Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

AWSC calls women to Auckland

The Anglican Women’s Studies Centre has called women to Auckland from across Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia for a three-day programme of study, storytelling and song between 2-5 November.

Taonga News  |  19 Oct 2023  |

Anglican women from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, and from across Aotearoa New Zealand will gather at Tatai Hono Marae and Holy Sepulchre Church in Grafton, Auckland, this November, to immerse themselves in the AWSC Provincial Hui.

The 2023 AWSC Hui, which centres on women working together, takes the theme: “Many Hands; He Waka Eke Noa (All in the waka together); Tele o lima e mama ai se avenga; Ni levu na liga e mamada na cakacaka; Tākanga 'etau fohe (Many hands lighten the work)”.

The 2023 Hui will be the AWSC’s first province-wide in-person gathering for theology and education in three years.

AWSC Convenor Rev Bettina Maxwell said that while the AWSC team have met in Samoa and Christchurch this year, she’s looking forward to meeting in person again with women from across the whole Church. 

“So many things have happened since Covid. We are now building ourselves up again, getting to know the people we are connected with…this Auckland Hui will deepen our relationships and support those who work with our wāhine out in the community.”

The 2023 Anglican Women’s Studies Council expect that between 70 -100 women will join the three-day programme hosted at Tatai Hono Marae and Holy Sepulchre Church, in Auckland from 2-5 November.

The hui is designed to share the experiences and perspectives of women from across the motu, and to build a sense of self recognition in all women that they are called by God to participate in God’s work in the world. As well as registrations from across Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the hui will also welcome participants from the Anglican Church of Melanesia.

AWSC Administrator Ceridwyn Parr says that November's hui also has a practical goal.

"AWSC hui provides opportunities for women to advance, diversify and transform leadership within the Anglican Church."

This November, the Council has invited hui participants to live at Tatai Hono urban marae during their days together, to enable time to build relationships across the three tikanga and facilitate networking, sharing ideas and resources.

Auckland AWSC Councillor Rev Dr Nyasha Gumbeze believes the hui will uplift women who have served faithfully through the Covid lockdown years, but have missed the psychological and spiritual benefits of being together in person.

“Covid brought a lot of mental health issues, and for us as women meeting together again is very good for our mental health.”

Keynote speaker for 2023 is Dr Emily Colgan, Manukura of St John's Theological College - Hoani Tapu te Kaikauwhau i te Rongopai, who will give an ‘open to all’ public address on Friday 3 November (7pm) on how women can empower each other. Dr Colgan's paper is entitled: ‘He Waka Eke Noa or He Waka Eke ‘No’? Thinking Intersectionally about Connection and Empowerment.’

Rev Dr Eseta Mateiviti-Tulavu, who is Chaplain-Tokoni and lecturer at St John’s College will speak from her pastoral work and research alongside Quandolita Reid Enari, who will share insights from her experience as UN Development Programme Coordinator (Social Protection) for Samoa. 

Rev Fran Hokianga (Ngāti Kahu, Ngaitakoto, Te Aupōuri) and Rev Keri-Ann Hokianga (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kahu) will speak on experiences of trailblazing women in ministry in Te Hui Amorangi o Te Tai Tokerau, while Cherryl Thompson (Ngāti Ruanui) and Rev Vicki Terrell will share insights from their work as Disability Ministry Educators for the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.  

Two sessions will focus on Ministry Standards and responding to survivors of abuse, presented by Ministry Standards Commission Independent Registrar, Wendy Ball and Āwhina whānau expert and Primate’s Commissary for Reconciliation and Restoration, Hera Clarke (Te Aupōuri, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou).

Former Anglican Communion representative to the UN, Archdeacon Taimalelagi Tuatagaloa and Rev Val Riches – who has served as a priest for 41 years – will join a conversation on the history of women’s ministry in these islands.

Three speakers will share their stories and perspectives on being younger women in the life of the church and world today: Serena Williams (Hui Amorangi o Te Tai Tokerau), Bolivia Smith (Diocese of Polynesia) and Bridie Marsden-Boyd (Diocese of Christchurch).

Morning and evening prayer led by women from across the motu will bookend the hui days while the Saturday night will feature a cultural evening.

The programme ends with a Sunday celebration led by women at Holy Sepulchre Church in Grafton where Bishop of Te Upoko o Te Ika Rt Rev Waitohiariki Quayle will preside at the Eucharist.

AWSC Provincial Hui 2023

Thursday 2 Nov (4pm) - Sunday 5 November (midday).

For more information on Hui details, please contact Council for Anglican Women’s Studies Administrator Ceridwyn Parr.