The idea of Te Ahi Kā for young people living as a faith community in Palmerston North City began back in 2012.
Te Ahi Kā house at 25A Amesbury St, in the centre of the city and owned by the Diocese of Palmerston North, has been a beacon of faith life for young people for several years. However, due to Covid lockdowns, in 2020 the residential base had to be paused and the house became rental accommodation for some months.
But in February last year, life at 25A Amesbury St recommenced under a new name. Te Ahi Kā was renamed as Te Ahi Kā o Mātauranga – meaning the hearth (the welcome place) of deep learning.
It is very much a formation for Christian discipleship as people grow in faith and practise hospitality to other young adults. By their absence in church, young adults in many ways are one of the groups most in need.
For those who opt to join the community, a year living at Te Ahi Kā o Mātauranga involves them in a journey of faith and growth. During the year they take up some theological study alongside their work – necessary to contribute to the rent in the house.
Throughout the year, participants exercise the ministry of hospitality to other young adults, students and young professionals with a series of regular events. Together, they live a rhythm of daily prayer and meals. The year also includes two weekend retreats and, as another way of growing in faith, there is the regular reflection group for the upcoming Sunday gospel.
Now that there is greater movement with the orange traffic-light system for Covid variants, this year the group has begun by studying Fratelli Tutti – which is timely in the face of the world’s present warring situations.
We have also been able to carry out some overdue maintenance including tidying up our front fence, a job that had been waiting for us for most of last year. We have been blessed with fine weather. So, after the painting, we were able to host a gathering for the academic start to the year where we invited tertiary students, young professionals and those attached to the community to various gatherings throughout the year ahead.
If you would like to know more about Te Ahi Kā o Mātauranga please contact Kevin Dobbyn at email: [email protected]