From the Moderator
E te whanau a te Karaiti. Tena koutou katoa.
In this first Bush Telegraph column, I sincerely thank my predecessor Peter, for his unstinting work of inspiring our Church to be intentional about evangelism and discipleship. I have encouraged Peter to make himself available to the Church to keep reminding us of this important aspect of mission. Evangelism is the one aspect of discipleship that most people find hard. So well done Peter in helping us focus on this aspect of the faith, and the growth that follows from that.
In my time as Moderator I am keen in the first few months to listen to the Church. I have set a short-term goal to visit every presbytery and to meet the executive or leadership teams of each presbytery by December. If my task is to be a missional leader in the Church, then I need to know what the local needs are. I am very keen to hear not only the needs, but the vision. I will be asking each presbytery leadership team ‘What do you think the Holy Spirit is saying to you? And what do you think the Holy Spirit is saying to us as a denomination?’ The ministry of our Presbyterian family is not only parish based, but includes Church schools, Presbyterian Support networks, chaplaincies in schools, prisons, hospitals, military and the police. In my two year term I hope to touch base with the whole Presbyterian family.
Let me leave you with a prayer for reflection from one of my mentors – Henri Nouwen. “I call to you, O Lord, from my quiet darkness. Show me your mercy and love. Let me see your face, hear your voice, touch the hem of your cloak. I want to love you, be with you, speak to you and simply stand in your presence. But I cannot make it happen. Pressing my eyes against my hands is not praying, and reading about your presence is not living in it. But there is that moment in which you will come to me, as you did to your fearful disciples, and say, ‘Do not be afraid, it is I.’ Let that moment come soon, O Lord. And if you want to delay it, then make me patient. Amen.”
God Bless You,
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It has been more than 25 years since we celebrated the opening of our General Assembly at our national mare at Ohope. Of all the locations and places associated with our Church and its history, this is the most special for me.
Te Maungarongo, at the Ohope marae, is a name which captures a sense of peace, harmony and unity. This is the first Church-owned marae in New Zealand and has stood on the hill overlooking Ohope since it was established there in 1947.The marae embodies the vision of Hoani Laughton and other Maori and Pakeha Church leaders whose work and hope represents a fascinating history dating back over a century of working together for the proclamation of the Gospel. We are enormously thankful for the work of Te Aka Puaho in hosting this event.
2012 General Assembly
The Assembly will open at our national marae in Ohope at 11am on Thursday 4 October and continue from there to Rotorua Boy’s High School from Thursday afternoon until its conclusion at lunch time on Sunday 7 October. We are expecting a total of around 400 people at the Assembly including international guests from more than a dozen churches in Asia and the Pacific.
Notices of motion
All notices of motion, apart from those which arise from dialogue or debate, need to be with the Assembly Business Work Group by 9pm on Thursday 4 October.
Assembly documents on the web site
There are a number of documents and back ground papers which, largely because of their length, cannot be published in the White Book. These will be added to over the coming weeks. Please take time to read these from the GA 12 website.
Church Council voting for the 2014 Moderator
Thank you to all those Church Councils that voted. The Moderator-designate will be announced on the Sunday of the General Assembly.
Sign Up for GA12 News
If you're not attending this year's General Assembly, you can sign up with your email address to receive an email every evening of GA12. This email will summarise decisions and events, as well as providing links to fuller information. You can sign up here in the box on the right hand side of the page.
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 for study and consideration.
Director, Knox Information and Research Centre
The Centre represents a new stage in the development and work of the Archives and Hewitson Library. The Director will have the task of both implementing the merger of the organisational functions of the Archives and Library and developing the Centre in such a way that it fulfills its educational, research and information purposes for the benefit of the Church and the wider community.
If you, or if you know of anyone with the skills and gifts to fulfill this role, please take a look at the full details here. Applications close on 19 October 2012.
Risk management and ministry ethics workshops
Attendance every three years at one of these workshops is now mandatory for all ministers seeking to maintain their Certificates of Good Standing. While we are now fully committed for 2012, there are openings for these workshops for 2013. All presbyteries need to schedule in one of these half day workshops which are being funded from the national budget and provided by a person who is both a lawyer and has extensive experience in church ministry, especially with young people and children. Please contact me for further information.
Looking for a newly trained minister?
In November 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 which 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.
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 three 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.
Certificates of Good standing are valid for 6 years with a review needed to be undertaken every three years.
Please note that the guidelines have been updated to take account of ministers serving overseas and active ministers who are not currently serving in parish or chaplaincy positions.
Thank you again for your support and prayers.
Overseas Visitors to GA12
The General Assembly is often a time when we are reminded about the global nature of the Church, and our part in it. At GA12, we have international visitors coming from Myanmar, Japan, Korea, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tahiti, Australia, local representatives of some of our Pacific partners, and a minister from the Presbyterian Church of Chile. I encourage Commissioners to the Assembly to introduce yourselves to our overseas guests, and to take the opportunity to learn about their lives, their joys and their challenges as fellow Christians. For those not attending Assembly, read the latest news about the forthcoming visit of members from the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, from our Rice Bowl Mission coordinator, Angela Norton:
This is an amazing opportunity! We have just recently received permission from New Zealand Immigration to bring three guests to NZ from Myanmar. This is a huge accomplishment.
Rev. Ring Lian Thang (Rev. Thang) PCM General Secretary
Rev. Cin Za Lein - PCM Mission Secretary
Ms Lal Hming Sangi (Sangi) Lecturer at Tahan Theological College
Global Mission and our local church partners have a number of opportunities for you to come and meet our friends from Myanmar.
You will have the opportunity to hear first-hand . . .
- Stories of life and faith from the people of Myanmar
- The dramatic changes happening in the country right now due to the new wave of democracy
- The difference that New Zealanders are making in the lives of some of the poorest of the poor in the world
- How you can help
Auckland - St Columba @ Botany
Wednesday 3 October 7.00 – 8.30pm - A public meeting for any interested people
Sunday 7th October 7.00-8.30pm - Special Worship Service
Contact St Columba office for more details (09) 274 4864
Wellington – St Johns in the City
Monday 8 October 7.00- 9.00pm - A public meeting for any interested people
Contact St Johns office for more details (04) 385 1546
Christchurch – St Margaret’s
Wednesday 10 October 7.30-9.00 pm–A public meeting for any interested people
Thursday 11 October 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Contact St Margaret’s office for more details (03) 359 0149
Dunedin – Knox
Sunday 14 October 10.00am - Worship Service
Sunday 14 October 12.00 – 2.00pm Lunch and meeting guests
Contact Knox office for more details (03) 477 0229
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Gordon and I ran the first Auckland Going Deeper youth leaders training weekend last month. Participation was almost entirely made up of our Pacific Island churches. We had fun learning about safety in youth ministry; the value of Risk, Assessment, Management (RAMs) forms; theology of youth ministry and stages of faith. We stayed at one of our little known about and therefore under-used Presbyterian Church camps on the Awhitu Peninsula.
PYM staff attended an excellent training session with Dr. Martin Brokenleg on the circle of courage, thinking about culture and alternative education with young people. The circle of courage is a model of working with young people which is based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy, all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. Mastery is the desire to be successful, to be able to do things for ourselves. Our environment influences us and our innate desire to achieve for ourselves. Does our church environment encourage and support young people to gain mastery in the area of faith?
We launched our PYM i-phone app in September. We hope to be able to follow this up with an android version. Having trailed a successful Skype networking group we have now offered this more widely. This is primarily aimed at youth workers in more remote places. We have found that these groups create real relationships. We try to keep them simple; check in with each other; have a discussion around a relevant youth ministry issue, and pray. Skype networking groups tend to meet monthly. If you are the key youth leader at your church, why not sign up today: http://www.pym.org.nz/networking/.
Going Further registration is now open: http://goingfurther.org.nz/. Registration has started very well with a number of return participants. This indicates the strength and value of this discipleship week for people. Shoulder tap an 18-30 year old in your congregation that is serious about following Jesus and encourage them to attend.
Youth Ministry Development leader
Sharing God’s story
“The Church is the bearer of a story of God’s mighty deeds and actions in history,” says John Westerhoff. As bearers of this story how do we seek to share it with our children?
Kids Friendly is frequently asked to recommend resources for “children’s time” as churches recognise the importance of engaging and involving children in some part of the worship service. Many ministers report that preparing and delivering the “children’s talk” is a challenging and time consuming task and too often just gets left out.
Would we “leave out” scripture from our worship service? So why not use this time to share the scripture with children? I’m often surprised at how little, church children know about the Bible. Few can navigate it and many don’t know the difference between the Old and New Testament. They often struggle to identify what stories come from the Bible.
Reflecting on this and inspired by reading and research during my recent sabbatical, I decided to introduce a new ritual into our church last Sunday. In our church, the children’s time is marked by inviting them up to the front to light the Christ candle. Straight after this we have decided to introduce a segment called “Open the book”. After showing them the big book that sits on the pulpit and discussing with them what’s in it, who wrote it etc, we practised our new ritual for sharing the scripture. I say: “It’s time to….” and they respond (as they open their hands out from a prayer stance to an open book stance) “Open the book”. I then announce where the story comes from in the Bible (this is projected on the screen behind me) and read a child friendly version of the story. We launched this with the creation story and had a PowerPoint of pictures projected as I read.
There are many creative ways to share our faith stories, but I’m hoping that by “marking” the time of sharing and locating the stories in the Bible, we will help children to embrace “our story” as their story.
To find out about the “Open the book” ritual and supporting resources contact me.
Kids Friendly Coach
“It is our responsibility as members of the international community and citizens of our own countries to bring about changes to more than one billion persons with disabilities worldwide,” the UN Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said in a recent news release.
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand is right on target. Our local project is to cover just that topic. Members throughout the country will be thinking of ways in which they may fundraise to support the production of a brochure called “Welcoming Churches”.
On UN matters, the National Convenors Group confirmed our representation, to the Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York. The fifty-seventh session will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013. The theme is the “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”.
Currently we are focused on the Consultative Project encouraging young women to have their say on the future of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand. Presbyteries are encouraged to put forward names of women between the ages of 25-45, who are keen and enthusiastic to give input on our future. These names can be emailed to our national secretary, Valerie Anderson by no later than 30 November 2012.
We will have representation at the GA12 where we will launch our “Braided River of Faith” book, which is full of stories of passionate Presbyterian Women and how they have each made a difference to our organisation. We can all learn from history.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at five percent. This rate became effective from 1 February 2012. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.
Glen Innis vacancies
October 15 - 22 Homestead
November 5 - 12 Homestead
November 12 - 19 Homestead
November 26 - December 3 Homestead
December 3 - 10 Homestead
Child Matters Buddy Day November 16
Child Matters began Buddy Day last year with the purpose of raising awareness of the issue of child abuse, so that more people take action to speak up when they believe a child is in danger. This year’s event will take place in Hamilton on 16 November. Buddy Day is focused around life-size cardboard children – ‘Buddies’ – who are decorated by pupils from schools and child care centres in the Waikato area prior to the event and then cared for by adults who look after the ‘Buddies’ for the day. Child Matters is providing ‘event kits’ for purchase online to allow all New Zealanders to participate in the awareness day this year. For more info visit www.buddyday.org.nz or email Janine@childmatters.org.nz.
Rev Mark Holmen is an international consultant and speaker for the faith@home movement that promotes the home as the primary place for nurturing faith in children. Mark shared his vision and strategies for sharing faith@home with church leaders and parents in the main centres of New Zealand in May. From September 7-16 he will be running parent and leaders’ seminars in Tauranga, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Porirua and Dunedin. To find out more download the flyer email Tash firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.faithathome.com.
Christian environmental conference
The conference is being jointly hosted by Christian environmental group A Rocha, the Otago University Centre for Theology and Public Issues, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand from 5-7 October. Additional information, including a copy of the programme, is available here: http://www.caritas.org.nz/take-action/events/christianity-and-ecological-crisis-lament-hope-action
Week of Prayer for World Peace
The Week will be observed in New Zealand from 14-21 October. A leaflet has been produced with prayers, readings and affirmations from many faiths to use each day. Religious communities throughout New Zealand are encouraged to celebrate the week both in their observances and together with people of different faiths. For further information or to order leaflets for your community to use please email WeekOfPrayer@xtra.co.nz or visit the Interfaith website
Christian Pro-Life song writing contest
5th Voice for Life National Pro-Life Songwriting Contest
Auckland, Sat. 24th November.Entries and enquiries email@example.com
International Volunteer Managers Day
VNZ is launching its best practice guidelines for volunteer-involving organisations on International Volunteer Managers Day and we'd love you to join us. These are broad guidelines, designed to reflect the diversity of organisations across the country. We would love you to join us at 10.30am on 5 November 2012 for a webinar to launch the guidelines. Enrol online now to book your place: http://volunteer.xperts.co.nz/course_catalogue.php?utm_source=Volunteering+New+Zealand+List&utm_campaign=061b570822-BestPractiseLaunch_1&utm_medium=email
Child Poverty Feedback
The Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Child Poverty is gathering feedback on the solutions put forward in their report ‘Solutions to Child Poverty in New Zealand’. For example, the Public Health Association is really pleased to see housing as a priority in the Children’s Commissioner’s experts report. Feedback is due by 12 October. For more information visit http://www.occ.org.nz/publications/child_poverty#feedback.
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.
Theological essay competition
An essay competition for theology students and young pastors is asking for a response to the concept of “Paradise” as a source of inspiration for the renewal of global social and economic structures. Theology students or pastors, 35 years of age or younger, are invited to submit essays in English, French, Spanish or German. Deadline for applications is 23 December 2012. Further information about the competition is available on World Communion of Reformed Churche’s website http://www.wcrc.ch.
PCANZ Yearbook 2012
The Church’s 2012 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download for October 2012 here using the username and password emailed to you in March.
Working together on risk reduction in the Pacific
Specialist Christian World Service staff have been working with other agencies and the Government on disaster risk reduction simulation exercises for the Pacific region.
CWS is part of a seven member consortium of agencies that have worked together to develop a plan for the exercise to possibly take part in Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu in 2013 and 2014. The concept was submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by members of the collective consortium including ADRA (Adventists), Caritas, CWS, Rotary, Oxfam, Tear Fund and UNICEF. ADRA is the lead agency for the project based on their considerable experience in running such exercises in Asia and the Pacific. Many of the consortium members have also worked together in Christchurch last year in the aftermath of the February earthquake.
CWS went into the project aware of the close ties between the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and its partner in Vanuatu, the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. The Vanuatu Presbyterians had already worked on similar disaster reduction work with Act for Peace Australia and was interested in working with CWS and the consortium on this programme. The Tongan connection will involve CWS partner group, the Tonga Development Trust’s Ama Takiloa programme which is already working in disaster risk reduction programmes.
The consortium’s concept has been approved to go to the formal design phase and for over two months the consortium members have been working on drafting and finalising the next stage of the process, the Activity Design Document. CWS staffer, Trish Murray has been involved in working on developing the Results Measurement Table involving goal, long/medium/short terms outcomes, outputs, indicators, baseline data and methodologies.
Receptions to the Roll:
Rev Glenn Pettigrove, received from Presbyterian Church (USA), 5 July 2012.
Ordination and Inductions:
Rev Glenn Pettigrove, Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, to Member, Northern Presbytery, 14 September 2012.
Rev Brian E. Cavit, Member, Northern Presbytery, to Minister Emeriti, Kaimai Presbytery, 22 October 2012.
Rev Jaqui Cavit, Chaplain, Northern Presbytery, to Member, Kaimai Presbytery, 22 October 2012.
Mr Peter Gray, Lay Appointee, Nawton Community Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, concluded his term, 30 August 2012.
Rev Edward (Ted) Brash, Ministers Emeriti, Wellington Presbytery, died on 18 September 2012.
Sr Mary Crozier (nee Jacobs), Presbytery of Christchurch, died on 28 August 2012.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.