Bush Telegraph Jul 2014

From the Moderator

Tauranga has recently held two significant commemorations and a celebration. In late April around 2000 Maori and Pakeha people gathered to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of Pukehinahina (Gate Pa). In mid-June a more sombre commemoration took place to mark the 150th anniversary of the battle of Te Ranga. On 25 June the community of Maori and Pakeha gathered once again to celebrate and give thanks for the first “official” proclamation of the gospel by Henry Williams (Karu-wha) on the shores of Pilot Bay.

I say “official” proclamation as young local Maori who had been taken captive during Nga Puhi raids had been taken back to Paihia and Waimate where they attended the mission schools and learnt about the gospel. When released they returned to Tauranga and shared the Good News they had heard. The local chiefs immediately sent them back to Northland to invite the missionary people to come. Henry Williams arrived in June 1826. 188 years later in this bicentennial year, some Maori leaders led the community of Tauranga in a service of celebration for “the Word and the light” that came.

At the Waitangi Church Service in February this year, Pastor Craig Vernall, leader of the Baptist Union spoke of the Church as “the midwife” assisting in birth of the Treaty of Waitangi. He expressed some concern that the midwife had abandoned the parents. It has been good to see in Tauranga that the Church has not abandoned her responsibilities. Where the Church acts out the gospel of Jesus there will always be light – light that disperses the darkness. These events in Tauranga are testimony to that.

Below the radar in Tauranga a number of church leaders played a very significant part in praying for, planning and supporting these events. I heard some visiting Maori leaders say, “You have inspired us to go back and do something in our own area in this bicentennial year”. I strongly encourage the Presbyterian Church in each region to look for ways of working with their community to continue bringing forth the light and acting out the truth of God's Word.


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends and Colleagues

In the last month I have spent time in South Korea with some of the most innovative and committed missionaries, ministers and church leaders that I have ever met.

These are people working on the edges of society, with love and Christian commitment on behalf of one or other of the Korean Presbyterian churches, to their ministry to illegal immigrants, sex workers and others who are often invisible or forgotten by many of us, in whatever society we live.

I’ve also spent time with leaders of seminaries who gather on their staff some of the most able global teachers and educators.

It makes me wonder about our preconceptions and alignments with the traditional Anglo Saxon English language dominant world of Church, life and mission. Just ten hours flight away and you can immerse yourself in transformative vital and costly ministry which I have found to be enormously encouraging and speaks to me about what a Church can be like at its best.

That is of course, not to say, that among us are wonderful saints fully committed to doing God’s work. It is more that it may be time to shift from seeing, first of all, the Untied States or Britain or Europe as providing offshore ministry education and learning experience, and instead looking to South Korea, Taiwan or China as the providers of important opportunities for those of us seeking to develop our skills and gifts.

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 4-7 October in Auckland (a special ministers’ training day is on 3 October). Information and enrolment details can be found here.

Notices of Motion for the Assembly Due by 5pm Monday 13, September

Following a recent meeting of the Assembly Business Work Group 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 Moderator-elect 2016

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

Voting forms have been sent to all congregations. If you have not received your voting papers, please get in touch with me as soon as possible.

Please return all completed voting forms to 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. For more information, please contact Allister.

Resignation of the Master of Knox College

It is with regret that the Commission for Knox College and Salmond College has accepted the Rev Dr Selwyn Yeoman’s resignation as Master of Knox College, effective from 27 June 2014. Selwyn has tendered his resignation due to the need to care for his health.

Clarity in Mission

The Council of Assembly has released another document called “Mission Clarity” supporting its “Strategic Directions”. The Mission Clarity document aims to help presbyteries and congregations reflect on the kind of church structures and initiatives which, in our experience and based on research from here and abroad, are most likely to support the future of our Church’s mission and growth. Download the Mission Clarity 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. View here.

Moving On

I mentioned last month that I have indicated to the Council my intention to be open to another call or appointment. I have also indicated that whether or not I receive a call or appointment prior to this time, I will not be continuing beyond the end of September 2015. After consultation with presbyteries and significant discussion, the Council have decided to advertise the position of AES-designate.

Recruitment of an AES-designate

On our website you can see the position description and application details for the position of AES-designate. View here. Applications close at 5 pm, Friday 11 July.

Professor Gregor Coster is chairing the selection panel. All applications and communication should be sent to aesjobapplication@presbyterian.org.nz. The position is open to any person with the skills and gifts appropriate for this role, so please encourage suitable candidates to apply.

Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops

To retain a status of good standing, it is a requirement that every minister must attend one of these workshops once every three years. These workshops are provided on an “as needed” basis (usually for a minimum of ten people). If you are due to attend a workshop, please contact your presbytery clerk.

Thanks again for your prayers and your support of the people and work of the Assembly office.


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 2014, we are pleased to announce that grants have been awarded as follows:

  • Richard Dawson for course fees to attend a conference in Seattle; a leadership retreat in Cambria on growing healthy churches; and a course in Systematic Theology and Exegesis in Vancouver.
  • Sue Jacobi for a university course and associated costs for PhD study into “The nature of grief in family and professional caregivers of people with dementia”.
  • Emma Keown for course fees as she begins research for her D Min through Laidlaw. Her thesis will be on the topic of Multiculturalism and the Church.
  • Ross McDougall for course fees to attend university courses required for his reception into the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Michelle Shin for course fees for research methods paper at Otago Uni, prior to commencing MMin next year.

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 31 March and 30 September each year. For more information, visit http://knoxcentre.ac.nz/grants-scholarships.

Catherine van Dorp
Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Youth

Introducing Matt Chamberlin

I am excited to announce that Matt Chamberlin has started working with PYM as the National Youth Director. Matt is a great guy, he has a real passion for growth in young people, and a good understanding of youth ministry. Matt introduces himself here

Connect 2014, 11-13 July, Christchurch

Connect, our national youth leaders' conference, is the second biggest Presbyterian event on the calendar. There are only 25 beds left at St Andrew’s College, so sign up your church youth leaders quickly, if you haven't already. We are stoked by the calibre of workshop presenters this year. Check them out here

National Youth Gathering

As part of Assembly Week, PYM will be hosting a National Youth Gathering for young people aged 15+. After the four-day gathering, we want young people to go home knowing that "they can do mission" – that they can contribute to society. Cost is $99, and more about what we’ll be doing and enrolment can be found on the National Youth Gathering page of the Assembly Week website.

Sustainable Practice 6 of 7

We will provide good management.

  • We believe it is important to follow best practice guidelines in the way we manage our youth ministry.
  • We promise to provide clear procedures and supportive structures to assist our youth worker in managing our youth ministry.

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Co-ordinator

Kids Friendly

A Kids Friendly Time With Interns

This week, Cheryl and I have been sharing with the KCML interns at their block course in Dunedin. It’s a wonderful privilege and honour to get time with these amazing people training to be ministers in our churches.

Both Cheryl and I have a real passion for our ministry and love to resource and inspire ministers and their congregations to welcome, value and disciple children. We have invested years in researching best practise children’s ministry and we love to share our learning, experience and stories with our churches.

We find it’s really helpful to work with ministry students who are placed in congregations, as this makes them so much more aware of the real challenge of ministering effectively with children. We find these interns so eager and open to learning what it means to be “Kids Friendly” and enthusiastic about sharing their own stories of success and their struggles. And so we find that we don’t need to be the experts in the lecture room, but rather facilitators and encouragers of ministry and stories.

Our topics of discussion were “Faith, formation and pastoral care of children” and “Worship with children”. We certainly came away feeling inspired and encouraged by the calibre of our interns and their willingness to engage with these important conversations. We hope they felt the same way and we look forward to resourcing and encouraging them in their ministry as they are called to churches in the future.

Jill Kayser
National Kids Friendly Coach

Press Go

I’m Lisa Wells and I have just taken on the newly established role of PressGo Catalyst.

In line with PressGo’s mandate to help resource promising missional ventures, my role is to support the PressGo Board by providing the technical skills to challenge, encourage, motivate and inspire churches to turn their vision into mission and action.

Since being established in 2008, PressGo has helped 14 projects and invested $1.6m. There are three key strands to our work:

  • Inspiring Mission
  • Building Capacity
  • Seed Funding

I will expand on each of these strands in future issues of the Bush Telegraph.

I have particular skills and experience in fundraising and strategic planning so I look forward to working with churches and presbyteries in those areas. PressGo is only involved by invitation so “working with” is very important. I am not the expert coming in to “fix” things; I don’t have exclusive access to pots of gold; or a special step-by-step plan for growth! What I can bring is a passion for God-honouring mission – in whatever form it takes – and a willingness to help congregations explore the implications of their unique mission.

For many churches, the earthquake reports have been a wake-up call. Some are in denial –“we don’t have earthquakes here, so why worry” and others get very risk averse – “we can’t take the chance”. This can be a real catalyst for thinking differently. I’d like to help you move past the “what do we do about our buildings?” to “what is God up to in your neighbourhood?”

I’ve worked in fundraising for more than 25 years and the first conversation often goes like this: “we have a problem and we can solve it by raising money/constructing a building”. I think the problem is not money (there is always more than enough) it is imagination!

If you’d like to talk, you can contact me on 027 4455723 or at lisaw@presbyterian.org.nz

Presbyterian Women

2014 National Business Meeting is cancelled

We humbly apologise for this late change and any inconvenience caused. The National Coordinating Group has cancelled the August business meeting. Four months’ notice is required for remits to be submitted, giving enough time for groups to discuss and report back. There are not enough agenda items to hold a meeting and justify travel costs. Next year’s Conference will combine with a Business Meeting.

Upcoming 50th APW Celebrations

United Nations - Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 58)

This report is submitted by Carol L Grant, PWANZ United Nations Convenor:

Presbyterian Women of Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ), as a member of UN Ecumenical Women, submitted a joint advocacy statement to the CSW 58 negotiations. We envisioned a human community where the participation of everyone is valued, where no one is excluded on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age, religion or cultural practice, and where diversity is celebrated as God's gift to the world.

We affirmed that promotion of gender equality from a human rights perspective, and contributions and empowerment of women and girls of all ages are fundamental, as enshrined in the Beijing Platform and international laws, and are necessary to meet the Millennium Development Goals and contribute to a post-2015 agenda that will ensure gender justice and sustainable development. We highlighted four areas of achievement and challenges which we advocated strongly at all levels:

  1. Poverty and hunger
  2. Access to quality education, employment and decision-making
  3. Health
  4. Violence against women and girls

We pointed out strongly the ecumenical community effectively has been pursuing the ideals of the Millennium Development Goals for centuries and we will continue to pursue a just development system long after 2015. All the points we made were included in the final draft.

Planning for CSW 59 includes a questionnaire which will be circulated throughout the wider church to ensure the voices of Presbyterian Women in New Zealand contribute to the negotiations next year at the United Nations.

Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
National Convenor

CWS Notices

Remember the Refugees

Thanks to churches that remembered the plight of refugees. In 2013 refugee numbers reached 51.2 million, the highest number since World War II. If you missed Refugee Sunday on 23 June, you might like to use the resources prepared for 6 July, the Sunday designated for Anglican parishes. CWS has prepared worship resources, PowerPoint presentations plus children’s talk and worksheet to help gather our prayers and support, especially for Syrian and South Sudanese refugees.

Thanks from the Philippines

Tet Naraval of Developers has reported on the second distribution of roofing iron in coastal Aklan province. The second batch has enabled 1,037 families to put strong roofs over their homes to protect against the rain. Tet once again thanks New Zealanders for their gifts to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal. She says, “Being resilient people, families slowly try to pick up the pieces by reconstructing their houses, and restoring their livelihood. The dispersed galvanized iron sheets [corrugated iron] – according to several families – motivated them to rebuild their homes. Beyond tarpaulin sheets, GI sheets made them aspire to have more stable abodes for their families – at least, little by little…. with small yet consistent, united steps we can all have a chance to recover from the damages this typhoon has brought among us.” Developers and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines are continuing to support local communities. Read more in CWS Update.

Live Below the Line

CWS is preparing for this year’s Live below the Line challenge which will run 6-10 October. People of any age commit to ending poverty by living at the global poverty line for 5 days. With sponsorship their efforts will help a CWS partner working with those who need a boost. Book the dates in now.


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

Local ministry Teams Event

This event aims to help resource and support all parishes without a resident minister. It is being held in Masterton on 10-12 July and but is open to people from throughout New Zealand. Booking form and more about the event

Gospel 2014 Resource

Te Rongopai 1814: 'Takoto te pai!' Bicentenary reflections on Christian beginnings and developments in Aotearoa New Zealand. The essays in this book are reflections on Christian beginnings and developments in Aotearoa New Zealand. More info

Christian books for young Kiwis

The Folded Page provides Christian reading for the young New Zealanders. Check out the books on offer at www.thefoldedpage.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

Ecumenical formation opportunities at Bossey

During 2014 the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey will be holding a number of seminars raising awareness on issues related to women’s concerns, justice and peace, ecology and Christian theology, interfaith relations and migrant churches.

The seminars, held at different times throughout the year, are open to international participants representing a wide spectrum of confessional, cultural and regional backgrounds. Each seminar will be limited to 30 participants.

Application forms are now available online. The deadline for applications is three months before the start of each seminar. Partial scholarships will be available for qualifying candidates.

Download 2014 schedule of seminars and application form

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 July and August 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

Ordination and Inductions

Rev Glynn Cardy, supply minister, St Luke’s Remuera to Minister St Luke’s Remuera, Northern Presbytery, 3 June 2014.
Rev Mike Uttley, Minister, Tauranga St Peters to Hamilton Fairfield Parish, Kaimai Presbytery 4 June 2014.

Changes in Status

Rev Marty Van’t Wout, Minister Knapdale-Waikaka Parish to Member Southern Presbytery.


Rev Donald R Wilson, minister emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, died 23 May 2014.
Rev Graeme John Hunkin, Amorangi Minister, Nuhaka/Wairoa Maori Pastorate died 15 June 2014.


Check out our listing of national and regional events.


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