From the Moderator
I heard a cool story recently from the Motueka Baptist Church.
Their ‘Saturday Servants’ are a team of young people who serve people in the community (on Saturday mornings). Besides the serving, their aim is simply to build relationships. However, when they do, other things follow.
They have been asked to tidy up houses and properties prior to open homes. One house was not in good condition and the property market was sluggish. The chances of a sale were very small; the team did a fantastic job of tidying the home.
Over lunch someone suggested they should pray for a sale. They did and, miraculously, the property sold. They later had the opportunity to tell the seller that they had prayed.
Later they encountered a very similar situation. This time they were able to say that they had a pretty good record in this area and they prayed with the home owner. Again the house, somewhat miraculously, sold.
One of those families became involved in the church and, when I heard the story, several members were about to be baptised.
To my mind these incidents illustrate a sequence that I suspect we can also see in Jesus’ ministry. The sequence is:
- Pray and seek God
- Build relationships
- Demonstrate the Kingdom of God
- Share the Good News of Jesus
- Seek a response
- Grow new converts to spiritual maturity
Steps two and three can happen in the opposite order - the demonstration might initiate the relationship.
In the above story, both the serving and the answered prayers were demonstrations of the Kingdom. The secret, I think, is to ensure that we do demonstrate the Kingdom in some way but also that, when it is appropriate, we go beyond that to sharing the Good News.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear friends and colleagues
Last week I had the pleasure of walking through ‘The Cloud’ [a temporary fan-zone structure] on Auckland’s waterfront, surrounded by a wonderfully vibrant crowd of Rugby World Cup supporters. It was a very happy, exciting, positive place to be. It reinforced for me the message of Professor Sir Paul Callaghan; one of New Zealand’s most distinguished and respected scientists. A couple of week earlier in Wellington, Paul addressed a 1000 strong crowd who, after he presented an uplifting and compelling vision of New Zealand, gave him a standing ovation. Contrary to some of the news that comes out of the United States and European Union countries, Paul sees New Zealand’s future as one of increasing cultural and economic richness.
There is no reason to think that the innovation Paul affirms as a critical ingredient to this very positive future cannot also be part of our own vision for the Church. After all, we do affirm that God’s primary act is one of creation. Risk, hope, courage – all the qualities that Paul Callahan affirmed - were also central in the message 2000 years earlier, in the call Jesus makes to all those who would take up their cross and follow him.
Presbyterian Foundation grant applications
If you have a great idea to strengthen or grow the mission of your Church, why not apply for a grant to make it happen? October 14 is the last day for applications. Find out more, or download an application form.
Council of Assembly
The Council is holding its next meeting 10-12 November in Dunedin. If there is any matter which you would like to bring to the Council’s attention, please write to the Council c/o of the Assembly Office by the end of October.
Family Violence, the Church, Presbyterian Support and Lent
The commitment by the Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian Support to express our shared concerned about the well being of families in all their diversity, and to support efforts to care for children and young people who are the victims of family violence, is called PresCare.
Over the coming months Thomas Mitchell, who has been generously supported by Presbyterian Support to coordinate this initiative, will be contacting a number of ministers, congregations and some of our church affiliated schools, to develop a set of resources to help congregations, youth groups, children’s programmes and schools to particularly focus on these issues over the 40 day period of Lent (February 22 to April 7, 2012). Our belief that peace and justice, and the care of the most vulnerable are central to our Christian faith, lead us to prayer, practical action, and supporting a prophetic voice that might speak to the underlying causes of such high levels of family violence in our country which is blessed in so many ways.
Voting for the Moderator-elect, 2014. Stage 1
As the fist stage in the election process, all presbyteries, UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho are asked to nominate one person each to enter the voting process coordinated by the Nominating Committee. Parish Councils etc should suggest names for consideration by a meeting of their presbytery, UDC or Te Aka Puaho. Each presbytery, UDC or Te Aka Puaho should send one name to: The Convenor of the Nominating Committee, the Rev Ian Hyslop, 10 Cox Street, Geraldine 7930. firstname.lastname@example.org The nomination needs to be with Ian by Friday February 10 2012.
What a terrific response by parishes to get their insurance premiums paid by 20 September. If you have not done so yet, please pay your premium in order to continue your cover. Insurance cover is compulsory. If you want to get a new quote based on insurance cover which is other than total replacement, then email Doug Langford at email@example.com
Reducing the risk of arson – move those rubbish bins
Sadly we have seen over the last few years a number of churches destroyed or badly damaged by arson. From 1 July parishes that have had arson fires from rubbish bins not secured at least 10 metres away from the church buildings will face a $50,000 excess on arson claims. Read more and watch a video on this here.
2012 General Assembly
The Assembly will open at our national marae at Ohope on the morning of Thursday, 4 October 2012, and continue from there to Rotorua Boy’s High School Thursday afternoon till its conclusion on Sunday, 7October 2012.
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. Many have already benefited from the review process. Ministers will not be in good standing if they do not have a review that is less than two years old as at October 2013. This does not apply to retired ministers, unless they are in, or plan to return to, some active, recognised ministry role. Full details here.
Church life Survey - please enrol now
Every five years we have the opportunity to participate in this nationwide survey of church life. The information gathered can be invaluable for parish and presbytery planning.
New Complaints Officer needed
We need to identify a suitable person as our new Complaints Officer to administer our church disciplinary processes (Chapter 15 in the Book of Order). The Complaints Officer also administers the judicial and appeal functions of the General Assembly (14.21 ff in the Book of Order) and ideally would also be able to assist in providing more general Book of Order advice.
This role would suit someone with a very good understanding of the Book of Order and its judicial processes, who has a high level of attention to detail, who knows the Church, is discreet, impartial, works well under pressure and who has very good written communication and interpersonal skills.
While the role involves intensive periods of activity, sometimes involving several days work at a time, the work load averages about one day per week. Some travel is required which may involve time away from home. While our records are kept at the Assembly Office in Wellington the person undertaking this role would not necessarily have to live there. Our current Complaints Officer is willing to provide training and advice. There is no specific closing date for applications. This is a paid position. Please let me know if you might be interested in this role or give me a call to discuss, (04) 381 8281, firstname.lastname@example.org
Presbyterian Church website wins Gold Award
In September the Presbyterian Church website won the 2011 Australasian Religious Press Association’s (ARPA) highest award, the Gold Award. The ARPA Awards are presented each year for excellence in religious media and publishing. There was some stiff competition - ARPA members represent 80 Christian publications and media agencies (65 in Australia and 15 in New Zealand). Congratulations to our small Church Communications team (they enjoyed a celebratory cake!)
Thank you again for your generous support and for all you do for our Church and its mission.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
In recent months the Knox Centre has led six presbytery workshops on eldership and distributed over 300 copies of the elders’ handbook which it produced earlier this year. If your presbytery would like us to lead a workshop on eldership, or if you or your parish would like copies of the handbook, please contact Knox Centre for a hardcopy or download here.
Global Mission Sunday
Well done to all of you who will make use of the resources produced for Global Mission Sunday, 2 October (World Communion Sunday). If you do not normally celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month, please use the material in some other way, on another date perhaps.
Advocacy for Maohi Nui (French Polynesia or Tahiti)
The Pacific Conference of Churches 50 year’s celebration in Samoa was attended by the Rev Toko Ine from Te Komiti Moananui (and Moderator of the Pacific Island Synod). The Conference made a statement in support of the Protestant Church of Maohi Nui advocating for its country’s independence from France, in particular for its readmission to the UN Decolonisation List. Read it here.
Community health tutors wanted
Global Mission is stepping up support for the Korvan Community Health School, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Between February and November next year, for between three weeks and three months, we need volunteer medical tutors to teach. Contact email@example.com if you are interested in offering mission service.
Centenary celebration for Christian Hospital, Jagadhri
It is 100 years since Dr William Porteous, with his wife Edith, established Christian Hospital in Jagadhri. A celebration will be held 4-6 November, 2011. Pamela Tankersley and Ryhan Prasad will be attending on behalf of the Friends of Jagadhri and the Presbyterian Church. We will be accompanying 11 members of the Porteous family.
A joint mission between Global Mission and Presbyterian Youth Ministry. Participants will experience what it is to be part of God’s global village by serving in a team with a partner-in-mission of the Presbyterian Church.
In 2012 young people from all over New Zealand have been invited to Lenakel Junior High School, on Tanna Island, Vanuatu. (LJHS is run by the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu.)
The programme will include orientation in mission, school engagement (tutoring and sports), participating in a work project, experiencing Vanuatu life, sharing faith and making friends.
We are looking for young people aged 17 and 25 years who are open and motivated to move their horizons to encompass the breadth of God’s world, and can use the experience to make a difference back home. Do you have young people in your congregation who are ready for this?
When: Saturday 23 June - Sunday 1 July, 2012
Cost: $2000 (all inclusive)
Led by: Global Mission and PYM leaders
Applications: Open from 1 November, download form here.
No of participants:12 (no more than two from any church)
More information here
Global Mission coordinator
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Going Further is now open for registrations.
If you have young adults in your church 17 -30 who are interested in exploring their faith and the cost of following Jesus then let them know about this fantastic event and help them get there by providing some financial assistance.
We have 60 places available at Going Further 2012. Going Further is designed with some subsidisation of cost and transport, and limited accommodation on the island, so we can only offer this opportunity to a limited number. So get in early!
We have added another great opportunity to the PYM “Going” series in partnership with Global Mission - Going Global: In Mission. See Global Mission in this edition of Bush Telegraph for more details or see our website.
I attended and participated in the recent Kaimai Presbytery resourcing day in September. This was an encouraging event with a focus on discipleship. The presbytery organising committee also gave attention and effort to attracting youth leaders to this day, which I would like to commend to other presbyteries.
The registration deadline is coming up for Going Deeper: In Youth Leadership - 8 November.
We, the Presbyterian Church and PYM, are hosting the CWM Pacific Youth Forum again this year, 28 November to 2 December in Auckland. The purpose of this event is to equip the leaders of young people with skills, ideas, and biblical and theological resources for helping their youth engage with the social challenges and problems of their communities. It is an honour to contribute to youth work in the wider Pacific region. Our two representatives are from Porirua PIC (Church of Christ the King).
Youth Ministry Development Leader
Country living is to be recommended
Many New Zealand women enjoy the benefits of living in rural and semi-rural communities. Such women are often huge supporters of Presbyterian Women (APW), devoting years of service to fundraising for our national projects and helping many groups in their communities.
I have been reflecting recently on the years of dedication many of our older women quietly give to the Church due to the passing of my own mother, Jessie Gladys Rusher who passed away on 9 September, just short of her 90th birthday.
My mother loved country living best. Jessie maintained a strong Christian outlook and faith; like so many other women who have enjoyed a good, long life, her care for others combined with her spiritual beliefs extended her life immeasurably, for this her family are forever grateful.
But it does not just seem as if those who help others are longer lived, recent research has confirmed people who volunteer do live longer, happier lives.
And my mother Jessie was happily Presbyterian. It was in her genes. Her forebears on her father’s side dated back to the first elders of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, arriving on the Bengal Merchant in Petone, and her mother’s forebears were early settlers in Wyndham and Dunedin.
As a loyal Presbyterian Woman, Jessie engaged in pastoral care, fundraising and community outreach. Not surprisingly, like so many other Presbyterian Women this engagement made her many wonderful, life-enriching friends.
And also like so many of our “back bone” members of Presbyterian Women, Jessie was provided with an intellectual outlook and membership of a loving and caring community by the many Presbyterian churches she attended over her life. St Andrew’s in Greytown, the church she attended up until her passing, like many small parish churches continues to look outwardly locally and globally, and to provide a much needed spiritual home for all ages.
As time passes and we all sadly experience the loss of these special Presbyterian Women in our congregations, let’s take some time to think on their long years of service and dedication to our churches.
National gathering 2012
Presbyterian Women’s national gathering in Christchurch will be held 20-22 April, 2012. Brochures are in the mail. Additional copies available from: Valerie Anderson, PO Box 105, Alexandra, 9340. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership of Presbyterian Women New Zealand
Our annual subscription is just $6. Encourage the younger women in your church to join us. Contact Ngaire Pearce, 102 Mountain View Road, Gleniti, Timaru. Email email@example.com
What is it that we want for our children? As a mother of three, I want my children to grow as responsible and compassionate people, with a deep faith and sense of belonging to God’s family. I want them to have a heart and passion for God; to know that God loves them and values them, and that they have unique gifts to contribute to the world. I am sure you want that too for the children you love and relate to in your church. The tricky part comes in the how.
From the moment I heard about the Kids Friendly Transformers program, I knew that our family needed it, especially our 10 year old son Samuel. Transformers runs on the premise that every child has the potential to be a leader. During Transformers, through a series of sessions and workshops, children aged 10 to 13 explore how they can live as “Jesus leaders”, based on five Transformers codes.
Longer-term transformation happens as the children integrate these codes into their everyday lives, as deep principles by which they can live, and have opportunities to serve and lead in their church and community - with the support of a special mentor from their church.
And it’s working! Already I can see the fruit of Transformers in Samuel. By encouraging him to reflect on the codes he is beginning to process his reactions and feelings with a transformed mind-set.
For me, one of the best things about the camp I attended at Ngaruawahia was the opportunity for the children to be inspired by the amazing teenage leaders from Knox, Waitara. They led the worship, workshops and cabins with such love and enthusiasm, and embodied everything we want for our children. My hope is that our children become just like them.
We need to raise-up our young people like Samuel as leaders so they can carry the torch and inspire others. Transformers offers a how.
Who are the potential young leaders in your church? Will you help them transform?
Kids Friendly part-time coach
Te Aka Puaho
Te Aka Puaho encourages you to continue your support of Turakina Maori Girls’ College. Please download the Turakina Māori Girls’ College September newsletter and circulate to those who will be interested and who can help to promote our school.
Wayne Te Kaawa
Free online theological resources
The Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism (GlobeTheoLib) is a multi-lingual global digital library on theology and ecumenism that offers access to more than 200,000 texts, documents and other academic resources. GlobeTheoLib is a project of Globethics.net and the World Council of Churches, with other international partners. Register to access free resources here.
Kiwi-made Forum, October 2011
Several Presbyterian ministers and Church national staff will be speaking at Kiwi-made Preaching. There will be three forums: Tuesday 25 October (9.30am – 4.30pm), Carey Baptist College Auckland. Thursday 27 October (9.30am – 4.30pm), El Rancho, Waikanae. Saturday 29 October (9.30am – 4.30pm), Spreydon Baptist Church, Christchurch. More details here http://kiwimadepreaching.com/2011-forum/
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 October. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
International awareness days in October
International Day for Disaster Reduction
UN World Food Day
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Is your parish website on the Presbyterian Church website?
1 September to 4 October is a Time for Creation
10-17 October Churches Week of Action on Food
An opportunity for Christians all over the world to act and speak out together on food justice issues and raise awareness about food production and distribution systems, examine our own food consumption, and call for policy changes that will ensure the right to food for everyone. Our faith calls us to feed the hungry and care for Creation. Download resources for action and worship here.
St Andrew’s Church, Whangarei, 150th celebration
Human trafficking forum, 2-3 December 2011, Lower Hutt
The Salvation Army is partnering with Hagar Trust International, EPCAT Child Alert NZ and Stop the Traffik UK to host a forum on human trafficking, particularly in the Pacific region. The Pacific region and NZ is tainted by the illegal commodification of people for profit. From chocolate to cellphones, victims have been coerced or forced into labour around the world, to provide us with the products we enjoy. $150 per person, including lunches, morning and afternoon teas. More information here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Food focus for Christian World Service
October has a strong food focus for CWS as we support the Churches' Week of Action on Food campaign from October 10-17. A central part of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance's global food campaign, the Churches' Week of Action on Food provides a platform for Christians to act and speak out together on food justice issues. This year World Food Day falls on Sunday 16 October providing an added opportunity to connect food justice with faith. Extra material around the theme of food, justice and faith is available from the Christian World Service website.
The Christian faith community is called on and challenged to feed the hungry and care for Creation. The challenges this year are larger than ever as many readers will have noted in their own grocery bills. Each wave of food price surges globally has pushed more people back into chronic hunger. The 2008 rises led to a total of 1 billion in chronic hunger. Prices surged again last year and this year, while climate change also takes its toll on productive capacity. Figures compiled by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance show that lack is not the only ingredient in the food crisis recipe. The fact that almost 1 billion of the world's 6.93 people face chronic hunger is one aspect of the problem.
Consider these other figures:
The world already produces enough food calories for 12 billion people
Two billion people worldwide have severe problems with obesity
People in developed nations consume on average over 60 percent more than they need
Worldwide 40 percent of the food produced is wasted before it can be consumed
700 children die every hour as a result of hunger
Valuable food producing land is being diverted to biofuel production
About one third of world crop production is used to feed animals
Family farmers – who tend to use more sustainable methods - are losing their lands and living at an accelerating rate
Large corporates are taking over more of the food system, diverting profits from local communities and often depleting resources long term for short term gain
Food and land are becoming increasingly seen as commodities for speculation with common lands moving out of public ownership into privatised production.
It is a grim scenario where the organisers of the Churches' Week of Action on Food emphasize that their experience is that collective pressure and action can make a positive change.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Martin Dickson, Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, to Minister, St Paul’s Co-operating Church, Kamo, Northern Presbytery, 30 July 2011.
Rev Karima Fai’ai, Minister, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Gore, Southern Presbytery, to Minister, Manukau Pacific Islanders (Samoan), Northern Presbytery, 4 August 2011.
Changes in Status
Rev Scott Wishart, Other Recognised Minster, Kaimai Presbytery, to Member, Kaimai Presbytery, 20 August 2011.
Mr Stuart Borlase, Lay Appointee, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Takaka, Nelson/Marlborough Presbytery, August 2011, for 6 months (part-time).
Rev Ray Galvin, Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 20 September 2011.
Rev Jenni Elmes, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 13 August 2011.
Rev Ron Gilder, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 13 August 2011.
Rev Howard Smith, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 13 August 2011.
Rev Neal Brown, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 13 August 2011.
Rev Ivan Smith, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 7 September 2011.
Rev Dr Roderick (Rod), Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 7 September 2011.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.