From the Moderator
Easter is the season that drives us back to our missional roots. If mission is our highest goal as a Church, then we need to spend time carefully meditating on the wonder of the Cross and the power of the Resurrection. This more than anything else will empower our mission endeavours.
Through this Lenten period I have been reading all the resurrection narratives again, and one of the things that stands out for me is the failure of people to recognize the risen Lord. Even though they had been living with him for three years prior to the Cross, they did not initially recognize him in his risen glory.
No doubt, at some stage, many of you would have received the following circular email: 7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.
It's a little word teaser to show the amazing power of our brain. Can you read it yet? Go back and try again! When you can read it your mind has moved from cognition to ‘re-cognition’. The teaser is called ‘F1gur471v3ly 5p34k1ng – Figuratively Speaking’. For most people when they initially look at this they only see a jumble of letters and words, but soon they are reading it as a sentence in English. Your mind has to adjust from not seeing the message to seeing the message. God gave us a brain and mind so that we can not only see, but understand.
There are many instances when we think we can see or hear something but we miss what we need to understand about it. Henry David Thoreau said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it is what you see".
In the resurrection stories, the disciples walked with Jesus yet didn't recognize Him. They had cognition but they did not have re-cognition. You rarely see what you are not looking for. Too many people are not aware of the ‘Principle of Recognition’ yet the whole spiritual realm operates on this principle. Knowing how to recognize what others only cognize could change your life; just ask Zaccheus.
Zaccheus was the short, greedy taxman that climbed up a tree to see Jesus, as He walked by. The crowd cognized Jesus, but Zaccheus recognized Jesus. All of a sudden ‘F1gur471v3ly 5p34k1ng’ became ‘Figuratively Speaking’ for Zaccheus. Lesson: When you recognize the Lord, He recognizes you!
Recognition can release you from your past so you can live in the present, in order to lead in the future. It impacts your personal, spiritual, family, business and community life.
So how do you move from a mentality of cognition to recognition? You need to become a seeker. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:7 "Seek and you shall find..."
If you seek God, you will find God. Seekers become hearers, hearers become speakers, speakers become influencers, influencers become leaders, leaders become transformers, transformers become reformers, reformers become builders, and builders build what recognition creates from seeking God.
This is one of the powerful missional messages of Easter – when we recognize the wonder of Resurrection, and think with a Resurrection understanding, we will want to share that Good News. Slowly influencers become leaders, leaders become transformers, transformers become reformers, and the church moves in MISSION.
I've uncovered this, so you can discover this, so we can recover this.
May you all have a most blessed Easter!
God Bless You,
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
The weeks leading up to Good Friday are some of the most challenging, for those who prepare worship and run study groups. Our Scriptures speak so much about suffering, something we cannot gloss over. Any of us who have spent time in pastoral ministry know the depth of suffering, endured by members of the smallest of our communities.
I read a quote the other day by Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said “we must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer”. It takes all our skills and gifts as preachers, teachers and worship leaders, to speak to this most universal of experiences, and the helplessness and isolation that accompanies it. Free of clichés, it is a chance to talk about what really matters to our people and to address our deepest fears and greatest longing. We cannot skip over the bad parts and arrive at Easter as if there was no Good Friday. To speak the Gospel words - so full of real compassion and empathy and hope – is a wonderful thing to bring to those who long to hear the Good News.
You can download here the reflections we prepared together with Presbyterian Support, as a PresCare resource.
Council of Assembly
The Council meets on 15-16 March in Auckland. If there is any matter which you would like to bring to the Council’s attention, then please send it in to me by 8 March.
Calling a newly trained minister
This year, six people will complete their training as interns. They are a terrific group of people and represent a range of backgrounds and experiences. All are eager to commit themselves to ministry within the life of a congregation. Profiles for each of them will shortly be 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.
PSDS Ministry and Mission Innovation Award
The Presbyterian Savings and Development Society have set aside up to $10,000 to be awarded to help turn a new idea / project, into reality. The idea needs to be: innovative and original (applying a new idea to a particular issue or need); expressive of the mission of the Church; practical and measurable; a completely separate initiative not part of an existing or previous programme; able to be replicated in other parishes / churches.
There is no formal application process – just write to:
PSDS, P O Box 26-210, Epsom, Auckland, explaining the objective of your project, what your innovation is, how it expresses the mission of the Church and what your budget requirements are.
Applications will be accepted until April 30th.
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 recognized ministry role.
If you have not 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.
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 of World Mission, in association with the Tainan Theological College and seminary, an institution of 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.
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.
Thanks again for all you do to support our Church and mission.
As you read this, I will be in Myanmar and travelling to India after that.
I am visiting Myanmar with Robert Stewart, an elder from Ellesmere Cooperating parish in Christchurch. We’ll be visiting projects of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar that are supported by us, through the Ricebowl Mission.
We will also be attending the graduation of students from Tahan Theological College, which has received significant funding from PCANZ, and where several teams have visited in recent years.
I will then be visiting India, with two members of Somervell Church in Auckland, Heather Laxon and Brian Rowley. We are going there to try and establish a connection with one of the many projects run by our partner church in India, the Church of North India (CNI). We are working closely with the Friends of Jagadhri, which has been the key group within PCANZ, supporting the mission in India for many years. The Friends are in a time of transition, and are supporting this new venture.
Due to its development into a wealthy and now quite elite school, we are responding to a request from the CNI to support other mission projects. These include hostels for disadvantaged children - to enable them to receive an education, and working against child labour and human trafficking. It has been challenging getting the information we need, but we hope that by being on site, we will clarify what kind of new projects we can support in the future.
Going Global 2013 - Youth Mission Trip to Myanmar
While I am in Myanmar I will be working on details for Going Global, a planned youth mission trip to Myanmar later this year. Participants will need to be aged between 18-30 and available to travel from 27 November to 13 December. For more information about how to be a part of this amazing experience, email me or phone me on 04 3818294. The information pack can also be downloaded from the Global Mission and Presbyterian Youth Ministry websites.
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
The PYM calendar started off with Going Further: in discipleship last month. Twenty-eight young adults from around New Zealand came together for a week of biblical teaching on discipleship, learning about spiritual practices, engaging in physical challenges of rafting, high ropes and caving, and forming community. Here are a couple of comments from participants:
“It is fantastic that PYM [and KCML] offer a camp like this for this age group with such strong teaching. I was truly blessed by this week.”
“Loved it. Great spiritual experience and so much fun! No regrets in coming…”
As you may know PYM runs regional youth ministry training in each area of New Zealand once every two years. The upcoming Going Deeper in youth ministry training is in Christchurch 19-21 April and in Hamilton 3-5 May. If you are in driving distance of these centres bring along your whole team. We only have 30 spaces, and they normally sell out. You can register online here.
Our Holy Week texting service, Kiwieaster, runs from 24-31 March. If you don’t know about it you should check out this video that TVNZ did on it last year. We are now getting to the time when you should be promoting it in your churches, you can download a poster or power point from the website. Remember all you need to do to sign up is text ‘follow kiwieaster’ to 8987.
This month we added an awesome section to the website, Congregation Youth Ministry Review Documents. It is filled with a number of documents for reviewing your youth ministry such as: Evaluating Faith Assets, Youth Ministry Qualities, Youth Minister Reflection Tool, and Characteristics of Mature Christian Youth. You can view it online.
Youth Ministry Development leader
Welcome to the table
I’ve been having a few conversations about children being invited to the Communion table. Most have been positive, in my view, as churches are taking seriously the call to “let the children come” and inviting children to participate in our holy Sacrament.
I’ve heard of one church though, where the session decided not to proceed with their Kids Friendly self-review, because they don’t believe children should be invited to receive Communion. Their minister contacted me to clarify if “children receiving Communion” is a requirement for Kids Friendly churches. It’s NOT a requirement. However when churches tell me children are not invited to participate in Communion, I ask them to encourage their leaders to read others’ views on the topic (Kids Friendly has some very good articles on the subject if you’re interested), discuss what they read together and prayerfully consider their decision.
Most Kids Friendly churches have decided to invite children to the table and carefully plan how they will educate children about this Sacrament and how their Communion liturgy engages children. One minister shared “Last Sunday I decided to ask children to help me prepare the table and assist elders in serving communion. This was a first for our church and it was the most powerful communion service I’ve ever experienced”.
My research has revealed no theological reason for excluding children and the too often cited “they don’t understand” excuse is, I believe, unfounded. My understanding is that communion is a meal of grace for which no one needs to qualify. Previously in our denomination, churches that included children in communion had to explain their reason for doing so. Now it is the reverse.
Kids Friendly Coach
Executive members of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand met with 10 enthusiastic young women from around New Zealand to find out their thoughts on the future of our organisation.
I am pleased to report that they all want to be part of our organisation. They like the idea of being part of an intergenerational group of women working for other women here in New Zealand and overseas. The Very Rev Pamela Tankersley ran a session on the story of "Hilda and Naomi" and we all had the opportunity to walk in each other’s shoes. We saw the progressive enthusiasm and courage of youth, and the wisdom and courage of older women, in action at the meeting. As an intergenerational group, we can learn a lot from each other.
Pamela, our United Nations rep, and Ola Leasi, our Pacific Islands representative, will this month be attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York. The theme is “Elimination and Prevention of all forms of Violence against Women and Girls”. Pamela and Ola will be running a separate workshop on "Women in the Pacific".
Our annual general meeting will be held at St Johns in the City, Wellington, on 25 May 2013. We are looking for a new executive committee as many of us have completed the three year term.
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
March 25 - April 1 Homestead/Cottage
April 8 - 15 Cottage
April 15 - 22 Homestead
April 22 - 29 Cottage
April 29 - May 6 Homestead/Cottage
Residential Homes Chaplaincy
Presbyterian Support Otago invites proposals from qualified individuals or organisations for the provision of creative spiritual and pastoral care services to residents and staff at three locations in Dunedin: Ross Home, St Andrews Home and Hospital, Taieri Court Home. For more details click here.
One week course with Tim Keel
Laidlaw College is running a course with Tim Keel from 29 April to 3 May and is offering 15 places for church leaders and pastors at a cost of $230. To apply visit the website email Christina Partridge email@example.com. Places are limited so apply early to avoid disappointment.
Gardening volunteers wanted
Eighty-two year old Avis Leeson from St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton has helped teach children in over 40 schools in Hamilton to grow their own gardens. She featured in the Summer issue of Spanz and recently won a Civic Award Avis cannot do as much as she could because of her age and is looking for volunteers to help her. If you’re interested, give her a call on 07 8525783.
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
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.
Health Care Tutor – Korvan Health Centre, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Are you a qualified nurse or medical professional interested in teaching health care skills overseas? The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu runs a Health Skills Centre in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and is looking for someone qualified to teach basic health care. The period of time involved could be as short as a few weeks; or longer depending on your availability. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Global Mission Coordinator Phil King.
Preaching Seminar 15-19 April
This is a wonderful opportunity to experience the preaching training which has had such an impact in Asia and the Pacific. This week of training is an exact replica of that training. You will be taught how to make the journey from text to sermon and engage with issues such as the “Preacher as a Person.” This course will be held in the beautiful setting at Capernwray Bible School, Cambridge. The seminar is being hosted by Carey Baptist College’s School of Preaching and supported by Kiwi-Made Preaching. You can register here or find more information here.
St Andrew’s New Plymouth Jubilee Celebrations
St Andrews Presbyterian Church in New Plymouth will be celebrating 150 years of Ministry from 26-28 April. Registration is by donation and the Jubilee dinner is $55 per person. For more information email Jubilee Coordinator Alan Wilkinson or phone 06 7533411.
Go to www.irca.net.nz for information about events and activities of the International Rural Churches Association and of rural churches around the world. Click on the IRCA-Oceania for news, events, and links of interest in our part of the world.
Colin Gibson Southern Tour, 10 – 12 May
These Hills Workshops are pleased to present Colin Gibson, well-known NZ hymn writer/ composer at three workshops - in Invercargill, Gore and Owaka. Colin will share his passion for NZ hymns, teaching several and tell their stories. Registration $10 per person. For more information email Gaynor McCartney or call 0211678171.
Neighbours Day 23-24 March
Neighbours Day Aotearoa is ultimately a success because of countless individuals who, each year, make it a priority to meet those over the fence. To top it off, they have a blast in the process and often times cultivate friendships that last throughout the year. To join in the fun and to get planning, visit the website here.
Asia Sunday May 12
Traditionally, Asia Sunday is celebrated every year a week before Pentecost to commemorate the birth of the Christian Conference of Asia, which PCANZ is a member of. This is an opportunity to specially connect, remember and pray for each other as a fellowship of churches linked through CCA in spiritual solidarity. For 2013, the celebration of Asia Sunday falls on May 12, 2013, but local congregations are free to choose any other date suitable to their schedule.
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
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
PCANZ Yearbook 2013
The Church’s 2012 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download for March here using the username and password emailed to you last March.
Ellerslie Flower Show a “good fit” for CWS
Christian World Service is running two plant minding stalls at the Christchurch Ellerslie Flower Show from 6 to 10 March. CWS chose to be involved because we see the event as a “good fit” for the organisation.
Gardening is a point of connection in Christchurch and draws huge crowds. Long known as the garden city, Christchurch’s love of gardening has seen it win many accolades over the years.
In 1996, Christchurch was judged the “Outstanding Garden City”, from 620 international entries, in a global competition.
The following year, the city became “Garden City of the World” after it was judged overall winner of major cities, in the Nations in Bloom International Competition.
Apart from the Ellerslie Flower show, the city still hosts another annual major floral event, the “Festival of Flowers”, in February.
“It is in that context, of a gardening mad city, and as another Christchurch institution, we decided that we were a good fit for Ellerslie,” says CWS national director, Pauline McKay.
“We realised that many of our partnerships involves growing things and Ellerslie is a great chance to meet new people and tell them about the work CWS does,” she said.
People leaving their plants with the CWS volunteers will get a brochure explaining the work of CWS and offering them a chance to become supporters.
“It’s a great fit for us and our volunteers and hopefully the new supporters we may get,’’ Pauline says.
Ordination and Inductions:
Rev Gary Frederick Mattock: licensed 2 December 2012 and ordained Minister Balclutha
Presbyterian Parish, Southern Presbytery on 27 January 2013.
Rev Murray James Shallard: licensed 5 December 2012 and ordained Minister St Andrews
Presbyterian parish, Gore, Southern Presbytery on 3 February 2013
Changes in Status:
Rev Laurie Ennor, Minister (80%), Malvern Co-operating Parish, Presbytery of Christchurch, to 6 month Stated Supply (80%), Malvern Co-operating Parish, Presbytery of Christchurch, 31 January 2013.
Rev Geoff King, Christchurch - Knox Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, to Chaplain-Kindred Service, Presbytery of Christchurch, 25 December 2012.
Rev Lance Thomas, Minister, Rotorua – St John’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister, Rotorua District Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 2 December 2012.
Rev Dr Selwyn Yeoman, part-time minister, Coastal Unity Parish, Southern Presbytery, to Member, Southern Presbytery, 2 December 2012.
Rev Makesi Alatimu, Minister, Owairaka Pacific Islanders, Northern Presbytery, to Minister, Christchurch – St Paul’s Trinity Pacific Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, 14 February 2013.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries:
Malvern Co-operating Parish, Presbytery of Christchurch, from Methodist oversight to Presbyterian oversight, 31 January 2013.
Trinity Uniting Church, Northern Presbytery, is no longer a cooperative venture and is a Presbyterian church, 29 November 2012.
Rev Peter Jackson, Minister, Kaiapoi Co-operating Parish and Oxford District Union Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, to Minister, Kaiapoi Co-operating Parish, Presbytery of Christchurch, 18 December 2012.
Rev Philomena, Methodist Minister, Kaiapoi Co-operating Parish and Oxford District Union Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, to Oxford District Union Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, 18 December 2012.
Rev Won Byong, non-PCANZ, Northern Presbytery, started his term as stated supply at God’s Garden Church on 12 October 2012. Doris Elphick, non PCANZ, Kaimai Presbytery completed her term as minister Te Aroha Co-Operating Parish. Rev Chris Bedford Kaimai Presbytery, started a 6 month term as 50% stated supply at Te Aroha Co-Operating.
Lay Ministry Team of William Penno and Alistair Young, Waihao Co-operating Parish, South Canterbury, have completed their terms, 30 September 2012.
Dr Beryl Howie, retired medical missionary, Northern Presbytery, died on 1 December 2012.
Rev Graham Herbison, retired minister Christchurch Presbytery died on 23rd January 2013.
Rev Donald Iain MacMillan retired Minister, Nelson Marlborough Presbytery died on 15th February 2013.
Cheviot-Knox Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of Christchurch, has dissolved and is a worship centre under Kowai Presbyterian Church, 24 November 2011.
Rotorua – Trinity Presbyterian Church, Owhata – St David’s Presbyterian Church, Rotorua – St John’s Presbyterian Church, and Ngakuru – St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, have dissolved their independent church status and have come together as Rotorua District Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 2 December 2012.
South Canterbury – St Andrew’s Co-operating Parish, and Waihao Co-operating Parish, South Canterbury Presbytery, have dissolved their congregations and come together with St Augustine’s Anglican Parish to form Waimate District Co-operating Venture, which is under Anglican oversight, 30 September 2012.
Trinity Uniting Church, Northern Presbytery, has changed its name to Tikipunga - Trinity Church, 29 November 2012.
Wakatipu Community Parish has changed its name to Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church, 23 November 2012.
Onerahi – St James Church, formerly Whangarei - St James Uniting Church, Northern Presbytery, is a Presbyterian church.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.