Minister’s comment – February 2020

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Minister’s comment – February 2020

February 2020

Kia ora everyone welcome to our adventure and romance of “The Courtship”, Saints A & A (Aidans and Andrews) it makes for an exciting year of discoveries. 

First a story; 

Three men are chipping rock in a quarry. The first man is asked what he is doing and replies that he is chipping rock. The second man is asked the same question, and he says he is providing for his family. The third man, doing identical work, says that he is building a cathedral.

If you’re just chipping rock, you are a labourer.

Providing for your family gives you a personal purpose.

Finding the cathedral in your work can generate inspiration and motivation. 

We might not be building a cathedral out of stone, and there are plenty of empty ones around the world; however, we are chipping away at a new future! What we are chipping away at over the next twelve months has the potential for more. In our chipping we are reminded that in any given moment we can choose to find the good, the bad and the ugly, along with beautiful, perfect and imperfect opportunities or else barriers imposing our assumptions and beliefs on what is positive and successful.

We are making conscious decisions

> to be different to bring about difference

> to put energy into what we want more of and are already doing well

> not to ignore the systemic challenges all around us.

Jan Watkins says that “human organisations are open books. People are constantly co-authoring an organisation’s story from within and by those on the outside who interact with it. We can inquire into the nature of alienation or the nature of joy, and we can study moments of creativity and innovation or moments of debilitating stress. We have a choice.”  

Circumstances have led us to this choice of being in ‘courtship’ as a step into the unknown.

A step we believe is in the right direction.

The decision we have made, brave as it is, is not a permanent fix to the long-standing challenge and challenges we are facing up to. These sorts of decisions often remove the sense of urgency even though logically we know the challenge hasn’t been fixed. Once the pain subsides, we simply lose our appetite—our motivation—to tackle tougher challenges. This change could give us the impression that the overall challenge is solved when symptoms begin to recede. Once they recede, it is human nature to become lackadaisical about continuing to work on the challenge—especially when a longer-term solution requires greater commitment and willingness to step out of our comfort zone, when its impact may not be felt for years. So, instead of putting our efforts toward finding a permanent solution, we are much more inclined to implement one temporary fix after another.

Our challenge is not to fall into this trap! 

The most threatening problems we face today are all systemic, and systemic challenges require multifaceted steps in the right direction. This makes for an exciting year.

Peace from me to you and yours, Colin



Pastoral Message from the Moderator, the Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio‘Australia,our neighbour in strife

In the Church sphere there is a special relationship between the PCANZ and UCA (Uniting Church of Australia), more than any other of our partner Churches.

  Apart from Uniting Church ministers and congregations working in the local communities
they are also providing disaster relief chaplaincy which is being coordinated nationally.
Their community service agencies are also working locally in effected communities.
 
Let us continue to keep our neighbor Australia in our prayers.
There are also opportunities for us to support financially. I draw your attention to one – details below.
 
Blessings,
Fakaofo
 
The Uniting Church have a National Disaster Relief Fund that donations can be sent to, and which donations will be put through for this disaster. 
You can make donations through the Assembly website, https://assembly.uca.org.au/
Also, if you wish to make a transfer of funds, please use the following:


National Disaster Relief bank account
Bank name: Westpac
BSB: 032003
Account number: 269941
Account name: ASM National Disaster