General Assembly 2021 online news
Update 30 August 2021: General Assembly to go online
GA21was to be held from Wednesday 29 September to Sunday 3 October 2021 at St Andrew's College, Christchurch. On 30 August 2021, the Council of Assembly wrote to the Church to advise that Assembly will now be held online due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 Delta variant. Details of the online Assembly will be advised to the Church within the next week by the Assembly Business Workgroup, including the date, length and business of the Assembly.
“Council of Assembly has considered our current environment and, having determined that the threshold for exceptional circumstances has been met, Council has taken the decision to hold General Assembly 2021 online…. In making this decision, Council wish to clarify that it is now up to the Assembly Business Work Group, in consultation with the Clerk of Assembly and the incoming Moderator, to plan and order the business and other activities of the online Assembly – and to bring a recommendation to the Assembly (as is always the case) of what the agenda for the Assembly will be”.
Update 3 September 2021: Online Assembly dates advised to Commissioners - 29-30 Sept 2021
The Assembly Business Work Group has advised Commissioners of the timing of the online General Assembly 2021. The timeframe that is required of Commissioners is attendance on the Wednesday evening of 29 September 2021 from 7pm and then the morning and afternoon of Thursday 30 September 2021, from 8.30am to 5 pm (there will be scheduled breaks).
Wednesday evening will begin the General Assembly 2021 with an Opening Service of Worship.
Thursday morning at 8.30 am business sessions will begin. General Assembly will end with the nomination, election and presentation of the incoming Moderator Designate.
The Assembly Business Work Group recognise that the short time frame until the General Assembly constrains them in a number of areas. The decision has been made to include only those things that need to be decided upon at this time.
Special General Assembly, April 27 – 30 2022
The Assembly Business Work Group will be recommending that all reports and business that will not come to the online Assembly 29 - 30 September 2021, will come to a Special Assembly (April 27 – 30 2022). Planning for this event will begin soon and will involve a parallel pathway so that if the country is in lockdown they will have the time to prepare for a full online Assembly, as well as our usual in person event. In this way the Church will be able to consider all the business of Assembly. Commissioners for a Special Assembly will be the same as for the electronic assembly.
GA21 in Christchurch (see new information above regarding GA21 online)
General Assembly was to be held from Wednesday 29 September to Sunday 3 October 2021 at St Andrew's College, Christchurch, however due to Covid-19 the Assembly will now be online.
The original plan was for GA21 to begin at 7pm on Wed 29 September with a powhiri and opening service at the St Andrew’s College chapel. The GA registration desk and accommodation at St Andrew's were to open at 2pm on Wednesday. GA was to conclude on Sunday 3 October with a communion service scheduled for 11am. Ministers' Training Day was to be held Wednesday 29 September starting at 9.30am. See more on the GA21 website.
A dedicated stand-alone GA21 website http://ga2021.nz/ was launched by the GA Local Arrangements Committee 1 July 2021. As in previous years, the GA website is where you will register, and where you will find information on GA fees, travel subsidy, venue, accommodation, Moderator theme, the Ministers' Day, the full GA programme, and when the White Papers will be sent to Commissioners.
LAC GA21 Updates (see new information above regarding GA21 online)
(Note, GA21 updates relate to the planned in-person General Assembly at St Andrew's College - this event has now become an online General Assembly 29-30 Oct 2021).
See the GA21 website for all LAC GA21 Updates sent regularly by LAC to parishes. You will also find links to these GA Updates below.
- Update No.1 - 28 June 2021, GA21 Video Update by Moderator designate Rev Hamish Galloway: Venue, theme, what Commissioners can look forward to at GA.
- Update No.2 - 19 August 2021 by Local Arrangements with Moderator designate Rev Hamish Galloway: What Commissioners can look forward to at GA; information on registration, accommodation, meals, parking; when White Book will be sent to Commissioners; Covid-19 Alert levels - will Assembly go online?
After GA21 (see new information above regarding GA21 online)
When GA was planned as an in-person event (it will now be held online) for those who wished to stay on, a Moderator’s golf tournament was scheduled for after lunch on Sunday 3 October, 1.30pm – 4.30pm at Christchurch Hagley Golf Club.
Venue change 2020
On 25 November 2020, the Moderator Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio and Assembly Clerk Rev Wayne Matheson, wrote to parishes, presbyteries, ministers and clerks and staff to advise of the decision to hold General Assembly from Wednesday 29 September to Sunday 3 October 2021 at St Andrew's College, Christchurch.
"Our original intent was to continue to hope General Assembly would be held at Lindisfarne College in Hastings. As the months have gone by, we have become more aware of the challenges we face in pursuing this option. One of the major issues is air travel to and from Napier Airport, the limited options we face currently, and most likely, moving forward. There have been conversations with the Local Arrangements Team around this and other matters.
"An approach was made to Central Presbytery to determine if the Assembly was relocated from Hawke’s Bay could it be hosted in the Wellington region. They advised they were not able to accommodate this change. Subsequently, we have been in conversation with Alpine Presbytery and they have warmly and graciously responded and accepted the invitation to host General Assembly 2021.
"Therefore, in the light of this, we as the Moderator and the Assembly Clerk, using the provisions of the Book of Order Section 14.29(2) have made the decision to transfer the General Assembly, now to be held within the bounds of Alpine Presbytery.
"St Andrew’s College have been approached and they confirm they can once again accommodate us and are grateful for the opportunity.
"The dates for the Assembly will be Wednesday 29 September to Sunday 3 October 2021.
"Some of you will be wondering what will happen to our plans, your plans, should we face Covid-19 gathering restrictions during September 2021. We would of course comply with any government recommendations and make a call on our gathering in a timely way. We are working with the Book of Order Advisory Committee, should an in-person gathering not be possible, to hold Assembly electronically.
"Please join us in praying for all who will be involved in the planning and preparation for General Assembly 2021."
Download the letter to all parishes, presbyteries, ministers and session clerks.
On 31 March 2020, the Moderator Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio and Assembly Clerk Rev Wayne Matheson, wrote to parishes, presbyteries, ministers and clerks to advise that in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, using the provisions of the Book of Order Section 14.29(2), they had made the decision to postpone the 2020 General Assembly until September/October 2021, to be held within the bounds of Presbytery Central.
“We have listened to our public health and epidemiological experts who remind us that the measures we need to have in place will be required for some months. Even then, no one should imagine that the COVID-19 season will have ended, certainly not on a national scale.
“We have asked, what is the Spirit saying to the Church?
“We have spent time in prayer.
“We recognise the implications of this decision and will be working on those in the days and weeks ahead. We will keep you informed as we proceed.
“We invite you to join us in praying for our country; our people; our Church. And let us… ‘Stay home, wash our hands, and be kind’.
“Na, ma te Atua, nana te tumanako, e whakaki koutou ki te hari, ki te rangimarie, i runga i te tumanako ki a ia, kia hua ai to koutou tumanako, i runga i te kaha o te Wairua Tapu./ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)”
Download the letter to all parishes, presbyteries, ministers and session clerks.