Thinking Anglicans

Drenched in Grace opens

The InclusiveChurch conference Drenched in Grace opened with a keynote speech by Jenny Te Paa.

PRESS RELEASE

Jenny Te Paa condemns “the reach of enmity” among Anglicans The first Inclusive Church conference opened today at the Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire, England with an address by Dr Jenny Plane Te Paa. In a strong speech, Te Paa reminded us “how pervasive the reach of enmity has become amongst us.” She urged us “not to notice the bad behaviour of the few, but the good behaviour of the many.” Calling to mind the great humanitarian needs of the world, Te Paa lamented our obsession with drawing lines that exclude, which is distracting us from the enormous suffering so many people face. We must not “fret and fight” while people are literally dying.

Te Paa is a Principal of the College of St John the Evangelist in Auckland, New Zealand, was a member of the 2003 Lambeth Commission, and assisted in the St Augustine’s Seminar responsible for planning the detailed content for the forthcoming Lambeth Conference 2008.

The Revd Canon Giles Goddard, chair of Inclusive Church, said, “We are not a pressure group of the like-minded.” He added, “We are ordinary Anglicans who love our church, and we are deeply concerned by the way in which the effort to exclude is overtaking the calling to live the Gospel.”

180 people have gathered here at a time in which many people are concerned that the generous tolerance which has characterized Anglicanism is under serious threat from those who wish to divide the church. The conference includes participants from all parts of Great Britain and throughout the Anglican Communion.

Information for Editors: IC is a growing network of Anglicans from across the Anglican Communion working to celebrate the traditional diversity of Anglicanism.

For further information contact Revd Canon Giles Goddard – 07762 373 674 or
Revd. Philip Chester – 07515 815710

Savi Hensman has written a little more about the session on the IC blog at Each of us was given grace.

And you can listen to the entire speech by going to Audio from Jenny Te Paa address.

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Ford ElmsErika BakerCheryl Va. CloughMargaretGöran Koch-Swahne Recent comment authors
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John Ballard
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John Ballard

There appears to be no e-mail address on the site for Simon Sarmiento. I’d like to be able to send him occasional pieces that have been overlooked, like the impressive note of 18 November by Andrew Goddard of Wycliffe Hall on Rowan Williams: decision making & Bonhoeffer.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

The statement: “Te Paa is Principal of the College of St John the Evangelist in Auckland” is correct, but misleading. The College of St Johns has three Deans (which I think is what is meant by Prinicipal here) which are appointed, in line with the New Zealand Anglican Church’s policy of apartheid, she was appointed on the basis of race. Dr Te Paa is the Te Ahorangi, of Te Rau Kahikatea, or in more plain English, the Maori part of the racially divided college. There are two other deans, Rev David Jeans (for the Pakeha or white part) and Right… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“not the good behaviour of the few, but the bad behaviour of the many”

Surely.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Margaret You seem to be making a sharp point about racial division, and I wonder how fair that is – one of the features of New Zealand is an attempt to protect the cultural identity of different groups, based on the Treaty of Waitangi (admittedly abused by the white colonists for many years). The Haka we see in Rugby matches is one cultural feature which has a positive evaluation. So for racial stereotyping, read cultural protection – perhaps. I know this formed part of the apologetics of South African Apartheid, but I do think that describing the NZ situation as… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

So the accusation is, a supposedly liberal church is actually a haven for racial segregationism? Nice try, Margaret.

Of course you didn’t say it, I did. 😉 But such an allegation reminds me of the more right-wing elements in New Zealand who say that the Maori are getting too many privileges.

As someone else said, why is this site called Thinking Anglicans anyway when we get this kind of sniping?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

As I found the conference price sadly exclusive I’m grateful to IC for making this speech available on audio. Thank you!

L Roberts
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L Roberts

So it would be more accurate to describe Dr Te Paa as one of three Principals of the St Johns College. For completeness, I should add that Dr Te Paa teaches Te Kaupapa Tikanga Rua, Maori Perspectives, Cross Cultural Studies, Cross Cultural Issues in Pastoral Care, Maori Perspectives Research, Social Justice & Theology. Posted by: Margaret on Thursday, 22 November 2007 at 4:02am GMT This is good to know. She seems to have her work cut out ! But sounds like she thrives on offering her creativity to the Church. Also I find it very encouraging to know that the… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Am I the only one who finds Margaret’s comment to be, in itself, a racialist one? It suggests an attempt to belittle or minimize Te Paa’s status as a leader in church and academia, with the implication that were it not for the policies in place in New Zealand she would have no position. Why not address what she says rather than quibble about her post? The prophetic tradition allows for those who are mere dressers of sycamores.

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

What interests me is that the (unmentioned) third strand of NZ/Aotearoa Anglicanism is the Polynesian one; it’s a small matter of pride because the institution with which I am affiliated claims (Arch)bishop Jabez Bryce as one of its most prominent alumni.
So it’s not really apartheid–it is, as Mark said, a way both of letting both Western and indigenous cultures coexist, not to mention giving a former dependent church a full partnership role. Which is why Bishop Bryce is also called an archbishop under recent constitutional changes, if I recall correctly.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Mark – could you explain a little more about the Treaty of Waitangi?

And Haka at rugby matches? [Don’t try and explain rugby! I actually do get that!]

I was somewhat taken aback by Margaret’s reference to apartheit [which I may have just misspelled]. What policy of the church in NZ is she calling that?

Thanks.

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

I’m curious to know what exactly Margaret’s point is. In particular, the fact that “Dr Te Paa teaches Te Kaupapa Tikanga Rua, Maori Perspectives, Cross Cultural Studies, Cross Cultural Issues in Pastoral Care, Maori Perspectives Research, Social Justice & Theology.” Is Margaret saying that we should not listen to this poor benighted woman because she is Maori? That is the impression I get. I pray I am wrong Is Margaret saying that we should not listen to this poor benighted woman because she isn’t really qualified for the job she has and was selected only by racial quota? That is… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I personally (because we in the Global North are such naturally Good and Sweet and Honourable persons ;=) found this Margaret person’s reference / accusation / projection of apartheid most overt and readable… (maybe it is not so much for you, ex Colonials that you all are) … and thought of it no more than any other Godwin-in-the-blogs thing. To wit: He (or she, as it might be) who first ATTACKS somebody or something (not seldom tangential) with a Nazi/Adolph & c demonization IS one. (because it is Evil persons who Attack) Why are you amazed? A German, in a… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

The Treaty of Waitangi is explained in more detail than I can manage here:

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/category/tid/133

Pluralist
Guest

Is it rugby to go for the (wo)man rather than the ball? Not Anglican though, I hope.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

If the conservative believers have anything at all to say to any modern era cultural phenomenon that is not presumptively condemning ahead of time, and high-nosed to boot – aside from enjoining various rightwing cultural causes whose character defects of thought, feeling, or action are gracefully overlooked or ignored? – I for one would like to hear how they get there. We would probably be a whole lot better off if Dr. Jenny Te Paa were the public face of worldwide Anglicanism, instead of hot button reactivist thinkers whose realignment campaigning owes more to Christian Reconstructionism, Creationism, and Dominionist Believer-hoods… Read more »

MRG
Guest
MRG

I have only met Jenny Te Paa once, at a General Synod I happened to be attending, which involved delegates from all three of the tikanga that make up the diocese of Aoteoroa-New Zealand and Polynesia. There were certainly differences of opinion between the three strands of NZ Anglicanism represented there, but the spirit of collegiality and warmth at the synod, and the importance of non-European traditions in mainstream Anglican worship in New Zealand, belies Margaret’s bizarre suggestion that ACANZP practices ‘apartheid’. On the contrary, the tikanga-structure seems to me to be very healthy, though I have no doubt it… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

I have been listening to what Dr Te Paa had to say. Doesn’t it make sense of the genealogies of scripture – how else would you read them?

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

I agree with Goran that there is a sense in which we pretend evil has nothing to do with us. Even with my personal views on the Anglican question, my worry is that it is sometimes the arrogance of certain people, the kind of pride in themselves that is destructive of right relations, that has caused this problem. Maybe it is about time we should get rid of the crusading that characterizes the more extreme tendencies of the Anglican Communion, dare I say even the so-called “liberal” ones, and get on with the work of mission. Dr. Te Paa I… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

I am sorry my post was so unclear. I have re-read it and I suspect many of you are reading into it more than I wrote. My point was a very minor one — she is not the principal but rather one of three principals. In other words, her status and role had been portrayed correctly but inaccurately. My second comment was a more major one and related to the fact that in the Anglican church in New Zealand, people are not just Anglican — they are first sorted by race ie if you want to join an Anglican church,… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Pluralist wrote: “Is it rugby to go for the (wo)man rather than the ball? Not Anglican though, I hope.”

It certainly is rugger.

(un-fond memories of 1969-ish attitudinal problems)

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Margaret The “Pakeha” churches I visited when I was in New Zealand were not closed to Maori or Polynesian people – they weren’t turned away and sent to their own place when they arrived. And I attended a service at a “Polynesian” church at which Pakeha and Maori were invited to share. The language was a mix of Tongan, Maori and English. This phenomenon is rather different from other kinds of separation. To use a word like apartheid invites an emotional response rather than a thoughtful analysis. Dr Te Paa points out in what she says how the western individualist… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I do think things would be easier Margaret, if you s t a t e d whatever it is…

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Given that you are clearly not in sympathy with this site’s perspective,k you cannot be surprised that your words are regarded with some suspicion, Margaret?

What is the view of the Maori community on this matter – could someone from the non-fundamentalist wing of Anglicanism provide a perspective? Do they agree with this approach as a way of ensuring representation?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I” apologize though if I raised something that you do not want to think about” Actually. Margaret, you’re raising something I didn’t know about, so don’t go accusing me of turning a blind eye, and it shocks me to the extent that I need to learn more. Not saying you are deliberately misrepresenting things, we all have our own understanding of things, and what seems clear to me is not always nearly so transparent to others, who then think me deluded or lying. But, are you actually saying that, if I lived somewhere in New Zealand that had two Anglican… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Margaret’s anonymous postings here are hard to take seriously, on grounds of content as well as anonymity.

Is it really racist for people in NZ to want to worship in their mother tongues ? Not every one wants English and anglo-saxon cultures forced upon them.

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

Margaret said: “exactly the same argument that was the South African position on apartheid” Of course, in South Africa, it was the economically powerful who decided to enact the separation in order to preserve their dominance. In New Zealand / Aotearoa it was the marginalized culture that called for the organizational separation in order to assert and preserve their culture. If Margaret can’t tell the difference, it doesn’t say much for Margaret. And Ford, Margaret is trying to make it appear that a white person of European descent would not be allowed to attend a Maori or Polynesian parish. That… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

To be fair to Margaret, cultural identity is bound up with power relations, and there have been many situations where the weak have been happy with their lot and have supported structures which look from outside as if they are coercive and unequal (why did the communists work so hard at raising the consciousness of the proletariat?) So jumping to a positive evaluation of the New Zealand situation is as potentially dangerous as giving an inadequately analysed negative one. Margaret seems to have some reasons for her view, and some knowledge of the situation, but has chosen not to disclose… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

For some reason it seems to be the practice on this particular thread to attack the writer — rather than the arguement. A few replies to recent comments: 1. “I do think things would be easier Margaret, if you s t a t e d whatever it is…” by Göran Koch-Swahne I thought I had — and clearly — it is a puzzle to me that I am so often misinterpreted here — when I don’t have trouble making myself clear anywhere else. For the record my first post was a clarification of Jenny Te Paa’s status. I thought it… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“For some reason it seems to be the practice on this particular thread to attack the writer” Speaking solely for myself, I do not feel I attacked you in any way, in fact, I tried to be conciliatory. If that is not how it appeared, I apologize. I did ask you a question, however, to which you have not responded. Could you please do so? I asked if, in New Zealand, given the choice between a congregation that is Pakeha and one that is Maori, I, a white man, would not be permitted to attend the “Maori” church? In other… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Dear Ford Elms “I, a white man, would not be permitted to attend the “Maori” church? “ You may be allowed to “attend” — but would you be able to really participate (remember the blacks in America were never officially denied the vote – it was its unofficial denial that was discrimination). I am absolutely sure for instance that if you are a white male you would never be allowed to hold the position that Jenny Te Paa holds (it is reserved for Maoris) and the rest of the leadership positions would equally be denied you. “You do not decrease… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Margaret, As I understand it, the three tikanga are three streams in the Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand. I might not get Dr. Te Paa’s position, but there is an equivalent for white people, I believe, so I’m not being discriminated against. I come from a small culture, and I am quite familiar with the cultural destruction caused by modern Western mass market culture. Perhaps you don’t understand what it’s about. Allowing other cultures to have a voice is not oppressive of the dominant culture, Margaret. I am disturbed by the need for ethnically defined bishops. We have recently done the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“would you be able to really participate” This just occurred to me, Margaret. You are a, correct me if I’m wrong, white woman complaining that you are being excluded from the Church because Maoris have certain positions of power that you are not permitted to occupy. Yet, again correct me if I’m wrong, there is a parallel structure for white people, so there is an equivalent position you COULD occupy. I feel that is deplorable because of what it says about our failure of Christianity that makes such a thing necessary. I am a gay man. You seem to side… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… but it was not aggressive.”

NP doesn’t think so either, Margaret.

“… and being for racial discrimination is a hallmark of conservatism.”

Not necessarily, in my experience.

Indeed, it seems most people have remarkably erroneous ideas on what the actually think and their attitudes. They seem to be strangely autonomous.

“… rather what you WISHED they had posted?”

Ah, but that one gives it away, doesn’t it?

Nice try Margaret.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Ford Elms said “You are a, correct me if I’m wrong, white woman complaining that you are being excluded from the Church…” What a hoot!!!!! wrong, wrong and wrong. The reason I don’t use my full name is because it is distinctive, and I hold a very, very senior national position in my church. I definitely don’t have position envy!!! I have raised the issue because I do not think the Christian church should appoint people because of their race. It seems to me to be the antithesis of the equal relationship we all have in Christ. It is clear… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Quoth Margaret: “It is clear that you disagree, and are quite comfortable with the racially divided church in Aotearoa New Zealand.” Having seemingly missed: “I feel that is deplorable” I think that the need for racial divisions like this in the Church is lamentable, it shows how little we, on all sides, actually love our fellow Christians. If there were trust between racial groups, we would not need this. But look what you just did! How can there be trust when you claim I believe what I clearly stated I did not? And there isn’t even the overlay of racial… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Margaret
It’s not that we;re comfortable with racially divided churches, but that Fr Mark’s contribution earlier in this thread provides a completely alternative interpretation of the situation.
Maybe we’re just not convinced of your assessment?

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Hi Erika I am not sure if Mark Bennett is the Fr Mark you are referring to, but on the assumption that it is I think the point he is making in his posts above and the point I am making are the same — its just he sees it as alright and I don’t. He seems to be saying that any church should ensure the survival of the culture of a race as its first priority — and if divisions are required to ensure this then it is OK. My point is that the Anglican church in New Zealand… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I think the discussion has overlooked the question of “cultural imperialism”. It has forgotten the attempts at cultural genocide e.g. in Australia stealing children from Aboriginal families and placing them in suitable white families so they became part of the “White Australia”. Internationally, there were families and communities as fragmented and traumatized as there were in Europe after the two world wars. There then were the extremes of apartheid or “peace corps” that would help Guatemalan women have babies and sterilize them at the same time without their knowledge and consent. That has left a legacy in many Latin American… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Margaret thank you for engaging with my comments. You’re right, I seem to have got Fr Mark and Mark Bennett muddled up, and not for the first time! Apologies to both! But reading Mark’s comments it strikes me that the separation into different cultures in the churches is voluntary. Apartheid implies that it is involuntary, negative and that those who wish to go to churches other than their own have no way of doing so. Jenny Te Paa’s own comments were entirely positive, pointing as they do to a deep identification with the local families and villages because of the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“we should not be excluded from participation just because of our race.” I agree entirely with what you say about ethnic divisions becoming a part of Church organization. You still have not shown how you are excluded from participation because of your race, though. You also don’t seem to have much grasp of the pain of having one’s culture destroyed by those who think themselves better and who just assume it to be natural that their culture is right, yours is somehow corrupt or inferior, if not out and out evil, and indeed ought to be destroyed. In this country,… Read more »