E NEWS 26TH MAY 2023
Talofa lava, as most of you know I was part of the National Assessment weekend in Queenstown which interviewed two candidates for the National Ordained Ministry of the Presbyterian Church last weekend. It is now public knowledge, both candidates were successful in getting through. One of them was a Samoan woman and I felt as if I had the weight of all Pacific women on my shoulders when assessing this woman. Once her call was affirmed I felt as if I had reached the summit of Mt. Everest. In all honesty I believe that if I had not been present she may well have not been affirmed. There were points of clarification and cultural knowledge which I had to impart on the all palagi group of assessors apart from a Korean assessor. She may well have failed because of their lack of knowledge of Pacific culture and protocol among other things. It was quite intense and a long weekend. Almost everyone there including my hosts were evangelical and some wondered what I was doing at St. Andrew’s on the Terrace a very liberal church. I did spend a lot of time trying to justify myself and educating people on progressive theology and my personal faith journey. It was hard work! I came home exhausted but glad that I participated in NAW.
I have just returned from a spectacular night at the Hutt Valley Sports Awards. Approximately 1,000 people sitting 10 people per table. Entrée, main course and dessert all fine dining. The Theme was Grease Lightning with a Wellington based star studded cast, Wellington Symphony Orchestra and Signature choir. The Honourable Chris Hipkins did the opening speech and gave away the prestigious awards. The head girl from Queen Margaret College won the Young Sportswoman of the Year Tia Pavihi, congratulations to her. It was a fun filled night my second year attending this prestigious event.
I’ve been thinking how a change in leadership through the corridors of power down at the Beehive may have an impact on my involvement with some of the members of Parliament particularly the Pacific MPs. Aupito William Su’a who was the Minister of Pacific People’s is retiring and not standing at the next elections. He has been very instrumental in my involvement as a Religious minister in parliament. I don’t know his replacement Barbara Edmonds. I will make the effort to get to know her when we launch the Vaka of Stories as I’m on the Steering Committee. We will be conducting a hikoi throughout the country with those who were impacted and traumatised by the 1970’s Dawn Raids and avoiding similar types of dawn raids on Pacific peoples even today. I see my ministry to Parliament and Victoria University as crucial to St Andrew’s on the Terrace religious presence in the community of Wellington.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and instead of using the reading from the Second chapter of Acts I have chosen to use the lectionary reading from 1 Corinthians chapter 12 on the gifts of the spirit. I’ve never preached on this before but I thought I’d give it a try this Sunday. I’m not sure whether this is something that progressive churches delve into or not but we’ll see how it goes.
This Sunday is the start of Samoan language week. The Theme is “being proud of your language and your identity”. Hope you have a great weekend. Tofa Soifua, Fei
You can read the full E-news here: https://mailchi.mp/bf414b245d43/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-9345595