Misplaced Mitre:
I do not know where I have left my gold Mitre. If I have left it at your Church would you please contact my office.

Thank you gathering - Date Claimer:
Each year, generally at the end of the year, Robin and I host a gathering at the Lodge, to give thanks to God for your ministry. The date of the thank you gathering this year is Friday 3 November. Please mark your diaries now.

Reef and Beef:
I thank Dr Kenneth Lay for his commitment to Reef and Beef. It takes quite a lot of work and effort. I am aware that we did not have an edition recently due to the lack of articles being submitted. I am also aware that some of our older people enjoy receiving Reef and Beef as it keeps them in touch with what is happening the Diocese. I was speaking with a person recently and she shared with me how she is using various articles in Reef and Beef as prayer points. Over the decade of my time here, one of the reoccurring themes in the Diocese has been the lack of communication. Reef and Beef in part addresses this concern.

Diocesan Council:
I ask for your prayers for Diocesan Council as it meets over the telephone next Wednesday evening the 4th October. It is our first meeting following Synod and the agenda is sizeable.

On the 4th October the Church gives thanks to God for the life and ministry of Francis of Assisi, friar and preacher. I ask for your prayers for the Franciscans in this Diocese. There are quite a few who live the disciplined life. I know one group meets monthly here in Townsville.

In my letter for the October edition of Reef and Beef I focused on caring for God’s creation and appreciating the diversity and beauty of God’s wonderful world.

In our Prayer Book we have a Collect (p. 634 APBA) for Rogation Days or Harvest Festivals. Rogation days are when we give thanks to God for the fruits of the earth. As society has become more modernised, Rogation days have dropped out of our thinking. We enjoy food on our tables and it is important to give thanks to God for the fruits of the earth.

We give thanks to God for the recovery of The Reverend Trevor Saggers and we also pray for Sue as she recovers from an ankle injury.

We continue to pray for Bishop Tony and The Reverend Elisabeth Daniels as they recover from their respective joint surgeries.

Please continue to pray for The Reverend Scott Hedley and family as they wait for the next step in Scott’s treatment.

The Reverend Canon Sharon Hayston is undergoing surgery on the 13th of next month.

Many people have been or are suffering from flu and other conditions at the moment. It is important that we pray for these people, but it is also important that we give thanks for their recovery.

Respect, courtesy and care:
We are all entitled to our views and it is important to treat all people in a polite and courteous manner. I am disturbed with the recent news items that have highlighted the levels of hostility some have shown towards others over the issue of marriage equality. We may not agree on many matters, but each person is entitled to be treated with respect, courtesy and with care.

2018 Lenten Book:
I have nearly completed the 2018 Lenten Book for Grassroots publications. The focus is on living out our faith so that we make disciples. Books will be available at the start of November.

Primates Gathering:
Most of the Primates of the Anglican Communion will be meeting from 2 to 4 October in England. The Archbishop of Canterbury will chair the meeting. Our Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier flew out yesterday. He has asked for our prayers and I have assured him of our prayers.

There are Primates, who in good conscience, are not able to be present because of past actions by certain Churches and I ask that you pray for them as well.

General Synod:
As promised, I will make a few comments about General Synod in each Bulletin until the end of the year:

Like any Synod the finances of General Synod had to be adopted. While there were a few questions for clarification, it was a very smooth process. There were several positive comments in regard to the improved presentation of the financial reports to this Synod. The General Synod, like our Synod has an honorary treasurer who gives very generously of his time. He is very well supported by the General Synod Office staff, like our office staff. The General Synod Office is small in staff but they work very hard.

As each Ministry Unit pays an assessment to the Diocese, each Diocese pays an assessment to General Synod. For the 2017 year the Diocese will pay $25,412. I will not go into the technicality of the various funds (that information is available on the website), but our assessment is based on the number of representatives we are entitled to send to General Synod.

As we have under sixty Ministry Units but over fifty Ministry Units, we are entitled to send two clergy and two lay, plus the diocesan bishop.

The Reverend Dalton Cowley was present at General Synod. Dalton was not a representative of the Diocese of North Queensland, but of NATISAC.

The Synod opened with a Eucharist at which the Primate presided and the Archbishop of Sydney preached. His theme was Luther and the Reformation.

Each day of Synod commenced with Morning Prayer followed by a Bible Study. The focus of the Bible Studies was on hope. Likewise, each evening there was Evening Prayer. It was interesting, the Chair of the Liturgy Committee made a public apology about the selection of a hymn on a certain evening. Apparently it was not well known. Sound familiar?

Also, there was a celebration of the Eucharist each morning at 7am. One morning the celebration of Holy Communion was the Book of Common Prayer.

Wishing you every blessing in your ministry.
Yours in Christ

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


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