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Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]



More on the Aotearoa New Zealand visits and lectures

Part of the reason for the visits to churches in Aotearoa New Zealand was for CCA-FMU executive secretary Hope S. Antone to give a seminar on Asian Ecumenical Theology to a group of Presbyterian ministry interns of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. She conducted the seminar with them at Grafton Hall in Auckland on 7 July.

Another part of the reason was for her to make a solidarity visit to Christchurch on 8-10 July, where she was hosted by Garth and Elizabeth Cant. This visit included meeting with the Church World Service staff led by Pauline McKay. On 9 July she listened to an ecumenical panel on the topic, “After the earthquake, churches working together.” After listening to the panelists (Katrina Hill of CWS, Bob Anderson of St. Ambrose Church, Bob Turnbull of Baptist Church, and Michael Earle of Anglican Church), she was invited to make a response.

Using the framework of the four shifts towards the wider ecumenical vision, she tried to weave the learning points shared by the panellists:
  • The disaster can help Christchurch move from competition to cooperation among churches – the idea of doing and being church differently is a good example here. Should Christchurch build a denominational cathedral or an ecumenical cathedral?
  • The disaster can help Christchurch move from isolation to collaboration with movements for justice and peace – the expressed need to take the government on social justice is a good example – knowing that the most affected by the quake and liquefactions come from the poorer area.
  • The disaster can help Christchurch move from condemnation to dialogue with other religions. It was shared that some Buddhists in ANZ did give a substantial donation for the quake victims. Knowing that many immigrants to ANZ are people with religions other than Christianity, it is important to consider this component of the wider ecumenism.
  • The disaster can help Christchurch move from disintegration to integrity of creation – for while we cannot understand why disasters happen, we know that the earth is ageing and has changed so much as a result of our actions. It is time to think of befriending creation instead of conquering it. It is also time to think about our roles as guests and hosts of the household of God – two words which are the two sides of the word ‘hospitality’.
The visit to Auckland and Christchurch brought Hope Antone into contact with former officers and staff of CCA, as well as some program participants of CCA from ANZ.

posted by cbs on Wednesday, August 17, 2011  

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