There is a wonderful spirit of support and love moving throughout New Zealand and I find I am very moved by this spirit of concern and compassion within the Presbyterian family. I want to share just a couple of the responses that reveal support through action and word.
Living in this area of Dunedin I have knowledge of Kaikorai Church’s Kids programmes and how much the children enjoy participating in the various activities.
From the Rev. Ian Guy, Kaikorai Presbyterian Church Dunedin.
Tonight we gather for Ash Wednesday, an appropriate service for a time of lament, we will continue in prayer and are seeking other ways to help. I will be sharing your thoughts with the congregation. Some of us are heading your way shortly to assist the Salvation Army in their task of visiting every home in Christchurch to a.) ascertain what help is needed there and b.) to give residents a chance to speak to someone with a good listening ear if they should want to. I pray and I’m confident that God will be with us in this as God is with you moment by moment.
Also on Sunday Kaikorai and Flagstaff organised a Children’s Day: Fun in the Park event. One of the more popular activites was the making of a banner under Cheryl Harray’s guidance with messages of love to Christchurch. I understand there are now two banners with about 130 handprints in total.
From the Rev. Susan Jones of Timaru. Susan has a wonderful way with words that always hone into the issues that confront us. Her poems and writings as meditations stir the very essence of our soul
After Pike River we knew
about gases and explosions
now we are tragically knowledgeable
about magnitude, depth
and location of seismic activity.
We know at visceral level now
between ‘ rescue’ and ‘recovery’.
We know now,
in a way we had only before suspected,
that soft yielding bodies
and hard concrete rubble
do not mix,
information we could have done without
This knowledge we did not want to know.
We thought twenty nine in a mine was the worst,
but for this sharply climbing toll,
we need another word than ‘worst’
to speak our pain.
We have lost our innocence.
We now know too much
about our earth, our vulnerability,
Grappling with the reality
of this land’s traumatic wound,
to meet this tragedy,
we have had to grow up.
But now, other knowledge we also have;
We know of amazing courage,
community spirit and love,
help given between strangers,
generosity on a scale we haven’t seen before
and we have seen firsthand
the dedication of rescuers and medics,
of officials and police.
To meet the challenge
the human spirit
has risen phoenix-like from the rubble.
We still weep through this dark night,
but we also know
in a believing-against-all-the-odds kind of knowing
in an Easter-Day-after-Friday’s-darkness kind of knowing
that some morning,
the joy of life will return.