The delegates to the IAFN consultation on family violence were welcomed to Wellington at a powhiri at Wainuiomata Marae.
The Rev Cecilia Rooderkerk explaining some of the history of her Wainuiomata Marae to the consultation delegates.
The Diocese of Polynesia delegates to the consultation pray and sing before their Archbishop's Wednesday evening contribution.
On Wednesday evening, Archbishop Winston Halapua put the issue of violence in the family in a wider Pacific theological context.
Rev Dr Raymond Pelly, who delivered one of the keynote addresses in his Thursday sermon - entitled "The Beloved Child."
Charles Waldegrave - Anglican priest, psychologist, family therapist, social policy researcher, and co-leader of the Family Centre.
Taimalieutu Kiwi Tamasese leads the Pacific section of The Family Centre, who are the hosts for the IAFN consultation.
Mrs Quandolita Reid-Enari is a teacher who advocates for women and works to stem family violence in Samoa.
Mrs Didamain Uibo, who is a school principal at Numbulwar, 800 km west of Darwin. Numbalwar is the site of an Anglican mission.
George Kiriau is the secretary of the church in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu - a province which has seen severe ethnic conflict.
Mrs Jessica Ingen, from Papua New Guinea - whose husband is a newly ordained bishop in that province.
Anglicans at the sharp end of confronting family violence throughout the South Pacific are meeting in Lower Hutt to nut out how the church can better grapple with that problem – and take a lead in society in doing so.
The 25 delegates, who have come from as far afield as Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, are aiming to come up with a clear message and some practical approaches that will not only benefit their Pacific homelands – but be of value to the wider Communion as well.
The Lower Hutt gathering is the Oceania leg of the International Anglican Family Network’s Violence and the Family consultations (similar events have already been held in Kenya and Korea) – and one of the event’s main organisers, The Rev Charles Waldegrave, is determined that it won’t be a talk fest.
Charles, who is an Anglican priest, a psychologist and social policy researcher, and a co-leader at the Family Centre in Lower Hutt (which is hosting the consultation), says the delegates have been chosen either because of their practical experience in stopping family violence – or because they’ve got track records in getting important messages across to the church.
“Family violence is a serious problem in New Zealand. And over the past two days we’ve been hearing very clearly that it’s a problem in the wider Pacific as well.
“It happens in our congregations – and the church needs to take some leadership in the whole of society on this.”
Papua New Guinea; Vanuatu; the Solomons, Hawaii; Fiji; Samoa, Tonga and Australia have each sent two delegates – a man and a woman – while Mrs Huia Swann is representing Tikanga Maori for the church in this province, while Wellington psychologist Richard Sawrey is representing Tikanga Pakeha.
Charles Waldegrave says that equal number of men and women delegates is deliberate.
“Women,” he says, “have carried this message about stopping family violence by themselves for too long. We want this message carried by men to men as well.”
The powhiri for the consultation was held at Wainuiomata Marae on Wednesday, and the final sessions (which are being held at the Angus Inn in Lower Hutt) will be held on Sunday afternoon.
• • • •
For more on the IAFN, including reports from the two previous Violence and the Family consultations, go to: http://iafn.anglicancommunion.org/index.cfm
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