We will meet you right where you are in life. We celebrate the fact that your journey has brought you to a new encounter with God through us.
We understand that you probably bring some brokenness in your life to our community and we pledge not to add to that brokenness in any way but to accept you with open arms, to walk with you to heal whatever needs to be healed in your life, and to love you just as our Lord has loved us. We believe that there is nothing in your life that cannot be forgiven and healed by God. As you walk with us you will come to believe that too.
We will teach you about God’s love through our words, and most especially through our deeds, and we will make room for you within the fellowship of our Christian community. No matter what we may discover about you in the future – either good or bad – our commitment to you will never change.
And because we hold faithfulness to be the highest possible good in human relationships, we promise to be faithful to you, to care for you, and to never ever let you go. In return, we will expect of you the highest possible standard of faithfulness in your relationship with God and with us.
And, finally, our church commits to celebrate with you all that is worthy of celebration in your life, and to care for you and your family should life become difficult in any way. You belong to this church. This church belongs to you. Let us learn to love each other in new ways. Teach us how to love you. We will teach you how to love God.
Bishop Geoff Peddle, ‘First Sermon as Bishop’. 19 January 2014.
Come to Bethlehem once again: see the stable—see the child. Knowing that he is God made man, knowing that he who was rich has become poor for us, let us kneel in the darkness and cold that is the symbol of our blind and chilly human hearts, and say in a new way: ‘yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.’
But do not be content to pray for them [the blessed dead]. Let us also ask them to pray for us. In such prayers while they lived on earth they both displayed and consecrated their love towards us. Doubtless that ministry of love continues; but let us seek it, ask for it, claim it. It is in the mutual service of prayer, our prayer for them and theirs for us, that we come closest to them. For our fellowship with them is ‘in Christ’, and we find them when we seek them in His Name.
The deepest significance of the past is that it contains reflections of what is eternal. Saintly men and women of any age belong to more than their own era: they transcend it.