On Wednesday, 17th August, the non-publication order of the Pathfinding report was lifted by the Employment Relations Authority. A necessary part of the final report was a consultation process – this step was required to meet the Board’s employment law obligations.
This consultation period is now complete, and we are legally able to release publicly the Pathfinding report as promised.
The release of the Pathfinding report is a significant moment in our review process. We are grateful to be at this junction and pray it will bring healing for people.
Much of the report contains stories of peoples’ deep pain and trauma and we do not take this lightly. As a Board and Leadership Team, hearing these stories has brought hurt, anger, frustration, and regret. Many stories we know are about our whanau, friends, and people that we are actively involved in our lives.
Our intent from the beginning has been to build a church where anyone could find family, purpose, and healing. However, it is evident that over the course of this journey, our actions have not always matched our stated intent. We recognise and acknowledge that we have failed many times to make people feel welcomed, loved and accepted.
We want to take this opportunity to apologise to those who have experienced hurt or pain. To those who have been excluded or rejected. To those who have felt unheard or undervalued. We speak directly to any person who has been hurt and on behalf of every one of our Board and Leadership, we are sorry. It is not ok that for some there was no clear way within Arise for hurt to be expressed, heard and comprehended when it mattered the most. We have failed in our duty of care for some who have come into contact with our church. We repent and ask for forgiveness.
We are wholeheartedly committed to making the changes required, of which there are many. Now, we must help build a path to healing and restoration for those who have been deeply hurt. This is our priority for this next season.
We thank every person who has shared their experiences – staff - both past and present, former ministry students, members, and volunteers. To every person who has shared – thank you. It has taken a lot of courage and vulnerability and we acknowledge you for this.
We lastly want to thank the people of Arise who are on this journey with us. We are committed to restoration, even though it is at times the more difficult path. We believe that God has a great plan for His church, and we are asking that His will be done.
“The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8 NLT
We will have a follow up statement tomorrow with our next steps.
– Arise Board and Leadership Team