August 2018

Use these links to navigate to any section of Bush Telegraph. Happy reading!

From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Global Mission
Kids Friendly
Presbyterian Women
Presbyterian Research Centre
Church Register
CWS Notices

From the Moderator

The bottom line in ministry today
I find that there are still some basics in ministry that make our task a lot easier: good relational skills, a sense of humour and an ability to refrain from defensiveness. Add to this a deep commitment to the health of our soul and allowing God’s Word to shape us daily and this contributes significantly to the resilience of those who take up the call. But, for my money, something else rates as a bottom line for those in ministry and it’s this…

The knowledge that my main task in this endeavor and effort and dreaming is, first and foremost, to hear Christ. I am and can contribute little without this and, indeed, may well betray Christ in the very act of trying to serve Him unless I am hearing Him. 

It’s not just that hearing is the key to wisdom and to building something that lasts, (Matt 7:24) or that it is the key to fruitfulness (Matt 13:23). Nor is it that the very definition of being in Christ’s family is in the act of hearing (Luke 8:21) or that hearing is, in fact, half the work of salvation (John 5:24) that sets hearing apart for me. It is the very next verse that holds the key to a successful ministry: 25Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hears the voice of the son of God and those who hear will live. (John 5) 

As this verse explains, the resurrection power of Christ is activated by hearing the “voice of the son of God” and today we need that power in ministry. The Kingdom of God is precisely a matter of power says Paul (1 Cor 4:20) and it will be served only as we allow that power to be demonstrated through our weakness. 

But, it is not our weakness which is the note of God’s power – this is just the instrument on which the note is sounded. Rather it is our hearing that releases the note and makes a pathway for God’s power to be at work. As Paul says… "4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power." (1 Cor 2:4-5)

God bless you all.
Richard Dawson

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear friends and colleagues

I really enjoyed spending some time at PYM Connect last month. It was a great event, with excellent keynote speakers, a wide variety of workshops and opportunity to connect with God and each other. An inspiring time indeed! 

I noted not only young leaders – but also older people that were encouraging, mentoring and cheering those folk on. I saw what was, maybe, the largest attendance of ministers – they had come to learn and share alongside our young leaders. I came away from my short time at Connect noting women and men, across cultures, demonstrating the kind of life that is committed to intentionally embodying Jesus’ call to radical discipleship. 

Our General Assembly takes place in Christchurch in October and I am conscious of the extra work that is being undertaken to make this event not only an effective forum for our Church’s business, but also an opportunity to celebrate, learn and grow together.

Moderator elect, Rev Fakaofo Kaio writes: “Our focus for GA 2018 is relationship: the relationship between God and you, you and your maker, and, the relationship between you and others. Relationship is basic and fundamental – it is the ‘bread and butter’ of Christian existence. The one who makes personal our relationships is the helper, the Holy Spirit. The cross is our logo for GA18, and it reminds us that Jesus Christ is the heart of all such relationships. Indeed, the Lord Jesus is God’s ‘Yes’ to a groaning world. May the Holy Spirit guide us in fulfilling the will of God.”

Assembly is an opportunity for us to gather, and provides the opportunity for thanksgiving and mutual encouragement. It is also a time of discernment for how God may be calling us to mission at this time and in this place.

For more information and details about how to register for GA18, please see the General Assembly website.

Nominating Committee
Each parish council and presbytery has been sent information from the Nominating Committee providing background material and explaining the process and vacancies they are seeking to fill. A reminder: please send completed nomination forms to the Convener, Rev Anne Thomson, at by 5pm on Thursday, 16 August 2018.

Assembly White Book
The White Book is expected to be available in early September.

Notices of motion for the Assembly due by 5pm Wednesday, 3 October
The deadline for notices of motion has been set as 5pm on Wednesday, 3 October. After this date, only motions arising from dialogue or debate will be accepted.

Thank you for your worship and witness to Christ – the head of the Church.


Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

We have developed flow charts, in consultation with the presbytery candidate convenors, which summarise the steps to become either a local or national ordained minister.

The LOM ministry process, especially, can be overwhelming. LOMs are often bespoke and their contexts are unique, so this flowchart captures the essential steps in an easy one-stop, step-by-step way. 

We envisage that ministry settlement boards, ministry oversight bodies and candidates will use the flow charts as a convenient tool to access all the information that they need about the process for becoming a local or national ordained minister.

Geoff New
Dean of Studies

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services

Better rental laws urgently needed
The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services – which includes our Church and Presbyterian Support – welcomes the launch of Renters United Plan To Fix Renting.

For many years, NZCCSS and other community organisations have called for better rental laws. 

“Our members work constantly to address the damage caused by lack of regulation relating to the quality of rental homes and the impact of no security of tenure," says NZCCSS executive officer, Trevor McGlinchey. 

“We receive many reports about poor quality houses that are damp, mouldy and in disrepair. We hear of renters having tenancies ended with only six weeks’ notice; families having to move several times in year – disrupting schooling and friendships for children.” 

Urgent action is needed and Renters United’s Plan To Fix Renting represents a comprehensive set of ideas to bring about improvements in the quality of rental housing, and ideas for making rental housing a secure and affordable housing option for New Zealanders.

Around half our population lives in rental housing. Nearly 9 out of 10 households are renting in the private rental market. Seven out of 10 children living in poverty live in rental housing and they are likely be in rental housing for much of their childhood – so quality is critical. People living with a disability are 20% more likely to be living in rental housing. 

“Improvements for renters will help overcome the very large and growing inequalities in our communities,” says McGlinchey. 

“Being able to stay longer in a good quality rental house with an affordable rent will help people improve their lives, plan and save for the future. Security of rental agreements make it easier for people to find and retain employment, improve their health, and help their children succeed in education.”

For more about the NZCCSS and how you can take action visit:

Diane Gilliam-Weeks
Presbyterian Church representative on NZCCSS

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

First year in youth ministry coaching program
Ministry to young people is a high priority for the Church. While youth ministry can be challenging, if a new youth worker is coached by an experienced youth worker, they are more likely to lead a healthy and effective youth ministry.

PYM has developed our First Year in Youth Ministry Coaching Program. It is for new key youth leaders (paid or volunteer) in their first year of ministry. The Program is designed to:

  1. Help new youth leaders think through some of the basics of youth ministry leadership.
  2. Support new youth leaders in the challenges they are facing in the first year of ministry.

Your regional youth enabler has been trained in coaching, and is now available to coach new youth workers.

We launched this initiative just a couple of weeks ago, and it great to see a number of churches taking advantage of this initiative already, with youth workers spanning from Dunedin to Auckland already signed up.

Connect 2018
Last week saw nearly 200 youth workers and ministers descend on Waikanae for a weekend of youth ministry inspiration, training and support. I was personally moved by conversations I had with a number of people who shared incredible stories of God working in their ministries.

We want to thank all those people who made this event possible.

Going Further: rebooting in 2020
Going Further has been an excellent ministry to young adults over the years, however, like all ministry ventures, it requires some re-imagining from time-to-time to continue to be engaging and effective. Going Further will take a break in 2019 and reboot in 2020. If you are looking for a good Going Further-like discipleship camp experience in 2019 for any young adults in your congregation, please consider the Venn Summer Conference

Naku, Na
Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Global Mission

This month has been an incredibly busy one for Global Mission teams and our mission partners. I’ve had the privilege of keeping a small eye on things while Phil is on study leave.

I love Taiwan
Grace Mamea, John Liang and Thomas Goldfinch have returned from a wonderful experience at the I Love Taiwan mission camp hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. Positive, spiritually-enriching, growing, fulfilling and challenging are some of the adjectives I have heard so far of their experience.  

Vanuatu update
Six teams as well as some individuals have had excellent experiences in Vanuatu over the school holidays. St Kentigerns Boys and Girls School took a team of 44 to work in Port Vila schools and at the café that is part of the PCV headquarters. East Taieri young adults were on Tanna involved at Lenakel High School and lead the Sunday service in a local village. Other teams have been involved in bush mission on Santo, church building projects on Tanna and Santo and there was an investigative trip by a church to establish a partnership with a community on the island of Erromango. Our staff on the ground in Vanuatu have assisted these teams so well.  

Myanmar update
Wayne and Helen Harray have safely arrived in Myanmar and are setting themselves up at the Theological College where they will be based for the next three years. Please pray for them as they settle in. Petra Malcolm has also arrived at Victoria Boarding School in the Chin State, to be involved in teaching for three months. 

Exciting times! Thank you to those who continue to partner with us. “The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” - Henry Martyn

Paula Levy
(filling in for Phil King, Global Mission Coordinator)

Kids Friendly

The power of inter-generational ministry in combating loneliness
We don’t have to look too far to see the epidemic of loneliness in society. There are many factors that contribute to this sad reality. For starters, we are more “connected” than at any other time in history (via internet, social media), and yet we are more disconnected than ever before and often have fewer face-to-face encounters with one another. Therefore, it is even more essential that we are intentional about carving out time to be present with one another in real and authentic ways. 

How can we as followers of Jesus Christ respond to the loneliness that is all too present within and around our communities of faith in real and authentic ways?

Inter-generational ministry can be one of the answers to the loneliness that we find and experience. There is an innate joy and connection made when we carve out space between the generations. In a church that I served in the States, one answer to the loneliness present within our congregation was to match preschoolers or primary age children with the single elderly people that attended on Sunday mornings. The preschoolers were able to be gently guided through the service and the elderly had a wonderful companion. One of the elderly women that was part of what we called “Pew Pals” reflected on her time with her “Pew Pal”, saying: “I feel noticed and needed. I know that we have lots to catch up on when we see each other on Sundays... I can tell her about my week and I can hear about her’s as well. I don’t feel invisible like I do when I am out at the shops.” 

Carving out intentional time together can be done in the context of worship or during times of fellowship. Making intentional inter-generational connections as a regular part of our life together is the important, and I would say faithful, part. 

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” - Matthew 18:20 NRSV

Rev Robin Humphreys
Kids Friendly Coach

Presbyterian Women

Another year – celebrating 125 years of suffrage in NZ
While our parish secretaries, treasurers and presidents are preparing their year-end reports, it is opportune to consider how we enjoy participating in civil society, too: a volunteer, who is a member of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa, gets to vote at the PWANZ AGM, support submissions (or not) to select committees at Parliament and join an annual delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Special project 2018
In partnership with our sisters in the Methodist Women’s League, our members contribute funds to support an annual special project. In 2018, our chosen mission is “Children, our hope and our future”. We are working with CWS and their partner the Centre for Community Solidarity in Uganda, and funds raised will support orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS. The New Zealand part of the special project will support Pillars, an organisation that cares for children with a parent in a Corrections facility. As well, our groups have ongoing work in their local community from providing donations to the Mercy ship, to making afternoon teas, and knitting beanies for the homeless. 

The PWANZ executive provides members an opportunity to comment on bills before Parliament. This year, we have made two written submissions: one to the Justice Select Committee on the End of Life Choice Bill, and we also made a written submission to the Social Services and Community Select Committee on the Child Poverty Reduction Bill and had the privilege to also make an oral submission before our Members of Parliament.

We honour our foremothers who have fought to ensure we have these opportunities to take our rightful place in civil society.    

Annual General Meeting
Presbyterian Women will hold their 2018 Annual General Meeting at St Albans, 339 Albert Street, Palmerston North on Saturday, 15 September with registrations open from 9am. Look forward to seeing you there for a full day with lunch and workshops available in the afternoon. 

Sandra Waldrom

Presbyterian Research Centre

The Hewitson Library has just received 12 boxes of new books for the Rita Mayne England Christianity & Cultures in Asia Collection from John England, further enhancing this rich special collection.

We have welcomed Connie Hyslop, our third University of Otago humanities intern since we began our collaboration with this programme. Connie is interested in the experiences of the Chinese women and children who came to New Zealand as refugees during World War II once the Chinese poll tax was repealed. This information is held our Canton Villages Mission archives.

The Archives have had several requests for information from Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership interns over the last week in response to a task they have been set. This is a great illustration of the increasing links between KCML and the Research Centre, but also underlines our ongoing efforts to move from the current place-based archives software to a web-based product able to be searched from anywhere. Watch this space!

Jane Thomsen

CWS Notices

Tonga Report
Special thanks to Presbyterians for supporting the Cyclone Gita Appeal. In June, our International Programmes Coordinator Trish Murray met CWS partner Ama Takiloa (a network of more than 300 women’s groups organised to improve health, food security and income) in Tonga. Trish reports that the damage done by Cyclone Gita was very visible on both Tongatapu and ‘Eua. In the six months since the storm, Ama Takiloa has been making home visits to find out who is most in need. They are preparing to repair damaged rainwater systems and reestablish gardens as well as set up household poultry farms. The Tongans Trish met were thankful for support from our donors and the New Zealand Government that will make this possible. Read our short report.

Winter Story
Sangeetha has spent her life in the forests of Kodaikanal in South India. She knows what to eat and what to avoid. As the forest has been stripped of resources, she and the tribal people that are her community have found it harder to survive. She knows that she needs to find a new life on the edge of the forest for her children. Read the Winter Story to find out how your support, through CWS, is Creating a New Path For a New Future. Printed copies are available from Sarah.

Peace Sunday
Celebrating Peace Sunday on 5 August is a good opportunity to remind each other of the importance of peacemaking in our Christian tradition. On the closest Sunday to Hiroshima Day, we remember those who have lost their lives through nuclear weapons. This year’s worship resources “The Bread of God gives life to the world” explore the lectionary readings through a peacemaking lens. In one of the world’s most complex war zones, South Sudan, Christians are tirelessly working for peace. Please continue to pray and support the people of South Sudan in their quest for peace and freedom from hunger. Download Peace Sunday resources

Church Register

Changes in status
Rev Alistair McNaughton, minister Kaikoura St Paul’s to Geraldine St Andrew’s Church, Alpine Presbytery, 9 Jan 2018.   

Rev David Brown, minister Ashburton St Andrew’s, to other recognised minister, Alpine Presbytery, 30 April 2018.  

Rev Sharon Ensor, director Presbyterian Schools Resource Office, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu to Kaimai Presbytery, 18 June 2018.

Parish Register
Popotunoa Presbyterian Parish changed its name to Clinton Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 15 May 2018. 


Hymn books available
We have copies of the Melody Line Version of With One Voice available. They are in excellent condition. For more details, please e-mail

Seating available 
We have available seating that is suitable for a worship centre or hall. There are single chairs and doubles joined with a bible recess. The seating has steel frames. For further details, please e-mail

Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat events
Vaughan Park holds a variety of workshops throughout the year. Check out upcoming events here: 2018 retreat programme 

Register now for the faith nursing conference 
Registrations are open for the NZCFNA conference, which will be held in Tauranga on 7-8 September. The focus will be on providing a “toolbox of resources toward development of positive mental health in the wold today.” More info

Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.50 per cent per annum. This rate became effective on 1 September 2017. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.

Glen Innis vacancies
National ordained ministers are entitled to one week of free accommodation at Glen Innis station each 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. Read more


Job listings include a Resource Team Leader with Alpine Presbytery. Check out this and other job vacancies as well as ministerial vacancies within Presbyterian and Uniting congregations.