The Council of Assembly met at the St Francis Retreat Centre, Auckland, on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 August 2012.
Te Aka Puaho
The moderator of Te Aka Puaho, the Rev Wayne Te Kaawa, and Council member Mitch Jaram reported on the work of Te Aka Puaho. Wayne and Te Aka Puaho have represented our Church at the Maori King’s coronation and at the 40th celebration of the Te Whaiti scholarship awards.
Wayne reported that Te Aka Puaho has continued its work in forging significant relationships with the Maohi Protestant Church of French Polynesia. Te Aka Puaho is seeing significant growth in its ministry to children and young people and is looking forward to hosting the book launch of ‘Mana Maori and Christianity’. Te Aka Puaho is prepared for the hosting of the opening of the General Assembly in October – an event which they last hosted more than 25 years ago.
Pacific Islands Synod
The Rev Toko Ine, moderator of the Pacific Island Synod, and the Rev Asora Amosa spoke about the work of the Synod. They provided news on the recent annual meeting of the Synod and about the Synod’s ministry among young people. Both expressed excitement with the recommendations of the special report to the General Assembly regarding the changing status of the Synod.
The Rev Hyeeun Kim spoke about the challenge of becoming a cross cultural church, and the changing face of the PCANZ in light of the growth of Church members from a number of Asian nations.
The Rev Martin Stewart spoke about the successful work done to secure settlement of insurance claims for Canterbury congregations following the earthquakes. Christchurch Presbytery has developed a strategic plan which will be used as the basis for guiding rebuilding and mission. The Council expressed its enormous appreciation of the leadership being shown in this work.
Church Property Trustees
The Very Rev Bruce Hansen talked about the increasingly stringent compliance demands being placed on the Trustee’s role in matters ranging from the Money Laundering Act through to limits on the provision of providing financial advice. Bruce spoke of the CPT’s commitment to support the Church’s mission through the application of Assembly policy, in regard to capital expenditure approval, as well as the challenges we all face in relation to the provision of safe buildings.
The Council enjoyed a presentation by Kids Friendly Coach, Jill Kayser. Jill emphasised that a key determiner of a congregation’s future growth, is its commitment to ministry among children and young people. Jill also spoke about the success of the Kids Friendly website and the eight year history of this national ministry.
The Council greatly valued a report from Dr John Kernohan. Student life at Knox and Salmond is vibrant and positive. Over the coming Christmas holidays significant work is being planned to upgrade facilities and increase capacity. John is helping to coordinate this process and secure the financial support to make this possible. A new position is going to be advertised following former Master Bruce Aitken’s retirement.
The Council expressed its gratitude and thanks for John and the Commission’s work.
Resource Committee and Insurance Report
Cunny Atchison, the Convenor of the resource committee, reported on preparations for the next insurance renewal date at the end of October. Only a portion of congregations are now electing to have insurance cover for earthquake damage.
Cunny reported that the audited accounts would be approved in early September for the General Assembly. They showed a small surplus for the last financial year.
Auckland Hub report
Following the request from the 2010 General Assembly, research has been undertaken to look at a number of options of establishing some kind of Presbyterian centre in Auckland. An Auckland based group is going to pick up on the work which had been coordinated by the Assembly office. The Rev Pauline Stewart is going to work to establish this team.
At dinner and then at dessert and coffee hosted by Cunny and Alyson Atchison, Council members acknowledged the contribution of those who were stepping down at this Assembly. Since our last Assembly, Council members have devoted a great deal of time and skill to the service of the Church through their work on the Council. The Council especially acknowledged the work of Convenor, the Rev Emma Keown, Co-Convenor, Lisa Wells, Convenor of the Resource Committee, Cunny Atchison and Convenor of the Leadership Committee, the Rev Helen Harray as well as thanking our current Moderator, the Right Rev Peter Cheyne.
The next Council meeting will be held in Wellington on 16-17 November 2012.