ADVENT 2011 // No.38
of the new order Urban Vision's call to radical discipleship SOCIAL JUSTICE
Who cares about Aged Care? YO U T H
Amazing Pilgrimage bridges cultural divide
RUNANGANUI STANDS FIRM FOR MAORI SOVEREIGNTY
A D V E N T
2011 Page 1
t some point I turned from a cynical atheist into a dyed-inthe-wool Anglican. I remember once Bishop Penny Jamieson accused me of such a thing. In those days, being quite as opinionated as any twenty-something worth their salt, I laid out my radical theological and political ideals before her, to see what the church would make of them. To my horror, she pronounced, “You’re central Anglican.” Looking at the stories being told in this issue, I think she was probably right. I can’t help being fascinated by the voices that emerge from our diverse and rich community of faith. I’m perplexed and intrigued by Chris Holmes’ reading of the Spirit’s role in our ethical lives. I’m inspired by the earthiness and maturity of the missional community at Ngatiawa. I’m proud to learn of the Ra-wiri’s power and mana.
I’m moved to tears by Tim Meadowcroft’s reflection on an experience of the Eucharist. As I’ve read and re-read so many of these words, I’ve been struck by the depth of passion, the profundity and the sheer grit they contain. If the writing that’s going on in Taonga is anything to go by, there’s no doubt that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia contains within it the seeds of the kingdom. As editor, my task will be to search out the stories and voices that sow those kingdom seeds. Stories that offer critique, research and reflection that will lead us to know ourselves and our world better – and lead us to demand the best of ourselves for Christ. If you’ve met me and I suspect you can string a few words together, consider yourself in danger of becoming a writer. My aim for Taonga is to draw out as
many voices from the length and breadth of this Haahi, as we can find. If you know a story that should be written, email me. If you know someone who is setting things on fire for people around you, but whose arm may need a tweak, send them my way. Today, after 12 years of Brian Thomas’ exceptional service as editor of this Church’s magazine, I inherit a Taonga that’s the strongest it has ever been. With God’s help and your support, long may that continue. Julanne Clarke-Morris Editor, Anglican Taonga magazine firstname.lastname@example.org Note: The Rev Brian Thomas is still firmly on our Anglican communications scene, as editor of Anglican Taonga online – www.anglicantaonga.org.nz
Anglican Taonga ADVENT 2011
REGULAR 04 Meditation: Kelvin Wright sees God’s evolution in a new creation
26 Social justice: Jolyon White on stinking rotten abuse in the fishing industry 30 Liturgy: Bosco Peters on treasures of common prayer 35 Children: Julie Hintz leads our kids through Advent 40 Young Adults: Spanky Moore is surprised by God's success 42 Poetry: Brian Turner recaptures the wind in his sails 44 Environment: Eco-style morning teas 51 Film: John Bluck is stunned by Tamasese’s Samoa 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 4771-556 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
Te Runanganui lays down a challenge
Prayer books from our tribal heart
It’s all about justice
Polynesia fires up for action Social justice tops Pasifika’s mission
Nga Inoi a te Iwi
A heart-wrenching moment in the red zone
Insurance due date looms
3-tikanga youth bridge the cultural streams
Who will insure our heritage buildings?
Prophets of the new order Radical discipleship in Ngatiawa
Who cares about Aged Care? Crisis on the horizon for elderly living
Communion in suffering and hope
Sexual ethics after the resurrection
My God, my God, Why?
In the light of the Spirit
For the latest on the Anglican world, check out our website: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz Page 3
Kelvin Wright sees God's evolution in a new creation
whole world in her eyes...
week or two ago I held my first grandchild in my arms, for the first time. Naomi lives in Sydney, and by the time I had scraped together enough free time to travel there; she was about 8 weeks old. She was an uncomprehending, helpless and defenseless little scrap, with her limbs still curled for fitting into a womb. Her instincts – grasping, suckling, startling – finely honed by millennia of natural selection, and her shape, still redolent of her evolutionary ancestry. For the first couple of days, I was just one more in the myriad of adoring faces peering at her and repeating back the little protowords she mouthed. Then, with enough holding, and enough talking to her, there came that precious moment when she looked back at me, held my gaze and connected. For perhaps 15 minutes we maintained a wordless mutual comprehension that will rank
as one of the most important times of my life, since I did the same thing with her father more than 30 years ago. In that moment, I was powerfully aware of her as a person, growing daily, almost hourly, in her ability to perform the tasks she faces. Learning to control the body she finds herself encased in. Learning to communicate with these others who loom into her field of vision. Learning the foundations that her worldview will eventually be built upon: up, down, then, now, me, you, inside, outside. Holding her, I knew again that life is process; it is neverending change; it is evolution. We move and grow in a fairly predictable pattern, whose various stages and waypoints many people have charted: from comparative simplicity, into increasing depth, complexity and understanding. This shouldn't surprise us, since around us, the whole of creation is doing the same. Evolution should never be antithetical to faith. Evolution is part of the warp and weft of the universe, and thus, I suppose - of the mind of God. The universe is in process, and so are we, as a species, culturally and individually. It is so important to remember this. If we forget that we are in process, we rely on an untruth - that we, and the world we inhabit, are somehow fixed entities. Take for example, the whole idea of conversion. Almost 40 years ago, I gave my life to Christ. Immediately afterward, I experienced a sense of newness, which Jesus describes as being born again. The shift was so dramatic, that my immediate
temptation was to describe it in terms of a movement from one fixed state to another: non Christian to Christian, unsaved to saved, damned to redeemed. I was not alone in this. The church I attended, and all my new Christian friends, agreed with this description. Its falsehood showed up later, in the 90+ percent backsliding rate of my fellow converts and the gradual disillusionment of most of the other tithe. We thought we had arrived, but of course we hadn’t. What had happened, was the first experience of a process. In that initial surrender to Christ, I'd had my first real taste of kenosis: of willful self- emptying. I had tasted what it was to allow myself to be crucified, and so known not only that pain, but the joy of resurrection, which inevitably follows. I hadn't experienced a change of state, but a new way of acting, which more strongly, more consciously, directed the process of development I'd been participating in since birth. My own continuing evolution, and the evolution of our species, are signs to me of God’s love and generosity. As Naomi continues her own exciting evolution, I pray that God will grace her with the gift of his presence within it, just as he has done in mine. The Rt Rev Kelvin Wright is Bishop of Dunedin. firstname.lastname@example.org
Study Theology at The University of Auckland Explore the biblical texts, traditions and history of Christianity and its relevance within Aotearoa New Zealand and the world. Visit the School of Theology’s website: www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/departments/theology For undergraduate information contact Dr Caroline Blyth, email: email@example.com For postgraduate information contact Dr Nicholas Thompson, email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.auckland.ac.nz | 0800 61 62 63 | txt 5533
Jim joins school for scandal
im White was ordained to the episcopate, and licensed as Assistant Bishop of Auckland, on Saturday, October 29, at Parnell’s Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Rev Dr Marilyn McCord Adams, who’d been Jim’s academic supervisor when he was at Yale University in 2001 and 2002, preached the ordination sermon. She called her sermon “Saving scandal” – and she insisted that the gospel requires bishops to be willing to give and take scandal. In nineteenth-century Britain, for example, that would have meant standing against slavery, or racial segregation in the mid-twentieth century USA.
For Dr McCord Adams to be preaching in Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral on Jim’s big day – she’d travelled from the University of North Carolina – is testimony to the quality of the relationship forged between Jim and his former professor. Throughout the service, in fact, in the people chosen to read, in warmth of the hugs and handshakes exchanged, you could see evidence of the quality of relationships Bishop Jim has forged as father, priest and, latterly, as a dean at St John’s College. Among the throng of wellwishers at the doors of the cathedral, for example, Father Bishoy Mekhaiel stood with some of his flock, patiently waiting to greet the new bishop.
Fr Bishoy is the priest for St Mark’s Coptic Church in Auckland. Jim had been Vicar at All Saints Ponsonby from 1993 to 2005, and for years, Fr Bishoy’s largely Egyptian congregation had met there. And those Egyptian folk were there at the service, presenting Bishop Jim with an engraved silver plaque. If the eloquence of their tribute is any indication… you might even think that entering a life of giving and taking scandal is not all bad. – Lloyd Ashton
takes a stand This year Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa had some weighty matters to decide.
As Lloyd Ashton found out, what Tikanga Maori thinks is a vital priority doesn't necessarily match wider Anglican expectations.
he eyes of the wider Anglican church in the country – indeed, of the Communion, were fixed on Te Runanganui o Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa when it met in Rotorua in November. The fate of the proposed Anglican Covenant, as far as this province is concerned, lay in its hands. Thumbs up? Or thumbs down? Tikanga Maori chose to reject the covenant, of course, and by so doing probably sealed its fate as far as this province is concerned. That much is probably well known by now. What won’t be so well known is how quickly the runanganui dispatched the covenant. Yes, the mover of the resolution, Turi Hollis, spoke to it, and Don Tamihere added his thoughts as seconder. There were also three or four other brief
speeches – none in dissent – and the motion to reject the covenant (see page 9) was passed with applause. All done and dusted in half an hour. On to the next thing. That, perhaps, was the point: Tikanga Maori were saying, in effect: We’ve got other priorities. There are more pressing issues for us, and they’re mostly to do with our survival as a church, and as a people. And oh, just so you don’t miss the point: we won’t be handing over our rangatiratanga, or sovereignty – so hard won – to some faceless foreign adjudicators whom we didn’t choose, and over whom we have no control. Reflecting on Te Runanganui after the event, you might have picked up on two themes that seemed to underpin many of the debates.
RANGATIRATANGA There was a consistent stressing of the autonomy of Te Pihopatanga – maybe even a flexing of the muscles in that regard – and an impatience that said, in effect: We’ve been treated as the poor cousins in this church for too long. Certainly, those themes came through loud and clear in the first major debate of the hui, which was on resource-sharing.
Bishop John Gray had raised that kaupapa at the 2010 General Synod, and he’d won agreement then for a three tikanga resource-sharing commission to be set up to probe that question. The lion’s share of ministry in Tikanga Maori is carried out by unpaid Minitaa-Iwi, many of whom are cash-strapped beneficiaries. Bishop Gray had told the General Synod how the Pihopatanga could only afford, throughout the length and breadth of the motu, to pay five stipendiary clergy – and they’d like, for starters, to be able to pay 12 priests. But that resource-sharing commission, in Bishop Gray’s view, had turned out to be a hoha. "We had three meetings,” he told the runanganui, “then it fell apart. We got nowhere. Nowhere. None of our partners wanted to share resources with us.” He questioned why Tikanga Polynesia had representatives at the commission – many in Tikanga Maori feel that they should only be negotiating with Tikanga Pakeha, their treaty partner, on these resource issues. And Bishop Gray was dismayed by the lack of knowledge and experience of
Left to right: The Rev Miki Thompson, Ms Freda Evans, The Ven Turi Hollis, The Rt Rev Ngarahu Katene, Doris, Lady Te Parekohe Vercoe, The Most Rev Brown Turei, The Rev Tom Poata, The Rev Pane Kawhia.
some commission members – and by their unwillingness to negotiate. That was a point that also irked the Rev Jack Papuni, who was on that commission. "We spoke from our hearts – and all we heard was 'We have to get back to our diocese to talk with them about that'. "The commission was a waste of time as far as I was concerned. History tells me that the church was Maori. But there’s been a complete takeover. Pakeha have run the church as though it was theirs – and we have just sat there.” Don Shaw, another commission member, agreed: "We kept hearing,” he said: 'You have had full and final payment.' At the time when Tikanga Maori were being set up to run their own affairs, they were given clapped-out old churches – many of which they’d built, but not given the know-how to run them or their business affairs. Bardia Matiu, from Te Tai Tokerau, told the runanganui that Maori members of the resource-sharing commission had been "forced to tell our stories of desperation." "And yet a response has not been forthcoming. The church in Aotearoa New Zealand, he said, was divided "between the haves and the have-nots. We need to ask: what is your theological response to our plight?" Professor Whatarangi Winiata played a key role in framing the resource-sharing motion, and he tied it to the language of the church's five-fold mission statement. "Tikanga Pakeha subscribe to changing unjust structures within the church, and within the wider community," he said. “Therefore, they have an obligation to act.” The hui also heard that iwi have been forced to accept Treaty settlements that amount to no more than one or two percent of the losses they’d sustained at the hands of the Crown – and the resolution formally takes Tikanga Pakeha to task for not actively supporting Maori over those Treaty settlements. The full text of that resolution can be read at: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz➝ News➝Tikanga Maori/have-not
THE SCHOOLS QUESTION The question of resource-sharing reared its head again later, too. Professor Winiata led the presentation of a report by the Te Aute Trust Board – the proprietor of the financially-stricken Te Aute College, and of its sister college, Hukarere. No sooner had he done so than he tabled a motion calling on Te Pihopatanga to make a claim for 50% of the $300 million held in the church’s treasure chest – the St John’s College Trust. That motion was passed (full resolution at: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz➝News➝ Tikanga Maori/treasure) so Te Pihopatanga will present its case at next July’s General Synod. Professor Winiata argued that the St John’s College Trust had an obligation to support Maori Anglican schools – and had not helped as it ought to have done. He noted that three of these schools – St Stephen's, Queen Victoria and Te Waipounamu – have closed “as a consequence of inadequate funding” and that two more, Hukarere and Te Aute, are both facing “financial distress.” “The schools needed a lot of money, and a lot of development. The St John’s College Trust Board is the only show that could have provided that – and they had an obligation to do so. “It’s not like begging to Lotto – the Trust Board should have funded those schools, because they should be supporting Maori, and in particular supporting them in education.” The St John’s College Trusts Act spells out that the college funds can be used for “the maintenance and support of the college” itself; and for the education of candidates for ordination. It’s the third clause that is relevant to the Pihopatanga resolution. This says that trust board funds can be used: “For the costs of the education of students of all races in such manner and in such places as the General Synod shall from time to time direct, so long as such education includes instruction in the principle of the Christian faith.”
Neither Professor Winiata, nor the seconder of the resolution, Turi Hollis, underestimate the scale of the challenges before their proposition. In the first place, Tikanga Maori must persuade General Synod of the merits of the resolution. Even if General Synod agrees, it can’t direct the St John’s College Trust Board – which is an independent legal entity, governed by its own trust deed – to follow its wishes. It can only recommend. And even if the trust board were minded to follow such a recommendation, the final step would need to be taken in Parliament, which would need to amend the St John's College Trusts Act in the way the Pihopatanga resolution seeks. That’s a tall order, surely. Nevertheless, by passing this resolution, Te Pihopatanga has fired a shot across the bows of the wider province.
t’s too soon to say that Te Aute College has turned a corner. But if the tone of the Te Aute Trust Board's report to the 2011 runanganui is anything to go by, there’s a road sign ahead saying: bend approaching. The Te Aute Trust Board is just two years old – and, in the words of its runanganui report, it’s had to weather “a perfect storm” of 20 years of “poor decision-making, weak management, inefficient systems, a lack of sound business and strategic planning – and some bad luck too.” Continued ››
We won't be handing over our rangatiratanga, our sovereignty
Above: Worship at Te Runanganui, Ms Jacynthia Murphy, Rawinia Gray & The Rt Rev John Gray, more worship, Runanganui plenary, Prof Whatarangi Winiata, Poroporoaki, The Rev Jack Papuni.
...the St John's Trust Board should have funded those schools, because they should be supporting Maori... in particular... in education
“What has taken decades to erode,” it said, “will take at least five years to rebuild.” Nonetheless, says Professor Winiata, significant progress has been made: “Te Aute,” he says, “is no longer threatened by insolvency.” Some comparisons between May 2010 and October this year illustrate the grounds for his optimism. In May last year, the Te Aute Trust Board had $2.7m in short term debt. That’s dangerous debt – at any time, a creditor could demand that it be repaid. In October this year, that on-demand debt had been cut by $2million. Last May, the Trust Board owed almost $10.6 million in long term debt. In October, that long term debt had been reduced (by grants, mostly, including grants from the St John’s College Trust) to less than $9 million. There was good news to report, too, where the two school farms are concerned. One of these farms, Ngawapurua, had been gifted to Te Aute by a former student. The previous trust board had spent up large to convert Ngawapurua to dairying, and to buy a neighbouring block. No sooner had it done so than dairy prices fell through the floor. The costs to service just that farm debt reached almost $400,000 a year, and by May 2010, more than $2 million in loans on the farms were in default. Page 8
The outlook on the farming front is much brighter now. Dairy prices have improved, and Te Aute's Board has overhauled the running of the farms to the point where, as always intended, they may soon contribute a dividend, rather than drain its lifeblood. The achilles heel of the colleges themselves is their hostels. The Hukarere hostel has consistently managed to break even. But the annual loss for Te Aute hostel has ranged between $700,000 and $900,000. The new Trust Board has engineered efficiencies there, too – the projected deficit for running the hostels this year is around $380,000. Better, no doubt – but incurring even that kind of loss, year after year, is unsustainable. And eliminating that loss won’t be easy. Far from it. Te Aute started the year with 84 boarders. That’s fallen to just over 60 boarders.Breakeven for next year would be 152 pupils. And it’s not just a case of pitching a rosier picture to the parents of prospective students, either – because the buildings at Te Aute are in bad shape. The report shows that fully one third of Te Aute hostel buildings “are in a poor or very poor condition” – and almost a quarter of its school buildings are in the same state. Getting those buildings shipshape will cost more than $1.8 million. There’s no point, either, in hiking the fees that parents must pay to send their sons to Te Aute. As it is, the school gets to the end of the year with 20% of those fees unpaid, and must call in debt collectors to try and claw back the rest. No: instead Professor Winiata would like Te Pihopatanga to bulk fund a scholarship so that all Te Aute students could have their fees paid that way. That’s not a unique proposition, either. The 500-plus boys who attend Dilworth College in Auckland have all their fees paid. The bottom line underpinning this stand – and the huge amount of pro bono
work done by Professor Winiata and his colleagues on the Te Aute Board – is simple. “These schools...cannot be allowed to fail.” Professor Winiata acknowledges that not everyone in Te Pihopatanga will agree bulk funding Te Aute scholarships is the best use of the St John’s College Trust bounty. Some will argue that Te Aute’s glories are, sadly, historic – and that there are more deserving areas for investment in the Maori church now. About 40 years ago, the then Bishop of Waiapu, Paul Reeves, got himself into hot water when he expressed a similar sentiment: “Those schools,” he said, “have had their day.” Professor Winiata, clearly, disagrees. “If Te Pihopatanga says it wants Te Aute to retrieve its former splendour – then it will look to those pools of resources over which it has a claim.”
he problems Te Aute Trust Board is wrestling with now are not too different to those faced a few years ago by the proprietors of St Stephen's and Queen Vic. Those Maori schools had become unviable. Amid much controversy, they were closed. In 2009 a new St Stephen's and Queen Victoria Schools Trust Board was formed – and under the chairmanship of the Rev John Fairbrother, they righted their ship. They’d inherited debts of $5.9 million. Through prudent management of their investments, those debts are now down to $250,000. The trust has assets of almost $38 million – that’s counting the value of the Tipene and Wikitoria properties themselves – and if even they’re left out it still has $16.7 million of capital to deploy for the good of Maori education. John told the hui that his board will shortly release its strategic plan for investing that money, and he declared that 2012 “will be a game-changing year for us.” There are plenty of old boys and girls of those closed schools who hope that
plan will see their old schools refurbished and reopened – or new ones built to take their place. But the hints are, that the St Stephen's and Queen Victoria Schools Trust Board will act not as a “provider” of Maori education – but rather as a “supporter”. The priority for the Fairbrother-led Queen Vic and St Stephen's trust board has always been on “sustainability”. As one Wikitoria old girl commented to me: Te Aute is in the position now that Queen Vic and St Stephen's was in the bad old days. And having extricated itself from that position, it’s in no hurry to head back there.
e Runanganui also spent time looking at the future of theological education – and (at the invitation of St John’s College Commissioner Ms. Gail Thomson) discussing its vision for where St John’s College fits into the picture for 2020. Dr Rangi Nicholson (Dean of Tikanga Maori at St John’s) presented a small working group report on how Tikanga Maori's needs might be met by St John’s College in the future. That SWG report discussed the pros and cons of five different models of relating to the college: the pre- 2010 “collegiate” model; the current “integration” model; a “bi-national’ model and a “developmental” model - which offers a more researched, cautious road to the future. The SWG favours the fifth model – a “win-win” model that incorporates elements of the previous two. The distinctive thing in that model, is that new facilities would have to be built for Te Rau Kahikatea, the Maori theological college. The suggested venue is the College-owned football field, just down the road from St John’s. If that vision were to become reality, in some ways we’d have a reversion to the set up that applied in the late 19th century, when Maori students received their theological training at the first TRK in Gisborne, while Pakeha studied at St John’s College.
Maori reject Covenant
he Anglican Covenant is all but dead in the water as far as this church is concerned. This follows a crucial vote by Tikanga Maori at its biennial runanganui in Ohinemutu in early November. The Covenant will still come before General Synod in Fiji next July, but a decision to accept it requires a majority vote in all three houses – lay, clergy and bishops – and, crucially, by all three tikanga. The runanganui decision effectively binds Maori representatives on General Synod to vote: No. Two of the five hui amorangi – Te Manawa o Te Wheke and Te Tairawhiti – had already rejected the Covenant, largely on the grounds that it could compromise Maori rangatiratanga (sovereignty). Moving the runanganui resolution, Archdeacon Turi Hollis (Te Wai Pounamu) claimed that the Covenant asked Te Pihopatanga “to conform to the standards of the rest of the world.” “Yet we have a constitution that the rest of the world does not understand. Would that have been agreed to had the covenant been in force? The proposed Covenant is trying to impose on us something that should be based on relationship – on whanaungatanga or manaakitanga.” The Rev Don Tamihere, who seconded the motion, said the covenant was not about homosexuality.
“It is,” he said, “about compliance and control.” “We are being asked to sign over our sovereignty, our tino rangatiratanga to an overseas group… to a standing committee over whom we have no choice or control. And they have the power to recommend punishment.” He continued: “We do not need this covenant to be Anglican.We do not need this covenant to be Mihinare.We do not need it to have faith in Jesus Christ.We already have a covenant that binds us to our saviour, Jesus Christ. And that is the only covenant we need.” The Rev Ngira Simmonds (Manawa o te Wheke) pointed out that to be Anglican means to be in relationship with people – even if you don’t like them. “We want this church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to focus, instead, on acting for the restoration of justice.” Pakeha dioceses are split on the measure. Wellington, Nelson and WaikatoTaranaki have expressed qualified support, at least – while Auckland, Waiapu and Dunedin have rejected it. Christchurch and Polynesia have yet to come up with recommendations. To read the full text of the resolution, go to: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz➝News ➝Tikanga Maori/Maori-quash-AnglicanCovenant
Hundreds of young people performed and offered hospitality at the anniversary celebrations, though not more than a handful spoke. That’s one reason why church leaders have agreed to prioritise youth formation – in decision making, ecumenical relationships and servant leadership.
Pacific theology and ecumenism
Anglicans scale Samoa summit
or a medium-sized community, the Anglican Church in Polynesia stacks up well against larger churches in the Pacific. This year, as the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) celebrates its 50th anniversary, PCC’s moderator is Anglican Bishop Apimeleki Qihilo, while fellow Anglican Fe’iloakitau Kaho Tevi is General Secretary. Both were in Samoa this September to celebrate PCC’s half-century journey and to help churches face up to some serious issues. PCC’s 50th festivities were a six-day display of lavish Samoan hospitality, hosted by the Congregationalist Church of Samoa at Malua Theological College. But before all that began, Fe’i Tevi and Bishop Api were already working hard with Pacific church leaders – nutting out a response to the region’s big picture problems. Melanesia’s Anglican Archbishop David Vunagi was there too alongside 15 other Pacific church leaders. Together, their call was for Pacific rights – for people, moana and fenua. In their statement, “Beyond the Reef at Piula,” they encouraged churches to work on: ›› Concrete efforts to halt climate change ›› Support for indigenous struggles against mining and logging ›› Self-determination for Moahi Nui, West Page 10
Papua, Bougainville and New Caledonia ›› Reconciliation between Fiji's government and Methodist Church ›› Support for compensation claims – for people affected by nuclear testing
Reconciliation in Fiji As Fijian Methodists were preparing to leave for Samoa, the Fijian government issued a new law preventing Methodist clergy from attending meetings outside Sunday services. Reconciliation between the Fijian government and the Methodist Church will require big changes, said church leaders – ones that would protect religious freedom and allow room for critical voices.
Free Moahi Nui Tahitian President Oscar Temaru visited the meeting and gained support for his bid to put Moahi Nui (Tahiti) on the United Nations decolonisation list. A decolonisation day will now be held in PCC churches each year – in support of Pacific peoples’ selfdetermination struggles.
Ecumenical future Delegates at Malua reflected on lessons from PCC’s past, and looked ahead to the region’s ecumenical future – through Bible studies, workshops and plenary discussions. Some of the big issues were youth, education and ecumenical formation.
The Malua gathering took a searching look at the future of the Pacific Theological College (PTC). With reduced enrolment and less church funding, PTC faces real uncertainty. For Bishop Api, PTC has proven invaluable and should be supported. “Through the Pacific Theological College, PCC has offered churches the chance to ‘live’ ecumenism," he said. "It has allowed Pacific theologians to theorise and contextualise the Gospel, based on Pacific contexts and realities." Rev Rosalyn Nokise (on the PCCPTC staff) spotted fresh opportunities for PTC. Part-time, local and higher degree programmes are new sites for PTC's ecumenical relationship building – as important to the Pacific now, as in previous generations.
Pacific identity Delegates saw cultural benefits in Pacific ecumenism but said the churches needed to recognise and embrace them. Bishop Apimeleki summed up the feeling: "We ... need to protect the ‘identity’ of Pacific peoples in the face of globalisation and mass urbanisation, in all of our Pacific countries. " – Julanne Clarke-Morris Above: At the celebrations in Malua: Bishop Apimeleki Qihilo joins Ms. Anna Tveit, WCC's general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit and WCC Programme Exec. for Youth, Ms. Fa'autu Talapusi.
Photos: Apimeleki Qihilo, Sepiuta Hala'api'api
Julanne Clarke-Morris reports on recent events that are driving a social justice revival in Tikanga Pasifika
Fired up for justice
Upskilling To launch the new direction, two pioneering workshops were held in August, one each for 28 clergy and 25 laity from the Suva Ovalau archdeaconry. Each group spent three days unpacking Biblical approaches to justice and pinpointing where real change is needed. In October, round half that number again did the same, in a workshop for Vitilevu West. Mrs Etta Kumar is a lay woman from Lautoka who’s been energised by the training. For her, the centrality of God’s justice is self-evident, " ...our God that created us, that called an Exodus people from Egypt, is a God of justice. We as the church are bound by this to address poverty, indebtedness and inequality, to ensure that nobody is denied the right to participate fully... ," she says. Anglicare Polynesia’s Mr. Joe Sanegar was behind the scenes as workshop organiser. During the sessions, he was encouraged to see lights going on for people around the room, "For the majority, this was the first time they'd looked at the issue of social justice from a Biblical and theological perspective, and been given tools of social, political,
economic and cultural analysis," he says. Led by Dr Manfred Ernest (Institute of Research and Social Analysis), Dr Holger Szesnat (PTC) and Mr Aisake Casimira (PCC), the social analysis training proved eye opening, even for well-schooled clergy. Rev. Daniel Sahayam says it challenges the church to be braver and more equitable, "As leaders and clergy, we need to have wisdom to speak out openly with our people. ... to work together with others, whether big or small. Sometimes we forget that it is not our status, but our humility that we should use to communicate," he said.
A Pasifika mode Now the search is on for a uniquely Polynesian mode of social analysis. One candidate is the Talanoa method – a traditional story-telling form that's emerging as a possible starting point. But it has its own limitations. According to the conversation in Tikanga Pasifika so far, Talanoa is going to take quite some reform – starting with space for youth and women’s voices. The next challenge: to transform the language of violence and emphasise Talanoa’s ways of achieving reconciliation and peace. The Diocese of Polynesia's Youth Coordinator, Ms. Sepiuta Hala'api'api, is keen to see reform. As a young woman on the side of youth, she finds Polynesian hierarchy a major obstacle, "The Bible says we are all one in Christ Jesus, yet our traditional leadership structures get in the way of women, young people, or lay people having any say in the direction of our mission and ministry. Before now, young people haven’t wanted to break the rules and speak out, because they didn't want to be seen as disrespectful – but that environment has got to change," she says. Sepi isn’t the only one with ideas on how things could change for the better. So far there's been plenty of critique, "In the plenaries, seminars and group work there were challenging discussions on economic justice at the national level, and on issues of governance within the church," Joe Sanegar reports.
Above: Finau Leggett, Mila Fong-Toy, John Dansey Jnr and Carmen Kumar are Anglicans with a passion for justice
Applying the lens Etta Kumar for one, thinks it's time to put pacific societies under scrutiny, but also to turn the justice lens inwards, "...the Bible is very clear... that there is no legitimate government without the consent of the governed...we need to look at country and region, but also internally within the church and determine that this key principle affects all decisions, direction and distribution of our resources," she says. Following the workshops, diocesan trainees have looked back into their own communities – with a new eye for the justice angle. In Suva, a strong focus was monitoring the plight of workers recently laid-off from the PAFCO fish factory in Levuka Ovalau. In the diocese as a whole, they’ve looked to the wider Pacific. Polynesian Anglicans have signed up for tough action on climate change and pledged solidarity with Tahiti (Moahi Nui), West Papua and other island nations striving for political autonomy. Next, Polynesia will gather resources to spread the knowledge and enthusiasm for justice. They’re hoping to fire-up the whole church through: ›› a Pacific-context social justice training kit ›› PTC social justice courses ›› calling for new units on social justice at St John's Theological Colleges – in Suva and Auckland Joe Sanegar hopes the success of these first steps to raise awareness will prove further reaching, “... this may well represent a turning point for the church... to help us take a leading role in proclamation and prophetic witness for the whole region,” he says. Ms. Julanne Clarke-Morris is editor of Taonga magazine.
Photo: Etta Kumar
his year’s Polynesia diocesan synod has lifted social justice to the top of the church’s agenda. Arising in response to Archbishop Winston Halapua’s stirring synod charge, the new social justice direction is a real shift of gear. While social justice is nothing new for Polynesia, many Pacific Christians have not traditionally viewed it as central to God’s mission. When the diocese started social justice training courses this year, they were introducing some startling new concepts. Saint Christopher Naulu-Nausori’s youth president, Ms Patrina Cheer, was one participant surprised by the theology of justice. "...it helped me bring my understanding of social justice to a whole new level. I didn't really know that social justice was present in the Bible," she said.
3 T I K A N G A YO U T H
Kahu Miller reports on a 3 Tikanga youth challenge in the heart of the North Island
It’s just amazing...
n September this year, Anglican youth from round the country faced a threeTikanga challenge, at the 'Amazing Pilgrimage.' Van-loads of Anglican youth converged on Rotorua’s Keswick Christian Camp, for the pilgrimage's three days of inter-cultural fellowship and journeying together. In all, 8 dioceses and hui amorangi had young people there. “Standing in the midst of 150 young people on the first night, the energy was palpable,” says Rev Michael Tamihere, Tikanga Toru (T3) Youth Commissioner and Pilgrimage co-organiser. “You get that many young people together and it’s hard to go wrong,” he says.
This year’s pilgrimage is the second co-hosted by Te Hui Amorangi o te Manawa o te Wheke, Waiapu Diocese and the T3 Youth Commission. Its theme of “journey together” put the focus on strengthening relationships, with God and with each other – within and across tikanga. Helping build bridges, were workshops, three-tikanga worship and the main event of the Pilgrimage – an action adventure challenge, inspired by US TV show, “the Amazing Race”. Competing on the challenge, mixed-tikanga groups completed tasks to test mind, body and spirit, as well as ability to work together. Making their way through a
number of pit-stops, activities included tinfoil sculpting, races, making harakeke (flax) threeTikanga crosses and praying for those in need around the world. For North Shore youth worker, Brittany Kusserow, it was her first experience of a three-tikanga event, “The challenges were interesting and informative, with some being just silly enough to keep us in good spirits. And I learned how to plank,” she says. Brittany describes one dramatic moment, when minisized tragedy hit her carefullycrafted tinfoil boat, “(at) Lake Rotorua ...everything went suddenly and drastically wrong. The boat
tipped over immediately, and we only recovered about a third of our little foil young’uns. The rest were swallowed by the dark and murky waters,” recalls Brittany – with all the mock horror she can muster. You get the feeling that Amazing Pilgrimages aren’t short on fun. For Diocese of Waiapu Youth Intern Seini Tawa, it was all about the people, “I met a lot more friends from the other Tikanga and was able to share my culture. I learnt a lot from them too,” she says. Seini appreciated the spirit of the event, “Everyone just got out mixing around with everyone and when we were split into
groups for Sunday service, the unity showed by all participants was just amazing,” she says. Hui Amorangi o te Tairawhiti Youth Enabler Michelle Mikara says that for her and her group of thirty rangatahi, the enjoyment was in teamwork and new friendships. “I would definitely go to another one.” she says. While it’s still something new, the Amazing Pilgrimage didn’t appear from nowhere. It comes with a decade of similar three-tikanga events behind it, in Auckland for example, "We saw how T3 days had been great opportunities for Maori, Pakeha and Polynesian young people to come together for fellowship and fun, while at the same time building intertikanga understanding and
relationships," recalls Michael Tamihere. When young people from outside Auckland started turning up for T3 days, it was time to offer the experience further afield. In the end, it was Waiapu and Manawa o te Wheke who stepped up, with the first ever Amazing Pilgrimage put on in their region as a special T3 event for Youth Sunday 2009. Regional youth enablers played a big part again this year. Planning and support came from Allan Hawea (Manawa o Te Wheke), Jocelyn Czerwonka, Jo Keogan and their colleagues (Waiapu). A line-up of central North Island bishops were on hand too – including Archbishop David Moxon, Bishop Ngarahu
Katene and Bishop David Rice, who according to Michael, all offered “amazing support”. Jocelyn Czerwonka was pleased with how this year’s pilgrimage turned out. For her, the weekend’s defining moment was in the Sunday worship, “You could see everyone was just so happy to be bringing our different tikanga before God and worshipping together as one church family,” she says. “I think it is well named – because something ‘Amazing’ does happen and you have to experience it to know it. I
can only describe it as a ‘God moment’,” says Jocelyn. According to Michael Tamihere, the Amazing Pilgrimage is here to stay. He hopes it’ll be making a third appearance sometime in the near future. “We’d love to co-host the next one with Waiapu and Te Tairawhiti,” he says. Ms. Kahu Miller is Kaiwhakamana for mihingare.com at Te Whare Wananga o Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa. email@example.com
Above: Justin Duckworth
Prophets of the Lloyd Ashton discovers radical discipleship in the Urban Vision community pledged ...together they three goals: to themselves to timacy with deepen their in journey Jesus Christ; to give their together and to t... best for the leas
bout 20 years ago, a few firedup young Wellingtonians chose to get downwardly mobile. They moved from the suburbs into the meanest streets of the inner city. Justin and Jenny Duckworth, for instance, made the move in three stages, moving deeper into Wellington’s netherworld each time. Martin and Alison Robinson, who were already helping Somali refugees in their day jobs – Martin worked for the Red Cross – moved into the council flats where those refugees lived. Those young Christian activists soon forged links, and together they pledged themselves to three goals: to deepen their intimacy with Jesus Christ, to
“The restoration of the church will surely come from a new monasticism which has in common with the old only the uncompromising attitude of a life lived following Christ according to the Sermon on the Mount. I believe it is now time to call people together to do this” Dietrich Bonhoeffer journey together and to give their best for the least. And they formed Urban Vision. Fifteen years later, there are now some 60-odd ‘Urban Visionaries’ running
homes in seven of Wellington’s toughest neighbourhoods. On any given day you’ll find them teaching English to refugees, fostering troubled kids, offering education to teenagers who’ve been spat out of the school system, doing church with the homeless, offering friendship to the mentally ill, roasting fair trade coffee, growing veggies on inner city plots, running kids’ clubs, mums’ groups, tenant meetings or just sharing yet another cuppa with their neighbours. Urban Vision’s core passions have never dimmed. But the movement has evolved from being a loose-knit bunch of young Christian radicals into a new monastic order – complete with threeyear formation and vows. Those radicals have changed in other ways, too. In the early days, they’d all quit the mainstream church. Nowadays, two of Urban Vision’s founding fathers are Anglican priests, others in the movement are on the ordination track and Urban Vision is now linked by covenant with the Diocese of Wellington. What's going on? Lloyd Ashton has been finding out.
Setting off Justin Duckworth didn’t have an easy start. He grew up in a Stokes Valley family where church wasn’t on the menu. By the time he was 10, his parents had split up, and his mum struggled with mental illness. She was an art teacher who managed, somehow, to stay teaching and support Justin and his brother, even though she was on medication. Justin went to Taita College (where Jo Kelly-Moore, the Dean of Auckland, was a classmate) and by the time he was 14, Justin was in a Youth For Christ ‘Campus Life’ club. That’s where Justin met Jenny Boland and at YFC they learned three truths that
Members of the Urban Vision community outside the gates at Ngatiawa.
have underpinned all they’ve done since. “In the first place,” says Justin, Wellington YFC taught us that, if you claim you’re following Jesus, in the end, you’ve actually got to do what he says. The second thing we learned was that we’ve got to do our lives meaningfully together. Community is important. And the third was that Jesus has a special place for those who struggle.” By the time he was 18, Justin reckons those truths were ingrained in him. But when he got involved in a local church – as distinct from YFC – he discovered that for churchgoers, those truths seemed to be optional. “I couldn’t understand, he says, how we could have a deliberate-avoidance church.”
these girls – whose deprivation would sometimes show up in strange ways. There was a spell where every time they’d sit down to a meal, one young woman would hog all the food. “We just couldn't flipping understand this, says Justin. It turns out that she’d grown up on saveloy soup. You get the saveloy one meal – and the juice the next.” The young UV women who run Te Whare Atawhai today share their bedrooms with the girls. Back in their day, when space was tight, Justin and Jenny sometimes even had to share their own room with the girls. That was a tough call. But as far as Justin is concerned, Continued ››
Saveloy soup Justin moved into Wellington when he left school. While he studied for his B.Sc. at Victoria, his priority was running a YFC programme in the central city. Jenny was involved with that too, and they devoted themselves to bringing unchurched young people to faith and fullness of life. Within a couple of years, Justin and Jenny had married and were running Te Whare Atawhai, a home for teenage girls in Newtown. They fostered more than 40 of
In the early days, they’d all quit the mainstream church, because in the minds of most, it was fatally compromised.
their years there were pure privilege. “Those girls would get trashed at school. They'd come home feeling stink about themselves. So you're always praying, reflecting, trying to tap into the right word at the right time to unlock them – to give them life, you know? Christians would die for the conversations we used to have there.” The lessons Justin and Jenny learned at Te Whare Atawhai have shaped Urban Vision. They became convinced then, for example, of the need for ministry to be anchored in households. They could see young Christians juggling doing right by the people to whom they ministered, their families, their colleagues or classmates, their flatmates, their church family and the
“...Jesus h as a specia l place for t hose who struggle.”
people they chose to hang out with. And, if they were dropping the ball, they were being exhorted to try harder. Or they were dropping out of ministry. “We said; this is crazy,” says Justin. “Let’s combine these categories. You’ve got to have your family, you’ve got to have your work and study mates – but let’s fold all the others into one.” “So at Urban Vision we choose to make friends with the people we live with. We choose to worship together and to minister together.”
Gutter to glory After five years at Te Whare Atawhai, Justin and a friend wanted to move into the toughest parts of the city around Upper Cuba Street. Jenny, on the other hand, was digging in her heels. There was no way that she was taking her two beautiful little children in there. Stalemate. About that time, Jenny remarked to a gathering of young Auckland Baptists that the church had a habit of exalting “gutterto-glory” testimonies.
Annie Grenfell and her family live at Ngatiawa: here she's getting stuck in to labyrinth rock gathering.
That same night she woke, shaking, – because in a dream, these words had pierced her soul: 'You talk about the gutter to the glory. I’m going to take you from the glory to the gutter.' 'But I will meet you there.' Before Jenny came to Auckland, she’d been invited to visit a Christian community in K. Rd. Because of her turmoil about Cuba St, she’d avoided that. But the morning after her dream, she went. “As soon as I got there, she says, I had this overwhelming sense of feeling at home.” The Duckworths surveyed Upper Cuba St and found a cramped office above a drop-in centre run by the Wellington Central Baptist Church. Into that space they shoe-horned themselves, their two kids, two teenage foster girls, and a couple of workers. For good measure, Justin and Jenny’s third child came along while they were there. “We were next door to a fish factory, says Justin, so all day long there was this refrigeration noise, and the place stank of fish. On the top corner of our block were the prostitutes, and next block down were the transvestites.” “For the first few months, recalls Justin, we didn’t know what the heck we were doing.” Every night I’d go out at 9:30pm and walk the streets praying for two or three hours. I’d pray for the area, pray that God’s spirit would be manifest… I didn’t know what to pray for. I'd walk the same circuit – and a year or two later one of the working women said to me: 'We couldn’t make sense of why you'd be walking the streets all the time. We decided you were either a pimp or a drug pusher.'” They’d misread their man. But there was no mistake about how Justin and Jenny felt about being in their world. “It was brilliant, recalls Justin. On the smell of an oily rag we were in there, having a go.” By this time, they knew that
The community and friends gather for a meal in the Ngatiawa dining room.
the focus of their ministry was changing. It was no longer just about young people. It was about sharing their lives with strugglers, whatever their age. So they resigned from Youth for Christ.
Power of lament The UV team were running four houses in the inner city, and Justin and Jenny needed more space. On the other side of the fish factory they found a mattress factory – which, because they wanted their kids to feel like they were growing up in a fairytale, they called ‘The Castle’. Some fairytale. Some castle. The place had been a drug dive. The sinks were blocked with vomit, and they had to cart out mountains of rubbish
As soon as I got there,... I had this overwhelming sense of feeling at home
before they could move in. But compared to where they’d been, The Castle felt like the promised land. When they moved there, the Baptists closed their dropin centre and Stillwaters, a church for streeties, shifted to the Castle. And in that place, says Justin, the Urban Vision team discovered the power of lament as a way of worship. “We don't have the amazing revival story. We work with people who struggle, and we struggle.” They were working hard with the refugees, with the girls’ home and in the inner city. “Some people on the street would hate us, and some who were trying to make progress would fall back – and we’d just think, what the hell are we doing?”
We’d cry out: “We are absolutely useless, God. What the hell are you doing with us? You promised us, and this is not true God, we are just dying here. You’d see some miracles in the inner city, but you do a lot of hard yards. And you’d see beauty. Stillwaters is about the street people being able to share, and take responsibility. We’d just light a candle, say somebody's name – and we’d hear these beautiful prayers being prayed. People are dying here, dying there, and it’s messy. Gosh, it's messy. And the streeties would ask to sing choruses that you’d think you just-couldn’t-stand to sing again – but for these people, they were life. Continued ››
So you sang them again. And they were beautiful.”
Bank on it About ten years ago, Justin and Jenny realised that many of the people they hung out with couldn’t change. “When you're walking around the inner city all day, feeling bored and useless about yourself… or if you do want to get off your addictions, and everybody else tries to drag you back down, because if you do get off it proves that they can't… So we dreamed of a place where it would be easy for people to make good decisions.
A place where we could structure life so it works for people, instead of against them.” Eventually, they found what they were looking for. The Presbyterians were about to sell Ngatiawa, an old church camp in the Reikorangi Valley, inland from Waikanae. Justin and Jenny and a friend signed a deal to buy Ngatiawa for $390,000, and they came up with half of that in cash. But they still had a problem. Because Justin had quit the relief teaching that he’d relied on to fund operations at The
Castle and he was on the unemployment benefit. The banks weren’t tempted by that arrangement. Neither was their Christian mortgage broker, apparently. With settlement date looming, he washed his hands of their problem. By this time, the Duckworths had left Wellington for a tiny barn in the valley. Their gear was in storage at Ngatiawa, while Justin was hauling himself into Wellington every second day. Jenny was crying herself to sleep every night. In the depths of this crisis, an old YFC mate asked them to come to New Plymouth to lead some training. That was the last thing Justin and Jenny wanted. But they went anyhow. Because they had no fixed abode, all their paperwork was in their van, which was handy, because their mate put them in touch with a Taranaki savings bank lending manager, and they met her, with their paperwork, that same day. She went away, did her sums and came back offering them a mortgage – on two conditions. “You’ve got to promise us, she said, that you’ll pay it back. And you’ve got to promise me that you’ll never ask for a cent off us again.” They kept their first undertaking. But not the second. About 18 months later, the Duckworth’s asked that Taranaki bank for more money for extensions. They got that, too.
Jenny and Justin Duckworth
...we dreamed of a place where it would be easy for people to make good decisions.
Deeper rhythms In their new book 'Against the tide, towards the kingdom' Jenny Duckworth tells of a young nun coming to stay at The Castle. She wore funky gear, mingled easily with the workers and the streeties – and before she left she changed their lives. “You have a great community here, she told them. But you will never survive this life unless you find a deeper rhythm of spirituality.” Her assessment grated. But as Justin and Jenny thought further, they realised the nun was spot-on. They’d come from the evangelical tradition. But they’d also seen that transformation was about going the distance – and that maintaining the fervour of evangelical prayer meetings over the long term wasn’t a goer. They needed to find a way to pray regularly that didn’t exhaust them. When they moved to Ngatiawa, the Duckworths began going to St Andrew’s, Reikorangi. The Ngatiawa community began using the Anglican prayer book, and settled into a twice-daily rhythm of prayer. “At the end of one year, says Justin, I remember thinking: ‘My goodness – we actually prayed through the year. I can’t believe we did that!’ And slowly we began to think – yeah, we actually feel at home doing this.”
The Ngatiawa community hosts Tikanga Pakeha Youth.
The thin place During the first years at Ngatiawa, the community met for prayers in the living room next to the kitchen. But phones would ring, and people would pile through there. So Justin and Jenny began to dream about building a separate chapel. About four years ago an architect friend drew up a plan for them. Another builder friend, who was staying at Ngatiawa with his family, built that plan for free, with labour supplied by various Urban Vision folk. And about 18 months ago, after a week of 24/7 prayer, the Chapel of Tarore was opened. It’s anchored by three large weatherbeaten wooden telegraph posts, which represent the three-part Urban Vision creed: Jesus-centred. Belonging deeply together. And giving their best for the least. There are no chairs. Just two tiers of benches fixed against three of the walls. There’s a freestanding fire in one corner, and a freestanding altar. There is no power, and in the evening
the only illumination comes from the candles that each person cradles. The chapel feels still, deeply quiet – and it seems to work whether there are 50 people inside, or just one. “When you’re there by yourself, says Justin, it’s raining, the fire is on and there are candles, it is the thinnest place…”
Backing God These days, the bell on the pou by the doorway tolls across Ngatiawa three times a day, calling the community to morning prayer, midday Eucharist Continued ››
you will never survive this life unless you find a deeper rhythm of spirituality
and night prayer. “We prepare in the morning, says Justin, by reminding ourselves of our three UV commitments. And at night we examine according to those three. We had the Tikanga Pakeha Youth Forum here recently, and before you knew it, we had 50 young people confessing out loud, putting their day right before they went to bed. It’s a real privilege to be part of that. We added the Eucharist this year. We wanted to take our daily bread. And we thought that it was important to also offer that to guests." The words at a chapel service are few. The worshippers sing Taizestyle chants too, many of which are in Maori, and composed by members of the community. They’re sung unaccompanied, so the worship is not about performance. And for everything that’s read, said, or sung, there is the punctuation of silence.
“We back God in the silence, says Justin. If we create the space in our lives, God will get in. If he’s God, he can do that. And he’s good enough to turn up.” Justin says the chapel exists, in part, “to offer the rest of our activist community food for the journey. Most communities don’t last more than 10 years, he says, unless they find a contemplative core. Most burn out.“
New order Urban Vision grew rapidly in the late nineties, and moving to Ngatiawa brought on even more speed wobbles. “When we were in Wellington, says Justin, Jenny and I were the glue across the communities. We held everybody together. We saw the issues coming, and we headed them off at the pass. When we came up here, we were too far removed to be able to do that.” “We were 50 adults, says Justin, who’d
grown from having a loose organic relationship into all these diverse communities. And we didn’t have the infrastructure to hold ourselves together.” And it was that meltdown that led to Urban Vision reshaping itself as a new missionary order, unconnected to any denomination. Justin tabled the missionary order idea in late 2006, then he and Jenny took off for London, and a year’s sabbatical from Urban Vision. In their absence, Martin Robinson led Urban Vision in putting that proposal under the magnifying glass. When Justin and Jenny came back, they put it to the vote. Their decision to go missionary order was unanimous. That idea hadn’t come out of the blue. “We all know, says Justin, that the church is struggling. We all know it needs to change. What we don’t know, is how that takes place. At the moment, most strategies for change are on an American DVD series. Or they’re about re-inventing the 70s charismatic movement. Or getting a contemporary worship band.” Those strategies, he says, haven’t achieved liftoff. We’d do better, he reckons, if we looked back into church history and saw how certain small, highly committed groups within the church – reacting against compromise – became agents for the renewal of the wider church. So Justin’s interested in the way the Franciscans and Dominicans reformed the church. “It wasn’t that everybody became Franciscans or Dominicans, but
…it is the thinnest place…
Above: Chapel of Tarore. Right: The chapel bell calls the community to prayer three times daily. Left: Liz Woods meditates during evening prayer in the chapel.
those orders moved the church back through one or two degrees towards true north.” “You take a group like we were in the early days. We had a lot of reactive energy. As I said at the start, I couldn't believe that people didn’t do what Jesus says. Now the wider church could say: ‘You guys are just young and arrogant’ – and give us the cold shoulder. At that point both groups miss out. By feeling threatened, the church loses the passion and energy of the young, and any innovation that they’re bringing. But likewise, the young group won’t be able to sustain themselves. They'll burn out, or they’ll become a sect.” But if both parties knew how to negotiate a relationship, says Justin, they’d each benefit. Wise older heads in the established church should be secretly disappointed if they aren’t
seeing brashness and impatience from the young. “They’d be thinking: ‘You should be frustrated at us. You should think you know better. Because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be young people passionate about your faith.’ ” That’s what happened where Francis and Dominic were concerned. They stayed within the church - and were influential in its reform. Right now, Justin’s working on all this in his Ph.D. thesis – where he examines Protestant communities that have taken up the identity of a missional religious order.
Recognition? No-one questions that the Chapel of Tarore has enriched life at Ngatiawa. But when the idea was first mooted, not everyone subscribed to Justin and Jenny’s dream – just as they hadn’t cottoned on to
Ngatiawa in the first place. It’s fair to say, too, that when Justin headed down the Anglican ordination track, there was some head scratching at UV about that, too. We’ve never needed a priest before, some were thinking. So why do we need one now? What those folk didn’t see then, was that in part, Justin was pursuing ordination for UV’s sake. “I’d realised, he says, that part of the struggle for groups like UV, is the struggle for validation and authentication. Continued ››
By ordaining me, that meant the Anglicans recognized my life. Therefore, by default, UV was being recognized and authenticated.” That authentication, Justin agrees, could have come from the Baptist church. He has a Baptist background, and strong connections there. “The Baptist Church, he says, is a big pond – but they have other fish like us. The Anglican Church ... have very few fish like us. We feel we can add more value here.”
Bishop Tom welcomed us with open arms. Anything that was important to us, he honoured
The other thing, he says, is that the Baptists are in good shape. Their youth work is good, and they’re not aging. For that reason, Justin reckons, they’re less likely to be open to change. “Whereas us Anglicans… in key places, we know we’re struggling.”
Wine & cheese, please In 2008 Urban Vision had a year of discernment about its relationship to the wider church – and at the end of that year it put out feelers to the Diocese of Wellington. They met with Bishop Tom Brown. They told him that as a movement, they wanted to be ecumenical, yet accountable. “Bishop Tom made it easy for us,” says Justin. “He welcomed us with open arms. Anything that was important to us, he honoured. He didn’t try to control us, or impose structures on us – he just said: 'Hey, we’re really keen, but you take as long as you like..'" Urban Vision began a trial relationship with the Diocese of Wellington in 2009 – and signed a long-term covenant with the diocese in September. For its part, and with Urban Vision in mind, the diocese passed legislation last year, which provides for ‘pioneer ministry units’. These exist outside of the parish system, and report directly to the bishop. There’s talk, too, of Urban Vision starting a team in Hamilton. Once that happens, and Bishop Tom retires, Urban Vision will also come under the wing of the Bishop Protector of Religious Orders, Archbishop David Moxon. “We love being loved for a change, says Justin. We like being nice, and people being nice to us, and inviting us to parties with cheese and wine, as opposed to Baptist parties where you only get the cheese. But we’re in a honeymoon phase. And at our end, I’m working on moving this relationship forward. How do we change so we’re really seen to be within the Anglican Communion? When we’re not a parish?
As opposed to being seen as Baptists in Anglican clothing? The covenant with the Bishop is one key. The Eucharist is the second. We’re making it so everyone in our city communities takes communion regularly. The final thing is finding a national structure which keeps bridging groups like ours to the wider church.” Other than rocking up to communion a few times a year, Justin won’t fret if UV people aren’t spending all their time in church. “Their time’s too precious. They’re all self-supporting, they’ve got young people to look after, their neighbours to care for, and there’s the Kingdom of God to come. Young faith is an activist faith. I expect our guys to be living their faith actively, and that’s their prayer. But if we can put some structures around that, at least that forces them to stop and drink.”
The penny drops Many years ago, Justin was shooting the breeze with a friend. They reckoned you could drive a truck through the gaps the Church was leaving. “I remember saying to him: ‘I wish somebody in our group would just get out there and do this stuff. And we could join in!” About then, says Justin, the penny dropped. He couldn’t expect, he realised, somebody else to risk it for him. “I resolved then: Let’s have a go.” His decision to have a go has already had big consequences. And it could yet have a profound impact on the Anglican Church. Lloyd Ashton is this church’s Media Officer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Left: The guy with his back to us is Ray Chatfield who lives at Ngatiawa. He is speaking with Rev Frank Ngatoro, who was visiting from Eastland.
iculturalism is a way of life at Urban Vision. The year kicks off with a powhiri, most UV workers can mihi in te reo and many of the choruses they sing at Ngatiawa are in Maori. Visitors are greeted with formal speeches of welcome mihi whakatau. Which is slightly surprising, given that they’re a mostly Pakeha group. But the bicultural stuff goes deep with the Duckworths. Jenny first switched on to it 25 years ago at Wellington Teacher’s College. Both Jenny and Justin have done fullimmersion language courses. Which doesn’t mean Urban Vision’s bicultural explorations have always been smooth. They’ve had their share of disasters and tellings-off. Had a few complaints from within, too, says Justin. “Pakeha who joined us would sometimes say: why are we doing this? We’re not Maori. Or Maori who were with us would say they feel uncomfortable – because they worried they’d be given a hard time by their own people.
The point is, it’s not a popularity contest. And you’ve got to do something. I’m not trying to be Maori, but I am trying to work out how to do life together in this country. You don’t get anywhere on Pakeha guilt. For me it’s about being at home in this land. So that I’m standing tuturu, and everybody else is standing tuturu.” Justin often helps deliver bicultural workshops in churches, to help people stand firm, to have that sense of stability and permanence implied in the word tuturu. “We want Pakeha leaders to learn how to do life on a marae – so if they take their young people, or their church onto a marae, they don’t have to ‘dial a Maori’. We want them to be comfortable, so tangata whenua are not having to dial up huge resource for them. Because they’ve got better things to do than wipe our noses.”
My God, my God, I found myself overwhelmed by the unspeakable paradox of suffering and hope that we had just witnessed
Tim Meadowcroft encounters a powerful paradox – expressed in communion of suffering and hope
ast Sunday in our main parish service we baptised a four-monthold baby. Then we moved into our regular weekly Eucharist. So far, so routine. But this sequence of events turned out to be unexpectedly poignant for many of the 140 or so people gathered that morning. The baby in question has, as his father expressed it in masterly understatement, “a medical history.” At the time of his baptism, his neurological outlook was becoming increasingly inscrutable. Even during the service he had two more of the seizures that seem more and more impervious to the medication - quietly and unobtrusively dealt with by his family. Before the baptism, the baby’s father shared the family's sense of gratitude for the blessing this child has brought to their lives, along with a frank assessment of the current medical realities. It was an extraordinary hope-filled expression of faith in the midst of acute physical and mental pain. As we heard the promises and spoke the hope that is integral to the baptism service, the intermingling of suffering and hope was palpable. And then I stood up to lead the congregation into the Eucharist. As I did so, I found myself overwhelmed by the unspeakable paradox of suffering and hope that we had just witnessed. I realised, with a clarity that I had never quite experienced, that the paradox we had just observed in this child's baptism, is precisely the story we tell - every time we gather round the Lord’s table in obedience to his command to proclaim his death until he comes (1 Cor. 11.26). I sensed the suffering of that family being enfolded into the arms of God as he hung and died on a Roman cross. Their desolation became part of Jesus’ own desolation in the cry of dereliction: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Mark 15.34)? And then, the desolation of Jesus became expressive of the dereliction of each of us in the room: of the mother dealing with a dying adult son; of families torn apart by war and displacement; of people struggling with unemployment; of
another mother whose own baby has been at death’s door in recent weeks; of so many of us whose hurts have subsided to dull aches that occasionally flare into life and never quite go away. Each of us is caught up into the cry of Jesus: My God, my God, why? For that is the story we tell each time we declare Jesus’ death in the act of Eucharist. And because of the cross, none of us need ever utter that cry alone. But there’s more. For out of Jesus’ despair rose a further declaration from the cross: 'It is finished' (tetelestai, John 19:30). This is best expressed: it is complete, it has been accomplished. It was a profound expression of hope, of satisfaction borne out of pain. And it was spoken at the moment of execution. That too is part of the story that we tell around the Lord’s table: the completion of hope in the suffering of God in Jesus. And that too becomes part of the experience of the family whose child we baptised – as they are enfolded into the arms of God on the cross. Their despair itself bears within it hope, because Jesus’ despair, within which they participate, gives birth to hope. And as we embodied that story again in the Eucharist, we too were drawn into our own stories of hope: hope not despite the suffering, nor merely in rebellion against the suffering, but as formed by the suffering itself, a hope that could not be possible without the suffering. Does that mean that God somehow needs to impose pain on the world he has made in order to induce hope? By no means. That was the mistake the disciples made when they met the man born blind (John 9:2). Rather, the man’s disability was the result of no fault. However, one of its outcomes was to allow that “God’s works [would be] be revealed in him” (John 9:3). Or, does it mean that the suffering of each of us is equivalent to the suffering of Christ? Again, by no means. The Gospel writers are careful and (mostly) consistent in using a particular word for Jesus’ suffering, pathein (from which we get pascho), that is not used of the
suffering experienced by creation and its inhabitants. As a result of witnessing that baptism and taking part in that Eucharist, I understood a little better what the apostle Paul was on about when he spoke of suffering “with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). And I recalled Paul’s puzzling claim to be “completing” (Col. 1:24) the afflictions of Christ by means of his own suffering. The word used of completion, antanapleroo, is better understood as to share in or complement, so is not claiming to complete what Jesus proclaimed with his cry, “it is finished.” It nevertheless expresses an extraordinary level of participation in the suffering and hope of the cross. And this is a story that we tell and live “until he comes.” It anticipates a day when “God himself will be with [his people]; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev. 21:3-4). And our telling and living the story told in the Eucharist foreshadows that day and helps to bring it closer. But there are no bypasses around the pain. Is there more that could be said theologically about the Christian life of faith? Certainly; much more. But the cries from the cross of dereliction and of satisfaction are where it begins for all of us. The Rev Dr Tim Meadowcroft is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Laidlaw College and Dean of Laidlaw-Carey Graduate School. TMeadowcroft@laidlaw.ac.nz
CARE FOR THE STRANGER
During their stay, the Indonesian crew did some volunteering for Christchurch’s earthquake recovery effort – here they’re helping out at the City Mission Foodbank.
The stench of
rotten fishing Jolyon White asks why slavery and systemic abuse are continuing – on fishing boats in our waters
Part of the problem is that there is money to be made by some, and money to be saved by others – sweatshop and slave labour is cheaper.”
n June, 32 Indonesian crew members walked off the Oyang 75, a Foreign Chartered Vessel (FCV) owned by the Korean Oyang Corporation. A New Zealand fishing company, Southern Storm Fishing, had chartered the Oyang 75 to fish their catch entitlement. The crew walked off because they had been seriously underpaid, physically and sexually assaulted, and forced to endure shifts of up to 36 hours before taking a short rest and starting again. The final straw was a crew member being beaten while he slept at 4:00am, and left bleeding from multiple wounds.
Taking shelter When they left the ship, the crew took refuge in an Anglican Church, and called in the Indonesian society to help. Since then the Anglican Church has been involved in their care here. We have advocated on their behalf, contacted
Indonesian human rights groups and applied pressure from this end to gain them safe passage home. We've contacted human rights groups who can pressure the Oyang Corporation in Korea, and continue to speak to the government about the industry inquiry.
Stumped by complications? The 2006 code of practice for crews on FCVs says the crew are entitled to New Zealand minimum wage and must be treated according to this country’s labour practices. Under the code, the NZ company is accountable for ensuring these standards are met. The industry response to this is to say, “It’s complicated; it’s not our fault. There are so many national jurisdictions and agencies involved.” This is partly true. Take wages for example. Five agencies in 3 countries contract crew for the ship. Then
Immigration New Zealand issues the visas. Following the money trail to see if the crew's been paid, really is complicated. But only because we allow it to be.
Turning a blind eye? Aircraft parts can be traced to the ingot they were manufactured from. Diamonds can’t be sold till you’ve identified the mud they came out of. But somehow it’s too difficult for us to work out if we’ve paid people working in our waters. Somehow it’s too hard to see who’s responsible for systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse of workers with New Zealand visas, in New Zealand waters, chartered by New Zealand companies. Part of the problem is that there is money to be made by some, and money to be saved by others – sweatshop and slave labour is cheaper. That’s why there are still 10 year-old boys working in slave-labour conditions in the supply chain of chocolate. It’s why last year’s bill to ban the importation of goods known to be made with slave labour (not even sweatshop labour, but slave labour) was voted down by the National – Act government. And I wonder if it’s why we’re still not even a Fairtrade church? The only difference between the treatment of the Oyang crew and those we are connected to through the things we buy, is distance. William Wilberforce would turn in his grave. Jesus can turn freely (since
he's no longer in the grave) – unless we take seriously that he is in “the least of these,” in which case he is too cramped, exhausted and abused to turn freely. All but six of the crew are now back home. The first lot to return were met off the plane by a crewing agent and a rep from the Indonesian police. We’ve always feared the crewing agencies would demand unreasonable compensation from the crew for leaving the boats. To get on a crewing agency’s books, workers have to sign over everything they own as collateral, and still face fines of up to US $10,000. This is still a concern. However, in the short term, we’ve gained a reprieve for this crew. Letters from Oyang, Southern Storm, and INZ have gone to Indonesian crewing agencies suggesting they’d find it difficult to work with FCVs in New Zealand waters if they harass this crew. When the rest of the crew arrived there were two human rights groups and no crewing agencies in sight. The six crew yet to return home have temporary work visas and are staying to make sure their grievances are resolved. The Korean officers of the Oyang 75 have now been arrested, but only on charges of fish dumping and illegal fishing practices. Neither the crew’s wages, nor allegations of abuse aboard the boat have been addressed. The crew know, that since 1999 no crew that has fled this situation and returned home has ever been paid. And there have been more than just a few. This is why we insisted that
some crew must remain. A select committee has now heard from all interested parties, and will be considering changes to the industry and use of Foreign Chartered Vessels. Even though the plight of the Oyang crew came to our attention during the difficult time of earthquake recovery in Christchurch, there was still a huge amount of assistance, support and goodwill. The crew really appreciated it. They were grateful, and as the entire crew are Muslim, surprised. They frequently asked why we were helping; why go out of our way to support them? Everyone will have a different response to this, but for me, William Wilberforce expressed it well when he said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” The Rev Jolyon White is Social Justice Enabler for the Diocese of Christchurch. email@example.com
Hirini Kaa traces the whakapapa of Māori Anglican prayer books and charts a way for the future
Nga Inoi a Te Iwi – the prayers of the people
rayer Books have been at the heart of Mihinare (Ma-ori Anglican) expressions of faith since they were first produced in the 1830s. For the first 130 years, it looked as though Mihinare shared the same liturgies as the rest of the Anglican Church. But looking closer, you can see that even those early liturgies were quickly embedded within a Ma-ori, or iwi (tribal) worldview. And those worldviews were continually seeking expression in Mihinare worship. The Book of Common Prayer translated into te reo Ma-ori, known as Te Ra-wiri, is arguably one of the most important works ever written in the Ma-ori language. Bishop Selwyn and the ‘Waimate Syndicate’ produced the first substantial version, which was so popular, that from 1839-1842, over 47,000 copies were printed and distributed. At that time, it was more influential than the New Testament amongst Ma-ori hungry for the written word. In some respects, the Ra-wiri was a standard translation of the BCP, a key tool of the Anglican Church, in its role as vanguard for the British Empire. Yet, Te Ra-wiri was unique in significant ways. The earliest versions (produced before the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi)
had prayers for ‘nga rangatira Ma-ori’ (Ma-ori leaders) rather than for the Queen. While the language chosen was conservative in many ways, Ma-ori read their own understandings into the book, including naming it 'Te Ra-wiri' after the psalmist David. As time went on and the Ra-wiri was revised, constant disagreements arose between different dialects, as iwi sought to own their sacred text. Auckland Mihinare even tried placing prayers for the Ma-ori King alongside the English Royalty – a move rejected out of hand by the Diocese of Auckland. Te Ra-wiri was last printed in 1952. Its eventual successor – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (HKMA) – A New Zealand Prayer Book, was both a labour of love and a political struggle for Te Ha-hi Mihinare. In the '60s the worldwide trend for liturgical revision led to various General Synod commissions asking Ma-ori to translate new liturgies. This somewhat patronising approach failed to recognise Ma-ori spirituality, or Ma-ori Anglican communities, as creative sources for liturgical innovation. Slowly, attitudes changed, in large part due to the increasing confidence of Mihinare Christians after 130 years of
prayer with Te Ra-wiri. Social and political changes outside the church also prompted change, as public debate began to reflect Ma-ori aspirations. Ma-ori language and liturgical experts such as Archdeacon Sir Kingi Ihaka, Archdeacon (later Pihopa) Ben Te Haara and Pihopa Whakahuihui Vercoe began to develop liturgies that reflected different iwi understandings. Their work came to be loved by Mihinare, and was groundbreaking in its use of Ma-ori idioms and metaphors, including the use of ‘Ranginui’ and ‘Papatuanuku’ as proper nouns. However a conservatism remained. A second Eucharistic liturgy entirely in te reo Ma-ori was rejected at the last minute, due to disagreement amongst Mihinare, over the use of ‘Io’ as an indigenous term for God. Today, although there are no official records, it’s safe enough to assume that HKMA is the most common form of Sunday worship for Mihinare. Though some whare karakia (churches) still utilise the Ra-wiri, (and one idiosyncratic whare karakia uses the 1970 diglot liturgy – perhaps for its uniquely 1970s colour scheme!) the
vast majority use ‘Te Whakawhetai me te Whakamoemiti’ (HKMA/NZPB p.476). Sadly I’m unaware of a rohe using ‘Na te Whanau a Te Karaiti (HKMA/NZPB p.499)’ on a weekly basis. The popularity of the ‘476’ is likely due to the quantity and quality of its language, whereas the diglot service is particularly effective for people struggling to save their language. When you step outside the Sunday morning Eucharist, you’ll find a diversity in Mihinare worship. For one, the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements have made contemporary American-style worship popular in many communities. This 'Americana' is often counterbalanced by an impetus toward Ma-ori expression, influenced by Kaupapa Ma-ori educational frameworks. ‘Atuatanga’, as some call it, is another key liturgical direction. It seeks to utilise iwi world views and (re)create ‘traditional’ knowledge – such as the highly experimental ‘Tangaroa litany’. Nowadays, Hui Amorangi hold theological positions and worship in styles largely influenced by their iwi constituencies. The spectrum moves between the two poles of Atuatanga and Pentecostalism – similar in nature, (but different in dynamic) to differences between Pa-keha- dioceses. Alongside the Atuatanga - Pentecostal dynamic, lies the constancy of Te Ra-wiri, which is still the ‘go to’ book for many occasions across the land. From karakia turoro (visitation of the sick) through to morning and evening karakia on marae, Te Ra-wiri remains the standard text. Partly due to the paucity of HKMA material in te reo, this also reflects Te Ra-wiri’s ongoing status as one of the bestloved and most-used pieces of
Ma-ori literature, both within and beyond the Church. Although HKMA and its predecessors remain highly popular, there is a continuing quest by Tikanga Ma-ori to develop worship arising from Ma-ori spirituality and worldviews. For example, as HKMA was being written, Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa sought to develop their own prayer book. This came partly in response to the unsatisfactory role offered to Ma-ori in the NZ Prayer Book development – ranging from lack of resources, through to a feeling of marginalisation in the process – being viewed as translators, not creators. That feeling was nothing new. This search for Mihinaretanga – a Ma-ori expression of Anglicanism – has been ongoing since the arrival of the Gospel. In 1928, as Ta Apirana Ngata worked to establish the Bishopric of Aotearoa (against strong Pa-keha- resistance) he shared a vision to 'build a Ma-ori Church different in form and ritual, but retaining all the fundamentals of the Anglican Church'.
That search is particularly pertinent in today’s environment. Falling attendance, plus changing understanding and tastes of younger Ma-ori, call for a creativity that is yet to be expressed. Liturgy and prayer that speaks to iwi identity will be crucial. Even today, many rangatahi Ma-ori (Ma-ori youth) prefer the depth of Te Ra-wiri or HKMA to the theologically-referenced entertainment that is popular in much youth ministry. In fact, many rangatahi reject any worship in English, seeming to find an authenticity with karakia in te reo. With the lessons of the past, Mihinare need to keep searching for new profound liturgical expressions of our faith. That search will be vital to the survival of the Ma-ori church. Rev. Hirini Kaa is currently undertaking his PhD in History at the University of Auckland, looking at Te Hāhi Mihinare as a site of cultural construction 18301990. He is also a Minita-a-Iwi, based at Te Karaiti Te Pou Herenga Waka Church, Mangere. firstname.lastname@example.org
C O M M O N P R AY E R
Don’t judge our book Bosco Peters directs our attention to the spiritual treasures at the heart of common prayer
He was happy as a Buddhist, but ... had he known such depths were available in Christianity, he wouldn’t have felt the need to leave his Christian roots.”
by its cover...
ccording to twitaholic.com, which is the most-followed twitter profile in New Zealand? A well-known celebrity, a famous politician, or a sporting figure perhaps? Twitter is a web-based social networking tool where people send and receive micro-blog posts of up to 140 characters, called “tweets”. While sometimes social media can be unhealthily acrimonious, Twitter tends to attract positive communities of people, seeking to improve their own and each other’s lives.
So as you’ve probably guessed, the most-followed Kiwi twitter profile is my @ liturgy profile – twitter.com/liturgy. That means around 75,000 people follow an Anglican priest, tweeting quotes from our NZ Prayer Book, the occasional wise saying or joke, and pointers to resources for reflection on the lectionary. We grossly underestimate the interest in spirituality and common prayer out there. Instead, we keep our spiritual treasures locked up in our buildings, with our often shrinking and aging communities. Even there, many Anglican regulars
are unaware of the treasures in A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (ANZPB/HKMA). Most are oblivious to the traditions of daily prayer, or the great collects from the early church – such well-worn spiritual summaries that previous generations have carried them by heart. Once I spent time in a Thai Buddhist monastery, in a forest near the Laos border. The head monk had grown up in a Christian home, and when I was there he was reading a book on Christian spirituality. He was happy as a Buddhist, but he said, had he known such depths were available in Christianity, he wouldn’t have felt the need to leave his Christian roots. G K Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” In many places, this appears to be what’s happening to common prayer and our inherited Christian spirituality. There is anxiety as many communities become smaller and greyer. Rather than steeping ourselves in the richness of our treasures, there is a desperate dashing about from one novelty to the next, each a new way to green the church, as a plug for the leaking ship. Often the assumption is that it must be the liturgy that is the problem. But it isn’t. For example, take the interest in earlychurch liturgical treasures in thriving emergent churches, new missional and monastic communities. We often lack an understanding of the essence of common prayer, and so either serve it up in Concert Programme style, or not at all. Common prayer is abandoned in the belief that other formats will bring in the numbers. But young people are the most sensitive to bait and switch. Other formulas lead relatively quickly to disappointment, and are unsustaining for the long haul through life’s different seasons. Of the “traditional” denominations, Roman Catholicism is the only one growing numerically. And you know what you’ll get when you go to a Roman Catholic service. That’s common prayer. Verbally agreed common prayer,
where all recite the same text, even within one denomination, is a thing of the past in the West. One of the miracles of contemporary Christianity, (or the working of the Holy Spirit?) is the common Eucharistic lectionary, shared across languages and denominations. Week by week, and for many day by day, we pick up the same readings. This is a new, deep common prayer. We can share resources for prayer and preaching across denominations, locally and via the internet. This year we’ve ecumenically shared in a systematic reading of Matthew, 1 Corinthians, 1 Peter, Romans, Philippians and 1 Thessalonians – to mention just the New Testament. While many communities abandon the lectionary for “preaching series”, I’ve yet to find one with a better system than the common Eucharistic lectionary. Possibly more significant than the texts which unite us, are the agreed liturgical structures. The Eucharistic service has a
similar structure across denominations, as does the Eucharistic prayer. So, how about making a commitment to pray Night Prayer (NZPB/HKMA p.167) every night, or most nights? With others in your household? Or Midday Prayer (p.147) for two to three minutes in your lunch break? How about the discipline of meeting regularly with a priest to work on your spiritual life (p.750)? Or how about having your home blessed (p.762)? Have you ever prayed slowly through what baptism means in your life (p.377)? Or prepared for Sunday’s Eucharist, by taking up one of the readings each day and praying through the psalm? The ideal of common prayer has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and often left untried. The Rev Bosco Peters is chaplain at Christ's College Christchurch and runs New Zealand’s most-visited Christian website. www.liturgy.co.nz
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The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The spiritual centrepiece of Christchurch has been reduced to an ordinary ruin – and all in the space of half an hour. Brian Thomas, a former associate dean, joins the cathedral contingent for a heart-wrenching journey into the red zone.
t last we get to see the body – and it isn’t pretty. There’s a gaping wound where once the rose window coloured all our comings and goings. And the landmark tower, which stood sentinel over the city centre for 130 years, is broken in half like a decayed molar. It’s hard to reconcile such utter ruin with New Zealand’s most celebrated icon. This is a corpse, not a cathedral. So let’s do the committal quickly – ashes to ashes, dust to dust… Then we can move out, find a pub, before the whole thing topples. In the sure and certain hope… Except that for those of us who have sheltered under its wings, in and out of season and year after year, the process of leaving home isn’t as simple as that.
For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes! Former UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld
Anyway, we’re here to secularise the cathedral, not bury it. Which only means clearing the way for engineers to go over the body, bone by bone, to see what’s worth saving. If anything. Typically for Christchurch, there’s already an unholy row in the Press over who should have the final say. Some correspondents are arguing that it’s too important to leave in the hands of the church, even though we own it – lock, stock and rubble. One has even questioned the authority of the bishop, suggesting that she go back to her native Canada and leave real Cantabrians to sort out the mess. Yep, it’s getting personal, as did our bid to build the visitors’ centre in the early 1990s. Never under-estimate greater Christchurch’s passion for neo-gothic. Ironically, the controversial centre looks to have withstood the February upheavals much better than the cathedral itself, despite a flooded basement. But what use is a visitors’ centre without a cathedral? Well, let the records show that there’s no church conspiracy to knock the whole place over. We’re looking at partial demolition, to make the structure safe for retrieval of heritage items. These add up to a national treasure in themselves: carved matai and totara, brass plaques, exquisite glass, historic tablets and tiles, and one of the grandest pipe organs in Australasia. Fortunately, the great bells are already safely stored at Ferrymead historic park,
awaiting transit to the UK for testing and repair. A huge question still hangs over the foundations, of course, and a final decision on the rebuild can’t be made until we know what shape they’re in. But don’t bank on full restoration, even if the base is rock solid. As Bishop Victoria tells a press conference: “The least desirable option is to bring the whole thing down and put the whole thing up again. No one wants that. It’s not a replica and it doesn’t serve heritage.” It would also be expensive. Cripplingly expensive, even after the insurers have paid out. Any rebuild, then, is likely to be a mixture of old and new, and the exact shape of that is so far down the track that it’s not worth arguing about – yet. •••• In the meantime, Christchurch has to let go of what was. And for 200 of the cathedral’s closest family, that means boarding a fleet of buses on a cold November morning and fronting up to the full extent of the quake aftermath. As we ride the ruined approaches to the Square, I half expect to find Arnold Schwarzenegger on point duty. Waving an AK47. It’s the Age of Machines in downtown Christchurch. We alight below the cathedral forecourt, once the preserve of fast-food caravans, craft stalls and a wizard in a pointy hat. But the circus has long since left town, and our only companions today are vigilant CERA staff and the derelect
high-rises which gaze down on us with empty eyes. Everything is grey: the sky, the tumbledown stones, our own faces. But we soldier on, to the tune of “One Church, one Faith, one Lord.” Dean Peter Beck has opened with a fluent mihi – the only piece of te reo in the service, as it turns out. That’s surprising, given the cathedral’s strong commitment to a bicultural liturgy, but then we are pressed for time. So we quickly give thanks for the extraordinary life and ministry that has taken place here since the original consecration by Bishop Henry Harper on November 1, 1881. And then we come to the crunch: “We did not treat this space as we would ordinary space, but as we would treat the very presence of God. Today we return this space to the common, and return this place to the earth.” Even the wind, usually so cold and indifferent, seems to sigh in sympathy. “In homelessness, God’s love is still with us,” Bishop Victoria assures us in her homily. “This is not a time to lose hope. We need to move on, knowing that what God has in
store for us is more magnificent… “Even as we deconsecrate, as we shed our tears, let us be full of hope because we go forward in the mission of Christ. “It is the mission that matters… Let us be a pilgrim people – people of the resurrection.” Cue the Cathedral Choir with a medley drawn from Ecclesiastes and Psalms 30 and 121: “To everything there is a season… Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning… I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help…” For once I’m comforted by the sight of earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee, standing to one side like a respectful funeral director. He has taken the trouble... Unlike most of the city dignitaries who say they have more urgent business elsewhere. We sing “Now thank we all our God” but the blessing is marred by an angry shout in a far-off corner of the Square: “Take your hands off me!” A flurry of fluoro jackets contains any trouble, but it’s a reminder that Christchurch remains on a knife edge. As we photograph one another against the fallen entrance, someone points to a
pigeon entering through the holed roof. Welcome to the best squat in Canterbury. But the buses are idling, and it’s time to go. Choristers and canons, servers and sacristans, bellringers and guides, priests and vergers – all mount up for the next stage of the journey, which is finding somewhere to pitch our cardboard tent. Despite appearances, we are more than wanderers – as Bishop John Bluck discerned just a week before, at the cathedral’s 130th anniversary service. “I look forward to the day when a new cathedral will rise and regain its place in the hearts of this city,” he told us. “It will happen because of the chemistry between leadership and resources and energy. “But more important than anything else – and the catalyst without which nothing will happen – is the heritage of this cathedral, enshrined in this community of faith. “In that sense, the new cathedral is in your hands. Hold it boldly. Gratefully.” With God’s help, yes! For more pictures, go to our website: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz/News/TIKANGAPAKEHA/130-years-on-Chch-Cathedral-ceases firstname.lastname@example.org
Crunch time: over the next six months Anglican churches in New Zealand will be forced into the most radical and far-reaching decisions they've ever had to make about their buildings. Lloyd Ashton has been finding out why.
Crisis? What crisis?
he TV reporter was pressing Don Baskerville, Chairman of the Anglican Insurance Board (AIB), for his reaction to some shocking news. The news that Ansvar - the company which insures 75 percent of churches here – would no longer be offering earthquake protection, in the aftermath of Christchurch. While the 460-odd Anglican churches in this country have earthquake cover until April 1 next year, Don knows they’ll need facts, options and expert advice about what they can do now. And they’ll need that advice served up quickly. To say the least, that’s heaped pressure on the AIB. The reporter pressed him.“If I had all that on my plate,” she said, “I’d be depressed!” Don’s heard that reaction before. “People often say to me: ‘Oh, this is terrible’. But there’s no earthly use, Don reckons, in getting rattled by the insurance drama.But doing nothing is not an option either, he says. In a briefing paper to the General Synod Standing Committee meeting, he put it this way: “We know this is coming, and ignoring an approaching threat is not good stewardship.” In that paper, Don spelled out the insurance issues the church faces in the wake of Christchurch. “The world’s reinsurance market has realised,” he wrote, “that they had underestimated the size of the seismic shock risk in New Zealand and were unaware of the concentration of risk. He went on: over the years, competitive pressures had driven insurers to undercut one another on premiums – and building owners had encouraged this price cutting. “ All this, Don wrote, could lead to a “dramatic re-pricing of risk”. There’s no need to fret, he says, about Ansvar New Zealand’s ability to meet the $700million worth of claims it racked up in Christchurch. Those Christchurch risks had been ‘laid-off’ to a wide range of reinsurers in other markets. But those reinsurers are “risk-averse” to Aotearoa New Zealand now. There’s more post-Christchurch news for the church to digest, too, says Don. Page 34
From left: AIB Chair Don Baskerville, Ansvar NZ's Richard Wyatt & David Leather, Ansvar Australasia's David Harrison & Andrew Moon.
In October, the Royal Commission into the Canterbury quakes turned its spotlight on to unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. By and large, it was those URM buildings – beautiful historic churches among them – that collapsed in a heap in the quakes. More than 40 people were killed by the falling facades. Now the Royal Commission wants registers of all URM buildings and action to make them safer. Councils will take those recommendations on board, says Don. “I think they’ll quickly go through older buildings in their territory and say: ‘Right. You’ve got a big parapet around this building. “‘Either take that off completely so it can’t fall – or put a steel strap around the building to tie it back. There’s no hurry. You’ve got six months.’ ” That, Don says, is the ‘bandaid’ solution. The next step would force older buildings to meet more of the building code. In the wake of those realities, church property trustees will be faced with some hard decisions. Don’s had a stab at naming a step-by-step process for making those decisions. Churches could: up congregations and cash-flow, so that churches can afford the earthquake premiums. Ansvar is not completely out of the game, it’ll be doing its best to sell fire, burglary and indemnity insurance to NZ churches. In October, Ansvar Australasia’s CEO ›› First, identify the church’s mission; ›› Then, tick the buildings that support the
mission, catalogue the surplus – and spot the gaps in buildings that you’ll need ›› Sell the surplus and strengthen the rest; ›› Reactivate the church’s mission, building up congregations and cash-flow, so that churches can afford the earthquake premiums. Ansvar will still be selling fire, burglary and indemnity insurance to NZ churches. In October, Ansvar Australasia’s CEO Andrew Moon pledged his company will search out new insurers for the outstanding earthquake risk. If we find them, he said, we’ll pass the cover on at no cost. There are promising signs on that front, too. In early November, Don met with a reinsurance broker who works in the London market. The broker’s firm (Thompson Heath & Bond) place insurance and reinsurance in up to 20 different markets around the world. At Ansvar’s request, he’s placed this church’s risk profile out into these markets. “He is confident,” says Don, “he’ll come back in early December, with a list of insurers willing to provide earthquake cover.” “We may not like their prices – but he is very confident that both the wish to insure and the capacity to do so exist.” Don is clear that the AIB has a duty to test the market itself. They’ve already held discussions with two major international brokering houses, and one has signalled – if Ansvar can’t find insurers, it will. The AIB has also commissioned what Don calls “a massive data collection exercise.” As a result of that AIB may begin buying earthquake insurance in bulk - to cover the maximum probable loss a region would suffer. “Rather than insuring each individual building,” says Don, “we would simply pay an aggregate premium for, say, $150m worth of insurance cover.” But whatever transpires in this insurance market storm, Don Baskerville is determined as a church, we'll navigate our way to safety. Lloyd Ashton is Media Officer of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ & Polynesia. email@example.com
Julie Hintz shows us fun ways to lead children through Advent into the joy of Christmas
How many sleeps
till Christmas? C
hristmas is an extra special time of year for children. Centred on the love and hope brought by a baby, children are naturally drawn into the excitement. As we prepare for Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of the season. When that happens, not only do we lose our joy and strength, but our children miss out on the true meaning of Jesus' incarnation. We don't want to deny our children the bright lights, presents under the tree, photos with Santa, or Christmas decorations. But we do want our children to learn to celebrate Christmas with thankfulness for God’s great gift to us and with a joy of giving to others. Advent is a wonderful time to help our children experience the joy of sharing, of being together as a family and being thankful to God. We can start with something as simple as an Advent Calendar. Whether you’re involved with Christmas outreach to your community in the form of holiday programmes, Messy Church, Sunday School, Bible in Schools or your own children or grandchildren, making an Advent Calendar is a great way to help prepare for the miracle of Christmas.
What do calendars make of Advent? Advent calendars are a daily reminder that Christmas is coming. Many of us have relied on store-bought calendars filled with chocolate, but there isn’t much Christmas meaning in opening a cardboard flap and eating a lolly. Thankfully, there are some easy-to-make Advent calendars that can help transform December into a meaningful journey to Christmas.
Getting started An Advent calendar is made of 24 pockets or holders, usually numbered 1-24. These can be reused each year by putting new ‘treats’ inside the holders. Here are two simple, inexpensive ideas for calendars that you might like to try. Making one with children is a great project to work on together.
You’ll need: 24 small envelopes or paper cups 24 clothes pegs, marker pens 2 metres of string or ribbon Old Xmas pictures or stamps
Decorate the envelopes or paper cups with Christmas pictures or stamps and number them 1-24. Hang the string or ribbon and peg the envelopes/cups to it. Put a treat, activity title or clue to a surprise in each one. The children can take turns unpegging the envelope/cup and looking inside to find the treasure. You can use any kind of “container” for this Advent calendar. How about little cloth gift bags or even baby’s socks?
Matchbox Calendar You'll need: 24 empty matchboxes Paint or wrapping paper Glue, marker pen, tape The matchboxes can either be glued together to create a "chest of drawers" or they can be decorated and left loose in a clear vase. For the free-flow boxes in a vase, paint or wrap each matchbox individually. If you want to make the single-piece calendar, take out the insides of the matchboxes, glue the boxes together and then paint. Use the inside of the matchbox as a drawer and decorate the front with a piece of fancy paper and a number. Treasures can be tucked into the little drawer.
What's on the Calendar? Next you need to have 24 somethings! It’s easy to put in chocolates or other lollies, but there are lots of other ideas that can help make Christmas meaningful and be reminders of what this season is all about. Write down the craft title or idea on a slip of paper to put in the calendar for your children to find. You can keep the instructions and needed materials separately. Plan ahead so that you’ll have whatever you need for
each day. Think about the days of the week, so you'll have enough time to do the longer activities.
Advent pocket ideas ›› Bake biscuits for a neighbour ›› Make a gift for your teacher ›› Make Christmas cards ›› Make milkshakes/ice cream sundaes ›› Make Christmas sweets ›› Sing Christmas carols together ›› Contact a local retirement home and offer to come and sing a carol or two ›› Have a picnic dinner ›› Play Christmas Mahjong (http:// akidsheart.com Holidays > Christmas > Mah Jong games with Christmas tiles) ›› Set up the Christmas tree ›› Using a needle and thread, string popcorn, raisins and cranberries to make a tree decoration ›› Make a treasure bottle (http:// homeschooling.about.com In Search, enter "Christmas Treasure Bottles") ›› Learn to fold an origami ornament for your tree ›› Turn someone in your family into a Christmas tree! (use red and green paper streamers, aluminium foil and tape - be sure to take photos!) ›› Watch a Christmas movie together ›› Read the story of the first Christmas from a Children’s Bible ›› Add a figure to the Nativity scene ›› Make a handprinted angel picture (www. strandz.org.nz > Resources > Seasonal > Advent > Crafts) ›› Buy a gift to give to a charity Ms. Julie Hintz is the StraNdZ Children's Ministry Enabler for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ & Polynesia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Who cares about
In the evening of life, we live in the light of others’ loving.
New Zealand lawyers passed a golden milestone this past year: more than $1 billion in pre-tax profits. Nice work if you can get it, considering that these are hard times for the economy.
Is it fair to compare the two? Probably not, when lawyers’ long hours, training and accountability are taken into account. But the huge disparity does raise questions about what we treasure most.
The average lawyer billed $303,233, of which $76,800 was sheer profit. For senior partners of big city firms, this meant an average income of $680,550 — around $13,500 a week. In contrast, the people who carry the burden of aged care earned hardly $32,000 each — or $600 a week.
Even more disturbing is the fact that aged care is nearing crisis point as a grey tsunami of babyboomers threatens to swamp the industry. Brian Thomas goes behind the curtains to suss out the state of aged care and who actually looks after us when we can’t manage for ourselves.
Above: Margot is one resthome resident with her own reservations on the future of aged care.
ne of our biggest growth industries masks what can only be called a national scandal. Aged residential care, now gearing up for a massive influx of babyboomers, is a discreet cul-de-sac that many of us would choose to skirt on our journey to the Great Beyond. But chances are that we’ll be wheeled-in to reside there for 10 or more years, totally dependent on the grace and competence of strangers who are paid a relative pittance to meet our most private needs. That’s the scandal: the people who feed and bath us in the twilight of our passage are for the most part young Asian and Pacific women who subsist on a little more than the minimum adult wage – $14 an hour, before tax. You could argue that caregiving is one of life’s highest vocations. The focus of their work is, after all, tangata, tangata, tangata. People in extremis, moreover. But caregivers’ payscales and social standing reflect a topsy-turvy world that pays five times as much per hour to tend the resthome plumbing as it does for toileting and showering granny. A sage once noted that the mark of a civilised society is the way it cares for the poor and frail. New Zealand may be highly civilised in comparison to most other countries, but aged care here is under mounting stress – and analysts predict a crisis in residential care unless radical steps are taken now. Ponder these figures: By 2026 New Zealand’s population is expected to grow by almost 20 percent – from 4.2 to 5 million. And while that sounds like good news for the economy, the downside is that over-65s will balloon by a whopping 84 percent – from 512,000 to 944,000. A grey tsunami, no less. Pressure on the aged-care industry will therefore rise dramatically, especially in hospital and dementia care, which requires specialist staff and well-equipped rooms. Indeed, the demand for aged-care beds is projected to rise from 32,000 this year to as many as 52,000 by 2026. In the same period, demand for aged-care workers will jump by up to 75 percent – from just over 24,000 to 42,000.1 And let’s not count on a limitless supply of cheap workers from Asia – because Australia also has a spate of babyboomers in the wings, and pay scales there are far
more attractive than ours. Of course, we’re talking about 15 years’ hence – surely time enough to build agedcare capacity and train more people. Well, no. Because the problem comes down to hard economics and realpolitik. Hospital and dementia care offers a poor return on capital investment, which is why the industry is already struggling with old buildings and tired equipment. The cost of erecting a state-of-the-art care facility, for example, has risen to $200,000 per bed, which takes a lot of recouping when operational budgets are pared to the minimum. This accounts for why some churches and charities have pulled out of residential care. Yes, there’s money to be made in aged care, but most of it flows from lavish retirement villages – the new happy hunting ground for big foreign-owned chains like Ryman and Bupa.
he blessing of living in a welfare state is that none of us will be left lying beside the road in our dotage. The Government does guarantee a certain level of care for all, irrespective of what we can afford. But that blessing comes at a price – estimated at $1413 a week for anyone needing hospital or dementia care. About $272 of that is deducted from the resident’s national super, and the Government then subsidises the rest – provided the resident’s assets total less than $210,000. Above that, you start to pay your own way, which in the case of a fully private resident is capped at around $828 per week.2
It’s a fraught issue for children of failing, well-to-do parents, because the family homestead and investments become grist for the aged-care mill unless they’ve been squirreled away in a family trust or ‘gifted’ at least five years earlier. The smart answer, then, is to get the family lawyer to ring-fence the inheritance well before we need residential care. Pass the burden to taxpayers, in other words. Tarry too long, however, and the cost of care will slowly whittle back the inheritance to the $210,000 threshold for government subsidy. Is it any wonder that a family conference often comes hard on the heels of an early diagnosis of dementia? The ethics of all that aside: someone has to meet the burgeoning cost of care – and the Aged Care Association, representing over 550 residential providers, is agitating for higher subsidies. Launching a “crisis” campaign in October, the association’s chief executive, Martin Taylor, warned: “If we didn’t have all the babyboomers coming through, it might be OK for another decade. But we don’t have that time, and something has to give.” So, what sort of increases are deemed necessary by the association? It’s calling for subsidy hikes of 46 percent for resthome care, 26 percent for dementia care, and 17 percent for hospital care – raising the bill to taxpayers from $802m to $1.3billion a year. “If this investment doesn’t happen,” Mr Taylor says, “the industry will have to cut costs – and a very likely result will be a move to multi-bed rooms with two, three or Continued ››
Our ageing care industry ›› Currently, half of all aged-care beds and facilities in New Zealand are over 20 years old, while a significant proportion are 50 years or older. ›› Design of aged-care buildings has to keep pace with changes in social expectations, residents’ needs, and compliance codes. ›› Recent investment in aged-care facilities has been targeted at those who can pay. Meanwhile, social housing for the elderly poor has languished. ›› The most efficient resthome or hospital has 80 beds or more, but half of New Zealand’s aged-care facilities have 50 beds or fewer – making it harder for providers to turn a profit. ›› Nearly 60 percent of aged-care complexes built in the last decade charge extra for additional services. And since 2006, the number has doubled. Research: Grant Thornton
The Aged Care Association’s campaign ad for higher government subsidies. “Something has to give.”
even four people to a room.” Battery homes for the aged, in plain language. Health minister Tony Ryall remains unmoved by such a prospect, which is hardly surprising given the yawning government deficit. The preferred (and cheaper) solution is to keep the elderly in their own homes for as long as humanly possible, but that requires a network of professional support which just isn’t in place yet. It’s also a prescription for loneliness in old folk with no close neighbours or family to check on them daily. Labour, meanwhile, have weighed into the issue with an election pledge to lift caregivers’ wages by 20 percent – on par with healthcare assistants in public hospitals. That sounds generous, until you do the
The changing face
›› In 1991, nearly half of all caregivers in New Zealand were from the UK.
›› By 2006, this number had swung towards Pacific Islanders, mostly from Samoa and Fiji. ›› New Zealand now depends heavily on Asian and Filipino caregivers.
sums and realise that caregivers’ hourly rate would still average less than $17, before tax. “Poverty wages,” says Rob Haultain, aged-care adviser to the NZ Nurses’ Association.
s someone with an aged mother in hospital care, I’m well placed to see exactly what caregivers do for their daily wage. For a start, there’s no downtime: each day is a constant round of washing, dressing, toileting and feeding. Even the “granny naps” after lunch offer no respite, because district health boards demand meticulous detail on diet, medication, and general wellbeing. Caregiving is also heavy work; try lifting a stroke patient without the proper gear and you’ll see why so many older caregivers have back and shoulder injuries. And then there’s the abuse. Some residents are either in pain or frustrated out of their minds, so they very occasionally lash out – verbally if not physically. No surprise these young women learn to stay on their toes around grumpy old men. And yet: after many hours in the hospital lounge, I’ve yet to see a caregiver react badly. Young migrants mainly, they’re unfailingly kind and attentive. And good fun besides. One caregiver sings to the residents – soulful songs from Celine Dion, with a dash of Lady GaGa. Another caregiver doubles as the main breadwinner for her extended family
in the Pacific. When she returned home briefly, the whole village turned out to greet her like a patron saint – which in a sense she is. And let’s not overlook the morning rituals in every care facility: the application of lotions and lipstick, the buttoning of crocheted blouses, and the fastening of necklaces and brooches which defy arthritic fingers. On special anniversaries, female residents roll into the lounge decked out like stars – which in a sense they are. Talk to most school-leavers about the prospect of aged care and they’ll more than likely wrinkle their noses, as though such work is beneath them. Talk to some caregivers and you’ll gain a different impression: one of gratitude at having a secure job that offers heaps of human contact. “We’ve got some real characters,” one caregiver told me, with genuine affection. “You should hear what they tell us when we get them up in the morning!” The drawback in such caring, sadly, is that there’s a constant turnover of residents. In winter, especially, staff have to cope with up to several deaths a week – some closer than family. Society undervalues, too, the huge responsibility that goes with caregiving. I was visiting an Anglican hospital in Christchurch when the February 22 quakes ripped into the city. As windows rattled and vases and books spilled to the floor, staff huddled with their charges in the central lounge, trying
to contain their own panic as well as the residents’. City offices emptied – fast – as workers streamed home. But that was hardly an option for those in aged care. With no power or water – and the aftershocks still happening – a cool-headed activities co-ordinator threw together a lounge party with fruitcake and cordial from the hospital kitchen. I’d have preferred three fingers of scotch, in each hand, but extraordinary times call for compromise. And so the upheaval continued, day after day, as caregivers contended with broken lavatory systems, improvised heating, bottled water, and full beds. If EQC wants to hand out medals, it needn’t look further than aged care.
n the 16th century a Spanish mystic called St John of the Cross wrote: “In the evening of life, we shall be judged on our loving.” A twist on that prophetic insight is that in the evening of life, we live increasingly in the light of others’ loving. How ironic that for many of us, that light will be held by people of another race and culture. Who share none of our traditions or privileges. And who are paid $14 an hour before tax.
The Rev Canon Brian Thomas edits Taonga Online: www.anglicantaonga.org.nz email@example.com Additional research by Linda Moore. FOOTNOTES 1. Grant Thornton: Aged Residential Care Service Review, September 2010. 2. The maximum private contribution to aged care is set by the Director-General of Health, and varies slightly across regions.
Lessons in life from the twilight zone
f I were a bishop – ha ha – I’d send every ordination candidate to work in an aged-care home or hospital. Not for long, because they probably wouldn’t last. And not to dispense religion, because that’s hardly core business in aged care. Rather, I’d invite all my ordinands to work alongside regular caregivers: lifting, feeding, washing, dressing. In the process they might grasp the nitty-gritty of Jesus’ loving, exemplified in the washing of his disciples’ feet. Aged care, you see, has none of the privileges of parish ministry... no strokes from grateful parishioners and no opportunity to dress up on Sunday morning. It’s a backroom activity, predicated on kindness and compassion. And a tireless disposition. Aged-care ordinands might also learn to listen, because the elderly have stories that are far more engaging, far more romantic, than anything you’ll see and hear on television. Stories of enduring love, for example: of wartime separations made tolerable by snatched liaisons in railway tearooms, en-route to the killing fields of Europe. Stories of human resilience in the face of privations that would flatten today’s generation of entitlement. Stories of a world that used to be simpler, slower, quieter.
In aged care the erstwhile ordinand would also glimpse moments of great tenderness, as spouses of residents honour their vow to “comfort, honour and keep in sickness...” One visitor, for instance, daily dresses his wife in fine jewellery – pearls and pendants. Two middle-aged sons, meanwhile, take turns to spoonfeed a mother who has been stricken with Alzheimers for 10 years. “It all comes round,” notes one observer. The ordinand might also note the loneliness of a life devoid of family. For the downside of a global job market is that it lures children far, far from ageing parents – at the very time when they need to be close at hand. Most people in aged care receive few visitors, even from immediate family. So they live with their memories, in rooms not much bigger than their old laundry, surrounded by flowery cards and generations of frozen smiles. A quick glance through the doorway sees human frailty. But anyone prepared to linger and chat may learn that the recumbent once scaled mountains, raised 10 children, or played for the All Blacks. No one deserves to be judged, particularly in the twilight of dependency. Which is not a bad lesson for anyone setting out in ordained ministry. – Brian Thomas
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A programme of theological education and ministry formation available throughout New Zealand.
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throughout providestoin-depth education that EFM provides in-depth theological educationNew that Zealand. enables allEFM the baptized study Oldtheological and New Testament and Church all the baptized to study Old and New Testament and Church History, History, and better discern theirenables own ministries. and better discern their own ministries.
For information about joining or forming a group with a trained mentor in your area, contact: The National Administrator Education for Ministry PO Box 12-046, Wellington Email: Website:
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Salt & Light
– to the world Young adults in Christchurch can’t get enough of an emerging Anglican ministry – the Society of Salt and Light Spanky Moore reflects on its unexpected success - and ponders if God’s got a message in there for the rest of us
The fisherman’s tale When I was growing up in Nelson, each Christmas holidays my family would head to the bach at St Arnaud. We’d play Canasta by day, go eeling by night, and spend hours crashing through native bush with home made spears pretending to be Rambo. Every summer, one of my older brothers would pack his rod and go trout fishing in the Buller River. By trout fishing, I mean in a purely aspirational sense. Because not once in the 15 years he paid his fishing licence fee, and spent those hours casting and reeling, did he actually manage to hook and land a literal fish. I’ve sometimes had nightmares that my future ministry might turn out like my brother’s fishing record. Loyal, long suffering, but when all is done, I’d only be left with damp socks and a lingering cold for all my efforts. More a buffet for sandflies, than a fisher of men.
The Society of Salt & Light But the craziest thing has happened with young adult ministry in Christchurch this past year. It’s caused us to ponder what God might be up to in our midst, and, how that might translate to other places. A few Taonga issues ago, I mentioned a new young adults' ministry we were trying called ‘The Society of Salt & Light’. In short, it brought together young adults from seven parishes, once a month, for a “summit” in a local café. That meant a night of fast-paced, intellectually Page 40
stimulating, topic-orientated practical theology. Oh, and inter-parish flirting. Over the remaining month, parish groups would eat together weekly, serve their local community and (hopefully inspired by our resources) explore the month’s topic deeper. Our 3-month trial went pretty well, and most parishes decided to stick with it.
Aftershock Things took an unexpected turn after the February earthquake. Two weeks after the big one, we decided to put on a special “Aftershock” summit - to explore the theological, spiritual and emotional issues around the quake. We opened it up to any other groups or churches that might be interested. That night - to our horror - our numbers doubled. The venue was pushed to capacity with young adults, and the room was buzzing with energy. Since then we’ve struggled to keep up, with young adults turning up from all over - Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, and community church. After a few months of this, we realised we’d need a second summit each month, as things got uncomfortably tight in the café we use. But then that night filled up to capacity too. I’ve even had reports of people bringing their non-Christian friends -and them wanting to come back. In young adult ministry, this reaction to theology is almost unheard of. Was someone putting methamphetamines in the coffee?
Now this isn’t a brag-fest. It’s exciting to be part of something when it’s at flourishing stage, but in many ways, though we’d hoped for this, we never saw it coming. So why did we feel so surprised? After all, we talk of a God who’s always up to creative things in the world and fulfilling His purposes. What’s the big deal then?
Anglican: to be or not to be? I think it’s this. As Anglicans, we really have struggled to keep up, when it comes to passing on our faith. As a younger clergy person it’s an exciting place to be, because there's so much potential. But if we keep going the way we’re going, most of us Anglicans will probably be dead in a few decades, give or take. Rev Dr Patrick Richmond told the Church of England’s last General Synod in York, that according to some projections, the Anglican Church will no longer be “functionally extant” in 20 years’ time. The average age of church members is now 61, and by 2020, a “crisis” of “natural wastage” will lead to their numbers falling
“through the floor”. The Church was compared to a company “impeccably” managing itself into failure. Ouch. Over the past 40 years in the UK, the number of adult churchgoers has halved, and numbers of children attending regular worship has declined by four-fifths. Here in Godzone we don’t look too different. And meanwhile we argue, rant, hand wring and get worked up about other things. Important things, yes. But at times it feels like we’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, again. Now I’m not saying God is calling us back to the nostalgic days of Christendom – where every respectable person attended a corner church, at least at Easter and Christmas time. What I am suggesting is that each of us needs to have a hard, honest look at how we as a church have become so useless at forming disciples of Jesus and practitioners of God’s kingdom?
Big fish, little fish The funny thing for Christchurch Anglicans, was that we’d got used to being the little fish of the young adult
ministry world. We’ve suddenly had to adjust to leading the way. Other churches are interested in what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and the perspectives we’re bringing. This February we’re putting on a Festival of Salt & Light in partnership with a non-Anglican organisation - and we’re expecting over 350 to attend. The Society of Salt and Light has taught me that young people are drawn to the Gospel that brings life to the fullest. We’ve just lost the knack of communicating it in ways that catch their imagination. There’s no reason Anglicans shouldn’t be holding our own in ministry all over Aotearoa New Zealand. Maybe it’s time to remind ourselves what the Church’s core business is, and to get our priorities straight? After all, if we don’t re-learn how to catch those trout soon, we may discover it’s ourselves who are up the river. Rev Spanky Moore is Young Adults Ministry Developer, for the Diocese of Christchurch firstname.lastname@example.org
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Study Theology from your home Page 41
to the wind A 'Born here, buggered it up.' (‘New Zealanders, a definition’)
Trevor James investigates echoes of the spirit in the recent work of Otago poet Brian Turner
The visual images cluster thickly and become almost overwhelming, almost luminous with presence.
one line poem delivered in the dry tone of an ordinary Kiwi bloke – just one of Brian Turner’s ‘voices’. You might ask, is this poetry? Well hardly, not if that was all he wrote. Yet that one-liner has a huge metaphysical embrace, holding much more than a first glance might reveal. It is a summary – a tragic vision – reminiscent of theology’s image of ‘The Fall’. Turner’s laconic indictment includes a sense of wonder at what has been given, and an anguished sense of loss, whether at the destruction of the environment, the shock of mortality, or the individual messes of poor choices and botched relationships. A sense of wonder streams through Turner’s poetry, which is no real surprise from a well-established poet of the Central Otago landscape. Turner resists the platitudes and sentiment that choke much landscape poetry and instead has a sense for familiar details that can speak simply, while hinting at something more. That
‘something more’ can be found in ‘Autumn Song,’ where the poet begins:
‘On the road again to somewhere west, the morning’s sun badgering the fog cloaking the Poolburn, and over the hill in Ophir where evening primrose and tall hollyhocks sway by the roadside...'
These sharply realised details establish the poet’s sense of place and his intimate bond with the landscape. Memory and experience have so embedded the place in him, that it remains with him as a real presence through the journey. ‘It’s as if one’s rooted to the spot as well as moving through the countryside...’
This powerful spiritual location becomes more clearly pronounced on the afternoon’s return journey back up the Ida Valley to Oturehua. The visual images cluster thickly and become almost overwhelming, almost luminous with presence. ‘...while mobs of ewes lie like maggots beside glassy ponds, sedated by the sun. To the northwest the long line of the Dunstans
are a buff brown, Mt St Bathans blue-tinted, and the crinkled Hawkduns bar the way at the head of the valley. White butterflies dither in off-white yarrow and alight amongst the last of the mauve clover. There’s a softening of the light as the sun slides further and further west and I drive slowly up the valley towards Oturehua dreaming of love and peace, listening to Domingo singing Bach’s Ave Maria and Franck’s Panis angelicus, and I think at last I know what is true, what wonder is.’
Turner’s loving, careful marking of detail in the softening light is a spiritual communion, almost casually registered in the allusions to Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus. Yet the delighted hopefulness of the last line is tempered by his pointed balancing of ‘I know’ against ‘I think’ in the line above. While Turner has used the device of a journey through familiar landscape that becomes a journey into the holy, he keeps space for ambiguity, for things to be seen simply as they are. Turner’s latest collection ‘Inside Outside’ (2011) is divided into five parts, with a final sequence labelled ‘Post-Operatives’. These poems are particularly personal, as Turner reflects on major surgery he has undergone - difficult and high-risk material to manage. The poems assume a starker tone, as in ‘Face to Face,’ where the recollection of fear and helplessness is barely contained in the word play. The human condition, the poet’s condition, has no ‘fix-it pill’,
he now experiences, and of ‘feeling you’re someone else’s experiment.’ For him, the possibilities of what to believe or hope in are neither obvious nor satisfactory. ‘.. Then, disgruntled, you start picking away at your life as if it’s muesli and you’re sorting out the particulars, the bits worth eating from the rest that seems sourced in a desert of dross. No wonder you’re looking for somewhere that feels more stable, that might serve as a pleasing aura before you vanish into the ether.’
This spiritual search for ‘what feels more stable’ doesn't easily find a conclusion. Still, in his poem ‘Lakeside,’ the post-op Turner anchors himself in the natural world once more, with a renewed appreciation for his hold on life. ‘A sharp, puffy southerly blows up the lake so I sit in the sunny front seat of my car and watch a small yacht heel, periodically wave surrender.
A keen yachtsman, Turner finds hope in the yacht heeling before the wind. He expands the image in ‘Secular Yet Sacred,’ where his freshly-honed awareness of mortality and his longing for the transcendent now fuse, in what may be a renewed sense of the poet’s calling. The raw unchurched life of the spirit, ‘the wind in your sails,’ commands the poet to speak, to ‘bear witness’. Here again is a hint of grace and faith, though not comfortably packaged in the words of religion, but in surrender to ‘the wind in your sails’, ‘There’s this clear insistent voice commanding we bear witness to how fleeting such is, ... ... But don’t despair, don’t. Be what you are, heel to the wind in your sails.’ The Very Rev Dr Trevor James is Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin. firstname.lastname@example.org
At the roadside edge of the gravel beach birds chitter and sing in a scraggy tree, peck the last, reddest wild apples of the season. It may be autumn but today it feels like spring to me.’
‘You’re given the facts. You hope it’s not a sentence. It seems too early somehow and somehow means more than somesuch. Right now the past won’t sing to the present and croon that there is a fix-it pill for every condition available online, and every dinner friends put on seems like the last supper.’
This foreboding work is balanced by insights that emerge after the operation. In these later poems, an overt metaphysical interest is clear. In ‘Making Up Your Mind,’ Turner reflects on the shock of his mortality and complains of the uncertainty
Photos: On the road between Ophir and Poolburn. Page 43
For Creation's sake! Matthew Luxon unpacks our throwaway lifestyle and offers some eco-friendly alternatives. First he takes on the classic church morning tea...
here are plenty of reasons to be proud of being Anglican – great churches, beautiful liturgies, passionate members and now here’s another. Back in 1990, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) passed a resolution on 'Care of Creation' asking us to 'promote understanding and the sharing of practical action with regard to care of the environment’. Before it was cool to be an environmentalist, at least some of us were already on to it. However, if you’re anything like me, you understand the issues facing the environment and even appreciate ACC resolutions like this one, but at the same time you might be completely unaware of what reasonable steps to take in your own life. The issues loom so large, and in comparison, our own actions seem relatively insignificant. That's the moment when inertia, or even paralysis, kicks in. With all that in mind, I'm going to offer some practical suggestions on how to upgrade your care for creation.
RUBBISH FREE MORNING TEAS This time we’re going to focus on the ubiquitous morning tea. Morning and afternoon teas are a wonderful aspect of church life, whether it's after the weekly service, at various meetings or when we're celebrating some aspect of communal life. By dividing the
"...for every bag of rubbish we send to landfill, around 70 bags have already gone there as a result of the items in our bag..."
upgrade suggestions into easy, medium and challenging, hopefully you’ll find something you can improve on from where you're at now. Just like physical exercise, these suggestions come with a warning to not overdo it, start off easy and then build up as the habits become ingrained!
EASY Out with disposable spoons! “It’s pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, buy it and bring it home, is considered to be less effort than what it takes to just wash the spoon when you’re done with it!” (Adbusters; 2011) The easiest environmental thing to do (and one you most likely already do) is to use cutlery and crockery that can be washed and used over and over again. Although most church kitchens are already set up for this, consider doing the same thing at home when having a significant number of people over for a barbeque or other big event. Perhaps you could consider purchasing a cheap second hand set of crockery and cutlery, which you keep stored away for such occasions, rather than reaching for the (supposedly) disposable options?
MEDIUM Bring back home baking When you buy a packet of biscuits from the supermarket, a whole lot of rubbish has already been created in the manufacturing of those biscuits, packaging and delivering them to the store. In fact, it
is estimated that for every bag of rubbish we send to landfill, around 70 bags have already gone there as a result of the items in our bag. So reducing the rubbish you create has a much bigger impact than what you'll see when you put out the rubbish. To avoid all that plastic, why not set up a home-baking roster? For bonus points, take your own containers to a bulk food retailer and fill them up with the ingredients you'll need.
CHALLENGING Go local and organic Try to use local and organic food when you can. Organic milk for the cups of tea is available in most supermarkets these days, though it's a bit pricier than the ordinary variety. Or, how about picking up some local and/or organic fruit to slice up as an alternative to biscuits and baking? Matthew Luxon is a Christian environmentalist who runs www.rubbishfree.co.nz
Are we what we eat? FEAST + FAST: FOOD FOR LENT AND EASTER BY CHRISTINA REES DARTON, LONGMAN & TODD, $28.70 www.christiansupplies.co.nz JONATHAN JONG
esides the obvious whiff of an affair with Mammon, there is something distasteful about contemporary Christian merchandising. It has gone far beyond books and CDs to street apparel and stationery - though what makes a pencil mass-produced in the developing world for a pittance Christian, is difficult to see. Such merchandising not only participates in unjust economic structures, but contributes to the ghettoising of Christian life. The aim seems to be that some day we shall all read Christian novels, listen to Christian rock,
wear Christian t-shirts, use Christian paper clips and drink Christian cola. So I approached Christina Rees’s book of recipes for Lent and Easter "Feast + Fast" with considerable reservation. What could possibly make these recipes distinctively Christian? The answer is, it turns out, “Not much”. At least, it’s not so much about the food, as it is about our approach to food. Rees begins by inviting us to be mindful of how we live; how we eat, but also how we sleep and drink and shop. To take Lent seriously is to take the incarnation, the full human personhood of Jesus, seriously, which is to take our own irreducible materiality seriously. "The season of Lent can be a time for reconnecting with the senses, for discovering in new
Joining the dots
CUTTLE FISH, CLONES & CLUSTER BOMBS BY MICHAEL S. NORTHCOTT DARTON, LONGMAN & TODD $27.99 www.christiansupplies.co.nz MATTHEW LUXON
ecently folk have been questioning the truthfulness of the ‘100% Pure’ campaign used to promote NZ overseas. Perhaps we shouldn't be
surprised, considering that over the past five years our individual consumption of plastic packaging has increased by 16.5%, and that we are eighth highest materialconsuming country in the OECD. Unfortunately, some of our excess travels through the stormwater system into our oceans, where fish mistake the brightly-coloured plastic for food. This is just one of the results of our following an economic
ways an appreciation of what it means to be an embodied physical being," says Rees. In this book she describes lent as a time to practice living well, as embodied creatures embedded among other embodied creatures in a physical cosmos, which God has affirmed to be good. So here, eating well goes beyond enjoying the sheer deliciousness of the author's Rainbow Stew (p. 125) or her Simnel Cake (p. 154). While such enjoyment is good, it involves being mindful about what our food does to us, to others and to the natural world. According to Rees, this involves considering the effects of what and how we eat (or don't eat) on our physical and psychological health, on our close relationships, on the welfare of the people who
paradigm, which heavily promotes and relies upon disposable consumerism. It is in this context that Michael S. Northcott, a Professor in the School of Divinity at Edinburgh University, has released his fourth book, ‘Cuttle fish, clones and cluster bombs’. The book is a collection of sermons delivered by the author, and set out in sections according to the liturgical calendar. In the introduction Northcott makes very clear his belief that preachers have a duty to connect the contemporary world and the word of God, quoting Barth’s assertion to hold the Bible in one hand and newspaper in the other. For Northcott, this means researching and preaching on the interface between ethics, ecology and religion.
produce our food and on our natural world. Applying this kind of reflection is what Christian eating looks like, and in this, Feast + Fast helps us in our efforts. Jonathan Jong is a lay minister in the Diocese of Dunedin, currently completing a PhD. in psychology and philosophy. email@example.com
Initially I found the introduction a little convoluted and hard going, but the sermons were inspirational and very easily read in bite-sized pieces. I was left hopeful and encouraged, as themes of Christian faithfulness, forgiveness, love and redemption were shown to compliment perfectly the modern movements of slow food, fair trade, transition towns and other environmental activities. A great read for those eager to join the dots between their faith and our responsibility towards nurturing and protecting this beautiful world and those who dwell on it. Matthew Luxon is a Christian environmentalist who runs www.rubbishfree.co.nz Page 45
Jenny Dawson investigates the call of baptism on Anglicans in these islands
Called into ministry
Divining the waters... Baptism or tikanga? Over the years, our church’s threetikanga structure has been criticised in this magazine. Writers have often cited our common baptism as the overriding reality, which they claim, nullifies the tikanga division. In the Easter 2005 issue, Rev. Hugh Bowron writes, “Can we go on justifying a Maori Anglican Church, a Pacific Island Anglican Church, and a recent-arrivals Anglican Church in the light ... that our baptism gets us from blood lines and ethnic roots?” In response I have made a study of baptism, towards a more rigorous theological foundation for our way of being church since 1992.
Which baptism? The sacrament of baptism offers a lens through which we express our ecclesiology. Baptism is not the long-forgotten family event when the church made us members of a Christendom world. Rather, it is the radical view of a life-changing, permanent call to live in Christ – in the time and place where we find ourselves. So our baptism here calls us to engage deeply with a post-colonial 21st century context. And, it requires us to remain true to the early church’s understanding of baptism. The real demands of baptism have seldom been understood. Yet, at critical
times, Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand have demonstrated the transformative power of dying and rising with Christ that their baptism enacted. Sometimes that has shown in terms of social, structural or political choices, reflecting a deep engagement with context.
A members’ club? The baptismal and initiation liturgies in A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa show that as well as making us members of the church, baptism entails: ›› a new start to life ›› being accepted and sealed by God with the Holy Spirit ›› being sent out to represent Christ to the world Perhaps it would help if our liturgy more strongly expressed the qualities of radical regeneration and discipline as well as grace? Reflecting theologically on our joint history, it is possible to identify transformative moments where baptismal commitment has made an impact on social structures. For example, Bishop Selwyn’s “common table” at St John’s College was a brave attempt at tikanga rua. Walter Nash’s baptismal engagement in this country led to a political career inspired by Christian socialism. And in recent times, the baptised showed their unity en masse in the Hikoi of Hope.
In fact, any real study of baptism and its call on the baptised in Aotearoa New Zealand, inevitably draws us into a much broader discussion of this church’s context. The baptismal call has to be lived out here, where colonialism, inherited Christianity and structural racism must be all taken into account. Part of that context is the current reality of ministry formation and ordination training. A renewed understanding of baptism’s call on the individual in community demands a reappraisal of Local Shared Ministry (LSM), at a time when some Pakeha dioceses are turning away from LSM and reverting to the vicar-led model. LSM still has much to offer, if we believe that all the baptised are responsible for ministry and mission. Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, Katharine Jefferts-Schori claims the real power of the baptismal challenge in these words, “Let the pain of this world seize us by the throat. Listen for Jesus calling us all out of our tombs of despair and apathy. May the shock of baptismal dying once more set us afire.” Mission inspired by the shock of baptismal dying and informed by our experience of this context, is at the heart of our Church’s three-tikanga constitution. Affirming, promoting, celebrating and re-examining aspects of the baptism that we share, may be a way for Anglicans of all three tikanga to find a radical unity and see themselves as reconcilers in Christ’s name. The Rev. Jenny Dawson is Bishop's Chaplain for Hawkes Bay, Diocese of Waiapu. Her recently published book "A Radical Theology of Baptism" is a critical investigation of baptism in this church. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pearl of great price... But there’s no need to sell everything you own to buy it. Sign up as a Friend of Taonga and we’ll mail four issues of Anglican Taonga (Treasure) direct to your home – for just $20. We’ll even throw in a copy for a friend. Taonga covers the big issues of Anglicanism, fairly and honestly. And our writers include some of the sharpest, best-informed minds in the church. NAME
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Join the Taonga team now by filling out the coupon and sending to: Chris Church, Distribution Manager, 214 Ilam Road, Christchurch 8041.
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A MINISTRY LIKE NO OTHER A career as a chaplain in the NZDF will be like no other chaplain role you have experienced before. “A large portion of my role is helping people in crisis. My role enables me to apply ministry skills to a far wider mix of people than a church context.”- Chaplain James Molony
As an NZDF chaplain you will be trained as an Officer and be called on to work in a variety of environments; from a Chapel on a military camp, to field exercises and operations at home or abroad. You’ll offer pastoral and spiritual support to all military personnel and their families, regardless of faith and rank. WHY JOIN THE NEW ZEALAND DEFENCE FORCE?
Whether it be saying formal prayers at important public occasions, or providing support to individuals, you are, in the best Biblical tradition, “all things to all people”, without fear or favour to their status or position. You will also be given first class leadership and education opportunities that will add significantly to your ministry experience. BECOME AN NZDF CHAPLAIN
“As a Chaplain I enjoy the culture of NZDF chaplaincy with its multicultural, multi-faith context.” “I’ve also enjoyed some of the military equipment (ships, vehicles, aircraft and firepower) that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to touch!”-Jennifer Betham-Lang
If you are ordained and in good standing with your local and national church authorities, with a minimum of five years experience in a parish/ congregational ministry we would love to hear from you. We have opportunities to join either full-time, or part-time as a Reservist.
“If you like adventure and new places, meeting people, and learning more about your own potential, give our NZDF a go!” FIND OUT MORE:
Contact Chaplain Lance Lukin (PC-RTE) email@example.com (04) 527 5011 Page 47
Hear what the
Spirit is saying...
Chris Holmes argues for the role of the Holy Spirit in our approach to sexual ethics
alk on the work of the Spirit is risky business, it seems. Many in our tradition are unsure of who the Spirit is, or of what the Spirit is doing. This is true for vexing moral and ethical concerns, especially those related to “human sexuality”. For some, appeals to the Spirit’s work are hopelessly enmeshed in subjective experience. Others see calls on the Spirit’s work as a way of underwriting agendas, whatever those may be.
On task In Paul’s fiery letter to the Galatians, he portrays the Spirit’s work as radically concrete, engaged in a concrete task. The task is: to align humanity with the new reality brought into being by Christ’s cross. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit of Christ. The Spirit is God’s invading power, establishing the Christian community for a world where the anti-God powers of the flesh are no more. The Spirit is not a vague and impersonal power. Rather, the Spirit is the blessing promised to Abraham, the overtaking power of God, who baptismally grasps women and men and empowers them to live in the light of Jesus’ cross. This, I think, makes all the difference. It has often been wrongly assumed that Paul’s epistles contain rules or principles for conduct. If we read Paul looking for these things, we will inevitably be disappointed. What Paul announces, is that in the daily life of the Christian community, the Spirit of Christ is at work making new. The Spirit of Christ is active, enabling persons to live in harmony with the new creation. The new creation provides direction, but not “principles”. This implies three things. First, the Spirit is the wonder-working power of Jesus Christ – ‘God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts’. Therefore, life in the Spirit is truly ethical life, for it is life in Jesus Christ. Ethical life, is life aligned to the way things really are. The Spirit brings us into fellowship with “the Lord Jesus Christ, who
gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age.” The Spirit’s work, in other words, has a specific direction – to draw people into communion with Jesus, through whom God is making all things right. Secondly, the Spirit of Christ works powerfully to defeat the flesh. When Paul exhorts the Galatian communities to ‘not gratify the desires of the flesh,’ (Gal 5:16) he is not being anti-body. Paul disagrees with the Gnostics, who defined the spiritual realm as good and the bodily realm as bad. For Paul, the flesh is what prevents us from living in light of the new creation. A Christian community that ‘lives by the Spirit’ is a community attentive to the new reality. In fact, the New Testament writers attest that sin and death themselves have been crucified. This is so arresting and new, that all we can do is pray for ears with which to hear and be transformed. Christian ethics begin and end with hearing the message – the old, old story that is strangely contemporary and new. Until that message is truly heard, ethics will be debated as if God were not powerfully working here and now, through the Spirit of Christ, to crucify the old order of sin and death. The Spirit has plans for humanity – those of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit is at work to overcome the flesh run-wild. The Spirit is at work empowering forms of human life (and of sexuality) consistent with the new reality disclosed in Christ’s cross. Therefore, we should not approach charged ethical matters as if the triune God were inactive.
What is coming to pass? We look forward to the hope of ‘rectification,’ that in Jesus Christ, God will visibly make all things right. Bodily life in the Christian community transcends the divisions of the old order. Paul’s white-hot anger in Galatians is directed at those who argued Gentiles needed to believe in Jesus the Messiah
and be circumcised, if they were to become truly a part of God’s covenant people. However – and this is the heart of the radically good news – in Christ there is no longer ‘Jew or Greek,’ ‘slave or free,’ ‘male and female.’ The world of opposites is no more because of Christ’s cross.
Those who have ears to hear Debates about forms of human sexuality faithful to the Gospel would benefit from listening - from a disciplined hearing of the revolutionary Gospel. Were the Christian community to listen, it would see that the Spirit of Christ is at work birthing ‘fruits’ and not so much ‘principles’. In Galatians 5:22-23, we hear of the fruits of the Spirit of Christ. These are fruits of the wonder working Spirit who enables the Christian community to live in light of what is real. This does not generate a ‘position,’ at least in any kind of immediate sense. What it does generate, is a ‘posture.’ That posture is one of open ears, ears that by the Spirit of Christ, are able to hear. ‘For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything!’ The Rev Dr Chris Holmes is Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago firstname.lastname@example.org
The Spirit is at work to overcome the flesh run-wild.
Christian World Service’s Pauline McKay reflects on a tough year and calls us back to the essentials for Christmas
Back to basics T
his year’s Christmas Appeal marks the end of one of the toughest years in our history. At Christian World Service (CWS) we’ve been shaken by the Christchurch earthquakes, which at times this year forced our CWS staff back to basics, even down to food supplies. On the global scene, financial crises are increasing pressure on the poor, as food prices soar and economies melt down. Reliable food supplies have slipped backwards, leaving a bleaker global situation than we’ve previously had. In response to all this, 2011’s Christmas Appeal is focused on one of the most fundamental human rights: access to food. The good news is that our partners are
still doing a great job. In some of the world’s worst-off places they are changing people’s daily realities from a permanent threat of starvation, into sustainable living. You can see some of the most heartening examples at http://christmasappeal.org.nz But let’s not forget the extremity of the bigger picture. The hard data on food tells it like this; ›› One in seven people still do not get enough to eat each day. ›› 16,000 children die of hunger-related causes every day — that makes one child dying of hunger-related causes every five seconds. (From US churches’ coalition, Breadfortheworld)
Now the World Bank is forecasting the recession will push another 100-150 million people below the poverty line. The earthquakes and the worsening plight of the poor, are the backdrop we stand against as we deal with another change that confronted us in 2011. The National-led Government has changed the criteria, aims, focus and rationale for all international development funding. This radical shift in priorities has meant the government slashed our total funding down to less than half. We have gone from a budget of $4 million a year, down to an estimated $1.8 million in this financial year. Now we know that government funding cannot be expected or planned on. With worsening poverty, and reducing government income for our partners, your support for the 66th Christmas Appeal is more urgent than ever. Ms. Pauline McKay is National Director of Christian World Service email@example.com
SHARE THE CARE
66th Christmas Appeal
D O N AT E T O L I F E N O W Page 50
christmasappeal.org.nz 0800 74 73 72
More than words John Bluck is stunned by the power & passion of Fa’a Samoa, revealed on the big screen in Tusi Tamasese’s feature-length Samoan language film
e’ll look back on this film as a pivotal point in understanding who we are as a Pacific people. In the same way that New Zealand movies like “Vigil” changed the way we see ourselves, so too will “The Orator” on a wider regional canvas. For Samoan people, it is the breakthrough artwork that projects them onto the world stage, even more forcefully than their minnow-turnedwhale rugby team. Don’t be surprised if “The Orator” takes the Best Foreign Language Film prize at next year’s Academy Awards. So go and see it before it’s discovered, for all sorts of reasons. One special bonus is the unique chance it gives to appreciate the extraordinary achievement of Samoan New Zealanders in adapting so well to life in this country. Their homeland is only separated by a 3-hour flight, but culturally, Samoa is a light year and a planet away. Tusi Tamasese’s film captures that traditional culture with exquisite care. Helped by Leon Narbey’s cinematographic magic, Tusi walks us between villages, through taro plantations and graveyards, down roads framed with white stones, in and out of mat-lined houses. Backwards and forwards we go at a languid pace. No one hurries here, waiting is as natural as breathing. We sit
cross-legged for hours on end. But the quiet pace is never dull, for the journey we’re taken on is deep into the heart of a family saga drenched in love and betrayal, death and passion that makes Coro Street look slow. And a latent violence simmers just below the surface at every turn of the story. Tusi’s preoccupation is with boundaries that separate families and villages; the social taboos enforced by chiefly authority that banish, humiliate and isolate offenders, especially if they are women. On a small island, these boundaries are strong enough for one village to pretend another down the road doesn’t exist. But there is of course a common culture, rooted in Christianity, which binds all Samoans. It’s mediated by pastors and those with chiefly title. It’s a culture that takes words more seriously than ours. The gift of oratory is respected in a way that Pakeha culture has long forgotten, if it ever remembered. We discard words with electronic ease, count them as fickle currency (especially at election time) and laugh off solemn rhetoric with a smile. But no one laughs much in this story. In the simplest of settings, the greatest of dramas are played out with epic seriousness. And words are even more powerful weapons than stones and fists. This is a film about a people of the Word, still willing to trust the power of language to sway, persuade and transform. The final exchange of
speeches between two orators is life changing. The codes of honour and shame, social harmony based on right relationships, the continuity of life and death, the agony of honouring the obligation to forgive, all these familiar biblical themes that are increasingly hard to embed in secularised western culture, are alive and vivid in this movie. As a movie to watch together as a study group, there will be plenty to talk about here. But the best thing of all about watching “The Orator”, either together or alone, is that your sense of who you are as a Pacific person will be profoundly altered. If nothing else, it provides confirmation that we are an island people in the middle of an ocean, rather than an offshore European outpost.
...culturally, Samoa is a light year and a planet away.
The Rt Rev John Bluck lives in Pakari, north of Auckland. JohnBluck@xtra.co.nz
Putting the spiritual life back into retirement living With six retirement villages – including Selwyn Heights in Hillsborough, Auckland, with its stunning new Gilberd apartments – The Selwyn Foundation offers caring with a spiritual dimension throughout all its communities. Our mission is to provide faith, care, independence and wellness for our residents – whether they are fully independent and living in their own apartments or villas, or being cared for in one of our rest homes, hospitals or dementia care facilities. Villages in Whangarei, Point Chevalier, Hillsborough, Papakura, Hamilton and Cambridge. Contact us for a visit today.
For more details, visit www.selwyncare.org.nz or call 0800 4 SELWYN (0800 473 5996), email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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