by ESTELLE HENRYS
To celebrate the Season of Creation, members of four faith communities in Wellington western suburbs (Ōtari Catholic Parish Karori/Wilton, St Luke’s and St Anne’s Anglican Churches and Wadestown Presbyterian Church) got together to plan an Ecumenical Walk in Ōtari -Wilton’s Bush.
The idea was to visit the seven days of creation story in Chapter 1 of Genesis at seven different stations within the native botanic garden and forest reserve. The focus was kaitiakitanga through karakia.
The day of the event was glorious and sunny as people walked, talked, prayed and sang together to give thanks for this special environment on their doorstep.
Acknowledgement was made of the skills of the kaiwhakatere – the navigators – in finding these bountiful shores by reading the signs of the sun, stars, wind, ocean, and clouds.
Local volunteers shared their knowledge of the indigenous flora, fauna, bird, animal and fish life in Ōtari, and how humans have impacted these. Protection and regenerating are being embraced.
The prayerful time ended with an invitation for people to stand in silence for a minute contemplating God’s hand at work around them. “What can you see, hear, smell, feel?”
At the seventh day of rest station, overlooking the Ōtari valley, there was a final blessing and people joined in singing Whakaaria mai, with a harmonica accompaniment.
- Estelle Henrys is an Ōtari parishioner