Newsletter 24 March 2019

KEEP THE LOVE ALIVE

During this past week, we have been confronted by the terrible violence committed in Christchurch.  Thankfully, we have been saved from some of the most terrible images which could have been shown on our screens, on public television.  If feel for all the emergency service people who did see and experience what no one should see and yet carried on helping.  I have no doubt that those who experienced what they did Friday a week ago will continue to live with what they saw and it is right to keep praying for them, as well as all the victims of those who lost their lives.

At the same time, we have witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of love and compassion, right across the country.  Our screens and newspapers have been filled with images of people standing in solidarity with our Muslim brother and sisters in their grief.  Unlike so many other tragedies, one of my lasting memories will be of the love which ordinary good kiwis demonstrate in times of need.  At the same time, we are blessed with a prime minister who has equally demonstrated great leadership in a time of crisis.  This is being acknowledged internationally and rightly so.  During the week our wider community has gathered a number of times to express our unity and care for one another and grieve publicly.  I know that our Muslim brothers and sisters are deeply grateful.  I have got to know Asad quite well in a short time and his gratitude is huge.  After the Thursday gathering in our square, he asked me to pass on his genuine thanks to you for your hospitality and kindness on Sunday night.  His wife, Shamima drew enormous strength from your kindness and generosity both for the service and the tables laden with food which followed.  Prior to last week, this community lived in fear and thank God, this fear has lessened a little. It is what we are about and what Jesus wants from us. Well done team!

During the week, I received a text from a parishioner who included the following:

“Now we need to keep that love alive. That’s the bigger job”

I think she is right.  With everything that we have faced and will continue to face in the future, we need to believe even more in our God whose love has shone brightly through the kindness of our people.  Light indeed does overcome darkness and love will always conquer evil.  Fr Craig

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