This week, marking the 6-month anniversary of the Christchurch event, the National Statement on Religious Diversity in Aotearoa NZ was launched. The logo represents the growth of religious diversity within this country from Maori, European, Pacific, Chinese, Indian and Islamic influences. A copy of the booklet will be in the church library where everyone can see it. (Thank you Pam Fuller).
The delay and contamination of the recent census data may be obscuring the probable fact that those choosing no religion within NZ have bypassed the total professing some form of Christianity. It’s been called the rise of “the nones.” Other religions are also on the rise in NZ, sufficient that to remain Christocentric only as a country would be to misname the reality.
I have found whenever in an inter-faith situation that we agree mostly on the important things, especially on what is an ethical and compassionate way to behave towards others. The best way to enter into inter faith dialogue is from a strong adherence to one’s own religion, along with an open mind as to what you can learn from others’ faith.
Many of you know at least 10 of the world’s religions have the ‘Golden Rule’ in their ethical framework. In our religion it’s stated “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Elsewhere this is expressed in the negative. “Do not do to others what you would not wish to be done to you.” It’s a good rule for approaching people of other religions. We would not like to be denigrated, insulted, ignored or dismissed. So let’s not do that to others. We would like respect, to be treated with dignity, to be listened to and shown compassion. Let’s do that to others.
On Sunday a team led by Fiona McDougal will lead the Gathering. I’ve seen the order of service. It looks most interesting. Hope you all will be able to make it. Afterwards, the social justice education group will meet to hear Jennifer Bush speak on an educational climate change tool which she encountered in France. Thank you Jennifer for committing just last week to this coming Sunday.
Lois Robertson and I will represent you at Presbytery Central Gathering this weekend in Hastings. (My last Presbytery meeting as an active minister). It is AGM time so you can imagine there will be a mixture of delights in store.
See you soon,
To view the full e-news click on this link: https://mailchi.mp/37baf246e07b/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-1504745