using the questions in the attached handout - you can start work on them now) will proceed by email (with some phone back-up) early in May.

2 … Nominations for, and election of, three Parish Nominators by those on the Electoral Roll will be by email early May.

3 … Vestry will complete the Parish Profile by email and teleconference.

4 … The Board of Nomination will meet with Bishop Andrew by Zoom teleconference.


It is important that the parish contribute its voice to the process of finding a new Vicar through the Parish Consultation and we encourage you to participate fully, as you are able, when that consultation happens. It won’t be the same as being together in one room, but we want all your responses to get through to the Board of Nomination so they can be fully informed and do their best for the whole parish.


I continue to pray for you all as we get used to not “Social Distancing” but what I prefer to call “Distant Socialising”.



-Paul W



Rev Paul Williamson

Regional Dean in the BOP



Readings for the week

Monday 30 April 2020                     Ps 73,(121)          Exod 8:1-19         Heb 11:17-31                                     

Tuesday 31 March 2020                 Ps 35,(123)          Exod 8:20-end   Heb 11:32-12:2

Wednesday 1 April 2020                Ps 55,(124)          Exod 9:1-12         Heb 12:3-13

Thursday 2 April 2020                     Ps 40,(125)          Exod 9:13-end   Heb 12:14-end

Friday 3 April 2020                           Ps 22,(126)          Exod 10                 Heb 13:1-16

Saturday 4 April  2020                     Ps 23,(127)          Exod 11                 Heb 13:17-end




Next Messy Church

Date to be advised.


Alex informed Vestry of his retirement as Vicar of St Luke’s Rotorua. His last day being Thursday 30 April  2020.


A Farewell Service for Alex and Jocelyn has been postponed.


Donation for gift. We would like to make a gift  Presentation. Please leave a donation in an envelope clearly marked for this purpose, in the Parish office or just pop it in the offering bag. Thanks


Ministers to the sick and housebound

St Luke’s offers Pastoral visits to people in nursing homes, or confined to private homes or in hospital. The purpose of this ministry is to provide the sick or the lonely with an experience of care and concern of their faith community and also, to provide an opportunity to pray with others and to receive Eucharist. It is one way to keep the sick connected with our faith community. Our Parish has a wonderful team of people who take Communion on a regular basis to those who are unable to attend Church. If you wish to be added to this list please call the Parish Office or check the Parish Directory for those involved in Pastoral Care or the Prayer Chain.

Healing at St Luke’s

There is an active Healing Group in St Luke’s (Order of St Luke the physician). They meet at 12pm in the Chapel on the 4th Sunday of the Month, (from January to November) followed by a shared lunch. About 3 times a year there is a healing service. All who are interested in Christian Healing are welcome, whether to ask for

healing - or to pray for healing for others.

There is also anointing for healing (for yourself or someone else) during communion at the 10am service on the first Sunday, and at the 8am service on the 2nd Sunday.

There is also prayer in the chapel at every 10am Service except the first Sunday.

To find out more contact Rev. Gary Husband 2160074



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