Bush Telegraph November 2010

From the Moderator

I want to sincerely thank all of those people who helped make Assembly what it was. I am very grateful.

Some might want to debate whether making disciples really is the core of our mission. Conversely, I have been enormously encouraged by the number of people who have been enthused and motivated by my theme, “Making Disciple-making Disciples”.

I suspect few of our churches are strong at making disciples. Many more feel the call of Jesus to do this but are left asking how. Disciple-making is something of a lost art that requires rediscovery. Maybe we could (and should) help each other rediscover it.

Those churches that are doing it well might tell others how. I would be keen for people in churches that are making some progress to write an article (these could be featured on the web site or given to interested churches) about how they do it, and maybe how they started intentionally making disciples when that culture didn’t exist.

Where there are gaps? Perhaps we can rediscover disciple-making together – read books and share our learning, experiment and talk about the successes and failures, invite a speaker to a resource group meeting or a presbytery meeting. Then share the learning more widely – review the books or video the speaker and make it available.

The Church web site is an avenue for sharing, there are some resources listed and I have a blog that you could respond to. There are probably other ways of facilitating discussion; I’d appreciate your ideas. I’d just like to see a lot of dynamic thinking and experimentation go into how we can more effectively obey Jesus’ Great Commission.

I‘ll do what I can but I would welcome your suggestions. We haven’t always been very good at working collaboratively. Let’s rediscover disciples-making together. It could be a whole new era for our Church.

Peter Cheyne

From the Assembly Executive Assembly

Dear friends

First, let me thank again all those from Christchurch who worked so hard to make the General Assembly happen. The earthquake and the subsequent shakes added a level of anxiety and concern, and made the successful organisation and running of the Assembly an even greater achievement.

Back here in Wellington a lot of my activity this month has been focused around the work generated by Assembly and its decisions. We are working to get this information out to you as soon as possible because it relates directly to some of the processes our congregations are frequently involved in. For instance, if you are ordaining new elders or a minister, the formula has changed. As I work through the minutes, I realise that the Assembly made quite a few decisions affecting presbyteries, ministers and congregations and how we order the life and work of our Church.

Thanks to those of you who completed our online General Assembly feed back questionnaire. Your responses will help us as we begin early planning for the 2012 General Assembly at our national Church marae at Ohope, and in Rotorua. It is planned for the middle of the school holidays - late September or early October. A few people mentioned to me the cost of Assembly, perhaps some early planning will help with budgeting for 2012.

The Council of Assembly

The Council meets in Wellington on 19 and 20 November. If you would like to raise any matters with the Council please write to me before 8 November so I can add your letter to the agenda. The Council will be looking at all the matters they have been asked to deal with by the General Assembly, as well as a report on National Mission functions. The Council will also welcome four new members.

Special legislative procedure

The General Assembly decided that all parish councils and presbyteries should be given the opportunity to discuss and decide on proposed changes in our Book of Order. There were a number of proposed changes and significant background information was given to Commissioners explaining why some of these changes were important. All parish councils and presbyteries will receive this documentation and will need to set aside time to discuss and vote on the proposals. Once you receive this information please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the process.

General Assembly

More than 350 attended General Assembly 2010 at St Andrew’s College, Christchurch. If you did not attend you can read about decisions made by GA10, and download audio and text versions of key sermons and speeches, a take-home summary of business, and photographs taken during the event.

Key decisions included the adoption of Kupu Whakapono (a contemporary statement of faith) as a subordinate standard; the rejection of a proposal that would have overturned the GA06 decision on sexuality and leadership; a raft of changes to the Church’s ministry development programme, including mandating supervision for all paid ministry staff and a thorough review of the programme before GA12.

GA10 also adopted new guidelines for assessing the viability of congregations; approved the formation of three new presbyteries and agreed to a range of other measures to enable further presbytery unification; agreed to appoint a special committee that would investigate giving the Pacific Island Synod the status of a presbytery.

General Assembly sent a strong message to the Government that New Zealand’s alcohol laws need to be tightened, urging that all recommendations in the Law Commission’s report be implemented, endorsing the 5+ solution being promoted by lobby group Alcohol Action New Zealand and recommending a total ban on the marketing and advertising of alcohol.

The Rev Ray Coster, of St Andrew’s Mt Maunganui, was announced as the Moderator Designate for 2012-2014.

Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.


Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Please note the upcoming events:

Internationally acclaimed author on the missional church, Dr Alan Roxburgh is coming to New Zealand. The Knox Centre will host him in Auckland, and join with the Southern Presbytery to host him in Dunedin. Here are the details:


  • Friday 26 November at 7 pm, open lecture - “Where are we as church in contemporary Western Culture, and what needs to happen?”
  • Saturday 27 November at 9.30 am.to 4.30 pm - missional transitioning consultation for Northern and Kaimai Presbyteries.

The venue for both these events is Somervell Church in Remuera. For more details contact our Auckland coordinator, Mark Johnston on 021 242 3735. 


  • Tuesday 30 November at 7 pm, open lecture - “Where are we as a church in the West and how did we get here?”
  • Wednesday 1 December, 9.30 am. to 4 pm, seminar - “Key issues for leaders in building a mission focused church”
  • Thursday 2 December, 9.30 am. to 4 pm, seminar - “What a missionally focused church might look like at a congregational and judicatory level”
  • Thursday 2 December, 7 pm, open lecture - “How are we addressing our location, and what needs to happen?”

The venue for all these events is Cameron Hall, Knox College, Dunedin. People need to register through the Knox Centre for the two seminars. The cost is $30 each.

The Knox Centre end-of-year Valedictory Service will be held Wednesday 1 December at 7 pm at Mosgiel Presbyterian Church. Six of our ministry interns will graduate with Ministry Diplomas. All welcome.

The next Going Further event for young adults will be held on Great Barrier Island from the 31 January to 6 February 2011. The inaugural event, held earlier this year, was a great success. Do encourage folk to attend. Visit the web site to find out details.

Graham Redding

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

For me the highlight of the past month was GA10. Having been to many General Assemblies around the world I was pleasantly surprised by the spiritual presence. Sometimes these events are business only, but through preaching and worship - even sometimes spontaneous worship - this Assembly was encouraging for the future of our Church.

Pinned onto GA10 was the Youth Assembly orientation - a great intro. Graham Redding took us through the major topics for the week, Peter Cheyne introduced us to his theme and Heather McKenzie explained the traditions and customs of GA. Of course the day was very social, after a couple of meals out the youth reps really got to know each other. I personally was delighted by the quality of the youth reps - all mature adults who took their responsibilities very seriously.

PYM has launched a monthly newsletter called “The Buzz” sign up for it. It is emailed out to keep everyone interested in youth ministry in the loop.

The PYM website continues to grow in size. We recently added a section called documents with standard forms (permission forms etc) for the busy youth leader to use to save time. We have also added a section to presbytality, our ministry connecting students moving to new cities with churches. We connect up students with a local youth worker who takes them out for coffee, gives them a present and introduces them to their new city. We also have resources for youth with insights and advice on leaving home, and also for youth workers who are getting ready to say farewell to their students. Please let us know about your students moving to a new city.

God bless your ministries,

Gordon Fitch
National coordinator

Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women NZ had very constructive input at General Assembly with an update on Presbyterian Women lunch and the presentation of a recommendation that was agreed to unanimously. The recommendation was:

That the General Assembly makes a commitment to understand and support the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and to promote this understanding and support throughout the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand; and that the General Assembly encourages parishes to access CEDAW information and contribute to the non governmental report.

The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations in 1979 and ratified by New Zealand in 1985. New Zealand is obliged to report regularly on the progress being made to ensure that the principles in the Convention are applied. The New Zealand Government submitted its 2010 Report to the CEDAW Monitoring Committee in September and will report to the Committee next year.

Alongside this report will be an Alternative Non Governmental Organisation Report facilitated by the National Council of Women New Zealand - New Zealand women can tell our government and the international community if, and how, they see areas of discrimination.

New Zealand women are fortunate in that discrimination is no longer codified in law, but the far-reaching effects of social and cultural discrimination can still be seen. When women’s and girl’s rights are promoted and upheld, women benefit and so do their families and societies. 

The Quadrennial Report

The Quadrennial Report from Presbyterian Women New Zealand to the United Nations Economic and Social Council for 2006-2009 has been completed and is on our website. Filing this report is one of the responsibilities of special consultative status and covers all activities of Presbyterian Women for the period. It includes details of aims and purposes of our organisation, contributions to the work of the United Nations and initiatives taken in support of the Millennium Development Goals. This report will be reviewed by the Committee on Non Governmental Organisations in early 2011.

Mary McIntyre
National Convenor

Kids Friendly

Let the children come

I’m writing from Malaysia where I am sharing the Kids Friendly vision and mission at a Council for World Mission (CWM) conference. Twenty delegates representing 13 countries are exploring what mission with children entails.

Sudipta Singh, of the Church of North India, urged us to place the child in the centre of everything we do, asking “How do we attend to the child set in our midst by Jesus?” He shared harrowing stories of the plight of the child in India (the country has the second largest child population and the highest child mortality rate). Indian children are extremely vulnerable to risks such as feticide, trafficking, abuse, rape, murder, malnutrition, labour and sacrifice. Sudipta leads many programmes to combat child trafficking and has been instrumental in securing 40 per cent of his church’s budget to help children.

Rev Sulangi, CWM mission enabler for the Pacific region, suggests that mission with children requires us to “become more like children, striving to discover and rediscover the heart of God”.

Kids Friendly mission is to encourage and equip churches to serve and engage with their community of children and invite them to belong. Belonging is the breeding ground for belief and action; one way we invite children to belong is to include them in communion. Hearing this was a real challenge for many of the conference participants.

“Let the children come” said Jesus. So why do so many churches exclude children from the communion table? There is no theological reason for excluding children and the often cited “they don’t understand” excuse is unfounded. Communion is a meal of grace for which none of us needs to qualify. It stems from the Jewish Passover meal, this couldn’t take place without children as the youngest has the key task of asking, “Why do we do this?”

In our context, churches that previously included children in communion had to explain their reason for doing so. Now it is the reverse: if any of our Kids Friendly churches preclude children from communion we ask them to explain their reasons for doing so.

Jill Kayser 
Kids Friendly coach

Global Mission

Joining in mission together

Summer adventure in Vanuatu

We are looking for skilled labourers and supporters (maybe for two weeks in January?) to build student houses at Talua for the unexpectedly large influx into the BMin. We hope folk will be self-supporting, we can subsidise air fares. Contact Kevin Heath, kevsue@eol.co.nz or pamela@presbyterian.org.nz

Korean and New Zealand Presbyterian churches in partnership.

Following a visit in September by the Rev Martin Baker and the Rev Dr Stuart Vogel to Presbyterian churches in Korea, it was great to host visitors from the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea (PROK) at our General Assembly. They gave very generously (over $35,000) to the Presbytery of Christchurch to help recover from the huge earthquake. We are looking to strengthen our relationships, not only with the churches in Korea, but with the "diaspora" of Koreans who have immigrated to New Zealand - many of whom either worship in our Presbyterian churches or have formed congregations that want to be included.

CWS Christmas Appeal: Share the Care 

Christian World Service is our Presbyterian Church Aid and Development Agency and CWS attracts Government financial support. To receive your material for the Appeal see www.christmasappeal.org.nz

Moderator the Right Rev Peter Cheyne says, "Many of us find Christmas incredibly busy but for some people it couldn’t be more different. They don’t go shopping and spend. They don’t have parties and big dinners. They probably won’t go to church and many don’t know Jesus.

“In our busyness it is worthwhile pausing to think of others and choosing to make a gift that will help someone who lives in poverty and/or with disease. Giving might make our own Christmases more real as we partner with the God who gave the life of Jesus. Our gifts might also be tangible expressions of the love of God to those who receive them”.

Pamela Tankersley
Global Mission coordinator


PSDS $40,000 awards for innovative ministry and mission initiatives

To celebrate its 40th birthday Presbyterian Savings and Development Society will grant four annual awards of up to $10,000 each for innovative ministry and mission initiatives.

The initiative needs to be:

  • Innovative (applies a new idea to a particular issue or need)
  • Demonstrating leadership and the involvement of others
  • Expressive of the mission of the Church
  • A completely separate initiative - not part of an existing or previous programme
  • Project based

Write to PSDS, PO Box 26-210, Epsom, Auckland explaining the objective of your project, what your innovation is, how it expresses the mission of the Church and what your budget requirements are.

Applications close 28 February 2011.

Get rid of your electronic waste.- eDay Saturday 6 November

Get rid of your electronic waste. On eDay Saturday 6 November at over 40 centres across the country. See here for your closest drop-off location. Recycling electronic waste such as old computers and phones enables the recovery and reuse of valuable materials and ensures toxic materials are not buried in our landfills.

Alcohol Law Reform Forum

“Creating a Brighter Future”
9:30am – 3:30pm, 3 November 2010
Waipuna Conference Centre, 58 Waipuna Road, Mt Wellington, Auckland.

Please join us to discuss the alcohol law reform process and be part of the journey towards safer and healthier communities.

Guest speakers include: Minister of Justice Hon. Simon Power and Professor Sally Casswell of the SHORE / Whariki Research Group, Massey University – An evidence based response.

RSVP to Alcohol Healthwatch, Roanne Govender, phone (09) 520 7039 or email roanne@ahw.org.nz

White Ribbon Day 25 November

White Ribbon Day is the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show they do not condone violence towards women.

Each year there are over 3,500 convictions recorded against men for assaults on women and one in five women will experience sexual assault/interference at some point in their lives.

White Ribbon Day celebrates the many men willing to show leadership and commitment to promoting safe, healthy relationships within families and encourages men to challenge each other on attitudes and behaviour that are abusive.

Order resources today – white ribbons, posters, balloons, banners, stickers - as supplies are limited.

Support the '2 drinks max' campaign

The New Zealand Herald has launched a campaign to persuade the Government that now is the time to lower the drink driving limit from 0.08mg to 0.05mg (of alcohol per 100 ml of blood), the same as Australia, Japan and most of Europe.

Take the pledge: "Starting now, I will do my part to make New Zealand's roads safer by not driving after more than two standard alcoholic drinks."

Sign up and show your support for the campaign.

Angel Tree: help the children of prisoners have Christmas this year

Can you imagine not getting anything at Christmas from your mother or father because they are in prison? That is a possibility for up to 22,000 children of prisoners.

Angel Tree Christmas gift programme delivered over 3800 presents last year to 1550 caregivers. This year we are aiming higher and commencing a scheme to take prisoners’ children to a camp for five days next July.

Please consider sending a gift to Angel Tree before 1 December.

$25 buys one set of gifts for a child of a prisoner. $50 covers all the costs involved in publicising the programme in prisons and getting the gift to a caregiver’s home. $200 pays for the child to attend children’s camp.

Donate online. Or make a bank deposit to Prison Fellowship account no. 01 0242 0138571 00. Please put your name in the details field and Angel Tree as the reference.

Open Doors Free to Believe petition

An initiative by Open Doors to protect the freedom of religion guaranteed under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a Free to Believe worldwide petition will be presented to the United Nations Secretary General to demonstrate opposition to the “Defamation of Religions” resolution before the UN General Assembly later this year. “If this resolution is passed it legitimises persecution of Christians, particularly under Islamic Sharia law. Although the present NZ government is opposed to this resolution, if passed a future NZ Government could ratify it”.

Download petitions at www.freetobelieve.org.nz and return signed petitions by 10 November 2010.

Day of Religious Tolerance 16 November

The International Day of Tolerance is a day to explore and encourage The United Nations International Day for Tolerance, it was first observed in 1996. Activities to celebrate the day seek to promote recognition of the need for tolerance, including religious tolerance. Around the world the day is a celebration of ecumenism and interfaith pluralism.

Fundraising CDs of sacred songs

Fundraising CDs sung by Christchurch teenage soprano, Samantha Jeune, have raised over $8000 for the Canterbury Charity Hospital. The CDs, “In My Father’s House” and “Grant Us Thy Peace” are $25 each. Send cheques to: Samantha Jeune – CD For Charity, PO Box 29403, Christchurch 8540 or see www.cdforcharity.org.nz

10 November World Responsible Tourism Day

World Responsible Tourism Day is an international day of action to help protect the world environment and encourage sustainable tourism that: minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts; generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well being of host communities; involves local people in decisions that affect their lives; makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage; embraces diversity and provides more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues and is culturally sensitive.

Charter for Compassion

Bringing together voices from all religions the Charter for Compassion seeks to remind the world that we already share the core principles of compassion. See their Facebook page for more information.

CWS Notices

Christmas Appeal 2010: Share the Care

Sixty five years on from the first Christmas Appeal, we are aiming to make this the best one yet. Under recent government changes many of our partners may no longer qualify for funding. We need all churches to increase their giving so we can continue to support programmes.

A new look Christmas Appeal kit has been sent to parishes. Contact CWS, cws@cws.org.nz or phone 0800 74 73 72 if you haven’t received one. This year’s focus is health and wellbeing. It’s not too late to order resources. Please send your order now.

We are also looking for display spaces. If there are libraries, supermarkets or shop windows where you could put a poster up please contact us. The eye catching posters link to a new web site giving further information on CWS and the partners the Christmas Appeal funds. Please also let us know if you can distribute Christmas Appeal envelopes in your area or hold a street collection. Let’s share the care.

Children’s magazine

The latest World Watch magazine for seven to 12 year olds is now available focusing on a special programme in Zimbabwe providing food for children in drought affected areas. With harvests destroyed, the lunchtime meal children receive at school of nutritional porridge is often their only meal.

World Watch is a free resource with cartoons, puzzles and activities and a teachers’ guide to lead you through a sample lesson plan. If you want copies for your children’s group email youth@cws.org.nz

Christchurch earthquake

CWS returned to its national office in Manchester Street on 4 October. Thank you all for your messages of support and understanding while we worked from temporary premises. Thanks also to Trade Aid for sharing their office space.

Church Register

Ordination and Inductions

Rev Michael Uttley, Licentiate, Kaimai Presbytery, to Associate Minister, The Light House, Welcome Bay, Kaimai Presbytery, 28 September 2010.

Short-Term Appointments

Rev Les Solomona, Member, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister, Stated Supply (half time), St Anselm’s Union Church, Karori, Wellington Presbytery, 1 October 2010, for three months.

Changes in Status

Rev Les Solomona, Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to Member, Presbyterian Support Central, part-time position, Wellington Presbytery, 7 September 2010.

Rev Mika Fa’amausili, Chaplain, Auckland Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Auckland Presbytery, 28 September 2010.


Rev Donald Mence, Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, died 25 September 2010.


The Very Rev Pamela Tankersley, Minister, St David’s Presbyterian Church, Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wellington Presbytery, to Overseas Mission Coordinator, Assembly Service Team, with the status of Member, Wellington Presbytery, 16 August 2010.


Check out our listing of national and regional events.


Check out our jobs vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table.