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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
From the Moderator
Congregations should now have copies of the Green Papers. To download a copy, please see www.moderator.presbyterian.org.nz/resources.html. Initial feedback has been very encouraging.
Coming up this month
5 April – Journey into the Urewera. I'll be retracing our historic and spiritual source of our partnership with the people of the mist.
13-17 April – Southern Presbytery (Otago Southland Synod 150th)
21-22 April – Press Go Inspiring Mission Workshop
27 April – Pacific Island Ministers Gathering
29 April – Presbytery Central ministers’ leadership gathering at Hawera
I’m looking at leading a North Island retreat on 18-19 May. If you are interested, please give me a call asap. This retreat is suited to those in ministry roles.
one day in the available light,
"What lies ahead?"
We'll go for a walk.
We'll follow the ridge line track
there and back.
We'll drink with our eyes.
We'll speak with our hearts.
We'll delight in the clouds.
And I'll ask you,
"What lies within?
We'll listen in silence
for the echoes return.
That is what lies ahead.
Andrew Norton (2016)
Nga mihi nui
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
We have just celebrated the high point of the Christian year. Easter is central to our faith; it tells the story death is not the end. Resurrection people.
I know a number of congregations took advantage of Neighbours Day falling the weekend before Easter and shared hot cross buns with neighbours in their community. I am looking forward to reading their stories in Spanz. Easter people.
I received an email from one of our colleagues in the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. He shared news with a heavy heart of a deadly suicide attack on Easter evening. He said many of the victims were Christian families enjoying their Easter holiday in a public park after their worship. He noted many were killed and hundreds were injured. He concluded his email saying, “I request you to pray for the bereaved families and also pray for peace in Pakistan”. Easter people; Resurrection people.
Our community’s response to suffering provides us with a powerful testament to the transformative hopefulness that we find in the gospel’s proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus. It is a response that transcends difference in culture and language and distance.
On 15-19 November, General Assembly will be held in Dunedin at the University of Otago. A training day for ministers will be held during the day on 15 November, with General Assembly kicking off in the early evening with a powhiri and opening worship including Moderator’s induction. Similar to 2014, a resourcing conference will run in parallel to Assembly, and those who are not commissioners will be able to participate in these resourcing and equipping sessions which will start along with General Assembly business on 16 November. Commissioners will have an opportunity to attend one of the workshops later in the week. More information will be available on all activities in the next couple of months, so watch this space for more info.
Commissioners to Assembly
There are changes in the way Commissioners will be commissioned this year.
Pursuant to Book of Order 8.17 (1) A presbytery is responsible for the organisation of appointments of commissioners to attend the General Assembly (2) The selection of commissioners is to be based on the total number of full members of congregations within a presbytery, on a fair and reasonable basis. For every 100 members, a presbytery will commission one elder or minister and will allocate the commissions across the congregations within the presbytery.
We will be using the statistics provided as at June 2015 to determine the number of commissioners. The very slow and in some cases non-return of these forms will impact on the determination.
Presbytery clerks and administrators are currently working to determine this new process, and a guideline was provided in November last year to assist in this matter.
Presbyteries, Te Aka Puaho, and the Pacific Island Synod need to identify suitable people with the skills and ability to represent the breadth of our Church, to be selected for the nominations committee which will meet prior to General Assembly.
Please look out for information which will be sent out this month. Nominating committee membership will be confirmed by Council of Assembly. Those selected for the nominations committee will be required to attend a one-day meeting in Wellington.
Voting for the Moderator-elect, 2018: Stage 2
Each presbytery was invited to send one name to the convener of the Nominating Committee by 1 April. Please watch out for information on stage two of this voting process later this month.
Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly
Following consultation with 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 1 July 2016. This timeframe will enable us to facilitate a consultative process with presbyteries prior to Assembly. In this way, we will be able to fulfil the 2012 Assembly’s decision supporting presbyteries’ participation in the setting of the Assembly agenda.
Council of Assembly
The Council met on 10-12 March. An update from that meeting is available on our website. Read Council News
Calling a newly trained minister
This year six people will complete their training as interns. They represent a range of backgrounds and experiences. All are eager to commit themselves to ministry within the life of a congregation. Profiles for each of them will shortly be available from the Rev Allister Lane, who coordinates introductions and discussions between final year interns and Ministry Settlement Boards. Contact Allister for more information.
Discount Card is available
Some time ago the Church secured a discount card for our members through All Churches Services. The card offers discounts from retailers like Noel Leeming, Office Max, Repco, Thrifty rental cars and others. These cards are FREE and are available to all folk who are part of the life of the church. If you would like some for your congregation – please let me know.
Thank you for your partnership in God’s mission.
Health and safety
Last week I attended a workshop outlining requirements for churches under the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which comes into effect on 4 April 2016.
I have advised churches on safety policy and practice for over 20 years now, so my attendance at this was to ensure that “I’m up with the play” on any changes to existing requirements. The main change is the accountability of the person and/or group to ensure the safety of the workplace.
There were about 80 participants in this workshop, many of them Presbyterian ministers, so I was a bit dismayed to find that I was one of three people to raise my hand when asked who undertakes risk and assessment procedures for their church trips and events. Only slightly more raised their hands when asked if we knew what a RAMS (risk and assessment management) form was.
The next day I received an email from a church office manager asking me to send her the list of safety policies Kids Friendly offers churches, as her church had “no policies” and didn’t know where to start!
Our 2004 General Assembly “legislated” that all churches must develop safety and protection policy for working with young people. The requirements of that policy became more stringent with the tabling of the Vulnerable Children’s Act in 2015. If we’re intent on responding to Jesus’ call to “let the children come” we must ensure that they come to a healthy and safe place. We, the church, have a duty of care to ensure health and safety for our workers and those who participate in our activities.
To further resource churches in this vital area, Presbyterian Youth Ministry (PYM) and Kids Friendly have developed a simple and affordable “Warrant of Fitness (WOF) for our youth and children’s leaders. The WOF recommends levels of safety training for leaders ranging from volunteer to key roles. From May, PYM and Kids Friendly will be offering training workshops around the country for those who work with young people. Please watch out for these and encourage your leaders to attend.
And if you require any help in developing safe policies and practices for your work with young people please contact us, or download our “Safety in children’s ministry” resource.
Kids Friendly Coach
Register for Inspiring Mission workshop
PressGo is planning an event for those involved in mission advising, strategic or mission facilitation in April. The intention is to encourage, share resources and plan together. A number of challenges are before us and the risk is that we develop responses in our own context when our colleagues are working on exactly the same challenges. We can do better when we pool knowledge, experience and resources.
The first Inspiring Mission Network event will take place at St John’s in the City, Wellington from 10am Thursday 21 April till 12.30pm on Friday 22 April 2016.
The cost of the event will be subsidised by Press Go so that participants will only have to cover their own travel expenses. Registrations will be limited. We would like to see at least two people from each of the seven presbyteries attend. It is not necessary for you to be employed as a mission advisor, but as a volunteer it is expected that you would have significant interest and involvement in this beyond your own congregation.
To register, please download and fill in this form and email or post it to me. Download registration form
Please contact the PressGo Catalyst to discuss further or register for the event. I can also be contacted on 027 4455 723.
Interested in being involved with the Press Go board?
The Council of Assembly (COA), in conjunction with Press Go, is calling for expressions of interest from those interested in being nominated as a Press Go Board member. Find out more
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Connect 2016 – Whānau
Connect 2016 information is up on the PYM website. Connect 2016 is 15-17 July 2016, at El Rancho Wellington. The noticeable changes for Connect this year are:
- Connect is longer This year Connect starts at 2pm on the Friday, rather than 7pm. This is great as it will mean we can fit more things into the programme, but also there will be more time to relax and be refreshed.
- Pricing has changed This year pricing varies depending on accommodation choice. There is also an early bird price cut off on 1 May.
- Travel reimbursements. We are offering $50 travel reimbursements for people flying from Southern Presbytery and for drivers carpooling with four or more people from north of Taupo.
We are really excited about the Connect theme this year: whanau. In our greatest efforts to nurture young people, we often default to working in isolation from their whanau, their parents, the church family and wider community support systems. Connect 2016 will inspire and equip you to work with the tremendous assets located within a young person’s whanau.
Youth Representatives at Assembly
Presbyteries may send six young adults to be youth reps at GA16. If you know of a young adult in your congregation that would a good asset to GA, please contact your presbytery. The orientation day for the young adult reps will begin on Tuesday, 15 November, the day before the formal start of the Assembly.
National Youth Manager
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women CSW60
Around the world women are calling for gender equality. No country in the world has yet achieved this. Some voices are silenced. Some cry out in anguish. Some are no longer heard.
Are the women in our church losing their collective voice?
Many women are leaders in their parish, serve on church courts and national committees. Where are their voices? Women lead such busy lives fulfilling the demands of work, family and the wider community. Technology has changed the way people communicate with each other.
The roles women fulfilled as they balanced the multi-faceted roles of wife, mother, aunt, niece, sister, widow, daughter, working woman have also changed. Younger women may have huge student loans to pay off, young children and childcare to juggle, and commitments to their wider community/whanau. Grandmothers are often main carers for grandchildren while parents work.
The wider church needs to hear the voices of faithful women and girls as we contribute from our unique perspective to policies, decisions and regulations that affect our lives as Presbyterian Christian women. The Church needs to hear our voices when decisions are being made; the government needs to hear women's voices with a faith-based perspective; and our voices need to be heard at the United Nations through our UN Special Consultative Status. This dialogue is valued and contributes to global policy making.
If our voices are not heard, the Church risks losing the unique perspective we bring, and the valuable contribution our experience will make to her mission and ministry.
The Presbyterian Women UN delegation has much to share. Invitations to speak about our experiences would be warmly welcomed. Contact Carol Grant, PWANZ UN convenor, ph 03 425 8865 or email Carol.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Kevin Ward left for nine weeks of study leave at Easter. He is spending time at Fuller Seminary in Los Angeles and Oxford and Cambridge in the UK. His first task is to complete a book he has been working on for some time on Murray Robertson and Spreydon Baptist Church. Following that, he will begin work on a multi-author book he is editing and contributing to on migration, cultural diversity and the church in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kevin will also be attending lectures, seminars and workshops as well as meeting with a variety of academics, mission and church leaders with similar interests to his own.
Malcolm Gordon has been leading retreats and delivering workshops in Christchurch, Whanganui, Wellington, Auckland and South Otago. When at home in Dunedin, he is working on recording a collection of congregational songs for small churches.
Mark Johnston and Steve Taylor are helping resource the Press Go mission planning workshop that is being held over two days in Wellington in April. Mark is currently working with Malcolm in coordinating a re-design of the KCML worship course. Also in April, Mark will lead new online tutorials with interns in missional leading skills.
Steve is also running a workshop on “Focus on Mission” for the Southern Presbytery’s Dunedin and North Otago resource group.
I will be running a preaching workshop in Dunedin (registrations to the Rev Anne Thomson). The workshop is especially for new and emerging preaching. Along with Steve, Geoff will be holding workshops at the Otago and Southland Synod’s 150th anniversary gathering. My second book on preaching is ready for publication once a title has been agreed upon.
Dean of Studies
Apply for Training in Mission
The Council for World Mission (CWM) is one of our Church’s main international partners and each year they offer a range of programmes that our members can apply for. Young adults with an interest in mission should consider Training in Mission, a seven-month long cross-cultural mission formation programme. Find out more
Support for Pacific Theological College
As a result of Cyclone Winston hitting Fiji, the Pacific Theological College sustained some damage and requested funds for rebuilding. With assistance from the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Global Mission has made a contribution to PTC to help repair some of this damage.
I love Taiwan programme
Service in Vanuatu
In the past month several members and teams have been helping on a range of Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV) projects, including a team of twelve from St. Peter’s Church in Tauranga. Their main project was the refurbishment of PCV accommodation in Port Vila, and they also helped in the Church’s health and education ministries. Opportunities to serve are still available – and a travel subsidy is available to groups and individuals who fit the criteria.
Pray for victims of Pakistan bombing
The horrific news of a suicide bomber killing more than 70 people, most of them women and children and injuring 300 others at a park in Lahore, Pakistan on Easter Sunday, was deeply shocking. Church leaders in Pakistan reported that the deadly suicide attack caused untold suffering. This is another distressing reminder that Christians are under attack in many parts of the world. The Christian Conference of Asia urged all member churches to pray for the comfort and solace of the numerous victims of this attack. Read the CCA letter
Please visit the Global Mission webpage or contact me for further information. And remember I am always available to arrange a visit your church or mission group.
Global Mission Coordinator
CWS is looking for 100 committed people who want to go the extra mile for Syrian refugees. The challenge is to live on the rations of a refugee in Lebanon and raise $500 through sponsorship. Will you join us? Operation Refugee runs from 16 -20 June. Find out more.
Fiji Needs More Help
CWS has launched an appeal for Fiji after Cyclone Winston destroyed homes and livelihoods. Thanks to the first generous gifts, we were able to send $15,000 immediately to one local partner SEEP (Social Empowerment Education Programme) which has distributed food rations, hygiene kits, building materials and chainsaws to some more remote villages. SEEP will work in these more isolated communities to rebuild homes and livelihoods as well as provide psycho-social care. If you have not already contributed to this appeal, please make a donation or share information in your community. Donations can be made here.
Jacenta lost her parents to AIDS, but her life has been transformed by a new water tank. Read her story.
Rebuilding continues in Nepal
This year on 25 April, one year will have passed since the first 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal. We will produce a brief report on progress made possible by your donations ahead of the anniversary. Through the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) appeal, 14,627 households received cash support to provide shelter and winterisation, for example. Help is getting through to communities left with rubble.
Vanuatu report back
Thanks for your gifts after Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu a year ago. As part of the first ACT Alliance appeal in the Pacific, local people received over 10,000 seedlings, 65 community water purification units, five community water tanks on Tongoa and Ambyn, four plant nurseries and training to improve food security.
The Presbyterian Church has now taken its place alongside Presbyterian Support NZ with the appointment of the Rev Diane Gilliam-Weeks as our representative on the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS).
Over the last month New Zealand has been home to the first group of Syrian refugees who have settled in Wellington. Kiwis responded generously to calls by Anglican and Catholic churches for goods to help. We had an opportunity to shine in response to a human tragedy on the other side of the world. Church communities, community organisations, businesses and individual Kiwis alike stood up and shone!
Services for older people conference: valuing people living well - Registrations are now open for the NZCCSS 2016 conference. You’re invited to join us for two inspiring and thought-provoking days incorporating a great mix of break-out sessions, keynote speakers, panels and workshops.
Data is the new king NZCCSS’ Trevor McGlinchey's latest article questions whether the current set of public sector indicators really go to the core of why children are at risk of poor outcomes. Read more
Living Wage Update - NZCCSS Advisor Paul Barber supports the decision of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce saying “The people of Wellington will be pleased that the democratic decision of council to value these workers by paying them the living wage, made nearly five months ago, will now go ahead".
Emergency housing update – the need for community housing is huge. Community Housing Aotearoa together with Auckland Council have appointed a new Emergency Housing Coordinator, David Zussman, to work with emergency housing providers in Auckland to increase supply and capacity in the sector. The Government has also announced an additional $2 million of funding going to Emerge Aotearoa, whose kaupapa is support for people across a range of health and social needs, including providing housing and housing support.
Ministry Review survey
The survey seeking your feedback on the ministry review process will be closing in the next few days. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your say. Take the survey
Suicide-related funeral resource
Prepared by Rev Greg Hughson, Chaplain Otago University, the document provides a resource which enables funeral celebrants to offer quality, compassionate pastoral services to those who gather following a suicide. Download the resource
Hymns and lectionary readings
View or download the latest lectionary hymns and readings information from the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. This document covers the period April to June 2016. Read more
Progressive spirituality conference
Held 6-8 May 2016 at St Paul’s Napier, the conference features guest speakers including: Rev Dr Robin Meyer, Jo Randerson, Dr Robert Myles and Presbyterian minister and MP, the Rev David Clark. Details about how to register and other information about the conference can be found here
Beloved women’s ministry conference
St Columba at Botany (Auckland) are excited to be able to invite the women of your church - young and old – to our women's conference on 14 May 2016. See the conference website for more details: http://belovedinstcolumba.wix.com/beloved
Trans-Tasman rural ministry conference
The Trans-Tasman Ecumenical Rural Ministry Consultation 2016 is being held in Wairarapa 16-20 May 2016. For registration and other details see http://www.irca.net.nz/oceania.php.
Change to Presbyterian Investment Fund rate
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits is currently 3.50% per annum, but will reduce to 3.25% per annum effective from 1 May 2016. The fund is open to parishes, but not individuals. For further information, email the Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.
Free Hope project booklets
The Hope Project’s third effort goes to air from Monday 7 March. Booklets go to 1.4m homes the following week. TV ads go through until Easter encouraging Kiwis to visit a church near them. If you would like spare booklets, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and church courier address (postal address only for orders under 50).
Early years parenting toolbox course
Island Bay Presbyterian is running a six-week parenting toolbox to help people be the parent their child needs. The course runs on Mondays from 7:30pm to 9:30pm starting 11 April. Read more
Mental health and the church seminar
Glen Innis vacancies
Ministers are entitled to one week’s free accommodation at Glen Innis every year. Check out the vacancies here
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Steve Taylor, United Church Australia, to principal Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, the Southern Presbytery, 15 February 2016.
Rev Nyalle Paris, minister St Andrews Invercargill to minister First Church Invercargill, the Southern Presbytery, 5 February 2016.
Rev Rob Pendreigh, minister, Cromwell Presbyterian to Balclutha Presbyterian, the Southern Presbytery, 8 March 2016.
Jin Sook Kim, intern Grant Braes Dunedin, to minister, Waikouaiti Presbyterian, the Southern Presbytery, 11 February 2016.
Rev Hana Popea, Minister, Hutt City Uniting Congregations (Lower Hutt), to minister St Ninians Karori, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu, 28 February 2016.
Rev Michael Frost, licentiate to minister Papakura East Presbyterian, Northern Presbytery, 11 February 2016.
Rev Carlton Johnstone, licentiate to minister Wakatipu Community Presbyterian, the Southern Presbytery 9 February 2016.
Rev Jordan Redding, licentiate Hope Presbyterian, to minister Hope Presbyterian, 15 January 2016.
Changes in Status
Rev Robert Ferguson, minister St Ninnians Riccarton, Alpine Presbytery, to other recognised ministry, 27 March 2016.
Rev Vivian Coleman, other recognised ministry, Northern Presbytery, to minister emeritus, 4 June 2015.
Rev Cherry Thompson minister Central Southland, the Southern Presbytery to minister emeritus 15 February 2016.
Rev Nancy Parker, minister Waiairaki Weston Community Church, to minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 29 February 2016.
Rev Tino Scanlon, minister United Church Australia, to minister emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 4 February 2016.
Rev Hai Chang Jung, other recognised minister (Korean), Northern Presbytery, resigned 7th March 2016.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.