From the Moderator
I greatly enjoyed attending the Waitangi celebrations with members of Te Aka Puaho for the second year running. This time I took some of my family too. I was reminded once again of the richness of our country’s bicultural heritage. It’s not without its problems and challenges of course, but we have so much to be thankful for, including a democratic system which allows a multiplicity of voices to be heard in relation to the shape and character of our society. What struck me again this year was how strongly the Christian voice was represented in the proceedings, including the powhiri, waiata and karakia.
I was pleased to preach at the inauguration of the new Southern Presbytery on 13 February. Richard Dawson was installed as its first Moderator. I would encourage other presbyteries that may be considering amalgamating to talk with the leaders of the Kaimai and Southern Presbyteries to learn from their experience. After the inauguration service I took the opportunity to catch up with Peter Cheyne who, as you know, is Moderator Designate. I was impressed by the thoroughness of Peter’s preparation for the role. Please keep him and Christine in your prayers as momentum builds toward the General Assembly later this year.
My travel schedule for the year is looking a bit lighter than it was this time last year and I’m aware that a number of presbyteries have not responded to my offer to visit them. If you would like me to do so, please email my arrangements convenor, Martin Stewart.
Grace and peace to you all
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
One of the great privileges of my role is to witness the diversity of our Church and the many ways in which congregations engage with their communities. I am increasingly convinced though that the challenge represented by this increasing diversity will be the challenge of this decade. On one hand people praising God in their own language is a powerful testament to the birth of the Church through the Holy Spirit. But on the other, bridging the cultural, geographic, age and theological distances requires an inordinate amount of time and effort. I think we are prone to forget that the Acts story was not just about faithful speaking but also attentiveness with listening. What is true in biology is also true in our Church. Monocultures face particular vulnerabilities and are prone to disease. In our Church life, from my experience, they also tend to be self congratulatory and defensive. Almost all our monocultural congregations are in serious numerical decline.
Along with every other aspect of discipleship, there is no low cost, low risk option for us. Hospitality, intentional engagement and listening to, and telling each other the stories of our faith will be an essential part of this journey.
General Assembly 2010
The General Assembly will be held from 11 am on Thursday 30 September to no later than 5 pm on Sunday 3 October in Christchurch.
A memo sent recently to all presbytery clerks regarding the presbytery reform decisions made at the 2008 Assembly, as well as a reminder of the process whereby proposals may be brought to the Assembly, can be viewed. Memo to Presbyteries.
Moderator elections for the 2012 General Assembly
Parishes are invited to consider names of suitable nominees for the role of Moderator to bring to their presbytery/UDC.
Each presbytery/UDC should consider all the names submitted both from their parishes and from their own presbytery/UDC. The presbytery/UDC votes, and recommends one person as Moderator-Designate. This name needs to be posted by the 30 March 2010 to: The Convener of the Nominating Committee, Ann Owen, 12 Aongatete Road, RD2, Katikati 3178.
The presbyteries that combined after the 2008 General Assembly and whose boundaries await ratification at the 2010 Assembly should use their own processes to allow for a nomination to be made from each of the presbyteries involved in the combination.
The Press Go Board under the leadership of the Rev Ray Coster meet in Christchurch on 10 March to consider further applications and the challenge of engaging our whole Church in supporting this mission support and resource sharing initiative. You can find out here more about the latest Press Go supported mission work and more about how you can participate.
Council of Assembly
The Council meet at the Ohope Marae from 18 - 20 March. Please send me any letters you would like on the agenda, or contact the Council Convenor, the Rev Emma Keown for details.
Korean Presbyterian churches and ministers
Our engagement with Korean ministers and their congregations, many of whom are being supported by a number of Korean based Presbyterian denominations, is an important challenge for us.
Through our Asian Advisory Committee in Auckland we are intending to hold a forum for all Korean ministers and their senior elders who have come here from various Presbyterian churches in Korea. Please note that this event has moved and is now scheduled for Auckland on Saturday 27 March. Contact Stuart Vogel for more details.
The forum is intended to provide these Korean ministers and their congregations with information about the Presbyterian Church and to engage with any ministers or congregations interested in joining in our life and witness. Please let Stuart know of any congregations or ministers who may be interested in attending.
Focal Identity Statement – Kupu Whakapono
Please take the opportunity to engage with the completion of this important faith statement. Use the website for responding if at all possible but the FIS Workgroup are also quite happy to accept email responses.
They will accept responses based on hard copy posted to:
C/- Leith Valley Presbyterian Church
267 Malvern St
Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
From 2 – 7 February 32 young people gathered on Great Barrier Island for the “Going Further “event. It was a great success and we hope to repeat it next year.
On 8 February, the Rev Dr Lynn Baab delivered this year's inaugural lecture, "Seeing is Believing: Visual Communication and Visual Arts in Congregations Today". It was a very good paper and can be downloaded.
Please uphold our new ordination students in prayer as they begin their parish-based internships. We have 10 students commencing their training this year, and together with the six students entering their final year of training a total of sixteen students are on our books - the highest number for some years.
The new Knox Centre facilities are almost complete and we should be moving into them within the next few weeks. It will be great to have the teaching rooms, common room and staff offices all in the same area rather than spread over the Knox College campus.
Applications are now invited for the six annual music scholarships and project grants. Details are on our website. Do encourage your young adults (up to the age of 30) to apply. Deadline for applications 30 April 2010.
Applications are also invited for ministers' study leave grants. Details can be found here. The deadline is 31 March 2010.
Finally, a fresh initiative: we want to encourage people to undertake Biblical and theological studies, whether they are a one-off paper or a full programme of study. To this end, we are pleased to invite funding applications from anyone in the Presbyterian Church or Uniting congregations who is undertaking theological studies this year, whether at diploma or degree level. Just write a letter addressed to the Principal of the Knox Centre, including details of the paper(s) you’re doing, what your church’s involvement is, and the name and contact details of someone in your church (preferably your minister so we can discuss your church’s involvement and the course of study). It would also be helpful if you could tell us why you chose your course of study. The deadline is 31 March 2010.
Putting a specific timeframe on a mission enabling project is not always possible. In fact the work is often so complex that the Enabler John Daniels is required to simultaneously keep in mind a large number of issues, personalities, processes and projects, and to give room for each to work its way to its conclusion.
In the last few months, two long-term developments that John (along with many others) has been involved with have begun to bear fruit. The first of these is large presbyteries. Kaimai (incorporating the former Waikato and Bay of Plenty Presbyteries), and the Southern Presbytery (incorporating the five presbyteries that formerly made up Otago and Southland) have now been inaugurated. Other presbyteries are discussing the process of amalgamation.
The second long-term development is Parish Development Reviews. The first/pilot training workshop took place in Balclutha on the 5 February with 40 participants from Otago and Southland. Further training is scheduled around the country between now and June. For further information and dates please email the Rev Dr Susan Jones, who, along with a team, is coordinating this process.
John Daniel and the National Mission team have also been extensively involved over the last year in mission initiatives in parishes and/or presbyteries, encouraging their mission vision and making resources available. This enables mission-minded people to be increasingly released into their calling, and provides greater involvement of church in community.
To mention just a few of these mission initiatives: Auckland, South Auckland, Hamilton, Northland, Ashburton, and the Timaru cluster churches. Further mission opportunities are scheduled over the next few months, including Methven, Wairarapa and a Mission Possible gathering. John has also been invited to speak in March at the ecumenical Church Health / Growth consultants’ forum, organised by the mission resourcing of the Methodist Church.
- from the National Mission Team
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
The recent Going Further event on Great Barrier Island was very special. It was a privilege to get to know a number of young adults from throughout the country who serve in their churches. From conversations I had with those that participated, people where challenged and inspired both in their faith and the contribution they can make to the churches they belong to. It was also encouraging to hear how those involved in smaller churches had a strong sense of belonging and family. The challenge will be what happens when they move location? Will they find a place to belong to or will community become elusive?
Jason Goroncy of the Knox Centre recently sent me this link to a discussion on, “Is youth ministry killing the Church?” (there are some excellent responses to the minister that started this conversation). I would be interested in your responses to this question, so if you get a chance email me your thoughts.
It is a healthy process for developing a faith community to periodically rethink why we do what we do and whether we can do it better. This includes thinking about whether some of our models of youth ministry contribute to young people’s faith development or are detrimental. We need to re-imagine more holistic, healthy approaches to youth ministry that do not segregate young people from the wider witness and life of a church community.
This website has some useful interviews and resources for thinking about ministry to young people, and the current issue of this free youth workers journal has the theme of missional approach to youth ministry and youth culture - a number of experienced practitioners and researchers contribute to the conversation.
Turakina Maori Girls' College Boarding Scholarships
The total of the Appeal now close to $ 55,000! It has been agreed that the cut off date for receiving Appeal funds will be 31 March 2010. Any funds received after this date will go towards APW's annual Turakina Girls’ College Bursary Fund.
Thank you very much to congregations and different Church groups for the generous response to this Appeal.
In November 2009 the Policy and Administration group of APW met with the school principal, chaplain and bursar to discuss the allocation of funding for boarding scholarships for their students. It had been suggested during the Appeal that we try and raise funds towards Boarding Scholarships of $5000 each. During the discussion the principal thought it might be worth considering awarding scholarships of between $1000 - $1500, to students according to merit to encourage them to return to school, and to also provide boarding scholarships to new students. By the end of March it is expected APW will be invoiced for the students who have been awarded boarding scholarships (this national Appeal was to provide assistance to the College for over two years).
Young and Old
Imagine how our nation would be impacted if New Zealand parents took to heart Moses’ instructions to, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning.”
At a recent conference the Rev Mark Griffiths reminded us that the words of Moses are not only directed at the nuclear family (Bah’ith), but at the tribe (mish-paw-khaw) or in our context, our community of faith. Everyone who is part of the faith community is instructed to (and does so whether conscious of it or not) witness his or her faith to the younger members of their community. Mark suggested that when we communicate our faith negatively, we immunise children against Jesus for life! A sobering thought. Let’s get that wonderful resource that our churches are full of - our older, wiser, faithful people - to buddy up with younger Christians, because when they do amazing things happen.
Kids Friendly recently worked with churches in the Waikato to run our second “Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders” camp. Every child was required to attend with an older mentor from their church, and once back home to continue their leadership development together for a year.
If your church is interested in positively linking young with old(er), contact Kids Friendly. Imagine what could happen to our churches if we took Moses’ instructions to heart.
Kids Friendly Coach
Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership Scholarships
Ministers Study Grants
Are you a Presbyterian minister planning on further study? Do you know that you can apply for a study grant from the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership?
Applications are invited in March and September each year for post- ordination study grants.
In normal circumstances grants do not exceed one-third of the study costs involved and may be held in conjunction with other scholarships and grants other than the Postgraduate Scholarship.
Enquiries to: The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street Opoho, Dunedin. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date for the next round of applications is 31st March 2010
Post Graduate Scholarship 2010
The scholarship aims to promote and develop the theological and teaching resources of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. In order to qualify for 2010, you must have graduated from the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership (previously the School of Ministry) between 2005 and 2009. The scholarship will contribute to the cost of fees, travel and living expenses for one year, incurred as part of post-graduate study in New Zealand or abroad. Submission deadline is 31 March 2010.
Church Property Trustees Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors will remain at 4.75% for March. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information contact the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
Lost a spouse through death or separation or divorce? Dealing with grief?
Beginning Experience is a peer ministry designed to assist those who have lost a spouse through death or separation or divorce to assess where they are in their own grief and to make a new beginning in life. In New Zealand the Anglican and Catholic Churches provide oversight. It is open to all people irrespective of faith or gender.
There will be a Beginning Experience weekend for the widowed, divorced and permanently separated to help resolve the pain and grief of the loss of the marriage relationship. Runs Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.
Upper North Island, 19 – 21 March, contact Roanne 09 574 2482. Lower North Island, 9 – 11 April, contact Mike 04 232 2382.
Lindisfarne College appoints new Rector
Lindisfarne has appointed Ken MacLeod as Rector. Ken will take up his position at Lindisfarne at the start of the second term 2010. Previously Ken was associate head of studies at St Kentigern College, Auckland. Ken has a strong Christian faith and is committed to the College's special character and values. Ken is married to Margo and has three teenage children.
eBook by Anna Johnstone available for Lent and Easter
Anna Johnstone has written the book, The Cross Walk and it is available as an eBook. In this format images and poems can be copied to power-point and used in worship services, quiet days or retreats.
Anna is a member of Albany Presbyterian Church and has written liturgical resources for the Church as well as three other books.
WCC Ecumenical Water Network delves into "Holy Waters" during Lent
"Holy Waters" is the theme of this year's Lenten reflections provided by the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN). The weekly reflections explore the connection between the way water is used in different liturgical practices. Download from the EWN website.
Explore faith in a dynamic way in Japan
3-13 November 2010.
St Ninians, Christchurch, is offering a 10 day cultural and spirituality experience in rural southern Japan. The experience includes visits to Kyushu, Hiroshima and Kyoto. The group is limited to 12 people and will home stay in small-town rural Japan, and visit Buddhist, Shinto and Samurai sites in the area. There is opportunity to talk with folk from other faith traditions, and to reflect together on our own. You will be far from the tourist bubble! You will experience a Japan unavailable to tourists, travelling with the Rev Rob Ferguson.
Cost: $4,600 per person, plus airfares.
Appeal for computer equipment for Goldie College Solomon Islands
Goldie College, a United Church Solomon Islands school badly needs a reasonable number of computers for pupils. The college is behind other national secondary schools in pupil computer literacy as it has just four computers provided by the government, but with classes of forty pupils that is inadequate. Consequently Goldie College pupils experience difficulty in using computers when they go on to tertiary education, or seek employment.
The purpose of this appeal is to raise funds to purchase more computers for student learning.
Donations to John Roberts, Methodist Mission and Ecumenical, 22a Penney Avenue, Mt Roskill, Auckland 1041. Cheques should be made out to Methodist Mission and Ecumenical and accompanied by a note stating it is for the Goldie College Computer Appeal. Methodist Mission and Ecumenical is registered with the Charities commission so you can claim a tax rebate on the donation.
Prison Fellowship New Zealand 2010 Volunteer Conferences
Prisons are often in the news but few people really know how the system works and the
various opportunities there are to assist prisoners in their rehabilitation and reintegration. Prison Fellowship New Zealand runs effective programmes and services, most of which are led by volunteers like YOU! Please attend one of the three free conferences below and find out how you can volunteer.
Tauranga- Bethlehem Baptist Church, 5 and 6 March 2010
Napier- The Oasis Community Christian Centre, 16 and 17 April 2010
Christchurch – Horticultural Society Hall, South Hagley Park, 7 and 8 May 2010
If you would like to attend a conference register here.
NEW Lenten Study Resources Available from World Council of Churches
On the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, 25 November, the World Council of Churches (WCC) announced a series of Lenten study resources, "Cries of Anguish, Stories of Hope," for congregations and individuals who want to help end violence against women. Download the resources here.
Auckland conference to mark the centenary of the World Missionary Conference
Friday 18 June 2010, 2.00-8.30pm and Saturday 19 June 2010, 9.30am to 5.00pm.
St John’s Theological College
202 St John’s Road, Meadowbank, Auckland.
A conference to mark the centenary of the landmark World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh in 1910. This Conference reshaped the churches’ approach to world mission. Facilitators include the Presbyterian Church’s Rev Dr Stuart Vogel and Dr Carlton Johnstone.
For information John Roberts, email email@example.com or phone: 09-6266130.
Thanks to the support of New Zealand churches and supporters, CWS has so far sent $145,000 to the ACT Alliance relief appeal and long term partner, the Institut Culturel Karl Leveque. The newly formed ACT Alliance has mounted a huge relief effort, helping over 150,000 people with food, water, sanitation, hygiene supplies, shelter, mobile health clinics and trauma counselling. With the start of the rainy season Haitians needs are more pressing.
CWS media officer, Greg Jackson, leaves on 4 March for Haiti. Please keep him, other ACT workers and the people of Haiti in your prayers. CWS has a PowerPoint available featuring powerful images of Haitians surviving in the aftermath. For a copy contact us.
Please consider holding a special event to raise funds for this major appeal. Donations can be made at www.cws.org.nz or sent to CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8142.
World Water Day Resources
CWS has prepared worship and background material for World Water Day, celebrated each year on 22 March. They available from the office or here.
New global church aid giant
In February ex-CWS director, Jill Hawkey, spoke in Christchurch about the new global giant of humanitarian aid, the ACT Alliance, and her role as second-in-charge.
The ACT Alliance has a (US) $2 billion yearly budget and a staff of 40,000. Christian World Service is part of the new group which merges development and emergency response work.
Jill Hawkey spoke of the opportunities to better respond to local needs and injustice through the ACT Alliance.
Ordination and Inductions:
- Rev Anne Thomson, Minister Stated Supply (half time), First Church of Otago, Dunedin, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, to Minister (half time), First Church of Otago, Dunedin, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, 18 February 2010.
- Rev Cherry Thompson, Minister Stated Supply, Central Southland Presbyterian Parish, Southland Presbytery, to Minister Central Southland Presbyterian Parish, Southland Presbytery, 28 January 2010.
- Rev Heather Kennedy, Local Ordained Minister, First Presbyterian Church Invercargill (half-time), Southland Presbytery, was inducted also to Regional Resource Ministry (half-time), Southland Presbytery, 2 February 2010.
- Rev Ian Crawford, Local Ordained Minister, Windsor Community Church (part-time), Southland Presbytery, was inducted also to Regional Resource Ministry (part-time), Southland Presbytery, 2 February 2010.
- Rev Warwick Hambleton, Minister, Trinity Co-operating Church, Huntly, to Minister Emeritus, North Shore, 1 February 2010.
Changes in Co-operative Venture Ministries:
- Mr Lee Robertson, Lay appointee of the Baptist Church, appointed to a 2 year term, St Aidan’s Presbyterian Church, Putaruru, Kaimai Presbytery, 25 January 2010.
- Rev Ruth Sandiford Phelan of the Methodist Church of NZ, completed her term as Minister, St Paul’s Co-operating Parish, Taumarunui, Kaimai Presbytery, 31 January 2010.
- Rev Warwick Hambleton, Minister, Trinity Co-operating Church, Huntly, to Minister Emeritus, North Shore, 1 February 2010.