About 5.30 pm on Wednesday an Air New Zealand plane travelling to Wellington from Auckland got caught in an electrical storm and turned back to Auckland. So a plane from Christchurch to Auckland was diverted to Wellington to pick up Auckland bound passengers. No doubt a few other planes were affected by this, but the upshot for our household was that our son, due in at 10.05 pm that night didn't land till after midnight. What with one conversation and another after that, it was after 1 am when my wife and I turned the light out, wide awake as you are after visiting the bright lights of the airport at midnight. Anyway life has been just one thing after another since then, including coping with great tiredness. But one of the things not possible has been blogging.
Our son came home for the funeral of a schoolmate, killed in a tragic accident the week before. The solemn grief of Thursday's service was not the only emotion I was experiencing. I was quite angry that the day before our local once great now turning into something else (tabloid?) paper The Press printed an advertisement from a local character knowm to all and sundry as the Wizard. This piece purported to be satire as it cried out for the 'deconstruction' of the Bishop of Christchurch. Certain phrases in it could pass, just, as whimsy, but the piece as a whole was destructive and vindictive, including a defamatory and untrue statement that our Bishop "hates and despises" the people of Christchurch. (I won't paste in here the horrible advertisement, but some quotes are lifted from it in this report). Without giving a blow by blow account of various exchanges of correspondence, I have spent a bit of the last three days working through the best way to respond to this outrage. To give one example of the advertisement's effects, I talked to one vicar who felt physically sick when reading it.
The late trip to the airport Wednesday was my second trip there for the day. The first occasion was to pick up the Rev Dr Stephen May, a much loved former lecturer at St John's College, presently in NZ as a visiting lecturer at Bishopdale Theological College, Nelson. He came down to deliver two lectures (Thursday and Friday evenings) under the general heading of Theology and Literature. Apart from the fact that I never went to St John's College, even if I had my time would have been well before Stephen's years there. So the two lectures, and a couple of other conversations were exhilarating opportunities to learn from a great mind. Thank you, Stephen!
Enough. A sermon needs to be written. An paper needs writing. A rugby match needs to be watched. May lightning have no effect on any of these. Meantime, as far as my momentary glances into Anglicanland go, I cannot see much happening.
Not just clergy, not even just the Christians. I've spoken to many people in this city who felt sick at that particular venomous tirade. When you do work out how to respond, please let us know.
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