SCM Aotearoa is looking forward to an exciting year with a new national programme titled “Exploitation: Challenging the New Slaveries”. This programme will cover exploitation of the environment and of people, particularly sex-tourism, climate change and relating these with the insights found the bible. SCMA believes that people and the environment deserve to be treated with care and respect, and that everyone should be given an equal deal. With this programme, SCMA wants to raise people’s awareness and try to promote a conscious and compassionate way of living in the world.
The unit in Otago (led by Kate and Summer) recently ran the second hand book sale for the entire university. This was a massive effort with just a handful of people. They have also been leading the way with their programme, which will include topics like “How did Jesus treat people marginalized by his society?”, “How do people in New Zealand contribute to economic slaveries and how can we stop?” and “What NZ, and the UN say about human rights and how slavery contravenes this”.
The Canterbury unit has welcomed Rachael Soja as their convener, along with Jean Kite also convenes our National Coordinating Group. Canterbury members are working closely with young people from a local Presbyterian Church and have created a discussion group which covers issues that are important to SCMA. They will be focusing on the environment and theology in the first half of the year and will be hosting the National Conference in July.
The Auckland unit is revitalising with the support of Rev. Leigh Neighbour, SCM’s first Regional Development officer, and Catherine and Megan O’Callaghan who are both active members and Catherine is the women’s officer of SCMA. SCMA is optimistic that SCM Auckland will grow this year despite the difficult conditions.