When the Tui Calls – Print book

When the Tui Calls: Rural Ministry – Origins and Futures
By Bill Bennett

Print Book Publication details

Publishing: 20 May 2017
Language: English
Format: Paperback, 64pp
Dimensions: 6″ x 9″
19,678 words approx
NZ ISBN: 9781927260708
US ISBN: 9781546546405

NZ$17.50

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Book Description

The Tui (Parson Bird), with its tuft of white feathers at the neck, is highly adaptive, has a distinctive call, is protective of its domain, is an imitator of song and speech and is an enduring example of survival and adaptability.

This essay on rural ministry reflects on its long evolution, its current challenges, and its continuing viability for the future in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Bennett highlights some key issues and opportunities for rural ministry today, including:

  • Maintaining identity as a rural community and church
  • Being forums for wider community discussion on current issues
  • Re-vitalising the church’s ministry of hospitality
  • Ensuring those responsible for worship leadership are well-trained
  • Ensuring that worship gives expression to what is actually happening in the rural community
  • Developing strategies for on-farm, at-home visits or sub-regional get-togethers
  • Offering theological college students short residential stays to help them understand time-work-seasonality relationships, and how rural people view life and society.

“The work you have in your hands is an invaluable insight into the roles that faith and Christian ministry offer to rural life, born not only out of Bill’s experience, but also with the depth of the history of the life of the Church in word and sacrament. Bill provides the Church today with a pathway back into our history that will help us to identify the roots of our ministry in rural life that enables us to navigate our present and near future.” From the Foreword, by Bishop Andrew Hedge

Foreword by Bishop Andrew Hedge

I am a ‘townie,’ born and bred. Living on the southern edge of Auckland City I wasn’t a total stranger to the rural aspect of life as child, but to say I had any real insight into rural life growing up would be a misnomer. My associations with rural communities began in earnest when I met my wife, Raewyn, who had grown up on a dairy farm in the heart of the Waikato. It was through getting to know and love Raewyn’s family and their community that I started to gain an insight into the realities of rural life. A whole new world opened up to me beyond the romanticism that I think most New Zealand townies have of the rural world that is wrapped up in images of Red Band gumboots, roaring fires in a cosy farm house and well behaved stock grazing quietly on pastures of lush green grass. It’s a nice image to hold as you drive through a farming community, but hardly reflects the reality of rural life.

What is hidden from the surface is the struggle to keep a business afloat through changing circumstances of environment, politics and economics. Associated with that struggle, are care and concern for your family and provision for family life, care for your employees and their families, and, importantly, the pressure to care for stock and keep production levels to an optimum position. Alongside this sit the real joys of a lifestyle that is deeply immersed and intertwined with the seasonal ebb and flow of creation.

It has been my privilege through ministry in the Anglican Church as a priest and bishop in rural communities to be invited into farm houses and to share stories of life and faith over a morning cup of tea and freshly baked scones. In those conversations the realities of life have intersected with the profound insights of faith and of the beauty of God experienced in the midst of pastoral land.

Bill Bennett knows this reality better than most through his extensive ministry as a priest within rural communities. The work you have in your hands is an invaluable insight into the roles that faith and Christian ministry offer to rural life, born not only out of Bill’s experience, but also with the depth of the history of the life of the Church in word and sacrament. Bill provides the Church today with a pathway back into our history that will help us to identify the roots of our ministry in rural life that enables us to navigate our present and near future.

As life continues to change for parishes and faith communities in rural areas, we are blessed by the insights and reflections of this most faithful priest who has been deeply immersed in rural life, with a profound faith in God and desire to speak that faith in a meaningful and relevant way. I commend this work to all who minister in rural areas, both lay and ordained, as you seek to proclaim the joy, grace, hope and love of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ amidst the communities that are shaped by pastures, vineyards and forests of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Andrew Hedge
Bishop of Waiapu
Eastertide 2017

 

Short Book Description

The Tui (Parson Bird), with its tuft of white feathers at the neck, is highly adaptive, has a distinctive call, is protective of its domain, is an imitator of song and speech and is an enduring example of survival and adaptability.

This essay on rural ministry reflects on its long evolution, its current challenges, and its continuing viability for the future in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Bennett highlights some key issues and opportunities for rural ministry today.

List of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
The Integrity of Rural Ministry

Part I — Early Beginnings

Celtic and Roman Roots
Parish Churches and Monastic Communities
Disease and Social Unrest

Part II — After The Reformation

Reformation Turbulence
Faithful Parsons
The Reformation in Scotland
The Impact of the Clearances
The Evangelical Revival
Rural Deprivation – the Black Act and the Enclosures

Part III — Clash Of Cultures

Conflicting values about land and utilisation
Missionary Pastoral Strategies
Developing Parishes and Pākehā Rural Ministry
Presbyterian developments
Methodist beginnings
Catholic influences
Development of Māori Missions and Pastorates

Part IV — Changing Patterns of Rural Ministry in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Rural Prosperity and Adversity
Affirming the distinctiveness of a ‘rural’ ministry theology
Minita-a-iwi
The Impact of Political and Economic Changes
The Effect on Rural Parishes
Rural Religion and Politics
Local Shared Ministry (LSM)
The Near Landscape and Beyond

Appendix I

About the Author

Bill Bennett comes from a Southern Hawke’s Bay farming background.

He has served much of his ministry as an Anglican priest in rural parishes in the Diocese of Waiapu as well as in the Norwich and Lichfield Dioceses in England. He worked as Ministry Enabler and twice as Regional Dean in Hawke’s Bay between 1994 and 2015.

His interest in rural communities is reflected in his publications: God of the Whenua (an overview of rural ministry in New Zealand), Seasons of the Land and The Shepherd’s Call (both being prayers and liturgies for rural communities). He continues to write hymns and songs (words and music).

He is on the Editorial Board of the international periodical, Rural Theology. Till its demise recently he was tutor in Rural Ministry Studies for the Ecumenical Institute for Distance Theological Studies (EIDTS).

He and his wife Wendy live in retirement in Napier, New Zealand.

Also by Bill Bennett

God of the Whenua: Rural Ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand


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Keywords

Christian ministry, Christian life, Christian faith, Christian spirituality, rural ministry, New Zealand, Aotearoa, church history, Christian leaders and leadership.

BIC

HRCX4 Christian ministry and pastoral activity
HRCX1 Christian leaders and leadership
HRCV Christian life and practice…
HRCS  Christian spirituality and religious experience…
JFFP Social interaction
JFFN Migration, immigration and emigration
JFSR Religious groups: social and cultural aspects…
HBL History: earliest times to present day…
HBTB Social and cultural history
1MB Australasia…

BISAC

REL108020 RELIGION / Christian Church / History
REL012110 RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues
REL015000 RELIGION / Christianity / History
REL109000  RELIGION / Christian Ministry / General
HIS004000 HISTORY / Australia & New Zealand
HIS054000 HISTORY / Social History