Moderator the Right Rev Dr Graham Redding offers our prayers for the families and communities affected by the tsunami in Samoa. Graham also discusses the three issues of concern Church Leaders raised at their recent meeting with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The Council of Assembly updates us on the process of reviewing the Global Mission Office, and the Assembly Executive Secretary the Rev Martin Baker considers how we might best invest in the present and future leadership of our Church.
Other highlights include the Church hosting a delegation from the World Council of Churches in Wellington and The Knox Centre hosting a World Alliance of Reformed Churches consultation in Dunedin, PYM shares ideas on how churches and Presbyterian schools can strengthen their relationships, continuing the education theme Talua Ministry Training Centre requests assistance for student fees, and our national ministries announce lots of new training courses.
It has been very encouraging to see New Zealanders respond generously to those affected by the Pacific tsunami. I was honoured to represent our Church at a memorial service for tsunami victims held at the Waitakere City stadium in West Auckland. Numerous church and community fundraising events, including charity concerts, are being held around the country, and many congregations and individuals have supported the Christian World Service emergency appeal. Our prayers continue for the families and communities affected by the tsunami.
A few weeks ago I joined with other Church Leaders to meet with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. These meetings are held every six months. We presented three issues of concern. Firstly, we encouraged the Government to take a bold approach in relation to climate change. Scientist Dr Kevin Tate spoke on our behalf, pointing out the potential costs of not doing enough at this critical time. Secondly, we encouraged the Government to reinstate automatic contributions to the NZ Superannuation Fund as soon as possible; the decision that was made earlier this year to suspend automatic contributions for eleven years could have significant negative repercussions a few years down the track. Thirdly, we encouraged the Government to strive for better coordination of support services for vulnerable families. Feedback from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services suggests that many families are suffering from a lack of coordination and collaboration in this area.
Over the past few months there have been some changes in the Global Mission Office. For seven years the Rev Andrew Bell, led our ministry in this area and his passion for mission has been greatly appreciated by the whole Church. However, with his departure in July in order to focus on his parish ministry at St Andrew’s in Otahuhu, there was an opportunity to consider various options for the future of global mission within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
A review was commissioned by the Council, and we are working our way through the recommendations and findings of that process. Key issues include the role of the GMO in the life of our congregations’ mission work, and the sustainability of continuing to fund two-and-a-half full-time salaries in a tighter economic environment. We are looking at re-structuring the GMO and we are presently consulting with the staff on this issue.
Council of Assembly wishes to assure the Church that there is no intention of ceasing the work of the Global Mission Office – global mission will always be integral part of our mission. We recognise that global mission is not only a national responsibility but a local and regional one as well, and we want to encourage and increase that work in whatever form it takes. The structure our Church has for global mission needs to reflect this reality. As the process moves forward, we will keep you informed but in the meantime be assured of our commitment.
Please uphold members of our Service Team, in particular the three staff of the Global Mission Office, in your prayers.
Convener of Council of Assembly
In September I attended the celebration of the new tumuaki (principal) at Turakina Maori Girl’s College, Terehia Channings. Terehia is the daughter of the Rev Hariata Haumata and is a third-generation student from the school. She has significant connections with Te Aka Puaho and has come to Turakina following her leadership role at the Te Kura Kaupapa Maori School in Hastings. There is a strong sense of hope and optimism about the future of the school with its new principal and the successful fundraising efforts of the campaign being currently run by the APW. Thank you for your support of this unique school.
Last month I also enjoyed meeting the leaders of two of the main Presbyterian churches in Korea (there are a number of denominations in Korea with the word Presbyterian in their name). Each of these churches has a membership in the hundreds of thousands and supports 20 or 30 missionary ministers here in New Zealand. They each expressed a real keenness about the possibility of forming closer links between our Church, the work of these Presbyterian missionaries in our midst, and their New Zealand congregations. We are working to formalise some Church-to-Church relationships.
A number of significant and exciting investments in the present and future leadership of our Church are on the horizon: At the end of November, we will be hosting an intense training event for 18 young Pacific Church Leaders from our Council for World Mission family. Knox Centre, Studentsoul and our Presbyterian Youth Ministry team are planning another training event in February for up to 50 of our Church’s young leaders on Great Barrier Island. There is also the development of the innovative Kids Friendly “Transformers” early teenage leadership training programme, and there is the ongoing success of the burgeoning Amorangi training. On top of this, the Press Go Board will shortly be committing our money to some wonderful growth-orientated mission projects that I hope and pray we will all get behind to make happen and learn from. We are working on some other very exciting possibilities that will reflect the priority we are giving to outreach to, and faith sharing with, children and young people. I will let you know the details as soon as they come to hand.
Last week 10 church goers represented our Church at the biennial New Zealand National Volunteering Conference in Wellington, attending from parishes as far away as Keri Keri to Invercargill. Feedback from our representatives is that it was a very successful and inspiring conference. Thank you to all who took part.
I think we should be really encouraged by how we see God moving in our midst. These things are exciting, complex and they all add up to change and challenge for us as we seek to participate in God’s mission. In terms of support for these things, we can only cut up the pie in so many ways, so we do need to sometimes make difficult decisions, based on a limited budget, as to where we put the resources available to us as a national Church. Let us celebrate these initiatives and the hopes they represent for our witness and mission.
It is great to hear news of presbyteries engaging with one another through the presbytery reform process. The new Kaimai Presbytery embodies this commitment and others are moving in the same direction. If you are still unclear about any issues relating to presbytery reform, then please contact the Very Rev Garry Marquand, who heads the team overseeing this process.
A reminder that the Assembly will be held in Christchurch from Thursday 30 September to either, Sunday 3 or Monday 4 October.
Parishes are invited to consider names of suitable nominees for the role of Moderator to bring to their presbytery/UDC. Each Presbytery/UDC will be asked to discuss nominations at their first meeting in 2010 and each nominate one person whose name shall be sent to the Nominating Committee. Full details of the process will be sent out later, but please start giving some consideration to who you think could provide this critical leadership role for our Church. Presbyteries that combined after the 2008 General Assembly and whose boundaries await ratification at the 2010 Assembly should use their own processes to allow for a nomination to be made from each of the presbyteries involved in the combination.
Under the convenorship of Council of Assembly member Neil Walker, a task group has been established to review various matters relating to the processes we use to nominate the Moderator and people to key leadership roles within the national committees of our Church, and the structure, membership and composition of these committees. While work has been done in the past on these matters, changes in the number of presbyteries along with the need to clarify, for example, the operational structures of the Nominating Committee and its role in relation to Council appointment processes, needs further clarification. It is expected that recommendations from the task group will be discussed at the forthcoming General Assembly.
The Rev Richard Dawson, the leader of the team working on the Statement writes “We are ready to publish our first new draft of the FIS and to seek responses from the wider church. We include some alternatives still being considered. We would like comments on these and any other matters related to the confession itself. We would like people to use the website for responding if at all possible but we are quite happy to accept email responses.
We will accept responses posted to:
Presbyterian Confession, C/- Leith Valley Presbyterian Church, 267 Malvern St, Leith Valley, Dunedin 9010.
As a result of decisions at the 2008 General Assembly a task group under the leadership of the Rev Reg Weeks has begun work to review the complaints and disciplinary processes of the Church.
The Council of Assembly meet on 19 and 20 November at a meeting hosted by the Synod of Otago and Southland in Dunedin.
A small delegation from the World Council of Churches (WCC) is scheduled to visit our Church on Wednesday 4 November, during the morning they will be welcomed onto Te Kakano Marae in Lower Hutt. The delegation will include Dr Prawate Khid-arn, General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia; Mrs Hera Rere Clark, WCC Central Committee member from Aotearoa New Zealand; Ms Tara Tautari, WCC Executive for Ecumenical Formation and Mr Douglas Chial, WCC Executive for Church and Ecumenical Relations.
Your parish should now have received copies of “Giving and Getting”, our latest social issues study guide. If you have not received copies, or would like more copies, please email Angela. The booklet can also be downloaded from the website, as can helpful information and forms for those looking to apply for various kinds of funding.
The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership in collaboration with Presbyterian Youth Ministries and Student Soul is piloting a new discipleship camp called “Going Further”. This is an exciting opportunity for one or two 18 to 30 year olds in your faith community. The camp will be held at Orama on Great Barrier Island, Tuesday 2 to 7 February 2010. For more information visit the website or contact Mark Johnston / 021 242 3735 or Carlton Johnstone / 04 381 8287.
Have you changed your address or other details? We have started the process to produce the 2010 Yearbook. This means that a copy of the information in our database has been sent to all presbytery clerks to check, and return to us with any changes. If you, or your church, have changed your details during the past year, please ensure that your presbytery clerk is aware of the new information. The deadline for the Yearbook is 14 December.
Would you like to see your photograph or illustration on the cover of the 2010 Yearbook? We’re running a competition, with the criteria that the entry image says something about being Presbyterian today. Entries must be submitted electronically and be high resolution (300dpi), which generally means a minimum file size of 2MB. Entries can be submitted in full colour, or in one colour plus white. Full colour entries will have a one-colour filter applied before publishing. Email images to Amanda.
Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.
The Knox Centre is soon to host a World Alliance of Reformed Churches regional consultation on “Justice and Communion”. Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Australia, and New Zealand will be represented.
In February, the Knox Centre is running a “Going Further” discipleship training event for young adults on Great Barrier Island. The purpose is to give young people the opportunity to explore a radical discipleship model of Christian living. Mark Johnston is driving this initiative in collaboration with national Presbyterian Youth Ministry development leader, Carlton Johnstone.
Kevin Ward recently spent a couple of weeks teaching at Talua Theological College in Vanuatu. The relationship between the Knox Centre and Talua is getting stronger all the time, and we are grateful to the Global Mission Office for its support. Earlier this year the principal of Talua, the Rev Fiama Rakau, attended one of our ministry block courses.
At our November block course our first batch of ministry interns will graduate from the new ordination studies programme. So far so good. Tweaking of the internship programme is ongoing, but it is off to a good start.
The Knox Centre recently held its first music and worship workshop for the inaugural winners of our music scholarships. Eight young people from around New Zealand converged on Dunedin for two days of lectures and hands-on experience under the tutelage of Malcolm Gordon and Darryl Tempero. Most of the participants stayed on to attend the Samstock Music Festival in Mosgiel. Check out our web page for information on how to apply for a scholarship next year.
Partnership is so important, especially when that partner is suffering. One of the most powerful statements I have heard recently was from a member of the Presbyterian Church in Myanmar. He said: “When you visit our country, when you turn up, it is then when we know we are not alone, it is then when we know you stand with us in our struggle.” What powerful and poignant words.
In September we witnessed our pacific neighbours devastated by earthquakes and a tsunami. We witnessed our partner churches struggle as they cared for the grieving and distressed. With all that has happened, there is no better time to tell our Pacific partners that they are not alone.
The Global Mission Office is sending a crisis grant to our partner churches in both Samoa and American Samoa. Jesus’ ministry was holistic, meeting the spiritual and physical needs of the people. Ours should be the same.
If you would like to support the appeal and show solidarity with our partner churches in America Samoa and Samoa then please send your donations to the Global Mission Office, 1/22 Station road, Otahuhu, Auckland. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Social media – what’s it all about? The National Mission team is continually looking for ways this extraordinary phenomenon can be utilised for the advancement of mission. Yes, there are positives and negatives – on these social pages gems of considerable value appear alongside an equal number of trivia. Conversations veer from in-depth theology to nonsense.
We’ve recently uploaded to the Church website some information on Twitter and Facebook, two of the most popular social media sites, and we regularly post information about ways to do mission in this exciting world on the National Mission blog.
David Mullen, a young man who posts regularly on his self-titled blog has written about five ways Twitter can make you smarter. The first two are of particular interest, “you get access to different points of view” and “the people you follow point you to great resources you wouldn’t find otherwise.” Both of these statements are worth considering.
Another relatively new arrival on the communication scene is webinar. A webinar is a type of way of presenting visual and audio material via computer from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. The recipients of the presentation can also respond and be heard by everyone taking part. Webinar range from simple PowerPoints to something akin to a full video conference. All that’s required is a small downloadable programme provided by the webinar host, and either the use of an ordinary telephone line or, more economically, Skype. The Rev Dr Lynne Baab, one of the wider Mission Possible team, has presented webinars in conjunction with the Alban Institute in the USA. She does this from her living room!
The National Mission team are exploring the use of webinars, they may prove to be a useful tool for the Mission Symposium; we will keep you up to date on our progress.
To opt-in to the monthly Mission Possible ezine, email us.
I recently spoke at North Shore Presbytery, the following day I ran several workshops with ministers and youth workers. I am always encouraged to hear stories of churches that are committed to serving young people and about ways that they are doing this. I would like to see smaller church congregations dialoguing with each other more about potential partnerships. Often critical mass can be a factor in youth ministry, this can be achieved by churches coming together to run collective events and mission projects. There are churches in Christchurch that are doing this with some success, and speaking at the UCANZ conference certainly highlighted for me the value of having such conversations around working together more in youth ministry.
I have begun a conversation with Robin Palmer of Scott's College exploring how we can strengthen the relationship between our schools and churches (this was a follow-up from the Presbyterian School's Conference). There are a number of opportunities for how this might happen, including mentoring, helping with chapel services and sharing curriculum resources for Christian education and practice. It would be wonderful to see the best and brightest students wanting involvement in leadership within Presbyterian faith communities. If some of you are involved with Presbyterian schools as a church, please email me stories of your involvement. I know some presbyteries are re-thinking their level of influence which, for some, has receded over the years. Our schools, in one sense, are our biggest youth ministries and we cannot afford to take a hands-off approach and let their special character or Presbyterian identity become either sidelined or a token influence. Rather, as Mark and Caroline Johnston encouraged school principals and chaplins to do, we need to explore how the faith dimension can infuse the life of a school.
Training is a key part of my role as Kids Friendly Coach and it’s something I love to do. I get a real buzz from leading workshops and inspiring, equipping and challenging people in their ministry to and with children, so I am really excited to be extending this opportunity for training: the pilot of our first “Kids Friendly Connections” regional training and networking event. The idea for this came out of our bi-annual Kids Friendly coaching clinic, where we invite presbyteries to nominate people to participate in a weekend of learning about the Kids Friendly way, processes and resources so that they can return to their regions champions for Kids Friendly and co-ordinators of children’s ministry networks.
Feedback from participants is that they benefit enormously from the learning, fellowship and time for reflection offered, and that they often return to their churches personally refreshed and inspired. This is what we will aim to replicate at our Kids Friendly Connections events.
In November, ten children’s leaders from Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery will meet in Wanaka for a weekend designed specifically for their training needs. Workshops will be delivered by me and my colleagues Cheryl Harry (Dunedin Kids Friendly coach) and Lorraine Morgan (Kids Friendly co-ordinator). My hope and belief is that much of the learning will result from the sharing that happens when space and time is made available for like-minded people to work, learn and play together.
A trademark of these events is the hospitality including comfortable and well-located accommodation (thanks to the generosity of St Andrew’s Geraldine parishioners this time), lots of nurture and delicious food. There is also always time for recreation, rest and worship. If this sounds like something the leaders in your region deserve and could benefit from, contact Kids Friendly to book your Kids Friendly Connections event.
Kids Friendly Coach
It is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW)
To order white ribbons please contact Alison Wall, IDEVAW Project Officer either by email: or mail: White Ribbons, PO Box 730, Palmerston North 4440 with your organisation's name and contact person, phone number, email address, postal address for delivery (a PO Box address is acceptable for under 1000 ribbons) and how many ribbons you want.
Hurry as orders will be filled before 10 November.
Donations towards the cost of materials and distribution of white ribbons would be welcome. Please write a cheque to 'UNIFEM New Zealand' noting that it is for the UNIFEM White Ribbon campaign and post to: UNIFEM Treasurer, PO Box 12 473, Thorndon, WELLINGTON 6144 or make a direct payment to UNIFEM’s bank account: Westpac Bank 03 0518 01611 16 00
An exciting and challenging opportunity exists for an inspirational and experienced senior executive to give leadership within BB and ICONZ. This is an Auckland based full time role that offers a stimulating supportive work environment, and a commitment to work-life balance.
Applications close Monday 30th November 2009
For more information and an application form please contact: Executive Officer 09 448 1157 or email email@example.com
Professional auctioneer Geoff Leathwick attends Hornby Presbyterian Community Church and he is offering his auctioneering skills to Christchurch churches free of charge. If your church would like Geoff to be the auctioneer at your fundraising auction email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 3473376.
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors for November will be 4.50% (unchanged from last month). The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
An opportunity to combine a summer holiday in Wanaka, one of the most beautiful areas in New Zealand, with a forum to learn, share and discuss
Aspiring Faith Community invites all interested people: church members and leaders, members of the public and families to explore and reflect on the Christian faith in relation to some current issues in society.
Download the brochure and application form.
The major source of income for Talua Ministry Training Centre, Vanuatu, comes from student fees. Talua operates on a cash economy, while most students come from a subsistence economy. Most students struggle to pay their fees. In theory for PCV students the presbytery, family, and the student pay a third of their fees each – the reality is there is simply not enough money. For example most pastors in Vanuatu are not receiving pay from their congregations.
A basic fee structure per year is as follows: Single mission student NZ$ 1060 + 130 food allowances. Single diploma student NZ$ 1100 + 130 food allowances. Married diploma student NZ$ 1310 + 710 food allowances. Degree student NZ$ 4000 + food allowances.
Currently all PCV staff are still owed one months wages from the end of 2008 and it is likely a similar situation will arise later this year. This is a matter for constant prayer and we respectfully ask if you can assist. Contact the Rev Ken Williams.
Applications for national assessment must be submitted to the registrar of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership by 20 December. The applications must be fully complete which means that presbytery assessment of the candidate would have taken place prior to the application being submitted. Applications are to be accompanied by the presbytery’s recommendation and completed medical forms. All forms are available on the Knox web page.
Due to the application process and the required work to be completed by May the following year, no late applications can be accepted after 20 December 2009.
Edited by the Rev Ken Williams, the newsletter titled, "Keeping Current" aims to keep you informed about Talua Ministry Training Centre’s events, projects, possibilities, prayer and financial needs. To receive the email newsletter contact: the Rev Ken Williams.
Tearfund is joining the call for churches that have bells to ring out in the run up to the UN climate negotiations which begin in Copenhagen on 7 December 2009. They suggest bells be rung at a time when people will hear them and when they will not be expecting them. They suggest that it is a great way to make some noise in your community that raises awareness about climate change and your church’s commitment to climate justice. For more information see Tearfund.
Samantha Jeune, a 15 year old soprano from Christchurch, has released a fundraising CD of sacred songs, arias, hymns and prayers called “Grant Us Thy Peace”. Her first CD, “In My Father’s House” raised $4000 for the Canterbury Charity Hospital. The new CD features familiar songs including “How Beautiful Are The Feet” (from Handel’s “Messiah”) and Schubert’s “Ave Maria”. Both CDs are $25 each from: CD for Charity, PO Box 29403, Fendalton, Christchurch. Make cheques payable to Samantha Jeune. See the website for more information.
The Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University, is co-hosting a major conference on the Ethical Foundations of Public Policy on 10 and 11 December 2009 at Rutherford House Lecture Theatre One, Bunny Street, Wellington. The conference will bring together academics from a range of disciplines, politicians, public servants and NGO representatives.
Key themes include: speaking truth to power, protecting the global commons, measuring progress, ethics and economics, justice and equality, ethics and health, and the ethics of decision making.
Want to provide a child without sight their first Braille dictionary? Braille dictionaries have been previously unavailable in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Each dictionary produced costs 8 Euros and the goal for this project is to provide 300 visually impaired children with their own dictionary. The total amount needed for the dictionaries is EUR 2400 and the amount raised so far is EUR 505. For more information on donating visit the website.
Nick, Simon and Hannah, Koryo Tours Ltd.
CWS partners are still responding to the flooding emergency in the Philippines, the Indonesian earthquake and the Pacific tsunami. Ongoing support will be needed for all the affected communities to rebuild and recover livelihoods. Please donate to the CWS appeals for the Philippines, Indonesia and Pacific on their website or phone 0800 74 73 72. Appeal leaflets have been sent to all churches; download from the CWS website if you have not received a copy. Please keep these communities in your prayers as they continue to respond to those in need.
CWS has produced a special Advent calendar as part of the Christmas Appeal. Countdown to Christmas Day by placing coins on the ways CWS partners help people get water, food, education, environmental protection, income, peace and look after themselves. All money raised supports the CWS Christmas Appeal - great for children’s groups and grandparents. Order your free copies now by email.
It is not too late to order your resources including service sheets, candles, language posters and appeal envelopes. Materials are also available on the CWS website. Email Liz if you would like to request a CWS speaker to promote the appeal. Orders by email or fax to 03 365 2919.
Actions are intensifying in the build up to the UN conference in Copenhagen in December. New information, statements and reports are being regularly added to the CWS website. We are still collecting Pacific Petitions and postcards to John Key calling for urgent action by world leaders.