WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Faith and Light: Kimi Ora and Living waters

WelCom August 2017:

Kimi Ora Faith and Light

Ireen Crossan

Kimi Ora Team in their new blue shirts, from left: Cheryl Briesman, Val Walsh, Sam Butler, Noeline McSweeney, Maree Avey, Helen McDonald, Anne Copplestone, Moira Butler, Mary Bernet, Beverley Coffee, Joanna Franklin and Mavis Bridgeman. Photo: Supplied

Faith and Light is an international network of recognised Christian communities for people with intellectual disabilities, as well as their families, carers and friends.

There are six communities in New Zealand, each with their own community name: Arawhata Auckland; Kimi Ora New Plymouth; Shalom Wellington; Cornerstone Christchurch; Living Waters Nelson; and Nuku Mai Christchurch.

At Kimi Ora New Plymouth we have 13 people with disabilities, eight core team members and nine friends. We meet on the last Sunday every month for sharing and social activities.

This year our Provincial Co-ordinator, Mary de Leijer and her team, invited us to a first-time retreat in Christchurch over the weekend of 9‒11 June.

Fundraising enabled us to take 12 Kimi Ora ‘Heart’ members to meet with around 60 members from the other communities, to talk and listen, and to share and support one another through words or other communication.

On Saturday each group studied parables, which they acted out in the evening through drawing, modelling, mimes or gestures.

After an ecumenical service on Sunday, our group visited Christchurch’s Antarctic Experience. 

The wonderful spiritual, loving, sharing time will remain with the participants for life. Our grateful thanks to all who helped in many ways to make this a worthwhile possibility for our ‘Heart People’.

To learn more about Kimi Ora Faith and Light Community, please contact Noeline McSweeney on (06) 751-0598.

Ireen Crossan is Secretary of the Catholic Parish of New Plymouth.

Faith and Light Living Waters

Judy Burke

Nelson Group, Margot Fletcher, Joeline Davies, Karen Sowman and Judy Burke. Photo: Supplied

Faith and Light is founded on the belief that each person with an intellectual disability is fully a person with all the rights of any human being, above all, the right to be loved, recognised and respected for him or herself. Each is unique and has a mysterious value.

‘God has chosen the weak to confound the strong.’ 1 Corinthians 1.27

Two members, Joeline Davies and Karen Sowman, and their buddies Margot Fletcher and Judy Burke from the Nelson Faith and Light Group, attended the New Zealand Faith and Light Retreat, in Kaipoi, Christchurch, in June.

People from Auckland and New Plymouth also made the journey to join the Christchurch folk. All participants were split into groups of six for workshops about parables, presented and acted out on Saturday evening.

At Sunday morning’s ecumenical service, with prayers written by the groups, participants placed a candle on the central table with each person’s name on a ribbon.

Mary de Leijer and AnneMarie Pike of Christchurch led the retreat, supported by Pam Barker of Australia. The next large meeting is in Canberra in 2019.

The Nelson Faith and Light Group meets monthly and has 30 active members.

Judy Burke is a parishioner of the Parish of Holy Family Nelson and Stoke.