Ross Bay shared some insights in the lead up to Easter 2018.  He is a past Rotarian, a volunteer fireman, as well as being the Anglican Bishop of Auckland.  Ross was previously the Vicar of St. Mark's in Remuera.
    Ashok introduced our guest speaker, Bishop Ross Bay and gave a brief history of Ross' achievements.  He has been the Anglican Bishop of Auckland since April 17th, 2010.
    Bishop Bay was educated in Papatoetoe and at the Bible College of New Zealand.  He was ordained in 1989 and began his ministry with a curacy at Whangarei.  Later he was Priest assistance at St Matthew's Auckland and the Vicar of  Ellerslie.  He became the Vicar of St Mark's in Remuera in 2001 and was appointed Archdeacon of Auckland in 2006.  His last post before being ordained to the episcopate was as Dean of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland.
    Bishop Ross spoke about the relevance of the church in today's world.  Having done a lot of thinking about this topic he pointed out that his talk was not a defense of Christianity or a claim on a place in society today.
    • Debate arises over Christian Festivals and shop trading hours, particularly this Easter in Dunedin with the Ed Sheeran concerts being held there.
    • The changes to the parliamentary prayers
    • Why we should perpetuate religion in Schools. 
    There is no official connection between the Church and State, however Samuel Marsden did establish the first religious settlement in NZ in 1814, so this makes religion part of our heritage.  Over the years, the census has shown that there is a large percentage of the population who have 'no religion'.
    The issues that arise over trading hours are:
    • Why should this be imposed on a society that no longer worships?
    • There is pressure to work when employees really want the day off.
    • It is good to stop and take time off, especially in our consumer society.
    • Regular periods of rest should be encouraged.
    • How do we maintain a sense of spiritualism?
    • How do we get people to stop and think?
    • Easter is a good time to do all these things.