Kia ora e te whanau

US architect Frank Lloyd Wright said “the present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope.”

“The Living City”

In these days of Level 3, we wait and hope for news of a move to Level 2. So too, did the Jewish Christians in first century Jerusalem wait and hope for Jesus to return. They were still waiting 65 to 70 years after Jesus died, were persecuted, and had been thrown out of the synagogue. In those days, banishment from the synagogue meant separation from family and friends, no longer being considered Jewish. They grieved and despaired. The gospel writers feared they would give up and return to the synagogue, so they redefined Jesus as a metaphor for how to live, rather than the messiah who was expected to establish a new realm on earth. Through his commandment to love one another as he had loved them, Jesus directed the disciples in the way they were to live. Marcus Borg describes this as the way of the heart. This is what I talk about in my reflection on Sunday.

I hope everyone is coping well and feeling supported six weeks into lockdown. It has been a difficult and lonely time for many people for a range of reasons. COVID-19 has led to a profound experience of community connection. It has shown us what matters most to people in Aotearoa New Zealand: each other. This pandemic has revealed that our health and wellbeing is dependent on the health and wellbeing of everyone else. Like our bodies, if one part is injured or unwell, our whole system suffers.

COVID-19 has shown us that some of the ways business and policy are currently practiced are not working for us all, and hurting parts of our community.

Perhaps we can use this space between yesterday and tomorrow to begin thinking of ways in which we can journey towards making Aotearoa New Zealand a heart-filled place where we all have:

  • a roof over our heads and food on our tables
  • time to care for our parents and our children
  • clean air to breathe and water to drink
  • the chance to make a good living with time left over to enjoy life.

We already have good initiatives and alternative systems around us. We must ensure we support, invest in and amplify schemes such as Papakainga housing, alternative business models like Hikurangi Group, a collective of entities dedicated to regional economic development; and alternative governance models such as the co-governance agreement between Te Waihora and Environment Canterbury.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves. Isolation is hard on some. Stay connected with friends and family. Contact at least one person each day. You are likely to feel better and so are they.




As you will be aware, the prime minister has outlined what it will mean for us to be moving to level 2 of the guidelines for managing COVID-19.

The national Presbyterian church office will be sending out guidelines early next week after we find out when the move to level 2 will happen.

Parish Council will be meeting to discuss what this will mean for us as far as resuming services in the church.

Rest assured we will be guided by the PCANZ and will consider carefully and take necessary steps to ensure everyone’s safety, while very much looking forward to being able to be together again in person.

Arohanui, Catriona

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