The Shepherd’s Call - Te Karanga o te Hēpara - Print.
The Shepherd’s Call - Te Karanga o te Hēpara - Print.
The Shepherd’s Call - Te Karanga o te Hēpara: Prayers and liturgies for rural Aotearoa New Zealand
By Bill Bennett
B/W text, 124pp, 6″ x 9″
Foreword by The Reverend Dr Jenny Dawson
I come from rural Canterbury and worked for many years as a ministry educator, ﬁrst nationally and then in the South Island. Wherever I met Bill, we have talked about what’s going on in the countryside. He helped establish the Hawkes Bay Rural Ministry Unit in the 1980s, providing impetus for others around the country to reﬂect theologically on the rural scene. He has the ability to build friendships and make connections, living out the principle that rural life is shaped by communities of neighbours.
Bill was brought up in a farming family in Dannevirke, and apart from a short time in the UK he has ministered as a priest in Waiapu since his ordination in 1964, serving in many of the parishes in this largely rural diocese. He has a strong ecumenical commitment and a deep conﬁdence in rural churches to adapt creatively to social and economic change.
A musician and composer of many hymns, he understands the complexity of rural life with its overlapping communities and its deep dependence on seasonal life. This understanding shines through the resources in this new book.
Following Listen to the Shepherd 1997, Seasons of the Land 2001 and God of the Whenua: Rural Ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand 2005, this book comes to us at a time when rural life seems to be less relevant to most New Zealanders, including church decision-makers. Yet these liturgical resources will touch everyone who is interested in seasonal joy and struggle, planting and harvest, whitebaiting and hospitality.
A theology of land and missional ministry that is shaped by both local life and God’s call, with a deep understanding of tikanga Maori, mean that these prayers and reﬂections are uniquely and wonderfully New Zealand. I commend them to you and hope they are widely used across the country. They are for us all.”
The Reverend Dr Jenny Dawson
A musician and composer of many hymns, Anglican priest Bill Bennett understands the complexity of rural life with its overlapping communities and its deep dependence on seasonal life. This understanding shines through this book.
117 prayers are arranged into broad themes: the seasons, environment, community, mission and ministry, work, crisis and loss.
There are also six sets of Eucharist liturgies and another five liturgies focused on the bush, harvest community life and adverse events.
This book will be a valued resource for both clergy and lay worship leaders.
“These liturgical resources will touch everyone who is interested in seasonal joy and struggle, planting and harvest, whitebaiting and hospitality.
A theology of land and missional ministry that is shaped by both local life and God’s call, with a deep understanding of tikanga Maori, mean that these prayers and reflections are uniquely and wonderfully.
New Zealand. I commend them to you and hope they are widely used across the country. They are for us all.” From the Foreword by Rev Dr Jenny Dawson.
you sent Jesus to us
to show us how to care for and love all you have made,
and to be of service to others.
You ask us to be shepherds,
so that we may bring that same guardianship,
to the animals of which we are stewards –
sheep, cattle, deer, goats,
and the dogs and horses that assist us in this work.
Help us ensure that tiredness or selfishness
will not let us neglect the animals under our care.
25. The Woolshed Christ
The shearers are sleeping,
the night pens are filled.
Wrapped and lying on a bed
of newly shorn wool
lies the Saviour.
Mary and Joseph relax
with tea from the thermos flask.
Soon the dogs bark
and the tui and song thrush
sing their morning chorus.
The station shepherds rise
for an early muster,
and come to adore the new-born child.
O God of all hope,
may the cries of Jesus
blend with the bleating of sheep
in an anthem of praise
to your glory and love.
106. Rural Hardship
God of the present and future,
bring hope to those facing hardship and loss
in the rural community of …………..
Restore those whose land
has been severely affected by flood/snow/rain/cold/fire/drought.
Encourage those facing big changes
in farm management and lifestyle,
or who face the prospect of having to move off the land
and the challenge of finding new employment.
Have compassion on those
whose marriages or relationships
are under enormous strain
through interpersonal or financial stress.
Resource communities which have lost amenities,
commercial services and farm labour.
Enable people to welcome new settlers and life-stylers,
particularly those unfamiliar
with rural ways of doing things,
and the customs of the local community.
We pray in faith that we shall discover
grace sufficient for each day’s challenges,
in and through the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Spring – Kōanga: Season of the Koru
- Beauty of Spring
- Promise of Spring
- The energy of Spring
- Optimism of Spring
- Lambing and Calving
- Lambing Time
- Calving Time
- Care of our Livestock
- Animal Welfare
- Blossom time
- Tending the Soil and Planting Time
- Spring Warmth
- Spring Weather
- Agricultural Machinery
- Rogationtide — (Caring for Creation through Work and Conservation – usually 3rd and 5th October)
- Plough Sunday (August–October)
- The Whitebait Season
Summer – Raumati: Season of growth
- Growth and Enrichment
- Shearing Time
- Dairy Farming – the daily round
- A Shepherd’s Prayer
- Advent – the Coming of God in Christ
- Rural Christmas
- Summer Christ
- The Woolshed Christ
- Children’s Christmas Thanksgiving
- Summer Holidays
Autumn – Ngahuru: Season of harvest
- Abundant Harvest
- Seasonal Labour
- Wool Harvest
- Milk Harvest
- Meat Harvest
- A Farmer’s Prayer for Daily Work
- Harvest Anxiety
- Easter – the Cosmic Harvest
- Easter Light
- Easter Way of Life
- The Colours of Easter
Winter – Hōtoke: Season of the Spirit
- Thanksgiving for Winter
- Living Thankfully
- The Citrus Harvest
- The Kiwifruit Harvest
- Christ Ascended
- Pentecost Wind
- Restless Spirit
- The Spirit’s Presence
- Gypsy Day
- Matariki (Celebrating the Māori New Year, te whakanui tau hou Māori ā Matariki)
Environment – Taiao
- Stewardship of Creation
- Guardianship of the Land
- Care of Creation
- God of Aotearoa New Zealand
- Diversity of Gifts
- Preserving our Natural Heritage
- Gift of Water
Community – Nohoanga Tāngata: People in society
- Local School
- Rural Schools Education
- Start of the School Year
- Family Life
- Families in our District
- Rural Families Under Pressure
- Community Life
- New Neighbours
- Our Nation
- At Election Time
- Women of the Land
- Team Sports
- Outdoor pursuits
- Farewelling a Country Neighbour
- Family Crisis
- Local Controversy
- The Unseen and Deprived
- Community Icons
- Country Roads
- The Treaty of Waitangi
Ministry and Mission – Te Mahi Mihinare
- Our Parish’s Mission
- Parish Leaders
- Local Shared Ministry Parish
- The Wider Church
- Parish Stewardship (Luke 12:13f.)
- Learning as a Congregation
- For a Church or Community Meeting
- The Local Church or Worship Centre
- Ministry Support Team
- Enablers and Trainers
- Change and Challenge
Work – Mahi
- Rogationtide – Rural Work
- Industrial Relations in Rural-Based Industries
- The Divine Economy
- Rural Tourism
- Harvests of the Seasons
- Farm Tractor
- Seasonal Workers
- Agricultural Learning and Research Institutions
- The Farm Implement Shed
- Farming Skills
- Rural Labour
- Research and Administration
- Recreation and Relaxation
Crisis and Loss – Ngā Wā O Te Matemate: In tough times
- Rural Hardship
- Stock Loss
- Orchard Damage and Crop Loss
- Bush/Scrub Fire
- Bush and Forest Fire-Fighters
- Farm Injury
- Farm Fatality
- Growth, Death and Renewal
- Rural Security
- Death of a Neighbour/Friend/Relative
Liturgies of the Land
1 — Celebrating Spring
2 — Celebrating Community
3 — Celebrating The Local Farming District
4 — Celebrating Winter
5 — Celebrating Pentecost
6 — Celebrating Rural Ministry
7 — Liturgy of the Bush and Forest
8 — Liturgy of Offering of Harvest Gifts
9 — Celebrating the Grape Harvest
10 — A Celebration of Community Life
11 — Thanksgiving after an Adverse Climatic or Biological Event
Glossary of Māori Words
About the author and this book
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.