From the Moderator
I like the way Eugene Peterson introduces the letter of James in his Message Translation: “When Christian believers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does. Outsiders, on observing this, conclude that there is nothing to the religion business except, perhaps, business – and dishonest business at that. Insiders see it differently. Just as a hospital collects the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised. It’s similar with sinners outside the church. So, Christian churches are not, as a rule, model communities of good behaviour. They are, rather, places where human misbehaviour is brought out in the open, faced and dealt with.”
A long time ago I learnt the important lesson that the world is neither fair nor just. An important part of our Christian walk as resurrection people is learning to live gracefully and respectfully in an unfair and unjust world – showing grace and love even to those that hurt and offend us. And as the letter of James reminds us, there is as much of the ‘world’ inside the church as there is outside the church. There is a lot of truth in the bumper sticker, ‘Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven’.
It’s nice that the church is one place on earth where what is hidden in darkness can come out into the light and be dealt with, biblically in a safe and accepting environment. Church is designed to be a model of grace but not denial. Denial doesn’t get anyone better. Nothing can be changed until it is faced. James helped the people grow through their issues, not just go through their issues, over and over again. May we in our Presbyterian and Cooperative Ventures GROW through the issues we face in 2013.
Just think. If this is happening inside the church, it is happening outside of church just as much if not more. In today’s dog eat dog, performance based world, very few have the courage to confess their issues and deal with it until it is too late. One of the marks of our society today is an addiction to performance. It consumes and drives businesses, sportspeople and sadly it drives many churches. We live in a society that keeps demanding more and more for less and less. Performance, profit, pressure, pragmatism, these are issues that many Christian people live with daily as they practice their faith in the marketplace. This addiction to performance counters so much of what we speak of and long for in the faith, such as inner peace.
It’s like the story I read this week. “I was at the beach this week and I saw a person in the water. He was yelling, ‘Help! Shark! Help!’ I just laughed because I knew the shark wasn’t going to help.” You are probably not going to get real help from the sharks out there waiting for blood in the water. But in church life we should be different as we live our lives based on Kingdom values.
So please don’t be too judgmental of people in our churches who have the courage to deal God’s way with their issues. The process is messy but the results are clean!
God bless you,
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
I managed to slightly improve my trailer backing skills, fixed the two stroke outboard, had a couple of great days fishing, enjoyed the tomatoes, beans and spring onions I’d planted at Labour Weekend, as well as taking my small boat Laura Palmer out to rescue friends who had run out of gas, five kilometers off Lion Rock. The surf was good and the water was up to about 22 degrees. Does a holiday get any better than that?
It is such a cliché talking about the simple things making all the difference. But can we reclaim the simplicity and integrity of the worship and community life that seems to be described by our 1st century Christian forebears? Around a table, in a home, hearing the accounts of Jesus’ life and resurrection, sharing the wine and bread. Nowhere in scripture do we hear of communities without their issues and problems, and the persecutions faced by some of those in the early days are almost beyond imaging in their violence. But I do find, in the company of people we invite to dinner, (and for us, we only seem to manage this well during our holidays) the sharing of a simple time of thanksgiving, food and wine, there is, in these most simple things, a powerful witness to the transformative power and endurance of the messages central to our faith.
Director appointed for the Knox Information and Resource Centre
Following a 2011 review of the Knox College based Church Archives and Hewitson Library, the Council of Assembly supported a recommendation to combine their functions into a single administrative entity which we have called the Knox Information and Research Centre (KIRC). We have now appointed Anne Jackman, an experienced reference librarian from the Hocken Library, as the new Director. Anne will be supported by a small advisory board, as she works through a process of establishing the new entity and implementing recommendations from the review. We congratulate Anne on her appointment and pray for her in this challenging and exciting role.
PresCare Lenten resource
Our Church and Presbyterian Support produced a PresCare Lenten resource for the 40 day period of Lent, from 13 February to 30 March 2013. This resource invites congregations to focus on our shared concerns at this very significant time in our Christian faith. The resource was mailed to all parishes on 11 December 2012 and parishes were asked to request extra copies from Assembly Office as needed. The resource has been very popular and we have now run out of printed copies so if you require more, please click here to download the resource from our website. You can read about PresCare here.
Justice and engagement opportunity
CWM are sponsoring a 4-5 week programme of practical exposure, theological and sociological reflection in September. This will likely be based in the Philippines and will provide participates with an in depth exposure to communities struggling with justice issues as well as providing opportunities for biblical reflection based on this experience.
More details can be found here. All applications need to be in by the end of April and should be sent to me for a letter of endorsement by our Church. This is an opportunity for ministers, elders or church members who have an interest particularly in justice issues in the developing world. CWM will choose from the applications it receives. Download the application form here.
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. A minister 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 six 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.
Study in Taiwan
The Council for World Mission in association with the Tainan Theological College and Seminary, an institution of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, are funding study opportunities for people who would like to complete certificate or degree level courses in theology. The deadline for applications is 31 March, 2013. For information go to http://www.ttcs.org.tw/ (click on ‘English’)
World Council of Churches Assembly internship opportunities
The seven yearly Assembly of the WCC is being held in Bussan, South Korea in October this year. There are opportunities for young people to serve as interns. If you would like to find out more, please click here.
A new car?
From time to time we get approached by car dealerships offering special prices to the Church. Capital City Mazda are offering discounts on new Mazdas. If anyone involved in the work of the Church would like more information, then please let me know and I will pass on contact details. The Presbyterian Church does not endorse or evaluate the benefit of such offers.
New Zealand’s own Anzac Hymn (English words by Shirley Erena Murray and music by Colin Gibson) is available from the NZ Hymnbook Trust. Sheet Music Format for 4 part setting (SATB), A4 format, staple bound, words in both English and Te Reo Maori. Full colour cover $3.00 per copy, plus p&p. To order email NZ Hymnbook Trust Info@hymns.org.nz, or Phone: 06 3569681.
Assembly minutes and matters for consideration by presbyteries and church councils
All Assembly minutes have been posted online. Other matters for consideration will be sent out over the coming months. These include proposed changes in our Book of Order that require support from church council’s and presbyteries as well as discussion documents concerning the role of the Moderator and decisions about the relationship between property and mission.
Common Baptism Certificate
The Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches have agreed to a common Baptism Certificate. You can down load a copy here for printing. The Catholic Church, who coordinated this project, uses Kraftwork to print their certificates – the contact is Rose Miller.
Thanks again for all you do to support our Church and mission.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
There are a couple of changes that we want to communicate to the church. Firstly, the Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office has a new Director, the Rev Caleb Hardie, who carries on the very good work undertaken by Carolyn Kelly over the past two years. A key aspect of Caleb’s role is to help resource the 13 schools and colleges that are associated with the Presbyterian Church around the country, especially in the areas of chaplaincy and religious education.
Secondly, the Presbyterian Archives and Hewitson Library have been merged into a new entity known as the Knox Information and Research Centre. A new Director has been appointed, Anne Jackman. The Centre is located at Knox College, and has a close relationship with the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership.
Going Global 2013 - Youth Mission Trip to Myanmar
The year is only just beginning but we are already thinking about the end. That’s because we’re making plans for Going Global, a youth mission trip to Myanmar, in November and December this year. This is an exciting opportunity to visit Myanmar in times of unprecedented change, sharing in a cross-cultural experience with young people from the Presbyterian Church there, and learning about the life and culture of Myanmar. Participants will need to be aged between 18-30 and available to travel from November 27th – December 13th. For more information about how to be a part of this amazing experience, email me, or phone 04 3818294. The information pack can also be downloaded from the Global Mission and Presbyterian Youth Ministry websites.
Going Global is a new initiative between Global Mission and PYM, which began last year with the successful visit of a group of young people to Lenakel High School on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. This has led to plans for a follow-up visit from the Papakura East Presbyterian youth group, in July this year. This is a great outcome from last year’s visit and is an example of the things that can happen when one or two key people get energised by a new experience of cross-cultural mission. If you know of any young adult in your church or youth group who might benefit from Going Global, mention it to them and encourage them to consider applying. I hope that churches will assist with sponsorship and fundraising activities.
I have had a good response to my request for invitations to speak at churches, and am fairly well booked up until the middle of the year. Please let me know if you would like me to come and share about the work of PCANZ Global Mission in the second half of the year.
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Happy New Year! 2013 is now well and truly underway. As you read this I am possibly rafting down a river at the Tongariro National Park or listening to Dr Chris Marshall exploring discipleship through the parables. Going Further is on with 28 young adults from around the country coming together to go further in their faith. Thank you to all the churches that helped sponsor young adults from their church to attend. A special thanks to Glendowie Presbyterian Church for sponsoring a young adult in another church to attend.
We received encouraging feedback from people who signed up to KiwiAdvent. Here is what a couple of people said:
- Thank you so much for Kiwi Advent, I loved it. A great way to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
- Kiwiadvent reminded me of what Christmas is all about and I just wanted to say thank you for providing this service. Thanks to the daily texts, I was able to keep up with the Christmas story and read it to my family and friends. It reminded us all of ‘why’ we were getting together to celebrate. The ‘why’ is often forgotten but thanks to Kiwiadvent, we put more meaning into what would have otherwise been a commercialised Christmas.
We will be running KiwiEaster again this year which starts next month. You can sign up now by texting: followkiwieaster to 8987. You can also download a poster for your church.
We have three people beginning the Bmin PYM youth ministry internship this month. It is exciting to see it up and running. The Bmin at Laidlaw College now has a strong youth track as part of the degree.
Connect registrations open this month. If you have youth leaders, I hope you have factored sending them to Connect into your budget. It will be at Silverstream Retreat Centre in Wellington, from 19-21 July. The theme is Sustainable Youth Ministry. For more information click here.
Youth Ministry Development leader
Let them fly
One of the 10 ideals against which churches review their “Kids Friendly-ness” is valued leaders. The self-review resource states: “Kids Friendly churches value their children’s ministry leaders and include them in the ministry team and strategic planning processes.” It therefore saddens me when I hear of yet another “children’s leader” leave his/her role and/or church because she/he feels undervalued and isolated. Too often I hear of this after the event so there’s little I can do except to commiserate.
Last week I received an email from a vibrant, passionate, young mum volunteering at her church saying:
“Children's ministry and supporting families is an area I'm really passionate about, but I'm feeling quite discouraged. It seems that there's a negative undertone within the parish (I'm sure it comes from a small portion of the parish with a very loud voice). Any new idea or initiative requires so much consultation that nothing seems possible and things can’t change. I'm sure God has called me to this ministry and needs me to fight for change, but I'm finding it difficult to muster the motivation needed to move forward. Although I don't want to just give up, I find myself wondering if I'm wasting time, effort, stress and sleep on something that's not going to happen, when I could be spending that time with my family, who would appreciate it! My husband and children didn't want me to go out (AGAIN!) last night, and when I got home I took this photo (a photo of her young daughter asleep in bed) with sadness because I'd missed out on cuddles, kisses, stories and prayers with my girls yet again. I know our plans for children’s ministry will benefit my family in the long-run, but it's getting harder for me to explain to my girls why I'm not going to see them.”
“Vision comes from individuals not from corporate leadership (sessions)” says visionary Rev Mark Chapman of Clevedon Presbyterian. “Church leaders need to recognise the vision of individuals and give them permission to fly.”
This young woman like so many out there whom I’m privileged to meet has a vision but faces barriers and obstacles every way she turns.
If you have parishioners with a vision for your church’s children please appreciate them and make way for them to fly.
Kids Friendly Coach
Happy New Year Everyone! What an exciting year for Presbyterian Women. We begin on Saturday 2nd February 2013, with a seminar/workshop for young Presbyterian Women at St Christopher’s Presbyterian Church in Seatoun, Wellington. The aim of this meeting is to inform young Presbyterian Women about the treasures held in friendship, fellowship, faith, and work. We wish to listen to what young women are interested in from our past and how we may go forward into the future. We will listen with hope.
What is Hope? Hope enhances optimism. It balances and counters despair and impatience. Hope can be a learned practice. Certain attitudes support it:
- an ability to tolerate delays
- a willingness to let events unfold in their own time
- an attitude of confidence even when facing the unknown
- the determination to keep going no matter what happens
We have hope when we can say, all will be well, and we mean it.
Our seminar will be chaired by the Very Rev Pamela Tankersley.
Wishing you all a year full of hope and promise.
In God’s name,
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
February 11 - 18 Homestead/Cottage
March 18 - 25 Homestead/Cottage
March 25 - April 1 Homestead/Cottage
April 8 - 15 Homestead/Cottage
April 15 - 22 Homestead
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Theology Study Grants
The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership is once again delighted to be able to offer a limited number of scholarships in 2013, to Presbyterians doing part-time or full-time theological studies through Otago University, Auckland University, Laidlaw College, Carey Baptist College and the Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies. If you know of anyone who might benefit from such a grant, please encourage them to apply. They should send a letter of application detailing their course (and costs) of study, and what church they’re involved in. They should also include a brief letter of support from someone in their church (preferably their minister so we can discuss their church’s involvement and the course of study). The deadline for applications is 31 March 2013. Letters should be sent to the Principal, the Very Rev Dr Graham Redding, at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Great St John’s MYANMARUN Feb 17
We are taking advantage of the upcoming Round the Bays event in Wellington and turning it into a sponsored ‘fun run’ to raise money for Ricebowl Mission (the mission partnership between the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar). Please get involved by: Entering the event (either the 7km or Half Marathon) and rustling up sponsorship OR Generously sponsoring our runners/walkers. Sponsorship can be lump sum, by km completed, or by time achieved. Please call Gina on 0277508310 if you’re interested in sponsoring a runner/walker. Please note: to enter the event you will have to formally register for the Round the Bays event at www.wellingtonroundthebays.co.nz.
Justice conference 18-19 September
We know that God asks us to do what is fair and just to our neighbours, and to be compassionate in love. But what does this look like in your ministry and workplace? What does it look like for each individual you deal with on a daily basis? What does it look like for you? At the Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit, we're convinced that social justice can be more than a tired catch phrase - it's a living reality and a way of being for those of us following Jesus. The venue is the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, in Manukau. Our speakers are the internationally renowned Shane Claiborne and Dr John M Perkins. Both have a wealth of experience and a strong challenge to share with us. Registration is available at www.salvationarmy.org.nz/justaction
UN World Day for Social Justice
The United Nations proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice in 2007. Observance of the day should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.
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: email@example.com
Race Relations Day March 21
Race Relations Day in New Zealand marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Race Relations Day is a time when you or your organisation or community can do something to celebrate, learn, discuss, plan or promote diversity in your own context and to achieve diversity goals. This year’s theme is “My Dream for Aotearoa…” If you or your organisation are planning an event to celebrate send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Passionate Women's Conference 5-6 April
ARISE Church would like to invite you to attend this incredible conference with two international speakers,Holly Wagner and Joy Hill and your host Gillian Cameron,. It will be a time of intimate worship with other women. Check out www.passionate.org.nz for more info.
PCANZ Yearbook 2013
The Church’s 2012 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download the February 2013 updated Yearbook here using the username and password emailed to you in March.
World Day of Prayer and the Ellerslie Flower Show
The national committee for this year’s World Day of Prayer is based in Christchurch and includes CWS national director, Pauline McKay. The event has been held on the first Friday in March for 80 years and now attracts participants in over 170 countries for prayers in over 1000 languages and dialects starting in the Pacific and ending 40 hours later in Alaska.
Everyone can learn from this year’s theme - “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me” - which is based on the Gospel text of Matthew 25. It reflects French reality where roughly a fourth of all French people have a foreign born grandparent and mixed marriages are common. This means that for the French women tasked with setting this year’s World Day of Prayer theme, a multicultural, multiracial world is one they inhabit.
CWS national director Pauline McKay says this year’s theme is very topical for Christchurch as it gets ready for the many new faces for the post-quake rebuild.
World Day of Prayer is a unique event in that it is run by laywomen in participating churches rather than the formal church structures.
CWS at the Ellerslie Flower Show
CWS will be running the two plant minding stalls at the Ellerslie Flower Show from 6-10 March. The stalls will be staffed by volunteers and provide CWS with the opportunity to introduce the organisation to a new group of potential supporters.
Originally from Auckland, the Ellerslie Flower Show usually attracts over 60,000 people over five days. It was bought by the Christchurch City Council in 2007 and is modelled on the famous English Chelsea Flower Show.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.