Bush Telegraph July 2013

From the Moderator

Presbyterians love the idea of freedom! As I travel the country I see such variety in ways of worshipping – we love the freedom to worship in a way that is dear and meaningful to us. We love the freedom to choose when we will worship and how we will serve. In society many people like the freedom to behave as they like. Internationally we see country after country where people protest or fight for more freedom. People love freedom.

Yet, freedom is delicate. Freedom used in the wrong way gets easily perverted. To quote Eugene Peterson’s introduction to Galatians: “Freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered”.

When we choose not to worship with fellow believers for special occasions just because they use an organ or a band or… we are perverting our freedom and squandering the wonder of being united as one in Christ.

God also loves us to walk in freedom. “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.” (Gal 5: 13 MSG)

Much of Paul’s letter to the Galatians is about freedom. From Paul’s perspective some heretical teachers came into the church he founded and took the freedom from the people and empowered themselves with it. “Those heretical teachers go to great lengths to flatter you, but their motives are rotten. They want to shut you out of the free world of God’s grace so that you will always depend on them for approval and direction, making them feel important.” (Gal 4: 17 MSG)

I find these words to be a real challenge to us who serve in leadership roles in the church. It can be very easy for us who know that we have been set free to use the Christian faith to “control” others.

Yet, freedom has borders. A river without borders is a swamp. Being totally free and without restraint in every way leads to bondage. With real freedom comes responsibility and self-control powered by God. We can't have freedom without limitations.

True freedom is an inside job. God sets us free on the inside so we can live free on the outside. Freedom does not come from information, indoctrination, or conformation. Freedom comes from transformation.

The resurrection mind-set is about understanding and living in this new freedom of God. It is, as Paul says, “[being] set free to experience our rightful inheritance”. (Gal 4:6 MSG) Our rightful inheritance is that we have a new identity as daughters and sons of God, heirs of the Kingdom, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation – which in turn enables and empowers us in our mission – to tell others of the wonder of the love, light, and liberty of God in Jesus Christ.

God bless you

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I have found that people in our Church are really good at a particular type of leadership. If there is a pastoral need, or a crisis or an emergency, again and again, our communities come together and often act in quite sacrificial and costly ways to help. We need to honour the leaders who often almost invisibly take the initiative. These are the people who identify the immediate challenge, raise the money, provide the meals and support those in need. I love been part of a Church where I know there are people who we can count on – these are our saints and the backbone of our Church.

There is another kind of leadership. It is more difficult to describe and the people who provide this leadership are sometimes not especially liked or valued. They are the people who challenge us with the need to change, to adapt, to move from where we are so that we can more fully be the people who God calls us to be.

Our Scriptures tell us the stories of both kinds of leaders. Sometimes the same person can even be both. We want the leaders who bring us a sense of comfort and assurance. But can we also make room for those whose words and presence is sometimes quite discomforting, and who call us to rethink the assumptions and practices around the way that we have always done things?

Faith and Culture Exposure Programme for Ministers: 12 July Deadline for Applications
The Council for World Mission want to offer the opportunity for a minister from our Church to spend seven weeks in the Caribbean hosted by the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The posting will be from 1 Sep to 19 Oct.

This “New FACE” programme provides a cross-cultural exposure for those in ministry; introducing clergy to ministry in a different context to their own to stimulate theological reflection, and to gain a cross-cultural perspective. Such exposure might be used to:

  • Enable someone to work (or develop their work) in a multicultural context
  • Prepare people to work with a church’s international partners
  • Equip someone to work as a missionary.

The deadline for applications is 12 July. If you are interested let me know martin@presbyterian.org.nz and I will send you more information. If we get multiple applications, I will invite the Leadership sub-committee to decide whom we will nominate.

Calling a Newly Trained Minister
This year, six people will complete their training as interns. They are a terrific group and represent a range of backgrounds and experience. All are eager to commit themselves to ministry within the life of a congregation. Profiles for each are available from the Rev Allister Lane who coordinates introductions and discussions between final year interns and Ministry Settlement Boards. For more information, please contact Allister. a.lane@stjohnsinthecity.org.nz.

Ministry Development Programme: October Deadline to Book Your Review
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.

If you have not booked or completed a review or your review is more than three years out of date as of October this year, you will no longer be able to conduct weddings nor will you be able to be called to another congregation.

Full details here. http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/ministry-development-programme

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.

July 1 2013 deadline for responses to General Assembly decisions and discussion
All Assembly minutes have been posted online. Other matters for consideration and changes in our Book of Order for consideration by Presbyteries, Synod and Te Aka Puaho can now be downloaded here. Booklets containing this information have also been sent out. These documents include proposed changes in our Book of Order that require support from church councils and presbyteries as well as discussion documents concerning the role of the Moderator and decisions about the relationship between property and mission.

The deadline for responding to these documents is 1 July 2013. This deadline enables us to respond to issues and questions raised in the documents and to engage in further consultation later this year.

NB: 1 or 2 presbyteries and congregations already have back to me indicating a difficulty in meeting this deadline. An early analysis of responses by the Council of Assembly enables us to continue the discussion on these matters later on this year. If you cannot make 1 July deadline, please let me know.

Changes in the Marriage Act
I have sent out a note to all presbyteries providing some direction in terms of the implication of these changes. Please contact your presbytery clerk for more information.

There have been a significant number of responses to this advice, and I have now asked the Book of Order and Judicial Committee to consider the issues and whether providing some further direction may be helpful. In the meantime the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has contacted churches and provided this link to some questions and answers: http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-Marriage-Amendment-Act-Questions-and-Answers?OpenDocument

General Assembly 2014
Fri, 3 – Tue, 7 Oct 2014 - Auckland

  • Imagine an Assembly that is inspiring and resourceful.
  • Imagine an Assembly that had a number of “streams” flowing and not just business sessions.
  • Imagine belonging to a movement and being in community.
  • Imagine hospitality, creativity, playfulness and spiritual nourishment.
  • Imagine a working conference for old and young, Maori, Pacific people, Asian and Pakeha.

General Assembly 2012 asked that the next General Assembly (2014) be far more than a business meeting, focused on resourcing and inspiring the church in the midst of significant change and opportunity.

This is an Assembly you will not want to miss – book the dates now and look out for more exciting details.

Expressions of interest are open in the following areas:

  1. “Streams” - Networks that would like to work together on are area of ministry or mission. eg church schools, youth, creative (musicians, artists, poets), business sessions…
  2. Resources – Fresh expressions of doing church, preaching, spiritual growth…
  3. Inspiring New Zealand speakers
  4. Story tellers - stories of churches making a difference in our society.

Please contact moderator@presbyterian.org.nz with your expressions of interest.

Thanks again for all you do to support our Church and mission.


Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Latest round of Ministers’ Study Grants
The Senatus of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership meets every six months to review applications for Ministers’ Study Grants, and to decide on the awards. After the most recent meeting in April 2013, we are pleased to announce that the following grants have been awarded:

  • Marie Ropeti - for costs for "Leading Mission-Shaped Transformation"
  • Karima Fai’ai - costs for "Leading Mission-Shaped Transformation"
  • Johannes Suwantika - for course fees for final year Master of Ministry research project on why ministers leave the ministry
  • Jono Ryan - for fees to attend the Glen East workshop on “Art and Craft of Sermon Writing" (USA)
  • Peter MacKenzie - for course fees for ethics approval stage of doctorate through Massey University Psychology Dept - research on church mergers
  • Stuart Simpson - for course fees for Research Methods paper for Master of Ministry
  • Wayne Te Kaawa - for course fees Master of Ministry research project on “the development of Amorangi as an authentic expression of an indigenous model of ministry within PCANZ”

As you can see from the list above, ministers are encouraged to undertake a wide variety of accredited training courses, to enhance their ministry and effectiveness in their own congregations. Applications are welcome any time, but the cut-off dates for applications to be considered are 30 September and 31 March each year.

Knox Centre Music Scholarships 2013
Each year, the Knox Centre offers six music scholarships. The deadline for applications is 31 August 2013.

The purpose of the music scholarships is to encourage and equip young musicians in the conduct of public worship. Each scholarship consists of an expenses-paid two-day workshop on music and worship at the Knox Centre, plus a cash grant. Applicants must be under 30 years of age. The next music and worship workshop will be held on 28-29 November 2013, to coincide with the Samstock music festival, which runs from the evening of Friday, 29 November until midday on Sunday,1 December.

Applications for the above scholarships will close on 31 August 2013. Enquiries can be directed to the Principal of the Knox Centre. To apply for the scholarships, write a letter of application to the Principal detailing the nature of your involvement in music and worship, and include with your letter a reference from your Minister.

Catherine van Dorp
Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

I had an enjoyable two weeks annual leave in Melbourne catching up with Sarah’s family and introducing Holly to them. I took Max for a number of rides around the fantastic bike trails. Well planned cities certainly contribute to liveability. Bike lanes now have to be included in any new roads being developed. Imagine if youth participation was an official part of any new strategies being developed for our church nationally, regionally and locally. Things might look a little different – in positive ways.

Connect is happening this month. We have a strong workshop line up and excellent keynote speakers. There is still a little bit of space left: http://www.pym.org.nz/training/connect/

We are bringing Mike King over as one of the keynote speakers for Connect (part of Tim Keel’s church for those of you at this year’s GA). We are bringing him down to Christchurch for two days. One day is facilitating a retreat (especially for youth workers), and the other day is a training day exploring communities of practices, which is more open and it would be great to see ministers in attendance. http://www.pym.org.nz/mikeking/

Going Deeper: in youth ministry http://www.pym.org.nz/ai1ec_event/going-deeper-warkworth/?instance_id=65 is being run at Mahurangi Presbyterian Church August 2-3. Here is a reflection from one of the participants on the last one: http://www.pym.org.nz/2013/06/reflection-on-going-deeper-training-tinae/

Phil King and I head to our national marare this month to officially welcome the Training in Mission participants. We are grateful to Te Aka Puaho for their involvement in this orientation week. We hope their time in New Zealand is an enriching experience.

Carlton Johnstone
National Youth Ministry Development Leader

Global Mission

The last month has seen the completion of a project at Talua College, Vanuatu. It has involved a lot of people and a lot of time and effort. Thanks to the combined efforts of Chartwell Cooperating Church in Hamilton, Roger and Paula Levy on-site at Talua, local labourers with their energy and skills and some generous donations, the new kindergarten building for children of students and local residents has been officially opened. With Chartwell Church, we are now making plans to bring the pre-school teacher to New Zealand for some training in early childhood education.

In the past few weeks, I have spent time updating the Global Mission page on the Church’s website – so you can check this for up to date information. It is good to get feedback from people who have read it.

I would still like to hear from health professionals who have an interest in using their expertise to serve in mission, at the church-run health training centre in Port Vila, Vanuatu. This can be arranged at a time to suit you.

Rowan Cant and Angela Norton have been doing a great job organising the Training in Mission programme that will begin in July. Between seven and nine young adults from Council for World Mission member countries will arrive in New Zealand in mid-July, for four months of exposure to life and mission down under. They will begin with an orientation at Ohope Marae before heading to Connect in Wellington.

I have been getting around the country as well. Recent trips have taken me to St Paul’s in Katikati, and Mosgiel Presbyterian, where I also took part in a Rural Churches Conference. Due to a quirk of timing I managed to leave Wellington before the southerly blast that shook the capital and avoided the worst of the storm in Wellington. Dunedin was much calmer by comparison. If you would like to have me speak at your church or event, to gain an insight into what is currently happening in global mission, please get in touch; phil@presbyterian.org.nz, 04 3818294.

Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator

Kids Friendly

A time to dream
I’m having lots of conversations about new ways to “be the church” in secular New Zealand today. More and more churches are acknowledging that what and how we do Sunday worship does not work for many Kiwis. And it’s encouraging that many are willing to try new things and find fresh ways to share Christ’s love and good news with their community.

Waimana Presbyterian invited me to share the concept of Messy Church with their leaders earlier this year and within six weeks of our meeting had launched the world’s first Messy Church on a marae. I sent their story to Lucy Church of Messy Church UK for posting on their Facebook page. She was intrigued by Waimana’s adaptation of the name: Te hahi a whakawhanaungatanga hakinakina which means “the church of coming together as a family to do activities”.“I’m not sure the name will catch on internationally,” said Lucy, “but I love it!”

Mike Uttley of Welcome Bay heard about Messy Church and phoned to find out more and borrow the DVDs and books from the Kids Friendly library. Within a month he had launched Messy Church in his community and attracted over a 100 people. “It works for our community,” he said, “as they love anything that involves food and a bit of all-age action!”

This week I met with Mo Morgan and Kath Barrett who are trying new things in Whanganui with the support and encouragement of St James Presbyterian. “The church has given us freedom to try new things,” said Mo. These enthusiastic and gifted women are offering a range of meaningful events to connect with children and their families. Sticky Fingers is an arts and crafts event for children and their parents that promotes recycling and caring for creation. Once a month they run “Q”, which is an opportunity for adults to hear an inspiring speaker and ask questions over coffee and dessert. And on the second Sunday of the month they have started running an all-age family worship with the people of St James and Rev Gene Lawrence to build Christian community.

Trying new things takes courage, but as Mo said: “We felt called to start something for people like us, young parents who are open to Christianity but struggling to find something that fits. We don’t know where it will lead to, but we are open and listening to our community so we can mould something new together.”

“Without vision, the people perish,” said Solomon. “Prophetic imagination must come before implementation,” says Walter Bruggeman. If you’d like to try new things with the children and families of your community, we’d love to join you in dreaming new ways of being church and resourcing you on your journey.

Jill Kayser
Kids Friendly Coach

Presbyterian Women

Last weekend I attended a Pacific Women’s retreat: "How to pass the torch to younger women that will allow the will of God to be done" hosted by Pasifika Misionale & Pacific Island Synod Reflection Centre Committee. It was an inspirational and encouraging gathering empowering women to use their talents for God’s ministry.

How can we pass the torch to younger women in our Presbyterian church?

Prayer. Pray for opportunities where older and younger women can come together and talk, embrace, listen, learn and share in the successes and challenges of their faith journeys. They can tell their stories as living examples of passing the torch.

How can we pass the torch?

Faith. Let us unite in faith and like the changes in the weather we are not shaken nor weakened by our surroundings: ”The disciples went to Jesus and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master! We are about to die!” Jesus got up and gave an order to the wind and to the stormy water; they quieted down, and there was a great calm. Then he said to the disciples, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:24-25). Let us stand with conviction in the everyday miracles of Jesus Christ in our lives. Let us be living examples and let Jesus shine.

Convener, United Nations Committee
The position of Convener, United Nations is currently vacant. Expressions of interest by any woman in the Presbyterian Church can be made to the Secretary, Rev Shona Bettany, revsbettany@xtra.co.nz, who will forward a more detailed job description. Nominations for the role must be made through a local branch or regional Presbyterial of Presbyterian women, to the Secretary by 31 July, 2013.

Keep warm in the love of God.

Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
National Convenor

CWS Notices

Leave No One Behind
With two and a half years to go, the UN is setting in place a new global development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals. The UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons reported in May to the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on a new framework that includes countries both North and South. Identifying climate change as the key factor, they named five transformative shifts for a new global agenda: leave no one behind (ending extreme poverty), put sustainable development at the core, transform economies for job and inclusive growth, build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all and forge a new global partnership. The report is a good starting point and has stronger recommendations on women and environmental protection. To tackle poverty it will also be necessary to deal with economic inequalities within countries. CWS is involved in national discussions to help frame New Zealand's involvement.

Syria Crisis Deepens
The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) is stretched to capacity as it tries to meet needs in Jordan and Lebanon. More than 1.5 million people are registered as refugees. The health ministry has spent half its budget on the new refugees and needs emergency government funding to continue. Tensions are growing as the demand for housing has pushed up rents, Syrians desperate for money work illegally for lower pay than locals, and schools are overcrowded even when operating on two shifts. DSPR is offering rental subsidies, healthcare, help with schooling, food parcels, and psycho-social assistance. Thanks to all those who have contributed to the Syria Appeal, but DSPR needs more help. Please pray for peace and for the refugees. Would you organise an appeal or fundraiser to help? Donations can be sent to CWS PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140 or online.


Presbyterian Foundation Grants
Application for the 2013 round of Presbyterian Foundation grants are now invited, application forms can be downloaded from the Church website. The Presbyterian Foundation is a trust fund, the interest of which is distributed to support the mission of the Church – particularly innovative mission at the local and regional church level.

Applications close on 15 September.

Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 5.0% 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.

Volunteers Needed in Wellington
Women’s Refuge Wellington is asking for volunteers to assist with collections for their annual appeal on Friday, 19 July. If your congregation would like to help in any way, please contact wwrcollectors@gmail.com for more details.

Just Action Conference
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? The Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit are convinced that social justice can be more than a tired catch phrase and be instead a living reality and a way of being for those of us following Jesus. The venue is the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, in Manukau. Speakers - internationally renowned Shane Claiborne and Dr John M Perkins. Both have a wealth of experience. Register at www.salvationarmy.org.nz/justaction

Maori Language Week
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 1 - 7 July, 2013. The kaupapa of the week is Ngā ingoa Māori/Māori names. How much do we know about the Māori names around us? Let’s find out! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Te-Wiki-o-Te-Reo-Maori-Maori-Language-Week/121008217924952?v=app_2309869772

Craft Fair for Rice Bowl Mission
On Saturday, 13 July 10am-3pm, a craft and quilt fair will be held in St John’s Conference Centre (cnr Willis and Dixon Streets). Proceeds will go to support the Church’s Rice Bowl Mission www.ricebowlmission.or.nz (trips and projects in Myanmar).

Glen Innis Vacancies
July 8 - 15 Cottage
July 15 - 22 Homestead and Cottage
July 22 - 29 Homestead and Cottage
July 29 – August 5 Homestead and Cottage

PCANZ Yearbook 2013
The Church’s 2013 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download changes up to June here using the username and password emailed to you in April 2013.

Professor Glen Stassen Lecture Series
In association with Victoria University and St John’s in the City, Professor Glen Stassen, Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary will be giving a series of four public lectures at different Wellington venues:

  1. Confronting the secular age: the case for a “thicker” view of Jesus (Mon, 5 Aug @ 6:00pm; Council chambers, Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade)
  2. Ethics and power in public life: where is so-called “realism” when you need it? (Tue. 6 Aug @12:30pm; Old Government Building, cnr Whitmore and Stout Streets)
  3. Overcoming violence: the just peace-making paradigm (Wed, 7 Aug @ 7:30pm; St John’s in the City, Willis Street)
  4. Incarnation, confrontation and the meaning of the cross (Thu, 8 Aug @ 7:30m; St John’s in the City, Willis Street)

Robert Wade Public Lectures
Robert Wade, Professor of Political Economy at London School of Economics, will be visiting New Zealand in July, speaking on “Inequality and the West: Capitalism at a Tipping Point”.

Free public lectures will be held in Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington. For more information, check out this Robert Wade lecture website: http://www.bwb.co.nz/wade

Church Register

Receptions to the Roll:
Rev Anthony Martin was reinstated to the ministerial roll as Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, 15 May 2013.

Rev Philip Ross McDougall, received from Anglican Church, 1 June 2013.

Ordination and Inductions:
Rev Mervyn Rive, Local Ordained Ministry Probationer, Wairarapa Presbytery, to Local Ordained Minister, St Andrew’s Union Church and St James’ Union Church, 12 May 2013.

Changes in Status:
Rev John Daniel, Member, Southern Presbytery, to part-time Transition Minister, Kaikorai Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 4 June 2013.

Rev Bobby Kusilifu, Minister, Palmerston/Dunback Presbyterian Parish, Southern Presbytery, to Minister, Lansdowne Presbyterian Church and St Luke’s Union Church, Wairarapa, 2 June 2013.

Rev Eric Mattock, Minister, Kurow Presbyterian Parish, Southern Presbytery, to Minister, Maniototo Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 5 May 2013.

Rev Bobby Kusilifu, Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Wairarapa Presbytery, 2 June 2013.

Short-Term Appointments:
Rev Gene Lawrence, Member, Manawatu Wanganui Presbytery, began his part time (20%) term as Stated Supply, Wangaui – St James’ Presbyterian Church, 29 April 2013.

Lay Appointments:
Mr Alan Bennett has been appointed Community Chaplain, Edendale Church, Southern Presbytery, 3 June 2013.

Mrs Margaret Hoskin and Elizabeth Shave have resigned their positions in the Local Ministry Team, Invercargill – St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 17 April 2013.

Mrs Uno Cardino and Jan Ballam, have been appointed to the Local Ministry Team, Invercargill – St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 17 April 2013.

Rev Ray McKendry, Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 1 July 2012.

Rev Graeme Munro, Minister, Wataki Presbyterian Parish, Southern Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 31 May 2013.

Rev Samuel McCay, Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, died on 31 January 2013.

Rev Malaefou Koria, Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery, died on 23 May 2013.

Rev Isobel Probert, Minister Emerita, Presbytery of Christchurch, died on 9 March 2013.

Parish Register:
Ngongotaha/Mamaku -Trinity Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, was dissolved on 2 December 2012.

Rotorua – St John’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, was dissolved on 2 December 2012.

Owhata – St David’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, was dissolved on 2 December 2012.

Ngakuru – St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, was dissolved on 2 December 2012.

Rotorua District Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, was established on 2 December 2012.

Mt Pleasant/Heathcote/Ferrymead Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, was dissolved on 30 June 2013.

Sumner/Redcliffs/Lyttelton Union Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, changed its name to Port Hills Uniting Church, 11 June 2013.


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