From the Moderator
A few weeks ago I met with church leaders from other denominations and representatives from the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) of which our own Presbyterian Support is a member. We meet two or three times a year. NZCCSS plays a vital role advising church leaders on the effects of social and economic policies on ordinary people and local communities. This helps church leaders decide which issues to bring to the attention of politicians. I have been impressed by the very high regard NZCCSS is held in right across the political spectrum.
NZCCSS have a website and it is well worth visiting: There you will find some very useful resources and news about several interesting projects, including a Vulnerability Report monitoring the level of economic and social hardship in our country. Some of the statistics are sobering. For example, as at the end of December 2009 the number of benefit-dependent children was over 230,000 up 16 percent on December 2008.
Perhaps of greatest concern long-term is the growing inequality in relation to income levels in this country as incomes of the wealthy rise at a significantly faster rate than everyone else’s. Research shows that health and social problems are worse in those countries that have the biggest inequalities. New Zealand has the dubious distinction of leading the OECD in growth in income inequality since the 1980s. The upcoming personal tax cuts will do little to address this underlying problem.
I encourage you to pray for Presbyterian Support and other Christian social service agencies. They do a fantastic job at the coalface of human need. And pray for the government and all those who hold political office, that their policies and decisions will bring about a more just and humane society in keeping with the Biblical vision of shalom.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
I don’t really make a habit of trying to compare congregations’ Sunday morning teas but I have to say that Knox in Lower Hutt does a truly outstanding job. Members of the church provide catering over the whole of the Sunday morning (from the foyer off a hall adjacent to the main church). This isn’t just your instant coffee, gumboot tea and a wine biscuit. I turned up quite early a few Sunday’s ago to run through the sermon I had prepared and I found church volunteers already working. Out of the large kitchen they were busy producing fantastic baking, sandwiches, rolls and all the food you would expect at your local café – except probably fresher and made on site. All displayed in cabinets and served from a counter.
I could tell you about a few Pacific and a Korean church where you will get a terrific lunch or dinner. All these churches embody something that is at the heart of the Gospel. The radical and transformative hospitality that we hear so much of in the stories about Jesus, the parables he told, and in the accounts of the earliest Christian communities. I think that if we could get this right, if we could really embody that profound and gracious hospitality, then so many other good things would follow. We spend so much time and money on many aspects of our Church’s life; let’s get the basics sorted out. The Gospel is kerygma – both word and event. The food and drink along with the message. These things change people’s lives, create the experience and memory of being God’s people together and are all part of the one proclamation.
General Assembly 2010
The General Assembly will be held in Christchurch from 11 am on Thursday 30 September to no later than 5 pm on Sunday 3 October in Christchurch.
In preparation for the General Assembly:
1. All parishes sending elders should have received from their presbyteries (etc) a commission form to be completed and returned to the presbytery. We now need these back to Assembly Office as soon as possible.
4. All presbytery clerks, UDC secretaries and Te Aka Puaho should have received a request for the names and contact details of all those ministers, youth representatives and observers who will be attending the Assembly. We have not received all these back yet so please could you ensure that all these names are returned immediately.
3. In order to comply with the Standing Orders of the General Assembly, all presbyteries/UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho should appoint an auditor to check the minutes of their meetings. The name of the auditor should be sent to me.
4. All Presbyterian and Uniting congregations are asked to vote for the Moderator-designate. Each parish council should have received a list of all the people willing to be considered for this role and whose nomination has been supported by at least one presbytery. Please complete the preferential voting form and send it back to this office by Friday 13 August. A JP will supervise the counting of votes.
5. Any Church Council, presbytery/ UDC or Te Aka Puaho planning on bringing any proposal for legislative action need to have this notice and a certified extract from the minutes of the appropriate court to me by the deadline of 29 July.
6. All committees and groups who write reports for the General Assembly need to have these to me in Word format by Friday 2 July. If you cannot make the deadline, then please contact me.
7. All congregations are invited to submit names of suitable people to serve on national committees. The forms outlining the process are being sent out with the Moderator election papers.
Focal Identity Statement – Kupu Whakapono
Please take the time to read it on the website. Submissions have closed but the group developing this would welcome any further comment or feedback.
World Missionary Conference
The centenary of the World Missionary Conference of Edinburgh 1910 has concluded with the issuing of a statement about the common call to all Christians to engage with God’s mission. Well worth discussing; you can read the 9-point statement.
The United Church of Christ in Japan, General Assembly in Tokyo
We have been invited to be represented at this event from 26-28 October. If you are a member of the Presbyterian Church and are travelling to Japan at this time and would be willing to represent us, please let me know. Accommodation and meals provided.
Council of Assembly
The Council meet in Auckland from 22-24July. A significant focus to come out of the Council’s meeting will be the processing of various reports to the General Assembly. They will also be hearing back from the strategic planning group who have been speaking with a number of different groups within our Church. If there is any matter you would like to bring to the Council’s attention please write or email me or contact the Convenor, the Rev Emma Keown.
The Committee will be meeting in Wellington on Saturday 28 August. Their role is to nominate people to the General Assembly for roles on our national committees and on the Council of Assembly. They need to be able to choose from a good range of people with the skills and gifts to serve our Church in this way, and who represent the diversity of our Church.
National Parenting Forum
Thank you to all who entered the draw to attend the National Parenting Forum at Te Papa Museum from18-19 September 2010. We had a big response. Congratulations to those who were drawn: Kyung-Ju Goodall, Balmoral Presbyterian Church, Auckland; Cate Burton, St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Katikati; Nanette Jenkin, Trinity-St Paul’s Union Parish of Cambridge; Jenny Flett, Knox Presbyterian Church, Waitara; Liz Bruce, Island Bay Presbyterian Church, Wellington; Jo Vilipaama-Mokalei, Niue St James Presbyterian Church, Newtown; Prue Harris, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Ashburton and Kathy Dedo, Upper Clutha Presbyterian Parish, Wanaka.
We look forward to the forum helping you to explore new ways to inspire people in your churches and your communities to be the best parents they can be.
Orakei Presbyterian Church
Some of you will be aware that this church appealed against the Auckland Presbytery's decision to close it. An Assembly Commission met to hear the appeal. The Commission's recently released report identified an error in the Presbytery's process and directed that the matter be reconsidered by the Presbytery in 12 months time.
The concern felt by all involved has been further exacerbated by media interest in the issues surrounding this difficult process. It is hard to anticipate whether there will be ongoing media interest in this, but if there is, it will almost certainly focus on issues of conjecture and opinion that may well be harmful to individuals, the congregation and Presbytery, as all involved seek to find constructive ways forward. I can assure you that whatever might be reported, the Presbytery's process was fair and robust, where those acting on behalf of Presbytery upheld the highest standards of integrity.
Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
A reminder that the new Knox Centre and Archives facilities at Knox College in Dunedin will be formerly opened on 6 July at 5.30 pm. All are welcome.
The ministry internship programme continues to go well. We currently have 16 ordinands serving as interns in parishes around the country and it looks like next year’s intake will consist of eight people. The internship settings for most of these are almost finalised. The matching of interns to parishes is quite a logistical exercise; there are lots of factors to be considered. We have a surplus of parishes requesting interns in some parts of the country and not enough in others. Despite the challenges, I am really encouraged by the fact that the average age of our ordinands has dropped from mid-forties to late-thirties, this augurs well for the future.
We are pleased to announce that the following people have been awarded music scholarships: Daniel Chapman (Waitara), Sam Parsons (Waitara), Joshua Dunne (Warkworth), Zoe Henderson (Lower Hutt), Michelle Knight (Blenheim), Adam van Baarle (Lower Hutt) and Hannah van Dorp (Dunedin). Congratulations to all, they will attend a two-day music and worship workshop at the Knox Centre in December and receive a $300 cash grant to encourage them in their music ministry.
For further details about how the Knox Centre is helping young people, including the next Going Further event in February 2011, check out our website.
One of the National Mission Enabler’s ongoing projects has been Wellness in Leadership. Ministers of all denominations deal with burn-out and depression, and working on ways to help Presbyterian ministers in particular avoid such illness is high on John Daniel’s priority list.
John often talks of a ‘theology of wellness.’ We recently posted one example of such theology on the National Mission blog.
These points were adapted from Roy Oswald’s book “Clergy Self-Care”, and make a good starting point for thinking about how you view your own wellness:
God is omnipotent and omnipresent, ministers are not!
God in Christ has done all that is necessary to redeem the world. Ministers don’t need to save the world again.
Mission and ministry belong to whole Body of Christ; it’s a communal activity. Ministry doesn’t belong solely to the minister.
Ministry should be a response to an experience of the grace of God. However motives can become distorted and ministry can flow from guilt or the seeking of personal fulfillment.
Ministers are created beings, and with all humanity have limitations and weaknesses.
Human beings are responsible for the stewardship of God’s world and themselves.
God has given the Sabbath as a model of self-care in observing the sacred rhythm of work and rest. Jesus provides a model of doing ministry and resting.
Ministers need to learn that to be a person of compassion; we must not to be strung out with every human need that comes along.
In his wellness workshops, John’s starting point is that the body, heart, soul and mind are all interconnected parts of our whole being. Wellness reflects this balance. How do you see a theology of wellness? Your thoughts are welcome.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
It has been a busy month leading up to Connect. We have over 150 people coming from around NZ – fantastic!
There are some exciting developments on the horizon in regards to training for youth ministry. Productive conversations are going on with KCML and Laidlaw College. One of the possibilities is for churches to take on an intern as they train, and cover training costs in addition to other expenses. PYM nationally would set up supervision hubs and offer support to interns. If your church is interested in this please get in touch with me.
I gave a lecture at Carey Baptist College on “Church in New Zealand from a Young Adults’ Perspective”. The conversation generated in the class confirmed my thesis findings of the challenges of being church with and for young adults. I also presented a generational perspective on mission at the Mission and Unity conference. I get the impression that there is widespread interest in ministry to young adults and young people and, on the one hand, the implications for church life. On the other hand there is a noticeable reluctance to seriously action this interest when it comes to the allocation of financial and people resources, and for incorporating new or different practices within our worshipping life together.
Gordon has been busy both settling into New Zealand and updating our national youth leaders’ database. Some people he has contacted have not been in this role for five or six years! We are also hearing from youth leaders who have no idea what is going on in Presbyterian Youth Ministry beyond their own context. We are addressing some of this from our end, but we really need your cooperation ministers. If you have a new main youth leader starting (or finishing) could you let PYM national know? It could also be beneficial to link them into anything happening regionally, this includes letting your regional youth coordinator know, if you have one. I would assume, rightly or wrongly, that you have some idea of this through Presbytery involvement.
On Saturday 29 May 2010, the APW National Business meeting was held in Wellington, and was graciously and generously hosted by the Pacific Islanders’ Presbyterian Church in Newtown. A variety of topics were covered including Turakina Maori Girls’ College, Presbyterian Church global mission, Commission on the Status of Women and Presbyterian activity around the country. Clearly Presbyterian women are taking part in a wide breadth of activity.
Two recommendations were presented and accepted at the meeting:
That a Pacific island representative be included on the National Coordinating Group.
That the Mission Statement of APWNZ be “Serving God Locally and Globally with Love”.
Both these recommendations were accepted by the members present and indicate another step in the development of APW for today’s Church and community.
The National Coordinating Group for 2010/2012:
National Convenor: Mary McIntyre, 18 Hall Road, Bannockburn, RD. 2. Cromwell 9384. 03 445 4709. firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Convenor: Jan Harland Gracehill, 2 Byron Street, Mornington, Dunedin 9011. 03 453 1253. email@example.com
Secretary: Valerie Anderson, 3A Mayfair Grove, Alexandra 9320. 03 448 8049. firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Ngaire Pearce, 102 Mountain View Road, Gleniti, Timaru 7910. 03 686 1834. email@example.com
Missions Convenor: Rae Simpson, 12 Kotanui Ave, Army Bay, Whangaparoa 0930. 09 424 4274. firstname.lastname@example.org
United Nations Convenor: Pamela Tankersley, 51 Roy Street, Palmerston North 4410. 06 355 3908. email@example.com
Communications Co-convenors: Faatali Leiua, 146 Sievers Grove, Porirua, Wellington. 04 238 9874. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fotu Lualua, 47 Strathavon Road, Miramar, Wellington 6022. 04 976 5422. 021 243 4331. email@example.com
The International Council of Women toolkit “Women Defending the Integrity of the Planet”
Is available now for community education, it stresses the crucial role women must play in reducing the effects of climate change. See the ICW website.
Who is your customer?
During research for my presentation to the Gen-I Leadership Summit at Waitangi last weekend I was pleased to discover that the government’s “Agenda for Children” is to make life better for all New Zealand children. One of the aims of Kids Friendly churches is to make the experience of church and God better for all children, including creating opportunities for children to connect with their local community of faith.
Wayne Brown, Bay of Islands Mayor, gave a talk on leadership and reminded us that:
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption to our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our business. He is a part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.”
Wayne invited us to envisage our customer according to our line of work. I immediately saw a young child entering the front doors of my church and tried to see the place, people, the welcome, look and experience of church as he or she would. I encourage you to do this. Take each of these statements and ask yourself:
How important are children to our church?
Do we depend on them?
Are they a key purpose of our work/ministry?
Are they a part of our ministry? Do they contribute and belong?
Do we recognise what a privilege it is to serve and love children?
Wayne Brown offered his book “The 5 Minute MBA” as a prize to anyone who could guess the author of the above quote. Bill Gates and Richard Branson immediately came to mind. It was actually Mahatma Gandhi.
Kids Friendly coach
Presbyterian Foundation Grants
Applications are now open for this year's Presbyterian Foundation grants. Guidelines and applications forms are available on the Church's website. The deadline for presbyteries to endorse and forward applications is 15 September 2010. (Parishes in Kaimai and Southern Presbyteries do not send their application via their presbytery; instead they should send it directly to the Presbyterian Foundation by this date.)
Parishes in Kaimai and Southern Presbyteries please note the following application procedure applies:
- Parishes planning to apply are advised to access the appropriate pages on the Church’s website.
- Become conversant with the process, and rigorously check that the selected project complies with the criteria.
- Complete the form; follow the process set out but ensure that the form is sent directly to the Presbyterian Foundation, the address is on the form (PO Box 1131, Dunedin 9054).
- The submission dates and deadlines are the same, however please note that presbytery is no longer involved in the screening process ie parishes from Kaimai & Southern Presbyteries submit applications direct to the task group the same time that parishes in other regions submit theirs to their presbyteries.
Parish Profiles sought
The Leadership Sub Committee are seeking Parish Profiles for the exiting interns from the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership for 2010. Please forward to the Rev Ian Guy, 4 Mount Street, Wakari, Dunedin. For more information phone 03 476 2967.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors will remain at 5.00 percent for July. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
Refurbished desktop computers for parishes from $300 with warranty
TechSoup New Zealand provides donated and discounted technology to charitable organisations. For $300 or $400 Techsoup have computers with: Pentium 4 processor loaded with Windows XP Professional, 15” or 17” flat screen LCD monitor, keyboard and mouse. See more information at Techsoup.
Dayspring Ministries seeks support for its 2010 Pacific mission work
Working with ministry partners the Bible Societies of New Zealand and the South Pacific, Dayspring Ministries yacht mission aims to bring Bibles and ministry teams to the remote people of the South Pacific. The mission seeks prayer support and financial support including:
Support for our captain for 20 weeks, $4,000
Boat hand for 20 weeks, $2,000
Diesel/petrol for the next four months, $1,200
Tools for maintenance kit, $300
Staysail for stormy conditions, $2,300
Food per month x four months, $1,500
New mainsheet, $250
Shipping charge, $500
Life raft service (FJ$1200) $1,000
Survey fees (FJ$180) $150
Blended family seminars Wellington, Auckland, New Plymouth with Adele and Mike Cornish
Do you or your partner have children from a previous relationship? Step or blended families often find themselves unprepared to cope with the challenges they face. During this seminar learn how to blend successfully, and what separates the families who succeed from those who don’t and get practical solutions.
Wellington: Thursday 29 July 2010, Silverstream Retreat. $10 per person. (Will be followed by a six week course, phone for more information).
Auckland: Tuesday 17 August, The Parenting Place. $10 per person.
New Plymouth: Saturday 18 September, Park City Church.
For more information and to register free phone 0800 53 56 59 or see the website. (http://www.blendedfamilyfocus.com/seminars/ )
Adele is an author, Blended Family advisor with a social work background, and a stepmother for 16 years. She and husband Mike have a blended family with five children. Mike has facilitated many Divorce Care courses.
Hear Angela Norton on our mission partnership with Myanmar
Our Church and the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar are committed to supporting one another. Myanmar partnership coordinator Angela Norton, will be sharing about how together we can make a difference in each other’s lives. Come along and find out what it means to be a friend to the people of Myanmar.
St Margaret's Presbyterian Church
Sunday 11 July 9 am, 10.30 am and 4 pm
94 Farrington Avenue, Bishopdale, Christchurch. Office 03 359 0149
St Canterbury Presbyterial
Tuesday 13th July at 12pm
Mid Winter Dinner at Sevenoaks Reception Centre, 64 Wai-Iti Rd Timaru. Cost $20 per person. RSVP to Maureen McRae 03 686 0872 by 7 July
St Paul’s APW Lunchtime Group
Wednesday 14 July at 12.30pm
St Pauls, Seddon Street, Timaru. Bring a plate to share. Contact Alison Linscott for more information 03 688 4217.
South Canterbury Presbytery
Wednesday 14 July at 6.30pm
Invitation to all in South Canterbury Presbytery area. St Pauls, Seddon Street, Timaru. Please bring finger food to share, soup will be supplied. Gold Coin donation. Contact Alison Linscott for more information 03 688 4217
Thursday 15th July 7.30pm
Invitation to all in Christchurch Presbytery area. St Margaret's Presbyterian Church, 94 Farrington Avenue, Bishopdale, Christchurch. Office 03 359 0149.
For more information contact Angela on 09 274 4864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 12 August NZ Hoodie Day, World Youth Day, NZ Youth Week
In 2008 the first Hoodie Day was held as part of New Zealand Youth Week . The idea was to wear a hoodie to show your support for youth. Hoodies, like young people, often get a bad rap. Community organisations and groups are encouraged to hold a special Hoodie Day event, and workplaces are encouraged to hold a hoodie mufti day on Wednesday 12 August. Visit the website.
Handling Relationships Workshop
Are any of the people under your pastoral care facing personal conflicts?
Presenter: the Rev John Turton
St Mark’s Wholeness and Wellness Centre,
58 Woburn Road, Lower Hutt (Opposite Hutt Library).
Sunday 11 July at 1pm.
Participants will learn a practical way to resolve relationship conflicts and personal issues in relationships. This half-day workshop is as part of the Handling Life Workshop Series we are developing at St Mark’s.
Registrations and enquiries to John 04 566 0743 or Vivienne 04 589 5868 or online at www.hcuc.co.nz
Orphans in need to keen knitters
Keen knitters needed for Operation Cover Up, a Mission Without Borders project for children living in Moldovan Orphanages who have little bedding in temperatures of -25°C. Contact Operation Cover Up, North Island, Liz Clarke 07 3789171 and South Island, Maureen Braun, 03 3276413 or see the website.
Poetry book “Dipping into the Well”
After many nudges from God, encouragement from friends and support from the Smethurst Trust, Vivienne Bell has published a book of poems, prayers and reflections titled, “Dipping into the Well”. The book is a mixture of shorter poems and longer reflections and can be used as a resource for small groups or for individuals to help find the peace so much needed in the busy lives we lead today.
19 August World Humanitarian Day
United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day honors those who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and all humanitarian and UN personnel who have lost their lives in the cause of duty. See the website.
World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer Cycle
The WCC asks you to join The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle. At the very heart of the ecumenical movement is the reality of prayer. The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle enables us all to journey in prayer through every region of the world affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world. 8-14 August 2010, Week 33, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia. 15-21 August 2010, Week 34, the Pacific islands, including Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Samoa. Download resources.
Ordination and Inductions:
Rev Helen Martin, Minister, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Temuka, South Canterbury Presbytery, to Minister, Mosgiel/ North Taieri Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 27 May 2010.
Rev John Coutts, Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister, Wyndham Presbyterian, Southern Presbytery, 6 May 2010.
Rev Paul Loveday, Minister, Calvin Presbyterian Gore, Southern Presbytery, to Minister St John’s Hastings, Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay Presbytery, 22 June 2010.
Changes in Status:
Rev Sa Si’itia-Asi, Minister, St Ronan’s Eastbourne, Wellington Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, 31 March 2010.
Rev Mark Wun, Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, Auckland Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, Auckland Presbytery, was formerly recognised as a Partner in Mission, 20 May 2010.
Rev Barrie Keenan, Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to Stated Supply, St Ninian’s Karori, Wellington Presbytery, 20 April 2010.
Rev Ken Irwin, Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to Stated Supply, Khandallah Presbyterian, Wellington Presbytery, 15 May 2010.
Rev Clive Thomson, Minister, Church of the Nazarene, to Stated Supply, Knox Presbyterian, Hamilton, Kaimai Presbytery, for 9 months. 31 May 2010.
Rev Fraser Paterson, Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, to Interim Minister (Methodist appointment), Kapiti Uniting Parish, Wellington Presbytery, 14 March 2010.
Rev Ken Smith, Minister, PCUSA, to Stated Supply, Hutt City Uniting Churches (Waiwhetu and Wainuiomata), Wellington Presbytery, for 6 months, 31 January 2010.
Rev Jerry Kelly, Minister PCUSA, to Stated Supply, Khandallah Presbyterian, Wellington Presbytery, for 12 months, 30 April 2010.
Rev Colin English, Minister, St Paul’s Napier, Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay Presbytery, 31 May 2010.
Rev Graham Ng, Other Recognised Minister, North Shore Presbytery, resigned from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, 30 April 2010.
Rev Malcolm Highet, Minister Emeritus, South Canterbury Presbytery, died 14 March 2010.
Rev Glen Ashton, Minister Emeritus, Auckland Presbytery, died 29 May 2010.
Rev Tu'i Fatialofa, Minister Emeritus, Auckland Presbytery, died 3 June 2010.
Rev Larry Grosse QSM, Minister Emeritus, North Shore Presbytery, died 11 June 2010.
Rev Colville (Col) Angus, Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, died 17 June 2010.
The Very Rev Neil Churcher, Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, died 23 June 2010.