From the Moderator
What amazing resources of wisdom and skill we have in our emeritus ministers! One of my tasks as Moderator is to write and congratulate our senior clergy as they reach significant anniversaries of their ordination – and February is the most popular month. It has been a delight to hear the stories of these men (the women are too young as yet) as they have served Christ in the parishes of New Zealand, each making a difference in their own way, often ably assisted by dedicated wives. And at the end of last year, it was a privilege to honour the memory of the Rev Tiakina Manihera of Te Aka Puaho, at his tangi in Ruatahuna, and to mourn the loss of the venerable Rev Ian Dixon of Christchurch, who taught Pastoral Theology to many of us at the Theological Hall.
At the other end of the spectrum can we pray for the graduates from the School of Ministry and their families – those who are being ordained and inducted into various ministry positions around the country at this time, and others whose future is yet to be clarified?
This month I head for the presbyteries of Ashburton and the Bay of Plenty, to meet with parishes and encourage them in their Christ-centred, community-facing mission, and then early in March will attend the 50th celebrations and General Committee Meeting of the Christian Conference of Asia in Prawat, Indonesia.
In the meantime, may blessings of light and love surround you.
Assembly Office update
Welcome back after the holidays.
I hope that you have been able to have some well earned rest and recreation. I managed to enjoy a few days on Great Barrier Island before returning to the office earlier in January. The rest of the family are still there – and by all account having a great time in my absence.
Happenings in the office
After the exchange of some rather imaginative secret Santa gifts most of the 10 Wellington Assembly Office staff had dinner together at a local Mexican restaurant. A lot of fun – but tinged with a degree of sadness as we said farewell to our human resource manager Marilla Hood.
There is not, at present, an intention to replace Marilla. Juliette Bowater will continue in her role, which among other things, includes working with parishes on employment and personnel matters; coordinating the reception processes for ministers from overseas and other churches becoming Ministers in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand; and fulfilling our legal obligations in relation to the registrar of Births Death and Marriages. She is a source of knowledge and good advice so please do not hesitate to contact her.
Complaints officer appointment
A major aspect of Marilla’s work has been the oversight and coordination of complaints and disciplinary matters relating to ministers and church members. While infrequent, dealing well with such complaints is enormously time and resource consuming.
I am delighted to announce that Mrs Heather McKenzie, the clerk of the Synod of Otago and Southland, has been appointed by the Council of Assembly as our new complaints officer. We are most grateful for the support of the Synod in allowing the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand to contract Heather’s services for this task. Heather will continue in her role as synod clerk but will also take on the responsibilities of overseeing and coordinating the church complaints and disciplinary processes. She will also coordinate all the judicial processes associated with appeals to the General Assembly relating to decisions made by presbyteries. As you may know, Heather is also the contact person for people seeking advice on the Book of Order. Her contact number is 0800 762-222 or (03) 477-7365.
Heather knows the Church well and has significant insight and experience into judicial processes. While I will continue to have oversight of all these activities, and generally act as the church spokesperson on these matters, I know that Heather will do a great job in fulfilling this difficult and demanding role. All complaints contact people will be contacted directly with information about Heather’s appointment.
The Assembly Office is also seeking ways to ensure that churches are both aware of and comply with health and safety legislation. While the Government might set rules, there are also matters central to our faith in ensuring that our churches and congregations express the values, quality and character of what it means to be God’s children together. There are limits to what we can do from the Assembly Office but we are looking at ways to help congregations provide safe, caring and healthy environments for all who work, worship or use church facilities.
School of Ministry – Centre for Christian Leadership
February 11 is a special day for our Church as we celebrate the induction of the Rev Dr Graham Redding into the new role of director of the Centre for Christian Leadership. Graham will be supported in his work by the Establishment Board who will hold their inaugural meeting a couple of weeks after the induction service. (The Rev Dr Murray Rae is the convenor of the Establishment Board).
There is an exciting and hope-filled vision supporting the development of the Centre. Providing the best nation-wide resources available to support the training of our present and future leaders is a uniting vision for us and will strengthen our work together for God’s Kingdom. There is no doubt that a lot is going to be asked from parishes and presbyteries in the support of the new training an internship programme, but the potential benefits for our Church and its mission are very significant. It is not too early to start thinking now about how you could work with Graham and the rest of the team to provide internship opportunities and resources. The Centre will be a key part of our mission focused church. The 12 outstanding people who were accepted for ministry training last October will probably become our inaugural students in this new training. The sense of call, quality and dedication of these 12 people is a real sign of God’s blessing for our Church.
New Years Honours
We would like to identify anyone associated with the Presbyterian Church who has been honoured in this year New Years Honours list. Please could you send me the name and contact details of any such people.
A Voyage of Discovery
One of our outstanding church missionaries, Graham Horwell, completed a reference book by this name just two days prior to his death. Margaret Horwell and the Rev Neal Whimp prepared the book for printing. I have to say that I really had no idea about the influence our Church has had on both the emergence and development of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, but also an associated involvement in the support of Vanuatu as a self-governing nation.
The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand made a good decision in making Vanuatu a focus for our Church’s outreach and support. It is a beautiful place with great people, but it among the economically poorest nations in the world. Vanuatu, along with the other islands of Melanesia, face some very significant challenges, but we can do something to fulfil both the Gospel mandate and have a part in regional stability by getting involved with Vanuatu through Andrew Bell at the Global Missions Office. Well done to those many youth and other church groups who have raised money, travelled to Vanuatu on short-term missions, and the friends and families supporting those who are currently sharing their skills, talents and faith with the people of Vanuatu.
The Moderator, members of Te Aka Puaho, Pacific Island Synod and other Church representatives joined for the first time in the annual Ratana Church celebrations.
Members of the Council of Assembly met in Auckland with members of the Asian Council, representing the churches whose members are predominantly of different Asian origins. We have identified several different aspects to the ways we can further enhance our support, encouragement and the integration of these emerging congregations into the life of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Writing about these things reminds me again of how much more we can do together than we could achieve alone. We share in this work. Seeing lives changed through the proclamation of the Gospel is the costly exciting fulfilling out come of the mission of God’s people. The generosity of your money, time and prayer is a cause of thanksgiving.
Please pray for the people and events touched upon in this update. Especially for Graham Redding and the staff of the new Centre as they go through a period of significant change. For the work of people like Graham Horwell and his faithfulness to the Gospel and especially for the people of Vanuatu and for wisdom in finding the right way to share our faith and resources. For staff at the Assembly Office. For Heather in her work for our national Church.
Assembly Executive Secretary
Registration with the Charities Commission
As previously reported, registrations with the Charities Commission for charitable status commences in February, and continues until 30 June 2008.
I have been advised by the secretary of the Church Property Trustees that negotiations are continuing with the Commission for a Presbyterian Church Aotearoa New Zealand group registration that would make it possible for parishes to continue to issue charitable receipts for donations, without having to individually register. The objective is to find a format that will satisfy the information requirements of the Commission while saving parishes and other church groups the tasks of registering directly in order to retain charitable status.
The response from the commission is not likely to be delivered until after the commencement of registration in February, so parishes are advised not to register until advised by the CPT or myself. As soon as information is received in this office, it will be communicated to the Church.
Please be assured that we are keen to ensure that all parishes and other church entities meet the compliance requirements in an as efficient way as possible.
Redefinition of Accessable income for Assembly Assessment
Please note the changes to accessible income agreed at GA06. These changes are to take place from the 2007/08 financial year, therefore apply to Statistics for the year to 30 June 2006. If you have already sent your statistics to this office and think the changes may reduce your accessible income, please advise me by 1 February. The changes will be incorporated on an updated and simplified statistics form.
The changes are as follows:
1. Assembly income to be reduced by an amount equivalent to any housing allowance paid to a minister or rental paid to provide a house for a minister. (Parishes should declare their full income and then deduct off any allowance or rental)
2. That all legacies (general and specific) to parishes be excluded from assessable income.
(Note that interest income on legacies will continue to be assessable).
3. That assessable income for the purposes of assembly assessment shall not include money specifically received for charitable appeals beyond the parish.
As a guide parish treasurers could consider the following approach:
“charitable appeal” to mean:
- That the exemption is only to apply to the proceeds of a charitable appeal
“specifically received” to mean:
- As the funds have to be specifically given to that appeal, proceeds should be separately identified at collection and properly accounted for
“beyond the parish” to mean:
- Where funds go to a non-parish agency, it operates predominantly outside the parish
- Where funds are retained by the parish itself they should be used within a reasonable time for activities outside the parish boundaries.
(Note that the exemption will not apply to parish income that is raised for general purposes and spent outside the parish – even where such expenditure is in accordance with the parish budget. There must be a specific charitable appeal).
4. That assessable income for the purposes of assembly assessment shall not include money received for specific presbytery approved building projects.
As a guide parish treasurers could consider:
“money received for – projects” to mean:
- Funds received for the project should be separately identified at collection and properly accounted for
“specific presbytery approved” to mean:
- The parish to have a presbytery recommendation of the building project to the Church Property Trustees, and CPT approval, prior to the receipt of funds for the building project
“building projects” to mean:
- The purchase or construction of a building
- The refurbishment or major maintenance of a building used for parish purposes
(Given that the above criteria are met then all funds that are raised will be eligible whether in reasonable anticipation of construction, to meet direct project costs or to repay a loan that funded the building).
School of Ministry udpate
School of Ministry Scholarships
Post-graduate Scholarship 2007
The School of Ministry, Knox College invites applications from suitable candidates for the 2007 Post Graduate Scholarship. The scholarship aims to promote and develop the theological and teaching resources of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. In order to qualify for 2007, you must have graduated from the School of Ministry between 2002 and 2006. The scholarship will contribute to the cost of fees, travel and living expenses for one year, incurred as part of post-graduate study in New Zealand or abroad, as approved by the Senatus of the School. If working towards a two year MTheol or three year PhD, the recipient may apply for a further one or two years funding, subject to Senatus approval. On completion, it is expected that the recipient proceed to service within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. The submission deadline is Tuesday 30 March 2007.
Your application must include:
A letter of application, a statement of study goals and how the study will benefit you and the Church, information on where you want to study and possible supervisors, an estimate of study costs, a curriculum vitae, your academic transcripts, the names of two confidential referees (not currently on the staff of the School.
Please send applications to:
School of Ministry
For further information, visit the School of Ministry website.
Ministry Study Grants
Are you a Presbyterian minister planning on further study? Do you know that you can apply for a Study Grant from the School of Ministry?
Applications are invited in April and September each year for Post-ordination Study Grants for ministers in good standing of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. These grants are made possible through the generosity of the Mary Ann Morrison and M S Robertson estates and are administered by the Senatus of the School of Ministry.
What are the rules?
- The proposed course of study will aid the applicant's professional development
- There is a potential benefit to the Church and the probability of significant service to the Church
- Parish and presbytery approval has been obtained for the study, where appropriate.
In normal circumstances grants do not exceed one-third of the study costs involved and may be held in conjunction with other scholarships and grants other than the Postgraduate Scholarship. Grant's are not made retrospectively and relate only to costs to be incurred by the scholarship holder themselves.
How do I apply?
Applicants are asked to address the criteria and set out their expected costs including conference fees, tuition fees, basic accommodation and travel, and to supply any other information that may be relevant.
School of Ministry
Arden Street Opoho
Due dates 30 April and 30th September.
Global Mission Office update
I should not be writing this article. One of the numerous young people from our church who have spent their holidays overseas should be. But they are all only just returning and have not as yet had an opportunity to file their reports. What is exciting though is the fact that they did not spend their summer holidays on the beach (and given the summer we have had neither did the rest of us). Rather for much of last year, they planned, talked, prayed, fundraised and finally went overseas. Going takes time to arrange. We get many calls from enthusiastic people who want to go yesterday. It just simply does not work like that. But given enough time, it is amazing to see what can be pulled together.
What is really exciting is the variety of tasks undertaken and places that they served in. We certainly have some courageous young people in our midst. Mo and Kirk Morgan helped on a building project in Kenya and in a Youth Centre in Zambia. Tala Page worked with Kathryn McDaniel in the prison ministry in Chiang Mai for seven weeks. Jo Ryan attended a consultation for young leaders hosted by the Institute of World Christianity in St Louis, Missouri. Andrew Colgan, Sophie Parnham, Andrew Johnston and Geoff Cooper went to work in an orphanage in Nepal and, as if that was not enough, went on to visit our friends in the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar. They have stories to tell and heaps of photos to share with anybody who is willing to listen. Their lives have been irreversibly changed. They have images of delight and hardship embedded in their souls. So if you would like to have them along to tell your congregation or youth group their story, give the GMO a call.
On top of these examples we have the story of Kirsten Bevan. Kirsten has spent 2006 fundraising significant sums of money to essentially self-fund her year’s service as a Music Teacher at Onesua Presbyterian College in Vanuatu. What makes her role really exciting is that a lot of her work will not only be in the formal classroom setting but through the running of bands and choirs as extramural activities for the boarders.
Heading up this drive for our young people to engage in global mission is our global youth manager, Josh Firth. His position has been made possible though a generous grant from PSDS. He exists to serve the young people in your congregation and to help you work out a plan for them to engage overseas up close, or from a distance. Added to Josh’s position, we were delighted when we received an application for the first ever GMO youth intern position. Emily Broughton hails from Malvern Cooperating Parish and graduated from Rangi Ruru Girls School in 2006. Emily is an outstanding young lady who will give a year of her life studying mission-related papers at Carey Bible College and working in the GMO.
So why not consider investing in one of your young people this year? How about offering a scholarship and inviting applications from your young people to serve overseas at the end of 2007. Challenge them to give themselves as a gift next Christmas. Or possibly you could challenge them all to fundraise to support a particular GMO project. Let’s have the young people writing the news.
Global Mission Enabler
Churches Agency on Social Issues
Broadsheet – articles on current social issues. Published six times per year. Available from the CASI website. Email or print copies available by contacting Paul at CASI office, PO Box 6469 Wellington.
Overcoming violence – is New Zealand becoming a more violent society? We have seen a spate of murders and violent attacks over the summer. What is happening, what are the alternatives, and what can Christians be doing now? This discussion paper has been prepared by CASI for use by groups, or for comment through our website. We don’t have the answers, but we consider this to be an issue of vital importance for New Zealand. Visit the website or contact us directly.
Climate change/global warming – The film An Inconvenient Truth was shown in cinemas around New Zealand last year and made a big impact on lots of people. The issue is still very much in the news and is not one that is going to fade away. CASI produced a resource document on this in 2003, but a lot has happened since then. We are in the process of updating the resource and also of building a section on our website which will have extra information, links and resources. Find out what others are saying and doing. Find resources for use in your church. Tell us about what you are doing. Watch this page on our website.
Spiritual Growth Ministries
Now Available - Spiritual Growth Ministries programme of events throughout New Zealand for 2007 and the latest Refresh Journal entitled Creativity and Spirituality. If you would like a copy of either or both contact the Administrator, Carole Hunt.
Hewitson Library latest acquisitions
Click here to see the new acquisitions list for November 2006.
The Church Register lists additions to, deletions from, and changes in status on the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Ministerial Roll as advised by Presbytery Clerks as at 25 January 2007
Please amend the roll in your yearbook accordingly.
Alofa Lale, Ordinand, Wellington Presbytery, to Licentiate, Wellington Presbytery on 3 December 2006.
Nimarota Lale, Ordinand, Wellington Presbytery, to Licentiate, Wellington Presbytery on 3 December 2006.
Tekura Wilding, Ordinand, South Auckland Presbytery, to Licentiate, South Auckland Presbytery on 30 November 2006.
Dennis Flett, Ordinand, Bay of Plenty Presbytery, to Licentiate, Bay of Plenty Presbytery, on 28 November 2006.
Barry Kelk, was licensed and ordained as a Local Ordained Minister, Dunedin Presbytery, 10 December 2006.
Rev Brian Walker, Baptist Union of New Zealand was received and inducted as Minister Balmoral/St Andrews Presbyterian on 10 December 2006.
Rev Ben Dykman, Church of England in South Africa, was received as a Minister within the Bounds, Auckland Presbytery, 25 October 2006.
Ordinations & inductions
Rev Martin Baker, Minister, First Church Dunedin, to Assembly Executive Secretary on 14 November 2006.
Rev Guy Pilkinton, Minister, Browns Bay/Torbay Parish, to Minister, Waitara Parish on 19 October 2006.
Rev Martin J Stewart, Minister, Highgate Presbyterian, to Minister, St Stephens Parish, Christchurch, on 23 November 2006.
Rev Stephanie Wells, Licentiate, Auckland Presbytery was ordained and inducted as Minister, Maniototo Parish, Central Otago Presbytery on 10 December 2006.
Rev Barry Kelk, Dunedin Presbytery, inducted as Local Ordained Minister to Highgate Parish, Dunedin, on 1 February 2007.
Rev Roy Pearson, Global Mission Project Officer, Port Vila, to Minister, Birkenhead St Andrews and St Phillips, North Shore, on 25 January 2007.
Rev Selwyn Yeoman, Minister within the Bounds, Presbytery, to Associate Minister at Coastal Unity Parish, Dunedin Presbytery, on 14 February 2006.
Changes in status
Rev Don Ikitoelagi, Minister within the Bounds, Auckland Presbytery, changed to Lodged Certificate, Auckland Presbytery on 16 May 2006.
Rev Paul Fransham, Minister with the Bounds, Auckland Presbytery, changed to Lodged Certificate, Auckland Presbytery on 4 January 2007.
Rev Bruce Howat, Lodged Certificate, Auckland Presbytery, changed to Minister within the Bounds, Auckland Presbytery on 21 December 2006.
Rev Brian Wade, Minister within the Bounds, Auckland Presbytery, changed to Lodged Certificate, Auckland Presbytery on 21 December 2006.
Rev Fred Bradley, Minister within the Bounds, Auckland Presbytery, changed to Lodged Certificate, Auckland Presbytery on 21 December 2006.
Rev Robin Shallcrass, Minister Emeritus, Dunedin Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery on 1 November 2006.
Rev Mary Lloyd Shallcrass, Waikouaiti Parish, Dunedin Presbytery, transferred to Christchurch Presbytery as Minister Emerita on 17 December 2006.
Rev Mark Stephens, Minister, Burwood United St Kentigerns, Christchurch Presbytery, to remain Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, 11 July 2006.
Rev David Simmers, Ministers Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, resigned from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand on 21 November 2006.
Sr Dulcie Bluck, Deaconess, Southland Presbytery, died on 22 December 2006. Rev Tiakina Manihera, Ruatahuna, Te Aka Puaho, died on 24 November 2006.
Rev Richard Dudley Ives, Minister Emeritus, Bay of Plenty Presbytery, died on 23 November 2006.
Click here to see the full table of vacancies