It’s been a long time since.
A long time since I wandered around the beach and the grounds of Te Tii, lent on the rail of the bridge and watched younger and older locals bombing into the estuary below, and wandered through the native plantings that surround the Treaty grounds. Last time I was there, the atmosphere was electric with dispeace. Last time, the media could harvest any number of stories about confrontation and discord.
As I write this, I have just returned after three nights in Waitangi. It would have been very easy to stay, however, everyone else has returned home to their communities around Aotearoa and I expect still savouring the flavour of a fresh way of being in a partnership journey characterised by welcome and listening, serving.
Te Haahi Weteriana O Aotearoa (The Methodist Church of New Zealand) has at its heart a bond to a Bi-Cultural Journey and to see Vice President Viv Whimster and Matua Rex Nathan leading in the sacred moments of the Waitangi events of 2018 was good for the soul.
However, on arriving back in Auckland, at my very first meeting with the Auckland City Missioner, we reflected on the number of folk in our City Centre community who in fact represent the failure of our national Treaty partnership. The historical colonial impact has been reinforced over recent decades with fiscal and social models that ensure growth for those who have the capacity to manage debt and wealth. The pathway of past decades has ensured that the fabric of social infrastructure has been practically taxed until we no longer have resources to nurture all our whānau.
But then, too few people know that your Mission, Lifewise and Airedale Property Trust led by Methodist Mission Northern, have been entrusted with the task of a very practical mission to whānau in many areas of work. This newsletter is one way we have of letting you know what your Mission is doing in the way of living Gospel values in Aotearoa. We are looking to our past to shape the future. And what’s more, you are invited to support your Mission in ‘the world is your parish’ movement.
Celebrate with us the changed lives, the gifts that have been shared and our optimism for a new era in community care.
Head of Mission, Methodist Mission Northern