Vicar’s Reflection: Lent 4 , 31 March 2019
Tena koutou katoa! Malo e lelei! Talofa lava! Bula vanaka! Namaste! As Salam Alaikum! Welcome, welcome, welcome one and all to our Top Parish service of worship. Top Parish has been a feature of our Diocesan life for forty years now. It is our largest annual Diocesan gathering, bringing together young and old from throughout our three regions and beyond. With the shadow of the Christchurch massacre hanging over us, events such as Top Parish that bring together people from far and wide as well as from different strands of our multicultural church and community are more important than ever. Through the events over this weekend we engage in friendly competition, showcase our talents, share food, fellowship and fun together, democratically elect a ‘Bishop’ for the day and bring it all together in a worship event like no other. The friendships that are formed often endure for many years; the experiences gained shape us as individuals and communities of faith. On this fortieth year since Top Parish began in Waiapu, and through the records that Jocelyn has lovingly put together we can see that the event has changed over the years, adapting to social changes, but staying relevant. I am sure that further change will come. My hope is that the many valuable experiences that Top Parish provides will endure in whatever change may come.