Bush Telegraph Mar 2014

From the Moderator

Recently I spent a lovely ten days visiting our churches and ministers in Te Taitokerau (Northland). I also attended the wonderful Waitangi Day celebrations, Mangungu Celebrations and the 7th Congress of the New Zealand Christian Network. My time with our Churches Together in Northland and our Te Aka PuahoTaitokerau parish was to inspire and encourage them in their mission.

In one church I was asked by a member, “What is the biggest stumbling block to the church being active in mission?” That is a key question that goes right to the heart of the matter. My answer was firstly that many people in our churches do not fully appreciate or understand who they are in Christ. They still live with a pre-Cross mind-set rather than a resurrection mind-set. Secondly, many in the Church are confused by the word mission itself – it means so many things to so many people. Thirdly, we see mission as a program organised by the church, but removed from the individual. We have institutionalised mission. Fourthly, we have placed more emphasis or energy on the Church, its structures and survival than on the real mission of the gospel. I have continued to ponder that question and would now add one or two other thoughts.

We are a Church that is governed or lead by ministers primarily functioning in a shepherd-teacher mind-set. We need some key leaders with an apostolic-prophetic mind-set. That is visionary leaders who can inspire others and take risks.

Often when I talk to church groups about mission I receive a variety of ideas of their understanding of mission:

  • Seeking justice, peace and righteousness … environmental issues, caring for the poor and needy, the vulnerable and marginalised, …
  • Being a loving group who love and care for each other …
  • Serving the community – op Shops, foot clinics, providing buildings for community groups to rent …

All of these things are mission and it is important for the church to be involved in these things. But none of them is distinctly Christian. We do not have to belong to a church to care for the environment,seek justice and peace, and care for the poor and needy. Christians do not have the handle on love – many people serve the community and offer facilities for community groups. But, Christians are the only people who proclaim Jesus and the Kingdom of God as revealed by Jesus. Christians do offer the hope and peace of Jesus. It seems to me that we are good at talking to each other about Jesus, studying Jesus, but we are not so good at sharing the Good News with great joy to all people. God bless you.


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I have just been reading some research that identifies 1961 as the date when the word “consumer” became more used than the word “citizen” to describe an individual’s identity and place in western society.

In this season of Lent we focus especially on the cost of discipleship. Consuming less, seems to me, to be both a strongly counter-culture expression of who we are and also one that dovetails with the challenges and messages of this time. .Jesus’ question in Matthew “for what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?”stands in such profound contrast to a society whose economic life is described in terms of how much we can consume, or how much we can produce in order to be consumed.

We are offering places for our church members to attend the Just Church conference later in March and another seminar for Churches on 27 March supporting a shift to low carbon economies. Christians from many backgrounds will gather at these events to reflect on how our faith calls us to be agents of God’s justice and peace.

Lent raises questions about what it means to be citizens in a different kind of kingdom and a rejection of the consumer-driven values of our society. Most importantly it calls for personal and corporate action to claim and identify as Jesus's disciples and followers.

Voting for the Moderator-elect, 2016: Stage 2 – deadline 15 May 2014

In the second stage in the election process, each presbytery, Synod and Te Aka Puaho should send one name from the list they have received to the Convenor of the Nominating Committee, the Rev Mary Jane Konings, 347 Waiiti Road, Timaru 7910 or by email: mary-jane@timarupres.org.nz

Please note that the presbyteries eligible to nominate a person, are those presbyteries and UDCs that existed at the conclusion of our last General Assembly in October 2012.

National Youth Director

We are currently seeking to employ a National Youth Director. I would encourage those with the skills and experience to consider applying for this for this important role in the life and ministry of our Church. Full details can be found here.

Children’s Day

The theme of this year’s Children’s Day is “treasure our children”, and the Church is marking this event by celebrating a decade of inspirational leadership for our children’s ministry by Kids Friendly national coach Jill Kayser.

Jill's gifts, passion and vision were evident to me, and to many others, when she first became involved in the life of the Presbyterian Church as the children and family ministry leader when we worked together at St Heliers Church and Community Centre more than 15 years ago. Her vision, passion and enthusiasm for the importance that children play in our church’s life and mission is of fundamental in our Church’s understanding of its priorities and present and future mission. We give thanks for Jill's contribution to ministry with our children and families. Read more

Council for World Mission Opportunities

The Council for World Mission (CWM) is offering a range of opportunities for 2014.

Face the Facts provides a one-month emersion experience in the Philippines in September for a person from our Church to engage with our Biblical teachings on justice. The programme will look at issues ranging from the impact of global neo liberal economic policies, human trafficking and deforestation. All expenses are covered.

A New Faith And Culture Exposure (ANF) 2014 Programme aims to stimulate theological reflection and cross-cultural perspective to a group of 12 ordained ministers from CWM churches by introducing them to realities and an environment different than their own. For six weeks starting 1 September to 17 October 2014, ANF participants will be exposed to the experiential and interactive introduction to local faith and culture; placement and participation in local worship and ministry; and evaluation/debriefing sessions. ANF will be hosted by the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (UCJCI) in Jamaica.

CWM is also offering sponsored post-graduate theological study opportunities in seminaries in Taiwan and the Netherlands. (Study will be in English.)

If you are interested in applying for any of these opportunities, please contact me and I will send you the details.


PresCare – the joint initiative between us and Presbyterian Support – invites congregations to focus on our shared concern for the wellbeing of children and families with the Lent Reflections resource. The resource was mailed to parishes at the end of last year, and more copies can be requested from Assembly Office (email Sandra@presbyterian.org.nz), or simply download the Lent Reflections booklet from our website.

Through Prescare, parishes and Presbyterian Support are being invited to join together in outreach to participate in this year’s Neighbours Day. Thanks to a grant from the Presbyterian Foundation,financial support is available foroutreach where parishes are working with Presbyterian Support. Learn more about getting involved in Neighbours Day.

Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly

After consultation with presbyteries and the Assembly Business Work Group, a deadline has been set for receiving all reports and proposals that will be considered by General Assembly. All material must be received by 31 March 2014.

Feedback from discussions

We have distributed to all presbyteries and church councils our second round of discussion documents seeking responses in preparation for the 2014 General Assembly. Please send your responses to our office by 31 March 2014.

Use of buildings and the Human Rights Act

Please find here the Human Rights Commission response to a letter from our Church requesting further information on the use of church buildings. If you have further queries about their response, please write to them directly and send a copy of your letter and their response to me.

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.

Thanks again for your prayers and your support of the people and work of the Assembly Office.


Presbyterian Youth

I had the privilege to talk with and pray for a member of a congregation in the Taranaki this month. Many of the young adults from her church are spread thoughout the country during the term time as they study. In 2014 this lady has stepped up her usual commitment to stay in contact with the students, by planning to visit every one of them at their campus at least once. I was certainly inspired by this woman, and I hope it makes you think about what your congregation is doing when students head off to university.

Connect 11-13 July

Registration for Connect is now open. Connect our national youth leaders conference is being held in Christchurch at St.Andrew’s College. This will once again be an awesome weekend of training, through four keynotes, 30 optional workshops and four optional facilitated conversations. Make sure your church reps sign up before the 1 May Early Bird deadline. To register for more info about Connect

Sustainable practice 2 of 7

We will give space for retreat and reflection

  • We believe it is essential for our youth workers to take time to think and pray.
  • We promise to encourage our youth workers to use part of their schedule to give space for retreat, reflection and personal development.

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Co-ordinator

Kids Friendly

Being intentional for growth

Recently I read this challenging quote: “If you knew that 50 percent of your church membership would leave in the next 15 years what would you do?” (fromDavid Goodwin who was commenting on trends in children’s ministry in Australian churches).

This trend is already evident in New Zealand with many churches of all denominations having lost one or more vital generations of children and young people. What are we doing to encourage our children and young people to stay and grow as leaders? What are we doing to develop their unique gifts and strengths and so that they may use them in our churches and communities?

Kids Friendly believes every child has the potential to be a leader and that has been reinforced again at the latest TRANSFORMERS - Raising Up Young Leaders (RUYL) Camp held in February in Dunedin.

There were thirty-six Leaders in Training (LITs aged 10-13yrs), 10 teenage leaders and nine adult mentors came from seven churches throughout Otago and Southland. We were also blessed to have the support of Jennie McCullough and a team of five young people who travelled (like missionaries) all the way down from Waitara to work with us – sharing their experience, encouraging and praying with us as we establish Transformers camps and mentoring programmes in the Southern Presbytery.

Over the weekend a fun, safe community developed as LITs, leaders and mentors learnt about Jesus as their model servant leader. They practised skills and team work and led a special worship service on Sunday tying all the themes and learning together. Adult mentors were inspired by their experience at camp and are committed to mentor and encourage their young leaders for the next year in their churches and communities.

Parents are thrilled that their children are being encouraged so positively at this crucial age: “Thank you for organising such a wonderful camp! My 13-year-old son came home buzzing about it, reciting the Transformers Code, showing us the Powerpoint and raving about the activities. Thanks to you and your team for such a fun, faith building weekend for the kids.”

So Transformers RUYL is one example of an intentional strategy for growth - to encourage and equip churches to develop leadership skills in their young people.

If your church would like to participate in the next Transformers RUYL camp – please contact us, or for more info check out the Transformers website www.kidsfriendly.org.nz/transformers

Cheryl Harray
Kids Friendly Advisor
Synod of Otago and Southland

Presbyterian Research Centre

The Library has organised a trial of the EBSCO Religion eBooks package, covering over 4000 titles, which will run to the end of March. Contact the library at hewitson@knoxcollege.ac.nz for the url, username and password. If you are not already a member we will register you first, so please include your full contact details.

The Library’s catalogue is now live at https://hewitson.mykoha.co.nz Contact the Library to register if you are not a member, or use the online form available through the Membership link on the home page. This will give you access to online reserves, renewals, and access to the e-journals package. This catalogue is only for the Hewitson, so if you are used to using the University of Otago’s catalogue to search for our holdings, please be aware that we are no longer part of that system.

Anne Jackman – Director
Presbyterian Research Centre

Presbyterian Women

Golden jubilee celebration – Ashburton

Thursday 1 May 2014 at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church on the cnr Park and Havelock Streets, Ashburton at 1:30pm.

Treasurer needed

Ngaire Pearce will be stepping down at the end of the financial year 30 June 2014. To be considered, please include “Treasurer” in the email subject line to National Secretary, Rev Shona Bettany revsbettany@xtra.co.nz or phone (06)367 2067.

Presbyterian Women study grant

We are pleased to offer a grant to women in our church seeking Christian training in 2014 to help with course costs. Do you know women seeking training? Application forms from National Secretary Rev. Shona Bettany 06 367 2067 or revsbettany@xtra.co.nz.Applications close 31 May 2014.

Celebration poster

Please send photos (limit 3 per group) of your APW groups and activities to include. Please ensure images are high resolution. Email lafulafu@xtra.co.nz and include a description of photo.

When is your celebration?

Send us details of your events. If you are hosting why not invite Presbyterian women in your area (maybe those who are not affiliated or have active women’s groups) to join you!

Please pray for our Presbyterian Women 50+ years celebrations throughout New Zealand; our mission work; our organisation in these times of change and Carol Grant our United Nations Convenor attending the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
National Convenor

CWS Notices

Share your blessings!

It’s harvest time. The vege garden is producing in abundance. There is plenty of fresh fruit and food to share. Celebrate with a Harvest Festival Market and share the proceeds with people who have no food to harvest. Can you help Filipinos rebuild their homes and livelihoods?

Worship resources for Harvest and other materials for prayer and action are available here.

Philippines: shelter and livelihoods needed

Filipinos are working hard to recover from November’s super typhoon – and it is raining! They continue to clean up debris, gather materials for rebuilding and search for food. Coconut farmers will wait seven years before new trees will reach maturity. Fisher people share boats, build simple bamboo rafts and reconstruct nets from what they can find. Aid deliveries are slowing down. The UN reports around 5.9 million people have lost their livelihoods or had them severely damaged.

Last year CWS sent $231,750 to three programmes. CWS has sent a further $20,000 to Developers to buy roofing materials for some of the most vulnerable people in eight villages in Aklan province. It is not enough, but it is a down payment. By giving to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal, more of the 2,957 households that need new roofs can be helped.

Tet Naraval of Developers is grateful for this support. “The pain and difficulty here in the communities, are eased somehow with blessings and prayers from kind and helpful people like you. For these, we can't thank you enough,” she says.

World day of prayer

This year’s World Day of Prayer “Streams in the Desert” – Friday, 7 March – has been prepared by the women of Egypt. Egyptian Bishop Muneer in supporting the Day says, “Pray for us as we seek to be peacemakers at this point of time and beyond.”


Would you likea free place at the Just Church conference?

The Church has six free places for Presbyterian church-goers to attend the World Vision Just Church conference, 20 to 22 March at the Manukau City Baptist Church. Registration is free; you would need to cover your own travel and accommodation. If you are interested please email angela@presbyterian.org.nz with your name and the church you attend by 12pm Wednesday 5 March. If more than six people wish to attend names will be drawn.

NZCMS Canterbury bicentennial celebration

New Zealand Church Missionary Society is hosting an event to mark the bicentenntial of gospel in New Zealand. Steve Graham, past Dean of Laidlaw College, will speak on 200 years of the gospel in New Zealand “The Gospel and the Land” at 7:30pm on Sat 29 March at St Christopher’s Avonhead. More information about NZCMS plans to mark this event, see http://www.nzcms.org.nz/our-story/

Tapanui Presbyterian Church celebrates 150 years

On the weekend of 22-23 March 20147, Church on the Way - Tapanui Presbyterian will mark its 150th anniversary with celebrations that include a bus tour and meal. For registration and other queries, please contact Margie Rea 03 204 8223 or churchontheway@xtra.co.nz

Preaching that transforms seminar

Carey Baptist College is hosting a one-day seminar with Dr Robert Smith Jr on Saturday, 10 May from 9:30am-3:30pm (Auckland). Cost is $10.00 (including lunch). Space is limited, so it is recommended you register as soon as possible. Register and pay online at www.carey.ac.nz.

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 whakapres@xtra.co.nz

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 dramgrant@paradise.net.nz or phone the author on 09-425-6788.

Radio frequency changes that may affect your parish sound system

Changes to the radio frequency network that come into effect in early 2015 have affected the frequencies available for radio microphones. If your parish operates radio microphones, please download this brochure for further information about steps your parish may need to take to avoid transmitting on prohibited frequencies. Read more about the changes for radio microphone users

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.

Download 2014 schedule of seminars and application form

Colin Gibson 2014 Hymns Tour

This year These Hills Workshops are taking Colin Gibson to the eastern side of the middle North Island, with events in Auckland (3rd and 4th May), Tokoroa (4th May), Opotiki (5th May), and Thames (11th May). For cost, registration and other details visit http://thesehillsworkshops.wordpress.com/workshops/

Suicide Ministry Workshops

Workshops in Auckland (18 March), Wellington (20 March), and Invercargill (22 March) will focus on “Suicide Ministry – Theology & Practice: Entering the World of the Suicide and the Bereaved”. Registration fee $160ea. For further info: http://astridstaley.wordpress.com/suicide-ministry-training-days/

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 the month of March, check out the Glen Innis section of our website.

Presbyterian Church Yearbook 2013

The Church’s 2013 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download changes up to December here using the username and password emailed to you in April 2013.

Church Register

Ordination and Inductions

Rev Simon Cornwall,from ordinand to Minister St James Greerton, Central Presbytery16 December 2013.
Rev Junghun Cho, from licentiate Northern Presbytery to Minister North Shore Korean Parish, Northern Presbytery1 December 2013.
Rev Edward Masters, from ordinand Wellington presbytery to Minister Rotorua Districts Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery 12 December 2013.
Rev Christine Burton, from ordinandKaimai Presbytery to Assistant Minister St Peters Tauranga 9 December 2013.
Rev TaniHaunga, from intern Northern Presbytery St Andrews Auckland to Minister Mt Albert Parish 11 December 2013.

Changes in Status

Rev Dr Matthew Jack, from Other Recognised Ministry Southern Presbytery to Minister Christchurch Knox, Christchurch Presbytery 16 March 2014.
Rev Martin Dickson, from Minister St Paul’s Kamo to other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery 31 January 2014.
Rev John Daniel,Transition Minister Kaikorai Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery position extended until 31 March 2014.
Rev Stephanie Wells, Minister Spreydon – St James Presbyterian Church to Transition Minister Malvern Co-Operating Parish, Christchurch Presbytery 22 February 2014.


Rev Maxwell Garrity,Minister EmeritusChristchurch Presbytery to Minister Emeritus Wellington Presbytery 1 January 2014.
Rev Rachel Elizabeth Judge, St DavidsAsburtonAshburton Presbytery to Minister (Part-time) Mornington Dunedin Southern Presbytery 1 February 2014.
Rev MaluFruean& Rev Luisa Fruean, St James Ashburton and St Paul’s Ashburton,Ashburton Presbytery to Joint Ministers Tokomairiro Co-Operating Parish Parish Southern Presbytery 27 February 2014.
Rev Malcolm Gordon fromMinister St Peters Tauranga to Music Enabler Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership from 1 February 2014.

Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries

Rev Fogatia Levi, Minister Kihikihi and Te Kuiti Parishes, Kaimai Presbytery to Minister Emeritus 31 December 2013.
Rev Kenneth Gordon Wall, Minister St Mark’s & St Andrew’s Palmerston North Central Presbytery to Minister Emeritus 16 February 2014.
Rev AsoraAmosa Minister Avondale Union Parish Northern Presbytery to Minister Emeritus 1 January 2014.

Removals from Roll

Rev Christopher Bedford, resigned and removed from the roll 31 January 2013.
Rev Roger Hart, local ordained minister Waimate Presbyterian Parish removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ pursuant to Book of Order 15.27 (m)(n)


Rev Dennis Clow, Minister Emeritus Kaimai Presbytery died 18 February 2014.
Rev Catherine Hollister-Jones QSM-Minister Emeritus Kaimai Presbytery died 23 February 2014.

Parish Register

Sum Kim Ui Church, Northern Presbytery was dissolved 17 February 2014
Grace & Truth Church,North Shore Northern Presbytery was dissolved 17 February 2014.
Auckland Calvary Church, Northern presbytery was dissolved 17 February 2014.


Check out our listing of national and regional events.


Check out our jobs vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table.