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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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MOU with the Ekalesia Kerisiano Niue
I write this from Niue where I am with representatives of The Congregational Union of NZ to meet with representatives of Ekalesia Kerisiano Niue regarding the renewal of a MOU that was signed by the three churches in 2001. These MOUs recognise long-standing interchurch relationships. They seek to acknowledge the ways that the three churches can communicate and collaborate around issues like ministry training, recognition of ordination, the exchange of information, and sharing of resources.
We arrived here to a warm pacific welcome. This relationship is clearly important to the people of Niue. I look forward to representing the PCANZ as the conversations proceed over the next few days.
Presbyterian Support – 2023 Day In Town
On 1 May, Presbyterian Support is hosting a Day in Town for their governance teams and NZ leaders around the theme ‘Ageing without Equity’. They are asking the challenging question of how can we ensure equitable care and enough suitable, stable, housing for poorer older people as their population rapidly grows? There will be speakers from each of the main political parties to whom I have then been asked to respond! That will be a great privilege and challenge!
Special Character Review at Saint Kentigern College
In early May I will be in Auckland with Rev Stephanie Wells to do a week-long special character review at Saint Kentigern. This is the third of these Church school reviews that I have done with Stephanie. They provide a vital opportunity for the PCANZ to engage with these schools around the special character that comes out of their Presbyterian founding. The fact that the schools are prepared to engage with us in this way provides good connection within our wider Church family.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues
Over the past couple of months I have been present at three induction services, a presbytery gathering, a Synod annual meeting, a special meeting of a group, and sat around the table with office holders of a presbytery. The richness and diversity of each of those settings is something to pause and reflect upon. In a number of those settings, the challenge for our Church that affirms its identify as being both bicultural and multicultural as part of its unique identity as Christians in Aotearoa New Zealand, was clear. How we are working that out is something that is becoming an increasing focus.
In one setting, parts of the service and the sermon was translated so all could listen and understand. The ground was level and all could participate.
I listened in another setting to our history in terms of early contact between Māori and European, and the challenges which there were and remain. I was reminded that Christianity was invited to Aotearoa New Zealand.
At another, I was invited to sit around the table as we discussed together several matters and worked our way through these with warmth, respect and honour, seeking first to listen and understand before offering thoughts or opinions. It was a meeting that started with Karakia - acknowledged who was sitting at the table - and finished with Karakia - giving thanks to God for all we had learnt and shared - praying especially for those who would be acting upon the conversations. A sharing of cultures where faith united us.
This role is one that offers huge opportunities to be present, to be with, to be alongside and to see, hear and experience God at work. I am very thankful for the privilege.
Yes, there are challenges – significant challenges – across our life together. Pretending they will go away, ignoring them or wanting to return to the past, ignore what it is the Spirit is saying to the Church in these days.
Let us remind ourselves that God is the agent of mission and transformation; that our strategic thinking must be linked to our deep and ongoing prayerful discernment and that we are in need of being reminded of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
TS Eliot wrote about the Church’s tendency to lurch from one experimental change to the next:
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.*
The alternative - as the writer to the Hebrews states – “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need”.
First round of voting for Moderator-designate
Church Councils have now forwarded nominations to their presbytery. Where a presbyter has received one or more nominations – the presbytery will over 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 (up to 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. Presbyteries send the names of those 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.
Commissioners to Assembly
Pursuant to Book of Order 8.16 (1) A presbytery is responsible for the organisation of appointments of commissioners to attend the General Assembly (2). The selection of commissioners is to be based on the total number of full members of congregations within a presbytery, on a fair and reasonable basis. For every 100 members, a presbytery will commission one elder or minister and will allocate the commissions across the congregations within the presbytery. Presbytery clerks and administrators have either finalised or are in the process to determine this process for appointing commissioners.
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.
Presbyteries need to identify suitable people with the skills and ability to represent the breadth of our Church, to be selected for the nominations committee which will meet prior to General Assembly. Advice has already been sent to presbyteries concerning this. Nominating Committee membership will be confirmed by Council of Assembly.
Calling a newly trained 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.
A reminder about the requirements of those completing police checks. Please see details here. Applications that use old forms or are incomplete applications (such as no Application Form or identification documents) will be automatically returned as Assembly Office cannot process these applications.
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.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Take care.
Ngā mihi nui
Assembly Executive Secretary
* Choruses from The Rock (1934).
Presbyterian Church Schools
Scots College: students working with community
Service learning is a label often given to the work done on trips overseas but Church schools like Scots College in Wellington also endeavour to integrate it into general school life.
For example, in the Senior School if you take the International Baccalaureate Diploma stream (NCEA alternative), service is part of the requirements. This means all students must include some sort of service activity amongst the academic.
In the Middle School, all Year 10s take part in a Community Project which entails learning about an issue, devising a solution, and, if possible, enacting it. In 2022 they focussed on UN Global Goals such as reducing world poverty. One group instigated a can drive for Kaibosh Food Rescue and another the ‘Eat my Lunch’ programme (both local food aid organizations).
The Junior School focuses on a value every week, such as compassion or respect, to learn how they can show this to their fellow students, and beyond. They also have an annual fundraising commitment to decorate a Christmas tree at the airport and in 2022 they also provided carol singing.
All this provides the foundation for other service opportunities, such as hosting Hawke’s Bay school sports teams when a planned sports tournament there was thwarted by Cyclone Gabrielle; fundraising for the small settlement of Nuhaka, who the school ‘adopted’ in the wake of the East Coast’s devastation; a Year 10 fundraiser for the Ukraine, and the Junior School’s bake sale for the Salvation Army at the end of last year. Overseas service will also be reinstated soon with a trip to Fiji planned for 2024.
Scots aims to have students leave with a high regard for working with the community and an openness to the needs of others – surely the perfect outcome for service learning.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Presbyterian Children and Families
Kia Ora everyone
All around us, we see the evidence of the change in seasons - leaves are turning colour, the mornings are cooler, and we are all preparing to hunker down for winter. Similarly, Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry is entering a new season as we farewelled Robin Humphreys last month. While we wait to see the new things that God may do in this important ministry, I want to reassure you that we continue to prioritise the encouragement, resourcing and support of those who minister to children and their families. However, as I am employed for 20 hours a week, I will be doing my best to prioritise my time, that I may serve this ministry in the best way possible.
WAY2GO is a fantastic series of events put on each year by Scripture Union. This year WAY2GO conferences will explore how we can help children and families experience God’s Good News transforming their lives and that of their communities, bringing hope for the future. With a wide range of workshops on offer, dates below, this is an event you’ll want to bring your team to! More information here.
- 20 May: Tauranga; Nelson
- 27 May: Palmerston North
- 10 June: Dunedin; Whangarei
- 17 June: Invercargill; Wellington
- 24 June: Auckland
- 22 July: New Plymouth
- 19 August: Christchurch
Is coming to New Zealand 16-18 September. As the pioneer of ‘Parenting for Faith’, Rachel is a dynamic speaker. Rachel’s experience and passion will connect with parents, pastors, children's ministry leaders and team leaders. Don't miss this opportunity! More information here.
I pray that the children you serve will continue to show you the joy of God, as you grow in faith together,
Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry
I Love Taiwan Programme
Applications are open for the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan’s “I Love Taiwan” programme which worldwide gives young adults exposure to different aspects of life and mission in Taiwan. Global Mission offers a travel subsidy – apply here.
English Teaching in Vanuatu
We are advertising 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 interested in serving in mission. View job description here.
Vanuatu Cyclone Donations
The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu is still gathering information about damage sustained earlier this year when they were hit by two Category 4 cyclones within days of each other. We are waiting on specific details but in anticipation of an appeal, donations can be made for to the Global Mission account 02 0500 0086963 10 with the reference Vanuatu Cyclone Appeal.
Please also pray for the Talua community as they mourn the sudden death of their principal, Pastor Christopher Iawak who took ill and died of a cardiac arrest on 21 April. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, the Talua community, and the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu.
Crisis Conditions in Myanmar
The situation in Myanmar is becoming increasingly dangerous with the military stepping up their indiscriminate attacks on villages in their attempts to suppress opposition from ethnic militia and Peoples Defence Forces. This includes air force strikes on civilian targets and the bombing of residential areas. Innocent civilians are victims. The BBC published an article describing an 11 April attack on a village that left an estimated 168 dead. The Presbyterian Church of Myanmar has been active in providing humanitarian care for hundreds of internally displaced persons in the Tahan region in recent weeks at Tahan Theological College and various church compounds. Donations for crisis can be forwarded to Myanmar through Global Mission. The Council for World Mission asked me to write an article about the current situation in Myanmar for the news section on their website read it here
Global Mission Director
This month, I will be running two workshops in Kaimai Presbytery at St Johns Presbyterian Church Rotorua. On Friday 26 May, the workshop is on Preaching from Old Testament Stories using the Book of Esther as our example. Then on Saturday 27 May, there is a pastoral care workshop on the issue of online pornography. This workshop is suitable for parents, pastoral carers, teenagers, and ministers, or anyone affected by this issue. For registration details email here.
Carey Baptist College - study courses
One of our approved training providers – Carey Baptist College – is offering a wonderful opportunity for people to taste study at Level 5 (entry level tertiary study). In semester 2, they are offering two courses: “Mission of God” and “Introduction to the New Testament.” The courses will be for NZQA credits. What does it look like? One evening a week, people gather either on their church site or in someone’s home to complete a level 5 Carey course for credit. They get to do it with a Carey lecturer (who guides the teaching and discussion by Zoom), and they get to do it as a cohort, face-to-face with people they know in a context with which they are familiar. In semester 2 this year, if a church enrols a cohort of 10 people or more, tuition fees (normally $787 per course per student) will be completely waived. Details can be accessed here.
Yours in Christ
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
The new PYM website is live with information about Connect 2023, 1-3 September, Auckland
Please take a moment to visit our new website. Included is key information about the Connect Conference. 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. For more information on the event see here.
Emerge Leadership Formation Video Course
If you want your young leaders to grow their leadership skills, look no further than PYM’s Emerge Leadership Formation Course. Emerge is a free two-year video-based leadership formation programme which you run yourself with your leaders. Emerge is aimed at creating a culture of servant leadership in our young people (Year 11+), developing their character, competency, and sense of calling. Participants will:
- gain clarity about their gifts and skill sets,
- gain understanding about their personal calling and have the opportunity to grow in that calling,
- connect with potential mentoring figures in their specific calling where possible,
- grow a deeper connection, sense of belonging and participation with their local church.
National Youth Director
Presbyterian Research Centre
Open House, 27 May – talks, tours, food, fun
Join us for the Presbyterian Research Centre Archives Open House on Saturday 27 May. It runs from 11 am to 3 pm and includes lunch. It features talks and tours, food and fun! The whole day’s events are free and open to the public. Please come and check us out! We are located at the Hewitson Wing, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin. Public parking is at the carpark east of Hewitson, across Arden Street.
- 11am - Rachel Hurd, "Archives: What to Keep?"
- 11:30am - Andrew Smith, "What Happens to Records as They Arrive?" or
- 11:30am - Archives Tour with Rachel Hurd.
- 12pm - Catered lunch, with veg*n options.
- 1pm - Afternoon speakers:
- Yvonne Wilkie, "Early Source Documents in Dunedin's Presbyterian History"
- Sue Guthrie, "Church Records for Researching Family History"
- Peter Mathieson, "The Disruption, and Immigrant Stories"
- 2:30pm – Repeat of Archives Tour with Rachel Hurd.
Feel free to do some hands-on research on the day also – we will help!
Please email RSVP or ph 03 473 0777 by 4pm, Thursday 25 May. Be sure to indicate number attending, as well as any dietary requirements. Thanks!
Presbyterian Research Centre
Mother’s Day Gifts
Delight your mother with some bees or a village canteen. Give her a gift that makes dreams real. Choose from 24 gifts that double as a gift to someone who needs a hand. Order today and receive a beautiful gift card ready for May 14 or choose an e-card at any time. Or if you prefer, give a gift in memory of a special mother.
Plan to stand with refugees and displaced people this year. CWS has launched the Operation Refugee annual fundraising campaign for refugees. Choose one of three challenges: Food for Life, a Winter Walk, or for the truly brave a Shelter Challenge. In a new twist the challenge will last for 12 hours on June 20, World Refugee Day but can be completed at a time that suits. CWS is raising money to help refugees from Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria and Ukraine to assist with with food, education and medical care. Register at here or talk to Lily on 0800 74 73 72. CWS will also produce church resources for Refugee Sunday on June 25 or July 2 (Anglican).
In early March, Vanuatu experienced back-to-back Category 4 cyclones. Two months later, the worst affected communities are still in urgent need of support. CWS is appealing for donations so its local partner, the Vanuatu Christian Council, can assist 18 communities in North Efate, Pele and Nguna. Donations will fund local people to repair and upgrade community latrines, distribute seeds and tools to re-establish gardens and community seed banks and nurseries, raise awareness on child protection and gender-violence, psychosocial support and further disaster-preparedness planning. If you can, please support the Vanuatu Cyclone Appeal and continue to pray for ni-Vanuatu as they rebuild their homes and livelihood.
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.
Heart Matters: Ministry in a Secular World 2023 South Island Ministry Conference, 16 & 17 May, East Taieri Church
“It feels to many of us that ministry in a secular world is tough. Everywhere we go, church leaders are talking about the church being in a state of crisis. But is the church really in the kind of crisis we often think it is? What do we mean when we talk about the secular or even ministry? At the heart of the gospel is the God who graciously ministers to us. The church is called to reflect and imitate this. This conference is an invitation to engage in these questions and to wonder what joyful and hopeful ministry could look like.” Keynote speaker: Sebastian Murrihy. Early bird registrations close 13 April. Registrations close 5 May. See more here.
Download the 2023 PCANZ White Ribbon noticeboard poster for parishes
Download here a poster that can be printed for your parish noticeboard or used in your parish newsletter. It has contact details for White Ribbon Ambassador Rev Hana Popea plus resources and links for your church to use.
Ministers Study Grants
KCML invites applications for Ministers Study Grants. Information and the application form can be accessed here. Applications need to be submitted by 31 May.
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.
Information about copyright for your church
See information about how you can avoid breaching copyright when playing music or projecting the words of songs during church services on the PCANZ website here. There are links to where you can obtain a license to copy words of songs for display on screens, PowerPoint presentations, or printed bulletins, and different licenses for playing music and video.
CPT Resources - need help with church property?
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.
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 May to July 2023 here.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18 - 28 May
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally held in Aotearoa between Ascension and Pentecost (18 – 28 May). Materials t have been adapted for Aotearoa New Zealand by the National Dialogue for Christian Unity. There is still room to interpret to suit your local context. The text is Isaiah 1:12-18, focus verse is Isaiah 1:17 with theme, Do good; seek justice. Download here resources.
For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Ryan Feng, ordained and inducted minister Bishopsdale – St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery, 23 March 2023.
Rev Joshua Tepou, ordained and inducted minister Takapuna - St George’s Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, 26 March 2023.
Rev Dr Jordan Redding, minister Dunedin Knox Presbyterian Church and chaplain University of Otago, Southern Presbytery to minister St Heliers Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, 5 March 2023.
Rev Ra Koia Jr, other recognised minister Kaimai Presbytery to Te Aka Puaho – Maori Synod, 17 September 2022.
Non PCANZ Ministers in PCANZ Parishes
Rev David Tang, minister Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), to parish minister Taiwanese – Auckland Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, 30 March 2023.
Removals from Roll
Book of Order 10.34b – ministers engaged in another occupation for more than five years:
Rev Dr Glen Pettigrove (Northern Presbytery), removed from the roll 31 March 2023.
Rev Doug Grierson, Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 17 March 2023.
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