We share a wisdom tradition that teaches us that we are all connected, that every person is important, and that we are all affected by what happens to each of us.

If we accept that every person is important, then we need to care about what happens to each and every person. We need to care especially for the most vulnerable among us, for those who are the most deprived, and for those who are left out on the margins.

It was Jesus who taught his disciples that they should love one another. The Apostle Paul described love as being patient and kind. St John the Evangelist reminded us that God is love, and that we should love another because love comes from God.

Kua oti te kōrero, “Hutia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea rā te kōmako e kō?

Ki te ui mai koe “He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao?”

Māku e kī atu “He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.”

Nā te Karaiti te wānanga, “He ture hōu tāku ka hoatu nei ki a koutou, kia aroha koutou tētahi ki tētahi; kia rite ki tōku aroha ki a koutou, waihoki kia aroha koutou tētahi ki tētahi.

Kia aroha tātou tētahi ki tētahi. We should love one another.

As we move now as a country into Alert Level 2, it is important that we remain vigilant and observe all the health, hygiene, and social protocols that the Government is advising.

Equally, it is important that we do so with patience, with kindness, and with love.

Kia aroha tātou tētahi ki tētahi.

Be patient. Don’t rush to reopen and to reengage in mission and ministry until you are absolutely sure that every hygiene practice, every social distancing protocol, and every contact tracing requirement can be upheld and maintained.

And even then, be cautious, remain vigilant. We need to stay safe. We need to keep people safe.

Kia aroha tātou tētahi ki tētahi.

Be kind. Don’t allow your ministers, workers, and volunteers to be pressured into providing mission and ministry if they are not comfortable to do so, or not able to do so safely.

We don’t want or need our people to put themselves at unnecessary risk. We don’t want them to put others at risk either.

Kia aroha tātou tētahi ki tētahi.

Now more than ever we need to be a people of compassion, kindness, and love.

Let’s look after one another. Let’s protect each other. Let’s provide for each other.

Kia aroha tātou tētahi ki tētahi. Let us love one another and make sure we all stay alive and flourishing.

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