October 2020

From the Moderator
Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Children and Families
Global Mission
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Schools Resource Office
Christian World Service
Church Register

From the Moderator

Persevere on

Jesus said, “Stand firm, and you will win life”. (Luke 21:19)

We each desire that life is normal - that our existence is familiar and within our understanding. We want the pace and rhythms, the highs and lows, the static and extremes, morning and nights, chaos and serenity, of our lives to be normal. But, it may never be that all-familiar and known life again.

The challenge to adapt, adjust and reassess our situations and lives needs to be faced full-on now. And planning for the future must be realigned. This new normal is about embracing the unknown with courage and a positive attitude. The cheque book is being phased out. The personal cashier is slowly being replaced by a recorded message. You can fill up your car without any interaction with another person. It is strange. It is the new normal.

Life will be different, but, we must still be relevant and be significant to each other. We must stand firm in Christ, and we will win life. As people of faith, fellowship and community, we will sorely miss the face-to-face. But, we can change. Go on brothers and sisters, take a step forward. Trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You will be fine.

No one likes change. No one likes to feel inadequate. No one likes to feel helpless. It is like putting life on hold, standstill, pause. We are doing Church differently, and in many cases are reaching more people with the Word, online.

Paul writes: “We boast in the hope of the glory of God, not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”. (Romans 5:2-5.)

Persevere on in the Lord.


From the Assembly Executive

Dear friends and colleagues

If things had gone to plan… I recently experienced when things did not go to plan and a journey needed to change a few times and after a delay of a number of days, things returned to what I thought was normal. I was grateful for all those provided wisdom, care, assistance and adapted.

If things had gone to plan…we would have just held the opening of the Assembly, but Covid-19 has seen Assembly postponed until this time next year. Likewise, I was, and remain, grateful for those who provided wisdom, care and assistance. I am also grateful for the many that adapted to the impact of that decision.

It is sensible to make plans. A well-known adage goes, “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail”. Sometimes our plans need to be interrupted or disrupted. It is a reminder we are not in control! I remember not to "lean on my own understanding".

The challenge has always been to listen and obey, knowing we can trust in the God who has brought us this far.
That requires space in the routine of the day for the on-going nurture and growth of our spiritual journey.

Staff update

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Rev Dr Paul Prestidge as Ministry Formation Co-ordinator at Knox Centre for Ministry Leadership. Paul has been minister at Miramar Uniting Church, Wellington, since 2010. Prior to that for 13 years, he was minister at St James Presbyterian Church, New Plymouth. He has served in numerous roles across the life of our Church, including as Co-convener of the National Assessment Workgroup, Moderator of Taranaki Presbytery, and as Wellington Regional Moderator.

Paul takes up the role from 15 November, 2020.This is a fixed term and fractional position, following the departure of Rev Dr Mark Johnston in March.

Calling a newly trained minister

This year another group will complete their training as interns. Profiles for each person are available from the Rev Brendon McRae who coordinates introductions and discussions between final-year interns and ministry settlement boards. For more information, please contact Brendon.

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.in this season of Annual meetings and possible changes to officer bearers - Please pass on any changes to Grace so that we can ensure we are communicating with the appropriate office bearers.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Take care.

Ngā mihi nui

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

I would like to start by giving a health update on Matt Chamberlin, National Youth Director. As you may well recall Matt is recovering from a concussion he received during an accident back in May. Matt has been making good progress recently, and is making a gradual increase to his work hours to 10 hours a week in mid-October. I know that Matt and his wife Stephanie appreciate your prayers and thoughts during this time.

Partnering with parents

I was chatting with Rev Marcell May from Knox, Lower Hutt this week, and during the conversation I was reminded of the statistical evidence that says the strongest predictor of life-long vibrant faith in young people is faithful parents who take the time to deliberately disciple their children. 

Like Marcell, you probably have parents who bring their children to church to learn Christian teaching and morals, but, our greatest priority in children and youth ministry is to be empowering those parents in faith formation in the home.

I challenge you to consider how can you equip parents to role model faith to their children and engage in faith formational activities with them. A good place to start might be https://here2stay.org.au/

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Presbyterian Children and Families

Seeking an Associate Children and Families Director (0.5 FTE)

We are seeking an Associate Children and Families Director to join our team! The Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry exists to see communities of faith inspired to share God’s big story by engaging authentically with children and families. We are seeking someone who will join the team in:

  • Leading the PCANZ into authentic engagement with children and families.
  • Advocating for children and families so that they are woven into the fabric/DNA of the church and have authentic participation.
  • Encouraging, equipping and supporting church leaders and those who work with children and families.

The Candidate

The successful candidate will have:

  • Work history preferably within a religious context
  • A demonstrable work history in children and families ministry, preferably including experience in ministry resourcing and leadership development.
  • You could be a member of a Christian Church and would naturally be supportive and identify with the mission and ministry of the Presbyterian Church.
  • Experience working across cultural diversity.
  • Professional credibility to inspire confidence, together with a proven ability to provide high quality work within deadlines and timeframes; a strong calibre of leadership, a focus on collaboration, support and communication.


  • Preferably based in a major centre in New Zealand, or with reasonable access to a major airport.

Applications close: 13 October 2020

Click here for a complete job description. For further information, contact Robin Humphreys. To apply, please email Robin a cover letter and CV.

Growing together in Christ,

Robin Humphreys
Director, Presbyterian Children and Families

Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office

Rangi Ruru Girls’ School is the next in this series highlighting Presbyterian Church Schools around Aotearoa New Zealand. It is an independent school for girls from Years 7-13 situated in the heart of Christchurch. It has boarding for 135, plus over 500 day girls. It also has an associated preschool on site.

Often known as "Rangi", the school's name “Rangi Ruru”, was suggested by a Maori Chief of Rapaki Pa, Paora Taki, shortly after the founding of the school in 1889. It is translated as “wide sky shelter” and indicates that the school stands for hospitality and generosity.

After purchasing the school from the Gresham sisters in 1889, the Gibson family ran the school until 1946. It was then purchased by Presbyterian Church members to provide an education for girls in the way that St Andrew’s College did for boys.

In the early 1980s the school wanted a chapel, while the nearby St Andrew’s Church congregation was declining. In a stunning move, in 1986 the St Andrew’s church building was moved to the middle of the school campus and became “St Andrew’s at Rangi Ruru”. Years of co-use followed until the congregation was dissolved and the school became the sole owner. The presence of the church at the heart of the school is a constant reminder of the school motto Whaia to te Rangi ("Seek the Heavenly Things").

In addition to the wooden, gothic style of the church, Rangi Ruru also features the beautifully preserved “Te Koraha” which was home to the Rhodes family in early Christchurch history. Post-earthquake rebuilding has also seen a number of beautiful new structures built, providing interesting contrast in architectural styles at the school.

Further information is available on the Rangi Ruru website.

Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office


Although there has been very little travel in recent months, PressGo has kept in touch with many exciting projects that have bubbled up over the various Covid-19 alert phases. It has been good to share what others are doing and encourage each other via the Church's Facebook page and the PressGo one. Helping facilitate the flow of information is part of PressGo’s brief and the PressGo Review 2019 has asked us to take a greater role in this in the future.

The PressGo Board met on 25 August, under the leadership of our new Chair, Rev Mose Taumaoe. A highly creative application from Student Soul at the University of Otago was successful in securing a grant of $10,000 from the Presbyterian Foundation. The Foundation was a major contributor to Student Soul when it first came into being and we have observed the many changes as it has adapted and continues to thrive.

We are in the process of making a significant grant to the Pacific Presbytery and are working out details before it can be formally announced. The Presbytery has played a major role in communicating Covid-19 messages to Pacific people and, as it has done this, opened the doors to enhanced community connections. In the same light, we are finalising arrangements to support Te Aka Puaho taking on the fund management role with the Tu Tauhere Whatumanama (Heart Strings) project at Taneatua and Ruatoki.

The Council of Assembly has tasked the PressGo Board with developing a plan to implement the recommendations of the PressGo Review and we are currently consulting on a revised Terms of Reference. Ultimately, this will have an impact on the current process of applying for Mission Enterprise Fund grants, but until all is in place, please continue as previously.

If you have any questions please call the PressGo Catalyst on 027 4455 723, or email lisaw@presbyterian.org.nz.

Lisa Wells
PressGo Catalyst

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

We value your prayers as we prepare for the incoming cohort of first-year interns for 2021. Specifically, can you remember local host churches, interns and KCML faculty as we seek to finalise placements. Due to the Covid impact on the National Assessment Weekend, we are nearly four months behind schedule. It is vital that in the move to meet deadlines, discernment conversations regarding placements are not short-circuited.

Welcome to Paul

We are excited to welcome Rev Dr Paul Prestidge to the Knox Centre team. Paul will take up his role as Ministry Formation Co-ordinator from 15 November, 2020, just in time for the Spring block course. Paul has a clear call to form leaders in mission, and it is great to have him coming on board soon.

Geoff New
Dean of Studies

Global Mission

Vanuatu update

As mentioned last month, the cyclone appeal funds for the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu are being distributed as they begin their rebuilding programmes; the PWMU (women’s ministry) has now been added to the four presbyteries that our funds will be supporting. Read the latest Nambawan newsletter with information about our Vanuatu partnership.

Myanmar update

Wayne and Helen Harray are still in New Zealand, waiting for conditions to improve so they can return to Tahan Theological College in Myanmar. In the meantime, they are visiting churches sharing about their work. They recently spoke at Upper Clutha Presbyterian Church in Wanaka. Watch online - you can watch the whole service, or fast forward to hear Wayne at 16:40, and then Helen at 50:00.

Season of creation

It’s good to learn that some congregations have been using the Season of Creation resource available on the Church's website. Although recommended for the month of September, the ideas can be adapted and used at any time. Find this resource and other information about global peace and justice issues to use in your congregations here.

DARE programme

The Council for World Mission’s DARE programme (Discernment And Radical Engagement) is hosting a series of webinars on 30 Oct - 1 Nov. Taking Covid-19 as an opportunity to reflect on the "normal" assumptions and practices of theology, mission and ministry, presenters from different regions of the world will share their views on the impacts of the pandemic, and on different ways we might respond to it. Find out more about DARE including how to register.

With travel restrictions easing I have been able to accept invitations to speak about global mission. Please get in touch if you would like to invite me to share about the challenges and opportunities within our global partnerships with your congregation.

Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator

CWS Notices

Spring Story

Dhammika tells her story “Grow a Garden to Survive”. A mother of five, she can now feed her family during Covid-19 thanks to the garden she has built on previously barren land. She wants others to do the same. Please share her story and support our Spring Appeal. Printed copies are available from Jordyn.

Big Hearts, Connected World

Thanks to everyone who has already signed the joint agency petition to increase government funding for aid and climate action. Please sign it if you think we can do more to help people in other places. CWS has prepared an Election Briefing, which includes suggested questions for parliamentary candidates.  

Supporters’ Council

The annual Supporters' Council will be held in at the Aldersgate Centre, Christchurch and on Zoom on Friday, 30 October. The event will launch the 75th anniversary celebrations and include a report of CWS’s work over the last year. Professor David Tombs from the University of Otago will provide a theological reflection, “Who are we?  Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future”. Contact Jordyn for more information.

Gifts for Christmas

The demand for ethical or charity gifts has been growing steadily as people discover what a great idea they are. Order the new Gifted catalogue which introduces two new gifts: Garden Tools for after an emergency and Schoolbooks and Uniforms for children in South Sudan. Gifts come with an attractive card or eCard and a tax-deductible receipt.

Christmas Appeal

Please join us to celebrate 75 years of diakonia or loving service to others by supporting this year’s Christmas Appeal. “When I was Hungry” invites people to give what they can so people have food, especially after Covid-19. Christmas kits are in the mail to churches or can be obtained by contacting Jordyn. Please order posters, envelopes and service sheets today.


Church statistics

The 2019 Presbyterian Church statistics, including membership and financial information, is now available on the website. Read the statistics

Sir Lloyd Geering theological scholarship

Parishes and individuals are invited to consider making a donation to the Victoria University Sir Lloyd Geering Scholarship in Religion, which will support postgraduate work in Religious Studies. More information about the scholarship and how to donate can be found here.

Resources for end of life choice referendum

In July 2020, the Interchurch Bioethics Council, of which the Presbyterian Church is a member, prepared two articles on the upcoming referendum for the End of Life Choice Act 2019 - one is a FAQs list and the other is an opinion piece by Rev Dr Graham O’Brien, Co-Chair Interchurch Bioethics Council. Download or view the resources

Glen Innis holiday home for ministers

Ordained ministers are entitled to a week's free holiday accommodation each year at Glen Innis Station, south east of Waipukurau in Hawke's Bay. Check out the website for available dates and contact details to make a booking. Learn more

Presbyterian Investment Fund

Deposits and withdrawals can be processed as normal during current alert levels, observing the requirement to provide advance notice for major (>$100,000) withdrawals. The interest rate paid on the PIF On-Call Fund is currently 1.75% pa and the interest rate on the new PIF Long-Term Fund is 3.0% plus inflation. The PIF is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.

Church Register


Rev Wimutu Te Whiu, Amorangi Minister, Te Aka Puaho, resigned and removed from roll, 24 February 2020.
Rev Amirie Te Whiu, Amorangi Minister, Te Aka Puaho, resigned and removed from roll, 24 February 2020.


Rev Michael Uttley, Minister Fairfield Hamilton, to Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, 31 December 2020.


Rev Dawson Roderick Madill, Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, died 23 June 2019.
Sr Nancy May Heginbotham, Deaconess, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu, died 3 September 2020.
Rev John Rush, Minister Tirau Cooperating Parish, Kaimai Presbytery, died 4 September 2020.
Sr Valerie Jean Elley, retired Deaconess, Northern Presbytery, died 25 January 2020.


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


Check out our job vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table for the latest vacancies available in Aotearoa and around the globe. Also, have a look at the new Featured Vacancies section of the website, which includes more detail about various ministerial vacancies from around Aotearoa New Zealand.