From the Moderator
The world keeps getting smaller: how do we respond to global events?
We have seen violence against Christians recently in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere across the globe. Some of you may already be taking some form of action. Others ask: “What can we do?” because it’s too easy to switch channels and wish it would go away.
- Be informed. The worse thing we can do is put our heads in the sand.
- Adopt a global Christian attitude. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Pray. The World Council of Churches is offering excellent leadership in advocacy and prayer - see the WCC website for more information.
- Act. See which of the many aid agencies are working in these regions and offering practical support to end religious persecution.
- Look online. There are many Christian websites offering thoughtful analysis and a variety of responses.
Some links that are worth looking at:
- Pope Francis denounces murder of Coptic Christians in Libya (Catholic Herald) Read article
- Brother of slain Coptic Christians thanks ISIS for including their words of faith in murder video (Christian Today) Read article
- World Council of Churches condemns attacks on Christians in Syria Read more
Moderator’s web page
Keep a watch for my web page for regular updates of messages and resources. moderator.presbyterian.org.nz
Book of the month
Crucial Conversations (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler). I wish I had read this book years ago! Everywhere we turn it seems that we need to have a “crucial conversation”. This book is a great resource for the conversations that we all know we need to have, but are too afraid or not sure how to have them.
In this next month, I appreciate your prayer.
I have some really big meetings coming up:
- 11 March - Prime Minister John Key and Bill English.
- 17 March - National Church Leaders
- 20-21 March - Council of Assembly
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
As I write this I am preparing to preach this coming Sunday. The lectionary reading from Mark 8 sees Jesus making the statement: “If anyone would come after me, they must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”. And then the question: “What good is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Following and counter-cultural… I wonder if that is something people might say of me, of you, and of us. I found these words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer worth pondering upon: “To endure the cross is not tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ”. This season calls for personal and corporate action to claim and identify as Jesus's disciples and followers.
Last week the Council of Assembly announced two important appointments within the Church. Rev Dr Steve Taylor has been appointed Principal (read more) and Rev Dr Geoff New has been appointed Dean of Studies (read more). They will take up their roles later in the year.
Assembly minutes and matters for consideration by presbyteries and church councils
All Assembly minutes have been posted online. Matters for consideration have been sent out – these can be viewed here. This includes proposed changes in our Book of Order that require support from church councils and presbyteries. Your engagement with these matters is appreciated.
Council of Assembly
The Council meets on 20-21 March in Auckland. If there is any matter which you would like to bring to the Council’s attention, then please send it to me by Monday, 9 March.
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.
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
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/
Sexual Ethics study
In late January, 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 were sent to parishes. 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 ministers 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.)
Thank you for your partnership in God’s mission.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
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 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/
Promotion material for Connect, PYM’s flagship youth ministry conference went out this week. Connect continues to be an excellent event for developing youth leaders in your church. Connect this year will be at Ngaruawahia on 17-19 July. The Super Early Bird Registration deadline is on 17 March, and represents a savings of $40 per person. More about Connect
Going Global India
The application deadline for our Global Mission trip to India (17 Nov–2 Dec) is on 17 March. This trip is being lead by Phil King, and will be an awesome opportunity for the right people. More about Going Global
Research Results: How can a minister best support a youth worker in ministry?
It’s as easy as A, B, C, D! This survey had a very high response rate and some great ideas have been captured. We really appreciated the interest expressed by many ministers. Click the link below to view the findings and quick tips from this research. Read research
|Matt Chamberlin||Gordon Fitch|
|National Youth Director||National Youth Manager|
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Will you be studying theology in 2015?
The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership is offering a limited number of scholarships in 2015, to Presbyterians doing part-time or full-time theological studies through Otago University, Auckland University, Laidlaw College or Carey Baptist College.
If you know of anyone who might benefit from such a grant, please encourage them to apply. They should send a letter of application detailing their course (and costs) of study, and what church they’re involved in. They should also include a brief letter of support from someone in their church (preferably their minister, so we can discuss their church involvement and the course of study).
The deadline for applications is 31 March 2015. Letters should be sent to the Acting Principal, Rev Dr Kevin Ward, at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The amounts awarded are dependent on the number of applications received and the amount of trust funds available. The number of theology papers being taken and previous amounts awarded are also taken into consideration.
Catherine van Dorp
Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
It’s been a busy time settling two new volunteer couples into Vanuatu this month. Graeme and Maebry Reid of Christchurch, and Neville and Gloria Jones of Blenheim have all started their voluntary service in February. The Reids are at Onesua College and the Jones’ are based in Port Vila. If anyone is travelling to Vanuatu it would be good to take some time to call on them and see how they are going. Meanwhile Don and Shirley Anton are getting into their stride in their work at Talua Ministry Training Centre.
Max Westropp from Knox Church, Dunedin, has returned home from his three-month internship with the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. I hope to share more about his amazing experience in future publications. Arthur-Joel (AJ) Key from Queenstown is about to embark on a ten-month long Training in Mission programme with the Council for World Mission. AJ will spend time with eleven other young adults from around the world in Taiwan, Kiribati, and New Zealand. Here are some of the exciting opportunities that exist for Presbyterian Church young adults to engage in cross-cultural mission:
- Internships with partner churches (short or long-term)
- Training In Mission 2016. Those interested can find out more here
- The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan invites young people to join their I Love Taiwan programme from 1-18 July this year. Enquiries to me
- Going Global is a programme for our Church’s young adults. This year we are visiting India in November-December, learning about the history of PCANZ mission in India, and being inspired by the ministry of the church there today. Information about this programme can be found here
Joanne Wieland was appointed as the Ricebowl Mission Coordinator in October last year, and oversees our partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Myanmar. Jo is steadily getting into her work and is making plans for another group trip to Myanmar. More information about this later. More about the Ricebowl Mission
I have been busy visiting various churches around the country and have other speaking engagements lined up. But I am always keen to respond to invitations to speak so please contact me if you would like to learn more about how you can support the work of our Church’s Global Mission.
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Research Centre
As parishes close or merge there are often questions about their records, which form an important part of the history of the Church. This is where the Archive steps in as the approved repository for the administrative records of our Church. While there are a few places around the country that act on our behalf, these arrangements are gradually changing and the bulk of the files come to the purpose built facility in Dunedin.
Here we have climate-controlled storage, and an archives management system for paper records and photographs, plus we are working towards good storage for the records kept only in a digital format. Archive staff organise these, preserve them for posterity, and provide access to the information they contain. Queries regarding files are possible via email or telephone.
So what does this mean for a parish that is closing or merging? A chat with Eva Garbutt, our Archivist, will help you decide how best to manage what you still need onsite (if anything) and what can be transferred to Dunedin. For those who want to do some organising before sending boxes away, there are guidelines as to what to keep and what not to, though it’s better to err on the side of caution if in doubt, and send it to the Archive.
Presbyterian Women - UN
UN Commission on the Status of Women – 9-20 March
This year Presbyterian Women of Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ) will have a delegation of 12 attending CSW59 – the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women – at the United Nations, New York.
Attending the session are 9,000 representatives of member states, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world.
Members of the Presbyterian Women delegation will attend events, network, and make international connections and decisions that will affect New Zealand Government and global polices.
Led by the Rev Carol L Grant, PWANZ UN Convenor, those attending CSW59 include: Mrs Lyn Heine, health professional and lay minister- Greymouth Uniting Parish; Mrs Diane Brockbank, Health Professional and Team leader-Hokitika Uniting Parish, Dr Annette Hannah, Knox Presbyterian Church, Dunedin; Dr AnneMarie Tangney, GP, medical educator, clinical editor, and member of DSAC (Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care); Miss Elizabeth Wilson, former principal of Columba College, and Columba College senior students: Amira Alloo, Claire Anglin, Sarah Dippie, Caroline Moratti, Annabelle Ritchie, Elizabeth Yarnall
Themes of the Commission on the Status of Women CSW59
The main focus of the session will be the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
In spite of a global effort to assure the respect of human rights and strengthening of the role of women in our societies, full gender equality has not yet been achieved. On the contrary, women are still discriminated against and their potential remains largely unexploited. Gender equality and women's empowerment respond to the universal duty of respecting human rights, as well as being major tools for fighting extreme poverty and realising political, economic and social development for all.
For further information contact the UN Convenor, the Rev Carol Grant. Phone: 03 425 8865 or email: email@example.com
Seventy young people aged 10-13 participated in Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders camps in Christchurch and Dunedin over the weekend of 13-15 February. Watching these young people arrive with slight trepidation and then blossom over the weekend as they learn about and commit to living the way of Jesus is an amazing privilege.
Planning Transformers camps and trying to inspire churches to bring young people and adult mentors can be pretty draining at times, but by the end of camp I feel energised (and tired) and filled with a sense of purpose. As the lyrics of one of our theme songs at this recent Transformers camp say: “We were made for so much more than ordinary lives. It’s time for us to more than just survive. We were made to thrive!” (Casting Crowns: Thrive)
And thrive is what young people do when we intentionally invest in their lives, value their contributions and encourage their faith. This is what Transformers – Raising Young Leaders is all about. We hear so many stories of “thriving” back from churches that have participated and committed to mentor their LITs (leaders-in-training) when they return to their churches. Our camps are “catalytic events”, but it’s what happens back in the young people’s churches and communities that results in thriving youth and thriving churches.
Read more about more about Kids Friendly’s “Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders” initiative on our website or talk to us. We can work with you to organise a camp in your region.
Kids Friendly Coach
Christmas appeal donations
With the end of the financial year approaching on 31 March, CWS asks churches to send remaining donations to the 2014 Christmas Appeal for receipting. Please post to: CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140. Thank you.
CWS is appealing for more support for humanitarian appeals in Iraq and Syria. The United Nations reports 17.4 million people are in need of assistance. “What is important is to get help to those who need it. In dangerous situations, local contacts and expertise are the best ways to make sure displaced people and refugees get food, water, shelter and medical help,” says Pauline McKay, CWS National Director.
CWS partner the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees and other members of the ACT Alliance are working hard to provide food, water, warm clothes, shelter, heating, healthcare, life skills training and psychosocial help to families who have fled the fighting. They need more support.
In March it will be four years since Syrian troops fired on residents of Damascus. Please continue to pray for peace and an end to the suffering that is causing so much harm in the Middle East.
World day of prayer
Women of the Bahamas has prepared resources for this year’s service on Friday, 6 March. Please support your local event.
Fairtrade Easter egg hunt
As a member of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, CWS is preparing an Easter Egg hunt focusing on Fairtrade chocolate, chickens for Palestinians and the Easter story. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org at (09) 571 9150.
From mid-2015, Candour – our magazine for church leaders – will be moving to an online blog. The editorial committee is currently working on a plan to transition from a printed magazine to digital format, and more information will be out shortly. Watch this space.
New general secretary for CCA
Dr Mathews George Chunakara, a lay member of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in India, has been elected unanimously as the new General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), or which the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is a member. Read more
CWS seeks Christchurch-based volunteer with HR experience
Christian World Service (CWS) is seeking expressions of interest from anyone who would be interested in being a member of its staffing committee, which is responsible to the Board and acts as the employer of CWS staff. Read more
St Clare’s Hamilton anniversary
On Sunday 5th 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
Dietrich Bonhoeffer anniversary events - Adelaide
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a German pastor and theologian who had a striking journey and public witness against the Nazi regime. Thursday 9th April 2015 is the 70th anniversary of his martyrdom. A series of events have been planned in Adelaide. Check out bonhoeffer2015australia.wordpress.com for further information or contact Di Thiele + 61 420 945 525 or email@example.com.
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
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.
Receptions to the Roll
Rev Tae Ju Ham, Northern Presbytery, was received 30 November 2014.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Andrew Howley, minister Alexandra/Clyde/Lauder Union Parish, Southern Presbytery, 4 February 2015.
Rev Brendan McRae, minister Flagstaff Community Church, Southern Presbytery, 11 December 2014.
Rev Erin Pendreigh, minister Upper Clutha Parish, Southern Presbytery, 1 February 2015.
Rev Jill McDonald to minister Waitaki Presbyterian, Southern Presbytery, 12 February 2015.
Rev Richard Gray, minister First Invercargill, Southern Presbytery, to Waiuku and Districts Combined Church, Northern Presbytery, 16 February 2015.
Rev Jon Parkes, minister Nelson and Districts Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery, 8 February 2015.
Changes in Status
Rev Murray Shallard, minister Gore Presbyterian Church to other recognised minister, Southern Presbytery, 1 December 2014.
Rev Gary Mattock, minister Balclutha Parish, Southern Presbytery, to minister within the bounds, Presbytery Central, 8 February 2015.
Rev Scott Wishart, stated supply minister Reporoa St Stephens, to member Kaimai Presbytery, 28 December 2014.
Rev Russell Thew, member Southern Presbytery to minister emeritus, 17 September 2014.
Rev Chris Burgin, minister Popotunoa Parish to minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 15 February 2015.
Removals from Roll Book of order
Rev Judith McKinlay, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, resigned from Presbyterian Church ministerial role, reg 10.32, 4 February 2015.
Rev Frank Glenn, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery died 4 February 2015.
Rev Wilson Edwin Daniel, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery died 8 February 2015.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.