A church without walls?

We welcomed Rev Philomeno (Philo) Kinera into our parish and Rev Darryn Hickling into our StreeTs programme at a packed, special service of Induction Thursday evening, 7 February 2019, led by District Superintendent, Rev Kathryn Walters. Also a part of the service were the whanau, friends and former parishioners of Darryn and Philo.

During the service we sang our way from a stirring traditional Methodist favourite, ‘O for a thousand tongues’, through the contemporary ‘Rainbow Covenant Song’ and ‘All Are Welcome’, concluding with ‘Where the Road Runs Out’.

“Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell

how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions.
All are welcome, all are welcome,
all are welcome in this place.” 
(Lyrics: Marty Hauhen)

Symbolic gifts given to Philo were the Baptismal and Parish Rolls, a copy of our song book ‘Over the Rainbow’ (because we sing our faith), and the key to the building. Darryn was given a map of the inner city, a pair of reusable coffee mugs, a copy of ‘Over the Rainbow’, and the business card of a city shoe repairs shop that also doubles as a coffee shop! In return Darryn gave the congregation a sustainable shopping bag – reminding us to fill up as well as give away, and Philo gave us a mythical Merlion (from her native Singapore), which has a mane of five parts symbolising democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

In his reflection, Rev Andrew Donaldson reminded us of our values of hospitality, inclusiveness & welcome, and challenged Philo, Darryn and all of us to be a church without walls.

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