February 2008


From the Moderator

Greetings in this the New Year – I hope that for all of you it will be a year where your impact on the community in the name of Christ will bring hope, justice and compassion.

I began my year representing the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand at the funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary at Holy Trinity Cathedral. It reminded me how our spirituality as New Zealanders is unique to us, often rooted in the inspiring beauty of our land. I really admire how Sir Ed turned his celebrity status into practical and compassionate action for the people of Nepal.

There is a lot happening in February in our church… 

It will be a great privilege for Millie te Kaawa, the Moderator of Te Aka Puaho, and myself to join the Anglican Maori Bishop for Northland in the official service for Waitangi Day, in the Bay of Islands. This is following a significant visit on 24 January to Ratana, to greet the people there on the birthday of their founder.

I am really excited about the Standing out in your community workshops being run by Communications in many centres. I am confident that they will pick up and deepen the Assembly theme of being Christ-centred and community-facing, looking at how we can profile ourselves more successfully and engage with folk beyond the bounds of our congregations. Every congregation should encourage all members of its church council attend one of these workshops!!

Have you seen the latest booklets on youth wellness (“Connecting with Young People”) released in January? They have been written for parish use by the Rev Judy Te Whiu, the Revs Mary-Jane and Chris Konings, and Ryhan Prasad. They are an excellent resource for study groups and home groups, and warrant deep study. But they are more than this. They issue a challenge to us all: how can our parishes make a difference to youth wellness in our communities? 

Then on 11 February we will inaugurate in Dunedin the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership.

May Christ be with you in 2008, the Establishment Board, under the leadership of Murray Rae and Graham Redding. They have offered the Church a vision of a style of theological and practical training that will serve well not only ordinands, but the whole church.

Ka kite


Assembly Office update

Dear Friends

I have discovered that the word “holiday” is a contraction of the words “holy” and “day”. Obvious I suppose, but an echo of a time when the there was a sense of sacredness associated with the special days which interrupted the routines of work and rest.

In between catching quite a lot of snapper (true – I have the photos) from Luke’s boat, and developing a pretty devastating backhand spin at table tennis , I do find a special kind of sacredness in holidays. It is a time for renewing friendships around a large table, eating and drinking together, worshipping too in a tiny rural church among a congregation of holidaymakers – very casual and from every imaginable church background. Also away from the lights of the city, I realise how little time I spend gazing up at the created wonder of the night sky. Psalm 8 seems to come to mind a lot.

I hope that you have had a holiday, and that it has been something of a holy day for you as well.

The Year Ahead

The General Assembly early in October provides a significant focal point for my work over these coming months. However, a collection of really good news events provides me with a real sense of excitement about the ways in which I believe God is working though our Church. Some examples:

We have had a fantastic response to the workshops “Standing out in your community”, which have been developed and coordinated by our Communications Manager Amanda Wells. I have seen a draft of some of the resources that are going to provide a basis for these workshops - and they really are uplifting and provide great examples of congregations around the country engaging in meaningful, outward focused ministry and mission. Over 400 people have already enrolled and I would really like to encourage you or members from your congregation to attend one of these free, CWM-sponsored events. The next issue of sPanz, in parishes towards the end of this month, will have confirmed details of workshop venues, dates and times. Those who have already registered received letters last week, but late registration is possible. Contact Amanda on amanda@presbyterian.org.nz

Our second social engagement publication is currently being distributed to congregations. It is called “Connecting with Young People” and takes seriously the social context within which young people live and grow. The contributions and editing reflect a generous commitment and support from people representing the diversity of our Church. Again I would like to very much encourage you to use these studies as a basis for congregational discussion and reflection – and also as a way of developing your own ministry among younger people.

We are currently in discussion with five new Korean and a Taiwanese congregation who are beginning a process of joining our Church. All based in the Auckland region, these congregations are examples to us of dedication and faithfulness and share a real commitment to mission and outreach. There is a challenge here for established congregations to provide a welcome and a place for these new churches.

Under the leadership of Wayne Te Kaawa, the number of self supporting Amorangi Ministers has been steadily increasing. Many of these ministers work at the heart of their communities, providing worship, ministry support, and pastoral care. Wayne coordinates training, which involves a programme of study, course work and practical assignments.

Strategic developments

As I speak with presbyteries and other groups, I have become increasingly aware of the challenge of developing a uniting and corporate mission. There is general agreement that there is no place in Christian mission for resources to be “stored up in barns”, unavailable for funding new church planting or other ministry and mission initiatives. On the other hand, I find there is real resistance to either the centralised gathering of resources or the use of Church legislative processes that could be used to influence or even compel declining congregations to release their resources to support new mission and ministry elsewhere. These matters have a strong pastoral element, as well as reflecting on our understanding of faithfulness, stewardship, what it means to be Christ’s Church , and the hope we have for the future.

There are small and large congregations who right now would gain huge benefit from the funding of a new ministry position. We could plant versions of Studentsoul on campuses around New Zealand; we could help congregations fund a new work in some of the fastest growing parts of New Zealand; and we would like to place new ministry graduates in places where they could best use their skills and gifts (and not only among the congregations who could afford to pay them). Some of our most vital and outreaching congregations face large debt burdens. The simple cost of supporting any kind of ongoing new initiative or capital expense is moving beyond the means of even our largest congregations - or even groups of congregations - to afford. I have had wide ranging discussions about the possible processes or mechanisms that could be established to allow a common sharing and benefit in the use of our collective resources.

What needs to happen for us to reinvest the resources that are already available to us, in the people and communities who could make such a difference for our future as a Church together? I am told that the answer involves a change in our Church culture. Such a change emerges both from a sense of urgency based on an analysis of our present situation and the development of a solution-focused vision for the future. Central to such a process are the great confessions of resurrection at the heart of our Biblical faith and a thanksgiving for the ways in which the Spirit has moved in the life of our Church.

Nominations for Moderator Designate

At this stage in the process, congregations should be submitting names of suitable nominees to their presbyteries or UDCs for consideration. Presbyteries/UDCs should consider the nominations from their parishes and any from within the presbytery/UDC, then submit the names of one person by 20 March 2008 to the Co-convenor of the Nominating Committee,  Rev Doug Lendrum 70 Khyber Pass Rd, Grafton Auckland.

Focal Identity Statement

By now you should have received material from the Focal Identity Task Group. The Task Group has asked for all responses to be made to it by 30 April  2008.

Thank you again for your generous support of our Church . Your prayers, money, interest and participation are vitally important for us as we work together to fulfill the challenge of being God’s people together,


Finance update

1.         Objectives for 2008

Happy new year from the team at financial services. We hope you and yours had a very pleasant Christmas and summer break. 2007 was a satisfying year for FSD in that we were able to consolidate the personnel and processes and systems required to provide the Church with stronger financial reporting and support. In 2008 our objectives are:

  • Improve the financial and administrative advice offered to parish treasurers and clerks. I am aware that accounting for parish finances is a thankless and complicated task and that over the past few years there has been an increase in workload due to the decentralisation of payroll and seniority allowance functions, the introduction of Kiwisaver and changes to the Charities Act.

Although there have been updates in the finance newsletters, I think the information coming out of this office should be consolidated to provide a meaningful guide to new and experienced treasurers. The Treasurers manual has not been updated since 2004 and it is my intention to issue an update and maintain the document as new information and requirements evolve. In addition I plan to conduct an information road show (possibly in conjunction with other General Assembly functions), and encourage the input, questions and comments from interested parties.

  • Improve support for debtors. There remain significant amounts payable by parishes and individuals to General Assembly, specifically for unpaid Assembly Assessment, minister’s loans and insurance premiums. To this point our communication and support in resolution has been inadequate and I intend to address this. With this in mind if there are any parishes or parties that would like to discuss any arrears, please contact me.
  • Continue the reduction in Assembly Assessment. As reported in the last budget document, overall Assembly Assessment has reduced by about 5 percent per year for the past two years. It is hoped that this trend can continue into the 2008-09 financial year by further controlling operational expenditure and maximising alternative income sources.

2.                  Parish Statistics

Thank you to those parishes that have supplied statistics to 30 June 2007. The deadline for delivery is well past but there are still about 70 parishes that have not supplied information, and some parishes have not done so for several years. As stated, FSD want to support parishes but we are reliant on statistics being sent so we can track parish movement and accurately update Assembly Assessment calculations. Changes to the definition of income agreed at GA06 mean that accessible income, therefore 2008/09 AA, may be reduced, so it is to your advantage to provide the latest statistics.

If you have not sent statistic forms, please do so or call me to discuss.

Brendan Sweeney

Global Mission update

The New Year always seems to start with a jolt and the forward planning one has done often never seems to be quite sufficient. One initiative that has come to fruition is the appointment of a full time Global Mission Enabler. I am so pleased that I am being joined by Rev Stuart Simpson in the GMO. The growth in the work we do and the opportunities for more work has meant that it was time to expand our ministry capacity. At different times we have employed people to promote our work amongst young people, our Asian churches, around specific projects and even staff offshore. Stuart’s appointment is intended to unite all these initiatives in a more cohesive way with a particular focus on enlivening our work amongst young people and congregations within New Zealand. This position has been partly funded through the generosity of PSDS, who have helped us previously in our efforts to engage young people in overseas mission. Support like this is extremely heartening. I asked Stuart to introduce himself. 

My name is Stuart Simpson and I have recently completed the Diploma of Ministry at the School of Ministry, Dunedin. I am married to Harilalao (Lala) who is from Madagascar. We met while on the Training in Mission programme in England and we have just celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. We have three lovely children, Aina who is seven, Manda who is four and three quarters and Harena who is three. Before I commenced my study at the School of Ministry and a degree at the Bible College of New Zealand, Lala and I spent three years as missionary teachers in Madagascar, in a small village called Faratsiho. The village is a boarding village and has five different schools, which provide education for about four thousand students. Our main job was to teach English, French and Art to the students who went to the Congregational school. We were both teaching about 500 students through a normal week. Some classes had between 40 and 90 students at one time, which made the job even more challenging. Over time we also developed a children’s programme, where children could learn crafts, art, games; all held in a Christian environment. I look so forward to working in the Global Mission Office and hearing about your stories.

Since the last Bush Telegraph, Ken Williams from Blenheim and six youth leaders from around our Church have visited and returned from Hope for the Nations in Nepal. They were involved in leadership training, working in the childre’s home and visiting other projects. Andrew, Geoff, Hannah and Sarah from St Luke’s, Remuera, spent Christmas with our friends in the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, travelling all the way to Kalaymyo. While they were there, they presented workshops on micro-enterprise and worked on ideas for income generating projects.

Rob and Barbara Meier have returned safely to Christchurch from Ebule, Vanuatu, and they will be replaced by Roger and Paula Levy and their two children. The Levys will be living at Onesua as VSA have placed Rob and Katie Wait at the Urban workshop as well. This is a great development and a credit to Rob and Bar’s tenacious efforts. At the same time, parishes in the Christchurch Presbytery, led by Martin Stewart, launched a $20,000 fund-raiser for a second truck for Ebule.  

Jon and Viv Parkes and their children returned from Talua, Vanuatu, after two years of hard work, which included coordinating the building of a new staff house. They are being replaced by Don and Margaret Fauchelle and CWM has agreed to continue to sponsor this appointment.

New Opportunities to Go Global

With a New Year always come new opportunities. One that we would really like to take advantage of again is the “I Love Taiwan 2008” mission experience in Taiwan. The four young people who attended in 2007 came back changed. If you would like to know more about this opportunity, please contact us ASAP. The fantastic thing about this invitation is that the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan sponsors all the land arrangements. They have sent the following preliminary information.


Training in Mission - For young people to learn and live out their faith and challenge them to devote themselves to God through participation in mission, and construct a life of identification, devotion and growth.


  • To widen overseas youth’s knowledge and understanding about people and the church in Taiwan through mission involvement (e.g. teaching English in summer camp) in a cross cultural and multi-religious context alongside Taiwan’s young people.
  • Develop a network among overseas youth, Taiwanese youth and churches
  • Motivate ecumenical involvement in local churches.
  • Leadership training and nurturing through participation in community mission and evangelism.

Dates 26 June to 12 July, 2008.

Kids Friendly update

I received three emails this week that made me very excited. All were from people I have met on my Kids Friendly travels – one from Palmerston North, another from Dunedin and the other from the UK (Child Friendly Churches) – all asking me to please assist them with their impending move to Auckland with specific advice on where they should live so they can be in a good school zone and close to a Kids Friendly Church.

When we piloted Kids Friendly in Auckland during 2005 and 2006, part of our brief was to develop a Kids Friendly “brand” and logo that would differentiate and promote our churches that intentionally invest in and minister to children and families. Our Kids Friendly vision is for the Presbyterian Church to be renowned for the way it ministers to children and families in its community and for the way it values and trains the people who work with children.

Kids Friendly is about to enter its third year of being a national initiative. Over the last two years I have worked with churches in 18 different Presbyteries. There are now 27 “branded” Kids Friendly churches, 35 churches reviewing themselves and working to become Kids Friendly and 88 network members. Feedback I receive about children’s ministry leaders feeling valued, supported and better resourced are always encouraging, but requests from families asking where they can find a Kids Friendly Church in their new city (because of personal experience in their existing home) is a dream coming to fruition.

Some churches still question the value of “branding”, suggesting they don’t need to tell their community they are Kids Friendly because it is a well known fact. Statistics suggest that 90 percent of our community couldn’t tell us where the local Presbtyerian church is, yet alone whether it is Kids Friendly. As we well know, New Zealanders have all sorts of negative stereotypes about our church, with one of the most common being that children are not welcome or effectively catered for there.

Amanda Wells, the Church’s Communications Manager, is offering 16 “Standing out in your community” workshops early this year. I was fortunate to contribute to her planning and participate in her trial workshop. The workshop is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to think about how we are perceived in our communities and explore how we could promote ourselves more effectively.

The word gospel means “good news”. Our churches have so many good news stories to tell, many of which you will hear at the workshops. But our role as evangelists (good messengers) is to spread the “good news”. So let’s tell our communities of our commitment to serve them and their children, and invite them to experience Christ’s love through us.

Jill Kayser
Kids Friendly Coach

National Mission update

2007 goes out the door; 2008 comes in. We make New Year resolutions in the hope that what was worst about last year will be left behind, but often it comes bounding into the new year with us.

It’s good to remember that although there’s a calendar demarcation between 2007 and 2008, the actual activities and emotions of one year morph into the next. It’s therefore important to be aware of any stress points we haven’t dealt with in order to be able to start the new year in a healthy way. We hope that the stresses of 2007 will somehow dissipate and that 2008 will be a year of positive action, growth and encouragement.

In an article in the March 2006 Candour magazine, Richard Dawson discusses encouragement and wonders why we tend to discourage rather than encourage. Discouragement is one of the biggest factors in causing good men and women to fall under the weight of their work. Encouragement, on the other hand, brings life, and where there is life, even a stressed soul can be lifted up.

So let’s start the new year with encouragement. This is something we can do – in other words, Mission Possible.

Let’s encourage those who haven’t had the joy of a holiday over the Christmas period, and tell them how good it’s been to have them holding the fort.

Let’s encourage ministers and elders and lay workers in their various roles, not just by telling that them they’re doing a good job, but by reminding them that they’re the heartbeat of God on earth. They’re the face of Christ to those who know him and to those who don’t.

Let’s encourage them not to focus primarily on the expectations and obligations of 2008, strong though their pull may be, but first and foremost to focus on God in Christ, and on Christ in us, the hope of glory.

And let’s encourage them to widen the space they give to God in their lives, praying and reading His Word. Without that, we all build in vain.

Workshops and material relating to stress, burnout and wellness in ministry are available through the National Mission Office in Dunedin.
Email missionadmin@maxnet.co.nz

Youth Ministry update

Firstly the Presbyterian Youth Ministry team would like to send you all a Happy New Year! We hope this comes to you feeling the effects of having had a fun and relaxing Christmas break.

To begin the year for 2008, PYM went to Parachute: by the time you read this 55 PYMers from around the country will have had a fabulous time listening to awesome music and learning from great speakers. As I write this, it is still a week away but we will keep you posted on how it really went.

The national PYM team ended 2007 with a team meeting in Dunedin, where we took some time to dream and hear God’s voice on where he wants to lead us in 2008. What we felt God saying was that the greatest need amongst our leaders is training. We realised that in many instances great leaders are working with young people without any training or equipping. Therefore we have committed to making training more available to youth leaders throughout the country in 2008; it will be our focus for the year. We are very excited about this and really feel like God will continue to build on this in the future but this is a really solid starting point.

For more info contact the PYM Office on (03) 208-6076 or youth@presbyterian.org.nz 

School of Ministry update....

Plans are well in hand for the launching of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership on Monday 11 February. The opening ceremony will begin at 1:30pm in the Cameron Hall, and will be followed at 2pm by the inaugural lecture, which will be delivered by the Rev Dr Murray Rae. The first chapel service for the year will take place the following morning at 9am in the Ross Chapel. The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Rev Pamela Tankersley will preach. All are welcome to attend these events.

The first block course for our new intake of interns was held in late November and early December. The next block course will take place from 12-22 February. We have three interns, seven Dunedin-based students and three distance students on our books this year. A further eight students are in the pipeline - they will enter the internship programme upon completion of their foundational theological studies.

A number of staffing changes are taking place at present. Just prior to Christmas, Lydia Johnson informed us that the Manahine Pasefika project that she has been involved in for the past eight years or so is relocating to Auckland, and that her time as Adjunct Tutor at the School of Ministry would therefore be coming to an end. In the two years that she was involved with the School of Ministry, Lydia made a significant contribution as a tutor, occasional teacher and mentor. She will be missed.

The other major change concerns John Roxborogh. John has decided to take early retirement and conclude his present appointment at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership from the end of April 2008. However, he will continue his teaching of the Presbyterianism and Reformed Christianity paper through to its conclusion at the end of the first semester.

In his Synod-funded role as Director of Lay and Recognised Ministries, and more recently in his role as a Senior Lecturer and Dean of Studies at the School of Ministry, John has made a lasting contribution to the task of theological education, ministry formation and leadership development in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. He is one of our Church’s leading missiologists and church historians. We are grateful to John for everything that he has given to the Church, and for his offer to make himself available for teaching and one-off projects beyond his retirement. We will acknowledge his contribution and farewell him at a time closer to the end of April.

It is sometimes said that bad news comes in threes. The third item of news concerns the newly created position of Auckland Coordinator of Ministry Formation and Leadership Development. Our preferred candidate withdrew on the eve of the Council of Assembly considering the nomination. The Establishment Board will consider where we go from here when it meets next on 12 February.

To ease some of the immediate pressure we will be contracting Lynne Baab as a part-time Adjunct Tutor for the first semester. Lynne is a part-time lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the University of Otago. She is a highly gifted and well-qualified person for the task of ministry formation and leadership development. Lynne will shoulder a number of teaching, tutoring and mentoring responsibilities. We look forward to her involvement.                                    

Please pray for the new Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership and the Establishment Board as the year gets under way. We are most appreciative of the prayerful support of the wider Church.

Graham Redding


School of Ministry Scholarships

2008 Postgraduate scholarship 2008

The School of Ministry, Knox College invites applications from suitable candidates for the 2008 Begg-Dickie 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 2008, you must have graduated from the School of Ministry between 2003 and 2007. 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 31 March 2008.

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:

The Registrar, School of Ministry, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin. For further information, visit 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 March 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?

1. The proposed course of study will aid the applicant's professional development.

2. There is a potential benefit to the Church and the probability of significant service to the Church.

3. 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. Grants 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.

Enquiries to: the Registrar, School of Ministry, Knox College, Arden Street Opoho, Dunedin. registrar@knoxcentre.ac.nz Due dates 31 March, 30 September.

CWS notices


CWS Appeal to assist refugees from the violence in Kenya

CWS partner, the Church of Uganda, urgently needs US$60,000 to meet the needs of Kenyans, mainly women and children, seeking refuge across the border from the violence and civil unrest in Kenya. 

Already more than 2,000 refugees are temporarily sheltered in schools and churches at the border.  Many more are staying with family and friends. The Church of Uganda needs to provide them with food, plastic sheeting for temporary shelter, blankets, clothing, water supplies and sanitation services.

Christian World Service has already sent US$10,000 from its emergency funds and is appealing for further support from member churches.

We would very much appreciate your support in bringing this appeal to the notice of your parishioners. A flyer is available to view.

Thank you for your support.  If you would like further information, please contact  CWS- ph 0800 74 73 72 or check our website www.cws.org.nz for updated material. 

Kenyan Crisis

CWS partners through ACT International are providing food, blankets, household goods and other emergency supplies as hundred of thousands of Kenyans have been forced from their homes in post-election violence. As the crisis continues to unfold, ACT members in Kenya are assessing needs and expect to launch an appeal to address the longer-term re-integration and recovery needs of the displaced and affected communities. Kenyan churches are making ongoing efforts to engage with the national political leadership to seek a peaceful resolution. CWS asks that you remember the people of Kenya in your prayers.

Christmas Appeal Thanks

Thank you to everyone who promoted and supported the 2007 Christmas Appeal helping CWS partners to build a better future. Donations continue to come in steadily. To enable CWS to receipt people in a timely manner, it would be appreciated if parishes could send in their donations as quickly as possible.

Youth Topics #13: Nowhere safe to go

Did you know that over 2.6 billion people – 41 percent of the world’s population - lack access to latrines or basic sanitation facilities leaving them vulnerable to preventable deadly illnesses, such as diarrhoea? Every 20 seconds a child dies as a result of poor sanitation - 1.5 million preventable deaths each year. The latest CWS Youth Topic, a fun poster based activity sheet aimed at 12-18 year olds, explores the issues of water and sanitation and their importance to health, development, education and well-being. It includes a worship workout. If you have not received you free copy, please contact youth@cws.org.nz or call Liz Whitehead on 0800 74 73 72

New documentaries available

Two new documentaries will soon be available on video and DVD.

A Path to Citizenship is a lively story of the work with young girls forced by poverty and violence to live on the streets in Recife, Brazil. It profiles the work of CWS partner, House of Passage, as they empower girls to improve their own lives and give themselves hope for the future. Available 1 February.

Lauru Our Land: Solomon Island Women Face the Future was filmed by CWS last year and features CWS partner, the Women’s Programme of the Lauru Land Conference, as it assists women to improve their well-being and livelihood and protect their land against foreign logging interests. This documentary with study guide will be available from 1 March.

Contact cws@cws.org.nz /phone 0800 74 73 72 for video/DVD orders stating the format required (video or DVD) and the date you wish to use them.

Ban Cluster Munitions

CWS has joined the Aotearoa/New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition, part of a global movement calling for a total ban of these indiscriminate weapons. When dropped, cluster bombs scatter hundreds of untargeted bomblets over an area the size of two or three football pitches. They kill and injure civilians during attacks and continue to take life, limbs and land long after conflict has ended when unexploded bomblets become as dangerous as landmines. The A/NZ Cluster Munition Coalition is working to ensure that the New Zealand government takes strong leadership in the disarmament process. A series of global conferences, including one in Wellington in February are working towards an internationally legally binding ban. For more information or to sign the petition to ban cluster munitions see www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz

Palestine Update

The Churches Agency on International Issues (CAII) has just released a Palestine Update to the hugely successful backgrounder on the Israel Palestine conflict. The Palestine: 40 years of occupation Hot Topic examines the impact of occupation and includes actions, questions for reflection and non-violent, interfaith responses. The Hot Topic and original backgrounder can be downloaded from www.cws.org.nz/Resources/international.asp or contact CWS to go on the CAII mailing list. cws@cws.org.nz ph 0800 74 73 72

CWS partner, the Church of Uganda, urgently needs US$60,000 to meet the needs of Kenyans, mainly women and children, seeking refuge across the border from the violence and civil unrest in Kenya. 

Already more than 2,000 refugees are temporarily sheltered in schools and churches at the border.  Many more are staying with family and friends. The Church of Uganda needs to provide them with food, plastic sheeting for temporary shelter, blankets, clothing, water supplies and sanitation services.

Christian World Service has already sent US$10,000 from its emergency funds and is appealing for further support from member churches.

We would very much appreciate your support in bringing this appeal to the notice of your parishioners. A flyer designed for insertion in a church newsletter is attached. If you are unable to access it, please contact cws@cws.org.nz to arrange another means of getting it to you.

Thank you for your support.  If you would like further information, please contact  CWS- ph 0800 74 73 72www.cws.org.nz for updated material.

CWM 2008 Devotion books

We have a limited supply of Daily Devotion 2008 books from the Council for World Mission; these contain a reflection for each day and a blank space to record your thoughts, along with images. If you would like one, please email Sandra at info@presbyterian.org.nz or write to Sandra Homan, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, PO Box 9049, Marion Square, Wellington. There is no charge; donations to cover postage would be welcome though not necessary.

Introduction Work Group

We are seeking profiles of parishes for the exiting ordinands from the Knox Centre of Ministry & Leadership.  Please consider these capable students with fresh ideas of engaging with congregations today. Contact Amanda Guy – Convener IWG - for more information or to see the ordinands’ personal profiles. Phone (03) 476 6559 or email amanda.guy@healthotago.co.nz

Ministry with children, young people and their families

General Assembly 2006 agreed to new regulations about Ministry with Children, Young Persons and their families. View the extract from General Assembly.

Regulation 88A is a requirement for all parishes to develop and implement a safety and protection policy in relation to children and young persons in their care. Parishes and presbyteries should be aware that a sample safety and protection policy is available from the Assembly Office and parishes do not have to develop their own. All parishes are reminded that they are required to have and implement such a policy.

Regulation 88B is about parish appointees to positions in ministry with children, young persons and their families, and regulation 172 applies the same provisions to presbytery appointments.

88B ii reads “Where the appointee for a position involving ministry with children and young persons and families, does not in the opinion of the Session or Parish Council have a relevant qualification or previous experience working with children, young persons and families, such person shall be encouraged to undertake a suitable course involving the following areas:

  1. vision and goals for ministry with children
  2. biblical foundations
  3. understanding children
  4. models and strategies for ministry with children
  5. safety and protection issues
  6. developing skills for ministry with children
  7. resources and guidelines

The good news for parishes and presbyteries is that you do not have to search for such a course.  EIDTS has a course available that covers those exact subjects: MM209 MINISTRY WITH CHILDREN.

This course was written for the Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies (EIDTS) by Mary Petersen, a Presbyterian Minister who was formerly the National Co-ordinator of Ministry with Children and Families for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mary also tutors the course, which is available as distance education. Students are sent a study guide and book of readings and then do assignments at times that suit them, generally within one calendar year. The assignments are practical and relate to the student’s own context.

Parishes and presbyteries are encouraged to make this course known to all those who might benefit from it and to be particularly enthusiastic in promoting it to all appointees working with children and young persons and their families. Enquiries and applications should be made to EIDTS, eidts@xtra.co.nz

Spiritual Growth Ministries

Spiritual Growth Ministries' programme of events throughout New Zealand for 2008, and the latest edition of the Refresh Journal entitled "Spirituality and Justice" is now available from:

Carole Hunt: email: sgm@clear.net.nz

24-31 August 2008: Seven Day Wilderness/Film Retreat

in the beautiful Muriwai setting with upgraded camp accommodation at Houghton's Bush Camp, Auckland.

This is a directed self-catering retreat.
Registration: $25.00 (non refundable) Cost: $310.00
Registration closing date 12 August.
Email Carole Hunt sgm@clear.net.nz for brochure and registration form 

Book of Order queries

Book of Order enquiries can be made to Heather McKenzie, email heather@presbyterian.org.nz or freephone 0800 424-872.  


New group study available now

“Connecting with young people: A study for the whole church”

Hardly a day goes by without reading a story in the news about a young person who has gone off the rails. The world should be full of opportunity for our young people, and despite all the gifts they have, this often isn't the case with young Kiwis featuring in all the wrong statistics: high teen suicide rates, more and more young people are growing up in families where Mum and Dad live apart, and as reported recently, more young people than ever before on the sickness benefit due to depression. 

While not every church has young people in it, we all have children, grandkids and neighbours. What can we do as a Church and as individuals to better connect with the young people around us? How can we help young people hear the Good News in their language?

Please check out the group study booklet "Connecting with Young People " that has been recently mailed out to parishes. It's a study for the whole Church aimed at encouraging us to reflect on the issues facing young people and what we can do through better relationships to help them realise their potential.

Additional copies of the group study booklet are available by emailing Sandra at info@presbyterian.org.nz

Church Register

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 23 Jan 2008 Please amend the roll in your yearbook accordingly.


Mr Robert Pendreigh, Student Ordinand, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, licensed 18 November 2007.

Ms Anne Thompson, Student Ordinand, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, licensed 18 November 2007.

Ordinations & Inductions:

Rev Robert Pendreigh, Licentiate, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, ordained and inducted to Kaitaia Union Parish, Churches Together in Northland, 15 January 2008.

Transfers and Change of Status:

Rev Crawford Madill, Minister Emeritus, Southland Presbytery, transferred to Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, 27 November 2007.


Rev Peter Wishart, Minister Timaru – Chalmers Presbyterian Church, South Canterbury Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery 6 December 2007. 


Rev Eric Uden, Minister Emeritus, Nelson Marlborough Presbytery, died 19 December 2007.

Ministerial vacancies

Click here to see the full table of vacancies

Highlighted vacancies

Hornby Children's Ministry Internship opportunity

Hornby Presbyterian Community Church is a large, mission focussed Christian community on the growing edge of Christchurch.

Our children's ministry department is led by an experienced full time Children's Pastor and includes wide ranging ministry both on a Sunday and in the community during the week with further opportunities to develop.

Internships are offered in conjunction with the Bible college of New Zealand or Carey College.  One year courses are @ diploma level while three year degree level options are also available.  The practical component of the internships is completed on site at Hornby PCC and under the supervision of our team leader.

Scholarships for suitable applicants include full fee subsidy along with direct ministry costs.  Assistance in finding local accommodation/board may be possible.  Student allowance/loan entitlements are subject to normal government student support criteria.

Great opportunity to develop practical experience alongside formal training, in a safe, positive environment.

Could suit someone in a gap year, a person exploring future career in Christian Ministry and or someone returning to the work force.
For more details or expressions of interest please contact

Rev Michael Schwass (Assistant Pastor)
Internship Co-ordinator
HOrnby Presbyterian Community Church
03 980 2296, ext 213

Minister Vacancy - Onehunga Cooperating Parish

Onehunga Cooperating Parish is looking for a 1/2 time ordained minister to work as part of their ministry team. The focus of this ministry would be working with young people, though general ministry opportunities would be available.  We are seeking someone with experience with youth ministry, a sensitivity and empathy with Pacific cultures and who can communicate across a range of cultures. The person appointed would be under the oversight of the Methodist Church..

For further details, please contact the Onehunga Cooperating Parish on 09 636 4587 or email ocp@xtra.co.nz.