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Waiapu Ministry Conference 2-4 July 2024

Bishop Andrew, clergy, laity and senior leadership staff from ACW and Shared Services attended the Waiapu Ministry Conference at St Andrew’s Church, Taupō last week.


Reverends Bek and Andy Hickman, Co-vicars of St Barnabas, Khandallah, Wellington Diocese were guest presenters. Over the three days, they lead prayers with symbolic reference to Isaiah 35:1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


The first day focused on being in the wilderness, the parched land, and needing light for our way.  Bishop Andrew gave an outline of the draft Diocese of Waiapu Strategy, which was discussed by those attending the conference.


The desert and the parched land will be glad

The wilderness will rejoice and blossom

Isaiah 35:1, 2

           

We look for light in the dark place

          Illuminate the way

          We look for flame in the wilderness

Pillar of fire, lead us.

 

The second day focused on being in a liminal space and turning deserts and the wilderness into pools of water, rivers, and fountains. The Rev’d Linda King spoke with us about the experiences of liminal spaces and times in life and how we learn to draw on our spiritual practices as we grow through these times. The Ven. Nigel Dixon spoke about navigating community life by understanding the expectations that others have on individuals and leaders in community.

 

We look for water in the thirsty place

Become a pool for us

We look for springs in the wilderness

Fountain of life, lead us 

 

In the afternoon we spent time with The Rev’d Robert Kereopa and Pīhopa Ngarahu Katene recognising the significant ministry of the second Bishop of Aotearoa, Pīhopa Wiremu Nētana Pānapa. Robert gave a moving historical account of Pīhopa Wiremu, and the inequities that existed during his tenure. We visited Pihopa Wiremu’s humble vicarage and the St James church at Nukuhau, and learned of the origins of ordained ministry in the Parish of Taupō all being through the support of Te Haahi Mihinare clergy and leaders.

 

The third day centred on sowing seed into the ground and creating flourishing gardens as we thought about what the shape of future ministry may be like in Waiapu. The Rev’d Alan Burnett provided a prophetic witness to the power of love in community and family and a challenge for us all to consider reaching those who do not know the love of God.

 

In the dry place, desert flowers grow

Be our light, be our life

 

On each of the evenings of the conference The Rev’d Carl Tinnion prepared different types of meals for us to enjoy as opportunities to reflect on community life in Christ in union with one another through hospitality, food and the Gospel. The meals were inspiring as well as delicious!

 

We wish to thank the hospitality of the Parish of Taupō and the catering volunteers from St Andrew’s Taupō and Holy Trinity Tauranga who supported us throughout the conference.  


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