Archbishop Don Tamihere, Archbishop Philip Richardson and Archbishop Fereimi Cama have released a call to prayer to ask that Anglicans in these islands reflect and pray on our church's three-Tikanga identity in the light of the big issues rocking the world at this time.
Firstly, the Archbishops highlight our nations’ responses to the global coronavirus pandemic, calling on their Church to offer prayer for those who have suffered, and thanksgiving for those who have served during these hard times.
As we move toward Te Pouhere Sunday – when this Church gives thanks for our three-Tikanga life – the Archbishops have called on Anglicans to pray for hearts and minds that are open to the kind of reconciliation and change that will help dismantle racism in all its forms.
The Archbishops' call to prayer and thanksgiving follows below.
A Call to Thanksgiving and Prayer
As we approach Te Pouhere Sunday, a day when we celebrate the diversity of our Church and recommit ourselves to reconciliation and peace, both of our history and in our contemporary Church and society, we call the Church to prayers of thanksgiving and repentance.
Ki te whānau a Te Karaiti, ki Te Haahi Tapu puta noa ki Aotearoa, ki Niu Tireni, ki Ngā Moutere a Te Moananui a Kiwa;
To our beloved family in Christ, to the Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia;
Let us continue to uphold each other in prayer and thanksgiving, and renew our commitment to be messengers of God's unconditional love and boundless grace, and to be an instrument of God's peace
We are emerging from a period of lockdowns, alert levels, and government interventions across the nation states that make up our Anglican Church here in the South Pacific. Our peoples have seen low levels of infection, transmission and deaths across our islands.
Let us give thanks to God for those who have served and protected so selflessly. Let us give thanks for those who have led our nations with kindness and compassion.
We know that many are suffering deep sadness and grief through the loss of loved ones during this time.
Please pray that they may know God’s love surrounding and upholding then.
We know many communities, families and individuals are living with deep anxiety as they look to a future without employment or certainty.
Please pray for our communities to care and provide for each other, and for the courage to build new beginnings.
We are aware of the continuing rapid spread and increase in Coronavirus infections and deaths across our world.
Please pray for the peoples that are most vulnerable and most affected, and for those who continue to work tirelessly to treat the sick and stem the tide of infection. Please pray for those carers who themselves have become infected.
We watch with deep sadness the escalating anger and frustration in the United States of America.
We ask you to pray for the soul of George Floyd and for his family, and for all those who have lost their lives to police brutality and racism. We pray for wise and compassionate leadership in that country and we also invite you to pray that we ourselves might have the eyes to see, and the hearts to recognise, the discrimination and racism that exists within our institutions, our communities, and within even our own attitudes and assumptions.
Loving God, you have made us in your own image,
diverse, beautiful and precious in your sight.
May we see that same precious beauty in every person, a unique creation beloved of you.
May we celebrate the life we can bring to each other.
Give us the courage to stand unequivocally for justice, for truth,
and for the reconciliation and hope that is ours through Jesus Christ.
Help us to dismantle racist agendas.
Help us to transform unjust structures.
Help us to decolonise our Christianity.
Help us to love you with all our heart, soul, and strength.
Help us to love one another as you commanded us to do.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Archbishop Fereimi Cama
Archbishop Philip Richardson
Archbishop Don Tamihere