What a rich and diverse experience the Trans Tasman Rural Conference 2008 turned out to be. Marae and mussels, olives and outings, workshops and wine, stories and song, umu and umpteen conversations. Once again I was reminded that 'rural church' and 'rural community' can be intertwined in a way in which urban counterparts mostly are not in a secular country such as ours - one community we visited estimates that 25% of its population is in church each Sunday! Also on my radar came the thought that rural ministry may attend to a very small proportion of the population but covers a very large portion of the land mass of our two countries!
Though one of the organisers I felt ministered to by the words spoken - challenged and comforted in my faith. A powerful reminder came through the wonderful devotional ministry of Fr Philip King-Turner S.M., Catholic priest of Reefton: God is with us, directing our lives, graciously and not depending on our worthiness.
God was certainly with us through this last week!