June 2008


From the Moderator

Greetings to you all from a chilly South Canterbury between the mountains and the sea.

This is a presbytery with courage! With the moving on of four city ministers, and the resulting ministerial vacancies, the presbytery has initiated conversations about how the mission of the town can be better encouraged by the churches working creatively together. I was part of an interesting community-facing project at Chalmers Church. For eight years they have run a public speaking competition for senior students of the local secondary schools. This year the topic was “World Poverty … out of sight, out of mind?” A large audience heard seven challenging and thought-provoking speeches from some passionate young people.

Perhaps the highlight of my month was to be part of the opening of Bethlehem Community Centre in the new housing development south-west of Tauranga. The story of the growth of this congregation and its role in the life of local community is amazing. After consulting the locals widely, they chose first of all to build a community centre – the worship auditorium will come later. It’s a great model of how, if we were to share our capital resources nationally, we might plant enterprises that are so much more than new buildings. Instead, we would focus on making Jesus Christ known in love and hope.

We have all been praying this month for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the earthquake in the Sichuan region of China. The Moderator’s Project with Global Mission for the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar takes on a more urgent focus; please give generously to this. Though we are all hearing the difficulty in getting aid to Myanmar, we are confident that our funds will empower a local church to do what needs to be done for long term recovery.

We have also been asked by the World Council of Churches to pray for peace in Israel and Palestine 60 years on from the partition into two states. Have you visited the Social Justice and the Ecumenical and Interchurch pages on our website lately?. Here you will find information about what our church is doing in these areas and information from other sources too (including Presbyterian Support). Our communications people are always open to adding to the pages!

Our next social issues resource Caring for our Children will be in congregations this month. With it will come the first of a series of publications from the New Zealand Council for Christian Social Services, Let us look after each other: Our Children, Our Treasures. There is good information in these resources and with more to come.

In this election year, the Church must claim its prophetic voice and highlight for politicians and the community what we think are essential questions for a caring society.

Next month, Roy and I will visit Central Otago Presbytery with our workshops and leading of worship. Another instance of inspiring, Christ centred, community facing mission awaits us! In the meantime, may the light and laughter of God be with you all.


Assembly Office update

Dear Colleagues and Friends

I greatly appreciate your responsiveness and help as we work to plan and organise the General Assembly. A big part of this process is ensuring that all congregations are represented by an elder or minister, and that people are fully informed of how to participate in the various decision making processes associate with the event.

I realise that in some important way organising and attending details, as time consuming as it is, is part of what it means to be Presbyterian. Not that we are a church of administrators, but rather that the details of representation and participation are very important to us and affirm principles consistent with scriptural teaching. As much as we might agree or disagree with our brother or sister in the church, we affirm through these processes that no single individual, minister or elder in the case of the General Assembly, is by right of his or her office invested with more decision making power than any other.

Commissioners to the General Assembly

Thank you to all the presbytery clerks and UDC secretaries who have indicated the numbers of elders and ministers attending Assembly 08. We now require the forms listing the names of those attending. There should be four lists: ministers, elders, youth and observers.

Nominations for Moderator-designate

We have entered the third stage in the process for nominations for the Moderator designate. A list of the top four polling nominees with their biographical information has been sent to every parish. Each parish, through its own decision making processes, needs to list the candidates in order of preference on the voting form included and send the form to the assembly office for counting. We need these completed voting forms to the office by July 14, 2008. The counting will take place under the supervision of a JP.

The voting papers will be sent to the address we have for the Session Clerk or equivalent of your parish. If your parish does not receive this information please contact me immediately.

Bringing issues before the General Assembly

The Assembly Office has sent information to presbytery clerks and UDC secretaries outlining the format and process of submitting proposals and references to the General Assembly. If you are planning to bring any matter before the General Assembly contact Heather, heather@presbyterian.org.nz. The processes outlined in this chapter have replaced the practise of bringing memorials, petitions and overtures. All proposals and references to the General Assembly must reach me by 1 August 2008.

Travel to the Assembly

While we have not finalised details of the cost of the General Assembly, it seems to me that it would make good sense to keep an eye on specials like Air New Zealand “Grab a Seat” for those who will need to fly to Wellington. If you know that you will be coming, early bookings save a great deal. You

need to be at St Johns in Wellington city by 11 am on Thursday 2October and departing on the afternoon of Monday 6 October.

Council of Assembly

The Council will be holding its July meeting in Wellington on 10 and 11 July. All papers going before the General Assembly which require the Council’s approval or endorsement must be at the Assembly Office by 5 pm on Wednesday 25 June.


Our prayers are for the people of Myanmar, we share important links with their Presbyterian church. We pray for them and the softening of the hearts of government officials who continue to deny access to those international organisations offering humanitarian aid. We pray too for the people of China as they cope with the devastation wrought by the recent earthquake.

We give thanks for the news of the birth of a granddaughter to Heather McKenzie. Heather is the secretary to the Church Property Trustees and is our Book of Order Advisor and Complaints Officer. Everyone concerned is doing very well.

Thank you for your generous support of the work we do together as a Church.


Global Mission update

Hot Topic

The double disaster in Asia has left us all breathless. One is characterised by a military regime that refuses to allow the victims to benefit from assistance, the other mobilised their huge military resource to respond immediately. One openly restricts and outlaws foreign journalists and the other have been more open than ever before. The losses in the one have yet to be quantified and may never be known whilst the other is well informed on the scale of their disaster. Myanmar is where we have a living and active church partner relationship. For decades China has not been nearly as much of a focus for us as it was in the past. Despite the very real differences, both have demonstrated that the world in general and New Zealand in particular, really does not have the ability to deal with large scale humanitarian disasters.

Destruction in New Orleans and the devastation wrought by the Indian Ocean Tsunami have not changed the general trend to spend more on weaponry than on field hospitals. Despite what is claimed in advertisements and promised by governments, victims of disaster after disaster experience the inability of the world community to provide long term and sustainable relief

The GMO joined the chorus of mission and relief agencies appealing for financial donations. Hopefully you all know by now that our Moderator, Right Rev Pamela Tankersley authorised an Emergency Appeal for Myanmar on top of her two-year Special Appeal which aims to raise $100,000 for the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar by GA08 (we are only about half way to that goal!).

We have friends on the ground in Myanmar. Communication has been painfully slow with long delays between emails. Getting money into the country will be no easy task; it never has been easy, but we will keep at it long after the television footage fades. So please continue to pray and to give generously. We have not launched an appeal for China as we do not think that our donor base is big enough to respond to two disasters of this magnitude simultaneously. Our limited ability to respond to human tragedy should also cause us to reflect very seriously on our understanding of mission and how it dove-tails with disaster relief.

World Refugee Day

A pertinent reminder that such crises are not new is the fact that we have a World Refugee Day, 20 June 2008. World Refugee Day was established to commemorate the huge loss of life, highlight the plight of refugees worldwide and recognise their courage and resilience. World Refugee Day is also an opportunity to highlight the important role that governments and civil society play in protecting refugees and helping them restart their lives. The church can play a huge part in this too. For those of us who live in the Pacific, what are being termed ‘Climate Refugees’ are starting to come into focus. It is highly likely that you have already had a refugee family settle in your church neighbourhood: this challenge has come to our door.

Centenary Celebration of our mission to India

News hot off the press is that our Governor General, The Honourable Anand Satyanand, PCNZM, QSO will be our Guest of Honour at the function to commence our year of celebrations. This will be held Wednesday 1 October 2008 in Wellington. If you know of somebody who should be invited, please contact us and make sure we know about it. I am delighted to say that I am confident a “coffee table book” telling this story in pictures and antidotes will be produced. 

In hope,

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership update

Ministry as White Water Rafting: Rethinking Ministry & Leadership When the Only Constant is Change: A ministry intensive for those over 50

A minister in this age category commented recently that he and most of his peers were ill-equipped for the kind of ministry required today: “In many ways ministers of my ilk were taught to map read on well marked roads, not navigate on stormy seas. Changes are significant and irreversible – while tomorrow continues to arrive ahead of schedule, yesterday can never be revisited.”

Seminar leader, Kevin Ward, is in this age group himself and often finds this a theme being talked about among his peers. As one person put it bluntly, “The way I have done ministry successfully for the last 25 years no longer works.”

The idea of this intensive came out of such conversations, as well as assignments Kevin has read by people in this age group doing his papers on ministry and leadership through the University of Otago and the Bible College of NZ.

The objective is to provide material which will open up new ways of thinking about church, ministry and society today. It is an opportunity for experienced ministry practitioners to reflect on their ministry in conversation with others who are grappling with similar issues.

Date: 1 p.m. Monday August 11 to 1 p.m. Friday August 15
Venue: The Conference Centre, St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington, 
Cost: $500. Presbyterian Ministers may apply to the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership for a grant of $250 toward the cost of this.

The topics covered will be:

  • Our changed and changing context – a time of challenge and opportunity
  • Rethinking theology – from proposition to story, from place to journey
  • Changing our paradigm for church – from maintenance to mission
  • How congregations function – insights from systems theory
  • Moving ministry from management to leadership
  • Implementing significant and lasting change
  • Dealing with diversity in a culture of complaint
  • Preaching in a world of moving images
  • Worship in a culture of irreverence

You will have some preliminary reading and exercises to do. The aim is to be able to do some reflection on your ministry and context informed by some of the best insights of thinkers and reflective practitioners in the fields and also informed by a well grounded awareness of your own situation.

Registrations, including applications for the Minister’s Study Grant, should be made to the Registrar at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership by July 4.

Regional Workshops

When the General Assembly decided in 2006 to establish the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, it expressed a hope that the new Centre would establish training opportunities for a range of ministries, not just the Ministry of Word and Sacraments, and that it would take its programmes to the presbyteries and parishes around the country rather than expect everyone to travel to Dunedin. 

In 2007 we surveyed parish ministers and clerks of sessions and parish councils about ministry training needs. We sent the results of that survey to a number of people in our church who represent a variety of styles and contexts of ministry. We asked them to offer workshops to the church, and were overwhelmed by the positive response. The result is an exciting list of over 50 workshops on offer for 2008/2009. By now, parishes and Presbyteries should have received a workshop brochure. Otherwise check it out on the KCML website www.knoxcentre.ac.nz.

Book Reviews

The Hewitson Library has a superb collection of books and journals. Many of its books are used by our staff in the delivery of their papers and programmes. Others are ordered on the basis of their likely usefulness to ministers in the parish and on study leave. A selection of recent acquisitions has been reviewed by the Principal and staff of KCML. This selection is available on the KCML website (www.knoxcentre.ac.nz)  for your perusal in the hope that you will find something which is of use to your ministry and/or research interest. 

Ministering By Grace: A One-Day Retreat

The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership has much pleasure in extending an invitation to ordained ministers and people in other recognized ministries within the Synod of Otago and Southland to a one-day Retreat, in which we will explore together themes of grace, spiritual disciplines and self-care in ministry. Spouses are welcome too.

Date: Monday 16 June, from 9:30a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Venue: Knox College
Catering: Provided by the Knox College catering team
Cost: Nil. This is our way of giving something back to the Synod of Otago and Southland and showing our appreciation for such generous and consistent support over the years.
What to bring: Bible, pen and paper, persona journal if you have one.

Each session will allow time for discussion as well as personal reflection and journaling.

If you would like to come, please contact the Registrar, Sandra Goodchild (registrar@knoxcentre.ac.nz), as soon as possible. Numbers will be restricted to 50 people. Cut-off date for registrations: Monday 9 June.

National Mission update

We’re continuing our process of updating the National Mission section of the website. The newly-named Resources link now takes you to three subsections: Mission Possible Toolkits, Presbytery Profiles, and Packages. Of these three, the second and third are where you’ll see the first group of changes.  

Presbytery Profiles is where we’re adding useful data and statistical information about each of New Zealand’s presbyteries. This information has been compiled from the 2006 Census, alongside the statistics you’ll find important features highlighted, various charts and graphs to make the information more accessible and some conclusions about how each presbytery looks in terms of demographics (that is, the breakdown of the population into categories such as age, education, gender, income, etc.).

Packages is a short name for a different way of using similar information.  In this section we’re firstly adding Focus on New Zealand Youth and What Presbyterians Are Doing, and shortly after there’ll be a similar package relating to the huge increase of Asian people in New Zealand.

And just a reminder: on the main National Mission page you’ll see a link to the National Mission Resource Blog http://nationalmissionresource.blogspot.com/.  This blog is a place to find quotes, information, anecdotes, tips on leadership, reviews of new books (especially those with a mission focus), links to wellness sites, a brief look at what other churches are doing, and a host of other things.  At present, apart from reading it online, you can link up by RSS feed.  Hopefully in the near future we’ll be able make it available in digest format by email as well.

Members of the Mission Possible team attended the Pastors’ South Island Conference in the second last week of May. All three of the National Mission Office staff were there, along with Jill Kayser from Kids Friendly, and two of the National PYM team: Stephanie Redhead and Robyn Burnett. Jill, Steph and Robyn all took workshops relating to their areas, as did John Daniel on wellness in ministry. John, the Rev Martin Baker and Rev Dr Graham Redding each shared their national perspective at a panel on the Tuesday evening.


APW News

Myanmar Cyclone Relief Appeal

APW responded quickly to the devastating cyclone in Myanmar by donating $1,000 to the Global Mission appeal from its emergency fund. Over the years APW groups have regularly contributed to the emergency fund and are pleased to respond when the need is there.

APW Hosts Regional Gatherings 

For the North Island
Auckland Regional Day, 2008 - “I am the Bread of Life'”
30 August 2008, 9.30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Venue: St John’s Presbyterian Church, Mt Roskill.
An invitation to all women of the church to share in a day of learning and fellowship.
Come and respond with us to this “I AM” statement of Jesus.

For the South Island
A Regional Conference hosted by women of the Ashburton district       
5 to 7 September 2008 – “Many Branches, One Burning Bush”
All women warmly invited to attend.
Please note these dates, more details later. 

St Clair Presbyterian Church Dunedin, 100th Anniversary

Sunday 2 November 2008.
Special Service & Luncheon at 51 Albert St, St Clair.
Indicate your interest in writing to:
St Clair Centenary
Coastal Unity Parish
61 Thorn St,
Dunedin 9012.
For more information ph: 03 487 6367 or email: cavypres@xtra.co.nz

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 www.presbyterian.org.nz.  All information on the Presbyterian Foundation is located in the Resources for Parishes section. The deadline for presbyteries to endorse and forward applications is 15 September 2008.

Exciting Opportunity

Are you a keen enthusiast seeking to take a leadship role in promoting Christian work in Sunday schools, youth camps and out reach to children?

The New Zealand Sunday School union seeks to appoint a person as a Senior Executive. Enquires and conditions of appointment together with a copy of your CV to be posted to PO Box 5166, Wellesley Street, Auckland.

All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

CWS notices

Burma Cyclone Appeal

The death toll has climbed to 100,000 after southern Burma (Myanmar) was struck by Cyclone Nargis on 3 May. Over 2 million people are in need of urgent assistance. CWS is supporting local organisations in Burma who have been responding since the first days of the disaster. Water purification tablets, blankets, food and medicines are still being distributed with temporary shelters built. A lot more will be needed as people seek to rebuild their lives over the months ahead. Donate at www.cws.org.nz or phone 0800 74 73 72.

China Earthquake Appeal

On May 12 an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck the Sichuan region in central China. The death toll is already 35,000 with the Chinese government estimating it could reach 50,000. Nearly 250,000 people were injured and 4.8 million left homeless. In some areas, 80% of all buildings collapsed. CWS partner, Amity Foundation, is providing food, water and shelter to survivors and has an appeal for long term rebuilding of communities. Donate at www.cws.org.nz or phone 0800 74 73 72.

International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel

CWS is calling on New Zealand churches to support the WCC’s week of advocacy and action for a just peace in Palestine and Israel, 4 to 10 June 2008. Activities include: 

  1. Prayer with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem
  2. Education about actions that make for peace and about facts on the ground that do not
  3. Advocacy with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice
  4. Take up Public Action - in order to stress the depth of church concern.

 The action week's message is that it’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace; time to end 60 years of conflict; time for freedom from occupation; time for equal rights; and time for the healing of wounded souls. See the links on www.cws.org.nz for more information.

Global Youth Encounter

Registrations for the huis for peace close on 27 June. Application forms can be downloaded from www.cws.org.nz or contact Liz Whitehead on 0800 74 73 72 ext 108. This is an opportunity for young people aged 15 to 25 to discuss experiences of conflict, violence and peace building with youth representatives from Timor Leste, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The live-in youth conferences will be held at Te Maungarongo Marae, Ohope (18 to 20 July), Camp Wainui, Wellington (25-27 July) and Cracroft Guide Centre, Christchurch (1 to 3 August).

NZCCSS Social justice information campaign underway

Last week the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) began a mass distribution of information brochures that base a call for more action on the following question: Are we looking after our children?

The brochures and an accompanying poster, “Our Children, Our Treasure”, are the first products of a programme launched in March with the support of Church leaders from the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Salvation Army churches.

The overall programme, known as Let Us Look After Each Other - Aroha tētahi ki tētahi, is seeking to raise awareness of social justice and compassion issues in Aotearoa New Zealand. Further information will be released on a monthly basis through to September, and will focus on key election year issues such as services to older people, housing and poverty.

All of the information released is available at www.justiceandcompassion.org.nz  


Hewitson Library latest acquisitions

Click here to see the new acquisitions list for March 2008.

Church Register

The Church Register lists additions to, deletions from, and changes in status on the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Ministerial Roll as advised by Presbytery Clerks as at 18 May 2008 Please amend the roll in your yearbook accordingly.Licensing:

Ordinations & Inductions:

Rev Vosalevu Finai, Licentiate Auckland Presbytery, to Chaplain, Middlemore Hospital, South Auckland Presbytery, 11 May 2008.

Rev Martin Macaulay, Minister Katikati St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Bay of Plenty Presbytery, to Minister East Taieri Church, Dunedin & North Otago Presbytery, 8 May 2008.

Rev Eric Mattock, Other Recognised Minister, Ashburton Presbytery, to Minister Kurow Presbyterian Parish, Dunedin & North Otago Presbytery, 11 May 2008.

Rev Hugh Perry, Minister St Stephen’s Hamilton South, Waikato Presbytery, to Minister St Alban’s Uniting Parish Christchurch, Christchurch Presbytery, 1 May 2008.

Transfers and Change of Status:

Rev Sandra Warner, Minister Ellerslie/Mt Wellington Parish, Auckland Presbytery to Other Recognised Minister, Auckland Presbytery on 24 April 2008. Will be inducted to Minister Pt Chevalier Co-operating Parish, Auckland Presbytery on 21 July 2008.


Rev Ian Haszard, Minister St Andrew’s Stoke, Nelson-Marlborough Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Nelson-Marlborough Presbytery, 29 September 2008.


Rev Dr Tony Martin, Chaplain Dunedin Hospital, Dunedin & North Otago Presbytery, has resigned from his charge and the ministerial roll effective 24 June 2008.


Rev Dr Frank Nichol, Minister Emeritus, Dunedin & North Otago Presbytery, died 19 April 2008.

Ministerial vacancies

Click here to see the full table of vacancies