This is the annual Sunday prior to Advent Season when we all remember that Christ is our King, and for the New Zealand Church it is Aotearoa Sunday, all Anglican parishes are invited to acknowledge the distinctive evolution of the Maori church inside the Anglican Church.
Oihi Mission Station was the site of New Zealand's first Christian mission station. It is the site of Marsden Cross (pictured), the station was set up through the efforts of Reverend Samuel Marsden and Ruatara Chief of Rangihoua pa. Marsden preached New Zealand's first Christian sermon here on Christmas morning, 1814, which marked the beginning of New Zealand's first established European community.
As Aotearoa and the Anglican Church move into the future we see changes happening in our local parishes, a new attitude for the Anglican Church is that it needs to be simultaneously respectful of the past, patient of the present and innovative in approaching the future. The challenge of earthquake strengthening, many churches having a declining population where most of the congregation are now elderly and the youth have disappeared, and the challenge given that sitting on our laurels is not meeting the great commission or growing the Kingdom of Christ, is being faced by many parishes.
We need to remember that indeed Christ is King, the future is in his hands, we just need to listen closely and be obedient for the wind of the Holy Spirit to blow through and refresh the church, bringing in those Christ chooses, to enable and disciple them to reach out and help others. The Kings will be done.