April 2022

PLEASE NOTE: due to Special Assembly timing there will be no 1 May 2022 edition of Bush Telegraph. The next edition will be 1 June.


From the Moderator
From the Acting Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Global Mission
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Church School
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Research Centre
Presbyterian Women
CWS Notices
Church Register

From the Moderator

Connecting with kids in COVID times

My Moderator theme, Empowering Generations, is easily overpowered by the all-consuming and understandable dominance of the COVID context we are doing church in. And yet, it remains a vital priority for us. I have been hearing good stories of creative intergenerational connection in these trying times. Robin Humphreys told me about a letter writing idea she is promoting: older folk like to write letters, children love receiving them – snap. And another church leader told me how the children are dropped off at church on a Sunday morning for their own small group programme, allowing their parents to connect in their own small group at a time when their church is not meeting as a whole group. Another church is doing a car rally for young families, the destinations are a series of older parishioners’ houses for creative, COVID-safe, interaction.  Yes to all of that, and all that you are doing in this space as well.


NZ church leaders have been active in responding to the war in Ukraine. Firstly, I joined with Anglican, Catholic and Methodist leaders to extend the Pope’s Ash Wednesday call to pray and fasting to our churches. Then, prompted by some of you, we took a lead in sending a letter to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow asking him to use his influence for peace – 24 NZ church leaders signed that one. 

Meeting with the PM

I participated in Zoom call with the PM mid-March. These meetings involve the church and social agency leaders from the Salvation Army, Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists and Roman Catholics. We addressed the issues of housing and social cohesion. I was impressed by the preparation that goes into these meetings, the collaboration of our social agencies and the church leaders, and the engagement of Jacinda and relevant ministers. This is such a good thing for us to be involved in.

Finally, take care. These are such stressful times to be in ministry. Some of you are holding together parishes where there are such divided opinions. All of you are working under pressure from COVID. May God be with you!

God bless
Hamish Galloway

From the Acting Assembly Executive Secretary

Special Assembly

It is now three and a half weeks until our online Special Assembly, which will take place 27-29 April. Thank you to those who have already registered. If you were a Commissioner to the General Assembly last year, this means you are also a Commissioner to the Special Assembly – so if this is you, and you have not yet registered, please do so here. The cost of registration for Commissioners is $175. 

Observers can register for the Assembly on the same site – please note there is a small cost of $25 per observer.


The Government regulations regarding Covid-19 continue to evolve. Following the most recent changes, indoor limits have now increased to 200, and from 5 April vaccine passes will not be required. Make sure that you keep up to date with the information that relates to faith-based gatherings here.  

WCC Assembly

The World Council of Churches is holding their Assembly this year in Germany from 30 August – 8 September. The PCANZ’s delegate to the Assembly is our Moderator the Rt Rev Hamish Galloway. Registrations are open to all people interested in the ecumenical work of the WCC. You can read more and register here, but note that all expenses will need to be self-funded. 

Whanau Friendly

Two of our national ministries have worked together to develop the Whanau Friendly process, something they describe as their dream that ‘the local church will be a place where all generations are present, thriving, encouraging one another and growing in faith together’. It’s great to see our ministries collaborating like this – I encourage you to read about Whanau Friendly in the PYM and Children and Families sections of this Bush Telegraph. 

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.

We continue to be in a very challenging time for our churches as we negotiate the complexities of living with Covid-19 in our communities.  I’m grateful for the examples of thoughtful, encouraging and creative solutions that I see in action, hear about in conversations with others, and read about in different forums. Let us keep on supporting each other as we keep moving forward through this challenging season. I recently came across this prayer in a magazine that arrived at the Assembly Office, which I will conclude with:
As 2022 evolves
accompany us into our new normal, Spirit of courage,
easing our fear
supporting our resilience
sustaining our hope
confirming the truth
enlarging our sense of community
 at home and around the world.*

Phil King
Acting Assembly Executive Secretary

* From ‘Tui Motu InterIslands Magazine — the independent Catholic monthly’, Issue 267, February 2022. 

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

The Whānau Friendly Process 

We have been working for quite some time now, in partnership with our sister department PCFM, to develop the Whānau Friendly Process.  

Through this process your church will reflect on your congregation’s current ministry and discern in which way God may be leading you in the upcoming years. The resource includes a 6-epsiode film series, intergenerational teaching curriculum, community surveys and resources to create actions and priorities for ministry. 

We are really proud of this piece of work and believe it is a real gift to your congregation. We encourage you to read what PCFM has written in their section of the Bush Telegraph, and to learn more on the Whānau Friendly website: whanaufriendly.org.nz/ .

First Year in Youth Ministry Coaching Programme 

Ministry to young people is a high priority for our Church. While youth ministry can be challenging, if a new youth minister is coached by an experienced youth minister, they are more likely to lead a healthy and effective youth ministry. 

This Coaching Programme is for new key youth leaders (paid or volunteer) in their first year of ministry. With the aims of: 

  1. Helping new youth leaders think through some of the basics of youth ministry leadership.  
  2. Supporting new youth leaders in the challenges they face in the first year of ministry. 

We have coaches throughout the whole country and so if you have a new key youth leader at your church, this may be of benefit to you. Check out our webpage.         

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Presbyterian Children and Families

Whanau Friendly Process

Together with the PYM team, we have been developing the Whanau Friendly Process. We prayerfully discerned that the path ahead was to develop a process that would be rooted with the strengths of the Kids Friendly self-review while also serving the Church in this new season of a broader focus, answering to the needs of children, youth, and their families. It is our dream that the local church will be a place where all generations are present, thriving, encouraging one another and growing in faith together. The Whanau Friendly Process is a practical tool to help churches bring about this vision and will engage all members of the church as they journey through the process. All the information that you need about the process, can be found on our website: The Whānau Friendly Process - whanaufriendly.org.nz. Check out our Whanau Friendly promo video.


Lent brings an opportunity for our children and families to draw closer to God as they journey through this season. For our Children and Families ministry leaders, we have taken the opportunity to share resources and ideas for observing Lent and Easter through our website, as well as through our Idea Share zoom event:  Lent and Easter – Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry

The reality of the crucifixion is often a tough topic to explain to children. How do you sensitively present Jesus’ crucifixion to young minds? How do you answer the why and how questions of Jesus’ resurrection? And how do you balance this with the secular attitudes towards Easter? It’s not an easy task! We just have to embrace the mystery, recognise that we don’t have all the answers, and to let our young people know that there is joy to be found in that mystery. Be thankful for the excitement that children will be experiencing. Be willing to acknowledge the sorrow and cruelty of Christ’s death. And celebrate together the mystery, amazement and wonder of the resurrection. 

Ngā mihi
Robin Humphreys and Karo Wilson
Presbyterian Children and Families

Global Mission


Vanuatu is finally facing community transmission of COVID. The nation has worked hard to keep it at bay, but things have now changed. The government has put the whole nation in lockdown. Please pray, especially for children (vaccination is not yet available for them), for the elderly, and for those who have limited resources and access to food. 

Talua is currently locked down, and decisions are yet to be made in regards to the rest of the year. We were underway with arranging an English teacher to begin teaching remotely from next term, but will now need to wait and see how things develop.

A recent email from Talua:

Thanks so much for your prayers and support. There is a lot of fear. Not just for Covid, but also for the basic closure of the economy. Many are counting the vegetables in the garden to see how many weeks/ days they have left before they have nothing left to eat. The hospital in town has closed to anything except Covid or emergencies.

Please join in praying for Vanuatu at this time.


Several requests have come this week from the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar for assistance in different areas: help to complete a building at the Theological College, assisting a pastor with study, and assistance for paying for COVID vaccines for church staff.

It has been over a year since the military coup and so many live in fear. The situation has remained incredibly difficult with ongoing protests, violence against civilians, collapsing economy, and yet a longing for change and breakthrough.

Pastors and churches have it very tough and we pray they can remain faithful agents of hope. In addition, Myanmar has been struck with two waves of Covid. Many died when the Delta variant struck in 2021, including dozens of ministers serving with PCM. Please continue to uphold this nation and the church there in your prayers. If you are able to support please do contact us.

Thank you, and may we continue to hear God’s heart for these situations and people and act as we are able. 

Rev Paula Levy
Acting Global Mission Director

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

The new Minister Development Plan process is going well with good feedback received from ministers and facilitators. It is forward looking, with a strengths based focus, providing ministers with a guide for development in the next two to three years. We are about to begin recruitment of new facilitators, so keep a look out in presbytery communications for that. 

We have partnered with Alpine and Central presbyteries, and PressGo, to bring the missional movement ‘Forge’ to New Zealand. Forge Aotearoa’s centrepiece is a year-long pioneer missions course that began with an introductory weekend in mid-February. It attracted 16 participants from around the country, all involved in planting or planning a new missional venture of some description. A key goal is to be a community where missional pioneers learn from and encourage each other. We had our first weekend in February, online, receiving good feedback and a positive start. We are learning what it means to form leaders in this space.  For more information see www.forgeaotearoa.nz.

Our seven interns in placement around the country are in good heart, with five in the discernment process of where God may be leading them when they graduate at the end of this year. 

Acting Principal, Geoff New continues on study leave.

Rev Dr Darryl Tempero
KCML Management Support
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Church Schools

Chaplains (Part 5)

One of the most obvious roles of our church schools’ chaplains is that of a spiritual leader. A 2011 paper titled Christian School Leaders and Spirituality: A Phenomenological Study summarises this role well. The authors reported that spiritual leaders in schools show “the importance of relationships with others; exhibit personal growth; provide for needs and opportunities; promote personal and spiritual growth; have a personal relationship with God; exhibit humility; are real and accessible; and serve as mentor, encourager, and supporter of all the members of the community.” That’s quite a list. And when you add in the pressures of all the other roles a chaplain might have - pastoral leader, educator… you are left in awe at the breadth of the chaplain’s work. 

You may be tempted to think that being a spiritual leader in a Church school, in particular, is easy but this is not the case. Ministry of Education regulations prohibit any evangelising and expect equal treatment of all faiths; many of the students, staff and Board members are non-Christians, and those that claim a spiritual focus are often astounded when the chaplain’s views do not align with theirs. Add in teenagers’ natural cynicism and tendency to question and a chaplain’s lot is never straightforward.

But what an opportunity they have amongst the nearly 11,000 students in our Schools (and that’s not counting the staff and whanau the chaplain connects with either)! Chaplains give all these people perhaps the only example of a spiritual life they have ever experienced. What a privilege and yet also what a responsibility. 

So what can we, the PCANZ do to help this important work? Firstly, pray. Then connect with a school in order to get to know their needs – and pray some more.

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

Presbyterian Research Centre

The staff of the Presbyterian Research Centre are continuing to work mostly from home. The Archives remains closed to visitors and the Hewitson Library is open strictly by ‘appointment only’ for the collection and return of books. You can still contact us by email, as well as explore our e-resources. These include the range of e-books and e-journals available through the Hewitson Library and the Archives’ Recollect website. For more information, email the Hewitson Library. The Archives can be emailed here

At Archives we have had several recent queries about baptisms where the baptism registers have proved difficult to locate. Unlike marriages, the information relating to baptisms in located nowhere else except in the baptism register. Proof of baptism can be required in a number of circumstances, including getting married, getting confirmed, applying to attend Church schools or even applying for ministry training! Ideally, everyone would have carefully kept the baptism certificate that they or their parents were given when they were baptised, however. for many reasons these are lost over the years. In these situations it is enormously helpful if parish baptism registers are kept readily accessible (even if you may not use them often).

Rachel Hurd
Presbyterian Research Centre 

Presbyterian Women

Our time is now 

“Let us not stop working. Let us not stop calling for justice for creation.”

This is the clear call from Pacific women at the 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) held virtually in March 2022, in the very informative and challenging webinar ‘Pacific Women on the Frontlines of Climate Change’.

“For more than 60 years Pacific women in faith communities, particularly in churches, have broken the silence on the impact of the climate crisis on their families, their communities, and themselves to bring attention to these issues” said Frances Namoumou, who leads the Stewardship and Climate Change Team and has oversight of all the programmes of the Pacific Conference of Churches.

This event reminded me that despite the severe weather events that impact us in Aotearoa, people across the Pacific are on the frontline in climate change. Pacific women at CSW66 describe how extreme weather events destroy crops, claim lives at sea, and destroy freshwater resources.

Compensation for loss and damage is essential and extends beyond economic impacts. “What is key here are the non-economic losses resulting from climate change… our connection to identity, culture and spirituality, ecology, diversity and services that support livelihoods, cultural practices and holistic wellbeing, which is grounded in local knowledge systems and values,” said Frances Namoumou. “We are not waiting anymore. No, we will inform everybody, you need to read up, show up and act now”. 

Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand is privileged to participate in CSW66, contributing to faith-based advocacy for gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Learn more through our Facebook page.

We all must read up, show up, and act now to make a real difference to the future of our planet.

Mavis Duncanson
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ 

CWS Notices

Help Needed for Ukraine 

CWS has launched the Ukraine Crisis Appeal for people fleeing the war. ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) is distributing food, water, shelter, clothing and comfort to some of the many refugees and displaced people. Members have set up shelters, including with local churches in Ukraine, and neighbouring countries. Staff and volunteers are running dormitories, providing hot food and drinks, and information for the people.  

We encourage you to pray for Ukraine, the people displaced by the conflict, for Russia, and for peace.  We are fasting for Ukraine and for peace on each Friday of Lent - an initiative of Heinke and Peter Matheson. Please join us!

Special Project

In this year’s Special Project Presbyterian Women Aotearoa and the Methodist Women’s Fellowship are raising funds to promote family well-being in the Pacific.  The backgrounder and slide show can be downloaded from the website.  Groups are encouraged to pray for Pacific communities dealing with the pandemic.  Funds raised will help worst-affected Fiji in the first instance. 

Tonga Emergency Appeal

Thank you for your very generous gifts to the Tonga Emergency Appeal.  The Tonga Community Development Trust is finalising preparations to repair rainwater tanks, re-establish gardens, and support new livelihoods through Ama Takiloa, its women’s network.  Please remember Tonga in your prayers.

Remember Afghanistan

While global attention is elsewhere, the Afghan people are faced with daily hunger in the depths of winter.  Thank you to donors who have provided emergency funds for 300 refugee families in Pakistan.  More relief is on its way.  Please pray for those who are hungry, displaced and afraid.

March 31

CWS will send final receipts to regular givers in early April.  If you have mislaid yours, please contact Jordyn on 0800 74 73 72 or email.


Sign up for Assembly News 

Subscribe to Special Assembly News and during the online Special Assembly (27 – 29 April) we will send you an email with the latest news. We will update the Church website during the day too. Sign up here.

South Island Ministry Conference 17 & 18 May 2022

Will provide hope for faithful and fruitful ministry even in difficult times when numbers of people attending are lower than we would want. God is still at work bringing growth in Christ and we can be a part of that. Andrew and Christine Harrex will be the keynote speakers, sharing about growing together as faithful generations.  The conference will be held at East Taieri Church, 12a Cemetery Road, Mosgiel. Download the brochure and register here  or email your details here

Easter resources

Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry has resources for Easter, see them here. On the Presbytery Central website you can find Easter resources for youth here. Also find Easter resources on the Presbyterian Church Schools website here.

Presbyterian Investment Fund

Deposits and withdrawals can be processed as normal during current Covid-19 settings, observing the requirement to provide advance notice for major (>$100,000) withdrawals. The interest rate paid on the PIF On Call Fund is increasing from 1.50% p.a. to 1.75% p.a. from 1 April 2022. The interest rate on the PIF Long-Term Fund remains at 3.0% pa plus inflation. Rates are subject to change. The PIF is open to parishes and presbyteries, but not to individuals. For details on the Long Term Fund or further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.

Property Handbook – 2022 Edition

The Trustees’ Property Handbook is a comprehensive guide for parishes and presbyteries when dealing with properties. It describes the procedures to be followed when considering property developments and transactions. It also contains helpful suggestions, tips and checklists. A new 2022 edition of the Property Handbook will be available from the PCANZ website from April, see The Property Handbook.


Church Register

For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.

Minister Changes

Rev Paul Loveday, minister Hastings – St John’s Presbyterian Church, also now moderator Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 1 December 2021.
Rev Gene Lawrence, minister Temuka – Trinity Presbyterian Church to other recognised minister, 28 February 2022.
Rev Geoffrey Skilton, minister Highgate Presbyterian Church to other recognised minister, Southern Presbytery, 20 March 2022.
Rev Dr Ron Mills, convenor Kaimai Presbytery to Minister Emeritus, 31 March 2022.
Rev George Kopa, minister Tapanui Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery to Manurewa - St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, 12 April 2022.

Non-PCANZ Ministers in Co-operative Venture Ministries

Rev Mohukelesi Lolohea, Methodist minister, to Cambridge – Trinity-St Paul’s Union Parish, 1 February 2022.
Rev Julia de Groot, Methodist minister, to Oxford District Union Parish, Alpine Presbytery, 1 February 2022.
Rev Andrew McDonald, Anglican minister, ended at MacKenzie Cooperating Church, Alpine Presbytery, 28 February 2022.

Lay Appointments

Paul Buick, ended lay supply Invercargill St David’s Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery 28 February 2022.
Local Ministry Team at Invercargill - St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery dissolved, 10 March 2022 (Bronwyn Beker, Una Cardno, Debra Clark, Lindsay Jordan).


Rev Ron Townsend, Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 16 February 2022.

Parish Changes

Hamilton/Dinsdale – St Clare’s Cooperating Church, Kaimai Presbytery, dissolved 28 November 2021.


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.