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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Church Schools
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Research Centre
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There are a couple of things that are happening around GA23 that I would like to draw your attention to:
Investing for Mission Impact conference
I drew attention to this in the last Bush Telegraph. During my time as Moderator, I have seen some great examples of churches that are engaged in enterprises that both serve their communities and generate income for ongoing mission. It seemed to me this both honours scriptures like the parable of the talents but also is about using our resources to bless the generations to come. The conference is happening just before GA starts at St Columba Presbyterian Church, Botany, Auckland on 27 September. The programme has come together really well – download the programme here. The cost of the day is $25, and you can register here.
Books written by our people displayed at GA23
As I have travelled around the Presbyterian Church community over the last two years, I have been interested in, and encouraged by, the number and range of books that have been written by fellow Presbyterians in Aotearoa. Rev Rose Luxford and I think this is something worth recognizing, celebrating and accessing. At GA23 there will be a display of some of these books with the opportunity for people to peruse and to buy if they would like. If you have written a book that you would like to be part of this, please email me.
The final two months of my time as Moderator are busy with an interesting array of engagements around New Zealand, and a trip to Vanuatu to represent you at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. It is a joy and privilege to represent the PCANZ in all these varied ways.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues
Our General Assembly takes place in Auckland from Wednesday 27 September. I am conscious of the extra work that is being undertaken to make this event not only an effective forum for our Church’s business, but also an opportunity to celebrate, learn and grow together. Can I ask you join with me, and many others, in praying for Assembly. For our incoming Moderator Rev Rose Luxford; for the Assembly Business Work Group; the Local Arrangements team - the people working behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of each day; volunteers; staff; and all Commissioners.
Assembly is an opportunity for us to gather, and it provides the opportunity for thanksgiving and mutual encouragement. It is also a time of discernment for how God may be calling us to mission at this time and in this place.
For more information and details about how to register for GA23, please see the General Assembly website.
Voting for the Moderator-elect
Church councils have received a pack with the profiles of nominees and a voting paper. If your parish council has yet to vote, I warmly invite you to prayerfully discern who God is calling to this position and to vote accordingly. Please read the information about the voting process and participate in this important process. Completed voting forms should be emailed or posted to reach me by 5pm Wednesday 9 August.
Each parish council and presbytery has been sent information from the Nominating Committee providing background material and explaining the process and vacancies they are seeking to fill. A reminder: please send completed nomination forms to the convener, by 5pm on Friday 18 August.
Assembly White Book
The White Book is expected to be available in early-mid September.
Notices of motion for the Assembly due by 5pm, Wednesday 27 September 2023
The deadline for notices of motion has been set as 5pm on Wednesday, 27 September. After this date, only motions arising from dialogue or debate will be accepted.
Calling a newly training minister
This year another group will complete their training as interns. Profiles for each person are available from the Rev Anne Thomson who coordinates introductions and discussions between final-year interns and ministry settlement boards. For more information, please email Anne.
Thank you for your worship and witness to Christ – the head of the Church.
Assembly Executive Secretary
Please join us in prayer for Connect National Youth Leaders and Young Adults Conference, 1-3 Sept
Our first Connect conference since 2019 is scheduled to kick off in a few weeks’ time, from 1-3 September at Willow Park conference centre in East Auckland.
We ask that you join us in prayer for the event and for those attending. Please pray:
That God would draw all the leaders and young adults may need to be there.
That the Holy Spirit would inspire and lead all of those contributing to the conference through workshops, keynotes, hospitality, sound and tech, worship etc.
There is still time to register for this event, please encourage your youth leaders and young adults to attend, they will not regret it! For full information about the conference, including schedule and a description of keynote and workshop presentations, please see here.
The Whanau Friendly Process – helping churches to welcome and nurture children, young people and their families
Our dream is for the local church to be a place where all generations are present: thriving, encouraging one another and growing in faith together. The Whānau Friendly Process is an intentional journey with teaching and reflection for the whole Church whānau to engage in together. It fosters an understanding of the collective power of the congregation discipling young people – together. It has also been created to help congregations reflect on their current ministry and discern in which ways God may be leading them in the upcoming years. We have already had some very positive feedback from churches who have been through this Whanau Friendly Process. For more information, please visit our Whanau Friendly website.
Take 15 - prayer for the 1.6 million young people of Aotearoa NZ
On Thursday 20 July we kicked off our weekly Take 15 prayer meeting where we take 15 minutes to pray for the 1.6 million young people of Aotearoa NZ. This will happen at 7am and 1pm every Thursday. We would love for you to join us and extend the invitation to your congregation as well.
National Youth Director
Columba College, Dunedin: In service to others
Service at Columba College in Dunedin is a core part of the school’s values. As their website states, “The life and teaching of Jesus informs the way we live”.
Every year the school appoints two service prefects who are responsible for running a huge number of projects throughout the year. This year they restored the Presbyterian Support food hamper by dividing the school into groups that became responsible for filling the hamper during their week. They also managed to blow-away the organisers of the annual Octacan project with how many cans they donated – 2,705 cans to the Presbyterian Support Otago appeal! It was the highest ever!! See images here.
Other initiatives, besides donating food, had some girls donating blood, while even more donated clothes towards a Zonta ‘Nearly New’ fundraiser. Both these were held in June. Money for worthy causes is also raised. For example, over $750 was given during a Pink Shirt Day as well as prefect-led activities against bullying.
A long-term service project has been ongoing relationships with two neighbouring retirement organisations: Redroofs and Yvonne Williams. Activities change depending on needs but visits from pupils are common. And junior school students are encouraged to wave and smile at their neighbours across the fence at Yvonne Williams, greeted with delight by all.
Internal service opportunities abound too at Columba with older girls mentoring younger girls or visiting the Junior School to share in classroom activities.
It is clear that Columba takes seriously its mission statement: With grace and good discipline, we are dedicated to all Columba college students being lifelong learners committed to personal excellence, ethical behaviour and service to others.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Presbyterian Children and Families
How often have you said ‘yes’ to something new recently? It’s not an easy thing to do, especially when the unpredictable nature of children is involved! We inevitably focus on the reasons why we shouldn’t do something. However, lately I have been challenged to respond to such situations with ‘well, why not?’. Certainly, if someone gives me a very valid reason why we shouldn’t try that particular thing, I’m willing to say no. But what I have found is that it invites a new way of thinking. And more often than not, God does something unexpected and wonderful through those moments, which we may have missed had we not said, ‘well, why not?’.
A reminder that Rachel Turner is coming to New Zealand in September! Rachel is passionate about equipping parents and churches to raise faith-filled children. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear valuable teaching from an acclaimed international speaker. She will speak in Auckland at a one-day event on Saturday 16 September, 10-3pm, followed by events in Wellington on Sunday 17, 7.30-9pm, and Monday 18, 10-3pm. Please see NZCMN for more information or to register!
Yes, it seems early to be talking about Advent already! But we also know how quickly it’s going to roll around, and we want to ensure that our churches are equipped to help families share meaningful discussions throughout the Advent season! And so, we’re excited to share a sneak peek at our Advent resource for 2023. The Little Book of Advent has been developed to help families read through the story of Jesus’ birth, to wonder and pray together during the Advent season. These booklets will be available free from PCFM. Preorders are required, so that we can ensure enough copies are printed. Order on our website or by emailing me.
Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry
At the time of writing, a team of three PCANZ young adults have just returned home from the “I Love Taiwan” programme hosted by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan. They shared in a cross-cultural programme with international youth and took part in mission outreach with local churches throughout Taiwan. It was the first time this programme had been held since 2019 and it is encouraging to know that our PCANZ members contributed well to the success of the programme.
In the first week of August, Global Mission is hosting two school chaplains from the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu at Church School conferences being held in Wellington and Lower Hutt. We hope their attendance will continue to grow awareness and help to strengthen the relationships between our respective Church schools.
In August I will attend the assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV) with PCANZ Moderator Right Rev Hamish Galloway. Two members from the Hawea and Wanaka congregations are also coming to assess whether their congregations can begin a mission project with the PCV.
Thank you once again to the congregations and individuals who have contributed to the cyclone appeals for the Presbyterian churches of both Myanmar and Vanuatu. The information for both these appeals can be found on the Global Mission page of the PCANZ website.
Opportunities to Serve
English Teaching in Vanuatu
And we are still taking applications for an English teaching position at Talua Theological Training institute in Vanuatu for 2024-2025. A staff house is provided onsite, travel costs and insurance are covered, and a stipend is paid. The successful applicant may also receive grants and donations from mission supporters. The context is suitable for a couple who have an interest in serving in mission. The job description can be viewed here.
Global Mission Director
New Faculty Meeting & Inductions
This month two of our new faculty commence: Rev Dr Andrew Nicol (Dunedin based) and Rev Seb Murrihy (Waitara). Rev Dr Darryl Tempero commenced mid–July. Rev Ivan Martinez commences in January 2024. Later in August, all the new faculty will meet over a couple of days for an in-person meeting in Dunedin to orientate and map the way ahead.
Andrew’s induction will be held 3 August at East Tairei Presbyterian Church (7pm). Seb will be inducted at Knox Church Waitara,13 August, during their morning Sunday worship service.
Pastoral Care & Preaching Workshops
I will be running a half–day pastoral care workshop on Saturday 12 August in Waitara, email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
On Friday 25 and Saturday 26 August, I will run two different preaching workshops in Hawera and Wanaka. Contact email@example.com to register.
Noho Marae 24-26 October
You are invited to join us for a noho marae at Ōhope. Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa and Rev Dr Murray Rae will be leading and resourcing us over the three days; they are outstanding! We experienced this last August and 40 people were present. We delve into the history of our Presbyterian story and Te Aka Puaho, we learn about the Māori prophets and evangelists, explore Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and you’ll have time and space to ponder, think and engage. Details and registration information can be found here. This is a collaboration between KCML, PYM, and PressGo. Please note: accommodation on the marae is now full. If you would like to attend you will need to stay off–site.
Yours in Christ
Rev Dr Geoff New
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Help with building-related enquiries
Recently we have had several archives enquiries relating to buildings. The Archives holds a wide range of plans for churches, halls, and manses.
If you are looking to do work on your buildings, it is worth contacting us to see if we hold any plans. Even if we do not hold the originals, we may hold building plans showing later alterations. Plans can tell you a good deal about the building’s construction and may help to save time and costly investigations.
Further information about the life and history of buildings can be found in a parish’s Board of Managers or Parish Council Minutes. We are very happy to help with any building-related enquiries. Please contact email Archives or phone 03 473 0777.
Presbyterian Research Centre
But you Came and Cared
The well-being of the individual and the community is at the heart of good development. Local people know their communities. They are the first responders and the last responders after a disaster. Working together, people can achieve better results because they know each other and have shared similar experiences. Help partners respond to people who need extra support and donate to the Psychosocial Care Appeal.
Peace Sunday Resources 6 Aug
“And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Matthew 14:18
CWS has put together 'Witness for Peace' materials for Peace Sunday on August 6. Peace Sunday is a time to remember people who have been harmed by violence, war and nuclear fallout, and pray for peace. The resources feature peace-making efforts in our Pacific region, with a special focus on the call for an end to the war on the Korean peninsula. CWS is encouraging churches to accompany prayers with action.
Farewell to Murray
CWS thanks National Director Murray Overton for his leadership over the last two years. In this time, he has strengthened relationships with its partner churches and the Society of Friends (Quakers). He says he has really enjoyed and appreciated the ecumenical nature of the work. A highlight has been meeting so many CWS supporters in person or over the phone. Murray joined the organisation during lockdown and has led efforts to sharpen its strategic focus in a rapidly changing environment. Given the current climate, Murray says he felt it was necessary to seek someone with a greater level of fundraising expertise in particular. Stepping down was not an easy decision to make. The CWS Board has appointed Rev Dr Tim Pratt as the new National Director. A Baptist pastor, Tim is currently lead chaplain at the University of Auckland.
2023 Church Life Survey - participate any Sunday in August
The AES Rev Wayne Matheson has written to all Presbyterian and Union churches to invite them to participate in the 2023 Church Life Survey NZ on any Sunday during August. Held every five years, the Church Life Survey is a nationwide survey of church goers, and denominations throughout New Zealand are enthusiastically encouraged to participate. All who attend your church are encouraged to complete the survey. Questions will focus on demographics, church life, community, faith, and leadership. and will provide for valuable feedback – the kind of insights that could be useful in future planning for the life of your church. Read the invitation to participate here.
PresCare Praying for Children Week resources – 20-26 August
PresCare, a partnership between the PCANZ and Presbyterian Support NZ, is offering resources for Praying for Children Week. The theme is ‘Growing our Children’, using the images of gardening and growth to hold children and those who care for them before God in prayer. Resources include a bookmark, a prayer, daily scripture reading and worship service outline. See more here.
Sign up for the Daily Decisions Summary during GA23
Receive the daily GA23 summary. Unlike former years, this will not be a series of newsletters but will instead be a daily summary of key decisions as noted by the Business Assembly Work Group during business. There will be links to video of the business sessions for full context. We also plan to share video of the installation of the Moderator, addresses by the outgoing Moderator, keynote speaker, guest speakers, plus announcement of the Moderator Delegate. Sign up and keep up during GA here.
Wilderness Experiences for Christians 17-25 years: Dec 2023 & Feb 2024
E3 is a partnership between Adventure Specialties Trust, Scripture Union NZ and A Rocha. The E3 programmes are based on the belief that wilderness experiences are significant - helping us understand ourselves better and deepening our relationships with others, with God and with God's creation. Wilderness experiences are available throughout NZ in Dec 2023 for Years 12 & 13 (17-18 years at school in 2023) and in Feb 2024 for those aged 19-25 years. Download the information flyer here and register on the website.
Free summer holiday for ministers is sunny Hawke's Bay - Glen Innis
Bookings now open for summer holidays - there are vacancies for families with school aged children. See all dates available August to October. Ordained ministers of the Presbyterian Church are entitled to a week's free holiday accommodation each year at Glen Innis Station, south east of Waipukurau, Hawke's Bay. There's a travel subsidy for South Island ministers. See more here.
New Zealand Christians in Science Conference: The Fall in Science and Theology, 27 & 28 Oct, Auckland
There is probably no more persistent trope in Christian theology than the doctrine of the fall, nor one that clashes on its surface most with the science of evolutionary theory. This conference will examine the notion that there is something wrong with us, and also imagine how we can reframe the doctrine, and re-imagine the solutions that might allow for individual and corporate thriving. Parnell, Auckland, 8am-5pm. Read more.
The Season of Creation 2023, 1 Sept - 4 Oct, resources for churches
Season of Creation is supported by an Ecumenical Steering Committee that includes the World Council of Churches, World Evangelical Alliance Creation Care Network, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, ACT Alliance, A Rocha International, and World Methodist Council. This year's theme is, “Let justice and peace flow”. The Season of Creation guide will help you learn about the season and how your church can celebrate it. Resources, including webinars and prayer services, sample flyers, newsletter inserts, and more can be found on the Season of Creation website. Download the guide here and see more on the Church website here.
Bill and Margaret Best Travel Fund
The Personnel Work Group is now inviting applications to this fund. Its purpose is 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. The Fund supports courses and study within NZ as well as overseas, and we particularly invite applications from ministers who are planning to take study leave. Funding is provided for travel costs only. The deadline is 30 September, details here.
Need advice? email e-Minister a real, ordained PCANZ minister
Got questions concerning faith and personal life issues? Not ready to go to worship or approach a minister in person? Email e-Minister, a real, ordained Presbyterian minister who is bound by professional ethics to respect confidentiality. e-Minister will endeavour to reply within 48 - 72 hours. See more here.
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