AWAKEN 2021 is coming to Wellington City. The team from Diverse Church NZ is very excited to present this awesome opportunity for Aotearoa’s rainbow faith community to gather together, make new friends, be encouraged and connect with other queer people of faith.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

DR ELIZABETH KEREKERE

As an activist and researcher for almost 40 years, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere has advocated for kaupapa Māori and Te Tīriti issues. That includes 30 years on Rainbow issues, focusing on takatāpui and young people. As a leader and mentor within Rainbow, suicide prevention and youth development sectors, Elizabeth has represented human and indigenous rights issues overseas, including at the United Nations. She also works on national projects in health, mental health, violence prevention, youth leadership and research. Elizabeth’s takatāpui suicide prevention resources are used extensively in Rainbow communities, health settings and schools and her groundbreaking research on Māori sexuality and gender is recommended reading in every University here and several overseas. Her artwork has been exhibited at Te Papa and is on permanent display in Parliament and at the United Nations in New York. Check out www.takatapui.nz for more information on her work and research. When she was elected to Parliament as a Green Party List MP this year, Elizabeth said “I will continue the work I have always done, but now with more power, influence and resources. I will create space for the voices who are not heard, in particular trans, intersex and non-binary people, young people, and people with disabilities.”

ANDRE AFAMASAGA

Andre Afamasaga was born in Lower Hutt and is of Samoan heritage (Afega, Fasito’otai). For more than two decades, he has worked in the community, youth, health and education sectors in Australia and New Zealand, including 11 years as a church pastor. While he has always been a passionate advocate for inclusion in ‘the church’, he ironically could not apply this principle to his own life, until at the end of 2019, he wrote a ‘coming out’ column in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, (also published in New Zealand and Samoa). These days, he is calling for a discussion of LGBTIQ+ issues within the church, that is evidence not fear-based, inclusive and ethically responsible. Rainbow people should be able to participate in religious and wider life – without fear of stigma, discrimination and exclusion. He now works as a senior advisor at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, in the area of race relations.

DR PETER LINEHAM

Peter Lineham is Professor Emeritus, meaning that he has retired from his role as  Professor of History at Massey University and Regional Director of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, but remains associated with the University in an honorary role. He is a respected scholar whose interests cover a range of subject areas that can loosely be categorised under history and religion. He was awarded Membership in the Order of New Zealand in the New Year Honours list in 2019. He has written articles on many aspects of English and New Zealand religious history and his books include There we found Brethren, No Ordinary Union and Bible and Society and he co-edited the standard text on New Zealand’s religious history, Transplanted Christianity. In 2013 his book on Brian Tamaki and the Destiny Church, Destiny was published by Penguin Books. His book on the way religion in New Zealand has influenced society and culture, entitled Sunday Best was published by Massey University Press in 2017. This year (2020) his history of Auckland City Mission will be published. His interpretations of trends in religion in New Zealand are also frequently reported by the media. His MA is from the University of Canterbury, his B.D. from the University of Otago and his D.Phil. from the University of Sussex.

Peter has long been active in a range of churches and Christian and charitable organisations. He is a deacon at Ponsonby Baptist Church and on the vestry and synod representative for All Saints Anglican Church and is deeply involved in the life of Auckland Rainbow Community Church and its work with prisoners and ex-prisoners. He has been deeply involved in various peace initiatives, and gives lectures to a wide variety of bodies. He is the secretary of the Inter-church Tertiary Chaplaincy Council, and the local Auckland Northland Regional Ecumenical Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board. He is also secretary of the Church Life Survey Committee and has a strong interest in current religious trends.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

Friday 26 March – Opening Celebration at Parliament

5 pm Registration Opens

6 pm Food 

7 pm Powhiri

Tour of the Rainbow Room

Evening Event – Join the Awaken team and experience some of Wellington’s nightlife and culture.

Saturday – St Peters on the corner of Ghuznee and Willis St

8:30 am Doors Open
9:00 am Start

Worship 

Keynote

Morning Tea

Workshop 1

Lunch 

Workshop 2

Parade Prep

Afternoon Tea

Walk in the Wellington Pride Parade (bring a water bottle!)

Evening Entertainment

Sunday – St Peter’s on the corner of Ghuznee and Willis St

8:30 am Breakfast

10 am Palm Sunday Pride Eucharist service alongside St Peter’s parishioners

11:15 am Morning Tea/Lunch

1 pm Workshop 3

2 pm Keynote

4 pm End