Going Behind the Bars Sausage Sizzling Ourselves to Death Painting from the Heart and Soul Discussing Work and Faith over a Beer Diocese of Christchurch ISSUE THIRTY â€“ JUN/JULY 2014
ISSUE 30 June/July 2014 AnglicanLife is published bi-monthly by the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch.
BISHOP’S ADDRESS - Doing as Jesus Did
Editor Fiona Summerfield
Contributing Writer Megan Blakie
FEATURE: Going Behind the Bars
PHOTO ESSAY - Easter Camp Goes on the Road
DIALOGUE: Sausage Sizzling Ourselves to Death
WORKPLACE: Painting from the Heart and Soul
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Sustainability – AnglicanLife is printed on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.
CLOSING ESSAY: Not Just a Slogan
Cover - Rev. Andrew Hoggan, prison chaplain at Rolleston Prison.
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Bishop’s Address Doing as Jesus Did WORDS: +VICTORIA MATTHEWS PHOTO CREDIT: FIONA SUMMERFIELD
“Christ centred mission is not all about having the right buildings or the youngest, most vibrant Vicar.” Christ centred mission is the bedrock of the mission shaped life of the Diocese of Christchurch. The challenge is that Christ centred mission is so foundational, it is hard to say what it does not include. So let’s bore down into the bedrock and see what gems we find… This year we have focused on Discipleship and Making Disciples. But perhaps we need to take a step backwards and ask disciples of whom? We are disciples of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God; Lord of Lords and King of Kings; the Word made flesh; Son of God and Son of Mary; the Messiah who is both fully human and fully divine. This Jesus was born, lived and was crucified on the Cross. On the third day he rose again and the resurrected Lord appeared to many people. He ascended into heaven yet he continues to be present to us in baptism, the Scriptures, the breaking of the bread and the wine of the Eucharist, in Christian community and in prayer and praise. It is this Jesus who has given us the Holy Spirit as he promised to the first disciples. However it is Christ in whom we are to abide. By living and abiding in Christ we become Christ like and that allows us to then bear fruit for the Kingdom. Christ centred mission therefore is about celebrating and supporting the reign of Christ in our homes, communities and world. It is about loving God and neighbour. It is about seeing
those around us with the eyes of Christ and reaching out with compassion and generosity to those who lack the spiritual and physical resources to live fully as children of God. Christ centred mission is not all about having the right buildings or the youngest, most vibrant Vicar. It is about living lives of gratitude because we have the privilege of knowing Christ and making him known. In the Great Thanksgiving of the Eucharist we remember that Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, before giving it to his friends. We are reminded in that four fold action that Jesus lived a life of deep gratitude for all he knew and received from the Father. This suggests to me that what we need to do most, as we engage in Christ centred mission, is to do as Jesus did. Let us give thanks.
Current events LOCAL / NATIONAL / WORLD
The Challenge of Change WORDS & PHOTO: MARJORIE SMART
“The need for tolerance whether of differences of race, culture, religion or sexuality was agreed.” Being challenged to name our core values, and how they might be incorporated in a possible future Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand, was one of the issues that a discussion group grappled with earlier this year and were stimulated to think carefully about. The small group of Anglicans were attending the seminar Time for Change – a discussion on Constitutional matters, ably facilitated by Edwina Hughes from the Peace Movement Aotearoa. It was initiated by the Bicultural Education Committee with Theology House. The background booklet was very helpful in opening up the topic, and its ramifications. A very broad range of opinions was shared on questions such as our core values, what outcomes were wanted from any constitutional arrangements and what constitutional arrangements could achieve our desired outcomes. 2
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Core values included loving God and our neighbour, which involves caring for all men, women and children – all of equal value and dignity; belief in justice and basic needs of people being met, fairness and justice including the righting of wrongs, and caring for the environment/ all creation; not forgetting free speech and participatory democracy. There were different opinions on whether we needed change to the current constitutional status at all. Discussion on what would be necessary should changes be proposed, what we need to keep and how these might be implemented, brought a range of ideas including:The need to retain a high level of peopleorientated public service, participatory democracy, with perhaps a four-year term for government; how to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ the Treaty of Waitangi with clarity about its connection to everything; and protecting human rights. Any changes
CURRENT EVENTS should guarantee the right of a free press to criticise government and to provide checks and balances on unbridled power e.g. two houses of parliament. Excellent accessible, affordable and adequate housing, health care, and education systems with access to learning all official New Zealand languages, and the teaching of New Zealand history. The need for tolerance whether of differences of race, culture, religion or sexuality was agreed; also for acceptance
of communal responsibilities, and ascribing to the Nine United Nations Conventions. The group certainly felt better informed to be part of further discussion and consultation on the challenges of changes to our constitution and constitutional arrangements. The seminar was held at St Barnabas’ Fendalton in late February.
Roving Just Prayer
WORDS & PHOTO: LYNDON ROGERS
“Christian faith and social justice are tied together even tighter than a five-year-old’s braids.”
The security guards were happy. The soup was tasty and still hot. The liturgy was just right. So twenty of us joined forces on the steps of Christchurch District Court to pray for the staff, the victims of crime, people who had committed crimes and people involved in other lawsuits. We sang hymns, read scripture and prayed, all in public - all for justice. That was the first Just Prayer event, organised by Lyndon, Kate and Jolyon of Anglican Social Justice in Christchurch, and it was great. March 2014 was all the better for it. Two months later, and we met again outside the WINZ offices in Sydenham. The soup exceeded expectations, the liturgy helped open our minds to new ways of seeing WINZ staff and clients, and the security guards remained content.
Christian faith and social justice are tied together even tighter than a five-year-old’s braids on her first day at school. Social Justice flows from the scriptures, its hope is built on the promise of the resurrection and social justice workers rely on the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit. What better way to bring social justice and faith together than to pray in places where our city’s significant decisions are made? And what better place to meet other Social Justice folk than outside a WINZ office or the District Court? So, that’s Just Prayer for you: Roving prayers for justice in our city’s significant places. Get in touch with Lyndon, email@example.com, to join Just Prayer in June, when we’ll pray at the Housing NZ offices in Papanui. 3
Social Justice Worker for South Canterbury WORDS: FIONA SUMMERFIELD PHOTO: LYNDON ROGERS
Ruth Swale has been appointed the Social Justice Researcher & Enabler for Anglican Care South Canterbury. Working twenty hours a week, she liaises in with the committee of Anglican Care South Canterbury and the Social Justice unit based at Theology House in Christchurch. She says the idea is to find two to three social justice issues that need addressing in the area and work out plans to address them. She also hopes to raise the profile of social justice work done by Anglican Care in South Canterbury. Ruth is very approachable and would love to hear your suggestions, if you live in the area, on which social justice issues should be looked at. Her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Good Gear for Those Who Need It WORDS: FIONA SUMMERFIELD PHOTOS: ANGLICAN BOARD OF MISSIONS AND S.WILLIAMS
Anglican Board of Missions(AMB) can sometimes become merely a line in the parish budget. But the AMB is using that money to support a number of different projects with our neighbours. We need to remember to pray for these projects as well.
A NEW MOTOR The people of Dreketi in Fiji can now travel easily thanks to a new 15HP Yamaha outboard motor provided by Anglican Missions donations. Boats are by far the best mode of transport for people coming to and from Dreketi. Now the school children do not have to row against the strong currents in a small punt. The Diocese of Polynesia and the people of Dreketi pass on their thanks for the engine.
THE WHEELCHAIR INITIATIVE This is a new initiative by the Diocese of Polynesia. The idea is in 2014 to gift wheelchairs to churches around the Diocese. Due to a lack of mobility the elderly, injured or disabled within communities are regularly unable to participate. The mobility provided by access to a wheelchair will enable those people to once again be more active in their parish communities.
LANDLESS PEOPLE PROJECT In 2014, AMB is continuing to assist the people of Nadawa. This is a long-term project about resettling people who due to various issues have to move. By putting aside small amounts each year, money will be available to help resettle these families on new land. For more information about AMB projects check out their website: http://www.angmissions.org.nz/
WATER TANK FOR ISOLATED COMMUNITY As part of the Water for All project in 2014 it is hoped to provide the isolated community around St Andrew’s church in Vava’u, Tonga with a water tank. The tank will serve not only the members of the church, but assist almost 130 people in the surrounding community. There is a great need for fresh, clean drinking water because the parish is 1 and 1/2 hours by plane and half a day by boat from Nuku’alofa. 5
Going Behind the Bars A background in community development, music, bookbinding and Christian ministry has converged into a passion for prison chaplaincy for Reverend Andrew Hoggan. WORDS: MEGAN BLAKIE PHOTO: MANDY CALDWELL
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“To have twelve or eighteen men turn up with Bibles - with passages highlighted in them, so they’ve obviously read them and done some Bible studies - is unbelievable!” “I think everything I have done has culminated in what I’m doing now,” says Andrew, who was employed last year as prison chaplain at Rolleston Prison. The prison is located south west of Christchurch and houses up to 260 adult men. The facility is classed as low to medium security. “My attitude towards the men … is that there is always hope for a positive change,” says Andrew. “Given the power of the gospel how could I believe anything different?” Until recently, Andrew was the sole chaplain there. With the appointment of a part-time Roman Catholic chaplain, the two work in a collegial way. Although Andrew is an Anglican priest and a former vicar within the Nelson and Christchurch Dioceses, he is now employed by, and accountable to, the Prison Chaplaincy Service of Aotearoa New Zealand. This national interdenominational body has the contract with the Department of Corrections to provide prison chaplaincy services to prisons throughout New Zealand. Prior to the year 2000, chaplains were appointed by the Department of Justice. Andrew still maintains close links with the Christchurch Anglican Diocese, not least because some of the volunteers that assist his ministry are drawn from parishes in the greater Christchurch area. Anglican volunteers such as Anne* make up the dozen church-affiliated teams that come into the prison each month to run church services. Worship usually consists of Bible readings, a talk, singing and some fellowship. On Easter Day - Andrew’s first as chaplain of the prison - a communion service was held. “The services are fairly amazing. To have twelve or eighteen men turn up with Bibles - with passages highlighted in them, so they’ve obviously read them and done some Bible studies - is unbelievable!” says Anne. “I said to Andrew, if that happened [in our parish on Sundays]
our vicar would be utterly amazed,” she adds. Four concurrent services are held in Rolleston Prison every Sunday evening: each one held in a different unit. Andrew presides over one of the services and three volunteer teams conduct the other worship. The duration of each service is about 45 minutes to an hour. “The volume of the singing has been incredible,” says Anne, who appreciates that a music teacher is part of her three-person volunteer team and the unit she visits has a piano. Church services in the prison are designed to cater to a range of denominations and are not as structured as Anglican prayer book services. They follow weekly themes set down by the Prison Chaplaincy Service. Anne has been involved with the Sunday services for the past five years but a prison volunteer for fourteen years. She moved into the role after previous volunteer stints with the New Zealand Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society and the alcohol and drug treatment facility, Odyssey House. “I think the prisoners are very grateful that people come along and that …they’re not being shunned by the community,” says Anne about her experiences at Rolleston. The inmates who attend church services have a chance to chat briefly with the volunteers over a tea or coffee after the service. “The guys quite enjoy that. They ask a lot of questions and are thinking ahead to when they’re coming out [of prison],” says Anne. She says she and many of the volunteers make a point of remembering the prisoners in their prayers during the intervening weeks between visits. When inside the prison complex, chaplaincy volunteers must adhere to strict protocols. These extend to such things as their choice of clothing. “I can’t wear red and black; they’re gang-affiliated colours,” Anne explains. The volunteer accreditation process itself is also quite stringent and includes specific training and a police check. 7
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Despite such restrictions, Anne says she finds her work and the work of the teams hugely rewarding. “Don’t let all of that put you off [volunteering],” she says. “I know that Andrew is always looking for more people to expand prison ministry.” Another rewarding aspect for her has been working alongside Andrew for the past year since his appointment as chaplain. “I think he is doing a fantastic job and purveying the gospel message very well. I think he’s made a huge impact on Rolleston,” she says. “He’s made a point of being there for both staff and prisoners.” Andrew defines his role as a ‘kaitiaki [guardian] and promoter’ of the Christian faith who is responsible for supporting the spiritual wellness and wellbeing of staff and prisoners, regardless of their religious affiliation. This means he can also be called on to act as the liaison person for the provision of faith-based assistance to non-Christian inmates. “My basic principle – and a chaplain’s principle in general - is you’re here for everybody. It’s part of our [chaplain’s] brief that the pastoral, cultural and spiritual needs need to be taken care of,” he says. A large chunk of Andrew’s time is spent walking: he spends up to fifteen hours a week wandering the confines of the prison complex, talking with staff and inmates. A number of work-experience programmes operate in the prison, so his walks can encompass the construction yard and a garden that supplies produce to the City Mission. Also high up on Andrew’s ministry agenda is the provision of weekly Bible
studies and, when possible, inspirational visits by Christian speakers and performers. He is keen to establish closer links with churches and is passionate about getting congregations more involved in providing pastoral care to current and former inmates. “Essentially my aim is having ministry volunteer teams that represent the best the churches can offer. If a church leader came to me and said ‘I hear you want volunteers, what are some of the prime requirements for them?’ I would say: number one is confidence in the gospel and number two is competence in regard to how they handle the gospel.” Andrew moved to Christchurch in 2001, following his ordination in the Nelson Anglican diocese in 1995. He continued in his ministry as a community development worker and then vicar of St Albans, before a friend suggested that he consider prison chaplaincy. He was appointed to Rolleston Prison in March last year. “I’ve gone into prison chaplaincy reasonably late in life,” he admits. “But I have been in ministry for 30-odd years now: I’ve been a community development worker, been a youth worker, done pastoral work, had a business, played in bands and nightclubs and toured around the country. I’ve got huge amounts to learn, but I feel completely relaxed working in this environment.” “There’s no magic wand. Ultimately it’s God work. You hope and you pray that these men will have a positive faith encounter with Christ,” he says. * Protocols restrict the disclosure of Anne’s full name
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AnglicanLife Issue 23
Easter Camp Goes on the Road WORDS & PHOTOS: GRETA YEOMAN Eastercamp 2014 was supposed to run over Easter weekend but it was flooded out as you can see from the photographs taken around the Anglican Party Central campsite. Anglican churches including St Christopher’s, the Parish of Burnside-Harewood, St Silas and St Mary’s, Halswell, hosted youth groups who arrived in Christchurch with nowhere to stay. All was not lost when Eastercamp went on the road and ran shows at three different churches over the Easter weekend. On the Saturday night around 1800 turned up for shows at NorthCity Church. It was estimated around 4,700 people were going to attend EC 2014.
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Sausage Sizzling Ourselves to Death Fiona Summerfield spoke to the pragmatic Ken Morgan, Coordinator of Pilot Programmes, in the Melbourne Anglican Diocese about focusing on discipleship rather than finances. WORDS & PHOTO: FIONA SUMMERFIELD
“Let’s shoot the fete.” Bishop Victoria asked for a commitment to a year of discipleship in her Charge at Synod in September 2013, seven months on how is that going? Speaking with Ken Morgan was a revelation in the practical approach to getting your church focused on discipleship, especially if it is a smaller congregation spending a lot of its time fundraising to keep the doors open and the vicar paid. When Ken asks parishes what they are busy doing that stops them from discipling, “Two things turn up fellowship and fundraising.” he says. “Fundraising paints you into a corner. I call it sausage sizzling yourselves to death.” Ken runs the parish renewal programme in the Melbourne Diocese. Parishes that join the programme sit down and list all their parish activities on pieces of paper. The next task is to ask why each activity is taking place. Ken gives an example of a parish considering one activity; “Their fete was in the first quarter, a March kind of deal. They started preparing for it in October so it took up half the church calendar.” The fete raised several thousand dollars for the parish. “The vicar had the courage to say here are the numbers, here is the effort we put into it, what if instead of you paying $10 of 12
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ingredients to bake a cake that we sell for $10 and it cost you an afternoon to cook it, why don’t you put the $10 into the collection. Let’s shoot the fete,” he recounts. The idea is to replace the fundraising with discipleship activities or to redeploy more resources to parish activities that he calls “the engine rooms for Christ”. Such a big change is not a guarantee he admits. “The way forward is not easy and there is no silver bullet.” Ken talks about making a co-ordinated approach so church members are freed up from fellowship and fundraising activities to participate in what he calls “belonging activities” like play groups. At these activities parishioners have time to make friends. The parish already has in place courses or activities that the new friends can attend together, where the gospel is discussed such as ‘Christianity Explained’ courses. When asked if it is a bit creepy to have such an intentional pathway, Ken’s response is quick and direct, “If you are taking a creepy approach and seeing it as another notch in your Bible. People sniff it.” Ken means every day chat. “What’s Jesus doing in your life this week? Just tell people about your life. If you are a follower of Jesus, his activity in your life should be something you
are conscious of.” It is about encouraging people to witness as they would talk about other facets of their life, rather than evangelise. “Witnessing is easy, evangelising is hard.” He reassures. “This is not about scalps.” He does note that building pathways of activities into your church community has to be well planned. We discussed potential belonging (outreach) activities with youth in schools which lead to youth joining the church youth group he says, “That has got some merit but it is also pretty fraught. You need to be a bit thoughtful about this kind of stuff.” Along with reassessing parish activities, another aspect Ken looks at is changing the job description of the vicar. His ideal is to include a third of the vicar’s time working outside the parish for parishes with 50 – 60 people coming on a Sunday. This can take different forms depending on the skills of the vicar and the local opportunities. One example was a vicar who served as a teacher aide to help out at the local school. This led to the building of
relationships with the teachers and the local families. Ken has a background in church growth, business consulting and human resources. He talks practically about parishes understanding the difficulties. “Churches are anxious and prone to conflict – we know this stuff,” he states. He believes shifting a parish culture from fundraising to discipling takes about five years. “The church that cancelled their fete is our best case story. It’s not been an easy ride. They’ve seen significant growth and people coming to faith. They were running 60 odd and now 75-80 over three years.” If you would like to ask Ken Morgan more questions about shifting from fundraising to discipleship email, firstname.lastname@example.org We are looking at bringing Ken to Christchurch for an informal question and answer evening in August if there is enough interest. 13
Painting from the Heart and Soul Megan Blakie talks to Angie Mole about her work as an artist. WORDS: MEGAN BLAKIE PHOTOS: MEGAN BLAKIE
Angie Mole holding a galaxy inspired painting similar to the one she painted for St Aidan’s
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The canvas in painter Angie Mole’s hand depicts a brightly coloured galaxy of stars, but there’s a hidden meaning behind the constellations. Each ‘star’ represents the home of a parishioner at the city parish of St Aidan’s, Bryndwr. “It’s basically a picture of us as God sees us: we’re not just random red dots but we’re chosen and we’re ‘stars’. It gives you a picture of what our church family looks like,” says Angie. The idea came to her a few weeks before her planned March exhibition at Art Metro, a community-focused art space in Papanui Christchurch. The café gallery and workshop space are owned by fellow St Aidan’s parishioner, Simon Walmisley. “I stood up in church and said ‘I’ve got a map of Christchurch and a couple of red biros. If you wouldn’t mind, at the end of the service could you please put a dot on the map where your home is,“ explains Angie. Most of the dots were clustered in the vicinity of St Aidans church but some radiated out to include more widespread locations, and even places off the local map.
“I paint what God tells me. For a long, long time I’ve sensed a calling that my art is actually for the Church.”
Angie in front of her Art Exhibition at Art Metro
Angie then transposed the dot pattern on to canvas, maintaining the underlying formation and spacing between the biro markings. “I had been given the idea that the dots were to be transformed into something beautiful. I produced a picture of my church family as a painting that is a starry sky.” The painting was one of more than 30 of Angie’s artworks to go on display at Art Metro. The pre-Easter exhibition represented more than half of the part-time painter’s output during the past seven years. “I still have a bread and butter job,” she says, referring to her paid employment with Southern Cross Hospital. She delivers food and refreshments to patients. A former dressmaker and ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and reading recovery teacher, Angie completed her Diploma in Painting with Aoraki Polytechnic in 2011. She started the qualification when she, husband Chris and the youngest of her three children lived in Ashburton. When the family moved to Christchurch five years ago, Angie travelled back down to the polytechnic’s Ashburton campus once a week so she could complete her studies. Acrylic is Angie’s medium of choice (“it dries quickly and
is very forgiving”) but she also enjoys using watercolours and woodblock printing. Some of the woodblock prints she selected for the exhibition integrated collage techniques and used highly decorative Japanese paper. “I’m fascinated by things Japanese,” says Angie. Other inspirations are the 20th century American artist Georgia O’Keefe and the art nouveau period. Her main inspiration, however, is her faith. “I’m an obedient painter: I paint what God tells me. For a long, long time I’ve sensed a calling that my art is actually for the Church,” she says. At Easter, St Aidan’s parish unveiled a large brightly coloured mural that Angie produced on unmounted canvas. It was designed to hang behind the altar for a time but can be rolled up and is portable - reminiscent of the moveable tabernacle of the early Jewish tribes. “My work is abstract – although some of it is figurative, of people – but it’s not realistic,” she says. “It interprets the landscape and people and it’s more like painting your feelings rather than what you see.” 15
Lifestyle FAMILY / SOCIAL JUSTICE / ENVIRONMENT / SUSTAINABILITY / SPIRITUALITY
Discussing Work and Faith over a Beer You may have seen a Facebook post or overheard it in conversation; Jemma Hartley explains what the Thirsty Workers’ Guild is all about. WORDS: JEMMA HARTLEY PHOTO: GRANT BENNETT
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“The Thirsty Workers’ Guild is more like Salt and Light’s older sibling.” Art galleries can be intimidating spaces for those who aren’t accustomed to them. The dim lighting emphasising strokes of brushes and snapshots in time, the ambling pacing of shoes on reverberating floors as they carry the thoughtful owner, the dulcet tones of other members of the public who know what they are actually talking about... With Rev. Spanky Moore involved, this art gallery was bound to be different. One Tuesday night a month in downtown Christchurch (what’s left of it), Spanky convinced Chambers’ Gallery to open their doors and invite the “yo-pros” (young professionals), the seasoned pros, and the in-betweeners to come, mingle, meet, speak, listen, learn, discuss, and drink. Beer. Yep, you heard me. Three and a half years ago, Spanky started The Society of Salt and Light, a monthly gathering at the Addington Coffee Coop of Christian students in Christchurch, committed to their faith and wanting to get into the nitty-gritty of what following Jesus looks like whilst attending University. Think awkwardly honest discussions about sex, familial relationships, homosexuality, the Bible, God’s character, doubt, other religions, and evangelism. The Thirsty Workers’ Guild is more like Salt and Light’s older sibling – what happens when you graduate from higher study, stop eating Two Minute noodles and have to participate in team building exercises? For a start, your wardrobe changes, your rhythm of sleep changes, and your income stream changes. Does your faith change? Should it change? Do you even get a choice in the matter? The Thirsty Workers’ Guild invites three speakers to come and offer their perspectives on the intersection of faith and work. Spanky says that the vision for the monthly gathering was “to break the silence and go where most people have never gone before. We want to gather all those thirsty workers living in Christchurch who follow Jesus, love their jobs, but have no idea how the two things relate to each other”. Spanky normally invites one theologian and two workers to
lunch, and asks them to explore how their faith connects with their 9-5 work. Out of that discussion, each person gets ten minutes to talk at the Guild, and one question to pose to their working audience. The line up so far has included international speaker Katherine Leary Alsdorf (Founder of the Centre for Faith & Work, NYC), and Christchurch workers-of-work and livers-of-faith, involving a graphic designer, an engineer, a Laidlaw lecturer, a teacher and a lawyer. The homebrewed beer is supplied for those thirsty workers by HeBrews to “lightly lubricate” the discussions. As one who has only recently (read: in the last 6 months) navigated the change from studying at university to working full time, I can attest to The Guild as being a place to discuss openly with people who are facing the same challenges as I am: How vocal should you be about what you believe? Does my work even matter to God? Is it ok to love my job? Where does my work fit in with God’s purpose for me? Do people even need to know that I’m a Christian? These speakers don’t offer answers, which most people appreciate. They offer an opinion, craft some questions, and let the workers go from there. Every person’s experience of the Thirsty Workers’ Guild is different, but we are united by faith, by love of good conversation, and by love of craft beer (or delicious iced tea). The atmosphere is warm with tension and queries, despite the cool walls and hard floors of Chambers’. Discussion flows as easily as HeBrews’ ‘St Isodore’s Wheat Thrasher’, brewed by Lukas Thielmann and Willem De Vocht. This is the start of a great new gathering for those who are serious about their God, passionate about their work and eager to find out what it means to love both, here in Christchurch. To find out about the next Guild meeting check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thristyworkersguild 17
Busy in the ‘burbs John Robinson shares a typical job for the Linwood Men’s Shed. WORDS & PHOTO: JOHN ROBINSON
“Old stuff can be good stuff with a lot more life in it than you might think might be a metaphor in that, eh?”
Linwood Men’s Shed volunteers hard at work
We’re off. Trev and crew from the community garden have loaded the trailer with bark. Mark’s grabbed the wood we’ll need from some long pallets we’ve repurposed and Doug has patented his very own downpipe clearing device with a length of alkathine pipe and an old grinding disk. Destination: Woolston Play Centre. Purpose: Working bee and a bit of a yarn. A mum opens the place up and works with us as we pull weeds, re-bark gardens and clear gutterings. Doug, a brisk 74 years young, insists that he’ll clear the gutters even as I express my concern that his good lady wife will have a piece of me if I bring him back with a broken leg. “Don’t fuss John,” he says and up the ladder he goes like the proverbial rat up a drainpipe. Aside from today’s activities we’ve had some small community workshops making garden planters for folks with mobility issues and knocked out ‘a job lot’ for a local church. The local church is establishing a garden to supply the community 18
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outreach meal service it runs. We’ve also grunted and sweated our way through several rounds of shed and building material relocations through the CanCERN Recycle Reuse Relocate project - repurposing for other community groups what would otherwise end up gracing the Kate Valley Landfill. Old stuff can be good stuff with a lot more life in it than you might think - might be a metaphor in that, eh? Back to Woolston Play Centre. Mark and Steve quickly knock up a raised garden. Natalie from the Play Centre, can’t believe what’s been done in such a short time. One of the blokes make a joke about manpower and everybody has a laugh – between our various age-related aches, pains and in some cases ongoing medical conditions, the concept of “manpower” seems funny. I say, “Between the five of us we can just about muster up two fully functioning units.” There is more laughter and a few ripe observations. At cup of teatime, Stan holds court about fencing in the Waitakere’s in the 1940’s and the discussions range widely between first jobs, bloke’s relationship with their fathers and land confiscation in colonial New Zealand. Go figure. We’re the Linwood Men’s Shed crew and whilst we won’t leap buildings in a single bound we get there together. And that’s what it’s about: serving the community and supporting each other, together. Linwood Men’s Shed is part of the work of Linwood Resource Centre, a longstanding locally governed community development hub in the East of Christchurch. The LRC is staffed and warmly supported by Anglican Care Community Development.
FILM / MUSIC / LITERATURE / WEB / FOOD / EVENTS
Happy Songs for Every Day Greta Yeoman reviews the EP released by The Soorleys. WORDS: GRETA YEOMAN According to their biography; “You will hear the usual chaos of a family reunion; tiny riots of laughter that reduce the span of absence to a distant memory. You’ll hear the in-jokes, the memories and the recalling of age-old embarrassments. These are all the sounds of home.” “The Soorleys are a tousled, bohemian outfit. Sisters Beth, Laura, Shelley and Millie are up front, with husbands Sam and Christopher in tow, rounded out by honorary cousin Phil – when it comes to bands, few people can boast such familial chemistry.” The band reside in Newcastle, Australia but have been under Parachute Music’s artist development scheme for the past year. As well as playing at the Hamilton festival in the last few years, they also released their self-titled EP at Parachute
2014. It’s a beautiful collection of five songs. The first song “Rumble”, is also their first single from the EP. The band have released a music video for the single, which can be found on YouTube. “Huck Finn” is another favourite from the EP. It was written for a friend of the band who passed away. It has some beautiful, Mumford and Sons sounding harmonies in it. Their instrumentals are also stunning. They have borrowed a few lines from Dr Seuss singing, “Oh the sights you’ll see, the places you will go.” “Saw You Dancing” is the last track on the EP, and in keeping with the other songs, it’s a great dancing, upbeat number. I recommend if for fans of: folk music, happy songs for every day - including those rainy Christchurch winter mornings. Check out their music on iTunes, thesoorleys.com or find them on Facebook. 19
Sharing the Stories of the First NZ Missionaries WORDS: FIONA SUMMERFIELD
You are never too old to take on new projects in Christ’s mission. Alison Ballantyne has recently completed a two-year project researching early New Zealand missionaries. She began the project in 2011 in the aftermath of the earthquakes, while Executive Director of the Anglican Schools Office. The plan was to fulfil a request from Standing Committee of General Synod to produce material for schools to mark the arrival of Christian Missionaries to New Zealand. Alison visited various libraries and historic sites as well as spending many hours reading, writing and interviewing. She then worked with Margaret Woodhouse, who drew all the illustrations. The result was a set of books and a sixty-
one page teaching and learning resource pack. This pack includes research notes and extension studies for years 7-10 and years 11-13. Every Anglican school in New Zealand has been provided with the resource pack and a class set of the books. Written in a variety of styles and using plain language, the books describe the meeting of two cultures, the misunderstandings and the collaboration that went on during this time. Alison may have retired as Anglican Schools Office Executive Director at the end of 2013, but these little books will live on showing her matter of fact though optimistic view of sharing the gospel. “Aren’t they fun?”
THE BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FROM: The A.S.O. Bicentenary Project P O Box 4233 Christchurch COSTS: Picture This $10 When Tupu and Wiriwiri went to School $15 Marianne’s Almanac $15 Samuel’s Ark, $15
(plus postage) If all the books are purchased they come in a boxed set.
Not Just a Slogan Les Brighton considers the meaning of Christ centred mission. WORDS: LES BRIGHTON IMAGE: KARL SUMMERFIELD Advertising copywriters love adjectives: they know how splendid they are for generating feel-good vagueness about a product. What is (or is not) a major motion picture? Does the idea, lifestyle choice, mean anything? What precisely is a technological breakthrough (especially when applied to a toothbrush)? And what on earth is Christ centred mission? Oh dear: terrible example. For in this case we do have real, precise content; a statement that truly means something. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” says the risen Jesus. “Go and make disciples from every nation, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” The mind skips like a stone over the familiar words, but perhaps it is time to look again. This is our mandate.
“The living Jesus turns out to be a challenging figure to know.” Firstly, Christ is the power. Mission is not our idea—nor is it something that we in our own energy and creativity actually are able to do. The message we bear is about a power that breaks into the world from outside, and our only resource to tell about it is that power itself. Saving the world is God’s business, not ours. We can trust him with that. But, for God’s own reasons we are given an astonishing privilege: we are invited—no, we are commanded—to share with him his work in the world. Not a godless world: a world, which is his, utterly and completely. Secondly, Christ is the content. Our mission is not to convert, lure or cajole. It is first and foremost to make disciples: that is, to introduce people to Jesus. Does this sound too slight a thing? But it is this and only this that will really change the world. Not to initiate people into his ideas, his wonderful stories, or his miracles. But ultimately, through all of these things, to help them to hear the living voice of Christ that we ourselves heard long ago, when we
first stepped out to follow him. Over that encounter we have no control. Would we want any? All we do is make the introductions. We stand alongside; we are fellow travellers on a journey. And finally, Christ is the goal. To be baptised is to exchange our compromised and often tangled life for his. Being a Christian is not for the fainthearted: beyond the Sunday-School stories the living Jesus turns out to be a challenging figure to know. His infinite gentleness is one with his total demand upon our lives. “Sell all that you have and give to the poor.” “Leave father and mother.” “Take up your cross.” It all sounds so daunting—especially if we miss the key phrase in each of these statements: “…and come and follow me.” That is, come, join the closest companions of the Christ, as he walks his way of hidden power in the world. He asks us all that we have, in order to give us all that we are. Nothing that we leave behind is really us. Who we become, day by day in God’s grace, is we become the person that we truly are, the person that we always have been in God’s idea of us. We become ourselves. We become like Jesus. The disciple acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is— Christ—for Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men’s faces.1 Christ the content, Christ the goal—and the power to transform a world. 1. Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘As kingfishers catch fire’. 21
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