Dear Friends in Asia West Pacific Region and in other parts of the world.  When a Friend asked me to write to tell you about New Zealand’s recent Yearly Meeting, I quickly agreed.  Now I find myself apprehensive, knowing that many of you face difficult situations, whereas 88 of us here in New Zealand have been able to eat, embrace, reflect, laugh, and conduct our business together at our beautiful Waikanae venue.

Friends in Aotearoa New Zealand spent three days together and tried to find ways of working to improve or understand many things.  Some of those things were about you. However, we truly do not understand what it is like to be where you live.  In our own Asia West Pacific region, we hear of increased cases in Singapore, an urgent need for vaccines in India, economic hardship in the Philippines, overwhelmed hospitals in Japan, new cases in Melbourne, and many difficulties elsewhere.

But we do understand that you are just like us.  That we all want to stay well.  That we want our families and friends to be well too.  That we want our communities to be safe.  That we want our people to have enough to eat, enough to wear, houses to live in, and to be able to live good lives and practice our faith.

We did not forget you at our Yearly Meeting.  We want to make the AWPS/FWCC relationships work well, and we spent quite a long time talking about how we could do better.  We also want you to know you have our support, and that we are grateful for the time we can have together on Zoom.

The rainbow is a traditional symbol of hope; so, I have tried to write a little reflection on Yearly Meeting based on its colours, with the desire of sharing some hope from Aotearoa with you.

Red – the colour of blood we all share; its warmth that we feel when we greet, or we care

Orange – the colour of the leaves on some trees, radiant brilliance, given for free

Yellow – emergency, grief, covid, and loss; remembering others and the terrible costs

Green – building peace in lands here and there; it’s so much work trying hard to be fair

Blue – our planet, getting too hot; finding ways to conserve what we’ve got

Indigo/ grey – our many old heads – where are our young ones to come in our stead?

Violet – Spirit, Mystery, underpinning us all; our gentle hope of heeding its call


Yours in peace

Philippa Fletcher