The Church, which listens to and interacts with the universe, with te ao Maori, with women, youth and LGBTQI, is the dream of a group of lay people planning an online synod in August.

The band, which is part of Be the Change Aotearoa New Zealand, is inspired by the concept of Te Whāriki, or “woven rug”. Its purpose is to reflect on the relationship of each of the directions of the church and society with the environmental crisis, which highlights the increasingly troubling actions of Western capitalism.

A group of people from Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington see that their kaupapa focuses on who we are as Aatearoa people, how we have developed and maintained good relations between our people, and how we ensure that our mission integrates with God’s mission to our the work has been relevant to the wider human community and is consistent with how the natural world functions.

The decolonization of Aatearoa is paramount, with its call to take responsibility for actions aimed at change, based on the unique relationship between Tangata Venoa and Tangata Tiriti – place and people.

This call to action is a reorientation to the priorities of the right relationship with the rest of nature.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported unprecedented large-scale, rapid and intense climate change, some of which cannot be changed. But by limiting warming by immediate rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, some changes can be slowed and others stopped.

Reflecting on these issues, we recognize the importance of communicating ourselves and our beliefs as churches in the wider community and timely and relevant application in how we plan and organize governance actions at all levels in the common public space in these communities.

This will be something very new for the Catholic Church in Aatearoa.

We want to make sure that as an initiative led by the laity, the laity can own it and shape it as they move forward. We are planning an initial webinar that will explore the direction of this initiative as a whole and will give a taster of the three proposed areas of work: Completing Decolonization in Aatearoa, Our Care for the Earth and Other Natural Worlds and Relationship Management Exercises.

These workflows are likely to take place on different days, which, thanks to the judicious use of technology, means that the overall duration of the program can be adjusted to suit everyone’s needs.

The planning team welcomes any expressions of interest at this stage in the development of our secular initiative.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand, Palmerstan, The main story.

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