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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Research Centre
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It was a big mid-November week for PCANZ in Wellington –
- A strategic hui called by the COA to look at the common strategic threads from reports to the recent General and Special Assemblies and to do some discernment around what the Spirit is saying to the Church at this time. Some useful work was done that will be passed on to the Te Haere Tonu workgroup, they will in turn report back to the COA and GA.
- Around 20 recently ordained ministers gathered with Very Rev Ray Coster and Rev Nikki Watkin for mutual sharing, encouragement and reflection around the challenges of ministry.
- Two hundred and sixty of us gathered for the ONE conference. There was high anticipation! Quality hospitality, speakers, workshops, and worship ensured that a lovely culture defined the three days. Many thanks to our hosts St John’s in the City and the great team behind the event so well led by Gordon Fitch and Matt Chamberlin. It was so positive that plans for a similar conference in a couple of years’ time are forming.
Early in November I was at the reopening of the old St Andrew’s church in Palmerston North, now earthquake strengthened, renovated and fit for purpose. Renamed ‘Pathways’ it brings three parishes together into one with positive plans for the future. This provides a good model for us of what we can do.
One of the major Moderator plans for next year is a national roll out of a programme that also carries the name ‘Pathways’. This is a parish-based programme of pastoral and spiritual care that has been successfully embraced by about a dozen parishes in the Alpine Presbytery this year. We would like to run a day in each presbytery to profile the way the programme works. Watch out for information about taster days in your presbytery next year.
There are also some plans for a conference focusing on social enterprise in the church setting. There are wonderful stories about how some of our churches are leveraging off the resources they have to generate funds for ongoing mission. They are stories worth telling and there are some learnings in these stories for all of us.
As we come into the Christmas season, I would like to commend to you the CWS Christmas appeal, and also an Advent resource put out by Christian Blind Mission – find out more here.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues
While out walking recently I reflected a little on this year, my year. I saw a card with a Nativity scene. As I looked at the expressions on the faces and the characters in the Nativity scene, they looked so peaceful! The sheep and the donkey looked happy.
The songs that we sing have this serene feeling: “Oh little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie…All is calm, all is bright…The Lord Jesus no crying He makes.”
It is easy for us to romanticize and think they lived in simpler times, simpler people, probably easy for them to be peaceful back then. You and I live in the real world. A world where there is pressure, mortgages, relationship problems, child problems, health problems, career problems, money problems; where there is cancer; where there are big regrets about yesterday, big anxieties about tomorrow. All is calm, all is bright. Yeah right! We think maybe in Bethlehem 2000 years ago but not in our world. I wonder…I wonder that when that happens we cut ourselves off from the real peace that Jesus comes to bring. As I re-read the well-known Scriptures, I am struck by this dangerous prayer of: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have spoken.” God’s Word to us, through that baby that was born to Mary, that went to a cross: “Peace I give to you. My peace I give to you...” In our world at this time especially may we, our whanau and neighbours, experience that peace…deeply.
General Assembly 2023
Dates for the General Assembly in 2023 are Wednesday 27 September to Sunday 1 October and the venue will be Saint Kentigern College, Auckland. More details will follow.
First round of voting for Moderator-designate
Early in the New Year, parish councils will receive information concerning the process for electing the Moderator-designate.
Deadlines for reports, proposals and recommendations to 2023 General Assembly
Following consultation with the Assembly Business Workgroup convener, a deadline has been set for receiving all reports and proposals that will be considered by next year’s General Assembly. All material must be received by Friday 16 June 2023. Guidelines to assist those seeking to bring proposals will be sent to parish councils and presbyteries early in the New Year. 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 decision supporting presbytery participation in the setting of the Assembly agenda.
From the Assembly Office team
On behalf of the whole Assembly Office team, thank you for your prayers and support during the year. Please know your phone calls and emails of support have made a huge difference to staff in what has been a challenging year. Blessings and we look forward to serving and supporting you in 2023.
Assembly Office holiday closure
The office will close on Thursday 22 December 2022 and reopen on Monday 9 January 2023. Both the Knox Centre and the Research Centre will be closed during this time also. For any urgent matters over this time, please contact me on my mobile.
Ohope Marae, Te Maungarongo Working Bee
From 9 - 16 January 2023 you are invited to participate in a working bee at Ohope Marae, Te Maungarongo. For more information, please email Honey Thrupp.
Farewell Gordon Fitch
After 12 years working in the Assembly Office, Gordon Fitch has announced his resignation to take up a new role with the Salvation Army.
In addition to being the National Youth Manager, he also held the role Director of Mission Resourcing for the past four years. Gordon has made a tremendous contribution across the wider life of the Presbyterian Church and his ability to collaborate, can do attitude, and encouragement of others has been a real gift. We wish Gordon all the best for his new role.
Congratulations Camila Farias
We congratulate Camila Farias (Financial Compliance Director) and partner Simon on the safe arrival of Hugo. Camila is on parental leave until October 2023.
Ngā mihi nui
Assembly Executive Secretary
Two hundred and sixty ministry leaders from our Church came together last month at St John's in the City Wellington, to reconnect, be inspired by creative and innovative ideas, and encounter the Spirit of the living God together. Thank you to all the people who served in some capacity - from changing toilet paper to leading a keynote session. We really couldn’t have led the conference without any of you.
We have really enjoyed reading all the email received - sharing encouragement, gratitude, and stories of God at work within the conference. We are privileged to have served in this conference and the team looks forward to seeing you again, at the 2024 One Conference.
Gordon Fitch resignation
I am taking this opportunity to say thank you and farewell. I have resigned from the PCANZ and start a position with the Salvation Army in the New Year.
When the Fitch family moved to New Zealand 12 years ago, so I could serve in the PCANZ national office, I only knew one person - Carlton Johnstone. Now I am moving on, I go knowing hundreds of amazing people from our whanau, many of whom I consider personal friends. Thank you to all who have supported me, given advice, volunteered, or been part of a PYM event over the years. I appreciate you all. I have appreciated working alongside the PYM team, Carlton Johnstone and then Matt Chamberlin. I learned much from both, and we developed some amazing resources and initiatives.
One of the joys of the role has been supporting and collaborating with amazing Presbytery Youth Enablers, good people who I consider all good friends.
PYM fits within the PCANZ’s Mission Resourcing Team, who it’s been a privilege to serve alongside. Each of them is an expert in their field, people of character, passionate about their respective ministries, and always looking for ways to work together rather than reinventing the wheel. As a team we journeyed through our ups and downs; I have been touched by the genuine aroha and compassion shown by them.
Some professional and personal highlights: the Connect Conference, always a high as we generally have 150-200 youth leaders come together for a weekend of training, resources, community and sanctuary; working with other denominations to produce the Sustainable Practices for Youth Ministry, a resource to help longevity of key youth leaders; working with Matt to put on the Key Leaders Retreat in Queenstown; working on PYM resources including the PYM Recommended Payscale, Safety WOF course, Emerge Leadership course; and in partnership with PCFM, the recent Whanau Friendly Process.
I’m leaving my roles but not our tribe; I continue to be a volunteer youth leader, and an elder, at St John’s in the City Wellington.
National Youth Manager
Last month I mentioned a trip to Vanuatu with a view to resuming mission activity with the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. You can read more about this in the Nambawan newsletter .
In particular, there are opportunities for teaching English at Talua Theological Training Institute, congregational projects, and supporting Navota Farm’s forestry plans. PCANZ members with a history at Onesua College will be interested to know the college is planning to celebrate its 70th anniversary next year.
Anti-trafficking Ministry in Europe
Alex and Liz Preotesea-Wagner from St Alban’s in Palmerston North are hoping to serve in an anti-trafficking ministry in Romania with European Christian Mission. Alex and Liz are looking for partners to support them as they prepare. In particular, they would appreciate invitations to speak at churches and mission groups to raise their profile and encourage support. You can find out more about the context they will be serving in and their exciting plans here and you can contact them directly here.
Mission to Migrants in New Zealand
Many congregations have missional opportunities in their local contexts, but might need some help to get things started. So here’s a reminder that WEC New Zealand is a mission agency that has developed a resource to help churches engage in mission to migrants in their communities. Check it out here and contact WEC directly if you are interested in finding out more.
It seems hard to believe that this is the final Bush Telegraph for the year. So let me take the time to thank you for taking an interest in and supporting our Global Mission partnerships throughout the year; and to wish you all a meaningful and joy-filled Advent and Christmas. And please continue to remember our Global Mission partners in prayer, particularly in Myanmar where life remains fragile under a violent military junta. May they know the peace of Christ in the midst of their struggle.
Global Mission Director
Post One Conference
I write this in the week immediately after the One Conference. The day before the Conference, Rev Nikki Watkin was involved in (facilitated with the Very Rev Ray Coster) the post-ordination gathering in Wellington; and I met with elders during the One Conference. Both gatherings have given KCML some wonderful ideas and requests for training needs in the lay and ordained leadership space. Subject to the outcome of our current faculty recruitment phase, this information is valuable as we consider offering training for elders and leaders.
NOM Summer Block Course
For the NOM Summer Block Course, we will be joined by several LOM Probationers in the first week, during the introduction lectures for the seven core subjects. We last invited LOM Probationers to join us a few years ago. It will be great to have our time enriched with their presence.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services’ advocacy work in 2022 has focused on improving access to safe and affordable housing, improving services for whānau and tamariki, and encouraging policies and resources that emphasise positive ageing, social inclusion, and adequate support for older people.
New Housing Support Tool
One notable project this year has been the development of a Housing and Support Providers Tool, making it easier for providers of community housing-related services to connect and collaborate. The tool draws together an extensive range of publicly available information to identify over 200 providers of housing services across the motu. The data can be configured into user-customised tables and charts displaying providers, location, types of services and specialist demographics throughout the country. “We know that there’s no easy solution to the housing challenges in Aotearoa, and the innovations needed to make real inroads will take a collaborative effort by all types of providers. Our hope is that the tool will help fuel that collaboration and ultimately, the innovation that will see significant progress in addressing housing insecurity,” says Nikki Hurst, EO of NZCCSS.
The NZCCSS Housing & Support Providers Tool can be accessed here.
New Guide to our Workforce
NZCCSS’ Workforce Guide was launched in November. This guide profiles a range of roles and people within our membership to support understanding of how people across our sector come together to meet clients’ needs and ensure stronger, resilient, and thriving communities. “The power of the Community, Health and Social Services sector has always been in how we work together. Through scarcity, generosity, innovation and change, none of us can achieve alone what it is possible to achieve together,” says Nikki Hurst.
The Workforce Guide is available on the NZCCSS website.
Executive officer of NZCCSS
PCANZ Celebrant Register
At this time of year, ministers may receive an email from the Department of Internal Affairs -Celebrants Online asking them to renew their registration. This is all handled by the Assembly Office, so there is no need for ministers to take any action. If you have any queries regarding your registration, please contact Kate Wilson.
PCANZ Compliance Support
Kia Ora from the PCFM team!
As we race towards the end of the year, we want to pause, and give thanks to our gracious Lord, for an incredible year at PCFM! It has been an exciting year, beginning with Karo joining the team! In many ways, this year has felt like an awakening of sorts, as we emerged from the feeling of darkness that we experienced in the pandemic. And with that has come the excitement of being able to do more together! We have been blessed by a number of opportunities to connect with CFM leaders across the country, both digitally and in-person. We have celebrated the chance to equip and resource churches, through workshops and gathering. And we rejoice at the way God is continuing to work in the lives of children and families ministries across Aotearoa!
Most recently, we were delighted to meet together in person at the One Conference! Thank you so much to those who were able to be with us! There is something special that happens when we are together in-person, and for us it was a blessing to be able to grow our connections with leaders who have a heart for children and their families!
We have been so blessed in our work, and we have been encouraged by the passion and enthusiasm shown by those working in children and families ministry. Your mahi is deeply appreciated!
As we celebrate together the journey of Advent, and the birth of our Saviour, may God’s Hope, Peace, Joy and Love overflow in each of our lives! We pray that the summer holidays will be a time of deep rest and refreshment for all who serve so willingly in ministry to children and families!!
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou - Season’s greetings for Christmas and the New Year,
Robin Humphreys and Karo Wilson
Presbyterian Children and Families
Advent is a season in our religious year in which we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is also a season in our calendar year that is usually the end of our working or academic year with the accompanying need for a holiday to rest and relax. I find these two events can create tension as we want to participate in the joyous season of Advent activities in our faith communities and also need to slow down at the end of our year.
Mary is a mother waiting to give birth while everyday life has its expected and unexpected demands rhythms. I watch my daughter- in-law and son as they get ready for the birth of their second child. Their busy everyday lives continue as they anticipate the changes this child will make to their family. We, her whanau, watch and wait with her while marveling at the ordinariness of pregnancy that gives us a child to love and nurture as part of our family.
Advent is a season that has much busyness and joy in it as we celebrate the birth of Jesus while also being a time to find a quiet place within ourselves, that place where we are most ourselves in relation to God.
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand
I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the PCANZ. I am the Rev Jay Robinson and I started as Director of the Presbyterian Research Centre (PRC) on 31 October. As many of you know, the PRC combines the Archives and Hewitson Library, and is located on the Knox College campus in Dunedin.
A bit about my background: I earned my master’s degree in Library Science in 1990, and my M.Div. in 1996. Over the years, I have worked in both libraries and church ministry. I am an ordained pastor, remaining in good standing with the Iowa Conference of the United Church of Christ, where most recently I served in a supply preaching role.
I have worked in a variety of library management roles over the past 20 years.
I am excited to be in this new role, and was pleased in particular with participating in the recent One Conference. I am looking forward to meeting people from across the Church. Please contact me, see details here or email me.
Presbyterian Research Centre
What a great opportunity to meet people (in person!) at the One Conference in Wellington. Gillian, our CWS Communications Coordinator and I, Murray, appreciated the opportunity to meet so many people and enjoyed taking a breakout session on justice. Thanks to everyone who made it such a great event, especially the hosts and organisers.
Advent has begun. Please join us to support people who are living on the frontline of climate change. Let Hope Flow this Christmas is our theme and our prayer. Digital clips, posters and slides in 10 languages, and worship materials are available on our website. Read more.
Gifts that make Dreams Real
Gifted is a chance to buy gifts for family and friends that act as a donation to a family who needs food or someone who wants to learn new skills. You can choose a printed card or e-card.
Thank you for your support of our Gifted and Christmas Appeals. If you would like someone to come and speak at your church or a group about the work of Christian World Service please email us or call Murray on 021 0825 0118.
Our annual review for the year ending June 30, 2022 will be available 27 November for the Annual Supporters’ Council here.
Our office will close for the Christmas break at 12pm Friday 23 December and reopen on Monday 9 January. Please email us during the break. If there is a crisis or disaster over the Christmas break, please watch our website and social media channels.
Thank you for your support across the year. May you find comfort and hope in the Christmas story, and joy in the opportunities the festive season might bring. And mince pies.
Murray, Jordyn, Kathlene, Lorraine, Nadine, Rob and Gillian
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation
Ohope Marae Working Bee, Jan 2023 - Cancelled
The working bee has been cancelled due to safety concerns onsite whilst the retaining wall work begins. For more information please email Honey Thrupp.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The interest rate paid on the PIF On Call Fund will increase (from 2.50%) to 3.0% p.a. from 1 December 2022. The Trustees are regularly reviewing the rate, noting that if the Official Cash Rate rises, there is an expectation that the PIF rate will also rise (although not necessarily in exactly the same manner). A reminder to please provide advance notice (of at least 3 days) for major (>$100,000) withdrawals. 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, but not to individuals. For details on the Long Term Fund or further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.
CPT Earthquake Policy Update
The Trustees have just completed another update of the Church’s Earthquake Prone Building policy, following the release of further guidelines from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The revised policy, available online here, now includes provision for congregations to carry out their own life safety risk assessment to determine whether an earthquake prone building can remain in use (pending strengthening).
CPT Annual Reports
Book launch: St Luke's Presbyterian Church by Rev Dr Allan Davidson, 15 Dec
From 5.30 pm is the official launch of the history of St Luke's Presbyterian Church written by Allan Davidson, In This Place - From This Place, at the Community of St Lukes, 130 Remuera Road, Auckland. RSVP is essential to Pamela: email@example.com
Glen Innis holiday home for ministers
See dates available for the original homestead (now known as James McNutt House) and the former gardener’s cottage (Maud Hooper House) for the summer holidays 2022/23 here. Proof of vaccination is no longer required to stay at Glen Innis.
For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.
Rev Chris Moresi, minister Hillsborough – St David’s-in-the-Fields Presbyterian/Methodist Parish to other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, 7 August 2022.
Rev Malcolm Gordon, other recognised minister to parish minister Dunedin – First Church of Otago, Southern Presbytery, 8 September 2022.
Rev Dr Geoff New, other recognised minister – Acting Principal and Dean of Studies KCML to other recognised minister and Principal KCML, 19 September 2022.
Rev Stephen Lindsay, other recognised minister to chaplain Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 10 October 2022.
Rev Geoffrey Skilton, other recognised minister to minister emeritus and senior active, Southern Presbytery, 12 October 2022.
Rev Barry Kelk, minister emeritus to minister emeritus and senior active, Southern Presbytery, 12 October 2022.
Rev Dr Paul Prestidge other recognised minister - KCML Ministry Formation Coordinator to other recognised minister, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 15 November 2022.
Rev Dennis Flett, other recognised minister Alpine Presbytery to Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 19 February 2022.
Invercargill – St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, dissolved 5 September 2022.
The Blue Lagoon Dunedin Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, dissolved 3 October 2022.
Check out in one handy place the links to the social media of the Presbyterian Church and its ministries including websites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and video.
Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. Learn more
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