From the Moderator
Love of enemies is perhaps the most famous teaching of Jesus, but also his most violated. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies … that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
Human beings are side takers. We tend to divide people into them and us. It can happen for religious reasons, cultural reasons, ethnicity, language, age groups. Two of the most powerful words in the human race are “them” and “us”. If someone is in my group I will see them as good and overlook their weaknesses. If someone is from “the other side”, I will be more likely to look for the bad and overlook the good.
I recently spent two wonderful days in the Pacific Island community of our Church. There were people from the Cooks Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu, Samoa and Niue. Each of these groups is from a sovereign, independent nation, each with its own language, customs and culture. There were two special times for me when I felt that I was experiencing the reality of the Kingdom of God and the seeing resurrection mind-set in action. During our time of worship each nation group led us in one of their hymns of worship. While they sang with passion, faith and excitement, the rest of us stood to show our support and love, even if we did not know what the words meant. Later in the day, each Island nation performed an item of dance and music. While they performed, members of the other cultures would show affirmation and support. There was a beautiful sense of unity as sisters and brothers together in Christ. There was no sense of them and us. We were one.
Paul in Galatians writes, “In Christ you are all children of God through faith… for you have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. In the Kingdom of God there can be no “them and us” – there must not be a ‘them and us’ mind-set.
But sadly that is not what I experience in the world and even in the church. I see this “them and us” attitude all too often. In the world we see people as Asian, European, Maori, Pacific Island… or Muslim, Hindu, Christian, atheist… or old and young; rich and poor… the dividing barriers kept getting built higher and higher. In our Presbyterian Church there can be a “them-us” attitude between parishes, or between a parish and the wider Church! Sometimes I get the feeling from some people that the national church is the enemy! Amazing!! The “them-us” attitude is all too prevalent in church and society. This is so far from living with a resurrection mind-set.
Jesus was the man for all sides. He saw all people of the earth being blessed through him. But his followers have never been good at practicing this. The tendency to exclude the other was regarded by religious leaders in Jesus’ day as the great virtue, but to Jesus it was the great sin. Jesus always treated people on “the other side” as if they were people on his side. He doesn’t just love people who follow him, he loves everyone.
God bless you
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
The most important national event for our Church this year happened last weekend in Silverstream north of Wellington. The vitality, diversity and faithfulness of the more than 250 young leaders who gathered are a source of real hope for our Church. (Check out the event on the PYM Facebook page.)
I want to acknowledge the work of Carlton and Gordon, the PYM team and all who worked so hard to make this event such an outstanding success.
These young leaders stand as an example to our whole Church of what it means to embody the unity we find in Christ. They work across the boundaries and divisions which at other times can so limit our Church and its potential for fulfilling the mission to which it is called.
Let us work together to honour all the good things represented in the work of PYM and Connect and to support the voices of our young people being heard in our worship, planning, and the decisions we make at all levels of our Church’s life and work.
Come to Offspring : 4- 6 October 2013
Located at the Silverstream Retreat Centre over the weekend of Friday 4- Sunday 6 October, Offspring is an opportunity for leaders involved in new missional ventures, within the PCANZ to share stories, learn, reflect, worship, pray together, and share good food and good company.
Those already receiving, or who are thinking of applying for funding from PressGo are also encouraged to attend Offspring so that together we can share our passion, ideas and imagination for our Church and build leadership.
The weekend will include Saturday afternoon workshops covering a range of topics relevant to missional ventures.
For all the details see the Offspring website. Offspring is supported by Press Go.
Since the string of earthquakes in the Wellington region our insurers have advised us that they will not be offering new property, contract works, business interruption or domestic home and contents insurance in the Wellington area (including Kapiti Coast and the Hutt Valley), Wairarapa, Nelson or Marlborough where Natural Disaster (ND) perils are required to be insured.
Nor will our insurers be accepting increased sums insured on any existing property, contract sworks, business interruption covers, nor will they accept any increases in business interruption indemnity periods for properties in these earthquake zones.
We are hoping that this stance from the insurance industry will change as things quieten down and certainly before the programme’s renewal date of 31 October.
Assembly Office and earthquakes
In the case of another significant event that may impact on the church office building, I will instruct all our staff to follow the protocols for all government employees and to work from home until the building has been declared safe by an engineer.
We hope that there will not be further strong quakes, but in the event that there is, please see the Church website and Facebook for notification when staff are back in the office. For urgent enquiries during these times please contact staff on their mobile numbers or email. Staff contact details are here.
Council for World Mission (CWM) Training Opportunities
CWM is looking to put together training teams for people with some specific skills , to work with other member churches. There is an event in Zambia especially for those who have experiences in working with people with disabilities, and another in Fiji for those who may be able to assist congregations in capacity building and auditing in relation to their current mission and ministry activities. Please contact me for more details.
Churches are invited to participate in the National Church census. The survey can be completed online and will take about 20 minutes.
Calling a Newly Trained Minister
This year, six people will complete their training as interns. They are a terrific group of people and represent a range of backgrounds and experience. All are eager to commit themselves to ministry within the life of a congregation. Profiles for each are available from the Rev Allister Lane who coordinates introductions and discussions between final year interns and Ministry Settlement Boards. For more information, please contact Allister.
Ministry Development Programme – October deadline to book your review
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. Many have already benefited from the review process. A minister will not be in good standing if they do not have a review that is less than three years old as at October 2013. This does not apply to retired ministers, unless they are in, or plan to return to, some active, recognised ministry role.
If you have not booked or completed a review or your review is more than three years out-of-date as of October this year, you will no longer be able to conduct weddings nor will you be able to be called to another congregation. Full details here.
Certificates of Good standing are valid for six years with a review needed to be undertaken every three years. Please note that the guidelines have been updated to take account of ministers serving overseas and active ministers who are not currently serving in parish or chaplaincy positions.
A huge thanks to all those presbyteries, elders and church councils who took the time to respond to the Assembly discussion documents. We are working through all the responses with the intention of inviting further engagement with these issues before the end of the year. The Council of Assembly are holding a special one-day meeting to reflect on what the Church is saying and to formulate further questions and discussion.
Changes in the Marriage Act
This week I circulated to Presbyteries, UDCs, Synods and Te Aka Puaho a report from the Book of Order and Judicial Committee which considers issues raised by the changes to the Marriage Act. This report is intended to provide clarification to matters raised by parishes and presbyteries following an earlier note (April 2013). Please contact your presbytery clerk for more information.
General Assembly 2014
General Assembly will be held from Fri, 3 – Tue, 7 Oct 2014 in Auckland.
- Imagine an Assembly that is inspiring and resourceful.
- Imagine an Assembly that had a number of “streams” flowing and not just business sessions.
- Imagine belonging to a movement and being in community.
- Imagine hospitality, creativity, playfulness and spiritual nourishment.
- Imagine a working conference for old and young, Maori, Pacific people, Asian and Pakeha.
General Assembly 2012 asked that the next General Assembly (2014) be far more than a business meeting, focused on resourcing and inspiring the church in the midst of significant change and opportunity.
This is an Assembly you will not want to miss – book the dates now and look out for more exciting details.
Expressions of interest are open in the following areas:
- “Streams” - Networks that would like to work together on are area of ministry or mission. eg church schools, youth, creative (musicians, artists, poets), business sessions…
- Resources – Fresh expressions of doing church, preaching, spiritual growth…
- Inspiring New Zealand speakers
- Story tellers - stories of churches making a difference in our society.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your expressions of interest.
Thanks again for all you do to support our Church and its mission
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Dackle is not a word you hear very often in youth work. It is however, one of the three D’s of sustainable youth ministry, as Sala Tiatia shared with us in the opening keynote address. To find out what deckle is about and the other two D’s you can listen to it, along with the other keynotes, on PYM’s vimeo page: http://vimeo.com/71119940
Connect was sold out with over 230 of our youth leaders coming together from around NZ. With workshop presenters and others coming for parts of it, at times we had over 250 people. It is encouraging seeing people come back year after year now, as well as people coming for the first time. Here is what one first time participant said about the weekend, “I feel like I’ve been disconnected from church and God. But after this Connect I feel I could go back home to help and serve the young people in our church as well as our community”. What a wonderful thing to take away from Connect. It would be even more encouraging for this youth leader to feel sustained, supported and encouraged by their church. If you have youth leaders in your church, why don’t you (as the Minister) take them out for coffee, or have them over for dinner and share how much you value them – or maybe you need to ask how you can support them more in what they do.
Click here for some photos from Connect.
It was a delight to meet the TIM participants and be part of their orientation and welcome at Ohope Marae. The Presbyterian Church is hosting the second half of this CWM-funded training event. Catching up with Petra Malcolm, our Presbyterian delegate and from my local church of St John’s Wellington, made it even more special. We got to welcome the TIM participants at Connect as well. We wish them all the best for their time in New Zealand.
Gordon and I are running a Going Deeper at Mahurangi 2-3 August. Then on Sunday (4 August), I have the privilege of attending the commissioning service of our newest PYM Bmin intern, Masele Bakulich, at Glendowie Presbyterian.
National Youth Ministry Development Leader
I recently had the opportunity to visit the World Press Photo Exhibition in Auckland, which this year contains some haunting images of the violence in Syria. There was one very powerful image of a Syrian woman stricken with grief at the loss of her husband and children, who had been killed by Government forces. This photograph affected me quite deeply. I wanted to kneel down in front of the photo and pray for the safety of the Syrian mother of two who had been in email contact with me last year, pleading for help for herself, her husband and their two children, her angels, as she called them. They were a Syrian Christian family, who were desperate to escape the terror. After making enquiries here, it was clear that there was nothing we could do directly to help them. Options for immigration are very restricted and if they were to try to come as refugees, they would need to follow the normal process for this. That process could mean years in a refugee camp, assuming they could make it that far, which was doubtful.
We are often contacted by Christians from all around the world who, despite living in the midst of poverty and in this case extreme danger, have access to the internet, and who read our church website and are familiar with all the information we post on it. What you read on our website, even this article, can also be read by internet users in countries as diverse and challenging as Syria, India, Pakistan and Myanmar. I wished there was something we could have done for this family. It was difficult to explain that we couldn’t help, knowing that they might become victims of the violence. Hence my emotional reaction when I viewed the photo at the exhibition. Afterwards I emailed to see if they were still there, and surviving. I was relieved to receive a reply to say that they were; but they are still caught up in the fighting, and desperate to find a way to leave. It is an uncomfortable feeling to be in contact with people in need yet being powerless to help.
At times it is easy to focus on the things that we can’t do – but if we do that, we can end up doing nothing at all. I hope that each of us is focusing on what we can do, wherever we are, in order to share the Good News of the saving love of Jesus Christ. And if you do get a chance to visit the World Press Photo exhibition, be prepared for some challenging images. It is in Wellington from 3-25 August.
Global Mission Coordinator
A Month Rich in Stories
It’s been a busy and rich month for Kids Friendly – a time of sharing and receiving stories.
Henriette Wentink, a ministry student from Westminster College, Cambridge University in the UK is doing a six-week internship with me, so there’s lots of story sharing as we work alongside one another and churches and their leaders. We attended Connect in Wellington where Henriette had some wonderful insights into “our story” of being Presbyterian in ministry together. On the Monday night following Connect, Henriette got to share with leaders her passion for sharing our Christian story with children (and all ages) through Godly play. Fifteen leaders were inspired to attend this training event despite a shaky Wellington.
And while in Wellington I caught up with Rev Monika Redman from St Ninian’s Uniting Parish. I was inspired to hear stories of Monika’s ministry and intent to grow a “family of God”. Monika shared her church’s story of sharing communion with children. While inviting children to participate in communion has been an entrenched practise at St Ninian’s for some time, children’s leaders asked if Monika could teach children more of the meaning of communion. Monika shared her story with me and we have developed it as a resource to inspire others. Find resources on children and communion and other helpful articles on our Kids Friendly website.
And the storytelling continues with our latest issue of “Hands On” which shares inspiring stories of helping children engage with some of our key Christian practices including hospitality.
One of the greatest privileges of my role is that I get to hear and share the wonderful stories of ways are churches are ministering with children. Please keep them coming. They are a blessing to me and great resource to many others out there committed to ministering to and with children and families.
“Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful and meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.” (Robert McKee, actor)
Kids Friendly Coach
We are seeking a person to fill the role of United Nations Committee Convener. The Very Rev Pamela Tankersley retired from her position as Convener of the Presbyterian Women United Nations Committee in July 2013, and the position was not filled at the Presbyterian Women Annual meeting in May.
This position requires some specialist knowledge and skills. The Convener’s job is to:
- head the committee whose job it is to educate PW about international women’s affairs and advocacy for a better world for women and girls
- manage PW’s consultative status at the UN
- encourage partnership with other NGO groups in NZ and with Ecumenical Women at the UN participate in the International Caucus of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs
- represent Presbyterian Women at the Commission on the Status of women, held in March each year in New York
Pamela has offered to train her successor in the way in which our representative has carried out these functions.
Expressions of interest in taking up this role are invited from any woman in the Presbyterian Church and applications can be made to the Secretary, Shona Bettany at email@example.com, who will then forward a more detailed job description.
Nominations can be made through a local branch or regional presbyterial of Presbyterian Women by 14 August 2013.
Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
Live Below the Line
From 23-27 September, New Zealanders will join a global effort to eliminate hunger in the challenge to Live Below the Line. It doesn’t cost a lot – you get to spend $2.25 a day on food – the global poverty line. There is not a lot of choice on the menu but it is an opportunity to begin to understand what it is like to go hungry – like 870 million people throughout the world. CWS is raising funds for the Women’s Development Resource Centre working with Dalits (also known as untouchables), Tribal people and gypsies in India’s Tamil Nadu to improve their livelihoods and access to fundamental human rights. Participants sign up sponsors and their progress is collated on-line. Read how to Live Below the Line with CWS
CWS asks churches to continue to pray for the people of Egypt, Syria, Palestinian and those who are providing shelter to refugees. There are now 1.8 million Syrian refugees and no sign of an end to hostilities. The International Committee of the World Day of Prayer asks members to listen to the voices of the protests on Egypt's streets. They note the frustration, escalating violence including against women and minorities like Christians and moderate Muslims, discrimination, and the rising living costs. The World Council of Churches is praying for “a peaceful and inclusive transformation” in Egypt’s political systems. Please pray for peace and support the Syria Appeal. Donations can be sent to CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140 or 0800 74 73 72 or online.
Each month, CWS emails the Update newsletter carrying news, stories and concerns from partner and other groups that can be read or used in church publications. To sign up contact Mandla at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 5.0% percent. This rate became effective from 1 February 2012. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.
Cook Island Language Week: 4-10 August
The theme for this year’s Pacific Language Week, which will focus on Cook Islands language, is: “Toku Reo, Utuutu `Ia: My Language, Nurture it.” For more information on events that will take place throughout the country, check out the Cook Islands Language Week Facebook page.
Presbyterian Foundation Grants
Application for the 2013 round of Presbyterian Foundation grants are now invited, application forms can be downloaded from the Church website. The Presbyterian Foundation is a trust fund, the interest of which is distributed to support the mission of the Church – particularly innovative mission at the local and regional church level. Applications close on 15 September.
New Website for Ohope Marae
Nau mai, Haere Mai! The Church’s national marae has a new website. The marae is available for hire and details about hiring the facility as well as contact info for committee members and other key details. Check out the new Ohope Marae website.
Presbyterian Research Centre
The Hewitson Library has organised a trial of the EBCSO fulltext database Religion and Philosophy for members of the Church. This database provides full text articles from over 290 journals and is widely regarded as a key resource in this field.
The trial will run through to 18 September, and your feedback as to its usefulness (or not) would be appreciated.
Coverage includes Biblical Studies, Epistemology, History of Philosophy, World Religions and much more. Full-text coverage dates as far back as 1911, and more information, including a full list of journals, is available at http://www.ebscohost.com/public/religion-philosophy-collection
For details on accessing the trial, please email the Hewitson library at email@example.com
Our Asian Ministry
Information about the Church’s Asian ministry and mission, contact details for the Asian Council and other useful information can be found on a new section of the website dedicated to our Asian ministry. Read more.
PresCare Art and Writing Competition
The Prescare Art and Writing Competition is an opportunity for children from preschool to Year 8 (photography entries open to year 9 – 13 students) to get creative. Competition closes 26th August. Get more info including entry forms here.
Held in Wellington on 4-6 October,Offspring is an opportunity for Presbyterian Church leaders involved in new missional ventures to share stories, learn, reflect, worship, pray together, and share good food and good company. As of late July, the event was at almost full capacity, so if you wish to register, please do so quickly (and wait until you receive email confirmation of your registration before booking travel.) Read more.
Symposium on Theology, Spirituality and Cancer
On 20-21 February, 2014 at the University of Auckland (City Campus), the School of Theology at The University of Auckland and Laidlaw College present a Symposium on Theology, Spirituality and Cancer.
The Theology, Spirituality and Cancer symposium is an interdisciplinary meeting exploring dialogue between theological (including biblical), religious, philosophical, spiritual, healthcare and pastoral arenas. The symposium will be of interest to academics and practitioners, including religious ministers, chaplains, counsellors and healthcare practitioners in related areas. It will address issues such as theodicy, cancer therapies, end of life care, pastoral issues, and insights a theological, religious or spiritual perspective can bring to an understanding of all aspects of cancer. These areas will be explored through presented papers, keynote addresses, and a public lecture. More details, including the Call for Papers, are available here.
Glen Innis Vacancies
5-12 August Cottage
12-19 August Homestead / Cottage
19-26 August Homestead / Cottage
26 Aug – 2 Sep Homestead / Cottage
2 – 9 Sep Cottage
Event to Celebrate New Zealand Hymns
On Sunday, 22 September 2013 at 2pm, Holy Cross Church in Albany will be hosting an event celebrating New Zealand hymns. The event is held in association with the Hymbook Trust, and entry is by koha or donation.
Gardening with Soul
As part of the international film festival, Gardening with Soul is a film that deals with with faith, getting older, and gardening, of course. More info about the film and screening dates in your city are available on the film festival website.
NZ Faith Communities Nurses Conference
The 2013 conference is being held at The Community of St Luke (Auckland) on Saturday, 7 September, and will focus on the spirituality of older people. To register, or for more info, click here.
Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis
NZCCSS welcomes the publication of Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis. The book has brought together a wide group of contributors with expertise across many fields including education, health, housing, social welfare, economics, and policy. More info about the book and the issues it raises can be found at http://www.inequality.org.nz/
PCANZ Yearbook 2013
The Church’s 2013 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download changes up to July here using the username and password emailed to you in April 2013.
Mr Reece Frith, Ordinand, Kaimai Presbytery, to Licentiate, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 July 2013.
Mr Gary Mauga, Ordinand, Northern Presbytery, to Licentiate, Northern Presbytery, 30 January 2013.
Ordination and Inductions:
Rev Reece Frith, Licentiate, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister, Katikati – St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, 1 July 2013.
Keith Hooker, Other Recognised Minister, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister, Gore – Calvin Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 1 July 2013.
Rev Gary Mauga, Licentiate, Northern Presbytery, to Minister, Henderson – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 30 January 2013.
Rev Fraser Paterson, Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister, Gisborne Presbyterian Parish, Gisborne-Hawkes Bay, 1 June 2013.
Rev Sandra Wright-Taylor, part-time Assistant Minister, Avonhead/Upper Riccarton, Presbytery of Christchurch, is also part-time Ecumenical Hospital Chaplain, Presbytery of Christchurch, 1 August 2013.
Changes in Status:
Rev Sharon Ross Ensor, Wadestown Presbyterian Church, Wellington Presbytery, to Member, Wellington Presbytery, 26 May 2013.
Rev Jangwon Seo, Minister, Manurewa – St Andrew’s Hanshin Korean Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, 6 January 2013.
Rev Louise Stevenson-Wright, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emerita, Southern Presbytery, 3 July 2013.
Rev Keith Hooker, Kaimai Presbytery, to Southern Presbytery, 1 July 2013.
Rev Fraser Paterson, Wellington Presbytery, to Gisborne-Hawkes Bay Presbytery, 1 June 2013.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries:
Rev Jan Fogg, Methodist, began a term as Stated Supply, Thames Union Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 July 2013.
John Balchin, Minister, Papakura East Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery to Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 24 December 2012.
Rev Sione Faitala, Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 4 July 2013.
Rilma Sands, Feilding Oroua Presbyterian Parish, Manawatu Wanganui Presbytery, to Minister Emerita and Member, Manawatu Wanganui Presbytery, 31 July 2013.
Removals from Roll (inactive in ordained ministry within the Presbyterian Church):
Rev Paul Nicholas Andrianatos removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 12 July 2013.
Rev William Noel Brown removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 1 July 2013.
Rev Michael Katipa, Amorangi, Whakatane Maori Pastorate, Te Aka Puaho, removed from Ministerial Roll, 24 July 2013.
Rev Noel Khokhar removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 25 June 2013.
Rev Dong Gyu Lee removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 1 July 2013.
Rev Malietoa T.F. Feleti Ngan-Woo removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 1 July 2013.
Rev Daniel Rikiriki, Southern Urewara Maori Pastorate, Te Aka Puaho, removed from Ministerial Roll, 24 July 2013.
Rev Alan Sarte removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 12 July 2013.
Rev Paul Sung-Won Lee, Other Recognised Minister, Manawatu Wanganui Presbytery, removed from Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 28 June 2013.
Rev Daniel Winstanley, Other Recognised Minister, Taranaki Presbytery, removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 25 June 2013.
Rev Robert William, Other Recognised Minister, Nelson-Marlborough Presbytery, resigned on 22 March 2013.
Rev Uili Aukuso, Minister, Gisborne – St David’s Presbyterian Church, Gisborne-Hawkes Bay Presbytery, died on 14 July 2013.
Rev Eric Chapman, Minister Emeritus, Manawatu Wanganui Presbytery, died on 3 July 2013.
Rev William Tibbles, Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, died on 6 July 2013.
Raumanga – St John’s Co-operating Parish has changed its name to Whangarei - St John’s Golden Church, Northern Presbytery, 31 January 2013.
Seatoun/Strathmore – St Christopher’s Church. Wellington Presbytery, was dissolved on 1 July. 2013.
Rev Ray McKendry, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 1 July 2013 - not 1 July 2012 as published previously.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.