Bush Telegraph August 2011

From the Moderator

On the radio I recently heard Dave Hadfield, a mental skills coach who has worked for the NZRFU , talk about the importance of having trust as you walk onto the field. Does that have relevance for a Church that must work together to accomplish our mission?

For him C2 = T. The Cs are clarity and confidence. The T is trust.

Dave talked about trust in yourself, in the game plan, in the management and in your teammates.

He described clarity in terms of knowing your role and what is expected of you and knowing what to expect from the opposition. I presume this also includes clarity about the roles of those around you and what can be expected from them.

Dave talked about confidence in yourself and your ability. Again, I presume trust also requires confidence in the abilities and attitude of those around you.

Can we learn from this?

Suspicions can arise because of lack of clarity. If we are not clear what responsibilities and what authority a person has and to whom he/she is accountable then two people might feel a role is theirs and compete for it. Alternatively, no one might take responsibility and everyone feel frustrated.

Confidence includes knowing that people to whom responsibility and authority are delegated have the ability and the attitude to exercise those well. In part this means identifying people’s spiritual gifts as well as their spiritual maturity and character. And, of course, the rest of the team must be able to have confidence in us.

Dave’s formula got me thinking. Is it true? What does it have to say to us? Just out of interest, you might like to read his article, Developing Team Leaders In New Zealand Rugby and ponder how it translates into the Church.

Peter Cheyne

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends

Thank you for the support you have provided for the national work of our Church over the last financial year. Almost every congregation has now met its annual commitment to what we call Assembly Assessment. These are the funds, totalling just under 3 million dollars of annual contributions from parishes, we rely on to enable us to run our national operations and also to meet our commitment to supporting the ministers’ superannuation fund, called the Beneficiary Fund.  The money helps fund our national ministries with youth and children, helps fund our archives, provides support to Te Aka Puaho and the Pacific Island Synod, and contributes to our overseas mission work as well as our communications, financial, legal and administrative services and the costs of the national committees of our Church. We employ the full time equivalent of about 20 people nationally, including the staff at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership and our archives staff.  Our national team find huge encouragement in the financial support you provide along with your prayers and words of encouragement.

Council of Assembly

The Council of Assembly met in Wellington on 22 and 23 July. You can find out what they discussed in the Council News.

Earthquake Appeal update 

A huge thank you for a wonderful response. Just over $350 000 has now been given to support our Church community in Christchurch. A significant portion of this has now been distributed to support congregations.

Congregations and individuals can make an offering by direct bank credit to the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, account number  02 0500 0086963 00. Please include the reference: CHQUAKE. Or, please post to, Financial Services, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, PO Box 9049, Wellington 6141.

The Rev Martin Stewart, moderator of Christchurch Presbytery, advises that he had a fantastic response to the project of several Christchurch parishes taking supermarket vouchers to folk, and indicates that the total has exceeded $50,000. If people want to see how this develops they can follow his blog or email him to be included in an email group. Martin says, “the generosity of people and parishes here and overseas is profound”. Contact the Rev Martin Stewart at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Bryndwr, Christchurch, phone 021 308 519.

Presbyterian Foundation grants open

The Presbyterian Foundation was established 15 years ago to provide grants, usually up to $10k to Presbyterian parishes and Groups, to fund church mission and new innovations in ministry. 

The deadline for Foundation grants has been extended until 15 October 2011. For details on how to apply and application forms please see the Church website.

All applications will be received by the AES and processed through the Assembly Office.

Special legislative procedure

The General Assembly decided that now all parish councils as well as presbyteries, UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho should be given the opportunity to discuss and decide on proposed changes in our Book of Order. There were a number of proposed changes and significant background information given to Commissioners explaining why some of these changes were important. All parish councils and presbyteries have now been sent this documentation and will need to set aside time to discuss and vote on the proposals.  To download a copy of these documents please click here. If you are a presbytery clerk, UDC secretary, or parish council convenor and have not received these documents please contact me. The deadline for replies is 31 August 2011.  This material can be downloaded here.

Please note:  While the General Assembly did support the decision to invite parish councils to discuss and decide on proposed changes in our legislation, the Assembly did not go on to approve the immediate adoption of any specific Book of Order legislation supporting this decision.

We will record all parish council voting in the report for the 2012 General Assembly, but it will still only be the presbytery votes that will be refereed to in terms of our regulations regarding our special legislative procedure (Barrier Act) proposals. This matter will be resolved at the 2012 Assembly.

Voting for the Moderator-elect, 2014. Stage 1

As the fist stage in the election process, all presbyteries, UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho are asked to nominate one person each to enter the voting process coordinated by the Nominating Committee.  Parish Councils etc. should suggest names for consideration by a meeting of their presbytery, UDC or Te Aka Puaho. Each Prebytery, UDC or Te Aka Puaho should send one name to the Convenor of the Nominating Committee, the Rev Ian Hyslop, 10 Cox Street, Geraldine 7930 - hyslops@maxnet.co.nz. The nomination needs to be with Ian by Friday, February 10 2012.

Removal from the roll of ministers

This month I will be writing to all non-retired ministers who show in our records as not being a member of a presbytery for at least the last five years. I will be informing these ministers of the 2010 General Assembly decision about matters to do with their names being removed from the roll. If a name is removed, that person will neither be able to conduct weddings as a Presbyterian minister nor be eligible for a call or appointment. I will be writing to the last known address of these ministers. If I do not receive a reply, the name of the minister will be removed. Please contact me if this process may apply to you, or any minister you know, and you think the address on our data base may be incorrect. Please note, this does not apply to you if you are now, or have, in the last five years, been a member of a presbytery, or your presbytery identifies you as being retired.

Reducing the risk of arson – move those rubbish bins

Sadly we have seen over the last few years a number of churches destroyed or badly damaged by arson.  From 1 July parishes that have arson fires from rubbish bins which were not secured at least 10 metres away from the church buildings will face a $50,000 excess on arson claims. We have a video on arson prevention you can view or download, and other information you can download, on our Church website.

Westminster College, Cambridge

Over the years many ministers from the Presbyterian Church have been beneficiaries of generous grants from the Cheshunt Foundation, and the hospitality of the College and the United Reformed Church, to enable them to take study leave there.  At present the College is involved in a seven million pound fund-raising programme to improve the facilities in order to make it more attractive and suitable as a resource centre for learning for the wider church community. More details here.

Ministry Development Programme

In order for ministers to retain their certificate of good standing, it is essential that they participate in the ministry development programme and complete their first ministry review by October 2013. I will be sending out a reminder, but please get onto this as the number of reviewers are limited and the process can take some time. Many have already benefited from the review process, and the consequences of not being a minister in good standing in our Church are quite significant. This does not apply to retired ministers, unless they are in, or plan to return to, some active, recognised ministry role.  Full details here.

Thank you again for your generous support and for all you do for our Church and its mission.


Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

On Monday 11 July the Knox Centre hosted a dinner at Grafton Hall, Auckland, to which members of the newly formed Northern Presbytery were invited. About 90 people heard an after dinner address by Andrew Bell on the challenges and opportunities associated with ministry to the so-called “1.5 generation” of Asian and Pacific immigrants.

Over the past year the Rev Dr Simon Rae has been writing a history of the former Theological Hall and School of Ministry. The resultant book, Challenge and Change, makes for a most interesting read. If you would like a copy at the book launch price of $30, please place your order with our Registrar, Catherine van Dorp.

A new Handbook for Elders is available from the Knox Centre, and the Principal and staff are available to lead presbytery workshops on this and other aspects of ministry upon request.

Graham Redding


Kids Friendly

Transforming stuff

We are flat out in the Kids Friendly Auckland office planning our sixth Transformers – Raising  Up Young Leaders camp to be held in Ngaruawahia in the Waikato.  On the first weekend of August, 40 young people (10 – 13 years) and their mentors from nine churches from the Northern and Kaimai Presbyteries, will gather to explore what it means to be a Transformers leader. 

Transformers (servant) leaders commit to follow Jesus and learn their leadership characteristics from Him.  Together we share five Jesus stories through art, drama, nature walks, games and parties. These stories inform our Transformer’s code that children learn and recite at their leaders-in-training (LITs) commissioning service on the Saturday night.  LITs also explore and hone their gifts in transformational workshops.

But what happens on this fun weekend is just the start.  Key to the success of raising these young leaders is the mentoring and leadership opportunities that happen back in their churches over the coming year.  We’ve discovered over time that the most success occurs in churches where the minister or children’s minister (or preferably both) meet with the Transformers LITs and their mentors monthly to brainstorm opportunities for them to develop their leadership and contribute to the church’s work.  Also vital to this success is the mentor’s commitment to befriending and encouraging the young person’s faith and leadership. 

I was so encouraged to hear Gwen Kentish of Chartwell Cooperating Parish say,  “I have been transformed by this opportunity to befriend young people and watch them grow in faith and confidence”.

And Rev Ken Olsen, also of Chartwell said, “Over the last year our congregation has really got to know our young people as they have served alongside them.  This has been transformational for all”.

Thanks to PSDS, presbyteries and churches for contributing to the costs of these camps and encouraging our young people.  For more information or to work with Kids Friendly to organise a camp in your region contact jill@kidsfriendly.org.nz


Connect has come and gone for another year. The theme for this year’s sold out Connect was on relational youth ministry. We were very privileged and blessed by our two key note speakers, Jo Leiua from Porirua PIC and Andrew Root from Luther Seminary in Minnesota. The workshop presenters were equally impressive, offering a wide range of topics to choose from. The Christchurch Connect working group did an amazing job hosting and in their part of the organisation.

Next year Connect is in Rotorua. Encourage your youth leaders to attend and participate.

If you have a new youth leader coming on staff then sign them up for a PYM welcome pack.

Positive discussions have been had with Carey Baptist College and Laidlaw College, with PYM and KCML, regarding our Diploma in Presbyterian Youth Ministry. This will be ready to go in the first semester next year. This will provide the beginning of a vocational pathway for our youth leaders going right through to ordination if someone should desire. We have our first person, Rebecca Connor, going through ordination specialising in youth ministry. If your church is interested in having a youth ministry intern, or someone who would be interested in this, then please get in touch with me carlton@presbyterian.org.nz

Presbyterian Women

It was heartening to attend a recent presbytery meeting (coordinated in Southland by Dianne Acker) and discover that the membership of Presbyterian Women is going well. Women are encouraging younger women to join together in fellowship and are being supported by their local parish. If each member of Presbyterian Women encourages another friend to join, for the only $6 annual membership fee, our membership will continue to grow.

Thank you to all Presbyterian Women New Zealand (APW) for continuing to support Knox College. The Very Rev Dr Graham Redding is delighted to receive your monetary gifts to assist students.  Please ensure that your remittances are made out to the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Thank you once again.

Parishes in the Wanganui Presbyterial have worked well to raise money for this year’s Annual Project including a fashion parade, a Winter Break, soup and buns luncheon and monthly living well seminars at St Paul’s. 

Wanganui also had two interesting speakers recently; Elizabeth Mortland and Gillian Burns. Elizabeth spent two years as a VSA social worker advising on the development of Women’s Affairs in Vanuatu.  This was followed by a report in response to UN questions to the Vanuatu CEDAW community.  Wanganui have a copy of the CEDAW report 2010 and will continue to keep abreast of developments via the website.

Gillian Burns, resource development manager for Habitat for Humanity gave a presentation. UCOL, Palmerston North, has provided a site on which a house could be constructed and Wanganui UCOL is watching with interest to do the same there. 

Southland Presbytery were encouraged recently by Margaret Cook to consider joining together to take on a house build for Habitat for Humanity in the south.

“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.

Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love,

Grace and gratitude” - from the Wanganui Presbyterial newsletter.

Jan Harland
Incoming Convenor


Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Ministers’ Study Grants

Are you a Presbyterian minister planning on further study? Do you know that you can apply for a study grant from the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership?

Applications are invited for post-ordination study grants for ministers in good standing of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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.

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.

Read more detail on grants here.

Enquiries to: The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street Opoho, Dunedin. Email registrar@knoxcentre.ac.nz   

Closing date for applications: 30 September 2011

Young Christians sought for Durban, South Africa 26 November - 10 December

World Council of Churches (WCC) and the LWF, in the context of United Nations climate negotiations, invites young Christians aged 18-30 yrs to apply to attend Glenmore Pastoral Center, Durban, South Africa, 26 November - 10 December 2011. This is an opportunity to address the links between environmental and socio-economic justice.

Participants will cover their own travel costs to Durban, and once there will be provided with board, local transportation, travel insurance and pocket money.

Postmark deadline for applications is 15 August 2011.

To apply see here.

Presbyterian Investment Fund

The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors will remain at 5.25 per cent for August. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie

Myanmar January 2012: A pilgrimage of pain and hope

See firsthand the difference we are making in the lives of our friends in Myanmar; feel God's love working in this nation.
Hear some amazing stories and be privileged to share and serve with them.
Experience a friendship that is transforming lives and communities both in Myanmar and New Zealand.
Be blessed, encouraged, challenged and inspired by these amazing people.
To express an interest in being a part of the January team, please contact Myanmar Partnership Coordinator, Angela, phone 021 357 708 or email myanmar@stcolumba.org.nz

Catching the Age Wave seniors in ministry

A conference to value, affirm and motivate seniors to be involved in ministry and service as we surf the fast-approaching grey tsunami. Guest speakers from the USA, Australia and NZ. Tauranga, August 10-11, 2011.  For further information contact: Nan Kingston-Smith nanb.ks@gamail.com, Donald Hegan revd@slingshot.co.nz, or see www.freshhorizons.org.au

Closer Together Whakatata Mai NZCCSS

 “Closer Together Whakatata Mai is a project of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) aimed at building a New Zealand where the income gap between the rich and the poor is getting closer together..... not wider apart. People are encouraged to sign a card (or sign online) to indicate their desire for greater equality. See the website.

Church Yearbook 2012

After many requests to have the Church Yearbook in a downloadable form, the 2012 Yearbook will be available on the Church website and for download from January 2012. This will allow the information in the Yearbook to be accessed and used more easily. For those who do not have access to the internet the Yearbook will also be available in photocopied format from Assembly Office.

Increasing numbers of young and old volunteering

According to The Time Use Survey Report released on 21 June 2011 by Statistics New Zealand, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of young people (12-24) and those 65 and over who volunteer now compared with a decade ago. Download the report here.

Presbyterian AFFIRM North Island Conference

Whangarei 17 September at St Andrew’s Uniting, Auckland 24 September at Greenlane Presbyterian and Tauranga 5 November at St Enoch’s Presbyterian. Speakers are Murray Robertson, Jim Wallace, Paul Williamson and Stuart Lange. $35 including lunch. To register (or for questions) contact: Ben Dykman, Greenlane Presbyterian Church, 09-5201491, ben@gpc.org.nz

Titoki Healing Centre for retreats

Situated amongst the farms just outside Whakatane. Our mission is to provide:

Retreat facilities for those who want a break or a holiday, healing, spiritual retreats, leadership retreats and team building. Titoki has room for 20 people. Chaplain is Rev John Niven. See the website www.titoki.org.nz

Small Stories

This collection of stories linking theoretical approaches to youth development to ‘what actually happens’. Lloyd and Anthea are teachers and youth workers in their multicultural community of Porirua. Over 30 years they taken young people into their home, provided alternative education and taken kids on adventures in the outdoors. This is their story. See more at http://www.praxispacific.org/smallstories

National Pro-Life Song Writing contest

Will be held in Auckland on 3 December, 2011. Promote respect for life by writing your own song.Cash prizes plus tickets to the 2012 Parachute Festival. See http://voiceforlife.bravehost.com/index.html

CWS Notices

Horn of Africa Appeal

Up to 12 million people urgently need assistance in the Horn of Africa. The worst drought in 60 years along with rising food prices and widespread livestock deaths have left millions of people facing famine in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. CWS partners are responding but need your help. Please consider a special collection or fundraising event. Appeal leaflets have been emailed to churches and can be downloaded from www.cws.org.nz. A prayer is also available. Send donations to Christian World Service, PO Box 22652, ChCh 8140 or go online for other ways to give www.cws.org.nz

Peace Sunday

Peace Sunday is fast approaching. Falling on 7 August this year, it is a day to remember the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and the millions of people today who are caught up in conflicts. Christian World Service is producing worship resources focussing on Sri Lanka, recovering after decades of war. Follow the link from the CWS website to download a PDF.

Live Below the Line: CWS youth fundraiser

So what is Live Below the Line? It's a huge new global success story that brings the grim reality of global poverty home. It asks young people to live for five days on $2.25 a day for food. That's the global extreme poverty line, where 1.4 billion people live every day. Live Below the Line is anchored by the international Global Poverty Project. They have invited CWS to be part of the campaign in New Zealand.

Church youth groups are asked to fundraise for our partner in South Sudan. We need your help to support them. We are asking groups (we recommend 18 years upward) to live on $2.25 a day for food for five days and get sponsored for their efforts. See www.cws.org.nz for more information.

Church Register

Ordination and Inductions

Rev Helen Wallis, Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, to Priest-in-Charge, Oxford Cust Anglican Parish, North Canterbury (Anglican Church of New Zealand appointment), 1 July 2011 (part-time).

Short-Term Appointments

Rev Dr Hilary Smith, Minister of the Church of Scotland, to Stated Supply Minister, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Stoke, Nelson/Marlborough Presbytery, 14 June 2011 (part-time).


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