At Hui 2017 we were reminded and challenged that some voices are not heard, or hardly heard, in our denomination. These are voices of the disenfranchised, the marginalised, the homeless, those whose land was confiscated, Māori, ethnic minorities, women, and those living in poverty here and overseas. Added to these voices is the cry of our whenua/land—a voice that is currently screaming out to be heard and a voice that I have hardly heard in our denomination.

This is what I heard and felt God say…

God’s heart breaks when voices are silenced.

A silenced voice is the silent scream of a child being aborted.

A life not being allowed to live and to thrive.

That is how much it breaks God’s heart

when those who hold the power and control do not make space for those voices to be heard.

I heard the call for (kenotic) hospitality, as in:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,

but emptied himself… (Philippians 2:5-7).

During the Hui we all heard the call to have cups of tea, lots of them. Having a cuppa is a picture of hospitality. The pouring and the emptying of the kettle, is a picture of kenotic hospitality. And as we drink our cups of tea, remember that sometimes others might like to hold the kettle and pour the kapu tī for you.

Reflection: Wendy Emsley, (Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Toa Rangatira)

Wendy Emsley is chaplain at Taupō Hospital and is also chaplain for Taupō Police. She was formerly the community pastor at Taupō Baptist Church.

Wendy recommends Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman’s ‘Kapu Tī 101’ in the publication ‘Te Reo o Te Repo (The Voice of the Wetland)’ Although written in the context of engaging with tangata whenua about wetlands restoration, the resource is helpful for those wishing to learn more about the principles of a good kapu tī. 

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