Please use these quick links to navigate to the various sections of Bush Telegraph, or simply scroll down to read the magazine from top to bottom. Happy reading!
From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Research Centre
From the Moderator
I’m just back from two weeks in Korea. It was a significant visit with a number of learnings for both the Korean churches and our Church. I’ll post full report to the Moderator’s webpage in the next couple of weeks for those of you who are interested.
Thank you so much for your response to the appeal for support of refugees. I am delighted with the high level of support expressed throughout the country. Thank you also to the Very Rev Ray Coster who took the lead on this while I was out of the country.
Your voice has made a difference!
I’m so encouraged that the voice of New Zealanders is being listened to by our politicians. The voice of the people and the churches has softened the heart of our government to allowing more refugees into our country.
At this stage it looks likely that Syrian refugees will be placed in the Wellington region. Our response needs to be directed toward supporting a number of churches in Wellington who are willing help. At this stage we do not know the details of what assistance will be required. I will be working with the Wellington region of the Presbytery Central, and will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
In the meantime, there is still a lot you can do:
- The current Government policy on refugees requires ongoing public voice. If you would like to take this further, contact Amnesty International, which has resources and information to inform your advocacy.
- There is strong support from regional New Zealand to take a leading role in resettling refugees. If you live outside the main centres, I encourage you to make contact with your local council and join their voice with yours.
- If you want to roll up your sleeves and do something the Red Cross needs volunteers to assist families with resettlement here in Aotearoa. Training is offered. Contact Red Cross for more info.
- If you want to help Syrian refugees in Syria, Christian World Service is doing some excellent work.
- For those who want to stand in solidarity the persecuted and suffering Christian community, see Open Doors, Voice of the Martyrs or Barnabas Fund.
Thank you again for your heart felt response.
Better outcomes for those living with violence
If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to read the Church’s submission on strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence. White Ribbon Day, which aims to end men’s violence toward women, is also coming up on 22 November. Keep an eye on the Church’s website for how to get involved, and resources can be ordered directly (for a small charge) from the White Ribbon shop: http://whiteribbonnz.myshopify.com/
For more info about family violence see Justice and Action, which is a joint resource between our Church and Presbyterian Support. Additional copies are available from Assembly Office or download using link above.
2-4 Oct Presbytery Central, Waitara
16-17 Oct UCANZ Forum, Wellington
22-28 Oct Taiwan 150th Celebrations
31 Oct Northern Presbytery, Justice and Action
Grace and Peace in Jesus
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
I have recently returned from a gathering in Hong Kong. Those who fulfil an equivalent role to mine in the 31 member churches of the Council for World Mission met to discuss the challenges they face and share stories about what God is doing in their respective churches. I was inspired by the daily Bible study; met folk from many places and heard of huge challenges facing the church in Wales; persecution in Bangladesh; moving stories from South India; growth of churches in Zambia; and we again acknowledged mission is from everywhere to everywhere.
For some, where religious affiliation is a defining social characteristic, the idea that we can, in New Zealand, live in a society where few define their identify by their religious conviction, is almost unimaginable. We all face challenges and all have opportunities. It is good to be reminded that we are part of a global movement and that we are people sharing our faith by both faithfully speaking and carefully listening.
Maybe listening to the still small voice of the Spirit and being re-evangelised by the Gospel is something we all need to attend to at this time?
Voting on matters under our special legislation
A reminder that presbytery and church council voting on these matters needs to be returned to our office by 10 October.
Turakina Maori Girl’s College
Submissions concerning the future of the school were lodged with the Ministry of Education by the deadline of 11 September. More work on background matters continues. I know the prayerful support for all involved is deeply appreciated. Your ongoing prayers, in particular for the girls and staff, along with clarity in the decisions around the future of Turakina are much valued. Please also pray pastorally for all the people involved and for wisdom for the Moderator Rev Wayne Te Kaawa and leadership of Te Aka Puaho.
In about six weeks, information will be sent out regarding the first stage of voting for the moderator-elect 2018. Information will also be coming out about deadlines for reports, proposals and recommendations to the 2016 General Assembly.
Thanks again for your prayers and your support of the people and work of the Assembly office.
The day when judges arrive to choose the winners in our "Love Reaches Out" art and writing competition is one of my favourite days, though it's apt to provoke a bit of stress in me, too.
This year we asked children to explore and express what “Love is….”. We provided a series of children’s lessons for leaders to use to encourage children’s thinking. We were blown away by the quality and ingenuity of creations submitted from all around the country.
A group of children from Khandallah Presbyterian talked about the many ways they experience love from family, friends and community and explored hymns and scripture written on the theme of love. They then wrote a song about love that their musical director put to music. The project continues as children are now learning the song to share with their congregation.
Students from Columba College in Dunedin choreographed and video-ed dances expressing love.
We had a love letter from a child to her birth mother and poems sharing wishes for, and experiences of, love.
And as always we received amazing group works that showed deep thinking and engagement with the core message of our faith.
As one winner Katie Dirks from St Kentigern Girls School stated in the centre of her artwork: “Love is a necessity not a luxury.”
As always our judges’ (Rev Malcolm Gordon and Tom Barton, head of art from St Kentigern School) task was very challenging.
While we remind children that everyone is a winner in the eyes of God, we do wish that everyone could be a winner in our Love Reaches Out competition too!
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
For the past six months we have been sharing a practice from our Sustainable Practices for Youth Ministry resource. In the next few days, session clerks will be mailed copies of the resource as we challenge churches to form a working group to go through the document. We encourage groups to explore each of the sustainable practices in turn; reflect on how the church is already embracing this practice and then list action points for how improvement can be made. This is not a lengthy process, but should have a very positive influence on your church's youth ministry.
New dates for Connect 2016
We have a change to the advertised dates for Connect 2016. Next year’s event will no longer be changed to the Queens Birthday date, instead it will be 15-17 July 2016. Why the change back to July? We’ve heard from our valued youth workers, and for a large number of people the Queen's Birthday date clashed with other ministry events in their calendar. We hope the change does not put anyone out. Moving the date back to July is about making sure everyone can attend. We really appreciated getting your feedback on Connect and we’ve heard you – Connect remains in July!
Going Further - in discipleship
In 2015 our national discipleship camp at Orama sold out. Because of this demand, we are offering a camping option to allow for additional participants. Costs vary from $329 to $399 depending on accommodation options. The camp is also a whole day longer this year. The 2016 camp is 7-13 Feb 2016 on Great Barrier Island.
If you can think of young adults who would benefit from taking a week out from life, career, or study to explore where God fits in their life, please invite them. More info at Going Further
National Youth Manager
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
We are looking forward to welcoming the Taylor family to Dunedin as Steve begins his new role as Principal of KCML on 12 October.
Some of our interns and their spouses participated in a weekend marriage enrichment retreat at Living Springs, led by Murray and Janice Talbot. The single men among the interns considered singleness in ministry. The retreat included last year’s graduates and their spouses. The course provides guidance to enable the interns to conduct similar courses in their future ministry settings.
Kevin Ward, along with the Chair of the Advisory Board, Glen Pettigrove, and Don Ikitoelagi, spent a busy and profitable four days at the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji, with a view to strengthening the relationship between our institutions. As well as attending national church meetings, Kevin also represented KCML at the Kaimai and Central Inspiring Mission events; had meetings to finalise an internship placement for 2016; and met with a current intern and mentor in her placement in the lower North Island.
Mark Johnstone has been working hard to negotiate suitable internship placements for the six interns in the northern region in 2016 as well as finalising his DMin for submission.
Geoff New has been in South Asia for two weeks, preaching and conducting preaching seminars.
Catherine van Dorp is finalising logistics for the November block course in Auckland, and has started planning the February block course in Dunedin, as well as continuing to work on the February 2016 seminar with Professor John Swinton on “A Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health”.
Dean of Studies
One of the areas I would like to grow in Global Mission is service opportunities overseas. There are many ways in which members of our Church can serve with overseas partners, including:
Partners in Mission
The Council for World Mission’s Partners in Mission programme offers opportunities to serve in any of CWM’s partner churches. These range from short-term volunteer placements to longer term paid positions. A current need with the Church of Bangladesh is for administration and English language support at their office in Dhaka. This would be a volunteer role.
We have good connections with partner churches in Asia. Otago University student Jordan Grimmer will be serving with the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea in Seoul, before he returns to Auckland to begin his new career in law. This is where our first intern, Max Westropp, went last year.
Going Global programmes
Three youth groups will be going to Vanuatu on Going Global programmes in the next few months. I hope these cross-cultural experiences will lead to deepening relationship and service opportunities in the future.
Vanuatu Opportunities at Talua and Navota Farm
An English teaching position is available at Talua Ministry Training College, which will be vacant from early 2016. Those with an interest in teaching English are invited to enquire. Adjacent Navota Farm is also in need of some farm management skills so a farming/teaching couple would be an ideal match. However, both positions could be filled by two separate appointments. The Navota positon would be a volunteer role. I would love to hear from anyone who is interested in finding out more, even as a short-term option.
I encourage you to go to the Global Mission website, www.globalmission.org.nz for further information about how you can be involved in Global Mission.
TIM applications open
Applications are now open for Training In Mission, a seven-month formation programme run by the Council for World Mission. Read more
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Research Centre
Ebooks are here
The Library has expanded its access to electronic resources and now has the very small beginnings of an ebook collection. We will continue to buy most things in the paper version, but ebooks are ideal for reference texts, or where multiple copies might be needed.
The two titles we have just added are: Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Liturgies for Year C by Kimberly Bracken Long and The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman.
To access these you need to be a member of the Library – email us and we will sign you up, and send you a username and password.
Search our catalogue and either use the link to EBSCOHost ejournals and ebooks (on the Library’s Home page) or go to the “advanced search” page and check the box for “electronic resources”.
If you’re having trouble downloading an ebook, EBSCOHost has a good User Guide, send us a message, or give us a call.
This is just the beginning, there will be more. These will be listed in our regular New Books lists that go out to library members.
Any questions? Contact Anne Jackman or phone 03 473 0775.
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ is moving forward!
At the National Business Meeting on 26 September 2015, a new way forward was approved. We agreed to restructure the organisation of Presbyterian Women which includes establishing a Transition Team, comprising four positions. This Transition Team will create a structure for the next generation of women (25–50 year olds) to move Presbyterian Women forward in their way that is appropriate to them for life in the 21st century. This new structure would be voted on at a PW Conference in September 2016. An advisory group of four PW members was approved to give support to the Transition Team until September 2016.
Presbyterian women interested in being part of a movement of women of the “next generation” are encouraged to apply for the following positions:
- Transition Coordinator/Team Leader
- Transition Administrator/Finance Convenor
- Transition Mission Convenor and
- Transition United Nations Convener.
Please include a brief CV, any relevant experience and why you wish to apply for the position. Presbyterian Women Groups will decide by postal ballot on who will fulfil these positions. Applications close 31 October 2015.
Applications can be emailed to the Advisory Group, c/- Heather Tate or posted to the Advisory Group, PWANZ, 458 Featherston Street, Palmerston North 4414.
Presbyterian Women at the United Nations
A once in a lifetime opportunity! Are you passionate about gender justice, equality for women and girls, and the empowerment of women at all levels of our Church and community? Are you an ordained woman minister or a woman lay leader in our Church?
This is an invitation to consider becoming a self-funded member of the 2016 Presbyterian Women of Aotearoa NZ delegation to the United Nations.
CSW60 (2016) The 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York 14-24 March 2016 (tentative dates).
For more information, contact the Rev Carol Grant or phone 03 425 8865.
Rod Oram speaks
To mark 70 years since the launch of the first Christmas Appeal by the then National Council of Churches, well-known Anglican and journalist Rod Oram will speak at the Transitional Cathedral, Christchurch 6:30pm October 13 and St Matthew’s in the City, Auckland 5:30pm October 29. His topic: “How Small Change makes Big Change”. Please join us. RSVP Emma.
ACT Alliance is distributing relief aid and providing advice for refugees in Europe. CWS is helping Syrians, Iraqis and Palestinians formerly resident in Syria with relief supplies, healthcare, income training and education in Jordan and Lebanon. Thank you to the generous people who have given to our Syria Appeal. If you would like images for worship or a special fundraising event, contact Gillian. Please remember all refugees and receiving communities in your prayers.
“Help Rebuild Lives” is the theme of the 70th Christmas Appeal. It has been a devastating year for many people and they need your help to recover. Resources have been posted to churches – if you missed out, contact Emma for a copy. Please send in your order form for posters and envelopes by 23 October. Worship resources prepared by Rev Dr Geoff King are available here. Please help us make our 70th appeal count!
CWS supporters (those who have made a financial contribution in the last two years) are invited to the annual Supporters’ Council including a video of Rod Oram’s talk and opportunity to discuss the work of CWS. The meeting is on Saturday, 21 November at 10 am – 1pm with lunch provided at St Andrew’s on the Terrace (Conference rooms 1 and 2), 30 The Terrace, Wellington. Attendees are welcome to observe the AGM of the CWS Board. RSVP by November 13 to Emma.
The People’s climate march
On 28-29 November, a series of New Zealand events are planned to draw attention to the issue of climate change. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and find out more.
Volunteer mentors needed
Do you have a spare 8hrs? Anglican Advocacy is looking for some awesome people to become volunteer mentors for low-risk offenders who appear before the Community Justice Panel. The panel can sentence offenders to attend one to four mentoring sessions (up to 8hrs). If you’re interested in finding out more, Get along to the obligation free info night on Wed, 14 October from 7-8pm at Theology House, 31 Yaldhurst St, Christchurch, or email Grace at email@example.com
Applications sought for lectureship position
The United Theological College, Australia is seeking a suitably qualified person to undertake the role of Alan Walker Lectureship in Mission, Evangelism and Leadership. Read more
UCANZ event for smaller churches
UCANZ are preparing two days of learning and inspiration for smaller churches, 16-17 October 2015 in Lower Hutt. There will be practical workshops, uplifting speakers (including the Rt Rev Andrew Norton), and times of fellowship. This is open to people from any church to attend. Details are available on the UCANZ website (ucanz.org.nz) or from Robyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Download full details
Hymn lectionary resource
The Hymnbook Trust has made available a lectionary list of NZ hymns for the period October to December 2015. Download here
Presbyterian Investment Fund – reduction in interest rate paid on deposits
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits will remain at 4.00% per annum for October and November, but will reduce to 3.75% per annum effective from the 1 December 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. Book early if you are interested in going during the busy summer holiday period of Dec-Feb. Check out the vacancies here
Receptions to the roll
Rev Nigel Crocombe, received as national ordained minister, Southern Presbytery, 22 July 2015.
Ordination and inductions
Rev Christopher Rosanowski, local ordained minister, St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church, Silverstream, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu, 23 July 2015.
Changes in status
Rev Carolyn Kelly, licentiate to ecumenical chaplain, MacLaurin Chapel Auckland University, Northern Presbytery, 1 March 2015.
Rev Kevyn Harris, minister, Whangarei St Andrew’s Church, Northern Presbytery, to other recognised ministry, 1 July 2015.
Rev Shona Bettany, minister, Levin Uniting Church, Presbytery Central Nukuha Tapu, to other recognised ministry, 5 August 2015.
Rev Mary Petersen, minister Mercury Bay, Kaimai Presbytery to member Kaimai Presbytery, 31 August 2015.
Rev William Woongchan Kang, licentiate, Northern Presbytery, to assistant minister Korean Fellowship, St George’s Presbyterian Church, Takapuna 9 July 2015.
Rev Richard Grey, minister, First Church Invercargill, Southern Presbytery, to minister, Waiuku & District Combined Churches, Northern Presbytery, 26 February 2015.
Rev Susan Jones, minister, Timaru Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery, to minister Wellington St Andrews on the Terrace, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu,.26 March 2015.
Rev Phillip Bettany, minister, Levin Uniting Parish, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu to minister, Knox Presbyterian Parish Waimate, Alpine Presbytery, 5 August 2015.
Changes in co-operative venture ministries
Rev Don Moses, non-PCANZ minister (Anglican), Omokoroa Community Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 20 August 2015.
Rev Mervyn Rive, local ordained minister, Masterton St James Union Parish and Featherstone St Andrews Union Church, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu, resigned position, 31 August 2015.
Rev Kyo Sung Lee (Joseph), lay minister, Saeng Myong Saem Presbyterian Church, withdrew from PCANZ 1 September 2015.
Rev Hail Kim, minister, New Covenant Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, to minister emeritus, 14 June 2015.
Rev Judith Lynne Russell, minister, St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church Silverstream, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu to minister emeritus 9 November 2014.
Saeng Myong Saem Presbyterian Church, withdrawn from PCANZ 1 September 2015.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.