Dear Members of the Diocesan Family

Several Updates:
The Celebration of Bishop Mabo's earthly life and ministry is still to be planned. The Diocesan family will be informed as soon as the information is available. I am aware that there are people who want to attend, but it is important that we give the family and the people of the Torres Strait time and space. There are still family members to arrive on Thursday Island. Please keep praying for Mrs Sania Mabo, the family and the people of the Torres Straits.

Some who have been unwell:
 The Reverend Greg Windsor has undergone surgery and us making a good recovery.
 The Reverend Canon Tom Williams is has been discharged from the hospital.
 The Reverend Denise Ireland has undergone surgery.

9th June 2017:
I propose, God willing, to commission The Reverend Honorio Hincapie as the Parish Priest in the Whitsunday Parish. The Service will be in the evening and I will confirm the time in the next Bulletin. A weekday evening has been selected so that people from other parishes are able to attend. Please pray for Honorio as he takes up this new ministry.

The Ascension:
The Church will keep the celebration of the Ascension on 25th May this year. The date of the Ascension changes each year because of the date of Easter changes. The Ascension is forty days after the resurrection of our Lord. That is why the Ascension is always on a Thursday.

I know I am repeating myself, but one Ascension tide, Robin and I heard the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Donald Coggan, preach at an Ascension Day service. Coggan said that the Church needs to recapture the blessings of the Ascension. He said the Ascension is about two words, "king" and "close". Jesus ascended into heaven to reign with God in glory as the King of Kings. While Jesus was here on earth, he was only able to be in one place a time. However, because of the Ascension, Jesus is able to be with us at all times and in all places. That is great news and a great comfort. Yes, the birth, the death and resurrection is Jesus are key to our faith but so too is the Ascension.

As an aside, Coggan was retired when we heard him preach. Coggan was the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury from 1974 to 1980. He died in the year 2000, aged ninety years.

Annual Leave:
Robin and I will be on annual leave for the next week commencing later this week. Julie will return from annual leave on Monday 22 May, 2017.

St Helen’s Home Hill – Chamber Philharmonia Cologne
On Saturday 1st July 2017 at 7 pm in St. Helen's Anglican Church Home Hill, the Chamber Philharmonia Cologne Orchestra will be performing as part of their Concert tour of Australia.

I have been made aware that there is an article stating that the former speaker of the House of Representatives, The Reverend Peter Slipper, is an Anglican Priest. Fr Slipper is a priest of the Traditional Anglican Church (TAC) and the article states he is on the Torres Strait at present.

Walk of Witness – May 28th, Townsville
The Walk of Witness in Townsville will be held on Sunday 28th May commencing at 3.30pm at St James Cathedral. The attached flyer outlines the walk. If you require further information, please contact my office.

Parish Consultations – 9am to 12noon:

Southern Region    Saturday 27 May    St Charles West Mackay
Central Region       Saturday 3 June     St Matthew’s Mundingburra
Northern Region    Saturday 17 June   The Good Shepherd Edge Hill

The draft Canons will be made available early next week to the Southern Region. Regional Consultations, while addressing Synod business, are open to all people. It is important that you come and have your say. The day will start with Morning Prayer and there will only be one reading, Acts 15:1-21, the Council of Jerusalem.

I will then make a few opening remarks and hand over to members of the Canon Review Committee to lead the session.

With the re-orientation of Canon Two, we will now have a Canon for Licensing and a Canon for Parish Administration. The Canons will refer to Ministry Units rather than use the word parish. While we have 54 parishes listed in our year book, there are only, sixteen or seventeen parishes that can function as a parish in the traditional sense and pay a full stipend. We are not talking about closing any churches or scared spaces but we are seeking to provide a new framework in which we minister so that we are relevant and reach out to this around us. I have said before it is important that we look at new ways of being Church that we explore new ways of reaching out to
others with the Good News of Jesus Christ. This can and I pray will be an exciting time for us in North Queensland as we seek to serve our Lord in new ways.

Clergy Conference: 4 – 7 July Synod: 7 – 9 July
From the 27th May to the 3rd June is the week of Prayer for Reconciliation.

Yours in Christ

The Right Reverend William (Bill) Ray
Bishop of North Queensland


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