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February  25,  2018.  A window gifted
One of the sadnesses of the 2011 earthquake was the total destruction of the beautiful Graham Stewart stained glass windows that had been installed in Knox in 1995. Graham’s post-quake excursion into the rubble, looking for window fragments, provided him only with a barrel full of lead. The glass was completely gone.
Just lately, John and Ann Hercus, remembering fondly some previous Hercuses who had enjoyed a close relationship with Knox, found themselves wanting to provide a new Graham Stewart window, revisiting the “mountain and river” theme of the destroyed windows. On Wednesday, Knox Council was pleased to accept their wonderful offer.
We are grateful to John and Ann, and we are enjoying Graham’s delight not so much in recreating the old windows, but using them as an inspiration for a wonderful new work with new more vibrant materials.
It is expected that the window, to be installed in the large window above the Victoria Street door, will be complete by the end of May, with a thanksgiving function being held in June.
This is a most generous gift.
February  24,  2018.  Mission Discernment - Update
Last year, following the fifth mission discernment forum, input was sought from the whole congregation into commenting on the ideas that had come forth. Those comments were added into the pot, and the ideas were sorted under big theme headings. In a couple of weeks, Knox Council is gathering for a special retreat to consider the major theme headings, and to discern priorities for further development. Please hold Council members in your thoughts and prayers as this important next stage is undertaken.
February  23,  2018.  Voices for the earth: a climate change initiative
On 1 February, last month, Dunedin experienced heavy rain and flooding, while Christchurch, only a few hours up North, had two wild fires and ferociously high temperatures. The ministers of Knox, Christchurch, and Opoho, Dunedin, found themselves talking shortly thereafter, about weather extremes and climate change. A collaborative series of events has arisen.
Matthew Jack and Margaret Garland (Knox and Opoho, respectively) are preparing a special, cross-city service themed around climate change, to be held at Opoho on Sunday 29 April and at Knox on Sunday 6 May. Each service will be followed by a discussion group on Bronwyn Hayward’s book “Sea Change: Climate Politics and New Zealand” with the author present. Bronwyn, lecturer in politics at Canterbury University, observer at all the most recent international climate change conferences, and highly respected “go to” person for our national media’s coverage of climate change events, is well worth conversing with. We are fortunate that she is available. Details on how to access her book are coming.
It is envisaged that a panel discussion, with local environmentalists, artists, politicians, and community leaders, will be held also in each city. Details of this (participants included) will come.
Knox plans to hire a vehicle and take interested people down to the Dunedin events for the 29th. Opoho will do the equivalent the following week for the 6th. Once we have an idea about how many people wish to travel South and North, we will call for billets.
This is a good opportunity for two communities, having experienced contrasting severe weather events, to talk, and to form together some community-facing statement about caring for the planet we share.
More information will be shared as it comes to hand.