Kia ora whanau
Thank you to all those leaders, lay and ordained, who attended Synod in Palmerston North last week, and thank you once again to the Palmerston North parishes for their wonderful hospitality.
Our Synod charges this year continue our exploration of addressing child poverty and climate change, and begin the process of committing to discipleship under the Lordship of our transforming God. More on discipleship and transformation in October.
In the meantime, I’d like to explore the first two charges: child poverty and climate change.
Our upcoming local body elections are a good time to take stock of those who have offered to lead our communities. As a Diocese we have committed to supporting the Living Wage Movement; knowing that by paying employees an hourly rate that more accurately reflects the real cost of living we can help poor families to have more resources at their disposal.
In the lead up to the 2016 local body elections Living Wage Aotearoa has held a series of public forums and have asked mayoral and ward candidates to pledge their commitment to the living wage. For information about the responses of each candidate in the Wellington City and Hutt elections please see the document below which has been supplied by Living Wage.
At Synod we were privileged to have Rod Oram speak to us on climate change and transport emissions – his message was all at once sobering, challenging, and hopeful: I encourage you keep an eye out for his presentation on Movement and to share his presentation with your congregations. He will also be attending the Diocesan Hui on 5 November and will preach at the Cathedral the next day. I’d like to simply give you a quote on this issue which Rod presented, from climate scientist Gus Speth:
‘I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address those problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy … and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation – and we scientists don’t know how to do that’.
My prayer for us as a Diocesan family is that we can deeply and prayerfully explore how we can be the prophetic voice into the problem which at the current trajectory will have catastrophic consequences for the next generation.