My God, my Saviour died for me, I live because of mercy; Your great mercy, has lifted me up from shame Your great mercy, has broken my every chain; Your great mercy, has flooded my soul with peace Your great mercy has rescued me
Christ-Centred Mission Christ is both our centre and the One we serve. We become Christ-like by furthering the Kingdom and further the Kingdom by becoming Christ-like.
August September 2019
Inviting | Forming | Sending | Serving
“Let the Children Come”
16 Weeks To A Better You!
The Bishop’s Message – Telling Our Stories In Brief – Rejoicing Angels In Brief – In Search Of A Gender-Neutral God In Brief – Hear The Bells Ringing… In Brief – Advocating Annie Our Story – A Warm Kiwi Welcome For Seafarers Our Story – Regenerating Our Diocese Our Story – Does God Cry? Our Story – “Let the Children Come” Our Story – Understanding Islam
Young People Off The Grid?
2 2 3 4 5 6 10 12 14
Reverend Chris Ponniah brings Joy 22 and Hope to Christchurch
To Cover Or Not To Cover – Is That The Question?
15 16 18 19 20 22 24 26 28 29
Our Story – Singing Our Stories Our Story – 16 Weeks To A Better You! Our Story – Young People Off The Grid? Theological Thoughts – The Centre Of Christian Mission Workplace Interview – Being Present For Police Personnel Dialogue – Reverend Chris Ponniah brings Joy and Hope to Christchurch Harakeke – Following Jesus Global Dispatch – To Cover Or Not To Cover – Is That The Question? Arts – Book Reviews Arts – Poem: And Jesus Wept
AnglicanLife is published bi-monthly by the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch Editor – Jo Bean – firstname.lastname@example.org Design – Leisa Jamieson Contributing Writers – Annie Bately, Jo Bean, Claire Bonner, Edwin Boyce, Rev’d Thomas Brauer, Bishop Peter Carrell, Rev’d Stephanie Clay, Rev’d Lucy Flatt, Rev’d Tom Innes, Liz, Rev’d John McLister, Rev’d Mary Minson, Annemarie Mora, Rev’d Joshua Moore, Bruce Morriss, Ven. Nick Mountfort, Rev’d Bosco Peters, Donna Reid, Rev’d Stephanie Robson, Amanda South, Rev’d Elspeth Wingham. Editorial and Advertising Enquiries – Jo Bean – email@example.com Printed by – Blueprint Media Print Sustainability – AnglicanLife is printed on sustainably produced paper using vegetable-based inks ISSN 2253-1653 (print), ISSN 2537-849X (online) Cover image – The church resounding with singing and dancing, telling of God’s great mercy, at the Anglicost Service, 9 Jun 2019, St Barnabas Church, Fendalton. Song credit: Your Great Mercy by Satellite Photo credit: Mandy Caldwell Photography
The Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square
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Telling Our Stories: Missional Activity In The Diocese
It has been very important for the Diocese of Christchurch to focus on strategic themes such as “Christ-centred mission.” For many Christians it goes without saying that our mission is Christ-centred, but “mission” is a widely used word these days. Seemingly every business has a mission announced by a framed mission statement as we enter their front door. So the phrase “Christ-centred mission” has focused our minds on the distinctiveness of our mission – is it centred on Christ, or not? In this edition we find a variety of wonderful stories of Christ-centred missional activity in our Diocese. I find it heart-warming to read these stories. It is a huge privilege in my role to meet people – our missioners – as they live out these stories. Their stories testify to the power of Christ to transform life’s situations, beginning with the missioners themselves. The consistent characteristic across all these stories is that people are open to the prompting
of the Spirit to take a step forward, to move outwards from church to community, all in the cause of Christ’s mission. Emphasis on “mission” has deep roots in Holy Scripture. Our word derives from the Latin verb, missio, I send. Our understanding of the importance of mission derives from the multiple times in Scripture when God “sends” one or more of his people to do something in the world. In the Old Testament this sending
often involves people who are now well-known to us: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Ruth, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and other prophets. Often their tasks related to speaking God’s message into a situation – speaking truth to power – a task associated with prophets. In the New Testament, Jesus himself comes into the world as one sent by God. The Holy Spirit comes from God to empower those Jesus sends out. And Jesus sends his disciples
out to local and global communities. It is the disciples’ mission which continues to impel us today. Jesus sends disciples out to preach the good news, to heal people, to deliver people from demons, so, today, by word and by deed, we announce the presence of God’s rule in the world.
strategic language so that the things we do and say in Christ’s name have some new vigour. I look forward to your feedback. Blessings,
Also in this edition, I set out some thinking about a renewed vision for the Diocese. I am proposing we continue in Christ-centred mission but we refresh our
The Bishop’s Message
| Photo Credit – AnglicanLife
In Search Of A Gender-Neutral God Considering the feminine aspects of God About 30 people came to a workshop designed to share stories and reflect on the concept of God. The topic for exploration was ‘Male-only God?’ and was held in the Village lounge at the Presbyterian community centre, Papanui. It was hosted by three seekers of the feminine divine, Bridie Boyd, Kathryn Fee, and Megan Blakie.
Approximately the size of a standard printed photograph, a piece of the Rose window had been languishing for eight years in the cavity between the inner and outer walls in the cathedral just below where the Rose window had been. Heritage staff rejoiced in their find (it’s large at 13cm x 12 cm), happy it was well preserved (albeit dusty). Heritage expert Jenny May says, “It was an ‘angelic’ find for the retrieval staff – they were so excited. The piece is an angel’s head from one of the outside circles.” The angel was surrounded by a lead border that may have contributed to it falling intact. The original Rose Window depicts a host of angels adoring a central Lamb, a symbol of Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God. The 7.5m artwork was designed by architect Benjamin Mountfort and contained more than 4000 pieces
of glass, many of which were broken during the June 2011 earthquake. The iconic window is being reinstated as part of the Christ Church Cathedral project. A stylised Rose Window is used in each edition of this AnglicanLife Magazine. Can you count how many Rose window circles like this you can find in this magazine? Send your answer to email@example.com
“It was deeply moving to hear the personal stories my two younger co-hosts shared about the challenges they faced trying to integrate their womanhood with the male-dominated Christian faith they inherited,” says Megan. “The three of us offered this workshop because we have all had similar experiences trying to reconcile the masculine God we experience in our churches with the Biblical concept that women, too, are made in the image of God”. The workshop opened with a reflection on some of the passages of the Bible where God is ascribed
| Words – Annemarie Mora and Jo Bean | Photo Credit – CCRL
During a time of reflection, people were free to look at art, reflect on their own experiences, ponder various questions, or pray. The ‘Male-only God?’ workshop was held on Sunday 26 May.
‘feminine’ qualities, This was accompanied by a power point of artistic images and photos. From there, participants shared their own life experiences then moved on to answer some questions designed to help them probe deeper and reflect on their own beliefs. This heralded more group discussion and talk was open, educational, at times challenging, and for many, empowering.
“In our culture, we often label attributes as being male or female, but both men and women can exhibit them,” says Megan. “The virtues we ascribe to God such as love, compassion, and mercy, are non-gendered.”
Attendees travelled from as far away as Rangiora and represented a range of denominations and life stages. The general consensus at the end of the session was that God is spirit and that gendered and binary notions of God (God as exclusively male or female) can be unhelpful.
The team hope to run similar workshops again in future and are keen to promote the idea to all churches that it is possible to refer to God in inclusive or nongendered ways. Anyone interested in participating in such a workshop, or learning more can ontact Megan Blakie on kennett_blakie@hotmail. com or contact Bridie Boyd on firstname.lastname@example.org
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – Megan Blakie
Hear The Bells Ringing… Hear the Bells Ringing! They’re singing that we can be born again!1 With apologies to Keith Green, did you hear the bells?
Smiles and joy, nostalgia and hope – all of these responses were evident on faces when the bells were rung in Cathedral Square recently. About 100 thankful people gathered in the Square on a perfect winter’s day, Friday 21 June, to listen to the sounds of bells being played on loud speakers. It might not have been the real thing, but it was our real Christ Church Cathedral bells, and they were filling the Square once again with a joyous sound. Dean Lawrence Kimberley happily gave the signal for people to imagine pulling the ropes and sounding the bells. “It was a bit of light-hearted fun,” he said. “Anything that helps people enjoy being in square again, that reminds us of good times, and gives us hope for a better future, is always good.” The Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project team is ‘going like the clappers’2 behind the scenes working on reinstatement,
but there won’t be much to see on site until early next year. The sound of the Cathedral’s bells ringing out through the Square seemed the perfect way to bring the project to life. The aim is for people to remember that this iconic cathedral was once full of people, music, song, and the sound of bells – and will be again!
Dean Lawrence Kimberley helping the crowd to symbolically pull the bell ropes and sound the Cathedral bells. To watch a video of the bell-ringing event go to www.vimeo.com/344200692
Our Cathedral Bells
The genuine recording of all 12 of the Cathedral bells sounding together will be played through loud speakers every Friday lunchtime, on an ongoing basis. Chris Oldham, the Cathedral Administrator who has been a bell-ringer for 34 years, says that the symbolic bell ringing was a great idea.
• The 13 bells were cast in England in 1881 but replaced in 1978 with lighter versions. • The bells were damaged in the 2011 earthquakes and were sent back to England for refurbishment. They are now safely back, awaiting reinstatement. - Some bells still have dints and dings from the quakes – as it didn’t affect their sound, only their mechanisms were refurbished. - One had to be re-cast as its damage was not repairable. - A new bell was cast at the same time, in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the quakes. - Bell-ringers from around the world contributed money to the bell refurbishment. • The Cathedral bells weigh between 305kg and approximately 1,250kg each (25 hundredweight!). • Bells are numbered and bell-ringers pull the rope according to number patterns (like a ‘soduku’ for bell-ringers). • Although we have 13, only 12 are ever rung at one time. • Traditionally the Cathedral bell-ringers practiced at St Paul’s Papanui – and still do today.
“Bringing back the unique sound of our bells helps us to feel connected to the Square. It’s a great way to remember that the Cathedral is still there, and work is underway to allow us re-inhabit that space again.” Many commented afterwards how encouraging it was to be part of the event and know the Cathedral project was going strong.
The Easter Song by Keith Green
“Going like the clappers” is a phrase taken from bell ringing practise – the clapper is the tongue or the hammer, the ‘dong-er’ that strikes the bell to make the metal shell vibrate, to create the amplified ‘peeling’ sound.
| Words – Amanda South | Photo Credit –CCRL
‘Advocating Annie’ Achieves In And For The Ashburton Community Recently I sat with Marie Ward, the Manager of Ashburton’s Work and Income office and I was encouraged by what she said realising this woman has a heart! We both agreed that the people we work with often don’t want to be the recipient of a benefit but now need it to cope with the cost of living day-to-day, and going through those doors to face a Case Manager is the last thing they want to do. Annie Bately, Anglican Advocate Coordinator for Ashburton.
She walks through the door, held open by the WINZ security guard, maneuvering her pram carefully with one hand as she firmly clutches the hand of her toddler in the other. She is in an environment and position she has not experienced before. She scans around for anyone who may know her as she grapples with her pride and a feeling that she is being judged. Will anyone hear her story and respond to her need?
In Brief |
I began the role of Ashburton Anglican Advocacy Coordinator in January this year, with my brief to establish an advocacy service, prove the demand, and help secure funding. I had previously worked for ten years for a Christian-based charitable Trust in Blenheim and the wide range of need for our advocacy services there provided me with the knowledge and experience to develop what is now becoming a respected avenue of support for people here in Ashburton. Warren James, my first volunteer advocate, is a caring and trained mediator, and together we have put in many hours letting people know about the new service. I see us as seed sowers, peacemakers, connectors and wrap-around
activists. We have been welcomed by those we’ve met and for many, what we are doing, is providing a win-win outcome for both agency services and the people seeking help. Warren and I have seen a growing demand for assistance as people overwhelmed with difficult issues seek support. The relief they experience having someone on their side, to speak up on their behalf when the need arises, makes all the difference. It gives me great joy to see the smile on their faces when we come away with a successful outcome. And it’s also fantastic that due to our increasing workload, we have just recently taken on another volunteer advocate, the great listener and bubbly Christine Sanderson. Advocacy support can include help with housing, employment disputes, access to children, letter writing, reconnection of phones, legal representation and disciplinary hearings, ACC and HNZ wrangling, as well as putting wrap-around services in place for clients as required before closing off a case. Is the work easy? No it is not. But the benefits and satisfaction is huge. One woman assisted by our service recently sent me this text: “We need a few more people like you who are willing to
Words – Annie Bately | Photo Credit – Ashburton Courier
put themselves out to get things done. Just wanted you to know it hasn’t gone unappreciated.” We also get referrals from other agencies like Psychologists, Counsellors, Work & Income, Presbyterian Support, Plunket, Family Start, Neighbourhood Support, and more. A young mother who recently lost the custody of her children said this: “I know that the cost of the choices I made will be life-long for me and that the domestic violence and conflict has impacted the lives of my children in ways that has brought the lawyers and the heavy hand of the law down on me. But I have been a victim too. What support was ever put in place for me?”
“We need a few more people like you who are willing to put themselves out to get things done. Just wanted you to know it hasn’t gone unappreciated.” (an Ashburton advocacy user)
It’s cases like this that highlight the need for community advocacy, to ensure that people’s voices are heard, and that all are treated fairly and without prejudice. As we continue to grow, I think of this quote by Mother Teresa: “We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
Annie Bately is employed for this Mid-Canterbury advocacy pilot, by Anglican Advocacy, a division of Anglican Care. Annie acknowledges the invaluable training, support and advice she has received from Anglican Care Advocacy Coordinator, Ruth Swale (Timaru) and Anglican Missioner, Roger Sutton (Canterbury). Ashburton residents can get hold of Annie by emailing email@example.com or calling 027 220 0400.
A Warm Kiwi Welcome For Seafarers Imagine spending nine months away from home each year, working for as little as NZ$4/hr. That is Benji Sator’s reality, a seafarer from the Philippines, who arrives in Lyttelton every six weeks on a container ship. The first thing Benji wants to do when he arrives in port is call his wife Maria. He knows she and the kids will be at home at dinner time, about 9pm NZ time. So he will head up to
the Lyttelton library and stand in the freezing wind, and tell his wife he is fine and his daughter that he loves her, as his hands turn blue from the cold.
While in Lyttelton port, if Benji needs to stock up on a few personal items, he has some challenges. He is paid in US dollars, but there is no bank in Lyttelton. Local businesses will happily exchange his money at an inflated rate of 1USD for 1NZD. Using this method, for every US$100 he has to break, Benji is US$40 out of pocket. Last month, he needed to go into town in Christchurch, so called a taxi. The taxi driver charged him US$100 for the ride. Blue Star Taxis says a fare should only cost about $45 dollars. Sadly this kind of story is not unusual. A few weeks ago, I received this email. “Sir our captain is forcing us to clean the ship’s rusty cargo hold when the ship is at sea and rolling. I have family waiting for me in the Philippines. Sir my life is in danger. Also my captain is violating our contract. We are supposed
to be working 44 hrs a week but we reach already more than 70 hrs a week, with no pay for overtime. Please help us.” This is what the Anglican Mission to Seafarers is all about. In response to this and similar situations the Lyttelton Seafarers Centre was opened in 2016. A handful of volunteers, working part-time hours, provide a warm, safe place for seafarers to gather, with free wi-fi to call home, and currency exchange at a standard rate. We also support seafarers when work conditions are breached and strongly advocate for their rights. By next year, we aim to have the centre open full-time, and a chaplain visit every ship that arrives in port.
Rev’d John McLister with seafarers from China.
How can you help? We are all beholden to seafarers like Benji. From the coffee we drink to the cars we drive, all have been brought here by large ships crewed by people like Benji. You can help us give them a warm kiwi welcome by: • Taking up a collection on Sea Sunday each year for the Lyttelton Seafarers Centre (Sea Sunday was 14 July 2019, but can be held on another Sunday) • Volunteering at the Lyttelton centre (Do you have a youth group or men’s shed that might enjoy some extracurricular activity?) • Knitting beanies (ideally with real kiwi wool) • Donating warm jackets (second-hand is fine) • Donating money (so we can heat our centre and provide free wifi). For more information visit www. lytteltonseafarerscentre.com or contact Rev’d John McLister on 027-8900-308 or firstname.lastname@example.org
| Words – Rev’d John McLister | Photo Credit – supplied
Regenerating Our Diocese Our people; our families; our communities Part A: Clergy Conference For three days in May, the clergy in our diocese attended clergy conference. It was held at Living Springs, up on the hill overlooking Lyttelton harbour. The views there are inspirational and the warm fine weather was a treat so close to the deepening winter we have experienced since. Living Springs is growing and changing. Trees and grasses are being planted in great numbers to regenerate native forest and the return of tui and even kiwi to the area.
That ties in with the theme of the conference – Regeneration – which picked up Bishop Peter’s call to Regenerate this diocese over the next 10 years. As well as much prayer, singing, laughter, and some tears, we had two keynote speakers; Esther Grant from St Paul’s Symonds Street in Auckland, and Dean David Rowe from the Wellington Cathedral. We were reminded that God’s mission in the world involves everyone; all Christians are ministers and all
Sunrise Over Banks Peninsula.
| Words – Ven. Nick Mountford and Rev’d Stephanie Robson | Photo Credit – Rev’d Thomas Brauer
of us have a part to play in the Mission of God. Through generous hospitality and human kindness we can help make the world a better place for others, and at the same time grow in our capacity to love. So, what is it that regenerates congregations? What is it that regenerates us as individuals? We heard personal stories of God regenerating the speaker’s lives and their congregations, of God’s
unfailing faithfulness to his promises and love. In the end we cannot manufacture new life on our own; it is a work of the Spirit of God, a work of grace. Our task, as one speaker put it, is to “live in the narrative that is not yet.” In other words, to choose to live in joy and encouragement of one another, and to bring down walls that divide and alienate people from one another. A community that is both encouraging and joyful, is opening itself to God’s regenerating.
To speak well of each other and to find reasons for joy is a discipline. The conference also provided lots of opportunities for clergy to undergo some personal regeneration, to get to know their colleagues better, and for the members of the diocesan ministry team to be able to share with church leaders the different ways they can support their efforts in parishes. There were also workshop activities to refresh the soul – the fun stuff. We also did a StrengthsFinder workshop, so now we have a common language to help us talk about doing the ways we work and how we can ensure we focus on the things we love to do, and on what is positive and joyous in keeping with our shared vocations as ministers of God’s grace. Some ministry teams have gone on to have team coaching using StrengthsFinder to help bring out the best in each other. The Regeneration of the diocese seems to have started already! Wildlife in native bush near Living Springs.
| Words – Bishop Peter | Photo Credit – Rev’d Thomas Brauer
Regenerating Our Diocese Our people; our families; our communities
Part B: Sharing my developing vision “If I was to give you a time machine, and you were to fly 11 years into the future (to 2030), what would a regenerated church in your neck of the woods look like? Can you describe it?”
This kind of question challenges all of us to dream some dreams, to imagine some visions. Nevertheless, as Bishop of Christchurch, I am somewhat flattered to find many people interested in my “Bishop’s Vision”.
The alternative hardly bares thinking about, but we must state it: the alternative is the death of the Anglican church in Canterbury, Westland and the Chatham Islands, perhaps by 2040. Regeneration is not a nice to have, it is a must have.
It was atremendous experience at two mini Clergy Conferences, 8 and 12 March 2019 and then at the annual Clergy Conference, 29 May 2019, to share my developing vision. Some road testing is important before I offer a final version in my ‘Presidential Address’ at Synod on Friday morning 6 September. Thoughts shared here are a further test – your feedback is welcome via Veronica Cross, Bishop’s Executive Assistant, email@example.com
To get there we need first a turn to God: refreshing ourselves in the promises of Scripture, that God wants the gospel to spread, the kingdom to grow and the church to flourish (Colossians 1:3-6a); and praying to God that His will be done on earth as in heaven.
In one word, my vision is “Regeneration.” I would like to see a regenerated Diocese by the time I hand over the episcopal baton to the next Bishop of Christchurch. What might that Diocese look like? Instead of the majority of our congregations being aged over 60, imagine this scenario in 2030: the majority in our congregations are The Families and Youth Orchestra at St Peter’s Upper Riccarton playing in an all-age service. aged under 60.
| Words – Bishop Peter | Photo Credit – St Peter’s
Only then might we permit ourselves to think in terms familiar to our culture: strategy, plans, and goals. On that score I am keen not to work on another ‘strategic plan’. Such things take up a lot of time for a working group and then, all too often, get placed in a drawer and forgotten. My preference is for the Diocese to adopt a statement of strategic intent, a framework of key themes which guide us through the years to 2030. In my view, this is what we have effectively had through the past six to seven years when we have talked about our strategic plan in terms of just three
“My preference is for the Diocese to adopt a statement of strategic intent, a framework of key themes which guide us through the years to 2030.” Bishop Peter Carrell
themes: Christ-centred mission, faithful stewardship, and raising up young leaders. I think we can freshen up that language, take account of new emphases, and recognise some critical realities by focusing on a statement of strategic intent with these three themes: disciples, families, communities. These themes include and do not displace Christ-centred mission, raising up young leaders, and faithful stewardship.
Alternatives could be ‘whanau’ (which is open to criticism that a dominant Pakeha culture is appropriating a word from Tikanga Māori) or ‘households’ (which relates well to the New Testament, but is it an ‘everyday’ Kiwi-English word?).
A true family baptism, grandma and grandchildren, at St Paul’s Papanui.
‘Disciples’ is about making disciples (evangelism, then nurture) and about making disciples who make disciples (evangelism, nurture, growth through multiplication). This is Christ-centred mission with a specific focus. Within this theme I envision our commitment to world mission being worked out. If ‘regeneration’ is to mean some real growth and development in the Diocese (and not a proverbial ‘re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’) then we must evangelise and make new disciples of Christ.
‘Families’ is about strengthening the role families play in the life of the church. ‘Raising up young leaders’ presupposes that we have youth in church. Youth in church often have not come from outside the church but are there because children in church have become teenagers and young adults. Few children are in church without a parent or grandparent supporting them. So, “Let’s focus,” this theme says, “on our ministry to the whole of a family” as we seek Regeneration. For feedback: is ‘families’ an appropriate term?
‘Communities’ is about strengthening our ministry units (which are themselves communities of faith) as they invest resources – people, time, money – in serving local communities in Christ’s mission. The visibility of the church needs to be seen by local communities not only when we gather for regular worship but when we physically and materially engage in acts of service and witness. Evangelism begins with meeting the needs of local communities. Finally, in my addresses to clergy I have reminded them of the adage, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. That is, a statement of strategic intent will only result in real change if we first tackle the culture of our ministry units and of our diocese. Culture is ‘the way we do things around here’ – Feature
the customs, expectations and local traditions which shape the character of our ministry units. We will not Regenerate through action on Disciples, Families and Communities if we keep on doing what we have always done. We need to boldly ask whether there are any customs, expectations or local traditions which block us from being the gospel people Christ calls us to be.
Might my vision be your vision also? Separated we cannot do much for God. Together we will find God can do much through us. Arohanui,
Ice-creams and automatic rifles – a juxtaposition not often seen together. But it demonstrates a church and community partnership (post 15 March).
| Words – Bishop Peter | Photo Credit – Left St Paul’s; Right Anglican Care
Does God Cry?
Mission group cbm – Bringing God’s healing hands to the marginalised and forgotten We’ve all seen the images of children in poverty and despair on TV. They used to make us cry, but now we’ve been somewhat inured to their plight, having been saturated with multiple images and requests for help. We can get a bit thickskinned. We can switch channels. Or mute the advert and focus on something else. But God sees each sparrow, each hair on your head, each thought you have – and he does this for all of his creation. So God sees. But does God cry? Here in the wealthy west, we turn away from trying to fight what seems an unwinnable battle. A disaster, like a cyclone, however, has a beginning and an end, so it’s easier to help. If you’re like me, giving to refugees, or sick children in Africa, for example, is challenging because the situation won’t resolve itself quickly. It’s ongoing, and it feels like one person can’t make a difference. But one person can make a difference for one other person. And we can’t turn a blind eye – the words of Jesus about separating the sheep and the goats (as recorded by Matthew 25:31–46) ring in our conscience. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
And that is the inspiration of cbm. cbm (Christian Blind Mission), founded in 1908 by the German Pastor, Ernst Jakob Christoffel, is an international Christian development organisation, working to improve the quality of life of the world’s poorest persons with disabilities.
a disability. They offer advice, education, practical help and lifechanging operations to people with disabilities in developing nations, in places where infrastructure is minimal, places where a disability is often a reason to be cast out and abandoned, places where a disability may mean death when disaster happens and the fight to survive is only won by the strong. Sounds interesting, but how is cbm different from other charities that do similar work but with different delivery models? Some have a community focus where you can sponsor individual children but the way the help gets to the individual is, for the most part, through
So, cbm have been working with children and adults living with disabilities around the world for over 100 years. And their vision is fantastic: cbm strive for an inclusive world in which all people living with disabilities are given the opportunity to enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential. Last year cbm operated in 55 countries and worked with 371 partners delivering health and hope to those who face the double disadvantage of both poverty and
| Words – Jo Bean and Bruce Morriss | Photo Credit – CBM
supporting the community they live in. Another charity’s model is to pair individuals up through sponsorship and the focus is on Christian education for each individual child (thus improving community outcomes). Both these delivery mechanisms work well. However, cbm is a bit different. Your donation doesn’t go to a single individual, but goes towards thousands of lifechanging operations, or hundreds of prosthetics for lost limbs, or schemes that educate parents how to care for their disabled children. To be fair, they are not the only charity working in this space. Other organisations are Doctors without Frontiers, The Fred Hollows
Foundation, or the Mercy Ships our former Prime Minster, John Key, is currently endorsing on the airwaves. But with cbm’s child sponsorship programme, having one ‘representative’ child reduces administrative costs making your donation go further as well as protecting the children’s privacy. Additionally, cbm programmes go beyond health and rehabilitation services; they also provide support for education to children with disabilities and community based inclusive development. cbm New Zealand supports projects in Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
A new leg for Dinesh will mean a new life. Give children like Dinesh their chance to shine by becoming a cbm Child Sponsor today.
To become a Child Sponsor please go to www.cbmnz.org.nz/child-sponsorship
They support people living in extreme poverty and hardship, to ensure that no one is excluded or left behind. Does God cry? I believe he does. Jesus wept tears over Jerusalem (John 11:35), and we are created in the image of God. The Holy Spirit groans in anguish (Rom 8:26), and
praying in the Spirit can take the form of sobbing and weeping. So yes – God cries. But when we step in and help, we are doing God’s will. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Healing the Hurt and Shame
Women like Merina are being made whole again. They are supported, encouraged and educated after simple surgery to repair fistula issues.
cbm provides help to women who have fistula problems after birth. Fistula affects over 2 million women in developing countries, where mainly due to malnutrition, pelvic formation is stunted, mainly due to malnutrition, pelvic formation is stunted, so at birth things go wrong. (If you’re squeamish, look away.) Fistula happens when a baby has been stuck in the birth canal, tearing a hole, which then causes transference of fluids (urine and faeces), pain, infection, smell, and fear. They become outcasts, shunned by society.
“I was very sad. All my former joy had disappeared. Who was I? A woman? I couldn’t do anything. I leaked urine and I smelled bad. I was so ashamed. I had lost my baby... In those days I didn’t have any hope,” recalls Merina. Many women live with fistula for decades, where but for a minor repair operation, and some antibiotics, they could live a normal life. In Merina’s case, cbm was there to intervene – they repaired her wound, educated her and her family, and now she works as an educator herself. “I want to help other women, just like I was helped. And I have another wish. I’d like to have two healthy children with my husband. Because it must be wonderful to have children.” To read Merina’s full story visit www.cbmnz.org.nz/tanzania
“Let there be Light!”
Pre-Vicar days, in his early 20s, a young Thomas Brauer was working with a Canadian Christian Development NGO in Mbarara, Uganda, placed alongside a cbm clinic. Read his first-hand experience of their work.
surgery and rehab, and they did day clinics in the villages. I was astonished to learn that they could do cataract surgery in under 10 minutes on the back of a pick-up truck in the middle of the bush! And that wasn’t all – they did polio vaccination drives and education, and a huge variety of other forms of education and training, including training local medical professionals in the various areas they worked in.
takes to do cataract surgery in the back of a truck in the African bush and the surgeon was pleased that he could now see his patients! “I also became very good friends with the staff at the clinic. They were, to a person, kind, compassionate and deeply aware of the suffering of children in rural and impoverished contexts in Uganda. Some had given up their comfortable homes in Europe or North America to serve in difficult circumstances for years or decades – and some of them chose never to return, but to make Africa their home.
“While I was there I learned that their operating theatre light was giving them trouble. In those days, I was an electronics technician with a specialty in working with lighting “I remain utterly in love with cbm. “The work cbm do is not just a systems, so I volunteered to The work they do is exemplary. matter of handing out glasses, help if I could. It was my first The compassion they offer is but a whole range of clinics that time in an operating theatre of deep and transformative.” were essential services for the any kind. I quickly saw that the people of the area. Not only do problem was an easy fix, though they provide all forms of eyeif a person wasn’t familiar with The Rev’d Thomas Brauer, Vicar of care from optometry to cataracts lighting equipment, it would have the Sumner-Redcliffs Parish. to emergency surgeries, they been impossible to correct. I was also had a residential burn clinic in and out in about the time it for children that included plastic
For more information visit their website: www.cbmnz.org.nz Bruce Morriss, cbm’s South Island Engagement Manager, can come to your group, and talk about the work they do. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org
| Words – Jo Bean and Bruce Morriss | Photo Credit – cmb
“Let the Children Come” St Peter’s Preschool is Blessed
Seeping cold and intermittent rain did not deter the people from coming to celebrate the parish of Riccarton-Yaldhurst’s hard work – the new St Peter’s preschool building is complete, the grounds ready, and the teaching rooms outfitted with wonderful teaching and learning tools including my favourite, sensory cushions with rainbow colours. The teachers are excited, and families are enrolling, some even enrolled on the day of blessing. So it was fantastic that Bishop Peter came to join with St Peter’s in this joyful milestone – one part of the project is now completed and another, its mission, about to begin.
You may have read the article in the paperwork and systems involved in running a NZ compliant preschool. previous AnglicanLife about how “Simply put, we do the boring stuff 160 years ago a preschool existed so the church can get on with the at St Peter’s, but when education fun stuff,” says Tony. MCCT runs became free and government led, the preschool moved down the road four other preschools in NZ, all in the North Island, partnering with and became Riccarton Primary. Baptists and Presbyterians – this is 160 years later, St Peter’s is proudly the first South Island preschool and bringing children back to the first venture with Anglicans. Church Corner. Speaking to Tony Bracefield of the Manakau Christian Charitable Trust (MCTT) it’s obvious that he’s incredibly invested in the whole venture. “What excites me is the vision of the church and the preschool together. The preschool belongs to the church, and will provide a unique opportunity for children to be educated in a Christian context, as well as ensuring families are welcome to join in other churchbased activities, like their Youth orchestra at their family services. It’s a community church outreach venture,” says Tony.
The festively arrayed preschool matched the brightly attired Ven. Nick Mountfort (right), Vicar of St Peter’s Upper Riccarton. Nick and Bishop Peter Carrell (centre) observe as the ribbon is about to be cut by Noeline Coutts (left) and young Beslin Koshy Benson (front). They represented the mature and youngest ends of the parish. The server assisting is Beslin’s older brother, Benit Koshy Benson.
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – AnglicanLife
The model is simple. It’s a partnership with MCCT who make it easy – MCCT take over the
“Together we do it for Jesus,” Tony says. He suggests this might be a good model for Anglicans to develop, to bring people back to the church for teaching and learning. He advocates this community approach as it means the church is used all day all week round a “living site,” so to speak. He also says that it provides a fantastic opportunity to preach the gospel at celebrations times like Easter and Christmas. “We have found in our experience, even without a faith, parents love the preschools we run, they love the values we espouse and the principles of education and traditional teaching methods. On
top of that, they tell us they value the staff – for their passion, their commitment and obvious love for their children,” says Tony. Preschool Head Teacher Liz Orr, says their aim is to create happy memories and to teach foundational skills to set the children up for life.
“We don’t just help the children play, we prepare them to read and write, to enter school confidently,” says Liz Orr. “We have the Koru programme for curious toddlers, the Kowhai programme for 3 year olds, and a Kahiketea programme to
help transition the older ones to school. We also run a daily Chinese programme that parents can choose for their children or not. This bi-lingual specialty programme is proving a real draw-card for parents in the area,” says Liz.
St Peter’s Anglican Preschool Philosophy and Staff: The Preschool is Bible based, uses the NZ Early Childhood curriculum and is bi- and multi-cultural. The staff are both Christian and trained teachers with a huge amount of accumulated early childhood experience. Liz Frew has five children and six grandchildren and her favourite bible verse is Is 40:31 about the weary soaring on eagles wings. Liz Orr the head teacher, has been in preschool education for more than 20 years and attends Lincoln Baptist. Her go-to verse is Jer 29:11 that speaks about good and hopeful plans for the future. Monica Song is a Chinese-NZr who has been in NZ for nearly 20 years and is a trained English teacher. She has taught in preschools for over 10 years and attends the Chinese Victory Church. Her mantra verse is Eph 4:2 about bearing with one another in love. Shyuan Wong is from Malaysia attends the Abundant Life Church and has been involved in children’s ministry for over 20 years. She is currently the Administrator for the St Peter’s Church Office as well as the preschool. Her best-loved verse is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…”
From left to right the smiling staff are: Shyuan, Head teacher Liz, Monica (partially obscured), Liz (Frew) and Tony Bracefield. They are delighted to have the facility almost ready. The final bit of paperwork still in progress is the Ministry of Education certification, which they envisage to take about two months.
Visit the church website to see more photos of the preschool: www.stpeterschurch.nz/preschool
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – AnglicanLife
Understanding Islam Rev’d Bosco Peters of Christ’s College with Mr Farid Ahmed and Mr Tony Green from Al Noor Mosque at the ‘Understanding Islam’ session held at Christ’s College on Thursday 13 June 2019. Credit: Grant Bennett.
Recently, over two hundred people turned up at Christ’s College to an ‘Understanding Islam’ event with Mr Farid Ahmed, a senior member of the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Ave. His wife, Husna, was at the mosque on March 15. She got the women and children together and led them to safety before going back to rescue her husband of 25 years. He couldn’t flee as he uses a wheelchair. She was killed – and he has become well known for his public response of grace and forgiveness. For many, many years, all students at Christ’s College have been learning about and from the great world religions. Islam is one of the Abrahamic faiths that is studied respectfully. More recently, I have begun a Centre for Ethics and Spirituality at Christ’s College. This Centre aims to help members of the wider community reflect and learn
about and from world religions, spirituality, and ethical issues.” On Thursday, 13 June, the topic was Islam. Mr Ahmed used what he referred to as the five main actions of the Muslim faith (the Five Pillars of Islam) as a springboard to explain how submission to God’s
will brings individual, family, community, and world peace. He then responded to a variety of questions that ranged from why some people commit terrorist acts using the name of Islam to how can we help people who fear Islam and Muslims. Mr Ahmed made it clear that those using the name of Islam to commit acts of terror are behaving contrary to the holy book of their faith, the Qur’an. A world map was projected on the screen and we saw where the people who attend Al Noor Mosque came from – which highlighted how cosmopolitan the mosque is. This mosque, then, is a parable of the way we, all being different, can learn to live together.
evening’s presentation, the parallel between Christian Lent and the Muslim disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving were quite obvious. When the attack happened, Christ’s College changed its Lent Appeal focus to the local Muslim community. Two people working at Christ’s College were among those shot in the attack, and the school has been able to help them financially using the money raised in the Lent Appeal. A remaining fund of $12,000 was handed over to the Al Noor Mosque at this ‘Understanding Islam’ event. I have travelled in Muslim-majority countries and have experienced
Mr Farid Ahmed is seen here about to head off on the ‘Peace Train’ bike ride on Sunday 26 May when Cantabrians rode together embodying the message “We are One”. The ride was held to promote peace, acceptance, tolerance and kindness. Credit: Rosalee Jenkin.
such gracious hospitality and friendship from the communities I visited. This generosity of heart was reinforced in this evening. We have so much of value to learn from each other, and our diversity is ever enriching.
The evening stimulated much conversation that has continued even beyond the evening. Comments over refreshments served afterwards included, “I had never considered Islam in this way”; “This evening has removed any fears I used to have”; “I came here not really knowing anything of substance about Islam.” When the terrorist attack happened in Christchurch, Christians had begun Lent. In the
Learning from and about other faiths is key to help us be in community together. Understanding Islam was the subject of this session, at Christ’s College, followed by Q&A, supper and more discussion. Many felt the learning an enriching experience. Credit: Grant Bennett.
| Words – Rev’d Bosco Peters, Chaplain at Christ’s College | Photo Credit – Rosalee Jenkin and Grant Bennett
Singing our Stories
Singing Our Stories Lessons from the NZ Anglican Schools Conference
ANGLICAN SCHOOLS’ CONFERENCE 2019 Craighead School, Timaru | May 22-23
Stories are every-where. We read them in papers, books and on our screens. These stories shout many narratives at us – how to live, what to eat, when to work and how to cultivate the perfect image. Yet how often do we pause to listen in? How often do we really examine what we are being told, what we are telling ourselves, and in turn, what we are telling others? The Anglican School’s Conference provided the perfect backdrop for Chaplains and RE Teachers to pause and to reflect, to examine the stories we are told, and the stories we are telling, and to recall the greatest story of all, the story of God. …and what a setting to reflect.
Imagine, a cool crisp morning, frost on the leaves, birds in the air, snow-capped ranges lit in cool blue and a dutiful sunrise sparkling red and yellow across a glassy sea. Craighead Diocesan School was the place to be. Amidst warm meals, showcasing South Canterbury culinary delights, merino blankets and good korero over coffee, we were encouraged to lift our voices and sing. Following the lead of our guest speaker, Scottish hymn-writer, the Rev’d John Bell, we were challenged to use sound to give rise to what is around us, to use hymns like the psalmists to sing the glory of God. We were encouraged to think creatively by Gerald Morris (a Pastor, teacher and fantasy writer from America) in the ways we tell stories and the echoes they leave in the lives of the listeners – to cherish the gifts of stories without the pressure of a blow-by-blow explanation. We heard with open hearts stories of our colleagues’ lives, we were drawn into the great prosaic histories and stories of our faith, and experientially lamented through sound and song. We lamented for the hurting youth. The aching world. And the places where our voices have become quiet in a pluralistic world. And we owned our story. Our story is the story of God’s people.
Rev’d Lucy as she leads the conference in morning prayer in the Chapel (using theWalter Bruggerman prayer).
The story of old selves being put to death so that new life, new hope and new dawns shine forth (Romans 6:1–14). Our Story
We recalled that we have a story of ultimate hope! Unlike the false narrative of radical individualism, we are called to community. We are called to support one another. To join together in the highs and lows of life and to offer practical prayer. Chaplains and RE teachers are at the coal face of faith and the public square. We are hit daily by questions on the problem of evil, the scientific proof that God exists, the dichotomy of character, let alone the increasing demand of administrative requirements. And yet, in this place, in these places, are the lives of young people searching for meaning. Developing their sense of identity, anchoring to a story of purpose, testing their hypotheses, raging against injustice and solidifying their understanding. And so, we need your prayers! We need the community of God to be gathering in prayerful expectation that God will move. That these young people will see the work of God and come to believe. That each one of us would affirm our faith and faithfully sing the stories of our ancestors, and the glory of God. Let us not remain silent, and as a community let us pray…
Rev’d John Bell is a Scottish hymn-writer, teacher, and an ordained Scottish minister. He is a member of the ecumenical Ionian community committed to peace and justice. He is a broadcaster and former student activist. He lectures in theological colleges in the UK, Canada and the US. He is committed to helping to renew grass-roots congregational worship.
“We are people who must sing you, for the sake of our very lives, You are the God who must be sung by us, for the sake of your majesty and honour. And so we thank you, for lyrics that push us past our reasons, for melodies that break open our givens, for cadences that locate us home, beyond all our safe places, for tones and tunes that open our lives beyond control and our futures beyond despair. We thank you for the long parade of mothers and fathers who have sung you deep and true; We thank you for the good company of artists, poets, musicians, cantors, and instruments that sing for us and with us, toward you. We are witnesses to your mercy and splendour; We will not keep silent…. Ever again. Amen.” “We will Not Keep Silent” by Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth “Prayers of Walter Bruggemann” (2003)
| Words – Rev’d Lucy Flatt | Photo Credit – The Right Rev’d Dr Kelvin Wright, Anglican Schools Regional Facilitator
“I now describe many of my conversations with others, prior to CPE, as being in grey tones compared to the range of colours that I now see.”
16 Weeks To A Better You! CPE offer a life-changing course for clergy Recently, a 16-week CPE course was held here in Christchurch and three of our diocesan clergy attended. We invite you to read how they felt about their experience below.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is an interdenominational professional education course for clergy and other pastoral staff that significantly improves pastoral care outcomes. It helps those providing pastoral care to truly listen, to connect with their clients, and also provides an impressive kete of welltried methods and practises. Whether you’ve worked in a pastoral role for 30 years or three, you will find something in this course to challenge and stimulate your pastoral heart.
Rev’d Stephanie Clay, Priestin-Charge, Anglican Parish of Amberley and Glenmark– Waikari. CPE was a seemingly innocuous line on my ‘to do’ list for training to become a Priest. I checked regularly for CPE courses in Canterbury but for a number of logistical reasons, it was six years before we came together. Hallelujah! – I was finally doing it! Many people gave me advice about their experiences of CPE. Some said it was dry, some said it was hard work, some warned me that I would get to take a good look at myself to see what made me tick, pushed my buttons, and make me look at my baggage. I was ready for
the challenge, not knowing what was going to happen, but one of six participants from arious denominations, ages and stages of life and faith, coming together to learn, essentially, the art of listening. It was anything but dry. Our supervisors, Kath & Ros from the Wellington Diocese, are great teachers – they taught without us even realising it and we had so much fun along the way. It was hard work, almost akin to learning a new language; the ability to take people from the superficial to the deeper feelings that lurk beneath, for the other to be truly heard is an amazing gift and act of love. I have made seven new friends, learnt a lot about myself and am now just beginning my journey as a better pastoral listener.
regarding life, as ‘journeying together on a waka’? Our CPE course was similarly described as a train ride. And what a rollercoaster it was. Full of fun, laughter, a few screams and a great feeling of having achieved something at the end. Two days a fortnight, plus homework, over 16 weeks feels like a long commitment at the start of the course, but believe me, by the end you will wonder where the time went. If you enter it with an open heart, you’ll come away with massive learnings, new pathways to follow, and (hopefully) a growing team of co-professionals for ongoing support.
Rev’d Mary Minson
The length also provides the space for getting comfortable and honest with each other, and assists in the process of identifying poor habits and replacing them with new improved ones. Where each trainride starts and finishes is different too – as the supervisors shape the journey according to the mix of personalities on the train.
Rev’d Mary Minson, Chch Women’s Hospital Chaplain. Have you heard the Maori expression
There was always laughter, even during our mid-course assessments. Thanks to our supervisors Ros (out of image) and Kath (foreground). Credit: Jo Bean
| Words – Reverends Stephanie Robson, Stephanie Clay, Mary Minson and Elspeth Wingham | Photo Credit – Jo Bean
This CPE course will help you focus on your walk with God, deepen your personal awareness and refresh pastoral patterns. The course is purposefully behavioural rather than academic. But having said this, it required a lot of brainpower! Using questions like, “When was your most recent indepth conversation?” the course aims to promote more in-depth conversations, more moments of connection, so as pastors we can go deeper, with more people, on more days. After all, isn’t that at the very the heart of our ministry as clergy? Connecting with others in a real and constructive way? With our Father’s heart? At the course, we each received eight personal supervision sessions, and were also required to regularly participate in indepth examinations of pastoral conversation. As a result, my CPE train ride gave me a larger skills toolbox to draw from, including many new conversational tools. I now describe many of my conversations with others, prior to CPE, as being in grey tones compared to the range of colours that I now see. CPE points the way to walking a mile in the shoes of another. It’s a link that helps us to better understand others and so demonstrate love to another, as Jesus did.
Rev’d Elspeth Wingham, Priest-inCharge, St John the Evangelist, Cheviot. My spiritual advisor recommended that I go to the CPE course: I would get skills that I would use every day and it would be a learning experience that would be completely different. TRUE! I’ve done courses before, but this was experiential – it was about listening and looking for the meaning behind the words. Initially I found the process exhausting (too much talking!!). But over time, I became comfortable with the process and looked forward to the ‘conversation snippets’ we analysed in our small group. With six participants and two supervisors it was small enough for us to build friendships and trust, and also to feel nurtured by the whole group. The really special part was that learning was fun and somehow, a lovely balance was achieved that counteracted the serious analytical parts of the course. It was creative and imaginative and helped all of us learn about ourselves and helped us to see the cultural and spiritual belief constructs that we, unconsciously carry with us, into every conversation. We set our own learning goals and working with our supervisors, Our Story
we intentionally developed skills to help us in those areas. It was a significant time investment – two days a fortnight for 16 weeks, plus time writing up conversations and keeping a learning journal (for our supervisor to read and comment on). There were times when we were creative and I wrote a story, “Ducks with Teeth” that I had been thinking about for
years. We also put together a visual presentation where we used visual elements to relate our own clinical pastoral education journey. These presentations were fascinating; very revealing about each one of us personally. It would have to be my most memorable, useful and enjoyable learning experience that I have done to-date.
Part of the course requires the participants to tell their spiritual story in visual form. These were some of the personal journey images.
Interested? CPE courses are offered by the National body at various locations throughout NZ. They aim to run the next Christchurch course in 2020, dependant on numbers. Anyone keen to do the course please email the Diocesan Educator, Rev’d Stephanie Robson, email@example.com to talk it through and/or register your interest.
CPE methodologies were pioneered by Rev’d Anton Boisen. He worked most of his life providing pastoral care to institutionalised psychiatric patients and sadly, suffered from recurrent psychiatric illness himself. He faced despair and isolation, especially from some of his clergy colleagues, but through his own experience of brokenness he also experienced Jesus’ befriending and compassionate presence. Boisen advocated for an approach to pastoral care that honoured individuals and recognised the importance of their life stories. What he called reading “the living human documents” – paying good attention to others and learning the necessary skills to hear what they are saying – was soon recognised as an essential practise for people involved in Christian ministry.
| Words – Reverends Stephanie Robson, Stephanie Clay, Mary Minson and Elspeth Wingham | Photo Credit – Rev’d Stephanie Clay
Young People Off The Grid? Investigating the Peel Forrest Eco-Monastery Late last year one of the most unlikely things happened. 20 young adults gathered together one warm Friday night – not to watch films, or play board games, or go to the pub – but to begin a conversation to discern if God was calling them to start a Monastery. Now admittedly, that’s not everyone’s idea of a good time. But ever since we have been running ‘Unplugged’ silent retreats, we have seen a renewal of interest in contemplative spirituality amongst our young people. In fact, a Godly nagging around starting some sort of younger person’s monastery had begun to emerge. “We’d seen so many young adults experience ‘Good News’ on our silent retreats here in Canterbury, and yet the Mainland seemed to have very few ‘set-apart’ places where younger people could explore contemplative spirituality,” explains Rev’d Spanky Moore, Diocesan Young Adults Ministry Developer.
The clear and crisp night skies of Peel Forest remind many on retreat of the vastness of God.
“Wellington has the Ngatiawa River Monastery, France has Taize – and a number of us began to wonder if there was
appetite for a similar place in the South Island.” Well, those long conversations and prayer sessions over pizza continued for some months – with one session even going into the small hours of the morning, as excitement began to grow about what could be. Then, at the start of this year, a potential location suddenly opened up. People agreed it was time to take a leap of faith and test the waters. And so in March, the Peel Forest EcoMonastery was born. Located at Peel Forest, at the foot of Little Mount Peel and surrounded by regenerating native bush and Kereru – the Eco-Monastery features a simple cob chapel, and two cabins – as well as a much larger lodge that can be used for bigger retreats. The whole place is set up to be ‘off-the-grid’ and sustainable with compostable toilets and solar power. And it’s certainly not what most people imagine when they think of a Monastery either. The EcoMonastery doesn’t currently have any permanent residents, but
| Words – Rev’d Joshua (Spanky) Moore | Photo Credit – Left Dru Norris; Right Spanky Moore
instead has a very clear mission: ‘To introduce and foster contemplative spiritually amongst younger people.’
The entrance to the Eco-Monastery for young people at Peel Forrest. The stillness, beauty and passion of God our Creator becomes a tangible presence there.
Youth Pastor (for of prayer, with larger retreats the Sumner-Redcliffs Parish) happening about once a month. Jaymie De Roles says, “The monastic Danae Turnbull recently got back life seems to appeal to two different from a weekend of monastic retreat. groups of young people. On the “We had an incredible time away. one hand so many of the young I took a friend who was just totally people we know and work with blown away by how tangibly God struggle with mental health issues, spoke to her. It was a very lifeand we’ve seen an encounter giving time for both of us. with contemplation practises The whole place just felt so help them find new life. And on sanctified! It was delicious.” the other hand, we’ve discovered that non-Christians who mightn’t want to attend an Alpha course, for example, are showing real To find interest in coming on retreat to out more the Monastery. People seem drawn about the to an intentionally prayerful place monastery, – where they can turn off their visit phone, still themselves surrounded peelforestecomonastery on by beauty, and re-connect with both FB and instagram; or their Creator.” email the Young Adults Ministry Developer, Rev’d Spanky Moore, Most weekends different groups on youngadults@anglicanlife. of young people head to the org.nz Monastery to maintain its rhythm
The Centre Of Christian Mission The late ‘90s and early ‘00s brought with them some changes to the language and practice of mission. It’s not that anything particularly new was created, but ideas put forward by different Christian leaders and thinkers from as far back as the 50s started to catch fire1. With this change came new ways of talking about mission and, in particular, two very simple and helpful ideas. The first idea was that mission is not only something Christians do, but it is fundamental to what the Church is. ‘It is not that the Church of God has a mission, but that the God of Mission has a Church,’ became a popular paraphrase of Christopher Wright’s teaching. lovely, friendly, compassionate The second helpful idea was that of communities that neither move Incarnationality. Incarnationality the Church nor the World closer to emphasizes the ways in which Christ. The answer to this trap is to Jesus entered the world, became look to the rest of Christ’s work to a full part of the world, a full shape our mission. part of a society, a culture, a neighbourhood, a family. In The Crucifixion. Christ’s passion mission-speak, incarnationality and death reveal many things but is the practice of living and proclaiming the gospel from within in Christian missions it emphasises the need to sacrifice for the people a culture, a place, a community, we serve. It raises questions like and not simply throwing little “What do we need to die to so that gospel-grenades over the cultural divides between Church and World. others can live?” At the same time, it asks how we can walk with others Without incarnationality, mission in their suffering, not as change tends toward heavy-handedness, paternalism, or merely sentimental agents only, but as companions and friends – like John and the Marys slumming-sessions among the with Jesus at the cross. less fortunate. Incarnational The Resurrection. Crucifixion mission requires real presence allows us to die to ourselves, so and real relationships. But if we that resurrection can let us live in stop there we can run afoul of Christ and live for others. Mission the contemporary mission trap: that draws its energy from the all we end up doing is creating
resurrection reveals to both the Church and the World that there is something to live for on the other side of sacrifice and suffering. It is our unique Christian message that from all this, we shall rise and we can begin to live that resurrection now. The Ascension. We serve a risen and ascended Lord, and, as St. Athanasius taught, if Jesus has ascended, then humanity itself has ascended with him. We have a hope, therefor, a life, a potential which far exceeds the challenges and even the blessings of this life. Ascension is the other side of incarnation – where once the Divine entered creation, now Creation enters the Divine. Mission rooted in this principle is mission which emphasises hope and direction toward something
far greater than what we would ordinarily ask or imagine. Mission that is simultaneously Incarnational and Ascended, Crucified and Resurrected can easily be summarized as ‘Christcentred mission’. It is mission that centres on the fullness of Jesus Christ and focuses upon the needs of the other. It breaks the otherus and us-other divide, making ‘their’ lives and trials our own (incarnation), pointing through loss (crucifixion) and restoration (resurrection) to a new way to live in each other’s company in communion with God (ascension). Christ-centred mission is nothing more nor less than living the
“It is not so much the case that God has a mission for his church in the world, as that God has a church for his mission in the world. Mission was not made for the church; the church was made for mission – God’s mission.” Christopher J.H. Wright, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission
fullness of the ministry of Jesus Christ in the company of those who might never have heard the Gospel in a meaningful way, but for whom Jesus came, died, rose, and ascended. 1See especially Lesslie Newbiggin,
David Bosh, and the leaders of the Lausanne Movement, to name just a few.
Canadian-born Rev’d Thomas Brauer and his young family came out to NZ two and a half years ago to be the Vicar of the SumnerRedcliffs parish. He has previously worked as a church-planter in Canada, a Diocesan Missioner in Scotland, and later this year will submit his doctoral thesis on how our experiences with photographs can help us to understand our experiences with God. He recently spoke at the 2019 Christchurch Clergy Conference about photography.
| Words – Rev’d Thomas Brauer | Photo Credit – supplied
Being Present For Police Personnel Q A
What is a Police Chaplain?
Someone who provides pastoral care for police staff and their families. This can mean anything from officiating at weddings and funerals to specific issues for personnel such as a sympathetic ear or pastoral chat about ordinary life problems. These conversations are my core business.
Mark has been the Canterbury District Police Chaplain for eight years. He is also vicar of the rural parish of Lincoln, an Archdeacon to Irakehu, Archdeacon to Chaplains, the Deputy Vicar General, and a family man. Busy much? Recently Jo Bean managed to get him to stand still for long enough to talk to him about his Police Chaplaincy role, and specifically how things have been since the March 15 event.
However, because of who I am and my giftings, I also do other things for the Police that are not in the formal Job Description. They all help build relationship, so they are valuable. For example, MC for police awards and ceremonies, bless buildings or sites (because they are new or have had something happen in them). One example of a new build lately was the Police Dog and Airport Police Centre, out near the Airport.
Afghanistan. A joint committee looked into the deaths and my input concerned the pastoral response to the Police personnel involved in the incident, the cleanup, the identification, etc. I worked alongside military and hospital chaplains who worked with medical professionals and all the various people involved in an incident like this. Imagine being an imaging / photographer for the military, for example. After an incident involving an IED, you might need to talk that through. Basically, there is no manual for what a Police Chaplain does. The UN have published a pastoral famework and I use this as a guideline, but essentially my mantra is: If I’m asked, and I can, then I will.
Another aspect of the role is as an advisor of various committees or groups related to Police Welfare. For example, a while ago now (although not for the families concerned of course) three New Zealanders were killed in
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – AnglicanLife
Listening to people who have had witnessed many traumatic incidents as part of their job must be challenging – can you talk us thought how you approach an individual having trouble dealing with what they see?
The Police have a significant welfare service where personnel can access to all sorts of support systems such as counsellors etc. But the welfare programme can’t cover everything, and sometimes there is a spiritual element to their work. I find that even people who don’t recognise themselves as being spiritually minded, can often recognise a spiritual element to their work. They can also use me like a confessor – just by telling about what they saw they can feel unburdened. One example of this is an officer who attended a suicide where the victim was the same age as their own child. It really rocked them in visceral way, and they just needed to talk.
Can you talk to me a bit in general about your work as a chaplain after 15th March? What happened for you that day and how were you involved?
In the immediate aftermath of shootings, I worked with the Police to develop a pastoral/care response for personnel. Because immediately post shooting there was so much work to do, and only three emergency chaplains to do it, we had to be strategic. My allocated area was to focus on the senior leadership team, in the hope that care an attention at that level could then be passed down the line. And also hoping that the system worked appropriately and the referrals (from managers for their staff) come back up the line. And so far this has proven to be so.
Matt 19:26 “With God all things are possible”
After a shooting like this, there are both short-term and longterm effects on people. I’ve been standing alongside people asking, “How are things with you?” and seeing what develops. The reality is that people respond as individuals, so each person has different needs and different timetables in which that need will emerge. As a general rule, many people internalise their responses, especially initially as they deal with the emergency event. But sadly, if not dealt with, it often comes out in other places. We see colleagues falling out, odd behaviours emerging, and marriages under stress, for example. As we saw after the earthquakes, stress reactions can happen randomly and long after the main event has happened. So time will tell, but the plans are in place and we are doing all we can.
I am aware that people teaching Bible in Schools have many restrictions around what they are allowed to talk about with the children. I realise that your environment is different because you work with adults and you are a priest which is an acknowledged aspect of a chaplain’s role. But are you allowed to talk about God to the Police? And how does your faith help you in this role?
Chaplains to police or hospital staff are not in the business of winning converts or proselytizing. It’s very much client-led ministry responding to the needs of the time. Often the clients have no faith so being overtly religious is not always helpful. However, once trust is built they might ask about spiritual things and then we can discuss aspects of our faith as invited by the client. Recently, I spoke to police staff as part of a seminar on Resilience. My talk was about spirituality. It was incredible to uncover that a huge portion of the staff, while
not calling themselves religious, have a deep sense of spirituality, even if they wouldn’t have used that term. The seminar gave me the opportunity to talk about my own faith and to share with staff what it means for me to be a Christian. I was able to discuss how I prepared for any event in prayer and continued in prayer, under my breath, throughout all my work. Sometimes I hear things I don’t know how to respond to, so I send up a quick arrow prayer and say “God, help?” And He responds by supplying the right words and approach. I trust that God and His Holy Spirit will guide me – and He does.
What do you want the public to know about emergency responders and how they can support anyone they know in that role?
The Police are committed as individuals and as a corporate body to defending the public. Many aspire to be police because they are attracted to serving their community. When an incident happens and everyone runs away from it, police run towards it. So, tell them you appreciate what they do – it will mean a lot to them.
If you support the police post-incident, who supports you? How do you debrief and repair yourself?
I am blessed by being vicar of a parish who see and value my police work. I can also talk to my family who are very understanding. And I have a great circle of friends who show up and encourage me each in their own different ways. So I am fortunate.
Do you have a personal verse you can share with the readers that helps you in your job or reminds you that we are all in God’s care?
When faced with challenging situations I remember Matt 19:26 “With God all things are possible”. Regardless of the task or scene in front of any of us, if we step out in confidence and faith and do our best, always heeding the promptings of the Holy Spirit, God will bless what we do and all becomes possible.
When you’re not helping the helpers, where might we find you? What do you do to relax?
Painting that picture is easy: I would get myself a good drop of whisky, tune into the concert programme on the radio, and sit down with a 1000 piece or more puzzle… ahh... my kind of bliss.
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – AnglicanLife
Reverend Chris Ponniah brings Joy and Hope to Christchurch
This is a Dialogue with a difference, not the usual Q&A, but the result of a dialogue, none-the-less. It’s a re-telling of his journey of faith and mission, his call to the Diocese of Christchurch, and his message of healing, strength and hope for the future.
From the little island at the bottom of India, to the island state south of Malaysia, to the two little islands at the tail end of the world… Chris Ponniah is an island-hopping, evangelical, charismatic, catholic Christian who has denomination swapped almost as much as he has island hopped! He has worked with the Baptist church, the Congregational church, been a missionary and teacher, a Navigator, a Full Gospel Businessman, a YWAM supporter, and more. The complex tapestry of Chris’ life is rich and colourful. As we unwrap this dynamic package, we ask ourselves: Who is the new vicar of BurnsideHarewood? Where has he come from? What bought him back to NZ, to Anglicanism, to Burnside? What makes him a good fit for us here in Christchurch at this time as we begin our regeneration journey? Born in Sri Lanka into an Anglican family, he moved to Singapore where his Dad served on the parish church council and his mum was a Sunday school teacher. A promising start. Although confirmed and serving as an altar boy, there was a
Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – Jo Bean
black-hole in terms of discipleship, so his rebellious teenage years were mostly about living his own life Monday through Saturday, with Sunday church attendance form rather than faith – a “Sunday Christian” of the first order. He was seventeen when he heard about an exorcist minister who was into deliverance from demons and his curiosity was peaked. Rev Trev (Trevor Dearing) could put on a good show! So Chris attended to see what a demon looked like – and came out having seen the face of God. Rev Trev spoke about rebellion and returning to God. Chris was challenged by the message, and the altar call, but due to his concern about what his peers would think, was reluctant to respond. However, God had other ideas and Chris found himself at the front being prayed for (how did that happen?) where he was “slain in the Spirit” – the charismatic revival of the 70s at its best. Yes, he received the gift of tongues, but the immediate change that people saw, wasn’t the gifts, but the
fruit (character). Having been an angry young man with a hot, quick temper, he was transformed into a peaceful, kind disciple. He also noticed that people living in the Spirit seemed to be happy, joyful, and hopeful, and he wanted some of that, so re-professed his faith and began walking in the Spirit. In Singapore at that time, military service was compulsory, therefore he entered the Airforce in ’79 and trained as a radio communications technician. During his six years in service, he was involved with a youth group (that grew from 15 to 100 young people!), and started a discipleship group in the squadron. Towards the end of his time he was asking God what to do next and when he finished, he began working for the church. As he was seeking God’s guidance regarding his future he met with a Youth with a Mission (YWAM) friend who shared how he was praying for Chris that morning and God gave him a vision of Chris preaching the gospel to those who have not heard the gospel. A couple of days later, while Chris was praying, the Holy Spirit laid on his heart to look up Romans 15: 20 where Paul said he
had the desire to preach the gospel to people who have yet to hear the gospel. Chris felt this was a confirmation that he was called to serve God in cross-cultural mission. The rest is history, and since that time Chris has been spreading the word. He decided to go to Australia for training and attended WEC Missionary Training College in 1987. At college he met his wife, Joy, and in 1989 they got married. Having graduated, Chris entered fulltime ministry in 1991 and has not looked back since. All his ministry, whether it’s been in Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong or NZ, has either been involved in a crosscultural setting or leading churches into mission into the community. And, although he has worked for a number of denominations, he identifies as Anglican, the denomination of his childhood. Chris recently worked in an international English-speaking Hong Kong Anglican Church, but when Bishop Peter was elected here in Christchurch, he felt called back to NZ, and specifically back to Christchurch. He had a heart
for the pain Christchurch people have suffered especially within the diocese, and felt God was calling him to bring the message that He has not forsaken us. So Joy and Chris are now at the BurnsideHarwood parish. Chris supports Bishop Peter’s vision of Regeneration. Having spent the EQ event and aftermath as pastor of Parklands Baptist, and then a short period with our South Christchurch parish (post disaffiliation), he has first-hand experience of the ongoing pain and weariness the people of Christchurch can, and often do feel. One of his chief selfimposed goals here in our Diocese is working out ways to support hurting individuals and parishes, to be together in true unity (not homogeneity), bringing healing and strength to God’s people. So how does he propose to do this? He loves the Bible with outright passion and yearns for all disciples
Rev’d Chris Ponniah’s family have a great sense of humour – his “Hot Rev” number plate is a showstopper! Credit: Lou Godfrey (with apologies to Chris!)
to be similarly excited about immersing themselves in the Word of God. He lives and ministers through the Holy Spirit and calls upon the Holy Spirit’s resource kit daily. He is an encourager with no desire for higher office, but prefers to work to bring blessing to grassroots communities. Chris is an extrovert and loves to chat with people, even on Facebook. He loves to read and spend time with his family. His vice is coffee and sweet treats, and his balancing and complimenting force is his wife, Joy. The Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant Chris acknowledges that we are a widely read global society, and with that comes a plethora of different views and lenses through which we view the world. Ours is a complex and multi-voiced global society. He says attempting to unify the church by requiring all to have the same views about God would be both very difficult and challenging. The basic beliefs of Christianity, like those expressed in historical creeds, give us the basis of our faith, but our individual journey with God gives us each a view of God that is unique. By not taking time to listen to each other, or choosing to pull away from people we don’t agree with, we may miss out on what God is wanting to show us. The story of the blind men and the elephant helps illustrate how sharing our individual
understanding give us a greater understanding. This fable, or ‘parable’, is from India and teaches awareness of different viewpoints by illustrating how different perspectives lead to distinct points of view. It makes sense that overemphasising one specific part of a complex idea can lead to the wrong conclusion, even if that part is both real and important. Rev’d Chris Ponniah with his wife, Joy (right), enjoying what the vicar’s warden, Alison Jephson (left), had to say at his induction service (May 2019).
The Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant An elephant one day wandered into a small village. In the village lived six blind men. The men could feel the earth trembling under their feet, and having never seen an elephant they decided to touch and feel the animal, to learn what it was. “Ah! This thing is like a tree,” said the first man embracing the elephant’s leg. “I can tell it’s like a snake,” the second man claimed after touching the trunk.
who was right in describing the animal. A wise man overheard the debate. He told them, “Each one of you is partly right; but each one of you is also partly wrong. If you put your different views together you will get a much better idea of what an elephant looks like.”
The third grabbed the tail saying “This animal is like a rope.” “Ohh! It’s just like a big fan!” said the fourth man pulling the ear. “The Elephant is like a spear,” stated the fifth man with the tusk in his hand. The last man in the group examining the body with his hands said, “It is a wall.” All clinging to their own experience and perception, the blind men debated as to
Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – Jo Bean and Lou Godfrey
Following Jesus Junior (2–7yrs) Lesson: Be Like Jesus
Middle (8–12yrs) Lesson: Follow In His Footsteps
We know from the Bible that Jesus was kind, gentle, caring, patient, and humble, loving and forgiving.
Ask: Who was Jesus and what did he do?
(Teachers: Check the children know what each means. You can concentrate on just one, two or all of these characteristics.) Paul, a friend of Jesus, said that anyone who is a friend of Jesus needs to be like Jesus. Friends of Jesus are: humble and gentle; they are patient, and they love each other (paraphrase of Ephesians 4:2). If we are to be like Jesus, what things can we do to be like him? • How can we be kind, gentle and caring? (Hug someone who is sad etc) • How can we have patience or be humble? (Sharing the plate of biscuits round to others instead of eating them all ourselves etc) • Loving and forgiving (let others play with the toys we want etc)
Enlarge and photocopy this – one for each of the children.
Activity: each child gets a Jesus picture. Write in it for them what they will do this week to be like Jesus eg I can be nice to someone who is sad (like Jesus did). They can then colour in picture. Pray: Dear Lord Jesus thank you that you are humble and kind, loving and gentle. Please help me to be like you. Help me to love my family and friends and show them I care about them. Amen.
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – twistynoodle.com
(Once you children have answered this question, prompt for other things they haven’t mentioned eg:) • Fed the hungry • Looked after the sick and sad • Spent time with people • Cared about those in prison • Welcomed people from other countries and places • Loved and respected his family • Spent time building up his friends • Noticed injustice and spoke against it • Talked to people about God • Forgave people • Prayed for people
Discuss: So if we want to be like him, we can do the same. What are some of the ways we could be like Jesus? (Once the children have offered their suggestions, introduce any others on this list that seem practical to you.) • Make a card or picture for an elderly person in your neighbourhood. • Pick some flowers (ask mum first!) and deliver them to someone who is sad in your neighbourhood. • Make some cookies and deliver them to a new family in your neighbourhood. • Save some pocket-money up (or ask mum and dad), and buy some extra food snack for lunchboxes and deliver them to people in your neighbourhood that have lots of children to feed. • Clear out your wardrobe / drawers and take any unwanted clothes to the local charity shop in your neighbourhood.
• Write a letter or draw a picture and ask your parents to send it to a missionary family your church supports. • Say a prayer for someone in prison, hungry, homeless or sad, even if you don’t know anyone specific. • Take any unwanted toys to the city mission who look after homeless families. • Take any excess veges from your garden to the local school to offer to parents as they collect their kids. • Host a special morning tea and invite people you know. Ask them to bring a donation for a cause of your choice (eg children with disabilities, spca, kids in hospital etc) and afterwards take the money to them.
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – Free Pin Clipart
Senior (13+yrs) Lesson: Following Jesus Activity: help them to work out which one or two they would like to try with their families at home this week. Get them to write it or draw it in the footsteps for them to take home and action, if possible. Alternatively you could all do this as an activity as a group.
This lesson is based on a youth ministry lesson found here: www. ministrytoyouth.com/youthgroup-lessons-following-jesus Preparation: ask each person to bring an old plain t-shirt that they can write on. Bring permanent markers or t-shirt pens. Game: Play “Follow the leader” Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it easy to guess who’s the leader. When you’re a follower of Jesus – it shouldn’t be hard for people to guess.
Enlarge and photocopy this – one for each of the children.
Pray: Heavenly Father – help me to walk in the footsteps of your son, Jesus Christ, and do the sorts of things he did while here on earth. Help me to show my love for other like Jesus did. Amen.
Read: John 13:34-35 The Message (MSG): “Here is a new rule: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” Ask: what do you think having love for one another looks like in real life?
Break into small groups and get them to answer these questions, then report back to the full group. 1. What are some of your favourite people, celebrities or things to follow and keep up with?
Love ♥ one another
2. What do your FB, Pintrest or Instagram feeds look like? What’s on your walls in your bedroom? 3. Do you show that same kind of devotion to Jesus? Why or why not? 4. Do people know that you are a follower of Jesus, or do they have to guess? 5. What are some things you could do differently this week to help others see you’re a follower of Jesus?
Activity: Get the kids to decorate their t-shirts with words and images that talk about loving each other or following Jesus. Eg John 13:34
Pray: ask the Holy Spirit to show you one thing you can do this week to show others you belong to Jesus.
| Words – Jo Bean | Photo Credit – Clipart-library.com
To Cover Or Not To Cover – Is That The Question? As Christchurch and NZ have grappled with the events of March 15, I have been reflecting from Pakistan on differing perspectives on head-covering. A semi-parallel issue for men might be making a statement through wearing a beard.
anything she taught was forgotten, the teachers couldn’t respect her due to her choice of clothes.
I worked for a time in a very conservative part of Pakistan In Pakistan and this wider part a big city or in a rural area, where women are only seen in of Asia head-covering in public according to socio-economic group public with full covering, just and in worship contexts is a norm and regional norms. Context, eyes showing. I chose to do as the for women of many faiths – be it theology and security all play a local women did (both Muslim Muslim, Hindu or Christian. But part in this. In the 1990s I rarely and Christian), so purchased a full there are also women of each faith covered my head in public, after covering. I discovered a few quirks who don’t cover their heads. This September 11, I started to cover my of a tightly wrapped garment raises a question of how can we head more often. This was hard at around your head. I was getting decide what is appropriate, and first for driving (I was concerned on a bus and someone phoned to when? The well-known saying, about getting fabric caught in check I was okay – but I couldn’t ‘when in Rome do as the Romans the wheel when looking over my get the phone to my ear. The scarf do’, has an Urdu equivalent “jaisa shoulder, backing), but now it has was too tight to reach underneath, des, waisa bhes (be like a local)… become a norm. and listening through the cloth however, society is changing was difficult. I was later met off the around us and we can no longer I receive positive feedback from bus, but the person who had come limit our definition of what ‘like a strangers and feel accepted as to meet me could not recognise me local’ is. part of the local wider community. – he asked and was told there were Relationships have been no foreigners on the bus. For me Living in Pakistan as mission strengthened and doors opened. to travel like this was the cost partners we try to be culturally I also feel less conspicuous, hence of serving in that community. sensitive to local norms, from a perception of greater safety. It was a choice I was happy to make language to dress and ways of When I go to condole with someone, as it showed both respect and interacting. Sometimes I get it sympathy itself is expressed kept the local community safer wrong (probably more often than I through my head being covered. and respected. am aware) but I have experienced I recently heard of an expat grace in my errors and appreciation visitor who wore clothes that were Even here we do not all agree for my attempts. I adjust what I considered locally inappropriate on the way other people do wear according to whether I am in – feedback after she left was that things, as we try to work out
| Words – Liz | Photo Credit – CMS
Out and about in Hyderabad bazaar.
what ‘local culture’ is… but what communicates is the deepest intention from our heart. The way we express love will be different for each person – but our faith is shown finally not in what we wear, but how we live our lives. This is
World day of prayer.
expressed in a phrase, “The beard is in the religion, not the religion in the beard.”1 The compassion and love which undergirded NZ’s show of solidarity with the Christchurch mosque victims was lauded from the
Pakistani Prime Minister and media through to local shop keepers. It was not the headcoverings which ultimately communicated that, it was the compassion and outpouring of emotion that was shown with it.
Col 3:12–14 reflects this: as Christians we are called to wear kindness, compassion, humility, gentleness and patience, over the top of which is love. Love is our covering which is the key as we seek to relate to the community around us – in the end it is not the clothes we wear, how we wear our clothes, or even the food we share. It is love.
I pray as NZ is taking a fresh look at our cross-cultural awareness, we may all reach out to build strong relationships with our multi-faith community. May we consider what we choose to wear and eat as we visit neighbours of other faiths… but only so far that our actions are rooted in love. 1 Famously quoted in the Pakistan movie, Khuda Kay Liye (In the Name of God).
| Words – Liz | Photo Credit – CMS
A Jihad For Love
Abrahamic Faith Partnership
There Is A Way Through
On the morning of 22 March 2016, three coordinated suicide bombings occurred in Belgium: two at Brussels Airport , and one at the central metro station. The bombings were the deadliest act of terrorism in Belgium’s history. Thirty-two civilians and three perpetrators were killed, and more than 300 people were injured. An ISIL terrorist cell claimed responsibility – the same one of the Paris November 2015 attacks. Belgium declared three days of mourning. (Adapted from Wikipedia)
Joy Loewen, like many of us, initially had very real fears about interacting with the Muslim community. She recalls the fear in her heart – a fear based on ignorance, media reports, fear of the unknown, and the fear that every Muslim might be a terrorist. Like it or not, we can all relate to this, sadly. However, she demonstrates how transformative love casts out fear. She describes how once she took the time to get to know some real women, who happen to also have a Muslim faith, she soon felt the warmth and hospitality of their generous community. This book offers snapshots of her friendships and wisdom of over 30 years working in the Muslim community. It also highlights how community is at the heart of Muslim identity, and how willing they are to hear from the Christian Bible about Jesus, whom they call Isa.
Depression and anxiety can impact just about every part of our lives.
‘A Jihad For Love’ by Mohamed El Bachiri, with David van Reybrouck. Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett. (Head of Zeus, 2017)
That day, Mohamed El Bachiri lost his wife Loubna, leaving him to bring up his three sons alone. This short and very readable book, ‘A Jihad for Love’, is a series of his personal reflections following that event. I found this book very moving. It describes the pain of loss and the depth of love, while raising many of the hard questions that go with both. By the end of this book I felt I had met this man and had sat with him, and that we had prayed for peace and for the healing of the world. Leaving us to wait.
‘Woman To Woman: Sharing Jesus with a Muslim Friend’ by Joy Loewen (Chosen, 2009)
All of these titles are available from Theology House Library at the Anglican Centre Membership is free and open to anyone (non-Anglicans) – and really simple. They will even mail things out to you! Call, email or pop and in see them: Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm T 03 341 3399 E admin@theology house.ac.nz Level 1, 10, Logistics Drive, Harewood.
The message is clear and simple: Do not be afraid of other faiths or Muslim believers. Reach out to them with friendship and they will reciprocate! And we have certainly seen that evidenced in the openness the Muslim community has shown Christchurch people since 15 March. It was probably there before, had we chosen to look, but now we can see and feel it, if we dare to reach out. Although Joy writes from a North American perspective, this book is relevant to all who live in Christchurch and NZ today. Read this book, and take action. Your faith will not be lessened – but enriched.
A worthwhile booklet to have on your desk at work, a few stached to give away, and to read yourself, ‘There is a way through’ is a free resource, produced by the Health Promotion Agency here in New Zealand (hpa.org.nz). It’s an easy read in a ‘self-help’ style that provides useful and relevant information on how to… • recognise stress, depresssion and anxiety in yourself or others • get help for yourself or others It uses a Maori framework for wellbeing called Te Whare Tapa Wha (the four walls of the house) to address the impact of stress on the whole body: Te Taha Hinengaro, mental; Te Taha Tinana, physical; Te Taha Whanau, social; and Te Taha Wairaua, spiritual. Order your copies now at hpa.org.nz (under resources, then under mental health). All pastoral and youth workers should have some.
“This is such an important book! Five words come to mind: Important. Urgent. Visionary. Relevant. Grace-awakened. Please don’t get one; get ten and get them into the hands of friends.”
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. Arts
| Words – Rev’d Dr Tom Innes | Photo Credit – www.headofzeus.com
| Words – Claire Bonner | Photo Credit – www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
George Verwer (about ‘There is a way through’)
| Words – Donna Reid | Photo Credit – www.hpa.org.nz
And Jesus Wept By Edwin Boyce
He looked down on the Earth And saw the horrors of wars and asked, Where are the peacemakers who will be called the children of God? And Jesus wept. He looked down on the Earth And saw the children who hunger and are abused and said, I told them to let the little children come unto me, And Jesus wept. He looked down on the Earth And saw the greed of people, and said I told them to sell all that they have and to follow me, And Jesus wept. He looked down on the Earth And saw how it has been polluted and said, Look what they have done to the gift they were given, And Jesus wept. He looked down on the Earth And saw the hatred between races and said I told them to love one another as I had loved them, And Jesus wept. He looked down on the Earth And saw churches that were empty and said, Didn’t I tell them to go into all the world and make disciples? And Jesus wept. He looked down on the Earth And a saw grandparent reading a bible to a child, and he said There is hope, And Jesus wept.
| Words – Edwin Boyce | Photo Credit – Rev’d Thomas Brauer
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