Bush Telegraph Aug 2014

From the Moderator

While attending the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches in July some of us participated in a short three-hour pilgrimage from outside of Geneva to Bossey. It was a symbolic pilgrimage to mark the call of the WCC for all Christians to join in a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.

The word “pilgrimage” was chosen to convey that this is a journey with deep spiritual meaning and with profound theological connotations and implications. As a “pilgrimage of justice and peace”, it is neither a journey towards a concrete geographical place nor some simple form of activism. It is a transformative journey that God invites us to in anticipation of the final purpose for the world that the Triune God brings about.

Following Jesus means meeting him wherever people suffer injustice, violence and war. To experience God´s presence with the most vulnerable, the wounded, and the marginalised is a transformative experience. The pilgrimage takes place in a world that cries out for engagement by Christians and all people of good will. Whether in the arenas of ecology, economy, peace, or human dignity, Christians find local and global affronts to the gospel values of justice and peace.

The pilgrimage might consist of at least three different dimensions:

  • Celebrating the Gifts
    We do not journey with empty hands, nor do we walk alone. We are a unique part of the wider web of life, which amazes us. We feel empowered by this grace of participating in God´s movement of love, justice and peace.
  • Visiting the Wounds
    This pilgrimage will lead us to the locations of ugly violence and injustices. The true encounter with real, contextual experiences of a broken creation and sinful behaviour against each other might inform us anew about the essence of life itself. It might lead us to repentance and liberate us from obsession with power, possessions, ego, and violence, so that we become ever more Christ-like.
  • Transforming the Injustices
    Being transformed ourselves, the pilgrimage may lead us to concrete actions of transformation. We may grow in our courage to live in true resurrection life of compassion with one another and with creation. This will include the strength to resist evil – injustice and violence, even if a church finds itself in a minority situation.

Can I encourage all those who have a heart for this concept of pilgrimage to enrol in the ecumenical stream of the Inspiring Mission Conference at Assembly Week where I will dialogue with you further about the work of WCC and the ecumenical movement around the world.


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I have just returned from celebrating with St Heliers Presbyterian Church a milestone in their commitment to extend the church’s mission and ministry to the community. The old hall at the rear of the church is to be replaced by a new facility specifically developed to resource and strengthen the congregation’s outreach and mission. The Rev Pauline Stewart, with support from husband the Rev Stan Stewart, and a dedicated team of elders and other church leaders, have raised almost 4 million dollars to support the development. Every available space at the church was filled last Sunday, with members of all ages from this increasingly multi-cultural congregation, to honour, in their worship, the vision and generosity of those from the past and present who have made this work possible.

Whether large or small, the future life and growth of our Church depends on the kind of leadership committed to intentionally embodying Jesus’ call to discipleship and God’s radical grace and hospitality, in ways meaningful to people and communities.

We have reason to give thanks and celebrate the mission of churches like St Heliers, whose faithful and generous commitments are making a real difference in the lives of so many people.


I am delighted that the Rev Wayne Matheson has been appointed AES-designate. Details of the announcement can be found here. We thought it would be great for Wayne to start at the office prior to the General Assembly to gain experience into organising the bi annual event. Wayne begins here on 8 September on a fixed-term contract pending the ratification of his appointment by the Assembly in October. Wayne has served at Knox Lower Hutt for more than seven years and will also relinquish his role as convenor of the Council of Assembly.

Assembly Week

Assembly Week is going to be a time for everyone in our Church to learn, grow and celebrate our Church’s life and mission. Please come and join us from the 4-7 October in Auckland (a special minister’s only day is on 3 October). Enrolment and information details can be found here.

Notices of Motion for the Assembly must be received by 13 September

The deadline for notices of motion has been set as 5pm Monday, 13 September. After this date only motions arising from dialogue or debate will be accepted.

Stage 3 voting for the 2016 Moderator-elect

In the third stage in the election process, each congregation is being asked to vote for the Moderator-designate.

All church or parish councils should have received voting forms. If you have not received your voting papers, please get in touch with me as soon as possible.

All completed voting forms need to be returned to the Assembly Office by 15 August.

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 experience. All are eager to commit themselves to ministry within the life of a congregation or in other ministry roles. Profiles for each are available from the Rev Allister Lane who coordinates introductions and discussions between final year interns and Ministry Settlement Boards. Profiles for the interns will also be included in the Spring edition of SPANZ. For more information, please contact Allister.


CWM Partner Church Visitations - We are a member of the 31-church Council for World Mission. CWM is currently coordinating small teams to visit member churches. The purpose of the visits is both to strengthen inter-church relationships but also to look at how each member church is working to develop missional congregations. If you are interested in leading or being part of a visiting team, then please let me know and I will send you more information. I will invite the Leadership Sub-committee to determine who will represent us on these teams. The visits are for one week in 2015 and 2016 and will most likely will take you to a church in Asia, Africa or the Pacific. All expenses are paid by CWM.

The World Communion of Reformed Churches – Council meeting, Germany 2017 -This is going to be a very special event as reformed churches gather to celebrate the 500th anniversary since the events that led to the Reformation. The meeting is in June 2017 culminating with church worship at Wittenberg, where, on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis to the castle church door. There are no details on costs yet, but let me know if you are interested in being there and I will send you information as it comes in.

Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops

It is a requirement that every minister, to retain their status of good standing, must attend one of these workshops once every three years. These workshops are provided on an “as needed” basis for usually a minimum of ten people. If you are due to attend a workshop, please contact your presbytery clerk. Leaders in all aspects of your congregation’s life and ministry are also welcome to attend.


A recent event involving a congregation publishing a poem in full covered by copyright on their church website and the resulting legal action, reminds us all of the importance of complying with copyright laws.

If any work is covered by copyright you may not publish or reproduce it without the author and/or publisher’s permission. (Simply indicating that the work is covered by copyright or acknowledging the author is not enough.) However you may quote from the work if you are using less than a “substantial part” provided you acknowledge where the quotes came from. Read more on this here.

Details on the church website indicate how you may purchase coverage for songs, music, videos and films that you use in worship and at other times in your church life. http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/information-about-copyright

Clarity in Mission

The Council of Assembly has released another document called ‘Mission Clarity’ supporting its Strategic Directions, to help presbyteries and congregations reflect on the kind of church structures and initiatives which, in our experience and on research from here and abroad, are most likely to support the future of our Church’s mission and growth. You can download this document here and I would welcome your feedback or ideas on how we can further develop this guide. The document also refers to some extensive research conducted by the Church of England, which you might also find interesting to refer to here.

Turakina Maori Girl’s College – bus crash

We were all concerned to hear of the school’s bus crashing into a ditch near Gisborne last weekend, resulting in one of the girls suffering a broken bone and leaving others bruised and shaken. The College's kapa haka group was heading to Gisborne for the national secondary schools' competition. Our prayers and thoughts go out to students, staff and families as they recover from this accident and to the students who are determined to compete in the event.


Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Ministers’ Study Grants

Are you a Presbyterian minister planning on further study? Do you know that you can apply for a study grant from the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership?

What are the rules?

  1. The proposed course of study will aid the applicant's professional development.
  2. There is a potential benefit to the Church and the probability of significant service to the Church.
  3. Parish and presbytery approval has been obtained for the study, where appropriate.

Priority is normally given to assisting with the payment of academic or course fees for an approved course of study. Other costs associated with undertaking certain courses of study are considered on a case by case basis, but do not include the purchase of books or equipment. Where overseas travel is involved, applicants should first apply to the Best Travel Fund.

Under normal circumstances, grants do not exceed one-third of the study costs involved and may be held in conjunction with other scholarships and grants other than the Postgraduate Scholarship. Grants are not made retrospectively and relate only to costs to be incurred by the scholarship holder themselves.

Please note: successful applicants who move to ministries or other positions outside of the Presbyterian Church within two years of receiving a grant may be required to repay up to 50% of the grant received.

How do I apply?

Applicants are asked to address the criteria and set out their expected costs including conference fees, tuition fees, basic accommodation and travel, and to supply any other information that may be relevant.

Enquiries to: The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street Opoho, Dunedin. registrar@knoxcentre.ac.nz or ph 03 473 0783.

The closing date for the next round of applications is 30 September 2014.

Catherine van Dorp
Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Youth

Connect, National Youth Leaders' Conference

On the 11-13 July over 200 people congregated at St.Andrew’s College in Christchurch for PYM’s highest rated Connect yet. A real highlight for participants was the St.Paul’s Trinity worship band and the worship curation by Mark Pierson from World Vision. To see photos and comments check out this album on the PYM Facebook page.

National Youth Gathering at Assembly Week

As part of Assembly Week, PYM will be hosting the inaugural National Youth Gathering for young people aged 15+. There will be awesome worship, spoken word and spiritual practices in the morning. In the afternoon we will hold the first ever national sports and talent quest competitions and invite folk to participate in an impacting service project. We join all of General Assembly for the Inspired evening sessions. For youth groups to attend the four days, including meals, participants only need to pay $49.

As an alternative, Auckland youth groups are welcome to sign up for individual day passes, which includes the afternoon session, dinner and the evening Inspired event. Such passes cost $10. More info

Youth Commissioners at General Assembly

For official Youth Commissioners at General Assembly, we will be running a youth orientation day commencing at 2pm on Friday, 3 October. This will be a valuable time for youth commissioners to get their head around the workings of General Assembly and give some thought to the upcoming debates. More info

Going Further Discipleship Camp

On 8-13 Feb 2015, PYM’s annual discipleship camp for young adults (ages 18-30) is returning to Great Barrier. Kendra Green from California will be the keynote speaker, and we are stoked that we have been able to reduce the price of the camp this year to $405, which includes the ferry out to Great Barrier Island. We continue to hear how this camp has sparked a new impetus of faith in young adults who have previously attended. Please consider financially supporting a young adult from your congregation to attend. More info

Sustainable Practice 7 of 7

We will celebrate and appreciate:

  • We believe it’s vital to acknowledge what our youth worker is doing and the commitment they have made to work with young people in our church.
  • We promise to make sure our youth worker knows they are appreciated, and we will celebrate their achievements.

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Co-ordinator

Kids Friendly

The power of a story

Recently I attended an inspiring workshop on “The Power of Story”. By the end of the day I was proudly wearing my sticker “I am a story activist!” There were many “a-ha!” moments as Moyer Sayer-Jones (www.onlyhuman.com.au) reminded us that whenever people get together, stories flow. It’s stories that inspire new possibilities and thinking.

Our Kids Friendly coaches understand the power of stories. When we share stories of how of churches welcome and celebrate children, we often “see the lights go on” and see people excitedly embrace new ways of being with children. Telling stories has been key to sharing the Kids Friendly way over the last 10 years. One of my “a-has!” at the workshop was realising how effective this has been and why Jill always says, when I tell her a story from my region: “Oh, that’s a good story. Write it down so we can share it!”

So here’s a story about valuing children’s contributions in worship. Early in the week, Knox Dunedin‘s minister Rev Dr Kerry Enright, visits a child and his/her family to share the Bible reading for the coming Sunday. Conversation follows about the text and what it might mean and then a child is invited to draw a black and white A5 picture about it. By Thursday this is scanned onto the front cover of the weekly bulletin. On Sunday all the children come forward with their bulletins to sit with the minister. If the child who drew the picture wants to share he/she can, then there is more talk about the picture and what it may be showing related to the text for the day. Kerry has just introduced this at Knox but has done it in other contexts and shares how he has often been startled by the insight children bring as they respond to God’s story.

Thanks Kerry for sharing this idea - perhaps it will inspire other readers today!

Cheryl Harray
Kids Friendly Advisor
Synod of Otago and Southland

Global Mission

In early July a team of eight completed a successful Going Global visit to Lenakel Presbyterian College on Tanna Island, Vanuatu. Going Global is a joint programme between Global Mission and PYM, giving our young adults an opportunity to learn about, and contribute to, our partner churches. It was a stimulating week of cross- cultural learning and faith sharing. An added bonus of this trip was that a visit to a coffee cooperative on Tanna which is supported by Tear Fund. You can read more about the visit in my blog. Look out for next year’s Going Global programmes which I hope will be offered in both Vanuatu and India.

Applications for next year’s Training in Mission programme are now open. This is a ten-month long programme for young adults aged between 18-30, and will be held in Taiwan, Kiribati and New Zealand. One big bonus of TIM is that it is fully funded by the Council for World Mission. This will suit someone who may be considering a gap year, or who wants to explore a sense of call to mission. It is a challenging and stimulating programme, shared with 12 young adults from many different countries around the world. Download the information form and application pack here. Please pass this on to any young adults who might be suitable candidates for this fantastic opportunity.

Places are starting to fill up for the Global Mission Stream at the General Assembly, but there is always room for more. Go to the Assembly Week website to find out how to register. Financial assistance is available for those who request it.

There are many opportunities for congregations and individuals to get involved in the Church’s Global Mission. Please contact me if you would like further information, or if you would like me to speak to your church or mission group.

Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator

Press Go

“We have a great mission idea (and someone else should pay for it…)”

After a month on the job as the PressGo Catalyst, I am beginning to reflect on what separates successful mission initiatives from mere wishful thinking.

There are a great many projects around the church, many of which are centred on buildings – rebuilds, redevelopment and revamps. What makes a building project a “mission initiative”? I think it is those where the building changes are part of a larger mission plan: an outward-looking plan that sees the building as only one tool in mission. This is why the “build it and they will come” model of attractional church is very limited and unlikely to attract PressGo assistance. In these cases, the reasoning goes “if we have a nice facility, which those who attend enjoy, then more people will come along to use our buildings”. Sadly a mission strategy based purely on offering a venue for rent falls short of being in mission with our community. It is important to dream the big dreams at an early stage. A useful phrase to keep in mind is “if money wasn’t a problem, what would we really do …”

I’ve come up with a list of 10 things that I think are hallmarks of a successful mission initiative:

  1. The project shows imagination.
  2. It is soaked in prayer.
  3. Comes from a sense of vision that is bigger than the congregation – a sense of how things could be different.
  4. Considers the wider picture and context – why here and why now?
  5. Develops greater focus over time.
  6. Mission is the driver, not pragmatic building considerations.
  7. Owned by the majority of the congregation – this is “our” project.
  8. Generously supported – with significant gifts of time, talents and money coming first from the congregation before anyone else is asked.
  9. Uses best practice in professional services – building, fundraising, administration etc.
  10. Provides focus, energy, passion to the life and mission of the congregation.

I’d be interested in feedback or perhaps you can think of other things that are equally important. If you would like to discuss a potential initiative and the ways PressGo might assist please call me on 027 4455 723 or email lisaw@presbyterian.org.nz.

Presbyterian Women

“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:6)

Treasurer needed - If you would like to be considered for the position, please email National Secretary, Rev Shona Bettany.

Study grant - We are pleased to offer a grant to help with course costs for women in our church who are seeking Christian training in 2014. Applications close on 31 Aug, and forms can be obtained from National Secretary, the Rev Shona Bettany.

Remits – National Council of Women (NCW) – We need to be aware of the issues that will be discussed at this year’s NCW Conference being held in October. In particular, please consider remits being presented (see pg 10-16).

Centenary celebrations – These celebrations continue; they are special gatherings, where there are sharing of stories and memories and hopes for the future. Thank you and well done to those who organised these occasions for our women, blessings and best wishes to Riverton, Christchurch, Auckland and others yet to meet.

Quilt to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of APW - Ladies don’t miss being part of this celebratory gift. Blocks can be portrait or landscape. Read this edition of Gleanings for more info on how to get involved. Contact: Natalie Watkin ph: 09 528 0507 nat.watkin@vodafone.co.nz, 94 Gowing Drive, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072.

Upcoming Celebrations - Riverton Union Women’s Fellowship luncheon on Monday, 13 October 2014. Present and past members are welcome to attend. Contact Janice Templeton email dwjt@xtra..co.nz or ph 03 2349922

Christchurch on 10 September 2014 celebrating with a special luncheon at St James Presbyterian Church

Annual Statistic Forms - Please complete and send your completed forms to Rev Shona Bettany by 31 August. Alternatively you can complete this online.

Well done ladies your hard work has not gone unnoticed especially for mission and helping women here and overseas you have made huge difference to many communities! Thank you.

Vanila Ekenasio
Presbyterian Women

CWS Notices

Gaza Emergency Appeal

CWS has launched an appeal to help the people of Gaza. An appeal leaflets is available. CWS partner the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees which will provide cash grants, psychosocial support and medical care to some of the many people affected by the attacks. So far the four vocational training centres and two of the three medical clinics have had minor damage. The Shija’ia clinic had its doors blown off but so far equipment is safe. CWS is posting updates from DSPR and has written to the New Zealand government acknowledging its call for a ceasefire and contribution of $250,000 for relief assistance to the UN, and asking for discussions with the Israeli ambassador.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of World War I, CWS is inviting churches to pray for peace on Peace Sunday, 3 August. Worship resources “And the Hour is Late” include prayers remembering the bombing of Hiroshima and the people of Israel and Palestine.

Big Fair Bake

For those who love to bake and people who love to eat, The Big Fair Bake is a great opportunity to experiment with fair trade ingredients. CWS is supporting the competition which runs from 1-17 August. Entrants need to use two fair trade ingredients to bake something good, take a picture and say why they baked fair trade. There are great prizes to be won and best of all you can share your baking with your friends and family to taste the fair trade difference.

Live Below the Line

Poverty will only go away if people do something to stop it. Join this year’s Live Below the Line challenge from 6-10 October with CWS and help Filipinos recover after last year’s typhoon. Contact Grace for information.


Apply for a Presbyterian Foundation grant

Applications for the 2014 round of Presbyterian Foundation grants are now invited, and 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.

Messy Church tour with Lucy Moore

From 31 July – 15 August Lucy Moore, the Messy Church international team leader, will be in New Zealand travelling the country sharing her experience and stories. Check out the Kids Friendly website for dates, venue and registration information.

Pacific Islands Director of Theological Reflection

The Pacific Islands Synod is looking for someone to lead the establishment of the Pacific Islands Theological Reflection Centre. The position is half-time for two years and is based in Auckland. Read more

PresCare art and writing competition

Children preschool to Year 8 can enter the 2014 PresCare "Love Reaches Out" art and writing competition. There’s $900 in prizes. Entries close 25 August 2014. For more information, including entry forms, see the Kids Friendly website.

Aging and Spirituality conference

The Selwyn Foundation is hosting a series of one-day workshops in August on spiritual reminiscence in dementia. Also on 28 August, the Foundation is hosting the “Perspectives on Ageing and Spirituality” conference. Check out more info or register here.

Knox Waitara Centenary

During Labour Weekend 2014 Knox Church Waitara will be celebrating 100 years of ministry. All past members are very welcome to join us. Please contact Lisa on 06 754 4356 or email lisa@waitara.org.nz

Wesley College celebrating 170 years

A reunion is planned for 12-14 September 2014. Staff, former students, auxiliary staff are all welcome. Further details are on the Wesley College website

The Challenge of Jesus series

The Community of St Luke (Remuera, Auckland) are hosting a video based programme stimulating discussion and discovery. The sessions are free of charge, and run on Sundays at 11:15am from 13 July to 21 September. For more info or to register, click here.

St Andrew’s Birkenhead centenary

On 26-28 September this year, St Andrew’s Birkenhead will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. Those who’ve been part of the parish’s life and mission are invited to join the celebrations. For more information, phone 09 480 7229 or email: birkenheadpresbyterian@gmail.com

Beyond the borders conference

The Community of St Luke, 130 Remuera Rd, Auckland will be hosting the first NZ conference on Progressive Spirituality and Christianity. For more information about speakers, the conference programme, and how to register, check out the website: www.progressivespirituality.co.nz

Whakatane Presbyterian 100 year anniversary

The parish would like to invite interested people to join their 100th anniversary celebrations on 24-26 October 2014. For more info call 07 3084268 or email whakapres@xtra.co.nz

Presbyterian Investment Fund

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

For vacancies during August and September check out the Glen Innis section of our website.

Church Directory

The Church Directory, which replaces the annual yearbook, is now available. For reasons of privacy, the Directory may only be accessed using a username and password which has been sent out in April to parish clerks, presbyteries, synods and others. More about the Church Directory

Church Register

Short-term Appointments

Rev Gary Marquand, Minister Emeritus, Northern Presbytery to Senior Minister, (stated supply) St Columba at Botany 6 July 2014.

Lay Appointments

Rev Colin Price, Locally Ordained Minister (Probationer), Amuri Co-operating Church, Christchurch Presbytery, 30 November 2013.


Rev Paul Rogers, Local Ordained Minister, St Mark’s Mangere East, Northern Presbytery resigned and removed from roll 31 December 2013.


Rev Alan Montgomery Goss, Minister Emeriti, Gisborne Hawkes Bay Presbytery died 30 June 2014.
Rev Robert Allan Simpson, Minister Emeriti Southern Presbytery died 5 June 2014.
Rev Graeme John Hunkin, Amorangi Minister Nuhake/Wairoa Maori Pastorate, Te Aka Puaho died 15 June 2014.


Check out our listing of national and regional events.


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