Bush Telegraph September 2011

From the Moderator

Recently I met Charlie Novello, who works in the cross-cultural mission unit of the Uniting Church in Australia in Melbourne.

Although he had no formal education himself, Charlie started a church in the Philippines with six other people. Two were sick, leaving left four as potential leaders. Charlie related closely to them and took them through a series of 12 lessons that he had developed. The lessons started with understanding God, then salvation, and so on.

At the end of that period, those four became the teachers as other people joined the church. Charlie divided the map of his area into four quadrants and a pin represented each person the church had contact with. One of the teachers was responsible for each quadrant and Charlie would ask, "What has happened to this person? Where is this person up to?"

If a problem was discovered, Charlie would pay a pastoral visit which, in the Philippines, was a great honour for the family but also lessened the chances of anyone falling through the cracks.

Eventually he had 12 teachers, one for each lesson. Sunday mornings consisted of Sunday school then worship. When someone came to the church, he/she was introduced to the teacher of the first lesson who chatted and then took those visitors though the first lesson. When they came a second time, they were introduced to the teacher of the second lesson.

Once they had completed the 12, they were asked about their response and, if appropriate, baptised. From that point on they became part of the main Sunday school and Charlie’s responsibility. He continued to prepare them for Christian living and ministry.

In three years he grew the church from seven to 200.

The Philippines is not New Zealand. Charlie said that faith conversations there are considered loving whereas for us there is often some suspicion. For all the cultural differences, are there some things we could learn from our Asian brothers? Charlie doesn’t have a congregation in Australia but felt that if he did, he would use the same model.

Peter Cheyne

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I am not sure why it is but in my experience of dealing with the media it is the stories of scandal, conflict and suffering that seem to hold the most fascination and interest for reporters. Perhaps if there was ever an example of the outworking of the theology of original sin it would be found in the reality that suffering sells. Even at a personal level, it can be the sole negative thing out of dozens of positive things said to us, or about us, which we ponder and worry about. Maybe it is this inclination that brings forth so many words in Scripture telling us not to be afraid and not to worry.

I know the insurance invoices and the unprecedented increases have shocked many of us. I worry about it. But wouldn’t it be a pity if we allowed the concerns around the cost of building ownership in this new post-earthquake reality to dominate above the stories of hope, generosity and care that have been so apparent in the restorative and healing work being done as a result of the calamity? It has been a disaster and there have been all manner of destructive consequences, but let’s find in the stories of hopefulness and kindness also the vision to imagine a new future. None of us were prepared for the increase in insurance premiums, and every situation is different, but we can work through this together.

Family Violence, the Church, Presbyterian Support and Lent

The commitment by the Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian Support to express our shared concerned for 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 is 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, from 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. Email hyslops@maxnet.co.nz. The nomination needs to be with Ian by Friday February 10, 2012.

Removal from the roll of ministers

Last month I wrote to quite a number of ministers who show in our records as neither being a member of a presbytery for at least the last five years nor granted the status of minister emeriti. I informed these ministers of the 2010 General Assembly decision that their names may be removed from the roll. If you have received a letter from me, and have not done so already, please get in touch within the next 10 days. Otherwise your name may be removed from the roll. In a few instances, neither the Assembly Office nor the presbyteries concerned have any contact details. So, if you think you should have received a letter and did not, please contact me immediately.

Please note this does not apply to you if you are now, or have in the last five years, been a member of a presbytery or your presbytery identifies you as being retired.

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 arson fires from rubbish bins which were not secured at least 10 metres away from church buildings will face a $50,000 excess on arson claims.

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. Minister 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.

Thank you again for your generous support and for all you do for our Church and its mission.


Global Mission

Global Mission Sunday is on World Communion Sunday, 2 October, 2011

Theme: A Place at the Table:

The cup of blessing which we bless is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ?

The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?

Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Cor 10:16

World Communion Sunday falls 2October this year and Global Mission is taking the opportunity to encourage congregations to become global mission-minded, as part of the global village. There is no better image to express our unity in Christ than sitting together at the table of the Lord!

We will shortly be offering you resources for download from the Global Mission website.

These will be:

  • A communion liturgy for that Sunday
  • Suggested Bible readings and some theological notes (and access to the issue of Candour that had a theme of Global Mission)
  • Suggestions of hymns and songs
  • A resource to enable a conversation with the children in your church
  • An invitation to pray for our partner churches and those who serve in mission
  • Profiles of three projects we are involved in with our partner churches in North India, Vanuatu and Myanmar
  • Access to Spanz stories on Global Mission over the last few years
  • Information about how you and your congregation can participate by being informed, by being a partner in a programme or by donating funds
  • Greetings from leaders of our partner churches for World Communion Sunday

(If you need these resources in hard copy, please contact Pamela on pamela@presbyterian.org.nz)

Many congregations work with the global community in their towns and you may wish to make them welcome this day, especially the children. Others support missions in other lands that are not under the Global Mission umbrella. This is a Sunday where all should be connected and prayed for.

Pamela Tankersley
Global Mission Coordinator


I had the privilege of facilitating a working group made up of some of our key Pacific Island youth workers recently. We explored a number of questions relating to youth ministry in the context of a Pacific Island church community and the challenges and possibilities Pacific Island young people face, as well as youth workers. A working paper will be produced from this that will help strengthen and encourage the good work going on with our Pacific Island young people.

Going Further is now open for registration http://goingfurther.org.nz/. If you have some young adults in your church interested in exploring their faith and the cost of discipleship then encourage them to come along and hopefully your church can assist them financially in attending.

Registration is also open for Going Deeper which is happening in November http://www.pym.org.nz/going/goingdeeper/ This weekend is for training in youth ministry leadership. This is ideal for your volunteer youth leaders.

It is encouraging to see the work being done to strengthen the relationship between the Church and institutions strongly associated with us that work with young people; in particular, our church schools and Presbyterian Support. The recent Church Schools’ Conference was once again a high calibre event. It is insightful and encouraging hearing senior students share about the value of being in a church school has provided and its positive influence for their faith.

There are some exciting initiatives with young people being explored through the Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian Support initiative, PresCare. This will involve local churches and potentially some of our church schools participating in community service through Family Works. I will keep you up to date as these develop further.

A final plug: many of you will be aware of Kiwimade Preaching http://kiwimadepreaching.com/ They have one day events coming up in Auckland, Waikanae and Christchurch in October. A number of Presbyterian ministers are presenting questions. There are some useful questions for thinking about preaching and young people and young adults.

Carlton Johnstone
Youth ministry development leader

Presbyterian Women

“Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me” Matthew 10:40

Presbyterian Women New Zealand (APW) welcomes all women to join our organisation. For less than a cup of coffee and a muffin - just $6 - you may become a member of a group of women who are: God inspired, compassionate, welcoming, serving and mission focussed locally and globally.

Presbyterian Women provides a Christian voice on global/local issues of social justice; advocates for human rights for women, girls and families; is represented on the National Council of Women New Zealand; is represented on presbyteries and holds voting rights at the General Assembly.

We organise an annual Special Project to fund mission overseas and in New Zealand in conjunction with the Methodist Women’s Fellowship; we provide annual bursaries for Turakina Maori Girls’ College students; we provide study grants for training in ministry; we allocate monies from Mission Birthday Gift and used stamp sales; we support the Global Mission administration; we support Jagadhri Hospital in India; Presbyterian Youth Ministry, and publish “Gleanings” our monthly newsletter. If you would like to become a member for $6 per annum please contact our Treasurer, Ngaire Pearce jim_ngaire@clear.net.nz

And just to confirm what a wonderful and sustainable organisation we belong to, we have recently received a copy of the Waikanae Association of Presbyterian Women booklet, “Celebrating Fifty Years of Service to the Otaki Waikanae Prebyterian Parish”. In the book the parish, “Gave thanks to God for the inspiration and guidance to the original members of the Waikanae Womens’ Association”.

We also hold special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. We promote justice and peace; safeguard Human Rights and celebrate cultural diversity.

To increase membership of Presbyterian Women in your Parish, may I suggest that you bring along a younger friend to meet in fellowship, or set up a new younger group within your Parish, remembering, “Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me”.

PS: Then you can join us at our national gathering in April 21-22 2012.

Jan Harland
Incoming Convenor

Te Aka Puaho

For over 100 years Te Aka Puaho has supported Turakina Maori Girls’ College. During this period we have developed a unique relationship between Church and school, and the advancement and development of the school has been significant; the contribution that Turakina has made to Maori and New Zealand society has been impressive, with many graduates going on to hold prominent positions in all aspects and levels of leadership in this country and beyond.

I would like to encourage as many people as possible to continue our links with, and support for, our school.

Recruitment of students is always an important matter; I ask you all to promote Turakina as a viable option for educating and developing the potential of our young Maori girls.

I have suggested to Te Aka Puaho that 25 September of every year be set aside in our calendar as Turakina Maori Girls’ College Day. On this Sunday the focus would be on talking to people in our community about Turakina, inviting former students to church to share experiences of attending the school, and most importantly, to promote the school as a viable option for educating daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters. I am certain that the principal, Mrs Terehia Channings, and staff would be willing to help with resources for this day.

As part of Turakina Sunday I would also like to ask that a special offering be taken and that this offering be sent to the school to support it in whatever way is deemed necessary by the principal.

To those outside of Te Aka Puaho, perhaps you may like to join us on this Sunday and make mention of Turakina in your service with a prayer for our school and maybe a special donation to the school that could be financial or also include books for the library.

Please circulate this message to all church members, friends and contacts that you have in church, community and work as a way of promoting our school, Turakina Maori Girls’ College.

Wayne Te Kaawa
Moderator of Te Aka Puaho


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?

Applications are invited for post-ordination study grants for ministers in good standing of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

What are the rules?

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.

How do I apply?

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.

Read more detail on grants here.

Enquiries to: The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street Opoho, Dunedin. Email registrar@knoxcentre.ac.nz   

Closing date for applications: 30 September 2011

Council of Assembly invitation to parishes to take part in the Church Life Survey

The Council of Assembly would like all parishes to take part in the Church Life Survey in November. This is an interdenominational survey that looks at the views of individual church members. The Council of Assembly has agreed to pay the cost for each parish to participate.

Each parish automatically receives a series of written reports of their results. These will provide valuable information about what your members think about your current programme and where your parish may be able to help them further. This could help you plan your activities, as well as helping presbyteries and the national Church to understand what is happening on the ground.

If your parish enters the survey answers through a very easy to use website, (www.clsnz.com) the survey will be free. If you would rather the data was collated by the survey organisers then your parish will need to pay 60 cents per completed survey form.

To take part we need you to enrol your parish now.

Participating parishes should register through the Church Life Survey website www.clsnz.com The Council of Assembly would like you to register as soon as possible. A memo providing more information about the survey, as well as codes needed to be used, can be found here.

You are invited to the Annual General Meeting of The Presbyterian Church Property Trustees

The 2011 Annual General Meeting of The Presbyterian Church Property Trustees will be held at 4 pm Thursday 29 September, Conference Centre, St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church, cnr Willis & Dixon Streets, Wellington. Friends and associates are invited to attend. Presbyteries are welcome to send representatives.

Afternoon tea available from 3.40 pm. For catering purposes, please r.s.v.p. to Heather McKenzie, heather@presbyterian.org.nz or phone (04) 381 8290.

Free Christian radio programmes

Christian Broadcasting Association is making its audio programming for special days available free of charge. Churches will be able to download files and use them as appropriate in worship. Download at www.loveit.co.nz

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 September. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie

University of Otago and Faraday Institute UK conference, The New Atheism: A Christian Response, 2-3 September, St Margaret’s College, Dunedin.

The New Atheists claim that believers in ‘the God hypothesis’ should not be tolerated, but should be actively countered and the shoddy arguments supporting their beliefs should be exposed. Conference speakers include Prof Murray Rae. Only 120 places available. Registration $100 or $50 student. See more http://www.events4you.co.nz/faraday2011.html

Apply for Faith Funding from Presbyterian Support

Applications are now open for Faith Funding. Presbyterian Support New Zealand is a Faith Funding Manager for The Tindall Foundation for projects undertaken by Presbyterian parishes which support families and communities. Funding is available up to $10,000 (typically between $6,000 and $10,000). Applications close 30 September 2011. Email admin@ps.org.nz for more information or download application forms at https://ps.org.nz/tindall-application

Support Closer Together Whakatata Mai to Reduce Inequality

Almost a thousand people have already made the choice to help reduce inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand by adding their signatures to the Closer Together Whakatata Mai (CTWM) information programme, but we still need more signatures to reach our target of at least 5000.

Please choose to reduce inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand by either signing a freepost Closer Together choice or go online here (www.closertogether.org.nz) to take action now - it only takes two clicks to make a difference!

Global Inistitue of Theology, 2012

The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) will hold its third Global Institute of Theology (GIT) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from 8 June to 1 July 2012. The Institute will be held in collaboration with, and under the academic auspices of Duta Wacana Christian University, Yogyakarta. For details see the website http://www.wcrc.ch/node/611

Theology and Church Architecture: A seminar for churches thinking about rebuilding, 28 September

9.00am - 3.30pm

Venue: Christchurch Chinese Church

286 Greers Rd, Bryndwr (nr Wairakei Rd shops)

Cost: $20 payable at door, includes refreshments and lunch

RSVP for catering purposes: Chris Church, Theology House, (03) 355 9145 or email admin@theologyhouse.ac.nz

This event is being organised jointly by Alistair Mackenzie (Laidlaw College, Christchurch) and Peter Carrell (Theology House, Christchurch).

Moving Planet Wellington, 24 September 2011, Wellington

Moving Planet is organized by 350 Aotearoa and is a global movement and event dedicated to transitioning away from fossil fuels. On 24 September, 1.30pm at Waitangi Park we’re going to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking and skating towards a common goal. Come jump on your bike, roller skates, boards, kayaks or feet for sports, bands, bike maintenance workshops and much more. Sign up to take part at http://www.movingplanet.org/events/nz/wellington/218

Church Yearbook 2012

After many requests to have the Church Yearbook in a downloadable form, the 2012 Yearbook will be available on the Church website and for download from January 2012. This will allow the information in the Yearbook to be accessed and used more easily. For those who do not have access to the internet the Yearbook will also be available in photocopied format from Assembly Office.

Westminster College – Cambridge

Over the years many ministers from the Presbyterian Church have been beneficiaries

of generous grants from the Cheshunt Foundation and the hospitality of the College and the United Reformed Church to enable them to take study leave there. At present the College is involved in a seven million pound fund-raising programme to improve facilities in order to make it more attractive and suitable as a resource centre for learning for the wider church community. For more details see http://www.westminster.cam.ac.uk/appeal/

Martyrs’ Monument St Andrews, Scotland

The University of St Andrews request for your support of an international fund raising effort to restore this important monument commemorating 16th-century Reformation events. For information see martyrsmonument.standrews.co.uk

Host/ess sought for Bay of Islands Centre for Re-Creation

Bay of Islands Uniting Parish has a comfortably furnished, one bedroom unit at modest rental for a live-in host/ess of our holiday homes. There occasional paid work for back-up cleaning duties but primarily we are looking to establish an onsite presence for someone who might feel called to join our lively little parish. For details of possible arrangements, enquires to: P O Box 353, Paihia 0274. Ph (09) 402 8125 or email paihiacentreforrecreation@gmail.com

CWS Notices

Horn of Africa Appeal

Keeping good farmers on their land in the drought stricken Horn of Africa is a goal CWS is helping meet in Ethiopia. CWS and partners are helping fund land regeneration and renewal so good farmers can make the most of it when the rains return.

CWS partners are also helping with direct drought relief for the 12 million affected people, including new camps outside Mogadishu in Somalia. As the Horn of Africa faces its worst drought in 60 years famine is hitting hard. People have given generously to the CWS appeal but more is needed for a still developing crisis. A short PowerPoint for use in worship is available from cws@cws.org.nz

CWS staff have been impressed with how generous people are even with crises like the Christchurch earthquakes as a very present reality.

Send donations to Christian World Service, PO Box 22652, ChCh 8140 or go online for other ways to give www.cws.org.nz

Christchurch Chapel Brass Band Concert

Christchurch’s annual Chapel Brass Concert will be at 3pm at the St Andrew's Church in Rangi Ruru High School's grounds with the Harmony Singers on Sunday 9 October .CWS will have 500 tickets to sell at $10 each with the proceeds going to CWS. Tickets for door pickup can be booked from the CWS office, phone 03 366 9274. (Note - Christchurch is very short of concert venues after the quakes.)

Church Register

Short-Term Appointments

Rev Waldir de Souza, Minister, Brazilian Baptist Convention, to Stated Supply Minister Lumsden/Balfour/Kingston Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 17 July 2011.

Rev Keith Hooker, Other Recognised Minister, Kaimai Presbytery, to Stated Supply Minister, Greyfriars Presbyterian Church, Mt Eden, Northern Presbytery, 7 July 2011.


Rev Robert Anderson, Chaplain, Taranaki Base Hospital, Taranaki Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Taranaki Presbytery, 31 July 2011.


Rev John Elvidge, Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, died 4 May 2011.

Rev Vivienne Sinclair, Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, died 3 August 2011.


Check out our listing of national and regional events.


Check out our jobs vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table.