Kia ora everyone,

Another week has passed in the turbulent life of our world.

There have been highs and lows. The news that the grounds of parliament have been opened again has gladdened many of our hearts.  Government action to reduce the cost of petrol and allow Ukrainian family members easier access to New Zealand are steps in the right direction. And the opening up of our borders will allow long deferred visits and trips overseas.

But still as we watch the daily news, we see scenes of great suffering and destruction in Ukraine. We are realising the cost that many in New Zealand have paid in the efforts to keep us safe from COVID-19. And we are aware of the sustained stress on healthcare workers as they struggle to meet the needs of those who have contracted the virus.

Lent is a period of reflection, of going deeper into the complex realities of life, the tangle of cause and effect, and the blend of hope and discouragement that we experience in our lives. In the midst of this, as our contemporary reading on Sunday puts it, and difficult though it seems, “we are called to say yes”.

Catriona Cairns and I have put the service together for ZOOM church on Sunday. We hope that something in that service sparks a “yes” in your hearts, giving you strength and hope for the days ahead.

See you Sunday,

Fiona McDougal

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