Anglicans from Titahi Bay, Ranui and Porirua East joined Māori sisters and brothers in Christ at the Rota Waitoa Church in Elsdon for an Ash Wednesday evening service. The Rota Waitoa whanau welcomed us and shared a te reo Māori liturgy with us as we worshipped accompanied on guitar by Archdeacon Reverend Tiaki in a service led by Deacon Reverend Rochelle. The Holy Communion was presided over by Reverend Kura, Porirua Anglican Priest in Charge Reverend Terry preached on our identity in Christ and Titahi Bay Priest Reverend Casey led prayers. Those present were anointed with ash and oil by the clergy in the service of imposition of ashes.
Those who attended rejoiced in the opportunity to experience a service in te reo Māori and to realise our oneness in Christ. A fine evening was sealed with traditionally generous hospitality as we drank and ate sitting at tables covered with red table cloths.
What a vision: the development and regeneration of Eastern & Western Porirua. Following on from the Prime Minister's recent announcement at Russell School of a 25 year plan to invest in our city, work is underway planning and ensuring that things will begin to happen on the ground in 2019 in Eastern Porirua.
May I encourage Porirua Anglicans, and other Churches and Christians, to be at the forefront of community consultation and action, helping to ensure that local opinion and sensitivities are communicated to the government and agencies who are funding and implementing this vision. Let's do all we can to allow this great opportunity to be a wonderful community building exercise.
A new website has been launched to communicate the vision and concept. A key request is that people sign up for email information as it becomes available. You will learn about community meetings and decisions and be kept up to date about progress. Can we all make sure we sign up as the beginning of our commitment to be involved?
The map below appears on the website and highlights the areas that will be developed. Certainly most of us Porirua Anglicans are living within these areas. We will be affected. Let us be active to ensure that we and our neighbours get the best possible deals.
I am reminded of an old story that has particular relevance at the moment. Let's not leave action to the other person and walk on by... let's get involved.
[The lawyer] wanting to justify himself, asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii [2 days' wages], gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
We have been presented with a wonderful opportunity to be neighbourly. It will be challenging; it will be worth it. Let's do it!
Interim Priest in Charge
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities