UPDATE: 24 Dec 2017 - we are still adding signatures! Church leaders please read on and add your details below ...
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Dear Prime Minister Ardern,
We are now in the season of advent; the four weeks in the Church calendar before Christmas. Many in our society are preparing to spend time with family and friends, exchange gifts and celebrate during this time of year. There are those, however, who will not be afforded the opportunity to do so. Many hundreds of refugees on Manus Island are suffering in inhumane conditions and have been left to suffer grave bodily harm and possible death. At this time of year, in the spirit of compassion and generosity, we ask you to take all of these refugees in and grant them asylum.
The religious traditions associated with the text of the bible place great emphasis on the exercise of compassion and charity towards the poor, the sick, the oppressed and the foreigner living among us. While we now live in a secular society, these values are still important to our sense of morality, and at Christmas it is worthwhile to reflect on how well we live them out. Christmas celebrates the story of a poor refugee from an oppressed ethnic minority. Jesus, born in Bethlehem from a family out of Nazareth, had to flee to Egypt with Joseph and Mary shortly after he was born, threatened by the tyrant Herod the Great. Herod had ordered the massacre of all the firstborn children in Israel, hoping to destroy the threat to his political power that Jesus was to become. The holy family found themselves exiles in Egypt, waiting until the ruler who threatened them with death had been deposed. The refugees on Manus Island are in the same situation: having left their homes, fearing for their lives, they made their way to Australia. The only difference is the final element: rather than reaching safety they were imprisoned by the Australian government and abused even further.
All we ask is that in this season you remember that Middle Eastern refugee family all those years ago and show mercy and compassion to those refugees that find themselves in the same situation today. You have in your hands the power to end some of their suffering. You cannot undo what has been done to them. But you can give them a place to live in peace and safety. In the name of God most high, we urge you to bring all of the Manus Island refugees to New Zealand.
Rev Emily Worman, Church in Progress MCC, South AucklandRev Dr George Armstrong, Emeritus Lecturer Te Rau Kahikatea St Johns College, Anglican, AucklandRev Ian Federick Faulkner, East Coast Bays Parish, Methodist, North Shore, AucklandMons. Gerard Burns, Te Ngakau Tapu, Roman Catholic, PoriruaRev Chris Sullivan, Roman Catholic Permanent Deacon, PakurangaRev Peter Williamson, Crossroads Papakura, Methodist, South AucklandRev Dr Bruce Hamill, Community Minister for IBPC, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ, Berhampore, WellingtonRev John McAlpine, Anglican, Onehunga AucklandRev Anne Thomson, First Church of Otago, Presbyterian, DunedinRev Dr Jason Goroncy, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Rev Andy Hickman, Deacon & Youth Pastor, Anglican Diocese of Wellington, TawaRev Lucy Nguyen, Chaplain, Anglican, AucklandRev Peter Bargh, Whangarei Anglican, WhangareiRev Diane Gilliam-Weeks, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, St Ronan's Eastbourne, WellingtonRev Jean Brookes, St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland, Auckland Anglican DioceseRev Sharon Ross Ensor, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, WellingtonRev Dr Paul Prestidge, Miramar Uniting Church, Presbyterian, WellingtonRev Dr Lynne Frith, Auckland Methodist Central Parish, Methodist, AucklandRev Clay Nelson, Auckland UnitariansRev Dr Helen Jacobi, St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland, Auckland Anglican Diocese Rev David Dowling, Wellington South Catholic Parish, Roman Catholic, WellingtonRev 'Alipate 'Uhila, Mangere-Otahuhu Methodist Parish, Methodist Church of NZ, AucklandBishop Richard Randerson, Retired bishop, Anglican, WellingtonRev David Bush, General Secretary, Methodist Church of New Zealand, ChristchurchDoreen.Wilson, Liaiason Waikato Rohe, Methodist Church of New Zealand, HamiltonRev Robyn Allen-Goudge, Whangaparaoa Parish, Methodist Church of New Zealand, AucklandRosalie Sugrue, Kapiti Uniting - Accredited Lay Preacher, Methodist Church of New Zealand, ParaparaumuRev Brian Turner, Co-Convener, EcuAction Canterbury, Methodist Church of New Zealand, Nth CanterburyDon Baker, Retired Lay preacher and administrator, Johnsonville Uniting Church, WellingtonVeitomoni Siufanga, Chartwell Cooperative Church, Methodist Church of New Zealand, HamiltonRev. Barry Jones, Devonport Methodist Parish, Albany, AucklandRev Ieremia Amani Amituana'i, Superintendent of the Rotorua Methodist Parish, Methodist Church of New ZealandRev Josh Jones, St Georges, Anglican, Epsom AucklandRev John Rentz, St Columba Presbyterian, TaurangaRev Simon Williams, Warkworth Methodist Church, Methodist Church of New ZealandRev Desmond Cooper, Retired, Methodist Church of New Zealand, WellingtonRev Scott Reeve, Blueprint Mission Unit, Anglican Church, WellingtonRev Chris Darnell, St Mary's, Anglican, WhitbyRev Dr Jennifer Dawson, Associate Priest, Porirua Anglican, Pukerua BayRev John Hughes, Vicar, Karori Anglican Churches, WellingtonRev Tric Malcolm, Wellington City Missioner, Wellington City Mission, AnglicanRev Andy Eldred, St Mark's Carterton, Anglican, CartertonRev Kenneth Russell, Mornington Methodist Church, DunedinRev Beverley Osborn, Retired, Methodist, Stewart IslandRev Jon Hartley, Missioner, Anglican, WellingtonRev’d Jethro Stephen Day, St Thomas’, Parish of Wellington South, Anglican, NewtownRev Terry Alve, Priest in Charge, St Hilda's Upper Hutt, Anglican, TawaRev Ian Leslie Clarke, Durham Street Methodist Chruch, Retired Presbyter, ChristchurchRev Abhishek Solomon, Mahurangi Methodist Parish, Methodist Church of New Zealand, WarkworthPauline McKay, National Director, Christian World Service, ChristchurchRev Kimberley Rowe, All Saints Parish, Anglican, Palmerston NorthRev Karl Dickson, Vicar, St Paul's Waiwhetu, Anglican, Lower HuttDr John Dennison, Associate Chaplain, The Anglican Chaplaincy at Victoria University of WellingtonRev Helen Stephen-Smith, Retired, Anglican, WaikanaeDavid Tannock, Honarary Assistant Priest, Saint Barnabas' Church Roseneath, Anglican, WellingtonRev Cheryl Repia, Assistant Priest St Philip's Anglican Church, Stokes ValleyRev Andrew Barlow, Vicar, Avalon Parish, Anglican, WellingtonRev Misilei Misilei, Wesley Methodist Church, Papatoetoe, South AucklandRev Darryn Hickling, Linwood Avenue Union Church- Reverend, Union, ChristchurchRonald William Malpass, member of Upper Hutt Uniting Parish, former President of the Methodist ChurchBeverley Deverell, Accredited Lay Preacher in Kamo-Kaurihohore, Uniting Methodist/Presbyterian, Whangarei
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