Dear Members of the Diocesan Family,

The Extraordinary Synod:
A big thank to everyone who attended. Many of you travelled quite some distance for what turned out to be a short period of time. I really appreciate your efforts and thank you for your support. I also thank the Dean and the team at the Cathedral along with Shelley from the Registry who made sure everything went smoothly.

The issues of child safety and child protection in our ministry units is an important and key issue. It is vital that each one of us makes sure we renew our Blue Card when it falls due. I did say in my Address during Morning Prayer, that it is each person’s responsibility to renew their Blue Card, not the Diocese. (The Diocese needs to be informed though.) I repeat what I said on Saturday, “no Blue Card, no licence to exercise ministry”.

I announced at the Synod, on the advice of the Professional Standards Office, I will be bringing in a person from outside the Diocese to lead Faithfulness in Service training across the Diocese. I hope to provide the dates in the next Bulletin. It is important that we all attend.

Our Annual Synod – 9 & 10 June:
Our annual Synod will be held on 9th and 10th June. Please note that the commencement and conclusion times will differ from previous years. There will be no Friday session. The Synod will commence on Saturday morning and will conclude on Sunday afternoon. The exact times will be provided in the Summons. It is also an election Synod, for the usual Year B elections for the positions on the various councils, boards and committees etc.

The venue will be The Cathedral School and on Sunday morning we will gather at the Cathedral for worship.

Sorry, Sorry:
Earlier this week I was made aware that my Facebook had been hacked. The IT people said it had been “compromised”. I am aware of one person who opened an email that seemed to be generated from my Facebook account, sadly she has lost all her contacts. I am very sorry about this situation.

The end result is I have had my Facebook Account closed and removed the Apps from my phone and iPad.

Also I have missed the occasional email. In one case the email went to the “junk” folder. I believe other problems have been fixed. If I have not responded to your email within three days please contact me again.

Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy & Bishop Matthew Brain:
Last weekend Kay was installed as the new Archbishop of Perth. Kay was the first female to be consecrated bishop and is the first female to be elected as archbishop in the Anglican Communion.

Matthew will be installed as Bishop of Bendigo this coming Saturday.

We assure both Kay and Matthew along with the Dioceses of Perth and Bendigo of our prayers.

The Diocese of Newcastle:
On the 2nd February, Bishop Peter Stuart was installed as Bishop of Newcastle. Peter has announced the appointment of two assistant bishops. The Venerable Canon Sonia Roulston, Sonia is known to many in the Diocese as she is the National GFS Chaplain, and Archdeacon Charlie Murry who grew up in the Diocese of North Queensland. Both Sonia and Charlie will be consecrated on Ascension Day, the 10th May, 2018.

World Day of Prayer:
This is held on Friday 2 March. Please find attached a leaflet for the Townsville area. There should be advertising in all Ministry Units.

World Day of Prayer Flyer .pdf

From yesterday’s Diocesan Executive Meeting:
MOTION: “That this Diocesan Executive request the Bishop to remind Ministry Units to supply all financials at their AGM, however where it is not possible to hold an AGM, the Ministry Unit is to seek permission from the Bishop for no AGM to be held and all financial records are to be forwarded to the Bishop”.

Cyclone Gita:
Please pray for the people of Tonga and Fiji as they mop up after another devastating cyclone. We give thanks to God that no-one was killed and we rejoice that the Australian and New Zealand Governments have responded so quickly. We pray for the pilots and those distributing the aid as well as those seeking to bring relief.

Lent commenced on Wednesday. I said on Wednesday evening it took me some time to discern how I should keep Lent. I am giving up in every area of my life and taking on in another two areas.

The absolution or the Words of Assurance from Wednesday’s service was:

With our hearts turned to God in repentance,
with the knowledge of our sins
laid bare before the cross of Jesus Christ,
in the name of the living God,
your sins are forgiven.
Receive God’s mercy,
take hold of your forgiveness,
and, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Walk in the light of Christ. Amen.

When we turn to God and study His Word we become aware of our sins. Thus we understand our need to repent of our sins. Jesus Christ died for our sins and as the prayer states, we are to take hold of our forgiveness.

I encourage each one of us to really enter into the Greeting of Peace. I do not mean that we make sure we see everyone and have a chat, but that we greet each other as forgiven sisters and brothers in Christ. We greet each other as the redeemed people of God. The Greeting of Peace is an important liturgical act. It is not a social occasion.

I remind those who say the Daily Office, they can use the service for Friday for each day of Lent (see pages 432/433 of the APBA). I pray that you have a holy and blessed Lent.

Marriage Act:
I will provide information on matters relating to changes to documentation with regard to the Marriage Act in the next Bulletin.

With every blessing and please be assured of the prayers of Robin and myself as we enter wholeheartedly into this Lenten season.

Yours in Christ

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

Sexual Abuse contact line: 1800 242 544 or 07 3835 2266

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