From the Moderator
I might be quite wrong but one thing is worrying me.
It seems we have trouble working together. I fully understand that we can be fully occupied in our own patch, but I suspect we have to push against that tendency and operate more as a team.
The earthquake has thrown the Christchurch parishes together and it has also demonstrated how little that happened before. If this is true in Christchurch, it is probably true in every presbytery. At a recent meeting about a possible Auckland “hub” participants identified closer working relationships as being a more immediate concern. The various arms of the Presbyterian Church are, by-and-large, not communicating. We regularly hear that ministers feel isolated.
By contrast, one of my main impressions after attending the Ratana celebrations was how much that event, bringing church members together from around the country and celebrating together, must build a sense of community and belonging and pride. I tried to imagine a similar event in our Church.
Perhaps Te Aka Puaho is also an example of good collegiality. There seems to be a real sense of knowing that they are all part of the same team. It was a privilege for me, at the Waitangi celebrations, to observe how Judy Te Whiu in Northland was loved and encouraged by the Te Aka Puaho team and, in return, travelled to Ohope for Wayne Te Kaawa’s installation.
Ian Guy rang and took me out for coffee the other day. Do we do that sort of thing often enough?
I am being challenged more and more to think in terms of ministers having social time together; of parishes talking to each other and seeing what they can do together; of presbyteries providing times that simply build relationships and encouraging churches to work together in mission; of people caring for each other enough to take time to listen.
We are different branches of the one “business”. We are not in competition with each other. When there is success in one branch that is success for us all.
By the way, I do have a blog with my schedule, reflections on some of the things I do and some photos. You can find that at http://pcanzmod.blogspot.com/.
I also put out a periodic prayer letter. I really would appreciate your prayer. You can find that here.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
What a wonderful response from presbyteries, congregations and individuals from around New Zealand and overseas. So far we have received over $105,000 in donations to assist Christchurch congregations in the challenges they face. So far over $35,000 of this has been spent on immediate relief and assistance to help both congregations in their loss and also to assist churches who are at the forefront of helping others. Much of the balance of the money we have now, and I know will continue to receive from donors, will be used to support the presbytery and congregations as they put into place more medium term plans to support congregations who have lost the most and to help in outreach and support for their communities.
Congregations and individuals can make an offering by direct bank credit to the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, account number 02 0500 0086963 00. Please include the reference: CHQUAKE. Or, please post to, Financial Services, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, PO Box 9049, Wellington 6141.
The Church in Japan
We have also written to our partner church, the United Church of Christ in Japan and sent them a gift of $5,000 from our Global Mission budget. If you would like to assist directly, please contact me and I will send you their bank details.
The Press Go Board is looking at a number of innovative and positive growth and mission projects. These range from support for ministries committed to outreach and evangelism through to help for building or developing worship and community facilities in growth areas.
We are very keen that church resources are released to assist in these new ventures which we believe will make a real difference in the life and vitality of our Church. However, these ventures cannot work unless we are all prepared to get behind them and share the financial resources accumulated in our accounts or tied up in outdated or under utilised buildings. The Board greatly values the commitment a number of congregations have made to provide regular funding to support new mission endeavors. However, the fact that our congregations between them hold over $100m of cash in their accounts and control over 1 billion of building assets, represents a major missiological and ethical challenge for us. To share the bounty of God’s creation and to release what we have for God’s mission are challenges at the heart of the Gospel. If you would like to find out more, look at the Press Go section of our website, or contact the chairperson of the Press Go Board, the Rev Ray Coster.
Special legislative procedure
The General Assembly decided that now all parish councils as well as presbyteries, UDCs and Te Aka Puaho 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 given to Commissioners explaining why some of these changes were important. All parish councils and presbyteries have now been sent this documentation and will need to set aside time to discuss and vote on the proposals. If you are a presbytery clerk, UDC secretary, or parish council convenor and have not received these documents please contact me. The deadline for replies is 31 August 2011. Information presented to General Assembly and information for presbyteries and parish councils can be downloaded here.
Please note that a corrected version of the Kupu Whakapono and the Commentary is now available. It has been laid out in a clearer format and all typos removed. You might find it easier to use this copy in your considerations under the relevant special legislative procedure.
General Assembly 2012
The likely dates for next year’s General Assembly are Thursday the 11 to Sunday 14 October in Rotorua. The gathering will be jointly hosted by Te Aka Puaho and the Kaimai Presbytery.
Confessions of Faith
As requested by the General Assembly we now have a collection of these in both downloadable and printable forms. You can download the Confession of Faith. The document is over 300 pages long, so if you want us to print you out a version could you send us a request with $40.00.
The Church is seeking a communications manager. The communications manager is responsible for the Church’s overall strategy for communicating with our internal and external stakeholders, including the media. Read more about the role here.
Welcoming of new congregations
On Saturday, 2 April we welcome 11 new Korean congregations into our Church. The service will be held at 7:30 pm at Forrest Hill Presbyterian Church, North Shore City. You are very welcome to attend this very significant event.
Council of Assembly
The Council met in Auckland on the 18 and 19th of March. A summary of their meeting can be found here.
Once again, I would like to express my great thanks for your generous support and especially for the overwhelming commitment of prayers, money, time and goods which have been such a blessing for those in Christchurch.
Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
A new Handbook for Elders is available from the Knox Centre, and the principal and staff are available to lead presbytery workshops on this and other aspects of ministry upon request.
Applications are now invited for six annual music scholarships. The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage and equip young musicians in the conduct of public worship. Each scholarship consists of an expenses-paid two-day workshop on music and worship at the Knox Centre, plus a $250 cash grant. Applicants must be under 30 years of age. The next music and worship workshop will be held in November 2011. The deadline for applications is the 30 April 2011. Enquiries can be directed to the principal of the Knox Centre. Applications should be accompanied by a reference from the applicant’s parish minister.
On the 24 March, a visiting American speaker, Dr Charles Olsen, led a seminar on “Transforming Sessions and Parish Councils into Communities of Spiritual Leaders”. The seminar was recorded. If you would like a copy of the 90-minute recording, please contact the Knox Centre.
Levys in Vanuatu
The Levy family is now settled happily into their roles at Talua Ministry Training Centre in Vanuatu: Paula is teaching English to Diploma of Ministry Students and Roger is seeing to the children’s education and maintenance on the campus. Look for a letter from them on the Global Mission pages of the website in April. If you would like to support them, contact email@example.com
Myanmar Women’s Golden Jubilee
The Presbyterian Women of Myanmar celebrated their golden jubilee in March and invited Angela Norton to be their guest speaker. Angela has become a much beloved part of the church ‘family’ and we are thrilled with the way she has enabled the partnership between the churches. Thank you Presbyterian Women for supporting Angela to take up the invitation. Margaret and I (Pamela) are also going and I will share some of the findings of the Commission on the Status of Women, which I have just attended in New York.
Look at the Myanmar website at http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/national-ministries/global-mission to see the completion of the Deep Water Wells project at Tahan Theological College!
Kids Friendly and Global Mission have joined in a project that aims to connect our kiwi Presbyterian and Uniting church children with their counterparts in Vanuatu. A project has been set up where children from schools administered by the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu will be matched with a children’s group in a Kids Friendly parish in New Zealand. By sharing stories, pictures and resources, we hope we will all learn what it means to be part of God’s wide family and become mission partners, at parish level.
In April, the project will be launched by a visit to Vanuatu schools by Annie Christie and a mission team from Otaki Waikanae Presbyterian Parish, who are spear-heading the work.
Global Mission coordinator
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
The three regional youth coordinators (we have four but Robyn could not make it due to responsibilities in Christchurch) gathered together with Gordon and myself for a couple of days. It is always encouraging coming together with our regional youth co-ordinators. The focus of this particular gathering was on Going Somewhere, our regional leadership training course, and Going Deeper, which has a greater emphasis on youth ministry leadership specifically. Going Deeper is a new training event and will be piloted as a National Camp this November (18th-20th) in Wellington.
On the flight home Gordon, Nga and myself were privileged on the stop over in Christchurch to meet up with Robyn Burnett (Christchurch regional youth coordinator) and a few other youth leaders over dinner. Our youth leaders in Christchurch are doing an amazing job as the support young people and their families and the schools that some of the youth workers are involved in.
In response to the Christchurch earthquake and with consultation with some of our key youth workers in Christchurch, PYM is brining in two experts in the area of trauma counselling specifically for Presbyterian Youth Leaders in Christchurch: Steve Taylor and Angela Swank.
Steve Taylor is running two workshops: “Identifying and managing signs and symptoms of trauma in young people”, and “Vicarious Trauma: Helping the helpers.” Both Steve and Ange are available for one-on-one times with youth workers or groups to help process some of the after effects of the earthquake. If you feel this would be beneficial to you as ministers or key leaders in your church in Christchurch, then please feel free to come and be part of these workshops with your youth leaders. For more information on the workshops go to: http://www.pym.org.nz/25/03/2011/workshops/
Gordon and I meet up with our national equivalents in five other denominations (Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, and Salvation Army). It was helpful hearing what others are up to and there were some areas of resourcing that we are all thinking about and willing to help each other out with.
Presbyterian Women NZ (APW) was represented last month at the Commission on the Status of Women session at the United Nations in New York by Mary McIntyre, National Convenor, and Pamela Tankersley, United Nations Convenor. The theme of the 2011 session was access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.
Ecumenical Women, the coalition of faith-based organisations of which Presbyterian Women NZ is a member, was again an active participant of the UN session, running an orientation day, daily worship sessions, advocacy dinners and briefing sessions on a regular basis. Pacific Women’s Watch NZ ran an event, “Claiming Space for Pacific Women in the International Arena”, discussing options for Pacific women to be represented on the recently formed United Nation Women and to be heard at international level.
The New Zealand Ministry of Women’s Affairs hosted a New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific islands forum event “Access to Education = Success in Employment?” - a discussion on experiences from the Pacific. Both these events were well received and added a very positive input from the Pacific. The outcome document from the session has yet to be finalised but will be posted here.
“At its best the church can be a centre that models policies that reinforce gender equality, creates budgets that reflect a desire to invest in women’s equality and which develops networks of women and men who resist systems of patriarchy, domination and abuse. The church can be a powerful transformative vehicle for the teaching, protection and enforcement of women’s rights and gender equality when its constituents and leadership are informed and empowered.”
- Ecumenical Women, 2008
If our new super presbyteries are indeed to resource congregational mission, then it is vital that children, youth and families are represented in these structures.
For some time Kids Friendly has been liaising with those instrumental in effecting the merge of presbyteries north of the Bombay Hills, now known as the Northern Presbytery. Discussion continues as to whether there should be a children, youth and families committee or resource group.
We want to ensure that when presbytery decisions are made children, youth and families are considered. And that when resourcing events are organised, mission with children, youth and families is firmly on the agenda. And that inaugural or any other major presbytery worship includes children and youth.
Out of 400 churches in our denomination, still only 45 are “Kids Friendly” churches. Sixty more are working to improve their ministry to children and I encourage them in this. Some others have wonderful ministry to children and families but have opted not to be part of the Kids Friendly network.
Kids Friendly has become our churches mark for best practise children’s ministry. Of course the spirit and culture is far more important than the brand, but the Kids Friendly name and logo does communicate your intent to your congregation and community (or potential community).
So whatever group you fit, I urge and encourage you to make this the year you review your ministry to children and become a “Kids Friendly” Presbyterian or Uniting Church.
Kids Friendly coach
Finance Manager, Brendan Sweeney provides an update on various matters including the Church's unaudited half year financial performance and confirms the availability of resources to support parish payroll processes. Read the full newsletter.
Information website for those affected by the Christchurch earthquake: canterburyearthquake.org.nz/
Offers of help
Please email offers of help for our Christchurch churches to Martin Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org .
All offers of accommodation
Liz Whitehead, CWS, Christchurch, is generously coordinating all offers of accommodation, email email@example.com or phone 027 257 7112, 03 314 8110.
Coping with stress
The Ministry of Health has made available for free download “Christchurch Earthquake: Coping with Stress” factsheets and cards - understand common emotional reactions to the earthquake, learn positive ways of coping, and identify when to get extra help to cope better. See www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/coping-with-stress-factsheets
Spiritual Growth Ministries 2011 programme
Copies of the 2011 Spiritual Growth Ministries programme of quiet days, retreats and resources for the spiritual journey, and the latest Refresh-Lite, with news of the new editor, are available from Carole Hunt, 55 Navigation Drive, Whitby, Porirua 5024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Selwyn Centre for Ageing & Spirituality Certificate in Pastoral Care of Ageing People
Courses to be held in Tauranga - April, Christchurch - May and June, Auckland - August and September, Palmerston North – May, June, September and October. Courses $85 or $95. Read more information on this course or download the registration form
Enquiries to: Dr Chris Perkins Director, The Selwyn Centre for Ageing and Spirituality, PO Box 44-106, Point Chevalier, Auckland 1246 Email:email@example.com Tel: 09 846 0119 extn 814. Fax: 09 845 0700.
Resources for Shakey Places
Gaynor McCartney has set up "Resources for Shakey Places - Words, music, ideas to comfort and inspire at such a time as this” at http://www.nz-hymns.come2see.co.nz/
You will find:
Hymns/Songs to build hope and faith in rough times,
Liturgies to bring peace and assurance.
Prayers for hope and comfort,
Texts that remind us God is always with us,
Readings that bring encouragement,
Liturgies People have found helpful,
Helpful Activities Opportunities for people to "do" something,
Voices of encouragement and hope, comments and stories.
People are encouraged to send Shakey Places contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Although set up in response to the Christchurch Earthquake, it will also be a useful resource for anyone dealing with or coping in situations of trauma.
Toolbox Parenting Course, Wellington
Parents Inc. offers Toolbox Parenting Courses for parents/carers of 6 – 12 year olds at Island Bay Community Centre, Wellington,
Six Mondays from May 16
7.30 - 9.30 pm (approx)
Couple $90 Single $67.50 (subsidy available)
Register online www.theparentingplace.com or phone Liz (04) 3835114.
Christian World Service’s temporary office is at Christchurch North Methodist. Our contact details remain PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8142; email@example.com; phone 03 366 9274 or 0800 74 73 72. Most staff are working from home and can be contacted through their CWS email or via the office.
We will not have access to our building in the CBD for the foreseeable future and have been unable to remove anything from the premises. Some receipts, cheques and resource orders have effectively been ‘lost’. End of the financial year receipts will not be available for some weeks. If you are awaiting a resource order or your cheque has not been presented, please contact the office. Thank you for your understanding and prayers at this challenging time.
Donations for Christchurch and Japan Appeals can be made through CWS. Watch for updates at www.cws.org.nz
APW/MWF Special Project
Additional resources are now available on Haiti. A PowerPoint of background information and rebuilding images can be ordered from CWS. There is an 8 minute video clip of a housing programme available as MP4, with a DVD version arriving soon. We will also provide a written update on rebuilding efforts. Contact the office to order. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for speaking requests.
Fair Trade Fortnight
Fair Trade Fortnight is coming 7-22 May. CWS is challenging churches that haven’t made the change to consider using only fair trade tea and coffee for their morning teas. If you already are - show off your swap! CWS will collect photos from churches celebrating their swap. Download Show Off Your Swap signs from our website or make your own. Try a Fair Trade Bake Off using as many fair trade products as you can. Send the proceeds to help CWS partners. Worship resources are available. Contact Gillian.email@example.com
Mr Peter Temita, Student Ordinand, Southern Presbytery, to Licentiate, Southern Presbytery, 24 February 2011.
Mr Brent Richardson, Student Ordinand, Christchurch Presbytery to Licentiate, Christchurch Presbytery, 4 December 2010.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Sally Carter, Minister, Christchurch North Presbyterian Church, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister, St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Napier, Gisborne-Hawkes Bay Presbytery, 29 January 2011.
Rev Brent Richardson, Licentiate, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister, Hornby Presbyterian Church, Christchurch Presbytery, 30 January 2011.
Rev Hamish Galloway, Chaplain, St Andrew’s College, Christchurch, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister, Hornby Presbyterian Church, Christchurch Presbytery, 30 January 2011.
Rev Ken Williams, Other Recognised Minister, Nelson / Marlborough Presbytery, to Associate Minister, Calvin Community Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 20 February 2011.
Rev Andrew Scott, Minster, Kaikorai Presbyterian Church, Dunedin, Southern Presbytery, to Minister, Stated Supply, Brockville Community Church, Dunedin, Southern Presbytery, 22 February 2011.
Rev Peter Temita, Licentiate, Southern Presbytery, to Minister, St Giles’ Presbyterian Church, Te Atatu, Northern Presbytery, 10 March 2011.
Rev Arthur Barnfather, Minister Emeritus, Taranaki Presbytery, to Special Ministry, Opunake Co-operating Church, Taranaki Presbytery, 10 November 2010.
Changes in Status
Rt Rev Peter Cheyne, Minister, Calvin Community Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, to Member, Southern Presbytery, 13 February 2011.
Rev John Cromarty, Other Recognised Minister, Wairarapa Union District Council, to Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, 26 January 2011.
Rev Brian Walker, Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, 31 January 2011.
Rev Martin Fey, Licentiate, Southern Presbytery, to Licentiate, Northern Presbytery, 28 February 2011.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries
Rev Cornelia Grant, Minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, to Minister, Kapiti Uniting Church, Wellington Presbytery, 10 February 2011.
Rev Mark Gibson, Minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, to Minister, New Brighton Union Parish, Christchurch, Christchurch Presbytery, 2 February 2011.
Rev Kathryn Walters, Minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, to Minister, Halswell Union Parish, Christchurch, Christchurch Presbytery, 3 February 2011.
Mr Euan Campbell, Lay Appointee, St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church, Tauranga, Kaimai Presbytery, concluded his term, 31 December 2010.
Mr David Baird, Lay Appointee, Christchurch North Presbyterian Parish, Christchurch Presbytery, 10 February 2011, for 12 months.
Rev John Hunt, Minister, St Giles’ Papanui, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, 6 March 2011.
Sister Lorraine Saunders, Retired Deaconess, Christchurch Presbytery, died 16 July 2010.
St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Devonport, North Shore City, Northland Presbytery, ceased to exist 24 August 2010.
Burwood United / St Kentigern’s Parish, Christchurch Presbytery, changed its name to St Kentigern’s Burwood United Parish, January 2011.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.