The irony of all the rhetoric pouring out of, and into St Matthew's-in-the-City with their billboards and cutting edge pronouncements on this and that, is that Anglicanism in Auckland is fading away. Far from the Matthean missiology blowing fresh life into Auckland Anglicanism, the end is nigh. At least that is how I read this article in the NZ Herald. Actually, I think the article could go further, especially since this pretentious Auckland newspaper entitles itself the "New Zealand" Herald. There is no particular reason to think that decline of Anglican churches, mainstream churches, and non-immigrant adherence to Catholic churches is confined to Auckland.
Thus amidst reshaping of ministry units in NZ dioceses, especially in the post quake (i.e. exposure of high costs of buildings) phase of our life, we face the age old question of proclaiming the gospel. What is the gospel in the 21st century? How do we best proclaim it in word and deed? Are we proclaiming it? More urgent (arguably) than rearranging our congregational life and its housing is the Matthew 28:20 question: what is our mission and where is it focused?
We face an urgent need if we are to live as viable and vital Anglican churches into the 21st century. But where is that facing taking place? Not at General Synod. Mostly not at local diocesan synods. Probably not in other important meetings of our church (e.g. TPMC).
What will it take for us to focus on our mission? The next General Synod will be held in Paihia in 2014, a Bay of Islands location near to where Marsden first preached the gospel in 1814. But will that be an outward show of gospel orientation with the substance of the business devoted to ... internal bickering over finances?