Feb 2016

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
Kids Friendly
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Press Go
Global Mission
Presbyterian Women
CWS Notices
Church Register

From the Moderator

I am in the process of finalising two papers as a result of the feedback on last year’s white paper A Matter of Faith. I plan to publish the papers shortly.

Part I Green volunteers: your voice is a summary of the feedback from of over 90 submissions totalling 63,000 words. The response was huge, and is both hard hitting AND hopeful.

Part II Green volunteers: a way forward is an invitation to be part of a movement for the reformation of the Church. This is not a plan for tinkering with our structures, but a call for hope to take up home in our attitudes beliefs and actions. It is one of those road signs “Caution: God at work here”!

Refugee quota: what can one person do?

You have seen the images on TV. Now is the time to take action. Amnesty International is encouraging individuals and churches to make submissions asking the government to increase New Zealand’s refugee quota.

Amnesty International says: “The NZ Government will review the annual refugee quota in the first half of 2016. The need for an increase could hardly be clearer – right now we have the largest number of people forced to flee their countries since the WW2. In spite of this, there are currently no positive indications that the government will look positively at a review. Recently we saw the government approve a small temporary increase to the quota in response to a large chorus of voices – including the Presbyterian Church. While this was a welcome and overdue first step, to achieve a larger and permanent increase we will need to demonstrate widespread support once again.” Read more and make your voice heard at www.ourvoices.org.nz

Coming up this month

5-6 Feb Waitangi Day celebrations at Ohope Marae
10-11 Feb Going Further on Great Barrier Island with young leaders
21-24 Feb Wilderness retreat Lindis Ridge
29 Feb -1 Mar Alpine Presbytery retreat

Passing of a friend

I attended a memorial service on 17th December for a friend and great New Zealander, Steven Dowall, who died tragically climbing Mount Cook.

For Steven:

When one set of eyes close another's open.
When a father dies the son sees with two eyes,
his own and those of his father.
When a grand father dies the story is reinvents
itself through the generations.

A sage of grace and indifference.

Nga mihi nui
Moderator Andrew

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Maybe like me over the summer you enjoyed a few days break and sat under pohutakawa and took the chance to read. The opportunity to read and reflect is a great gift.

Re-opening of Ohope Marae

Saturday, 16 January was a significant day as crowds gathered for the re-opening of the marae at Ohope. This was a great celebration (see the Church's Facebook page for photos). The Council of Assembly has accepted an invitation to hold its March meeting there and is very much looking forward to being the guests of Te Aka Pauho.

Significant dates

In February there are some very significant anniversaries: 6 February marks the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Please see the invitation to attend events at our Marae at Ohope.

February is also the anniversary of the Rev John McFarlane preaching the first Presbyterian service on the foreshore at Petone. Tracing the history from there gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect, give thanks and to be open to the leading of Spirit in these days.

In February we also pause to recall the Christchurch earthquake five years ago in which 185 people died. Maybe you will recall where you were on that day, Tuesday, 22 February at 12.51pm? I wonder how you, your church and wider communities are planning to mark that?

Voting for the Moderator-elect, 2018: Stage 1 – deadline Thursday 31 March 2016

As the first stage in the election process, all presbyteries, the Pacific Islands Synod and Te Aka Puaho are asked to nominate one person each to enter the voting process coordinated by the nominating committee. This person will become the Moderator at the 2018 General Assembly. The outcome of this voting process will be announced at Assembly 2016.

Church councils may suggest names for consideration by a meeting of their presbytery, Synod or Te Aka Puaho. Each presbytery, Synod and Te Aka Puaho should send one name to the convenor of the nominating committee, Mr Neil Walker. Nominations need to be with Neil no later than Thursday, 31 March 2016.

The Moderator’s appointment remains as a two-year term.

Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly

After consultation with the assembly business work group, a deadline has been set for receiving all reports and proposals that will be considered by General Assembly. All material must be received by 1 July 2016. This timeframe will enable us to facilitate a consultative process with presbyteries prior to Assembly. In this way, we will be able to fulfil the 2012 Assembly’s decision supporting presbyteries’ participation in the setting of the Assembly agenda.

Get involved in Neighbours Day 2016

Prescare – the joint initiative between us and Presbyterian Support – invites congregations to focus on outreach and participate in this year’s Neighbours Day by sharing the Easter story and hot cross buns with their neighbours. Resources and more information about how to get involved will be out in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye on our website and Facebook for further details.

Risk management, ethics and leadership workshops

To retain a status of good standing, it is a requirement that every minister must 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.

Certificates of Good Standing are valid for six years, with a review needing to be undertaken every three years. Please note that the guidelines take account of ministers serving overseas and active ministers who are not currently serving in parish or chaplaincy positions.

Ministry Development Review survey

I refer you to an online survery regarding the Ministry Development Review Process, and invite you to participate in this and so assist us all. Take the survey

Thank you for your engagement in God’s mission.


Kids Friendly

We’re ready to serve

I wonder if you return to work after a lovely summer holiday with similar feelings as me? Psychologists say that most of us will experience some form of “post-holiday blues” and so over the years I’ve learned not only to expect them: “Hello Blues you’re here again?”, but to work with them: “Rightio, let’s try to get on as well as possible until you’re ready to leave!”

I’ve developed some coping strategies, one being to spend a couple of days with my Kids Friendly colleagues dreaming and scheming for the year, another is to plan to meet with people who inspire me and appreciate me. But whatever I do, I can’t stop my old “friend” “Blue” and his buddy “Self-doubt”, popping in to harass me. “Are you really making a difference to churches and their children anymore? Isn’t it time to move on? Who uses your resources, reads your blogs, follows your Facebook anyway?”

So when I received an email from a minister this week that started: “I’m sure you appreciate feedback, so here’s some!” I braced myself for the worst. So what a delight to have this minister share his and his congregation’s journey (struggles and celebrations) over the past few years and for him to say: “Becoming Kids Friendly changed the spirit of our congregation to one of openness, joy and energy. New people from the community now come and check us out and many stay – this didn’t used to happen.”

Being a Kids Friendly church requires an ongoing commitment to reviewing how our communities of faith embrace and value children and strive to grow lifelong disciples of Christ. The Kids Friendly self-review process is just the start of a journey of reflection and honest conversation. If you haven’t embarked on the journey yet, I encourage you to make this the year. To find out more contact me or Cheryl in the Southern Presbytery. Because, sorry “Blues” and “Self-doubt" we’re not going anywhere! We’re ready and waiting to serve the people of the Presbyterian Church.

Jill Kayser
Kids Friendly Coach

Press Go

Press Go is planning an event for those involved in mission advising, strategic or mission facilitation in April. The intention is to encourage, share resources and plan together. A number of challenges are before us and the risk is that we develop responses in our own context when our colleagues are working on exactly the same challenges. We can do better when we pool knowledge, experience and resources.

The first Inspiring Mission Network event will take place at St John’s in the City, Wellington from 10am Thursday, 21 April till 12.30pm on Friday, 22 April 2016.

The cost of the event will be subsidised by Press Go so that participants will only have to cover their own travel expenses. A large number of people responded to the early notice of this event, but we anticipate limiting registrations to ensure that the focus is on the broader issues of mission advising rather than mission planning for your own congregation.

We would like to see at least two people from each of the seven presbyteries attend. It is not necessary for you to be employed as a mission advisor, but as a volunteer, it is expected that you would have significant interest and involvement in this beyond your own congregation.

Please contact the Press Go Catalyst to discuss further or register for the event. I can also be contacted on 027 4455 723027 4455 723.

Lisa Wells
Press Go Catalyst

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Police Checks

The beginning of the year is a good time to do your police checks for volunteers working with children and young people. There is no charge for Margaret from our office to complete these checks on behalf of parishes, and it normally takes around 4 weeks.


If you have young adults who are in the process of moving city to start their studies there are a couple of things you could be doing for them. Firstly, help them find a new congregation. If you know people in a good church in the new city, introduce them to each other. If you don’t know people, check out our Presbytality service; we will introduce the young adult to some key youth workers in the new city who will take them out for coffee and show a bit of good old fashioned hospitality. And to quote Murray Brown and Michal Baken from Palmerston North “we’ll do our best to follow up newcomers and help them find a place in one of our churches”.

But just because the young adult is no longer living in your parish, doesn’t mean that they are no longer part of your church community. Some churches pray for their students on a Sunday morning, others give financial scholarships, and of course many parishioners will keep in contact, even if it only through Facebook.

Going Further

We are only a week away from the Going Further discipleship camp on Great Barrier Island. Thank you very much to everyone who shoulder-tapped young adults in your congregations. We really appreciate your efforts in encouraging young adults to attend this event.

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand is a registered charity – CC52474. Your donation supports us to maintain an independent voice for the serving of God locally and globally with love.

The following people are part of our recently appointed transition team, which is tasked with creating a structure for the next generation to move Presbyterian Women forward in their way that is appropriate to them for life in the 21st century:

United Nations convenor : Rev Carol Grant - nandcg@clear.net.nz
Missions convenor: Sally Russell - sallyrussell@xtra.co.nz
Administrator: Sandra Waldrom - pwanz2016@gmail.com
Co-ordinator – VACANT (for more info click here)

Currently the advisory team are supporting your transition team until the position of transition team co-ordinator is filled. This is an important role, and the right person could inspire us to find another path to take us into the future. Please would you:

  • Be prayerful in considering who can lead us forward.
  • Be proactive in searching for and asking women who could fill this position.

To enable our promotion of the aims of PWANZ in empowering women to be active in mission and ministry in New Zealand and globally. Your contribution can be made to our bank account (contact Sandra for details).

We will provide an update to PWANZ members following our next meeting on 22 February 2016, including confirmation of the dates for a national women’s event the Women’s Ministry Conference in September, and progress on the work on the Terms of Reference requirements.

Sandra Waldrom
PWANZ Administrator

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

At the end of 2015, KCML’s Spring block course was held in Auckland and also, for the first time, the graduation service. This marvellous occasion showcased KCML on the road and engaging with a part of the Church in a new way. During the block course, we celebrated the launch of my book, Imaginative Preaching, and Luke - Illustrated gospel project, which was facilitated by the Rev Malcolm Gordon, the Church’s worship, music and arts enabler. These are aimed at resourcing preaching and worship in the life of the Church.

Also in December, we had a two-day staff retreat. One day was spent thinking about our future; the second day was spent reflecting on the shape and shade of our NOM curriculum and training outcomes.

KCML begins 2016 with twelve national ordained minister (NOM) interns attending block course in Dunedin this month. Professor John Swinton from Aberdeen University will deliver the inaugural lecture on Tuesday 9 February at 4 pm on the topic, “Friendship as witness: The body of Jesus as a place of belonging”. Professor Swinton will be teaching the previous week at an intensive course entitled “A Practical Theology of Disability and Mental Health” co-hosted by KCML and Otago University. Ten of our ministers will attend this course.

Steve Taylor’s induction will be held at Leith Valley-St Stephen's Presbyterian Church, 267 Malvern St, Leith Valley, on Monday 15 February, beginning at 7pm.

We have contacted all LOMs throughout the country this month, exploring ways to convene and encourage them.

Steve Taylor visited Te Aka Puaho on December and attended the re-opening of the new Maungarongo marae in Ohope in January.

Since his arrival last October, Steve has had some connection with each of the presbyteries and has valued the depth and richness of the discussions he has had with those he has met. From these discussions we hope to develop our presence and ministry to the national Church so that we can engage with leadership in all its forms.

Geoff New
Dean of Studies

Global Mission

Last year ended with a flurry of activity for Global Mission and 2016 is getting off to a busy start, particularly with regard to our Pacific Vision partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV).

In the early part of the year we will have six staff and volunteers serving there. Neville and Gloria Jones will be returning to continue their work in cyclone recovery and healthcare respectively. Don and Shirley Anton have moved from Talua Ministry Training Centre and will be taking up two new appointments with the PCV Education Department. Everyone will be based in Port Vila.

Helen Wells has been appointed as the new English teacher at Talua. Helen is from Christchurch, and has previously served in mission with OMF in Thailand. She will be in Vanuatu from late January and will serve for one year.

Bronwen Markham is a nurse from Carterton who will be serving in a voluntary capacity as a tutor at the Korvan Healthcare Training centre in Port Vila. Bron will be in Port Vila from February to April.

Travel Subsidy

We have received funding which will allow us to offer a travel subsidy to groups and individuals who would like to offer short-term service in Vanuatu. Further information will be available on the website soon.

I will be visiting Vanuatu in February to attend a meeting at Talua Ministry Training Centre to review and assess how we can most effectively support the growth and development of the PCV’s theological training. I will also observe cyclone recovery progress, and see how the Global Mission personnel are settling in.

Soon I will be mailing out posters and pamphlets to all churches, highlighting our key Global Mission partnerships and opportunities to serve. Keep an eye out for that, and also check out the website for ongoing information, www.globalmission.org.nz

Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator

CWS Notices

Christmas Appeal

Thanks for the many generous gifts to the 2015 Christmas Appeal, Help Rebuild Lives. We have been greatly encouraged by the strong support for our partners working to help people in need of food, water and safety. Congregations are reminded to send in donations so that we can send out receipts in good time. If you used the resource material, please fill out this short survey to let us know what worked.

World Day of Prayer

Forty hours of prayer will begin around the globe on Friday, 4 March. World Day of Prayer services in Aotearoa New Zealand are organised by local women in your communities. This year’s services have been prepared by Cuban women who add their special flavour to worship. Please support this movement of women praying and taking action.

Double the Quota

CWS supports the campaign to increase the number of refugees New Zealand resettles each year. Amnesty International is collecting messages of support to pass on to the government – there is no formal submission process. New Zealand churches have a long tradition of welcoming refugees. You might like to add your voice before 5pm Friday, 5 February.

Pray for Syria

CWS is grateful for people and parishes who supported the Syria Appeal. Our partner, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, says that support has been a “lifeline” to refugees. We encourage you to consider a special fundraising effort this year.

We ask you to pray for the people of Syria and the talks due to begin. CWS supports a global appeal signed by UN agencies and ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) of which it is a member. The World Council of Churches and UN recently hosted a conference on coordinating the response to Europe’s refugee crisis.


Ministry Review survey

The Leadership Sub-Committee is undertaking an assessment of the Ministry Review process. Ministry Reviews are focused on ongoing ministry development for ordained ministers serving in a congregation or a chaplaincy role.

The review team of Barry Ayers, Rob Ferguson and Paul Ramsay have developed a survey to help assess the implementation and operation of the Ministry Review process.

The survey will remain open until 31 March 2016 and all responses are anonymous unless you wish to supply your contact details. Ministers, reviewers and anyone else who is interested in the Ministry Review process are invited to complete the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2GLXZVQ

Submission against “physician-assisted dying”

Read the InterChurch Bioethics Council (ICBC) submission against introducing legislation to allow “physician-assisted dying”. The ICBC is an ecumenical, cross-cultural body supported by the Presbyterian, Anglican and Methodist Churches of Aotearoa New Zealand. Read the submission

NZ hymns and lectionary readings

View or download the latest lectionary hymns and readings information from the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. This document covers the period April to June 2016. Read more

Tertiary student scholarships (Wellington)

Scholarships of up to $2,000 are available for tertiary students. Successful applicants join the Rooftops Group for the academic year. The group meets weekly (Kelburn Pde, Wellington) to learn how to engage beyond church walls using a forum of choice such as. print, popular/academic online sites, blogs, submissions to government panels or social media. For more information or terms of reference for applications, please contact Chris Beard, Rooftops Director or cell: 0211735498. Deadline for applications is 23 Feb 2016.

Movement for gender equality

#HeforShe, a UN Women initiative that promotes and advocates for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, is encouraging New Zealanders to get behind the programme. For more info about how to get involved, check out: http://www.heforshe.org/en

Dunedin book launch for Creating Welcoming Churches

On Thursday, 4 Feb @ 5:30pm in the Frank Nichol Room at Knox College Creating Welcoming Churches, a disability resource for faith communities will be launched. The book was produced by the Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network Aotearoa New Zealand and funded by the joint special project fund of the Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand and Methodist Women’s Fellowship. Copies of the book are be available ($10 per copy) by contacting Catherine van Dorp.

Pilgrimage tours 2016

Travel with a purpose in 2016 to sacred places in Israel, Rome, Assisi, Greece, Turkey. Pilgrim leaders include Prof Paul Trebilco and Archbishop David Moxon. More information available at www.pilgrimagenz.nz or email hornblow@ihug.co.nz

Increasing access to published work for people with print disabilities

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has released a discussion document to determine whether New Zealand should accede to the Marrakesh Treaty that aims to increase access to published works for a disability that makes reading traditional print difficult or impossible. New Zealand's Copyright Act would need to be changed.

For more information about the issue, including how to make a submission, please see the Marrakesh Treaty page on the MBIE website. Submissions close on February 26.

Applications invited for CWM Special Academic Accompaniment Programme (SAAP)

SAAP aims to facilitate advanced learning within and between CWM members by offering opportunities to gain further education in other contexts. Download application form for relevant institution: University of Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa), Protestant Theological University (Netherlands) or Tainan Theological College and Seminary (Taiwan). Applications are to be made to the Assembly Executive Secretary, Wayne Matheson. View SAAP background information. Closing date for application is 26 Feb 2016.

Message from Presbyterian Church of Taiwan

The PCT has offered their thoughts on the general election held in Taiwan 16 Jan 2016 and also their thanks to all partners for their prayerful and other support relating to the elections. Read the letter

CWM vacancy: deputy general secretary for programme

Information about the key accountabilities, required competencies, remuneration and other details for this role can be found in this document. Read more

Celebrate International Women’s Day

An open invitation is extended by the NZ National Committee for UN Women and the Zonta Club of Wellington invite you to celebrate International Women’s Day, Tue 8 March. Dame Silvia Cartwright is the keynote speaker at this event which is being held in the Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Please RSVP to joanne.lentfer@gmail.com

Make your voice heard on New Zealand’s refugee quota

The Church, among others, spoke out asking the government to take more refugees in the wake of the European refugee crisis. Amnesty International is encouraging individuals and churches to make submissions asking the government to make a permanent increase to NZ’s refugee quota. Read more and make submissions bat http://ourvoices.org.nz/

Beloved women’s ministry conference (Auckland)

St Columba at Botany are excited to be able to invite the women of your church - young and old – to our women's conference on 14 May 2016. See the conference website for more details: http://belovedinstcolumba.wix.com/beloved

Trans-Tasman rural ministry conference

The Trans-Tasman Ecumenical Rural Ministry Consultation 2016 is being held in Wairarapa 16-20 May 2016. For registration and other details see http://www.irca.net.nz/oceania.php.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment convention

Held in Wanaka on 8-9 April, the hui is co-ordinated by Te Whare Pora. For more information about the programme, guest speakers and how to register see: http://tewharepora.nz/

Recently published books

The Rev John Turton has recently published two books which may be of interest: Muddy Waters and A Pastor’s Scrapbook. For more information or to purchase a copy of either book use the above links.

Exclusion and embrace: disability, justice and spirituality conference

This multi-faith conference addresses the growing interest in issues of faith and meaning in the lived experience of disability. For more details about the conference, held in Melbourne, Australia 21-23 August, see the conference website

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 3.75% to 3.50% per annum effective from the 1 February 2016. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.

NZ Hymnbook Trust vacancy

A part-time manager is being sought to oversee the Trust’s activities. Applications close Feb 2016. For more information, click here

Hope Project Update

This March the Hope Project has its final media effort, with booklets going to 1.4m New Zealand homes, plus TV ads and web media. Find out more – including accessing resources like sermons, studies, equipping videos – at AllTogether.co.nz/the-hope-project. Extra spare booklets are available to churches free of charge. Check out the above website fore more details.

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

Church Register

Please note that this is a cumulative register from 1 October 2014.


The following KCML students completed their studies on 1 December 2015, and are now licentiates:
Michael Frost
Roxy Gahegan
Carlton Johnstone
Jin Sook Kim
Jordan Redding
John Schoneveld
Mose Taumaoe

Receptions to the roll

Rev Raymond McKie was received as national ordained minister on 11 November 2015.

Ordination and Inductions

Rev Mose Taumaoe, licentiate to minister St Martin’s Presbyterian Church, Papatoetoe, Northern Presbytery, 13 December 2015.
Rev Roxy Gahegan, licentiate, Northern Presbytery, to chaplain at St Cuthberts College, 17 December 2015.
Rev Jordan Redding, licentiate to assistant minister Hope Presbyterian, Alpine Presbytery, 13 December 2015.

Changes in Status

Rev Dugald Wilson, minister, St Mark’s Avonhead/Upper Riccarton to other recognised ministry, Alpine Presbytery, 22 November 2015.


Rev Kevyn Harris, minister, Whangarei St Andrews, to other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, 1 July 2015.
Rev Chong Woo Kim, minister Balmoral Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery to stated supply Mt Roskill St John’s Presbyterian, 21 December 2015.
Rev Christopher Purdie, chaplain, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu to chaplain NZDF, Alpine Presbytery,18 January 2016.
Rev Sylvia Purdie, minister Milson Combined Church, Presbytery Central Nukuhau Tapu to stated supply minister Cashmere Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery, 18 January 2016.


Rev Cherry Thompson, minister, Central Southland Prsbyterian Parish, Southern Presbytery, retired 31 January 2016.


Rev Mark Phillip Stephens, minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, died 10 November 2015.
Rev David Inglis, minister emeritus Northern Presbytery, died 29 November 2015.

Parish register

Balmoral Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, dissolved 20th December 2015.
St Andrew’s Hanmer Springs, Alpine Presbytery, closed on 29th November 2015.


Check out our listing of national and regional events.


Check out our jobs vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table.