From the Moderator
Clearly after the recent Christchurch earthquakes some people have had enough. Many are planning to leave the city. Others are living in conditions that we would hate, and the ongoing tremors and lack of information about their future are taking their toll.
The giving of finance has been humbling but, unfortunately, much more is probably going to be needed. Likewise, churches have generously provided Canterbury people with time away from home, but there are now more people struggling.
Part of our family is hurting. Can we, as a family, respond again – a big Church response?
Of course, the need is wider than the Presbyterian Church and so should our response be. However, as examples (and you will think of others) can I suggest:
You link with a Christchurch parish, find out what their needs are and coordinate a response.
You contact a Christchurch minister and offer to come and help for a week.
You coordinate people willing to join the door-to-door teams checking on how people are.
You again raise money for Christchurch.
You again organise for a load a food that can be distributed.
You provide places for strained Christchurch people to have a break and pay for their travel.
You support the dream of raising $50,000 (and that being matched by supermarkets) to provide food vouchers - see the Church website for details.
We do have to be careful that we don’t offer the kind of help that becomes more of a burden for people “on the ground”. Perhaps the best thing is to contact some Christchurch ministers and find out how you can be of genuine assistance.
It would just be great if we could reinforce the fact that they are part of a bigger family that is responding to their need.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
The most significant annual event for our whole Church happens this weekend near Christchurch - the Connect Conference. Well over 200 people involved in the leadership of our Church’s youth and young adults will be gathering to learn, receive support and encouragement, and to worship together. This will be the largest event of its type held in recent times for our Church, and it was fully subscribed several months ago. Credit to our national youth workers Carlton and Gordon and their team for putting together a really great programme including some excellent local and international speakers. The enthusiasm around the Church for this event crosses ethnic and geographical boundaries, and is a very real sign of hope and vitality for our future. Let us hold these young people in our prayers and give thanks to God for their present and future leadership of our Church.
Earthquake Appeal update
What a terrific response! Just under $340 000 has now been given to support our Church community in Christchurch. A significant portion of this has been distributed to support congregations.
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.
We were intending to close the appeal at the end of June, but in light of recent further damage we will continue to keep the appeal open till the end of July.
The Rev Martin Stewart, moderator of Christchurch Presbytery, advises that he has had a fantastic response to the project of several Christchurch parishes taking supermarket vouchers to folk, and indicates that the total has exceeded $50,000. If people want to follow how this develops follow his blog (http://marttherev.wordpress.com/) or email him (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be included in an email group. Martin says, “the generosity of people and parishes here and overseas is profound”. You can write to the Rev Martin Stewart at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Bryndwr, Christchurch, or phone 021 308519.
Many of you will be undertaking your annual budget setting processes. The PressGo Team, led by Ray Coster, has been able to support some wonderfully positive, innovative and church-growth focused mission initiatives around the country. This work can only continue if your congregation agrees to free some of your resources to assist these new initiatives. One day the PressGo team might be able to help you, but in the mean time please consider releasing some of your resources to support this critical work in the life of our Church. Contact Ray for more details and visit the PressGo Church website page.
Special legislative procedure
The General Assembly decided that now all parish councils as well as presbyteries, UDC’s 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. To download a copy of these documents please click here. 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. This material can be downloaded here.
Please note that a fresh copy of the Kupu Whakapono and the Commentary that been corrected of typos and laid out in a clearer format and are now available here. You might find it easier to use this copy in your considerations under the relevant Special legislative procedure.
It has been brought to my attention that while the General Assembly did support the decision to invite parish councils to discuss and decide on proposed changes in our legislation , the Assembly did not go on to approve the immediate adoption of any specific Book of Order legislation supporting this decision.
While we will record all parish council voting in the report for the 2012 General Assembly, it will still only be the presbytery votes that will be referred to in terms of our regulations regarding our special legislative procedure (Barrier Act) proposals. This matter will be resolved at the 2012 Assembly.
General Assembly 2012
The dates for next year’s General Assembly will be on or about Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 October at Rotorua Boy’s High. Hosted jointly by Te Aka Puaho and the Kaimai Presbytery.
Council of Assembly
If there is any matter which you would like to raise with the Council please write to me by 8 July. The Council meet in Wellington on 22-23 July.
At their trustee meeting last week a decision was made to shift the London-based international offices of CWM to Singapore. Next year we will work with CWM to identify sites for the location of a possible small regional office in Auckland. We will also be hosting CWM funded training events for Pacific youth in November and Pacific Women early next year.
Ministry Development Programme
In order for ministers to retain their certificate of good standing, it is essential that they participate in the ministry development programme and complete their first ministry review by October 2013. I will be sending out a reminder, but please get on to this as the number of reviewers are limited and the process can take some time. Many have already benefited from the review process and the consequences of not being a minister in good standing in our church are quite significant. This does not apply to retired ministers, unless they are in, or plan to return to, some active, recognised ministry role. Full details here.
Spousal annuities and the Beneficiary Fund
I initiated an enquiry to the Beneficiary Fund seeking advice on whether or not a spousal annuity is required to be terminated upon the re-marriage of the spouse of a former member of the Fund. They have replied that spousal annuities do not terminate upon re-marriage. Any queries regarding the Beneficiary Fund should be sent to Douglas Langford.
Thanks again for your generous support and encouragement, and especially for the churches and people of Christchurch, and for the terrific group of people committed to the youth and young adults of our Church.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Over the past year the Rev Dr Simon Rae has been writing a history of the former Theological Hall and School of Ministry. The resultant book, Challenge and Change, makes for a most interesting read and was launched 14 June. Over 80 people attended the book launch, and over 50 copies were sold. If you would like a copy at the book launch price of $30, please place your order with our Registrar, Catherine van Dorp.
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.
Global Mission in our neighbourhood
At the Pacific Regional Consultation of the Council for World Mission that we hosted in Auckland in June, a word was used that describes a very important aspect of Global Mission in our Church; we found ourselves considering mission with diaspora peoples.
Diaspora is the Greek word (translated as dispersion) initially used in the time of the New Testament to refer to the people of Israel who were scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Because this Jewish community provided a starting point in each town, the Gospel spread quickly through the Empire - as we read in the story of the Apostle Paul’s journeys.
Today diaspora refers to migrant people who have settled in a new country, yet still identify strongly with their home country, even to the second and third generations. Examples of diaspora communities can be found in the Pacific and Asian communities in the Presbyterian Church in Auckland.
Diaspora peoples often live in a tension between wanting to fit in, and yet not wanting to be assimilated and lose their identity. Because the Church highly influences and strengthens identity and maintains cultural traditions we should be conscious of how this affects our mission partnerships. For example, a partnership with a church like the Kiribati Protestant Church must involve not only the church “overseas” but also the church in New Zealand, as is found with the Kiribati people who have settled in Warkworth, in Waikanae and in other places in New Zealand.
How can we help in that integration into the New Zealand community? Can we help find work opportunities, or organise English language classes? How also can we respectfully encourage celebration of the richness of culture that is added to our communities?
A grant from CWM’s Community in Mission programme will be uplifted to help us look deeper at these questions, particularly with regard to communities from the smaller nations of the Pacific. If you are interested in being part of this mission project (or any others) contact email@example.com
Global Mission coordinator
APW/MWF Special Project 2011-2012 in association with CWS
Our Global project this year is for maternal health in Palestine. In 2000, world leaders committed to work together to build a safer, more prosperous and equitable world. The Millennium Development Goal No.5 is for maternal health. Gaza, Palestine, has one of the highest birth rates in the world. With extreme poverty and ongoing conflict, the maternal death rate is high. Health care is desperately needed. To save mothers and improve life for their families CWS is funding maternal and child health clinics. Here is your opportunity to work locally to assist with this global project.
Our Local Project is for mums and kids
This APW project takes in the problem of under privileged mothers for whom child bearing creates a huge risk, and also the area facing us in New Zealand of bringing children through childhood to become responsible Christian members of Church and society. In these days when bullying continues to be a problem, the projects "Kids Friendly Connections" and "Kids Loving Church" seek funding for regional training and networking events for Presbyterian and Methodist leaders.
Note that receipts for tax purposes can be issued for all donations to Presbyterian Women NZ (APW) projects and fundraising. Contact your local APW representative at your church or presbyterial.
Save the date 21-23 April 2012
Presbyterian Women NZ (APW) will join for a national gathering in Christchurch. This will be held at Rangi Ruru Girls College. We have a great line up of speakers and entertainers for this special event.
Hope Antone, from the Christian Conference of Asia will visit Christchurch to listen and express solidarity with us. We will hold an ecumenical gathering, with two prepared inputs and a shared meal.
Our input: After the earthquake: Churches responding together
Hope’s input: Towards a wider ecumenical vision
When: Saturday July 9th, 4.30pm to 7.30 pm
Where: Upper Riccarton Methodist Church, Brake St & Yaldhurst Rd
What to bring: something Asian or something Kiwi for our shared meal
Catching the age wave
A conference to value, affirm and motivate seniors to be involved in ministry and service as we surf the fast-approaching grey tsunami. The conference will be held in Tauranga 10-11 August 2011. For further information contact Nan Kingston-Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Donald Hegan email@example.com or visit www.freshhorizons.org.au
Book for sale: Trust God, Keep the Faith
Trust God, Keep the Faith by Bartha Hill tells the inspirational and exciting story of Guido de Bres, author of the Belgic Confession. To order a copy of this book, contact Bartha Hill firstname.lastname@example.org or send a cheque ($15.00 including P&P) to Bartha Hill, 3 McMillan Street, Maori Hill, Dunedin, 9010.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors will remain at 5.25 per cent for July. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
Free BP vouchers for volunteers
Applications are now open for BP’s “Vouchers for Volunteers” programme, which sees BP donate thousands of fuel vouchers to New Zealand’s charitable organisations. Visit www.bp.co.nz for further information. Applications close 15 July 2011.
Moderator’s Prayer Letter
Read the Moderator The Right Rev Peter Cheyne’s Prayer Letter and follow his schedule on his blog http://pcanzmod.blogspot.com/2011_06_01_archive.html
Hymn Books for Sale
For sale With One Voice hymn books (pew edition). $35 each (incl GST). Enquiries: Mornington Presbyterian Church, PO Box 7108, Mornington, Dunedin. Phone: (03) 453 5357 or email email@example.com.
Bay of Islands accommodation
Bay of Islands Uniting Parish offers excellent accommodation in two-bedroom self-contained holiday homes at very reasonable rates to the public. The income from paying guests subsidises their primary mission of "Time Out" - this is provided free to people who are booked at a much reduced rate by social service organisations. Contact us for a small notice to display in your church. Stay with us in Paihia and support our mission with stressed families. See more at www.centreforrecreation.org.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Myanmar January 2012: A pilgrimage of pain and hope
See firsthand the difference we are making in the lives of our friends in Myanmar; feel God's love working in this nation.
Hear some amazing stories and be privileged to share and serve with them.
Experience a friendship that is transforming lives and communities both in Myanmar and New Zealand.
Be blessed, encouraged, challenged and inspired by these amazing people.
To express an interest in being a part of the January team, please contact Myanmar Partnership Coordinator, Angela, phone 021 357 708 or email email@example.com
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
Live below the Line
Issue a challenge to your youth group or ministry to experience what it is like to “Live below the Line”. It is an opportunity for some creative activity and to find out a little more about how tough it is to be poor. CWS is partnering the Global Poverty Project for their national fundraising effort 22-26 August. The money raised will help young people in Maridi, South Sudan, with education, sports programmes and to build hope in a difficult situation. The Global Poverty Project is an international movement of young people taking collective action to end extreme poverty. The challenge is to live on $2.25 or less a day and raise sponsorship support. Contact email@example.com if your group would be interested in joining the challenge.
Pray for Sudan
On 9 July north and south Sudan are due to separate into two new countries. Tensions remain extremely high particularly along the yet to be decided border. There has been sustained military attacks on civilians in border states, and the need for humanitarian assistance will continue. CWS is particularly concerned for the local people who are caught up in the violence and the many issues yet to be resolved between north and south. We are asking churches to remember the people of Sudan in prayer. More information available at www.cws.org.nz
CWS prepares resources for special Sundays in the church year available here http://www.cws.org.nz/resources/church . The next resources will be available 8 July at www.cws.org.nz for Peace Sunday (the nearest Sunday to Hiroshima Day).
For more information about CWS’s work or to make a donation contact CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140 or phone 03 366 9274 or 0800 74 73 72 or see www.cws.org.nz
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Gillian Woodward, Other Recognised Minister, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister (Methodist appointment), Morrinsville Methodist, Kaimai Presbytery, 2 March 2011 (part-time).
Rev Ian Croft, Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister (Methodist appointment), All Saints Co-operating Parish, Bryant Park, Hamilton, Kaimai Presbytery, 31 March 2011.
Changes in Status
Rev Roy Pearson, Minster, St Andrew’s Presbyterian, Mount Maunganui, Kaimai Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Kaimai Presbytery, 24 May 2011.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.