From the Moderator
Here's what I have been doing...
We have had a wonderful summer break up North with all our family, the Coromandel with friends, and then back down to the South Island to catch up with our parents.
A significant highlight was my participation in the bicentennial celebrations of the Gospel at Oihi Bay over Christmas. I believe it is so important for every New Zealander to know this key foundation block of our nation. The relationship between Samuel Marsden and Ruatara was one of manaaki (hospitality of mutual respect) - this needs to reaffirmed as the basis of our relationships and mission within Aotearoa today. See www.gospel2014.org/history/
Rangihoua Heritage Park needs to be a place of pilgrimage for all New Zealanders. Without an understanding of this piece of our history, the treaty of Waitangi cannot be truly appreciated for what it was and could be for us today. http://www.gospel2014.org/pilgrimage/
Here's what’s coming up...
For the first time in the history of the Presbyterian Church, our ministers, led by Te Aka Puaho, will conduct the Waitangi Day dawn ceremony at Waitangi on Friday, 6 February. I am very excited to be part of these celebrations. Prayers will be led by the Rev Wayne Te Kaawa, Moderator of Te Aka Puaho. I will be giving the “Word for the Day”, and several other ministers are involved in the celebrations as well.
Other events that are coming up over the next month or so:
- 30 Jan – A gathering of 11 former moderators to provide me with council on various issues facing our Church today.
- 1 Feb – Opening of the newly rebuilt Knox Church, Christchurch.
- 9-12 Feb – Going Further discipleship camp on Great Barrier Island.
- 20-22 Feb – The Village Presbyterian Church Christchurch retreat.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
Maybe, like me, over the summer you enjoyed a few days break and sat under pohutakawa and took the chance to read. I enjoyed two books that I was given: Adam Hochschild’s To End All Wars and Louis Zamperini’s Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In. In addition I made my way through Malcolm Gladwell’s What The Dog Saw and Craig Shirley’s December 1941 and still have many more on my “to read” pile. The opportunity to read and reflect is a great gift.
Having had the privilege of being at the 200th anniversary celebrations of Samuel Marsden preaching the first sermon in Aotearoa New Zealand, the story – the aspects of invitation; hospitality; welcome and partnership – remain fresh in my mind.
In February there are some very significant anniversaries. Friday, 6 February marks the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. This year the Presbyterian Church, led by Te Aka Puaho, has been invited to lead the dawn service. The televised service begins at 5am on Waitangi Day, and an order of service and other details have recently been sent to parishes. Read more
February is also the 175th anniversary of Rev John McFarlane preaching the first Presbyterian service, on the foreshore at Petone. Tracing the history from there gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect, give thanks and also to be open to the leading of Spirit in these days.
Also in February we pause to recall the Christchurch earthquake four years ago. 185 people died. Maybe you recall where you were on that day, Tuesday 22 February at 12.51pm? Maybe, like me, you have strong connections to that city. Perhaps you knew people who were injured or killed? Maybe you and people you know are still impacted by those events? I wonder how you, your church and wider communities are planning to mark that?
And in April we will mark the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.
Understanding our past helps us to reflect on the journey from there to here; consider the learnings and experiences along the way; laugh and cry; and pray. I trust we create the space for those reflections.
Prescare – the joint initiative between us and Presbyterian Support – invites congregations to focus in outreach to participate in this year’s Neighbours Day (28-29 March). Resources and ideas for getting involved are on our website. Read more
Assembly minutes and matters for consideration by presbyteries and church councils
All Assembly minutes have been posted online. Other matters for consideration will be sent out over the coming months. These include proposed changes in our Book of Order that require support from church council’s and presbyteries as well as discussion documents.
Seeking Synod Mission Advisor
Due to the retirement of Bruce Fraser, who finishes on 18 April, applications are being invited for the role of Mission Advisor for the Synod of Otago and Southland. The closing date for applications is 20 February. Read more
Sexual Ethics study
We have recently dispatched to all parishes, copies of the twelfth in a series of group study booklets produced by the Church to encourage congregations to reflect about contemporary issues that are impacting our communities. The latest guide examines sexual ethics. Download here, or request additional copies from Assembly Office.
Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops
To retain a status of good standing, it is a requirement that every minister 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.
Ministry Development Programme
In order for ministers to retain their Certificate of Good Standing, it is essential that they participate in the Ministry Development Programme. A minister will not be in Good Standing if they do not have a review that is less than three years old. This does not apply to retired ministers, unless they are in, or plan to return to, some active recognised ministry role. Full details here
(Please note that the guidelines take account of ministers serving overseas and active ministers who are not currently serving in parish or chaplaincy positions.)
Invitation to attend the Church of Scotland 2015 General Assembly
Each year the Church of Scotland graciously extends an invitation to our Church to send a representative. While neither we nor the Church of Scotland can make any contribution to travel or accommodation costs, if you as a minister or elder in our Church happened to be planning a trip to the UK and would like to represent us at this event, then please let me know. The General Assembly 2015 opens on Saturday, 16 May and closes on Friday, 22 May.
Thanks for your engagement in God’s mission.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
If you have young adults who are in the process of moving city to start their studies, there are a couple of things you could be doing for them. Firstly help with finding a new congregation. If you know people in a good church in the new city, introduce them to each other. If you don’t know people, check out our Presbytality service – we will introduce the young adult to some key youth workers in the new city, who will take them out for coffee and show a bit of good old-fashioned hospitality. And to quote Murray Brown and Michal Baken from Palmerston North “we’ll do our best to follow up newcomers and help them find a place in one of our churches”.
But just because the young adult is no longer living in your parish, doesn’t mean they are no longer part of your church community. Some churches pray for their students on a Sunday morning, others give financial scholarships, and of course many parishioners will keep in contact, even if it only through Facebook. I was very impressed with Christina Patterson from Knox Presbyterian in Waitara who made a commitment, of travelling to every city their church had a student at, just to hang out with, have a meal together, and to encourage and support them.
We are only a week away from the sold out Going Further discipleship camp on Great Barrier Island. Thank you very much to everyone who shoulder tapped young adults in your congregations. We really appreciate your efforts in encouraging young adults to attend this event.
Going Global India
Talking about shoulder tapping, now is the time to promote our Global Mission trip to India, (17 Nov – 2 Dec). This trip is being lead by Phil King, and will be an awesome opportunity for the right people.
The beginning of the year is a good time to do a police check for your volunteers working with children and young people. Margaret in our office will do them free of charge and normally within 4 weeks.
Wishing all the best for the beginning of a year of faithful ministry.
National Youth Manager
New Accounting Standards Presentations
This is a reminder that I will be conducting a series of workshops in February and March to introduce new financial standards and church registration for charitable status. These follow three presentations that were held in Auckland prior to Christmas.
The meetings will outline the work that churches will have to do to prepare for the first reports under the new standards, and the reasons for and process of church charities registration, to be completed by 30 June.
The timetable for the remaining presentations, to be confirmed to churches by presbyteries, is:
|Alpine Presbytery||Presbytery Central (2-6 Mar)||Southern Presbytery||Kaimai Presbytery|
|Christchurch, Cashmere Presbyterian Church - Feb 23||Wellington - location TBA||Winton/Gore - location TBA - Mar 9||Hamilton, Scots Presbyterian - Mar 25|
|Timaru Presbyterian Church - Feb 24||Hutt Valley - location TBA||Balclutha / Dunedin - location TBA - Mar 10||Tauranga, St Peters in the City - Mar 26|
|Ashburton, St Andrews Presbyterian Church - Feb 25||Palmerston North - location TBA||Oamaru / Cromwell - location TBA - Mar 11|
|Christchurch, St Marks - Feb 26||Napier - location TBA|
|Nelson - location TBA - Mar 17||New Plymouth - location TBA|
|Blenheim - location TBA - Mar 18|
There is a variety of resource material to support parishes to transition to the new standards and these can be downloaded from our website: http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-parishes/treasurers-information-church-management-support-guide (Pending meetings, much of this documentation will have limited meaning to the reader and is posted at this stage for your information only, but you are welcome to familiarise yourself with the content before coming along to one of the gatherings).
It was great to have a holiday over the summer, but it wasn’t long before I was back at work and preparing for another busy year in Global Mission. There is lots already happening.
We have new staff at Talua in Vanuatu, with Don and Shirley Anton from Titirangi Presbyterian replacing Paula and Roger Levy, who left at the end of last year. The Antons arrived in January and are settling in to their two–year appointment. Shirley is teaching English to theology students and Don will be assisting with a variety of tasks on campus.
Two couples will also be volunteering in Vanuatu this year – Neville and Gloria Jones from Blenheim, and Graeme and Maebry Reid from Christchurch. Both couples begin their voluntary service in February.
Mission opportunities in Vanuatu
There are several options for individuals and teams who are interested in a mission project in Vanuatu:
- I would like to hear from an experienced farmer who has the time to visit Navota farm and assess its possibilities for the future.
- A primary school on Tanna Island would like to make a connection with a primary school in New Zealand to exchange information and cross-cultural learning.
- A major building project on Ambrym island needs capable builders and labourers.
- A high school on Tanna would welcome a visit from a church group or youth group from our church.
Contact me if you are interested in discussing any of these projects with me; or if you are interested in serving in Vanuatu in some other way.
Max Westropp from Dunedin has been on a three-month internship with the Presbyterian Church in Korea. He returns home in early February, after working in the church’s Migrant Outreach Centre, and learning lots about life and culture in Korea.
Going Global is a mission programme for our Church’s young adults. This year we are visiting India in November-December. This will be an amazing experience, learning about the history of the Presbyterian Church’s mission in India, and being inspired by the ministry of the church there today. Information about this programme can be found here.
I have several preaching engagements already lined up for the year and am always open to invitations to come and share about Global Mission. Please contact me if you would like me to come and speak to your church or mission group.
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Research Centre
The Hewitson Library is a bit of an unknown to many, but its resources are available to all church members and those in the community with an interest in theology. All are welcome to join – have a look at our catalogue at if you would like to join or know more about us.
The collections noted below are available for borrowing – use the Advanced Search page to limit your review by any of these collections. We post books if you live outside Dunedin and are happy to advise on titles if you are searching for material on a particular topic.
- Theology – this supports the teaching of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership as well as being a study collection for the wider church
- Youth Ministry – the PYM collection is housed here
- Chrysalis Seed – a collection of art books and journals around the theme “art and faith”
- Paterson – general in scope, but strong in New Zealand topics and literature
- Rita Mayne England Collection – wide ranging, representing cultures and theologies in Asia
These collections must be used in the Library
- Glen – wide ranging, including military history and early New Zealand
- Rare Books – pre 1800 imprints
- NZ/Pacific collection – largely historical
- Presbyterian – by or about the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand
- Journals – we can scan and email articles to you
The library subscribes to several electronic journal packages through the Digital Resources link on our homepage. Contact us for the username and password.
- Religion and Philosophy package - Read more
- Masterfile Premier journal list – Read more
- Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre list – Read more
Be in touch – the library is there for you to use, no matter where you are in New Zealand.
The Kids Friendly offices in Auckland (now located at Somervell Presbyterian) and Dunedin (located at Flagstaff Community Church) have been open since 12 January and our team has been busy preparing for what already looks like a busy year. Our popular Kids Friendly planning calendar is ready and can be downloaded from our website, www.kidsfriendly.org.nz. “It’s a brilliant planning resource that we use to plan our year slotting in our own teaching themes, events etc,” says Rev Jim Wallace.
We are currently researching resources and ideas for sharing Lent and Easter with children and developing workshops on this topic (let us know if you’d like one in your region). With Ash Wednesday on 18 February, Lent is sneaking up on us much faster this year. Please take time to review the many resources available on our website and please alert your children’s leaders to them.
Cheryl and I are also busy planning two “Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders” camps in Dunedin and Christchurch in February. We continue to hear such encouraging stories of young people who have participated in the camps and been mentored and discipled by adults in their faith communities. This year we will also be organising camps in the Central Presbytery and Northern and Kaimai Presbyteries.
We were very sad to lose our very close friend and colleague Yvonne Durling just before Christmas. Yvonne battled cancer all through 2014. Rev Pauline Stewart led a beautiful funeral service of tribute to Yvonne at St Helier’s Presbyterian, Yvonne’s church. Yvonne worked as a part-time administrative assistant in the Kids Friendly office. Her humour, love and hospitality is sorely missed by us and many more.
This year we look forward to partnering with our moderator the Rt Rev Andrew Norton and others on the “Inspire” road trips. We hope to see many of you then and look forward to serving you as you serve and minister with children in your communities.
Jill, Cheryl and Kaila
Kids Friendly Team
Greetings in the mighty name of Jesus
I continue hearing great stories of the wonderful work our women continue doing. They are committed to mission and are making positive and effective changes that are improving the lives of women and their families - be useful and not useless. Change starts with you. Don’t stop – it’s what we do. Have a great year. All the best to Carol Grant who will be flying our flag at the upcoming United Nations (more on this next newsletter).
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
Lafulafu Vanila Ekenasio
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 is 4.50 percent per annum, 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
New Mission Advisor needed
The Synod of Otago & Southland and Southern Presbytery Mission Advisor Bruce Fraser retires on 18 April, so they are seeking an experienced Christian leader to take up the role. Applications close 5pm, 20 February 2015, download information here.
Beneath the Cross video
Resources for Beneath the Cross, the song commissioned for General Assembly by the Rt Rev Andrew Norton and performed by the Rev Malcolm Gordon, are available. Watch the video. Get the sheet music, or you can download the video here.
Thank you for supporting the 2014 Christmas Appeal. Your gifts are helping families improve their lives and build hope for tomorrow. Please send church contributions so that we can receipt them promptly: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140.
Violent winter storms have swept across the Middle East bringing heavy snow, high winds and freezing temperatures up to minus 11 degrees in parts of Syria. The United Nations reports 12 million people from Syria are affected. CWS partners are providing vital assistance: blankets, fuel, food and more. Maybe you could organise a concert or special fundraiser to support the Syria Appeal.
In Sierra Leone and Liberia, Christmas was a subdued celebration as people stayed home. Infection rates are falling thanks to concerted action. Schools are due to reopen in coming months. The economic cost of the outbreak has been enormous with many people losing jobs and income. Please pray for their recovery and those who have lost family and opportunities. You can help families affected by giving to the Ebola Appeal.
World Day of Prayer
On Friday 6 March, churches throughout the country will join in the annual World Day of Prayer events in more than 170 countries and 1,000 languages. This year’s worship material prepared by women from the Bahamas has the theme: Jesus said to them, “Do you know who I am?” Organised by laywomen the international movement affirms “informed prayer and prayerful action are inseparable and both have an immeasurable influence in the world”. Find out how you can join this prayer event from firstname.lastname@example.org or church women in your community.
The following KCML students completed their studies on 1st December 2014. Are now Licentiates
Andrew Howley The Southern Presbytery
Jill Mc Donald The Southern Presbytery
Brendan McRae The Southern Presbytery
Chris Milham Northern Presbytery
Carolyn Kelly Northern Presbytery
Dan Spragg Alpine Presbytery
Erin Pendreigh The Southern Presbytery
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Ron Lau`ese, Minister Mangere East St Mark’s Presbyterian Church 30 October 2014
Rev Selwyn Yeoman The Southern Presbytery St Andrew’s Church of Christ Dunedin
Rev Dan Spragg Minister The Village Christchurch Alpine Presbytery 11th December 2014
Changes in Status
Rev Lorne Alistair Campbell Lay Minister St Andrews Whangarei to Local Ordained Minister St Andrews Whangarei Northern Presbytery 18th December 2015
Rev Stephanus Wouter van Os Stated Supply Minister to Parish Minister St Andrews Wanganui Central Presbytery 7th December 2014
Rev Selwyn Yeoman The Southern Presbytery from Other recognised ministry to Minister Non PCANZ Parish 7 December 2014
Rev Graham Redding from Principal Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership to of Master Of Knox College The Southern Presbytery 12 January 2015
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries
Rev Anne Mills Anglican Minister Chartwell Co-Operating Parish Hamilton ended on 17 January 2015
Rev Fergus Keith Local Ordained Minister Omokoroa Community Church ended his position 31 January 2015
Rev Lowell Karnes United Methodist Church USA stated supply St Andrew’s Hamilton, Kaimai Presbytery ended his position on 15th January 2015.
Rev Lorne Alistair Campbell Lay Minister St Andrews Whangarei to Local Ordained Minister St Andrews Whangarei Northern Presbytery 18th December 2015.
Rev David Vaughan Minister St Johns Methven Alpine Presbytery to Minister Emeritae 23 November 2014
Rev Gillian Woodward Other Recognised Ministry to Minister Emeritae Kaimaia Presbytery 31st December 2014
Rev Jaqui Cavit Other Recognised Minister to Minister Emeritae 31 December 2014
Rev George Ernest Brown Minister Emeritus Central Presbytery died 10 January 2015.
Rev Kenneth G Cree Minister Emeriti Alpine Presbytery died 11th January 2015.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.