General Ass #3

I have just updated #2.  There have been a series of very good post General Assembly reflections by a number of colleagues that have been very thoughtful and interesting.  We have a system in the PCANZ that provides boundaries and gates for how we handle the business of being the church nationally.  It is a great pity that we continue to bind ourselves to them in the way that we do.  The reflection process would be so helpful if it could contribute before and at the Assembly, but there is little opportunity for this to take place.  We get 2 minutes to challenge the powers.  Little time to ask the base questions like: is this the best way to frame what is going on? and, is it appropriate for a majority to claim that they represent the truth after any particular vote?
Interestingly, we started the General Assembly at a marae – our national marae, Te Maungarongo.  On the marae the korero (speech) honours the speakers – take the time you need – you won’t be interrupted.  There is space for reflection, sleep, kai (food) and a walk.  You meet under/within the body of the ancestor and within the story of what has gone before.  It is a place of truth-telling and story – sometimes brutal, but always with a view to reconciliation.
And, if at the end of the hui (gathering), the differences cannot be resolved, there is a sense that there will always be another day for more korero, for, the experience of mingling breath in the hongi (pressing of noses and breathing out as you do it) is ultimately a commitment of respect.
Maybe we have more to learn before we can be too confident that we are right and therefore others must be wrong.

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