Inscrit le: 05 Mai 2016
| Posté le: Dim 9 Juil - 14:20 (2017) Sujet du message: When The Tui Calls Rural Ministry Ndash Origins And Futur
The Tui (Parson Bird), with its tuft of white feathers at the neck, is highly adaptive, has a distinctive call, is protective of its domain, is an imitator of song and speech and is an enduring example of survival and adaptability.
This essay on rural ministry reflects on its long evolution, its current challenges, and its continuing viability for the future in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Bennett highlights some key issues and opportunities for rural ministry today, including:
* Maintaining identity as a rural community and church
* Being forums for wider community discussion on current issues
* Re-vitalising the church’s ministry of hospitality
* Ensuring those responsible for worship leadership are well-trained
* Ensuring that worship gives expression to what is actually happening in the rural community
* Developing strategies for on-farm, at-home visits or sub-regional get-togethers
* Offering theological college students short residential stays to help them understand time-work-seasonality relationships, and how rural people view life and society.
Foreword by Bishop Andrew Hedge:
"I am a ‘townie,’ born and bred. ...I think most New Zealand townies have of the rural world that is wrapped up in images of Red Band gumboots, roaring fires in a cosy farm house and well behaved stock grazing quietly on pastures of lush green grass. It’s a nice image to hold as you drive through a farming community, but hardly reflects the reality of rural life.
What is hidden from the surface is the struggle to keep a business afloat through changing circumstances of environment, politics and economics. Associated with that struggle, are care and concern for your family and provision for family life, care for your employees and their families, and, importantly, the pressure to care for stock and keep production levels to an optimum position. Alongside this sit the real joys of a lifestyle that is deeply immersed and intertwined with the seasonal ebb and flow of creation.
It has been my privilege through ministry in the Anglican Church as a priest and bishop in rural communities to be invited into farm houses and to share stories of life and faith over a morning cup of tea and freshly baked scones. In those conversations the realities of life have intersected with the profound insights of faith and of the beauty of God experienced in the midst of pastoral land.
Bill Bennett knows this reality better than most through his extensive ministry as a priest within rural communities. The work you have in your hands is an invaluable insight into the roles that faith and Christian ministry offer to rural life, born not only out of Bill’s experience, but also with the depth of the history of the life of the Church in word and sacrament. Bill provides the Church today with a pathway back into our history that will help us to identify the roots of our ministry in rural life that enables us to navigate our present and near future.
As life continues to change for parishes and faith communities in rural areas, we are blessed by the insights and reflections of this most faithful priest who has been deeply immersed in rural life, with a profound faith in God and desire to speak that faith in a meaningful and relevant way. I commend this work to all who minister in rural areas, both lay and ordained, as you seek to proclaim the joy, grace, hope and love of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ amidst the communities that are shaped by pastures, vineyards and forests of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Bishop of Waiapu