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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Church School
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Research Centre
World Council of Churches Assembly
It was such an amazing privilege to recently represent our Church as a delegate at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Karlsruhe, Germany, under the theme "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity".
This gathering, from 31 August to 8 September 2022, of around 4,500 people from all over the world represented a huge diversity of denominations and streams of Christianity. The opportunity to network and share stories across a wide range of issues was an amazing opportunity. Phil King and I were able to have numerous conversations that were helpful for the life of our Church and our relationship within the world church.
Perhaps the most impressive and compelling aspect of the gathering was the emphasis on Christian unity captured in the prayer of Jesus in John 17: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me”.
Memorable quotes included the newly elected General Secretary Rev Dr Prof Jerry Pillay who said, “A divided church is a feeble witness to an already fragmented and broken world.” And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, reflected on a time of world crisis on numerous fronts saying, “The time for living separately has passed”.
Some would say that it was a miracle that in these COVID times so many were able to meet in person. I would say the display of unity was even more a miracle in our polarized and fractured times. That, for example, we were able to come to consensus on a strongly worded message on the war in Ukraine with both Ukrainian and Russian delegates in the room.
This gathering of national church leaders meet on 20 September in Auckland where we focused on issues of governance and safety in our churches. This was a profitable conversation in the present context of church life in NZ. In comparison with some other churches, we are well served by the processes we have in place.
It is great to see so many registering for this conference for our Church’s leaders, set down for 17 -19 November at St John’s in the City, Wellington. It will be a much-needed chance for us to gather for networking, encouragement, inspiration and resourcing.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues
Last month I mentioned a brief overview of my study leave. A person told me they printed out the quote I included in that column and pinned to the noticeboard in their office. I thought I might reflect on some of my reading and offer a line or two over the next few months. So… this month lines from a couple of the books I read. Firstly, from Gordon MacDonald’s A Resilient Life, “It makes little difference how fast you can run the 100 meters when the race is 400 meters long. Life is not a sprint; it is a distance run, and it demands the kind of conditioning that enables people to go the distance”. And next, from Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute, “‘The Box’ is the world you create around yourself once you start treading the road of self-betrayal and self-deception. Instead of seeing things as they are, you start seeing a distorted reality of which you are the centre, and other people are merely obstacles along the way”.
There is quite a bit to share in this space!
New Principal, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
First, I refer to the announcement from the Council of Assembly that Rev Dr Geoff New has been appointed to the role of Principal, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Geoff was appointed Dean of Studies, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, in 2016. He has been the acting principal since December 2020. Congratulations on the appointment, Geoff.
Head of Finance and Operations on maternity leave
Camila Farias, our Head of Finance and Operations heads away on maternity leave from today. I am sure you will join me in our prayers for her, Simon and baby.
New Finance Manager
We welcome Micheala Press who will be our Church Finance Manager. She was previously a part of the Church’s Financial Consolidation Team. She will continue to work on this year’s financial consolidation over the next few months, before bringing her sole focus to the Church Finance Manager role - which includes her being a member of the Core Leadership Team. Great to have you in this role, Micheala.
New Financial Accountant, Consolidation
We also welcome Bela Shmatko who joins us as a financial accountant working in the area of Church Financial Consolidation. Originally from Uzbekistan, she moved to Aotearoa New Zealand 20 years ago, and has worked in several accounting roles before starting with us. Welcome to the team!
New Director, Presbyterian Research Centre
And I am delighted to announce the appointment of Rev Jay Robinson as Director, Presbyterian Research Centre. Jay, who was born in the United States, has a bi-vocational background as a librarian and as a pastor in the United Church of Christ. He has served in library roles in several places in New Zealand. He starts in this role on 31 October.
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.
ONE National Leaders Conference
This conference is for everyone in your congregation who leads in some capacity and will be held 17-19 November at St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington. We encourage you to come as a team so you can learn and reflect together. Come along for inspirational stories, great worship, practical breakout sessions, good kai, and the opportunity to connect and laugh together. Registration closes 23 October. Over 200 people are already registered and about 300 Presbyterian leaders are expected to attend. Learn more on the One conference website.
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
Assembly Executive Secretary
Key Leaders Retreat
Thank you to all the people who made our Key Leaders Retreat possible last month. We were delighted with the awesome feedback we received from nearly 50 leaders from around the country who attended. This was our third key leaders retreat, and it was a privilege to be able to acknowledge these leaders in the wake of a couple of crazy years.
Over the course of the retreat, we took some time to explore and reflect on what we have called the 4 Rs. Four ‘movements’ to help leaders step faithfully into the season of life and ministry ahead - these are our needs too: Revise our expectations. Replenish ourselves. Reveal what needs to grow up in us. Reset by reconsidering why we do the things we do.
National Youth Manager
In the past month it was a privilege to attend the World Council of Churches 11th Assembly. This was held in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August – 8 September. I was pleased to share this experience with our Moderator the Right Rev Hamish Galloway. The New Zealand contingent also included representatives from the Anglican and Methodist churches. It was the first time either Hamish or I had attended a WCC Assembly and we spent much of our time embracing the global ecumenical nature of the event and coming to terms with the business that was to be conducted. This can be viewed in full on the WCC website here.
It was a truly rich experience rubbing shoulders with delegates from countries as diverse as Liberia, Eritrea, Armenia, and Albania. One of the Albanian delegates was among the first generation of Christians from that country who could openly express their faith; Albania was a declared atheist state for many years and all faiths were firmly suppressed. During this time in Albania’s history many Christians leaders lost their lives.
During the business sessions it was good to sit with delegates from the Presbyterian churches in Korea and Taiwan. We shared in the Assembly with them, including supporting a prayer service for the unification of the Korean peninsula and a workshop led by the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan.
One of the major points of contention at the Assembly was an official statement on the war in Ukraine, read “War in Ukraine, Peace and Justice in the European Region.”
Hamish and I will spend some time assessing our learnings from the Assembly and how this can be shared with the wider Church.
Expressions of interest are still welcome for the position of English teacher at Talua Theological College in Vanuatu. Information for this can be found here.
Please contact me if you would like further information about our Global Mission work.
Global Mission Director
We are currently in our Spring Block Course for NOM Interns. For five of our interns, this is the last block course of their two-year internship. We pray God’s deep blessing and grace upon Ryan Feng (Cromwell), Adair Oosterbroek (Napier), Josh Tepou (Tauranga), Brett Reid (Levin), and Eric Oosterbroek (Hastings) as they continue to respond to God’s call.
At this stage, we have six interns commencing the 2023 internship programme. As at the time of writing, nearly all have confirmed church placements for their internship. They will be in the Northern, Central, and Alpine presbyteries.
On a personal note – thank you whānau for the genuinely overwhelming number of phone calls, emails, Facebook comments and messages, and personal visits upon the news that I have been appointed principal of KCML. I began the day as if it was a normal day but finally needed to put the work aside and simply enjoy and soak in your affirmation and aroha. It was quite the day, and I am deeply appreciative of the way you made it so special. Thank you!
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Iona College service-learning at home and abroad
Iona College in Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay, “Places a great importance on service” said Rosie Suncknell, Iona Head Girl, at the 2022 Presbyterian Church Schools Conference in August.
Shiloh Perrott, the Iona Chapel Prefect, stated that, “Giving my time and energy for service is so rewarding, inspiring and enriching…I hope to continue to make a difference in whatever I choose to do in the future”.
This year’s Iona Social Action Project was “So They Can” which provides quality education, mainly in Kenya, by improving learning conditions and teacher training through partnerships with the local community. While the student organisers were fundraising - through a virtual race, the selling of skincare products and a concert - the students also attested to learning a huge range of life-skills. This was in addition to fulfilling the College’s ethos of giving back to others to make a difference in the world.
After initially raising $12,000 through the race, the students contacted Essence of Humanity natural skincare and were coached through a variety of fundraising strategies using their products. This, plus a concert (which was sadly cancelled due to a sudden Covid lockdown) raised approximately $4,000. In addition, the students donated the surplus Essence of Humanity products to the local Women’s Refuge. This will be an on-going connection as they support the work of Lindisfarne College. Rosie and Shiloh also joined other Presbyterian Church School students in fundraising for the Tongan Relief Fund.
Shiloh told the Conference that, “This [service-learning project] really made me conscious of the opportunities to help my community and all the little things in my life I can contribute to helping people in need”. Which sounds like a great outcome for the service learning process, don’t you think?
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
The PressGo Board met Sept 6 and 7 at Ōhope Marae. Although face-to-face meetings are still affected by illness, we wanted to continue our pattern of meeting with the various presbyteries to listen to their life, mission, joys and challenges. We have met with Kaimai, Northern and Pacific presbyteries. These meetings help us plan our priorities for both financial and personal assistance.
Te Aka Puaho
This meeting was an opportunity to take time to listen and kōrerorero with Te Aka Puaho.
While in Ōhope, we visited the Te Taurahere Whatumanawa project at Hughes Gardens, Taneatua, and heard of the incredible changes in the town and rural areas, all of which are a result of the positive influence of the project. Te Aka Puaho has been encouraged by this and is looking at similarly creative ways of walking with Christ in the community.
A week prior to this, PressGo was involved in the organisation of a noho at “our” marae and, as well as the excellent teaching from Rev Drs Murray Rae and Wayne Te Kaawa, observed the groundswell in support for taking the Church’s bicultural commitment seriously and examining what that meant for the Church.
With others, PressGo has been an initiator of Forge Aotearoa’s pioneer ministry course. The Catalyst was asked to undertake a half-year review of the course, and this has provided much insight which informs iterated changes for the final stages of the 2022 course and the basis of a renewed course in 2023. At this stage it is likely that the course will commence mid-year in 2023. Please keep it in mind for those you see within and on the fringes of the church who are being called to ministry and mission ‘outside the usual’.
At our last meeting, the PressGo Board encouraged Student Soul with a Presbyterian Foundation grant of $10,000 to further develop their ministries. We also made a significant commitment to an exciting project in Kaimai Presbytery which builds on existing strengths in Northwest Hamilton and enables a new ministry and possible new planting to develop.
We committed to make another round of Give it a Go grants (one-off $500 mission project grants) available and encourage applications. Please contact Lisa for application forms.
We were delighted to partner with Southern Presbyterians to offer an ‘Anchored’ Retreat down at Camp Columba in Pukerau from September 9-11. A wonderful group of youth, accompanied by their ministers/church leaders, came together to begin their ‘Anchored’ Baptism and Confirmation / Reaffirmation of Faith journey. They began the invitational journey of exploring big questions of faith in a safe, supportive, and fun environment alongside their peers. For some this will lead to the next step in their faith journey (Baptism or Confirmation/Reaffirmation of Faith). We were encouraged by the questions from youth and were honoured to witness this small but significant part of their journey of faith. They will now go back to their churches and continue the journey using our ‘Anchored’ Curriculum, which consists of five sessions exploring all manner of faith topics.
Our leading question for ‘Anchored’ is: How can we invite young people into lives anchored in faith? If your church has youth from Years 7 and older who are asking big questions of faith, we’d love to have a chat with you about ‘Anchored’. You can find more information about it here.
New Advent Resource
During our recent Zoom Connect event, we launched some of our Advent resource offerings for 2022. This year, we are inviting churches to intentionally journey with their churches through the season of Advent with the theme: ‘Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord’ (Isaiah 2:5). We have developed a variety of resources, based in the Isaiah lectionary texts, and hope you’ll find them useful as you lead all ages through this special church season. You can find our new resources on our website here.
Ngā mihi nui
Robin Humphreys and Karo Wilson
Presbyterian Children and Families
Images available to use
Does your parish have an anniversary or other special event coming up? Do you want a picture from your history for a newsletter or a Facebook post? Nearly 10,000 images from our Presbyterian past in Aotearoa New Zealand can be found online on the Presbyterian Research Centre’s Recollect website here.
You can download and use any of these images so long as they are used for non-commercial purposes. So have a look and see what you can discover!
Presbyterian Research Centre
Pakistan Flood Appeal
Thank you for your gifts and prayers for the people of Pakistan. CWS is sending an initial $40,000 grant to assist people in the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces after an urgent request from partner Community World Service Asia (CWSA). CWSA has organised mobile health clinics to provide urgent medical care to communities in the Sindh province. It is distributing mobile cash transfers or cash of NZ$88 for three months to some of the most vulnerable families. The money is enough to provide flour, oil, beans and salt for a family of seven. Priority will be given to families with young children, older people, and those with disabilities or single parents. CWSA plans to train local builders and provide materials to construct elevated houses.
CWS thanks Church Moderator Rt Rev Hamish Galloway for endorsing this appeal. A PowerPoint slide is available for your use. Please continue to pray for people affected by the floods and Community World Service Asia. If you can, please do respond to the Pakistan Flood Appeal.
Speak Out for Justice
Dalit and Tribal children in the state of Tamil Nadu, South India, are learning to speak out for justice thanks to your support for CWS partners. Young women like Archana have escaped early marriage and are back in school. Children’s Clubs organise street dramas to warn their community against child labour. Read ‘Speak out for Justice’, a story for spring.
Your donations will fund training programmes and support for children and young people to stop decades of exploitation and violence. Please support our Spring Appeal.
We hope you will join us this Advent and Christmas. Our focus will be on finding hope in these challenging times. Resources will include video snippets and slides as well as liturgical material for your services.
Lay Preachers Association online AGM, 11 Oct
The New Zealand Lay Preachers Association invites you to their online AGM on Tuesday 11 October at 7pm via Zoom. Resources and information for AGM participants to read before the Zoom will be accessible from their events page. To register, see here.
Collage in Springtime retreat, Moeraki, 15 Oct
Rev Dr Hilary Oxford Smith with harpist and singer Julie Saraswati offer in Moeraki a one-day retreat of Celtic Christian spirituality, accompanied by reflection, encounter, music and blessings. You do not need any art or craft experience to join this spring collage gathering. See more.
ONE Conference 17-19 Nov Wellington
Register for the One Conference, "an amazing opportunity for all PCANZ and Cooperating church leaders to come together and to reconnect, to be inspired by creative and innovative ideas, and encounter the Spirit of the living God together. We welcome all leaders from across the PCANZ and cooperating parishes to join us for inspirational stories, great worship, practical breakout sessions, fantastic kai, the opportunity to connect and laugh together with no business items to debate!". Read more.
Bill and Margaret Best Travel Fund
A reminder that this funding is available to assist church workers wanting to further develop their area of service to the Church. The term ‘church worker’ includes ministers, lay ministers and elders, and funding is intended to assist with training and study courses. The Personnel Work Group administers the Fund, and applications close 30 September each year. See more details here
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 Matt Chapman, other recognised minister to minister Howick – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, 17 February 2022.
Rev Brendan O’Hagan, chaplain Palmerston North Hospital to minister Palmerston North - St Alban’s Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 21 August 2022.
Rev Glenn Livingstone, stated supply minister St Kentigern’s Burwood United Parish to other recognised minister, Alpine Presbytery, 25 August 2022.
Non PCANZ Ministers in PCANZ Parishes
Rev Sheena Dickson, minister United Reformed Church, ended at Linwood/Aranui – St George’s/Iona Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery, 30 June 2022.
Rev Laurence Ennor, other recognised minister to Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 31 August 2022.
Rev Sylvia Miller-Hardie, minister Takapuna – St George’s Presbyterian Church to Minister Emerita, Northern Presbytery 30 September 2022.
Resignations from the PCANZ roll
Rev Ji Woon (Daniel) Park, community minister Hamilton-Chartwell Cooperating Parish, Kaimai Presbytery, 16 August 2022.
Rev Timothy Rose, minister Papatoetoe – St John’s Church, Northern Presbytery, 19 September 2022.
Rev Peter Cartwright Carter, Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 28 July 2022.
Rev Ken Irwin, Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 2 September 2022.
Rev Lindsay Drinkwater, Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 9 September 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