11 June 2023
Bible readings for today
Te Pouhere Sunday Readings
Designated by General Synod to celebrate our life as a three Tikanga Church. It is recommended that a suitable psalm be chosen by those planning a celebration for this day.
Today is also Disabilities Awareness Sunday
God of liberation,
you free us from the chains that bind us;
may you re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
and send us to share your love
with those around us;
through Jesus Christ our Liberator,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Te Pouhere Sunday
Today's story helps us to understand the part we play in a three tikanga Anglican church.
What is Te Pouhere?
Te Pouhere Sunday is the second Sunday after Pentecost, and is the day on which this Church celebrates it's Constitution / Te Pouhere, which establishes the three Tikanga (cultural streams) of this Church in this Province of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. The Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia has three beautiful cultural strands or ways of doing things -- Maori, Pakeha and Pasifika. This relationship came into place in 1992, and the word Te Pouhere means constitution -- which, in te reo, also means a hitching post for a waka. There is one post (Christ) with three waka tied up to it. You can read more about Te Pouhere Sunday in this article from St Michael's Anglican Church
The Archbishops are calling the church to pray for reconciliation and thanksgiving as we celebrate the diversity of our church on Te Pouhere Sunday. The full prayer can be found here.
These links are shared from the anglican.org.nz
Click below for some resources:
How did you find it to do the games when there was just one person in each team? (Hopefully they will say it was really hard!). I wonder what it was that made it easier? Well, I noticed that the person found it easier when there was a team and they had people to help share the load and stop them from feeling too tired. It made me think of when we see people in a waka (canoe). They each have a paddle to help. Show them a picture of a boat/waka.
Today is Te Pouhere Sunday which is the celebration of the three strands that make up our Anglican church in Aotearoa New Zealand. The three strands are tikanga Maori, tikanga pakeha and tikanga pasifika. Just like the games we played today, these 3 strands make up one really strong strand which is our church and the culture of these three strands is woven together in a rich tapestry to make our church. We celebrate our differences but also that we come together to share the gospel in so many ways.
Use the piece of wool as an illustration – show the kids a single strand and get one of them to try and break it. Then show them the braided one and do the same…hopefully it will be too hard. Chat more about how three strands are stronger and how lucky we are in the Anglican Church to have three cultures to draw on and complement each other.
We can finish our prayers by saying the following sentences in any of the languages honoured by Te Pouhere Sunday:
Tikanga Pakeha: English
God of love
Grant our prayer
Tongan'Eiki 'alo'ofa e (God of Love)
Tali 'emu lotu (Grant our Prayer)
Tikanga Maori: Te Reo
Peace be with you!
Kia tau te rangimarie!
Tikanga Pasifika: Samoan
Think of something to be thankful for, and respond in with this phrase for 'Thank you very much!'
Praying for Islands in the Pacific
Take this Sunday to pray for islands in the pacific, for any needs that you know of, or for protection from climate change, recovery in tourism after Covid, health and the faith of our Pasifika brothers and sisters.
Islands in Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia include: Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tokelau, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Norfolk Island, Kermadec Island.
Te Pouhere is something unique to our Anglican province: both something we are living and something we are striving towards. This week Mere Montgomery (Tikanga Pasefika), Katene Eruera (Tikanga Maori) and Kelvin Wright (Tikanga Pakeha) weave discussions on the Gospel reading with reflections on what Te Pouhere means, and could mean, for us.
Bishop Kelvin Wright, the Rev’d Jan Clark and the Rev’d Claire Brown join Michael to talk about the significance of Te Pouhere Sunday to the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.
For Visio Lectio project images for Te Pouhere Sunday (Aotearoa), see Easter 5 (Year C) or Ordinary 31 (Year B). Created by the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. © Sarah West. All Rights reserved, shared with permission.
A craft using a paper plate to weave a cross
Using black, red and white thread to make our three Tikanga cross. Show them our three tikanga cross and explain the symbolism of the weaving and the thread left (perhaps ask them if they have seen it anywhere recently. Hopefully someone will recognise it from behind the choir!).
Tug of war: We will play tug of war first using just one person on each team, slowly adding in people.
Pass the balloon: we will lie on our backs and use our feet to pass the balloons along – same principal of using just one person first and then adding in others.
Make Origami waka for prayers, or a creative prayer station. This simple tutorial below can help:
God of the southern seas and these islands through baptism you have given us an inheritance into one family, give us grace to walk together in the unity of Christ Jesus; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen
Te Pouhere Sunday reminds us that we are woven together as one beautiful church, and that all our diversity, experience, culture and wisdom makes us stronger together. We bring our stories, experiences, worship, prayers, faithfulness and trust in God together, to share as one body.
Remain in my love (John 15:9-17)
Today's story looks at the words of love that Jesus shared - "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love."
Children's Talk #1
A talk for younger children
Tell the children that today's bible reading isn't a story, although Jesus often told us stories to teach us things. Today's bible reading is a simple command.
Jesus told us to Love each Other! Sounds easy doesn't it? How can we love someone? What does that mean? (talk about speaking kindly, putting what someone else wants/needs before what they want, being thoughtful, kind etc).
Ask them to think of some people in their lives who are always loving towards them.... who is that ?
Remind them that God ALWAYS loves us, not matter what. Jesus wanted us to try and be like that. So probably even the person you know who loves you very much sometimes makes a mistake, or sometimes gets cross (we all do!) but God always loves us.
Children's Talk #2
What do you think Jesus meant when he said: I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last? Does that mean he wants us to all become fruit gardeners? No! I believe that it means that Jesus wants us to love one another.
For example, if you smile at someone, or give them a present, or say something nice to them, you are showing that person love and producing good fruit. And because you did, they may in turn, do the same for someone else.
What do you think would be producing bad fruit? (pause) Things like saying mean things or hitting someone. Why do these produce bad fruit? (pause) I believe it's because these things make people feel bad, and so they then want to make other people feel bad.
Which would you rather produce? Good fruit or bad fruit? What are some ways that as Christians we can produce good fruit?
This Gospel Conversation was filmed for Te Pouhere Sunday on 11 June 2023, which looks at this passage of John. In the church we are very used to talking about love, and when we come across yet another biblical passage telling us to love, we can, perhaps, feel we have already heard that message. If that is the case, today's conversationalists will wake us up a little. Emma joins us for the first time, and together with David and Peg, jumps straight into the complexity and challenge of this central call on the Christian life.
Gospel Conversations from the Diocese of Dunedin
In this Gospel Conversation for Easter 6, the Diocesan Ministry Educator Michael Godfrey is joined by Bishop Steve Benford, Katie Marcar (University of Otago New Testament lecturer) and Steve Mitchell (Pilot and Businessperson, Invercargill). The conversation is on John 15: 9-17 exploring what it might mean to be the True Vine… on being loved and loving each other. Who would have thought that God wants to be our friend….?!
What you need: pieces of fruit, fruit lollies, kebab sticks, ribbon and the photocopied fruit gift tags.
What to do:
Storypath is a lectionary based website that suggests childrens books for each Sunday. Today's book suggestion can be found here