From the Moderator
Thank you for your willingness to pray for me.
The Church’s generous support of our special appeal for Vanuatu is also very heartening. Already, around $45,000 has already been raised, and as more information comes to hand about the devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam, it is clear to see that the PCV and people of Vanuatu will need much support to rebuild and recover. Phil King and I will be visiting Vanuatu in April to offer pastoral support and gain an understanding of how we can help.
I’ve also been focusing on two big pieces of work that will be coming out in the next couple of months.
I've been working with Presbyterian Support on a resource “Transforming Society” dealing with poverty and violence against women and children. This will be a tool box for congregations to engage with these issues in their local context. This is due to be released on Pentecost Sunday, 24 May.
The other big piece of work is a White Paper that I have been working on naming some of the very significant challenges and opportunities that we face in the Church.
Please pray that these documents will help lead greater engagement in the Church on issues within our own house and in the communities to which we belong.
- 19-24 April – Vanuatu visit in response to Cyclone Pam and in solidarity with the Presbyterian church of Vanuatu
- 17-18 April – Inspire: Dunedin
- 27-30 April – Trans-Tasman Moderators meeting in Brisbane
To catch up on what I have been doing see: moderator.presbyterian.org.nz Go to the blog page for resources and comments of what I've been doing and saying. You are most welcome to leave a comment.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
For the past couple of weeks, our news has been dominated by the destruction in Vanuatu caused by Cyclone Pam. As has been reported by Phil King, our Global Mission Co-ordinator, our staff and volunteers are safe and well and engaged in relief work. The images of almost total devastation in some places including damage to places that people across our church have come to know and enjoy – places like Talua Ministry Training Centre, Onesua College, Lenakel College – sees our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the people of Vanuatu.
It has been very heart warming to see the response of communities across the country including events that have been held to pray for the people of Vanuatu and to raise funds for disaster and relief work. There are few things more heartening and encouraging than witnessing the outpouring of love and generosity from our Church members during a time of great need.
As we celebrate Easter, we will dwell together on the Thursday evening and live through the challenges of the suffering Christ on Good Friday. We will wait on Easter Saturday and celebrate the risen Christ on Easter Sunday. This season provides us the opportunity to be and to talk about what really matters to our people, and also to address our deepest fears and greatest longing. 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.
And then on 25 April, we remember the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day. Up and down the country – in small rural communities to the National War Memorial in Wellington – people will gather at dawn and remember. Later in the day we can watch the dawn service from Gallipoli live on our screens. This day marks a very significant event in our nation’s history. Ka maumahara tonu tatau ki a ratou.
Moderator launches special appeal for Vanuatu
I warmly commend to you the Moderator’s appeal. Our Moderator the Rt Rev Andrew Norton and the Rev Phil King will be travelling to Vanuatu in April to meet with the leaders of the PCV, and visit our staff and volunteers who are still there. This will be a pastoral visit to show solidarity with the PCV, and to gather information about how we can best offer our help to the PCV, and to the nation of Vanuatu itself.
Assembly Office closed for Easter
The office will be closed from Friday, 3 April and will reopen on Wednesday, 8 April. For any urgent matters during this time, please email me or call me on 0275691971
We have been advised by NZ Police that there is a significant delay in processing requests for police checks. The Police vetting service is experiencing major delays because of higher than normal level of vetting requests and a system upgrade to the service. We will keep you-up-to-date as more information comes to hand, and in the meantime, please contact Margaret at Assembly Office if you have any questions regarding the status of a Police check that has been requested.
Council of Assembly
The Council met on 20-21 March in Auckland. Council News from that meeting can be read here.
Calling a newly trained minister
This year eight people will complete their training as interns. They 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.
Kids Friendly and Presbyterian Support
Kids Friendly is partnering with Presbyterian Support again this year for the 2015 PresCare Love Reaches Out Art and Writing competition for children. Entries close 3 September, 2015. See the Kids Friendly website for entry forms and info and get creating. http://kidsfriendly.org.nz/love-reaches-out-love-is/
Discount Card is available
Some time ago the Church secured a discount card for our members, through AllChurches Services. The card offers discounts from retailers like Noel Leeming, Office Max, Repco, Thrifty rental cars and others. These cards are FREE and are available to all folk who are part of the life of the church. If you would like some for your congregation – please let me know.
Thank you for your partnership in God’s mission.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
In March, Brad Kelderman, youth advisor for the Synod of Otago & Southland, put on an excellent training event for nearly 100 youth leaders from 28 churches. The day was a huge success with input from the PYM national team, SU, Phil Trotter, Mike Dodge and Dion Fasi to name a few. Brad has been in the role now for about a year and a half and is doing an incredible job. We are excited about the future potential of such eccumenical regional training events as they offer more opportunities for local leaders to be upskilled, encouraged and connected.
Each year we deliver the holy week story through a series of first person messages from the Biblical characters in real time. This year we are doing it a little different: every text message will be from the Apostle Peter, and his viewpoint, going through the lows of denying Jesus, through the highs of the resurrection and being forgiven on the beach. To follow the story just text ‘follow kiwieaster’ to 8987. More info at http://www.kiwieaster.org.nz/
Connect is PYM’s flagship national youth leaders conference, and we are delighted to confirm that the primary keynote speaker is Bill Maston form Nexus International (Colorado). This year, Connect will be at Ngaruawahia on 17-19 July. The early bird registration deadline is on 17 May, and represents a savings of $20 per person.
Sustainable practices for youth ministry
Every church council, minister, youth worker and key youth leader needs to be familiar with this document. PYM worked in collaboration with youth ministries from other NZ denominations to produce this excellent resource. It is hoped that it will help churches take a significant step towards sustainable youth ministry. Check out the resources here: http://sustainablepractices.org.nz/
National Youth Manager
The most significant news of the past few weeks has been the devastating impact of Cyclone Pam on Vanuatu and other Pacific Island nations. There has been widespread damage, the full extent of which is still unknown at the time of writing. The Presbyterian Church has a close relationship with the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV), which is facilitated through Global Mission.
We have three couples serving as staff and volunteers with the PCV, all of whom are safe and well. Don and Shirley Anton at Talua Ministry Training Centre on Santo Island escaped the worst of the cyclone. But for Neville and Gloria Jones, and fellow volunteers Graeme and Maebry Reid in Port Vila, the work they have been doing has changed dramatically, as have the communities they live in.
Moderator’s appeal for Vanuatu
The Moderator’s special appeal “Pacific Vision Vanuatu” – launched to support the long-term development of the Vanuatu people and the PCV – has so far raised around $45,000. PCV are greatly encouraged by this wonderful support.
Our Moderator the Rt Rev Andrew Norton and I will be travelling to Vanuatu in April to learn first-hand the extent of the damage and the PCV’s response to it. As this information becomes known, we will inform congregations how they can be involved in supporting the PCV in their recovery. In the meantime, please give generously to the Moderator’s special appeal, and keep an eye on the Global Mission Facebook page.
Our volunteers and staff in Vanuatu
Neville and Gloria Jones were volunteering in Vanuatu when the cyclone hit. Despite the change to their living circumstances and working arrangements, they will be staying to help with the cyclone recovery effort. You can follow them on their blog, www.jonesinvanuatu.blogspot.co.nz. They, along with the Reids and Antons will need our prayers as they support their communities in Vanuatu’s ongoing recovery from the effects of the cyclone.
Getting involved in our work
I have been visiting churches around the country sharing information about the work of Global Mission. There is growing awareness of and interest in ways that individuals and congregations can get involved, which is encouraging. Visit the Global Mission website for more information about our work in Vanuatu, Myanmar, India and elsewhere. Please contact me if you would like me to speak at your church, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global Mission Coordinator
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women CSW 59
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the main global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year representatives of member states and representatives from civil society gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment world-wide.
Twenty years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, no country has achieved equality for women and girls, and significant levels of inequality between women and men persist. Critical areas of insufficient progress include access to decent work, closing the gender pay gap, rebalancing of the care workload, ending violence against women, reducing maternal mortality, realising sexual and reproductive health rights, and participation in decision-making at all levels.
This year at the Commission there was a high level of frustration at the slow progress being made, and the urgent need for transformation of structures, institutions, and norms - economic, social, and political - that are holding back progress on gender equality. It is fine to have policies, but to be effective these must be backed by implementation and action.
The twelve-strong delegation of women and girls from the South Island took every opportunity to participate in the events and debates at the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. It was challenging for many, and heaps of work for all those attending, but ultimately enlivening for everyone who went this year. Already delegation members are speaking to church and community groups. If you would like to hear about CSW59 and the work of Presbyterian Women at the United Nations please contact Carol Grant 03 425 8865 email@example.com. If you would like to come to CSW60 next year in March and believe you will meet the delegation criteria, start saving now and keep in touch.
Convener - United Nations
Presbyterian Research Centre
The Hewitson Library’s catalogue at https://hewitson.mykoha.co.nz has a very handy feature you can use to gather together a list of resources on a particular theme. You can use this to create a reading list for your own or someone else’s use, making the list public or private, as required.
The top bar of the home page has three links: Cart, Lists, Log in to your account.
Use the Lists drop down menu and see the Easter example I have created, which gathers together a small selection of titles.
Those of you with a username and login are able to add to these lists, and reserve items within them, just as you can for library materials generally. You can also create a private list for your own use – a very handy way to keep those titles you hope to read some time in the future, all together in one place. If you are leading a study group, make a reading list up for them to use.
Not a member? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and we will register you and send your username and password.
There is no shortage of promising mission projects in our church! Since June last year I have worked with 56 parishes or presbyteries. Some requests are a simple exchange of information, contacts or words of encouragement while others are an invitation to work alongside church councils on large projects – rebuilds, redevelopment, missional discernment and specific planning.
In addition I have been asked to present workshops at various presbytery and regional cluster gatherings. Each presentation has been built on current understandings of mission, missional imagination and the foundational need for prayerful discernment. As God invites us to join in mission with our communities, we need to first seek God’s will before we plan in our own strength. Mission plans are not something we do and then ask God to bless!
My year is filling up and I look forward to meeting many more people up and down the country at the Inspiring Mission gatherings organised by the Moderator. If you would like to invite me to speak or give a workshop at one of your gatherings, please ask as there is a wide range of material I can present to suit your needs.
PressGo only comes into the life of a parish by invitation, so please give me a call if you are considering something new or simply looking at assessing how you can be more effective in mission. I’ll look forward to hearing from you! Contact the PressGo Catalyst on email@example.com or phone 027 4455 723.
Been there done that
Unfortunately being “Kids Friendly” can never be a case of “been there, done that”. When a church commits to being Kids Friendly and cultivates its ethos accordingly, it embarks on a life-long journey. The Council of Assembly’s Bringing Clarity to our Mission document (General Assembly 2014) suggests 10 factors believed to be critical for building dynamic, enduring communities of faith.
The first suggestion is that churches complete an analysis of “where things are heading”, the second is to “invest in and support leaders” and the third is to “prioritise ministry to children and young people”.
The Kids Friendly self-review resource offers an effective process for churches to analyse where they are heading with their ministry to children and families. It values and involves children’s leaders by creating a forum for them to express their views and participate in the strategic planning process, and it ensures that ministry with children is prioritised.
Many churches have found this to be a helpful process in developing a children’s ministry action plan and have been encouraged by the growth they have experienced as a result of their work. “When we at St Aidan’s made an intentional decision to become a Kids Friendly church, we didn’t realise the ripple effect this would have on the whole of our faith community. Becoming Kids Friendly has resulted in every aspect of our communal life experiencing renewal and creative energy for new mission,” says Rev Alf Taylor.
Like most things worth doing, becoming Kids Friendly is not easy. It takes time and an ongoing commitment to keep asking questions about how the church’s decisions and practices value and serve children and families.
Kids Friendly churches are asked to repeat their review every three years or when a change of leadership occurs. Over the next few weeks I will be phoning ministers and church leaders to talk to them about their plans to re-review and maintain their Kids Friendly status. And if your church hasn’t become Kids Friendly yet we encourage you to contact us to find out more.
Kids Friendly Coach
Vanuatu Cyclone Appeal
CWS is asking for support to help some of the 166,000 people affected by Cyclone Pam. Warned of the cyclone, residents buried food and water which is keeping them alive in the short term. The ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) has launched a global appeal for NZ$725,000 to provide immediate support for food, water, sanitation, shelter and medical help. Plans are underway to rebuild schools, clinics and livelihoods across affected islands in the longer term. Seeds and tools will be distributed so people can replant staple food crops, but they will not be ready until mid-June at the earliest. Reaching outlying islands will make distribution costs expensive.
CWS is working with Australian colleagues, Vanuatu churches, the Global Mission office and the Anglican Missions Board to make best use of funds raised. Local churches are supporting their communities and need the resources to make sure local people are in charge of their own recovery. An appeal leaflet is available and donations can be made online or by calling 0800 74 73 72. We are grateful for the generous gifts already received.
A special thanks to the good people of Wairoa Union Parish who donated proceeds from a garage sale to help Syrian refugees.
On 13 March, Church leaders including the Rt Rev Andrew Norton signed an open letter on Syria and Iraq calling for action and prayer on the fourth anniversary of the beginning of Syria’s conflict. Let us all continue to pray for peace.
Fair Trade Easter Egg Hunt
Chocolate is a big part of Easter celebrations. CWS has a quiz and an Easter egg hunt option available with support from Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand of which it is a member. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org at (09) 571 9150.
South Island Ministry Conference
Enrol now for the South Island Ministry Conference “Resilience in Ministry”, 19-21 May 2015 at East Taieri Church, Mosgiel. More info
Service to recognise mark fallen chaplains
A special service is being held to mark 100 years since CHAP3 William Grant (a Presbyterian chaplain) was killed at Hill 60, Gallipoli. CHAP3 Grant was the first NZ Defence Force chaplain to be killed while on active duty. The service will be held at the Cathedral of St Paul in Wellington on Friday 28, August at 1400hrs. All are welcome and past serving NZDF chaplains are asked to register their intent to attend by emailing Hamish Kirk or phone on 06 351 9647.
Delay to Police Checks
NZ Police have advised the church (and other agencies) of significant delays to processing police checks due to a change in system used by the Police vetting service and higher than usual number of requests. Contact Margaret at Assembly Office for further information.
Tindall Foundation Grants
Presbyterian Support New Zealand is The Tindall Foundation Faith Funding Manager for Presbyterian organisations and parishes. Donations of up to $15,000 per project are available, and applications open in early May. Keep an eye on the Church website and Facebook for more details, which will be available in May.
Last year the Hope Project connected the gospel with homes throughout New Zealand via a national media effort. It happens again this April/May, and will conclude at Easter 2016. Did the 2014 effort have effect? Read more here.
St Clare’s Hamilton anniversary
On Sunday 5 July this year, St Clare’s Co-Operating Parish (Hamilton) is holding a 25th anniversary celebration. For more information, please email E Johnson at email@example.com
Clinical pastoral education course – Rotorua
An 18-week extended Clinical Pastoral Education course, run by Rotorua Centre for Clinical Pastoral Education, is available in 2015. The training commences on 14 Jul and finishes on 19 Nov. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Research into ministers’ experience of performance review
The Rev Viv Coleman is asking ministers to consider being part of a qualitative study for her thesis, in which she is examining the experiences of being reviewed or appraised in church ministry. Full details of the study are available on our website. Read more
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 4.50 percent per annum. This rate became effective from 1 February 2015. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.
Glen Innis vacancies
Ministers are entitled to one week’s free accommodation at Glen Innis every year. With summer coming up, now is a great time to get your holiday organised. Check out the vacancies here
An updated Church register will be published next month.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.