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Methodist Church Blog

10 Jul 20

Greetings Te Haahi Weteriana, tena koutou katoa,

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 

Hebrews 11: 8 [NSRV]

This week we have received from Mission Resourcing the material in preparation for Tauiwi Stationing which will be held early in September. Around the country presbyters and parishes have spent time preparing strategies and reflecting on their ministries in order to present a profile for future appointments.

One of the things that was noticeable in the profiles from parishes, is the number of parishes where work is required on property – whether for earthquake strengthening or planning for mission and ministry into the future. Much time and care goes into this work. This week Rev Norman West reflects on care of properties.

We are also reminded that this time of year there is a degree of uncertainty as both parish and presbyters await to see what will happen next. It can be an unsettling time – a time when we have to wait. This year also we are waiting to see what will happen in terms of Governance of our country. The world continues to struggle with Covid-19 and waits for a vaccine or cure. We are waiting for spring and new life to emerge.

The definition of waiting is the action of staying where one is or delaying action. The important word in the definition is action. Rev Karen Chakoian wrote a reflection that reminded us that "while we wait, we live in the already-and not yet, where here-and now and there-and then overlap and intersect." During this time, it is important to see that which is already here, if not, we risk losing heart and fail to understand that there is more to be revealed to us. The book of Hebrews 11:1 reminds us "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

 We are aware that many people and parishes are taking time now to reflect on the experience of this year. It is right that we use this time of waiting to reflect on the benefits that have been brought by this year's circumstances, the changes that we might carry forward, and also the things that we value that we must not let go.

Norman, we thank you for your reflection on the use of property and the reminder to us that we need to be careful with our treasurers and to be 'full of care'' as people of faith.

'Ofa atu fau, Nga mihi nui.

Setaita and Nicola


Properties for Mission

I've always cared about properties.

My earliest memories are of the place where we grew up and our house, our whare. I think of it as a warm house, a whare mahana. My memory is of living in some twenty houses over the years and the one we live in now is the whare where I have lived the longest. It is our whare mahana. Our warm house.

Linked with properties are our buildings and one of the special buildings mentioned in the Hebrew Scripture was called The Ark of the Covenant to house the faith treasures. One of the remarkable stories about The Ark is how they placed it on a new cart. I say, "they put the Ark on a new set of wheels"! The story is recorded in 2 Samuel 6:3 as one I've enjoyed over the years as it's a great suggestion that our faith needs to be carried in appropriate ways from generation to generation. The new wheels enabled the Hebrew people to keep their alive faith as they took it with them on their journeys.

John Wesley the founder of our Methodist tradition knew well the significance of property and buildings, so he had a profound and special legal document prepared to safeguard how Methodist property was held by Trustees. The "Model Deed" as it was called, has been slightly modified from country to country around the world, in keeping to Wesley's tradition and ensuring good care of property, buildings and treasures.

So what of our church properties? All over New Zealand we have land and buildings for: worship, education and social activities; social services, hospitals, retirement villages and aged care services; pre-school children and the needs of different aged people; parsonages and parish offices; local and national administration centres; churches and centres, all associated with our Bi-Cultural Commitment and multi-cultural family. I'm sure you can add to the list! All properties, buildings and centres that need ongoing care and attention.

That we live in an earthquake prone country has added to responsibilities and left many of our congregations struggling financially to care for properties and buildings so they are safe for use.

Sometimes leaders feel the burden of care. A new challenge has come with COVID 19 during a time of lockdown and since, to see our properties and buildings are safe for all who come and go. Parishes face financial challenges about the ongoing care to see they are continually kept well and up to acceptable standards, while meeting all the other financial needs of parish life. Perhaps that's how it is in your parish?

Sometimes I hear a challenging question "who owns the property?" It's a good question, because the "model deed" which I've mentioned, has all our church properties vested in the name of the Methodist Church of New Zealand. John Wesley was rather wise in his legal provisions to safeguard Methodist Church property for the larger Methodist family. However, vesting property nationally does not take away our local responsibility to care for and maintain these treasures for our use and for future generations. The care is up to us all.

You might wonder why I am writing a reflection about "Properties". It's also a good question. The reason is as old as the responsibilities the Hebrew people had to care for their Ark of the Covenant. The properties are not simply for our pleasure and delight, although they may be for that too. Like that old Ark of the Covenant our properties and buildings are treasures for Mission, places for worship where we learn about faith and are sustained.

It may be old fashioned to talk about "the house of worship" as our sacred place, our waahi tapu, where we continue to keep our faith alive and are equipped for service. The sacred place where we learn how to be involved in the Mission of our faith, associated with the Jesus way of life.

So the call is to be careful with the treasures. To be 'full of care' as people of faith.

Rev Norman West
Past President


 

Prayer for this week 

Loving God

Open our eyes to your presence around us,

to your love that surrounds us each day,

and to your hand that is always at work.

You have blessed us in so much,

and we are glad.

In Jesus name we pray

Amen.


5 Jul 20

Greetings Te Haahi Weteriana, tena koutou katoa,

It is with sadness that we learnt earlier this week of the sudden death of Whaea Paewhenua Nathan. Paewhenua for close to twenty years has been the Maori chaplain at Wesley College and prior to that was Kaiarahi of Te Taha Maori serving alongside Te Ruakawhena Winiata.

We write this blog following having attended today a most moving karakia at Wesley College.. At the end of the karakia, Wesley College students paid tribute to Paewhenua with a rousing whole school haka before her whanau took her home to her Marae Te Piiti, Omanaia, in the Hokianga.

Paewhenua, over her period of service at Wesley College has supported, guided, challenged and loved the students at the college. It was apparent from the tributes today that her aroha was not reserved only for the Maori students, but for the whole Wesley family. Today we witnessed the impact of her loving service and care. Many students paid tribute to her. She encouraged young people to be proud of their culture, of who they are and to stand tall. She had an open door policy and a listening ear. She supported staff. She offered hospitality to many young people. We also heard of her strong faith and how that has influenced and impacted on the lives of many students and staff, past and present.

We stood alongside Te Taha Maori and Wesley College in honouring this leader from amongst our midst. A woman who was not afraid to speak her mind, but always in love. We grieve with Te Taha Maori and Wesley College and offer our love and condolences.

We extend to her whanau our love and thanks for gifting Paewhenua to Wesley College. As you take her home, we pray that you will find strength and peace as you say your goodbyes and know that she is held in high esteem by the Methodist Church of New Zealand. Our love and prayers are with you all.

We bid Paewhenua Nathan farewell with the final verses of her favourite Psalm. Pslam 23. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

We thank God for the life of service and love of Paewhenua Nathan. Haere atu ra ki te ringa kaha o te Atua, hoki atu ki ou matua tupuna, e moe, moe mai ra.

'Ofa atu fau, Nga mihi nui.

Setaita and Nicola

We also acknowledge and thank Rev Dale Peach for her reflection this week. Thank you Dale for your challenge to us all.


Genesis 21:8-21 - Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, 'Do not let me look on the death of the child.' And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, 'What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.' 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised

When it comes to the history of Israel the story of Hagar and Ishmael can legitimately be called a distraction, and yet there is something different about the way the plight of Hagar and Ishmael is recorded. How often do we come across women in our Bible and realise that we don't even know their name, let alone what they think or feel? We may know they are someone's daughter, or wife, or mother, but that is often all we do know.

This is not the case with Hagar. It's almost like Hagar's story has come from a different tradition compared to much of the ancient misogynistic patriarchal narrative of the Old Testament. We have this Egyptian woman, someone who appears to be outside God's plan for God's chosen people, who is presented as a person with her own story and value. Hagar is no subplot to Abraham and Sarah. Hagar is the beginning of another story – one that will echo throughout history.

In this Genesis narrative Hagar is in the wilderness twice. The first time is when she runs away because Sarah is abusing her (Genesis 16). In both of these wilderness experiences God sees Hagar and acknowledges who she is. In fact God gives Hagar greater status than Sarah ever gives her - God calls Hagar by her name. Sarah only ever refers to Hagar as her 'slave girl' or 'slave woman'. We only know Hagar's name because the narrator of the story uses it.

By the end of Abraham and Sarah's story we are meant to conclude that Isaac is God's chosen one. However, when we read these accounts of God's interaction with Hagar, we get another picture. Just because the descents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are God's chosen people does not mean they have an exclusive claim on God's care or on God's presence.

The stories of Ishmael and Isaac are not stories of God deciding which one God will bless – which one God will give a future to – which one God will make into a great nation. God does not play favourites but blesses Ishmael and Isaac the same. Their stories are both stories of a God who cares, and whose descents become a great nation.

When reading the Bible it is easy to find passages supporting an exclusive claim that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Israelite God alone and all must come to God within the framework of Jewish understanding. The Hebrew Scripture is also full of claims that all other nations are not acceptable to God, and so must be destroyed, totally.

However, when the Bible is read with open eyes a reader will find themselves coming across passages that contradict this world-view. All non-Jews are bad – and yet Ruth, the Moabite, was the great-grandmother of Israel's greatest king, David. And the mother of King David's great-grandfather, Boaz, was the prostitute Rahab, from the pagan city of Jericho.

The Bible debates with itself. Who is it that God cares about? Is God the exclusive God of the Israelites or does God care about other nations as well? We see this in the story of Jonah who is sent to save Nineveh – the capital city of a nation that was the biggest threat to Israel's security.

And so, what do the writers of the story of Hagar and Ishmael want us to understand about God? What glimpse of God do they want us to see in this event?

Could it be that the Hagar and Ishmael story is in the Hebrew Scriptures to challenge the triumphal assertion that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of the Israelites alone? Could it be that the Hagar and Ishmael story is in the Hebrew Scriptures to state that the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, is also the God of Abraham, Ishmael and Esau (Esau married one of Ishmael's daughters)? Even though Jewish history sidelines Isaac and Jacob's older brothers, could it be that God does not? And if we dare to state that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is also the God of Abraham, Ishmael and Esau, then what we are claiming is that the God of the Israelites, is also the God of the Arabs. Islam makes this claim.

At the heart of this is the rejection of any claim that one group of people, 'chosen' or otherwise, has a monopoly on God's love and care. We Christians, who are the cousins of those who claim to be God's chosen people, also cannot claim exclusive rights on God. If we believe in the good news of the first creation poem in our Bible, Genesis 1, then we know all people are made in the image of God, and so all people are under God's care, whether they realise it or not.

The God who sees and hears, sees and hears all, and cares for all. There is no person overlooked by God, and God's priority has always been for those who are marginalised, rejected, or subjugated. As the Black Lives Matter protests have reverberated around the world we are reminded that the God who met an outcast foreign woman in the wilderness is the same God walking with people of colour who struggle to receive respect and the same rights many of us take for granted. The God we follow has always prioritized the poor, the marginalised and the disenfranchised. This is the God we need to model our lives on.

The story of God's care for Hagar and Ishmael challenges us to remember that the neighbours who are 'other' to us, are not 'other' to God. Jesus told us a parable about that.

Dale Peach
Presbyter
West Christchurch Methodist Parish


Prayer for this week

God of the other, the stranger, the misfit

Forgive us when we make exclusive claims about you

and limit our vision so that we do not see where your Spirit is working.

Open our hearts to accept that you already love the 'neighbour' we have chosen not to know.

Open our ears to hear the cries of people who are suffering and marginalised.

Challenge us when our attitudes and actions exclude and reject others.

We pray for people who exclude themselves because they do not think they are worthy.

We pray for freedom for all people –

for the right of everyone to be equal and welcome at the table.

Show us how to be your loving and accepting heart, hands and feet

so that your Kingdom on earth may become a reality for all people.

Amen.

 

26 Jun 2020

Dear friends

 

How are you settling into your Alert Level 1 new normal?

 

If you are feeling anxious or unsettled please let someone know. While we can gain much peace in prayer we also have additional agencies and people available to help guide you to healing. You are also reminded that if you are struggling you can talk to your Presbyter or to one of the caring agencies listed in the attached advisory. Presbyters and Deacons you are not immune to stress. If you are in a Stationed appointment you can access EAP, the details are also in the attached advisory.

 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

 

This week we also answered a query about the safety of holding funerals in small churches. It is reasonable to expect that the new COVID cases in New Zealand are leaving people feeling unsettled however it is OK that we continue using our buildings as we normally would. Just place additional emphasis on keeping people informed of how we can be safe together.

 

Continue taking your time to rejoin the new normal if you need it. Vahefonua Tonga o Aotearoa have made a decision to continue to meet on-line during June. Not only have Vahefonua found significant blessing in meeting together in this way they want to be careful to ensure the well being of their members. It is a strong decision to make at a time when people can agitate into wanting to be back to normal.

 

Most weekends our grandaughters visit for a few hours. It was tough during lockdown only being able to wave over the fence. We cycled to their house on Saturdays and dropped off a parcel full of goodies. Last Saturday our house was filled with laughter and fun again. We played hide and seek; almost-three year olds have a unqiue way of thinking they are hidden, made lots of crumbs eating afternoon tea and discovered a large bag of dominos. The game not the pizza.

 

As we reconnect we cannot help but be aware of the on-going effects in most of the rest of the world. My prayer is that as we are able we reach out in practical support. Christian World Service have a Corona Virus appeal. I commend it to you.  https://cws.org.nz/what-we-do/emergencies/coronavirus-emergency-appeal/

 

We have also received a letter from the Methodist Church in Fiji seeking financial assistance after Cyclone Harold caused significant damage on February 20th. Donations can be sent to the Connexional office. Contact Debbie Sykes for bank details for electronic transactions Debbies@methodist.org.nz

 

The kindest advice I have heard this week to overcome distrust is

'act like you are the one with COVID-19 when you are out and about, and not everyone else.'

 

And finally, something else to look forward to. Next week we will be sharing an invitation to join a webinar for Future Church, Different Church, Ready Church. Click here to find out more.

11 Jun 2020

Greetings Te Haahi Weteriana, tena koutou katoa,
Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13: 8 NSRV)

It is always difficult to say farewell to someone who has continuously served the church with love. President Setaita has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Ex-President, Rev Prince Devanandan. Prince concludes his ministry in Te Haahi Weteriana as Director Mission and Ecumenical on the 30th June this year. He leaves us to take up a new ministry position at Ponsonby Anglican Parish.

Prince with the support of his wife Ramani has served the Methodist Church of New Zealand for seventeen years. He has offered leadership in the Waitakere and Pakuranga parishes, connexional leadership as Synod Superintendent Manukau Synod, Director of Mission and Ecumenical and as President 2016-2018.

Prince has always tried to ensure young people of the church have opportunities for leadership and education in our church but also in the ecumenical setting. He is known for his passion for justice. He has been a mentor and advisor not only to many young people but other connexional leaders. He has supported our overseas partners.

A farewell was held for Prince yesterday, Thursday 11th June at 409 Great South Road. Ex-Vice President Viv Whimster was unable to be present but sent this heartfelt tribute to Prince.

"Prince, we have appreciated your capacity for hard work, your concern for justice, your commitment and abilities and interest in what is going on beyond our own boundaries nationally and ecumenically. Those attributes are all part of being Methodist. It is also important to recognise the loyal support of Ramani that has made it possible for you to give so much. Thank you for the leadership you offered as President - I valued the opportunity to work with you on the Presidential Team as we shared the celebrations and challenges that came with the role. We will miss you from Te Hahi but know that your contribution has made a difference to who we are and that the values you hold and the God whom we serve will maintain your connection with us."

President Setaita and ex-President Prince have since training at Trinity/St John's Theological College travelled together in ministry. Vice President Nicola also worked alongside Prince for a period on the Board of Lifewise and Methodist Mission Northern. Prince has remained on those boards offering his wisdom and expertise. We add our thanks to Prince for his guidance and help over our term of office. Prince has always been available to listen, to offer words of wisdom and to support. We will miss him and his contribution to our Church. Thank you, Prince for your collegiality, support and love. Thank you Ramani for your quiet contribution and support of Prince.

We offer you our love, support and prayers as you take this next step in your ministry journey.

'Ofa atu fau, Nga mihi nui.

Setaita and Nicola

Rev Neti Petaia's devotion this week is about love. Thank you Neti for your reflection.


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1 (NIS)

These are Paul's words written in the context of a conversation about the different gifts of the Spirit. For many Corinthian Christians speaking in tongues is the most significant of gifts causing them to become prideful about their ability to speak in tongues. However, Paul says "I would like everyone one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather you have [the gift of] prophesy". For in prophesy one speaks to the world for the world's strengthening, encouragement and comfort. This seems a poetic justice for these spiritual gifts which have been gifted freely, often unexpectedly, often in quite ordinary times and circumstance.

This relates to Paul's understanding of Grace which pertains to an unconditional love. It is worth noting that in Paul's letter, he uses the Greek word for love - 'agape'. Unlike the Greek words 'eros' and 'philia' which refer to passionate and friendly love, 'agape' refers to a selfless love. It is a self-giving love that gives without demand or payment. It is a love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It is love that loves even when it is rejected.

Agape gives, because it wants to; it does not love in order to receive. Paul's words are addressed to individual like ourselves, in a Christian community in this particular place and time. Agape is what Jesus demands of us (Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10: 27) when he said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is this: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

The recent events in the world and the situation in America should cause us to pause and be reminded again of these words of Paul to the church in Corinth. With the epidemic taking hold and uncontrollable in various parts of the world, multiplicity of languages has emerged. Most noted are the languages of 'wealth and health'. The global economy for most was far more important than human lives. 

And if Covid-19 wasn't enough, the world was forced to face its greatest disease. This being systemic racism, police brutality, the miscarriage of justice and the continued oppression of Black Lives. We live in a world where love is not as important as it should be. Love is absent and the language of love is silent in leadership and governance. The language of power and personal gratification, inflammatory language of fear and domination is deafening.

While a loud noise can serve a purpose, constant loud noises merely irritate and distract. We are all graced with gifts – whether it be protesting, advocating, listening or preaching. But what good is our gifts, if we don't practise the same love, with which it was given to us? In times of crisis the language of love must and should remain audible. Love is the lens that allow us to see through and beyond division. Love is the catalyst that brings unity and oneness, it allows our prejudices, individualism, sexism, racism, ageism and so on to be exterminated.

Love brings healing when the wounds are deep and the hurt is unbearable. Love sees beyond the wrongs and missteps, love seeks connections and renew relationships, love always looks to the future and does not continue to dwell in the past. Love transforms old and outdated ideas and brings freshness and life anew.

The essence of what God expects of us is love. This is not just any love. It is the same love which God has demonstrated toward us. This is obviously very important for us if we want to be disciples of Jesus, to be claimed as one of His.
We need to understand what this love is and be committed to live it. True love never gives up: in the words of Paul "it never ends" (1 Cor 13.8). In this time and season of Pentecost, may the Spirit that the church received on its birthday continue to live fresh and alive in our hearts.

May we and our lives demonstrate the love God had shown us through Christ Jesus. Amen.

Rev Neti Petaia

Rotorua Methodist Church 


Prayer for this week

God of wisdom and delight,

Fill us with open-eyed wonder

To see and believe that you are working for good

In our fearful, anxious, plague filled, hungry and busy world.

Keep us noticing signs of birth,

And help us tend what is new and fragile

To bring it to fullness.

Sharpen our wit in the face of evil

So that resurrection has the last word.

In the name of the Resurrected Christ

 

Amen.

5th June 2020

Greetings Te Haahi Weteriana, tena koutou katoa, 

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1: 27).

In a week that has been dominated with news from the USA and anti-racism protests around the world we add our voices – we say no to racism – black lives matter. We also express our disagreement of the use of religious symbols to legitimise a political point that goes against the teachings of Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German pastor, theologian, martyr, spy was asked in 1943 how it was possible for the Church to sit back and let Hitler seize absolute power. His firm answer: "It was the teaching of cheap grace." 

"Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). The actions we have seen this week imply that we live in a time and culture that not only teaches cheap grace but praises it.

Humans are given dominion, not domination, we are caregivers, not exploiters. We do unto creation as God has done unto us; we express love and care toward the world and each other. When we do not love, we destroy God's image within us. When we hate, use violence (physical, emotional and verbal) kill, disregard our fellow humans and discard - we are destroying God's image. 

While the focus this week has been on the USA, we are very aware of the need to look at ourselves. Our own history of colonization and systems that continue to perpetuate injustice particularly for our indigenous people, for people from the Pacific and migrant people - both within our society and within our church. 

We also need to reflect on our own individual actions and responses. Author Ibram X Kendi, in his book - How to be an Antiracist asks "What's the problem with being 'not racist?" His response to his question is "It is a claim that signifies neutrality: 'I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.' But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. …One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist. The claim of 'not racist' neutrality is a mask for racism." 

The social principles of our church remind us that as disciples, we recognise God's loving presence among all peoples at all times. We rejoice in the love of God which empowers us in our struggle towards justice and unity. We believe that Christ leads us to affirm the dignity and worth of every human being. 

We acknowledge and thank Rev Robyn Allen-Goudge for the reflection she has offered us this week. We say – No to racism – to live, to love, to breathe, to be, is basic for every one of us. As we potentially move to level one next week, we urge everyone to be kind to one another, and to save lives.

'Ofa atu fau, Nga mihi nui. 

Setaita and Nicola 


"Breathe" 

By Robyn Allen Goudge 

So when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus repeated, "Peace be with you!' and said, "As the Father sent me, so I send you." Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit!" John 20: 20-21 

"I can't breathe!"
The final words of a man pinned down -
Humiliated, oppressed, murdered. 

I watch from the distance of TV or internet,
But this craving for air, a space to breathe freely, I recognise.
To live, to love, to breathe, to be,
Is basic to every one of us. 

For covid-19 sufferers around the world,
Every breath of air is also precious and necessary.
For some, by the time a ventilator is connected,
It is already too late. 

This craving for air, a space to breathe freely, we all recognise.
To live, to love, to breathe, to be,
Is basic to every one of us. 

Yet still the ancient words of Cain
Reverberate down the millennia,
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
What's it got to do with me? 

Can I be honest about the ways I have smothered the breath of others?
In my scramble to get what I want, have I pushed others aside and taken in more than my fair share?
What selfishness, superiority, indifference or racism is in me?
Can I put aside my own rights and privilege to ensure that others can freely breathe? 

From Ihumatao, to Hawera, In Aotearoa,
Australia and across the Pacific,
The same cry is heard -
For air, for space to breathe freely,
To live, to love, to breathe, to be. 

Yes! I have a duty of care!
To keep the peace, but even more,
To be a positive peace maker, a peace creator, a peace breather. 

For the same breath, the same air, flows from your lungs into mine, and out again to another's.
As the breath of the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters of creation,
So the breath of the Holy Spirit gives life to every living being.
This good Spirit has no colour, no race, no bias, no prejudice.
It seeks to "infect" all it touches with the blessing of the Spirit of love.
There is no 'social distancing' with the breath of the Spirit.
I can pass it on to others with a clear conscience!
Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat!