Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia
Our association has two aims:
- To unite in prayer and participate in the mission of the Church; and
- To promote, safeguard and nurture Christian family life.
Our church’s mission (mentioned in our first aim) is described as five-fold:
- To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom;
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
- To respond to human needs by loving service;
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation; and
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The AAW has branches throughout New Zealand and Polynesia. Most meet monthly with gatherings including worship and a variety of activities, some for fellowship, some for learning, some for the support of others in the community or overseas. We keep in touch across groups with our magazine “Circle”, with area gatherings of one sort or another and with a triennial conference. Our most recent was held in Dunedin, where speakers included women from Trade Aid, Chatbus (a local counselling service for children) and Foodshare, an organisation moving otherwise wasted food to social services for distribution.
As a whole association, we provide regular funding for projects in various countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. We particularly like to help women and children. Our current recipients include those working in the areas of water supply, health, dentistry, teaching, sewing, social justice and kindergartens. Local groups also support projects in their own parishes and communities, including a school for teenage parents, supplies for arriving refugees and the House of Sarah, a women’s refuge and counselling service in Fiji. Our emergency fund is there to help out a bit when there is a natural disaster.
We also make a point of being involved with Social Concerns at a policy level. Members are represented at the National Council of Women and we can thus feed into the law-making process. Sometimes we make submissions on our own behalf to Government, Councils and the like. We try to stay abreast of the issues of the day and reflect on them in light of our faith journey.
We are happy to be partnered with the Charter and to pursue our mutual aims.
Location: Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand