From the Moderator
One of my favourite messianic prophecies that is often read at a Christmas Lesson and Carol service is from Isaiah 9:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I am writing this article for Bush Telegraph in Busan Korea at the time of the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly “God of life lead us to justice and peace.” It is a wonderful prayer holding together three key thoughts from that Isaiah passage: life, justice and peace.
But it would be so easy to toss this aside as a futile prayer, allowing despair to drive out hope. According to some historians, in the last 3,521 years of recorded history, humankind experienced only 286 years (8%) without war, suffering the pain of war in the remaining 3,235 years (92%). If this research is accurate, it tells us that we have almost always lived with war.
As 2013 comes to its close, some of you may recall that I have written before of the significance of three key events in our nation’s history being marked in 2014 and 2015. Three events that we as churches should be planning to mark in some way in our communities in the coming 18 months.
- 25 December 2014 marks the bicentenary of the Christian gospel in New Zealand
- 6 February 2015 is the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi
- 25 April 2015 is the centenary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. It is the day all New Zealanders killed in war are remembered and also honours returned servicemen and women.
What better way to remember those killed in war and those who served than by advocating peace. As the Prince of Peace said, “blessed are the peace-makers”.
As another year draws towards its close what lessons can we learn from the Prince of Peace about being a peace-maker? Let me share a few thoughts that I have picked up from some of the papers in Busan.
- The use of force will not bring about peace. True peace can only be achieved by peaceful means.
- True peace must walk with justice.
- Black and white are not the appropriate colours with which to arrive at a peaceful resolution. Every genuine effort towards peace requires both self-knowledge and the willingness to know the other; a willingness to dare to love the other. If we are to be peace makers we need to abandon our tendency to regards ourselves as innocent bystanders on the stage of world conflict.
- How we as a Christian community deal with our malignant disunity constitutes a choice between true and false prophecy. The false prophets prefer the force of arms, converting the heathen by trickery and compulsion. The true prophets call for confession and forgiveness, for dialogue and understanding, for persistence in prayer and self-sacrifice. True prophets will teach us that we are incapable of achieving unity without tapping into God's endless capacity for love.
- Fatigue sets in when the hope of peace is dashed.
Let us not become fatigued in our peace-making, whether that is in our own family, our church, our community, our nation and our world. At Christmas we remember that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and calls all who follow him to walk in his shoes, taking time to be peace-makers.
God bless you
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
A friend of mine tells the story, as the child of medical missionaries sent from our Church to India in the1960s, of spending her holidays in a house called “Aotearoa”. The house was located in the north east of India (maybe in Mizoram) and, I think, was either purchased by our Church or set aside for the use of missionaries who were supported by us.
Someone will probably be able to tell me if the house called Aotearoa still exists, but what it symbolised, and our archives in Dunedin detail, are stories of missionaries from our church serving often at great cost and risk, to them and their families, in some of the most challenging environments imaginable.
Our global connections, focused primarily now on Vanuatu, Myanmar and North India, are supported and developed through the work of Phil King, our global mission coordinator.
Phil can provide much more detail about the relationships and their history, but I am especially interested in how we embody and express our partnerships in the worldwide church community. As I write, our moderator is representing us at the triennial Would Council of Churches meeting in Bussan, Korea. However, we are also members of the 100 million strong, World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Pacific Conference of Church, the Council for World Mission and the Christian Council of Asia.
There is a richness of faith and testimony a history and a value in all these relationships. Participation in each requires time and resource and so I would be interested in hearing what you think about the value of these relationships and how you think they should be prioritised in terms of their importance for our mission and the resources that we commit to our involvement with them. (If you would like to find out more about each of these then look at the partnerships section of our global mission web site.)
Stage 1 Voting for the Moderator-Elect 2016: deadline Friday 7 February 2014
As the first stage in the election process, all presbyteries, the Pacific Island Synod and Te Aka Puaho are asked to nominate one person each to enter the voting process coordinated by the Nominating Committee.
This person will become the Moderator at the 2016 General Assembly. The outcome of this voting process will be announced at the 2014 General Assembly.
Church councils may suggest names for consideration by a meeting of their presbytery, Synod or Te Aka Puaho. Each presbytery, Synod and Te Aka Puaho should send one name to the convenor of the Nominating Committee, the Rev Mary- Jane Konings, 347 Wai iti Road, Timaru 7910 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The nomination needs to be with Mary-Jane by Friday, 7 February 2014.
Please note that the presbyteries eligible to nominate a person, are those presbyteries and UDCs that existed at the conclusion of our last General Assembly in October 2012.
Please note that the period of appointment for the Moderator is two years.
Council of Assembly meeting
The Council will meet in Dunedin on the 15-16 November (hosted by the Synod of Otago and Southland). Any matters, which you would like the Council to consider need to be sent to the Assembly Office by 7 November.
Deadline for Reports, Proposals and Recommendations to the 2014 General Assembly
After consultation with presbyteries and the Assembly Business Work Group, a decision has been made to set the deadline for all reports and proposals for next year’s General Assembly as 31 March 2014.
This will enable us to facilitate a consultative process with presbyteries prior to the Assembly in order for us to fulfil the 2012 Assembly’s decision supporting presbyteries’ participation in the setting of the Assembly agenda.
Feedback from Discussions
Shortly we will be distributing to all presbyteries and church councils our second round of discussion documents seeking responses in preparation for the 2014 General Assembly. Responses need to be back to our office by 31 March 2014.
Use of Buildings and the Human Rights Act
Thank you to all those who have raised questions about a congregation’s discretion in terms of who may or may not use their facilities.
The Book of Order and Advisory Group have drafted a letter, which I have now sent to the Human Rights Commission seeking clarification on the issues, which a number of church councils have written to me about. We are still waiting(!) but as soon as I hear back from the Commission, I will forward their response to presbyteries and congregations.
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:
- “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…
- Resources – Fresh expressions of doing church, preaching, spiritual growth…
- Inspiring New Zealand speakers
- Story tellers - stories of churches making a difference in our society.
Please contact email@example.com with your expressions of interest.
Thanks again for all you do to support our Church and mission.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
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 October 2013, we are pleased to announce that grants have been awarded as follows:
- Kevin Finlay, Kevyn Harris, Clare Lind, Nathan Parry, Johanna Warren, Michelle Shin, Sharon Ross-Ensor and Gene Lawrence all received grants to assist with costs incurred by participants in the cohorts that have been established around the country for "Leading Mission-Shaped Transformation".
Other grants were awarded to:
- Emma Keown, who is continuing her D Min through Laidlaw. Her thesis will be on the topic of Multiculturalism and the Church.
- Henry Mbambo, who is studying for a Master of Applied Social Work through Massey University.
- Hyeeun Kim, for her PhD study in Counselling - research into parenting experiences of 1.5 gen Korean-Kiwi parents.
- Richard Ward and Nikki Watkin for course fees associated with exploring Fresh Expressions and the Emerging Church.
- Malcolm Gordon, for course fees for a M Min thesis on “How Contemporary Worship Music is harming our ability to sing together&rdquo
As can be seen 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 and in the wider church. Applications are welcome any time, but the cut-off dates for applications to be considered are 31st March and 30th September each year.
Catherine van Dorp
Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
I had a very large response group of students (37) for my block course on young adults and church that I taught at Laidlaw College last month. This is one of the core papers for the PYM B Min internship. It was fascinating to hear the students’ (nearly all young adults themselves) reflections and comments about their own faith journey and experiences and involvement with church. This continues to be an area of ministry in which the Presbyterian Church needs to keep improving. Nonetheless, there are some very encouraging stories from a number of our churches that have something specifically for young adults.
It is exciting to witness the PYM internship gaining traction as more churches become aware of it and applications come in. I received two new applications (one down south and one up north) in October to begin in 2014. In the years to come we will have a group of trained practical theologians specialising in the area of youth ministry as well as excellent practitioners. Find out more.
PYM have run two mentoring training days (one in Wellington and one in Auckland) for our recommended mentoring tool. These have been well attended. There has been a noticeable gap in the area of intentional mentoring tools. We think this is one of the best ones available. Those that have used it think so too. This link explains more about it and how it can strengthen the work you do with young people:
Registration for Going Further is open now. Think about shoulder tapping one or two of the young adults in you church to come along. More about Going Further
It’s been a busy time in the past few weeks with visits to our church partners in Vanuatu and India as well as a quick stopover in Singapore to meet the staff at the Council for World Mission’s office, which is now based there.
My time in Vanuatu was taken up with a brief visit to Roger and Paula Levy, our staff at Talua Teological College, and meetings in Port Vila with the PCV leaders. The Levys continue to do a great job at Talua and are valued members of the College community. With significant help from St. Alban’s Church in Chartwell, Hamilton, a new kindy has been completed and this is a valuable addition to the campus. Global Mission and Chartwell are sponsoring the kindy teacher, Sasa Yosef, to come to Hamilton in November to learn more about pre-school teaching. Thanks to St. Albans for their ongoing support for this project.
It was also good to see Shirley Anton in action, teaching English to the B. Min students. Shirley is from Titirangi Presbyterian, and expressed an interest in serving in Global Mission earlier this year. This led to her short term visit to Talua, which we hope will continue as she writes resources for their English curriculum. I was really pleased that we were able to broker this arrangement for Shirley, matching her skills and interest in mission, with a genuine need at Talua. Some photographs from this visit, as well as some from my time in India, are on the Global Mission Facebook page.
This year’s Training in Mission (TIM) programme is nearing its completion. The team are currently in Kiribati, where they are learning about life and culture in that remote island nation, which is formerly known as the Gilbert Islands. They are discovering about the effects of climate change on the nation. Applications for TIM 2014 are now open and available. Find out more and apply for TIM 2014 here. Next year’s programme will begin in Taiwan in March, with the second leg hosted in New Zealand. The timeframe for applications is very short and I apologise for this, but it was unfortunately out of our control. If you are interested in mission and have not yet made a decision about what to do next year, perhaps you could consider TIM? A significant bonus is that it is fully funded by the Council for World Mission. TIM 2013 also has a Facebook page which gives an insight in to what the programme has been about. Check out CWM TIM on Facebook.
Once again you are invited to contact me if you want to find out more about Presbyterian Church Global Mission. There are lots of exciting and interesting opportunities for congregations and individuals to get involved. If you are a parish minister and would like me to visit your congregation to preach, send me an email and we can explore some dates for next year, firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Mission Coordinator
Naturally Kids Friendly
It’s been a busy and affirming month for Kids Friendly. Cheryl and I attended Offspring at the beginning of the month where I ran a workshop on discipling children in new missional ventures. Cheryl and Carolyn Sims shared stories of hope from Flagstaff Church’s new missional venture “Hilltop Community Church”. Hilltop is an all-age monthly Sunday evening church that includes interactive worship and dinner. Many hopeful new missional venture stories were shared at the Offspring weekend held in Silverstream, Wellington and naturally all of them involved children and families.
I say naturally because we know that children are more open to trying new things. Naturally, because we know* parents want help with teaching their children good values. Naturally, because we know “unchurched” parents find worship with their children more appealing than worship that separates them from their children. Naturally, because we know children are more open to the gospel. Therefore children and their families are the most “natural” (and obvious) market for trying new ways of being church. (Ok, so naturally I’m biased!)
I then spent two weeks in Germany sharing the Kids Friendly vision and way of being. Ministering to and with children does not come naturally there. Sharing our vision and experiences with them was challenging, but also a confirmation of just how far our churches have come in grasping and expressing a Kids Friendly ethos. Ten years on there are very few Presbyterian churches questioning why we should be Kids Friendly, whilst in Germany I encountered some real frustration amongst children’s leaders at the continued marginalisation of children.
Being Kids Friendly requires intent and hard work and it’s wonderful to be part of a Church that is up for this challenge. Jesus’ commandment to us to “Let the children come and do not hinder them” is taken seriously by our churches and it’s a real privilege for Cheryl, Nikki and I to support you in your response to this.
Kids Friendly Coach
*Attracting New Zealanders to spiritual life. (AC Nielsen 2002)
Celebrating Women’s Achievements – Thank You
In these exciting and challenging times for Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ), “when we walk with the Lord in the light of his ways… trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey”; as we continue our journey, we acknowledge and say “thank you” to all the women who have carried our work all these years. Joyce Meyer said “Don’t look at how far you have to go, but look back at how far you have come.” – thank you all and praise the Lord. Thank you for your faithful devotion to our organisation, your commitment and hard work raising funds for mission projects and outreach projects in our churches and communities. Together we will proudly take up the challenge to continue the great work started, doing the best we can to keep the flame alive and burning.
Celebrations: Next year we will be holding celebrations regionally, in this way more women will be able to participate – we want everyone to enjoy this momentous occasion – more information will be in Gleanings newsletter.
UN Convenor: We are pleased to announce the appointment of Rev Carol Grant as the new United Nations Convenor. We thank all the applicants. We acknowledge the help and support of Rt Rev Pamela Tankersley. To those who may have found my last notice about UN Convenor position confusing, I sincerely apologise.
Study Grant: a grant is available to all women in the church wishing to undertake training appropriate to God’s calling in different areas of church ministry. Application forms are available from National Secretary, Rev Shona Bettany (06)367 2067 or email email@example.com. Applications close 30th November 2013.
Women, you will probably be busy with Christmas service preparations shortly. Keep up the good work, keep walking to the cross doing your best for God – when all is said and done “We are unworthy servants, we have only done our duty” (Luke 17:10) May the love, joy and peace of the baby of Christmas be with us all at this Christmas time.
Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
Share Water, Share Life
It is time to order Christmas Appeal supplies for your parish. If you have not encountered this 68-year-old New Zealand institution take a look at the website to see what churches are doing together in loving service to others. There are stories of how money given through Christian World Service means people now have the health and dignity that comes with a good water supply. With water resources running short, it is vital that we learn to share this most precious gift of God. When 1.2 billion people live where water is scarce and 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation, more must be done.
Christian World Service has envelopes, service sheets and posters to give away. Posters are available in: Afrikaans, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Fijian, Korean, Maori, Niuean, Samoan, Tongan. Worship and background materials can be downloaded from the website and are available by disc. If you would like a speaker in your parish or to order resources please contact CWS or phone 0800 74 73 72.
Give Something Valuable
Worried about getting the right gift? Choose something that will be valued twice – once by the recipient and once by a family in search of a better livelihood. Choose from the Gifted range. Contact CWS for a catalogue.
Fisherfolk Need Help
Some of India’s poorest people live on its coast making a living from the by-products of fishing. They mend nets, cook fish nobody wants, scrub boats when they can to feed their families. CWS partner SNEHA (Social Need, Education and Human Awareness) works with over 23,000 fisherfolk. CWS has launched a $6000 appeal to meet a funding gap. Please help. Donations can be marked SNEHA and sent to PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140 or online.
Parachute Music Festival
Held at Mystery Creek in Hamilton on 24-26 January 2014, you can find out more about the full line-up, including how to get hold of tickets at www.parachutefestival.com. If you haven’t been before and want to know what you’re getting yourself in for, check out this Parachute video.
Knox Centre Theology Study Grants
Will you be studying theology in 2014? If so, don’t forget to apply for a Knox Centre Theology Study Grant.
The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership is offering a limited number of scholarships in 2014, 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 of study (and costs), 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 involvement and the course of study).
The deadline for applications is 31 March 2014. Letters should be sent to the Principal, 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 amounts awarded are dependent on the number of applications received and the amount of trust funds available. The number of theology papers being taken and previous amounts awarded are also taken into consideration.
EBSCO Religion and Philosophy Fulltext Database Now Available at Hewitson
The Presbyterian Research Centre is now subscribing to the EBSCO Religion and Philosophy fulltext database.
Find out more information about EBSCO. There are also a number of training videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/ebscopublishing which may help you find your way around. Of course, Library staff are very happy to help you out as well.
Bi-lingual Orders of Service
Download four Bilingual Orders of Service for Holy Communion compiled by the Rev Wayne Te Kaawa, Moderator of Te Aka Puaho. http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/sites//default/files/Bilingual.Communion.pdf
St Margaret’s Bishopdale 50th Anniversary
St. Margaret’s Presbyterian Church, Bishopdale , Christchurch will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary during the weekend of 9-12 May 2014. Anyone interested please contact the St Margarets Office: email@example.com or 94 Farrington Ave, Christchurch 8053. All with former connections with the church are welcome.
St James, Spreydon, 50th Anniversary
St James Presbyterian Church, Spreydon will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the opening of their new church building on Sunday 8 December 2013 with a church service at 10am followed by a time to swap stories over a cup of tea. All those with ties to this parish and building are warmly invited to join us. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 03-337 0611.
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.
Glen Innis Vacancies
|16 – 23 Dec||House / cottage|
|23 – 30 Dec||House / cottage|
|27 Jan – 3 Feb||House / cottage|
|3 – 10 Feb||House / cottage|
|10 – 17 Feb||House / cottage|
Presbyterian Church Yearbook 2013
The Church’s 2013 Yearbook information has been updated to include recent changes to contact details. Please download changes up to October here using the username and password emailed to you in April 2013.
Rev Richard Lawrence, Other Recognised Minister, Kaimai Presbytery to Minister Emeritus
Rev John Howell minister St Paul’s Union Taupo, Kaimai Presbytery to Minister Emeritus
Removals from Roll
Rev Ock Youn Jang (David), removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church 6th September 2013 (section 561 old Book of Order)
Rev Lourdino Yuzon, removed from the Ministerial Roll of the Presbyterian Church 30 September 2013.
Rev Karl Lamb, pastoral tie with the Lakeside Church dissolved on 23 October 2013. Book of Order 15.27(m). Rev Karl Lamb’s name removed on 23 October 2103 from the roll of ministers of the PCANZ, under Book of Order 15.27(n).
Cashmere Hills Presbyterian Church changed its name to Cashmere Presbyterian Church 8 October 2013.
St James (English language) Wellington Presbytery was dissolved 15 October 2013.
St Giles, Wellington Presbytery be dissolved 24 November 2013
St Martin’s Presbyterian Church, Porirua East, dissolved 22 September 2013.
St Andrew’s Hanshin Presbyterian Church, Manurewa, Northern Presbytery was dissolved 13 January 2013
Logos Church, Northern Presbytery was dissolved 9 June 2013.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.