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SPRING 2017 // No.55

Taonga ANGLICAN

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Building on our assets

Paul Gilberd challenges Christians to crack the housing crisis MINISTRY

Helping farmers thrive

Meet Doug Avery: a man with a mission in rural mental health

PEOPLE

Facing the future Bishop Eleanor Sanderson joins the lead in Wellington S P R I N G

PACIFIC YOUTH AVERT DISASTER : : LISTENING IN FAITH : : RAISING MANIAVA

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ANGLICAN TAONGA

SPRING 2017

PEOPLE

New bishop

for the deep south

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he Rev Dr Steven Benford has been elected as the next Bishop of Dunedin. Bishop-elect Steven, who is 56, comes to Aotearoa from his role as vicar of St Joseph the Worker, Northolt, in the Diocese of London, where he was also a Bishops’ Advisor for Ministry, a new incumbents’ ministry mentor and spiritual director. Though originally from the UK, Dr Benford’s appointment signals a return to New Zealand for the qualified doctor who worked in Otago in the early 1990s, and for his wife Lorraine who was born in Dunedin. “Steven is a very warm and engaging priest with a heart for mission,” said Archbishop Philip at the time of the new bishop’s announcement.

Our challenge is to engage in the love Christ has for the world, and to make that real in the community.

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“He will be sadly missed in Northolt, whose people speak highly of his leadership, hard work and creativity.” “Steven also brings his experience of holding two vocations together, which is a real gift for us in Aotearoa New Zealand.” Steven Benford’s career has been shaped by a dual vocation to ministry and medicine. For 29 years he served as a medical doctor, specialising in anaesthetics since 1990. Steven’s medical career initially took him to Leicester, Leeds and Gibraltar. Then in the early 1990s, he and Lorraine – who grew up in Gore – brought their young family to live in southern New Zealand. From 1991-95 Steven worked as a GP in Oamaru, where he also established a free clinic and worked a day each week at Dunedin Hospital. In 1996, Steven returned to the UK and entered ministry discernment in the Diocese of York, where he was ordained in 2000. For four years he served as a curate in a three-church rural cluster, while remaining a full-time specialist at Friarage Hospital, Northallerton in Yorkshire. In 2003 Steven travelled to Baghdad to work with a medical NGO after the allied invasion of Iraq. Later, he joined medical teams in Haiti, following the 2010 and 2014 earthquakes. Steven arrives in the diocese in September 2017 with a commitment to “find where God is already at work, and to

look for where the church is offering loving service to the community.” Speaking with Archbishop Philip in a video interview, Bishop-elect Steven picked up the mssion focus of three petitions from Dunedin’s diocesan prayer: which asks God to make the region’s Anglicans ‘joyful in worship, united in witness and courageous in service.’ Affirming his commitment to those three starting points, Bishop-elect Steven unpacked each one: “Worship is very important to me. We too often lock ourselves away to worship, but it needs to be something that is infectious. Joy in worship should be infectious.” “I’m looking for unity in the diocese, but that doesn’t mean uniformity.” “We are not going to be clones. “I’m not looking to mould the diocese in my own image, but looking to help make it more like Jesus Christ.” “Finally, we need courage. We need courage to go out into the world, to acknowledge that we are Christian, and that we believe in the God that loves us.” said Bishop-elect Steve. “We have to take the message that God loves us to a world that looks at fires,(speaking soon after Grenfell) and disasters, and looks at pain and hurt, and says ‘What is the meaning of this?’” “I think our challenge is to engage in the love Christ has for the world, and to make that real in the community.” In the next issue we'll report on Steven's ordination as Bishop of Dunedin, at St Paul's Cathedral Dunedin on 22 September 2017.


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SPIRITUALITY

28 Spirituality: Adrienne Thompson welcomes God in guest and host

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Bishop Eleanor strengthens Wellington’s vision There was a deep sense of rejoicing.

Wellington Anglicans gathered on June 2 to celebrate the Rt Rev Dr Eleanor Sanderson’s ordination as Assistant Bishop of Wellington – in a two-hour festival Eucharist full of colour, symbol and song in the Cathedral of St Paul.

Taonga editor Julanne Clarke-Morris witnessed the ordination, then quizzed Bishop Eleanor on how she’s keeping the diocese focused on their vision: ‘We are family, we are disciples, we care for the last, the lost and the least.’

ishop Victoria Matthews summed it up: “There was a deep sense of rejoicing, and a coming together of all ages and stages of the Christian journey,” she reflected. “Like the church on pilgrimage.” The numbers certainly stacked up. As many as 900 of Bishop Eleanor Sanderson’s diocesan and three-tikanga Anglican family turned up for the ordination, alongside 10 bishops from Tikanga Maori and Pakeha. Archbishop Winston Halapua and Archbishop Philip Richardson presided over the Eucharist, which was a feast uniting every facet of diocesan life. “We wanted to make it about family,” says Bishop Eleanor. “In this diocese, when we say ‘we are family’ it isn’t lip service; we are trying to live that in all we do.” Bishop Eleanor believes thinking of ‘church as family’ has changed how Wellington clergy and churches work together. “We have moved out of the silos approach, where each church works on their own distinct goals,” she says. “Now we are training people as clusters. We are doing youth ministry together. We are working creatively and collaboratively in new mission – together.” Wellington has also shifted to a familycentred mode for its annual ministry leaders training, which intentionally brings together lay and ordained ministry leaders and their families. The diocese is working towards

Bishop Eleanor receives the bishops' laying on of hands in ordination.

a new norm where diocesan events see business sessions and specialist training alongside programmes designed to welcome and engage children and youth. This year’s synod theme will be the last, the lost and the least. “We will focus on synod as call: a call to people to come in their human-ness, and to look ahead together at how we live into Jesus’ language and call to life with the last, lost and least.” Bishop Eleanor says. Leonard Cohen’s 1992 song Anthem captures the synod theme: ‘Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in...’ “That is about us recognising that whoever we are, we come into this Christcentred community in our own ‘last-ness’, our ‘least-ness’ in the kingdom, or our ‘lostness’ in the world,” Bishop Eleanor says. A well-known spiritual home Though new to the helm of the diocese, Bishop Eleanor is no stranger to Wellington. Up until three months ago, she was vicar of Eastbourne and chaplain to Wellesley Anglican Boys’ College (from 2013-17). Before that, she ministered in Wellington diocese for 16 years, 11 as priest. Bishop ‘Ellie’ (as she is also known) holds Masters’ degrees in theology and development studies and a PhD in geography, in which she explored the intersection between community

She empowers people who are often invisible: women, children and people of all ethnicities.

Sensing God’s presence in every realm

development and Christian spirituality, through case studies of a Melanesian Anglican parish in Fiji and a Mothers' Union group in rural Tanzania. Pastor Amy Whiting preached at Bishop Eleanor’s ordination service, zeroing in on the new bishop’s gift of drawing people in from the edges. “She is wired with a deep and inclusive love,” said Pastor Amy. “One of Ellie’s distinctive graces is that she sees, empowers, and amplifies the voices of people who are often invisible – women, children and people of all ethnicities.” Bishop Eleanor’s emphasis on the margins is a close fit with diocesan priorities. Since becoming assistant bishop, she has added her own voice to diocesan work highlighting the housing crisis, speaking alongside people struggling with housing to address a crowd of up to 600 at a forum in St Paul’s Cathedral. Five political parties also showcased their housing policy directions at the forum, cohosted by Bishop Eleanor, Bishop Justin and the Roman Catholic Cardinal, John Dew. Bishop Eleanor also helped front ‘Tip of the Iceberg,’ an anti-human-trafficking

Max Whitaker chronicles a pathway in his journey towards faith whose twists and turns have landed him in otherworldly places of beauty, solitude and wonder.

There is no place in existence where God does not speak.

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healing, even if I did not fully understand it yet. There was something mystical and peaceful there too. Many years later I ended up on the tropical Island of Besaid, and experienced a similar tranquillity in the local temple whose cool interior was filled with haunting choral music and statues of saints. Just to stand there and absorb the atmosphere was life changing in some way. Whenever I hear the hymn that choir was singing, I am back there, and at peace. The grand transcendent architecture in the temple in Vivic, in the volcanic and barren landscape of north east Tamriel, could not have been further from the simplicity of Besaid, but it too captivated

solving problems, exploring and making decisions, even ethical ones. In Ultima IV for example, it was impossible to complete the game without cultivating virtues of humility, sacrifice and justice. I was challenged as a child to consider what these virtues meant – through a game. What it meant to live by this code was as real to me as the challenge of any sermon. In more modern games the emphasis has moved onto spectacular graphics and sound, and it is here that the architect of imaginary spaces, and the composer could begin to speak. Or is it that God begins to speak through them? Like it or not, computer games are the literature for many people growing up and growing old in the 21st century. This is what fires their imaginations, engages their emotions, and it is where questions about the meaning of life begin to percolate. It should be no surprise then that God can speak through this genre. There is no place in existence where God does not speak. All art works and human creativity have the potential to point towards the divine. Yet people are suspicious of the newest innovation: be it comic books, electric guitars, or video games. Remember when organs in churches were looked on with great suspicion? If you are a gamer yourself, you probably know what I am talking about. If you are not, then next time you see gamers on their couch, surrounded by empty pizza boxes, ask yourself… could God be speaking to them through that screen and that soundtrack? The Rev Dr Max Whitaker works as an Anglican priest and chaplain in Dunedin.

More cultures on the move

Those with

ears to hear

Pastoral theologian the Rev Dr Lynne Baab says we could share the Word better by opening our ears and shutting our mouths. If we spent less ministry time talking, she says, we’d get much more of God’s work done.

Before we can care, we first have to listen.

mrmaxwhitaker@gmail.com Note 1. Skara Brae is a ruined Neolithic village in Scotland, but this is not the one I visited.

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magine your church has a community garden, one that’s open to anyone in the neighborhood. A new family from India is growing vegetables in one corner, and you enjoy helping them figure out what grows best here in their new setting. As you pull weeds beside them, you hear about their arrival in New Zealand and the challenges they face here. As the conversation evolves, they share their problems navigating the medical system, so together you figure out what to do. As you listen to these newcomers to New Zealand, you aim to help with their practical needs, reflecting Christ’s love in your listening and your actions. What is happening here? Is it pastoral care? Or is it local mission? The answer must be “both,” and this overlap of pastoral care and mission creates new and deeper needs for Christian listening skills. When I trained for ministry several decades ago, my lecturers taught us listening skills for use in two main ways: First, listening skills were necessary for

pastoral care within a congregation. We would need active listening skills to provide care for the deep psychological needs of parishioners, and present the ways the Christian faith might address those needs. For that, the carer would need to listen to what was going on in the person’s life. Second, lecturers mentioned the importance of listening in cross-cultural situations in foreign missions. For ministry students with no intention of serving overseas, cross-cultural listening skills seemed irrelevant. Back then, local mission was not really on the radar when considering what congregations were called to do. Today, listening skills are necessary in all areas of church life – and for all people in the church. People in formal ministry roles need good listening skills, but now, so does anyone who wants to participate in parish life. Here are some reasons for the change:

Shifting mission fields We know that mission happens both overseas and at home. We are invited into God’s mission every day of our lives. When Jesus

As well as negotiating relationships between the cultures long-since in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, the rest of the world is coming to us. One quarter of people living in New Zealand were born elsewhere, and in Auckland that figure is 39%. New Zealand has one of the highest percentages of foreign-born residents in the world. When we talk with migrant residents in our neighborhoods and cities, we are forming relationships where pastoral care and mission merge together. We listen and care because God cares, and God has brought people from all over the world to us.

Cultures of non-belief Our secular society creates new listening challenges. Every day we encounter people who don’t believe in God – or who believe vaguely in a distant, far away God. How will we understand their values, priorities and concerns unless we listen? Every day we have the opportunity to show care for people like Jesus did. Jesus listened with great intensity to a wide range of people, and we have the opportunity to do that, following his model.

Pastoring to one another In our time, much pastoral care happens in relationships between parishioners, perhaps in small group meetings in a home, or while doing dishes after a parish dinner. There was a time when the minister was expected to do the pastoral care. Now we know that pastoral care happens any time parishioners provide care for each other, and caring always builds on the foundation of listening. Because the world is coming to us, and because a growing number of people live in a culture of no faith commitment, we need to listen to understand what other people think

Rev Dr Lynne Baab at Otago University where she taught pastoral theology for a decade.

and feel and believe. Because all members of a parish are called to care for each other, we need to listen to find out what’s going on in other people’s lives. Here are three small steps to lift your listening skills:

The mission field has shifted – now all listening is cross-cultural.

Aim to grow in empathy As you listen, pay close attention to the cues the other person is giving about how they think and feel about their situation: such as body language, tone of voice and words about feelings.

Check you have the right cues Reflect back what you think the other person is saying or feeling. Not only in counselling situations, but when you are working to understand another in ordinary conversation. Pay special attention to your own inner thoughts and feelings that might make you want to cut listening short: such as feeling pressured to get something done, feeling worried you won't know how to respond, or wanting to jump into your own story about a similar thing that happened to you.

Take the extra step One additional suggestion comes out of my observation of conversations in recent years. Many people do a great job asking a question that shows they care. “How's your knee after the surgery?” “How's your sister doing after her husband's death?” I've noticed many Kiwi Christians don't seem

comfortable asking follow up questions, such as: How is that for you? How do you feel about that? Or even,What are your hopes and fears in this situation? What are you praying for about this? Ultimately we want to make space for people to talk about where they are experiencing God (or their sense of the holy or sacred) in the situation. Usually it is too direct to ask about God or prayer as the first follow-up question, but we will never get to that depth if we don't learn to ask good questions. Look at the way Jesus interacted with people. In what ways would you like to be more like him in your interactions with the people inside and outside your church community? In what ways might some effort in developing listening skills help you to be more like him? Rev Dr Lynne Baab recently retired from her position as Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the University of Otago. Her book on listening is entitled The Power of Listening: Building Skills for Mission and Ministry. Lynne blogs and lists her publications on the website below. www.lynnebaab.com

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R E AC H I N G FA M I L I E S

36 Environment: Phillip Donnell unmasks the growth fetish

Anglican Taonga is published by the Commission on Communications and distributed to all ministry units and agencies of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia – Te Haahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni ki nga Moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa.

sides. As a child, I wandered into one of these little churches to be confronted in the dimly lit interior by a grey hooded monk offering healing. That image of healing and peace amongst the hustle, bustle and danger stuck with me for many years. Later, when I moved to Sosaria, I encountered pilgrims moving from shrine to shrine seeking to cultivate virtues of honesty, humility, justice, sacrifice and compassion. Once again, I could sense the connection with this monk’s offer of

prays for his followers, he says, “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). The Latin word for “sent” is missio, the word from which we get “mission” and “missionary.” If we are sent as Jesus was sent, then we are called to love people from all walks of life. We are called to cross boundaries of culture and religion, and as Kiwi society becomes more diverse, we are called to do that every day. Crossing those boundaries requires listening skills, because unless we listen, we cannot know what is going on in another person’s life.

What it meant to live by this code was as real to me as the challenge of any sermon.

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RURAL RESILIENCE

43 The Far Side: Imogen de la Bere searches for Jesus in geopolitics

hough now I am a priest in the Anglican Church, this is not where my journey began. Looking back, perhaps it first set out when I was a small boy in the town square of Skara Brae. Skara Brae is an ancient city with stone buildings leaning over little cobbled alley ways. The town square is one of the few places where you can look up and really see the sky. It is most memorable for the tiny identical churches which line all four

me, and helped my imagination soar. All of these places offered something numinous and otherworldly. Perhaps God was speaking to me in the teachings I overheard, in the music, in the statues and icons, and the startling architecture. There is nothing unusual in any of this of course. Many people have been moved by similar experiences, and found God as they travelled the world and explored other cultures. Perhaps the only surprising thing then, is that none of these places exist. At least not in the conventional sense. Skara Brae1, Sosaria, Besaid and Tamriel exist only in computer games: in The Bard’s Tale, Ultima IV, Final Fantasy X and Morrowind, all composed from gamers’ imaginations. Am I serious then, when I say that God spoke to me as I entered these imaginary worlds? It is little surprise to catch hints of the divine in a great art work, or a masterpiece novel, or a classical symphony, or in the architecture of a cathedral… but to say the same about a video game would strike many as absurd. Videogames have only recently become the subject of serious academic study: but then it’s not long since people scoffed at the thought of film studies, or doing a PhD on a television show. But along with movies and TV, video games are the art and literature of an upcoming generation. Most will never go to the ballet, or to the theatre… but many will wander through those same imaginary landscapes I have. What is it that moves people to ask the questions that lead them to God? Do great art and architecture cause us to marvel at how such beauty could exist? Is it haunting, uplifting, or poignant music which pulls our heart to places we never knew existed? Is it the reminder that there is something beyond ourselves, which leads us to search for meaning and ask how we should live our lives? At times I have found all of these in gaming. From the early 1980s, when I played The Bard’s Tale on an Apple II, through to the Elder Scrolls on a PS4. Of course 1980s computer game graphics and sound were very simplistic, but the conceptual ideas of the works created in that era made up for it. These were not games which won by just shooting and killing, (which regrettably is a popular genre) but by

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42 Film: John Bluck clings to small mercies at Dunkirk

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Shutterstock / Triff

Edith Apperley and Toby Champion help their new bishop at the altar. Worshippers at Wellington's Cathedral of St Paul applaud their new bishop.

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MISSION

PEOPLE

26 Children: Jacolize Becker sports a new way of doing church

SPRING 2017

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C YCLONE REBUILD

"If you'd seen this place back then..." Doug tells Bonavaree's story. Doug and Wendy Avery at home in Marlborough's Ward district.

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reaching the peaks To stay resilient you need constant innovation.

In Marlborough’s Ward district Last year Archbishop Philip Richardson issued there’s a farmer who will be a powerful ally as we go. General Synod with a warning: stay vigilant, he said, to help halt the tragic toll of He’s Doug Avery who last year was introduced to Taonga Editor suicide in our rural communities. Julanne Clarke-Morris by the Rev Dawn Daunauda, vicar of Awatere Anglicans on the rural frontline Christian Joint Venture. echoed his call: we need every resource we have to care better, Julanne tagged along with a group they said, because we don’t want any more farmers arriving at church of visiting Scottish Young Farmers for a tour of the Avery’s farm, to hear in caskets way before their time. all about Doug’s mission to avert our national crisis in rural mental All that means our Church is in the market for any help we can muster health. for rural Kiwis.

wenty years ago Doug and Wendy Avery went through the worst drought to ever strike their Marlborough farm. The ground dried up and cracked, the grass withered beneath the animals’ feet, and with every day that passed without rain their business future looked bleaker. Doug didn’t realise it at the time, but that launched a depression that knocked him sideways for five years. As he waited for the rain that never came, dark clouds were forming on Doug’s horizon. “…It looked like this place was a goner. I’d be the generation that lost the farm – after everything my father and grandfather had put in,” he said. “But you don’t think that you have depression. You think, ‘No, not round here. Not somebody like me.’ “But you know what? I did. “If you’d known the stuff we had to deal with back then: the drought, the fires, the debt – you’d have wondered why we stayed.” But Doug and Wendy did stay. They got the farm back together and today ‘Bonavaree’ runs hundreds of hectares in stock, and rates amongst New Zealand’s top 2-3% of sheep and beef producers. But getting there was no quick or easy road. *

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When Doug first owned up to his depression, he leant on the fact that no one burnt John Kirwan at the stake for admitting

Bonavaree's fields of gold that turned green. Photo: SYF/Peter Moss.

to his depression. But he never thought he’d be talking about it so often. “I have learnt so much about working in that space, especially with men, with stoic old fools like I was. “The depression had hardened me so that I excluded everyone. “I ended up with only one person left in my life. “And I reckon if I’d succeeded in getting rid of Wendy, the next day I’d have woken up and realised there was nothing left to live for. “You talk about the other half? Well Wendy, she’s the big half.” *

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Doug and Wendy have been married for 41 years. They have three adult children, including their son Fraser who now runs Bonavaree. For years, Wendy has been a hands-on business partner in the farm. There were days during the drought when Wendy kept Doug putting one foot in front of the other. Doug’s depression had convinced him that the world was against him, that there was little point to anything he could do. That’s when Wendy reminded him they had to keep going: for each other, for the children and even for the stock – looking back, not a single animal suffered. Back then it was pretty tough going for Wendy too. “But I guess you could say that in my spirituality I found an inner peace.” “I had a deep sense of faith that I was

Caption here...

The questions I was getting were 90% emotional issues, and 10% farming issues.

Sweaty Church gets families on their feet at St Paul's York in 2013.

Harold Koi – file photo taken in December 2016, as members of the TYE dig foundations for the church.

able to hold onto. I have my parents to thank for that.” Wendy suspects she wouldn’t have been too far behind Doug if it hadn’t been for that deeply embedded kernel of peace – that sense of trust in God’s presence no matter what. So in the dark times, it was Wendy who kept the faith. There’s a hint of irony in that, because if Doug had let religion get in the way, Wendy wouldn’t have been in his life at all. That’s because Wendy was brought up Catholic. And for some in Doug’s very faithful Methodist family, that was a big problem. When Doug’s grandma heard his girlfriend was Catholic, she made it clear this girl would just not do. Doug would have to let her go. Up till that day, Doug had no beef with his Methodist upbringing. But that changed overnight. “That was it for me. Her blindness to her own prejudices ended it for me.” “She didn’t realise what she was doing. I was in love.” And if Wendy was Catholic, Doug figured there just couldn’t be anything wrong with that. Later after Doug and Wendy married and

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Churches sport a new style Jacolize Becker vouches for a fresh expression of church where children and families can jump into faith with both body and soul.

It helps children learn kinesthetically – with their whole bodies.

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here’s an emerging form of church with a difference: Sweaty Church. Named after its physically active style, Sweaty Church is all about families playing, learning and exploring faith together in an energetic worship service characterized by physical activity. Team games, competitions and aerobics join songs and intentional discussions that explore biblical themes through sports-related topics such as: teamwork, discipline, using your head and being a good winner or loser.

In the beginning In 2009 a team at St Paul’s York began tracking the rise in numbers of young people taking part in Sunday morning sport. Both children of church families and those ‘on the fringe’ were struggling to engage with the morning family service, not only in terms of clashing schedules, but in terms of learning style.

The St Paul’s team realised they needed to try something new. It was no good photocopying the family service and relocating it elsewhere in the week. They needed to think imaginatively about the learning needs of these families. The result was Sweaty Church, a rather tongue-in-cheek name inspired by Messy Church. Instead of using craft as a connection and community-building point, they tried games, sports and activities. They wondered about calling it ‘Sporty Church’ but realised that not every child enjoys competitive sport, though most like getting active. Sweaty Church relies on kinaesthetic learning – learning by doing. Although church youth clubs or camps have often used games and sports, Sweaty Church does something new by making that the primary space for Christian teaching. Originally designed to engage seven to eleven year-old boys, Sweaty Church

was equally popular with girls, and younger siblings got swept along in the fun. All the children responded to an active and energetic space where they could stand up and engage their bodies rather than sit down and quieten their minds. Sweaty Church in York grew so rapidly it began to engage many families with no previous church connection. Other churches picked up the idea and soon there were 20+ Sweaty Churches across the UK. Often organised by individual churches, Sweaty Church also grew out of churches working together. Its Bible-based sessions zero in on sporting themes such as winning and losing, helping others, wisdom and perseverance, or calendar events such

as Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Last UK summer, 130 people attended a weekend residential ‘Sweaty Church Camp’. The Richards are one family that came to faith through Sweaty Church. A regular churchgoing family invited them along when their two sons were aged 9 and 11. The whole family loved it. The activities appealed to the sport-mad boys, and the parents were drawn in as they participated together. They became increasingly involved, both parents made a Christian commitment – and the Dad now works for the church. As Sweaty Church grew, the organisers connected with Scripture Union UK, becoming National Mission Partners, which meant SU professionally developed Sweaty Church resources for publication. Today Sweaty Church has begun in church schools, where it covers parts of the RE and PE curriculum, as well as engaging parents by bringing them into the school to join in with their children. ‘What a great way to get fit in our faith!’ said the Archbishop of York, Most Rev Dr John Sentamu on his first visit recently. “I pray that Sweaty Church will go from strength to strength and that we will see more lives being transformed by this

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encounter with Jesus.”

How do we get started? A Sweaty Church only needs a team of 4 or 5 individuals to get going. There are no fees to pay and leaders can find basic equipment without too much expense. There’s no rule about how often Sweaty Church happens, and you don’t need to be a great sportsperson to run it. Sweaty Church session plans are easy to purchase from the Scripture Union UK website and cost only 1 pound per session. In June this year Sweaty Church was launched in Aotearoa at the annual Scripture Union Way2Go Children’s Ministry Conference, and in Nelson at their Way2Go Focus Day in September. If you are interested in setting up Sweaty Church please get in touch. Jacolize Becker is the Children and Family Ministries Facilitator for the Diocese of Auckland. You can contact her about Sweaty Church via her email below.

Raising

the rafters At Maniava, they're well on the way with the building that will become the crowning glory of the koro – the never-so-aptly named Church of the Resurrection.

ee this guy in red? Meet Harold Koi: the Suva-based builder who, since February, has been living in a tent in Maniava and freely giving his time to lead the rebuilding of the koro. You’ll remember that Maniava is a remote Anglican koro high in the hills in the province of Ra, in the north of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island, where they lost just about everything when Cyclone Winston shrieked across Fiji on February 20 last year. In the time that Harold has been camping at Maniava, he and his ‘boys’ – labourers

Archbishop Winston stands behind the pile of hardwood timber which will be used to fashion timber trusses for the Church of the Resurrection in Maniava. He's flanked by Fr Orisi Vuki (right) and Fr Siosifa Tongaia, from Footscray, in the Diocese of Melbourne. This shot was taken in a Nausori timber yard. The hardwood has now been trucked to Maniava. Trevor Whippy

jacolizeb@auckanglican.org.nz

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Walls go up for the koro's new Church of the Resurrection. Trevor Whippy

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from the koro – have built 10 simple, yet cyclone-proof houses, and they’re well on the way with the never-so-aptly named Church of the Resurrection. When that church is complete, it will not only be the crowning glory of the koro, but it will also serve as a community cyclone shelter. The concrete slab is down, the reinforced walls and columns are up – and that just leaves the roof to pitch. Where that’s concerned, Harold yearns to do something a bit special. So, when worshippers in the Church of the Resurrection raise their eyes, their spirits are elevated, too. A couple of months ago, Fr Orisi Vuki, who is the Archdeacon of Suva & Ovalau, and diocesan Vicar General, was in Maniava, and Harold and Fr Orisi got talking. What Harold really wanted, he told Fr Orisi, were a dozen 6m lengths of 300mm X 100mm vesi, which is a prized Fijian hardwood, which in the old days was the timber the ratu, the chiefs chose for building their houses. Vesi is a rich timber: dark, close-grained – and it’s strong, true and long-lasting: in other words, it’s everything you’d hope for in

When he responded to that call, he laid down his birthright.

a house of worship. But if you took an order for 12 lengths of vesi in those dimensions to a sawmill today, said Harold, that could set you back FJ$10,000. That’s when Fr Orisi stepped up to the plate. “Leave it to me,” he said. *

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Here’s the back story: Fr Orisi has been a priest since 2003. And when he responded to that calling, way back in 1990, he laid down his birth right. Orisi Vuki comes from Lekutulevu, which is a koro in the remote interior of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s sparsely populated second island. There are no roads into that village. You either walk in, ride a horse, or bounce in by 4WD. It so happens that Orisi Vuki’s father, Ratu Leone Vuki, was the chief of that village.

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Bishop Eleanor empowers her flock to care for the last, the lost and the least

Lynne Baab tunes in to the evangelical art of listening

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Pacific Anglicans train storm-ready communities before disaster hits

Meet the Marlborough farmer with a mission in rural mental health

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Max Whitaker discovers God’s design in otherworldly realms

Katie Marcar takes an identity check: Kiwi? American? Or none of the above?

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Editor Julanne Clarke-Morris 786 Cumberland Street Otepoti – Dunedin 9016 Ph 03 477-1556 julanneclarkemorris@gmail.com Design Marcus Thomas Design info@marcusthomas.co.nz

Media Officer Lloyd Ashton Ph 09 521-4439 021 348-470 mediaofficer@anglicanchurch.org.nz.

Cover: Bishop Eleanor Sanderson blesses crowds of well-wishers at her ordination as Assistant Bishop of Wellington this June.

Facing the future

Mind the map

Out of this world

When is a house a home? Paul Gilberd challenges Kiwi Christians to tip the scales on homelessness

With ears to hear

Don’t fence me in

On being strangers

Raising the rafters Maniava’s Resurrection Church makes ready to rise again

For the latest on the Anglican world, check out our website:

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‘Preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season...’ Tonga’s first as-of-right bishop has shown innovative ways to fulfil that command.

Polynesia elects

‘Afa for Tonga

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A door which had always been locked – has now been swung open.

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Top: Bishop-elect 'Afa Vaka. Above: Standing in front of the mobile pulpit are: Bishop-elect 'Afa, Archbishop Winston, Rev Hepisipa Tohi, and Mr Maka Tohi.

1950, and comes from a family with deep Anglican roots – four members of the Vaka family have been priested, and two more will be ordained soon. ‘Afa graduated from St Andrew’s High School (Tonga’s Anglican college) as head boy in 1970 – and immediately returned to help out as a volunteer woodwork teacher. He left St Andrew's for good, as principal, in 2002. Along the way, ‘Afa picked up qualifications in woodwork and industrial arts from the Waikato and Christchurch Technical Institutes – he set up an industrial arts department at the school – and his Bachelor of Education from the University of the South Pacific. In 1993 ‘Afa began part-time study towards a Master’s in Divinity from Tonga’s Faith Seminary, which he completed when he resigned from St Andrew’s. In 2003, he took up a scholarship to St John’s College in Auckland. He was ordained a deacon at ‘Ofa ki he Laumalie Ma’oni’oni Anglican Church in Otahuhu (Holy Trinity Otahuhu) later that same year, priested in 2004, and graduated with his Bachelor of Theology (Auckland) in 2005. On his return to Tonga in 2006 ‘Afa was appointed Enabler for Tonga’s Anglican Training Centre. He completed his doctorate through Faith Seminary in 2009, and since 2010

he’s served at St Barnabas Church in Mataika. Bishop ‘Afa has a zeal for evangelism – “we should participate in evangelism on a daily basis”, he wrote in his candidate statement – and he expresses that passion in innovative ways. For the last two years, for instance, Fr ‘Afa has broadcast weekly sermons. He’s not afraid to preach in the front lines, either. For years, Tonga has been plagued by violence after school rugby matches. ‘Afa’s response? He’s screwed a big red loudspeaker to the roof of his car, and had: ‘mobile pulpit’ sign-written on his car doors. He regularly heads out to the highways and hedgerows to proclaim the Good News – and if he hears that trouble has broken out between schools, ‘Afa drives straight into no-man’s land, hops out of his car, grabs his microphone, and begins preaching. That’s a practice he intends to continue as bishop. “My heart is warm,” says Archbishop Winston. “I can’t think of any other bishop in the world who would do that. “But that’s ‘Afa. I salute him.” Fr ‘Afa’s wife Seini died in 2010. They have five children and six grandchildren – who were on hand to see their grandad ordained and installed as Bishop in Tonga on September 17 at St Paul’s Nuku’alofa.

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t his episcopal retreat in July, Bishop-elect ‘Afa Vaka hunted for words to describe how Tongan Anglicans felt about the decision to establish Tonga as an episcopal unit: “It’s like a door has been locked for a long time,” he told Archbishop Philip Richardson . “And now that door has been swung open.” ‘Afa Vaka, who is a student of the Anglican story in the Kingdom, says that synod resolution is the fulfilment of a decades-long yearning among Tongan Anglicans for greater autonomy – and for greater mana in their kingdom, which is the world’s only constitutionally-Methodist monarchy. Once the Diocese of Polynesia finally resolved to establish Tonga as a bishopric – at its diocesan synod in early May – it didn’t muck around. The diocesan standing committee met as an electoral college on June 18 and it nominated ‘Afa for Tonga and Henry Bull for Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Both names sailed through the approval process – and Archbishop Winston declared both men elected on July 5. ‘Afa, who was most recently Vicar of St Barnabas, Mataika, was born in July


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Henry heads out

on the highways, byways – and seaways

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rchdeacon Henry Bull, who will be ordained as the next Bishop in Vanua Levu and Taveuni in December, has much in common with the first followers of Jesus Christ. Because, like Andrew, Peter, James and John, Henry gets around his territory in an open boat. Around the parish of Dreketi – where Henry is priest in charge – roads are few and far between. So he depends on a 23-foot boat to visit families living up and down the Dreketi River – or out along the remote coast beyond the river mouth. And on Sunday mornings, the boat becomes a taxi, ferrying families to church. Henry was born in 1956, grew up around Dreketi – and his love for the people of that territory is such that he’s asked if he can base himself there as a bishop. “I praise God for that,” says Archbishop Winston. “That’s what we mean when we say: Moana leadership. Be a leader in your own context.” He says Henry’s election is crucial “because we don’t have any specialists in rural ministry: leaders who can speak with a deep, deep heart of love to the seafarers, to the coastal fishing people and to the lonely people in the interior.”

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Church is everything to Henry now – but it didn’t make much impression on him as a kid. Neither did school. So, in 1973, at the age of 15, he signed on with the logging and sawmilling company his grandad had established. It was in a logging camp, in 1985, that everything changed for Henry. “This brother came in to select logs for veneering. He was a very good country singer, and in the evening, he’d join us around the kava bowl.

Parish transport, Dreketi-style.

was ordained as a deacon. He was priested in 2000, and made an archdeacon in 2008. *

Bishop-elect Henry Bull.

“Then he started telling us Bible stories… “And we were like little children. “As this man talked, I saw what Jesus did for me on the cross. “He invited us to say a prayer: ‘Lord, I trust you. I believe what you did for me…’ Henry prayed that prayer – and the next morning he felt transformed: “Everything I saw was beautiful,” he says. “And I had such a love for people.” *

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But by the time of the 1987 coup, Henry had backslidden. That’s when he almost ripped his leg off with a chainsaw. Henry survived, somehow – and this time, there was no turning back. Whenever opportunity arose, he’d share his testimony. He’d sing. He’d lead meetings, pray for people – and in 1991, Bishop Jabez Bryce licensed him as a lay evangelist. In the 1990s, Henry led the building of the Church of the Holy Cross, Dreketi. In 1998 he sensed God was calling him into full-time ministry, and in 1999 Henry

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“My dream,” Henry says, “is to see each person know the love of God. “Because I’ve seen that it’s only when we understand how much love God has for us… that we can reflect that love. We love because He loved us first.” “This grace… is not human love. It’s a love that has no limitation. It doesn’t only love lovely people – it reaches out to the darkest places. “I tell my church: God is not only here because we worship here. The Holy Spirit is out there in the world, and love is drawing people. Love is always working. All the time. “God does not have love: He is love.” Henry and his wife Alumita have six children – and have opened their home to dozens more. Henry will be ordained and installed as the Bishop in Vanua Levu and Taveuni on December 10 at St Thomas, Labasa.

Henry survived, somehow. And this time, there was no turning back.

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Bishop Eleanor strengthens Wellington’s vision There was a deep sense of rejoicing.

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Wellington Anglicans gathered on June 2 to celebrate the Rt Rev Dr Eleanor Sanderson’s ordination as Assistant Bishop of Wellington – in a two-hour festival Eucharist full of colour, symbol and song in the Cathedral of St Paul.

Taonga editor Julanne Clarke-Morris witnessed the ordination, then quizzed Bishop Eleanor on how she’s keeping the diocese focused on their vision: ‘We are family, we are disciples, we care for the last, the lost and the least.’


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Edith Apperley and Toby Champion help +Eleanor at the altar. Worshippers at Wellington's Cathedral of St Paul applaud their new bishop.

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ishop Victoria Matthews summed it up: “There was a deep sense of rejoicing, and a coming together of all ages and stages of the Christian journey,” she reflected. “Like the church on pilgrimage.” The numbers certainly stacked up. As many as 900 of Bishop Eleanor Sanderson’s diocesan and three-tikanga Anglican family turned up for the ordination, alongside 10 bishops from Tikanga Maori and Pakeha. Archbishop Winston Halapua and Archbishop Philip Richardson presided over the Eucharist, which was a feast uniting every facet of diocesan life. “We wanted to make it about family,” says Bishop Eleanor. “In this diocese, when we say ‘we are family’ it isn’t lip service; we are trying to live that in all we do.” Bishop Eleanor believes thinking of ‘church as family’ has changed how Wellington clergy and churches work together. “We have moved out of the silos approach, where each church works on their own distinct goals,” she says. “Now we are training people as clusters. We are doing youth ministry together. We are working creatively and collaboratively in new mission – together.” Wellington has also shifted to a familycentred mode for its annual ministry leaders training, which intentionally brings together lay and ordained ministry leaders and their families. The diocese is working towards

Bishop Eleanor receives the bishops' laying on of hands in ordination.

a new norm where diocesan events see business sessions and specialist training alongside programmes designed to welcome and engage children and youth. This year’s synod theme will be the last, the lost and the least. “We will focus on synod as call: a call to people to come in their human-ness, and to look ahead together at how we live into Jesus’ language and call to life with the last, lost and least.” Bishop Eleanor says. Leonard Cohen’s 1992 song Anthem captures the synod theme: ‘Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in...’ “That is about us recognising that whoever we are, we come into this Christcentred community in our own ‘last-ness’, our ‘least-ness’ in the kingdom, or our ‘lostness’ in the world,” Bishop Eleanor says. A well-known spiritual home Though new to the helm of the diocese, Bishop Eleanor is no stranger to Wellington. Up until three months ago, she was vicar of Eastbourne and chaplain to Wellesley Anglican Boys’ College (from 2013-17). Before that, she ministered in Wellington diocese for 16 years, 11 as priest. Bishop ‘Ellie’ (as she is also known) holds Masters’ degrees in theology and development studies and a PhD in geography, in which she explored the intersection between community

She empowers people who are often invisible: women, children and people of all ethnicities.

development and Christian spirituality, through case studies of a Melanesian Anglican parish in Fiji and a Mothers' Union group in rural Tanzania. Pastor Amy Whiting preached at Bishop Eleanor’s ordination service, zeroing in on the new bishop’s gift of drawing people in from the edges. “She is wired with a deep and inclusive love,” said Pastor Amy. “One of Ellie’s distinctive graces is that she sees, empowers, and amplifies the voices of people who are often invisible – women, children and people of all ethnicities.” Bishop Eleanor’s emphasis on the margins is a close fit with diocesan priorities. Since becoming assistant bishop, she has added her own voice to diocesan work highlighting the housing crisis, speaking alongside people struggling with housing to address a crowd of up to 600 at a forum in St Paul’s Cathedral. Five political parties also showcased their housing policy directions at the forum, cohosted by Bishop Eleanor, Bishop Justin and the Roman Catholic Cardinal, John Dew. Bishop Eleanor also helped front ‘Tip of the Iceberg,’ an anti-human-trafficking

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Bishop of Wellington Justin Duckworth hands Bishop Eleanor her licence.

conference run by the Diocese of Wellington in conjunction with NGOs, the US Embassy, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and the NZ Police. That conference – a brainchild of St James’ Lower Hutt’s Chris Frazer – set the wheels in motion towards a New Zealandspecific modern anti-slavery law, along the lines of a law recently passed in the UK. “It is such a hidden industry, that we need to collaborate to identify and stop situations where abuse is happening,” Bishop Eleanor says. “In fact, the first human trafficking conviction in New Zealand happened after an ordinary Kiwi Christian befriended a person in slavery conditions, and came to realise the situation she was in.” Bishop Eleanor believes the ground for her new ministry has been well prepared by Bishop Justin Duckworth’s efforts to build a new diocesan culture. “He has laid the foundations that give me the freedom to be myself in this role – in a way that would not have been possible without the sacrificial work he’s done,” she

Many of the ministries in our church are like that child as yet unborn. God is birthing new things.

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L-R: Bishop of Christchurch Victoria Matthews, Bishop Eleanor Sanderson and Bishop of Waikato Helen-Ann Hartley.

said. One example of that new culture is Bishop Justin’s creation of a new role for bishops in Anglican schools. Rather than just appearing at prizegivings or big events, Wellington’s bishops more often visit schools to hear students’ ideas and questions – especially on the curly questions of life and faith. Bishop Eleanor relishes those chances to talk with students. On one of her first school visits in this new role, she responded to students’ questions, but also asked each classroom: would you say that you love yourself? The answer was sobering. “As they got older, they loved themselves a lot less,” Bishop Eleanor says. “But that question opened a conversation. That kind of exchange is where we’ll find the heartbeat of where our schools’ special character connects with students’ identity – with their sense of who they are. “We talked about journeys of faith, and of being formed in the image of God – as young women.” Bishop Justin Duckworth sees Ellie’s new role as “God-orchestrated.” “My expectation is that Ellie will challenge me to be the best I can at what I’m doing, and I will need to adapt to meet her gifting and abilities for what God calls her into,” he says. The Wellington bishops have worked in tandem over their first three months together, and from mid-September Bishop Eleanor takes up the diocesan reins while Bishop Justin goes on study leave. Bishop Justin will move to Whanganui in the New Year and continue as diocesan from there, returning to Wellington each month for a week of team meetings.

Bishop Eleanor is the first woman to serve as a bishop in Wellington and the fourth female bishop in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Homespun parable After her ordination, Bishop Eleanor came up with a parable for how the church might go forward in mission. The story dates back to when she was leading services at Wellington Cathedral while pregnant with her son, and the women of the cathedral linen guild came to her with a treasure: lengths of brocade given by the parish of Pauatahanui. To Ellie, the cloth looked like nothing more than a set of old curtains. But the women saw something entirely different. They felt the cathedral’s traditional copes, lined with lead, were too heavy for her to bear. So they wanted to make her a new lightweight cope. “It seems to me that this image is one we need to take with us,” Bishop Eleanor says. “We must be careful to share the treasures of the old – even things we can’t see have value, like that fabric looked to me. “We need to listen to our elders who may be able to show us treasures whose worth is not visible to those preparing to birth the new. “And many of the ministries in our church are like that child as yet unborn. “God is birthing new things. “At the same time, we need to listen to those who are younger than us, to the children, to the young people. They see treasure in different things. “We must make sure not to overburden them by weighing them down with fabric that is too heavy for them to bear.”


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DEVELOPMENT

“Together, we can do great things” In the wake of two category 5 cyclones1, last year’s General Synod called on the church to sharpen its response to natural disasters in the Pacific Islands. It called too, for the development of a “cadre of church community trainers” to teach disaster preparedness to parish youth groups. Lloyd Ashton has been hearing about progress on that front.

Young Anglican leaders survey the horizon at Houma, on the coast of Tongatapu.

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ixteen young Anglican leaders from around the province gathered in Tonga for two weeks this May to learn skills to help their communities adapt to climate change – and to develop resilience to climate-driven disasters. The young people – three from Fiji, two from Samoa, one from Aotearoa and 10 from Tonga – learned techniques pioneered by the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD). PaCE-SD, which operates out of the University of the South Pacific, and which describes itself as “a centre for excellence in environmental education, research and community engagement in the Pacific Island Region” has already rolled that training out to 120 communities in 15 Pacific Island nations. But the Tonga sessions (which were held at All Saints, Fasi) mark the first time

it’s been rolled out to a church group, and Professor Beth Holland, who is both the PaCE-SD Director, and the USP’s Professor of Climate Change, sees that as big step forward. Fei Tevi – who drove the adoption of Motion 13 last year2, and who got the May

“The training,” he says, “was ground breaking.”

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Some of the young leaders gathered for worship at St Paul's, Nuku'alofa.

workshops off the ground – couldn’t be more delighted with what he saw taking place: “The training,” he says, “was ground breaking.” “This was one of those moments where you can’t quite figure out what the potential benefits are… but you know they’re coming. “There’s just so much potential out there for these young people to make good change in their communities.” *

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So what, then, did the 16 young people actually learn? Well, they learned how to do a CIVA – that’s a ‘Community Integrated Vulnerability Assessment’ – and they learned how to work with GIS. That’s short for ‘Geographical Information System’. In the west, GIS is everywhere. If you use Google maps to navigate around your city, you’re using an adaptation of GIS. Urban planners in developed countries rely on GIS maps to do their work, too. We’ll get to how GIS works in the

“If this training had happened in Auckland,” he says, “it wouldn’t have even touched the surface.”

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Celebration time. Isaac Beach is the guy at left, taking the selfie.

Pacific, in a minute. But first, let’s unpack CIVA. CIVA is simply a question and answer survey, says Professor Holland – a way of systematically gathering the info which allows a community to identify its “livelihood assets” – and then to check out how vulnerable those assets are to climate stress. Let’s take an example: where does the community draw its drinking water? Rainwater stored in tanks? Boreholes? Springs? Streams? And how vulnerable would each one be, say, to drought? Or to flooding? Or to contamination? So, the community sits down with a trainer, and looks at their life on a sector-bysector basis. They consider their location (How vulnerable are we to sea-level rise, for example? Or storm surge?) their health, their homes, their access to water, food (what happens if our cassava crop is wiped out by a cyclone?) and energy, and their incomes (How vulnerable are our yaqona crops, for instance?) “They then score out their needs,” says Professor Holland. “And if the scores match their experience, then a priority will probably emerge – like putting in a clean water system, say. “So they can work with water engineers, they can work with Rotary International, they can work with the government and various NGO providers to meet that need.” All that info can then be plotted on a GIS

satellite map – so, at a glance, you can see where the problems lie. As we said, planners in the West rely on GIS maps to do their work. In the Pacific, though, planners are scarce – and GIS maps of rural territory are more or less non-existent. But Siu Jione, who is a Tongan climate scientist working at PaCE-SD in Suva – she led the training at all Saints Fasi – has developed a cut-down, easy-touse version of GIS, using open source software, that allows ordinary people to see their villages in a way they’ve never seen them before. So in Fasi, says Prof Holland, “the grandmothers sat with the young people who had more computer skills, and together they mapped their community. “Where are the houses? When the king tide comes – how far does it come in? The tsunami that hit the Pacific so hard in 2009 was a fresh memory for many, she says. “One of the things they identified was that if a tsunami were to hit again, they had no exit route. “So they can take their map to their government and say: ‘Look. This is what’s going on. Can we work together to fix this?’ “Can you imagine what it means for communities to work with the professionals to plan the priority decisions? So it goes from the grass roots up – as opposed to top-down? “How powerful is that?”


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Shaping her legacy Professor Beth Holland is the guiding light at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development. As this province grapples with climate adaptation and climate resilience in the Pacific, she’s stepped up to aid us in those efforts.

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rofessor Beth Holland is an American climate scientist who is now making her contributions in the Pacific.

She’s a heavy-hitter, too. In 2007, she shared the Nobel Peace Prize for her contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – which is a body of scientists, operating under the auspices of the UN, who are dedicated to providing an objective, scientific view of climate change and its impacts. For most of the early 2000s, Professor Holland led the Biogeosciences Program at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

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So why was the training held at All Saints Fasi? Well, it so happens that two of Tonga’s specialists in geospatial imaging – Viliami Folau and Sione Sunia – are both members of the All Saints Fasi congregation, and they played a full part in the training. Then, there’s the fact that Tonga is flat, and Fasi is especially prone to flooding. Isaac Beach3, who travelled to Tonga from Gisborne, reckoned his learning was enhanced “100-fold” by the location of the classroom: “If this training had happened in Auckland,” he says, “it wouldn’t have even touched the surface. “It rained heavily while we were there, and Fasi flooded. So you start to experience the effects of climate change. “But then you also get to understand the community’s resilience, and the lengths they go to overcome their vulnerabilities. “So the CIVA framework, and the GIS system, sets up a framework for new community-led solutions to emerge. I just think that’s fantastic.” *

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But she changed course – and then changed countries: “I began to reach out to Native Americans,” she says. “Some of the indigenous tribes who were trying to grapple with climate change would hear me talk, and ask for my help. “So, my focus began to shift from developing this really high-level mathematical model – to figuring out how to use the information we were learning to influence what is happening on the ground. “I knew I wanted to do more communitybased work – and this opportunity to work in the South Pacific came up in 2012. It turned out to be perfect.” Professor Holland has spoken in several Anglican forums in Fiji – for example, she was a keynote speaker at the Tikanga Youth Exchange held in Suva late last year. She told her audience then how she’d started her science studies in 1989 – and how they’d culminated for her when she led a Pacific team to COP21, the 2015 Paris

Suluveni Turagacei is a vet tech in Lami, near Suva – and he took leave of absence from providing frontline care to animals to head to Tonga. He’s 24, and he’s a leader at St Christopher’s Naulu. Sulu says the interviewers, and the people who came to All Saints to be interviewed, were all neighbours. They spoke in Tongan, and that’s a closed book to Sulu. Those interviews would be translated, of course – and together, the team then built a map of Fasi’s vulnerabilities. But Sulu reckons he learned as much by what he saw, as by what he later understood. “Those interviews were like a talanoa session under a tree. “We would watch how they were communicating. They were laughing – and there were moments when they were just quiet, looking down, even teary as they described difficulties. “Above all, I think the most important thing I learned in Tonga was this – we have each other, and with each other, we can do great things.’ Sulu his Fijian fellow travellers, Kara Tubuna and Jix Tawake, will soon be sharing what they learned at a retreat for youth leaders of the Suva Ovalau

Professor Beth Holland, in full cry at last year's TYE in Suva.

climate change conference. Professor Holland explained that she has two young daughters, and at Paris she felt she’d also became “an earth mother” – because the planet is in need of urgent, tender care. Unless drastic change happens soon, she said, her daughters – and the young people at the Tikanga Youth Exchange – would experience cataclysmic environmental change in their lifetimes.

archdeaconry. Then, in October, Sulu, Kara and Jix will take part in a two-day disaster management workshop being held at MAST4. Sulu’s confident that they’ll be able to pass on what they learned – so that others can carry that knowledge further. Together, says Sulu, we can do great things. Notes 1. Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu on March 13, 2015. It claimed at least 15 lives, with unconfirmed reports of many more fatalities. Cyclone Winston, which struck Fiji on February 20, 2016, and claimed 44 lives, was the most intense tropical cyclone to make landfall in the Southern Hemisphere. 2. hhttp://www.anglicantaonga.org.nz/News/GeneralSynod/Sharper-disaster-response 3. Isaac is the youth enabler for Te Pihopatanga o Te Tairawhiti. 4. That workshop will major on two things – helping the Diocese of Polynesia nut out a disaster management plan, and training clergy to act effectively in the face of disaster. The workshop will be run by the diocese, with support from the Australian Anglican Board of Mission, and Anglican Overseas Aid, which is the Diocese of Melbourne’s overseas relief and development arm – and our own Anglican Missions Board.

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Sensing God’s presence in every Max Whitaker chronicles a pathway in his journey towards faith whose twists and turns have landed him in otherworldly places of beauty, solitude and wonder.

There is no place in existence where God does not speak.

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hough now I am a priest in the Anglican Church, this is not where my journey began. Looking back, perhaps it first set out when I was a small boy in the town square of Skara Brae. Skara Brae is an ancient city with stone buildings leaning over little cobbled alley ways. The town square is one of the few places where you can look up and really see the sky. It is most memorable for the tiny identical churches which line all four

sides. As a child, I wandered into one of these little churches to be confronted in the dimly lit interior by a grey hooded monk offering healing. That image of healing and peace amongst the hustle, bustle and danger stuck with me for many years. Later, when I moved to Sosaria, I encountered pilgrims moving from shrine to shrine seeking to cultivate virtues of honesty, humility, justice, sacrifice and compassion. Once again, I could sense the connection with this monk’s offer of


realm

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healing, even if I did not fully understand it yet. There was something mystical and peaceful there too. Many years later I ended up on the tropical Island of Besaid, and experienced a similar tranquillity in the local temple whose cool interior was filled with haunting choral music and statues of saints. Just to stand there and absorb the atmosphere was life changing in some way. Whenever I hear the hymn that choir was singing, I am back there, and at peace. The grand transcendent architecture in the temple in Vivic, in the volcanic and barren landscape of north east Tamriel, could not have been further from the simplicity of Besaid, but it too captivated

me, and helped my imagination soar. All of these places offered something numinous and otherworldly. Perhaps God was speaking to me in the teachings I overheard, in the music, in the statues and icons, and the startling architecture. There is nothing unusual in any of this of course. Many people have been moved by similar experiences, and found God as they travelled the world and explored other cultures. Perhaps the only surprising thing then, is that none of these places exist. At least not in the conventional sense. Skara Brae1, Sosaria, Besaid and Tamriel exist only in computer games: in The Bard’s Tale, Ultima IV, Final Fantasy X and Morrowind, all composed from gamers’ imaginations. Am I serious then, when I say that God spoke to me as I entered these imaginary worlds? It is little surprise to catch hints of the divine in a great art work, or a masterpiece novel, or a classical symphony, or in the architecture of a cathedral… but to say the same about a video game would strike many as absurd. Videogames have only recently become the subject of serious academic study: but then it’s not long since people scoffed at the thought of film studies, or doing a PhD on a television show. But along with movies and TV, video games are the art and literature of an upcoming generation. Most will never go to the ballet, or to the theatre… but many will wander through those same imaginary landscapes I have. What is it that moves people to ask the questions that lead them to God? Do great art and architecture cause us to marvel at how such beauty could exist? Is it haunting, uplifting, or poignant music which pulls our heart to places we never knew existed? Is it the reminder that there is something beyond ourselves, which leads us to search for meaning and ask how we should live our lives? At times I have found all of these in gaming. From the early 1980s, when I played The Bard’s Tale on an Apple II, through to the Elder Scrolls on a PS4. Of course 1980s computer game graphics and sound were very simplistic, but the conceptual ideas of the works created in that era made up for it. These were not games which won by just shooting and killing, (which regrettably is a popular genre) but by

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What it meant to live by this code was as real to me as the challenge of any sermon.

solving problems, exploring and making decisions, even ethical ones. In Ultima IV for example, it was impossible to complete the game without cultivating virtues of humility, sacrifice and justice. I was challenged as a child to consider what these virtues meant – through a game. What it meant to live by this code was as real to me as the challenge of any sermon. In more modern games the emphasis has moved onto spectacular graphics and sound, and it is here that the architect of imaginary spaces, and the composer could begin to speak. Or is it that God begins to speak through them? Like it or not, computer games are the literature for many people growing up and growing old in the 21st century. This is what fires their imaginations, engages their emotions, and it is where questions about the meaning of life begin to percolate. It should be no surprise then that God can speak through this genre. There is no place in existence where God does not speak. All art works and human creativity have the potential to point towards the divine. Yet people are suspicious of the newest innovation: be it comic books, electric guitars, or video games. Remember when organs in churches were looked on with great suspicion? If you are a gamer yourself, you probably know what I am talking about. If you are not, then next time you see gamers on their couch, surrounded by empty pizza boxes, ask yourself… could God be speaking to them through that screen and that soundtrack? The Rev Dr Max Whitaker works as an Anglican priest and chaplain in Dunedin. mrmaxwhitaker@gmail.com Note 1. Skara Brae is a ruined Neolithic village in Scotland, but this is not the one I visited.

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SOCIAL JUSTICE

Cracking the

Jackie Harrison stands outside her house at Waimahia Inlet, flanked by her sons.

housing crisis

There’s no way banks would touch me with a 10ft pole.

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This May, New Zealand’s church leaders challenged the Government to take immediate action on housing: calling for more social housing, better housing standards and rental security. Paul Gilberd from the New Zealand Housing Foundation supported the church leaders with some of the research to back that call.

But he also says Government or Councils cannot fix our housing crisis without communities and individuals getting on board. The way he sees it, we can all do more to help fairly house our nation. To show us what he means, Paul shares stories from families on either side of the Auckland housing divide.


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The Ethical Landlord’s story

A

uckland landlord Amy Malcolm never set out to make money when she and her other half rented out their first home. Back in 1999 when they bought the house, the Malcolms took it on with a long-term view, as their family home. When they realised they wanted a different school zone for their kids, they moved on to a second home, and decided to rent out the first one. “The motivation for us was emotional, not financial – we had help with housing from our parents and we wanted to do the same for our children.” says Amy. “We wanted to keep the house in the family – we had been happy in it, and thought one day we might move back into it, or our children might live in it. “It was never about the yield, or viewing the property as an investment.” “We wanted people to live there and have a happy time like we had.” Most of the time the tenants worked out well, even though the Malcolms did take some risks. Choosing tenants was tricky, so they hired a property manager to help. One day the agent phoned and asked them to consider a family getting back on track after an experience of drug addiction. The Malcolms said they would give it a try, and the family lived up to their trust. Over the years, Amy enjoyed helping her tenants out with other bits and pieces, like baby bouncers or cots. Amy knows the rent they charge is cheap for the area – and knows some criticise their low return. But Amy also knows the house is making a difference in others’ lives. For the last four years, for example, three teachers have shared the house as flatmates. “I am constantly told by teachers at my children’s schools, and by people I meet, that teachers are leaving Auckland because they cannot afford to live here.” says Amy. “So I’m proud we’re not raising the rent, because I don’t want teachers leaving.” “Our teachers, nurses, police, and ambulance drivers can’t afford to live here

A Housing Foundation new build ready for its first owners.

anymore. So why shouldn’t we support their housing needs? “We have had the benefit of significant capital gains over the time we have owned the property. “So it just makes sense to allow the house to be of service to the community in the meantime while we don’t need to live in it.” The single mum’s story After her divorce, Jackie Harrison had to start all over again. In 2005, she moved from Wellington to Auckland with her four children in tow – aged from one to 13 years old. The debt collection agencies soon caught up with her, and notices began to arrive for debts leftover from her marriage. Auckland landlords judged Jackie ‘too risky’ a tenant – after all she was a single parent with bad debts. That left her little chance of finding a rental home. Reluctantly, Jackie and her four children moved into a single room of her parents’ house. “There’s no way banks would touch me with a 10ft pole” Jackie says looking back, “I was resigned to the fact I’d be living with my parents – or other people – until my children left home.” Jackie quickly realised she needed a better paying job if she was going to rebuild her life. So she decided to improve her chances by going back to study. Over

Our teachers, nurses, police or ambulance officers can't afford to live here anymore.

the next ten years, she worked hard, got off the benefit and into work she really enjoyed. Eventually Jackie rented a home, but on one income it was still very hard. And whenever her landlord sold up or moved in, she had to get up and go, which unsettled her children each time. In early 2013, Jackie heard about the Housing Foundation’s (HF) Affordable Housing Programme. Curious, she went along to find out more. But Jackie realised she could never qualify. So she determined not to take it any further. Why risk disappointment when she had accepted her lot as a lifelong renter? In October 2013, Jackie saw another HF presentation, this time at work. She began to wonder if there might be hope, with so many new houses on offer in the new Waimahia Development. But when Jackie filled out the online registration of interest, the reply came back with bad news. She fell below the income threshold eligible for support - especially with a bad credit rating and very little savings. She quickly put on the brakes again.

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SOCIAL JUSTICE

Thriving community: looking towards some of the 295 homes built on surplus Crown land at Waimahia Inlet.

But to Jackie’s surprise, only minutes after she logged off the HF site, her phone rang. It was the team from the Housing Foundation, with reassuring words for her, “You and your kids are exactly the type of family we are here to help. Let’s fill out this application together.” “That was a life-changing moment.” says Jackie. At the outset of 2014, Jackie set shortterm goals to improve her financial position and pay off her debts, so she could enter the Shared Home Ownership scheme. “The support from the team at HF was overwhelming.” says Jackie. Less than two years after she began with HF, Jackie and her two boys moved into a new four-bedroom home in Waimahia Inlet. “The stability of this home, has provided us a platform for the rest of our lives, especially for my children” Today the Harrisons own the majority share of their house. They enjoy Waimahia

The stability of this home has provided us a platform for the rest of our lives.

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Another affordable home on Auckland's Trent Street.

and are well on their way to achieving the dream of full independent home ownership. To date: Housing Foundation has built and housed over 700 households across Aotearoa. 172 homes are planned or underway in the next few years. The heroes of these stories are families working hard to get a better life for themselves and their families. They simply need a plan and some temporary support to help them onto the first step. One of the main reasons this crisis has occurred is because incomes have not kept pace with house prices and the affordability gap has grown to a chasm over the past decade.

No home in Godzone? Many Kiwi families like Jackie’s have never known anything but renting, nor realised there’s any other option. Behind that thinking lies a cycle of intergenerational hopelessness and poverty. Jackie tells an Auckland story, but it plays out often in parts of Whangarei, Kaikohe, Wellington, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Christchurch and beyond. Kiwi home ownership rates have steadily declined since 1990, and now sit at the lowest point since 1950. Not every household can or will achieve the dream of home ownership, it’s true. But every step towards greater security of tenure gives a boost to a families’ health


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When do we say: enough is enough?

Jackie Harrison and her sons join 700 other homeowner families who have taken up the Housing Foundation's scheme.

and wellbeing. In early 2017, the Housing Foundation released research studies that investigate links between quality of housing, health and educational outcomes, and quality of life. The evidence was clear: quality housing supports healthier lives. Charles Waldegrave from Wellington’s Family Centre agrees, in more than 30 years working with Kiwis who are struggling, he has seen that 5/8 of poverty is caused by housing stress, and the other 3/8 by inadequate income. How can we crack the Housing Crisis? The housing crisis has been building for many years, and has many elements to it, so any solution will need many parts. But although it is complex, doing nothing is not an option anymore. In May our church leaders encouraged Government and Councils to work with communities, churches and social service organisations to: • Build more social housing and invest more in community housing providers • Ensure there is affordable housing in new housing developments (inclusionary zoning) • Support shared equity rent-to-own programmes like the NZHF model • Strengthen rules to require houses to be warm and healthy

• Regulate private sector rentals to allow tenants longer-term security All of that will go a long way. But it takes time. Right now every person, every company, and every church has gifts and resources we can choose to employ as part of the solution. Some of us, like Amy Malcolm, have a spare house we can choose to rent – not as a maximum income generator – but as a home. For others, we may have a spare room to share. In Auckland, many churches have offered land adjacent to church buildings, as sites for mixed tenure social and affordable housing developments. This is an inspiring choice, which not only cares for the homeless, but strengthens churches’ roles as centres of community regeneration. For those who invest the church’s capital, there’s a chance to invest in shelter, fulfilling part of the church’s mission as an alternative to investing in banks and finance companies. New financial products and services that feed social development are on the way for Aotearoa, too. Known overseas as ‘Impact Investment,’ these finance options use investors’ money to do good, while still offering a good return. As concerned citizens we need to look at our own communities, and ask are we happy to stick with the way things are? Or

do we want a change? Do we think it’s fair, for example, that our current housing system holds low income families in a rental poverty trap? Is it right that hardworking families that have both parents in jobs, get their kids to school and pay their taxes have no chance of paying the median rent or mortgage on a house in many places? Are we happy that New Zealand property is traded as an investment product on the international commodity market, when Auckland house prices are ten times the average New Zealander’s income? This market model is failing Kiwi families, and as it does so, it is unravelling the social fabric of communities up and down the country. Yes, homeowners are feeling wealthy. But is that at the expense of those who do not own homes, who are rapidly slipping further behind, widening the equality gap between us? When did houses stop being homes and become investments? When does it get bad enough that we look beyond ourselves and say enough is enough? For Christians, there’s another powerful voice calling on us to zoom out onto the big picture. What would Jesus do about a housing system that seems so rigged against anyone but the richest? Paul Gilberd works for the New Zealand Housing Foundation, a charitable organisation working to relieve poverty through innovative housing solutions. He also serves on the Three-Tikanga Social Justice Commission housing team recently established by the archbishops. paul.g@housingfoundation.co.nz

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MISSION

Those with

ears to hear

Pastoral theologian the Rev Dr Lynne Baab says we could share the Word better by opening our ears and shutting our mouths. If we spent less ministry time talking, she says, we’d get much more of God’s work done.

Before we can care, we first have to listen.

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I

magine your church has a community garden, one that’s open to anyone in the neighborhood. A new family from India is growing vegetables in one corner, and you enjoy helping them figure out what grows best here in their new setting. As you pull weeds beside them, you hear about their arrival in New Zealand and the challenges they face here. As the conversation evolves, they share their problems navigating the medical system, so together you figure out what to do. As you listen to these newcomers to New Zealand, you aim to help with their practical needs, reflecting Christ’s love in your listening and your actions. What is happening here? Is it pastoral care? Or is it local mission? The answer must be “both,” and this overlap of pastoral care and mission creates new and deeper needs for Christian listening skills. When I trained for ministry several decades ago, my lecturers taught us listening skills for use in two main ways: First, listening skills were necessary for

pastoral care within a congregation. We would need active listening skills to provide care for the deep psychological needs of parishioners, and present the ways the Christian faith might address those needs. For that, the carer would need to listen to what was going on in the person’s life. Second, lecturers mentioned the importance of listening in cross-cultural situations in foreign missions. For ministry students with no intention of serving overseas, cross-cultural listening skills seemed irrelevant. Back then, local mission was not really on the radar when considering what congregations were called to do. Today, listening skills are necessary in all areas of church life – and for all people in the church. People in formal ministry roles need good listening skills, but now, so does anyone who wants to participate in parish life. Here are some reasons for the change:

Shifting mission fields We know that mission happens both overseas and at home. We are invited into God’s mission every day of our lives. When Jesus


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prays for his followers, he says, “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). The Latin word for “sent” is missio, the word from which we get “mission” and “missionary.” If we are sent as Jesus was sent, then we are called to love people from all walks of life. We are called to cross boundaries of culture and religion, and as Kiwi society becomes more diverse, we are called to do that every day. Crossing those boundaries requires listening skills, because unless we listen, we cannot know what is going on in another person’s life.

More cultures on the move As well as negotiating relationships between the cultures long-since in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, the rest of the world is coming to us. One quarter of people living in New Zealand were born elsewhere, and in Auckland that figure is 39%. New Zealand has one of the highest percentages of foreign-born residents in the world. When we talk with migrant residents in our neighborhoods and cities, we are forming relationships where pastoral care and mission merge together. We listen and care because God cares, and God has brought people from all over the world to us.

Cultures of non-belief Our secular society creates new listening challenges. Every day we encounter people who don’t believe in God – or who believe vaguely in a distant, far away God. How will we understand their values, priorities and concerns unless we listen? Every day we have the opportunity to show care for people like Jesus did. Jesus listened with great intensity to a wide range of people, and we have the opportunity to do that, following his model.

Pastoring to one another In our time, much pastoral care happens in relationships between parishioners, perhaps in small group meetings in a home, or while doing dishes after a parish dinner. There was a time when the minister was expected to do the pastoral care. Now we know that pastoral care happens any time parishioners provide care for each other, and caring always builds on the foundation of listening. Because the world is coming to us, and because a growing number of people live in a culture of no faith commitment, we need to listen to understand what other people think

Rev Dr Lynne Baab at Otago University where she taught pastoral theology for a decade.

and feel and believe. Because all members of a parish are called to care for each other, we need to listen to find out what’s going on in other people’s lives. Here are three small steps to lift your listening skills:

The mission field has shifted – now all listening is cross-cultural.

Aim to grow in empathy As you listen, pay close attention to the cues the other person is giving about how they think and feel about their situation: such as body language, tone of voice and words about feelings.

Check you have the right cues Reflect back what you think the other person is saying or feeling. Not only in counselling situations, but when you are working to understand another in ordinary conversation. Pay special attention to your own inner thoughts and feelings that might make you want to cut listening short: such as feeling pressured to get something done, feeling worried you won't know how to respond, or wanting to jump into your own story about a similar thing that happened to you.

Take the extra step One additional suggestion comes out of my observation of conversations in recent years. Many people do a great job asking a question that shows they care. “How's your knee after the surgery?” “How's your sister doing after her husband's death?” I've noticed many Kiwi Christians don't seem

comfortable asking follow up questions, such as: How is that for you? How do you feel about that? Or even,What are your hopes and fears in this situation? What are you praying for about this? Ultimately we want to make space for people to talk about where they are experiencing God (or their sense of the holy or sacred) in the situation. Usually it is too direct to ask about God or prayer as the first follow-up question, but we will never get to that depth if we don't learn to ask good questions. Look at the way Jesus interacted with people. In what ways would you like to be more like him in your interactions with the people inside and outside your church community? In what ways might some effort in developing listening skills help you to be more like him? Rev Dr Lynne Baab recently retired from her position as Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the University of Otago. Her book on listening is entitled The Power of Listening: Building Skills for Mission and Ministry. Lynne blogs and lists her publications on the website below. www.lynnebaab.com

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RURAL RESILIENCE

Handling the valleys,

reaching the peaks Last year Archbishop Philip Richardson issued General Synod with a warning: stay vigilant, he said, to help halt the tragic toll of suicide in our rural communities.

To stay resilient you need constant innovation.

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In Marlborough’s Ward district there’s a farmer who will be a powerful ally as we go. He’s Doug Avery who last year was introduced to Taonga Editor Julanne Clarke-Morris by the Rev Dawn Daunauda, vicar of Awatere Christian Joint Venture.

Anglicans on the rural frontline echoed his call: we need every resource we have to care better, Julanne tagged along with a group they said, because we don’t want any more farmers arriving at church of visiting Scottish Young Farmers for a tour of the Avery’s farm, to hear in caskets way before their time. all about Doug’s mission to avert our national crisis in rural mental All that means our Church is in the market for any help we can muster health. for rural Kiwis.


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"If you'd seen this place back then..." Doug tells Bonavaree's story. Doug and Wendy Avery at home in Marlborough's Ward district.

T

wenty years ago Doug and Wendy Avery went through the worst drought to ever strike their Marlborough farm. The ground dried up and cracked, the grass withered beneath the animals’ feet, and with every day that passed without rain their business future looked bleaker. Doug didn’t realise it at the time, but that launched a depression that knocked him sideways for five years. As he waited for the rain that never came, dark clouds were forming on Doug’s horizon. “…It looked like this place was a goner. I’d be the generation that lost the farm – after everything my father and grandfather had put in,” he said. “But you don’t think that you have depression. You think, ‘No, not round here. Not somebody like me.’ “But you know what? I did. “If you’d known the stuff we had to deal with back then: the drought, the fires, the debt – you’d have wondered why we stayed.” But Doug and Wendy did stay. They got the farm back together and today ‘Bonavaree’ runs hundreds of hectares in stock, and rates amongst New Zealand’s top 2-3% of sheep and beef producers. But getting there was no quick or easy road. *

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When Doug first owned up to his depression, he leant on the fact that no one burnt John Kirwan at the stake for admitting

Bonavaree's fields of gold that turned green. Photo: SYF/Peter Moss.

to his depression. But he never thought he’d be talking about it so often. “I have learnt so much about working in that space, especially with men, with stoic old fools like I was. “The depression had hardened me so that I excluded everyone. “I ended up with only one person left in my life. “And I reckon if I’d succeeded in getting rid of Wendy, the next day I’d have woken up and realised there was nothing left to live for. “You talk about the other half? Well Wendy, she’s the big half.” *

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Doug and Wendy have been married for 41 years. They have three adult children, including their son Fraser who now runs Bonavaree. For years, Wendy has been a hands-on business partner in the farm. There were days during the drought when Wendy kept Doug putting one foot in front of the other. Doug’s depression had convinced him that the world was against him, that there was little point to anything he could do. That’s when Wendy reminded him they had to keep going: for each other, for the children and even for the stock – looking back, not a single animal suffered. Back then it was pretty tough going for Wendy too. “But I guess you could say that in my spirituality I found an inner peace.” “I had a deep sense of faith that I was

The questions I was getting were 90% emotional issues, and 10% farming issues.

able to hold onto. I have my parents to thank for that.” Wendy suspects she wouldn’t have been too far behind Doug if it hadn’t been for that deeply embedded kernel of peace – that sense of trust in God’s presence no matter what. So in the dark times, it was Wendy who kept the faith. There’s a hint of irony in that, because if Doug had let religion get in the way, Wendy wouldn’t have been in his life at all. That’s because Wendy was brought up Catholic. And for some in Doug’s very faithful Methodist family, that was a big problem. When Doug’s grandma heard his girlfriend was Catholic, she made it clear this girl would just not do. Doug would have to let her go. Up till that day, Doug had no beef with his Methodist upbringing. But that changed overnight. “That was it for me. Her blindness to her own prejudices ended it for me.” “She didn’t realise what she was doing. I was in love.” And if Wendy was Catholic, Doug figured there just couldn’t be anything wrong with that. Later after Doug and Wendy married and Page 21


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RURAL RESILIENCE

Doug kneels in the lucerne to laud its virtues.

the kids came along, they signed on with the local Presbyterian Church, where Wendy taught Sunday school for years. Later, while on the Presbyterian management team, Wendy was a strong supporter of bringing Anglican and Presbyterian churches together into the Awatere Joint Christian Venture. In fact, if that kind of decision were up to her, she’d sweep in the Catholics too. These days Doug and Wendy are still part of the Awatere CJV. “There is a real problem for a lot of people who have turned away from Christianity – if they replaced it with something they might be OK, but they don’t,” says Doug. “The church has some of these resources to help people cope. “But if you leave your soul bare to the

It is a dangerous thing to leave your soul bare to the world.

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Doug peppers his business banter with another kind of pastoral advice.

world it is a dangerous thing to do. “You cannot manage without a deeper sense.” *

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In the end, what turned Doug’s life around was a gift of the Spirit. That gift was a glimmer of hope. It came in the guise of Dr Derrick Moot, a dryland farming scientist from Lincoln University. His gift to Doug was a new idea: an idea that changed the economy of his life. Doug reckons if he hadn’t hit rock bottom, he might never have taken that new idea on board. “It made me realise had to change. And I was forced to devise something new – to keep the bank happy.” “In business, there’s a curve. If you think you are shit-hot, you are about to hit the top of the curve, and unless you have something new just over the horizon, you’re about to drop. “To stay resilient, you need constant innovation.” That first idea was simple: Don’t change your water volume to suit your plants, change your plants to suit your water volume. “Traditional feed grasses like rye and clover give 18 kg of dry matter per millimetre of rain. But lucerne (alfalfa) gives

28 kg of dry matter per millimetre of rain. “Now we have 500-600 hectares of lucerne here. That almost doubles the quantity of food per millimetre of rain. And we’ve cut the carbon footprint of our final product in half.” When Doug started delivering talks on resilience farming, (he’s now given more than 75) he thought he’d be mostly on about lucerne and fodder beet, financial planning and soil conservation. But after every talk there’d be a whole row of people wanting to speak with him. “And the questions I was getting were 90% emotional issues, and 10% farming issues.” Doug sees hundreds of people out there who are like he was. “The thing with resilience is that none of us know what the big challenge is going to be, the one that will jump out of nowhere and catch us out.” “I decided I didn’t want to work with broken people all day. I wanted to work with people who are fine, who can learn to be more resilient before anything big hits.” After the first Seddon earthquakes the Averys lost a lot of personal effects: trinkets, pictures in frames, precious things just smashed. “But Wendy and I decided, let’s not fill our lives up with things again.”


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“Let’s fill our lives with things no-one can steal from us. So after we got things sorted out we went on a cruise, saw some of the world. People talk about bouncing back, but Doug reckons don’t bounce back, bounce forward. “When we changed, we changed everything. Not just our plants.’’ That’s why Doug’s plan for resilient farming now stands on three pillars: emotional resilience, financial resilience and social resilience. “Emotional resilience is the first part, that’s about getting the top paddock in order.” Sorting the top paddock is like looking after a garden, says Doug. “You have to weed out the destructive thoughts and fertilise the good stuff, that way you grow great brains that can survive the hits. “I ask people: What’s the most wasted human emotion? “Well, it’s worry. What will worry do for you? Nothing." Doug wants farmers to take charge of their brains’ ‘drafting gate.’ That’s what psychologists call the amygdala. “Every farmer knows that when you put stock through a drafting gate, you can send them this way or that way, or send them straight through." For brains, says Doug, the amygdala is our ‘drafting gate’. “If it is a good thing – someone says they love you, or you’ve done a good job – the amygdala sends it straight to your prefrontal cortex and the happy juice flows through your body.” But the bad stuff goes straight through to sad or mad. Doug tells farmers they have a choice, they don’t have to let that sad through, they can start to slow it down. “So say you tell a new farm worker to go and do a job a few paddocks away.” “Then five minutes later, he comes back in and tells you he’s driven your brand-new ute into a gatepost and now it won’t start. “Normally that would go straight to sad and mad. “But instead you park it: have a cup of tea, talk about the rugby, about what’s happening this weekend. Reorganise your settings. Decide how you want to handle it. “The thing about hate stuff, is once it gets going, that stuff feeds and feeds on itself.” The second pillar of Doug’s plan for

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Doug and Wendy Avery. Doug lines up with 'Scottish Young Farmers' on tour.

resilient farming is about the money. “You can’t be resilient if you’re not making cash.” “So that’s about getting out of a $25 an hour mentality of chasing sheep and fixing fences, and into the $100 an hour, or $1000 an hour mentality – that’s the big picture stuff: forecasting, budgeting, market planning.” Doug’s approach to social resilience is the third pillar, and there he takes a crack at the old Kiwi icon of ‘Man Alone.’ “I look back on all those years when I tried to do it all on my own.” “I wouldn’t ever go back there. “Now round here we’re a magnificent team of experts – and I’m the cheerleader.” And Doug’s staff will tell you he’s a ‘champion of human relationships.’ Doug doesn’t want anyone to end up where he was in the worst times. That’s why he’s grabbed the chance to give talks for the Ministry of Primary Industries up and down the country, and to write his (now bestselling) book, ‘The Resilient Farmer’. In that book, Doug and the writer from Penguin take a helicopter view of Doug and Wendy’s story – mapping clues on how they got out of life’s valleys and back up onto its peaks. Writing a book hasn’t been a big money maker for Doug.

To grow great brains you have to weed out the destructive thoughts and fertilise the good stuff.

But that’s not what he’s in it for. “I want to rob the graveyard of its wealth.” “I want to be burying people who have put all the good stuff out there while they’re alive, not dying sad and angry like I was. “I want people to die with a heart full of strength from the life they’ve lived. I want them slide into the grave sideways going, “Wow, what a ride.” Notes To find out about Doug’s upcoming speaking events go to: http://www.resilientfarmer.co.nz/. The Resilient Farmer by Doug Avery is published by Penguin. It is available from all major bookstores at RRP $40.

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BIBLICAL THEOLOGY

New Testament scholar Katie Marcar reflects on what it means to be an American in Aotearoa and a Christian stranger.

Being as strangers

in strange lands

I cannot accept the world’s identity.

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Katie Marcar stands beneath a mural by street artist ‘Fluke,’ on the Castle Street Lecture Theatre, near her office at Otago University.

S

ince I moved to New Zealand with my husband just over a year ago, I’ve had to reflect on the labels that identify me: a teacher, a wife, a foreigner, a Westerner and an American, to name a few. Living here as an American, I occupy a strange, liminal cultural space. On the one hand, I feel at home in what is a largely English-speaking, westernized culture. But I am also confronted with my ignorance of New Zealand’s complex historical, cultural and political landscape. Being here has already begun to change me. In Aotearoa, I am an American in a different way. My viewpoint on US politics, for example, is changing. When news reports feature US decisions on economics, foreign policy or the environment, I witness New Zealanders’ reactions, and that strongly shifts my own lens. Feeling like a stranger has caused me to reexamine my identity, and opened my eyes afresh to the idea of Christians as strangers: a concept I know well from the epistle 1 Peter. The community that received the letter of 1 Peter were believers in ‘exile,’ whom the writer speaks to as ‘strangers and sojourners’ (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11). While some interpreters believe these Christians were literally foreign, living as ‘resident aliens,’ most commentators agree there is something deeper going on. The words ‘sojourners and strangers’ might better describe the new believers’ kinship to Christ, and their changing role in their dominant host cultures. For 1 Peter’s readers in Asia Minor, becoming a Christian meant becoming estranged. When Gentiles began to follow Christ, that change of belief cost them a formerly comfortable place in mainstream society, and moved them to the social periphery. For them, the social edge was a dangerous place, where believers faced prejudice and harassment for their faith. In New Zealand, I need not fear most of the ills that faced those ancient Christians. But even today, what does it mean for us as Christians to inhabit the social periphery? How do we occupy the blurry edge away from the dominant mainstream? What does becoming a stranger look like now? The Christians in Asia Minor were forced to reevaluate their identities, because they couldn’t have it both ways. With modern

Katie blends in at Dunedin's St Kilda Beach.

Christians however, we expect our cultural and social identities, whatever they may be, to fit easily with Christianity. And we expect Christianity to comfortably accommodate any of our political, social or moral perspectives. In many ways, it’s comfortable for me to passively accept my labels and the privileges of being western, Englishspeaking, middle class and female. But I recognize too, that advantages I gained from where I was born, and from who my parents were, are not shared by most of the world. Those same things that conferred advantages on me, have disadvantaged many. And if I am a Christian, I cannot accept the world’s identity. I must define myself first and foremost in Christ. Holding my labels at a distance, I must learn to view them with a critical eye, knowing I may have to leave them behind, to follow where Christ leads. That may mean leaving the mainstream and going to the periphery – into the wilderness: to look for where the kingdom of God is being built. In 1 Peter we read that to follow Christ is to ‘honour everyone.’ That means we must treat everyone as made in the image of God, as worthy of respect and love. Not so in the world, where we live in categories that bring advantage to some, but deal others a losing hand. According to 1 Peter, those who believe have been “begotten anew” into the family of God. Just as human children are born into families, nations, and ethnic groups, so are

What does it mean to inhabit the social periphery?

we who believe in Christ born into a new, spiritual identity. 1 Peter is striking on this, because it describes Christian identity in ethnic terms. The author of 1 Peter uses three Greek words: ethnos, genos and laos to emphasize our Christian belonging to the family of God (1 Peter 2:9). These Greek words lay the foundations of our English words: ethnic and ethnicity, generation and laity. So according to 1 Peter, if we belong to Christ, we enter a new ethnic group, one that shifts the frame of reference for every previous group to which we belonged. So I’m American, because my human parents are American. But I’m Christian because I am begotten into God’s family through Christ – and this identity takes priority. That means as a Christian, I must first and foremost view the world, and my own culture, through God’s work in Christ. Easy to say: but difficult to do. Dr Katie Marcar has a PhD in New Testament from Durham University and is a Teaching Fellow in Biblical Languages in the University of Otago’s Department of Theology and Religion. She preaches and leads youth ministry in Dunedin North Anglican parish. katie.marcar@otago.ac.nz

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R E AC H I N G FA M I L I E S

Churches sport a new style Jacolize Becker vouches for a fresh expression of church where children and families can jump into faith with both body and soul.

It helps children learn kinesthetically – with their whole bodies.

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here’s an emerging form of church with a difference: Sweaty Church. Named after its physically active style, Sweaty Church is all about families playing, learning and exploring faith together in an energetic worship service characterized by physical activity. Team games, competitions and aerobics join songs and intentional discussions that explore biblical themes through sports-related topics such as: teamwork, discipline, using your head and being a good winner or loser.

In the beginning In 2009 a team at St Paul’s York began tracking the rise in numbers of young people taking part in Sunday morning sport. Both children of church families and those ‘on the fringe’ were struggling to engage with the morning family service, not only in terms of clashing schedules, but in terms of learning style.

The St Paul’s team realised they needed to try something new. It was no good photocopying the family service and relocating it elsewhere in the week. They needed to think imaginatively about the learning needs of these families. The result was Sweaty Church, a rather tongue-in-cheek name inspired by Messy Church. Instead of using craft as a connection and community-building point, they tried games, sports and activities. They wondered about calling it ‘Sporty Church’ but realised that not every child enjoys competitive sport, though most like getting active. Sweaty Church relies on kinaesthetic learning – learning by doing. Although church youth clubs or camps have often used games and sports, Sweaty Church does something new by making that the primary space for Christian teaching. Originally designed to engage seven to eleven year-old boys, Sweaty Church


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Caption here...

Sweaty Church gets families on their feet at St Paul's York in 2013.

was equally popular with girls, and younger siblings got swept along in the fun. All the children responded to an active and energetic space where they could stand up and engage their bodies rather than sit down and quieten their minds. Sweaty Church in York grew so rapidly it began to engage many families with no previous church connection. Other churches picked up the idea and soon there were 20+ Sweaty Churches across the UK. Often organised by individual churches, Sweaty Church also grew out of churches working together. Its Bible-based sessions zero in on sporting themes such as winning and losing, helping others, wisdom and perseverance, or calendar events such

as Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Last UK summer, 130 people attended a weekend residential ‘Sweaty Church Camp’. The Richards are one family that came to faith through Sweaty Church. A regular churchgoing family invited them along when their two sons were aged 9 and 11. The whole family loved it. The activities appealed to the sport-mad boys, and the parents were drawn in as they participated together. They became increasingly involved, both parents made a Christian commitment – and the Dad now works for the church. As Sweaty Church grew, the organisers connected with Scripture Union UK, becoming National Mission Partners, which meant SU professionally developed Sweaty Church resources for publication. Today Sweaty Church has begun in church schools, where it covers parts of the RE and PE curriculum, as well as engaging parents by bringing them into the school to join in with their children. ‘What a great way to get fit in our faith!’ said the Archbishop of York, Most Rev Dr John Sentamu on his first visit recently. “I pray that Sweaty Church will go from strength to strength and that we will see more lives being transformed by this

encounter with Jesus.”

How do we get started? A Sweaty Church only needs a team of 4 or 5 individuals to get going. There are no fees to pay and leaders can find basic equipment without too much expense. There’s no rule about how often Sweaty Church happens, and you don’t need to be a great sportsperson to run it. Sweaty Church session plans are easy to purchase from the Scripture Union UK website and cost only 1 pound per session. In June this year Sweaty Church was launched in Aotearoa at the annual Scripture Union Way2Go Children’s Ministry Conference, and in Nelson at their Way2Go Focus Day in September. If you are interested in setting up Sweaty Church please get in touch. Jacolize Becker is the Children and Family Ministries Facilitator for the Diocese of Auckland. You can contact her about Sweaty Church via her email below. jacolizeb@auckanglican.org.nz

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Shutterstock / Mythja

SPIRITUALITY

Welcoming the holy guest As Adrienne Thompson shares food and faith with others, she rediscovers how genuine hospitality changes all who enter its exchange.

Jesus, you would probably welcome an alien if one landed on earth.

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wenty people are sitting on couches around a wood stove. It’s a chilly, sunny Sunday morning at Ngatiawa River Monastery and our Stillwaters church has been enjoying the generous hospitality of the Ngatiawa community. We are a mixed bunch: aged from six to seventy-something, Ma-ori and Pakeha, highly educated and functionally illiterate, queer and straight, Christians from babyhood, new believers and people who don’t really know what they believe. Fred is our oldest member. Whitehaired and apple-cheeked, if you put a red pointy hat on him he could pose for a garden gnome. I wish I could convey the fervency in his voice as he prays for us: ‘Jesus, you liked to welcome everyone, Jesus, you would probably welcome an alien if one landed on earth ...’ That’s the welcome we’re feeling from Ngatiawa now, as we make ourselves at home in their space, even to the point of taking over their communal kitchen. But

then, we’re offering some hospitality in return, because we’re cooking for them as well as for ourselves. This morning we all feasted on pancakes and bacon. Another day, I went to a community dinner put on for low-income and homeless people. Tables were beautifully set, and the lavish food was perfectly presented. The guests ate well, enjoyed themselves, and expressed their appreciation. The people who put on this feast did so without fuss or fanfare, simply because they wanted to be generous. I never heard any of their names. They did a marvellous thing and they did it as anonymously as possible, effacing themselves in their desire to give. I think however that what they offered was not hospitality, but warm-hearted service. Hospitality is more reciprocal than service; hospitality asks something of both guest and host. I’d puzzled this out for myself and then found Wikipedia backed me up.


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Eating together: hospitality means more than service.

“Hospitality refers to the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” Hospitality is relationship. Hospitality begins with God the host, God who welcomes me in. The poet Digby Mackworth-Dolben once wrote of asking for God’s good gifts – peace, truth and love – but none could satisfy. Until: “I asked for Thee, — And Thou didst come to take me home, within Thy heart to be.” To come home to God’s heart, to rest in God’s tender embrace, to feast at the table God sets for me – that’s where hospitality begins. Just yesterday I learned a Ma-ori word: u- kaipo-. It means ‘mother, source of sustenance, real origin, home.’ Literally translated, it means the place where one was breastfed. It’s into this place of intimate belonging that God welcomes me. Hospitality is one of the most ancient human traditions, and stories about hospitality abound in every culture. Our Jewish-Christian scriptures tell of Sarah and Abraham inviting angels in, Boaz throwing a party for his labourers and incidentally finding a bride, David celebrating God’s table in the desert. In the gospels, people are always eating it seems, calling in their neighbours, feasting with friends, and of course, inviting the wandering rabbi and his motley bunch of followers to join them. I have a heritage of hospitality. Both my grandmothers invited people home from church every Sunday as a matter of course. My mother was known in the family as a collector of waifs and strays, some of them complete strangers, others invited because they were overlooked or

Members of Stillwaters Church enjoy the welcome at Ngatiawa River Monastery. Photo: Adrienne Thompson.

even unpopular. When I first married I was keen to continue this tradition of hospitality. Armed with my brand new recipe books I invited people for sumptuous meals with us. It took me a few years to realise that the food didn’t have to be complicated and the room didn’t have to be perfect before I could share. Now my children mock me because I always say, ‘it’s easy’ when asked for recipes. It’s true: I don’t do difficult. If the house had to be spotless before I invited guests I wouldn’t have many. Some people have a different gift. Their hospitality delights to find elaborate and beautiful ways to honour their guests. Either way, what matters is not the style of the welcome but the relationship between host and guest. As I live in God’s welcome, hospitality becomes a way of life, and mysteriously, God my host is also God my guest. To open my heart and my home is to welcome Jesus in. We discover this all over again as we share our communal meal on a Friday night. We open our home in the city to people who come in, not merely to be served a free meal, but bringing food to cook, hands to chop vegetables and wash

Hospitality offers space where change can take place.

dishes, stories of their week, jokes, songs and friendships – and yes, sometimes trouble comes in the door too. But that’s OK. Because, as Henri Nouwen observes: “hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them a space where change can take place.... Hospitality creates ... a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations.”2 My lavish, loving God keeps bringing me home. And when I’m there, I welcome in the stranger and God sits down at my table. Adrienne Thompson is a spiritual director and professional supervisor in Wellington. She is involved in the Stillwaters Community and Wellington Central Baptist Church. lekhika@paradise.net.nz Notes 1. From “Requests” by Digby Mackworth-Dolben (18481867). 2. Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out, Collins 1976, p 69.

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PREACHING

A quickening Word from Joe Mc Garry thought he was a reasonable preacher till Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writing shook him awake with its harsh views. According to Bonhoeffer, Joe discovered, most preachers never speak a Word.

Behold, God is making all things new – including me. Right now.

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Bonhoeffer

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ot so long ago I became captivated by the life and thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: through a mixture of his biography, his insightful critiques, and a few laps in the deep end of his constructive theology. That extended conversation with Bonhoeffer’s writing has profoundly changed my approach to preaching. In 1930 Bonhoeffer completed a oneyear student residency at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and was asked to write an evaluation of what he had learnt. He made a fairly critical appraisal, saying that he found a pragmatic church in America, one consumed with social action and political activism. Left, right, it didn’t matter. Both ends of the US theological and political spectrum marshalled their congregants to a certain shape of life, he

said, and paid little care as to why they should live as such in the first place. Or, more accurately, he said, US preachers’ rationale seldom related to the matter of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. So, apart from the African American church he visited with a black student friend in Harlem, Bonhoeffer concluded that most American churches did not preach the Word of God. When I encountered this critique, I was swimming in Bonhoeffer’s 1934 Christology lectures, and came across a section on Jesus Christ as the Word. He spoke of the Word taking form in the world through sacraments and the church congregation, and also in preaching. He reminded me that my temptation was to talk of the Word of God as an idea – this thing that Jesus is, among other things. Or, even worse, to talk of the Word as a series of truth propositions about the Bible,


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Archdeacon Sepiuta Hala'api'api preaches the Word at General Synod in Fiji, 2012. Dietrich Bonhoeffer with confirmands from Zion Church in 1932.

or the man Jesus of Nazareth. But, when I did that, I allowed myself to keep everything at arm’s length, to pick up and put down at leisure. However – and here he really pushed me – Bonhoeffer reminded me that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is neither an idea nor a moral teaching. Rather, he is a present Word that does something to me and for me. When spoken, God’s Word encounters us, summons us and creates a new situation that makes us responsible as hearers of that word. Like the rich young ruler, hearing the Word puts us in a new situation before Christ, as he says “Come, follow me.” Like the rich man, we are left with a choice: to follow or not? When we hear the Word, the only impossible option is to remain as

before. As I read the Christology lectures I asked: What does it mean to preach that kind of Word? Surely to preach, is to preach the scriptures I thought. We preachers put on our thinking caps, choose tools from the hermeneutics toolbox: dissect the authors’ intentions in their original languages, and call listeners to pattern their lives in a similar manner. But reading good theology inevitably sends you back to carefully read your Bible, and with Bonhoeffer that meant the Book of Acts and the Epistles. As I devoured them chapter and verse, I paid close attention to the Apostles’ preaching. Time and again, they declared what God had done, and showed it was somehow present in the retelling (Acts 4:31, Acts 6:4 & 7, Acts 8:4).

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They proclaimed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as a current reality still taking place through the Holy Spirit and called their listeners to live as if it had happened. As if it were real. As if it mattered. That is the language of belief. It means that we, as God’s people, must do more than agree to a set of truths about the person of God, or statements about what Jesus did 2000 years ago. To believe in that way means to know that God’s redeeming and reconciling work in Jesus happens here and now, and that must urgently change who we are and how we live. To believe that way means we must mould our character to live in a manner worthy of the gospel: to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in the world – to actively tend to the last, the lost, and the least. When we proclaim that Word, we are confronted with our own darkness and reminded that, in the resurrection, God has reconciled all things and invites us to a new way of being in the world. Behold, God is making all things new….. including me. Right now. We are not called to exegete a text then tell people to go and do the same. We are called to reveal the present reality of God’s redeeming and reconciling work in Jesus, the Word of God, and show how that will change who we are and how we live. That is to preach the Word. The Rev Dr Joe McGarry coordinates Anglican Studies for the Diocese of Wellington and serves as Wellington Cathedral’s Young Adults chaplain and Anglican chaplain at Victoria University’s Pipitea Campus. joe@wellingtoncathedral.org.nz

㼀㼔㼑㻌㻶㼛㼔㼍㼚㼚㼑㻌㻸㼛㼔㼟㼑㻌㻿㼏㼔㼛㼘㼍㼞㼟㼔㼕㼜㻌 ANGLICAN DIOCESE

㻭㼜㼜㼘㼕㼏㼍㼠㼕㼛㼚㼟㻌 㼍㼞㼑㻌 㼎㼑㼕㼚㼓㻌 㼍㼏㼏㼑㼜㼠㼑㼐㻌 㼒㼛㼞㻌 㼚㼑㼣㻌 㼟㼏㼔㼛㼘㼍㼞㼟㼔㼕㼜㼟㻌 㼠㼛㻌 㼎㼑㻌 㼍㼣㼍㼞㼐㼑㼐㻌 㼒㼛㼞㻌 㼠㼑㼞㼠㼕㼍㼞㼥㻌 㼟㼠㼡㼐㼥㻌 㼕㼚㻌 㼠㼔㼑㻌 㻞㻜㻝㻠㻌 㼥 The 㼛㼚㼣㼍㼞㼐㻚㻌㻌Johanne Lohse Scholarship

㼀㼔㼕㼟㻌 㼟㼏㼔㼛㼘㼍㼞㼟㼔㼕㼜㻌 㼕㼟㻌accepted 㼛㼜㼑㼚㻌 㼠㼛㻌for 㼐㼍㼡㼓㼔㼠㼑㼞㼟㻌 㼛㼒㻌 㼏㼡㼞㼞㼑㼚㼠㻌 㼠㼕㼙㼑㻌 㼛㼞㼐㼍㼕㼚㼑㼐㻌 㼛㼒㻌 㼠㼔㼑㻌 㻭㼚㼓㼘㼕㼏㼍㼚㻌 㻯㼔㼡㼞㼏㼔 Applications are being new scholarships to be㼒㼡㼘㼘㻌 awarded for tertiary㻹㼕㼚㼕㼟㼠㼑㼞㼟㻌 study in㻭㼛㼠㼑㼍㼞㼛㼍㻘㻌㻺㼑㼣㻌㼆㼑㼍㼘㼍㼚㼐㻌㼍㼚㼐㻌㻼㼛㼘㼥㼚㼑㼟㼕㼍㻌㼒㼛㼞㻌㼍㼟㼟㼕㼟㼠㼍㼚㼏㼑㻌㼣㼕㼠㼔㻌㼒㼕㼞㼟㼠㻌㼐㼑㼓㼞㼑㼑㻌㼠㼑㼞㼠㼕㼍㼞㼥㻌㼟㼠㼡㼐㼥㻚㻌㼀㼔㼑㻌㼍㼜㼜㼘㼕㼏㼍㼚㼠㼟㻌㼙㼡㼟㼠 the 2018 year onward.

㼍㼓㼑㼐㻌㼎㼑㼠㼣㼑㼑㼚㻌㻝㻣㻌㼍㼚㼐㻌㻞㻢㻌㼍㼚㼐㻌㼎㼑㻌㼍㼎㼘㼑㻌㼠㼛㻌㼜㼞㼛㼢㼕㼐㼑㻌㼑㼢㼕㼐㼑㼚㼏㼑㻌㼛㼒㻌㼎㼕㼞㼠㼔㻌㼍㼚㼐㻌㼎㼍㼜㼠㼕㼟㼙㻌㼍㼚㼐㻌㼔㼍㼢㼑㻌㼎㼑㼑㼚㻌㼞㼑㼟㼕㼐㼑㼚㼠㻌㼕㼚㻌 This scholarship is open to daughters of current fulltime ordained Ministers of the Anglican Church of 㻺㼑㼣㻌㼆㼑㼍㼘㼍㼚㼐㻌㻭㼚㼓㼘㼕㼏㼍㼚㻌㻯㼔㼡㼞㼏㼔㻌㼎㼛㼡㼚㼐㼍㼞㼕㼑㼟㻌㼒㼛㼞㻌㼍㼠㻌㼘㼑㼍㼟㼠㻌㻟㻌㼥㼑㼍㼞㼟㻌㼜㼞㼕㼛㼞㻚㻌 Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia for assistance with first degree tertiary study. The applicants must be aged between㼍㼞㼑㻌㼡㼟㼡㼍㼘㼘㼥㻌 17 and 26 and be able to provide of㼍㼚㼐㻌 birth㼕㼟㻌㼏㼛㼚㼐㼕㼠㼕㼛㼚㼍㼘㻌 and baptism and have been 㼀㼔㼑㻌 㼟㼏㼔㼛㼘㼍㼞㼟㼔㼕㼜㼟㻌 㼍㼣㼍㼞㼐㼑㼐㻌 㼒㼛㼞㻌 㼡㼜㻌 㼠㼛㻌evidence 㻟㻌 㼥㼑㼍㼞㼟㻌 㼛㼚㻌㼟㼍㼠㼕㼟㼒㼍㼏㼠㼛㼞㼥㻌 㼜㼞㼛㼓㼞㼑㼟㼟㻌 㼕㼚㻌 resident in the New Zealand Anglican Church boundaries for at least 3 years prior. 㼍㼜㼜㼞㼛㼢㼑㼐㻌㼏㼛㼡㼞㼟㼑㻚㻌㻭㼜㼜㼘㼕㼏㼍㼠㼕㼛㼚㼟㻌㼛㼜㼑㼚㻌㼛㼚㻌㻝㻌㻭㼡㼓㼡㼟㼠㻌㼍㼚㼐㻌㼏㼘㼛㼟㼑㻌㼛㼚㻌㼠㼔㼑㻌㻟㻝㻌㻻㼏㼠㼛㼎㼑㼞㻌㻞㻜㻝㻟㻚㻌㼀㼔㼑㻌㼞㼑㼝㼡㼕㼞㼑㼐㻌㼍㼜㼜㼘㼕㼏㼍㼠

OF CHRISTCHURCH

㼒㼛㼞㼙㻌 㼏㼍㼚㻌 㼎㼑㻌are 㼛㼎㼠㼍㼕㼚㼑㼐㻌 㼎㼥㻌 㼐㼛㼣㼚㼘㼛㼍㼐㼕㼚㼓㻌 㼒㼞㼛㼙㻌 㼣㼣㼣㻚㻚㼍㼚㼓㼘㼕㼏㼍㼚㼘㼕㼒㼑㻚㼛㼞㼓㻚㼚㼦㻌 The scholarships usually awarded for up to 3 㼠㼔㼑㻌 years㼐㼛㼏㼡㼙㼑㼚㼠㼟㻌 and are conditional on satisfactory progress in 㼛㼞㻌 㼎㼥㻌 㼣㼞㼕㼠㼕㼚㼓㻌 㼠㼛 㼑㼙㼍㼕㼘㼕㼚㼓㻧㻌 the approved course. Applications open on 1 August and close on the 31 October 2017. The required application form can be obtained by downloading the documents from www.anglicanlife.org.nz or by 㻯㼔㼡㼞㼏㼔㻌㻼㼞㼛㼜㼑㼞㼠㼥㻌㼀㼞㼡㼟㼠㼑㼑㼟㻌㻭㼏㼏㼛㼡㼚㼠㼍㼚㼠㻌 writing to, or emailing the address below.

㻌 㻌 㻌 㻱㼙㼍㼕㼘㻦㻌㻌㼏㼜㼠㼍㼏㼏㼛㼡㼚㼠㼍㼚㼠㻬㼍㼚㼓㼘㼕㼏㼍㼚㼘㼕㼒㼑㻚㼛㼞㼓㻚㼚㼦㻌 㻼㻻㻌㻮㼛㼤㻌㻠㻠㻟㻤㻌 㻌 Church Property Trustees Finance㻯㼔㼞㼕㼟㼠㼏㼔㼡㼞㼏㼔㻘㻌㻤㻝㻠㻜 Manager | PO Box 4438, Christchurch 8140 | Email: cptfinancemanager@anglicanlife.org.nz

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C YCLONE REBUILD

Raising

the rafters At Maniava, they're well on the way with the building that will become the crowning glory of the koro – the never-so-aptly named Church of the Resurrection.

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Archbishop Winston stands behind the pile of hardwood timber which will be used to fashion timber trusses for the Church of the Resurrection in Maniava. He's flanked by Fr Orisi Vuki (right) and Fr Siosifa Tongaia, from Footscray, in the Diocese of Melbourne. This shot was taken in a Nausori timber yard. The hardwood has now been trucked to Maniava. Trevor Whippy


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Harold Koi – file photo taken in December 2016, as members of the TYE dig foundations for the church.

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ee this guy in red? Meet Harold Koi: the Suva-based builder who, since February, has been living in a tent in Maniava and freely giving his time to lead the rebuilding of the koro. You’ll remember that Maniava is a remote Anglican koro high in the hills in the province of Ra, in the north of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island, where they lost just about everything when Cyclone Winston shrieked across Fiji on February 20 last year. In the time that Harold has been camping at Maniava, he and his ‘boys’ – labourers

Walls go up for the koro's new Church of the Resurrection. Trevor Whippy

from the koro – have built 10 simple, yet cyclone-proof houses, and they’re well on the way with the never-so-aptly named Church of the Resurrection. When that church is complete, it will not only be the crowning glory of the koro, but it will also serve as a community cyclone shelter. The concrete slab is down, the reinforced walls and columns are up – and that just leaves the roof to pitch. Where that’s concerned, Harold yearns to do something a bit special. So, when worshippers in the Church of the Resurrection raise their eyes, their spirits are elevated, too. A couple of months ago, Fr Orisi Vuki, who is the Archdeacon of Suva & Ovalau, and diocesan Vicar General, was in Maniava, and Harold and Fr Orisi got talking. What Harold really wanted, he told Fr Orisi, were a dozen 6m lengths of 300mm X 100mm vesi, which is a prized Fijian hardwood, which in the old days was the timber the ratu, the chiefs chose for building their houses. Vesi is a rich timber: dark, close-grained – and it’s strong, true and long-lasting: in other words, it’s everything you’d hope for in

When he responded to that call, he laid down his birthright.

a house of worship. But if you took an order for 12 lengths of vesi in those dimensions to a sawmill today, said Harold, that could set you back FJ$10,000. That’s when Fr Orisi stepped up to the plate. “Leave it to me,” he said. *

*

*

*

*

Here’s the back story: Fr Orisi has been a priest since 2003. And when he responded to that calling, way back in 1990, he laid down his birth right. Orisi Vuki comes from Lekutulevu, which is a koro in the remote interior of Vanua Levu, Fiji’s sparsely populated second island. There are no roads into that village. You either walk in, ride a horse, or bounce in by 4WD. It so happens that Orisi Vuki’s father, Ratu Leone Vuki, was the chief of that village.

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C YCLONE REBUILD

At work on the Church of the Resurrection. Trevor Whippy

And because Orisi is the eldest of his seven children, in good time he too would have become Ratu Orisi Vuki, the chief of Lekutulevu. But when Orisi heeded the call to ministry he knew he’d be spending his life far away from his village. He knew he couldn’t look after his people. So he asked his younger brother, John, to take up that chiefly mantle. That’s not all there is to know about Lekutulevu. Because it also happens to be one of just two indigenous Fijian villages1 in the whole of the republic which is Anglican. In fact, Orisi’s dad, Ratu Leone Vuki, was not only the chief of that koro, he was also the first indigenous Fijian to be ordained an Anglican priest. They’re so Anglican in those parts, in fact,

'In other words, he bears the name of a former bishop of the diocese.'

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Fr Orisi Vuki.

that the younger brother to whom Orisi passed his chiefly mantle is: Ratu John Vockler Vuki. In other words, he bears the name of a former bishop2 of the diocese. And it just so happens that there are stands of vesi growing near Lekutulevu. So Fr Orisi asked his younger brother if they could fell a couple of vesi trees for the roof of the new Maniava church. Sure thing, said Ratu John. So with the blessing of Archbishop Winston, Fr Orisi headed back to Lekutulevu in July, and assembled a team of young blokes who felled two large vesi trees. Then, using their chainsaws, they ripped those fallen trees into the sizes that Harold wanted – a dozen lengths of 6m X 300mm X 100mm timber3. They then hitched up a pair of bullocks and dragged those heavy-as lengths of timber out, piece by piece, to the nearest road and, with the help of a squad of young bucks from a nearby village, they heaved the timber on to the flatbed deck of a truck, bound for St Thomas, Labasa. Then, once the weather had cleared, they loaded that timber on to a barge for the journey down the western coast of Vanua

Archbishop Winston prays over the timber that will become the roof of the Church of the Resurrection. Trevor Whippy

Levu – and the long hop across to Natovi, on the eastern coast of Viti Levu. From there, it was trucked down to a sawmill in Nausori, and bundled together with another load of timber Harold had ordered for Maniava. The vesi finally arrived in Maniava just as this issue was going to print – and Harold expects to have the church completed by October. We hope to carry a report about the consecration of The Church of the Resurrection in our next issue. Notes 1. Waitisi, near Labasa, is the other. Maniava is an Anglican koro, too – but the people there are ‘Solomoni’. 2. John Vockler was Bishop of Polynesia from 1962 to 1968. 3. They actually had enough timber to cut two extra spare lengths.


ANGLICAN TAONGA

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OVERSEAS AID

Gillian Southey from Christian World Service reports on CWS southern Indian partner ‘EKTA’, who advocate for women’s rights and offer young women alternatives to life as second or third-class citizens.

Giving girls a safer future

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topping violence and discrimination against women is no easy matter. In India’s southeast state of Tamil Nadu, Christian World Service partner EKTA (which means unity) is at the forefront of upholding girls’ and women’s rights, and providing life-changing opportunities to them. The EKTA Resource Centre for Women runs workshops in poor urban and rural schools and colleges, where they promote gender equality and upskill young people. EKTA workshops teach research and civil society skills, educate boys and girls against gender-based violence, and promote girls’ economic and political rights.

Why do girls need help? In many of the communities EKTA serves, male babies are more likely to be better fed from birth, and families are more likely to send them to school. Girls eat last and less. Less than fifty percent of girls attend high school in the areas where EKTA works, and crimes against women have been steadily rising – India’s National Crimes Bureau reports one crime against women happens every 1.7 minutes. Taking EKTA’s gender equality and education campaign deep into some of India’s poorest communities has been a challenge, but has led to life-changing results. Kavitha was an early graduate of EKTA’s Nambikkai Centre, which was set up to care for girls after the 2004 tsunami. She is now enabling others to follow a different life course. Kavitha’s mother was a fish vendor who struggled to support her family of seven girls and one boy with a disability. She earned only a meagre income, and had a husband who sold anything he

Above: CWS Director Pauline McKay meets with Kavitha, who helps staff the EKTA Girl's Shelter.

Pauline visits a young women's training programme at Nambikkai Resource Centre in February 2017.

could find for alcohol. Kavitha’s mother didn’t have enough to feed her family, much less send them to school. Ten years ago when a staff member from EKTA met Kavitha – the family’s youngest daughter – she invited her to join the programme. At first Kavitha was only interested in her boyfriend, but slowly through EKTA’s creative teaching approach, she discovered a love for learning. Kavitha went on to complete high school with good marks and go on to college. When CWS National Director Pauline McKay met Kavitha earlier this year, she would never have guessed her background. Now in her final year of a Master’s degree in English literature, Kavitha is a key organiser at the EKTA girls’ shelter, which sits alongside the state school the girls attend. Thanks to EKTA, Kavitha has been able to stay at the centre and now assists the 25 girls who live there. A very good singer, she organises dancing and singing classes as well as helping them with homework and English skills. She organises the children’s committees that take

responsibility for food, education, cleanliness, gardening and games, and the weekend camps that encourage creativity among the Dalit and Tribal (indigenous) students. “EKTA is much more than a training programme,” said Pauline McKay during her visit in February 2017. “They are committed to changing social relations in their communities, and to making sure homes are free from violence, girls can go to school, and parents can feed and care for their families.” EKTA’s commitment to lifting up the lot of girls has given a boost to whole communities, and it is thanks in part to the support of women and men from Aotearoa New Zealand churches – who help fund EKTA’s work through the CWS Christmas Appeal. Gillian Southey is Communications Coordinator for Christian World Service. gillian.southey@cws.org.nz To support EKTA through Christian World Service, please go to: https://www.cws.org.nz/donate

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ENVIRONMENT

Why do we accept politicians’ claims that economic growth will save us? asks Phillip Donnell.

Let’s drop the

pipe dreams

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n the lead up to this year's election politicians seem to have realised there are limits to a constant focus on 'economic growth.' But underneath the social spending top-ups the majority haven't dropped the assumption that economic growth must be maintained.

Economic growth has become a fetish.

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Increasingly, global critics claim economic growth itself is the problem. For starters, growth-fixated economies don't deliver the benefits they promise. Instead, continual growth is driving us to the ecological brink. US environmental lawyer, James Speth1 neatly plots graphs which show where uncontrolled growth has got us since the Second World War. When environmental effects line up against rising GDPs – the result is clear: the more economic growth, the more ecological damage. Speth doesn’t see demands on physical resources slacking this century, either, as societies fail to rein in a narrow definition of ‘growth’. Naomi Klein agrees.2 She likens the 21st century ecological crisis to a Clash of the Titans: Climate versus Economy. This is a battle between two fixed sets of rules, says Klein: growth-fuelled economy versus nature. “Only one of these sets of rules can be

changed,” she writes, “And it's not the laws of Nature." Happily there’s good news to be found in this gathering apocalypse. It turns out, that in order to save the biosphere, humans must drop some false ‘givens’, and offload untruths that have failed to make us happy. The first falsehood thrown on the junk heap will be that higher consumption equals higher quality of life. Wilkinson and Pickett's 2010 book ‘The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone’3 cites scores of studies which show that as countries’ average incomes(or GDP per capita) rise, their people are not more satisfied.4 When GDP rises, individual and social wellbeing does not always follow. So the much-touted goal of economic growth only makes us better off in a piecemeal way. Some consequences of growth serve to reduce quality of life, such as fast-paced production that sucks the life from our

Shutterstock / Anatoly Menzhiliy

He believes it’s simply the latest way of putting our faith in mammon.


natural world, and drags human time, energy and meaning into its service. Why did we ever buy into the assumption that eternal economic growth could fulfill our needs and longings? We now have proof that while material wealth starts out for the best, its returns of happiness and wellbeing diminish over time. That should be no surprise to anyone who reads the gospels: so why do we buy it from politicians? Wilkinson and Pickett’s research demonstrates that once humans have the basics (food, shelter, and healthcare) quality of life depends on quality of our relationships in the communities where we live. Belongings make only a marginal difference. There’s more good news. Offloading limitless growth does not mean we have to stagnate. In his ground-breaking book, Prosperity without Growth5 author Tim Jackson puts forward an alternative economy that respects the limits of our finite planet and shows how to move towards long-term life-sustainable economy. Key to his new economic mode is good growth: growth in life as equals, growth that makes jobs, that prevents harm to our natural world and creates space for people to have more say in our lives. Some post-growth economic frameworks are already here. Eco-friendly circular technologies show us how to keep production at sustainable levels. Ethical financial systems cease special treatment for capital holders, and aim to keep companies accountable.

SPRING 2017

Sergei Bachlakov / Shutterstock.com

ANGLICAN TAONGA

Indigenous Americans take to the streets in protest against oil pipelines.

But be warned: whether we quickly tilt the compass, or slowly change direction, we cannot assume anything will remain the same. Not for government, communities, or our own expectations. No matter what comes next, however, last century’s unerring belief in economic growth needs to be exposed as a fetish; an inanimate object worshipped for its mythical magical powers. Continuous economic growth has become a false religion, and one not worthy of our obeisance. Phillip Donnell is involved in education and advocacy work for Christian environmental organisation A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand. phillip.donnell@arocha.org

One set of rules has to change... and we can't change the laws of Nature.

Notes 1. James Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability, Yale University Press, 2008, p.194. 2. Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism v. the Climate, 2014, p.21 3. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Penguin Books, 2010. 4. The United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report 1996. pp.2-4. 5. Tim Jackson, Prosperity without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow, Routledge, Oxon & New York 2017.

a faith as intelligent as it is courageous THEOLOGY | MISSION | TEACHING | COUNSELLING | MINISTRY

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BPOEO OKP SL E

Kiwi archdeacon goes global

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he Ven. Anne Russell-Brighty has been elected Vice-President of the Asia Pacific region of DIAKONIA – a worldwide ecumenical federation of deacons. Archdeacon Anne, who ministers in the Diocese of Christchurch and oversees the household of deacons, now joins the global executive of DIAKONIA, alongside leaders from its ‘Americas’ and ‘Europe-Africa’ regions. Anne hopes the new international connections will encourage and affirm deacons and deaconesses across the varying Pacific churches where they minister. She will serve on the global executive alongside Asia-Pacific President, Deaconess Meresiana Sadrata from Fiji and Deacon Christa Megaw from Australia. Over the last decade, Anne has spearheaded renewal of the diaconate in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New

Zealand through her role as leader of its nationwide deacons’ school, which provides professional development training. Anne established the annual school in 2008, after her 2005 study leave research revealed that Kiwi Anglican deacons needed a stronger sense of shared purpose and more intentional networks to counteract the isolation many experienced in their roles. This May, Anglican vocational deacons in Aotearoa, who number more than fifty, joined their counterparts from the Methodist church to form the Deacons of Aotearoa New Zealand Association (DANZA). “These new links are a great opportunity to work ecumenically with others from different denominations, who are bound together with us in the same ministries.” says Anne. Anne was elected to the global roles at

Newly elected Asia-Pacific members of the worldwide DIAKONIA deacons' federation. L-R: Judy Knowing ( A-P proxy), Christa Megaw, Meresiana Sadrata and Anne Russell-Brightly.

DIAKONIA’s four-yearly gathering which met this July in Chicago: bringing together 400 deacons, deaconesses and diaconal ministers from 28 countries. DIAKONIA spans denominations and national boundaries to support and promote diaconal ministry. It encompasses varied expressions of diaconal ministry: traditional Lutheran motherhouses in Europe, Asia and Africa, newer forms in the Lutheran and Uniting Churches of Canada, USA and Australia, and ordained deacons in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ.

BOOKS

Greening our faith in Creation LIVING IN THE PLANET EARTH FAITH COMMUNITIES AND ECOLOGY EDITED BY NEIL DARRAGH ACCENT PUBLICATIONS, AUCKLAND 2016 ACCENTPUBLICATIONS.CO.NZ $30.00 JENNY CAMPBELL

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any of the writers in this excellent book are well-known in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Christian environmental circles for their inspirational, passionate and Spirit-filled work. This book comprises positive stories of hope, but also critical reflections and shared learning from community-based action on: reducing consumption, planting native trees, recycling or growing your own food. The book centres on eco-justice, creation spirituality and responding locally, bringing in perspectives to inspire faith communities to action. Projects stretch from Southland to Northland, with reflections grouped under: Page Page 38 38

Biblical Sources, other Religious Sources, Conservation and Restoration, Creating Ecological Awareness and Ecological Journeys. In his prologue, editor Neil Darragh sets out how he gathered and selected the contributions, and in chapter one he answers the question: What do faith communities have to do with ecology? Project descriptions are succinct and well-focused, averaging eight pages in length, with each introduced by a brief topic description and short writer’s biography. Some chapters open with the bonus of Anne Powell’s challenging and telling poems. Several writers chronicle the impact of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ on ecumenical thinking, while Christian scholars provide biblical insights on ecology, and both a Muslim and a Sikh writer offer their faith’s perspectives on environmental concerns. Time and again, stories show that

project success and longevity depended not on church size or resources, but on the energy of a few people prepared to initiate and drive projects and bring others in. Examples of practical conservation, restoration or educational examples from Maori or Pasefika writers would have added richness and reflected our broader cultural connections with these themes. While the book’s brevity keeps it fresh, photographs would have added value. Overall I commend this book as a useful aid to help Christians reduce our impact on God’s earth, actively heal Creation and inspire others to do so. Jenny Campbell is an Anglican social justice and environmental activist living in Southland. jennycam@xtra.co.nz


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BOOKS

Opening a window on the Anglican west THE OXFORD HISTORY OF ANGLICANISM VOLUME IV GLOBAL WESTERN ANGLICANISM C.1910-PRESENT OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, OXFORD 2017. £95 EDITED BY JEREMY MORRIS PETER LINEHAM

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s General Editor of this five volume series, New Zealander Rowan Strong deserves much of the credit for their grand design. Strong covers the vast spread of Anglicanism in the 20th century by placing western Anglicanism in Volume four (reviewed here), and non-western Anglicanism in volume five. The editor of Volume IV apologises for some consequences of this decision. For example, this series details struggles and trends in the western church from several angles, but the hints of their African and Asian dimensions are muted. Still, this volume covers a very wide landscape: taking in Welsh, Scottish and Irish churches, plus the American church – which for a while appeared be taking leadership of the global denomination – until the worldwide Communion proved too big for that. Part one comprises a loosely connected set of essays on ‘Themes and Wider Engagements’ which address theological development, liturgical renewal, gender perspectives, sexuality, the state, social

divisions, war and peace and global poverty. While these chapters trace the changing interactions of the church, some contribute little to the overall sense of Anglicanism. Martin Percy’s chapter on the sociology of Anglicanism is particularly intriguing, and Michael Snape’s chapter on war and peace proves that Anglicans have not obeyed the state’s every behest, even at the height of the First World War. Several chapters look into the ‘Instruments of Communion,’ including those by Stockwell and Paul Avis, and a colourful and forthright chapter by Ephraim Radner. Colin Podmore’s chapter introduces significant points on the changing roles of ACC, the primates and the Lambeth Conference. Another filter is to ask how this book recognises the contribution of New Zealand Anglicanism alongside other dominions and the USA. Snape’s chapter is the strongest in this regard, along with Cordelia Moyse’s chapter on women. Ian Breward contributes a fine essay on Australia and New Zealand. Other chapters are disappointing for our Province, but that often happens when authors write a narrative drawn from dozens of sources. The book ends on a high note with its North America chapter and Morris’s own chapter on Anglicanism in the British Isles, where we get a sense of Anglicanism on the ground in the UK – which is lacking in the rest of the book.

Have you booked a retreat this year?

It is a thorough book that takes care to prioritise institutions of the church over personalities, even those of Archbishops of Canterbury. Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics may justifiably be discontent that chapters were not devoted to their traditions. But this history chooses to focus on the organisation of the church – and its ramshackle and clumsy coherence or incoherence – to show us how we arrived at the early 21st century church in the state we are. The last two decades’ tensions over human sexuality within western Anglicanism are well represented, if not over-represented in the volume. I fear a certain prophetic element in excluding non-western churches from this volume. This leaves volume five open to be used as a pre-history for a separate “Anglican Church of the South.” Rowan Strong is a fine historian, but let us hope he is not a good prophet.

Our Lady’s Home of Compassion Retreat and Conference Centre Maybe you have a trip planned to Wellington and need to stay close to town. Come and retreat at the Home of Compassion. Sitting on the slopes of Wellington’s southern hills, guests enjoy tranquil surroundings among native trees, plants and birds. Beautiful garden outlooks from every room with complimentary breakfast, tea and coffee and wifi, modern meeting rooms also available for groups. A suburban location that is minutes to the city and airport.

Enquire for our accommodation and meeting room rates. Phone 04 383 7769 Email islandbay@compassion.org.nz www.compassion.org.nz

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BOOKS

Who will follow Generation A? THE RELIGIOUS LIVES OF OLDER LAYWOMEN: THE LAST ACTIVE ANGLICAN GENERATION BY ABBY DAY OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2017. E-BOOK $66.30 PATRICIA HARVEY

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r Abby Day’s important new book analyses the social and ecclesial roles of Church of England laywomen in ‘Generation A’ – those born in the 1920s-30s. Dr Day, who is Professor of Race, Faith & Culture at the University of London, has used qualitative research to argue that women in ‘Generation A’: - were defined by the wartime context of their early lives - became the ‘fabric’ of the Church of England through service - were ‘dutiful holy women’ who defended their sacred objects, beliefs, and practices. For them, the Church of England signified: God, the Queen, the nuclear family and the British nation. Abby Day observes that roles played by these women have been overlooked in church life research, and that their loss, and unlikelihood of replacement by subsequent generations, is a serious factor in CofE decline.

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The author sets out the particular ‘gendering’ of Generation A – how women in this era understood womanhood: its values and practices, and how that defined who they were, what they did, how and why they did it. For these women, Day argues, the church was their home. They shared a sacred history, spirituality, strength and solidarity, expressed and honoured through their love of traditional hymns and the Book of Common Prayer. As a social phenomenon, Day claims, these women’s voluntary, lifelong contribution to both religious and secular institutions was ubiquitous. While this group did not resist later changes to the church, she says, they did resist loss. “Their matriarchal power and dominance was ... an almost palpable force.” writes Day. In our Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesian contexts, this book reveals values we may have inherited, or lost, from the laywomen who upheld Church of England culture. The author shows how the loss of this generation’s faithful work has widespread consequences in contemporary cultures where godliness, churchgoing and faithful service are no longer central social norms. In the New Zealand churches, as in

the CofE, fewer Baby-Boomers carried on serving the church as their mothers had. The author leaves readers with a question: How do we invite younger generations into the church ‘belonging’ their forbears so valued, and show them how that belonging leads to better, happier lives? Patricia Harvey holds a Master of Theology and is the daughter of a Generation A English laywoman. patricia.marianne@gmail.com


ANGLICAN TAONGA

SPRING 2017

BOOKS

A mystic mile once trodden THE ABBOT’S SHOES SEEKING A CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE BY PETER ROBERTSON PETERROBERTSON.PRESSBOOKS.COM PUBLISHED AS E-BOOK $5.00 KELVIN WRIGHT

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enjoyed this short 120-page memoir by Peter Robertson, who is a man with a long and varied Christian walk, having been for many years a Revivalist Pentecostal preacher, and before that a Presbyterian minister. Before either of these, however, he was a novice in the Cistercian monastery at Kopua, in Hawkes Bay, and this book is largely an account of that period of his life. As a young journalist in the early 1970s Peter Robertson read, and was captivated by Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain. He discovered and then followed a call to live as a monk, which led to a period living at the Southern Star Abbey. He left after a short time as a guest of the Abbey and then as a novice. The title of the book comes from a time during that period when he was sent on an errand to Wellington and the abbot, in an act of kindness, lent him the abbot’s own shoes. They proved to be too big, and to have tacks protruding through the soles. This

is an apt metaphor for Robertson’s own relationship with the contemplative life, and for the book, as his early departure evidenced that the life of silence was an ill fit for him. Robertson’s subsequent life of ministry is in stark contrast to this early experience: his website is called revivalstreams.co.nz and his other books reference the end times, prophecy and revival. As someone who has made a similar journey to Robertson, except in the opposite direction, I was eager to discover the inner motivations of his journey. But I did not find it here. The Abbots Shoes is descriptive rather than reflective. It is an easy read, and gives interesting insight into the details of cloistered life, but lacks any clear sense of the theology and practice of silence. There is no examination of the young Peter Robertson’s sense of call, nor exploration of the motives which lead him into the monastery and then out of it. While this book may serve as an engaging introductory apology for the contemplative tradition for those suspicious of it, for those already on the way of silence it will not do much to deepen understanding.

For up to the minute Anglican news visit Anglican Taonga online at www.anglicantaonga.org.nz

Bishop Kelvin Wright is an educator and spiritual director living on the Otago Peninsula. kelvin@highgate.net.nz

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For further information please contact: ATWC, 10 Beatty Street, PO Box 22-363 Otahuhu 1062 Phone: 09 276 3729 Email: info@atwc.org.nz Page 41


ANGLICAN TAONGA

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FILM

Left with only small mercies John Bluck takes in Christopher Nolan’s latest film that bears witness to a terror-drenched week in 1940: those days when 400,000 British and French men lay trapped under German barrage on the beach at Dunkirk.

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f you’re heading into the bush or out to sea you need a locator beacon to know where you are and be able to tell others. Movies serve the same purpose for me. Once in a long while a movie arrives that changes the landscape of cinema and redefines whatever comes next. Dunkirk is one of those. A war movie with no blood and guts, it leaves you to imagine what bullets do to bodies, which is much worse than being shown in Technicolour. 77 years on from the event, it’s a miracle the movie was made at all, since it portrays the humiliation of a nation. We’re still waiting for a film about Passchendaele, and we’ll wait even longer for a movie telling the truth of our own Land Wars of the 1860s. I asked the receptionist in my dentist’s office yesterday whether she’d seen Dunkirk. She hadn’t, and told me that growing up in England, the story was never taught or talked about in schools there. Though parts of it were, especially the romance Paul Gallico caught in his short novel ‘The Snow Goose,’ about brave civilian sailors picking up troops off the beaches in their little boats. But the massive scale of the disaster that nearly annihilated the British Expeditionary Force, and risked the viability of both Air Force and Navy before the war had hardly begun, has been too hard to talk much about till now. This movie will help the overdue conversation. There is still much to reflect on. Like why the Germans paused in their advance, giving the British and French the three-day breathing space that saved 338,000 men from slaughter. Page 42

Or that civilian sailors took huge risks in pleasure boats to cross the Channel, or the mysteries of weather patterns that let them sail, and then closed down the skies to the Luftwaffe. Or that our church hailed the evacuation as a divine miracle. We’re left wondering about the politics of triage that left 40,000 French soldiers behind on the beaches. And about the impossibly hard choices that British commanders made to hold back their planes and boats for fear of being left powerless to resist the German invasion that everyone expected would follow. All of this is backstage in a film that focuses solely on the experience of the men involved in the air for an hour, on the sea for a day and the beach for a week. Master filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s only interest is the human experience and its overwhelming scale, amplified by the endless stretch of beach and sea and sky, as though nature itself was adding to the chorus of the tragedy. Chronological time fades away and a new dynamic takes over that welds together the fates of military and civilian, allies and the enemy you never see; those who fight in the air with those on the sea and those who are powerless to do anything but wait terrified on the beach. This is an anti-war movie par excellence. Nolan’s interest is not so much in the spectacle of it all, overwhelming as that is, but in the horror behind the physical appearance: the trauma, the despair and the sheer waste of it all. You know that what you see these soldiers going through will scar them forever if they survive. Few New Zealanders were

involved in Dunkirk, but we lost 12,000 men and women in the war that followed, and twenty years later, nearly the same number were on government pensions for psychiatric disorders. You walk out of Dunkirk wondering how anything good could be salvaged. The film ends with scenes of traumatised soldiers arriving home, wet and hungry being served hot tea and sandwiches by volunteers murmuring reassurance and gratitude. Which in May 1940, was about all many of our forebears could do to keep hope alive. Something as ordinary as serving tea is not a bad way to end a movie that constantly threatens to overwhelm you. Gratitude for small mercies is not much, but it’s enough when you can do nothing else. I’ll remember that when someone offers me a cup after church next Sunday. Bishop John Bluck is a writer living in Northland. blucksbooks@gmail.com


ANGLICAN TAONGA

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F R O M T H E FA R S I D E

Alexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock.com

Imogen de la Bere looks on as Europe reels from yet another unexpected terror in their midst. Where can we find God’s imprint in such times? she asks.

Searching geopolitics for Jesus

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mazingly, I can’t predict the future. But I can confidently state that between the time I write this and the time you read it, some things will have happened on the geopolitical stage that the media will describe as unprecedented, extraordinary, or both. We live in unpredictable times. Sometimes this is plain interesting, sometimes appalling, and sometimes both. In the UK recent extraordinary and unprecedented events have galvanised conversation. People who generally avoid politics as rather too contentious or depressing have started talking animatedly about their views, realising that the political spectrum is now so varied that it’s safe to view them without fear of a row. The pundits are so disconcerted by the extraordinary and unprecedented turn of events that they have become quite humble, and off-piste commentators like John Oliver, the Canary or Owen Jones are gaining credibility, greatly adding to the happiness of nations. But what have geopolitics got to do with the work of God in Aotearoa New Zealand? Apart from the obvious answer, which is the interconnectivity of all things in God’s

world, there is a subtle message here for Christians. Many of the wise among us believe that the great upheaval happening in the Western world reflects people’s longing for what is authentic, for politicians who speak the truth. This can lead many to support leaders whom moderates abhor. People are no longer longing for warrior figureheads, for glossy TV stars, for saints, for the safe, amiable uncle – they are flocking to people whom they perceive to be telling the truth, whatever the cost. Sadly, that perception is sometimes flawed. But is this not a people looking for Christ? Terrible is another word we will continue to hear often. Terrible events in Europe, all the more terrible because they are home-grown, cold-blooded or the result of careless capitalism. But the reaction of the people has been extraordinary – candle-lit vigils, massive spontaneous charitable donations, selfless activity - way beyond the call of duty - from medical and emergency agencies, popular outpourings of love, an adamantine refusal to talk hate or take revenge. The crowd at the Manchester terrorist bomb memorial

spontaneously singing a secular anthem of forgiveness: “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. Is this not a people looking for Christ? The Christian gospel has done its work in Europe. You might argue that church attendance is at an historic low, and the churches are empty. But this is surely to confuse church attendance with God’s work. They are not the same. When most people believed and went to church, society’s norms were violent and oppressive, but as the Christian gospel of truth and love and tolerance slowly worked its way into the very DNA of society, society’s norms changed to align themselves with those Christ taught. What would Jesus prefer? People searching for the truth, upsetting the traders, upsetting the establishments, refusing to hate, showing tolerance at every turn, or people packing the pews, theirs hearts and minds filled with bigotry and hate? Extraordinary, unprecedented – yes, just like Jesus. Imogen de la Bere is a writer and director living in England. delaberi@googlemail.com

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Anglican Taonga Spring 2017  

ANGLICAN TAONGA is published by the Anglican Commission on Communications and distributed to all parishes and agencies of the Anglican Churc...