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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Research Centre
Live like you believe…
As we start the New Year can I encourage you to be positive about the future? There is so much negativity about the Church in the media, in society and even in the Church itself that we are often tempted to be, or feel, hopeless. I am convinced that our first job as Christians and particularly as leaders is to put aside these things – including the inconsistencies of our own lives and that of the Church – and simply live like we believe. I know this may sound a little hypocritical, but I suspect we have little other choice.
When belief lives in doubt it has ceased to be belief and, while all belief must cope with doubt it shouldn’t be shaped by it. An old Rugby coach of mine used to repeat the adage “Hesitate and you’re lost” as a primary rule of thumb for playing the game well. He meant, of course, that one had to commit to one’s chosen course of action on the rugby field 100 percent or the hesitation alone would give the opposition all the chance they needed. There is too much hesitation in today’s Church; too much living out our doubts rather than our belief in a loving God; too much fear of failure driving us.
The Church doesn’t have to be triumphant to be confident in God. We have a God who loves the Church. Why wouldn’t God want the Church to be successful in both preaching and living out the Gospel? We don’t have to become self-effacing and lacklustre to represent the Gospel. We can be confident in it because it is the foundation of a well-lived life and a fair society and the best way to represent this is to live confidently in the Gospel – to commit to it whole-heartedly and joyfully.
Perhaps the greatest single factor in the loss of confidence within the Church is what is perceived to be the failure of the institution and of certain individuals within it. We cannot deny the statistics and the Church’s loss of status within Western society over the last 100 years. For all the work that the Spirit does within us, we all continue to struggle with sin and brokenness and yet this shouldn’t be a reason for despair, but rather a reason for rejoicing. The brokenness of the Church and of its people and leaders only confirms and glorifies the grace of God in continuing to bless it and raise up followers from within society. We will always have to contend with less than perfect people and less than perfect leaders and yet doesn’t this enable us time and again to look upon those outside the Church with the eyes of mercy?
Living confidently out of our belief in God’s love won’t fix everything, but it will encourage those around us to also look to the God whose love we are reflecting. Living confidently out of our belief in God’s love won’t change the world but it may well change the bit of the world which revolves around us. Living confidently out of our belief in God’s love won’t make us perfect but it will help us to try again when we fall because we know that God’s grace is real.
Can I then encourage us all to be confident in the Gospel as we begin this year, not because we are in any way superior to others but because we believe and are committed to the God whose love never gives up.
Happy New Year!
Moderator Presbyterian Church Aotearoa New Zealand
Dear Colleagues and friends
It seems the topic of the weather has been never been far away from people’s lips this summer!
Maybe, like me, over summer you enjoyed a few days’ break and watched the rain parallel to the ground as you enjoyed a good book! Two books that I was given and enjoyed were: Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost and Ross King’s Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies. The opportunity to read and reflect is a great gift.
In addition to the weather, another common conversation point has been the incoming, and now, President of the United States. These are interesting and challenging days. Into that space and for us as a Church is the challenge of creating opportunities for expressing the commonality we find in the Gospel. I have been reflecting on our Moderator Richard’s Assembly theme of “hope”: in the midst of nationalism, racism and global uncertainty, what more powerful witness to our faith is there than to affirm and testify to the transforming and uniting power of that Gospel that bring us together in praise and service?
New Moderator of Te Aka Puaho
On Friday, 3 February at our national marae at Ohope, we celebrate the installation service for Ms Marina Rakuraku as Moderator of Te Aka Puaho. The powhiri is at 10am.
Assembly minutes and matters for consideration by presbyteries and church councils
Assembly minutes will be posted online shortly. Other matters for consideration will be sent out early this month. These include proposed changes in our Book of Order that require support from church council’s and presbyteries.
Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops
To retain a status of good standing, it is a requirement that every minister attend one of these workshops once every three years. These workshops are provided on an “as needed” basis (usually for a minimum of ten to twelve people). If you are due to attend a workshop, please contact your presbytery clerk.
Thanks for your engagement in God’s mission.
The light is shining in Opunake in 2107
One of the highlights of my role is getting to work alongside young people. It doesn’t happen that often, so I felt especially privileged to start my work year participating in a 24-hour leadership retreat with 12 young leaders in Taranaki. Team building, devotions, worship, creativity, fun, friendship and food was experienced by all before heading off to practise their skills at the St Paul’s Opunake holiday club.
I watched in awe as these young people (some as young as 13!) ran this mission in the Opunake community. They took their task really seriously and are a gift to the church and to the programme participants.
St Paul’s was a small “declining” church four years ago, but when the leadership decided their salvation was in mission, things started to move. They surveyed their community and found that there was very little happening for primary age children. Not knowing how to start up a mission for children, they turned to one of their neighbouring churches, Knox Presbyterian Church in Waitara. They asked if children, youth and families ministry leader Jennie McCullough could bring a team to start a holiday club. She agreed as long as the congregation would work alongside them. And the rest is history!
I arrived to find a happy band of pirates (all dressed up on theme) preparing a nutritious lunch for the children, some were creating pirate team banners with children and others sitting quietly drawing pirate ships with children. Seeing young and old work together like that never fails to delight me. Children need old people in their lives and old people need children!
That original mission has blossomed with the church now running a holiday club every holidays and a weekly club for children and young teens. An intergenerational worship event and dinner happens every month. The community are responding, the congregation is feeling enthused and revived and young club participants are excited to be mentored into leadership.
So 2017 has arrived and there is plenty happening in Global Mission.
Going Global Myanmar 2017
Applications are invited for the Going Global programme to Myanmar in November/December 2017. Co-hosted with Presbyterian Youth Ministry, this is a two-week, cross-cultural exchange hosted by our partner church, the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM). We have sent several teams to Myanmar over the past few years, establishing a healthy relationship between our two churches. This visit will focus on developing that relationship, learning about the mission context of the church in Myanmar with a focus on young adults, and also learning about the ways that our Church has supported the PCM through the Ricebowl Mission. Download Going Global application While Going Global has a focus on young adults, older adults with an interest in Myanmar are welcome to express their interest in joining this programme.
Visitors from the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu
We are hosting two groups from Vanuatu at separate events early in the year. Two staff from Talua Ministry Training Centre will attend a block course and other events at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership from 1-8 February; and five young adults from the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu are being sponsored to attend PYM’s Going Further Discipleship Camp in Christchurch, also in February. I am very grateful to everyone who has helped to make these visits possible, and I hope we can develop ongoing opportunities like this for members from our partner churches to visit, learn and contribute.
I came back from my holiday to several emails from various people - from students to folk who are retired - expressing interest in serving in mission in different capacities. It is always encouraging to receive enquiries like this, and to work with people to find a good fit for their gifts and skills. Please contact me if you would like to find out how you or your congregation can be involved in our mission partnerships. Also, I am always available to visit and speak to your church, either in a small group setting or in a worship service.
Best wishes for the challenges and opportunities ahead in 2017.
Global Mission Coordinator
The Presbyterian Church is a member of the NZCCSS which works to support Christian social services and lobby government for policies that will increase the wellbeing of the poor and vulnerable. The NZCCSS 2016 annual report cites these strategic imperatives that drive their actions.
- To be carriers of hope – promote a hope-filled society that values human dignity and the common good, through learning and caring, and through community transformation to a more equitable economy and the empowerment of people.
- To articulate the lived experience of poor and vulnerable people to the hearts and ears of government departments and policy makers and assist heads of churches to speak directly to key decision makers.
- To bring positive change by active membership in the Equality Network seeking a coordinated approach to creating greater income and wealth equality and educate the public and policy makers on benefits to all New Zealanders of reducing the gap.
- To provide a strong respected voice for Christian social services.
- To be sustainable and resilient in order to provide a long-term focus on social justice.
A recent example of effective NGO lobbying: the government responded to information on advances in brain science by agreeing to include “lower risk” 17- year-olds in the youth justice system. From 2019, youth who fall within this group can expect a second chance and a promise of services and resources to help them improve their lives. Just Speak and NZCCSS support the decision but question the two-year wait. Still a great way to enter 2017.
Presbyterian representative on NZCCSS
Youth ministry consultancy service
PYM national and regional teams spent 2016 piloting a youth ministry consultancy service in a number of congregations around the country. In each congregation, a PYM national or regional youth enabler sat down with a group of key stakeholders (ministers, youth leaders, young people, parents, elders and congregation members). The group reflected on how the church was doing in seven different principles of youth ministry: purpose, leadership, body, individuals, systems, culture and programmes. A survey was given out to the church community, and then the group of stakeholders met again to reflect on the observations and results of the survey. The consultant then produced a report of assets and concerns, along with action points.
We have had both positive and helpful feedback and are now ready to open up this service to any congregation in the country. If you think it may be helpful for your entire congregation to reflect on how it is serving the young people in your church, we would love to hear from you.
As young adults move to a new city to start their tertiary education, the success of connecting into a new church can determine the future of their faith. If you have young adults moving city this year, but you don’t have church contacts in that city let us know, and we will be happy to connect them with folk in their new city. Can I also ask that you remember your your young adults when they are away? Send them care packages, keep in communication – it can make a world of difference.
Long range curriculum planning
As you can imagine, PYM has been inundated during the month of January with youth leaders asking for recommendations of teaching curriculum. PYM has put together a long-range curriculum website for this very reason. If you have youth leaders asking you the same question just point them in the direction of Stepping Stones.
This year Connect will be held at El Rancho, Waikanae on 21-23 July.
Connect is a superb opportunity for youth leaders to upskill, be inspired and network with other youth practitioners around the country. We know how quickly the calendar fills so please encourage your youth leadership team to make Connect 2017 a priority. Every year we are incredibly grateful to the churches who invest in their youth ministry by financially supporting their leaders to attend this great event, and we ask you to consult with your finance teams to see how your church can assist your youth leaders in getting there.
National Youth Manager
February is a happening time for us at KCML. We begin with our new intake of first-year interns. From 1 February seven interns will begin with an introductory block course and then a week later the six second-year interns will join us for a second week of lectures and events. This year the KCML inaugural lecture (with noted wine expert and theologian, Dr Gisela Kreglinger) goes national. Dates and venues are noted below:
Dunedin: Tue, 7 Feb, 6:15 -7:45 pm, $20 door sales, Hewitson Library, 6 Arden Street, Opoho.
Auckland: Mon, 13 Feb, 5:45- 8:00 pm, $30 book through Eventfinda), Maclaurin Chapel, Auckland University.
Wellington: Fri, 17 Feb, 5:45-7:45 pm, St Johns in the City, $20 Door sales (tbc).
Workshop – Creation and Holistic Christian Living
Dr Kregliner will also lead workshops in the following locations:
Dunedin: Wed, 8 Feb, 10:00-12:30 pm, $20 at door, Frank Nicol Room, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho.
Auckland: Mon, 13 Feb, 10:00-12:30 pm, $20 at door, Carey Baptist College, 473 Great South Road.
Wellington: Fri, 17 Feb, 10-12:30 pm. $20 door sales, St Johns in the City.
Intergenerational ministry workshop
On Saturday, 11 February we will be hosting Dr Andrew Root for a day of engaging with the topic of intergenerational ministry. Andrew will be drawing on aspects of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s work and writing concerning children and young people, which is an aspect of Bonhoeffer’s work that is marvellous, empowering and not really known by many. This day is open to all. $40 includes morning/afternoon tea and lunch. Register here. We do need to know numbers promptly, so please do not delay.
Dean of Studies
A question I’m asked by friends and colleagues is “Why do you want to serve Presbyterian Women (PWANZ)? That was something our mothers or grandmothers were part of, surely its time has come to an end?”
So why do I believe we need PWANZ? As an organisation it has had at its core the mission to better the lives of women around the globe. It also gave women in our Church the opportunity to be in leadership roles before the wider Church thought it was acceptable for them to be elders and ministers. In its own way, PWANZ was advancing gender equality. At some level, I believe we have helped to progress the aspirational notions of gender equality in our Church and wider society, attempting to make gender equality a reality.
Yet statistics continue to be presented by a range of sources, showing there are huge gaps between gender (and race) in New Zealand. It is these gaps which prevent our nation from being a society that gives fair and equal opportunities for all. Equality remains an unfinished aspiration both in our Church communities, and wider society.
I am hopeful that as PWANZ reforms, we will continue our global efforts. But equally, we will also become stronger in the work of advocacy in our communities of faith, and in everyday life, by challenging the conscious and unconscious bias that women currently live with.
So why is there a place for PWANZ?
Throughout scripture, Jesus always had a place of acceptance and equality for women. It was his intention to uplift and encourage women with societal parity and love. And how did these women respond? With extravagance, the pouring out of perfume; with raw emotion, washing his feet with tears; with a giving of “everything” at the temple treasury; and by absolute faith at the touching of Jesus’ garment from amongst a crowd, to name but a few examples.
I am unconvinced that as a Church we have the same openness to the place of women being able and equal, to fulfil some of the roles within our denomination. I am not convinced that our mothers, sisters and daughters receive fair equivalence in health, employment, and personal safety. There is still much work to do!
PWANZ invites you to join with us in reforming, and rebuilding, to be a voice for women in the places we live and worship
Rev Erin Pendreigh – a Presbyterian women
In 2016 the Hewitson Library collections continued to be well used by ministers, researchers, historians, students and interested others from all over New Zealand.
In order to continue to deliver the same level of service in 2017 we are going to be implementing a small annual membership fee from 1 February. This will be $30 for Dunedin residents and $50 for those requiring postal delivery. This will give you continued access to our collections and also any Library research assistance that you might require. You won’t be invoiced until you borrow the first item from us, and your paid membership will be valid for 12 months from the date of payment.
If you only want to borrow one or two books a year, we are also now part of the national Library Interloan Scheme. This means that you can borrow books from us through a public, academic or special library where you are already a member. Most libraries charge a maximum of $14 dollars per item for this service, so light users may find this a more cost-effective option.
Use of the Presbyterian Archives isn’t included in this membership, only the Hewitson Library. Read more about the Archives fee structure.
The following Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership students completed their studies on 1 December 2016, and are now licentiates, effective from that date:
- Morag Morgan, Presbytery Central Nukuha Tapu
- Soloman Rajan Premkuymar, Northern Presbytery
- Afamasaga Ieriko, Northern Presbytery
- Martin Redhead, The Southern Presbytery
- So'osomea Faatui, Northern Presbytery
- Paniora Tengarua, The Southern presbytery
Changes in Status
Rev Brent Richardson, minister Hope Presbyterian to Timaru Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery.
Rev Warren Deason, minister Albany Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, retired 30 November 2016.
Rev William Thomas, minister emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, died 16 November 2016.
We are grateful for donations to the 2016 Christmas Appeal, Give Us Hope. A special thank you to those who spoke about the Appeal, used the CWS worship resources during Advent and at Christmas, or designated Christmas Day offerings for the Appeal. Your support means many more families can have food, water and hope. Please send any donations you are holding so that we can post receipts promptly.
World Day of Prayer
You are invited to join World Day of Prayer services on Friday, 3 March in your community. This year’s liturgy was prepared by women from the Philippines on the theme “Am I Being Unfair to You?”. The World Day of Prayer is a global movement linking women in 170 countries through prayerful action. Services are organised by local committees.
The seventh anniversary of the magnitude seven earthquake from which Haiti has not recovered, was marked on 12 January. In October Haiti was lashed by Hurricane Matthew, leaving 800,000 people in desperate need of food. Poor peasant communities urgently need seeds and tools ahead of next month’s planting season. If you can, please support the Haiti Appeal so that our partner ICKL can distribute them in time.
Give refugees hope
Please pray for refugees suffering bitter winter weather and an unknown future. CWS is appealing for people displaced by conflict in Iraq, South Sudan and Syria. Local partners are struggling to meet their many needs. Please consider raising funds as a church. CWS can provide images and stories to help.
One way to help is to take part in Operation Refugee, which last year raised over $40,000 so that Syrian refugees, could have food, medicine and education. The challenge: live on refugee rations from 16-20 June with sponsorship from everyone you know. Pre-register now.
Scholarship available to write history of Turakina Maori Girls College
The Friends of Turakina Maori Girls College would like to fund a person to research and write a history of TMGC, so that its history and achievements will not be forgotten. It is intended to offer a post-graduate scholarship of $6000 to someone who could make this the basis of a master’s or doctorate degree. Notifications of interest or enquiries to Nick Thomson, 35/17A Sherwill Street, Feilding, 4702.
Applications invited for human trafficking programme
Council for World Mission is accepting applications for the Freedom from the clutches of empire: face-to-face with migration and human trafficking. This will be held on 5 June to 14 July 2017 in United Kingdom. Learn more or apply here
Pews for sale
Church pews for sale: 16 @ 2.6m long with rimu ends and seats and a further two pews which are 2m long (also largely rimu). To discuss offers, please telephone Barbara on 07 543 4059 or 027 438 6267 during office hours, or email Barbara.
2017 retreats at Vaughan Park
Vaughan Park on Auckland’s North Shore is an Anglican retreat and conference centre and exists to be an expression of Christian ministry through hospitality and the offering of regular worship. A variety of workshops are being offered in February and March. Check out the 2017 Retreat Programme.
Creation and holistic Christian living
These workshops, led by Dr Gisela Kreglinger, will explore practical implications for cultivating the everyday gifts of creation, with particular attention to the ways that the Christian doctrine of creation shapes everyday practices and builds stronger communities. Read more
Spirituality of wine public lectures
The public lecture addresses the interface between Christian faith and everyday life practices. It is part of an initiative of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, and lectures will take place in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington. Read more
Taking Flight is a publication that focuses on practical applications and creative ideas related to the weekly lectionary passages. Click here to read a recent copy of Taking Flight. Please email Kereru Publishing to receive a complimentary subscription for 4 weeks. Subscription fees apply beyond four weeks.
Invitation to attend the Church of Scotland General Assembly
The Church of Scotland graciously extends an invitation to our Church to be represented at their General Assembly. While neither we nor the Church of Scotland can make any contribution to travel or accommodation costs, if you as a minister or elder in our Church happened to be planning a trip to the UK and would like to represent us or be a visitor at this event, then please let Assembly Executive Secretary, Rev Wayne Matheson know. The General Assembly 2017 opens 20 May and closes on 26 May this year.
NZ Christian Leaders’ Congress
On 22-23 March 2017, the NZ Christian Leaders' Congress will be held in Lower Hutt. The Congress is a unique opportunity for Christian leaders to gather every three years, to share, network, express our unity in Christ, and engage on topics of significant interest. For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.00% percent per annum. This rate became effective on 1 January 2017. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.
Christchurch ecumenism course
A course that introduces students to the study of ecumenism is available in Christchurch in late February. The course is jointly organised by the National Dialogue for Christian Unity Aotearoa New Zealand, and Centre for Ecumenical Studies, Charles Sturt University, Australia. Read more
Pipe organ available for sale
The Anglican Parish of Avondside in Christchurch wishes to sell its undamaged 1883 pipe organ. It was rescued from the church just before the big earthquake of 2012. It is valued at $700,000. Offers? For further information, contact Rev Jill Keir on 021 212 3210 or the parish on 03 389 6948.
Glen Innis vacancies
Ministers are entitled to one week’s free accommodation at Glen Innis every year. Check out vacancies over the next couple of months here
Check out the latest events from around our Church and from Christian organisations and partners.