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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Church Schools
Presbyterian Research Centre
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Storms, Devastation and Response
It has been heartening to hear about, and read about, the responses of local churches in areas that have been badly impacted by the recent storms. There have been so many stories of churches responding in their own ways to the needs in their communities. It has been good to bring you here some of these stories – thank you to our director of communications Angela Singer for coordinating this. And I have received on your behalf messages of deep-felt thanks from these churches for the prayers and support that have been offered by the wider-Church community. There have been some stories of generous love! One example, our wider Church has given $200,000 to St Andrews in Hastings for their GenLend initiative in getting diggers, generators, and other much needed equipment out to the community. They are working with other churches in the region on the most effective way to use these donations.
I visited the Hawke’s Bay on the weekend of 25 March, preaching at a combined service, seeking to support and encourage those on the ground. I am looking to do the same in the Gisborne area in the near future.
In March, it was great to be at presbytery retreats in Kaimai and Northern. The movement towards doing retreats together in our presbyteries is highly commendable, encouraging great connection around spending time with God and each other. At last year’s Strategic Hui, a major theme that emerged was the need to build our Church culture ahead of developing strategic directions. These presbytery retreats are strong culture builders.
As part of my moderatorial theme Empowering Generations, I have been offering Pathways taster/training programmes to presbyteries. Pathways is designed to empower the people in the pew, strengthening the people we do have in our churches in the task working with all generations. During March successful days were held in the Kaimai and Northern presbyteries.
You are in my prayers as you prepare for Easter this year – such a deeply significant time for us in so many ways. I am glad to be able to spend Easter this year in my home parish of Cashmere. After Easter, I travel to Niue to renew a MOU we have with the church there.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues.
Nga mihi nui.
I had a weekend at home and enjoyed spending a day in the garden. It was time to check in on these winter veges – broccoli, cabbage and silverbeet. Time to pull out the last of the peas and beans; to pull up the onions and to prepare ground for sowing those April plantings. Importantly, it was time to let some ground lay fallow. At first sight it might seem that this is a waste or simply inaction. It is vital. It allows the land to recover, hold moisture and store up organic matter. It allows you to think about what might be planted there in the future. Sometimes, the ground needs an extended time of being fallow. Rest is important, not only for our personal lives but also for the ground on which we walk.
Seasons. Not every season is one of growth and vitality. With more consistency than I care to admit, parsnips – year in and year out – are something I struggle to grow well! And just because I planted peas last year and they did well, maybe this year is the year to plant something I have never grown before, to prepare as well as I can, and give it a go.
There is a time and a season writes the writer of Ecclesiastes. I wonder what is the season in your life these days? What is the season of the local church you are a part off? What is the season the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand finds itself in?
There is a time for everything…and a season for every activity under the heavens… In this season of Lent, I like the way [in his book "The Message"] Eugene Patterson crafts the words in Ecclesiastes 3:14, “I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear”.
Rev Robin Humphreys has announced her resignation from her role as director of our Children and Families Ministry. Robin has served in her role for six years. She has accepted a position in pastoral ministry with Beckenham Methodist Church in Christchurch. We wish her every blessing as she follows this new calling.
Special Legislation Procedure Responses
Special Legislation Procedure Responses to both the 2021 General Assembly and the 2022 Special Assembly decisions will be reported at the 2023 General Assembly.
First round of voting for Moderator-designate
Church councils will have now forwarded nominations to their presbytery. Each presbytery will over the coming weeks circulate the list of nominations to presbytery members, together with the 150-word statements and proof of acceptance by each nominee. They with arrange a secret ballot of presbytery members, from the nominations received from church councils. Each member votes for up to two names on the list. A preferential system of voting will be used. The presbytery appoints those to oversee the counting of the vote and refers the detailed voting results to the presbytery/presbytery council. Before confirming the names of the presbytery’s two candidates, the presbytery council must take into account the requirement for the Church’s institutions to represent the diversity of age, gender and cultural groupings. All presbyteries are to send the names of the presbytery’s two candidates to me by the closing date of 5pm 2 June 2023.
General Assembly 2023
The 2023 General Assembly will be held from 27 September - 1 October at Saint Kentigern College, Auckland.
Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly 2023
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, 16 June 2023. Guidelines to assist in drafting reports and proposals have been sent to those groups that report to Assembly and to Presbyteries to assist those seeking to bring proposals. 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. The ability of our Office to do this is dependent on church councils advising updates of key contact people, changes in email etc. Please pass on any changes to Grace so that we can ensure we are communicating with the appropriate people.
Noho ora mai
Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Church Schools
Queen Margaret College: raising funds & serving community
The purpose of service in our Presbyterian Church Schools is both to fulfil our Christian imperative to serve others, and to encourage our students to develop a heart for the wider community. Queen Margaret College in Wellington sees service as an integral part of their values of generosity, resilience, respect, integrity, and courage. And they have developed a culture whereby many of these are initiated and led by the students. Part of this student-centric process is the service prefect whose role is to encourage and facilitate these activities.
An example of this is their recent campaign “Give FIVE for the Floods”. In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, Queen Margaret students wanted to help. Led by service prefect Charlotte Horner, a group of students met, researched, and discerned that money was what was most needed. So, they came up with a fundraising strategy. For $5 participants could buy a raffle ticket for items such as tickets to school events, use of the principal’s car park for a week etc. The Year 9s also ran a bake sale.
Charlotte says this about their efforts: "I am incredibly proud of the way our school community came together to support those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. Our students showed exceptional leadership in running this fundraising campaign, as well as exceptional generosity. Through our collective efforts, we were able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those impacted by the disaster".
Queen Margaret students do not only raise money though. Last year Divya Srinivasa devised and distributed a ‘How To’ guide to increase digital literacy for the older generation. Many others volunteer their time at community events, coaching sports teams, etc.
Though service, students “make a meaningful difference in the lives” of others while enriching their own lives.
Learn more about Queen Margaret College.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Presbyterian Children and Families
Holy Week and Easter
As we look ahead to Holy Week and Easter, we recognise the significance of the journey that Christ made to the cross. We also acknowledge the need for families to keep the crucifixion and the resurrection at the centre of Easter celebrations, making sure that it doesn’t get lost amidst all the chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs. Easter is the perfect time to create space for all-age worship. Whether it’s waving branches and shouting “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday, creating cross-themed artwork together, or re-enacting the scene at the tomb on Easter Sunday, there’s many ways to retell the story together, as individual families or as a wider Church whānau. We encourage you to check out our website for any last minute resources you might be looking for. A very blessed Easter celebration to you and those you serve!
Changes in our Department, a letter from Robin Humphreys
Dear colleagues in ministry
It is with a bit of sadness that I inform you of my resignation as the director of PCFM, effective 10 April. I have appreciated the joy and challenge of the past almost six years in this role. I have seen this ministry through some interesting times as we have built on the legacy of Kids Friendly, discerned a new name with a broadened vision, navigated the challenges of pandemic life - which of course led us to see the renewed strength of family-based faith formation and the necessity of intergenerational ministry, which in turn informed the development of our resources. The development of our Anchored Baptism & Confirmation course, as well as the Whānau Friendly Process, have been two areas of great joy. And, last but not least, I saw a new colleague join our PCFM team last year. Karo is an asset to this ministry as she brings her creativity, experience and passion for children, young people, and families into all she does.
As an ordained minister, I am excited to be returning to local ministry and will be serving as the minister of Beckenham Methodist Church (our neighbourhood parish!). I see this new season of ministry as the next good step for me (and my family) as I continue to follow God’s leading in ministry and life!
May you continue to let the children lead you deeper into the heart of God!
Ngā mihi nui
Presbyterian Children and Families
Flaxburn Dairy Farm
In March I was invited by the Presbyterian Church Property Trustees (CPT) to visit Flaxburn Farm near Featherston. Flaxburn was gifted to the Presbyterian Church by the Clark family, and is now managed by CPT, with farm profits benefitting the PCANZ. The bequest stipulated that Global Mission would receive 75% of the profits and so the farm has become a very significant contributor to Global Mission’s income. It was good to be able to see where all the work takes place, and to reflect on the amazing generosity that such a gift allows for us to support partner churches and mission beyond our shores. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Vanuatu’s Cyclone Recovery
Vanuatu is picking up the pieces after the double blow of two tropical cyclones in the space of a few days. Cyclones Judy and Kevin caused extensive damage in the southern islands of the country. While we have seen photographs, and had anecdotal reports, we are waiting on official confirmation from the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu before formalising our response. We will share this information once we have received it, and this may include an appeal. Some donations to help the PCV have already been received and these will be sent on when a plan is in place.
I Love Taiwan Mission Programme
The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan has resumed their I Love Taiwan programme for young adults. This programme invites youth young people to participate in a two-week programme in July that raises awareness about Taiwan and includes participation in the church’s mission in a variety of settings with young people from many different countries. This is a great opportunity to learn about cross-cultural mission. Global Mission offers a travel subsidy for this programme, the details of which can be found here.
Global Mission Director
Workshops in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay
I will be in Presbytery Central in Hastings 21-22 April conducting two workshops; one on pastoral care and one on preaching the parables. Information and registration information can be accessed by emailing Carley here.
A reminder that 2023 applications for Local Ordained Ministry need to be submitted to your presbytery candidate convenor by 30 April.
Ministers Study Grants
Applications are invited for Ministers Study Grants. Information and the application form can be accessed here. Applications need to be submitted by 31 May.
Yours in Christ
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
The Future of PWANZ
The following update was sent to presbyteries of the PCANZ 25 March 2023.
PWANZ will hold a General Meeting on Saturday 22 April 2023 to confirm the resolution made on 25 February 2023:
• That Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ) be wound up.
• This second meeting is required to confirm the above decision, set the date and begin the necessary processes of winding up our organisation as per our Terms of Reference.
• The General Meeting is to be held at St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington on Saturday 22 April 2023 from 10am to noon. Zoom facilities will be available.
• This meeting is open to all Presbyterian women. However, only financial members (as at 22 September 2022) of the PWANZ are eligible to vote.
For further information, email Ruth Steven or phone 022 0962 8811. See information on previous meetings here.
Ruth Steven on behalf of
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand
Connect 1-3 Sept
The Connect conference is an amazing opportunity for youth leaders, ministers, and elders to come together to focus on the important task of engaging young people in life and faith. We come together to connect with each other, to worship in creative ways and to be inspired and upskilled in our calling to young people. Our venue is Willow Park Christian Conference Centre, a beautiful site on Auckland’s Eastern Beach. We ask that you promote this to your youth leaders, consider attending yourself and encourage your church to provide some financial assistance for those attending. For more information on the event please see our website (we plan for our new website to go live Fri 31 Mar so keep checking the link).
National Youth Director
Recent Board meeting
The PressGo Board met in Auckland on 22 February and the major item on the agenda was Board vacancies. Chair, Rev Mose Taumaoe, tabled his intention to step down and the Deputy Chair, Mrs Anne Overton, is not able to take on his role, so filling roles between assemblies is one of the issues we will discuss with members of the Council of Assembly.
The Board is currently operating under a number of financial constraints, and this is impeding our ability to engage in a number of grant funding conversations. However, over this financial year we have made 13 ‘Give it a Go’ grants and committed a further seven grants from the Presbyterian Foundation, totaling $210,800.
Weather events & support
We discussed a possible response to the natural disasters across the motu and will favourably receive applications to support pastoral ministry resulting from these weather events, making case-by-case decisions.
Forge Aotearoa reported to the Board as one of its stakeholders that it will not run a Pioneer Course in 2023 and invited PressGo’s continued support in planning for 2024 offerings.
Across the presbyteries, we were happy to be involved in the ordination and induction of Revs Eric and Adair Oosterbroek in a new mission and planting project we are partnering with in Kaimai.
The Mission Catalyst is working with Rev Barry Ayers on a review of the restructure of Northern Presbytery, and is also involved in key strategic work for the Southern Presbytery.
Feel free to make contact and discuss the ways we might help your mission idea get underway – email Lisa or phone 027 4455 723.
Christian Theology and the Arts e-books & print books
Here is the link to our Hewitson Library catalogue, which lists our e-books that support a reading list for Christian Theology and the Arts. There are four dozen titles here, all recently received, and which are all a part of the Chrysalis Seed Collection.
Any members of Hewitson Library (plus any University of Otago students given an e-books-only password) can access these resources, to read or download, 24/7. Most of these titles have “unlimited access”, so as many people can access them, at any given time, as want to.
Hewitson Library also holds 134 print titles that are on the bibliography for this course. Please have a look at this list. These titles are also a part of the Chrysalis Seed Collection.
Of course, anyone can search our catalogue anytime for any individual book they want by searching Author, Title, or Keyword, on the Hewitson website. But the lists above are convenient in that all the course books that we hold are found in one place. Library members from around NZ can place orders with us for print titles on that list, and local members can see that the books are available for checkout and then visit the Library. University of Otago students may request our print books via Interloans, at any of their University libraries.
We are happy to provide these latest additions to the Chrysalis Seed Collection, both in electronic and print form. Enjoy!
Presbyterian Research Centre
CWS is appealing for Vanuatu after Cyclones Judy and Kevin caused widespread damage in early March. The Vanuatu Christian Council is assisting with shelter, clean water, psychosocial care and other support. A donation will support local people to respond with what they want and need. Please keep Vanuatu in your prayers.
We give thanks for the life and love shared by long-serving staff member, Elizabeth Mackie.
Special thanks to Mua Strickson-Pua who shared this Poementary after the Tamaki Makaurau Auckland floods.
Seven Weeks for Peace
March 31: Tax credits for Donations
Information on how to claim tax credits for donation is available on the IRD website. CWS will send a consolidated receipt for donations that have not been receipted already in early April. If you have any questions, please email Jordyn or ph 03 366 9274.
I am a Lucky Women
In Fiji, Katalaini counts herself as lucky. She and her new friend and colleague Firoza run a Minimart in the informal settlement where they live. After training and start-up support, the cooperative is flourishing. Read their story. After a successful trial, our partner SEEP (Social Education and Empowerment Programme) is preparing to set up five more community canteens to support more families in the informal settlements and rural communities. You can help.
“Revive and Unite” is the theme for this year’s Special Project. The Project is coordinated by the Methodist Women’s Fellowship and will raise funds for families recovering from the volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga last year.
Trauma and Theology Conference, St Johns College, Auck 22-23 June
A deep dive into the theology of trauma with Dr Karen O’Donnell. Location: St John’s College, Auckland. $50 wages/$25 unwaged. Supported by The University of Otago Centre for Theology and Public Issues. See more here.
Leprosy Mission Youth Advocate Scholarship 2024 Nepal, closes 31 July
The Leprosy Mission New Zealand is seeking applications from youth and young adults for next year’s Youth Advocate Scholarship 2024 in Nepal. Be part of New Zealand’s work to support people affected by the ancient (biblical) disease of leprosy. Apply here. Closes 31 July. For more information, email Nadia or phone her 022 199 57 58.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The interest rate paid on the PIF On Call Fund will increase from 3.75% p.a. to 4.25% p.a. from 1 April 2023. The Trustees are regularly reviewing the rate (this move follows an increase of 0.75% on 1 March 2023). 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 Resources - Help with Property
A reminder that there is a lot of helpful property information from the Trustees available on the PCANZ website here. This includes the Property Handbook, Facility Hire templates and the Church’s Earthquake Prone Buildings Policy.
Join Board of PSCANZ - expressions of interest by 21 April
The Presbyterian Church has a seat on the Board of Prison Chaplaincy Service Aotearoa New Zealand (PSCANZ). Expressions of interest to serve in this role ideally from those who: have a good understanding of the PCANZ and are a member of a local congregation, and are able to represent Pacifica points of view in the work of the Board – see the full criteria here. Meetings are in Wellington. Ideally the person will live in the greater-Wellington area but expressions are invited from across the country. To express an interest in this role, send covering letter and CV to: PCANZ Assembly Executive Secretary by 21 April, email the AES.
Stations of the Cross Exhibition, Christchurch until 6 April
Laidlaw College Christchurch library is hosting a collaborative art exhibition interpreting the biblical stations of the cross. Visual artists have contributed art work emerging from their own meditations on a station and its corresponding biblical text. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, until 6 April.
Churches Reducing Construction Waste Conversation, 5 Apr, 12-1pm online
Zero Waste Network invites churches for a lunchtime conversation with Mark Roberts on what he learnt from international approaches to construction and demolition waste, and how this approach is important in times of climate crisis. Register here.
Eco Church: Urban Kai Farms Workshops, Wellington - May/June
Part of the Common Unity's Nursery to hāpori & Farm to Whānau programme. Wellington workshops with Hannah Zwartz who has over 30 years gardening experience. Upcoming workshops: Portable Salad Garden, May 6. In-Ground Worm Farm, June 3. Register 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 April 2023 here.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally held in Aotearoa between Ascension and Pentecost (18 – 28 May). Materials this year have been adapted for Aotearoa New Zealand by the National Dialogue for Christian Unity. There is still room to modify and interpret to suit your local context. The international materials were prepared with the churches in Minneapolis (the US city where George Floyd was murdered in 2020). The text chosen is Isaiah 1:12-18, and the focus verse is Isaiah 1:17 with theme, Do good; seek justice. Download here the following resources: Introducing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Word and PDF); Liturgy adapted for Aotearoa (Word); International text, which contains further resources (PDF).
Funds available for churches assisting those affected by floods/cyclone
The Government has established a $2 million Community Support Fund which is available to faith-based, religious and church groups supporting whānau and communities in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and other regions impacted by recent weather events, who are not contracted by a government agency. This funding is time-limited and only available until 30 June 2023. Groups can apply for up to $3,500. Funding must be used by 30 June 2023. See here what may be funded and how to apply.
The Salvation Army NZ State of the Nation report 2023
The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit has pulled together existing data to provide an annual snapshot of our social progress as a nation. Some of the challenges facing NZ include cost of living, household debt, lack of affordable housing, worsening educational outcomes and increase in young people reporting psychological distress. See report.
For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.
Rev Dr Emma Keown, minister Glenfield Community Church to other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, 11 December 2022.
Rev Dr Emma Keown, other recognised minister appointed to Mission Enabler and Parish Review Coordinator, Northern Presbytery, 1 February 2023.
Rev Caleb Hardie, minister Albany Presbyterian Church, ended 23 January 2023, to minister St Columba at Botany, Northern Presbytery, 30 January 2023.
Rev Marie Ropeti-Apisaloma, minister Owairaka- Pacific Islanders and Samoan Presbyterian Church Onehunga, installed Moderator Northern Presbytery, 25 February 2023.
Rev Rodney Ramsay, chaplain Kristen School, Northern Presbytery, to minister Silverstream – St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 9 March 2023.
Rev Alf Taylor, Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 25 December 2022.
Rev Harry Morgan, Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 12 January 2023.
Rev David Carmichael, Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 3 March 2023.
Rev Michael Jackson Campbell, Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 11 March 2023.
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