This past Saturday, our extended Diocesan family gathered to celebrate God’s work in and around us. Through conversations and contemplation, together we reflected on the three Diocesan themes of Our Transforming God/Discipleship, Reducing Child Poverty, and Reducing Transport Emissions.
The Parihaka Day celebration began at 10am as over 500 friends and guests entered the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul to find booths celebrating diverse ministries—including St Thomas’s Prayer station, the Children and Families Scavenger Hunt, Joe McMenamin’s beautiful painting, and the 3,285 peace cranes from the Porirua Hospital Chaplaincy. When out-of-town cruise ship passengers stumbled upon our event, they delightedly discovered vibrancy and life inside our Cathedral and even received prayer from the St Thomas’s team.
Our Hui spilled onto the footpath—with a tasty barbeque from the Featherston Youth Group, barista coffee from Stories, and test drives of e-cars, wacky scooters, and an e-bike. Intergenerational activities were in abundance–many families stayed the whole day.
At regular intervals, we worshiped together with Bishop Justin and the Cathedral Choirs. We also paused for the graduations/journey-markers of three discipleship vehicles in our Diocese: Anglican Studies, EfM, and 3DM. Congratulations to the numerous students and participants who have gone on amazing, multi-year discipleship journeys. This is no small achievement!
Our Diocesan Themes were explored from all angles throughout the day. Participants could learn from workshops or keynote presentations by Bishop Justin, City Missioner Rev Tric Malcom, and NZ Journalist Rod Oram; they could meditate and pray on each theme in the contemplative Chinese tea room; and they could converse with experts on each theme over a cuppa. We’re grateful for the insights we received from all our wonderful presenters.
The event was capped off by a screening of the film Tatarakihi: the Children of Parihaka and a conversation with the filmmaker Gaylene Preston. The incredible story of Parihaka truly permeated our collective imaginations—as we consider the lineage of our faith in this nation.
For those who enjoyed the workshop with Michelle Wanwimolruk entitled, “The Pitfalls of Focusing on ‘Vulnerable Children’ and ‘Child Poverty’ – Is there a better way?”—Michelle is available for speaking engagements on this topic.