This week, we commence our celebration of the season of Matariki. Celebrating Matariki is a way that we can recognise and honour the bi-cultural past and present of Aotearoa. We acknowledge the generosity of tangata whenua (indigenous people, people of the land) who have invited tauiwi (non-Māori) to share in the celebration of Matariki. Like many traditional new year celebrations around the world, Matariki happens at the darkest time of the year.

Celebrating Matariki gives us a way of thinking about the new year in the Southern Hemisphere – with food, warmth and celebration to share together in winter. This year, our focus will be on journey and we will have two guest speakers sharing about how their journey of following Jesus has also led them to engage with Te Ao Māori. Today, Rachel Renata, a young Māori woman, formerly youth pastor at Hutt City Baptist and now on the Ngā Pou Amorangi course studying at Carey Baptist College, will share with us her journey.