February 2020

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

From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Kids Friendly: a ministry of Children and Families
Global Mission
Presbyterian Women
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Christian World Service
Church Register

From the Moderator

Family - the foundation of society

“Decide today whom you will serve, as for my family and me, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14)

Each and every one of us come from a family, belong to a family and were raised in a family. We were in the care of our parents, grandparents, an institution, adoptive parents, solo parents, or any of the many other types of family. We are here today, nurtured by folks who wanted the best for each of us.

It may not all have been perfect or ideal, but it is what it is.

In society, in communities, at workplaces, schools, sport clubs, social organisations and churches, we bring the best of the values and practices from our upbringing. There will be differences, but there will also be common aspects that we are drawn to as a family, group, or community. It is about working on common factors and not being bogged down with our differences; not fighting over what divides us, and at times the pursuit of selfish attainments.

We each have a good understanding of family dynamics. Rules and guidelines are set clearly. They are adhered to and complied with for the welfare of all: respect for the older generation; patience with little ones; acceptance of all; sacredness of the relationship across genders; welcoming visitors; kindness and care for each person. Undergirding all of these is love.
This love is the cornerstone of all aspects of family, and is both holy and sacred. The love of God, in Jesus Christ, is what family stands on. And we build our society on this foundation. Obviously, not all people are in the Lord, so we stand firmly in him, at all times.

“That the world may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven,” said Jesus. (Matthew 5:16).

Our Presbyterian Church is a family. Be involved. Be active this year. You are a valued and cherished member of our family. Offer your talents for Lord Jesus.

Blessings on your family. Blessings for all of 2020. May all of life, be our offering to our God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.

Glory and honour belongs.

Yours in Christ's Service
Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Can you recall travelling in a car and a hill appears ? As you make your way up the hill , you discover you need to change down gears - change down to continue to make your way up the hill? (I realise some reading this are asking - change gears - we only have automatic cars!) Sometimes in life we need to change gear.

I returned from holiday in mid-November and, after a visit to the doctor, discovered I was suffering from a bad viral infection. I lost about 10kgs; had little energy; had disrupted sleep due to developing a cough that sounded like I was going to bring up everything I had ever eaten; and due to the intensity of that cough pulled a number of stomach muscles - so when I coughed there was the additional pain due. I was not sleeping well - the cough kept me awake and the pain from the pulled muscles didn't help! I was no fun to be around - on multiple levels! People told me I looked terrible. They were right!

I generally keep well – my last visit to the doctor because I was unwell was over four decades ago. Being unwell was not something I generally did!

In the end I had to change down several gears: I took some sick leave; worked from home sometimes; did some re-prioritisation of things and rearrangement of meetings. The end of year break was very welcome. I needed some rest and relaxation to fully recover - maybe more than I realised. Improvement took time. The hill was a little steeper than I thought. The cough took over two months to finally go.

I think I am moving back through the gears - changing up...

I appreciated the emails and prayers received during this time. Changing gears. A vital part of life's journey.

First round of voting for Moderator-designate

All parishes will shortly receive information concerning the first round of voting for Moderator-designate. There are changes to this process as a result of decisions made at Assembly 2018. It is important parish councils read the background information paper as they prayerfully consider the matter. Names have to be submitted to presbytery clerks by Friday, 6 April. To assist those who are being asked to prayerfully consider offering themselves for this role, a background paper was part of this information.

General Assembly 2020

The 2020 General Assembly will be held from 30 September - 4 October at Lindisfarne College in Hastings.

Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly 2020

Following consultation with the assembly business work group convener, a deadline has been set for receiving all reports and proposals that will be considered by this year's General Assembly. All material must be received by 5pm Friday, 19 June 2020. 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.

Update your office bearer contacts

We use electronic communication to share information, update on important matters and pass on other news. Our office’s ability to do this is dependent on church councils advising updates to key contact people, changes in email etc. Please pass on  any changes so that we can ensure we are communicating with the appropriate office bearers.

As you enter the New Year with the inevitable challenges and opportunities, may you change gears to suit the terrain you are in, and as you journey - may God continue to bless and guide you.

Wayne Matheson

Kids Friendly: a ministry of Children and Families

Two weeks after packing up the nativity sets in our house, I discovered baby Jesus among my 4-year-old daughter’s newest LEGO creations! There he was, alongside the Disney princess LEGO people, riding along in a car! Baby Jesus had been completely incorporated into my daughter’s daily play during the Christmas season, so much so that he was undiscoverable when it was time to pack up. This simple, somewhat humorous, discovery led to reflection and begged the question: “How will our family take Jesus with us into 2020?” A question worthy of reflection for each of our families and church communities. In my most recent discovery of baby Jesus is the reminder that I must not neglect to immerse myself in the daily play of life to discover Jesus anew. A good reminder for me and maybe for you, too!

As we launch into this new year we will very quickly find ourselves in the beginning of the season of Lent, please keep in mind the resources found on our website: www.kidsfriendly.org.nz; in particular our 2020 Planning Calendar and Lent Resources.  
Peace of the Son of Peace!

Robin Humphreys


The PressGo Board, chaired by new appointee Rev Martin Stewart, met on 11 December 2019. A devotion on the incarnational mystery of God’s action focused the Board on thinking about the ways we discern God’s presence in our communities.

The work of the Theology of Property and Money Taskgroup was discussed, as this was a result of a proposal brought by PressGo to GA18. The Board looks forward to further involvement as recommendations are implemented.

Work with Kaimai Presbytery on the Hamilton Churches Taskgroup and with Northern Presbytery on the Listening project in Auckland city were highlighted as promising collaborative efforts.

The Catalyst presented a report on her involvement with a CWM Missional Church consultation in the Netherlands and this led to a broader discussion on the need for leadership training for “pioneers”, innovators and coaches. A workstream was agreed, linking in with work currently underway in Alpine Presbytery and taking it further.

Five Presbyterian Foundation applications were considered, with three grants made:

  • St John’s Presbyterian Church, Hawera - $1,500 to investigate feasibility of community-facing redevelopment.
  • Chartwell Co-operating Parish, Hamilton – $5,680 for a Holiday Programme and youth co-ordination.
  • East Taieri Church, Mosgiel – $7,500 for new initiative “Building Community on the Coast”.

Rev Dr Darryl Tempero has resigned from the Board to focus on Alpine Presbytery and Leadership Subcommittee responsibilities.
The Council of Assembly has completed its review of PressGo and the Board spent time considering the recommendations. A different way of working with presbyteries is proposed and PressGo has been encouraged to take a lead in processing recommendations and creating an action plan and strategy. This will be further developed at the Board’s first meeting for 2020, in February.

Deadlines for PressGo grant applications in 2020 will be placed on the Church’s website when they have been agreed by the Board.

The PressGo Annual Report for 2018-19 was published in the latter half of the year and is available for download.

For any further information please contact the PressGo Catalyst.

Global Mission

At the time of writing it’s still January, so I can say happy New Year, although by the time you read this it will be February. But, I hope 2020 has started well for you.

St Thomas School, Jagadhri update

2019 certainly ended well for me with a visit to India, which included a short but memorable return visit to St Thomas school in Jagadhri. The result of this visit was the confirmation that the principal of St Thomas is keen to renew the school’s partnership with our Church. This is not about finances, but a request for moral and spiritual support, as life in India these days is becoming more challenging for minority groups. So, if you have an interest in short-term cross-cultural mission, and have skills or experience in education, pastoral ministry, music or sport, and feel a calling to encourage young Christian people and their teachers in India – I would love to hear from you. Comfortable accommodation is available and warm hospitality is assured.

Myanmar update

A team from Leith Valley church in Dunedin had a successful visit to Myanmar in January, to support Wayne and Helen Harray in their service at Tahan Theological College. They all contributed in many different ways during their busy programme and are now well aware of the context the Harrays are working in, and the positive impact their ministry is having. Please let me know if you have an interest in learning more about how to support our partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar.

Vanuatu update

Our support for the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu is underway again for 2020. Nicola Young and Annette Vincent were asked to return for three weeks to help with the Government-recognised nurse-aid training course that the Church runs in Port Vila. And by the time you read this, Brian and Ally Mackay from Dannevirke will already be on Santo island, beginning their year’s work teaching at Talua Theological Training Institute. Please pray for them as they settle in, and for a successful year teaching and contributing to community life at Talua. Several congregations and church schools are continuing with their ongoing projects in Vanuatu this year.

So 2020 is off at full speed already – please let me know if you would like to find out how you or your congregation can serve in our Global Mission partnerships.

Phil King
Global Mission Co-ordinator

Presbyterian Women

Recently, I have taken over the role of administrator for Presbyterian Women from Sandra Waldrom. On the surface this was an unexpected decision; when I was asked to take on the role, my first reaction was to say “No thanks”, however, after talking with Sandra that evening, I realised that this was the answer to a prayer I did not realise I had been praying.

For two years I had been thinking about changing my work, wanting to do something admin-related, which I have never done before, as well as my current role as a counsellor. Once I realised that this was an answer to that unspoken prayer, I knew what action I had to take. Since starting this role, I have had the opportunity to be involved with events that have challenged and excited me like the UN Association of NZ cocktail party at Premier House, and listening to Dame Silvia Cartwright and Marilyn Waring have a conversation for Zonta’s International 100th birthday, and being involved in the International Women’s caucus.

There are a variety of groups and events that women are strongly involved in to make everyday life better for women and children through changes in society and family life.

The PWANZ theme for the past three years has been: “We Are Women at the Well”. My experience has been that when we gather together - as the women at the well did - we offer strength and comfort to one another, and together we continue to challenge and change society as our example, Christ shows us.

Ruth Steven
Presbyterian Women

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Our first block course for 2020 is underway. We welcome three new interns into the programme: Fa’amanu Akeripa (Pacific Presbytery), Enosa Auva’a (Northern Presbytery), WonHyuk Joung (Northern Presbytery). The interns are placed in local Presbyterian churches and it is always exciting to see local churches partner with us in this way.

Each provides unique formational opportunities, and this year we are especially excited with the partnership with Lord’s Church of Auckland working with the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and our Church.

Also, as is our annual practice, we host three students from the Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary (PUTS) in Seoul. They join us for three days during the summer block course for mutual enrichment and strengthening our partnership with the PCK. We acknowledge Phil King’s (Global Mission Co-ordinator) help with facilitating this.

We have just finished co-hosting John Swinton (University of Aberdeen) with Otago University. John was teaching "A Practical Theology of Mental Health". A public lecture was held earlier in the week – and as at time of writing – 80 people were expected to attend.

You may have seen two positions advertised for Ministry Formation Co-Ordinators (KCML). We are happy to announce Rev Nikki Watkin has been appointed to one of the positions, and the recruitment process continues. The interview team has been encouraged by calibre of applicants and quality of people in our Church.

Finally, later in February the national assessment workgroup meet to plan this year’s assessment in May. Steve Taylor will attend from Knox.

Geoff New
Dean of Studies

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Connect – National Leaders Conference 20

We are delighted to confirm that Connect 2020 will at El Rancho in Waikanae, Wellington, 26-28 June 2020. Please note this is new date.

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 20 a priority. Every year we are incredibly grateful to the churches who invest in their youth ministry by financially supporting their leaders, ministers and elders to attend this great event. We ask you to consult with your finance team to see how your church can assist key personnel in getting there.

Young adult commissioners at GA20

Please recommend any suitable potential young adult commissioners (aged 18-30) to your regional youth coordinator or presbytery. Each presbytery has six positions available for youth commissioners to General Assembly. The PYM team has a comprehensive youth commissioner training and engagement process, which ideally starts nine months out from Assembly and includes attending:

  • online training (see example video)
  • at least two of their church’s session or church council meetings before and after GA (four in total)
  • at least one presbytery gathering (where possible) before and after GA (two in total)
  • An orientation afternoon on the first day of GA
  • daily catch-ups during the GA 20 conference (30 Sep- 4 October 20)

So, now is the time to invite young adults in your church to consider participating in GA20.

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

CWS Notices

Christmas Appeal

Your generous donations to the Christmas Appeal will give water to people who need it. Women like Lydia who, seven years ago, was able to build a tank, which she demonstrates here. Please watch and share so people can see how healthy her family is with clean water. Treasurers are reminded to send in Christmas Appeal donations as soon as possible.

CWS moves offices

The main CWS offce has recently moved into the Aldersgate Centre, Durham Street, Methodist Church, 309 Durham Street, Christchurch 8013. People are welcome to visit.

World Day of Prayer

This year, services will be held on Friday, 6 March for the World Day of Prayer, using material written by women from Zimbabwe.

The service and Bible study, “Rise! Take your Mat and Walk” focus on the meeting between Jesus and a man in need of healing. In this story, the women of Zimbabwe find hope for their nation.

Remembering their past struggle for independence and the strength of family and community, they invite New Zealanders to join them in prayer and solidarity for the future.

Nonny Mathe, an artist from Bulawayo, painted this year’s image to show the transition from the country’s difficult past to a more prosperous and promising future. The image shows the need for love, healing and reconciliation inspired by John 5:2-9a.

The World Day of Prayer Committee encourages people to use the resources in other services. For more information contact your local World Day of Prayer organising group or Zella at wdpnz@xtra.co.nz

The World Day of Prayer is a global movement of Christian women. Begun in the US and Canada in the nineteenth century, it became a global movement in 1927.


Glen Innis holiday home for ministers

Bookings for the 2021 summer season are now open.  Please note that planned re-sealing of the driveway impacts on when Glen Innis can accept bookings for the first few months of 2020. For more info contact Stephanie.

Vaughan Centre 2020 retreats

Vaughan Park offers a variety of retreats throughout 2020. Find out what’s available on their website. Learn more

2019/20 Lectionary

The new lectionary (Year A - Matthew) commenced on 1 December 2019. Download lectionary and calendar for 2019-2020

Presbyterian Investment Fund

The Church Property Trustees wish to advise that the interest rate paid on the On-Call Fund in the Presbyterian Investment Fund remains at 2.5%. The interest rate on the new PIF Long-Term Fund remains at 3.5% plus inflation. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.

Spanz publication dates

There has been a change to the 2019/20 Spanz publication dates. The magazine willl be published once in 2020 (May). Read more

Church Register

This is a cumulative register update from 1 October 2019.


The following students completed their studies in December 2019, and are licentiates from 8 December 2020.

  • Rev Sebastian Murrihy
  • Rev Hayden Luke
  • Rev Donald Gordon
  • Rev Annie Kate Williams
  • Rev Gabe Hawker

Receptions to the roll

Rev David Martin Harrison, Anglican minister, Alpine Presbytery, was received 10 November 2019.

Ordination and inductions

Rev Paul Morrow, lay minister to local ordained minister, St Andrew’s College, Alpine Presbytery, ordained 26 September 2019.
Rev Sebastian Murrihy, licentiate, ordained Knox Waitara, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, 19 December 2019.

Changes in Status

Rev Johanna Warren, minister Fielding Oroua Parish to minister Hakatere Presbyterian, Ashburton, Alpine Presbytery, 21 November 2019.
Rev Kevin Finlay, other recognised minister to minister stated supply, St Stephens Cooperating Parish, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 October 2019.
Rev Sharon Ensor, other recognised minister to minister stated supply Chartwell Cooperating Parish, Kaimai Presbytery, 18 February 2020.

Changes in co-operative venture ministries

Rev Cornelia Grant, non-Presbyterian minister at Kapiti Uniting Parish, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu retired 31 Jan 2020.

Short-Term Appointments

Rev Des Botting, minister emeritus to minister stated supply, Scots Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 February 2020.
Rev Albert Mashheretti, non-Presbyterian minister (Baptist Minister) Bethlehem Baptist Church to minister stated supply, Te Puke Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 12 December 2019.


Rev Phil Warner, minister Marton Presbyterian to minister emeritus, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, 12 Nov 2019.
Rev Helen Martin, minister stated supply, St Andrews Gore, to minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery 31 December 2019.
Rev Alistair McBride, minister Scots Presbyterian, Hamilton, Kaimai Presbytery retired 24 November 2019.
Rev Heather Simpson, minister Paeroa Cooperating Parish, Kaimai Presbytery, to minister emeritus, 8 December 2019.

Removals from roll (Book of Order section 1023)

Rev Kent Potter, minister Drury Presbyterian Church resigned from his position with the church and also resigned from the Presbyterian roll, 21 November 2019.


Rev Clare Lind, minister Tawa Union Parish, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, transferred to Southern Presbytery, member of presbytery, 31 December 2019.


Rev Ronald Bichan, minister emeritus Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, died 25 December 2019.


Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. Learn more


Check out our jobs vacancies page, including a role for an experienced minister for a Presbyterian congregation of the Church of Scotland in Colombo, India, and the ministerial vacancies table.