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From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Dear Colleagues and friends
A focus of our life together was the recent General Assembly in Dunedin. We were treated to wonderful hospitality as we prayed, worshipped, shared food and drank – as we had the opportunity to celebrate and learn together – having our hearts and bodies fed. I am sure you will want to join me in thanking the wonderful team from Southern Presbytery and Synod of Otago and Southland who together with our Moderator, Rt Rev Richard Dawson, organised and ran a great week.
General Assembly Evaluation
There will be an opportunity for everyone who attended Assembly to complete an evaluation. This online survey provides an opportunity to assist the local arrangements committee, business committee and others plan for the next Assembly in Christchurch in 2018. If you were at Assembly, you will get an invitation to participate in the survey. Please take the time to give us your feedback.
Assembly minutes and matters for consideration
All Assembly minutes will be posted online after they have been confirmed by the Council of Assembly. Other matters for consideration by presbyteries and church councils will be sent out over the coming months.
Looking for a newly trained minister?
This year, six people have completed their training as interns. They are a great group of people and represent a range of backgrounds and experience. All are eager to commit themselves to ministry within the life of a congregation or in other ministry roles. Profiles for each are 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.
Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops
To retain their status of good standing, it is a requirement for all ministers to 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. Leaders in all aspects of your congregation’s life and ministry are also welcome to attend.
Update your office bearer contacts
We use electronic communication to share information, update on important matters and pass on other news. Our office’s ability to do this is dependent on church councils advising updates to key contact people, changes in email etc. As many of these changes are often linked to AGMs, please pass on any changes to Lynne from our office, so that we can ensure we are communicating with the appropriate office bearers.
Assembly Office is closed over Christmas
Assembly Office will be closed from Thursday 22 December 2016 and will reopen again at 8.30am on Monday, 9 January 2017. For urgent matters over this time, please contact me by email.
Our thanks to you all
On behalf of the whole Assembly Office team, thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement and support during the year. We wish you a happy and Christ-centred Christmas and look forward to serving and supporting you in 2017.
Reimagining church for all
“Reimagining Church” was the title of the series of three workshops Kids Friendly facilitated at the Hope Conference at General Assembly last month. Over three days we explored why we need to reimagine church for the context we find ourselves in, and ways to do that. We shared stories of reimagined church from New Zealand and beyond that minister to all ages in a variety of creative ways. Our own leaders Martin Stewart, Darryl Tempero and Chery Harray inspired us with their stories of reimagining churches for all ages.
Research shows that when children and young people participate in churches where all ages learn together, worship together, serve and play together they have a greater sense of belonging and their faith is more likely to endure into adulthood.
The secular world too is extolling the virtues of young and old sharing life together. A recent TV3 item shared a story of the mutual benefits of young and old interacting at a Pakaranga kindergartern in Auckland. This initiative of regular visits by the elderly was led by Rev Jim Battersby, a retired Presbyterian minister. You can see this inspiring clip on the Church Facebook page.
Kids Friendly and KCML’s Malcolm Gordon recently collaborated to produce Worship Together: Advent – an intergenerational resource. We’ve loved getting your feedback on this and will be doing this again for other church seasons.
And there’s more to come in the New Year on the topics of reimaging and cultivating intergenerational communities.
“Rethink, Restore, Renew”, a conference for all church leaders (lay and ordained), is being hosted by Avalon Ministries and Clevedon Presbyterian on 27 January featuring KCML’s Steve Taylor and other leaders from our Church. And on 11 February KCML is hosting a day with Andy Root from Luther Theological College in Minnesota called “Cultivating Christ-centred life communities”, an opportunity to explore intergenerational church inspired by the work and ministry of Bonhoeffer. Both promise to be inspiring and informative events. Check out more on our website and put these dates in your diaries and invite your leaders.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.
It’s been a busy time lately, overseeing the Training in Mission programme and hosting our international guests at our recent General Assembly. It was good to see members of the Assembly meeting and sharing with our overseas guests and establishing good connections with them. Assembly also provided an opportunity to thank our Global Mission workers who have served in Vanuatu for the past two years; Don and Shirley Anton have returned home to Auckland, while Neville and Gloria Jones are back for the summer, before returning to Vanuatu for one more year. Helen Wells, who has taught at Talua Ministry Training Centre, was still in Vanuatu and will be returning home to Christchurch in December. These people have served faithfully and have been excellent ambassadors for the Church. We are fortunate to have such skilled and dedicated personnel serving on our behalf. I can also confirm that we will have another couple serving in Vanuatu next year, with Martyn and Annette Vincent from Knox Christian Centre in Hamilton joining the Jones’ in Port Vila next March. Martyn will begin a six-month appointment as an accountant, working in the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu General Assembly finance department. There are also several options for a role for Annette, which are still being determined.
Going Global Myanmar 2017
Plans are underway to take a Going Global programme to Myanmar in November/December 2017. Co-hosted with Presbyterian Youth Ministries, this is a two-week, cross-cultural exchange programme hosted by our partner church the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM). Our Church has sent several teams to Myanmar over the past few years, establishing a healthy relationship between our two churches. This visit will focus on developing that relationship, learning about the mission context of the church in Myanmar with a focus on young adults, and also learning about the ways our Church has supported the PCM through the Ricebowl Mission. Download more info about Going Global here. While Going Global has a focus on young adults, older adults with an interest in Myanmar are welcome to express their interest in joining this programme.
In closing, I would like to express my grateful thanks to all those who have supported the ministry of Global Mission throughout this past year, and extend best wishes to you for a joyful Advent and Christmas season.
Global Mission Coordinator
Youth Commissioners at GA16
Our goal for this year’s GA was for young adults to actively participate in the decision making. We spent a lot of time prepping youth commissioners, through Skype groups, training videos, and orientation on the first day. We were delighted with how much they spoke on the debate floor and in the dialogue groups where some were moderators and clerks. After it was all finished, we had 11 youth commissioners putting their hands up for future participation in national and regional committees and workgroups. We were just blown away by this year's group. Here are a couple of participants’ feedback:
“Thank you so much for all your hard work and time and for your character. Also, I value intentionality a lot, so go you guys! My experience at GA was definitely infinitely better because I had been prepared by you guys, and also because of the support network that exists from this group.”
“Attending GA was overall a good and positive experience for me. It gives me hope for our church for the future (see what I did there!), and it does leave me wanting to strengthen my involvement with PCANZ on both a parish, presbytery and national level. “
It is good to see young adults starting to sign up for Going Further, our young adults discipleship camp in Christchurch CBD. Young adults will be located in a youth hostel in the heart of Christchurch, and live out a monastic daily pilgrimage with teaching by Andrew and Kara Root in Knox Presbyterian Church, mid-day prayers in the Cardboard Cathedral and spiritual practices in the Botanic Gardens and CBD streets.
Each year we get fantastic feedback from participants, and interestingly they say they attended because they were personally invited by a minister or past participant. Please prayerfully invite young adults (17-30) in your congregation. More about Going Further
National Youth Manager
Malcolm Gordon has begun preliminary work on next Illustrated Gospel Project (The Gospel of Mark). He is also collating and sending out resources he developed for General Assembly. In the meantime, download the General Assembly 2016 Songbook, which is available on the Church’s website. Malcolm is also exploring a short film devotional project.
In early December Steve Taylor, Mark Johnston and Kevin Ward are in Auckland meeting with Dr Cathy Ross concerning new interns in mission seedlings and possibilities of training pioneer ministers. Kevin is also engaged in post-graduate supervision and beginning work on an edited book on migration, cultural diversity and the church in New Zealand.
Work is continuing on confirming details of placements for the seven incoming interns. Planning for the summer block course, which involves the inaugural lecture, acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the ordination of particular ministers and a training day with Dr Andrew Root on intergenerational ministry, is also underway.
I will be on annual leave from Mon 5 December, until KCML reopens after the Christmas/New Year closure on 9 January 2017.
Research position at Knox
I also draw your attention to this opportunity. We are looking for someone with research skills and experience in the design of higher education and a passion for educational formation for Christian leadership. KCML is seeking a uniquely gifted person to deliver a project that helps clarify how to provide postgraduate educational formation for Christian leadership. Read more about this part-time position. Read more
Dean of Studies
PWANZ Recommendations to General Assembly
As a first-time commissioner at General Assembly, there was a lot in take in. Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand are entitled to two seats at this Church court. In addition, our co-ordinator, Erin Pendreigh, mission convenor Sally Russell and our United Nations convenor Carol Grant were all commissioners, too.
During the business sessions over the three and a half days, the debate was robust and broad. Not all motions put to the vote passed, and there was no guarantee that PWANZ’s four recommendations (listed below) would be agreed:
- That General Assembly support and actively encourage the Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand national and international projects and outreach within congregations and presbyteries.
- That a PWANZ special collection be taken on the Sunday nearest to International Women’s Day each March to support the ongoing advocacy role of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand locally, regionally, internationally, as well as at the United Nations.
- That General Assembly re-affirm the principle that membership of church courts, committees and other formal groups reflect the gender equality within the Church.
- That the Council of the Assembly be asked to review all current policies, regulations and decisions through a gender equality lens to ensure that the needs, aspirations and welfare of women and girls are taken into account, and to ensure the voices of women are encouraged and heard in all the courts of the church and other decision making bodies.
We are delighted that all the PWANZ recommendations were agreed. We received affirmation from the General Assembly to support PWANZ in their mission to serve God locally and globally. We are an independent voice, and are focused on reflecting the membership diversity of Presbyterian Women within our executive and officers of our organisation. At the table of Jesus Christ, women have a place where our voice is valued.
Our Annual Report, which has been mailed to every parish, includes updates on some of the projects we have supported this year, and is well worth reading. It is also available online: read the Press Go Annual Report. We’re always looking for innovative mission projects – so if you have a project which is born of curiosity and imagination and new thoughts… we’d love to hear from you!
As a result of a decision of General Assembly, Press Go will now administer the Presbyterian Foundation funds. Look out for new guidelines and application forms in the New Year.
Press Go has two new members: Darryl Tempero (Alpine) and Mareta Ford (Kaimai). They join Andrew Norton (Chair), Gregor Coster, Jenny Flett, Simon Bilton, Sharon Ross Ensor and Associates Wayne Matheson (AES) and Anne Edgar (Resource subcommittee).
During GA, I co-presented a three-day stream “New Expressions of the Church in Mission” with Steve Taylor and Jill Kayser. Copies of my powerpoint slides are on my blog: www.vision2missionblog.wordpress.com.
For advice, assistance or to discuss funding options for your mission projects please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 027 4455 723.
Changes in Status
Rev Sandra Wright Taylor, minister St Mark’s Avonhead and Chaplain Princess Margaret Hospital, to Hospital Chaplain Burwood Hospital, Alpine Presbytery, 30 September 2016.
Rev Bruce Howatt, other recognised ministry, Northern Presbytery, to other recognised ministry, Kaimai Presbytery, 6 October 2016.
Rev David Coster, minister Cashmere Presbyterian, to minister senior active, Alpine Presbytery, 2 August 2016.
Rev Christine Elliot, minister St Martin’s Christchurch, to minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 1 July 2015.
Rev Ray Coster, minister St Andrews, Mt Maunganui to minister emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, 28 August 2016.
Rev Alofa Lale, other recognised ministry, Southern Presbytery, resignation from PCANZ ministerial role, Reg 10.32 on 2 October 2016.
Rev Robert Matthews, minister emeritus, Northern Presbytery, died 19 July 2016.
Rev Douglas Pa’u, minister Lower Hutt Knox St Columba, Central – Nuhuhau Tapu, died 9 November 2016.
Rev Geoffrey Harding, minister emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nuhuhau Tapu, died 20 November 2016.
In Aleppo and Mosul no one is safe. The machinery of war, aggravated by hunger and disease, claims lives on a daily basis. Almost six years after the war began in Syria, we are becoming accustomed to the tragic events. They have become normal.
Last year a record 65.3 million men, women and children were officially registered by the United Nations as refugees – a record likely to be surpassed this year. In addition to the refugees are thousands of desperate migrants willing to risk absolutely everything for a dream of a better life.
The challenges are immense, but there are also people and groups determined to take action. In their own way, Christian World Service partners are creating pockets of resilience. With sometimes decades of work behind them, they are holding a beacon of hope for people who are finding it harder to survive. They include the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) which began work in 1948. DSPR can deliver the hope of better income, education and healthcare to families who come to their attention.
This Christmas we invite you to look at the world through the lens of a family – a father and child who survived but lost their home in Nepal’s earthquake. They need your support to make hope happen. Working together we can get food, water, training and care to many more families.
Our office will close at noon on 23 December and reopen on 4 January. In case of a humanitarian emergency, please watch our Facebook page or website.
Thank you for your donations and prayers in 2016. May you have a happy Christmas and let us keep working together for peace.
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Intergenerational worship workshop
“Encountering Christ in community together”, an inspiring day exploring ministry with children and young people in shared life-communities, will be led by Dr Andrew Root on Saturday, 11 February 2017, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Read more
Understanding grief workshop
This workshop is an introduction to understanding grief. What is it, what are the things that influence it, how do you know if it’s become or becoming an issue, where does social media fit in and more. Contact Alan Hawksworth for further info: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone phone: 027 2299948
Holiday accommodation in Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands Uniting Parish’s Centre for Re-Creation has two modern fully-equipped two-bedroom holiday homes in Paihia. These are open to the church public at very generous rates: $100 per night for two people plus $15 per extra person per night. Go to www.centreforrecreation.org.nz for more info.
Invitation to attend the Church of Scotland 2017 General Assembly
Each year the Church of Scotland graciously extends an invitation to our Church to be represented. 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 or be a visitor at this event, then please let Assembly Executive Secretary Wayne Matheson know. The General Assembly 2017 opens 20 May and closes on 26 May.
NZ Christian Leaders’ Congress March
On 22-23 March 2017, the NZ Christian Leaders Congress will be held in Lower Hutt. The Congress is a unique opportunity for Christian leaders to gather every three years to share, network, express our unity in Christ, and engage on topics of significant interest. For more info contact: email@example.com
International network working to prevent violence against women
An ecumenical network of women aimed at advocacy on violence against women was launched at the end of a three-day Asia regional consultation organised by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA). Read more
Presbyterian Investment Fund
Please contact the Church Property Trustees Office (04 381 8296) for the current interest rate. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, please contact executive officer, Kos van Lier.
Clinical pastoral care course
The Rotorua Centre for Clinical Pastoral Education will be running an 18-week extended clinical pastoral education course in Rotorua. The course runs from 14 February to 29 June 2017 and will be led by Rev Ray Bloomfield. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christchurch ecumenism course
A course that introduces students to the study of ecumenism is available in Christchurch in late February. The course is jointly organised by the National Dialogue for Christian Unity Aotearoa New Zealand, and Centre for Ecumenical Studies, Charles Sturt University, Australia. Read more
Pipe organ available for sale
The Anglican Parish of Avondside in Christchurch wishes to sell its undamaged 1883 pipe organ. It was rescued from the church just before the big earthquake of 2012. It is valued at $700,000. Offers? For further information, contact Rev Jill Keir on 021 212 3210 or the parish on 03 389 6948.
Glen Innis vacancies
Ministers are entitled to one week’s free accommodation at Glen Innis every year. Please note that no spaces are available during the school holidays, but you check out other vacancies over Summer here.
Check out the latest events from around our Church and from Christian organisations and partners. Read more