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Daughter, wife, mother, Oma, sister, teacher, international development volunteer, community activist, business owner, gardener, experimental cook, cyclist, lover of the outdoors, dreamer of a better world, and a believer…

I need a big God

The words of pop star Florence and the Machine capture the heart of why I am committed to reform. I am a mature New Zealander of Dutch descent (i.e. a descendant of ten generations of traditional Dutch Catholics who never moved from then 10km from our ancestral roots until my parents emigrated to the other side of the world 70 years ago.

I am married, and we have five awesome young adult children who span the whole spectrum from avowed atheist (religion is the bane of earth and progressive thinking) to traditional Catholic (who prefers a Latin Mass and wants to get back to “when we were certain about truth”) and everything in between, including a gay son, in my eyes the most gorgeous loving human being one could imagine, but there’s no place for him in “our” church, the church into which he was baptised, even if he wanted to be part of it! Why would any of my children (and now also grandchildren) want to be a part of such a small exclusive church!

But this is not the church that captured me when I was young. It is about love, justice, care of the earth and must be inclusive, welcoming all and embracing the whole human family, globally, in all its cultural diversity. Openness to this rich diversity is what enriches us, and will transform the face of the earth. 

We need “to enlarge the space of our tent” so that all may feel welcome, respected and valued as they are! What excites me is that we’re doing it, we are taking control, reclaiming our church… and so I sing with Florence my favourite song in which she says “we’ve opened the doors and now it’s all coming true…” “how big, how blue, how beautiful” !