From the Moderator
While travelling is hard work, one of the benefits is the amount of reading time you get. This week I read The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill.
There is no such thing as a view from nowhere. All views come from a viewpoint. When reading the Bible we need to start by asking what Abraham was called from before we can answer what he was called to. This book is very helpful for answering that and many more questions we have not yet learnt to ask.
From A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, edited by Margaret M Treadwell and Edward W Beal:
"Those who wish to disrupt leadership will always frame the problem in terms of liberty and order, while those in positions of leadership will always see the problem as one of order and chaos."
W B Yeats once wrote:
“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield."
Prayer of blessing
I'm thinking about the blessing given
with a warm smile asking,
"are you OK?"
and a hand extended to touch.
This is a prayer of very few words
for too many words get in the way
of eyes seeing deep into your soul.
In that moment you know you are loved
beyond all knowing.
In that moment your eyes are caught
by the one who calls you "come"
and leaving your boat;
all your words
and all your fears,
you walk on water.
May God's warm smile and gentle touch rest upon you.
June 12 -13 – Council of Assembly.
June 17 -18 – Ministers’ Retreat (Presbytery Central/Wellington).
June 21 -24 – Pastoral Care in Presbytery Central.
June 20 – Greyfriars, Eden Epsom, elders’ retreat.
June 26 -28 – St Andrew's, Invercargill, 125th anniversary.
Grace and peace in Jesus
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear friends and colleagues, one of the privileges of my role is to meet people from across the country who serve our Church in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings. These are people who use their time and talents and gifts, and who do so with passion, enthusiasm and a deep commitment.
One couple who have served the Church are retiring soon: Graham and Margaret Black. If you have stayed at Glen Innis you will have experienced their warm welcome and enjoyed the facilities they have cared for over the past 25 years. I am sure you will join with me in thanking them for their service and care and wish them well for their retirement in Waipukurau.
Moderator appeal for Vanuatu
The Moderator’s appeal for Vanuatu is still accepting donations to help our partner church, the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV), recover from the devastation of Cyclone Pam. The fund will assist the PCV in their vision of mission and service to the people of Vanuatu.
Copiers and printers
A special deal for churches has been offered by Fuji Xerox for copiers. The deal includes the copier, consumables and service/support with no fixed monthly fee or lease. Fuji Xerox will also help with ending legacy contracts which your parish may have entered into. For more information, please contact Gemma Edgar – Strategic Customer Account Manager: email@example.com
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/
Free discount card 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.
Service to recognise 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 phoning (06) 351 9647.
Thank you for your partnership in God’s mission.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Sustainable practices for youth ministry
Last week I received a phone call from Moana, an elder from Newtown PIPC. As a church they wanted to really support their new team of youth leaders. The church had put together a team of elders to discuss the ways they could do this, and so Moana was calling for ideas.
This is a great example of our Sustainable Practices no. 5, “We will share responsibility.” Just because you have a group of youth leaders, or a paid youth worker even, doesn’t relieve your church of its broader responsibility for young people. When we all take on responsibility for young people, it increases the capacity and effectiveness of our youth leaders rather than diminishing them. Good for you Newton PIPC.
We encourage your church to create a task group and work through our Sustainable Practices guides. For each practice we have a narrative, questions, action points and resources.
Full information about our workshops at Connect is up on our website. Connect is PYM’s flagship conference for national youth leaders, with the keynote speakers being Bill Maston from Nexus International (Colorado), Mareta Ford from the Community Development Office of Hamilton City Council, and David Crawley from Laidlaw College. In addition, we will have over 30 theoretical, theological and practical workshops. Each workshop is led by someone who researches it, teaches it or lives it. Connect is at Ngaruawahia Christian Camp on 17-19 July.
National Youth Manager
Anniversary of ordination of women
This year is a significant year for the Church regarding the ordination of women, both as elders and ministers:
- First women elders ordained at St James, Newtown, Wellington 4 December 1955.
- First woman minister, Margaret Reid-Martin, ordained 13 May 1965.
- First woman minister ordained to parish ministry is M Wynne Dellow; she was ordained into Iona Church, Christchurch 21 March 1968.
- First woman Moderator was Joan Anderson in 1979.
- Many of the deaconesses became our first women ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament.
We encourage all parishes and presbyteries to celebrate these historic milestones. Celebration gatherings and events have already been planned/held in Alpine, Central and Northern Presbyteries. When is your celebration happening? Service resources are available. Please contact Shona Bettany.
Supporting our future vision
In the past our main purpose has been to raise funds to support mission both overseas and in New Zealand, as well as for fellowship. Our Special Consultative Status at the United Nations is a reflection of, and recognition for, our past work improving the lives of women.
Today PWANZ needs to be about more than this. We need to be about women's ministry, about supporting, encouraging and enabling all women within the Church, for mission and ministry - however that looks for them in their context. With this vision in mind, we are currently in the process of redeveloping PWANZ.
If you would like to support us in this work, we would appreciate your donation. We invite all PCANZ churches and cooperative ventures to support women's ministry within the PCANZ by making an annual donation of at least $50. For payment details please contact Ngaire Pearce or Shona Bettany.
If your parish hasn’t received Bushfire (the National Coordinating Group newsletter) please contact Shona Bettany. If you would like to receive your own copy of Bushfire via email then please email Shona with your name, email address, contact phone number and church.
The response to Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu is ongoing. Considerable effort is being put into supporting the ministry of Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu and rebuilding their damaged facilities. The Moderator’s Appeal has been well supported and over $110,000 has been raised so far. These funds are being put towards rebuilding Onesua College, churches, PWMU (women’s ministry) buildings and pastors’ housing. Our volunteers in Port Vila, Neville and Gloria Jones and Graeme and Maebry Reid, continue their support for the post-cyclone recovery. Congregations and individual members of our Church are getting involved in cyclone recovery projects and this will continue for quite some time. Please let me know if you would like to find out how you or your church can contribute. Donations can still me made to the Moderator’s appeal.
In late May I travelled to Myanmar with the Ricebowl Mission Coordinator, Joanne Wieland, and Margaret Dewse of the Myanmar Oversight Group. We are attending a Council for World Mission partners meeting with several churches from around the world who support the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM). The visit will be an opportunity to learn about the current mission and vision of the PCM and how we can best continue to be in partnership with them alongside their other church partners. This will be Joanne’s first visit to Myanmar since taking on her new role and will be memorable for her as she has been invited to preach at a church service. Plans for forthcoming mission trip to Myanmar will be announced in the next few months.
Applications have closed for Going Global India, November 2015. A team from our Church will visit the Church of North India to learn about the history of our mission there and observe the opportunities for supporting mission in India today. Going Global is a shared programme with Presbyterian Youth Ministry. Eight young adults from around New Zealand and three members of Somervell Presbyterian will be part of this exciting trip.
As always, please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like find out how you can share in the challenging but rewarding ministry of Global Mission.
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Research Centre
The PCANZ Archive not only collects the administrative records of the Presbyterian Church, it also collects personal papers of those who have either strong affiliations with the Church or who have worked within it.
Serendipity plays a good part in this. Often it is a chance remark or question from someone who wonders (out loud, or by letter or email) if we would be interested in papers, such as a diary of their grandfather who was a minister in the church. The response is a resounding, ‘Yes’. This material fleshes out the administrative record, placing the work of the Church into its social and family context. While we don’t want to deprive the families of these things that form precious memories, we are happy to advise on storage, perhaps discuss giving a copy to the Archive, or offer a place where the material will be secure and available if there is no one in the family who wishes to have it.
If you have a box of family papers, and are unsure what to do with them, it would be worth having a look to see if they contain anything like letters, a diary, or photographs with a link to your family’s involvement with the work and mission of the Presbyterian Church. Archive staff are always happy to talk with you and discuss a possible donation, or recommend a suitable repository if outside our collection scope.
Contact Eva Garbutt, email email@example.com or (03) 473 0776.
Nothing encourages us more in the Kids Friendly office than when a minister phones (as one did recently) to say that he/she has been thinking about how to more effectively welcome children in church. We can’t get out of the door fast enough to start a conversation.
Christian educators have long recognised that a key to children coming to faith is their opportunity to engage in the practices of faith. As worship is one of our main faith practices, the way we welcome and include children in worship is vitally important if we take seriously the call to disciple children.
Kids Friendly offers training workshops on this important topic (Help, there’s a child in my church) and has a quick survey (Children in worship questionnaire) to help churches identify gaps and opportunities. However, truly welcoming children in church often requires a culture change.
I love and highly recommend an article I read recently in an Australian publication, Equip (on our website or email us to get it). The minister writer talks about faith as a “culture” that children absorb when worshipping in community. Her church decided that children needed to be alongside adult Christian practitioners as much as possible, building intergenerational relationships that can ignite their faith. To truly welcome children she suggests we need to “interrogate” our worship services. She says: “We weren’t interested in dumbing things down. We were interested in finding ways to add movement and symbolic actions that would be interesting to children.”
If you’re up for interrogating your service to make it more welcoming of children, we’d love to hear from you.
Kids Friendly National Coach
Worship resources for Refugee Sunday 21 June will be available at http://www.cws.org.nz next week. The church has a long tradition of assisting people who have fled their homes – according to the United Nations 51.2 million in 2013. Please join us in prayer and action.
Nepal earthquake appeal
CWS is grateful to Global Mission, parishes and individuals for many gifts to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. CWS is supporting members of ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance Nepal who are working in the worst affected areas in Bhaktapur, Dhading, Gorkha, Kabre, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Lamjung, Rasuwa and Sindupalchowk districts. The highest priority now is for shelter ahead of the monsoon rains in June. They are providing food, blankets, medicine, shelter, sanitation, water, psycho-social care and education. Video clips, PowerPoint slides, a prayer, bulletin inserts and other resources are available.
Vanuatu earthquake appeal
Thank you to the many people and churches who have donated to the Vanuatu Cyclone Appeal. The Appeal has raised over $100,000 to date. In the two months since Tropical Cyclone Pam, food, water, filters, pumps, clothes, tarpaulins, seeds, garden tools, fencing equipment and chainsaws have been distributed in communities on Tongoa, Ambrym, Efate, Epi, Erromango, Mataso and Tanna islands. More detail is available here.
CWS has posted its Autumn letter: Many Hands Make Things Happen to parishes and individuals. Through the generous gifts of so many and the dedication of partner ICKL, the children of Cotterelle have a new school in rural Haiti. With no government funding, it is run by the community who are determined their children need an education. More copies of this or other resources can be ordered from Emma at 0800 74 73 72.
Climate Change submissions to Govt close 5pm Wednesday 3 June
Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser has called for public submissions on New Zealand‘s post 2020 climate change target. A discussion document, and a range of other information, can be found on the Ministry for the Environment’s website at www.mfe.govt.nz/climate/consultation. Submissions close at 5pm Wednesday 3 June. Public meetings and hui will be held across the country.
Women’s Theology Conference, July 2015
Grace College and Trinity College, Queensland, are co-sponsoring an inaugural Women’s Theology Conference, 6-10 July 2015. The conference aims to empower women to share their Christian perspectives on faith, theology, sacred texts, ministry, service, the arts and more. Emeritus Professor Elaine Wainwright is keynote speaker. Further information at: http://www.gcwtc.net. Paper proposals accepted to 15 June. Send a 250 word abstract and CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating the anniversary of women’s ordination
2015 marks the 60th anniversary of General Assembly’s decision to ordain women as elders and the 50th anniversary of a woman being ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament (Margaret Reid-Martin on 13 May 1965 at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington).
There are a number of gatherings and events being planned around our Church in honour of these significant anniversaries. Northern Presbytery are planning a day-long event in October. For more information contact Margaret Anne Low email@example.com
If you are planning an event please contact Sharon Ross Ensor firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help with co-ordination and sharing of news and resources.
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. Applications for projects meeting the criteria open Wednesday 6 May. The closing date is Friday 26 June. For funding criteria and application forms please visit the Presbyterian Support website: www.ps.org.nz
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits will reduce from 4.50 to 4.25 per cent per annum effective from 1 July 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.
Download song “Mothers of our Faith”
The Rev Malcom Gordon has written a song to mark the 2015 milestone of the 60th anniversary of General Assembly’s decision to ordain women as elders and the 50th anniversary of a woman being ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. Listen to the song and download here: http://onevoice.org.nz/?p=1211
Moderator’s Pentecost video
Watch a video message for Pentecost by our Moderator Rt Rev Andrew Norton. https://vimeo.com/128050069
Matariki 18 June
Matariki, the Māori New Year, starts 18 June. You can download worship resources on the Church website http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/special-services/matariki-services
Brian McLaren NZ tour
Brian McLaren thinker, author, speaker and public theologian is being hosted in Christchurch by the Evangelical Network of the Methodist Church and Kereru Publishing, further details at www.kererupublishing.com. In Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Wellington he will be hosted by The Smallternative Trust. For further details, see http://www.smallternative.org.
Funding for Pacific island families in Hawke’s Bay
The Kings Force Health Charitable Trust services the needs of Pacific island people in Hawke’s Bay, including Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa. Their programme Whanau Ora through Pasifika Futures (http://pasifikafutures.co.nz) meets the needs of Pacific families over a three year time frame identifying ways for Whanau/Aiga to move forward economically, community-wise, educationally and in health. It has specific money that goes out to families - up to $700 per quarter. For more information contact Makisua Faletutulu, ph 021502658, email email@example.com.
Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health course, 1-5 Feb, 2016
Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, and the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership invite you to enrol for a course on A Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health by Professor John Swinton, 1-5 Feb, 2016. Professor John Swinton of the University of Aberdeen will teach an intensive course in Dunedin, A Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health – What does it mean to be Human. Download full details https://www.dropbox.com/s/o4x8fqjl9u9zwd4/2016%20Feb%20John%20Swinton%20Summer%20School.pdf?dl=0
Auckland Winter School on Ecumenism
On 13-18 July, a six-day Winter School on Ecumenism in the 21st Century is being held at St John’s College in Meadowbank Auckland. For information about course content, presenters and how to register, read the course brochure.
Send KCML your study leave reports
Study leave reports have the potential to benefit the whole Church, but not if they’re not available to the wider church. KCML asks that all study leave reports be forwarded to them for publication on the Knox Centre website, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also invited to view the study leave reports already published there. Read reports at: http://knoxcentre.ac.nz/ministry-resources
Changes in Status
Rev Jae Sun Park minister (Asian) Mornington Presbyterian, The Southern Presbytery, to other recognised minister, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 May 2015.
Otago Peninsula Church, The Southern Presbytery, dissolved 24 April 2015.
Full Love Presbyterian Church (Korean), Northern Presbytery, dissolved 7 May 2015.
Methven St Johns Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery, dissolved 1 May 2015.
Mayfield Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery, dissolved 1 May 2015.
Rakaia Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery, dissolved 1 May 2015.
Plains Presbyterian, established 1 May 2015.
First Tahunanui Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery, congregation closed 1 January 2015.
Stoke St Andrews Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery, congregation closed 1 January 2015.
Richmond St David’s Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery, congregation closed 1 January 2015.
Nelson & Districts Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery, changed its name to Nelson Whakatu, 1 March 2015.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.