From the Moderator
The figures are staggering - 8 million people in need of food and shelter, 14 million in need of health care, and 17 million acres submerged in water. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has described the flooding in Pakistan as, “…one of the greatest tests of global solidarity in our times,” and likened it to a “slow-moving tsunami”.
O God, our refuge and our strength,
we lift before you in prayer the people of Pakistan in their time of need.
Comfort those who grieve,
feed the hungry,
strengthen the weak,
and provide refuge for the displaced.
Translate the compassion that is being felt around the world
into a generosity of spirit and a commitment to prayer.
Bless the work of the Pakistani authorities, the United Nations and international charities,
that they might be channels of your comfort and care.
Guide both the delivery of humanitarian aid,
and the reconstruction of communities.
Alert us to other areas of need in our world,
and keep us always from indifference and apathy.
These things we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
The qualities that represent the character and ethos of our Presbyterian Church seem to me to be revealed through the processes around the organising and conducting of our General Assembly. That a four-day event, held biannually, can capture these things is an interesting phenomenon. The work that goes into trying to achieve a balance of elders and ministers, and the effort to ensure that the event runs smoothly and that business is conducted in a particular kind of way, speaks to what it means to be Presbyterian. That we organise ourselves for debate, that we have a lawyer present throughout our proceedings, and that we have a rule book to define our processes testify to the kind of Church and people we are.
That all of this is consistent with the teaching of Scripture, and reflects the wisdom revealed in our historic confessions, and emerges out of the writings of Church reformers (especially a French lawyer called Calvin and a Scotsman called Knox), leaves us with quite a lot to ponder. The fact that more than 100 million Christians in the reformed tradition all support similar events and processes suggests the power of a particular Presbyterian hegemony, or that there is something in the way we order and identify ourselves that has appeal across a broad cultural diversity – or perhaps it is a mixture of both.
If you are coming to General Assembly, I do look forward to seeing you there and hope that you feel able to contribute and participate fully in the event. If you are not coming, we need your prayers and interest. Please follow the Bush Telegraph email link to sign up for a summary of the day's business prepared by our communications team.
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. 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.
2. Parishes have now less than two weeks to vote for the Moderator-designate. Each parish council should have received a list of 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 Monday 13 September. A JP will supervise the counting of votes. If you have not received these voting forms, please contact me immediately.
3. By Tuesday 14September, 2010 the following needs to be at this office:
- Any late reports or proposals dealing with matters that have arisen since 30 July, 2010.
- Any appeals or references from presbyteries/UDC’s or Church Councils.
- If there are any notices of motion received by the office before the 14 September, these will also be sent out prior to the General Assembly.
4. If you have notified us that you are attending the General Assembly, and have not received any papers, please contact Margaret Fawcett.
Church's submission on New Zealand's liquor laws
As you will no doubt know, concerned about New Zealand's heavy drinking culture our Church produced a submission to the Law Commission on New Zealand's liquor laws The wider Church was encouraged to comment, to read the draft submission and to give feedback; we also encouraged churches and individuals to make their own submissions to the Commission.
The Church recently responded to the proposed changes to the liquor laws. Moderator the Right Rev Dr Graham Redding said the Church will continue to call for the changes we recommended in our submission. You can read more in CWM News.
Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Please note that the deadline for applications for Ministers’ Study Grants is on 30 September. Check out the Knox Centre web site for details.
National Mission Enabler, John Daniel has a busy month preparing for the CWM Pacific Roundtable Meeting to be held in the Solomon Islands in late September, followed on by General Assembly.
In the book, “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media” (published in July 2010), author Bradley Wright points out that negative statistics are often used by Christian authors and pastors to frighten readers out of a particular way of thinking. Regrettably, the end result is that negativity is believed and the truth gets lost.
Even worse is when statistics that appear to have no credible source are used over and again to make a point, such as the often quoted, “1,500 pastors are burning out every month in the USA”. Recently, one writer updated this, “1,600 pastors are dismissed by their congregations every month”. The sheer absurdity of the numbers doesn’t seem to faze the writers.
One of the National Mission Office’s important tasks is to produce accurate statistics, demographics and other helpful information. How do these help parishes and presbyteries? They enable those at the coalface to gain a bigger picture of their area, to see connections that would otherwise be overlooked, and to understand who lives in their suburb or town.
An aging church in Invercargill thought the suburb it was located in consisted of older people. The demographics showed that in fact a number of young families had moved into the area. Once this was recognised the church rethought its mission strategy and is now engaged with its real, not imagined, community again.
The National Mission Resource blog regularly highlights trends and stats, along with mission and leadership tools. You can also opt in to receive the National Mission ezine by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointment of the Overseas Mission Coordinator
I’ve been coordinator for Global Mission for one week – a busy time. You can reach me at email@example.com and on 027 491 0677 (these are the contacts whether I am in Wellington or working from home in Palmerston North).
Kevin Heath, from St Andrew’s in Mt Maunganui, and I are about to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. It will be held on Maskelyne Island (it will take several small flights, a hike and a boat trip to reach).
We will visit Ken and Jenny Williams at Talua Ministry Training Centre. They are planning to return home to New Zealand at the end of this year and we are currently considering applicants to replace them.
Roger and Paula Levy and family (including new baby) are returning to Onesua High School in October. Their mission will be sponsored by St Alban’s in Palmerston North. However, donations for the Levys can still be sent to the Presbyterian Church’s financial services department. You can read about the Levys in the latest Spanz.
Our mission partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar is well underway. Angela Norton from St Columba has spoken with many of you in Canterbury about the work we are engaged in. See the website if you would like Angela to talk with your presbytery, church or other group, or to sign up for Mingalaba (the email newsletter) or to give to the Rice Bowl Fund.
Donations to the work of Global Mission
Donations for our overseas projects and partners can be sent to Global Mission, Assembly Office, PO Box 9049, Wellington 6141 or email Brendan for information on other ways to give.
International Guests at General Assembly 2010
At our General Assembly in Christchurch we will have around 15 international guests from Asia and the Pacific.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Recently national and regional youth and children’s staff gathered for a weeks training and orientation at KCML. Graham took us on a whirlwind tour of our Presbyterian history and ethos and how this can enrich our roles as we serve local churches and presbyteries. Lynn Babb facilitated a discussion around spirituality, and Kevin Ward provided us with some useful tools for engaging and assisting churches in the area of change for the sake of the kingdom of God. Rod Baxter, from the Boys and Girls Institute (BGI) in Wellington, led us in a training session on supervision with the most creative use of Mr Potato Head I have ever seen (with the exception of “Toy Story”).
On the topic of supervision…just a reminder that PYM has a fantastic supervision resource available for all youth workers in our Church who are involved in or are considering supervision. Best of all the resource is free (unless you are ordering a whole lot). Email us and we will post one to you.
Gordon and I were part of the first Auckland children, youth and families expo that Emily Wotton put on. It was an excellent event with youth and children’s leaders, ministers, and church leaders from 22 churches attending a stellar line-up of workshops and gatherings.
I spent an exciting day down in Christchurch recently with Ross Davis, Director of BGI, getting a first hand experience of 24/7, the school-based ministry. We spoke with a school Principal and 24/7 workers, including those connected with Hornby and St Margaret’s Presbyterian churches, about the impact this ministry serving schools and young people is having. 24/7 is a missional opportunity for local churches to become involved in connecting with and supporting one of the key hubs of a community - the local school. If you are interested in finding out more, get your people to speak to my people and we will go from there.
APW/MWF Special Project 2010-2011: Building Holistically for the Future
The APW/MWF Special Project for 2010-2011 encourages understanding of both the plight of people in New Zealand struggling to become home owners, and the vast number of people in Haiti who are experiencing ongoing poverty.
Our aim is to do more than help with the rebuilding in Haiti after the January earthquake, we seek to fund aid to break the poverty cycle and set people up for long-term quality of life.
Habitat for Humanity helps those prepared to work hard to help themselves. Low cost properties in suitable areas are purchased and volunteers work to upgrade them and build basic homes. People are able to rent, and later own, the houses at affordable repayments.
70 per cent of project money raised will go to Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand, and 30 per cent will go to Haiti through CWS and Act Alliance.
Our thanks to David Lawson, of Habitat for Humanity, and Liz Martin, of CWS, for drawing together information about the project for our website.
For more information and speakers, contact your local Habitat for Humanity branch, CWS in Christchurch or their field workers Jacqui Ryan and Andrew Johnston.
Please send your project financial contributions to your national MWF or APW treasurer by 31 August 2011.
APW Missions Dept
Rae Simpson: 12 Kotanui Ave, Army Bay, Whangaparaoa 0930. firstname.lastname@example.org 09 424 4274
Julia Buckingham: Selwyn Heights, 20/42 Herd Rd, Hillsborough, Auckland 1042. email@example.com 09 624 3607
Vaotane Samoa Saleupolu: 24 Redoubt Rd, Greenwood Heights, Manukau 2105. firstname.lastname@example.org 09 263 4484
Rosa Faafuata: 801 Queen St East, Parkvale, Hastings 4122. email@example.com 06 876 7965
A reminder that application forms for APW Study Grants are available on the APW website. Interested candidates are encouraged to complete their applications as soon as possible.
A Kids Friendly culture
Forty seven of our churches have reviewed their ministry to children and families using the Kids Friendly self-review resource, and 40 more are in the process of doing so. Churches report that the process is helpful as it highlights opportunities for more effective children’s ministry, and it also affirms successes.
The Kids Friendly self-review resource is not meant to be prescriptive, but rather provide a range of ideas and ideals to help churches raise the bar for their ministry to children.
Becoming a Kids Friendly church is not a destination, but a journey. We therefore encourage churches to re-review every two years. I am enormously encouraged by some of the reviews I receive. Highgate Presbyterian’s B@TCH wrote in their recent review:
“The Kids Friendly ethos was adopted early in the formation of B@TCH so our worshipping community expects and accepts this. Being Kids Friendly is part of our fabric. Our relaxed atmosphere means families don’t feel anxious about the noise and movement children make. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children and explain things that they may not understand during the service. Children are encouraged to help with jobs, such as cleaning up the hall after the service is finished, and to grow in leadership by leading our call to worship, prayers, readings etc. Older children and youth help with sound equipment, music group etc. As the children watch this each week they in turn want to step up and take their turn.”
I am quick to remind our churches that Kids Friendly is not a programme but a “way of being” in our churches. B@TCH’s Kids Friendly ethos sums up this way of being. The Kids Friendly self-review process undertaken by a dream team seems to facilitate culture change in our churches. I encourage you to use it and start the journey.
Kids Friendly coach
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors will increase from 5 per cent to 5.25 per cent, from 1September. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
Trips to Myanmar - January 2011 for two weeks
Experience firsthand the difference we are making in the lives of our friends in Myanmar and feel God's love working in this nation. You'll hear some amazing stories and be privileged to share and serve.
Going to Yangon, Mandalay and Kalaymyo then a two day debrief in Bangkok on the way home. Connect, share and encourage the church women, share at the theological college with students and teachers, there are opportunities for specialised business IT/ development practices to be shared. Pre-travel training on Myanmar history, religion and culture, and team building and mission orientation training.
Trip costs approximately $4,000 NZD (price could vary subject to flight availability and exchange rates) at your own expense. Includes international flights, Myanmar internal flights, accommodation, food, koha, insurance, vaccines and medicines and travel visa. There is some funding available upon application. Fundraising for this trip is also possible.
The Insatiable Moon film opens 7 October
The Insatiable Moon is a kiwi film written by Mike Riddell from his novel based on his experiences with psych patients in halfway houses while minister at Ponsonby Baptist; in particular a Maori man called Arthur (portrayed by Rawiri Paratene) who believed himself to be the next son of God. The novel cost Mike his position at Carey theological college but gave him the freedom to bring the story to the screen. Opens 7 October, coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, 4-10 October.
Toolbox Parenting Course, Wellington, starts 27 September
Toolbox course for parents/carers of children aged 0 - 6 years. Begins Monday 27 September for six Mondays, 7.30 - 9.15pm at the Island Bay Community Centre, Wellington. Phone Liz Bruce on (04) 383 5114.
“Making it Easier to Give to Religious Organisations” information flyer
The Office for the Community & Voluntary Sector has produced this free flyer for religious organisations, it includes information on the tax changes and looks at how churches can take advantage of these changes.
International Day of Prayer for Peace 21 September
On Earth Peace invites you to participate in the International Day of Prayer for Peace.
In the last few years, hundreds of congregations and community groups have connected with On Earth Peace to pray for peace in their communities and our world on September 21.
An initiative of the United Nations and the World Council of Churches, the International Day of Prayer for Peace is a time when the guns, armies and militias go silent as 24-hour ceasefires are observed around the world, and when people join in prayer and speaking about their hopes for a more peaceful world.
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.
WCC needs stewards 18-30 yrs for meetings in Switzerland and Jamaica
NZ Christian Youth 18-30 years can apply now to be World Council of Churches stewards at the WCC Central Communications meeting 8-24 February 2011, Geneva, (20 stewards required, applications close 30 Sept) or the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation, 12-26 May 2011, Jamaica (45 stewards required, applications close 30 Nov).
During the WCC meetings stewards will work in the areas of worship, conference room, documentation, press office, sound, and other administrative and support tasks. Before the meetings stewards will follow an ecumenical learning programme on the ecumenical movement worldwide. Following the meeting stewards will focus on designing ecumenical projects to implement back home.
The WCC will cover board and lodging expenses. Travel costs to and from Geneva/Jamaica are to be met by the steward, however a travel subsidy may be granted to applicants from NZ. All stewards granted subsidies are expected to make a cash contribution – within their capacity – towards travel expenses.
Lord Nicholas Stern lectures on climate change, Auckland and Wellington
Lord Nicholas Stern will deliver lectures on climate change at 7pm on 8, 9 and 10 September, in the Fisher and Paykel Appliances Auditorium, The University of Auckland, Business School, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland. The lectures will be broadcast live to four other theatres in the Owen G Glenn Building and to Victoria University of Wellington, Pipitea Campus, Lambton Quay, Wellington. Seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Time for Creation, 1 September until 10 October
Lecture: The Feminisation of Mission? The Presbyterian Maori Mission 1907-1970
by Dr Lachy Paterson
Knox Centre Seminar Room, Hewitson Wing, Knox College
Arden Street, Dunedin.
Thursday 9 September
5.30 pm -7 pm
Refreshments at 5pm, gold coin Donation
Lecture will explore the increased involvement of women in church affairs, how this impacted on the place of women within the Presbyterian Maori Mission/Synod in the twentieth century. Dr Lachy is a lecturer in Māori Studies at Te Tumu, University of Otago. This current research is being undertaken with the blessing of Te Ako Puako, and in conjunction with Te Whakapapa o te Whakapono: Linegaes of Faith, a University of Otago research group.
Download free ideas on how to engage with your community online
Bang the Table has produced a free short booklet offering 100 ideas on how you can engage with your community online. This short booklet covers ten big issues including: why engage online, planning to engage online, creating rich and engaging content, promoting your online content, anonymity in online forums, moderating online forums and following up with your community.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership 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?
1. The proposed course of study will aid the applicant's professional development.
2. There is a potential benefit to the Church and the probability of significant service to the Church.
3. Parish and presbytery approval has been obtained for the study, where appropriate.
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. Grants are not made retrospectively and relate only to costs to be incurred by the scholarship holder themselves.
Applicants are asked to address the criteria and set out their expected costs including conference fees, tuition fees, basic accommodation and travel, and to supply any other information that may be relevant.
Enquiries to: The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street Opoho, Dunedin. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for applications is 30September 2010.
Japanese exchange opportunity for those 23-40 years
Japan's Cabinet Office Director-General for Policies on Cohesive Society seeks13 New Zealand young leaders in non-government organisations to go to Japan to participate in the 2010 Young Core Leaders of Civil Society Groups Development Programme. You must have a minimum of three years experience with older people, youth and disability and will visit Japan for 10 days in February 2011. Apply before 7 September 2010. For more information email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The flooding catastrophe in Pakistan is now on such a massive scale that it is difficult to comprehend. At least 20 million people are affected - one in ten of the population. More people are left homeless than reside in New Zealand. Crops and livestock have been swept away so a food crisis looms. Water borne diseases are expected to spread. Children can’t sleep through fear of the sound of water. They desperately need our prayers and financial support. Please organise a special appeal event in your parish. Contact CWS us if you require any images or stories (phone 0800 74 73 72 or email email@example.com). Regular updates and a five minute video are available.
A food week challenge
The Churches Week of Action on Food is coming up 10-17 October. Join thousands of people, churches and communities around the world in a movement calling for change in the way food is grown, sold, distributed and shared. Put your sermon writing skills to the test. Week of Action organisers, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, are holding a competition for sermons on food and gender. See our website for more information and resources on the week.
Father’s Day with a difference
How about a goat, cement or a year’s supply of water for your father? Gifted gifts are fun and different – helping communities work their way out of poverty and providing the recipient with a magnetic memento of the change their gift is making. Contact CWS for a catalogue.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Silvia Purdie, Licentiate, Manawatu-Wanganui Presbytery, to Minister, Foxton/Shannon Co-operating Parish, Manawatu-Wanganui Presbytery, 25 July 2010.
Rev Cameron Sinclair, Minister, North-East Valley – St David’s Presbyterian Church Redevelopment Unit, to Minister North East Valley – St David’s Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 15 August 2010.
Rev Geoffrey Skilton, Minister, Mornington Presbyterian, Dunedin, Southern Presbytery, to Minister, Highgate Presbyterian, Dunedin, Southern Presbytery, 22 August 2010.
Rev Eijmbert (Bert) Schoneveld, Minister Emeritus, South Canterbury Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, 20 August 2010.
Rev Rhys Pearson, Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, to Transitional Minister, Kaitaia Union Parish, Churches Together in Northland, 25 July 2010 to 26 July 2011.
Mr David Baird, Lay Appointee of the Methodist Church of NZ, to St John’s Union Church, Opotiki, Kaimai Presbytery, 8 February 2009, for a two year term.
Mr Bruce Albiston, Lay Appointee, Waihao Co-operating Parish, South Canterbury Presbytery, 11 April 2010.
Rev Larry Grosse QSM, Minister Emeritus, North Shore Presbytery, died 11 June 2010.
Rev Lawrence More QSM, Minister Emeritus, North Shore Presbytery, died 1 July 2010.
North-East Valley – St David’s Presbyterian Redevelopment Unit, to North East Valley – St David’s Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 15 July 2010.