SPRING 2011 // No.37
the Final journey of bishop sir paul reeves
S P R I N G
2011 Page 1
Anglican Taonga SPRING 2011
Regular 29 Kelvin Wright: Beware of ideas with use-by dates 36 Jolyon White: Social change without tears 40 Craufurd Murray: These are fruitful times 44 Bosco Peters: The Trinitarian collect needs you! 48 Books & Music: Friending; Parish Priests; Coming Out; Hope is Our Song; Cataclysm 51 From the Far Side: Imogen de la Bere watches London burn
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 Hahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni ki nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa. Editor Brian Thomas 214 Ilam Road Christchurch 8041 Ph 03 351-4404 firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Julanne Clarke-Morris Ph 03 477-1556 email@example.com Design Marcus Thomas Design Ph 04 389-6964 firstname.lastname@example.org Distribution Chris Church Ph 03 351-4404 email@example.com
Bishop Sir Paul Reeves comes full circle
A bishop calls for a more respect
A yearning for outcomes, not outputs
Ecumenism working at the grassroots
Rising to the challenge
+ Tom's legacy
Spirit of togetherness
Cathedral leads Christchurch recovery
Could the same thing happen here?
Papering the cracks
Te Waipounamu hits the ground running
Makings of a bishop
Jim White's most formative influences
Hooked on icons A hands-on approach to prayer
Thanks to John Stott...
And special credit to a NZ-born priest
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
A Kiwi goes on a kamikaze mission
Rugby scores with our Kiwi identity
Cover: Zac Green looks at a portrait of his grandfather, Sir Paul Reeves, in the forecourt of Holy Trinity Cathedral immediately after Sir Paul's funeral. Photo by Lloyd Ashton. Page 2
Call to mission Conference told to get cracking
The Lost Pilot
Brilliant adaptation or crazy chaos?
Alive and kicking
The second leg of Brian Thomas's pilgrimage to Palestine has made way for coverage of Sir Paul Reeves' final journey. It will appear in the Advent 2011 issue.
Hear the words of Sir Paul Brian Thomas
Photo: James Madelin
he last and greatest of life’s privileges must be the opportunity to design one’s own funeral. Bishop Sir Paul Reeves did so from his sickbed, according to Bishop Philip Richardson, and the greatness of the occasion was therefore an extension of the man himself. But what might Sir Paul have said to us, had he given the homily? That privilege fell to Bishop Philip, on strict instruction from Sir Paul – another wise choice. For while due honour was paid to Sir Paul’s diplomatic achievements, what we gained most of all from +Philip’s offering was a pen-and-ink drawing of grace and humour. A humble priest and family man, who walked easily with kings and queens but knelt to an itinerant carpenter. And yet still the question nags: what would Sir Paul have shared with us from his wellspring of wisdom and experience? Possibly his proudest moment in recent years was presiding at the birth of St Mary’s Cathedral in his beloved Taranaki in March 2010. And the last piece he ever wrote was probably the short foreword to a lavish little book outlining that extraordinary birth and released only a few months ago. That foreword on honouring God is reproduced here, as a ‘guest editorial’ from the ‘son of Parihaka.’ And don’t let the references to St Mary’s and Taranaki limit the compass of what he says. Sir Paul is sharing both his testimony of faith and a prescription for this church here and now. A word from on high? Well, yes – and no. For as Bishop Philip reiterated in his homily, Sir Paul drew breath from one simple but demanding proposition: that we are created in love, redeemed by love, and called to love. With no exceptions. Ta Paora has spoken.
What does it mean to honour God?
e honour God by being an open and inclusive church that helps people to question and discover for themselves the significance of Jesus Christ. We offer support and encouragement, not facile answers that sound good but don’t last. We are people of faith but faith means many things. It means listening, accepting, trusting, questioning and following. Faith may be one person’s experience but more importantly faith moulds and defines a community of disciples. So if we are to
EPILOGUE: This issue of Anglican Taonga marks the end of a chapter. After 12 years as editor, I’m handing over the magazine to Julanne Clarke-Morris so that I can focus on digital publishing as well as more writing. In giving thanks for the journey so far, it’s right to acknowledge several unsung servants who have been with Taonga from the beginning. They’re literally family: my son Marcus, who has overseen design and production; my wife Chris, who has minded the office, subscriptions and distribution; and my old mum who stuffed magazines into envelopes until she lacked the strength to lift them. The fledgling Taonga would never have taken wing without their unstinting efforts. – Brian Thomas
understand God’s purposes in the 21st century and avoid being irrelevant to New Plymouth, Taranaki and beyond, then we must uphold each other as we seek deeper truths and strive to be a place of encounter between people and God. The community at large remains to be convinced that the church is more than a group of people looking after themselves. Our words are good but history, economic conditions, the challenge of Taranaki as the energy province, wealth and poverty, create many walls that define us. St Mary’s does not stand for privilege. The essence of a cathedral is that it belongs to the community and mirrors whatever makes that community rejoice or sorrow. God requires that of us. Bishop Sir Paul Reeves Taranaki’s Cathedral – bringing it to birth For Bishop Philip Richardson’s homily to Sir Paul in Holy Trinity Cathedral , go to http://www.anglicantaonga. org.nz/Features/homily
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Sir Paul Reeves died at his Auckland home on August 14, 2011. During the three days of his tangi, and at his state funeral on August 18, Lloyd Ashton was on hand, with his pen and camera.
Rising to the
n the Monday afternoon, when the hearse bearing Sir Paul Reeves pulled up outside the front steps to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Grafton, it seemed as if the elements themselves had come to mourn. It was the coldest day on record in Auckland, and as the 250-odd Taranaki mourners filed slowly up the steps of the church in the wake of the coffin, soft hail floated onto their sleeves and upturned collars. Extraordinary weather, for a remarkable time. Inside the church, the tangata whenua waited – the people of Te Pihopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau and a large roopu from Ngati Whatua and AUT, where Sir Paul had been Chancellor. The mourners, who included many women wearing raukura in their hair, the white feather of peace which is the emblem of Taranakitanga, were called on by wailing kaikaranga. They lined the central aisle of the church, each wearing a coronet of puriri leaves, each beckoning the manuhiri forward, each gently waving shimmering sprays of puriri from side to side: Haere, haere, haere mai, nga tangata kia tangia. Come, come, come, you people who mourn Page 4
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with the juicy bone. Silence the pianos and, with muffled drum, Bring out the coffin. Let the mourners come. Funeral Blues, WH Auden
A number of women wept, perhaps moved by the dignity of Lady Beverley Reeves and her three daughters, once more proudly bringing their husband and father to his tikanga. The solemnity of the occasion was thumped home by the slow steady beat of a bass drum, which was the sound of the Taranaki iwi in mourning for their fallen ariki – and which would be heard at key moments throughout the tangi, until Ta Paora was lowered into his grave at St John’s College on the Thursday afternoon. •••• In a way, in his lying in that chancel at Holy Sepulchre, Paul Reeves had come full circle. In his growing-up years in Wellington he’d been made to feel acutely uncomfortable about his taha Maori, and been given no resources to handle that. And now here he was, the epicentre of three days of an intensely rich and tuturu Maori tangi.
And the evidence of that respect and aroha with which he had come to be held by iwi Maori is to be seen in the tono that were made during those three days – the wave after wave of claims by iwi to uplift him from where he lay in the sanctuary at Holy Sepulchre, and to take him to their own heartland. In Pakeha thinking, of course, the question of where a person is laid to rest is barely ever an issue. What the deceased wanted, goes. But those aren’t the rules that apply within Te Ao Maori. Because no matter where a son or daughter of the iwi has lived, and put down roots, the tupapaku belongs to the iwi, and he or she should be returned to lie with his forebears. A person’s very existence derives from their iwi – and to be cut off from their iwi in death is grievous. Or so customary thinking goes. Moreover, to tono is to show respect to
Willa Green watches as her Grandad Sir Paul’s coffin lies in the hearse, about to depart for St John’s College. Archbishops David Moxon and John Sentamu also stand vigil.
the deceased. It’s a 21-gun salute. If the iwi doesn’t tono, it’s showing it doesn’t care. Perhaps there’s another angle on this, too. As the 1996 Waitangi Tribunal Taranaki Report confirmed, Sir Paul’s iwi, Te Atiawa, has suffered almost unbearable loss and betrayal at the hands of the Crown. So here was a severely disempowered people, who’ve lost almost all their land – and one of their sons had risen to become one of the country’s most respected figures. How strong, therefore, was the impulse for the Taranaki people to proclaim: See? He was one of us! This is who we are!
hose three days at Holy Sepulchre were, in a sense, high theatre. On the one hand, Sir Paul had made it clear that he wanted to be surrounded and supported by his Taranaki whanau during the time between his death and burial. On the other hand, he’d made it quite
clear that he wanted to be buried in Auckland. Theatre, yes. But if the play is not handled well, things can get tricky. And the man charged with directing the play was Bishop Kito Pikaahu – who was by turns guardian, controller, gracious host, patcher-upper, chief negotiator between Ngati Whatua, Nga Puhi and Taranaki, the Pihopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau and Taranaki, and between the church and Internal Affairs. His was a complex task requiring delicate handling – and he pulled it off. “His leadership over those few days was inspirational,” says Philip Richardson, the Bishop of Taranaki. “It was quite outstanding.” Sir Paul himself had anticipated these dramas, of course, and his choice of stage made a world of difference. Because the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church marae – that means it’s neutral ground.
No one iwi has the upper hand, because it’s the bishop who calls the shots on that turf. Likewise, St John’s College belongs to the church, and not to any particular iwi. In a way, that neutral ground only served to enhance Sir Paul’s mana with all the tribes. •••• Part of Bishop Kito’s art, too, lay in being generous. Once Taranaki had been welcomed, he invited them to share the paepae with Ngati Whatua, Nga Puhi and the Holy Sepulchre whanau. He invited them to co-host the tangi. And so the tono began. With each day that passed, the young leaders of Taranaki would mount a fresh case for bringing Sir Paul back with them. Ruakere Hond, for example, claimed that the elements themselves were sending a message – that the snow which blanketed the country was a sign of the Taranaki mountain’s claim on Sir Paul. Page 5
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Lost in remembrance: Bishop Kito Pikaahu on the paepae at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Other Taranaki speakers spoke of Sir Paul as a prophet of peace – and they had a place for him beside their other great prophets, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, at Parihaka. Another speaker pointed out that Bishop Panapa is buried among his people, Bishop Vercoe rests with his people, and Bishops Fred and Manu Bennett lie with their own. Therefore, Paul Reeves should be returned to Taranaki to inspire his people. They were serious claims, and tikanga demanded that they be accorded serious answers. On the Monday afternoon, for example, Erima Henare, the chairman of Te Taura Whiri, the Maori Language Commission, responded to the early challenges. Taranaki and Nga Puhi have, in the mists of time, shared whakapapa, he said – so when Sir Paul lies in the north, he will also be at home in Taranaki.
e iwi o te motu continued to make their way to the church on the Tuesday. They were led that morning by the GovernorGeneral, Sir Anand Satyanand, who was Page 6
performing his last duty before being farewelled on the Wednesday in Wellington. The vice-regal entourage – which included Sir Don McKinnon, the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth – was addressed first by Shane Jones, who reminded them of his predecessor’s bravery. When Sir Paul had became GovernorGeneral in 1985, he had won fame – and raised eyebrows – when he welcomed a big party of his Taranaki whanau to sleep over, marae-style, in the Government House ballroom. “This move,” Shane Jones reminded the present Governor-General, “had caused some consternation among the stiff-jacketed ones… particularly given that the guests had brought food best left in Taranaki. “So I leave that precedent over to you…” There were guffaws, of course – but the solemnity of the day was unmistakeable. When the hongi lines formed at the end of the powhiri, for example, the two parties greeted each other to the slow, muffled beat of that Taranaki bass drum. Tainui, whose ope included Anaru Tamihana, the tumuaki or kingmaker of the
Kingitanga, came through that morning, too – and their theme was echoed by each roopu that came, no matter from where: This man, Ta Paora, was a child of the nation. Taranaki does not mourn alone. •••• On the Wednesday morning, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, came to pay his respects. And barely 90 minutes after he’d landed in the country, here he was proclaiming to the hundreds of Maori in Holy Sepulchre that their claims to Sir Paul didn’t stack up against his. Never mind, he said, about Sir Paul Reeves going home to Taranaki. Or maybe to Rotorua, to lie beside Bishops Fred and Manu Bennett. No: as far as the archbishop was concerned, the matter was settled. He’d be taking Sir Paul with him back to the UK. Archbishop John was jesting, of course, and the whanau loved his wit – and the fact that he had cottoned on to the fact that such claims uphold the mana of the tupapaku. Archbishop John is a quick wit, and a quick study. But when he laid out his claim, you
Shane Jones, who was one of the main speakers for the north throughout the tangi, addresses Ta Paora – and welcomes Taranaki.
could follow his logic. Because of Sir Paul’s baptism – and because he was a deacon, priest and bishop – Sir Paul belongs to the whole church. Moreover, because he was a knight of the realm, and knighthoods are bestowed by the Queen… well, there was an ironclad case for taking him back to the UK, wasn’t there? As we’ve said, the archbishop relented. Said he was prepared to settle “for taking Sir Paul home with me in my heart.” Which was prudent. Because Bishop Kito said he could indeed have Ta Paora – but only if he was prepared to fly a couple of thousand Maori back with him. Archbishop John spoke for just a few minutes. But he was in top form – and he paid eloquent tribute to Sir Paul. The two bishops had bonded in March last year, when Archbishop John came out from the UK to consecrate St Mary’s Cathedral in New Plymouth. Their connection had become personal – so when Lambeth Palace was informed that Sir Paul was terminally ill, Archbishop John asked to be the Communion’s representative at his funeral.
s the third and final day of the tangi drew to a close, Wharehoka Wano spoke again – and this time, he was addressing his Taranaki elders. On the first day they’d tono’d for Sir Paul, he said. They’d tono’d again on the second and third day. They’d pressed their claims – and they hadn’t been successful. They’d put their case. They’d told their stories again. They’d toiled their very hardest to uphold the mana not just of Ta Paora, but of their tupuna. •••• Hundreds jammed into the church and lined its walls for Evening Prayer that night, and they didn’t dribble away when it was over, either. Instead, for at least the next hour, there was a bitter-sweet Maori celebration and lament, with a waiata poi group from Taranaki leading off, followed by Tom Ihaka’s superbly drilled “Angies” – the Auckland Anglican Maori Club – and a kapa haka party from Te Aute College. And on the Thursday morning, before dawn broke, the Reeves family gently closed the lid on Sir Paul’s casket.
Ta Paora began his final journey to his State Funeral at 9:30am that same day. The cortege wended its way slowly through Auckland Domain and was met by a slow-stepping military escort, who accompanied the hearse along Parnell Rd on to the forecourt of the cathedral. And as the officers lifted the coffin from the hearse to their shoulders, there was another brilliant show of Maori respect. Two master exponents of wero leapt forward, prancing, slashing with their taiaha, flashing their pukana, gesturing towards the doors of the cathedral. And the neat thing was that those two displays came from members of Sir Paul’s own church tribe – from Tony Brooking, who is a student at St John’s College, and from Te Hira Paenga, who is a deacon at Holy Sepulchre. The state funeral service proper began at 11am, and Archbishop David Moxon led the tributes. He described Sir Paul as a “hope-peddler, joy bringer and courage bearer.” He spoke of sitting with Sir Paul after he’d been told he was terminally ill, and was ruminating on his life. Page 7
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Napi Waaka, a Tainui kaumatua, in full oratorical cry.
“You learn a lot about yourself when you’re facing death,” he’d told Archbishop David. “Having said all that, I am a priest and a bishop. That’s what I am.” “He said this with considerable emotion, as if he was summing up his inner being.
“I got the impression that everything else in his life story took its bearings, at least in part, from this identity as a Pihopa a iwi.” Derek McCormack, the Vice Chancellor of AUT, said Sir Paul had swept staff and students up “in gusts of possibility”.
Bishop Philip Richardson talking to the Reeves women as they wait on the cathedral forecourt for the hearse to arrive. Note the Taranaki emblems on his cope.
He recalled standing alongside Sir Paul at numerous graduations. He saw then that Sir Paul was not just a mere chancellor – “he was the father of the university in its care for its students.” Don McKinnon spoke of Sir Paul’s many contributions to the Commonwealth, and Sarah Reeves paid tribute on behalf of her two sisters, Jane and Bridget. Philip Richardson preached the homily – and he did so wearing the cope trimmed with the raukura, or white feathers of peace that he’d been given by Archdeacon Tiki Raumati. That cope was a “gift for a new beginning” after the Anglican Church had taken the side of the settlers during the Taranaki land wars. Bishop Philip, who’d been mentored by Sir Paul and had been a constant visitor during his illness, said he was preaching the funeral sermon with some trepidation. “…Ta Paora was such a crafter of the written and spoken word,” he said, that he’d had reservations. Even so, said Bishop Philip, the essence of Sir Paul’s faith “is found not in his words but in his life, in who he has been for us. “His life has proclaimed a simple
Aunty Wai Mason (left) who came on with Tainui, exchanges hongi with Maryann Mere Mangu from the home side.
but demanding message. That I am utterly, profoundly, unconditionally and unreservedly loved, and so are you and so is every other living being… We are created in love, we are redeemed by love – and we are called to love.” The service continued towards the final blessing and recession. And then Sir Paul was carried shoulder-high from his cathedral for the last time, to the hearse that carried him to privacy, to his final resting place at St John’s College. As the shadows lengthened on a still Auckland winter’s afternoon, on the 18th day of the month, when they gather at Parihaka to remember Te Whiti o Rongomai, Sir Paul was laid to rest beneath the lawn beside St John’s College Chapel. No other soul lies there, Bishop Kito told the gathered mourners. And no other (save Beverley, his wife) will lie there in the years to come.
here’s a postscript to that state funeral story. On the morning of the funeral, as Tony Brooking and Te Hira Paenga were making their wero on the cathedral forecourt, Tony had dropped his taiaha.
Tony is a stickler for tikanga – and he therefore knew that he could never again swing that weapon. He had two choices – either to toss it into Sir Paul’s grave, or to give it away. That’s why, as Sir Paul’s eldest mokopuna Roimata Tunui watched her koro being laid in his grave, Tony
presented her with his taiaha. The mantle, perhaps, had been passed to a new generation. Lloyd Ashton is this church’s Media Officer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sir Paul’s resting place.
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Roimata Tunui, Sir Paul’s eldest mokopuna, censes his casket with Archdeacon Tiki Raumati. Photo: Luci Harrison.
Put on the spot
ne of St Paul’s final acts as Governor-General was to accompany the Queen and Prince Philip to Waitangi in 1990. The day was loaded with significance, the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty. Tensions were high. Already, the Queen had been struck by a wet tea towel while walking towards the dais. Sir Paul was sitting beside her as the church service began. “Then Hui Vercoe, whom I had consecrated, whom I had been with in Waitangi in previous years, spoke in this incredible way. “He had no prepared text, but he knew what he wanted to say. And when he spoke, the protestors rallied round him: We have been marginalized, Your Majesty. We wish to be citizens of this country, under the cloak of the Treaty, as Treaty partners… but we are marginalized. “It would be hard to gauge what the Queen and Prince Philip were feeling. They didn’t tell me. Geoffrey Palmer was the Prime Minister and he was confused, maybe a little upset. “Somebody then asked me: ‘Is this one of your tempestuous priests?’ “I said: ‘Yes. Isn’t he good?’”
From a profile of Sir Paul by Lloyd Ashton in the 2007 Winter issue of Anglican Taonga. Archdeacon Tiki translates the whaikorero for the Archbishop of York.
Sir Paul is born shoulder-high from the cathedral after the funeral.
A lifetime of distinction The Rt Rev and the Honourable Sir Paul Alfred Reeves ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, QSO, KStJ
aul Reeves was born in 1932 in Newtown, Wellington. His parents were D’Arcy Reeves, a motorman on the tramways, and Hilda (Pirihira) Reeves (nee Sparks). He had one older brother, Bill. Paul attended Wellington College, then Victoria University College where he graduated with an MA in English Literature. Next he moved to Auckland to train for the Anglican priesthood at St John’s Theological College. In 1959, after he was ordained to a curacy in Tokoroa, Paul was awarded a Sir Apirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship to study at Oxford University. The same year he married Beverley Watkins, and five days after their wedding they set off on a five-week journey to England aboard the SS Rangitata. Paul graduated with an Oxford MA in 1962 and went to work in parishes in Oxford, Lewisham and Lowestoft. Their first daughter, Sarah. was born in Lowestoft, and in 1964 the family returned to New Zealand where Paul became Vicar of Okato. It was in this small Taranaki community that he had the opportunity to live among his mother’s Te Atiawa whanau for the first time and to reconnect with them. Second daughter Bridget was born while they were living in Okato.
In 1965 Paul took up a teaching position at St John’s College, and in 1970 he became Director of Christian Education for the Diocese of Auckland. In 1971, at the age of 38 (and now with their third daughter, Jane), he became Bishop of Waiapu, based in Napier. He travelled widely and rejuvenated the diocese as well as boosting Maori participation in church governance. In 1979 he became Bishop of Auckland, then Primate and Archishop of New Zealand the following year. In the 1980s he had a growing international role. For instance, in 1983 he travelled in an Anglican group to South Africa to support Desmond Tutu who was under investigation by the authorities. Paul gave evidence before the Eloff Commission. In 1985 he was appointed GovernorGeneral by David Lange’s Labour Government – the first Maori to hold that post. Sir Paul said he modelled his governorship on the role of a bishop: “a bishop travels, a bishop stands alongside people and searches for a common ground.” Sir Paul and Lady Beverley brought a new atmosphere to Government House. “I’ve tried to hitch the house on to the life of the community,” Sir Paul said in 1990, “so that it flows in and out.” He joined the Newtown Association and encouraged local communities to come up to Government House.
Maori, too, claimed the house in a new way. When the Reeves moved there at the end of 1985, at least 100 Taranaki whanau slept in the ballroom. Although most of his predecessors had reduced their public role after leaving Government House, Sir Paul launched himself into another two decades of service at the very highest levels, starting with three years as Anglican Observer at the United Nations. Later, on behalf of the Commonwealth, he observed elections in Ghana and South Africa, reviewed the constitution of Fiji, and spent four years travelling to and from Guyana on behalf of the Commonwealth, trying to strengthen democratic institutions there. At home, Sir Paul continued his work in many fields. He chaired the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and the Bioethics Council and helped to select judges for the new Supreme Court. He negotiated Treaty settlements for Taranaki, and continued his lifelong commitment to education through visiting professorships, becoming Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology. He continued to be an active Bishop in the life of the Anglican Church. In 2007 New Zealand awarded him its highest honour, the Order of New Zealand. This resume supplied by Sir Paul’s family.
+ T om ' s L egacy
After 14 years as Diocesan Bishop of Wellington, Tom Brown, 68, is calling it a day next March. Lloyd Ashton hitches a ride to Waikanae with the bishop to check out his legacy.
hen Bishop Tom Brown was installed as the 10th Bishop of Wellington in February 1998, he hit the ground running. In his charge to his first diocesan synod Bishop Tom declared that change was on its way – and he’d start by disbanding the diocesan standing committee. When he outlined that move, he says, applause broke out in the cathedral – led by the clergy. “The standing committee had swollen to 27 members,” Bishop Tom recalls, “and it acted like parliament. There was a left wing, a right wing, liberals, conservatives – catholics, evangelicals and charismatics, all fighting for their own patch.” “I had no doubt that it was holding us back from doing the mission of the church.” He persuaded the synod to replace that standing committee with smaller, more focused mission, ministry and management groups – whose members are appointed (rather than elected) by a panel. Those small groups, says Bishop Tom, are “the rollers on which the diocese has moved forward”. It’s no surprise, really, that Bishop Tom was so decisive so soon. After all, by that stage he’d already served for seven years as an assistant bishop under Archbishop Brian Davis, so he knew the territory. What’s more, Bishop Tom knows how to run his eye over structures, to check whether they’re delivering – and if they’re not, to change things. To focus, as he puts it, on “outcomes, rather than outputs.” No surprises, either, that Bishop Tom didn’t stop his reforms there. For instance, when the diocese shed south Taranaki and Bishop Brian Carrell retired (he’d looked after the northern part of the diocese), Bishop Tom proposed that the diocese pay the parishes of the seven Page 12
regional archdeacons for one day a week. So, in effect, he had an assistant bishop spread evenly across the diocese. He then appointed three further diocesan archdeacons to focus entirely on mission, ministry and “the next generation” (children, young people and parents). In another life, perhaps, Tom Brown might have been a management guru. He’s clear, however, about where his priorities lie. “We can learn from the secular world,” he says, “But we are not a secular organisation. We are the church, and taking the towel and washing the feet comes first. The Christian leader is servant first, and leader second.” When the restructuring phase was complete, Bishop Tom then set about shaping his diocese into being what he calls a “permission-giving church”. He encouraged his people “to take a few risks, to get on and do what we’ve been called to do – to nurture, serve and care.” All sorts of deeds have blossomed from that. For example, the Diocese of Wellington has been the pivotal force for
the development of a Good Shepherd Secondary School in its companion Diocese of Kagera, in Tanzania. That high school – the only one within a 500km radius – is now equipped with science labs and a library, and is providing secondary education for 300-plus students. When the Queensland floods struck at the end of last year, Wellington sent priests to lend a hand to its companion Diocese of Brisbane – and Wellington also took the lead on Anglican fundraising for Christchurch. Two new Anglican church-related schools have been established in the diocese during Bishop Tom’s watch, and he’s overseen the rebirth of the Order of St Stephen – an order of mission for young people in the church. One of Bishop Brown’s chief legacies may be his ability to embrace ministry on the fringes of diocesan life. For example: at the Wellington synod this year Bishop Tom will sign a formal covenant with Urban Vision – whose members live with some of Wellington’s most marginalised people, in some of its toughest suburbs, and which has also established the Ngatiawa retreat centre near Waikanae. “Urban Vision approached us,” says Bishop Tom. “They wanted to be accountable to a bigger church. We talked for two years, after which we made promises to each other, and they brought themselves formally under the protection of the Diocese of Wellington. “So we gained a modern monastic community of 80 men, women and children who are doing extraordinarily good things – and are so good for the diocese.” On the Urban Vision end of that covenant, there’s appreciation, too. Justin Duckworth, who is a UV leader (and an ordained Anglican priest), says Bishop Tom “made it easy for us.”
Better ways and open doors
Bishop Tom with girls and staff at Nga Tawa Diocesan School in Marton.
“Anything that was important to us, he honoured. He didn’t try to control us, impose structures on us, or rush us.” Another example: When Mark Brown, the former head of the New Zealand Bible Society, approached Bishop Tom about covering for Epiphany Island, the cyberspace cathedral he pioneered, Bishop Tom backed that venture, too. The connection with Mark didn’t stop there, either – because in 2007 Bishop Tom ordained him to the Anglican diaconate, and then in 2008 to the priesthood. Bishop Tom’s contributions to Wellington – and to the province at large – have been acknowledged by Archbishop David Moxon, who says Bishop Tom has offered an episcopal ministry of “great professionalism and progressive vision.” “When he began as Bishop of Wellington, Tom Brown already knew his own diocese and the wider church here very well. “This equipped him with confidence, I think, and from that base he was able to demonstrate real care for others, and to model innovation and clarity for us all. “Bishop Tom leaves a fine legacy of confidence, sustainability and joy to his diocese, and to the province as a whole. We wish him and Dwyllis many blessings in retirement.“
“Friendly, fair and firm” When we were wrapping up our interview, I asked Bishop Tom to describe his style. Those are the words he chose. We packed up, and he said he was heading off to the Tikanga Pakeha Youth Forum, which was being held at Ngatiawa. So I hitched a ride with him. After lunch that day, perhaps 30 of the youngsters began building a labyrinth. They formed themselves into a human chain, hauling rocks from a stream up a steep gully to the Ngatiawa campsite. Bishop Tom watched for a while, then said farewell. We walked towards his car. And then, from perhaps 40 metres away, one of those young people hailed him: “We love you, Bishop”. We turned on our heels, to see perhaps a dozen of the future leaders of this church paused and looking at him. Bishop Tom smiled, waved and called back: “I love you, too.” Come early next year, no doubt there’ll be a full round of formal farewells for the 10th Bishop of Wellington. But those set-piece speeches… you’d think they’d struggle to be as affirming of his style as that riverbank one.
t the height of the ‘anti smacking’ debate in 2007, Bishop Tom spoke to the Wellington Diocesan Mission Council about the need for the church to offer parents better ways to guide and discipline their kids. Gendy Thompson, a young married mum with a background in occupational therapy and who was on the mission council, liked what she heard. She volunteered to help out. One thing led to another – and Gendy is now Wellington’s Archdeacon for the Next Generation. “The opportunities Bishop Tom has provided me,” says Gendy, “have taken me on a path I never imagined – but one that is so fitting with the passion I have for family ministry. “Bishop Tom has a real knack for identifying people’s passion and potential – and for inviting them to make their dreams for the church a reality.” Ros Sims, who is the Priest in Charge of Wainuiomata, reports similar encouragement. Back in the mid-80s, Ros was at St James in Lower Hutt when Tom Brown was the vicar there. She remembers him encouraging her to read the lesson for the first time. “I nearly fainted with fear,” she recalls. “He told me to keep going. He told me that it does get easier – and 15 years later, he ordained me. “I owe so much to Bishop Tom, and to his support for locally-trained ordained ministry. That’s allowed me to do something I’ve felt deeply called to do since I was young.” Martin Robinson was one of the Urban Vision pioneers who worked out a ministry partnership agreement with the Diocese of Wellington, and he says Bishop Tom became “a trusted friend” for Urban Vision. Martin, who is the first person to be specifically ordained to Pioneering Ministry and is also a chaplain at Rimutaka Prison, says he’s found Bishop Tom to be “vulnerable, personal and strategic”. “I’ve been impressed by his love of the diocese, by his hunger to look at the issues confronting the church – and by his willingness to engage with alternative ways of being church today.” Page 13
I N N O VAT I O N
Papering over the cracks
ChristChurch Cathedral is down but not out. Brian Thomas outlines a radical new solution that has emerged from the grass roots
temporary cathedral made of cardboard tubes may be the first sign of resurrection for quakeravaged Christchurch. The A-frame creation of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is designed to seat 700 people, and could be in place somewhere in the central city for the first anniversary of the February 22 quake. The exact location has yet to be settled, but there’s no shortage of prime sites as demolition hammers pound away at the city’s dickey heart. A $50,000 feasibility study, courtesy of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Trust, will include ways and means of raising the $4m building cost – although money shouldn’t be a big problem, judging by the initial response from civic leaders. Venue for the project launch on Sunday, July 31 was the upmarket George Hotel, and a black Aston Martin at the entrance fuelled hopes of a rich patron and a done deal. Dream on – for the hotel just happened to be hosting a luxury-car sideshow far removed from the cardboard model on view upstairs. Far removed, too, from the man behind the model: an eminent but unassuming architect who forgoes the rich pickings of his profession in order to accommodate people in dire need. We should think about ordaining him. Shigeru Ban’s resumé of emergency housing projects reads like an itinerary of quake zones: Japan, Turkey, China, Haiti and Italy. But don’t write off his use of cardboard as just make-do in times of crisis: some of his grander creations (such as the Pompidou Centre of Modern Art in Paris) have a high-arching grace that would sit well inside any gothic cathedral. Cardboard is also more durable than the word suggests. Shigeru Ban calls it an ideal building material because it’s readily available, recyclable, weatherproof and fireresistant. It can last up to 15 years, moreover – surely time enough for Christchurch to arrive at a permanent cathedral. “We’re pitching a tent in the city centre,”
Dean Peter Beck beamed during the launch. “A sign of hope and confidence amid all the desolation, it’ll do all that the cathedral used to do – and more.” Which means hosting orchestral, choral, artistic and community events, as well as regular worship. Mayor Bob Parker – at ease in Sunday walkabout clothes – grinned from the audience as though Christchurch’s faultlines had just moved 100km offshore. After months of waking to the sound of falling masonry, he must be thirsting for relief from the spectre of dry bones – and the cathedral’s vision has all the resonance of an Ezekiel prophecy. “I’m inspired,” Mayor Bob said at the end of Shigeru Ban’s presentation, noting that the use of cardboard sits well with a growing emphasis on sustainability for the whole rebuild of Christchurch. Of course the project has its sceptics. Cardboard. So how will that stand up in a nor-west buster? A few voices have also queried the expenditure of $4m on a church building when folk in the quake-ravaged eastern suburbs still have no lavatories. Not to downplay the eastsiders’ discomfort, let’s bear in mind that $4m is just a third more than the sum earmarked for the Rugby World Cup launch party on Auckland’s waterfront. It also has to be said that Christchurch desperately needs a central gathering place now that the Town Hall and most other public venues are out of action. A plastic dome in Hagley Park may serve for small ensembles and rugby sideshows, but the loss of so much performance space has reduced the city to a cultural desert. A temporary cathedral, as Dean Peter is quick to point out, will restore some cultural heart to Christchurch, even as decisions are being made about the long-term future of the city. And let’s not forget that Shigeru Ban’s cardboard creation is designed to be relocatable. That is, it’s likely to become a community facility when no longer needed as a cathedral.
TOP LEFT: A model of the temporary cathedral, which would consist mainly of 8cm-diameter cardboard tubes. The architect insists that the specially treated cardboard is weatherproof and fire-resistant, and lasts up to 15 years. It also has reasonable acoustic qualities. It’s designed to seat 700 but could expand to 1000 – if the money can be found.
‘City in a garden’ The Christchurch City Council has unveiled its vision for a “city in a garden” after more than three months’ work on a draft plan for the rebuilding of the central city. Half of the $1.95b rebuilding costs would be funded by the council, while the Government and private investors would have to foot the rest. The rebuild could take up to 10 years. The draft plan proposes a smaller central business district, a light-rail network, and height restrictions on new developments. Intriguingly, the plan retains the gothic cathedral with its iconic spire. It emphasises green projects, including an Avon River park winding through the city, a network of centralcity parks, a “greenway” for cyclists and pedestrians, and a small park in Cathedral Square. An $8m earthquake memorial would pay tribute to the city’s loss, while a new quake museum and research institute would recognise the role of the natural disaster in the city’s transformation. The plan includes an Olympicsize swimming centre and indoor stadium, a convention centre, central library and performance venue. The council will hear submissions in October, before a final plan is presented to the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority for approval in December.
LEFT: Japanese architect Shigeru Ban: his services come free. Page 15
But there’s another, stronger argument for a cardboard cathedral – one that eludes the secular mindset and is best summed up in the word spiritual. A cathedral is more than just a church writ large. Any halfway decent cathedral is a testimony to largesse and beauty; it also stands open to the very best and very worst of people, and points to something beyond our immediate grasp. Something wondrous and eternal. Which is why so many non-churchgoers in Christchurch are as distressed by the old cathedral’s collapse as those of faith. “I’m not a churchy person but I used to pop in sometimes and sit there,” one woman told me. “It was just so… peaceful.” Without realising it, she was speaking for an alternative “congregation” – that large company of non-aligned souls who trickled in and out of the old pile every day, leaving no mark on any register but adding nonetheless to the magisterium of prayer and thanksgiving. The Dean of Christ Church (Oxford) put it nicely several years ago when he visited his sister city: a cathedral exists to
‘Our vision is that the cathedral should be the tallest of buildings, pointing to the heart of Christchurch’ Mayor Bob Parker
interpret God to the city, and the city to God. So it’s a bridge of sorts – between sacred and profane, between heaven and earth. This yearning for a sacred core is what first distinguished Christchurch as a real city, and Canterbury’s fathers and mothers had to dig deep into their pockets even to lay the foundations. Cathedrals don’t come cheap, in any age. Whether Canterbury can restore the shattered cathedral to its former glory remains to be seen. Dean Peter says it’s “in a very bad way,” and the only sure thing is that a house of prayer will rise in its place as long as the geo-scientists decide the ground is firm enough. But even if it were possible, would Christchurch want to erect another 19th century stone cathedral in the 21st century? And if not, what might a cathedral for this age and this southern island look like? It’s a question that often crops up around Anglican dinner tables – after several wines – and there’s surprising support for a radical new centrepiece in Cathedral Square. Even among those who once pledged to rebuild the gothic cathedral, stone by stone. Listen to Mayor Bob, addressing the cathedral launch with all the fervour of a revivalist preacher: “The Square won’t look the same but our vision is that the cathedral should be the tallest of buildings, pointing to the heart of Christchurch.” Something that soars and swoops, evoking the Holy Spirit perhaps. Or more likely a fusion of ancient and modern – as in a vaulted glass atrium alighting on the stones of our pilgrim past. The stunning rebuild of Coventry Cathedral after World War 2 shows the potential of combining
cathedral and memorial, past and present. We shall see. In the meantime, there’s the task of getting the temporary building off the ground. If the feasibility study gives the green light, Shigeru Ban’s concept could rise in three months, with the help of architectural students and volunteers as well as professional engineers, builders and architects. The church will fundraise for it, and why not? A cathedral – irrespective of whether it’s made of paper or Halswell stone – earns its spurs not just as a worship centre but also as a place where the wider community gathers to celebrate or grieve. And ChristChurch Cathedral has fine civic spurs; just ask Mayor Bob or any of his councillors. Critics should also note that the initiative for a temporary cathedral hasn’t come from any of the high-priced consultancies that abound in Christchurch at present. The idea drew first breath when the cathedral’s development manager, Craig Dixon, spotted a story on the work of Shigeru Ban in Urbis magazine. Cathedral theologian Lynda Patterson joined Craig in a search of the internet, leading to a personal invitation to the architect to come and see. A long shot, if ever there was one. But the initiative has connected with many of the city’s movers and shakers, including earthquake minister Gerry Brownlee and quake recovery czar Roger Sutton. Vision: that’s all it takes to glimpse light at the end of a long, rubble-strewn tunnel. The Rev Canon Brian Thomas edits Anglican Taonga. email@example.com
Michael Earle glimpses resurrection hope amid the ruins of Christchurch
Gospel of brokenness Brokenness Brokenness all around us in Christchurch The earthquakes over 11 months have broken us all down in different ways Broken city centre, broken homes and streets, broken offices and shops Broken cinemas and theatres, broken pubs and hotels, broken schools and community centres Even broken insurance with the City Council unable to get re-insurance for the city Broken ground, broken buildings, broken lives, broken relationships, broken people Brokenness and ‘munted’ have become part of our language describing our ‘new normal’ Being able to worship in a broken church, marked by a broken floor, cracked gib boards on the walls and broken piles underneath the congregation’s feet was a gift in itself but Receiving the Eucharist in broken bread and broken grapes in the cup of wine in our hands
Was a deeper gift that penetrated the mystery behind this Gospel of brokenness and hope and spoke more sharply to me about the purpose of our journey and new life Than all the human beauty and stained glass perfections of cathedrals and church buildings Christ meets us in our weakness and brokenness He hears the cries within our broken hearts He is with us in the suffering, fears and unknowns of daily life in our broken city and suburbs He is using our brokenness to teach us new things that we need to value and use in our lives And he calls us to love and reach out to others in our brokenness For each of us carries a broken piece of a giant but invisible jigsaw for our city Each has a contribution to make so that a new big picture can be connected together again Creating something new, more just, more beautiful, sustainable and wholesome than the old
One which may possibly reflect more of what Christ’s Church might become Showing strength in weakness, unity in diversity, building the common good Giving priority to the most vulnerable and letting go baggage we no longer need in our lives. Yes, this Gospel of brokenness is a gift to welcome, unpack and inspire our lives at this time. Michael Earle has been working as earthquake liaison officer for the Diocese of Christchurch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishop John Gray in the field where Te Waipounamu’s new centre for mission will be situated.
Te Waipounamu is not big in numbers but the people there have a great heart for their neighbours. Julanne Clarke-Morris catches up with them after the upheavals
tone ruins may be a poignant symbol of quake-torn Christchurch but they don’t convey the whole picture of the Anglican Church. Far from it. In the aftermath of the February earthquakes, away from the media spotlight, Tikanga Maori quietly got on with the basics of disaster relief – providing food, housing, and reassurance. “Our hui amorangi in Christchurch is a very small ministry unit in comparison to the diocese, so we focused on things at ground level rather than taking part in the public face of the church’s response,” says the Rt Rev John Gray, Pihopa o Te
Waipounamu. “We were busy enough meeting the immediate needs of those around us, both Maori and Pakeha.” Being out of sight didn’t mean the haahi was out of action. After February 22, Maori church staff and volunteers moved into full gear, feeding people at their Ferry Road site and housing 20 displaced by the quakes, hosting helpers and sending clergy out to offer listening ears to people who were hurting and uncertain. Maori clergy, lay readers and Pakeha ring-ins turned out at welfare centres across the city, from Pioneer and Cowles stadiums in the east to Burnside High School in the north-west.
Bishop John’s staff say that in the upheaval, useless things became vitally important while important things fell by the way. Computers, for example, didn’t stand up well to the initial quakes or aftershocks, and Te Waipounamu had to replace several in the office. Then there were the rickety old vans which executive officer Raquel Gray had been hoping to get rid of for ages... Suddenly they became hot property as the hui amorangi’s food delivery vehicles in the worst-hit suburbs. At the same time the Maori church’s buildings suddenly were seen in a new light. As wooden structures with tin roofs they’d come through the jolts basically unscathed, which put the haahi in a sound position to offer hospitality to the many helpers who poured in. “At our Tahere Centre in front of the hui amorangi site, we had these old wooden buildings we’d stopped using and were planning to move out of the way,” Raqual says. “As soon as the quake happened, they went straight back into service. The Maori wardens centred their operations there, packing and distributing food parcels and using them as a base for door knocking and needs assessments.” Even now, these once-unwanted buildings still serve as Maori outpatient clinics, after the closure of the former clinics. Maori women’s health and monthly cardiology clinics are held there, offering locals a culture-friendly alternative to Christchurch Hospital. It’s not just the value of things that has changed in post-quake Otautahi. According to Pihopa John Gray, the whole landscape is different. “After more than 40 years here, I can say it’s a very different city. The transformation is that people have come out of their own compartments and put themselves at risk in helping others. This goes for the Maori community, too. “I want to keep those connections open. When the church goes out door-knocking, a lot of doors close in your face. But this time we went out and people came to us, sharing their experiences and concerns. It’s a time of opportunity to really hear from the community and build our mission from there.” The Maori wardens’ door-to-door operation (covering around 2800
Te Waipounamu staff and volunteers. Back (from left): Gaylene Stevens, Raquel Gray and Diane Jury. Middle: Kahu Tautau, Lena Finlayson, Huia Tahere and Rawinia Gray. Front: Hireke Zygadlo, Kaya Walker Grace-Gray and Hazel Walker-Grace.
households in two weeks) is set to have lasting effects on the church in Te Waipounamu. “The knowledge they built up really confirms our understanding of the mission field in this city,” Bishop John reflects. “Even in the streets around our hui amorangi site in Phillipstown they reported real poverty. “The struggle to get people out of the cycle of poverty is why we are so focussed on education here. Poverty blinds people to the possibilities. “We as the church need to be the ones who offer the kind of education that puts the lights on, that helps people see the way out.” That’s why the hui amorangi has a grand plan to build a big multi-purpose centre, not only to house the church but also to offer learning that’s appropriate and accessible to Maori and space for community building. The centre will be primarily for the Maori church but it will be available to others too, Pihopa John says. “Our vision is to offer a community venue that can support our ministry and build links with the wider community.” A positive church-community partnership has already happened this
year, through a project hosted and partfunded by the hui amorangi and headed up by Hera Clark, managing director of Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri. The bishop really liked Hera’s suggestion to give stressed-out Christchurch whanau a break through a Maori cultural school holiday programme on the hui amorangi site. Around 80 children fronted up for two weeks’ educational holiday fun in May, providing much-needed relief for their families. Hera’s offer to Christchurch was one of a number of small miracles that occurred in the quakes’ aftermath, offsetting the sadness at the loss of lives and so many disruptions. Hui amorangi social worker Gaylene Stevens was amazed at how they
‘People have come out of their own compartments and put themselves at risk in helping others’
‘It was amazing how people turned up to help, with heaps of kai, just out of nowhere’ Above: Hui amorangi executive officer Raquel Gray with the Tahere Centre buildings, which took on new life after the quakes.
found the resources to give everyone what they needed. “The walls between people just came down. People were suddenly caring about what happened to their neighbours and looking out for them,” Gaylene says. “It was amazing how people turned up to help, with heaps of kai, just out of nowhere. There has been some really scary stuff with these earthquakes, but there’s been some magical stuff, too.” Still, even for those who haven’t suffered the worst of the quakes, the magic is hard to find. Housing remains a very difficult issue, and seven people are staying on at the Phillipstown site until their home issues are sorted out. But here, too, God has ways of putting people in the right place. Hazel WalkerGrace and Kahu Tautau are two who’ve ended up staying on the church site in Phillipstown. Both have long-standing involvement in the church, which for Hazel goes back to when her husband was a clergyman here. During the busiest and most stressful post-quake time, the two women formed
the backbone of the cooking operation in the hui amorangi’s big commercial kitchen. For others without housing, it hasn’t been so positive. Bishop John knows of beneficiaries sneaking back into redstickered houses because they can’t find any other solution. He’s concerned but not overly surprised. “A lot of people just won’t come out and say, ‘Look I need help.’ They won’t ask. One strength for us in going out there is that when some Maori people see another Maori they’ll come out and talk. Then they might be able to get through being too shy or ashamed to ask, and actually get some help.” On one occasion, during the church’s food parcel operation, appearances proved a problem. “Two of our church volunteers are young guys who’ve been out of prison just a couple of years and are getting back on track,” Bishop John says. “Both still have their prison ‘badges’ of tattooing round their necks. “When we were out door-knocking one day in March, a woman got pretty upset to
find such a rough-looking man at her front door and refused to open it for her food parcel.” She calmed down when Bishop John turned up and explained who they were. “But what I really remember was talking with one of the guys at our debriefing session that night. “For him this was the first time he’d been out on the streets to give something to people. For most of his life he’d been out there to take something, to rob people just like the ones he’d helped today. I think he felt pretty good about that.” That story holds the right kind of order reversal – the kind that Jesus talks about. And the fact is not lost on the Hui Amorangi o te Waipounamu who continue to look for every chance to live out the Gospel in their place, even as everything gets shaken around. Julanne Clarke-Morris is assistant editor of Anglican Taonga. email@example.com
Covenant coming to the crunch
nglicans for and against the Communion Covenant are marshalling their arguments and sharpening their strategies as episcopal units throughout these islands head into a final round of debate on the proposal. Two hui amorangi – Te Manawa o Te Wheke and Te Tairawhiti – have rejected the Covenant. It now remains for the remaining three hui amorangi and the various dioceses to respond to a General Synod request for recommendations by the time it meets in Fiji next July. Some Pakeha dioceses have already held educational workshops and forums on the Covenant. Crunch time, however, will come in the next three months as the proposal comes before annual synods.
St John’s pre-schoolers watch excitedly as their new playground equipment is unloaded.
Dio girls reach out to Fiji Deborah Telford catches the spirit of generosity at play
cracked, plastic slide patched with cardboard inspired community-minded Epsom school pupils to build a new playground for a kindergarten in Fiji. Sandy beaches and sunbathing were low on the priorities for 19 Diocesan School pupils who rolled up their sleeves and got to work in the village of Wailoku, just outside Suva, for a week during their July holidays. The Years 12 and 13 students had volunteered to build a new playground at St John’s Anglican Preschool, after their all-girls independent school raised almost $10,000 for the project. Diocesan’s chaplain, the Rev Sarah Moss, came up with the idea for the playground when she was invited by Archbishop Winston Halapua to visit Fiji in April. As well as visiting schools and an orphanage which Diocesan has supported in Suva, Sarah explored new opportunities to help the 750-strong Melanesian community there who have high poverty and unemployment rates. The Melanesians were brought to Fiji from the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as indentured labourers during the 1860s by
the colonial Fijian government, and are still not allowed to own land. The Dio girls spent four days building the playground with donated equipment shipped from Auckland to Suva. First they had to clear the site, build a fence and retaining walls, and lay safety matting and a concrete path. Then they installed a climbing frame, slide, rope bridge, monkey bars and a wendy house. “One of the most powerful aspects of the trip was that each day men from the community came and worked alongside the girls and taught them new skills,” says Sarah. “The girls threw themselves into the project.” Year 12 student Annelise Hassall says the girls felt as though they formed a real partnership with the villagers. A 6000-litre water tank and filter system were also donated to Basden College in Suva, and 32 cartoons of books were given to eight Fijian kindergartens after a “bring a book” mufti-day fundraiser at Diocesan. The container was shipped free by Quadrant Pacific and Pacific Agencies in Suva, and Galloway International donated time, labour and storage space to make the project happen.
The Diocese of Polynesia is expected to come to its own recommendation next year. Even after the episcopal units decide – one way or another – Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Pakeha will have one last stab at the proposal before next year’s General Synod decides finally for the whole Province. Te Runanganui, comprising all five hui amorangi, meets in November this year and may decide on a collective recommendation to General Synod. Similarly, the InterDiocesan Conference, which meets in Fiji immediately before General Synod, could have something to say on the proposal. The General Synod decision requires a majority vote in all three houses – lay, clergy and bishops – and potentially by all three tikanga. The Anglican Consultative Council expects all provincial recommendations to lie on the table by the time it meets in Auckland in October-November next year. General Secretary Michael Hughes points out that even though individual dioceses and hui amorangi are pivotal to the process, only “whole provinces” can accept or reject the Covenant.
E D U C AT I O N
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob...
One of the appealing things about Jim White, the newly elected Assistant Bishop of Auckland, is that he’s lived outside the bubble. He has spent significant stints in the US – as an exchange priest, and as a master’s student at Yale, one of America’s ivy league colleges. So he has opened himself to other experiences, other realities, other ways of living and believing. For the past three years, Jim has made a significant contribution to St John’s College. Both as dean of Pakeha students, and as an energetic and staunch driver of the reforms taking place at the college. Before that, he was vicar of All Saints, Ponsonby and St Andrew’s, Epsom – two communities that he says played a enormous part in shaping his priesthood. In this conversation with LLOYD ASHTON, Jim focusses on his experiences in the US and at St John’s College, and where they’re leading him now.
Scripture knows nothing of committed gay and lesbian relationships – so it has little to say about them
What will be the biggest wrench in leaving St John’s?
I’ll shed a tear when I walk away because ministry is about relationships. And I formed some here, particularly with students. The greatest duty we have at St John’s is to the students. The church selects these people for ordained ministry, hands them to the college, and says: ‘We want you to add some value. We want you to prepare this person.’ Now, to adapt the words of Tana Umaga, ministry ain’t Tiddlywinks. If people are actually engaged with it, they need all the preparation they can get. We’ll never move to a point of perfection. But we ought to have a sense of: ‘Actually, we’re doing as well as we can.’ How do you feel about moving from academia to the clerical institution? I’ve seldom thought of myself as clever enough to be an academic. I made that clear before I came here. When I was at Yale I got to sit in class with some serious brains. And when you’re in that company you think: ‘Okay. I’m just a little worker bee. That’s me.’ I came here as a priest scholar. I’ve got friends who are scholar priests. In that order. And the Anglican Church has been blessed down the years by some amazing scholar priests.
It’s part of our tradition. I’m deeply respectful of them. But I came principally as a priest, and I aimed to make a contribution from that perspective. Now, I’ve ended up doing a heck of a lot of administration. Which is important, but I don’t know if we going to administer the kingdom into existence. What do you look forward to now?
One of the things that excites me about Local Shared Ministry is that it’s at the pointy end of the question: What shape will the church take in another 20 years? What shape will it take – in what some people are calling the winter of Christianity in the Western world? That stuff is genuinely exciting. Perplexing as well, and requiring of us amazing degrees of faithfulness. Where do you stand on the ordination of gay and lesbian people? For me, that’s an issue overdue for deciding. We’ve been talking about it for nigh on 30 years. Our current arrangement is a kind of de facto: ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’. That’s oppressive. I have been shaped and supported and encouraged by gay and lesbian colleagues, who make an amazing contribution to the life of the church. And in recent years, some of those people have walked away from the
church. They can’t stand it anymore. Obviously, one of the key things is: what do we make of Scripture on this issue? I’m not a biblical scholar, but I’ve tried to listen carefully to all the back-and-forth about how you should interpret this or that Greek or Hebrew phrase. And where Scripture is concerned, I think the case is inconclusive. Scripture knows nothing of committed gay and lesbian relationships – so it has little to say about them. That’s part of our difficulty. But even if we take it that Scripture is agin committed gay relationships, I’m not sure where that leaves us. So I reach for an analogy: the matter of divorce. Jesus doesn’t equivocate on that. He is absolutely clear that divorce is wrong. Now, normally people rate the words of Jesus above all else. They are Dominical statements. And even though Jesus says divorce is wrong, in the Anglican church we say: ‘Mmm… actually, it’s okay.’ We think we’ve been able probe into the nature of what a loving relationship should constitute, and to look at the fruit a relationship should bear. From that reflection we take a different position from Scripture. Now, the jury is still out about divorce. The Roman Church still won’t acknowledge it. But that’s okay. Anglicans have a different view. That’s not the only reason I’m Anglican – but I do think Anglicans get it right on some stuff. And I’d like us to get more right about our attitude to gay and lesbian and transgender relationships. In our so-called ‘Listening process’ I hear gay and lesbian members of our church say: ‘Actually, you’re just deferring because you’re frightened.’ Look at the struggle Black Americans had
to gain their civil rights. It’s sometimes said that the American church, by its caution and concern for unity, behaved about as badly as the church could do. In hindsight, we can see it now as a failure of nerve. How did America shape you? I served twice in USA. The first time, in 1996, I took part in a ministry swap in the Diocese of Newark, whose bishop then was Jack Spong. Jack had just been to New Zealand. I’d met him and, at that stage, he was the only American I knew. So I wrote to him about a ministry swap, and he was unbelievably positive. In fact, he was the best bishop I’d ever worked for. Why? Because he was pastorally engaged with his clergy to a degree I hadn’t experienced. In Newark I was part of an informal clergy cluster when one of the group was going through a tough time. I was blown away by the support he got from his bishop. Theologically, Jack Spong is problematic. I don’t share much of his theological position. But I do share his concerns about the need for open and intelligent conversation inside the church, and between church and society. I went back to the US in 2001 to go to Yale. I couldn’t really afford to go. So I went on to the internet, found a church in New Haven, and I pestered them for a place to board. The deal was that in exchange for the guest flat at Christ Church New Haven, I would say mass twice a week. Christ Church New Haven is an AngloCatholic shrine. I’d spend nearly every Saturday afternoon sitting in a 15th century baroque confessional waiting for customers. On one level, this looks like theatre. But I didn’t once see that. I just experienced a
community of people trying their level best to offer the best they could. I’d experienced that same heartfelt desire to offer the finest wheatflour in evangelical worship in New Zealand. And it’s that seriousness with which people take worship that I find humbling. Towards the end of my time at New Haven the churchwardens took me to lunch and said they were asking the rector to leave. So in my final month, when I was trying to write my thesis, I did 33 services. I expected the teachers at Yale to be good. And man, were they good! Of course, I’d had some superb teachers in the philosophy department at Auckland too. But the thing I hadn’t seen coming at Yale is how enriching it would be to have a bunch of really, really smart and super-motivated people in my classes. Meir Soloveitchik was one of them. Meir is a Levite. Every male member of his household, in living memory, has been a rabbi. His father and uncle had been great Jewish academics. Meir didn’t get to class on some holy days. He didn’t ask anyone to cover for him, either. That was probably because he’d still be responsible for the work – and therefore he’d be breaking the religious laws. So I wrote to him and said: ‘If you’re looking for a tape recording of these lectures you’re missing, or if you want some notes, I’d be happy to give these to you.’ That’s how we sparked off our friendship. I went to synagogue with him in New York, heard him preach, and had the Shabbat meal with him and his wife. When I was leaving, he gave me a biblical commentary, in which he wrote: To Jim White, a servant of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A gift from Meir Soloveitchik. What's your overall impression of the US church? Religion appears to be taken more seriously in the States. We are a lot further down the decline than they are. You could look out over the congregation where I was serving, and half the people would be men. That’s nothing against any women I’ve served with. But it does make for a different dynamic. Coffee hour is different when there are a large number of blokes around. The other thing that I liked about the Episcopal Church is that they take adult Christian education seriously. They have Christian education hour, and then they have worship hour. And everybody goes to Christian education. We’ve got things to learn in New Zealand about that kind of engagement. Jim White will be ordained a bishop in Auckland’s Cathedral of the Holy Trinity at 11am, October 29.
Nigerian Archbishop Ben Kwashi, headline speaker at the Mission Conference in July, clearly believes that Christian mission begins at home. He and his wife Gloria have adopted 51 kids (orphans, waifs and strays) – and she feeds more than 200 youngsters every day. The couple also don’t shrink from the dangers of mission in a country
torn by Christian-Muslim tensions and sporadic outbreaks of killing. Archbishop Ben has survived two attempts to kill him in his own home, while Gloria was nearly blinded in a fierce beating. Lloyd Ashton picks up on the spirit of the Mission Conference, and tells why Archbishop Ben was so heartened by it.
here’s no time to waste. God’s mission is now, and you’re needed on the frontline. That call came loud and clear at the Common Life Mission Conference in Waikanae. And it was instantly taken to heart by the 70-odd SOMA visitors who dovetailed their international gathering with the Mission Conference and radiated out on nission across the country after it was over. Diversity: That was another thing about the Mission Conference. Just about everybody with an interest in mission was among the 550 who jammed the El Rancho Camp. At least a dozen mission-minded bishops flew in from Nigeria, Tanzania, India, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Melanesia and PNG, to be joined by half a dozen homegrown ones. Heaps of other visitors represented mission societies and agencies – including, for example, Anton Ponomarev, an Oxfordbased Russian Orthodox who is a director of the Faith2Share network, which backs emerging mission movements. The three tikanga of our own church were well represented, too. And the way they mingled and flourished together was one thing that warmed the heart of AMB executive Robert Kereopa. “We’d envisaged a conference that would bring a huge diversity of people together in a safe environment, and I think the conference delivered on that,” he said. “Tikanga Maori felt safe. Pasefika felt safe. The charismatics in SOMA felt safe to join us – and so did the Melanesians, with their Anglo-Catholic tradition.” Part of the secret was that everybody seemed to agree about Jesus’ parting instruction in Matthew 28:19: “Go and make Page 24
disciples of all nations…” That commission, according to Nigerian Archbishop Ben Kwashi of the Anglican Diocese of Jos – and also international chairman of SOMA – is a non-negotiable duty to God, to others, and to yourself. “Going out for the Kingdom of God,” he told the conference, “is not an option. It’s a privilege. And if you don’t go, you will blame yourself for dishonouring yourself.” Archbishop Ben was heartened to see hundreds of conference delegates rise to their feet and commit themselves to mission. And when the conference wrapped up, he said he sensed “the start of a new beginning. “Not only for New Zealand but in some way for the world, because the impact of what has happened here will be felt in the world.” Given the tattered state of the Anglican Communion, he said he was struck by the “amazing coming together” of the conference folk. “That is God’s design. When people come together around Jesus, the Word of God, serving and mission, He works among them.” Everyone else seemed just as energised – not least of all Bishop Richard Ellena, who is on the AMB, president of CMS and chair of SOMA NZ, and who was chaplain to the conference. “I suspect all three tikanga will now be seriously grappling with the concept of mission,” he said. “I’m passionate about Tikanga Pakeha making the paradigm shift from maintenance to mission. Maintenance is not just a barrier to mission – it’s the very opposite to mission.” The Rev George Al-Kopti – a priest in
the Diocese of Jerusalem who is studying at St John’s College – was encouraged by the “leadership of the bishops” and by the daily Bible studies taken by Bishop Mark McDonald, Canada’s national indigenous bishop. These had focussed on freeing the gospel message of its Western cultural baggage. “Coming from the land of the Bible,” George said, “that meant a lot to me. The job of the church is to bring this message alive in its different contexts.” There was encouragement, too, for Bob Henderson – who will take “clarity of purpose” back to the war zones of Christchurch. Bob is a minister at St Ambrose in Aranui and co-ordinates the Christchurch Community Response project, which has brought in skilled volunteers to repair busted homes in the eastern suburbs. Sepi Hala’api’api, who leads the Tikanga Pasefika youth, came to the conference with high expectations – and these were exceeded. “Young people in our tikanga are already moving out in mission,” she said. “But we are still in the comfort zone. After this conference we’ll be inspired to go out further.” For Robert Kereopa, the conference confirmed a zest for mission in our church. “We had no trouble getting volunteers to do the 101 things to make an event like this happen,” he said. Robert also warmed to the messages of personal challenge and personal responsibility. “The church must be willing to be shaped for mission. And that means shaping people for mission.”
Clockwise from top left. 1. Sr Kalolaine Tuineau dances the Lordâ€™s Prayer. 2. Archbishop Ben Kwashi responds to the powhiri. 3. Paora Ropata greets Archbishop David Vunagi of Melanesia. 4. Bishop Mark McDonald, who led the Bible studies.
The Lost Pilot A Kiwi goes in search of a kamikaze warrior Haunted by a creased snapshot of war at sea, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman travels to a far-off culture and discovers the joy of reconciliation
Kamikaze are revered in Japan as courageous patriots, in much the same way that I was brought up to respect the Few of the Battle of Britain
or those of us who have never been to Japan – and up until three months ago, I was one of those – the country exists in our imaginations in a host of generationally determined images. If you were born prior to, during – or in the decade after – World War 2, Japan was the imperialist aggressor; by 1942 at the zenith of her power, she was threatening New Zealand, a very present danger to the former British Pacific colonies. If you had lived through that war, as either a combatant or a civilian, memories, fears, and hatreds of the Japanese were very fresh. As a babyboom child in the 1950s, this was passed on to me via film, comics, books and newspapers – yet
seldom if ever can I recall my father speaking against the same Japanese he had fought in 1944 and 1945, as a Chief Petty Officer Yeoman of Signals on the British fleet carrier, HMS Illustrious. He did have one close-shave story, however, and a photograph to prove it. Never one to speak much about his wartime experiences in the Royal Navy, he was willing to talk of the day he stared death in the face, as a Japanese kamikaze divebomber streaked down on the carrier at 400mph – he saw it coming. The photograph – a tiny snapshot no more than 100 x 70mm – is battered and creased from his habit of carrying it in his pocket (his old drinking mates in Blackball have spoken to me of him
Teruyuki Nagata, the younger brother of Chiharu Nagata, one of the kamikaze who died in the attack on Illustrious. He was 12 when his 19-year-old brother died in 1945.
producing it from his jacket). Split almost from side to side, stained and smeared, it still tells a dramatic story. In the centre of the image a giant white waterspout leaps up out of the sea on which a huge blurred aircraft carrier is sailing. The blast bisects the carrier and behind the white tower of water another cloud of smoke hangs over the ship’s bridge. The casual observer might think this was a direct hit and a precursor to the ship’s demise. In fact, it was a very near miss: the bomb was knocked off the Yokosuka Suisei by anti-aircraft fire and plummeted into the water. The plane then clipped the bridge where my father and others had dived for cover and exploded on the armoured flight deck. The only casualties were the pilot and the navigator who had come so close to killing my father, perhaps hundreds of others, and disabling or sinking the ship. My father died prematurely in 1972, a mere 50 years of age. After my mother died in 2005, I came by some of the old family photographs, and had this particular image scanned, cleaned up, and saved onto a CD so that we would never lose it. While clear and safe, it has none of the power of that old beatup 1945 snapshot. Staring at the picture, an obvious question began to haunt me: who was that man who died on the day my father lived, April 6th 1945, 100 nautical miles SSW of the Nansei Shoto, a string of small islands stretching north between Taiwan and Okinawa?
I began to sketch a possible project for a book I now call The Lost Pilot. I made some notes, saved some images, did some introductory research on kamikaze – and then left it aside for more pressing concerns. Last year I put this idea into an application for the Writer-in-Residence post at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, and it was accepted, along with a poetry
project. So earlier this year, in an old Mazda bought for the journey, I set off from Christchurch to Hamilton at the beginning of what is really a kind of pilgrimage, to create a book that is somewhere between a memoir and a quest. My wildcard notion was to try to make contact with the relatives of the pilot, go to Japan and meet them, and try to track down one of the few remaining living kamikaze
A near miss for an Allied aircraft carrier as a kamikaze bomb hits the water.
PPRIELAGCRHI M I NAGG E
pilots (men whose final deadly missions were aborted by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan’s unconditional surrender). I was fortunate in securing the help of Dr Kota Hattori, a Japanese postdoctoral scholar at the University of Canterbury where I am based. He searched the internet, and rang kamikaze museum directors for me on the southernmost island of Kyushu. We struck it rich: a website created by a nephew of one of the men who had died attacking Illustrious that day; and the director of the Chiran Peace Museum in Kagoshima, who searched his database and sent us the names of the three two-man aircrews who had died that day. So it wasn’t just one man: there were six of them, three pilots and three navigators, any two of whom might have been captured in that final terrible moment when their lives were literally blown to pieces. Out of nothing, out of the seeming silence and the void of history, faces were beginning to form: I had made contacts in Fukuoka, via a website helpfully suggested
Kamikaze are revered in Japan as courageous patriots, in much the same way that I was brought up to respect the Few of the Battle of Britain
by Kota, and was able to fly in April to the island’s main city and stay with an English expatriate, Neil and his Japanese wife Ritsu for the next three weeks, while we tracked down the living relatives. I got to see two of the ageing brothers of two of the dead navigators: Chiharu Nagata (19) of Kashimi-machi, and Hishashi Nishida (19), of Osaka. In rural Kashimi-machi I saw family members weep when they were given copies of the picture (one carried it into the family shrine); with the urban Osaka family I was given the navigator’s samurai sword to hold and later told I was the nephew’s “big brother”. It’s impossible to fully convey the depth of feeling I experienced in these encounters: even with my lack of Japanese and their lack of English, great things were wordlessly spoken. Some wounds I believe received a balm: kamikaze are revered in Japan as courageous patriots, in much the same way that I was brought up to respect the Few of the Battle of Britain. If this is hard for some to accept (that they were not, as caricatured, suicidal fanatics), I can understand. Yet when we meet a people on their own ground and look for likenesses, when we refuse to interview ourselves and have our own prejudices returned as answers, then perhaps we are closer to fulfilling that ministry of reconciliation spoken of by the apostle Paul, “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself”. The average age of these young men was 19, and the majority were conscripts, torn between cultural forces demanding of them honour and duty, and their own conflicted desires to live. They faced an impossible choice and died bravely. Some were even Christians and took their bibles
against condescension learn to love your grandmother’s songs show some respect poems her brothers took to war humble lines that helped them die he faced a flaming Kamikaze a copy of Kipling’s “IF” in his wallet see what that sneer has done to your lips think of yourself in a fallen building ticking away in total darkness The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want culture my culture composed me a songbook: Twilight Time Red Sails in the Sunset Nearer O my God to Thee when we were boys we had all the answers when we were girls we knew it all the dead were dumb in another room behind a condescending wall Jeffrey Paparoa Holman
with them on their final flights. The closer you get to these men and the families who still mourn their loss and honour their deaths, the harder it becomes to judge them. Face to face and under the skin, we have more binding us close in our humanity than the differences we allow to tear us apart. “Come back”, they said to me as I was leaving, “you must come back”. firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kelvin Wright says growth into truth always involves the abandonment of old ideas and old perceptions
Beware of ideas with use-by dates
hen my daughter Catherine was 3 or 4, I was the Vicar of Sumner in Christchurch. One weekend we had a gang of young guys on Periodic Detention cleaning up the church grounds, and during lunch Catherine went and sat beside one of them as he was eating his sandwiches. The young guy lit up a cigarette and Catherine scowled indignantly at him. “You shouldn’t smoke”, she said loudly and firmly, to which he didn’t reply. She stood up and glared at him. “You shouldn’t smoke!” she repeated, even more loudly and firmly. “It makes Jesus cough.” I knew what she was thinking. Only a week before she had been told in Sunday school that Jesus lives in our hearts. Being in that stage of development Piaget called Preoperational, she had heard and interpreted this statement quite literally: Jesus was a tiny little bloke who lived, physically, inside her chest; in fact, simultaneously inside the chests of all of us; and smoke going down there would, obviously, make him cough. This bizarre though entertaining worldview had not been given to Catherine by anybody; she made it up all by herself, out of the bits and pieces of information she gleaned from the world around her, processed by the rapidly changing cognitive processes of her developing brain.
She does not hold such a worldview now. At some point she became sophisticated enough to recognise and assimilate a metaphoric statement such as “Jesus lives in your heart.” At some point, in other words, her infant worldview was abandoned in order that a bigger, truer one might take its place, and this process has no doubt been repeated many times in her still young life, as it is being repeated in the lives of all of us. For we all have a worldview: an agglomeration of ideas and precepts and mental processes which explains the world to us and into which we fit the information we gather on a daily basis. Our worldview will determine how we see reality, but as it was for my 3-yearold daughter, our worldviews are only ever approximately true, and as we grow in experience and knowledge we are continually in the process of moving into bigger, more accurate worldviews. This growth into truth always involves the abandonment of old ideas and old perceptions as much as it does the acquiring of new ones, which is perhaps why we as individuals and as a church are often so resistant to change. This might explain why so much of Jesus’ ministry involved him in what must have seemed at the time to be shocking, anti-social behaviour. He picked grain and healed on the Sabbath; he spoke to and embraced a woman with menstrual
What keeps us from necessary change is a tenacious clinging to an old view of who we are... bleeding; he sat down to eat with known sinners; he touched lepers and drank from a Samaritan woman’s water jar. I think he knew that before the new ways of the Kingdom could be adopted, the old ways had to be shown to be deficient and abandoned. We live in a time when the old ways of being church are failing us rapidly; the presence of so many half-empty and disused church buildings all around us on every hand should be evidence enough of that. We have no shortage of advice on what a new church might look like, and some of that advice seems to me to be pretty sound. What keeps us from necessary change is not a shortage of ideas, but rather a tenacious clinging to an old view of who we are and how we should be in the world. Perhaps we cannot breathe new life into the embers until we have the courage first to see, to own and to abandon the mountain of ash under which they lie. The Rt Rev Dr Kelvin Wright is Bishop of Dunedin. email@example.com
As the debate on gay ordination enters a new phase, JOHN BLUCK points out that some of the leading voices in every synod, parish and forum of this church are gay and lesbian, and that there are good reasons not to legislate on such things as right relationships and sexual orientation.
Ins and outs of the gay ordination debate This church is setting up a commission to summarise arguments on whether openly gay and lesbian people should be ordained as Anglican priests. Meeting in Suva last July, General Synod Standing Committee decided immediately to establish a small working group to propose names for the commission. Each episcopal unit will now be invited to comment on these names, in the hope that the November meeting of Standing Committee will appoint a commission ready to go. That commission will be asked “to report progress” to next July’s General Synod/ te Hinota Whanui gathering in Fiji and to complete its work and report to the 2014 General Synod. Spelling out the commission’s terms of reference, Standing Committee says members do not have to be specialists but rather “eminent people with ability, credibility, and a commitment to work in prayerful collegiality…” The commission is charged with presenting “a summary of the biblical and theological work done by our church on the issues surrounding Christian ethics, human sexuality and the blessing and ordination of people in same-sex relationships, including missiological, doctrinal, canonical, cultural and pastoral issues…”
There are no canons to govern our choices about how we parent our children or care for the dying...
s phone hacking the worst crime on the list of charges against the Murdoch media empire? Less obvious but vastly more pervasive is the gradual erosion of journalistic standards by Murdoch publications and channels. They have taken the tabloidising, sensationalising, dehumanising treatment of news to unprecedented depths. It’s easy to see in banner headlines and raunchy photos, but more dangerous and invisible in the old trick of “framing” the news by leaving out what doesn’t fit your ideology. To exclude and ignore is just as powerful a control as overplay and exaggeration. Framing is a trick we all know how to play on the people and issues we want to disappear for a while. Watch the experts at work as the campaigns build for the election in November. I’m not attributing anything sinister like the Murdoch motivation to our Anglican leaders in the current debate about gay ordination. After all, I used to sit on the bench of bishops, and while I have no voice or inside knowledge of what happens there any more, I know how hard the bishops work to find what is good for the unity of our church. But, intentional or not, there is some “framing” going on in this debate, because it is constantly reported as a question of whether or not gay and lesbian people should be ordained, especially if they are in same-sex relationships. If you were new to Anglicanism in Aotearoa, you would be led to believe the question must be a new one that bishops hadn’t considered before. I was startled to read in a recent news report that Judge Chris Harding said the “ordination of persons in same-sex relationships was never contemplated by our present canons…it simply was not something that could or did historically arise.” Judge Harding is reading a different
Anglican history from the one I know, which is full of stories of gay and lesbian missionaries, priests, catechists, teachers and musicians, dating back to the earliest days in Paihia and Auckland, and flowing through the records of every diocese and hui amorangi. Happily, the canons didn’t address these stories but they certainly did arise. Without those stories we could never have passed that historic motion at the 2004 General Synod/te Hinota Whanui that began by acknowledging and honouring “ the contribution that gay and lesbian Anglicans make to the life and ministry of this church”. Not made, but “make” – as in right now. After all, some of the leading voices in that synod, and every synod, parish and forum of our church are gay and lesbian priests, licensed lay leaders, commissioned officers, chief cooks and bottle washers. In that sense the Anglican Church is pretty much like any other organization in this country, where gay people are neither under nor over-represented, just part of the furniture. It’s true we’ve often hidden those stories in corners of our church, and chosen not to use canon law to address issues of ordination and licensing that might arise. But there are good reasons for not legislating about right relationships, holiness of life and sexual orientation. Canons are clumsy weapons to fire at crowds of people. All sorts of people apart from the ones you target get maimed and damaged. So we don’t use canons to deal with building relationships and community, managing personal and family crises, measuring faith or loyalty, assessing leadership and most other really important things in ministry. There are no canons to govern our choices about how we parent our children or care for the dying or allocate scarce resources. Some issues are better not legislated. Homosexuality is an issue the rest of New Zealand society has simply got on with
since the law changed in 1986. Why then in 2011 would we want to resort to canons and lawyers for what are essentially pastoral decisions about suitability for leadership? Might part of the reason be that, unlike Tikanga Maori, Tikanga Pakeha is still struggling with some unresolved cultural issues around what’s sacred and secular? Every family, workplace or community group I’ve known has had to deal with accepting and including different sexual orientations. Tikanga Maori have refused to be divided by these differences. In fact, they declared in 2007 that the right of takataapui to be ordained and exercise all forms of ministry does not contravene the central doctrines of this church. I’m saddened by the number of Pakeha Anglicans who deal with this issue by living in two separate worlds. Inside the church they resign themselves to denying
or ignoring gay presence. Outside, in the world, they take that presence for granted, even enjoy it on TV, in the concert hall, on the sports field, among their (and their children’s) friends. Such dualism is dangerous, unhealthy and increasingly unsustainable. It makes Anglicans look ridiculous. Given all that we now understand about sexual orientation as a continuum, do we seriously want to be seen in public wondering whether homosexuality is an expression of “wilful human sinfulness or God-given diversity” to quote one recent correspondent? The gay and lesbian people I know are tired of all this double-think and choose to get on with living out their faith in a world that doesn’t think it’s queer to be queer. The disease of this denial is damaging for straight people, too. When we pretend the church is a gay-free island we demean
the gay people who belong there, and we demean and isolate ourselves from the world. The debate over ordination is not about who to leave out of the family. It’s about respecting all the people who already belong. If, by some bizarre legal process, our bishops gave up the responsibility they have to decide who to ordain, what would we do with the gay and lesbian people already ordained, licensed, commissioned, and entrusted with leadership at every level of Anglican life. Excommunicate them? Pretend they had disappeared? Issue them with limited licences that expire like credit cards? And who would do the policing, and how? ExNews of the World investigators? When you start to ask the sort of questions that consistency would demand, the whole exercise becomes truly weird. As an exercise in Christian mission it would put Anglicanism up there with the Koran burners and the crazy cults. The church I know and love would have no stomach for such silliness. I understand only too well the genuine differences of theological and biblical conviction that Anglicanism embraces on this issue. We have to continue working respectfully on that front, as our hermeneutic hui and formerly respectful conversations have tried to do. But Anglicanism also embraces a church that is already inclusive of gay and lesbian people, along with every other God-given difference in the human condition. And if we take the incarnation even half seriously, the conviction that God meets us as we are, then the church as it is deserves better treatment than it’s getting at the moment. And a little more respect for the people who already live in this Anglican house we call home, a little more care for the way we talk about each other inside the house, would work wonders for how we frame this debate. The Rt Rev John Bluck is the former Bishop of Waiapu and now lives north of Auckland. JohnBluck@xtra.co.nz
Anglicans should reach out and embrace their Wesleyan brothers and sisters, according to Tai Tokerau’s Rob McKay, whose role in ecumenical dialogue with the Methodist Church calls him to question some of our church’s “God-givens”.
nce a month, Fijian Methodists and Maori Anglicans worship together at the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Khyber Pass, Auckland. This coming together for the Eucharist pre-dates the 2009 AnglicanMethodist Covenant, but worshipping together just seemed the right thing to do. Round the corner at St Benedict’s Church in Newton, Anglicans, Catholics,
ABOVE: A Fijian cultural dance in Tatai Hono at the Church of Holy Sepulchre.
Papatoetoe Methodists at an Alpha Course where Rob (Anglican) is a participant.
Methodists and Presbyterians gathered at Pentecost this year to observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Catholics welcomed us, Rev Sarah Stevens (Holy Trinity Cathedral) led us in prayer, a Methodist youth choir sang, and Bishop John Bluck preached. Bishop John noted that some Anglicans are slow to embrace the AnglicanMethodist Covenant. I agree. Is it because the Covenant was initially a top-down initiative rather than a grassroots one? Or is it that we Anglicans are too focused on the proposed Anglican Covenant – ironically, one that divides us? Before the Anglican-Methodist Covenant was signed, the two churches already shared a good working relationship. With the signing, we’re now obliged to ensure it doesn’t end up as a dead letter. We need to put some spirit into this, because on May 24, 2009 our two churches agreed not only to build a deeper relationship but also to ‘’work towards a united and interchangeable ministry… of our two churches’’. This suggests the ultimate goal is “visible unity’’.
A chief obstacle to such unity is that the Anglican Church in these islands is an episcopal church, while the Methodist Church here is not. Because Methodist ministers are not ordained by a bishop (within historic succession), they can’t fully exercise ministry within Anglican structures. In my opinion, this thinking needs to be challenged. We need to find a solution that’s acceptable to both churches. After all, corporately, the Christian Church is the priesthood of all believers (I Peter 2:9). In our quest for unity we could follow the late Bishop James A. Pike’s advice: “We must let everyone lay hands on everyone else and let the Holy Spirit sort out who has done what to whom.” My first encounter with the Holy Spirit took place in a Pentecostal church. The person who stepped down from the stage to lay hands on me was not even an ordained pastor; he was a bass guitarist from the church band, named Fred. Reflecting on that experience, applying both Scripture and reason, I realised that the New Testament makes no distinction
between lay and ordained. The terms kleros (clergy) and laos (laity) refer in each case to the same group of people – the entire Christian community. The New Testament affirms one act of installation into ministry that is binding for all Christians: baptism. The anointing of the baptised by the Holy Spirit marks the one true ordination by God. As Anglicans we affirm the value and importance of the historic episcopate, which became the established norm for church leadership and oversight of Christian ministry from the second century. This historic episcopate has been helpful and highly valued through the ages. Yet in conversation with the Methodist Church, we meet another expression of the church, where the Holy Spirit is working to ensure apostolic continuity outside the historic episcopate. In 2003 the Church of England and the Methodist Church in Britain ended a 200year rift by entering a joint covenant that will bring their two churches together with a vision of ‘’full visible unity/communion’’. Because the Methodist Church in Britain is open to ordained women exercising ministry in all offices, the Church of England was challenged to respond in kind, and legislate for the ordination of women bishops in 2010. On the other hand, there’s also an expectation that Methodists in Britain will incorporate the historic episcopate into their church. In Ireland, Methodists and Anglicans have taken a different path, declaring that
Methodist structures fulfill the functions of episcope in different forms. The Anglican Communion adheres to the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral Agreement, which upholds the centrality of “the historic episcopate, locally adapted”. This understands episcope as ordained ministry, exercised in “personal, collegial and communal ways, and expressing the principles both of service and oversight, rooted implicitly in the earthly ministry of our Lord. The Methodist Church, however, holds that episcope is exercised through the authority of the conference, the ministry of the president and of district superintendents. Although I’m Anglican, I’m not sure about the classic, ‘passing-the-baton’ theory of apostolic succession theory, which sees modern bishops dating back in a direct line to the first-century apostles by the laying on of hands. It would be more helpful ecumenically to say that bishops in this generation are in tradition with the apostles of old, as they respond positively to the call of our Lord Jesus Christ. In practical terms, as our two denominations move together in covenant, we need to become reacquainted with each other, to learn each other’s language and cultural ways. To learn what each denomination values highly, we need to build deeper relationships between our churches at the local level – requiring tenacity and creative thinking. For 18 months I’ve been attending a
local Methodist Church in Papatoetoe every fourth Sunday. Admittedly, they preach longer than us, but I figure the only way you can understand a people is to spend time with them, so I’ve joined their Alpha programme on Sunday evenings too. Ideally, congregations of both churches could get to know each other by working together on Alpha, sharing services or engaging in a joint mission project to the community (such as we saw recently in Christchurch). On a regional level, Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu invited the Maori Methodist leader, Rev Diana Tana (Tumuaki o Te Taha Maori o Te Haahi Weteriana), to attend the Tai Tokerau Hui Amorangi in Dargaville this year. She gave a challenging talk on what it means for her as a Maori Methodist leader to be in a bicultural relationship with her nga tangata tiriti (people of the treaty) church partner. We appreciated her encouragement, and Bishop Kito wants this relationship to continue. As we continue in dialogue and ideas on episcope and church government converge, we could open the way for fuller and deeper unity between our two traditions in this country. The Rev Rob McKay is an Anglican member of the Anglican & Methodist Dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Randerson compares the British and New Zealand social contexts and finds alarming parallels
Could the English riots
t started with the police shooting of Martin Duggan, but spread far beyond. Duggan’s death had racial connotations; he also had gang and drug links. The days of rage and rampage that followed gave rise to senseless violence, the killing of five innocent people, and the destruction of family businesses built up over lifetimes. Stereotypes of an angry outburst from a deprived underbelly of society were quickly dispelled as those appearing in courts turned out to be people of all races, many from good homes, in good employment or enrolled as students. Mob influence had taken a grip. In all the analysis, a deeply divided society is clearly at the core. The division has several aspects: ›› Materialism and greed: crime can never be justified but the riots stem from
Austerity is the unique possession of the poor, and another axe-blow to social cohesion
years of emphasis on acquiring material assets and the trappings of the good life. Consumption has been hard-wired into the global psyche. When consumer baubles are unguarded, it is tempting to take them “for free,” even when (as in some cases) those charged said they did not particularly need them. ›› Huge Income Disparities: The Gini coefficient measures income inequality on a national basis. Among developed countries the UK has a high rating of 0.34, but New Zealand is higher at 36.2. At the low end of the spectrum are Sweden (25) and Japan (24.9). Substantial income discrepancies lead to social fragmentation. I am not, as critics sometimes accuse, envious of the rich: many of them work hard and make worthy contributions to society. But there are others whose stellar incomes result from manipulating global money markets for the benefit of investors and themselves, or engaging in property mega-deals. Compare their contribution to society with that of teachers, nurses, social workers or the thousands of others who sacrifice their time as volunteers. Too often an inverse relationship exists between high income and the benefit contributed to a community. ›› Austerity Measures, currently the rage in Europe and in New Zealand, never disadvantage the affluent. Tax cuts deliver significant increases to upper income
earners. By contrast, the faces of workers trudging out of factories with redundancy notices in hand are the faces of those who live on the breadline. Austerity is the unique possession of the poor, and another axe-blow to social cohesion. ›› Alienation of the Young: Not all the rioters were young, but youth unemployment (15-24 yrs) in Great Britain is 20%; the New Zealand figure is identical. Large numbers of people with nothing to do all day make a potent cocktail for mayhem. To be unemployed is to have sharply reduced hopes for the future, and a diminished stake in society. Even for those with qualifications, joblessness is often their bleak prospect. In NZ racial differences add another dimension: while 8.2% of Pakeha youth are unemployed, that figure rises to 13.8% for Pacific Islanders and to 16.6% for Maori. Social timebombs are ticking away when such wide gaps exist. Is it time wage and welfare payments were merged to form a job share/community care programme that gave all young people an opportunity for work and training along with involvement in a community organization? ›› Ivory Tower Policy-making: We dwell in segregated communities. How many of us live in, go to or even drive through some of the poorest communities in our land? We see glimpses of what life is like through media reports, but in terms of
happen here? attitude-change such snapshots might as well originate in Somalia or Zimbabwe. In fact, the latter images often move us more than the local scene. Few policy-makers or their advisers know what life at the grassroots is really like. Their lives are filled with statistics, economic and social theory, national and global experts, international conferences or parliamentary debates, all of which can be light-years from reality. The views of the electorate are similarly shaped along the lines of slogans and uninformed policy prescriptions. Democracy, which should be based in human reality, dies on the altar of ignorance and political opportunism. ›› Moral Compass Lost: Of the several films on the 2008 global financial collapse, the one that shook me most was Inside Job. It showed graphically how the poor got ripped off at each end of the moneytrain. At one end they were conned into unsustainable home purchases, the debts on which were re-packaged and on-sold through a variety of shonky schemes which eventually were purchased by pensioner funds or local school boards. The shonky schemers are the true looters in society: they clipped the ticket at each stage of the transition, but when their schemes imploded it was the struggling homeless or retirees who lost out. A second stunning insight emerged from interviews with academics from
prestigious US universities, many of whom served as trustees of the very banks that collapsed. When asked if they saw any conflict between their supposedly objective role as academics and their life as bank trustees, they were totally unable to grasp the meaning of the question. They had lost their moral compass to such an extent they could no longer perceive the moral conflict in their lives. ›› Ideological Fixations: Each year a small group of economic rationalists trumpet the fact that Tax Freedom Day will fall on some calculated date in May. Up until TFD one’s total income equates with one’s annual tax payment, but for the rest of the year ‘you are working for yourself’. The underlying philosophy is that working for oneself, rather than for the common good, is the supreme value. Such ideological drivers underlie the recent cliff-hanging budget debate in the US where the nation came close to deadlock at the hands of the tectonic grinding of implacably imposed views on taxation and spending. Ideological warfare, remote from the realities of human need, are apparent again in the UK and NZ. Carved over the entrance of the Inland Revenue Building in Washington are the
words of the US jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes: ‘Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.’ His words are no recipe for unfocused welfarism, but recognize that well-targeted investment in housing, health, education and jobs is an investment in the social capital essential to a cohesive society. The English riots could happen here. Our social context is alarmingly characterized by identical factors. We should heed the words of Isaiah (5.8): ‘Woe to you who join house to house and add field to field until there is room for no one but you.’ We need to wake up and look around us. Churches should analyze the poverty in their own backyard. If there isn’t much locally, link with a church where there is and take a partnership approach. Where does justice fit in our local mission? It is only as we invest relentlessly in compassion, sacrificial generosity and advocacy for our sisters and brothers that the common good will be advanced. ‘Then,’ says Isaiah (58.8), ‘your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wounds shall be healed.’ Bishop Richard Randerson is a writer on theology and social ethics. email@example.com • ‘London’s burning’: Imogen de la Bere, inside back.
Well-targeted investment in housing, health, education and jobs is an investment in social capital Page 35
Jolyon White says working for social change doesn’t mean we have to be adversarial
Social change without tears
hink about the last time someone challenged you on something you said. Chances are, only part of the conversation that followed was about the issue; the rest was about wanting to be right, defending your position regardless of whether the other made a good point or not. How close to beatification you are will depend on how much of the conversation was the former, and how much the latter. This is what’s so frustrating about politics. One side disagrees because the other side said it; the issue is merely the court on which the point is scored. The social sector and church world are as fraught with this as any. So is my household. Actually, just me; my flatmates are close to beatification. If we want social change we need to take this into account and work as hard as we can to stop change being necessarily adversarial. Surely for Christian social justice work, the methods must be in Page 36
line with our values as much as with the outcome. Although this isn’t always possible (win-win with a slave trader may be problematic), win-win may be possible in your local community. I originally wrote this article about Kronic sales, but since it has been banned and the next thing hasn’t arrived to replace it, the same principles apply to the sale of non-Fair Trade bananas or pornography at eye level in the local dairy where the majority of the stock is kids’ lolly mixtures. (There is, after all, enough research showing pornography to be a driving factor in human trafficking and slavery that it’s a global justice issue.) We have the problem, and the solution: stopping the local store selling the thing that makes your blood boil every time you enter. But before we start waving placards, let’s do some ‘landscaping’ so that we get an actual grasp of the situation, This
may mean going door to door around the entire neighbourhood to find out if this is really a serious concern for the community. Do people care? And if so, what are they prepared to do about it? This turns a one-person crusade into a community development project and builds all those good neighbourhood connections that shouldn’t need to arise only when there’s a natural disaster. Who will be with you, who against? Has the neighbourhood ever rallied over anything before? If so, did it work? And what of the community board or council? Next, what would it take for the local shopowner to stop selling eye-level porn? Does he really believe in it? Or is she just trying to make a living to support the family? To find out, just ask. What if, in exchange for stopping the sales, you were to arrange a big community BBQ on the shop corner... if activities were put on for the kids... if a painter, builder and sparky were prepared to put in an afternoon on a shop makeover... if the media were there to celebrate a great community event... if the shop-keep was given credit for it all? Would the increase in business, media exposure, makeover and community goodwill be worth more than the sale of porn? Especially if you added in the loss of sales from 150 residences that were prepared to go elsewhere for milk? (OK, so there might be a little stick with that carrot.) The strategy you employ obviously depends on the answers to all the initial questions. But the point is: everyone wins; you can work with, not against, the shop owner. The result, then, is far more than stopping one shop selling one product. There are people who discover they can make a difference, resilience is built, connections made, perhaps a national campaign on the issue is encouraged, and some small group of people is at the centre of it. Your parish perhaps? The Rev Jolyon White is Social Justice Enabler for the Diocese of Christchurch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing to end inequality: Archbishop David Moxon and Karen Morrison-Hume. Photos: Adrian Heke
Equality campaign gathers pace Sharon Leamy reports
nglicans all over Aotearoa New Zealand are committing to the Closer Together Whakatata Mai information programme, which aims to reduce the gap between rich and poor. Almost a thousand people have signed choice cards in support of the project – “a fantastic start,” says Trevor McGlinchey, executive officer of the NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). “But the target is 5000, so please keep the momentum going,” he adds. “This will send a strong message to all political candidates and decisionmakers that we don’t want a country of ‘haves and have-
nots’; rather, we want to live in a nation where everyone gets a fair go and is seen as a valuable member of our communities.” NZCCSS president Ruby Duncan agrees. “Twenty years ago New Zealand was one of the most equal countries in the economically developed world, but that’s no longer the case. “It’s important to change the mainstream perspective about economic and social disparity, because the increasing divide between rich and poor has created a reality of misery and despair for those growing up as have-nots.” A recent NZCCSS vulnerability report notes that the cost of living is rising much faster than lower incomes, leaving more than 232,000
children in benefit-dependent households. Unemployment also looks to remain high for another year at least, with young Maori most affected. Archbishop David Moxon and the director of Anglican Action Waikato, Karen Morrison-Hume, have signed on to the the programme. “I fully endorse Closer Together Whakatata Mai,” says Archbishop David. “We all need to make a commitment to reducing inequality in this country.” “Whakatata Mai is not a short-term election slogan,” says Karen. “It’s a longterm vision for re-claiming what is at the heart of every New Zealander – a belief in the egalitarian principles
of fairness, equality and participation. “If we are serious about reducing the negative social statistics, then we must ensure that ALL citizens have equal opportunity to flourish and sustain themselves. “Relying on a few to grow wealth in the hope that it trickles down to others has proven unreliable. Let’s grow our economy with and for everyone. Whakatata Mai invites our full participation into the future.” Closer Together Freepost choice cards are available from Jo Paku at NZCCSS, Ph 04 473-2627, email email@example.com Or join the campaign online at www. closertogether.org.nz. It takes only two clicks to make a difference.
Detail of Mary: tempera, 24kt gold and oils on an old piece of a French dresser. It was taken from the Ghent Altarpiece by van Eyck.
Carolyn McCondach in front of a large ‘miniature’ icon in 24kt gold halos and tempera. It’s from an original by Carlo Crivelli and took a year to paint.
Hooked on icons Words: Hugh McCafferty Photography: Glenn Mulholland
“God gave me eyes to see. Getting the hands to catch up has been a lifetime journey”
t the end of a steep but otherwise unremarkable drive on Auckland’s North Shore, Carolyn McCondach (nee Cole) works in her studio surrounded by her icons and other beautiful things which challenge and inspire her. Carolyn’s mother died when she was only 9 and so she was brought up by her late brother, New Zealand fashion designer Colin Cole. He and his wife Maire took her from the Shore to St Thomas’ Church in Freeman’s Bay regularly, a journey involving the bus, the boat and a sizeable walk. It was on one such walk that she had her first aesthetic experience as she glimpsed the moon through a tree covered in pink blossom. At age 16 Carolyn won a scholarship to the Elam School of Fine Arts but her brother’s ‘wise counsel’ insisted on secretarial studies first. Marriage and domesticity followed and the scholarship was never taken up, a cause of regret to this day. Throughout the years of child rearing she ‘kept her hands busy’ restoring old houses, doing her own photographic and darkroom work, and on various craftPage 38
St Michael: tempera, 24kt gold and oils on wood.
related projects. It wasn’t until she was in her 50s that she picked up a brush and learned how to mix paint all over again. An exhibition in the Auckland Art Gallery called ‘The Eye of the Master’ introduced her to Greek icons and, by a happy coincidence, to Olga Vost, a classically trained iconographer in the Russian style. The would-be-iconographer enrolled for her first course, expecting it to be a oneday workshop. It was in fact a seven-week course, the outcome of which was one very small painting, 200mm square. Carolyn soon became ‘hooked’ on this style of work. Classical icons are works of prayer that involve the faithful reproduction of the original work, copied with the same diligence that a scribe copies Scripture.
The icons are executed on old wood, which has to be first treated with gesso before the work itself is executed with tempera. It’s a long process; a large miniature (800mm2) can take up to a year as the painting is built up layer upon layer. In the 10 years she has been working with Olga Vost, Carolyn has completed around two dozen paintings. Some have been sold, through a gallery and by wordof-mouth, but many still surround her as she paints, providing the challenge and encouragement for future works. St Michael sits in her studio, originally destined for her old church of St Michael and All Angels which was sadly closed before the icon could be donated; potential benefactors of churches dedicated to this saint may want to take a closer look. Carolyn occasionally has permitted herself the freedom to depart from the classical tradition and invent in the ‘style’ of icons. One such work is a triptych of the Holy Trinity in which each panel remains unfinished, a sign that our knowing of God is incomplete. She is also copying a renaissance Madonna and child by Van Eyck from the Ghent Altarpiece as a gift for her daughter. They all take time and the work is challenging. But Carolyn McCondach has the God-given gift of eyes to see and is compelled to render what she sees faithfully.
Detail from a triptych of St Donation, patron saint of Bruge: mixed media acrylic, 24kt gold and oils. A montage of saints in front of Bruge, it shows Madonna and child, St Catherine and St George. From an idea by Olga Vost.
Corner of Carolynâ€™s workroom with crucifixion, Russian-style Mary and child, and St Michael â€“ all works in tempera, gold and wood.
St Olga: tempera on board. St Olga is said to be the founder of Christianity in Russia.
Craufurd Murray says Pentecost is a good time to draw breath and renew our God-given spirit
now on the mountains overlooking the village, morning mist clinging to the fields and 4WD vehicles with ski racks have been a constant reminder of the presence of winter. The seasons will often stir memories. Forgetting things like burst water pipes and blue fingers, winter brings back thoughts of ice-covered tarns, waterfalls frozen into motionless sculptures, snow dusting the fells like sugar, and frosty ground crunching beneath hiking boots with every breath visible in the crisp air. There were afternoon teas around the fireside as light was fading, toasting teacakes on the end of toasting-forks before adding butter and a liberal application of homemade jam. Favourite jams on the larder shelves were gooseberry, raspberry, damson and bramble jelly. A broad valley of rich farmland only a few miles away was renowned for its damson orchards (an absolute picture in spring with around 40,000 trees). In the 12th century, returning Crusaders brought back damson seedlings and stones from the Holy Land, and these flourished in the sheltered limestone ground of the valley. The fruit is smaller than in other regions, but produces an intense and distinctly nutty flavour. The Church Calendar takes us through
the seasons too, and we are now in Pentecost – the longest season of all. In the Preface to a publication a few years ago, I noted, “The Calendar has the capacity to create a spiritual momentum in our lives as we move through the rhythm of the seasons, enabling us to discover how we can engage with the presence and being of God.” The emphasis of Pentecost is the ‘breath’ of God within us. Breathing is necessary for life, and allowing God to breathe in us is essential for the spiritual dimension of that life. We don’t think about breathing until we have to struggle for breath – and that happens when something goes wrong with our health, or when we are under stress or in a harmful environment. Yet this is the process that oxygenates our blood and enables our bodies to be recharged with life. Without it we die. Every day on our individual journeys of faith we need to absorb the Spirit (Breath) of God, so that we may have the unique God-given spirit within us revitalised and renewed. But God’s way is not coercive – God works through our choices – so it is up to us each day to invite this life-giving Spirit to influence who we are and what we do. One way of keeping ourselves open to an encounter and interaction with God’s Spirit is through reading and study of the
Scriptures. When we use the Scriptures as triggers for prayer, they lead the spirit that is ours alone to an awareness of God speaking. Perhaps before the close of this year, when we have been celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Authorized (King James) Version, we should consider taking our own copies of the Bible to a time of worship in order to reaffirm their significance for our lives. It has been said, “God’s Kingdom is, first of all, the active presence of God’s Spirit within us” (Henri Nouwen), and St John writes, “by this we know that God abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us” (1 John 3:24). St Paul reveals that the outcome of this is plain when the “fruit” of the Spirit becomes apparent in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. We may consider ourselves far from ‘holy land’ and unlikely ground for producing fruit of such distinctive flavours, but as St Paul wisely says, God’s Spirit at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). The Rev Canon Craufurd Murray is a retired priest living in Waddington, Mid-Canterbury. firstname.lastname@example.org
A P P R E C I AT I O N
The Rev John Stott died on 28 July, aged 90. An outstanding Anglican priest who for several decades was Rector of All Souls Langham Place in London, he had an international ministry that extended far beyond his own country and denomination. In 2005 Time magazine listed him among the world’s 100 most influential people. Brian Carrell gives his personal appreciation of the life and ministry of John Stott.
ohn Stott was the Charles Simeon of the 20th century. Simeon is remembered in our NZ Calendar on 12th November for his equally impressive ministry in England and beyond, based at Holy Trinity Cambridge from late in the 18th century. Simeon was a key figure in the foundation of the Church Missionary Society and a strong supporter of the Bible Society. There are remarkable parallels between the ministries of these two servants of Christ, even though separated in time by more than two centuries. Common to both we find these features: ›› Belief that basic Christian discipleship requires conversion, in the sense of a personal turning to Christ in faith. ›› The choice by each of adopting a simple life-style marked by self-discipline in prayer and Bible study together with a commitment to holy living. ›› Decisions to lead a celibate life as a single person in order to serve Christ better. ›› Life-long ministry of each in just one parish. ›› Mutual outspoken commitment to the Church of England, when some of similar theological conviction were contemplating schism, together with advocacy of unity among Evangelicals at times when there was much internal division. ›› Exemplifying a gentleness of spirit in facing controversy, yet accompanied by clarity of conviction and respect for difference. (Chas Simeon expressed this as ‘Win souls by kindness rather than convert them by harshness’.) ›› Setting personal examples with the highest of standards in their preaching and biblical exposition, and holding
Master of ministry John Stott common goals of ‘equipping the saints for ministry’. ›› Understanding and promoting evangelism as both social action and gospel proclamation, not only within one’s own culture but also to the ends of the earth. My own ministry over five decades owes much to John Stott the man, as it does also to Charles Simeon the memory. I met John on only a few occasions but what stood out for me was his ability to recall almost instantly the previous times we had met, even though they were often years apart and in different parts of the world. Over the years his many books found a ready place on my library shelves. Some helpfully clarified for me my direction of ministry, especially during the social changes and theological challenges of the 1970s when I was General Secretary of NZ CMS. Notable among these were Christ the Controversialist in 1970 and Christian Counter-Culture: The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, 1978. But it was his presentation of the keynote address at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism in 1974 that was the most direction-changing occasion of hearing him speak. Many listening were already feeling that old shibboleths were often proving empty husks. He challenged us all, from every continent and every major
denomination, yet with shared evangelical faith, to find that godly balance represented in Scripture between social action and gospel proclamation. This address was followed a few days later by his masterly craftsmanship in personally putting together over the last 24 hours of the gathering the warmly received Lausanne Covenant as an expression of the changing mind of evangelicalism around the world. John Stott always credited a Kiwi priest for drawing him out of his detached bachelor shell and upper-class British reserve to see the world and his own ministry style in a different light. That clergyman was Hokitikaborn Ted Schroder who became his assistant curate at All Souls in 1967. Ted had graduated from Canterbury University and brought into his ordained role a background of journalism as well as a natural home-grown brashness. During Ted’s brief time as curate at All Souls, John as rector went through a sharp learning curve. If many of us as New Zealanders owe much to the ministry of John Stott, his ministry also owed something to at least one fellow Kiwi. Bishop Brian Carrell is retired and living in Christchurch. email@example.com Page 41
Brilliant adaptation or crazy chaos? Whatever you call current worship in this church, the most pressing challenge is whether it’s an opportunity to enter more fully into communion with God. Peter Carrell explores the state of our liturgy.
he first service was a catholicstyle eucharist perfectly ordered in respect of furnishing, robing and flourishes. Next I joined a service expressing the best of charismatic, informal yet structured morning worship. This particular Sunday was rounded off with an evening youth service blending screen-projected prayer book words with songs unknown to our ancestors in the faith. Each service was in a different Anglican parish.
Are we prepared to embrace change in order to survive the death of our elderly congregations?
If I visited every parish, rohe, cathedral and chapel in our church, participating in all services across any given Sunday, then the variety described above probably would extend beyond the imaginings not only of Thomas Cranmer but also of our own Prayer Book Commission when it first sat down to meet in 1964. Never mind what they might make of a future they did not predict; what are we – God’s people in ACANZP today – to make of our situation? Have we reached a point in our worship history where we are superbly adapted liturgically to the ever-changing landscape of 21st century post-modernism? Or are we in liturgical chaos, with worship leaders doing what’s right in their own eyes but rejecting our heritage and maybe damaging our future prospects? We are a church with a liturgical history. Behind what we do today lies A New Zealand Prayer Book, the Book of Common Prayer, Cranmer’s revisions in 1549 and 1552 to the assorted service books the medieval Church of England had acquired, and back through the mysteries of aboriginal Celtic worship of ‘ancient times’ in the British and Irish islands. This history is part of our identity as Anglicans. But it’s a history both of continuity with what went before it and of change when change was required. Our liturgical future is likely a similar mixture. Elements of continuity are obvious: NZPB and BCP services remain
part of the liturgical programme of many parishes. But what about the services in many parishes which – at least on first appearances – seem to owe little to our liturgical history and much to the choices made by worship leaders. Are these services signs of further liturgical change taking place before our eyes? Or will such services be seen with hindsight to represent a liturgical sidetrack, useful for their time but without influence on the long-term life of our church? My own judgment is that we’re living through a risky period in the history of our church as a network of worshipping communities bound by some kind of common identity. Here is a law of worship participation which, with very few exceptions, holds true throughout our church today: the closer a service adheres to our liturgical history, the older and smaller will be the congregation; while the younger and larger the congregation in an Anglican parish, the further will be the service from that liturgical history. Our risk is that pressing for greater adherence to liturgical history as central to our identity could lead to the demise of our church. But there’s a risk which runs in an opposite direction: if less and less holds new generations of Anglicans together liturgically in the 21st century, what will form the real content of the word Anglican? Surely not just a yearly visit by the bishop and the departure of a few clerical and lay reps to a mysterious gathering known as ‘synod’! Canny Cranmer may provide us with a clue to a way forward. When Thomas Cranmer worked on reducing the variety of prayer books of
his day to one Book of Common Prayer, he wanted the English people to pray and to believe together as one people under God. And, theologically, he was right. Nothing underpins Christian unity like praying together. Everything we know about our future heavenly worship tells us we will be praying and praising God in common worship. For decades now our General Synod and Common Life Liturgical Commission have been moving in the opposite direction, both providing more and more varieties of services and authorising wide flexibility via page 511 of A New Zealand Prayer Book and the Template. Is the time coming when we need to rediscover common worship for our church in a new age? For the people of Cranmer’s day
common worship must have been a shock. Services were in English, not Latin. Copies of the prayer book were available via printing presses for laity, not just clergy. A multitude of possibilities were simplified into as few services as possible. For us it might be a shock to rediscover common worship: to put away our many books, to make services available via new technology, to update our languages but, most of all, to commit to using more or less the same services. For example, what if a lightly revised ‘page 404’ was our common eucharist service (albeit in the different tongues of our three tikanga)? On one hand it could have some variations (e.g. several versions of the eucharistic prayer could be used). On the other hand, already it has good flexibility (e.g. note the times
‘may’ occurs in the rubrics): it could easily yield a choral eucharistic form, a family service form, and a youth service form. However, it’s important not to get carried away with details – the above simply sows visionary seeds of what might be possible. Two key questions before the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in the 21st century are whether we’re prepared to embrace change in order to survive the death of our elderly congregations, and whether that change is going to be more and more liturgical diversity or a ‘back to the future’ rediscovery of common worship. A final note on the matter of common worship. Yes, ‘common’ is about what we agree together, but it ought not to be some ‘lowest common denominator’ style of worship in which the politics of synods yield something inoffensive to the greatest number of people. Common worship is about our agreement in Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to worship God with one heart, one mind, and one love for God and for each other. Whatever we make of our current liturgical diversity – from the glories of the Book of Common Prayer to the genius of A New Zealand Prayer Book – it’s a new opportunity to enter more fully into communion with God. Will we take it or miss it? The Rev Dr Peter Carrell is Director of Education and Director of Theology House in the Diocese of Christchurch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bosco Peters pleads for protection of a momentous insight in our liturgical tradition: the Trinitarian collect
Life in God – our Christian rite
ome researchers have asked nonChristians to describe, in one word, how they perceive Christians. The most common response is not, as we might hope, “spiritual” but “judgmental”. When people describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” you can generally translate that to “spiritual but not Christian.” When people go on a spiritual search, they quickly think of Buddhism or esoteric, non-Western practices. How many would consider going to a church or a Christian priest to guide them on the spiritual path? Yet Christianity, at its best, is about humanity being plunged into the heart of God. It is about full humanity and full divinity located in one person – Christ. And by God’s grace we are (and are growing into) what Christ is by nature. That is what passages like Colossians 1:26-27 describe as the heart of the mystery now revealed to us. This transformation into the life of God is much more overt in Eastern Christian life and practice. It is, however, present in our Western tradition, but we must guard it assiduously. We in the West so easily degenerate into legalistic perspectives, even or maybe especially in our relationship with the Divine. The great prayers of the church express and deepen this spirituality of transformation and growing into the life of the Trinity. In our Western tradition we see the Eucharist as seamlessly combining a Ministry of the Word and Prayer, and a Ministry of the Sacrament. In our Western tradition, at the heart of each of these two movements there is a prayer that expresses, takes up, and enhances our transformation into the life of God. In the Ministry of the Sacrament the Great Thanksgiving prayer is always addressed to God (the First Person of the Trinity) in Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. We stand praying together as Christ, in Christ. An exception in our 2000-year history would be so rare it underscores the Trinitarian insight. In our Western tradition, the Ministry of
the Word and Prayer has also had such a prayer at its core – the collect. In the collect we are praying as Christ, in Christ’s name, empowered by the Spirit, to God. Again, the rareness of exceptions in the great tradition underscores the standard. Anglicanism, particularly, passes on these collects as a much-loved taonga, a treasure. Thomas Cranmer had a singular gift in translating collects, from a thousand years before his time, into prayers that generations learnt by heart. Each week the spirituality of plunging more deeply into the life of the Trinity was grasped more deeply by the heart; praying to God, in Christ, by the Spirit’s power. We share these great prayers with Roman Catholicism, with the Anglican Communion, and with other denominations. But, as I’ve indicated, in the West this momentous insight, this mystery or secret of the Good News now revealed for all, is precarious. Take your eye off it and soon there are additions and subtractions to the simplicity and centrality. It is happening in New Zealand. With each revision of our liturgy, the great collect tradition we have inherited has been supplemented away from the central Trinitarian support of transformation into the life of God. Nice little prayers to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit increasingly stand equal to our praying together in Christ, as Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to God. But in our Prayer Book currently we have a choice. We can choose a collect that stands in the great tradition and expresses and enhances Trinitarian spirituality. Let’s be clear: no one is saying that prayers to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit do not have their place. There are some lovely ones. But the collect and the Great Thanksgiving have a special purpose. Much of our liturgical legislation is highly confused and confusing. A decision of General Synod/te Hinota Whanui last year increased the confusion. Motion 5 at that meeting assigns only one collect to
Take your eye off the Trinitarian collect and soon there are additions and subtractions to the simplicity and centrality.
each Sunday across the three-year cycle of readings. No choice is provided. There’s no pattern; one week it’s a great collect, the next it is a little prayer to whichever Person of the Trinity the spinning bottle stops at. There is talk of a reprint of our Prayer Book in which pages 549 to 723 could be replaced. The choice from three prayers currently provided would be removed, so you could just as easily get a prayer to Jesus or the Holy Spirit as a Trinitarian collect. But our Prayer Book binds together what are called formularies of our church and any alteration requires not a motion but a complex process set underway by a statute. Whatever happens, when you come across this development, join the movement that says “No!” Guard the fragile heritage of our treasured Christian spirituality, the central, simple mystery that we celebrate and deepen in our lives day by day. Then one day, not only will our own lives be transfigured, but others may look to us not primarily as “judgmental” but as people of deep spirituality. The Rev. Bosco Peters runs New Zealand’s most-visited Christian website: www.liturgy.co.nz
Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding; pour into our hearts such love towards you that, loving you above all else, we may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen. This is an example of a collect. It has been in every prayer book, Latin and English, for at least one and a half millennia. It is shared with Roman Catholics, the Anglican Communion, and other denominations.
Lucy Nguyen discovers God on Facebook, but then has to contend with some disquieting questions
What would Jesus Tweet?
ove it, hate it, or simply try to ignore it... social networking is connecting billions of people around the world. And it’s not simply the domain of the young. According to CBS News last year, social media use by people 65 and older jumped 100 percent in 2009, so one in four in that age-group online is now logging into Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites. No longer do we gather round the campfire to tell old stories or share the latest gossip; now we’re drawn by the glow of the computer screen, which sends shadows and stories into our private space. We are solitary figures huddled over our PCs, not for body warmth but perhaps for warmth of mind and soul as we seek out friendship, information, even love. Not only is the web holding our stories, it’s holding our fingertips and connecting us as we “reach out” across time and space to chat with friends and strangers alike. I now have the seemingly obligatory Facebook page to get the latest on my first-born travelling abroad and family scattered around God’s awesome creation. I venture on to the page now and then to send a message, click through the photos, or register my “like” on someone else’s page. The more I talk (face to face) with friends, particularly younger ones, the more I realise that internet social networking is becoming THE WAY we communicate. Email is passé, texting works if you have credit, but Facebook seems to be the number one choice.
Which makes me wonder: what if God – the greatest communicator of all – set up a Facebook page? Would God then accept everyone who wanted to be a friend? And would some have greater access than others? I Facebook-searched God and – yes, OMGosh, a page is set up for God on Facebook. There’s a picture of a man in a robe with a beard – really? That’s the picture! Maybe I’ll have to follow the page to see if God changes the profile picture regularly. Then I can find out if it’s really the page of the all-inclusive God, Creator of all, who broods like a mother hen, appears in pillars of fire and speaks in a still small voice – the one I have come to experience and, yes, endeavour to follow. If God had a page on Facebook and accepted me as a friend, might I ever be unfriended? On a bad day might I want to unfriend God? And here’s a more sinister question: would I want to set up a filter so God couldn’t see all of my page? Just as well God doesn’t follow the rule of Facebook. One point in favour of the God page on Facebook is that God doesn’t have a status. There’s a definition of God that could fit my understanding, though there’s not much about compassion, grace, peace or justice in the profile. But a quick check on God’s Facebook wall is a little more encouraging. A few hours ago the God page on Facebook
posted an instruction to strive for peace; and the day before there was a directive to be compassionate. 2,676 people like the peace request; 147 people commented. And 2558 people like the instruction to be compassionate, with 85 people commenting on it. Apparently, if you want to email God you simply need to pray, which seems a bit of a letdown in the technology department. But that’s OK; the Facebook page does include details for you to Twitter God. A decade or two ago we were all wearing bracelets with WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) to help us make those big decisions in life. Now the question might be What would Jesus Tweet? Wikipedia has set up a Facebook page for Jesus, and its origin hasn’t stopped 1,004,862 Facebook users from liking it. The apostle Paul encouraged the disciples to get to know their context before they began to preach and minister. Since generations of people use social networking as their main form of communication and connection, I’d best stay online and learn more. For starters there’s a whole new language to get my head around … but hey, LOL , it’s just ADIP! (Laugh Out Loud – Another Day In Paradise!). The Rev Lucy Nguyen is Vicar of St Peter’s Anglican Church in Pakuranga. email@example.com Page 45
Our obsession with rugby explains a lot about us but the nature of that identity is fragile. Lynda Patterson tackles the issue of Kiwi mythology
Alive & Kicking
port: it’s about passion and partisanship, about emotional energy, about codes of honour and being bound to a team. In Latin, there was a word for this sort of binding commitment – religare. For those who have been following the rapturous build-up to the Rugby World Cup – the billboard hype, the TV and radio promotions, All Blacks appearing on Shortland Street, and of course, the scandal about the pricing of the replica jerseys – it will be no surprise that the same root gives us the word religion. Sport, and rugby in particular, has inspired an almost religious fervour in this country.
Rugby inspires an almost religious fervour in this country
New Zealand isn’t unique, of course. Every nation has its particular sporting obsessions. I once spent an evening with a crowd of Canadian graduate students who tried to make me understand the national passion for ice hockey. I remember almost nothing about it, except the spectre of one man, eyes glittering, who explained, “You see, when it’s cold enough, you get to watch the blood bouncing off the ice.” In a similarly atavistic vein, the Soccer World Cup qualifier was the direct cause of a war between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969. It lasted four days and killed more than 3000 people. Before I came to New Zealand, I worked as a community theologian in a council housing estate north of London. During the 2002 Soccer World Cup, it seemed that every window had the cross of St George draped from it. When England were knocked out by Brazil in the quarter-finals, I watched from the 14th floor of a high-rise as furious crowds
torched cars and looted shops for two days. So New Zealand’s national obsession with rugby seems – comparatively innocent. But even in an era of growing professionalism, rugby is so much a part of the national psyche that a significant loss by the All Blacks can lead to a country-wide case of the blues. A survey commissioned by Air New Zealand in 2003 found that expat Kiwis were more likely to return home for good if the All Blacks had had a string of wins. The winner of the Webb Ellis Cup may even influence our next government. The World Cup and a general election coincided in 1987, when the All Blacks won the tournament. Roughly two months later, David Lange’s Labour Government won a second term with an increased parliamentary majority. In 2005, Labour were returned to power after a triumphant All Blacks’ performance against the British and Irish Lions. The stars may align similarly this time, and when John Key set the election date he may have been banking on a national team in great form with a hugely popular captain performing in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. Their results may influence the outcome for the other National team as well. What’s the origin of rugby as a barometer of the health of a nation? I suspect that one reason for the significance of the sport in the national psyche is the way that it developed historically, imported from the United Kingdom but quickly becoming a grassroots pursuit of small communities. The other historic reason is the successful All Blacks tour of Britain in LEFT: Curtain-raiser: Anglican Selwyn College (in yellow) thrash Presbyterian Knox College, 32 -13, in the first game to be played at Dunedin’s new covered stadium. Pictures: Julanne Clarke-Morris.
Rugby is so much a part of the national psyche that a significant loss by the All Blacks can lead to a country-wide case of the blues
1905. For a young country to take on a nation still glowing with all the selfconfidence of empire was the ultimate triumph of the underdog. The tour created one of the founding myths of New Zealand identity. Here was a rural, healthy, egalitarian paradise. New Zealand was seen as a social laboratory producing admirable athletes with natural adaptability and initiative. We had found an arena to dominate, and all the world was watching. The third reason is political. In 1981, Robert Muldoon’s National Government was in power and when the New Zealand Rugby Football Union did not respond to pleas to ‘uninvite’ the Springboks, he refused to cancel the tour. The country was divided over whether the tour should go ahead. Former Prime Minister Norman Kirk would be proved right when New Zealand witnessed “the greatest eruption of violence it has ever seen.”
There were two competing myths in play in the Springboks tour. One was the narrative of the small but canny New Zealand taking on their much more numerous and confident enemy in a game which had nothing at all to do with politics. At best, New Zealand could set an example for South Africa while beating them soundly. The other was the founding myth of an emerging South Pacific nation. There was no room in this newly-minted New Zealand for the apartheid regime, or for racist demands from the South Africans that Maori and Pacific Islands players should be left off the team. The competing myths locked horns, and provoked heated debate in smoko rooms and across dining tables. Once again, the whole world was watching. The mystique of rugby in New Zealand seems to be entangled with the politics of nostalgia. There’s a bitter-sweet way of thinking about the past, a kind of temporal
homesickness, history remembered without the guilt. We enjoy rugby much more, it seems, in the retelling and the recollection, than in the experience of the games themselves. At heart, rugby is one of the major contributors to understanding ourselves as New Zealanders, but the nature of that identity is fragile. If the All Blacks bring home the Webb Ellis Trophy we can expect a surge in national self-confidence. If they lose, we can expect recriminations directed first at the team, but then turned more broadly on ourselves as a nation. In New Zealand, rugby is more than just a game. We’re in for an intriguing World Cup. The Ven Lynda Patterson is Theologian in Residence at ChristChurch Cathedral. firstname.lastname@example.org
So what makes a good friend? Friending: Real Relationships in a Virtual World by Lynne M. Baab Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2010, 195pp. Chris Holmes
ost people, if honest, will admit to life in a “virtual age” as being most daunting. This probably is due to the seemingly infinite number of ways we can be in touch with one another, near and far. Indeed, so much of life, both in a professional and personal sense, seems to be spent communicating. Lynne M. Baab has written a delightful book which explores how the many communication technologies at our disposal, in the first world anyhow, can be put to use so as
to nurture real relationships. What makes Baab’s book helpful is that she refuses to take sides as to whether social networking is, for example, “bad” or “good.” She is not a “technological determinist” – that is, someone who argues that a given technology inevitably (negatively) shapes what is communicated. Likewise, she is not uncritical either, embracing all forms of social networking as good in and of themselves. Instead, she argues quite powerfully that Christians need to think and pray as to how to best use technology, especially social networking sites, in order to enhance real relationships. Where her book especially succeeds is in asking the most basic and important question: “What is a friend?” A friend, she
believes, is not so much a noun as a verb. It is something that we do: we friend others and so allow ourselves to be befriended, most especially by God. Reflecting on her childhood, Baab writes, “Friendship is as essential to me as breathing… requires a lot of work and this work is some of the most satisfying we can ever do. The work of friendship involves a great deal of initiating and requires that we reach beyond ourselves. Over and over.” (26) Baab refuses to offer simple “fixes” to the challenges posed to friendship by a hyperconnected world. What she would have us do is learn to be present to one another and to God. Social networking technologies may assist us to be present to one another,
especially where distance is involved. But they hinder friendship when they distract us from loving those who are physically present to us. “The challenge,” says Baab “is to grow in the ability to act like a friend.” (94) To the extent that Facebook and other social networking sites can help us to be true neighbours, they should be embraced. But if they take away from our ability to listen to one another and to God, then we need, as she says, to fast from them. Christopher R.J. Holmes is Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Otago and a priest in the Diocese of Dunedin. email@example.com
What is church, and why bother? Parish Priests: For the Sake of the Kingdom by Robin Greenwood London: SPCK, 2009 - £14.99.
or nearly 15 years I lived and ministered on the uncomfortable edge of the church in rural Northland among communities where the paradigm of vicarled pastoral ministry was increasingly unsupportable. One of the theological stars who was able to speak into the future of the church for me was Robin Greenwood, who offered scholarship, prayerful reflection, conversation and hope to church leaders and congregations seeking to find sustainable ways of being church. This latest book draws on much that he has reflected on Page 48
empowerment of the laos for ministry and mission in the world. In five compact chapters he offers much for all who have the future of the church at heart, to ponder prayerfully upon. Greenwood posits once more the church’s existence for the sake of the world. Who are We, Who is our God? What are we here to be and do? What is Church and why do we bother? I found chapter three, “Church, Communal Practice of Good News,” to be a very potent reflection on the theological basis of the church and a call to the church to live into this. The latter part of the book before and contributes to the explores the word episcope not ongoing conversation about simply as related to bishops but the relationship of priestly and episcopal ministry to the church. to the ministry of the church. Greenwood offers the metaphor He deals directly with the need to develop and maintain a of the Polynesian navigator as credible theology of the church, one who reads signs of stars, especially with respect to the winds, currents and so navigates whole people of God and the to the destination intended. In
Maoridom we know that a tohunga is one who reads and understands signs, tohu. Greenwood issues a challenge to the church to be intentional about the priests the church needs for tomorrow. What he describes, of course, may seem very radical to some, in that the parish priest will increasingly be in a team with other clergy, lay ministers, a deacon or two, and in fact may exercise episcope over more than one ministry team. Rightly, this demands new skills, new mindsets and great humility and patience. I commend this book to all who have the health of the church at heart. The Rev Chris Honore is Lecturer in Anglican Studies at St John’s College. firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Coming out’ – a continuing story Outspoken: Coming Out in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand by Liz Lightfoot Otago University Press, retailing at $40. Edward Prebble
iz Lightfoot has done us a huge service by collecting the stories of 11 gay and lesbian Kiwis with present or past membership of the Anglican Church, as a contribution to “the Listening Process”. The 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution 1:10, (best known for declaring homosexual acts to be “incompatible with Scripture”) also made a commitment to “listen to the experience of homosexual persons”. That injunction has been repeated at numerous diocesan, national and international gatherings; but the listening that has occurred has been pretty disappointing. We now have the opportunity to listen to 12 Outspoken Anglicans and allow those voices to resonate against whatever
theological ‘receivers’ we care to use. The book’s storytellers are aged from the 20s to 60s, live in both urban and rural contexts, and hold various levels of education. Some have felt let down by the church and have moved on, others have found their faith (and the Anglican Church) to be a deep source of hope and comfort. For others yet, being Anglican is just who they are. Courage is a theme that emerges from this work. Lightfoot describes considerable reticence from gay and gay-friendly Anglicans as she planned her research, and much reassurance was needed that the stories would be received sympathetically and in a non-judgmental way. We should be grateful for Lightfoot’s courage in persisting, and grateful to the 11 Anglicans (named by pseudonyms in the book) who were brave enough to share their stories. The stories themselves have two strong unifying themes. One is that sexual orientation
is not experienced as a choice; as ‘Matthew’ says, “If I could choose, I wouldn’t be gay. It’s not something anybody should have to deal with.” The second is that ‘coming out’ is highly significant. All the storytellers talk about the choice to ‘be out,’ to admit first to themselves and then progressively to others, that they were gay. Lightfoot notes perceptively that coming out is seldom a one-off event, but a continuing process. For some of the 11, this struggle led them to the verge of suicide; for others it meant rejection by their families, and for others it was easier than they’d feared. The book has two shortcomings, both being the reverse side of its great strengths. The first is that it is a deeply contextual account, drawing exclusively from Tikanga Pakeha within the Anglican Church in New Zealand. The second arises from Lightfoot’s determination to offer storytellers their own voice, with
only the minimum editing. This gives the stories real integrity, but at the possible expense of readability. Interviews of up to 150 minutes, transcribed almost verbatim, result in chapters of around 20 pages. A more accessible version might have had sections of 15 pages maximum, making it easier to pick up and put down, as whole stories could then have been read within a single session. In this leaner version, Lightfoot’s own voice might have had space to come through more strongly, too, with editorial reflection added beyond the introduction and postscript. All said, this a good book and an important book and would be usefully read by diocesan synod, hui amorangi and General Synod members as they consider resolutions related to sexuality over the coming months. The Rev Edward Prebble is studying for a doctorate at St John’s College in Auckland. email@example.com
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Tim Hurd applauds the release of two new local albums
Darkness & light Hope is Our Song by Viva Voce New Zealand Hymnbook Trust 2010; $30 available from www.hymns.org.nz
his CD accompanies the late 2009 publication of the hymn/songbook of the same name. Recorded at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Remuera last year, it features 27 works from the latest NZ Hymnbook Trust offering. It is, in a sense, a sampler of some of the quality offerings from this collection, although not necessarily a “learner” recording for most parishes. Probably two thirds of the works selected would need a strong choir to make them work in most typical Anglican parish settings – and several are essentially for choir alone, occasionally performed a cappella. The quality of the recording is to be commended, with balance and musicianship being generally very good. Viva Voce under John Rosser are a very competent and often polished unit. Michael Bell on organ and piano (with the latter slightly predominating) offers able support in terms of clarity and consistency of sound. A tiny critique for both choir and accompaniment might be a lack of substantial changes in timbre, dynamic and registration. Overall, though, it’s hard to fault the performance and direction throughout. In the selection of material, we do
encounter some contributors often. New to the NZHBT high rotation playlist is composer Barry Brinson (9 tracks), whose musical language spans competently the English hymnody style, towards Rutter in places. His work is absolutely deserving of this exposure. I enjoyed Brinson’s setting of Marion Kitchingman’s Magnificat rendering, and Bill Bennett’s On a cool and autumn dawn. Christ ascends to God features Marnie Barrell’s very good words, and is the rare example of a local liturgically-specific piece of writing. Additionally, a performance of Colin Gibson’s ANZAC hymn Honour the dead, with a suitably subdued descant, is welcome. This represents a valuable addition to the Hope is our Song resource, and perhaps more-so a stand-alone collection of hymnody and NZ choral music. Cataclysm by Jules Riding CD, DVD bundle, Elkanah Music 2010, SUT 198; available from www.elkanah.org.nz
ou don’t create – or sit down to listen to – an album called Cataclysm without expecting significant darkness to accompany you. With tracks titled Exile, Broken, Wounded Spirit, Crucify and Wilderness, the biblical metaphors of pain and a search for meaning are certainly
Sing a New Song! Hope is our Song book (2009) and CD (2011) See website for details and full listing of all books and CDs from the NZ Hymnbook Trust www.hymns.org.nz
front and centre with this, Jules Riding’s ninth and very personal album. The first and obvious impression is that these are not generally banal or twee songs. They’re not pop songs, not praise songs, not always wholly uplifting, at least until the final third of the album. They are adult and honest, delving the psalm-language of regret, complaint, hope for healing and a measure of impending judgement. And there’s a movement towards light in the album as a whole, culminating with the upbeat five final tracks. Largely acoustic (guitars, mandolin, piano) or light electric (guitars and keyboards, minimal percussion), there is the odd violin, cello or vocal ensemble to add colour. Stylistically, you’ll hear folk influence, Taylor, an occasional hint of Cohen, a ‘light blues’ feel (e.g. Sting), together with a verbosity and feel that might call to mind Luke Hurley. The accompanying DVD gives some context to the album, and a quality live performance. Wounded Spirit initially appeals as the most well-crafted of the album’s tracks, with its simplicity and pared-back production. Here, as elsewhere, the solo female backing/complementing vocals more than a few times distract from Riding’s delivery (most notably in Follow the Lamb). I’m also not greatly convinced by spoken-word content, most evident in the title track (including an extended apocalyptic passage from Matt. 24). There’s a depth of theological grappling in this album. Not all of its language or theology is consonant with my own, but it’s certainly worthy of expression. Perhaps I might have enjoyed slightly fewer words in places, more metre and poetry, symbolism and metaphor. But there is undoubtedly depth: the journey of Forgive Me, for example – moving from one’s need to forgive in order not to be consumed by hurt, to the singer’s own need for forgiveness – is more robust than most song-borne theology. Cataclysm offers a voice to the darker parts of the human and Christian journey, without fatalism or despair, and with a sure sense of ultimate hope and redemption. The Rev Tim Hurd is Priest in Charge of St Luke’s Anglican Church, Oamaru.
F R O M T H E FA R S I D E
Imogen de la Bere reflects on a week of shame when the naked truth of English society spilled over into looting and rampage
rom the very top of our house we had a splendid view of the flames as they leapt above the tree tops on the opposite hill. Great booms and cracks were accompanied by upshootings of sparks, like the most enormous and long-lived firework. The whole sky seemed alight, but it was only the Sports’ Centre above the Golf Course, set alight by some opportunistic vandals anxious not to miss out on the fun being had by their contemporaries in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Cambridge, Bristol, Gloucester… It was a small crime, and in ordinary times the locals would have tutted and got on with squabbling about its replacement. But these are not ordinary times in England. For a few days it felt as if all certainty of law and order had melted away, that civilisation itself had finally collapsed, and the barbarians were not at the gates but running, raging out of control, through the cities. Then the rain fell and the batons came out and 3000 young people, out for wild times and some free stuff, were filing, shuffling and hooded, before the courts – all chance of a decent job consumed in one night of unfettered freedom. The rains fall, but the fires have burnt
away pretensions and made the English face the naked truth of their society. When I first came to this country, two things struck and sickened me. They still do, even though I have become inured to them. One was the obscenity of the reward the rich took for themselves and gave to their kind, which, coupled with the sycophantic worship of money from all corners of society, meant that money has became the absolute yardstick of everything. A famous artist is massively rewarded, and because money is the measure of everything, the less famous is less rich and therefore less respected. This is coupled with the “winner takes all” approach of this society to reward – whereby one writer gets a six-figure advance for a book, while the other 40 similar writers, who are not number one, are lucky to get anything. There’s no room for the brilliant poet starving in a garret. If he is brilliant, he cannot be poor. The inequity is eyewatering. I accept that the CEO of my company should be better rewarded than I am – but by a factor of forty? And secondly, the worship of money and its corollary, the contempt for those who do not have it, means that those professions which are not well paid –
notably teachers and priests – are not respected either. If you cannot be a poor but brilliant artist, neither can you be a humble but wonderful teacher. If you are poorly paid, you are a loser. And as society does not respect teachers or priests, so children have no respect for them either, and by extension for other adults in that capacity. I have been stunned and dumbfounded by the rudeness of children and young people, on the occasions when I have been persuaded to run drama workshops for the young. I called for silence and attention – essential to do any work . A boy of 11 from a decent home said, “Says who?” The Press salivates over money and the lives of the rich. The politicians are themselves millionaires and can tap into massive rewards by virtue of their office (take a quick look at Tony Blair). English society has grown to accord respect in terms of money. But the division of money is grossly inequitable. Vast hordes of young people have no money and no legal means of getting any. Would anyone wonder that they riot? Imogen de la Bere is a Kiwi writer living near Londonin firstname.lastname@example.org
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