The search for a distinctive Kiwi spirituality, a spirituality of the land and its peoples, has led to gatherings over the past four years at Ngaio Union Church.
This was the initiative of Graham Millar, minister at NUC for five years from 2001. Four or so times a year he and a small group of others have prepared an evening of reflection and creativity using resources from Aotearoa New Zealand. The purpose is to explore and celebrate aspects of our land, cultures and spirituality.
There are opportunities for dialogue, reflection and contemplation, expressions of prayer, music and poetry, dance, and hands-on creativity.
‘There have been many celebrations of different aspects of spirituality in Wellington—M%u0101ori, Celtic, Taize, women’s and others. What about the spirituality of our land and its peoples? Is there a distinct Kiwi Spirituality? These are the questions which have driven us to organise these evenings,’ says Graham.
The theme for the four occasions in 2008 is a celebration of the four elements—God’s gifts of earth, air, fire and water, along with various art media.
The first occasion of 2008 was held on Sunday April 27. The theme was Promised Land, Earth was the element, and the exploration was of visual art, mostly landscapes.
Participants enjoyed poems by Joy Cowley, Dennis Glover and Anne Powell and sang hymns by Shirley Murray, Colin Gibson and Chris Skinner. They also enjoyed art work on display and making their own mini-landscapes around a beautiful construction by Margaret Megwynn. There was time to reflect on their connections with this country’s landscapes, and to make a personal promise to the land we are privileged to live in.
The present minister of Ngaio Union, Lionel Nunns, says these evenings are an opportunity for a more reflective form of worship that connects us with being New Zealanders. Because the approach and style is free of any Christian denominational tradition the welcome goes out to all.
Other occasions planned for this year are on June 22, August 24 and October 19.