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Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
From the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
Dear friends and colleagues
Our General Assembly takes place in Dunedin in November and I am conscious of the extra work that is being undertaken to make this event not only an effective forum for our Church’s business, but also an opportunity to celebrate, learn and grow together.
Moderator designate Rev Richard Dawson writes: “This year I made the theme of our Assembly, hope. Hope is a central tenet of the Gospel and it is so for two reasons: Firstly, because the Gospel is a message of hope “to those who are perishing,” that is, to all people. The Gospel is hope and it is appropriate then that we should dwell on it as such, and secondly, because through we who have understood this, it is a message of hope for the whole world. However, this will only be the case if we grasp the hope we have through the Gospel first. If we are hopeless – how will the world understand that there is hope?’ Therefore, it is vital that we come to see both why and how the Gospel is our hope.”
Assembly is an opportunity for us to gathering together, and provides the opportunity for thanksgiving and mutual encouragement, but also a time of discernment for how God may be calling us to mission at this time and place.
For more information and details on how to register for either the hope conference, which is open to all in our church, or General Assembly or then please see the General Assembly website.
Assembly White Book
The White Book is expected to be available in early October.
Notices of motion for the Assembly due by 5pm Tuesday, 15 November
Following a recent meeting of the Assembly Business Work Group, the deadline for notices of motion has been set as 5pm on Tuesday, 15 November. After this date only motions arising from dialogue or debate will be accepted.
Calling a newly trained minister
This year six people will complete 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. Profiles for the interns are also in the Spring edition of Spanz, which will be published shortly. For more information, please contact Allister.
Thanks again for your prayers and your support of the people and work of the Assembly office.
You have so much to offer!
We’ve just returned from our 15th and largest Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders (RUYL) camp in Ngaruawahia. Sixty young leaders-in-training (LITs) age 10 to 13 years explored who Jesus is and how he calls us to be transformed and to transform. The Transformers code for leading and living is informed by five interactive and creative Jesus stories.
We created the Transformers initiative in 2008. We heard churches lamenting their lack of leaders for their children’s ministry. When we suggested to one church that they mentor their Kids Club leavers into leadership, they were keen but asked, "how"? We agreed to create a mentoring and leadership programme for them to pilot and our first Transformers RUYL camp happened in Oxford in 2009.
We were also aware that hundreds of young people were leaving our churches during their intermediate years. Many were bored in “Sunday School”, but not yet old enough for youth group. Children’s gifts are recognised by schools and they are given lots of opportunities to serve, so why not in our churches?
Our second Transformers’ code is: “I will put others’ needs first” and is undergirded by the story of the little boy who offers his lunch to Jesus to feed 5000. We end this story on top of a mountain at sunrise by handing around loaves and chocolate fish and saying to each other “[add name], you have so much to offer!” By the end of our Transformers camp every participant (leader-in-training) emphatically believes this and departs with enthusiastic anticipation to serve back in their churches.
Now seven years on from that first camp we are welcoming back some of our first participants as group leaders. This really excites us! It’s proof that it’s working. These young people have stayed in their churches, are being mentored and discipled and are contributing their gifts and leadership.
Says Aisling Lauder, one of new generation of leaders from Somervell Presbyterian: “I first attended Transformers Camp five years ago and now I’m a small group leader. I lead worship, run games, encourage others. It’s an amazing experience. I can’t wait to be back next year!”
Kids Friendly Coach
Safety warrant of fitness
Presbyterian Youth Ministry and Kids Friendly have teamed up to offer a Safety Warrant of Fitness (WOF) for children and youth leaders. The training includes:
- Code of ethics
- Risk management
- Health and safety
- Police check
We have had a very positive response from leaders who have gone through the training so far. This free one-day training will be offered in each presbytery in the upcoming months.
We strongly recommend that every church puts their leaders who work with children and young people through this WOF once every three years. By doing so, your leaders will be equipped and knowledgeable on how to keep your ministries safe, and your church will be compliant with the training aspect of the law.
Alpha - invite the nation
With the help of celebrity survivalist Bear Grylls’ popularity, Alpha New Zealand is planning on running significant advertising throughout the country for its "Invite the Nation" initiative. Alpha aims to have 350 churches in our country start an Alpha course just after Easter in May 2017.
In September 2016 Alpha New Zealand will be holding one hour “Invite the Nation” events across New Zealand.
We ask you to personally invite young adults (17-30) in your congregation to Going Further, PYM’s national discipleship camp. Next year, Going Further will be held on 7-12 February, and we will be located in a youth hostel in the heart of Christchurch’s central business district.
Our speakers this year are Andrew and Kara Root. Andrew is the associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary, and Kara is the minister at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church and trained spiritual director.
National Youth Manager
The Press Go board met on 24 August and welcomed new members the Rev Darryl Tempero and Mrs Mareta Matenga. With the upcoming appointment of a representative from Te Aka Puaho, the board will be complete.
For the record, the Press Go board comprises:
- Rt Rev Andrew Norton – Chair
- Mr Simon Bilton
- Prof Gregor Coster
- Rev Sharon Ross Ensor
- Mrs Jenny Flett
- Mrs Mareta Matenga
- Rev Darryl Tempero
- Mrs Anne Edgar (Associate, Resource subcommittee)
- Rev Wayne Matheson (Associate, AES)
We are in the process of preparing an Annual Report on our activities which will be sent to all Mission Enterprise Fund contributors and parish and individual donors. All parishes and each commissioner at General Assembly will also receive a copy. It will also be available electronically for anyone who wishes to read it online or download.
Application forms for funding from Press Go are available for download, and it is useful to note that all applications need to be approved by the relevant presbytery, so please allow for that action in your timelines. We prefer that you make contact with us prior to submitting an application as there are often other ways we can assist you. For further information, contact the Press Go Catalyst email@example.com, or telephone 027 4455 723.
Press Go Catalyst
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand AGM
On Saturday 24 September, at St John’s in the City, Wellington, Presbyterian Women will hold their annual general meeting. The day’s theme is “Sowing seeds for the Future”, where we will outline our focus for 2017, plus report on mission, United Nations, and present the year-end accounts.
Meet the team and join women of all ages as we promote plans for the coming year. All Presbyterian women are welcome to attend, and financial members get to vote. Is your membership up-to-date?
Ten dollar a year from each of our members contributes to ongoing partnerships with Methodist Women’s Fellowship and other local, regional, national and international groups including UN Ecumenical Women, UN Women, NZ National Council for Women, and NZ Ministry for Women International Caucus, and ensures voting members in all courts of the church.
Communication is maintained through our monthly publication Bushfire, with regular updates and information for members, as well as posts on our Facebook page which features mission projects and articles on the Church’s website highlighting our ongoing advocacy.
Your team of mostly volunteers give their time to ensure the smooth running and future focus of Presbyterian Women. A part-time paid administrator maintains the database of members to ensure communication is open and regulatory requirements are met. A mission convenor (unpaid) presents new opportunities to further our global and New Zealand mission work. A United Nations convenor (unpaid) has led delegations of self-funded women and girls to the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in the past two years, and speaks to many church and community groups. A newly appointed coordinator (unpaid) is supported by the Synod of Otago and Southland.
Support Presbyterian Women and acknowledge the importance of diversity and balance in our community. To register for our annual general meeting, email Lois Robertson. The cost to attend is only $20 for the day including lunch.
Malcolm Gordon has spent time in Timaru running a workshop exploring using the creative arts in worship. He is also producing a recording and video of the song, “Pioneers of Hope” using students from our Presbyterian schools. This is a song written especially for the recent Presbyterian schools national conference. With General Assembly approaching, Malcolm is preparing for our times of worship.
Steve Taylor will be engaging with Kaimai and Alpine Presbytery executives in September concerning the KMCL strategic plan. He will be speaking at St Johns in the City (Wellington) on the evening of 7 September and the title of his address is “The Church in Question”.
Mark Johnston is travelling between Northern and Kaimai Presbyteries running colloquia for the ministry interns and engaging with them in their pastoral placements.
I am speaking at a Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (TSCF) camp in Dunedin, running a preaching workshop on Old Testament stories in Dunedin and preaching in Te Anau later in the month.
All of the KCML team are involved in resourcing an inaugural national gathering of LOMs at the Knox Centre (27–28 September). We will also be in a two-day retreat for an intensive review of our curriculum for NOM training.
There have been changes made to the cut-off dates for Ministers’ Study Grant applications. The cut-off dates are now the end of February and June to better align with semester dates.
Dean of Studies
Many of our congregations and members continue to be involved in Global Mission partnerships – a lot of which involve youth and young adults, and adult volunteers and congregational groups are also significantly involved. Adrienne Matheson from Wellington is currently spending six weeks in Vanuatu, serving in a voluntary capacity at one of the Presbyterian Church’s schools in Port Vila. She is being supported in this role by Gloria Jones, who is a Global Mission worker based in Port Vila (as is Gloria’s husband Neville). Gloria has made great progress in assisting children with their reading at the school.
Rev Andrew Scott from Dunedin accompanied me to the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu General Assembly in August; he intends to take a team from his Brockville congregation to South West Bay on Malekula Island next year, and this visit has helped him make connections with the principal of the Presbyterian college there, as well as the pastor and members of the church that will host them. Highgate Church will be sending a team to Paama Island in August to continue a project they have been working on with a Presbyterian school and village at Vaum.
If any of your youth groups or young adults are interested in considering a Going Global programme or an internship with one of our partner churches, attending I Love Taiwan or applying for the seven-month long Training in Mission programme, please read about these on the Global Mission website or contact me for more information.
The Myanmar Support Group and Spice of Life (India) groups would be happy to share information with your church about how you can support our partnerships. There are so many ways for you and your congregations to be a part of our Church’s Global Mission activities – please contact me if you would like to discuss further.
Global Mission Coordinator
This month, Bonnie Robinson, Convenor of NZCCSS Services for Older People Policy Group, shares some information about an upcoming report into helping older New Zealanders live well.
Social services in New Zealand began with older people. The early years of this country had no provision for those older people who lacked financial or family resources. Churches and other non-profits stepped into this gap, and were influential in persuading government that they also had a responsibility to care. As a nation we have been rightly proud of being one of the first to provide universal pensions, and access to long-term support and care services, which is enabling most older people to have a secure old age.
As with all advances in society however, without attention, it can be eroded. Living well in older age is about more than not being poor or having a shower twice a week. Living well requires attention to those aspects of life that are harder to measure – companionship, meaningful participation, and the opportunity to continue to grow as a person even in the face of the physical challenges of aging. To live well older people need services that don’t just maintain existence, but that support them to live life fully.
Well-being is therefore the focus of a soon-to-be-published report by NZCCSS. The report “Valuing Lives, Living Well” details how NZCCSS member organisations are providing the added value to services that enable older people to live well. This added value is revealed as the glue that makes the current formal system of support work for many, many older people and their families.
The intangibles that create a life worth living for older people don’t fit well into current government contractual and policy frameworks of rationed and price restricted inputs. Yet without these intangibles, we risk slipping back in the status of our older population, to one where those with resources do well, and those without live marginal lives. This report shows that we need a broader view of services for older people, one that accepts the complexity and supports organisations and services to embrace this so that older people from all walks of life can continue to live life well.
CWS invites supporters to the annual Supporters’ Council on Friday, 16 September from 6-8 pm in the Hubbard Room, Parenting Centre, 300 Great South Road, Greenlane, Auckland, and the AGM of the CWS Board as observers on Saturday, 17 September from 9:30-10:30am in the McCann Room at the same venue. Sally Russell is the Presbyterian appointee to the Board. Please RSVP to Emma by 9 September for catering purposes.
Last minute gifts are always available at Gifted. Buy your Dad an e-gift that will Send a Child to School in Haiti, buy Mangroves in the Philippines to offset his carbon footprint or Footballs and Books for South Sudan.
Please keep South Sudan in your prayers as people survive hunger and outbreaks of fighting. CWS has an appeal for relief assistance in South Sudan.
Time for creation
Join the World Day of Prayer for Creation on 1 September. Resources to celebrate the Season of Creation from 1 September – 4 October are available.
Presbyterian and Methodist women special project
CWS commends this year’s special project “Let God’s Light Shine” to congregations. Thanks to Methodist and Presbyterian women who are raising funds so Nicaraguan churches can tackle gender violence in poor, isolated communities and assist people affected by Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in Aotearoa New Zealand. CWS has prepared a backgrounder, slides and talk and these resources can be ordered from Emma or 0800 747372.
Read the lectionary
We want to remind people of special Sundays in the Church year – refer page 10 in the lectionary. CWS prepares worship resources for Refugee Sunday in June, Peace Sunday in August, and Advent and Christmas as part of the Christmas Appeal. As need arises we offer other prayers or resources for you to use.
Ordination and inductions
Rev Ron Bennett, stated supply minister at St Andrews Te Awamutu, to Minister St Andrews Te Awamutu, Kaimai Presbytery, 3 December 2015.
Rev Martin Fey, minister St David’s Hillsborough to minister Forrest Hill Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, 9 June 2016.
Rev Joanna Warren, minister St Andrews Blenheim, Alpine Presbytery to minister Fielding Oroua Presbyterian Parish, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, 6 August 2016.
Changes in co-operative ventures
Rev Ross McDougal, Methodist minister appointed to Inglewood Uniting Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 5 June 2016.
Rev Alf Taylor, minister St Aidan’s Northcote, Northern Presbytery , to minister emeritus , 30 June 2016.
Rev Owen Rogers, minister Belmont St Margaret’s, Northern Presbytery, to minister emeritus, 21 April 2016.
Rev Scot Dalziell, minister emeritus, Northern Presbytery died 11 July 2016.
Rev Brian Brandon, minister emeritus, Northern Presbytery died 20 June 2016.
Knox St Columba Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu has changed its name to Knox Presbyterian Church, 25 July 2016.
Free spiritual direction sessions for spouses of ministers
The Frederick Wallis Trust has kindly granted money for subsidised spiritual direction to 10 minister’s spouses for one year. As this is a pilot, recipients are asked to provide feedback at the end of their year of sessions as to how useful spiritual direction was for them and whether it should be offered again. To apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly state why you think spiritual direction would benefit you as a minister’s spouse.
Presbyterian Church Property Trustees AGM
The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Presbyterian Church Property Trustees will be held at 4pm Thursday, 29th September 2016, 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 on (04) 381 8290.
Apply for a Presbyterian Foundation grant
Applications for the 2016 round of Presbyterian Foundation grants are now invited, and application forms can be downloaded from the Church website. Download application form here. This year, all applications are to be made directly to the Presbyterian Foundation. Applicant groups must belong directly to the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa Zealand. Congregations and presbyteries may apply. Individuals, overseas or non-Presbyterian parishes are not eligible. Stand-alone trusts associated with parishes may not apply directly. 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.
Staff needed for Christian camp
Eltham Presbyterian Camp, in central Taranaki, is looking for enthusiastic, friendly staff. Read more
Online game to assist children to engage with Bible
The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance is an opportunity for 10-12 year olds to revisit the story of God and find their part in it. It’s a one-of-a-kind online game that immerses children in the grand story of God’s redemptive action through a powerful allegorical story. It’s free to download and play the introduction, and a series of packages are available for churches, schools and youth groups to enable bulk purchases. Learn more
Pastoral care of ageing people
The Selwyn Foundation is running a course on the pastoral care of ageing people. The course will be held in both Auckland on 4, 5, 18 and 19 November. Read more
Training in Mission applications open now
The Training in Mission programme is a youth leadership development programme run by the Council for World Mission (CWM). TIM will take place for seven months in 2017 in Taiwan, Kiribati, Fiji and New Zealand. To apply or for more information, click here.
Glen Innis vacancies
Ministers are entitled to one week’s free accommodation at Glen Innis every year. Check out vacancies over the next couple of months here.
Check out the latest events from around our Church and from Christian organisations and partners. Read more on the events page of our website.