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
I have published two documents as a follow-up to my June 2015 It's a matter of faith white paper. Copies of the two papers, which are designed to be read together – Green volunteers: your voice (part one) and Green volunteers: a way forward (part two) – have been emailed to all parishes, and are available for download from the Church’s website. Read the papers
What I have been doing
What an amazing past month! I celebrated Waitangi weekend at Ohope Marae. I took part in a wilderness retreat for eight ministers in the Lindis Pass, and was also part of Alpine Presbytery’s ministers’ retreat.
What I will be doing
This month I come down to earth with several very significant meetings including the Press Go board meeting, leadership sub-committee meeting, national presbyteries gathering and the Council of Assembly meeting. National denominational leaders, including myself, will also be meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Bill English this month.
Nga mihi nui
Dear Friends and Colleagues
Easter is coming early this year. It seemed the Christmas tree was still up and yet hot cross buns were available in the supermarket. This season should be driving us back to our missional roots. We need to pause and spend time meditating on the wonder of the cross and the power of the resurrection. An empty cross and an empty tomb and Good News to share; He has risen – He has risen indeed.
One missional opportunity that we can all share in is this year’s Neighbours Day on 19-20 March. As this is Psalm Sunday, PresCare (a joint project between the Church and Presbyterian Support) is inviting parishes to show hospitality to their neighbours by sharing Easter Buns. This and other ideas for getting involved, and resources including how to apply for small grants, are available on the Church’s website. Read more about getting involved in Neighbours Day
On 15 February Southern Presbytery, on behalf of the Assembly, led the induction service for Rev Dr Steve Taylor, Principal at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. While Steve started in October, this date was chosen as it coincided with the interns block course in Dunedin, and allowed Steve to settle into the role. It was a great evening.
On the same day Jane Thompson started as the new Director of the Presbyterian Research Centre. Welcome Jane. You can read more about Jane in the latest SPANZ. Welcome Jane – it is great to have you on board.
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.
Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly
Following 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.
Update from the Discipline Process Review Group
This group was established by the Council of Assembly (June 2015) to consider how well we are being served by Chapter 15 of the Book of Order in particular, and other associated sections of the Book of Order and the Supplementary Provisions. Read an update on their work here.
Ministry Development Programme
Last month I noted information about Ministry Development Reviews and Certificates of Good Standing. I was reading from the pre-updated regulations! My apologies for this error and any for any confusion caused. I now quote from the updated regulations…
2. Certificate of Good Standing
2.1 Provisions for current ministers
2.1.1 As a member of their presbytery, each national and local ordained minister serving in a congregation or chaplaincy must hold a Certificate of Good Standing.
2.1.2 General criteria
To be in good standing a minister must:
- complete a review every 3 years
- fulfil the developmental requirements of the previous ministry review
- receive regular and adequate supervision not be the subject of
- have received a clearance from NZ Police at the beginning of each new
- have completed a PCANZ-approved ministry ethics and risk
There is no longer any statement about how long the certificate remains valid, because it ceases to be valid after three years if a review is not taken at that point, irrespective of what might have originally been printed on the Certificate.
Ministry Development Review survey
I refer you to an online survey 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 on-going support in God’s mission.
Calling a newly trained minister
This year six people will complete their training as interns. They represent a range of backgrounds and experiences. All are eager to commit themselves to ministry within the life of a congregation. Profiles for each of them will shortly be available from the Rev Allister Lane, who coordinates introductions and discussions, between final year interns and Ministry Settlement Boards. For more information, please contact Allister.
When last did you go to “Sunday School”?
I was worshipping at a church recently and when it came time for the children to go out to their programme, the minister announced that one of the elders would be preaching that day and she would be joining the children. I discovered, on further investigation, that this is a common occurrence. This minister is renowned for her Kids Friendly commitment and thinks it is important that she is involved in some way in each of the church’s ministries with children. She knows every child by name, invites them to contribute to worship, and loves to attend their programme at least once a term.
I remember a minister from my church saying to me years ago: “Jill everyone has at least good one sermon in them”. So why not encourage some of your parishioners and elders to take the lead one Sunday while you join the children. Start your session with some getting-to-know-you-games (see our resource Planning a Kids Friendly Children’s Programme), share stories – biblical and/or personal faith stories and listen to the children’s stories, pray together and play together. And while you’re there, try to see the space you’re in and the resources available, through the eyes of a child. Do they speak of the way your church loves and values children? And then enjoy a yummy morning tea together.
The children won’t forget it and neither will you.
Kids Friendly Coach
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. Registrations will be limited. 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.
To register, please download and fill in this form and email or post it to me. Download registration form
Please visit my blog to keep up with the resources and articles I am posting. www.vision2missionblog.wordpress.com.
Please contact the PressGo Catalyst to discuss further or register for the event. I can also be contacted on 027 4455 723.
Press Go Catalyst
Connect 2016 – whānau theme
Connect is PYM’s flagship training conference for youth leaders which includes inspiring keynotes, creative worship, excellent workshops, spiritual direction, regional get-togethers and great kai. This year Connect is being held in Waikanae (Wellington) on 15-17 July with the theme of “whānau”.
In our greatest efforts to nurture young people we often default to working in isolation from their whanau - their parents, the church family and wider community support systems. Connect 2016 will inspire and equip youth leaders to work with the tremendous assets located within a young person’s whānau.
This year we already have some great workshops lined up but would like to invite your input directly. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out this form with some suggestions of workshops that you would think would help and equip youth leaders.
Christian World Service (CWS) is the development, justice and aid agency of the Presbyterian Church and this year they are hosting a real timely fundraising challenge which would be perfect for young adults. With record numbers of people fleeing their homes because of persecution and war, the spotlight has been put on refugees. Operation Refugee is a fundraising campaign where participants raise money through a fundraising page to support the work of CWS in this area.
The challenge is to live on the same rations as a Syrian refugee. CWS supplies the participants with the same rations as a Syrian refugee would receive living in a Lebanese refugee camp: just a small amount of rice, split peas, salt, fish, flour, lentils and oil.
Youth representatives at Assembly
Presbyteries may send six young adults to be youth reps at GA16. If you know of a young adult in your congregation that would a good asset to GA, please contact your presbytery. The orientation day for the young adult reps will begin a day before the formal start of the Assembly (16 Nov 2016).
National Youth Manager
Presbyterian women have a voice
I began my role as national administrator for Presbyterian Women of Aotearoa New Zealand in December 2015. It has been a bit of an awakening as my expectations have been rattled. There are currently 28 affiliated groups from a possible 419 parishes in Aotearoa. Do you not want a voice? The transition team members are the Rev Carol Grant – UN convener, Sally Russell – mission convener and myself as administrator. Yes, that is correct. There is no transition team coordinator – but hey, we are Presbyterian women and well-practised at operating by committee. We have support from the advisory group and you will recognise the names from their long service to PWANZ: Heather Tate is the convener, Lafulafu Ekenasio is the past president, Valerie Anderson a previous national secretary, and Lois Robertson (PW and NCW rep).
What has changed since the 1970s when the banner slogan of the day was “Girls can do anything”? It is now “Women do everything”. At my parish fellowship meeting, there isn’t a women attending under the age of 60. Where are the younger women? They are too busy – professionals with huge student loans to pay off, young children to juggle childcare for, commitments to their wider community/ whanau, and they require some time to be wife/daughter/sister/friend as well.
Do you not care that Presbyterian Women have a faith-based voice to contribute to submissions to government both in New Zealand and with PWANZ’s Special Consultative Status to the United Nations? PWANZ relies on the collection of affiliation/membership fees to support the administration of our organisation. Sure, we are generous in giving to mission (as is our focus) both domestically and globally. However, this money is collected by PWANZ and passed on to those well deserving programmes. Please subscribe to PWANZ.
We have just finished our summer block course here in Dunedin for ministry interns. The time was fruitful and engaging. Prof John Swinton commenced our programme with a seminar and then delivering the inaugural lecture. Six first year interns now begin their placements in various contexts around the country.
Our attention now turns to a variety of engagements. I am running a one-day preaching workshop at St John’s Presbyterian Church in Arrowtown on 5 March. The workshop is especially for new and emerging preaching. (To register contact the Rev Ian Guy). I will also be speaking at St Matthews Anglican Church retreat on 19 March.
On Friday, 11-12 March, Kevin Ward is convening a “Cross-cultural gathering: ministry with 1.5 and 2nd generation migrants” at St John’s Presbyterian Church, Mt Roskill (the gathering starts at 7:30pm Friday and finishes 4pm Saturday). The event includes input from the Rev Drs Tokerau Joseph and Hyeeun Kim, plus conversations, storytelling and workshopping. This is a significant event on our journey toward being a “multicultural and crosscultural church with a bicultural commitment”. If you want further details contact Kevin Ward.
Kevin is also running a receptions course for eight ministers received into our Church. It will be held at KCML on 16-17 March. The KCML team will be having a staff retreat on 14–15 March to continue earlier work on curriculum design for the NOM training and honing our focus for training for the wider church.
Dean of Studies
Last month I mailed out posters and pamphlets to every parish highlighting the various ministries and opportunities that exist within Global Mission. If your parish did not receive anything, please let me know. I hope this communication will raise the profile of Global Mission, and help to increase participation in our work. More pamphlets are available from me here at the office, or online. The poster emphasises opportunities for participation in Global Mission programmes and activities: for example, a young adult has just returned from a short internship over the summer with the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) in Seoul.
Applications are invited for participation in the annual I Love Taiwan programme hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, which takes place for two weeks in July. Apply here, and you can read about last year’s programme here.
As mentioned in my last Bush Telegraph column there is a lot of activity taking place in our Pacific Vision Vanuatu partnership. I have just returned from a brief visit there where I met with our six church members who are serving as staff and volunteers with the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. They are all making great contributions. If you want to keep informed about what they are up to, visit Neville and Gloria Jones’ blog, and the Global Mission Facebook page.
Global Mission has funding available for a travel subsidy to groups and individuals who would like to offer short-term service in Vanuatu. Read more
Ricebowl Mission Coordinator Joanne Wieland recently announced that she is resigning to take up some exciting new opportunities to study, and also to work with Tear Fund. Thanks are extended to Joanne for the contribution she has made in the brief time she has been in the role, and we wish her well for the future. More about our partnership with Presbyterian Church of Myanmar
I am always available to arrange a visit your church or mission group.
Global Mission Coordinator
Fiji cyclone appeal
CWS has launched an appeal for Fiji in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston. With wind gusts up to 325 kilometres per hour, it has devastated the country. Our partners are responding: the Social Empowerment and Education Programme is responding to isolated communities who might otherwise miss out on help; they are preparing to deliver food and shelter as well as training youth groups to run psycho-social care for children; and the Peoples Community Network will assist in the informal settlements where people already had very little.
For up-to-date information and a leaflet to use in church bulletins, please check the CWS website.
World Day of Prayer
You are invited to join local women in prayer 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.
Seven Weeks for Water
Each year the Ecumenical Water Network use the Lenten period as a time to focus on water justice issues – this time the focus is on Palestine. Each week they publish a new reflection focusing on water justice in the Middle East. Congregations might like to focus on water in their community on one Sunday around World Water Day on 22 March. Contact CWS if you would like more materials.
“Pray for me” Children’s Day resources
Kids Friendly has prepared some resources to help you engage with national Children’s Day on Sunday, 6 March. Read more
“Share the cross” this Neighbours Day
Presbyterian parishes around the country are invited to get to know their neighbours by sharing Easter buns with them this Neighbours Day Aotearoa on 19-20 March. Parishes can also apply for small grants to help "share the cross" with their neighbours. Read more
Kids Friendly Easter resources
The team from Kids Friendly have a variety of resources available to help congregations share Easter with their younger members. View resources
Suicide-related funeral resource
Prepared by Rev Greg Hughson, this document provides a resource which enables funeral celebrants to offer quality, compassionate pastoral services to those who gather following a suicide. Download the resource
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
Newsletter from the Global Christian Forum
At the GCF Nov 2015 consultation there were 140 leaders world-wide grappling with the issues of discrimination, persecution and martyrdom today. Read the newsletter from this gathering
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 email@example.com
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
Presbyterian Investment Fund rate
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.50% percent per annum. This rate became effective on 1 February 2016. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.
Free Hope project booklets
The Hope Project’s third effort goes to air from Monday, 7 March. Booklets go to 1.4 milion homes the following week. TV ads go through until Easter encouraging Kiwis to visit a church near them. If you would like spare booklets, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and church courier address (postal address only for orders under 50).
Early years parenting toolbox course
Island Bay Presbyterian is running a six-week parenting toolbox to help people be the parent their child needs. The course runs on Mondays from 7:30pm to 9:30pm starting 11 April. Read more
Mental health and the church seminar
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
Hotel discounts available for Presbyterians
Auckland City Hotel and a separate hotel group have been in discussions with the Church’s AES and the result is that hotel discounts being offered to Church members.
- The Auckland City Hotel is offering a 15 percent discount of their website rate using the promotional code “JOY”. In addition they also offer special mission/ministry rates – contact email@example.com for more details.
- VR Group - Hotels & Resorts is offering a discount of 10% from their own website rates. If you are interested in this, please contact the Assembly Executive Secretary who can put you in contact with the appropriate hotel staff to authorise this discount.
Changes to the church register will be available in the April edition of Bush Telegraph.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.