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
North Canterbury drought
For those of you outside North Canterbury, you will have seen on the news that the region continues to be gripped by drought. It’s expected that it will take at least two to three years before farmers recover. Please pray for strength and wisdom for our North Canterbury rural parishes and communities as they find ways to cope.
Please pray for a way forward for Turakina Maori Girl's College. We have a wonderful history and treasure in Turakina, but the school is now facing very significant challenges. We have outstanding people working together to find a way forward (Wayne Te Kaawa, Wayne Matheson, Dr Kathie Irwin, Dr Papuni, Hariata Haumate, Ray Coster, Colin Marshall, myself and others) and we need your prayers for wisdom.
Justice and Action
Later this week, a study guide prepared by PresCare (the joint initiative between the Church and Presbyterian Support) will be released. All parishes will be sent a copy of the booklet, which is a resource to equip our churches to respond to the issues of violence against women and children, and child poverty in New Zealand. The booklet is based on a resource I commissioned, called “Social Transformation: The Courage to Change”. Keep an eye on the Church’s website for links to this resource and supporting materials.
The responses to the Moderator’s white paper are coming in. Some people have contacted me saying their church know nothing about it, while others have offered it to the whole congregation. I’ve heard of churches setting set up special study and home groups to discuss it. I’ve also heard of groups who have shared their “God stories” with one another. The white paper is firstly to help you engage in conversation about being church in your context. Secondly, it is to help us describe how we want to be a national Church.
You feedback is very important, and I invite you get your thoughts to me by 30 September 2015. I’ll be collating your feedback in a second paper to be released early 2016.
On 21-24 February 2016 at Dalrachney Station, Lindis Ridge will be a wilderness retreat. Sometimes you have to escape the city and walk the mountain tops with your head in clouds, only then can you see clearly. The further you go from the city the larger the sky becomes. Breathe deeply the breath of God. Be quick because numbers are limited. Contact me for more information.
3-17 September – I will be visiting the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea (PCROK). Each day I have multiple speaking and preaching occasions as well and an address at the International Peace Symposium, hosted by PCK and PCROK.
25-27 September – Inspiring Mission Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga. The Inspiring Mission events are being very well received. It’s a big claim to live up to the title “Inspiring Mission”, but it is really happening!
Grace and Peace in Jesus
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
My travels over the past month remind me that “the times-they are a changing” as Bob Dylan sang. The sight of lambs in paddocks in Southland; the grass is growing; daffodils are popping up and out; the tui and bellbird are more frequent visitors to our garden and the morning continues to get lighter earlier.
At a recent weekly staff meeting, we were reminded of the words of the writer of Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
In our busyness and need or requirement to get things done, meet deadlines, and have matters signed off, we might miss the opportunity to reflect on the season we are in; and so miss the learnings that it offers to us. Maybe we should take time to smell the flowers; spend time with those we love; and recall what it is that really matters – or maybe who it is that matters…
Turakina Maori Girl’s College
On 11 August, the Minister of Education announced that she was considering the future of Turakina Maori Girl’s College and shared the reasons why she was considering closing the school. The school celebrated its 110th anniversary this year and the school has a long and rich history. In more recent times Turakina has faced a number of challenges. Every opportunity is being taken to talk, listen and prayerfully discern the way forward, and I know all those involved would appreciate your prayers for wisdom. There are many people working on these matters, and I want to pay special tribute to Dr Kathie Irwin, the Council of Assembly appointed proprietor. Kathie’s dedication, passion and commitment have and are making a significant impact in difficult circumstances.
I am sure you will join with me in praying for the future of Turakina; for the girls and staff in particular, along with clarity in the decisions around the future of Turakina. 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.
A reminder that church councils and presbyteries have the opportunity to vote on three matters referred under our special legislation from the last Assembly. Full information and voting papers were sent out in February. I encourage you to read the material and to prayerfully discern your responses. Please complete the voting forms, either in support of or against these changes, and return them to the Assembly Office by 10 October 2015.
Both the InterChurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy and the Prison Chaplaincy Board currently have vacancies on their respective boards. More information about the ICHC vacancy and the Prison Chaplaincy vacancy are available on our website. If you would like to register your interest in serving in either of these capacities, please contact me.
The Council for World Mission has announced that The Very Rev Pamela Tankersley has been appointed as Moderator until their next General Assembly in 2016.
CWM General Assembly 2016 As a member of the 31-church Council for World Mission, we are able to have four representatives attend this gathering. Your presbytery clerk has been sent all the details about this, so see them for further information. (All expenses are paid by CWM.)
Face-to-Face CWM is inviting applications for seven-week formational programme Face to Face: Mission in the Context of Empire through the Lens of Migration and Human Trafficking. The Programme will be held on 2 April to 14 May 2016 in the Netherlands. Read more in the programme brief and Download application form.
To register your interest in either of these opportunities, please contact me with the relevant information.
Thanks again for your prayers and your support of the people and work of the Assembly office.
John Schoneveld, a KCML intern, has just finished a six-week placement with the Kids Friendly Auckland team. As we debriefed his time with us, he suggested that it should be obligatory for every intern to participate in a PYM Connect conference and a Kids Friendly Transformers camp. He felt that both of these initiatives inspired and resourced him to reflect on the importance of intentionally mentoring and discipling young people in our churches.
At our Transformers camp a few weeks ago, three church ministers accompanied their intermediate age “Leaders in Training” (LITs) to camp. We (and no doubt the LITs) greatly appreciate this, because we know from experience when the minister catches the “Transformers vision” and shares the “Transformers experience” with their young people, they are generally more committed to ensuring that their young people are mentored and encouraged to contribute.
They also get to witness first-hand the amazing abilities of young people. At Transformers camp, groups of children, leaders and mentors work together to create a 20-minute transformational worship service for Sunday morning. They are given a song to inspire them and guidelines that the worship service must include scripture, prayer and creativity.
As I sat and enjoyed an hour of transformational worship on the Sunday morning, I was absolutely blown away by the creativity. Kids had produced a video about love (have a look at it on the Kids Friendly Facebook page), a dance that encircled the congregation, beautiful artworks, drama, a rap and amazing sung worship. I wondered as I sat there soaking it all up, what it would be like if we handed over worship once a month to the young people of our church? They are more than capable and all of us would be transformed by it.
Kids Friendly Coach
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Last month I was sitting down with youth workers from the Wellington region, giving out youth ministry tips. One of the tips I gave was “The 7 P’s of Planning a Youth Event”, which was a list of things to remember, such as people, premises, promotion etc. Well, it was pointed out by one of the leaders, there really should have been “The 8 P’s of Planning” as I had missed out “pray”.
We have some really switched on youth workers, and she was spot on, prayer is so important – ministry isn’t powered without it. In our Sustainable Practices, the very first promise a church is asked to make is: we promise to pray for our youth worker and make supporting their spiritual life a high priority. As churches we sometimes pray for the needs of our young people and the programme, but forget to pray for our key leaders. We often don’t know what’s going on in their personal lives or what they are struggling with. It doesn’t take much - it could be as simple as including your key youth leaders in the prayers of intercession one Sunday, or inviting your youth worker to your prayer group so that the group can pray for them personally.
We are promoting a couple of fully funded opportunities for young adults under the age of 30. CWM will be holding its 5th Assembly 19–23 June 2016 in South Korea and we looking for a youth rep. We are also looking for a young adult to be youth intern for The Christian Conference of Asia from the 1 Jan to 20 Dec 2016.This person would have at least a Bachelor's degree with a strong interest in geo-political issues, peace-building, human rights and advocacy. If anybody jumps to mind, please pass on the links.
Going Further - in Discipleship, 7-13 Feb 2016
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. This year the event is on Great Barrier Island and costs vary from $329 to $399 depending on accommodation options. The camp is also a whole day longer this year.
The number one reason participants gave for attending Going Further in 2015 was an invitation from their parish minister. We want to thank you, and ask for your help again. 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 into their life, please invite them.
New dates for Connect 2016
We have a change to the advertised dates for Connect 2016. Next year’s event will be 15-17 July 2016.
National Youth Manager
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
We are delighted to hear that Steve Taylor, our new principal, will commence his role on 12 October. Recently, we enjoyed two days of meeting and planning together when Steve was over from Adelaide for a few days. Our time was marked by exploring, examining and engaging with the curriculum we teach interns; the forms of leadership and ministry we might empower through training; the kinds of faith communities and contexts we can serve through research, study and ministry; and the variety of partnerships we want to strengthen all of this.
Catherine van Dorp (our registrar) is continuing to work on the upcoming seminar with Professor John Swinton on “A Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health”. Also check out the details for the next round of Ministers' Study Grants.
Kevin Ward (acting principal) spent two days at the Pacific Island Synod conference in Auckland and is planning to visit Pacific Theological College Fiji with Glenn Pettigrove (convenor KCML advisory board) in September to discuss how we might work together with Pacific students.
Mark Johnston (Auckland tutor) is confirming placements for the 2016 interns in Kaimai and Northern Presbyteries and PI Synod. Mark will also be attending the KCML marriage retreat for interns. He is also in the final throes of completing his DMin thesis with Fuller Seminary.
I leave for South Asia for two weeks in mid-September. While there I will preach and conduct two preaching seminars for preachers, pastors, students and ministry workers.
Please pray for the 2nd year interns who are working on final assignments and their final integrative exercise, which draws together their learning and experiences of the past two years. Coupled with this is the process of looking ahead to where God is calling them to, beyond their training. An exhilarating and – at times – anxious time.
Dean of Studies
Update from Ricebowl Mission
Many of you will know that Myanmar was recently hit with severe rain and flooding. Our partner the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM) has been working hard to support those in need by offering practical assistance such as food, water and shelter. Ricebowl Mission Coordinator Joanne Wieland offers this update:
In conversation with PCM, we have decided that Rice Bowl Mission and Global Mission will provide an emergency relief grant of NZ$10,000 to help with the immediate needs.
Sending an emergency grant is just one of many ways that we can support our brothers and sisters in Myanmar. You can help strengthen this partnership through taking action:
- Stay connected and advocate for our friends in Myanmar. You can get all the up-to- date information by visiting the Rice Bowl website or by following us on Facebook.
- Pray with us for the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, for their work in serving those in need and for the many people affected by this flooding. Pray for their safety, for encouragement and for wisdom to know what to do next.
- Consider becoming a regular donor of the Rice Bowl Fund. This fund helps finance numerous projects each year including offering support in times of emergencies as well as supporting development projects, income generating projects, mission work and scholarships and training.
Please keep Myanmar in your prayers and sign up to receive regular updates from the Rice Bowl Mission.
I have just returned from a visit to Vanuatu, meeting with our staff and volunteers, viewing progress on cyclone rebuilding projects, making preparations for Going Global youth programmes, and attending the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu General Assembly. Lack of space prevents me from writing more here, but it was a very worthwhile visit. Please check out the Global Mission website and Facebook page for more information.
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
Do you create and keep records for your parish? Want to find out how to manage paper, digital and other records? Interested in making sure the archives and memories of your church are preserved? Presbyterian Research Centre archivist Eva Garbutt will be holding two workshops for Northern Presbytery parishes in early September:
- Wed, 9 Sept at 7pm St John’s Presbyterian Church, 120 Great South Road, Papatoetoe
- Thu, 10 at 7pm St Giles’ Presbyterian Church, 1 Flanshaw Road, Te Atatu South
To register contact Northern Presbytery clerk Alex Robinson, ph (09) 522-2170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Press Go Board met on 18 August to review their terms of reference and develop a strategic plan. As a result of the decisions made at 2014’s General Assembly, the Press Go Board will be responsible for administering mission funding, including the Mission Enterprise Fund.
We are interested in hearing about innovative projects such as church plants, new expressions of mission and projects involving more than one parish.
Press Go is funding a pilot of a mentoring programme for ministers. Building supportive networks is crucial to sustainable ministry, especially when churches are developing new expressions of church or missional communities.
If you would like to discuss how Press Go can help, please contact Lisa Wells, the Press Go Catalyst, telephone 027 4455 723 or email email@example.com.
Dads can be difficult. Not every Dad needs socks or new tools that sit on the shelf untouched. That’s where CWS can help. For an idea with a difference, buy Survival Training and write a message reminding your Dad of the time he took you camping, on an adventure or saved you from a catastrophe. A shared memory is a special gift and your purchase will help more Filipinos get training for when a disaster occurs – important in a country hit by 20 typhoons a year. Give thanks for fathers on Sunday, 6 September. Gifts are available as cards or e-cards.
Lectures in Christchurch and Auckland
To mark 70 years since the first Christmas Appeal was launched, prominent Anglican and business journalist, Rod Oram, will speak at the Transitional Cathedral, Christchurch 6:30pm on 13 October, and at St Matthew’s in the City, Auckland 5:30pm on 29 October. His topic: “How your small change makes big change”. Plan to join us to celebrate 70 years of churches working together to help those in need and bring justice to people treated unfairly.
Presbyterian Women special project resources
Empower to Trust is the theme for the Special Project of Presbyterian Women and the Methodist Women’s Fellowship. Funds raised will help Developers Foundation work with coastal communities in the Philippines after the devastating 2013 Typhoon Haiyan. Filipinos have used corrugated iron roofing provided by gifts to CWS to protect their homes, but need more help to recover family income. Funds raised will enable Developers to help more families and strengthen community development plans. You can order a PowerPoint presentation with an accompanying talk from Emma phone 0800 74 73 72. Please support Presbyterian Women in their fundraising efforts this year.
Apply for a Presbyterian Foundation grant
Applications for the 2014 round of Presbyterian Foundation grants are now invited, and application forms can be downloaded from the Church website. The Presbyterian Foundation is a trust fund, the interest of which is distributed to support the mission of the Church, particularly innovative mission at the local and regional church level. Applications close on 15 September.
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.
Update on the Health and Safety Reform Act
The Health and Safety Reform Act 2015 is currently before Parliament and is likely to be passed into law later this year. This legislation has ramifications for the operations and management of churches, due to potential liability in the event of accidents resulting in injury to employees, volunteers and parishioners.
A task group to the Inter Church Bureau (formerly the Inter Church Working Party) has been established and tasked with investigating the impact of the Act and communicating and guiding churches accordingly. An initial ICB communication, outlining support tools and presentations planned for later this year, has been sent to presbyteries.
On Saturday, 12 September, the Faith Community Nurses Association is hosting a conference in Christchurch with a focus on dementia. Registration forms, programme and other details are available at http://www.faithnursing.co.nz/latest-news/2015-conference
Apply for a minister’s study grant
Applications are now open for the latest round of ministers’ study grants. To apply, or for more information, please see the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership website.
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
Presbyterian Church Property Trustees AGM
The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Presbyterian Church Property Trustees will be held at 4pm Thursday, 1st October 2015, at the Presbyterian Church Boardroom, Level 1, 275 Cuba Street, Wellington. Friends and associates are invited to attend. Presbyteries are welcome to send representatives. Afternoon tea is available from 3.40pm. For catering purposes, please RSVP to Pat Griffin or phone (04) 381 8290.
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 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. Download full details
Spirituality in palliative care conference
The Selwyn Foundation’s Centre for Ageing and Spirituality will be hosting a one-day conference on spirituality in palliative care, with a focus on older people, on 17 September 2015. For more information about fees, guest speakers and other details, see http://www.selwyncare.org.nz/140-147/news/Conference-will-highlight-spirituality-in-palliative-care-and-the-needs-of-the-aged
Transitional ministry training
The New Zealand branch of the Interim Ministry Network(US) is facilitating a training event for transitional ministry in Auckland on 21-25 September. For more information or to register, download the course brochure.
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 reduce from 4.25% to 4.00% per annum effective from the 1st September 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
Rev John Coutts, minister Wyndham Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery to St James & St Paul’s Ashburton, Alpine Presbytery, on 10 August 2015.
Rev Waldir de Souza, minister Lumsden Balfour Kingston, to other recognised ministry, Southern Presbytery on 3 August 2015.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries
Dr Douglas Stephenson, lay minister, Raglan Union Parish, Presbytery of Kaimai on 8 February 2015.
Rev D Scott Wishart, minister Te Aroha Presbyterian Parish, Kaimai Presbytery on 28 April 2015.
Rev Peter Bristow, minister, Forrest Hill Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery to minister emeriti 26 July 2015.
Rev Wilson Orange, minister Morrinsville Knox Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of Kaimai, 31 July 2015.
Removals from Roll (inactive in ordained ministry within the Presbyterian Church):
Rev Young Soo Kim (Moses), Jesus Love Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, resigned from roll on 11 June 2015.
Jesus Love Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, dissolved on 11 June 2015.
St David’s Rangitaiki, Presbytery of Kaimai, dissolved on 18 August 2015.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.