12th April 2019
It is now two weeks since I was installed as your Bishop and it has been a fairly busy couple of weeks, including visits to the Mackay and Cairns regions.
I am very grateful to all who were involved in the service of consecration and installation which was very impressive and ran very smoothly. For this, I owe my thanks to the Dean, the Very Reverend Rod McDonald and all at St James' Cathedral; and for everyone who participated. I hope to pass on my personal thanks to all involved as I continue to tour the Diocese. My thanks also the Administrator of the Diocese, the Venerable Chris Wright, for his excellent administration of the Diocese between bishops and for his continuing support.
This coming week has our observance of Holy Week and our celebration of Easter. During Holy Week we follow the journey of our Lord Jesus from his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday through to the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. It is a time to think deeply about the brokenness of the world, our community and ourselves. On Good Friday we look into the darkness as the one who is Love dies at the hands of those whose lives are hatred. But we do not despair, for we know that after the darkness of Good Friday comes the light of Easter Sunday: hate is conquered by love and death is conquered by life. In dying Jesus takes on himself all our sins and brokenness and in his rising we all rise with new life that cannot be taken away. Hallelujah!
Easter is a good time to proclaim the good news of Christ to your community in all you say and especially in all you do. After Easter, we then have Anzac Day. I encourage you to use this time of sadness and reflection to also be involved in your communities. Indeed at all times, I encourage you to be involved in your communities and to tell out and live the good news of Christ.
Following Anzac Day I am scheduled to go west and visit the communities on the highway out to Mount Isa (27 April to 1 May), and then tour the Torres Strait Islands (12 to 18 May). I hope to complete my familiarisation with the Diocese with a visit to the communities of the Gulf and Cape York Peninsula later this year.
I also hope to meet many of you at our Synod to be held in mid-June 2019. Synod will be preceded by a Clergy Conference starting on the morning of Thursday 13th June and finishing at lunchtime on Friday 14th Jun e. The Conference will review Future Direction 2015-2019 and look at our common vision for the future. Synod will then start on the evening of Friday 14t h June with the main business session on Saturday 151h June and if needed will continue on the afternoon of Sunday 16th June.
May God bless you and keep you during this Holy Week and over the Easter weekend. May you proclaim the risen Christ in the love of God and with joy in the Holy Spirit!
The Right Reverend Keith Joseph
Bishop of the Diocese of North Queensland
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