By the time you read this I will be attending Central Presbytery at St. Albans Presbyterian Church in Palmerston North.  This is actually my first regional Presbyterian meeting as one of my dogs was very sick the last time they met last year and the first time in March last year I had not yet arrived in Wellington.  It will be good to meet colleagues from throughout the central region particularly those up in the Hawkes Bay, Hastings, Gisborne regions who were severely affected by Cyclone Gabriel.

The key note address will be on “The Treaty: A doorway to reconciliation” on Saturday morning.  It’s interesting this “bi-cultural” journey for me.  The keynote address I believe is a pakeha addressing a tauiwi response to Te Tiriti.  As a Pacific Islander we have always maintained with Tangata Whenua that we were all paddling/sailing in the same waka from Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki, roa, Hawaiki pamamao but some waka got off at different islands whilst the final seven waka continued sailing on to eventually arrive at Aotearoa.  Samoan’s see themselves as teina (younger sibling) and Tangata whenua as tuakana (older sibling) we are whanaungatanga and our relationship is one of kinship.  The island my father comes from is Savai’i, the “H” in Maori is our “S”, the ’V” in Maori is “W” the apostrophe or glottal stop in Maori is a “K”.  So Savai’i is Hawaiki or even Hawai’i.  Replace those consonants in each of the three languages Te Reo, Samoan and Hawaiian and you will understand the similarities of the three languages eg.  Aroha (Maori), Alofa (Samoa), Aloha (Hawaiian) words for love.  To be put into the same category as pakeha when discussing Te Tiriti does not sit well with me as my people did not colonise Aotearoa and our relationship to whenua and turangawaewae and tino rangatiratanga is understood by the tangata whenua that I have journeyed with over the years to be one of kin rather than tauiwi or foreigner.  So it will be interesting to be part of this conversation on Saturday morning.

This week we remembered the 4th anniversary of the mosque attacks in Christchurch.  I remember that day well as my niece got married in Queenstown that morning.  After the wedding ceremony we drove down to Arrowtown for lunch whilst we were waiting for the time of wedding breakfast later that afternoon.  We had just sat down at a café and everyone’s phones started buzzing.  At that time my nephew said there’s been a shooting in Christchurch and there were a few people dead at that stage but not much more was known as the event was unfolding in real time at that stage.  Whole lives, whole families and a whole country has been changed from that horrific act of terrorism.  How has your life been challenged as a result?  Have we done enough as a country, as a church and as individuals to respond to inter-faith dialogue and relationships?

On Good Friday I will be following the St Andrew’s on the Terrace tradition of having the stations of the cross every alternate year which is this year 2023.  The 12 stations will be put up on Holy week.  I am looking for 12 people to volunteer to write a short meditation on one of the 12 stations which will be printed in the order of service and you will also read it out aloud on the day at our Good Friday service.  The following are the 12 stations:

– Jesus is condemned to death, Mark 15: 1-5, 11-15
– Jesus takes up his cross, Mark 15: 16-20
– Jesus falls for the first time, Isaiah 53: 2
– Jesus meets his mother, Luke 2: 22, 34, 35
– Simon helps Jesus to carry his cross, Mark 15:21
– Veronica wipes the face of Jesus,Matthew 25: 35-36, 40
– Jesus falls the second time, Isaiah 53:7
– Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, Luke 23: 27-28
– Jesus falls for the third time, Isaiah 53: 7
– Jesus is stripped of his clothes, Mark 15: 22-24
– Jesus is nailed to the cross, Luke 23: 35-38
-Jesus dies on the cross, Luke 23: 44-46

If this is something you would like to volunteer for please can you email Christine at the office at office@standrews.org.nz by next Friday at the latest.

I would still like to know the numbers for how many will be attending our Passover/Last supper feast on Maundy Thursday 6th April at 6.30pm and what you will be bringing.  There are 2 joints of lamb being prepared and this should be enough to go around but I need to know numbers asap. Also I have a menorah so this can come off the list.

Have a pleasant weekend.  Thank you.  Fei

You can read the full E-news here: https://mailchi.mp/4a51c79572b2/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-9326163

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