EASTERTIDE 2013 // No.42
Archbishop What makes Philip Richardson tick? DIALOGUE
Where to now?
Final hermeneutics hui raises new questions SOCIAL JUSTICE
Taking on the world
Two Kiwi women at the United Nations
BURYING THE HATCHMENTS : : ARRIVEDERCI ARCHBISHOP
E A S T E R
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Anglican Taonga EASTERTIDE 2013
REGULAR 39 Environment: Phillip Donnell on what makes conservation Christian 40 Children: Julie Hintz shows us a glimpse of children’s spiritual lives 46 Film: John Bluck is surprised by a director’s pastoral savvy 47 The Far Side: Imogen de la Bere finds grace at work in coincidence
Anglican Taonga is published by the Commission on Communications and distributed to all ministry units and agencies of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia – Te Haahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni ki nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa. Editor Julanne Clarke-Morris 786 Cumberland Street Otepoti - Dunedin 9016 Ph 03 477-1556 email@example.com Design Marcus Thomas Design Ph 04 389-6964 firstname.lastname@example.org Distribution Chris Church Ph 03 351-4404 email@example.com Advertising Brian Watkins Ph 06 875-8488 Mob 021 072-9892 Fax 09 353-1418 firstname.lastname@example.org Media Officer Lloyd Ashton Ph 09 521-4439 021 348-470 email@example.com Taonga Online Editor Brian Thomas Ph 03 351 4404 firstname.lastname@example.org Cover photo: Archbishop-elect Philip Richardson at Lake Mangamahoe, Taranaki. Photo: Rob Tucker.
What drives our new archbishop?
Kiwi women take on the world
NZ Anglicans at the United Nations
Final Hermeneutics Hui raises new questions
Healing comes to Taranaki
Where to from here?
David Moxon reflects An archbishop’s view from the road
Fresh Expressions revisited Spanky Moore changes tack on new modes of church
Writing on wall for ecumenical education? Brian Thomas faces the end of an era for distance theology
St Mary’s Cathedral lays old ghosts to rest
Wanted: Soul friends Young adults in search of spiritual direction
Sacred Economics Max Whitaker asks if there can be redemption for money
Pigs before people? Brian Thomas bristles over a swine of a story
For the latest on the Anglican world, check out our website:
www.anglicantaonga.org.nz Page 3
On May 11, in Taranaki’s Cathedral, Bishop Philip Richardson will be commissioned as this Church’s next Archbishop, and senior bishop of its seven Pakeha dioceses. Lloyd Ashton has been getting a measure of the man, and finding out where his priorities lie.
A fortunate Belinda and Philip at Lake Mangamahoe, by Rob Tucker
So those Taranaki music lovers got together – and everyone is a winner
n the day the Tikanga Pakeha bishops met in Wellington to nominate a new Archbishop – Monday March 18 – the country had been buffeted by the edges of a tropical cyclone. Philip Richardson’s flight home that evening took twice as long as normal, as the pilot flew as far north as Raglan to dodge the worst of the thunderstorms – talk about the Ides of March – before heading south to a safe landing in New Plymouth.
On the tarmac, Philip stopped to chat with the pilot. He flies with him often – and the pilot’s wife, who’s a QC, sits on a trust that Philip helped set up. That trust came about because the Taranaki Cathedral needed a director of music. Trouble was, all it had to offer was a quarter of a salary. But Philip and Jamie Allen, the Dean of the cathedral, hatched an idea. They knew that Ars Nova, New Plymouth’s leading community choir, was also on the lookout for a director.
Other groups needed that kind of leadership, too. So those Taranaki music lovers got together, set up the Music Innovation Trust of Taranaki – that’s the trust where the QC sits – and by acting together, they’ve been able to recruit a top young Tasmanian music director. Taranaki Cathedral now has a director of music, those choirs have the leadership they need, and everyone is a winner. And right there, you can see a principle that Philip Richardson wants to adopt as archbishop: working together to achieve the common good.
We need better data Want another example of how building relationships can strengthen the common good? Here’s one: The Bishop’s Action Foundation, which Philip leads, is convinced we need better data about rural communities. How they’re coping with changing government policy, for example, changing circumstances in farming, and population shifts. So for the last four years, BAF has been developing the framework for a Rural Research and Development Centre.
The morning before we talked, Bishop Philip and the BAF board had met with Dr Jill Hopkinson, from the UK. She’s the Rural Affairs Advisor for the Church of England – and Philip believes the insights she delivered to that board meeting could prove crucial. There are a couple of points to note about Jill Hopkinson’s visit. Sure, BAF had brought her out here. But her visit wasn’t just for Taranaki’s benefit. She’d visited the Dioceses of Christchurch and Dunedin, too. For 14 years, Philip has bent his back in serving the people of Taranaki. He’ll stay planted there, too. Page 5
The dust from the teacher’s sandals…
The upshot? A rural R&D centre which could resource the church
ut the record also shows that he has gone out of his way, over two decades, to help shoulder the load of the wider, provincial church. The other thing to note is that Jill Hopkinson’s visit had flowed directly from Philip’s knack for building relationships. The connections worked like this: The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, had visited Taranaki in 2010 to consecrate St Mary’s as a Cathedral, he and Philip struck up a good relationship. Dr Sentamu had said the C of E was struggling with the same research gap in the UK – and he linked BAF to Jill Hopkinson. The upshot? A Rural R&D Centre in New Zealand, says Bishop Philip, is an “exciting prospect. We think it could become a core resource for the whole Church.”
We’re not a club “The church,” says Philip, “really does exist for those who are outside itself. “We’re not a club. We are people who are committed to building lifegiving, just communities, where every individual can live a full and meaningful life. “The church is really committed to that. We are committed to the common good. “So a high priority for me is to enhance our ability to work together as a church to contribute to that common good.” There’s not much doubt about the contribution that Philip Richardson has made to the wider community in Taranaki. “I have the highest regard for him,” says Harry Duynhoven, the Mayor of New Plymouth. “Philip has done a huge job for the Anglican Church in our region – and for our community as well.” Peter Tennent, who was Harry Duynhoven’s predecessor as Mayor, also gives the thumbs-up to what the bishop has achieved in his region: Page 6
“He is a visionary, and a number of projects, big and small, are directly attributable to his leadership.” The trick now for Philip, of course, is to translate that kind of regional contribution onto the national stage. He’ll start by doing what’s already worked on his patch. “In Taranaki, we’ve worked hard to build relationships across all sectors: political, industrial, business, educational, local government and the community sector.” At a national level, he says the church has already established “some credible relationships across the political spectrum” – and those relationships need to be developed further. “The second thing we need to do is build credibility. Credibility is based on what we do. “We are not saved by good works. “But what we do describes God’s love and God’s grace. And people are looking for a credible example, an outworking of what Christian love in practice looks like.” And the third requirement, he says, is for the church to become engaged “at the point of greatest need. “We’ve always got to engage where we can make the most difference – where there is the greatest need.” BAF’s research will equip the church to hit those targets. But Philip says that’s not the only source of data the church can tap. “We’re on the ground in every community,” he says, “in a way that few other organizations are. “Just look at any analysis of volunteer or community work, and see how many of the people serving their community have a faith-base. “We need to harness that info, that insight – and bring that to bear on public and government policy.”
Bishop Philip says that the church’s ability to contribute to the life of the nation will depend, above all, on “deepening its discipleship”. “I love the image of the disciple being the one who follows so closely in the footsteps of the rabbi that the dust from the rabbi’s sandals is flicked up over the disciple. “Conforming ourselves day by day to the way of Jesus and to the person of Jesus is the hardest but most important challenge Christians face – because I think that is where our authenticity comes from, and that is where our ability to speak into our community comes from.” “All of the other stuff that I talk about – our engagement with the common good and strengthening the local through how we collaborate – is derived from that authentic Christian life.”
Rangitoto boy Philip Richardson is a cradle Anglican. He was born in Devonport in 1958, the youngest of Bill and Barbara Richardson’s three children, and he went to Rangitoto College – where, in his fifth form year, he met Belinda Holmes. They became high school sweethearts, they married in 1982 and “none of the adventures of my life would have been possible without her.” Philip first felt the nudge to the priestly life as a 14-year-old. He was accepted for training while he was still at Rangitoto, and on leaving school he took up a scholarship at Otago University. He graduated with a BA and B Theol, but at just 21, he was still too young to be ordained. So Bishop Paul Reeves steered him towards Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary in Madurai, South India, and the months he spent there turned his world on its head. “I had been thrown into a different world, of course, and I struggled to comprehend the poverty I encountered.” “One day, for instance, a desperately poor Hindu family in the neighbouring slum invited me and two of my fellow students to eat with them. “We sat down to the meal – and I watched as our hosts divided their food in half. “In other words, the seven members of their family ate half of their meagre food – while we three young guests from the rich world ate the other half. Their generosity just about undid me.” On the wall of the seminary hung a painting which forever stays imprinted on Philip’s mind.
What they’re saying about our new Archbishop
Bishop Philip Richardson and Belinda Holmes, Bishop David and Tureiti Moxon.
It showed an old man resting on a stick, with a small child looking up at him. And the Tamil inscription reads: “Beware of whom you look down upon – for God reaches up to us from below.” Philip was ordained a deacon in 1981, a priest in 1982, and with two other St John’s students he set up a community house in the Mt Taylor housing estate in Glen Innes. It was a community rich in spirit yet beset by joblessness, by the health problems that poverty brings – rickets was common – and harassed by violence, by overstayer raids and by gang recruiters. “So: As I sought to make sense of a God of love and a world of suffering, I was shaped by those years in India and Mt Taylor. I came to understand the brokenheartedness of God, and the hope that rests in a God who suffers with the suffering.”
Staying put in the ‘Naki In 1984, Bishop Paul Reeves plucked Philip from Mt Taylor, and sent him to Whangarei as an assistant priest. He went from there to Dunedin in 1988 for further theological study, and he was appointed warden of Selwyn College at the University of Otago in 1992. During his seven years at Selwyn he became increasingly involved in serving the wider Church, and in 1999, at the age of 40, he was elected as Bishop in Taranaki in the Diocese of Waikato. As Bishop, Philip has developed a reputation for successful innovation. He’s led the regionalisation of the way ministry is delivered in Taranaki; launched BAF “to tackle unmet needs” in the region – it now has a $1 million annual budget and a staff of nine – and he helped pioneer dual episcopacy, whereby the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki (as it’s now called)
has two diocesan bishops. Working that out with Archbishop David Moxon has, he says, “been the most fulfilling period of my life in ministry so far.” Now that David Moxon is heading to Rome, of course, there’s a need for a new Bishop of Waikato. It won’t be Philip. He’s staying put. There are still things to do in Taranaki, he reckons – “whereas Waikato has an opportunity for a fresh approach in leadership. “I’ve shared 13 of those years with David. So I don’t represent a new beginning in Waikato.” So what advice, then, does he have for the next Bishop of Waikato? “The heart of episcopacy for me, what sustains and energises me, is just the ordinary stuff of relationships. “When I’m in a church now, I can name most of the people in the congregation, because those relationships have been formed over time. “They closed New Plymouth prison the other day – and we went around the empty prison at dawn, praying over every cell, particularly those cells where someone had taken their life. “I knew the chaplains, of course, but also the staff and the kaumatua who were with us that morning. That was important to me. Those relationships are important to me. “So my advice, then, is just take time in the relationships. “Love generously, and you will be generously loved. “That has been my experience. I am topped-up, and my family is built-up, by the care shown to us by the people who are supposedly in my care. “I am constantly touched by that.”
Taonga asked a number of church and civic leaders, here and abroad, for their thoughts as Archbishop Philip begins his task. First, the mihi of Archbishop Brown Turei, Te Pihopa o Aotearoa: Tena koe Bishop Phillip for accepting the role of Archbishop. Congratulations. Ko te tuatahi, te whakamoemiti ki te Atua. He mihi hoki ki a koe, e te rangatira, Bishop Philip. Tena koe e mau nei i tenei turanga whakahirahira i roto i te Haahi. Ko te tumanako, kia piripono tatou ki a tatou i roto i tenei turanga hei painga mo te katoa. Ma te Atua koe e manaaki. Our Three Tikanga Church and it’s representation through three Archbishops is a unique and wonderful expression of our Christian unity. Unity is not easy, it is often hard work, but as Psalm 133 says, where there is unity God commands a blessing. Bishop Philip, I am really looking forward to working alongside you as a fellow Archbishop. Knowing the great experience and leadership qualities that are present throughout the Tikanga Pakeha bench of Bishops, I am impressed and encouraged that they have placed their faith in you to be an Archbishop for them, and for the whole Three Tikanga Church. Although you are different to your predecessor, you retain some of the crucial leadership qualities that Archbishop Moxon possessed – humility, a devout faith, a strong sense of justice and compassion, and a real and demonstrated love and respect for Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Polynesia. Most important is your love for the Christ, who is the builder and head of our Church. May that same Christ bless and guide us all as we continue to share his Gospel with the World. More messages about Archbishop Philip Richardson can be found at: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz. They include words from the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop Winston Halapua, Beverley Lady Reeves, and Catholic Archbishop John Dew. Enter a search for: What they’re saying about our new Archbishop.
Cell block confession
here were no other prisoners in earshot. Just this young guy, banged up in New Plymouth Prison for aggravated robbery. No peer pressure, then. No need for the young inmate to be staunch. So he told Bishop Philip how it really was with him. The stories of abuse – first received, then dealt out – tumbled from him. “I’m no better,” he told Bishop Philip, “than the dirt that I walk on.’ That confession reinforced a conviction that Philip had begun to form in 1992, when he was appointed warden of Selwyn College, which is a residential hall for students at Otago University. Selwyn had been at a very low ebb – with a reputation for bullying, hard drinking and violence towards women1. “So it was about changing the culture,” says Philip, “and we did some hard stuff. There were some expulsions.” But it wasn’t just a case of showing the troublemakers who was boss. “I was wrestling with the old idea,” says Philip, “that you actually love people into the Kingdom. You don’t beat them up into the Kingdom.” He tried to instil the notion that the health of the whole Selwyn community was defined by the experience of just one person – the person who felt least like they belonged. Who felt most alienated or marginalised. “When we were dealing with bullying, for instance, it was about helping those who didn’t understand they were being bullies to see the effect they were having on their college mate. “And asking whether they really wanted
to be defined by that person’s misery.” Nowadays, Bishop Philip uses the same thermometer to gauge the health of New Zealand society as a whole. You listen to its weakest, most vulnerable, and most marginalised citizens. Even to its most despised. They’re the ones who’ll tell you whether New Zealand is as good as it cracks itself up to be. Selwyn taught Philip another lesson, too. It showed him where wisdom is found. In most cases, the Selwyn students were idealists. Youngsters yearning to make a difference. More often than not, Philip would get caught up in dinnertime conversations about meaning, as the students reflected on what had happened in a lecture or lab. As time went by, though, Philip saw the educational system squeeze the idealism out of those young folk. “I had a friend who was a teacher in the medical school. Instead of talking about the pre-clinical and clinical phases of medical education, he talked about the pre-cynical and cynical aspects of medical education.” Philip came to see that while the students learned knowledge and information in their lecture theatres and laboratories, that’s not where idealism blossomed into wisdom. They gained wisdom by being in relationship with one another. By being in
March 2010, outside New Plymouth Prison
community. “When you live cheek by jowl in a residential college,” he says, “you learn patience. You learn forgiveness – and you learn to accept forgiveness. You learn toleration. You learn to celebrate someone else’s gifts and to have your own affirmed. And if those lessons are there for young folk to learn, says Bishop Philip, then they’re there for the Body of Christ to learn, too. Wisdom comes from being together. From sticking together.
– Lloyd Ashton 1. Philip says the work of turning Selwyn around had been begun by Rev Dr Graeme Redding, his predecessor as warden. “He did a huge amount to confront the bad stuff."
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Sink or swim
ne of the ironies of church life post the three tikanga constitution is that nowadays, there are fewer Pakeha leaders who have been immersed in the Maori world. Being a priest in a Maori pastorate formed John Paterson and George Connor, for instance, while David Moxon has been shaped by his bi-cultural marriage. Philip Richardson hasn’t been immersed in Te Ao Maori the way that generation was. Nonetheless, he feels confident in dealing with the other two tikanga. That’s because he was tossed in at the deep end soon after the new constitution was enacted. And it was sink or swim. “Those three bishops,” he says, “were marinated in bi-cultural experience – whereas I am marinated in constitutional experience.” In 1994 he was selected as the Tikanga Pakeha Commissioner on the Commission on Theological Education. That commission identified principles for theological education in the new three tikanga world. Then, in 1996, he chaired the working group that translated those principles into the legislation that framed Te Kotahitanga – which he also chaired for 10 years. Archbishop Hui Vercoe and Bishop Jabez Bryce both sat on that working group, and they could be direct and uncompromising. More than once they put Philip firmly in his place. But after the meetings, he says, they didn’t stint in their care for him. So Philip saw then that when it comes to thrashing out tikanga relations, pussyfooting
helps nobody. That lesson was reinforced in his years chairing Te Kotahitanga. The financial stakes were high, and TK was, he says, “the first three tikanga body within this church where you really had to figure out how to relate. “You had to do that strongly, not back off, and not forget your own constituency. Philip says he’s also had more opportunities to find his feet in Taranaki. Taranaki iwi have been extremely forbearing of him, he says, while also challenging the church and its history. “All that means,” he says, “that I have a certain confidence in our Tikanga relationships. “I know the people involved very well. I’m not worried about speaking directly. And I’m not worried about getting it wrong. Because if I do get it wrong, that will be pointed out to me.” He acknowledges too, that Tikanga Pakeha is seen by many Maori as having had the whip hand for too long, and still having the lion’s share of resources. “There is no doubt that we have had the whip hand – no doubt at all – and we will continue to have to work with the consequences of that. “But we won’t find just solutions by being apologetic and reticent. “We may well have to modify our position once we have articulated it, and our tikanga partners have challenged it – but that is what relationship is about. “We have to engage honestly and robustly, be prepared to be challenged, and to challenge back.”
Philip Richardson realises that, as Archbishop, he will have a workload growing even beyond what it is now. He’ll not only be Bishop of Taranaki, but also Primate and Senior Bishop of Tikanga Pakeha. Keeping all those balls in the air at once won’t be easy – and going into the IDC election, there was concern that Tikanga Pakeha is the ball most likely to get dropped. Philip is determined not to do that. In fact, he thinks he can help Tikanga Pakeha work together better – and to gain a sense of identity. That will emerge, he thinks, by the seven dioceses talking straight to each other. His task, he says, is to foster that kind of talk and collaboration. He has a hunch, too, that Pakeha “are becoming more comfortable with a stronger, more articulate tangata whenua. “We are into a new stage of our development of tikanga identity – and that may mean that we find ourselves being slightly more assertive and less apologetic for being Pakeha."
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Hui reveals momentum
If we’re going to do this, for heaven’s sake let’s do the theology.
here’s a growing momentum towards blessings for samesex couples in church, and for the ordination of folk in those relationships. That much became clear after the fourth and final Hermeneutic Hui, held at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral on February 1 and 2. That’s not to predict what the Ma Whea Commission will bring to next year’s General Synod – their report will describe pathways, but it will not recommend a way forward. Nor is it to guess what General Synod will make of their report. But among the 50 or so folk who gathered for the final Hermeneutic Hui were many of the decision-makers within the province – and there was no mistaking where most of these are heading on this issue.
During the final session Bishop Richard Ellena of Nelson – representing the evangelically orthodox – acknowledged “the groundswell of support” within the gathering for the blessing and ordination of people in same-sex relationships. Indeed, the hui took some steps that seem to be anchored on the assumption that change is coming. Several speakers floated the idea of a theological hui on marriage, although the standing committee – which met in Auckland a few days later – opted instead to set up a doctrinal commission to explore the subject (see sidebar). That commission is a response to the plea from several speakers, most notably Bishop Victoria Matthews, for serious work to begin on the theology of marriage. “If we’re going to do this,” she said, “for heaven’s sake let’s do the theology.”
Secondly, there were also serious suggestions for developing what Archbishop David Moxon called “provisional pastoral structures for the future… to provide space for people within the church as a whole – whatever decision is made.”
A theological tikanga? At the close of the hui, Bishop Richard Ellena was asked to give a short paper on the topic: How we might be together as church with different understandings of Scripture. He argued there that in terms of ecclesiology “unity in diversity” seemed to be the church’s “primary value”. But that masked a deeper problem, he said. “What we face today within our church”, he claimed, “is not just a broad diversity… (but) a disunity that has grown out of our ability to find common ground biblically, theologically upon which we can discuss and debate these presenting issues.” He guessed that the General Synod could now turn in one of three ways: It could go with the “groundswell of support” evident at the hui. But if it did so, he said, he would find himself “in a very difficult position”. He would identify with those who can no longer affirm their allegiance to General Synod “because of what we understand to be a total rejection of the authority of scripture in determining the life and the practise of the church.” “Secondly, it could take the opposite action… and thus alienate those who passionately believe this to be an issue of justice. “Or thirdly, General Synod could explore a way ahead that would enable individuals, parishes and dioceses to become some kind of theological ‘tikanga’… within which their commitment to the authority of scripture… is recognised and respected. “We’ve done this in 1992 and we are still united. The sky hasn’t fallen in – to the contrary, we are stronger because we made this courageous decision. “Maybe it’s time for an equally courageous move?”
The Pacifist analogy Bishop Jim White, representing the prochange end of the debate, was also asked to speak on the how we might be together question. He argued that an “alternative Episcopal oversight” model wasn’t needed – and that the church could just choose to be united. “We would simply decide that we are together and that we want to stay together.
Doctrine Commission to explore same-sex blessings
doctrinal commission will look into the theological rationale for the blessing of people in permanent, faithful same-gender relationships. This “Commission on Doctrine and Theological Questions”, which has been called at the instruction of the Standing Committee of General Synod, flows directly from the fourth and final Hermeneutic Hui. The Commission will also look at the question of the ordination of people in same gender relationships. But there’s a feeling now, expressed several times during the course of the hui, that the ordination question will sort itself out – if and when the blessings question is settled. In other words, if the church arrives at a point where it feels that it’s OK to bless the unions of same sex couples – then the possibility of ordaining people in those relationships has automatically arisen. At the standing committee’s request, the standing committees of each of the three tikanga have been asked to appoint three members to the new Commission. Those chosen for the task are: Tikanga Pakeha Rev Dr Andrew Burgess (Bishopdale College, Nelson) Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley (St John’s College, Auckland) Bishop Jim White (Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Auckland)
Tikanga Pasefika Rev Sione Uluilakepa (St Andrews School, Tonga) Two further to be confirmed. Several speakers at the hermeneutic hui had floated the idea of a theological hui on marriage. But the Ma Whea Commission will need to be briefed on all the doctrinal questions before it begins to construct its report to next year’s General Synod – and the General Synod Standing Committee felt that convening a tightly-focused team of theologians was a better way to meet that deadline. *
To another, related development: Immediately after the Hermeneutic Hui, the Ma Whea Commission asked the Church Reference Group to collate and summarize the key theological positions in the papers presented at the four hermeneutic hui. The reference group appointed three of its members – The Rev Dr Sue Patterson, The Rev Dr Lynda Patterson, and Karen Spoelstra – to undertake that task. They will seek to answer four questions: 1. What is the theological common ground? (between the liberal and conservative positions). 2. What are the theological differences?
3. Where might there be potential for reconciliation?
Rt Rev Te Kitohi Pikaahu (Pihopa o Te Tai Tokerau)
4. Where will be the areas of ongoing disagreement?
Dr Moeawa Callaghan (St John’s College, Auckland)
The Patterson/Spoelstra group has undertaken to supply its précis to the Ma Whea Commission by June 1.
Rev Tom Poata (Vicar, St Faith’s Ohinemutu)
…hermeneutics had failed to help the church to reach consensus.
We would hold that bonds of affection are such that we can and will ‘hang-in together.’ He said that hermeneutics had failed to help the church to reach consensus. But if Anglicans turned their attention to how they manage their disagreements
over another life-and-death matter they might gain a fresh perspective, he suggested. “We know,” said Bishop Jim, that “a good number of Anglicans are Pacifists. They claim that Jesus lived a life of non-violence and cite many scriptural warrants for their view that Christians should be committed to such a lifestyle. “Yet other Christians, myself included, claim there can be a ‘just war’ and that Christians can faithfully use lethal force against other human beings under certain conditions. “How is it that Christians, or Anglicans for that matter, can be together given the disagreement about such a substantive matter? That had happened, he suggested, because “we have decided to journey on
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with one another in spite of this very deep and passionately held difference” over going to war. Likewise, he argued, the time has come for Anglicans “to take a more permissive stance on praxis,” where the same-sex issues are concerned. Doing so would not end the debate. It would simply allow some places (perhaps at a diocesan level, perhaps at a parish level) “to proceed in the way that they have discerned.” Bishop Jim argued that reaching for “alternative episcopal oversight” wasn’t necessary. Disagreeing with your vicar on the same-sex questions “is akin to not agreeing with your vicar on pacifism, or abortion, or euthanasia (all life-and-death issues), or any number of other issues...
Are we worth the risk? Associate-Professor Peter Lineham is an historian who teaches at Massey University at Auckland. He specialises in New Zealand religious history, and he is a sought-after commentator on church affairs. Peter Lineham also helped organise the hermeneutics hui and Taonga asked him for his assessment of the last of these.
efore the event, I wondered if the latest hui was going to be worth it.
After all, as James Harding said, we have done three of these, and have any of us changed as a result?
Clockwise: Sir Anand Satyanand, Justice Judith Potter and Professor Paul Trebilco; The Rev Drs James Harding and Sue Paterson; Rev Dr Tim Meadowcroft (above) – and the Rev Drs Frank Smith and Helen-Ann Hartley.
“We would expect the vicar to be gracious and loving towards us, to care for our well being, and respect our faithfully discerned view. “We might argue some, but we wouldn’t cause each other to stumble. “In another fifty years we may well be closer to the truth on this matter. In the meantime, we would hold that bonds of affection are such that we can and will journey on together.”
'Best of all hui' In Archbishop David Moxon’s mind this gathering “was the best of all the hui.” Where the first, in 2007, was racked by tension, there was an irenic spirit about the final hui, and a willingness, despite differences, to be together in worship. Indeed, at the end, Bishop Ellena paid tribute to Archbishop David, who had dreamt up the hermeneutic hui concept. Archbishop David identified three principles to emerge from the final hui: that discipleship is the key to Christian life, that “unity has already been given to us in our baptism” and that therefore “we need to find ways of travelling together.” But there was a feeling too, that the focus on exegesis and hermeneutics had passed its use-by date. “Our problems around sexuality,” said the Rev Dr James Harding, “will not be solved by a more thorough exegesis of the relevant Biblical texts. “We need it – but we don’t need much more of it.”
Well, no miraculous transformation took place by the end of this hui either. But for those of us who are gay, the hui have been like coming out in the church, finding our voices, and also learning what we have to contribute. On the other hand, events such as these hui can seem to make the current situation, with its moratorium on ordinations, even more frustrating. We seem to be such a problem, and we wondered if it was time to walk the plank! In some respects, the issues and the temperature have been upped this year by the Marriage Definition Bill and the hope that change cannot be delayed forever. So it was most interesting to find that none of the speakers at this hui were hostile to gay aspirations. All were at least respectful. There was a sense that some heat had drained out of the debate. For me, the plenary sessions on the first day were full of passion and interest but did not break new ground. The small groups immersed us in our differences. When you say that you are gay in a small group, some very unusual questions may emerge. I certainly faced some, but I can understand that they wanted to know if we gay people were worth the risk.
In New Zealand the debate has largely focused on whether priests in same-sex relationships could be ordained – and so that particular question didn’t concern me much. But in the small groups I realised that we have this debate out of sequence. Because if the church is not willing to bless my relationship, then how can it ordain people in such relationships? So the blessing question has become the priority for me. And that small group epiphany prepared me for the second day, which was a good one. The Ma Whea Commission was present, and even though I abhor the logic of a church calling on a neutral commission to help it, the dedication of the Commission was remarkable. Bishop Victoria’s talk on marriage was highly interesting, because it explored an understanding of marriage as non-sacramental and therefore more easily capable of redefinition. The hui finished with presentations by Bishops Richard Ellena and Bishop Jim White, both of whom I highly respect for their faith and their conscience. Their wrestling with the issues brought us face to face with the risks of schism and ways to avoid that. For me the Hui have cemented friendships, developed a sense of fellowship in the midst of difference and helped me sense an evolving Anglicanism. I am more hopeful.
But it was during the small group meetings that I realised I had changed my sense of priority.
…in the process, we are taking Scripture with us into the abyss.
Six presentations On the first day, the hui heard six papers on Scripture and the theology of sexuality. The presenters were: the Rev Drs HelenAnn Hartley and Frank Smith (from St John’s College); the Rev Drs Sue Patterson and James Harding (respectively, from Bishopdale Theological College in Nelson; and the University of Otago) the Rev Don Tamihere, from the Taapapa ki te Tairawhiti, and the Rev Canon Dr Tim Meadowcroft, from Laidlaw College in Auckland. From the outset, Helen-Ann Hartley pointed towards an obsession with equating identity with sexuality, and sexuality with sexual practice.
Whereas Scripture, she said, points towards vocation and discipleship, and our identity “in Christ.” Dr Harding honed in on the matter of discipleship. He maintained that the church cannot solve its troubles over sexuality “because we are beginning from the wrong place… and in the process we are taking Scripture with us into the abyss.” The problems around sexuality, he claimed, “are secondary to our fundamental calling as the royal priesthood of God, called out of darkness into His marvellous light. What that does not mean is that anything goes, and that is where our desperately difficult task of discernment lies… “So let’s focus on God. Let’s focus on the question of discipleship. “(Because) the ethical vision of the gospels centres around discipleship – not around male-female marriage… “The real problem in society is making opposite-sex marriage the sum of Christian moral life. “It’s not. “The summit of Christian moral life is a life lived for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Paper on marriage Saturday’s session began with Bishop Victoria delivering, at Archbishop David’s request, a major paper on marriage. She began by looking at what the Bible says on the subject. “The first thing that needs to be said is that the gospels are not obsessed about sexual relations. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt there is more New Testament teaching about
Clockwise from left: Rev Dr Sue Patterson, Rev Don Tamihere and Bishop Victoria Matthews unpack the issues.
discipleship than about marriage. “Matthew’s gospel clearly says the Kingdom of Heaven is without marriage. Indeed, if we think of Luke 14:26 there is the admonition to hate family members in order to put Christ before all others." “We should not be surprised by this,” she said, “as the baptism of Jesus re-defined the family. But it is interesting how easily we forget that the gospel is Christocentric, and more concerned about the making of disciples than who is allowed to marry…” She reflected on the Matthew 19
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discussion about those who have become “eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom.” “I suggest that what is happening in the gospels is a relaxation of the requirement to have children. There is no longer the necessity to keep the seed of Israel both abundant and pure. “It is possible, I believe, to argue that a blessed union of man and woman or really any two or more people is able to bear fruit in a number of different ways. “They are able to bear the fruit of good works and acts of mercy as many religious orders have done for centuries. There is also the New Testament calling to have spiritual children for the sake of the Kingdom.” She reflected too, on the “extraordinary passage” in John 3 about Nicodemus visiting Jesus by night – and being told that no-one can see the Kingdom of God “without being born from above”. Born a second time, born by the Spirit. “What if Jesus is really saying that in the world since the Incarnation, with the world made flesh, since Immanuel, the new focus is on having spiritual children? “The new teaching is to keep the kingdom populated with Jesus’ new family, those who do God’s will.” She finished by asking whether the church is being called “to re-imagine marriage.” “So that one community of faithful Christian disciples, who have suffered greatly, could be reminded more fully of God’s love for them? Like the woman at the well, is it time to lift the shame?”
Commission's progress The Ma Whea Commission attended the Saturday session of the hui – and Sir Anand Satyanand spelled out the Commission’s progress. The Commission had met for a day every five or six weeks. It had examined the legal structure within which it worked. The Commission had held open days – and it had decided to be “moderately proactive” by seeking opinions from Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Polynesia. “We want to satisfy ourselves,” said Sir Anand, “that we have engaged with a range of views before we begin to develop a structure in which we formulate our report.” The closing date for submissions to the Ma Whea Commission is June 1.
By Lloyd Ashton
“No convincing argument advanced…” The Rev Dr Peter Carrell is a well-known commentator on conservative evangelical causes within the Anglican Church in these islands. He is both the Director of Education and Director of Theology House in the Diocese of Christchurch, and his blog, Anglican Down Under progress. is widely read. Thehttp://anglicandownunder.blogspot.co.nz/ commission had met for a day every Peter five orhas six been weeks.on It the had organising examined team for all four hui – and Taonga asked him the legal structure within which it worked, for his assessment of how much they have shaped his thinking. and had been guided by one of its members, Professor Paul Trebilco, on the conserving the church’s traditional fourth moved from theit theological his aspects of hui the 36 submissions teaching on marriage and sexuality, text of the Bible to the theological had received. but diversified on how we respond to implications of the text. The commission had held open days – liberalizing change. and itFor hadinstance, decided to be “moderately proa paper given by Bishop active” by seeking opinions from Tikanga I think we remain a church where, Victoria on biblical theologies of Maorimarriage and Tikanga Polynesia. depending on decisions made opened up a number of “We want to satisfy ourselves, ” said in the future, we could see some significant questions about what the Sir Anand, we have engaged with a conservatives leave, some remain Bible“that is saying about marriage. range of views before we begin to develop providing there are new episcopal Has anyone changed their minds a structure in which we formulate our arrangements, and some remain because of the hermeneutical hui? report.” whatever happens. I can onlydate speak for myself. to the The closing for submissions Conservatives have not shifted ground Ma Whea June 1. has changed I do Commission not find that is my mind on commitment to live under the on the central question of whether authority of the Bible as the supreme the church may bless same-sex guide for our faith and practice. partnerships. No convincing argument On this point conservatives are widely has been advanced at any of the hui misunderstood – which may be our that the church can declare with divine fault for not explaining our position. authority that such partnerships are We are viewed unfavourably for not blessed by God. swinging with the mood for blessing Where the hui have influenced my of same sex partnerships, let alone for mind to change is on three matters: gay marriage. First, the central question is not going We are not against gay people, but we to go away from our church anytime seek God’s guidance from the Bible on soon. I used to think that if the biblical how we live. argument was comprehensively We want to find the right way ahead thrashed out the matter would be to be God’s church in these islands, settled. to include all Christians in our Secondly, we are a church engaged congregations, and to care for everyone with reading the Bible carefully. I used who seeks pastoral support from to think that the push for a positive the church. Thus, we have points of answer to these questions involved agreement with those we disagree with. setting the Bible to one side. Is there a way forward towards more Thirdly, we are able to converse freely common ground? across our differences. I used to think A theology of friendship might be that we could only converse with that way. agonising tension between us. But we have not yet explored that in Have conservatives shifted ground? a hui. That’s a hard question to answer, because conservatives are united in Peter Carrell
‘Go to your
…to persevere or not, to love or not. These are the ultimate biblical choices…
Go to your knees often, consult widely, and get smart via the latest information technology… That was Archbishop David Moxon’s advice to his successor as he took leave of Waikato to begin a new job in Rome this month. Archbishop David is now the Anglican Communion’s chief representative to the Roman Catholic Church, and also Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. It’s a far cry from Hamilton, his Episcopal home for close on 20 years. But while he’s excited by the potential of a global ministry, Archbishop David also knows that it’s the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia that has shaped and equipped him for such a far-reaching task. Taonga’s online editor, Brian Thomas, put the following questions to the departing Archbishop to find out precisely what drives him on the road to Rome.
ou describe yourself as “Reformed Catholic.” How will that go down in Rome?
In Rome I will describe myself as an Anglican. But I would also say that this means being part of one holy, catholic and apostolic church, which for Anglicans comes originally from the ancient church of the English-speaking peoples. This church joined the Roman Catholic Church at the Council of Whitby but separated off with the Reformation. So for this reason we are catholic and reformed.
How would you define “Reformed Catholic” as opposed to “Evangelical”? This means keeping the heritage of the early church and its roots while recognizing that this heritage always needs to be reviewed in prayer and Bible study and robust dialogue in every generation, to be faithful to mission in our day. Being evangelical is a crucial part of being Christian at any time.
The aim of the Anglican Centre in Rome is to “promote Christian unity in a divided world.” How do you intend to further that aim? By pointing to and enabling examples of co-operation in mission, especially in Christian justice and development work. We don't agree on some significant things, but we can labour together for the kingdom where the needs are greatest in God’s world.
You have piloted this church through
some choppy waters, not least of all the hermeneutical debate on samesex blessings. What's your view of the way the church is processing this issue? I think we are being careful to use biblical principles of consultation, prayer, and Bible study over time: listening deeply to each other, and to those most affected by the churches’ response. We will need to pray our way through what choices General Synod faces well beforehand, so that when the next synod meets we will be ready to respond with maturity and care for everyone involved. We will be describing our unity in our diversity in special ways. We ought to be capable of this without breaking up.
You have the happy knack of staying calm through torrid debates, even when you’re chairing them. What’s your secret? It's no secret. Just pray before, during and after the debate. Remember that the church has always struggled at times, but that it is Christ’s Body on earth and is ultimately a communion of Christ-like love, even if it is a tough kind of love occasionally.
Which form of prayer works best for you? I use Ignatian forms of prayer a lot. I often go to the Sacred Space website run by the Irish Jesuits. I also use the Jesus prayer and breathe the words.
Some Anglicans believe our threetikanga constitution is biblically flawed because it divides the church
along ethnic lines. Do you think the structure has lived up to its promise across the church? I think our three-tikanga church is a taonga that has offered us a unique and rich experience of Christ in cultural diversity. It is also just and free in spirit for different indigenous communities. Whenever we experience tensions in this arrangement or disappoint each other, which we do from time to time, it is good to remember that human beings and human cultures are not always allies capable of these things, whatever the structural arrangements. In the end we have to choose to work in the relationships or not, to persevere or not, to love or not. These are the ultimate biblical choices at any time with anyone.
As Archbishop you’ve often played a balancing role in the struggle between liberals and conservatives. Is schism still a possibility for this church, or do you believe we’ll stick together regardless? Schism is always a possibility where human beings are organized in large and diverse networks. However, I don’t think it is likely in this church because of the ability and spirituality of the key people involved. There is a Kiwi Christian way of trying to provide a fair go for everyone, because we live with only one or two degrees of separation in these islands. Maybe we can show the world what unity in diversity can look like, through our common grounding in Christ. There is no other ground of our being in the end. This is where we can stand together.
Formal liturgy has always been a staple of Anglican worship. And yet many of our most successful parishes – St Paul’s, Symonds Street, for example – are much less formal. Is that the way to go for growth, especially among the young? I have seen some great examples of youth folk liturgy and music where informality combines with sound liturgical shaping, without being stodgy or boring. One without the other will be inadequate in the long run.
David Moxon’s ’arthouse’
rchbishop David will live on top of a treasure trove of art in Rome. The Anglican Centre occupies a suite on the second storey of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, a privately owned palace housing several galleries of Old Masters, a Baroque corridor of mirrors – and the mummified corpse of the family saint. Anglicans reside there through the generosity of four princely Roman families who have inter-married under the surname of Doria Pamphilj. The Anglican Centre itself comprises a tall library and seminar room, a simple chapel and a salone where up to two dozen gather every Tuesday lunchtime for a Eucharist, a bowl of pasta and a chat. The Centre was founded only in 1966 – by Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey – to inaugurate “serious dialogue” between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. As well as fostering unity between the two churches, it offers educational courses and advice for Anglican visitors from all over the Communion. But it’s the potential for shared mission that excites Archbishop David about his new post. “Our two churches are on the verge of new opportunities for joint mission,” he says, “especially in Christian aid, justice advocacy and development. I’m also convinced there are new opportunities to learn from each other.” The Vatican is just a stroll away from the Anglican Centre.
How do you think the Anglican Church will hold up in the current Census? There will be a decline in our proportional place owing to immigration of Catholics and the rise of agnostics.
What have been the high points of your term as Archbishop? • The ordination of bishops. • The stand for the reform of the Crimes Act which saw this church as one of the only ones to support the abolition of bruise-causing striking of children. • The combined approach of church leaders to Parliament on issues such as crime and punishment, social housing, benefit levels and poverty. • The hermeneutics hui series. • The Bible in the Life of the Church project. • The hosting of the Anglican Consultative Council. • The defence of prayer in schools nationally. • The courage and creativity of the Bishop and Diocese of Christchurch following the earthquakes. • The primates’ conference in Alexandria, Egypt. • The challenge of alcohol reform. • The partnership between the primates.
And the low points? The pain around the Te Aute debate at the last General Synod.
Apart from the Bible, which books have been most helpful to your ministry?
Poet and Peasant by Ken Bailey The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible Falling Upwards by Richard Rohr A Theology of Hope by Jurgen Moltmann Most of Walter Brueggemann’s work
Which films or DVDs have you most enjoyed over the past 10 years? A Good Year Brother Sun Sister Moon Molokai The Mission The Vicar of Dibley
Who are your heroes, inside and outside the church? Desmond Tutu, Paul Reeves, Te Whiti o Rongmai, William Wilberforce, Damian of Molokai, the late Maori Queen Te Arikinui Te Atairangikahu, Francis and Clare of Assisi.
You’ve held together two punishing jobs – Archbishop and Diocesan Bishop – for seven years. Has there been a personal cost? Yes. To my family and sense of peace at times.
So how do you relax after a hard day? I go to the Sacred Space site and pray there, I might have a long hot bath, read a good book, jog and exercise.
Finally, what advice do you have for your successor? Go to your knees often, consult widely, use as much information technology as you can to be working smarter. Get regular high-quality supervision and spiritual direction. Don't be afraid, but trust in God. Rev Brian Thomas edits Taonga online: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz email@example.com
Waikato lawyer and former university chancellor Gerald Bailey has worked closely with Bishop David Moxon for 15 years. He shares his view of the man.
Pastor and peacemaker The Moxon whanau, diocesan farewell, April 6 2013.
here was something very different about this month’s Waikato and Taranaki Diocesan Synod. It wasn’t just that we’d been brought there by a resignation, or that we only had one item of business, but simply, that Archbishop David Moxon wasn’t presiding anymore. Since 1993, when David Moxon was consecrated sixth Bishop of Waikato, we’ve been privileged to be led by a very special man. David was our sole bishop for his first six years – a mode he recalls as “episcopacy by car seat”. Then, when the South Taranaki parishes moved to our diocese from the Diocese of Wellington, we were joined by Bishop Philip Richardson. That began a ministry partnership which led to the world’s first ‘shared episcopacy’. Even with Philip there, Bishop David has still spent hours on the road. Not being one to take the time out, he’ll usually multitask those journeys via hands-free phone, completing several important conversations on the way. I’ve often admired – and marvelled at – David’s ability to refocus very quickly between meetings. He seems to immediately hit on the right approach and never fails to give his full attention. Bishops don’t usually face trivia, but even
so, David treats every issue as a matter of importance. He never refuses requests for an urgent audience if he can squeeze any more into his crowded schedule. You’d be greeted with a warm smile, a reassurance that it really wasn’t a bother – and a satisfactory outcome would invariably follow. David is, first and foremost, a pastor. He has a deep understanding of human nature, he sees the good in others and can always find a kind word. When it comes to handling disputes, his natural instinct is to reconcile. He’s a peacemaker. Another quality to David Moxon is his sense of humour. He often defuses difficult situations by a well-chosen (though sometimes excruciating) pun, or other comic remark. But while David is sharp and quick-witted, he doesn’t use it in a destructive way. Instead, his humour creates a positive environment and helps decisions to get made. To thank David for all he has done for our diocese seems inadequate. He’s left a truly indelible impression on so many people. God has been good in sharing these 20 years of David’s life with us. Gerald Bailey is a lay canon, Vicar's Warden at St Aidan's, Claudelands and is a member of General Synod Standing Committee.
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Back from Britain's fresh frontier Spanky Moore returns from his UK study leave with a whole new take on Fresh Expressions.
I found the energy and seriousness towards the challenge a wake-up call.
n September last year my wife and I boarded a plane to fly to England. And I didn’t really want to go. You see, in 2006 I’d been involved in planting one of New Zealand’s few examples of a self-proclaimed Fresh Expression of church called ‘The Kitchen’. It was a challenging, stretching experience, but after three years it came to a natural end, and I guess I felt a bit burnt by the whole thing. Soon after that Bishop Graham Cray, who leads the UK Fresh Expressions team, came to New Zealand to run a conference. Next thing I knew I was booked to go and study alongside his team in the UK and the Pioneer Training Course at Ridley Hall in Cambridge. However, since The Kitchen had finished up, I’d now been ordained and domesticated – gradually my thinking and theology had become very sensible. I’d realised that planting Fresh Expressions was too hard, too risky and painful, and supporting local parish ministry
became my new focus. So while I was grateful for the opportunity to travel abroad and study at my tender age, the mandate I had for the study was a bit like a teenager being given a Wiggles DVD by a long lost uncle. It was a nice idea, but I’d moved on. But as is often the way, the Spirit had different plans for me. First things first. For those new to this conversation, what exactly is a Fresh Expression? The official definition goes: ‘A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. It will come into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples; and it will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the Gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context.’ It comes from the assumption that God’s
FX back home: 2013 Festival of Salt and Light. Photos Claudia Wood.
Spirit is constantly at work in the world, or in Rowan Williams’ words, "mission is about finding out what God is doing and joining in." As the church discovers fewer people connecting with our inherited forms of worship, we move beyond our sacred spaces to see what God’s Spirit is up to in unexpected places. We begin by going out and listening, then serving whoever God has called us to, we gradually start making new disciples, and then, we see what faith community emerges from these new followers of Jesus. Now I know what you’re thinking: It sounds like a great idea in theory, but surely it can’t work. Well, as I quickly discovered, it does work. And it is working. And it’s nothing new. Actually, it’s how the church has always done things. Upon arriving in England I found myself amongst a diverse community of people of all ages and traditions, wrestling deeply with the challenges our church faces in the twenty-first century. It’s the same conundrum we face here in Aotearoa New Zealand; What shape does God’s mission and Jesus’ gospel call the church to be in a consumer-driven, multi-cultural, highly networked, postChristendom world? Then there’s that old humbug issue of decline. While I was visiting, the Church of England had just released statistics showing that if current trends continue, CofE Sunday service attendance would drop from a current 1.2 million in England each week, to a mere 120,000 in 40 years’ time. Many UK Anglicans think time is running out, and that by only doing what they’ve always done, they’re sealing their fate,
alongside the Brontosaurus and the Fax Machine. I found the energy and seriousness towards the challenge a wake-up call. I met researchers who were crunching social trends and the most effective ways of planting Fresh Expressions of church. Theological institutions were arguing over the best way to train and form church leaders to be ready for the mission contexts that the church now faces. Dioceses were employing Fresh Expressions motivators and church planters in housing estates, high schools, retirement homes and skate parks. I heard countless stories from pioneer ministers sharing tales of God’s Spirit being at work in unexpected places amongst unexpected people. People who’d never even been inside a church building, were becoming passionate followers of Jesus. I heard Rowan Williams (in one of his last addresses as the Archbishop of Canterbury) speak to a room of over 200 FX pioneers, about his excitement at seeing Fresh Expressions flourish. He spoke of the need for Anglicans to be open to the new ways God’s Spirit is calling us to be church. I heard of parishes embracing a ‘mixed economy’ of ministry, and working side by side with Fresh Expression initiatives in creative ways. I then saw the latest research figures in the Diocese of Liverpool; 78 Fresh Expressions were analysed, and 2,885 people were counted as being involved in a Fresh Expression, from 571 who originally planted these churches. That’s an impressive four-fold return on church planters. Fresh Expressions made up 10% of weekly church attendance in the diocese too. Not bad for a new kid on the block, I thought. It was at that point that God suddenly turned my apprehensions and nervous cynicism over Fresh Expressions on its head. I realised how deeply I desired our own church in New Zealand to be as passionate about seeing the good news of Jesus have its way in the world, no matter the cost to our denominational identity markers. I grasped how badly we needed this wind of change in our own province. So I swapped email addresses with the plethora of English ordinands who kept pestering me about putting in a good word
I grasped how badly we needed this wind of change in our own province.
for them in New Zealand, jumped on my homebound 737, and returned to the land of the long white cloud. On returning, I’m left wondering, where to from here for this part of the world? I’ve heard a number of Anglican big wigs write off Fresh Expressions as being little more than an excuse to drink a cappuccino with some mates in a café, or just being a UK phenomenon that won’t work here. But as a 30-something clergyperson, I realise that many of the people who are most skeptical of Fresh Expressions in the life of our church won’t have to lead it through the worst of the logical implications of our decline. I will. And our lack of honesty around that challenge makes me nervous. Because if we don’t embrace Fresh Expressions, what’s the plan? I’ve seen firsthand the power it has to bring the good news of Jesus to people who would never darken the door of a church, or thumb the pages of a prayer book. The way it can ignite new passion in our young leaders for ministry. It’s not some silver bullet saviour either, because it takes patience, risk and hard work. Fresh Expressions is really just a sexy name for contextual mission. The church has been doing it for centuries. So why are we so hesitant to take up the challenge now? Do we need to hear afresh Jesus’ missional call in Luke 10 - to go without our bag or sandals, and to follow the Spirit making new disciples till the ends of the earth? Because the ends of the earth may well be nearer than we realise. Rev Spanky Moore is Young Adults Ministry Developer for the Diocese of Christchurch. email@example.com
E D U C AT I O N
The Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies has been dealt a mortal blow. Brian Thomas goes to the heart of the enterprise.
Writing on the wall for ecumenical body
ne of the last truly ecumenical bodies in New Zealand is set to expire in two years, posing questions over the future of a highly regarded theological qualification. The Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies (EIDTS) has served notice on its tutors and students that it will close after Easter 2015 because of a drastic cut in government funding. More than half of its $225,000 annual
our students are doing amazing work and building up social capital
budget – around $138,000 – has been coming from the Tertiary Education Commission, until now. Fortunately, EIDTS has enough cash in reserve to stay in business for two more years, allowing the current crop of students to move towards graduation, but the logistics of closure are still “heartbreaking” for director Linda Cowan. EIDTS is based in a modest ownership flat in the Christchurch suburb of Riccarton, and there’s palpable sorrow as Linda and her academic registrar, Sue Haley, timetable their own demise. Pride, too – because EIDTS has fulfilled an unseen, but vital role in theological education across the churches for 20 years, especially among laypeople. As many as 95 students all over New Zealand are currently studying for the Licentiate of Theology (L.Th) through EIDTS, alongside five Scholars in Theology. And Linda is determined not to see any of them “stranded” when the institute closes. She’s already talking to Auckland and Otago universities about cross-credits towards a B.Theol degree and other qualifications, but that exercise is a painful one, because it poses real questions about
the future of L.Th itself. Up to 102 students have gained their L.Th through EIDTS, and a further 21 are expected to graduate within two years. Add the many hundreds of ordinands who have passed through St John’s College with an L.Th from the Joint Board of Theological Studies – forerunner to EIDTS – and you have an alumni that spans generations of pastors, preachers and teachers. And others with no religious affiliation at all. But the EIDTS closure impacts on more than the student body: it’s likely to mean the breakup of a teaching diaspora that encompasses 47 tutors and moderators from every Christian walk. “We have a community of scholars that can’t be equalled,” Linda says. “They’re truly ecumenical and the best in their fields…” Scholars such as music professor Colin Gibson, historian Allan Davidson, biblical scholar Judith McKinlay, geographer Garth Cant, theology professor Paul Trebilco, and pastoral theologian Mary Caygill… The list reads like a who’s who of mainline Christianity – hardly surprising when you realise that many of these people have been denominational leaders as well
LEFT: Looking after their students to the very end: Director Linda Cowan (right) and academic registrar Sue Haley. Linda took over from the Rev Bruce Hansen in 2011, while Sue has been with EIDTS from the beginning.
as scholars and pastors. The loss of government funding in no way reflects on the quality of EIDTS teaching. It’s just that tertiary money is increasingly precious and therefore has to be targeted at students under 25, particularly Maori and Pacific Islanders who need work qualifications. In fact, Linda thinks EIDTS has been lucky to get as much as it did. “Most of our students are aged between 50 and 80 years,” she says. “And over 60 per cent are women.” In effect, then, EIDTS has majored largely in second-chance education. For the voluntary sector, moreover. And that doesn’t lift the government’s job stats. Linda is quick to defend the worth of older students, though. “Most of our students are doing amazing work and building up social capital,” she argues. “The church has become so reliant on lay volunteers, that I worry about what will happen when EIDTS isn’t there to educate them.” She worries, too, about what will become of L.Th when EIDTS gives up the administration.
St John’s College or Trinity College in Auckland may choose to pick it up, but first they will have to meet NZQA requirements for papers at the highest level. They’re also not as well geared to distance education as EIDTS has been. “A feature of EIDTS has been our flexibility and caring,” Linda says. “We don’t tick completion boxes, which means students can gain a theological qualification at their own pace.” Another feature is the annual residential schools, which EIDTS has held around the country. Twelve students and tutors attended the last one, in Dunedin, and relished the experience not only as a spur to theological understanding but also as an opportunity to meet like-minds from all over. So what lies ahead for Linda and Sue when the doors close in 2015? Well-earned retirement, especially for Sue who has been with EIDTS since its inception in 1993. In a way, Sue knows more about those at the heart of ministry than any bishop or moderator. “But before we go we’ll celebrate what EIDTS has done for ecumenical education,” Linda says with a determined tilt. “There deserves to be a jolly good party at the end.” Put it in your diaries. And think about some outrageous party hats. Rev Brian Thomas L.Th is online editor for Anglican Taonga. He is also moderator for the L.Th homiletics paper.
Who are the brains behind EIDTS?
he Ecumenical Board of Theological Studies represents four denominations: Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Salvation Army. Members are: Rev John Daniel (chair), Rev Jill van de Geer, Mrs Nicola Grundy, Very Rev Dr Graham Redding, Rev Chris Honore, Rev Peter Osborne, Mr David Wardle and Rev Dr David Bell. Members of the EIDTS Academic Committee are: Rev John Hunt (chair), Rev Dr Ken Booth, Rev Dr Judith McKinlay, Dr Kathleen Rushton, Rev Dr Terry Wall and Bishop David Coles. The Licentiate in Theology (L.Th) consists of 15 papers (360 credits) from five subject areas: Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, Church in History and Context, Theological Studies, and Ministry and Mission. EIDTS also offers an Associate Diploma, Ministry Certificate, Certificate for Lay Preachers, Certificate for Lay Ministry Teams, and Scholar in Theology (S.Th). But EIDTS will not accept any new students after this year – unless they intend to complete only one paper. For further information, go to the website: www.eidts.ac.nz
Julanne Clarke-Morris catches up with two Kiwi Anglicans newly back from making their mark at the world’s most high-powered forum for women’s rights
Our women take on the world
So many devastating and heart-breaking stories
hen Rosina Scott-Fyfe came for baptism in the Anglican Church, she didn’t imagine that in less than two years she’d be flying the flag of faith at the United Nations headquarters in New York.1 But this March, at the age of only 20, that’s exactly what she did. Two years back, Rosina became aware of a spiritual gap in her life. Not that she lacked direction; she was already “pretty involved”. Going well in her Maori Studies degree and fired up to make a difference in the world, she was working for social justice and environmental sustainability – through her Ngai Tahu iwi, the St Martin Island community and the Regeneration national youth activism network. And yet she still felt “something was missing.” The dots began to join up for Rosina when she met a group of activists from the Student Christian Movement who were driven by something altogether different: their love of God. One revelation led to another, and Rosina embarked on a new life through the waters of baptism. Fast forward to March 2013: Rosina touches down in New York City, to join an international “crack team” of nine ecumenical women students. Stepping up at the UN: Rev Numia Tomoana and Rosina Scott-Fyfe.
Their job: to lobby world governments on women’s rights at the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). It’s Rosina’s first time in a big city like New York, so she’s not sure what she’ll make of it. For a start, there’s the Commission itself – a record crowd of 6000 women and men from every “dot. org”, all jostling for governments’ attention. Then there’s a glittering array of “side events” on fascinating and worthy causes that could easily lead a newbie astray. News from the frontline on human trafficking, forced prostitution, rape as a weapon of war, stolen women and child marriage, infanticide, genital mutilation and the hidden global “pandemic” of domestic violence…. All have a place in this forum. But so do stories of resistance, help and hope. Our Anglican Communion fronted up to the March Commission with its own stories, told through women like Claudette Kigeme, the Burundian Mothers’ Union leader whose organisation trains communities to uphold healthy family life, and looks after survivors of violence. Rosina heard many “devastating and heart-breaking stories,” but also many that were “hopeful and inspiring.” But to get the job done meant a step back from all of that. Each meeting of the Commission has a priority, and this year it was the Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. The challenge is to forge agreement between governments from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum – on ways to advance women’s equal rights and ability to survive and thrive. The UNCSW’s vehicle for that is a set of words – known as the Agreed Conclusions – which NGOs thrash out with governments to effect the greatest positive change. Rosina was up to the challenge, but not without staunch backing. First, she had her team of well-versed peers (from Liberia, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Italy, India, Georgia, Venezuela and the US). Next, she had the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) and the Ecumenical Women (EW) coalition behind
her – both ready to hand over advocacy tools that have been crafted over decades of experience in this forum. Their first piece of advice was “pace yourself” – essential to staying alert through the 14-day Commission. But they were also there to hold all their church reps to the much bigger picture. International Anglican Women’s Network Coordinator Ann Skamp puts it like this: “The strongest statement we made in all our activities was our witness that the 'Elimination and prevention of gender based violence against women and girls' is a Gospel imperative, and part of the transformative work of Jesus Christ, recognising we are all made in the image of God.” That’s important because, as Ann points out, not all religious groups at the Commission were there to promote equality and empower women. In the worst cases, governments put forward religious or cultural justifications for shocking violence against women. And Rosina was struck
The challenge is to forge agreement across the spectrum.
Top: Rosina back at the flaxroots. Above: Taking the message to the streets.
I had to be hardhearted, to follow the policy I was under.
Rosina with WSCF's 2013 UN advocacy team.
by the clarity of one short quote, “Bad theology kills people.” WSCF and EW helped the Christian delegations to stick to key messages, refined by theological reflection, research and analysis, and distilled into a list of “talking points”. That way, each of the 175-plus women and men under the EW banner could zero in on policies that would have the biggest impact on women. Rosina took those talking points to regional and young women’s caucuses, while her team took the issues to government policy makers from each of their nine countries. Here’s what they focused on: • Eradicating cultural practices which perpetuate violence against women • Opposing gender-based stereotyping, discrimination and oppression that leads to violence • Promoting laws on equal pay for equal work • Educating men and women on prevention and response to violence against women – especially among police, court workers, medical staff, teachers, community leaders • Providing resources and services for violence survivors in rural, remote and minority communities
Talking points on those same issues were in the hands of the 25-member Anglican Communion delegation, too. Which meant we had two Aotearoa Anglicans on the job. Because one member of the Anglican delegation, Rev Numia Tomoana, is a locum hospital chaplain in Hastings. For Numia, setting policy is not just talk. She’s had to live with policy that clearly fails to meet women’s needs. She was happy to point that out, too, when she met with our NZ Women’s Affairs Ministry and UN mission teams in Wellington and New York, alongside Rape Crisis, Maori Women’s Refuge and TOAHNNEST, NZ’s nationwide network of groups working to prevent sexual violence. Before ordination, Numia had worked for seven years at Income NZ (now WINZ). There, she was assigned the Domestic Purposes Benefit section, which constantly put her in touch with suffering women. “I saw a lot of victimization there,” she recalls. “Every day a different single mother would come to see me with an emergency situation: needing anonymity, wanting shelter from violence, asking to be connected with a women’s refuge, or just needing to buy bread, nappies, clothing, or milk powder for her kids. “There was a huge amount of pastoral care in that role. The women had to fight
against the system, too, so in the end I became their advocate. “The frustration for me was that I had to be hard-hearted, to follow the policy I was under. “I’d have a woman crying in front of me and asking for food, and I’d have to say, ‘What did you spend your grocery money on?’ And then, ‘Oh, your son’s 9th birthday party? Well, you’ve known that was coming for a year, so why didn’t you budget for it?’ “When all she was asking me for was bread.” In time those conversations became too much for Numia. “About a year before I left Income NZ, I had a vision of myself with my heart bleeding and my hands bound. It was the policy that bound me, it didn’t let me respond with a pastoral heart.” Ten years later, on the other side of the world and armed with an MTh in pastoral theology, the Rev Numia Tomoana got the chance to loose those policy bonds. But more than that, she formed part of a Commission team helping to shape worldwide policies on behalf of struggling women – at the highest level. This year, unlike last, the UNCSW passed a full set of Agreed Conclusions. They include a line which states “women’s economic empowerment and full and equal access to resources” is “essential for addressing the structural
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Nothing is more important than men taking part in changing the causes of violence…
Above: Anglican Communion delegates brave the New York freeze. Above right: Numia Tomoana meets Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury – former leader of the UN Security Council, UNICEF and ECOSOC.
and underlying causes of violence against women and girls”. Recognition, in other words, that if women can’t get emergency financial help, they can’t find a way out of abuse. As a former chaplain of Hukarere Maori Girl’s’ College, Numia has also been there for young Maori women not in crisis. And that has given her an insight into the prevention side of UNCSW’s brief. The Commission’s conclusions stress the need for equal access to education for girls (particularly in rural areas) and for “closing the gender gap at all levels of education.” They go on to say “indigenous women often suffer multiple forms of discrimination and poverty which increase their vulnerability to all forms of violence.” So just being there for young Maori women, to build their confidence and teach them to expect the best out of life, is right on line. “I saw girls whose lives were transformed at Hukarere, including one or two who had been in despair… and who then managed to leave at year 13 with an intact faith, strong values and cultural identity. “We were teaching them to make good choices, to be strong in themselves and to demand respect.”
And as far as Numia is concerned, once the laws are sorted out, that’s what the korero about “empowering women” really means. Rosina agrees absolutely. Which is why both women were so inspired by one “side event” that stood out from the rest: a workshop run by men. The idea was that men should be working with men and boys, starting at the beginning – to change attitudes and assumptions about women and men that can lead to violence. Rosina writes: “Nothing is more important than men taking part in changing the causes of violence… because while most men are not the perpetrators, most of the perpetrators are men. “One of the key messages from this powerful event was that we do not need a society that ‘protects’ women; we need a society that respects women. “And that means a society where men can be strong without using violence.” Julanne Clarke-Morris is Editor of Taonga magazine. For more information on the UN CSW go to www.unwomen.org/how-we-work/csw/ http://ecumenicalwomen.org/
Creating a New Zealand Prayer Book A Personal Reminiscence of a 25 Year Odyssey 1964-89
By Bishop Brian Carrell Theology House Publications, 2013 Order via www.theologyhouse.ac.nz $30 plus p&p ($33 posted anywhere in NZ)
• A remarkable gift’ ++David Moxon • A much-needed authoritative history – Jenny Dawson • A fascinating, personal account of that watershed event in our church’s history – Bosco Peters
1. Rosina often uses her Maori name, Rauhina. Page 27
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A day of healing in
Taranaki The Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary has been a place, for some tangata whenua, which symbolized the wounds of Taranaki’s past.
They had struggled, and fought - and died.
But on Sunday March 3 this year, it reached towards becoming a centre of reconciliation and peace between Maori and Pakeha. Will the healing take hold? Time alone will tell, of course.
But we already have this much on the record from Jamie Allen, the Dean of the Cathedral: “We were more deeply blessed that I can possibly express by the events of that weekend – and I have been so deeply affected by what took place.” So what, in fact, did take place? Lloyd Ashton has been finding out.
uring the course of the Sunday morning Eucharist on March 3, 17 black-edged panels which have hung from high places within the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary for more than 100 years were taken down and moved to other, less prominent locations within the cathedral. The facts seem simple enough. But recounting those bald facts doesn’t capture how symbolic that action was. Because these ‘hatchments’ – which honour the British colonial troops who fought and died in the Taranaki wars of the 1860s – were passed, hand-to-hand, by hundreds of church-goers, towards their new and less dominating positions. They were handed along the pews by descendants of those troops who’d struggled and died so far from home more than 150 years ago. They were passed on by descendants of those Maori warriors who, as Archbishop David Moxon noted in his sermon, had struggled and fought and died “to retain their mana, their lands and their way of life; their rangatiratanga”. Passed on by people from Parihaka, whose tupuna had peacefully resisted the invaders of 1881. By Chris Finlayson, the Minister of Treaty Negotiations. By Taranaki community leaders. By the young and the old, and by uniformed soldiers of today. For more than 100 years those hatchments had hung high on the north and south walls of the nave, on the west wall of the baptistery, and in the transept. And the idea of moving them had been debated and agonized over for more than 40 years. The idea was never about dishonouring the memory of those soldiers. Some, after all, lie in the cathedral graveyard, and some have descendants in the pews now. Instead it was to acknowledge that those hatchments had defined and dominated the worship space. And to acknowledge that St Mary’s Church (as it was from 1846 until 2010, when it was blessed as a cathedral) had, during the Taranaki Land Wars of the 1860s, served as a garrison church.
In other words, it had been a church that sheltered the colonial troops. And to acknowledge that the honour bestowed in the church by those hatchments had been lopsided. And to acknowledge the mamae, the pain, still felt by Taranaki Maori whose tupuna had struggled, in vain, against the colonial juggernaut – and whose sacrifice had not been memorialized in hatchments. As Archbishop David noted in his March 3 sermon: “Honour was, and is, due to them within these sacred precincts.” The point is that if the cathedral was ever going to live up to its claim – to become the cathedral for all the people of Taranaki – taking those hatchments down from their high places had to be done. Otherwise, Taranaki Maori would continue to do what they had done for 150 years. They would avoid the place. *
The time was ripe to move the hatchments. As Jamie Allen puts it, March 3 was “God’s kairos, the right, very perfect moment” to tackle that job. Jamie is the cathedral’s first Dean. He’s English, and he and his wife Suzy and their four daughters had moved to New Zealand late in 2009. In one sense, then, they’re newcomers to Taranaki. But, in another sense, their Taranaki roots go deep. As a boy growing up in East Suffolk1 Jamie says he was “changed forever” by encountering the story of Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi of Parihaka. Jamie was ordained in Coventry Cathedral, which has inspired many of the centres for peace and reconciliation around the world – and he’d caught a vision for Taranaki’s cathedral being a centre for reconciliation here, too. But, with Jamie, his connection with Taranaki goes deeper than that. Last year, as Jamie and Suzy’s daughter Carrie was dying, the Allen family asked for the old St Mary’s graveyard – which had been closed since 1861 – to be reopened. By doing so, they were acknowledging
Facing page: The Rev Charmaine Sarten passes one of the hatchments to its new home. That’s Maata Wharehoka beside her. Above: Dean Jamie Allen.
how much the cathedral family had taken Carrie into their hearts. When the time came, Carrie’s coffin was gently lowered to rest, upon two whariki, or woven mats, within the church graveyard. Those whariki were gifted by Taranaki Maori as a mark of their love and respect. What’s more, the community of Parihaka has received Carrie’s kawe mate. In other words, they gathered at Te Niho Marae at Parihaka on one weekend last November to mourn Carrie, and her framed photo now hangs on the wall of their wharenui2. The “immeasurable grace and hospitality” shown to Jamie Allen’s family by the people of Parihaka, then, and by the people of Taranaki generally, has deeply moved him. So there’s not much doubting about how committed Jamie is to Taranaki, and to reconciliation. *
he March 3 service for shifting the hatchments was advertised far and wide. But how do you handle a move like that? What exactly do you do? Because the nearer March 3 came, the more Jamie became aware “that feelings would be running very, very high. “People would be present with such hugely different perspectives – and it’s beyond the scope of any human framework that I know of to unite such a Page 29
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diversity of pain and hope.” Jamie knew of only one framework equal to that task: the Eucharist itself. The sacrifice represented by moving those hatchments could only make sense, says Jamie, “within the embrace of the Eucharist, with the overarching focus on the one perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” “For the action to be deeply healing,” Jamie reflects, “we would call upon the Spirit to hover over, in and through the redemptive act of the Eucharist.” There was another thing, too. There’d be no going back later to finish the job. Jamie was convinced that the whole job, from go to whoa, had to be brought to pass within that Eucharist service. In other words, taking down all 17 hatchments, passing them through the body of the packed church, climbing ladders and scaffolding to rehang
O God... guide us into being peacemakers.
From left: Moewai Aterei; Maata Wharehoka and Jamie Allen exchanging hongi, Andrew Moffat scaling the ladder, Devon Intermediate kapa haka troupe.
them – all that had to take place within the framework “of brokenness coming together”. *
Has the passing of the peace ever meant so much?
At first, Jamie had placed the confession towards the beginning of the service. As you do. But then he saw that it made better sense to hold the confession back until later – and to weave that rite into the movement of the hatchments. So the cathedral’s Kaumatua, Archdeacon Tiki Raumati, led the confession (“… O God… we ask that you guide us into being a united community of peacemakers.” Spirit of God, search our hearts) with Bishop Philip Richardson declaring the absolution – which then led to a public commitment to strive for peace, to seek to heal the wounds of war, and to work for a just future. Then came the time to move the hatchments. Jamie prepared the congregation. “This is a sacred moment; allow the Holy Spirit
to touch you,” and explained how things would unfold. The choir would move down to the back of the cathedral, he said, to begin passing the hatchments to the folk in the baptistery, and those folk would pass the hatchments along the pews to the very front of the church, where the children would form a human chain and pass the hatchments to their new home in the transept. As the hatchments began to snake their way along the pews, the Devon Intermediate kapa haka group responded with an action song. There were pauses for reflection. Canticles sung and read by children,
by iwi representatives and Archbishop Brown Turei. The job was finished when Damon Ritai, the Principal of Frankley School, handed the last hatchment up a ladder to Andrew Moffat, the social history curator at New Plymouth’s Puke Ariki Museum – while Howie Tamati, of rugby league fame, and now of Sport Taranaki, held Andrew’s ladder. And right there, you had a picture of the gathered community of Taranaki, enabled to act together by the moving of those hatchments. Then, and only then, was it time for Archbishop David to call for the peace to be celebrated. As he did so, applause rang out. Has there ever been a time, in a church
in Aotearoa New Zealand, when the passing of the peace meant so much? *
The hatchments now hang in two places: in the transept – which is to the north side of the crossing at St Mary’s – and within the vestry. In other words, you won’t see the full set of 17 on display together anymore. Jamie is quite happy with that arrangement. “You don’t necessarily keep all your family ornaments out on display at home,” he says. “And you certainly don’t put them out all in the same room.” “There’s a rightness about where they
hang now,” he thinks. “They are still in sanctified space. But they’re not front and central. “That’s the long and short of it, really.” Jamie says there are some folk who feel the hatchments should be gone completely. For a while, he was one of them. “But you begin to realise,” he says, “that they tell a story which we must always learn from. “And that they can be signs of hope, as well as signs of mamae.” In the sermon Jamie preached the following Sunday, he reflected on what had taken place seven days earlier: “It wasn’t until the end of the service,” he said, “that I came to a deeper understanding of what the Holy Spirit had completed in our midst. “The Spirit had taken an unhealthy balance of power – which these artifacts had gained – and in the process of our handling them, touching them and collectively moving them, had evened that out.” The Spirit, he said, had prepared the ground for the move, and for “a deepening love – because perfect love casts out fear.”
Pictures by Anne Aitchinson. 1 Curiously enough, the East Suffolk Regiment features in one of the hatchments. 2 Carrie’s headstone will also honour her first in Te Reo Maori, and in English, second.
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Archdeacon Tiki Raumati had been ordained deacon in St Mary’s way back in 1965. You could say there’s been a long drought since then. Because until last year, Tiki was the only Maori ever to have been ordained there. Things really began to change, though, on March 6, 2010. That was the day of the cathedral’s consecration. That was the day when Tiki Raumati was made the Cathedral Kaumatua – and Jamie Allen was installed as the cathedral’s first Dean. Then came the service we’re discussing here – March 3, 2013, when the hatchments were moved. Matua Tiki gave Jamie Allen his account of that day.
There’s no going back “When this church became a cathedral, I was delighted that they called it the Cathedral of Taranaki – and not New Plymouth Cathedral, or some other name. “Because the name tells us that this cathedral belongs to all of God’s people in Taranaki.
I've never seen so many Maori in this building.
“But these hatchments – since the first one was unveiled in 1878, they’ve been the source of pain for many of God’s people. “There was the darkness about them, and there was nothing to them which spoke of light, or of the Gospel. “People would ask me: ‘What do they have to do with the Christian faith?’ “Many knew their history, and so they wouldn’t enter the building. To see those objects hanging there was a source of pain for them. “So, after so many years of waiting, we’ve had this service to move them – and to take away a weight which has laid on this church. “The day was brilliant. “And I don’t just mean the weather was good. “It was brilliant, deep down. A new beginning for our cathedral. “We were getting it right, and by acting and responding in love, we were being true to the teachings of Te Whiti. “It was wonderful to see people from nga hau e wha pouring in to the cathedral. So many people, from so many backgrounds and walks of life.
“And I’ve never seen so many Maori in this building. “Lots of the things we did that day made a difference. But there were two, in particular, that will stay etched in my memory. “The first was when the children sang that we are in the same waka together. “That moved me – because they were so right. That’s how we need to be. We need to grow into the people God wants us to be. “Secondly, there was the cloaking of the Dean in the korowai of aroha. “People weren’t expecting that – and after the service, many asked me: ‘Who put the cloak on the Dean’s shoulders?’ “I told them: ‘We all did.’ “The sight of that korowai being placed around your shoulders… that spoke more clearly and loudly than any words I could ever say. “And now – there is no going back. “Kare te patiki e hoki ki tana puehutanga. “The flounder never returns to the mud it has stirred up. “Let’s move on. “And let’s move on together.”
Which one for the heart of Christchurch?
estored, traditional or contemporary?
Bishop Victoria Matthews won’t yet say which of those three options for a new Cathedral in The Square she favours. During April, the Diocese of Christchurch is actively seeking feedback (see: www. cathedralconversations.org.nz) so she won’t stack the deck by declaring her preference. But whichever option is selected – and we should know in May – Bishop Matthews is quite clear that a cathedral in Christchurch is “for all the people of God – which is everyone.” Furthermore, she says, without a word being preached, or a hymn being sung, the building itself should exercise a ministry.
come and engage. “That’s why cathedrals are often places of pilgrimage.” The same ministry will be apparent, hopefully, with the soon-to-be-completed Transitional Cathedral, says Bishop Victoria. “People may seek that building out,” she says, “because it’s a Shigeru Ban disaster-build.
be collated and circulated after May 3 – and thus equipped, the Cathedral Property Group, the Church Property Trustees and the Diocesan Standing Committee will choose their preferred option. This will then be outlined to the High Court, which will then rule on the case brought by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust to stop deconstruction of the quake-wrecked cathedral.
“As opposed to it being a house of God. “But if we do it right, when they go there, they’ll find God.” Some of those who’ve insisted on a stone-for-stone recreation of the ruined Cathedral in The Square have told Bishop Victoria: ‘We don’t much care what you do with the inside. It’s the outside we want right – because the outside brings tourists.’
“You can have exquisitely beautiful parish churches, but you would rarely say: ‘This very building has a ministry.’
“And we say: actually, it’s not a tourist destination.
“It should be that the minute you see a cathedral, or even as you anticipate seeing it, you feel an active invitation to
“But always because we hope they might become pilgrims.”
But always because we hope they may become pilgrims
“Tourists are welcome.
Public feedback on the three options will
Spanky Moore and Jemma Hartley uncover a hunger for spiritual direction amongst young adult Christians
ne weekend this February, over 250 Cantabrian young adults from more than 35 churches of various denominations (and none at all) packed their tents and gas burners for The Festival of Salt and Light. Set on a farm at Gore Bay, North Canterbury, the weekend offered a smorgasbord of odd things happening in unexpected places – with plenty of room for general lazing and socialising. The festival had a lineup of great guest speakers, including the Pakeha Dean of St John’s College, Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, and
many of us … have forgotten the basic skills of how to disciple people.
Rev Darryl Gardiner, as well as workshops covering topics as broad as ‘how to choose a job that honours God’ through to Christian meditation. But on the Saturday afternoon, while most people wandered to the beach to swim or sunbathe, an experiment took place. The Revs Megan Herles-Mooar and Ian Smith and set up two chairs at opposite ends of the main meeting marquee, and made themselves available during the afternoon for ‘Speed Spiritual Direction’ sessions. Was anyone interested? Yup. Big time. To their surprise, a steady stream of young adults lined up for the chance to explore, question and lament their faith with a safe stranger. “What struck me about the experience at Salt and Light was the eagerness with which the young people entered the process.” Says Megan. “There is little time for messing about – they sit down with you and in a short time are sharing with profound depth the spiritual issues they are wrestling with. Unresolved guilt, uncertainty about the future, the difficulty in hearing God's voice in a new way, the trauma of being wounded by the church. I was profoundly aware of the need and desire among these amazing men and
women to connect with another and talk about what was happening in their lives with God, and was deeply moved by the experience.” “I’m left with a great sense of need in this age group.” Globally, there’s an emerging realization that many of us in the Western Church have forgotten the basic skills of how to disciple people. Sure – we know how to run worship services, small group discussions, community outreaches and theological lectures – but that relational skill of helping someone younger in faith navigate a world of consumerism and competing voices in the Way of Jesus has pretty much lapsed into a long lost art form. Which begs the question, could Spiritual Direction be one way for the Anglican Church to engage young adults where they’re currently itching? Last year Jemma Hartley, a 21 yearold student at Canterbury University, had hit a wall with her faith, which lead to a profound experience with a Spiritual Mentor from her church. Here’s how she tells the story. Spanky Moore
Conversations at this summer’s Festival of Salt and Light. Left: Becky Hintz, Phil Trotter. Above: Joel Abraham, Rev Ian Smith. Photos: Claudia Wood.
ife was fine.I was happy without God. On my way to graduating and all set up to do a year of honours. Studying what I loved. A fantastic flat. A great boyfriend. Nothing was there to bring me down. I was a woman attending a church, lying about my relationship with God, and I was actually OK with that. It was a slow but noticeable change. Where I used to at least give God a say in my actions, thoughts and words, in 2012 it just didn’t seem to be that relevant anymore. I didn’t feel the need to ask God’s opinion about as much as I used to. I’d had a taste of living selfishly after years of volunteering at church camps, playing in worship bands, praying for people I’d never met, getting up early to read my Bible, and journaling what God was doing in my life. And I relished this freedom. My grades didn’t suddenly drop when I didn’t pick up my Bible for a month. My relationships with friends and family were still as bold and loving and exciting as ever. I was happy to live through 2012, showing everyone around me I was still the same Jesus-enthusiast I’d always been, just without doing the behindthe-scenes work. This was easier to do when I had things to distract me from my emotional state. Assignments, exams and 21st parties all delayed that question dreaded by any BA graduate, “So, what job does that lead to?” When I look back at my year, to be honest, I didn’t miss the discipline of reading my Bible, in favour of other far more enjoyable books. I didn’t miss the
uncomfortable and inconvenient call by God to give, which had been dulled by the whispers of a consumption-driven world. I didn’t miss the rules that so many people place around following what seems like a conditional God. What I did miss was the community that falls into place when those around you are serving a dangerous, demanding, lifegiving God. I missed the community of honesty and accountability that I knew existed at my church, and I was excluded purely because of my pride and laziness. But the turning point for me was seeing the life of a very close friend completely changed by his relationship with a spiritual mentor. I saw him undergo a dramatic change – not only in his actions, but deep in his heart. Obviously having someone who was willing to listen, talk things through and hold him to account had boosted his self esteem, his ability to make decisions, and his acceptance of his own doubts. I listened to the stories he told about his spiritual direction sessions. He gushed about how love and respect was tangible in the discussions with his mentor. Envy welled hot beneath my eyelids as I listened. I knew this was what I needed. But who? I was put on to see Meg by our vicar. Coming with a great recommendation and little else, I decided to take a chance. Tea in one hand, nerves in the other, she sat me down, closed her office door and simply asked me, “So, what brings you here?” Struggling to answer this myself, I spoke about how things had changed for me in 2012. What had started off as my first year of flatting and giving this new church some of my time, had become a self-interested year of being happy without God and not being answerable to anyone. My relationship with my boyfriend was suffering. And my future had turned into a negative space of the unknown, where I felt without support. Slowly, Meg began to unfold my layers of anxiety. She helped me to see how I needed God, that I didn’t really want to walk away and I’d let apathy reign over me for too long. Through the slow art of conversation my shell of indifference and laziness began to crack. I realised I wasn’t actually happy without God.
Over the weeks and months she encouraged me to keep talking. I learned that even if I couldn’t see God in a situation that didn’t mean he wasn’t there. She encouraged me to find things I’m passionate about, and link them to my church life. She helped me see God as one who lives in a vibrant place, not a static, dry church. She challenged me on my true motives for relationships too. Yes, sometimes the honestly stung, but I desperately needed it.
Without (her)….I’m certain I’d still be stuck in a spiritual rut.
Most importantly, Meg helped to connect the dots of where God is working in my life in a real and exciting way. Because of this woman who has invested time, emotion, prayer and love into my journey, I can go forward into 2013 proud of who I am and where I have come from. I’m comfortable with my doubts and know that God would be happy with my honesty; after all if I knew everything, then I wouldn’t need God. And I have someone beside me who cares about what I stand for and where I fall. Without the willingness and time of this stranger to sit down with me to listen and to ask good questions, I’m certain I’d still be stuck in a spiritual rut. I just wish more of my friends who are asking these same questions of themselves had access to a mentor like Meg. Amongst the young adults I rub shoulders with, I don’t see any shortage of demand. So, any takers out there?” Ms Jemma Hartley is studying mass communications at the University of Canterbury and assists with children’s ministry in the parish of Avonhead. firstname.lastname@example.org Rev Spanky Moore is Young Adults Ministry Developer for the Diocese of Christchurch email@example.com
TC E HO EO N LOOMGI C YS
Max Whitaker investigates Sacred Economics – an intriguing proposal for the redemption of money
SacredPutting Economics mammon under rein F or decades, futurologists have been predicting an age of leisure - a time, when technological advances will make it so easy to produce what we need, that humans will be freed to live lives of recreation and creative pursuit. Yet, decade after decade, this dream remains just that. Apart from an elite
scarcity is not even the truth, even if we act as though it were.
few, people work harder, for longer hours, producing more and more, and owning less and less. So what have we been doing wrong? US author Charles Eisenstein argues it’s not due to a failure in technology, but a failure in the way we understand and use money. In his book, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition,1 Eisenstein claims we’ve accepted a number of disabling myths, and hold to them as almost sacred truths. The first myth is that we live in a world of scarcity. This assumes there are not enough resources to support human life, so we must fight for and hoard whatever precious resources we have. A useful survival tool, perhaps. But in a world where food is regularly dumped and people are homeless while houses sit empty, scarcity is not even the truth, even if we act as though it were. The problem lies not in the lack of resources, but in our inability, or unwillingness, to distribute and share them.
A second myth, strongly related to the first, is that we are separate individuals, able to support ourselves in isolation from the rest of the world. Aside from a very small number of recluses, this is also untrue. The food we eat, the houses we live in, the cars we drive, or even walking safely down the street … none of these would be possible without a network, a community, a body to which we all belong. Of course, the main tool we use to organise the distribution of the things we need, is money. This wouldn’t be a problem, Eisenstein argues, if our understanding of money hadn’t shifted so fundamentally. Money, he says, should be seen as a tool for distributing and sharing resources. But now it has become a way to accumulate and hoard resources. For Eisenstein, it is the very illusion of separation and independence, which encourages this hoarding mentality. This myth says, “I own myself”. Sacred Economics proposes a reform of money so that it becomes a tool of giving,
rather than taking and keeping, a tool for generosity rather than selfishness. Eisenstein makes several compelling observations about modern money. Unlike any other worldly treasure, money lacks impermanence. It doesn’t rot or fade. No number of moths, nor rust, nor even thieves can destroy the modern idea of money. That’s because, in most part, it is just an idea, separate from the material world. And because of this, more than ever before, those with the most wealth have the ability to acquire more. Simply having money is a recipe for acquiring more - in the form of interest on loans and rental on land. Eisenstein sees these forms of usury as one of the great evils of money as it exists today. The result is the accumulation of ever increasing wealth in the hands of an elite few. Eisenstein connects the usury system with the false need for constant economic growth. Never-ending monetary growth demands that ever more of humanity’s common treasures are converted into money and claimed as “owned” by a subset of humanity. Most people have all but accepted this change in thinking when it comes to land, but even this is a recent development. The idea that land, gifted to all by God, should be claimed by a minority who demand money from others just for using it, he says, is not intuitively natural or just. God’s aeons-old treasures such as oil, water, forests, even the genetic building blocks of life itself, are now being ringfenced by patents and sold back to the true heirs of the Kingdom – the rest of humanity. At the same time, says Eisenstein, humanity’s shared creative and technological wisdom is being gradually divided up and converted into money. So how do we fight back against this trend? Eisenstein suggests a range of solutions. Fundamental to each one is the philosophy of gift giving, which he believes should replace the idea of paying. Usury would be eliminated in Eisenstein’s system. He calls for an end to interest, and a new “negative interest” on currency, so that profit cannot be gained simply from owning money. There’s a reason why Eisenstein treats land and money on equal terms. Money itself, he says, should be treated as a “common” in the same way that water,
air, land, and our shared cultural and technological heritage must be. Giving money where it is needed should be as intuitive and easy as lending an umbrella to a friend when it’s raining. But, of course, there’s a catch. As always, it’s easier to question the faults in a system, than it is to provide the answers. Eisenstein’s analysis of what is wrong seems much stronger than his solutions. Still he’s asking important, challenging questions that should get us Christians thinking. Jesus asked even more challenging questions. He made even more challenging demands. We cannot serve both God and mammon, Jesus warns us, and with a mammon rebelling so hard against God, this looks as urgent now as ever. What Eisenstein can suggest to us is the idea that mammon must be tamed and made to serve God. All things in the world are created good, and all must therefore be redeemable, including money. For Eisenstein, the idea of separation is central to the problem. The Gospels challenge us on this idea of separation time after time - both separation from God and one another. If we believe we’re separate from one another, then we need to hoard resources. If we believe we’re separate from God, we may be deluded into thinking God’s world can be divided up and owned individually. These two separations are impossible to reconcile with our faith. Both God’s acts in creation and the incarnation declare that this world is God’s and God wishes to share it as a gift, in the most intimate way possible. How then, can anyone make an individual claim to a gift from the Creator? We are not separate from God. Neither are we separate from each other. We who are many are one body, for we all share the one bread. We are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. To think that one part of the body can benefit from taking from another part makes no sense. And this interdependence extends beyond the church, into all of humanity and ultimately all creation. In Luke’s gospel Jesus rejects the myths of separation quite simply: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all
…mammon must be tamed and made to serve God.
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and you shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Lk. 10:27) However, once we acknowledge our interconnectedness, that raises some uncomfortable questions. Should we say to our neighbour, or to our children “Yes, you can borrow this money, or live in one of my homes, but only if you spend a huge chunk of your income and time working to make me wealthier…” Or to God, “I will take this gift you gave to us all, rip it apart and destroy it, then sell the detritus to my siblings? Is that what we and our economic system are doing? Does that conflict with our understanding of God? And if it does, what are we to do? Give away our rental property and stop profiting from its income? Stop dividing up those treasures that should be held in common? At a global level, should we write off national debts and see trade as a way to distribute our abundance, rather than seek to profit from scarcity? Jesus said take all your money and give it to the poor. As impossible a demand then, as it seems now. But, with God all things are possible. And therein lies the Kingdom of Heaven. Max Whitaker studies New Testament at Otago University and is an Anglican lay reader based in the Maniototo. firstname.lastname@example.org Ms. Skye Isaac introduced Sacred Economics to Taonga. Her reflection on the gift economy is online at http:// www.anglicantaonga.org.nz/Features/keeping 1. Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein is downloadable from http://sacred-economics.com.
Pigs not people Brian Thomas bristles because families are being denied the crumbs off the table
eftover bread that used to feed poor families in Christchurch is now being hogged by a Canterbury pig farmer. And the supermarket that produces the bread is impervious to our squeals of disappointment. Anglican forbearance prevents me from naming (and therefore shaming) the farmer and the supermarket, but I can tell you that the supermarket is big and it’s New Zealand owned. So we can’t hang this injustice on the Australian food giants. The surplus bread is cleared from supermarket shelves before six o’clock every morning – up to five trolleys of it,
we are talking here of families whose children go to school with empty stomachs
including assorted buns, French sticks, and iced cakes in plastic containers. Then it’s wheeled to the back of the supermarket for the first breakfast sitting: sticky-beak seagulls which caw and claw through the wrappers and pick holes in the loaves. They need to be quick, however, because my wife Chris and I have been part of a volunteer team that picks up the bread and delivers it to the quakeravaged suburb of Aranui. Soon after day-break. We don’t hang about when there’s free food in the offing. And neither do Ila and Ray, two Aranui superannuitants who scramble out of bed to place the bread on a table outside St Ambrose’s Church, in time for school lunches. Well, that was before the pig farmer complained that his pigs weren’t getting their share – and was awarded the entire daily surplus by the supermarket management. To be fair, the supermarket has its reasons. It seems some of our collectors have been remiss on public holidays, and the seagulls have had a field day. Our collectors, moreover, have not always worn high-visibility jackets,
posing a health & safety hazard in the loading area. Fair enough, but we would have complied in a flash, had we been asked. The supermarket has also worried about security, with various unknowns having access to the back of the store in the cold, grey dawn. My fault probably, because I sometimes neglected to shave before the pickup. But the principal reason, the compelling reason, for the supermarket siding with the pig farmer, I suspect, is that it believes people won’t actually buy the bread if they can get it for free. The food mill, in other words, turns on “money through the till,” and who can argue with that fundamental tenet of consumerism? Except that we are talking here of families who are scraping to survive. Of children who go to school with empty stomachs, and who are now denied even the crumbs off a supermarket table. Anyone who has checked out the supermarket dumpsters will know there’s a colossal amount of food going to waste every day, just because it’s passed the use-by date. In fact, there’s no shortage of food throughout the city, or even the world at large. The problem rather is one of distribution, of ensuring that edible surplus fills hungry stomachs instead of dumps and pig pens. But there’s a happy ending to this pig’s ear of a story: a postscript that shows not every food giant is happy to cast bread before swine. And I will name this party, because some lights shouldn’t be hidden under a bushel. The Pak ‘n’ Save supermarket in Moorhouse Ave already supplies the Anglican City Mission with tinned and perishable goods. And it’s more than happy to divvy up its surplus bread with the families of Aranui and whoever else needs it. As a firm believer in the biblical adage, “Cast your bread upon the waters,” I’m sure the Moorhouse supermarket won’t be disadvantaged by its generosity. In fact, it just might become our supermarket of choice.
As a Christian conservationist Phillip Donnell meets plenty of different reactions to his calling. Some, more positive than others. In the light of four Christian responses to the environment, he asks us to question what our faith demands for our planet.
not seals D
ave Bookless’ introduction to his book,“Planetwise”, defines four categories of response to the environmental crisis. They are:
Insidious “Ecology and environmental issues are a bit dodgy, and Christians should keep well clear. New Age philosophy has infiltrated the green movement.” The environment is created by God, not New Agers. It’s like saying Christians shouldn’t listen to music because some musicians have dubious beliefs. But music, like the environment, is God’s good creation. The environmental movement certainly includes people with a very different worldview from Christianity, but also many who are openly searching for spiritual reality. That’s another compelling reason for Christians to get involved. It’s a missional activity.
Irrelevant “Caring for the earth is not important for Christians. The Gospel is about saving souls, not saving seals.” At the time the New Testament was written, a key issue was whether ultimate reality is purely spiritual. But the Bible is very clear: we are not merely spirits or souls, our material bodies are vitally important. By extension, God’s purpose is to redeem all of creation – spirit, matter, human and beyond. As far as God is concerned, the earth is not disposable.
Incidental “I’m glad somebody’s caring for the planet, just as long as it doesn’t have to be me.”
In my observation, this is the majority view of Christians, most of the time. Some churches proudly proclaim they recycle their bottles, abandon their cars to go to church one Sunday per year, or hold an annual outdoor service. They are to be commended, but such one-off efforts fall far short of a credible response to environmental degradation. Genuine ecological action must flow from the core of our believing rather than being some kind of add-on or optional activity to ease our consciences.
Integral “Care for the whole of creation is fundamental to the God of the Bible and to God’s purposes for human beings.” Life is full of important issues, and we can’t get involved in all of them. However, there are some things that every follower of Jesus has to take on board. As I continue to read the Bible, I’ve come to realize that caring for God’s creation is a fundamental part of our Christian calling. Just as we are called to pray, meet together, study God’s word, and share the good news, so we are called to stewardship of this earth. The early Christians had this conviction and we need to rediscover it – urgently!
What do we make of all this? Every now and then there are major shifts in Christian thinking, as we wake up to biblical truths that our culture has prevented us from seeing. Two hundred years ago Christians like William Wilberforce changed the way people thought about the slave trade. I believe we are at one of those moments today.
Photo by Sarah Wilcox
It’s as if we’re removing a pair of tinted glasses that have coloured our whole view of life. We’ve been so immersed in our urban, industrial, consumer culture that we’ve failed to notice the Bible’s plain message on creation and our place within it. Environmental degradation is simply the most obvious symptom of a much deeper sickness. The crux of it is this: as human beings we’ve got our relationship with the planet all wrong. It’s not just that populations are growing and energy-hungry lifestyles increasing. We are living in a way that just can’t continue. We won’t solve this problem by better technology and a few hard political choices. It goes deeper than that, right to the heart of who we are. We need to rethink who on earth we think we are as human beings. If we embrace a kind of Christian ecospirituality with a vision to save the created order, it will demand real sacrifice and a very different way of life.
So, where are you at now? Which of the four ways looks like the way you relate your faith to care of creation? Are you satisfied with “where you are at”? If not, what steps could you take to get to where you’d rather be – bearing in mind that a changed heart usually comes before a changed life? Phillip Donnell is the EnviroChurches Facilitator for A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand and teaches for Bishopdale College in Tauranga. email@example.com
Julie Hintz takes a fresh look at how we can make room for children’s spirituality
Saving a space Look and listen beyond what’s being said...
lose your eyes for a moment and think how you would describe spirituality. Did you use words, pictures or even feelings? Were you reminded of an experience you had, or did you sense an emotion? Spirituality can be a bit slippery to grasp, but however we define it, we know that nurturing a child’s spirituality is important. It’s a privilege and responsibility that we, as parents, grandparents, caregivers and ministry leaders have been given. Serious research has been done to show there’s more going on spiritually in a child’s early years than we might think. God has special ways of being with children, and children have special ways of being with God. Unlike learning and knowledge, a child’s spirituality isn’t something that she needs to grow into. On the contrary, we can trust that spirituality is innate in each one of us. But with that in mind, we adults can still do a lot to help the spiritual awakening of our children. We can provide them with opportunities to experience joy, expectation, connectedness to others and to God, gratitude, wonder, love and praise. Children often see the beauty in everyday objects and actions. They possess an amazing sense of awe and wonder. One night years ago, our family decided to have a late night star-gazing session. Lying on our trampoline looking up at the starry sky, my 5 year-old said to me, “Those stars are sparkly like my insides when I’m happy!” Others started sharing – love, excitement, our great God who made the sky so beautiful, the “big-ness” of everything. They led me on a journey that night. As adults we’re often looking to preserve our identity as children of God. We can start to relearn that by being around, and tuned into, children. Children are expectant, eager to love and to learn, things that many adults try to recapture at some point along their faith journey. In fact, when asked to describe a spiritual experience, many adults refer back to something from their childhood. When we share those memories, we have the language to describe our experience. But as we look at a child’s spirituality, their special way of being with God, it’s good to remember that often a child won’t have developed the verbal capacity to explain what they’re sensing and feeling. So, as we journey alongside our children, it’s helpful to look and listen
beyond what is being said. We need to keep in mind a child’s potential difficulty with putting things into words, even though God’s presence in their life may make perfect sense to them. Each child is unique. Each will have a different way of expressing spirituality. When we spend time with a child, we can be open to her individuality. What games does he like to play? What are her favourite toys? Are there particular things that he likes to draw, and what colours does he use? What does she say to her animals, toys or imaginary friends when she thinks no one is listening? What does he like to talk about in small groups? These moments when a child is being authentically who they are, can give us precious insights into their spiritual life. Because spirituality is innate and starts with God, it doesn’t require input or teaching from adults for a child to be aware of the sacred quality of everyday life. Receiving religious instruction is not a prerequisite for spiritual life. Consider the wonderful reflection below, written by a 10 year-old boy: “Waves patter as I sit there and relax. When I look around I see birds flying free in the sky and rocks seem to be talking to each other in a kind way. Although people talk to me I take no notice. I am too involved in watching and listening to the earth speak. After listening to the earth I try to listen to my friends, but all I can hear is nature calling me to listen.” While children’s special relationship with God doesn’t need us, there are ways to nurture and encourage children’s spirituality. Here are just a few ideas for parents, caregivers and children’s ministry leaders.
Play with your children Often moments of incredible spiritual depth will emerge as children engage in imaginative play without restrictions or expectations. Watch and learn!
Honour children’s need for quiet time In today’s world we often over-schedule. Children need time just to be, to play, create, draw and think.
Beautiful spaces and materials Provide a beautiful welcoming space for reflection and creative play that
communicates value and respect for the work of spiritual development. The corner of a storage area, a dark basement, broken toys and crayons do not let children know that their journey is important and valued. Make a space for quiet and creating at home too. Encourage everyone to use it.
Share personal stories of faith Storytelling from your own faith journey is a powerful tool, not just to pass on information, but to inspire, excite and bring joy to others. Allow time for children to share their stories too. If a child is having a hard time communicating, you can suggest they draw a picture, sing, dance, build something with blocks or Lego, or anything that will open up opportunities for sharing.
Joining in Fully involve children in faith community and family life to help them see they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Give them opportunities to watch and learn, as you praise and worship God alongside them.
Length and timing of worship As children worship with you, consider their physical needs and attention spans. Children who are tired and hungry don’t easily engage with us or with God.
Colourful images Children are used to a colourful, multimedia world. Pictures, objects and Powerpoints are all helpful in making connections.
Switch your expectations For many of us, the benchmark of time with children, whether our own or other people’s, is, “What have they learnt from me? What have I taught them?” But one of the easiest ways to know if we’re tuned into our children’s spirituality is to ask ourselves, “What have I learnt from being with them?” What have I received through this encounter?” Given time, space and respect, children can show us much of their inner lives, in relation with God and others. Sometimes we just need to be still, listen, watch, open our hearts and learn. Ms Julie Hintz is the StrandZ Children’s Ministry Enabler for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia. firstname.lastname@example.org Page 41
Taking us forward CALLED TO LEAD: AN EMERGING LEADERS CURRICULUM BY STUART CROSSAN Castle, Dunedin, 2012, $19.95. http://castlepublishing.co.nz PETER CARRELL
hances are if we belong to a church where most things are going well, then we belong to a church with great leadership. Quality leadership is not a sufficient condition for happy church life, but it is a necessary condition. Show me an unhappy church and I will show you the poverty of its leadership. Sourcing and resourcing great leaders is vital for viable churches. New Testament Christians knew that. We should know that too. Sometimes we do not look as though we do know that. As Anglicans, we discern for ‘pastoral’ capabilities in our future priests, but when we appoint vicars, we want ‘leadership’ capabilities. Only priests can be vicars, so we always have a surplus of pastors and a shortfall of leaders when choosing our vicars. However, great leadership in happy parishes is not just about the vicar, but
about the quality of leaders across parish ministries. How can we raise the standard, enhance the quality and broaden the base for excellent leadership in our churches? An affirmative answer must involve the provision of training. To an extent, leaders are born. You know the ones, the ‘natural leaders’ who always get selected as team captain or head prefect without ever going on a leadership course. But leaders are also made. Being forced to lead when no one else will take the responsibility, many have found that they are leaders when they thought they were not. Most of us, in fact, have to lead some group in the course of our lives, for instance, the family we find ourselves in charge of as Mum or Dad! If leaders are made, does it have to be via the School of Hard Knocks or the University of Trial and Error? The answer is ‘No.’ Plenty of wisdom abounds from the past. But where do we find that wisdom in a neat bundle, readily unpacked in a systematic manner, through a method of teaching that doesn’t rely on the latest technological bells and whistles? Called to Lead: An Emerging Leaders Curriculum by Stu Crossan, Vicar of St
Matthew’s, Dunedin is an answer to that question. Through 24 sessions, spread across six themes (God’s Revelation, Character Formation, Leadership Formation, Spiritual Formation, Practical Church Ministry, Leading in Life) the material presented here is excellent. Moreover these are not lessons hammered out in the author’s mind as an abstract concept of what might be useful in training emerging leaders. Rather, the material here has been taught, refined, and taught again through a number of years. In this attractive publication we have the mature form of a successful training course. All that remains is for it to spread through the churches! Rev Dr Peter Carrell is Director of Education in the Diocese of Christchurch and Director of Theology House, Christchurch. email@example.com
“At Christ’s College they want you to carry on with things you’re good at and try other things as well.” To learn more, please contact our Registrar on (03) 364 6836 or visit www.christscollege.com
An epic in the making CREATING A NEW ZEALAND PRAYER BOOK: A PERSONAL REMINISCENCE OF A 25 YEAR ODYSSEY 1964-89 BY BRIAN CARRELL THEOLOGY HOUSE, 2013. $25 + P & P www.theologyhouse.ac.nz HELEN JACOBI
hen we Pacific Anglicans travel, we often hear praise for A New Zealand Prayer Book / He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa. Often from clergy and laity who use it for leading worship across the world. Now the Rt Rev Brian Carrell has provided us with an answer to the often-posed question: “How did your church come up with such a wonderful book?” The answer: an extraordinary group of people worked very, very hard for 25 years. That’s the story you’ll find in Brian Carrell’s new book, Creating A New Zealand Prayer Book: A Personal Reminiscence of a 25 Year Odyssey 1964-89 . When the Prayer Book Commission began, he explains, the church was male-led, assumed that most people went to church, still held to an English heritage and
used typewriters. By the time they’d finished, the world and the church were radically different; women were serving as ministry leaders, we were approaching our three-tikanga constitution and by the very end of their work, word processors were in use. Bishop Brian takes us on a journey with the people, their personalities and their theologies. He shows us how as a group they worked together, listened, argued, and then consulted in numerous ways with the wider church, drawing on many diocesan groups for drafting of sections. It seems an absolute miracle that they made it to the end of the task. Brian shares the background to some of his own work, including his moving account of writing the “Alternative Great Thanksgiving – Celebrating the Grace of God” (P436). We learn that many people’s favourite prayer, “Lord it is night” (p184) was rescued from the wastepaper basket. And we are reminded of the storm of controversy around the choice of language for the Psalms. This book will be a wonderful tool for students of liturgy, but it is a book that should be much more
widely read. In an easy and engaging style, and it tells the formation story of one of the most precious taonga this Church has: our common worship. Few things matter to us more as Anglicans, and so we will benefit from understanding more about our Prayer Book and how it came to be. For those who have never held a Prayer Book in their hands in worship, it might
encourage them to go back to the book and drink deeply from its waters. And for those who are ready for a revision of the Prayer Book, they will know the enormity of the task ahead. Rev Dr Helen Jacobi has recently completed her ministry as Dean of Waiapu Cathedral in Napier and is currently a scholar in residence at Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
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He Tangata Nui a Herewini – Selwyn: the great man A CONTROVERSIAL CHURCHMAN – ESSAYS ON GEORGE SELWYN, BISHOP OF NEW ZEALAND AND LICHFIELD, AND SARAH SELWYN. EDITED BY ALLAN K. DAVIDSON BRIDGET WILLIAMS BOOKS, 2011. www.bwb.co.nz $49.99. TE KITOHI PIKAAHU
n his foreword to Dr Allan Davidson’s 2011 collection of scholarly essays ‘A Controversial Churchman’ Sir Paul Reeves proposes that “Selwyn was a great man.” Going by the essays in this book, Bishop George Augustus Selwyn was a far greater man than was ever attributed to him in his day. A leader of great vision and energy, Selwyn possessed mental, emotional, physical and spiritual toughness. And wherever he went in the course of his extensive travels in New Zealand and abroad, controversy seemed to follow him. Some of these eleven essays build on the well-known Selwyn era, but also bring to light Selwyn’s ministry outside NZ and Sarah Selwyn’s contribution. The new section on Australian, North American and English periods I found most interesting. Bruce Kaye surprises us with the high regard Selwyn was held in by bishops in Australia. Bishop of Australia, William Broughton, (to whom Selwyn was suffragan) said that in Selwyn, he’d had ‘…the long-looked for gratification of meeting someone whose character, principles, and self-devotion to the best interests of the Church and of the human race firstly endear him to all good men.’ The Australian experience is significant for us, as it shaped Selwyn’s thinking towards the pastoral letter of 1852, in which he proposed a constitution for the Anglican Church in New Zealand. We discover he was the first Lambethappointed Corresponding Secretary for the Bishops of the Anglican Communion and travelled North America as a roving episcopal diplomat between British and American churches. Ken Booth explains that while Selwyn found a lack of openness to new ideas on his Page 44
return to England, he managed to translate his NZ synodical experience into that context. Often, with a collection like this, you approach the book expecting a mixed bag. Not so here. Each essay keeps pace with the next. Dr Janet Crawford devotes her research to Sarah Selwyn. She recalls a speech made in 1868 at a farewell given by Maori in the Bay of Islands, where an orator acknowledged both Selwyns, "Sire, the Bishop. Salutations to you and to mother! We, the people of this place to which you first came, still retain our affection for you both." The high regard Sarah was held in by Maori, shows in the affectionate words used to name her as – 'Mata Pihopa' (Mother Bishop). As well as showing Selwyn’s response to this south-Pacific context and his early formation, we gain insights into his influence on the colonial government. Rowan Strong explores the expectations placed on Selwyn by his social position, to act as an ‘instrument’ of political networks in his part of the British Empire. Selwyn was loved and despised by many. The personal cost for his fearless defence of Maori rights was to be denounced ‘a turbulent priest’ by the British Parliament. For that stand alone, he should have been a hero to Maori. William Williams criticised Selwyn, saying his ‘passion appears to be the love of power;’ and portrayed him as a ‘stubborn’ man. On one occasion Pakeha settlers in New Plymouth named him a ‘meddler and a traitor’ for siding with Taranaki Maori who opposed land sales. Some regarded those actions as bordering on treason. However, he was joined in his stance by Sir William Martin and the Rev’d (later bishop) Octavius Hadfield, all motivated by deep religious convictions. Early on Selwyn threw his support behind the Kingitanga and was seen as a champion of Maori in the Waikato. That was short-lived however, when he became chaplain to the British troops that invaded the Waikato lands. With possibly the best of intentions, he was politically naive in his attempt to accommodate both sides at the same time.
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki deals with Selwyn’s devotion to good church architecture. His commitment ‘to lay the corner-stone of the church of Christ’ in the ’most distant of the islands of the sea,’ was almost as important to Selwyn as proclaiming the Gospel itself. I know a number of treaty-hardened Maori who would read Waitangi Tribunal member Grant Phillipson’s essay1 with great interest. Treaty history from 1840 onwards recounts a significant role for the Anglican Church. As members, we are often called to account for our Church, which is not shown in a good light. Yet the record books also speak of men like Henry Williams and George Selwyn who did their best to uphold the principles of justice and fairness entrenched in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. These men are referred to often – by Crown and claimants alike, but while that information is absolutely reliable, it isn’t always accepted. One example is the Taranaki claim where the Tribunal acknowledged Martin, Selwyn and Hadfield in a positive light, as “Pakeha who advocated for Maori.” Judith Bright’s essay shows another side of Selwyn as ‘an eloquent and prolific letter writer.’ Missionary societies and NZ governors often appear, but it’s the personal letters to Selwyn’s wife Sarah, telling of his devotion to her, that speak volumes. This book is a valuable scholarly reassessment of both George Selwyn and Sarah’s contributions. It provides us not only with new information about their extraordinary lives, but a fairer and more accurate retelling of our own story. This helpful and timely book is a must for anyone who is serious about our early history as a nation and as a church. Rt Rev Te Kitohi Pikaahu is Te Pihopa o te Tai Tokerau (Bishop of Tai Tokerau) email@example.com 1. Grant Philipson’s research focuses on references to Bishop Selwyn in Treaty-related reports both to and from the Waitangi Tribunal.
Two peoples: one Gospel
ne of the neat things about the New Zealand story is that it began, not with a conquest or invasion – but with an invitation from Ruatara, the Ngapuhi chief, to his friend Samuel Marsden, the CMS Missionary. Their trust culminated in Marsden preaching that famous 1814 Christmas Day sermon – Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy – just above Oihi beach in the Bay of Islands, beneath the sheltering gaze of Rangihoua Pa. Now. Fast forward 199 years, and check out the two gentlemen in the photo, exchanging the hongi. There’s trust there, and history, too. Because on the left, we have John King, who is the chair of the Marsden Cross Trust Board. John’s great-great grandfather, and namesake, John King, was a CMS missionary who, with Marsden, had befriended Ruatara. John King set foot on Oihi Beach the same day as Samuel Marsden. But unlike
Marsden, he brought his wife and children out to the new land. Hugh Rihari’s Ngati Torehina whanau, meanwhile, are the people of Oihi, and they are closely related to Ruatara. On January 23 this year – which is when this shot was taken – about 75 folk gathered on the ridge high above Oihi beach to watch Hugh and John turn the first sod of a heritage project which will be completed
by December 25, 2014 – 200 years on from that Christmas morning sermon. The next issue of Taonga will carry a feature outlining what’s planned, tell some of the remarkable stories of what took place in 1814, and how those threads are being woven together again now.
– Lloyd Ashton
Committed to the Anglican Faith for almost 160 years COME AND SEE US AT OUR OPEN DAY SATURDAY 25 MAY FROM 9am–1.30pm SLEEPOVER (FOR PROSPECTIVE BOARDERS ONLY) SATURDAY 25 MAY FROM 4pm Contact Alan Richardson, Director of Admissions on (06) 349 0295, or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.collegiate.school.nz
Wanganui Collegiate School Years 9 to 13, Anglican, Co-Educational Boarding and Day School
Right on the ball John Bluck finds himself won over by some less-than-appealing characters in Silver Linings Playbook, a new film directed by David Russell.
f you’re able to skim the sweet caramel coating off this Hollywood feel goodie, some rewarding viewing awaits. Already established on the 10 best films of the year list, with several Oscar nominations, Silver Linings Playbook explores the territory of mental illness and family dysfunction. It’s extraordinary that the cinema has taken to the dysfunctional family as a subject for entertainment and profit, but in this film there is more going on. And in the same way that media campaigns by IHC, the Mental Health Foundation and brave advocates like John Kirwan help us talk about mental illness less ignorantly and fearfully, this movie helps normalise a long taboo subject. The hero Pat (Bradley Cooper) suffers from a bipolar disorder. But it’s a minor problem compared to the obsession with American football that haunts his father (Robert De Niro). Dad’s violent love affair
You save marriages, careers and football seasons by thinking positively and doubling your bet.
with his home team The Philadelphia Eagles uncomfortably echoes Kiwi rugby mania. The reference to Playbook in the film title is a football term. It highlights the same sort of crazy dreaming about game plans that afflicted New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup. There’s a movie waiting to be made here that would show rugby as a collective mental disorder. Disorder it may be, but it’s still a primary channel for expressing affection and passion. De Niro is desperate to connect with his son, fresh home from psychiatric hospital, but the only language he has, is a football playbook, and son Pat doesn’t care much for that sort of conversation. Nor is he interested in Dad’s mania for sport betting, which is so crazy, it makes our Lotto, TAB and pokie addictions look like harmless fun. This is a family defined by wish-fulfillment fantasies of silver linings. You save marriages, careers and football seasons by thinking positively and doubling your bet. Instead Pat lets himself fall in love with Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who’s had her own share of mental instability. Their conversations about the mind bending drugs they’ve had to take to be normal is as horrifying as it is hilarious. Together they dance their way into a redemptive relationship. It’s a serious film, but it’s
also hilarious. Practically everybody is a bit wobbly in psychiatric terms, but director David Russell helps us laugh with, not at, the various obsessions and excesses. To achieve that requires a high degree of skill. He’s able to observe weird behaviour, represent it truthfully without a hint of being patronising; to stay with characters who are not loveable and attractive, and persist with them until their well-buried humanity is allowed to surface and speak for itself. He has the courage to confront and contain violent behaviour and work out better ways of coping. And he’s prepared to believe that even in the midst of personal chaos, people can still learn to trust and love. That’s what this director does, in a way that is always compassionate. You don’t expect to see pastoral skills at work in a popular Hollywood movie. If we could handle troubled people as well as this film does, and dare to find something to laugh about as we try, the church would be a happier place. And a lot funnier. Bishop John Bluck is Acting Dean of Waiapu Cathedral, Napier. email@example.com
F R O M T H E FA R S I D E
Imogen de la Bere on billboards, books and the holy power of coincidence.
A chance encounter in Staines
he other day I was hastening through the dead centre of the city called Staines upon Thames. It’s a desolate space, filled with pound shops, teenage girls made up like mannequins, and old white men staring fixedly into the middle distance, their fingers curled around a solitary pint. The cultural highlight of Staines-uponThames is the statue commemorating the men from the lino works whose odours used to characterise the town. Nowadays its only claim to distinction, besides the pretentious new name, are the seedily grand, nouveau riche houses that sashay down to the plastic-bag strewn river bank, where crouches the obligatory motor boat, now a dingy shadow of its former self. I was hastening because I work in Staines, and, frankly, reader, I hate it. But a billboard caught my eye, which read: “Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.” This cheered me up for the rest of the day, reminding me of the wonderful poem by the Australian Les Murray, called the
Chimes of Neverwhere – “the neither state of Neverwhere” - the place where dwell all the terrible things that never happened, because Grace prevented them. “ There … half the work of sainthood are the enslavements, tortures, rapes, despair deflected by them from the actual…” Good things that happen and bad things that don’t happen because the grace of God silently makes it so. Of course, the billboard was quite naughty really, because it was a misquote of Einstein’s dictum “Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous”, which may or may not have been meant tongue-in-cheek. Then later that day, by sheer coincidence I came across a quirkier, more cynical version in a Dorothy Sayers novel: “Coincidences usually have the air of being practical jokes on the part of Providence”. What a coincidence. Now I am quite sure the Divine Mind did not put those two sentences under my nose deliberately so that I would write this article. Or am I… What the quotations, and their
coincidence, suggest to me is the constant operation of grace; that all around us, all the time, the divine intelligence and ineffable love that underpins the universe – the thing we call grace – is at work. Like all the invisible energies that race through the air around us, filling out ears with sounds from unseen sources, and our phones with information from unseen stores, God’s grace is busy doing stuff that we can’t see or understand. Sometimes we stop and watch and wait, and notice something has happened. Some prayer has been answered – never how we expected or imagined – but answered. Something good has happened; a divine joke has been perpetrated; some evil has been averted. It’s rarely flashy. The riverbank is cleared of plastic bags, the widow finds a new friend, the homeless man is offered a room. But mostly we are too busy hastening to notice. Imogen de la Bere is a kiwi writer living in St Albans, England. firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the secret to ageing well?
Selwyn Village resident, Valerie McMurtry, in her two-bedroom apartment at Point Chevalier
At The Selwyn Foundation, we believe the secret to ageing well is simple. It’s about being independent, staying healthy and living a meaningful life as part of a caring, supportive community. It’s something we apply to everything we do – whether in our retirement villages, rest homes, hospitals or day centres. It’s why we offer a range of modern independent retirement living options with an array of amenities, and why our awardwinning ‘At Home at Selwyn’ approach to care has received national acclaim. It’s the reason we provide care and support within local neighbourhoods through our ‘Selwyn Centres’ charitable outreach programme, and why we promote research in gerontology to develop the future of aged care services in New Zealand. At Selwyn, our aim is to enrich older people’s daily lives so they can age well – wherever they’re at home. It’s a philosophy we’ve practised for almost 60 years. To find out more about our mission to help people age well, call us now on 0800 4 SELWYN (0800 473 599), email email@example.com or visit our website: www.selwyncare.org.nz One of New Zealand’s largest, not-for-profit providers of services to the over 65s, The Selwyn Foundation has been serving older people with integrity and respect for almost sixty years. An independent charitable trust with Christian values, it provides residential care, independent retirement living and community services, and owns or manages a total of nine retirement sites across the upper North Island.
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Published on Apr 19, 2013