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Reform Magazine | June 25, 2019

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A letter from… New Zealand

A letter from… New Zealand

How New Zealand responded to the Christchurch attack, by Andrew Nicol

After the terrorist attacks on the Muslim community at prayer here in Christchurch, on 15 March, our local Presbyterian congregations have tried to listen. There are a variety of responses and voices at this time, but mainly we hear the horrible tragedy and the outpourings of compassion that have made an impact around the world.

It has been important for us to acknowledge that this was an attack on a specific group of people in our community. So, in the first instance, we have sought to love and serve our neighbours. One of the challenges has been that, while one can join in public demonstrations of compassion, few of us have meaningful contact with the Muslim communities.

We recognise it will be easy for us to settle back into patterns of disconnectedness. But this tragedy has renewed our determination to cross boundaries and get out of our bubbles.

Of course, the huge challenge is making lasting change. We are determined to be better connected as a community, celebrating unity in diversity. The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is a cross-cultural and multicultural church with a bicultural commitment. Recognising this, we seek to appreciate that the Gospel transcends culture and creates community across cultures. Please pray for our discipleship and the transformation of our character as we follow Christ’s ways…

Andrew Nicol is Acting Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Alpine Presbytery

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the June 2019 edition of Reform

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