From the Moderator
While driving home from Auckland yesterday I was reminded of an important lesson in life. Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in the one ahead! The Bible calls patience a “Fruit of the Spirit”, and I discovered there wasn’t too much of this fruit hanging on my tree! The first thing God says about his love is that it is patient.
The word, “frustrating” seems to be a reasonably common expression – not only in a teenager’s vocabulary!. It can be a dangerous and destructive word – driving on the road, in life – and in church! One of the things that hold many churches back in their mission is “frustration”. It can be frustration with the church’s culture, frustration with worship or the sermon, frustration with people, frustration with the minister… frustration with God…
As we prepare for GA Assembly Week in October can I encourage us all as people of the Presbyterian Church to reflect again on the wonderful Maori word – whanau which means to “be born” or “to give birth”. Generally it means our extended family of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, children and cousins. In the vernacular it has come to mean our family of friends: our mates, our tribe, our team. We are the Presbyterian whanau.
In Maori mythology, whanau is symbolised by a spearhead. A spearhead has three tips – but to work properly, all the force must move in one direction. And so it is with whanau. For a whanau to function, everyone must move towards the same point. You are free to choose the course you take, but the spearhead is most effective if you all work together. This is the essence of whanau – working hard for each other, in harmony, without dissent, submerging individual ego for a greater cause. It’s the fostering of connections, trust and collaboration between all people.
There is wisdom in the Maori saying, “He iti wai kowhao waka e tahuri te waka” which means “A little water seeping through a small hole may swamp a canoe”. Patience with each other in the whanau is the antidote to the leak. Patience is the antidote to frustration. It’s hard to row a waka if ten people are rowing in unison, five are rowing in the opposite direction and three are trying to sink the waka!!
Our General Assembly is a once in two-year opportunity for us to come together as Presbyterian whanau to celebrate and bless each other with love – of which patience is the first virtue. Let’s ensure every parish has a commissioner, and hopefully many more parishes will send a couple of car loads of people to bring our whanau together to help us row in harmony and move forward in mission.
Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a bucketful of brains.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
I write just a few hours before we meet with officials from the China Christian Council (CCC) here in Shanghai.
Our Church has a remarkable and still not fully told story, of engagement with China, which began over 140 years ago.
We are presenting to the CCC two photos from our archives that we have had framed. They were both taken by one of our church missionaries in the 1930s. The photos depict a meeting of the Presbyterian Church of China’s General Assembly here in Shanghai at a church only a few minutes’ drive from where I am staying with Phil King, our global mission coordinator, and Kyoung Gyun Han who leads our commitment to mission among our Asian Communities.
We are taking the opportunity to meet with the CCC on our way to a long-scheduled commitment to review our ministry agreements with the Presbyterian Church of Korea and the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea – two churches, which again, can identify in their history the presence of a New Zealand missionary in the early part of last century.
Given the almost exponential numerical increase of protestant worship in China since the 1950s, and the fact that probably more people identify as Presbyterian in Korea than any other single country in the world, we can only imagine what the decades ahead will look like in terms of partnership opportunities and cooperation with such nations. The recent commitment by a congregation in Korea to partner with the Lord’s Church in South Auckland to fund the development of a new educational and outreach facility in Mangere gives us some sense of the possibilities.
There are plenty of examples now that indicate that mission work is happening “from anywhere to everywhere” and that we are moving from being a net missionary sending church in the last century to a missionary receiving church in this one.
Press Go Catalyst appointed
The Press Go board has announced the appointment of Lisa Wells to the role of Catalyst, which is focussed on enabling and resourcing promising mission and projects. Lisa is currently the Development Manager at Presbyterian Support Otago, and will be known to many through her role on various national and regional Church committees. We look forward to welcoming her to the team when she starts in June.
Feedback on Lent Resource
PresCare published a Lent Reflections booklet again this year, and we’re keen to understand how people are using the document and if there are any improvements that can be made. Please take this short online survey to let us know your thoughts. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SJ8BHN7
Discussion paper on marriage
In December 2013, Council of Assembly asked the Doctrine Core Group to provide the Church with a discussion paper on marriage. A copy of the resource was emailed to synods, presbyteries and parishes this week, and hard copies are also being posted out.
Assembly Week is going to be a time for everyone in our church to learn, grow and celebrate our Church’s life and mission. Please come and join us from 4-7 October in Auckland (a special ministers’ training day is on 3 October). Learn more about Assembly Week from Moderator-designate the Rev Andrew Norton view video, or visit the Assembly Week website for enrolment and other details.
Consultation with presbyteries
In 2012 the Assembly decided that presbyteries should be consulted about matters being discussed at the General Assembly.
Last month the reports and proposals that are currently available were sent to all presbyteries, the Pacific Islands Synod and Te Aka Puaho. They will use this information to provide some feedback about the content of these reports and the priority the Church should give them in terms of the Assembly’s agenda.
These groups will be able to provide feedback to the Assembly Business Workgroup at the presbytery leaders and administrators meeting on Wednesday, 11 June in Auckland.
Stage 3 Voting for the Moderator-elect 2016
In the third stage in the election process, each congregation is being asked to vote for the Moderator-designate.
Last week we sent out voting forms to all congregations. If you have not received your voting papers, please get in touch with me as soon as possible.
Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops
To retain a status of good standing, it is a requirement that every minister must attend one of these workshops once every three years. These workshops are provided on an “as needed” basis (usually for a minimum of ten people). If you are due to attend a workshop, please contact your presbytery clerk.
Clarity in Mission
The Council of Assembly has released another document called “Mission Clarity” supporting its Strategic Directions. The Mission Clarity document aims to help presbyteries and congregations reflect on the kind of church structures and initiatives which, in our experience and based on research from here and abroad, are most likely to support the future of our Church’s mission and growth. Download the Mission Clarity document here, and I would welcome your feedback or ideas on how we can further develop this guide.
The document also refers to some extensive research conducted by the Church of England, which you might also find interesting to refer to. View here.
My role as AES provides an enormously privileged opportunity to serve and engage with our Church. All ministries, though, have their time and season and I have indicated to the Council my intention to be open to another call or appointment. I have also indicated that whether or not I receive a call or appointment prior to this time, I will not be continuing beyond the end of September 2015. This gives the Council plenty of time to develop a good succession plan. They are currently engaging with presbyteries on a proposal that would see the employment of AES-designate who I would work with for a period before leaving.
Thanks again for your prayers and your support of the people and work of the Assembly office.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Knox Centre Music Scholarships 2014
Each year, the Knox Centre offers six music scholarships to encourage and equip young musicians and vocalists in the conduct of public worship. Each scholarship consists of an expenses-paid two-day workshop on music and worship at the Knox Centre, plus a cash grant. Applicants must be under 30 years of age. The next music and worship workshops will be held on Thursday 27, and Friday 28 November, to coincide with the Samstock music festival, which runs from the evening of Friday, 28 until midday on Sunday, 30 November.
Applications for the above scholarships will close on 30 June 2014. Enquiries can be directed to the Principal of the Knox Centre. To apply for the scholarships, write a letter of application to the Principal detailing the nature of your involvement in music and worship, and include with your letter a reference from your Minister.
Catherine van Dorp
Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
For many of our churches we have just finished celebrating Youth Week. This is always a good time of the year to focus on young people. Perhaps now would be a good time to challenge everyone in your congregation to find a way of supporting young people in the church, from volunteering to praying to providing meals for the weekend events!
This year we will have over 30 theoretical, theological and practical workshops at Connect 2014. Each workshop is led by someone who researches it, teaches it or lives it. Information about the workshops are on the PYM website. Connect 2014 is on 11-13 July at St.Andrew’s College in Christchurch. We only have one more month of registration at the standard pricing, so encourage your youth leadership team to sign up in June.
National Youth Gathering
As part of Assembly Week, PYM will be hosting a National Youth Gathering for young people aged 15+. After the four-day gathering, we want young people to go home knowing that "they can do mission" - that they can contribute to society. Cost is $99, and more about what we’ll be doing and enrolment can be found on the National Youth Gathering page of the Assembly Week website.
Sustainable Practice 5 of 7
We will share responsibility.
- We believe that having a youth worker does not release the rest of the church from our responsibilities towards young people.
- We promise to encourage everyone to play a part in volunteering, supporting or praying for young people.
National Youth Co-ordinator
Friends of Jagadhri
Significant changes are taking place within the Friends of Jagadhri, who have long held the responsibility for overseeing Presbyterian Church support for mission in North India. At their most recent meeting in April, Doreen Riddell announced that the time had come for her to step down as chairperson, and the majority of the board decided it was time for them to also cease their active involvement. The decision was made to hand this responsibility over to Global Mission.
Those throughout the Church who have faithfully supported the work of the Friends of Jagadhri can be reassured that Global Mission’s commitment to our partnership with the Church of North India remains firm. Indeed, we are looking to expand and develop what we are doing there, with members of Somervell church in Remuera playing a significant role. Further detail about this will be written in the next Friends of Jagadhri newsletter, copies of which can be requested from me.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my grateful thanks to Doreen Riddell for her extensive commitment to the Friends of Jagadhri over many years; and to all the trustees who have served the Church so well in this role for a very long time. The General Assembly in October will include a presentation to Doreen acknowledging her lifetime of Christian witness and service for the people of India, and her leadership of the Friends of Jagadhri.
I would also like to acknowledge the work of Angela Norton who has recently resigned as the Ricebowl Mission Coordinator, a position she held for five years. During this time the Presbyterian Church’s mission partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Myanmar (PCM) has grown and matured, with many members of our Church having had the opportunity to visit Myanmar and experience life in this amazing country first-hand. The PCM greatly values their relationship with us and much credit goes to Angela for her passion and commitment in nurturing this relationship. She has been well supported by the Myanmar Oversight Group and St Columba at Botany in Auckland, and we are grateful to them for their oversight of this role. Angela has taken full-time employment with the Fred Hollows Foundation.
Upskilling Women in Vanuatu
A small team of members from Hibiscus Coast parish returned to Vanuatu in May to continue their skills training project with the Presbyterian Women’s group in Port Vila. It is good to see the progress they are making, helping the PWMU provide training to empower and upskill women. Many more opportunities exist for congregations to serve alongside our primary mission partners in Vanuatu. I encourage you to consider re-igniting your church’s missional heart and approach me to find out more.
Don’t forget to check out the Assembly Week website to consider enrolling in the Global Mission Stream, and contact me for any requests to speak to your congregation or mission group, firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Mission Co-ordinator
It’s Never Too Late
I still get a thrill from congratulating a church on becoming Kids Friendly. Yesterday I congratulated St Aidan’s in Northcote, Auckland in person as I shared with them at their inter-generational café church. Our Kids Friendly conversation started in 2007 and since 2010, minister Alf Taylor, elder Liz Hansen and their Kids Friendly team have made great inroads. When I shared with the congregation three years ago, there was one three-year-old boy at worship. It was wonderful to see Steven again yesterday (now 6), as well as lots of other children and teenagers enjoying interactive all-age worship.
I reminded the congregation that becoming Kids Friendly is hard work and being (staying) Kids Friendly is hard work too. This is not a time to put their feet up or absolve their responsibility, because being “Kids Friendly” is the responsibility of the whole church family. While many of those worshipping may never run a Kids Club or plan an inter-generational worship service, the way they remember the names of the young people in their midst, take an interest in their lives and encourage their faith, is Kids Friendly.
I noticed a marked change in culture from the last time I shared with this congregation in 2010. They are proud of their achievements, energised by their growth (they also welcomed three new families into membership yesterday) and committed to their ongoing Kids Friendly journey.
In recent weeks I also congratulated two other churches on becoming Kids Friendly. Both started conversations with me about becoming Kids Friendly eight years ago! So it’s never too late to decide to become a Kids Friendly church.
Elder Liz Hansen said yesterday: “We couldn’t have got here without the encouragement, resources and processes of Kids Friendly”.
If you feel the time is right to review your ministry with children, contact me or Cheryl (Synod of Otago and Southland). We’d love to serve you and encourage you in your ministry.
National Kids Friendly Coach
Funds are due. Please send to Ngaire.
Annual Business meeting 2014
On Saturday, 23 August from 9:30am-4:30pm at Mangere Presbyterian Church, 254 Kirkbride Road, we will host our annual business meeting.
The financial accounts will be tabled, and we will look at future of Presbyterian Women. The National Group is excited to send out shortly (for members’ approval) a new model to take us forward. Nominations for Pacific Island representative and Communications Convenor are invited. We also need a new Treasurer, as Ngaire will be stepping down in July. If you are interested in role, please include “Treasurer” in email subject line to Rev Shona Bettany or phone (06)367 2067.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Ecc 3:4)
Happy 50th APW Celebrations Presbyterian Women
Taranaki MWF/PWANZ celebrated on Saturday, 10 May in the new Knox Waitara complex for an evening of entertainment, information and a celebratory meal.
Dancing through the Ages was Wellington’s theme, a bright and colourful group of 60+ women gathered on Saturday, 17 May at Christ the King PIC Church in Porirua. Rev Hana Popea-Mauigoa led worship. Guest speaker the Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban shared her strong foundation in the church, which was from her parents who were leaders at St David’s Multicultural church, Petone. She was a youth group leader, and eventually became one of the youngest deacons. Flower and banner making, tai chi and zumba kept everyone busy. We acknowledge Marie Smith, National President of NZ Methodist Women’s Fellowship and ladies who attended.
Upcoming 50th Anniversary Events
All the best to Christchurch women who will be dressing in 60s attire and Aucklander Presbyterian women who will be celebrating in August with stories from the early years. Please send a report of your event to Rae Simpson for Gleanings.
God please release our Nigerian girls.
Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
Worship resources for Refugee Sunday on 23 June will be available by 1 June. This year’s focus is on people displaced by conflict in Syria and South Sudan. The UN reports 6.5 million people have been displaced within Syria and another 2.5 million have fled the country. In South Sudan one million people have been displaced. Please show your care and concern for refugees and displaced people.
CWS is mailing out the Autumn Letter to parishes and supporters this week. Find out how the poorest people are standing up to powerful industry in India’s Tamil Nadu and why Bangladeshi workers are waiting for justice. Let Emma know if you would like a copy or phone us on 0800 74 73 72.
Talent Needed in Wellington
Music will fill the air in a major fundraising effort to improve water supplies on the West Bank of Palestine. St John’s in the City and St Andrew’s on the Terrace are organising a 24-hour Musicathon from Saturday, 9 August at 10am to Sunday, 10 August. There are a few openings on the schedule for performers and some support vacancies. If you can help, please make contact email@example.com
Each month CWS sends out CWS Update for churches and supporters. It includes information from partner groups, perspectives on development and new resources. It is a useful guide for prayer and also a means to find out what else is happening in the world. You can subscribe by writing to Emma.
Beyond the Borders Conference
The Community of St Luke, 130 Remuera Rd, Auckland will be hosting the first New Zealand conference on progressive spirituality and Christianity. Guest speakers include Prof Bernard Brandon Scott, eminent New Testament scholar and leader in the progressive Christianity movement and others. For further information and registration details see: www.progressivespirituality.co.nz
This will be a stimulating and significant occasion for those who seek a faith that is relevant both to the way of Jesus and to contemporary challenges.
Asia Sunday Resources
This year's Asia Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of Christian Conference of Asia. The theme is "Longing in Hope for the Freedom of Creation" and more info about Asia Sunday, including a liturgy, can be downloaded here.
Spiritual Growth Ministries programme
Applications for SGM’s comprehensive two-year, part-time programme that is designed to inspire and form effective spiritual directors are due by 20th September 2014. For all enquiries please contact Barbara McMillan firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the SGM website.
Children’s Book Series About the Arrival of Gospel in New Zealand
A series of children's stories – The Chronicles of Paki - NZ's Untold Story – to do with the coming of the gospel to New Zealand has been published recently. The books are suited to children aged 8-12, and more information about the series can be found at http://www.bigbookpublishing.co.nz/
Hosted Tour to Israel
If you have always wanted to go to Israel but never got round to it, this could be your opportunity! Rev Andrew Norton is leading a 12-day tour of Israel 1-12 August 2014. Full itinerary and cost can be obtained from Andrew on 021 224 3554 or email@example.com
Wellington StarJam Volunteers Needed
StarJam empowers young people with disabilities through performance workshops here in Wellington. We are on the lookout for some wonderful volunteers to assist with our singing and dancing workshops which take place on a Thursday evening from 6.30pm-8pm at Whitireia’s Porirua Campus. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jobs Needed for Clients of Rehab Clinic
A group of volunteers linked to a long established drug and alcohol rehabilitation trust in Auckland, is endeavouring to place in employment, residents, who have successfully completed their recovery programmes.
We are appealing to tolerant business owners to find just one opening and to pledge support. Anything from clerical to manual would be welcomed. We will provide wrap-around assistance with travel etc.
If you think you can help us, could you contact Michael Corry, Wings Trust, phone 021 622 120.
Cushions and Tea Towels Fundraiser
St Margaret's Silverstream has produced some beautiful cushions and tea towels as a fundraiser. For more info or to order, contact Pat Lerwill on email@example.com
Whakatane Presbyterian 100 year anniversary
The parish would like to invite interested people to join their 100th anniversary celebrations on 24th – 26th October 2014. For more info call 07 3084268 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
National Volunteer Week
On 15-21 June, celebrations and events are being held across the country to recognise the invaluable contribution made by volunteers in Aotearoa. To find out more, or for ideas about how to celebrate see http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/
Book for sale
Grant us your peace by David R Grant is available for $20 + postage. The book includes prayers from all of the three year Lectionary Psalms. Email email@example.com or phone the author on 09-425-6788.
Ecumenical formation opportunities at Bossey
During 2014 the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey will be holding a number of seminars raising awareness on issues related to women’s concerns, justice and peace, ecology and Christian theology, interfaith relations and migrant churches.
The seminars, held at different times throughout the year, are open to international participants representing a wide spectrum of confessional, cultural and regional backgrounds. Each seminar will be limited to 30 participants.
Application forms are now available online. The deadline for applications is three months before the start of each seminar. Partial scholarships will be available for qualifying candidates.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 5.0 percent per annum. 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.
Glen Innis Vacancies
For vacancies during May and June check out the Glen Innis section of our website.
The Church Directory, which replaces the annual yearbook, is now available. For reasons of privacy, the Directory may only be accessed using a username and password which has been sent out in April to parish clerks, presbyteries, synods and others. More about the Church Directory
Rev Ivan Martinez, Southern Presbytery to Licentiate, 7 April 2014.
Receptions to the Roll
Rev Stephan Van Os, Southland Presbytery reinstated to the roll 7 April 2014.
Rev Glynn Cardy, Northern Presbytery, received 7 April 2014.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Wharekotua Turuwhenua, Amorangi Minister, Te Aka Puaho 1 December 2013.
Rev Ivan Martinez, Minister Leith Valley – St Stephens Parish (Studentsoul), Southern Presbytery, 29 April 2014.
Changes in Status
Rev Sue Fenton, Minister Wadestown Presbyterian to Member Wellington Presbytery 6 February 2013.
Rev Caleb Hardy Minister, Special Ministry (Director Presbyterian Schools) to Minister Mairangi Castor Bay, Northern Presbytery, 15 November 2015.
Rev Alan Judge, Other Recognised Ministry, Southern Presbytery to Member, Southern Presbytery, 6 May 2014.
Rev Maxwell J Garrity, Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery to Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, 31 December 2014.
Rev William (Bill) Lindsay, Minister Emeritus, died 10 October 2013.
Rev David Calvert, Minister Emeriti, Southern Presbytery, died 24 April 2014.
St Paul’s Kamo Co-operating Parish, Northern Presbytery has changed its name to Kaurihohore/Kamo Co-operating Parish.
Papanui St Giles, Christchurch Presbytery, closing 30 June 2014.
Bryndwr St Stephens – Christchurch Presbytery, closing 30 June 2014.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.