Around 200 supporters of the Hui Amorangi o Te Manawa o Te Wheke turned out to celebrate the ordination of eight new deacons by Bishop Ngarahu Katene, joined by Bishop George Connor, at Holy Trinity Church Tauranga on Saturday 21 September.
“Our hope is that this service will mark the beginning of new things for Te Manawa o Te Wheke,” said Te Manutaki o Te Manawa o Te Wheke (Director of Mission & Education for Te Manawa o Te Wheke) – Archdeacon Ngira Simmonds.
“These eight represent our growth and commitment to the minita-ā-iwi mode of ministry - clergy with the people, for the people.”
The new deacons will serve in non-stipendiary ministry in the Māori Anglican Church sited in mostly rural communities across the central North Island, caring for whānau, leading Sunday worship in churches and offering pastoral ministry in their rohe.
All of the deacons will also offer spiritual care and community leadership through their strong connections to local marae, including ministering at tangihanga, hura kōwhatu, and providing clergy support for the many different kaupapa and events held on their marae.
New deacons Rev Philip and Rev Jacqui Waenga are a husband and wife team from St Saviour’s Ruatoki, who with their children are carrying out a call to share the Mihingare tradition among the Tuhoe people.
“This whānau bring a great passion for evangelism and are extremely humble and willing to serve,”said Archdeacon Ngira.
Rev Kiriraukawa Hayward has answered the call to serve in ordained ministry at St Matthias Whakatane where she is a long-standing congregant, while Rev Hiria Nathan from the Tokoroa Māori Anglican parish has followed her call to ministry after five years of taking up training opportunities through the Hui Amorangi.
Rev Stephanie Latoa and Rev Patrick Arahanga will build up the life of their ministry unit at St Saviour’s Manunui (Taumarunui) through music and worship ministries and pastoral care, while Rev Joanna Katipa and Rev Charlotte Horton-Wooley will serve in pastoral and music ministry at St John before the Latin Gate in Tuakau and minister through Te Puaha o Waikato marae.
Saturday’s ordination service opened with a mihi whakatau from well-known rangatira Mr Kihi Ngātai, while special guests included Tauranga Moana iwi and Āpotoro from the Ratana Church.
Bishop George Connor led the pre-ordination retreat and preached at the service on Saturday, encouraging the ordinands to live out Paul’s vision of a deacon in his letter to Timothy as one that gains a good standing and shows “great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
Archdeacon Ngira Simmonds said the Saturday ordination was a first for Manawa o Te Wheke, who will now hold a single Amorangi-wide diaconal ordination each year,
“It was a lovely day full of joy, hope and promise for the future of the Amorangi.”