From the Moderator
I write on the evening of the Christchurch earthquake feeling sickened by what I see and hear. Our love and prayers go out to the people of Christchurch.
This week I cleaned out my office and cleared my desk. I resigned from Calvin Community Church, Gore, after more than 20 wonderful years. However, as I have thrown out masses of paper I have realised that much of it amounted to nothing. Of course, some reports contributed to significant changes but many reflect hours of talking and writing that actually produced very little. How many Assembly reports have made any difference? Some, but a lot haven’t.
In general I feel duty-bound to attend meetings (presbytery, Minister’s Association etc) but I think we have to work a lot harder to ensure they are worth peoples’ time.
As I do some things as Moderator I wonder what they are actually achieving. How many of our churches’ ministries and small groups are achieving nothing? Why waste our time? I want to make a difference. So, what is important? Maybe we should ask questions such as:
What is God doing? Jesus did only what he saw God doing.
Why are we doing this thing? Is it a Biblical priority? How many disciples will be made?
Will there be real results or are we fooling ourselves? Maybe we need much more rigorous accountability and honesty.
What is the most effective way? Do we know what is working and what is not?
I am challenged by the thought that deepening my spiritual life (listening to God, knowing the Scriptures, being led by the Holy Spirit) will produce more fruit and less paper! And maybe I need to say “no” more.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Over the last few days our lives have been overshadowed by the tragedy of the Christchurch earthquake. We have been drawn together in our prayers for the scores of victims and their families and for the rescue workers, support and medical staff. The people of Christchurch, and especially those who are part of our Church community, have been sustained by your prayers and countless words of encouragement and offers of help.
We are still in the process of coordinating our national support. We have launched a Church-wide outreach asking for offerings from congregations and individuals to assist the immediate needs of the Christchurch congregations. The Assembly Office is coordinating with Christchurch Presbytery to manage and underwrite financial support. Liz Whitehead of CWS in Christchurch has agreed to coordinate all offers of accommodation, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 257 7112 or (03) 314 8110. We have received a number of offers from people willing to provide chaplaincy and ministry support and these will be passed on to the Christchurch folk. Please visit our website for more information and updates.
The outpouring of love, concern, and generous help, and the knowledge of God’s presence in these dark hours allows us the possibility of hope and the strength to carry on.
PresCare is a Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian Support joint initiative to focus over Lent on the issues of family violence.
For some weeks now PresCare has been publicised. It is an important joint initiative between the Church and Presbyterian Support’s Family Works. Together we have produced a range of resources, and you can read more about them on our website.
Of course we could never have anticipated the terrible events of the past week and our focus is understandably on those affected by the earthquake. However, we are still committed to this programme and invite congregations to use the PresCare resources throughout the period of Lent. Sadly, the stress of events such as the earthquake often lead to an increase in family violence making the work of Family Works even more critical.
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 is now available here. 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 11 October to Sunday 14 October 2012 in Rotorua, hosted jointly 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 1 MB file here. 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.
Welcoming new congregations
On Saturday afternoon on 2 April in Auckland we welcome nine new Korean congregations into our Church. If you would like to come to this historic celebration please contact me for more details.
Council of Assembly
The Council meets in Auckland on 18 and 19 March. Please could you get any correspondence for them to me by Monday 7 March.
Thank you again for your wonderful support at this critical time.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Last year, for the first time, we were able to offer a number of theology scholarships for Presbyterians doing part-time or full-time theological studies through Otago University, Auckland University, Laidlaw College, Carey Baptist College and the Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies. A limited number of scholarships will be available again this year. If you know of anyone who might benefit from such a grant, please encourage them to apply. They should send to me a letter of application detailing their course (and costs) of study, and what church they’re involved in. They should also include a brief letter of support from their parish minister (or equivalent person). The deadline for applications is 31 March 2011.
31 March is also the deadline for the next round of applications for ministers’ study grants. Information about applying for these grants can be found on our web site.
Would you like a training resource for elders? The Knox Centre has written an Elders Handbook which is available upon request for use in parishes, presbyteries and UDCs. It covers both session and parish council contexts. If you would like a copy, contact the Principal or Registrar of the Knox Centre.
On 24 March, from 3.30 to 5.30 pm, the Knox Centre will run a seminar called “Transforming Sessions and Parish Councils into Communities of Spiritual Leaders”. It will be led by a visiting American church renewal specialist, Dr Charles (Chuck) Olsen. The seminar is free and open to all. Check out our web site for more details.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Going Further was once again a fantastic week. We had 35 participants from 16 churches around New Zealand. The ethnic diversity of Maori, NZ European, Pacific Island and Asian was a strength and brought a richness to the week. The facebook posts by participants testify to the significance this week plays in their faith and church involvement.
The PYM Focus Group meet recently in Christchurch to discuss strategy, training of youth workers, upcoming events as well as some new initiatives, and policy on youth matters. This group contributes to the strengthening of youth ministry and best practice within the life of our Church.
Connect registrations are now open and people have started to register online.
This is a quality training event for youth leaders and others involved in working with young people. I would like to encourage you to budget sending your youth leaders to this event on 1-3 July in Christchurch.
If you are interested in being kept updated on new content on our PYM website then sign up for our newsletter, Buzz.
January and February were busy and exciting months for Kids Friendly as we developed new resources, newsletters and planning calendars, and ran training workshops for children’s leaders.
We are also advancing talks with the Methodist Church of New Zealand, the Uniting Church of Queensland, and the Presbyterian Church of Wales with regards to them joining the Kids Friendly network.
We welcome to our team Lucy Davey. Lucy is a well-known children’s author, song writer, experienced and capable worship leader, mother of three beautiful children and the wife of Mark (oh yes, she also has a doctorate in chemical engineering!) Lucy will be working with me in Auckland for 15 hours per week training as a part-time coach and getting to know all the ins and outs of Kids Friendly.
This week we sent out our Easter and Lent resource e-newsletter promoting the many resources we have developed to help you engage children in the Lenten journey. All resources can be downloaded from the Kids Friendly web pages or ordered from email@example.com. Our latest resource is The Family Faith Pack, an interactive family Lent resource to be used alongside the PresCare Meditations for Lent booklet produced by the Church and Presbyterian Support’s Family Works. These resources help children and families reflect on the plight of children in our country and seek ways to respond to their needs. I encourage you to make use of them.
Kids Friendly coach
12.51pm Tuesday 1 March, two minutes silence
Prime Minister John Key has asked all New Zealanders to observe two minutes' silence today at 12.51pm, exactly one week after Christchurch's deadly earthquake, to honour quake victims.
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. Calvin Community Church has a bus to send to Christchurch to bring back up to 50 people to Gore for a break. Interested? Email Rev Ken Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org ph 027 840 1161.
Eight to nine families from Christchurch are going to Clevedon to bunk down for a couple of weeks at Camp Sladdin. They need single sheets, pillows with cases, blankets, duvets and a few bean bags. They will also be looking for baking for morning and afternoon teas. If you can help please call Fran at Clevedon Presbyterian (09) 292 8061 or deliver to Dave Millar, 027 662 2768.
QuakeEscape also has offers of accommodation for Christchurch folk. www.quakeescape.org.nz/
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
Census 2011 cancelled
Due to the Canterbury earthquake, the nationwide 2011 Census that was to have been held on 8 March 2011 has been cancelled for this year.
6 March is Children's Day - Te Rā O Te Tamariki
Children’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate how special and important our children are. The theme this year is ‘love and affection'. Is your church hosting an event? Publicise it by registering online www.childrensday.org.nz/planning-your-event/register-event.html See more information at www.facebook.com/childrensdaynz and http://www.childrensday.org.nz/
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 email@example.com
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 March 2011. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information, email the Secretary to the Trustees, firstname.lastname@example.org
General Assembly 2010 minutes
The minutes from General Assembly 2010 are now available to download from the Church website. General Assembly 2010 was held from 11am Thursday 30 September to 5pm Sunday 3 October 2010, in Christchurch.
Presbyterian Yearbook 2011
The 2011 Yearbook was sent out in early February. If you did not receive a copy and would like one, or if you discover any errors in the Yearbook details, please contact Sandra at Assembly Office, phone 04 801-6000 or email email@example.com
These Hills Workshops - Music and Ministry
12 and 13 March, 2011
Te Kuiti, Bellblock, New Plymouth
Two workshops will be held with presenters Roy Tankersley (Teaching new songs), Malcolm Gordon (Creative Worship), Pamela Tankersley (Community Facing Ministry).
Venues are St Luke’s Anglican Church, The Esplanade, Te Kuiti 12 March, and St Luke's Cooperating Parish, Bellblock on 13 March.
The organisers are Ecumenical Workshops King Country and Taranaki. Two future workshops are planned - Parish Websites at Piopio in June, and Colin Gibson returns from 26 October to 3 November 2011 to speak at Hamilton, Piopio, Turangi and Bellblock. Rev Gary Husband will share the Piopio day, leading a session on all age worship.
Scripture Union Childrens Ministry Conference 2011
“WAY2GO Activate” Children’s Ministry Conference will be held in Invercargill 19 March, Auckland 26 March and Wellington 9 April. Key note speaker is Wendy Strachan, children's ministries coordinator for SU International. To register contact: Jonathan Swan, ph (04) 385 0485 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alcohol Action Conference 30 March 2011
Te Papa, Wellington
Theme: Alcohol is a political issue - imagine NZ without alcohol harm
International speaker: Professor Peter Anderson
Register for the conference here
400th anniversary of the King James Bible
The King James Bible was completed in 1611, to celebrate its 400th anniversary throughout 2011 many events will be taking place including two major BBC documentaries www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2011/02_february/09/bible.shtml To see more events see the King James Bible Trust Facebook page. www.facebook.com/KingJamesBibleTrust, www.kjv400.co.uk and www.kjv400celebration.com
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Grants
Ministers’ Study Grants
Are you a Presbyterian minister planning on further study? You can apply for a study grant from the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Applications are invited for post-ordination study grants for ministers in good standing. In normal circumstances grants do not exceed one-third of study costs 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.
Please note that successful applicants who move to ministries or other positions outside of the Church within two years of receiving a grant may be required to repay up to 50 percent of the grant received.
For more information see http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/national-ministries/knox-centre-for-ministry-and-leadership/further-training-and-study-grant-assista Enquiries to, The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin. Email email@example.com Closing date for this round of applications is 31 March 2011.
Begg-Dickie Post Graduate Scholarship
The Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership invites applications from suitable candidates for the 2011 Begg-Dickie Post Graduate Scholarship. Applicants must have graduated from the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership (previously the School of Ministry) between 2006 and 2010. 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, as approved by the Senatus of the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership. If working towards a two-year (full-time) masters degree or a three-year (full-time) doctorate, the recipient may apply for a further one or two years funding. On completion, it is expected that the recipient proceed to service within the Church. For further details, see http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/national-ministries/knox-centre-for-ministry-and-leadership/resources-for-leaders/begg-dickie-schola The submission deadline is 31 March 2011.
New website shows where social services funding goes in your community
A new website, www.contractmapping.govt.nz, now gives anyone easy access to information about the social services that the government funds in their community.
On the website is information on the contracts between the Ministry of Social Development and social sector service organisations. Click on “data” and then on a location.
Auckland chamber choir CD
Viva Voce is the new CD of 27 songs from the fourth NZ Hymnbook Trust book publication, Hope is our Song.
A 24 page booklet comes with the CD and contains all texts.
You can purchase direct from the NZ Hymnbook Trust, website www.hymns.org.nz.
Caleb Leadership Ministries (N Z) Leadership Course
28 June – 13 July 2011
The Caleb Leadership Courses provide 14 days of intensive, interactive, practical training for pastors and missions leaders. See more at www.calebnz.org.nz
Mr Nyalle Paris, Student Ordinand, Southern Presbytery, to Licentiate, Southern Presbytery, 3 December 2010.
Mr Martin Fey, Student Ordinand, Southern Presbytery, to Licentiate, Southern Presbytery, 3 December 2010.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Nyalle Paris, Licentiate, Southern Presbytery, to Minister, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Invercargill, Southern Presbytery, 15 December 2010.
Rev James Wallace, Minister, Bethlehem Community Church, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister, St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church, Tauranga, Kaimai Presbytery, 25 January 2011.
Rev Dr Murray Gow, Minister of the Churches of Christ in New Zealand, to Minister, St Andrew’s First Church Symonds St, Auckland, Auckland Presbytery, 17 February, 2011.
Rev Sunday Tsoi, Chaplain, Central Ministry Board, Auckland Presbytery, to Member, Auckland Presbytery, 11 December 2011.
Rev Mary Lloyd Shallcrass, Minister Emerita, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister Emerita, Wairarapa Union District Council, 1 June 2010.
Rev Robin Shallcrass, Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Wairarapa Union District Council, 1 June 2010.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries
Rev Fraser Paterson, Interim Minister (Methodist appointment), Kapiti Uniting Parish, Wellington Presbytery, remains as Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, 30 January 2011.
Rev Epeli Taungapeau, Minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, to Minister, St John’s Raumanga, Whangarei, Churches Together in Northland, 3 February 2011.
Rev Alofa Asiata, Minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, to Minister, Hauraki Plains Co-operating Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 6 February 2011.
Rev Tau Lasi, Minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, completed term at Paeroa Co-operating Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 31 January 2011.
Rev Geoffrey Vine, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 20 July 2010.
Rev Uiva Vagana, Minister, Pacific Islanders North Shore Church, North Shore Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, North Shore Presbytery, 22 December 2010.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.