Bush Telegraph Nov 2014

From the Moderator


The feedback about Assembly Week has been so encouraging. It is as though as a Church we have dared to believe in ourselves! We have been caught by a vision of God at work among us. Our time together was filled with signs of the burning bush as the Spirit of God showed up in many and surprising ways. I will never forget the moment when Dr Min Heui Cheon from Korea asked if we would pray for the reconciliation of North and South Korea. In that moment I felt she was asking us also to pray for our own reconciliation and divide within our own Church.

“They will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. “ Ezekiel 37:22

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14

Thank you so much for your prayer and support in my role as Moderator. I saw all these people kitting during Assembly only to discover they were knitting a prayer for me. Thank you. In my term as Moderator I will represent the decisions of General Assembly. I will also do my best to listen and speak for all within our community of faith and those who are at odds with the decisions of our Assembly.

My schedule

I was involved in the recent induction of AES Rev Wayne Matheson and a meeting of our Assembly Office service team leaders earlier this week. I will also be involved in the upcoming NZCCSS conference, Whakatane Centennial, Council of Assembly meeting, Nelson churches celebration, Northern Presbytery and Alpine Presbytery leadership resourcing.


If you would like me to visit during my term as Moderator please go to moderator.presbyterian.org.nz . There are lots of resources in this web page and an explanation of some of the services I have to offer. If interested please fill in the enquiry form.

Looking ahead

  • Wilderness Retreat in February see my web page.
  • Possible Pilgrim tour of Israel, August 2016


From the Assembly Executive Secretary


Having started as the AES designate on 8 September, the past couple of months have flown by. I have had the privilege of working with Martin Baker – learning and gaining from his wisdom and knowledge.

Having had my appointment ratified at Assembly, a personal highlight was my induction service at St Johns in the City, Wellington. As I have mentioned, I feel both humbled and honoured to serve in this role.

General Assembly

A focus of our life together was the recent General Assembly. We were treated to wonderful hospitality as we prayed, worshipped, shared food and drank – as we had the opportunity to celebrate and learn together – having our hearts and bodies fed. I am sure you would want to join me in thanking the wonderful team from St Columba, Botany and other congregations from Northern Presbytery. Together with our Moderator, Andrew Norton, they organised and ran a great week.

General Assembly Evaluation

There is an opportunity for everyone who attended Assembly to complete an evaluation. This online survey provides an opportunity to assist the Business Committee and Moderator-elect plan for the next Assembly in Dunedin in 2016. If you were at Assembly Week, you will shortly get an invitation from the Assembly Logistics Coordinator to participate in the survey. Please take the time to give us your feedback.

Assembly Minutes and Matters for Consideration by Presbyteries and Church Councils

All Assembly minutes will be posted online after they have been confirmed by the Council of Assembly at its November meeting. Other matters for consideration will be sent out over the coming months.

Clarity in Mission

The Council of Assembly released a document called ‘Mission Clarity’ supporting its Strategic Directions, to help presbyteries and congregations reflect on the kind of church structures and initiatives which, in our experience and on research from here and abroad, are most likely to support the future of our Church’s mission and growth. This was discussed in dialogue groups at Assembly. You can download this document on the Church’s website, 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 the research here.

Assembly Office changes

Martin Baker finishes in the office on 7 November. He has served us very well over the past eight years and after he has completed some study-leave and some much deserved holiday, he will take up a ministry role at Clevedon Presbyterian Church. I am sure you will join with me in giving thanks to God for all Martin achieved and pray God’s blessing on his future ministry.

Council of Assembly matters

Please send all correspondence for consideration by the forthcoming Council of Assembly to me, by 5 November.

Looking for a newly trained minister?

This year, six people will complete their training as interns. They are a great 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 or in other ministry roles. 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


CWM Partner Church Visitations - We are a member of the 31-church Council for World Mission. CWM is currently coordinating small teams to visit member churches. The purpose of the visits is both to strengthen inter-church relationships but also to look at how each member church is working to develop missional congregations. If you are interested in leading or being part of a visiting team, then please let me know and I will send you more information. I will invite the Leadership Sub-committee to determine who will represent us on these teams. The visits are for one week in 2015 and 2016 and will most likely take you to a church in Asia, Africa or the Pacific. All expenses are paid by CWM.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches Council meeting, Germany 2017 –This is going to be a very special event as reformed churches gather to celebrate the 500th anniversary since the events that led to the Reformation. The meeting is in June 2017 culminating with church worship at Wittenberg, where, on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis to the castle church door. There are no details on costs yet, but let me know if you are interested in being there and I will send you information as it comes in.

Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops

It is a requirement that every minister, to retain their status of good standing, must attend one of these workshops once every three years. In November, I am looking forward to sharing in these with facilitator Jane Zintl in Christchurch, Dunedin and Tauranga – as well as with the ministry interns at the Knox Centre. These workshops are provided on an “as needed” basis for usually a minimum of ten people. If you are due to attend a workshop, please contact your presbytery clerk. Leaders in all aspects of your congregation’s life and ministry are also welcome to attend.

Thank you again for your support and prayers.


Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Youth Participation at General Assembly

We were once again delighted by the calibre of the youth commissioners at General Assembly and that many of them took the opportunity to address the Assembly.

In addition, PYM was involved in one of the Assembly Week streams. A great time was had by all, a young leader Lisa Parsons, created a video of the week. Watch video

Kiwi Advent: 18-25 Dec 2014

Once again we will running our Christmas text message service. Subscribers to Kiwadvent will be able to follow the week leading up to the birth of Jesus through a series of messages delivered by text, Facebook or Twitter. To follow Kiwiadvent, subscribe by sending the word ‘TEXT’ to 8987.

Going Further Discipleship Camp: 8-13 Feb 2015

PYM’s annual Discipleship camp for young adults (ages 18-30) is returning to Great Barrier this summer. Kendra Green from California will be the keynote speaker. We continue to hear how this camp has sparked a new impetus of faith in young adults who have previously attended. Please consider shoulder tapping one or two of the young adults in you church to come along. Read more

PYM Internship

It has been exciting to witness the PYM internship gaining traction this year as more churches become aware of the programme and as our current interns are theologically growing through their training. We are now accepting applications for 2015. Read more

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Press Go

Barriers to Mission 1

We all know of leaders who have put a great new strategy or structure in place, thinking it will be the answer to all their problems, only to find that they have the same problems they had before, just packaged differently. This happens in churches, in not-for-profit organisations and in business. Management expert Peter Drucker reminds us that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Culture can be loosely defined as “the way we do things around here”. Much of it comes from old patterns that have been affirmed and strongly held values and entrenched behaviour. If you are planning to make changes then you will invariably discover how important culture is.

In my work with congregations all over New Zealand I see many examples of church culture that is a barrier to mission. The culture is often a transactional consumerist one; it’s like a club for members. “I contribute offerings, I expect the minister to visit me”, or “what do all the staff around here do all day” or even “why do we waste money on these no-hopers in the community, we should focus on our own children”.

A missional congregation has a transformation culture. They have a story of hope and grace and love to share. They don’t have to be thinking up new ways to “get people into church” because we are called to join God in mission, wherever that might be. Developing a missional mind-set means letting go of things that may be important to us, but may be barriers to the plan God has for us.

PressGo can help churches and presbyteries find a way past barriers to mission. In the first instance please contact the PressGo Catalyst or phone 027 4455 723.

Lisa Wells
Press Go Catalyst

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Latest round of Ministers’ Study Grants

The Senatus of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership meets every six months to review applications for ministers’ study grants, and to decide on the awards. After its most recent meeting in October 2014, grants were awarded to the following ministers:

  • Emma Keown who is completing her D Min through Laidlaw-Carey Graduate School. Her area of study is around Multi-culturalism and the Church.
  • James Lee who is studying towards his DMin through Fuller Theological Seminary.
  • Nathan Parry towards course fees for an M Min paper on the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  • Peter MacKenzie who is undertaking research on Church Mergers for his doctorate through Massey University.
  • Phyll Harris towards course fees for University of the Holy Land course: "Historical Geography of the Bible".
  • Robin Palmer for a Waikato University course on Conflict Resolution Restorative Practices.

As can be seen from the list above, ministers are encouraged to undertake a wide variety of accredited training courses, to enhance their ministry and effectiveness in their own congregations and in the wider church. Applications are welcome any time, but the cut-off dates for applications to be considered are 31 March and 30 September each year.

Catherine van Dorp
Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Finance Team

As a result of changes in the regulatory environment, there are two big changes – to charity status and requirements for financial reporting – that churches are being asked to implement, and detailed below is a bit more about these important and significant changes, and what we are doing to support parishes through these changes.

Church Reporting Standards to Change from 2015

New financial and non-financial reporting standards for charities, set by the government, take effect from April 2015. Churches will be required to report to these standards from their 2016 balance date.

The type of reporting required will depend on the size of church, measured in annual operating expense. Non-financial information includes the churches mission, activities, contacts and sources of income, as well as an overview of church attendance and volunteer work. Financial data includes a Profit and Loss report, Balance Sheet, possibly a Statement of Cash Flow, and associated analysis, disclosures and notes.

Charities Registration

Council of Assembly have been advised that parish use of the single Presbyterian Church charities registration does not meet Charities Services reporting requirements. As a result, in order to maintain charitable status, Council require all parishes to individually register with for charitable status by 30 June 2015, and report annual financial and non financial data produced from that date on the charities website.

Training and Support

These are two big changes that churches are being asked to implement, but it is envisaged that with support, most will have capability to adapt. It is expected that once implemented, information available to congregations and to Assembly Office will be greatly improved. Given the importance of the changes, training has been planned by the financial services department of assembly office, with support from presbyteries:

  • A nationwide roadshow of training seminars in November and early 2015, offering explanation, guidance and templates.
  • The development of general ledger software with automated reporting that meets reporting standards
  • The offer of an outsourced payroll and tax agency, free to churches
  • A dedicated helpdesk function operation from Assembly Office

Please give this support program your attention over the coming months. You may contact FSD with any queries and presbyteries will advise churches of locations and timetable of events.

Treasurer’s Newsletters

Monthly Treasurers Newsletters from October 2014 back to 2005 are available to download on the Church website.

Brendan Sweeney
Finance Manager

Global Mission

It’s been a busy time in the past month for so, beginning with the Global Mission Stream at the General Assembly. This was a first for the General Assembly and it went really well. The highlight was seeing members of church congregations mixing with our international guests. Every morning we finished with a time of sharing and prayer in small groups and it was great to see the prayerful connections being made. All our international guests made excellent contributions at the Assembly and I know they all felt they were very well hosted. The only problem was the extremely unseasonal weather at that time!

There are some arrivals and departures on the Global Mission scene. Joanne Wieland is the new Ricebowl Mission Coordinator for our Myanmar partnership. Joanne lives in Auckland and will be based at St Columba Church in Botany Downs. She has a degree in development and has some experience with Tear Fund, including a visit to Freeset in India. Over the next few weeks she will be spending time meeting key people and gathering information about the Ricebowl Mission. We welcome Joanne to the Global Mission team.

Please pray for Paula and Roger Levy and family as they prepare to return home after six years in Vanuatu, the last four at Talua Theological College. It will be a wrench for them saying goodbye to the community they have belonged to during their time there; and as they adjust back to life in New Zealand. I hope to make an announcement about a new appointment at Talua in the next Bush Telegraph.

Max Westropp from Knox Church in Dunedin is about to embark on an exciting new adventure for three months, volunteering at a migrant support centre with our church partner the PROK in Seoul. We will be providing updates on Max’s progress during this time.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for information about next year’s Going Global trip to India – it will be an amazing experience.

For information about Global Mission contact me at phil@presbyterian.org.nz

Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator

Presbyterian Research Centre

Those of you at General Assembly will have heard me speak about a new resource that is available.

Thanks to the Marshall Family Endowment Fund (Knox College) the Hewitson Library is now subscribed to an ejournal package providing online access to leading Australian and New Zealand newspapers and magazines, plus over a thousand international titles.

Access to these is through the Library’s homepage at https://hewitson.mykoha.co.nz , for those who are signed up as Library members. Email us at hewitson@knoxcollege.ac.nz to check your membership and we’ll send you the username and password.

Here’s some links to tell you more:

Masterfile Premier journal list is at http://www.ebscohost.com/academic/masterfile-premier

Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre list is at http://www.ebscohost.com/australia-new-zealand-schools/australia-new-zealand-reference-centre

Don’t forget we also have the Religion and Philosophy package - see more at http://www.ebscohost.com/academic/religion-philosophy-collection

You can search them all at once, or one at a time, and set up RSS feeds to send the contents pages for most recent issues of a journal title straight to your mailbox. This gives you a direct link to the pdf file – no waiting!

Access is 24/7, anywhere you are, and to your smartphone as well.

Get in there, have a look, and give it a go.

Anne Jackman

Kids Friendly

Children Ministering to Us at General Assembly

We loved the opportunity General Assembly afforded Kids Friendly to resource churches through the Offspring (Fresh Expressions) stream and three workshops. We met lots of new people keen to explore new ways of being “church” in their communities.

It was also a great privilege for me to be able to share my views on transformational leadership at the minister’s resourcing day before the start of Assembly. My belief that Jesus is the greatest and most transformational leader ever to have lived was the inspiration for our Kids Friendly leadership development and mentoring programme Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders.

So it was a great delight and honour for six of our young Auckland Leaders in Training (LITs) to be invited to share lunch with moderators Andrew and Wayne. They got to learn more about what it means to be a moderator and then get a “moderator’s view” of a business session when they sat at the top table for half an hour. Before leaving Dion Price, a 13-year-old leader-in-training from Greenlane Presbyterian prayed for the moderator and the assembly. It was wonderful to see children ministering to us at assembly.

We were also thrilled to display children’s art and written creations at General Assembly from our Love Reaches Out – Caring for our World competition.

And we set up a prayer station for commissioners and other participants to pray for the children of their communities.

The week after GA we moved office. We thank St Heliers Presbyterian for accommodating the Kids Friendly office for 11 years and to Somervell Presbyterian, who is our new host church.

Next week I will be joining the Presbyterian Youth Ministry focus group strategic planning meeting. Kids Friendly and PYM work closely together to ensure that we are most effective in resourcing churches in their ministry to children, youth and families.

Jill Kayser
Kids Friendly Coach

Presbyterian Women

At General Assembly we presented our Jubilee quilt, and put forward the recommendation: “That the National Church commend and actively support the work of Presbyterian Women as they continue their valuable service to the church and community and seek new ways to celebrate the ministry of women and girls in our church”.

I encouraged our leaders to make sure committees are well represented by women as well as making a plea to the women to please step up and take up leadership roles in the Church, opportunities are there and we need to take them. Jubilee news can be found here Jubilee Special Gleanings. Presbyterian Women will continue on with mission work and representation on United Nations but our structure will look different. Alan (keynote speaker) from Vanuatu was very grateful to Presbyterian Women for the mission work we have done in their community. Knox College Interns gave me a thank you card on your behalf for subsidising their study books. Presbyterian Women you have much work to do because you make a difference to peoples lives.

“When you speak with one voice, you have no idea how loud you can be” (Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neil)

God’s richest blessings on you all

Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
National Convenor

Presbyterian Women at the United Nations

The Commission on the status of Women - CSW59/Beijing+20 (2015)

The fifty-ninth session of the Commission will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, scheduled for 9-20 March 2015.

The Commission will undertake a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The session will also address current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action, as well as opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post-2015 development agenda. The review will be conducted at national, regional and global levels.

This year I hope to take a delegation of up to twenty women and girls to experience being part of the discussions as we mingle with 6,000 women and over 300 organisations from every corner of the globe. I would be delighted to talk with any group interested, or women who may wish to come next year. The events are all open to those with an approved UN pass. The individual costs are the flights to and from New York and accommodation at UN rates. Contact me for more information: ph 03 425 8865 or email nandcg@clear.net.nz

Carol Grant
PWANZ United Nations Convenor

CWS Notices

Ebola Appeal

CWS has launched an Ebola Response Appeal to help stop the virus. Money raised will fund community education, training of trainers, pastoral support and food supplies to those affected in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Churches are working with mosque leaders to spread medical messages at the local level. Members of the ACT Alliance are providing medical care through clinic and hospitals as well as distributing chlorine to kill the virus. The World Council of Churches, at the request of the World Health Organisation, is helping faith communities develop safe funeral rites, especially when there may be no body for burial – bodies remain highly infectious after death. Please pray for all those involved.

Iraq and Syria Appeals

There is no end in sight to the suffering in Iraq and Syria. The Iraq and Syria Appeals remain open as ACT Alliance members endeavour to provide vital help with the onset of winter. Please pray for a breakthrough, and support local churches and partners providing help to people who need it now.

Christmas Appeal

It is time to order Christmas Appeal resources. You can order printed posters in 10 languages, service sheets and Appeal envelopes from Emma at 0800 74 73 72. CWS is adding material to the website for you to use in your church. CWS has prepared worship resources for each Sunday during Advent and Christmas Day. There are stories of ordinary people seeking to “Build Hope for Tomorrow”.


Children have great fun choosing gifts from the Gifted range. First Kamo Girls Brigade chose bees to help families in Sri Lanka earn an income, and footballs and books for school children in South Sudan with proceeds from a cake stall. Ask your children’s programme if they want to give it a go.


Choir Robes for Sale

They are the normal winey colour with white removable collars and button up in the front. They have wide 3/4 sleeves and while not labelled have been professionally made. They are in excellent condition. $30 each or buy 12 get one free. Contact E Johnson clari@orcon.net.nz

Otago University Study: “Caught between Cultures: NZ Presbyterian Missionary Children”

Were you a child of a Presbyterian missionary family between about 1930 and 1960? Or are you descended from someone who was a missionary child in those years? Do you have in your possession old records of the family in those years that you would be willing to be looked at for research purposes? If you answer yes to any of these questions, and are willing to participate in research then please get more info here, or contact Hugh Morrison for further details: ph 03 479 4240 or email hugh.morrison@otago.ac.nz

Kiwimade Preaching Course – November

Kiwimade Preaching will be running Langham Partnership NZ Level 1 (intensive – 14th-17th Nov) and Level 2 (17th-21st Nov) seminars. Hosted at Laidlaw College, the Level 1 will expose you to the skills to preach sermons that are clear, relevant and faithful to the text. Level 2 drills down with those skills and focuses on how to preach from the different parts of the New Testament. For more info contact geoffnew@xtra.co.nz or visit http://kiwimadepreaching.com/

Whakatane Presbyterian 100 year anniversary

The parish would like to invite interested people to join their 100th anniversary celebrations on 24-26 October 2014. For more info call 07 3084268 or email whakapres@xtra.co.nz

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

Ministers are entitled to one week’s free accommodation at Glen Innis every year. With summer coming up, now is a great time to get your holiday organised. Check out the vacancies here

Book for Sale

Published for the first time are the letters of the Rev Abraham Honore, a Danish missionary to the Maori, written during his ministry from 1848-1894 and those of his wife Elisabeth, who was willing to leave her native Denmark and travel across the world to marry a man she had never met. Cost $55. Contact Ralph Dearlove for more information. 

Church Register

Church register to be updated in December.


Check out our listing of national and regional events.


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