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Nurturing New Life: Reforming Koru Ministry

Hutia te rito o te harakeke, kai hea te korimako e kō?

If you pluck out the centre shoot of the flax, where will the bellbird sing?

Have you ever really looked at a Harakeke plant (NZ Flax). Beyond its usefulness and beauty, the Harakeke carries a deep metaphor for the nature of life in a healthy family and community. On the outer edge, standing as guardians from the forces of nature are the tupuna, the oldest leaves of the plant. Behind the tupuna are the awhi rito or parents, protected from the elements by the tupuna, the are able to nurture and protect the life of the rito, the newest and most fragile part of the plant. This small horticultural lesson expresses well what the church looks like as it nurtures new life within it. Each component and part aware of its importance in the life of the overall community and in its future. The place on the plant has nothing to do with age, but rather its formation. Those most able to endure the edges, the well formed and strong in faith, protect the inner life of disciples who are still growing.

As a diocesan community, it is important to reflect on how well we nurture new life in our midst and how we protect and resource it. In light of this need, the Standing Committee has authorized a proposal from the Parishes of Taradale and Holy Trinity, Tauranga to reform the Koru Ministry, focusing on first thirds ministry in Waiapu. This will see Reverend Alan Burnett and Mrs Marg Barsanti take on the role of connecting with and resourcing those who work with the first thirds in the diocese, as well as the production of a report for the standing committee that will sit alongside the strategic planning and priorities of the diocese. This will be like a 'stock take' and help the diocese to know where and what to invest in the years to come. As part of this work, either Marg or Alan will be in touch with your parish or school leader to make a time to meet and talk about dreams, visions and challenges in your context.

In the more immediate future, Marg and Alan are invited anyone in the diocese who is connected with or passionate about ministry to the First Thirds (0-25/30) to join them on Zoom Clusters which will be held every 5 weeks. If you would like to join these and haven't had any word about them from your parish or Marg and Alan, please email either Alan or Marg to be linked in.

In the more immediate period, you are encouraged to take part in a survey produced by Marg and Alan to help them get a sense of your context and experience in first thirds ministry. The survey is confidential and we do not seek any identifying information so that you are able to reflect clearly on your experience of this important ministry. The survey can be found here.

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