This Sunday, 5 January 2020, Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world will be praying for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, as part of the Anglican Cycle of Prayer. From Monday to Saturday each week, the Anglican Cycle of Prayer lists different dioceses in the Anglican Communion for prayer. On Sundays, it is usual for a whole province to be the focus of prayer. In this, the first of a new weekly series, Archbishops Donald Tamihere, Philip Richardson and Fereimi Cama, introduce their province and provide some specific prayer pointers.
The province of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia / Te Hāhi Mihinare ki Aotearoa, ki Niu Tīreni, ki Ngā Moutere o te Moana Nui a Kiwa is made up of eight nation states, spread across 11,000,000 sq miles of the Pacific Ocean.
We are a province of many languages, cultures, and peoples. Uniquely within the Anglican Communion, our province has shaped its life and its decision-making with three partners: Māori, Pasefika, and Pakeha, who while expressing their Anglican identity in uniquely culturally appropriate ways, are committed to weaving our distinctive tikanga (cultural streams), into a strong single body. To do this effectively, we are constantly called to reflect on our history, and on our current practice to recognise our failures and successes, in living out this partnership aspiration.
Three-tikanga relationships are reflected in every dimension of the life of our province. Our General Synod, while meeting in a traditional structure of Houses by orders (bishops, clergy, and laity), also meets by Tikanga. This ensures that indigenous minority expressions of Anglicanism are not dominated by the majority settler church (Tikanga Pākehā). Similarly, we have three archbishops, one for each Tikanga, who together are the primate of our province.
We are a province significantly affected by the impact of global warming, including seeing some of our nations literally losing the battle with rising sea levels. Consequently, developing climate resilience is a major priority for our province.
Our General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui meets every two years, and will be meeting in May 2020. Care of creation and climate resilience is to be our central theme for our General Synod. We will be delighted to welcome Archbishop Julio Murray Thompson, Primate of Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de América and Bishop of Panama, to lead our daily Bible studies.
We would ask for prayers for our continuing efforts to address the consequences of colonisation, particularly the disenfranchisement of Māori (the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand) and Pasefika peoples through colonisation, and the part that the settler church played in that. And to pray for our Church as we seek to be active agents of change in response to global warming.
We would also ask you to join with us in thanksgiving for the incredible gift of indigenous culture and Anglican diversity both within our province and throughout the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Donald Tamihere
Te Pihopa o Aotearoa
Archbishop Philip Richardson
Senior Bishop of the New Zealand Dioceses
Archbishop Fereimi Cama
Archbishop of Polynesia