Saturday, 15 November 2008

A new place

As I wait for my supervisees to arrive for my next meeting I find a moment to catch up on my trip to Auckland this week where I attended the Womens Studies Centre Council meeting. This was my first real hands on experience of the three tikanga church. As the meeting was held at college it gave me the opportunity to see where I will spend the next three years living/worshipping/studying at St Johns College.

It was lovely to meet up with people I had not seen for some time. Staying with a friend who indulged my tourist need to see the city at night. And then on another soft evening to I head off with a fellow Christchurch student currently in Seminary to St Helliers bay, where we sat overlooking the harbour eating fresh fish and catching each other up with college life.

The college itself was beautiful to the extent where I became a total tourist out with the camera every time I saw a lizard or a parrot in the garden.

Aside from the Womens Studies Committee this was a chance for me to meet with the interim Dean to discuss college. Me being me I had an interesting moment of Meganisms when I found myself answering his question of "are you multilingual" with "Oh yes I speak anglo-catholic and evangelical!". Long pause follows...
The Women's Studies Committee was my first real opportunity to experience the three tikanga church in action. For those of you either not Anglican or from overseas here in Aotearoa New Zealand we have three ArchBishops who jointly represent the church whilst individually representing the Maori, Polynesian and Pakeha strands of the church.

It struck me as I type here today that my response to the multilingual question the day before was not as silly as it sounded. The WSC meeting allowed me to see how although there are words in common that culturally we all came at issuses with different understandings. This was particulary noticable for me in the women from different pacific countries. In some areas workshops with words like leadership and empowerment were fine to use in a title, where for others they were a total no go. For some people you went directly to individuals if you wanted them to get information, in others any information must go through an intermedery such as the Mothers Union or the AAW. I can see that there are many different languages and nuances for me to learn over the next few years.


Crimson Rambler said...

I don't think that was a silly answer at all! Our "mainline" Council of Churches just entertained a couple of reps from the Evangelical Ministerial Association, and we do indeed speak two different varieties of church props to you, Megan!

Christopher Orczy said...

How beautiful is that place?! How conducive to a spirit filled worshipful three years!