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A Message from Vacion …

It’s been an extraordinary year, Ian and I and our children Carla, Andrew, and Jacob wanted to thank each one of you for your support during my time as Priest. It really does mean a lot to us. This issue of St. John’s Today will be the last that I share with you as my family and I prepare to move back to Opoutere, north of Whangamata. We are now called to leave you for a while during which time I pray for the smooth transition of our new Vicar elect, the Rev. Julie Guest and her family as they prepare to move from Papamoa to Te Awamutu. We’ve come a long way, and we’re proud of everything we have done together. It’s been a privilege to share God’s love with you all.

It is a timely reminder of the great unknown around us and we rejoice that we at the Parish of St. John Te Awamutu are a part of the Great Communion of Saints, that we have a God who is All Mighty, All powerful, He is the Creator of all that exists, yet he can also be seen in our everyday lives in our suffering, in our joy and in all situations in our lives. This does not mean that things will go right at all times. It does mean however that our lives ultimately fulfil God’s purpose, to glorify Him and to live in peace and harmony in His Kingdom. God by His grace walks and talks with us. Yes, He too absorbs our pain and sufferings and our disappointments. This does not mean that God takes them away, rather what it means is, we can live with them and be at peace with ourselves and with God. These rather sobering thoughts are a direct result of situations in people’s lives of which I must say I have been privileged to share.

Talking about sharing, we are now in the season of Advent, we have been preparing to recognize Christ in our midst. Again, we are reminded of the words from John 1: 1 “… the Word became flesh and made his dwelling amongst us.” I am reminded of Jesus’ Words to his disciples, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, I am sending you”. Just as Jesus calls His first disciples into the world to share the Good News, we too are called to do so. During the past months, my family and I sat down and talked of how we might spend Christmas Day so we decided to celebrate Christmas with someone who would be alone on Christmas Day so if you know of someone who would be alone on Christmas Day, please let the Church office know or let me know.