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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Research Centre
I would like to share this update on the situation in Edgecumbe from Whakatane Presbyterian Church minister, Chris Barnard:
While this disaster may almost be forgotten by the general public, a large number of people - particularly in Edgecumbe - are still displaced from their homes and they are so busy trying to get their homes sorted out and trying to regain normality that they are so stressed, forgetting to care for one another as they normally do.
Families are living with families, homes are overcrowded, and well-meaning relationships are becoming fragile and tense. People are overwhelmed, insecure and unsure about the future. It is a time to be "there to care" in some way to take a bit of pressure off.
A small team of volunteers from Whakatane Presbyterian, together with Family Works Presbyterian Support Northern, have started feeding the children and staff at Edgecumbe Primary School by providing a lunch time cooked meal on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
It is a daunting task to provide for the 209 children and 20 staff members, however the team is determined to create a sense of we "have a heart" for you and want to make life better for you. We are hoping that others will come on board to carry the load. At the moment we are planning to continue with this until the end of the school term. The money to support this work has come from the funds donated by Presbyterian parishes and individuals who have given generously to flood relief.
We are also looking at organising small informal expos and parties in the areas that have been affected by the floods to provide some form of psycho services to parents and children in a fun and non-threatening environment. We are not sure how this will look yet but have had an amazing response at our initial meeting. Let's trust and pray that there will be a synergy to make this work.
We are grateful to those who have generously contributed towards the flood relief fund and the trailer loads of food, clothing and furniture that have arrived over the weeks.
Moderator Presbyterian Church Aotearoa New Zealand
It is a privilege to take on the role of Acting Assembly Executive Secretary while Wayne Matheson is on leave overseas during which he will be attending the World Communion of Reformed Churches general council meeting in Leipzig, Germany. Wayne will be returning to the Assembly office on 31 July.
These first few weeks have given me an insight into the breadth and depth of the AES’s role and the many ways in which we are connected as a Church, between our congregations and presbyteries, the wider church in New Zealand and also within our world-wide church partnerships.
This month some wonderful opportunities from our international Christian partners are offered to support and further our experience of and understanding of what it means to take part in God’s mission (see below for more details).
From international opportunities to local connections: it was a joy to be invited as the Acting AES to take part in the blessing - including bringing a congratulatory message from Jill Kayser, our national Kids Friendly Coach - of the playground which St Ronan’s, Eastbourne has built on its front lawn for church families and the wider community. Breadth and depth indeed!
Council of Assembly Commission
I hope you have seen in the emails and letters recently sent to church councils and ministers that the Commission of Assembly for the nomination of the Moderator for the 2018 Assembly has now begun its work.
Church councils have been asked to submit in writing to their presbytery clerk, no later than Monday 31 July 2017, the names of people whom they believe might be appropriate to be nominated for Moderator.
The co-convenors of the Commission, the Very Rev Bruce Hansen firstname.lastname@example.org ph 027 227 6422 and the Very Rev Ray Coster email@example.com 027 230 9121 invite you to contact them if you have any questions or concerns about the process as set out in the Commission’s communications with the Church.
Council of Assembly news
The Council of Assembly met on May 26 and 27 in Wellington. A summary of their meeting is now available and you can read it here.
Kids Friendly Love Reaches Out
Kids Friendly is partnering with Family Works this year for the 2017 Love Reaches Out Art and Writing competition for children. This year’s theme is Doing small things with great love.
There are several categories for entry and there are prizes! Entries close on Friday, 31 July, 2017.
The Kids friendly team have also created supporting resources and lessons to help children engage well with the topic. See the Kids Friendly website for entry forms and info and get creating.
Opportunities with overseas partners
There are several opportunities for service, formation and mission that exist within our partner organisations at the moment. All of these opportunities require endorsement by the sending Church, and some require a selection process to be undertaken. Use these links to learn more about the opportunities: A New Face (CWM) for recently graduated theology students (8 September – 20 October 2017, in Auckland); Faith in the Face of Empire: Face to Face in the context of Occupation (a CWM programme for theology students from 18 September – 20 October 2017 in Palestine); become a youth steward at CCA Asia Mission conference (October 11-17 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar).
Resources for congregations for the upcoming election
As you reflect on issues for the upcoming general election, a reminder of the “We say Yes” statement, which is available on our website. Download or view the “We Say Yes” statement
Thanks for your engagement in God’s mission.
Sharon Ross Ensor
Acting Assembly Executive Secretary
Kia ora! My name is Robin Humphreys. I am grateful to be serving as the new part-time Kids Friendly coach alongside Jill and Cheryl. My husband Paul, daughter Moana and I have recently settled in Christchurch after our intercontinental move from America! Before our move, we were serving in ministry roles in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and were based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
I most recently served as a solo pastor, however I have spent most of the last fifteen years serving God in a variety of roles: as youth minister, elementary school teacher, mission camp director, university ministry director, community children’s worker, and 24-7 youth worker. I have been blessed to work with children, youth, and adults of all ages discovering, and rediscovering with them, the amazing love God has for us in Jesus Christ.
Along with our move to New Zealand, my husband and I are experiencing a new season in our lives. We are a family seeking a home church! This is new space for us since in the past we have served the local church. We find ourselves asking the questions: “Where is our daughter welcome?”, “Where is our family welcome?”, “Are we invited to worship together as a family?”
These questions are not unique to us. Many other families in New Zealand are asking similar questions. As the Church, what are our “answers” to these questions? Are our answers only in word? Have we truly put action to Jesus’ words: “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them.” (Matt 19:14)? When we welcome children, we welcome families. When we make space for children in worship, we free the entire family for worship of our living God. What an awesome responsibility, what an awesome privilege, what an awesome calling! May we together be faithful in this calling!
Kids Friendly Coach
The Presbyterian Church sits alongside Presbyterian Support on the NZCCSS. Visit http://nzccss.org.nz/ to find out more about the work of the Council and to access resources to inform your advocacy.
Church leaders’ meeting
In May the church leaders group (including our Moderator, the Rt Rev Richard Dawson) met with Prime Minister Bill English and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett. Issues covered in the meeting included housing, social investment and support for refugees. Learn more about what was discussed. The ideas for action presented and the concerns expressed by the church leaders group also provide the context for the latest Budget. See the latest edition of SPANZ
NZCCSS views the 2017 budget through the eyes of those at the margins of our communities and asks what is being done to lift up the disadvantaged. How well are we doing to fairly share the wealth of our prosperous country?
We are pleased about:
- Increases in income for some families on lower incomes and some simplifications and improvements to Working for Families (WFF) and the Accommodation Supplement (AS).
- Goals to reduce poverty by 50,000 and severe housing stress by 20,000
- Superannuitants receive a modest increase in income
- 55,000 low paid care workers get a very significant pay increase as a result of the Equal Pay settlement.
- Small but still significant investment in expanding successful programmes like Family Start.
We are disappointed about:
- Beneficiaries do not receive any tax cuts, miss out on most of the WFF increases and many will not gain much, and some nothing at all, from changes to the Accommodation Supplement.
- Not enough new social housing and no attempt to address ways to help people through assisted home ownership such as rent-to-buy or shared equity.
- Selective use of the social investment approach and total “investment” in social investment is relatively small
- Big increase in prison spending completely fails the social investment test
- Income inequality is likely widened even further due to poorly designed tax cuts that deliver more to the top 20 percent of incomes than to lowest 60 percent of income earners.
Do the good points do enough to outweigh the flaws and deliver an overall increase in wellbeing?
Presbyterian representative on NZCCSS
Opportunities with our partners
New opportunities continue to be offered for young adults to engage with exciting global mission experiences: Do you want to be a youth steward at the Asia Mission conference? Find out more here Or take part in a Council for World Mission programme in Palestine for students of theology? Read more Find out more. Applications need to be endorsed by the Assembly Executive Secretary. Further information can be obtained from me.
Mission projects in Vanuatu
Several congregational groups are heading to Vanuatu soon to participate in various projects. Teams from Brockville Union Church in Dunedin and St Andrew’s in Mt Maunganui are participating in Going Global programmes which will allow them to develop ongoing relationships with the churches and villages they visit. A small team from Wakatipu Church will be the first team from our Church to visit the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu’s Bush Mission outreach in the remote hill country of Santo Island.
Volunteer positions in Vanuatu
Health and English teachers are invited to enquire about volunteer positions for 2018 at the Korvan Community Health School in Vanuatu, which offers a year-long primary healthcare training programme for young people. Teaching roles can be short or long-term depending on circumstances.
A short-term role is also available for an accountant or someone with financial ability who is willing to assist our Global Mission worker Martyn Vincent in his work with the PCV Finance team. Please contact me if you want to find out what is required.
You can read new articles from past and current Global Mission personnel who have served, and are serving in Vanuatu on the Global Mission website.
Making donations by cheque
To comply with bank requirements, donations to Global Mission by cheque, must note the payee as “The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand,” or “PCANZ”, not Ricebowl Mission or Global Mission. Online banking is a good option if you can do that. Contact me for the account details. Thank you to all our donors who help to ensure we can be generous supporters of our partners in mission.
A reminder that I am available to visit your congregation to share about our Global Mission work.
Global Mission co-ordinator
The PressGo Board met in Wellington on 18 May and had a full agenda considering funding proposals and addressing some of the wider questions that are now coming up as numbers of applications have risen.
Two grants were agreed:
- Bethlehem Community Church - $175,000 development grant from the Mission Enterprise Fund towards their “Building a Future” project, and
- Christchurch North and Kiwi Churches - $4,000 small grant from the Presbyterian Foundation for teams to be part of 3dm Learning Communities.
In addition, the Board agreed to support the new mission seedlings concept, as developed by Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, to a maximum of $300,000 over the next three years. This covers one new mission seedling in each of six presbyteries and application is made jointly by the congregation, presbytery and KCML. This is an exciting initiative in the life of our Church and we look forward to seeing creative, imaginative yet grounded expressions of church.
Making an application for support
A number of workstreams are underway with the intent of making the application process for grants straightforward, the eligibility criteria clear and reinforcing the importance of monitoring and evaluation.
As part of this process, updated information for applicants and new application forms for the monies administered by PressGo – including the Mission Enterprise Fund and Presbyterian Foundation funds – are now available. Read more
Enquiries about PressGo’s work, making a grant application or other matters can be made in the first instance through the PressGo Catalyst, Lisa Wells.
Watch out for the PressGo Annual Report
As the financial year ends, work will soon commence on preparing the PressGo Annual Report which provides a commentary on our work over the last year and includes inspirational stories of ordinary churches doing extraordinary things.
Connect 2017, 21-23 July, Waikanae
We are very happy to see so many people signing up for our national youth leaders’ conference, Connect. Training and upskilling for youth leaders is critical and we recommend that every church ensures that their youth leaders participate in training each year. Connect is a great option for such training. Registration for Connect closes on 13 July. Register here
We are excited that the main keynote speaker will be Duffy Robbins. Duffy has given his life to youth ministry. He is professor of youth ministry at Eastern University, PA, USA and speaks internationally to youth, youth workers and parents.
As always Connect will have 30+ youth ministry workshops, four keynote sessions, resource sharing, networking, spiritual direction, and self-care. More about the Connect workshops This year Connect is at El Rancho in Waikanae (just north of Wellington), starts at 2pm Friday, 21 July and finishes at 2pm Sunday, 23 July.
Queenstown, Key Leader Retreat - 27-29 Nov
PYM acknowledges the essential work of “key” youth leaders within the Church. These key leaders - whether paid or volunteer - head up youth ministry, develop and lead teams and set curriculum. Research shows how vital the role of key leaders is in the health and effectiveness of a youth ministry. We continue to see youth ministries thrive when a key leader has been in the role for 5-7 years (or more). This key leader retreat is aimed at acknowledging, gathering, refreshing and equipping key leaders from across the Church.
As a new initiative, PYM is inviting one key youth leader per church, who attended Connect 2017, to attend the Key Leaders Retreat in Queenstown for free. Key youth leaders who have not attended Connect 2017 can still attend the retreat for $149.
National Youth Manager
We have been continuing to move collections around in the Library, and the Rita Mayne England Christianity and Cultures in Asia Collection is now in the process of being moved upstairs to its permanent home. The next step will be redoing Library signage, so apologies to those who have been confused trying to find books during the process!
The Hewitson Library is about to purchase a collection of new religion and philosophy e-books, thanks to the disestablishment of a small trust fund originally set up for the benefit of the Library when it was part of Knox College.
This collection is being purchased through the JSTOR platform which is very user-friendly and doesn’t require any special software to access books. Readers will need a username and password to download them, although chapter titles will be available without needing to log in (login details will be forwarded to registered members once they have paid the annual membership fee). This collection should be available within the next few weeks.
Just a reminder to everyone that the PRC email addresses changed at the end of last year to [name]@prcknox.org.nz. Emails addressed to the “@knoxcollege.ac.nz” email addresses were being forwarded to us until recently. This is no longer happening, so please make sure your email lists have the correct addresses listed.
In July, the Knox team are consulting with potential placements about interns for 2018. This involves a number of face-to-face meetings.
Mark Johnston will be conducting online tutorials for ministers engaged in the Listening in Mission course. He will also be running an online tutorial for ministry interns in Mission Action Experimenting.
Steve Taylor, Mark Johnston, Kevin Ward and Rosemary Dewerse will be at the Australian Association of Mission Studies in Melbourne (2–5 July). Steve is presenting a paper on “Indigenous Responses to Colonisation”; Mark is presenting a paper entitled “God is in the Neighbourhood too”. Kevin will also be presenting a paper.
Steve and Kevin will also be attending the Australia New Zealand Association of Theological Schools conference in Adelaide (9-12 July). Steve is delivering a paper on “Sexual violence, Jesus genealogy and the Implications for Atonement”. Kevin will be presenting two papers.
On his return to New Zealand Kevin will be in New Plymouth speaking at the Waikato-Taranaki Ministry Conference (13-15 July) and preaching at St James Presbyterian Church on 16 July.
Steve will be at Connect running a workshop (21–23 July).
I am preaching at Elim Dunedin (16 July) and Leith Valley Presbyterian Church (23 July) this month. I will also be running a preaching workshop in Kamai Presbytery on 29 July. The venue for the workshop is in Rotorua. Contact Rev Ed Masters (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information, or to register your interest in attending.
Study grant applications are now being accepted
Applications for Ministers’ Life-Long Learning Grants (previously known as Ministers’ Study Grants) are invited for the next round of awards. The application form and guidelines can be obtained by emailing email@example.com. Applications close on 1 August 2017.
Dean of Studies
Let’s give a big shout-out to…
Ropeta, who has contributed her ideas for our upcoming Women's Assembly in Mosgiel from Friday, 3 to Sunday, 5 November 2017. You may remember Ropeta Mene-Tulia as the recipient of a study grant in 2015 from Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ (read more in the BushFire, July 2016 edition).
The theme for this year’s Women’s Assembly is “Look Who’s At The Well”. We have taken up Ropeta’s phrase “equipping, encourage and empower” and for the workshops to include “passing on the baton”, and story-telling of our local, regional and global mission.
Council for World Mission funding has enabled PWANZ to develop the capacity of women in our Church by hosting this gathering for women of all ages and cultures who journey with Christ.
Our membership reflects society in Aotearoa New Zealand today, and our leaders bring their individual talents from academic study, music and ministry. We value both our taonga and our tohunga and seek to develop leadership in the younger women to help them fulfil their potential. There will be lots of networking opportunities over the weekend and beyond.
We don’t twitter (thanks for the advice Angela), but we do use social media: www.facebook.com/presbyterianwomenaotearoanewzealand/, so check out our page if you haven’t done so already.
We raise mission money with our Methodist sisters to support an annual special project in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. We celebrate our special consultative status at the United Nations, and will meet with members of past delegations who will recount their experiences in New York.
Special guest speakers include Meteria Turei (co-leader of the Green Party) who will share her views on social issues such as inequality, housing and justice, and author Joy Cowley, whose enthusiasm we will share in her spirituality workshop.
Burn’s Lodge at Holy Cross will provide on-site accommodation, worship space, all meals and workshop rooms. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Finiki, trained by PCUSA and received by Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand into Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 1 December 2016.
Receptions to Roll
Rev Marcel Mey, supply minister Lower Hutt Knox Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 20 June 2016.
Ordination and inductions
Amy Finiki, licentiate, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, to hospital chaplain Keneperu and Porirua Hospitals, 23 June 2017.
Changes in status
Rev Clare Brockett, other recognised ministry, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, to minister Uniting Churches of Australia 30 March 2017.
Rev Michelle Shin, minister, Hutt City Uniting Chuch, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, to other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, 15 May 2017.
Rev Diane Yule, minister emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery to minister emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 1 July 2017.
Removals from Roll (inactive in ordained ministry within the Presbyterian Church)
Rev Clare Brockett, other recognised ministry, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, to minister Uniting Churches of Australia 30 March 2017.
Rev Robert Thomas Murphy, minister emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu died 28 May 2017.
St James (Niuean) Newtown, changed its name to Kilbirnie Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 24 May 2017.
Help Syrian Refugees
Thanks to those compassionate people who took part in Operation Refugee 2017 and the friends, family and colleagues who supported them. Sharon Ross Ensor, 393YWG from St Mark’s Presbyterian and Fusion Youth from Greenlane Presbyterian have lived on refugee rations to help raise more than $50,000 for Syrian refugees. You can donate to them until the end of July or directly to the Syria Appeal to provide food rations, cash assistance, free medical care and education.
Please consider holding another offering or fundraising effort so our partner, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, can keep hope alive through this long war. A new leaflet is available. If you missed Refugee Sunday on 25 June, there is another set of worship resources for 2 July, “Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me”. Please keep the Syrian people in your prayers.
Sri Lanka floods
At the end of May monsoon rains caused widespread flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka. Our partner MONLAR organised local farmers to assist and asked CWS for help. CWS is sending a grant from emergency funds and welcomes additional donations to the Sri Lanka Flood Appeal.
CWS Update survey
Each month CWS e-mails out a short newsletter filled with information about development issues and news from our partners and the wider church. You are welcome to subscribe. Please consider filling out our four- minute survey to let us know how we can do better.
End of South Sudan famine
Scaling up food aid has helped South Sudanese people survive famine, but the crisis is not over as conflict continues to rage through much of the country and food prices soar. Six million people are hungry each day compared with 4.9 million in February (read a recent news report about this). Please keep the South Sudanese people in your prayers and support the CWS South Sudan Appeal.
Parenting course (Wellington)
Island Bay Presbyterian Church is offering a six-week toolbox parenting course, focusing on the middle years (children aged 6-12). The course starts on Monday 21 August, 7:30-9:30pm. Find out more
Surplus hymn books available
St David’s Church, Palmerston North, has some surplus hymn books available including five copies of With One Voice Harmony Edition with NZ Supplement (music) and 50 copies of With One Voice Harmony Edition with NZ Supplement. Anyone interested in these can contact St David’s Church, Palmerston North (06 3583 246) or e-mail email@example.com
500th anniversary of Reformation
Check out the Reformation anniversary section of our website for resources which include an ecumenical service prepared by the Rev Dr Kerry Enright, reading list and Prayerful Preparation, a resource by the World Communion of Reformed Churches.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.00% percent per annum. This rate became effective on 1 January 2017. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Kos van Lier.
Glen Innis vacancies
Ministers are entitled to one week’s free accommodation at Glen Innis every year. 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