From the Moderator
I love the West Coast - the lush bush, the misty hills, the mountain peaks and the rugged coastline. New Zealand has many wonderful places but, for me, there is something very special about the West Coast.
I am currently on the coast. I have driven up and have taken a couple of extra days, just to enjoy it.
That thought made me wonder how often I set aside a couple of days just to enjoy Jesus – and it is not as often as I would like, despite the fact that Jesus is infinitely more wonderful than the West Coast.
I also watched a wee video the other day, check it out, in which a non-Christian started spending time with a cousin. In their time together the cousin talked about Jesus. Again, when I am with non-Christian family I don’t talk about Jesus a lot.
When we think of witnessing, I suspect we more often think it involves talking about my experience of Jesus, or answering tricky questions about Christianity, but what about simply talking about Jesus – what he did, what he taught, what sort of person he was/is.
There is definitely value in also telling our own story but have I underestimated the value of talking about Jesus? Luke’s version of the Great Commission in Acts talks about “being my witnesses”. Just as a witness to an accident tells about the accident, witnesses to Jesus talk about Jesus.
In Colossians 1:28-29 Paul says that all his energy is focused on “presenting everyone fully mature in Christ”. That was his mission. His method was to “proclaim him”. Paul’s curriculum was Jesus. He proclaimed Jesus and by that method made disciples.
It is all about Jesus. I need to remember not to make it more complicated than that. May our focus be Jesus.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
I spent last weekend trying to learn how to fly-fish. It was like learning about a different world - with all its practices, language etiquette and very committed community. Not to mention the inordinate amount of time and money you can spend if you want to get serious with the sport. (Or maybe I should say “science” when I start looking at how many books have been written on the subject).
Is that what people feel like when they come along to a church service for the first time? Anxious, disorientated, and confronted with a vague sense of one’s own inadequacy? I really hope not. Learning about the strange new world of fly-fishing also reminded me – as have several recent experiences with other cultural groups and our young people – how the inside group constructs a new “normal”. And how easy it is for people, once they are inside, to forget what “normal” might mean for those who are not part of the group. Some of our young people, and certainly some of those who have arrived in New Zealand more recently, often do not feel at home in our congregations.
A good host makes the outsider feel comfortable. A good host is mindful of what it is like not to know what to do. Perhaps the biggest challenge for us, especially those of us who are part of congregations that have been around for a while, is being the good host to the outsider, the lost, and the stranger in our midst. (And the fly-fishing – fantastic, caught my first ever brown trout – thanks to a wonderful teacher and guide.)
Church council voting for the Moderator-elect, 2014
The names of five nominees for the role of Moderator-elect along with biographical information and a voting form will shortly be sent to all church councils. We use a preferential system of voting for this phase of the process. All completed voting forms need to be returned to the Assembly Office by 5pm on Friday August 10, 2012.
Nominating Committee Nominations
All Presbyteries, UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho should now have received a request from the Nominating Committee for nominations for the Nominating Committee. Please send in your nominations as soon as possible.
The Nominating Committee will also shortly send out information seeking nominations for those who could serve on one of a number of national committees including the Council of Assembly.
Uniting Congregations of Aotearoa New Zealand (UCANZ) new guide to procedures
At the General Assembly, commissioners will be invited to vote for the adoption of new procedures governing the operations of UCANZ congregations. We will not be printing out the entire document in the Assembly papers and so would invite all commissioners to download their own copy here and the appendices here for study and consideration.
Looking for a newly trained minister?
In November of this year seven well-trained, enthusiastic and committed interns will be available to be called to a ministry. These students bring with them a range of experience, skills and gifts. Several of them have many years of church ministry experience and all draw from a range of backgrounds that will contribute to the richness of their ministry and leadership. Information about all current interns including those in their final year can be found here.
If you are the convenor of a Ministry Settlement Board and would like more details about the students who are completing their training this year, please contact the Rev Allister Lane who is providing the liaison between interns and ministry settlement boards.
General Assembly 2012
The Assembly will open at our national marae at Ohope on the morning of Thursday 4 October 2012, and will continue from there to Rotorua Boy’s High School from Thursday afternoon till its conclusion on Sunday 7 October.
Our Assembly Administrator, the Very Rev Pamela Tankersley has now sent out documents to all presbytery clerks, UDC secretaries and Te Aka Puaho detailing commissioning processes, costs and other important information. If you have any queries please email@example.com
An enrolment pack with enrolment form, information about fees, accommodation and travel will be sent out in June to those listed by presbyteries as commissioners. You are advised to plan travel early, and to send the completed enrolment form back promptly to the Assembly Administrator (final deadline 24 August).
Included in the enrolment pack will be six copies of the study booklet, “Reviving the Flame” written by the Moderator-designate, the Rev Ray Coster, to prepare us for the Assembly. Please share them with your parish.
Local arrangements enquiries
Local arrangements queries can be made to Kiri Thomas on 0800 724212 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadlines for submitting reports and proposals
Those committees, councils and groups submitting reports to the Assembly should have sent them to the Assembly Administrator by 31 May.
Any proposals for legislation or any other matter that a church council or presbytery might like to bring to the General Assembly must be at the Assembly Office eight weeks before the Assembly, ie by 9 August. However, we ask that they be with us by 15 June, to be included in the book of reports, and so that consultation can be made (Note that this is different from what was previously notified).
It is anticipated that Assembly papers (the White Book) and a conference pack will be mailed to commissioners mid-August.
Enrolment information, local arrangements, reports and other papers will be loaded onto the church website as they come to hand from mid-June.
Youth representatives at Assembly
Orientation day for youth representatives will begin a day before the formal start of the Assembly. Presbyteries may send two youth representatives, but note that the 2010 General Assembly ruled that amalgamated presbyteries may appoint two representatives per pre-amalgamation presbytery.
Council of Assembly
The Council of Assembly meet 14 – 16 June in Wellington. Please have any correspondence to the Council at the Assembly Office by 7 June.
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.
Thank you again for your generous support and for all the ways your help our Church and its mission.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
In recent years the Knox Centre has offered music scholarships to folk (aged 18-30) who have an interest in composing worship songs and want to improve their ability to lead music in worship.
The scholarships consist of a cash grant and a two-day music and worship workshop here at the Knox Centre, which is led by Malcolm Gordon and Darryl Tempero. Past recipients of these scholarships have enjoyed getting to know each other and becoming part of a growing network of singer-songwriters and music leaders. Several of them have gone on to make significant contributions to Malcolm’s One Voice music project.
The deadline for applications was originally 30 April, but we have decided to extend this to 30 June. Please encourage your young, gifted musicians to apply. All they have to do is send me a letter of application, supported by a reference from their church minister. For further details, check out our web site www.knoxcentre.ac.nz
While you’re visiting our website, feel free to download some resources. Over the past year the Knox Centre has produced an Eldership Handbook, a Leadership Handbook and a study resource on Inclusive Language in Worship.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
In partnership with Steph Readhead, our regional youth coordinator for Otago and Southland, PYM ran a well received Going Deeper in youth ministry weekend. We had about 27 youth leaders going through this training. We are currently organising one for East Auckland for September. If you would like us to run one in your region, then get in touch with us.
There is a youth commissioner’s orientation day on Wednesday 3 October from 2pm -6pm at Rotorua Boys’ High School. More details here.
Going Global happens this month. There are 10 of us from around New Zealand heading to Vanuatu to work with a school in Tana that is part of PCV. Those going have been doing the training and study on mission online. This training will continue while in Vanuatu. This mission training resource will be available for churches to use.
There are still places left for Connect.
Enrolment for the Diploma in Presbyterian Youth Ministry, starting in the second semester, is open until mid-July, there’s more information here. People interested in this will need to send in the respective applications to PYM and Laidlaw College or Carey Baptist College.
Youth Ministry Development Leader
Building a community hall /church on Efate Island
We have been invited to participate in a mission project at Tanoliu on Efate Island.
In August this year Lisa Daunton of Gisborne is teaming up with KiwiSpan Gisborne to build a community hall/church for the village of Tanoliu Efate (the island Port Villa is on). KiwiSpan is donating the building and their expertise. The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu and Global Mission warmly support the project.
This is an incredible gift for this village and you can imagine they are excited as they have been very concerned about the plight of their young people for quite some time and want to be able to do something constructive about it.
They are looking for funding to pay for a container to get the materials to Vanuatu and for team members to go with them. Contact Lisa here if you want to help.
A team of 10 young people who signed up for the joint Global Mission/Presbyterian Youth Ministry mission trip are currently engaged in our online training. They will leave on 23 June for a week‘s mission with Lenakel High School on Tanna Island, Vanuatu.
Thank you to the parishes of these young people who are supporting them in prayer, in finance and with other resources.
We are taking resources for the English language courses at the school and would be delighted to hear from any one with resources to help – dictionaries, story books, grammar books - aimed at about NZ year 7-9. Email Carlton. (email@example.com)
New kindy at Talua Ministry Training Centre
A team from Chartwell Cooperating Parish in Hamilton is currently on Santo Island building a new kindergarten for the children of students at Talua. It will also become a centre for teaching early childhood education skills in the women’s programme. The local parish has generously resourced the kindy with furniture and teaching aids. Great stuff, Chartwell!
Council for World Mission Pacific region secretary
The Rev Fei Taule’ale’ausumai has been appointed as the secretary of the CWM Pacific Region, and will take up office, working form South Auckland, in June. We are glad to support Fei in this new position. As the Council for World Mission moves its head office from London to Singapore, the regions are being empowered to order their own mission.
Four Presbyterians will attend the four-yearly General Assembly of CWM in June, in Pago Pago in American Samoa.
Global Mission coordinator
Worship: We’re all in this together
A 10-year-old girl recently asked her mother after church, “Why don’t we get to do the real stuff?” It’s an interesting question. Increasingly we are seeing a trend in churches across the globe to worship with all ages together. This inclusive worship seeks to involve all members of the congregation and begins with the premise that everyone belongs in church and has something to contribute.
Now, it may not be possible to have all of our worship services all-age every week, but we can make a good beginning by ensuring the time children do spend in church is intentionally inter-generational. How can we do this?
In my experience it starts by thinking of our worship service as a journey. As we are planning, we can ask: Is there one key theme or message? Does each part naturally follow the other? Does each part add to our understanding and response? Is everyone included?
Then, we need to consider the three Rs.
One – keep it REAL. Not entertainment, or tick-the-children’s-box, but truly centered on God. When we are including children, we need to listen to the Holy Spirit, pray, read the Bible and delve deep just as we would for adult worship. This avoids a watered down message and targets all ages. Authenticity is key: we need to minister out of who we are and believe in our message.
Two – keep it RELEVANT. Once something is resonating with us, then we can think about how to make that truth/message accessible to children. Note, in making it accessible to children we don’t make it inaccessible to adults. Think of a ramp to make stairs more accessible; the people who could use the stairs can still use the ramp. Distill the message to its simplest form. Choose language and imagery that can be easily understood by all. Application of our message to everyday life is also important.
Three – keep it iRRESISTIBLE. Communicate so that people of all ages can’t help getting on board. Use enthusiasm, passion and dynamic expression. Engage people by involving them and making the message multi-sensory (using sight, sound, touch, action, interaction). Surprising people with something unexpected makes those of all ages want to know more and participate. Remember, worship is not only for adults, and inter-generational worship is not for only children. We’re all in this together.
Kids Friendly advisor
Jill Kayser, Kids Friendly Coach, is currently on study leave at Cambridge University. Follow her research and reflections at www.thekidsfriendlycoach.blogspot.com
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand held a very successful Gathering at Rangi Ruru Girl’s School, 20-22 April 2012. Women from around New Zealand - from Whangarei to the Bluff - gathered to network, renew friendships and make new friends at the very comfortable Rangi Ruru. The venue was perfect, as were the excellent meals.
We have a new name, Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand, and a focus on growth in the future. It was an amazing Gathering with so many expert speakers on the topic of growth.
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand are involved in: fellowship, global and local mission, offering scholarships and support to Turakina Girls College, nurses in Jaghadri, Youth Ministery and students at Knox, plus many other forms of support for women’s growth in Christianity in New Zealand and the Pacific.
We have been concerned about stagnation and decline in membership. Our Gathering welcomed younger members and it was so encouraging to see young women actively participating. Let us be bridgebuilders for the future and reach out to young women to further develop the strong foundation already established.
Abraham and Sarah, in the Bible, moved on taking up their tent pegs, and it is now our turn to become bridge builders bridging the gap to reach out to new generations of women.
Speakers at the Gathering included the Rev Chris Elliott, Christchurch deputy Mayor Ngaire Button, Rev John Hunt, Rev Sheena Dickson, Allison Blackler, Tom Campbell, the Very Rev Pamela Tankersley, Gwen Neave OMNZ, Anne Kari and Cyrilline Bani (of Vanuatu). We also welcomed Korean Presbyterian young singers and band.
My dear Aunt Phyllis (97 years old) said, “Keep in touch with the young…take every opportunity”. May God help us find a way to include young people in our future.
Matariki - Maori New Year, 21 June 2012
Matariki is the Māori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster, or The Seven Sisters, and is referred to as the traditional Māori New Year.
See more information here www.mch.govt.nz/nz-identity-heritage/matariki and worship resources here http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/special-services/matariki-services
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 5 percent. This rate became effective from 1 February 2012. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
Glen Innis vacancies
The next vacancies at Glen Innis, for ministers only, are:
June 18 - 25 Homestead
July 16 - 23 Homestead
July 23 - 30 Homestead
July 30 - August 6 Homestead
Study Leave Reports needed – now!
Have you undertaken study leave at any time during the past 10 years? Do you have a study leave report languishing on your desk or filed in your study, or almost completed on your computer? If so, NOW is the time to share it with the rest of the Church. Please find it, dust it off, give it last finishing touches if required and send it to us – we will be happy to accept them in whatever format you have them - paper copies or electronic versions. The reports can then be made available online, and will be a wonderful resource for many. We will also be interested to receive copies of relevant dissertations, theses and doctoral research. As is the current procedure, hard copies will continue to be filed with the Presbyterian Archives Research Centre. Study leave reports already filed with the Archives are listed here.
The postal address is The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith Funding applications sought
Applications are open for Faith Funding. Presbyterian Support New Zealand is a Faith Funding Manager for The Tindall Foundation for projects undertaken by Presbyterian parishes for supporting families and communities. Applications close 29 June 2012. Email email@example.com for more information or see http://www.tindall.org.nz/presbyterian-support/
Follow the Global Mission youth ambassador’s mission trip blog
Follow the blog of Global Mission’s Going Global youth ambassador, Jeremy Selfe, as he prepares for, and undertakes, his mission trip to Vanuatu. Jeremy will share his experiences in the Spring edition of Spanz magazine.
World Refugee day 20 June
First marked in 2001, World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20. This year, the theme is "1 refugee without hope is too many."
Tens of thousands of people around the world take time to recognize and applaud the contribution of forcibly displaced people throughout the world. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on Refugees and 60 years of refugee resettlement in New Zealand. More information at http://www.worldrefugeeday.org.nz/
Volunteer Awareness Week, 17-23 June
Volunteering New Zealand encourages everyone to celebrate Volunteer Awareness Week by acknowledging the volunteers in our churches and communities. This year, the week is built around the theme: Building communities through volunteering. More information here.
Parents Inc Wellington and Auckland Fathers' Breakfast June and September
Listen to great speakers talking about an important role: being a dad. Practical, inspiring and entertaining.
Tuesday 26 June, 7.10am – 8.30am, Wellington Town Hall, 111 Wakefield Street, Wellington, $59 per person,
Speakers: Bruce Pilbrow – CEO and director of The Parenting Place, Zane Scarborough – Attitude manager and presenter, Martin Snedden – former CEO of Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd, Billy Graham – New Zealand's best loved motivator and fitness fanatic, Alfred Ngaro - List MP for National and Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader
Wednesday 19 September, Auckland, Sky City Convention Centre. Speakers to be advised.
More information here
World Environment Day 5 June 2012
World Environment Day was established by the United Nations Environment Programme in 1972. It is held in a different country each year on June 5. New Zealand hosted World Environment Day in 2008. Read more at www.mfe.govt.nz
Spiritual Growth Ministries Aotearoa New Zealand Spiritual Directors’ Formation Programme 2013-2014
Are you interested in helping people grow in their relationship with God and already have people approaching you to talk about their spiritual life?
Our well regarded and comprehensive, 2 year part-time course will inspire and form you as an effective spiritual director. The programme involves a blend of: Engaging in study of the theology and practices of , Christian Spiritual Direction, deepening personal spiritual formation, regular workshops conducted by experienced practitioners, supervised one-to-one spiritual direction practice. For details contact, The Coordinator, Barbara McMillan: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website http://www.sgm.org.nz Expressions of interest are welcome. Applications due by 20 September 2012. Late applications may be considered.
PCANZ Yearbook 2012
The Church’s 2012 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download for May 2012 here using the username and password emailed to you in March.
ARISE Conference, TSB Bank Arena, Wellington, 16-18 August
Guest Speakers include Chris Hill, Rich Wilkerson Jr, Obed Martinez, Jeremy Johnson, John Cameron, Gillian Cameron. The theme for the conference is Appointed, John 15:16 – “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” There will be a GLOW Kids conference and Youth Sessions for teenagers. More information here www.ariseconference.org.nz
Studentsoul seeks a minister
St Stephen’s-Leith seeks a minister to take charge of its special ministry to University students, known for the past 10 years as Studentsoul. If you are a nationally ordained minister, or someone who demonstrates expertise in young adult work who may consider ordination in the future and has a theological qualification or part thereof contact the Rev Martin Macaulay, 03 489 6308 Ext 702, hm 03 489 3426 or email email@example.com or see www.studentsoul.org.nz
Week of Prayer and Action for Peace in Israel Palestine
The challenges facing Israel and Palestine are immense and enduring. Join the World Council of Churches’ invitation to support the churches in the region in their call for education and awareness. The week of prayer and action for peace in Israel Palestine is planned for 28 May-3 June.
Christian World Service, Caritas and Refugee Services are joining together to reflect on the situation facing refugees on Sunday 17 June. Lectionary based resources will be available early June on www.cws.org.nz with the theme, “The Lord looks on the heart”. World Refugee Day is June 20.
Live Below the Line
In September CWS is looking for people to take up the challenge of spending five days living on a food bill of just $2.25 a day. For one billion people living below the line, this is not a choice but a daily reality. The Live Below the Line challenge runs from September 24 to 28. This is the second year it has run in New Zealand as part of a global campaign to bring home the reality of extreme poverty. In Britain, Australia, the United States and Aotearoa New Zealand Live Below the Line has fired up young people about poverty issues. More early information from firstname.lastname@example.org
Sahel: The “invisible” crisis
There are 15.5 million people in West Africa’s Sahel facing a worsening food crisis right now. Globally, aid agencies are trying to get support for help but Sahel stays almost invisible in the media. The reality is that people still starve without film crews there to report it. Our aid and development partners ACT Alliance are trying to help Sahel’s people. We have a Sahel Appeal. Visit email@example.com for more information.
Ordination and Inductions:
Rev Iain Dickson, National Ordained Minister, Te Puke-St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, to National Ordained Minister, Mt Maunganui - St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 26 April 2012.
Rev Helen Harray, Special Ministry, Studentsoul, Southern Presbytery, to National Ordained Minister, Leith Valley St Stephen’s Presbytery Church, Southern Presbytery, 7 March 2012. (Continuing at Studentsoul until settlement is made.)
Rev Falkland Gary Fereti Liuvai, National Ordained Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to National Ordained Minister, Newtown St James’ Presbyterian Church (Niue), Wellington Presbytery, 22 April 2012.
Rev Johannes Suwantika, National Ordained Minister, Titirangi Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, to Stated Supply, Massey/Riverhead Presbyterian Church, 31 March 2012.
Changes in Status:
Rev Karen Nelson, National Ordained Minister, full-time, Conifer Grove/Takanini-St Aidan’s Parish, Northern Presbytery, to National Ordained Minister, 50% part-time, Conifer Grove/Takanini-St Aidan’s Parish, Northern Presbytery, 1 May 2012.
Rev R Andrew Brown, Ministers Emeriti, Northern Presbytery, to Ministers Emeriti, Southern Presbytery, 27 March 2012.
Rev Keith Hooker, Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 May 2012.
Rev Louise Stevenson-Wright, Other Recognised Minister, South Canterbury Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, 20 April 2012.
Mr Howard Cross, Northern Presbytery, has started his term as Lay Supply, Kaitaia Union Church, Northern Presbytery, 22 April 2012.
Rev Shirley Baker-Kirby, Gisborne Presbyterian Parish, Gisborne-Hawkes Bay, has retired from active ministry and remains as Ministers Emeriti, Gisborne-Hawkes Bay, 31 January 2012.
Rev Alex Barton, Ministers Emeriti, Southern Presbytery, died, 24 April 2012.
Rev Crawford Madill, Ministers Emeriti, Southern Presbytery, died, 3 April, 2012.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.