Spirituality – even at the Rodeo!

The Urenui Rodeo took place over the weekend and – as is tradition – stopped mid-way for the reading of the Cowboys Prayer (see below).  With hats off and hands on hearts most of the crowd chose to obverse this with respect.  Another example of latent spirituality within seemingly secular society?

Our Heavenly Father, we pause at this time,
mindful of the many blessings you have bestowed upon us.
We ask, Lord, that you will be with us in the arena of life.

We as cowboys do not ask for special favors.
We don’t ask to draw around the chute fighting horse, the steer that won’t lay, or to never break the barrier.

We don’t even ask for all daylight runs.

We do ask Lord, that you will help us live our lives here on earth as cowboys, in such a manner, that when we make that last inevitable ride, to the country up there, where the grass grows lush, green, and stirrup high, and the water runs cool, clear, and deep, that you’ll take us by the hand and say – “Welcome to Heaven cowboy, your entry fees are paid.”



New article – Wairua (spirit) and cultural values in evaluation

In the inaugural issue of Evaluation Matters – He Take To Te Aromatawai 2015 is an article by Vivienne Kennedy, Fiona Cram, Kirimatao Paipa, Kataraina Pipi and Maria Baker that explores this issue.  There is an interesting exploration of the difference between spirituality and religion which is reinforced by comparisons between western influenced theism – belief in God, the Creator, a higher power – and indigenous spirituality un-linked to religious dogma, but describe din experiential terms.

An important article and very relevant to the aspirations of spirituality and well-being

The article text is freely available at the link below

Click to access EM2015_1_083.pdf

Talking God in the Public Square


The precise concern of the essay is in a particular aspect of political discourse. The wider

question to which it contributes is, “What kind of religiously-inspired political speech, if

any, is legitimate in a modern liberal democracy?” The narrower question it addresses

head-on is, “Can it ever be legitimate to offer explicitly religious reasons in presenting public

justifications for laws or public policies?”

Healing Our Spirit Worldwide

The next global Gathering for Healing Our Spirit Worldwide will be hosted by Te Rau Matatini. This will take place 16 – 19 November 2015 at The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, with the Pōwhiri (official welcome) taking place at Tūrangawaewae Marae, Ngāruawāhia, at 10:00 am on 15 November.

The purpose of The Seventh Gathering of Healing our Spirit Worldwide 2015 is for Indigenous peoples across the world to come together to share their strength, hope, and wisdom as they face community health, governance, and substance abuse issues. It provides a forum to discuss solutions and to connect and learn from other peoples to heal the spirit, heal the earth, and sustain cultural practices for the next generation.

Spirituality and wellbeing of older New Zealanders

The challenge for a society that appears to see itself as largely secular is to work out how it can encourage exploration of spiritual well-being in a manner that encourages debate and supports people to acknowledge the importance of a spiritual dimension to life without the discussion being limited to a focus on religion or being diverted by dogmatic positions.

The participants in this research were enthusiastic about discussing the words ‘spiritual or spirituality.’ This enthusiasm led the researchers to the conclusion that the words should not be treated as ‘taboo’ in society generally, and there should not be a fear of using the words in social policy and practices of government, within community organisations, the media, schools and organised religion.  Most of the 40 older adults interviewed and the 10 older adults who also took part in a focus group, welcomed and really enjoyed having a chance to discuss spirituality and what the concept meant to them.

The final report is available at http://www.bishopsactionfoundation.org.nz/uploads/file/Spirituality%20research%20Report%20-%20FINAL%20colour%20secureJuly2009.pdf