It is good to be back in Christchurch (city) and Christchurch (Diocese). People are being very kind, and the weather is being kind too, though in a frustrating way, with cloudy starts and some summer warmth finally emerging mid-afternoon. Slowly I am absorbing the differences (and similarities) between the Diocese of Nelson and the Diocese of Christchurch. One of those differences is the greater diversity in theology and churchmanship (is that the right term these days?). Sometimes, and perhaps without much care in reflection, we laud diversity when we should be critically appreciating it by asking the question, What is the gospel on which my/your theology is based?
Also starting a new role in this same week as me is John Day. His title names his role's key emphasis, 'Archdeacon for Mission'. Working with John is going to be great personally, as well as theologically, because I will always be confronted with the question, How does this, or that educational intenton forward the mission of God? And it's clear already from discussions that the Diocese of Christchurch, like the other dioceses of these islands, has no grounds for complacency about mission. But that also means that the question, What is the gospel at the root of your/my theology, is not only an interesting question, but a vital question. Unclear, contradictory, and incomprehensible answers are not helpful at such a time as this for the church.