A recent article informed me that the world’s clouds are shifting, but not in a good way. This set me thinking about clouds. I remember visiting a fascinating exhibition at Te Papa in Wellington, about ten years ago, of studies of clouds by the English artist John Constable (late eighteenth to early nineteenth century). Looking westwards from the home we enjoyed for many years, close to the Southern Alps, we often saw clouds moving below the level of the mountain tops, allowing the peaks to stand out above them. It was always a lovely scene, especially when the peaks had had a dusting of snow. Invariably these clouds appeared with flat undersides. I can recall seeing this feature depicted years ago in a painting and thinking it was an artificial device of the artist, as it didn’t seem natural. However, the accuracy of such paintings can be verified almost daily. The southern part of the Port Hills, which is now our view, is often covered by cloud that looks like a blanket of cotton wool. It clings to the clefts and gives the impression of being about to cascade down the hillsides and flow across the land below.
Returning to the article which caught my attention, climate change apparently has caused cloud coverage to shift towards the poles, helping to accelerate the warming of the planet. This has caused me to reflect on the fact that, so often, when people become increasingly polarised in their views (e.g. politically, ideologically and ethically) the atmosphere of society and the world changes and things can heat up. There are those who would strongly dispute the premise that greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced to prevent further global warming!
The Church is not spared from sharply differing opinions, not just through the usual channels of theological debate but, as we have seen in recent times, from changing expectations with regard to human relationships. These are having an adverse effect on our unity in Christ. We have to be cautious not to let our judgement be clouded by prejudice or narrowly focused interpretations, as there is the potential that the issues we are trying to resolve will become irrevocably divisive. The Anglican Church has had a splendid history, on the whole, of healthy debate and a determination to find a way forward together. The yardstick, in my view, is well expressed in 1 Peter 1: 22, ‘Love one another deeply from the heart’.
May God bless you all.
Canon Craufurd Murray
- Traffic delays continue along Durham Street, parts reduced to one lane.
- Vestry meets Tuesday, beginning with Mass at 7:00 pm.
- School presentation evening: parishioners are invited to join the school community to hear and share ideas on strategic development. Wednesday 7:00 pm in the hall.
- Reverse Greed—Our Food: Chris Horne and Chloe Waretini. Last of four seminars Thursday 5:30 pm at Knox Centre. See poster.
- Retreat organised by S. Luke’s: to be conducted by Peter Williams at CSN Retreat House, 28 & 29 October. See flyer in lounge.
- Concert organised by Bright on Vibes in aid of the Familial Trust: at S. Michael’s Saturday 7:00 pm. See poster.
- Lunch at Regatta on Avon: next Sunday 12:15 pm. Details Ann & Dudley Jinman (347 8290).
- New Vicar of Halswell and Prebbleton: Induction of Peter Hurricks next Sunday, 7:00 pm at S. Mary’s Halswell. (Peter is John De la Bere’s son-in-law.)
- Bible Study Group meets next on 31 October, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Christian Theology study opportunities through Otago University: details Louise.
- Needlework Group meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
- Sales Table: Sundays in the hall. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
- Marmalade available on the sales table. Empty jars to the box in the lounge please.
- Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge.
- Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Jill Woodside.
- Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
All Souls’ Day 2 November: today is the last Sunday to check
the draft lists of names to be remembered. The main service will
be at 7:00 pm. Please be careful to add names to the right list for
the service at which you will be present. Print changes and put
your own name in brackets.