From the Moderator
During February, I have continued my visits to Presbyteries and parishes – to Ashburton, Bay of Plenty and to Te Aka Puaho, our Maori Synod.
I have been struck again by the huge diversity in our Church, especially as I have heard the stories of local mission. It’s exciting to find the call to Christ-centred and community- facing mission is as real for those planting congregations in our fasted growing area in New Zealand (Papamoa, along the coast from Mt Maunganui), as it is for the small rural community in Mayburn in Canterbury, who are figuring out what it means to be in mission to their transient neighbours on dairy farms, and for the Union parish in Taupo that is finding ways to offer ministry to tourists and to those who service the local tourist industry. Each parish in its own way is involved in LOCAL mission.
Diversity was also the theme of a conference I was invited to address in Hamilton – the National Interfaith Conference. I was asked to share how our church has arrived at a place where the leadership of women is accepted and, with a panel of leaders from five other faiths, give Christian input into the question “what does your faith community add to the well-being of New Zealand?” What would you have said? The proceedings of this conference make interesting reading, as we struggled together with the Human Rights Commissioner and others to prepare a statement. (It can be found on the Human Rights Commission website).
Finally it was wonderful to be present at our church marae in Ohope to offer a blessing to the seven students who have completed their studies as Amorangi ministers and are now available to be called to serve in the parishes of Te Aka Puaho. It was a service of great joy.
Early next month I will go to Parapat in Indonesia to the celebrations of 50 years of the Christian Conference of Asia (once know as the East Asian Christian Council). Many New Zealand Presbyterians have given amazing service in Asia through this regional ecumenical body. We particularly remember and salute the work of Alan Brash and John and Rita England.
I hope you have a great month
Assembly Office update
Ni Hao (according to Mandarin Pinyin system) is a Mandarin greeting. For Cantonese you may say Nay Hoo.
I’ve discovered that I can walk to work in 25 minutes. Mind you, most of that time is spent in a kind of modified free-fall from the manse located in the suburb of Highbury above Kelburn. Getting back home is another issue.
Happenings in the Office
I am delighted that Brendan Sweeney has become our permanent director of financial services. Brendan had been working in this role on a contract basis. As a permanent member of the staff he will provide long-term stability in this important area of our Assembly Office activity.
We welcome Melania Botar to the staff as a permanent part-time senior accounts clerk. Melania will have oversight of the general ledger and will work closely with Brendan in the production of the monthly reports.
We have started getting our office tea and coffee from the local Trade Aid store as a way of doing our part to observe the General Assembly support for Fair Trade commodities. The tea and coffee are just fine. I would encourage other congregations and parish offices around the country to access their morning tea supplies from a Fair Trade supplier.
The Rev Mark Chapman and his team at Clevedon Presbyterian provided yet another inspiring and uplifting training event for church leaders, which I was privilege to attend at the end of January. Great food, good conversation and some very encouraging and challenging presentations.
I think we should make a very special effort to support and encourage these initiatives. Mark in your diaries now the excellent South Island Pastors Conference on 8 – 10 May 2007 - “the challenge of being a Missional Church”, hosted by East Taieri Presbyterian. I am sure they would welcome some North Islanders as well!
A highlight for February was the induction of the Rev Dr Graham Redding as the new director for the Centre of Christian Leadership. The service was another uplifting event, with good preaching and a balance of contemporary and traditional music. An excellent supper was provided by members of the Highgate Parish and the presbytery of Dunedin. An opportunity too for me to meet some of the fantastic people who have begun their training for the Ordained Ministry. We have some outstanding ministers coming through so let’s make sure we create the opportunities for them to exercise their gifts and fulfill their sense of God’s call on their lives.
Te Aka Puaho
Members of our church joined with the Moderator in an important partnership meeting with leaders from Te Aka Puaho at St Paul’s Union Church in Taupo on 21 February. It was a chance to talk directly about the concerns and hopes we share together and to hear about the very positive developments centered around Te Wananga a Rangi – the Marae-based training centre at Ohope. The Rev Wayne Te Kaawa is leading the reestablishment of the training programme here with the graduation for new Amorangi held on 23 February.
The meeting was very productive and helped clarify for me the relationship between the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Te Aka Puaho (TAP). Each year the Church contributes around $130,000 to the ministry and mission work of Te Aka Puaho – focusing especially on the communities around Whakatane and on the edges of the Urewera National park as well as the work of TAP in other parts of New Zealand. The money given to support this work enables several full-time ministers, administrative support and the work of a number of self-supporting ordained ministers (Amorangi) to fulfil an important ministry. The expenditure of a relatively modest amount of money in comparison to the extend of outreach and mission to some of our country's most isolated and vulnerable communities is something we should be actively praying for and supporting. I would encourage you to make contact with Wayne and to speak with him about how your parish might become involved in supporting this work and learning about the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand's unique history and involvement with Maori from the Urewera region.
Amanda Wells our communications manager and I are looking at ways to enhance a sense of collegiality and mutual support and encouragement among our ministers and church leaders. Without being intrusive we would like people to know of important events in the life of our colleagues so that we can offer words of encouragement, celebration or condolence. We are not entirely sure of the most appropriate way to do this, but a starting point would be to ensure that we are informed of important events that can be shared with others. So, in matters of births, deaths and marriages, for example, please let me know so that we can decide how, when or whether to distribute the information.
Council of Assembly
The Council of Assembly meets at Ohope from 22 to 24 March. As we try to get all agenda material to Council members 10 days prior to the meeting, it is important that any correspondence or other communications with the Council is received well before our meeting time. Among a number of items on our agenda we will be looking at the progress of our various task groups, hearing reports from the resource and leadership committees, discussing the work of the Churches' Agency on Social Issues and discussing the development of a longer-term mission strategy document for the Church.
Book of Order
We have received significant support from parishes and presbyteries for the Assembly decision to adopt the new Book of Order (BOO). We are working to develop the supplementary provisions – the details which will help parishes and presbyteries to deal with issues relating to the new requirements and regulations contained in the new BOO. Heather McKenzie is an invaluable first contact point for understanding the new requirements (ph. 0800 76 2222). The Book of Order and Judicial Reference Group, convened by Peter Whiteside oversees the writing of these provisions. We do need to be alerted to areas where you may be finding it difficult to understand the new BOO or where supplementary provisions need to be provided. So please contact me or Heather so that we can raise these matters with Peter and the reference group.
Centre for Christian Leadership
The Establishment Board who will oversee the transition from the School of Ministry to the Centre for Christian Leadership held its first meeting on 23 February. The transition process will take two years with the first interns being placed in 2008. The final School of Ministry students will graduate in 2008 and in 2009 all ministry students will either be completing theological degrees or, if in their final two years of training, will be in internships. There are many issues and challenges but I think we have very good reason to have a high level of confidence in the extremely capable group of people serving on this board. The Rev Dr Murray Rae convenes this group and the new director is The Rev Dr Graham Redding. More information will be appearing on the School of Ministry website.
There are many people, parishes and communities involved in the issues and events touched upon here.
Please especially please pray for:
Mark Chapman and the people at Clevedon as they embark on the next stage of an exciting new missionary venture. Let us also give thanks for all these involved in the training and support of our church leaders.
For the staff in the Wellington Assembly Office seeking to serve and support the work of the Church.
For Wayne Te Kaawa and members of Te Aka Puaho and their special ministry and mission in often difficult and challenging circumstances. Thanks too for the unique history shared between the Church and Te Aka Puaho.
For the Council of Assembly as it meets in Ohope later this month and for all those involved in positions of leadership and decision making in our Church.
For our colleagues and friends in ministry – that they will be encouraged and supported in the work they do.
Thank you from all of us here at the Assembly Office – for your prayers and words of encouragement and interest. Over the coming year several of us will be visiting parishes and presbyteries throughout New Zealand. We do look forward to discussing with you the work we do together to fulfil God’s calling on the work and mission of our Church.
Assembly Executive Secretary
Changes to ministerial seniority allowance and expenses
As reported in the last finance newsletter, the recommendations of the Stipend Review Task Group relating to seniority allowance and expenses were adopted and will take effect from 1 July 2007. The changes to parish payments and assembly assessment are sumarised in the Resource Sub-Committee section of the website. Please contact me if you require further information.
Further to the article in the February Bush Telegraph, we still have not been advised by the Charities Commission as to their requirements for us to continue group registration. This advice is imminent, so even though you can now register as a parish for charitable status (the registration window is February 07 to July 08), please do not do so until we have been contacted by the Commission and can advise you accordingly.
Ministerial seniority allowance for the 2006/07 financial year has been calculated and will be paid in March. Notification of the payment has been sent to ministers. Please contact Margaret Fawcett if there is any change to ministers' bank account details.
I am very pleased to report that Melania Botar has joined the FSD team in the position of senior accounts clerk (part-time), effective from 27 February. Melania replaces Nick Coates who has been working on a temporary basis since September and who is now off overseas.
Director of financial services
Global Mission Office update
New minister needed for St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Suva
I’ll give you the bad news first. The Rev Sethy and Dorothy Regenvanu’s three-year term at St Andrew’s in Suva, Fiji is fast coming to a close. The good news is that they have done an outstanding job of re-energising this very interesting parish. It has been around a long time. It has a special ministry to the students of the University of the South Pacific. Thus it is a very ecumenical, youthful, multi-cultural (Pan Pacific) congregation with considerable influence throughout the Pacific. But it also faces some interesting and on-going challenges given its context.
The solidifying of the parish’s position has been so successful that another long-term vision is now a distinct possibility. The parish would like to conclude their time as a parish of the presbytery of Auckland and become the Presbyterian Church of Fiji.
The Global Mission Office is receiving expressions of interest on behalf of the parish from suitably qualified, ordained ministers who sense the call of God to guide this very challenging and rewarding congregation and ministry in the future. In the words of the session:
St Andrew’s needs a minister who is educationally able to minister to university students and graduates, has an ecumenical attitude and appreciation of different theological positions, and is able to communicate and work with people of diverse race and cultural background.
Please contact Andrew at the GMO for more information.
Global Youth have produced a pamphlet outlining what's on for Global Youth in 2007. Click here to download the pamphlet so that you can distribute it in your parishes. The pamphlet is designed to be double sided, three to a page.
Global Mission Enabler
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Hi! My name is Stephanie Redhead and I have the privilege of serving the Church, and in particular the youth, as the new South Island national youth coordinator. I am excited to be in this position and be able to build on the great stuff that Mo Mansill did.
I currently reside in Gore (Gorrrrre) with my husband who is the youth director at Calvin Church. We have been here for two years and have really enjoyed building the youth ministry at Calvin with such an awesome bunch of young people. I am currently setting up my office at Calvin and you can find the contact details below.
Before I was married and moved to the deep south I was born and bred in Christchurch. I was the youth worker at St Margaret’s Church in Bishopdale for about 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed my time there also. It has been interesting having experience in both city and small town youth ministries which is undoubtedly useful insight as I take on this new role.
I am passionate about Jesus and youth and I’m committed to seeing them both connected. The context of how that happens in youth ministries is very different for the variety of diverse regions, but the reason and the motivation behind what we do is the same. My job is to serve and support all of those youth ministries to help them achieve the goal of making Jesus Christ known.
The four primary functions of my role are: networking, advocacy, training and resourcing which I believe cover the needs of youth ministries nationwide. If there is anything I can do for you in these areas please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead and am excited about meeting so many people around the country.
Yours in Christ,
National youth coordinator
21 Robertson Street
Phone: (03) 208-6076
Mobile: 027 235 9670
Christian World Service
Lenten Journey - Open your eyes, open your ears
Worship resources for Lent following the theme of poverty written by parish ministers in New Zealand. “Poverty is like a cloak - covering but not keeping warm; hiding but not keeping safe. Those under the cloak know this, but we who are observers like to assume that those under the cloak are warm and safe. We make these assumptions because to think otherwise demands of us action.”
Beginning on Lent 1, 25 February until Palm or Passion Sunday 1 April the following resources are offered to you:
1. A new hymn for the series written and composed Colin Gibson, "Open your eyes, open your ears".
2. A candle ritual. Lent is a time of moving into deepening darkness so this candle ritual is a reversal of the lighting of the Advent Candles. We suggest that six candles, preferably black or a dark colour, are lit on the first Sunday of Lent. Each Sunday extinguish one more candle, so that the last candle is put out on Passion Sunday leaving only the Christ Candle burning. The candles may be in a row or surrounding the Christ Candle.
3. A concluding litany.
4. Suggested hymns for each Sunday.
5. Other liturgical resources, meditations and ideas for worship.
6. These suggestions do not follow the lectionary readings. So you may choose to focus on them as part of the overall service of worship.
These are available now for download from our website.
World Water Day - Give me a drink
Worship Resources for the United Nations' World Water Day, 22 March, for Sunday 18 or 25 March. Available now for download from our website.
“Water, Who Owns It?” - Many people believe that after oil, water will be the next big war-provoking issue in the world, as ever more pressure is put on scarce resources, especially in developing countries and other drought-prone areas. What is particularly of concern is that big business is endeavouring to take control of water to make profits from its distribution. Where poverty is rife this would mean a death-sentence for people who could no longer afford water.
The documentary looks at the case of Sri Lanka where CWS partner Monlar and its associated network of grass-roots organisations are struggling to ensure that the supply of water to small farmers is maintained, in face of strong pressure on the government from the World Bank to privatize the supply. The centuries-old tradition of rice growing is particularly at risk from such policies, which would drive millions of people off the land.
This is a documentary for reflection on water as it affects us all. To borrow a copy contact CWS, stating your preference, video or DVD and when you would like to borrow it, with an alternate date, by email or through PO Box 22652, Christchurch.
CWS update (an alternative news bulletin): March 07
The March 07 CWS update is avalable for download from the CWS website. Items include:
- Development: A new era of cooperation
- Sri Lanka: Visit to partner Monlar and the fallout from war
- Nicaragua: Sandinistas return to power
- Rice: The threat from privatisation
- Sudan/Darfur: Is there hope?
- Taking risks to protect the vulnerable
- Indonesia: Response to floods
- Uganda: A story in a glass of muddy water
Also: New CWS worship material; Media - demolishing myth of impartiality; Bush’s fantasy budget.
CAII Hot Topic 5 – Pacific paradise lost? Climate change
Read how the churches of New Zealand and the Pacific are responding to the challenge of climate change.
“Climate change is a critical issue facing the world today. It is having a long lasting affect on the planet. In this Hot Topic, the second in a series of three focusing on current issues in the Pacific, we explore how climate change is affecting the planet and the nations of the Pacific.
A question for New Zealand could be, if the small Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu does indeed disappear as the ocean rises would we be willing to take into our country the 11,000 climate change refugees?"
This discussion document is available for download as a PDF from the CWS website.
What’s happening in Christchurch
International Women’s Day – CWS is joining other NGOs in the Christchurch Cathedral Square on 8 March from 12.00noon - 2.00pm. Come and meet CWS staff, and find out about the work of women around the world in areas of human rights, workers rights, education, HIV and AIDS healthcare, sustainable agriculture and much more! Learn how your donation works to improve the lives of women and support organisations such as the Women’s Centre in Sri Lanka, the Women’s Resource and Development Centre in India, the House of Passage for girls in Brazil.
Women on Air – Plains 96.9FM - Saturday 10 March 10.00am-12.00noon. Hear an interview with Elizabeth Mackie about the work she has done for over 20 years with CWS, and stories of the women she has meet in that time, their struggles, successes and the growing partnership of women’s organisations with CWS.
Take Action Against Poverty - Support CWS's postcard campaign calling for more and better aid and action on debt. Order postcards from CWS.
Video resources – CWS has a wide range of videos for loan. Topics include: environment, peace building, food security, eradicating poverty and more. To download a copy of our video catalogue visit the CWS website.
Churches' Agency on Social Issues
Priority Issues for 2007
CASI members met in February to plan for the year. As we discussed our work and the issues that we can see ahead in 2007, the following priorities emerged:
- Climate change is gaining profile in the media and in politics. There are a whole cluster of issues around this: environment; sustainability; water as a resource; energy resources and energy use. Churches need to look at a theological understanding of the issues, and also at the environmental impact of our buildings and activities.
- Family issues are going to be important this year. Violence in families is something that we have to find a positive response to, but there will also be wider issues of family well-being.
- New Zealand has a "binge culture": binge drinking, binge gambling and binge spending. They are related issues which are coming up in various ways. We have to think about our responses to each of them.
- Rethinking crime and punishment was a conference last year that led to the setting up of a group to continue to work on these issues. How many more prisons do we have to build, and are more prisons really the answer? These are significant questions which continue to need a Christian response.
- The proposed National Statement on Religious Diversity impinges on another cluster of issues around the perception of a “New Zealand Identity”. Where do our values come from? How do we relate to changing ethnic and religious communities?
CASI has several functions. We monitor issues as they arise, provide research into the facts and figures, and produce resources which will inform and provoke the discussion that churches and groups need in order to make their own responses. We also have a commission to respond on our own initiative by making submissions to government or other bodies as appropriate.
The two Easter trading Bills are back in Parliament for further debate following the Select Committee process. CASI is concerned that neither of the Bills really addresses the issues. If you are concerned you need to continue to lobby your member of Parliament. See the CASI website for our comment.
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.
Stress survey feedback
Thanks to those who responded to the survey Stress and Burnout amongst those in Paid Pastoral Ministry circulated in December 2006 in conjunction with the National Mission Enabler's office. It is anticipated that the results will be available for those who requested them by June 2007. For those who still wish to participate, please contact me.
I would also like to acknowledge those who expressed concerns at various aspects of the survey. Your comments have been taken on board with respect to any future work in this area.
Mossburn Presbyterian Church
Hewitson Library latest acquisitions
Click here to see the new acquisitions list for December 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 February 2007.
Please amend the roll in your yearbook accordingly.
Christopher Konings, Wellington Presbytery, was licensed on 25 January 2007.
Christopher Purdie, Wellington Presbytery, was licensed on 25 January 2007.
Ordinations & Inductions
Rev David Balchin, Licentiate, Clutha Presbytery, to Minister, St James Waihi, Waikato Presbytery, on 14 February 2007.
Rev Donald Hegan, St Aidan’s Putaruru, Waikato Presbytery, to Minister, St Columba Tauranga, Bay of Plenty Presbytery, on 1 February 2007.
Rev Owen Rogers, Huntly Co-operating Parish, Waikato Presbytery, to Minister, St Margaret’s Belmont, North Shore Presbytery, on 31 January 2007.
Rev Chris Purdie, Licentiate, Wellington Presbytery, to Chaplain, Linton Army Base, Manawatu-Wanganui Presbytery, on 8 February 2007.
Rev Cameron Sinclair, NEV Development Unit, Dunedin Presbytery, to Hospital Chaplain, Dunedin and Wakari Hospitals and Otago Hospice, Dunedin Presbytery,8 February 2007.
Rev Dr Tony Martin, Interim Minister, Otago Peninsula Parish, Dunedin Presbytery, to Hospital Chaplain, Dunedin and Wakari Hospitals and Otago Hospice, Dunedin Presbytery,8 February 2007.
Changes in Status
Rev Peter MacKenzie, Minister, Johnsonville Uniting Church, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister within the Bounds, Wellington Presbytery, 4 February 2007.
Rev David Douglas, Minister within the Bounds, Bay of Plenty Presbytery, to Minister within the Bounds, Wellington Presbytery, on 8 January 2007.
Rev Dr Kerry Enright, Minister within the Bounds, Wellington Presbytery, to Lodged Certificate, Wellington Presbytery, 1 February 2007.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries
Rev Bill Clifford, Minister, Rongotea Uniting Church, Manawatu-Wanganui
Presbytery, to Minister, Tuakau Union Church, South Auckland Presbytery, on 9February 2007.
Rev Sui Te’o, Methodist Church, completed term as Minister, Hutt City Uniting Congregations, Wellington Presbytery, 28 January 2007.
Rev Tevita Taufalele, Methodist Church, to Minister, Hutt City Uniting Congregations, Wellington, Presbytery, 28 January 2007.
Rev Ruth Sandiford Phelan, Methodist Church, to Minister, St Paul’s Taumaranui, Waikato Presbytery, 3 February 2007.
Rev Lionel Nunns, Baptist Church, to Supply Ministry at Ngaio Union Church, Wellington Presbytery, 15 February 2007.
Rev Dr David Steedman, Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, died on 2 February 2007.
Click here to see the full table of vacancies