Ko Taranaki te iwi
Ko Puniho Pa me Manurewa Baptist oku marae
Ko Gail Hosken ahau
Naku te rourou nau te rourou ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket the people will live
You may not believe me, but something revolutionary is happening at Manurewa Baptist Church (MBC)—and as it permeates our congregation, the result is we are growing together, both in our appreciation of each other and the God we serve.
We, as a church, are increasingly using te reo Māori and waiata as we worship and engage with each other. Similarly the Word is progressively being shared in both te reo Māori and English. There is a Spirit, a Wairua within our people, that is embracing this change.
To recognise Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori, we held a special service. I believe it is important to note that the service was put together by a combination of the worship team, the leadership and Te Kotahitanga (MBC’s Māori focus group). For Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori there was a momentous development in this partnership. A gift from Te Kotahitanga of a copy of an original Te Tiriti O Waitangi in te reo Māori was framed beautifully by MBC. An affirmation from the leadership (drawing from the Baptist Union statement of 2010) was similarly framed to hang beside Te Tiriti O Waitangi in our auditorium. These were officially unveiled at our Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori service. The affirmation reads:
Manurewa Baptist Church, as a member of the Baptist Union of New Zealand, affirms the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of the relationship between Māori people and all other citizens of New Zealand. We therefore seek to uphold the spirit of the Treaty by:
removing barriers that prevent Māori responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ
promoting greater understanding of the Treaty and the history surrounding the Treaty
acknowledging injustices inflicted on our Māori people and supporting the redress of these injustices
bridging reconciliation and healing of relationships between Māori and non-Māori
working towards greater cultural awareness and responsiveness towards our Tangata whenua and all ethnicities and cultures in our church and local community.
(Micah 6:8, Matthew 22:37-39, Ephesians 2:14-18, 2 Corinthians 5:11-21).
We are commanded to “love each other” in a number of places in Scripture. The onus is on all of us as brothers and sisters in Christ to do this meaningfully.
This revolution at Manurewa Baptist Church is demonstration of our commitment to love well, just as we are loved by God the Father, our King - ko te Atua to tatou papa me to tatou kingi.