The one thing that all would agree on is that Christmas is a time of celebration. Celebrate the end of another year at work, another year at school, another year at study. Christmas parties are happening everywhere. And Christians agree. We may celebrate for different reasons and we may celebrate in a different way but celebration is part and parcel of what we do as the people of God. This year is a special one for us. It is the Bicentenary of the first Christian sermon preached in New Zealand.
Some of you will be aware that a group of people have asked the Judicial Committee of General Synod for a formal explanation of Clause 4 of Motion 30 passed by General Synod this year. The Motion came as a response to the report of the Ma Whea? Commission set up to see if we could find a way forward with the vexed question of whether people in committed same sex relationships can be ordained. We are deeply divided on this issue and the divisions have not yielded to debate. The aim of Motion 30 was to see if there is a possible way for us to remain together despite the deep differences between us. At the same time it clearly puts forward a pathway to change. A working group has been set up to do the work outlined in the Motion and report to General Synod in 2016.