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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Research Centre
From the Moderator
Ministry to and for our older folks
A senior minister bought this sensitive issue to our attention at General Assembly 2018. There was a moment of silence and the stark reality of this truth was considered by all present: “What ministry is in place in our Church for older members?”
The answer, in short, nothing. Maybe because we, the Church, do not see this generation as a problem in our midst. We believe that all is well. These older members are steep in their faith. They know the Church inside out. They have life-long friendships in the Church and community. They are established and enjoying their twilight years. The perception is that they are fine, and all is well.
The reality, in my experience, is that our ministry with older folks needs attention and care – it is as crucial to the Church as children and youth ministries. There are many changes that come to older folks. It is a specialist pastoral ministry. We need to step up as a denomination, and set in place some intentional and deliberate practices and policies for the pastoral care that older folks need.
Every parish would ideally have some strategy and care practices in place, which would complement professional help that is available from health agencies.
As the Church, we must pay attention to the spiritual and pastoral well-being of our older members. Cherish and uplift them. Remind them that they are valued and loved.
A senior member of my parish told me that upon reaching old age there is a natural tendency to feel “redundant, or that you have a use by date”. Health deteriorates, mobility becomes an issue, and sometimes the absence of family and friends leads to isolation.
We will all reach this stage of life. What can be done? What do you expect from your Church?
I say to our older members, we your Church – the Presbyterian Church – love and respect you. We care and cherish you. You are valued and admired. We want to hear your voice, your experienced opinion. We will journey together.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear friends and colleagues
I wonder if you, like me, dread the question - you know the question - it gets asked every year. The question: “What are you doing for Christmas?”
Will your diary be filled up with more and more things, more events, more busyness? Somehow we have told ourselves that Christmas is about certain sorts of things, events even.
I feel I am being evaluated by my answer, and measured by what I do.
I wonder where the call to be counter-cultural sits in that space?
I recall reading and using what, for me, was provocative drama in services at Christmas. It was called “Away with the manger”.
In short, it was about a newspaper reporter and photographer who go to the manger to cover the birth of Jesus. As they arrange the scene, Jesus gets pushed to one side.
A quick google search shows it is available free online!
What would it look like if we celebrated the wonderful graciousness of God every day in ways that made every day like Christmas?
If it is to be Good News we proclaim, it still has to be Good News to all… every day.
If it is to be radical hospitality and friendship – let’s welcome all… every day.
If it is to welcome the stranger and include them – let’s do that every day.
The opening words of John’s Gospel – that the Word has become flesh – captures this challenge for me.
I wonder what practices, thoughts, actions and reflections we could adopt to partner with God so that we might be seen and known as people who every day are about bringing more of the Kingdom of God to our communities?
As we enter the Advent season, individually and collectively, let us pray – sharing the joys and lamenting the sorrows – and upholding all who are going through times of loss, pain and celebration, knowing that in following Christ there is a path that we walk together.
General Assembly feedback
A survey seeking feedback from the Assembly has received 155 replies. The initial feedback tells us:
- 90% rated Assembly very good or excellent
- 90% said it was very well or extremely well organised
- 90% said volunteers and staff were very or extremely helpful
- 95% said they appreciated no business in the evenings and want that to continue
- 95% appreciated the emphasis on prayer evident at Assembly
- 80% would prefer to sit at tables
More information will be shared in due course, and the feedback will be used to help inform planning for future assemblies.
Matters arising from Assembly and Assembly minutes
Assembly minutes have been confirmed by the Council of Assembly and are now posted online. Read Assembly minutes. Other matters for consideration will be sent out over the coming months.
From the Assembly Office
On behalf of the whole Assembly Office team, thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement and support during the year. We wish you a happy and Christ-centred Christmas and look forward to serving and supporting you in 2019.
Assembly Office Closure
The office will close on Friday, 21 December and reopen on Monday, 7 January. For any urgent matters over this time, please contact me on my mobile.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
On Wednesday, 5 December, Knox Centre celebrates the graduation of seven interns: Jonathan Barb, Aaron Johnstone, Charissa Nicol, Kylie Provan, Grant Ridout, Esther Sabey and Hone Te Rire. Join us at John McGlashan College, Dunedin. The speaker is adjunct lecturer Rev Dr Hyeeun Kim.
Snapshots for Mission booklets
Snapshots for Mission 2019 is being posted to all churches in December. Attractively presented, it offers 10 short mission reflections, including liturgy, poem and prose. Churches could use them as a leadership meeting resource or as a Lenten opportunity, joining an online video conversation with the authors and other Presbyterian churches. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living Library update
New resources on the Living Library website include study leave research by Heather Simpson as she considers how to regain her courage to share the gospel. Check out https://livinglibrary.org.nz/
Summer school learning opportunity
From 29 Jan-1 Feb, Knox Centre is offering “Arts and Cultures in Christian Ministry and Mission”. Explore ways in which the arts express, shape, nourish and critique Christian faith and mission in this course which will be taught by Maggi Dawn, internationally acclaimed theologian, artist and worship curator from Yale Divinity School, with support from New Zealand songwriter and theologian, Malcolm Gordon. Enrol for credit through the University of Otago (email@example.com) or for audit (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Ministry Study. Grant subsidies available through KCML.
New Year training
In 2019, we are inviting LOM probationary ministers to Knox Centre for Ministry and Learning on 4-5 February to join the NOM pre-intern course and international guests from Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary. Input will include:
- Transforming worship
- Leadership in community
- Preaching the scriptures
- Pastoral care and Christian formation
This is a pilot event seeking ways to better resource LOM training and enhance training for ordained ministry.
It is widely recognised that women the world over are still experiencing discrimination and disadvantage in relation to many of the UN’s sustainable development goals.
The priority theme for the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) in New York in March 2019 is social protection systems; access to public services; sustainable infrastructure for gender equality; and the empowerment of women and girls. The review theme is women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development.
We are excited that Presbyterian Women of Aotearoa New Zealand will have a delegation of approximately 11 women at the gathering, led by Dr Mavis Duncanson.
One great way for Presbyterian women to be involved with what is going on with the delegation will be following them on Facebook. So remember to "like" the PWANZ Facebook page.
Calling all designers
A reminder that UN Women are calling all designers to submit artwork for the cover of the CSW63 Handbook. Your artwork should incorporate the CSW63 Priority Theme: Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Your artwork needs to be submitted by email (before 14 January 2019) to email@example.com.
The winning design will be prominently featured at the largest annual NGO Forum held at the United Nations.
For more information on submitting a design, see: https://www.ngocsw.org/ngo-csw-forum/ngo-csw-forum-handbook-ads/handbook-cover-design-contest
PWANZ UN Convenor
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
The PYM internship
Our Church desperately needs theologically trained, skilled, youth workers.
People within our churches need to be invited and challenged to consider setting themselves apart for ministry and preparing themselves for this process. The PYM Internship offers fantastic support for anyone wanting to pursue a calling in ministry to young people through a Bachelor, Diploma or Certificate level training pathway. More about the PYM Internship
We are delighted to confirm that Connect 2019 will be on our Church marae, Te Maungarongo, at Ohope Beach from 4pm Friday, 19 July - 2pm Sunday, 21 July 2019.
Staying on our marae will be an amazing shared experience for us, and on top of the usual Connect experience, we will grow our understanding of our Church’s bi-cultural commitment.
We acknowledge getting to Ohope isn't as easy as a major centre, but we will be helping with a free shuttle service from Tauranga Airport and travel subsidies for people travelling from distance.
There will be several accommodation options available for Connect 2019 including authentic marae sleeping experience, bunk rooms in the adjacent Ohope Christian Camp and housing will also be provided at a series of baches and Airbnb homes.
We have just finished a very successful two-week visit to our Church by three members of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM): General Secretary Rev Ling Zaw; PCM’s first female minister, Rev Cherry; and youth representative Lal Tlan Lawma.
They met our church leaders and learnt about our mission context. A highlight for them was a visit to Te Kakano O Te Aroha marae in Lower Hutt. It was particularly valuable for Cherry to meet so many of our women ministers and leaders. As the first female minister in her denomination, she faces a challenging road. It was heart-warming to see her being supported by women who could identify with her journey and offer words of encouragement.
This visit has helped to lift the profile of the Ricebowl Mission, our partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar. New congregations are now coming on stream to add their support to this partnership, which is great to see. If you would like to do the same, please get in touch, or visit the Global Mission website for more information.
Update on those serving overseas
Our personnel in serving Myanmar continue to do good work. Wayne and Helen Harray are making progress in their respective roles at Tahan Theological College, and Petra Malcolm has continued to grow into her teaching position at Victoria Boarding School in the Chin State. The Harrays have recently been encouraged by a visit from a member of their congregation from Leith Valley in Dunedin.
The winds of change are blowing in Vanuatu with the last of our personnel – Nicola Young and Dawn Daunauda returning home in December. Opportunities exist for new people to take up the challenge of serving our partner church in Vanuatu.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the work of Global Mission this year, and wish you a joyful and blessed Christmas. And let’s remember our partner churches around the world as we celebrate the love of Christ that unites us all in the Christian family.
Please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to book me in for a speaking engagement at your church sometime in 2019.
Presbyterian Research Centre
We are delighted to announce that another of our archival collections, the Deaconess Collection, has been inscribed onto the UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand Register.
The Deaconess Collection shines a light on a group of New Zealand women, who over 75 years served many of New Zealand’s poor and vulnerable, yet to this day their stories are largely untold.
The Deaconess order is an example of the growth of active women’s leadership funded by women during the 20th century, responding to social pressures caused by issues including the Depression, both World Wars and the inter-war and post-war periods. Through their work the deaconesses made significant contributions to education and social services throughout New Zealand, from the Tūhoe in the Urewera to underprivileged communities in Dunedin.
The Deaconess order was a way of making women’s work visible within society and gave women a voice and a formal role outside the home, paving the way for the ordination of women, which finally happened in 1965.
Because the Church was at the centre of everyday life in the early 20th century, this collection is a rich and unique source of information about the rise of social services, gender inequality and the role of women outside the home in the 1900s.
UNESCO’s recognition of the Collection will provide a springboard for the stories of these pioneering women in ministry to be heard.
For more information about the collection, please contact the PRC Archives (email@example.com or phone 03 473 0777). If you are not on any of our mailing lists and would like to receive emails from the Presbyterian Research Centre about new books, events or blog articles please sign up here.
Be the Lifeline
On 2 December, join us to launch the Christmas Appeal and the beginning of Advent with your congregation. With the help of Rev Dr Susan Jones, Rev Clare Lind and the people of Tawa Union, we have prepared worship resources for each Sunday and Christmas Day. There are five stories from our partners matched with a Sustainable Development Goal to show how your support will help meet this global agenda.
A gift to the Christmas Appeal will contribute to the vision of a world where everyone has a place: hungry people have food despite climate change, and families are able to address violence in the home, workplace and on the streets.
If you need posters, service sheets or envelopes, please contact Sarah.
Supporters are invited to the annual CWS Supporters’ Council from 6-8pm on Friday, 30 November at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Dunedin. The Council is an opportunity to discuss our work and to hear former MP Marian Hobbs reflect on CWS, aid and foreign affairs. RSVP today to Sarah.
Our office will close at noon on Monday, 24 December and reopen at 9am Monday, 7 January. It is cyclone season in the Pacific so follow us on Facebook or Twitter in case of an emergency where people need help. We will post information and appeals on our website.
We are grateful for your prayers, interest and support through 2018. It has been a tough year for many people and you have given some of them the resources and opportunities they needed to get through. Thank you.
We wish you a good Christmas where hope is shared with family and friends.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Fei Taulealeausumai-Davis, member to minister Point Chevelier Co-Operating Parish, Northern Presbytery, 11 October 2018.
Rev Dr Jaco Reyneke, minister St Paul’s Cooperating Church to Tauranga St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 30 September 2018.
Changes in Status
Rev Gideon Hanekom, minister Trinity Church Tikipunga, to other recognised ministry, Northern Presbytery, 31 October 2018.
Rev Yvonne Smith, minister St Ninian’s Presbyterian Church, Christchurch 100%, to minister St Ninian’s Presbyterian Church, Christchurch, part-time 66%, Alpine Presbytery, from 1 August 2018.
Rev Matthew Chapman, minister St Columba @ Botany, to stated supply minister, St Aiden’s Northcote, Northern Presbytery, 14 January 2018.
Rev Jim Young, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, to minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 1 November 2018.
Rev Elama Maea, minister St David’s Petone, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu to minister Tamaki Pacific Island Church, Pacific Presbytery, 1 December 2018.
Rev Cherry Thompson, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery to minister emeritus, Northern Presbytery, 1 October 2018.
Rev Chris Barnard, minister Whakatane Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister St Columba Presbyterian Church Botany, Northern Presbytery, 7 March 2019.
Rev Ned Ripley, minister emeritus, Northern Presbytery died 9 October 2018.
Rev Wayne Jones, minister emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, died 7 October 2018.
Rev Eric Hinds, minister emertitus, Alpine Presbytery died 30 October 2018.
Rev Joy Schwass, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, died 11 November 2018.
Advent human trafficking resource
The Mission Development team from Council for World Mission has prepared some Advent reflections with a theme centered around human trafficking. Download the resource
Faith-based postgrad leadership qualifications
In February 2019, the University of Otago will be offering two new qualifications - a Masters in Faith-Based Leadership and Management and a Postgraduate Diploma of Faith-Based Leadership and Management. The new qualifications provide professional development for those who are currently leaders in faith-based organisations, or for those who hope to enter into this sphere of work.
The Postgraduate Diploma consists of four MBA courses and three theology courses. The MBA courses are on topics such as organisational leadership; human resource management; accounting; leading sustainable enterprises; operational excellence; and strategy implementation. The theology courses are on topics such as theological perspectives on leadership; theology and human well-being; public theology and social justice; citizenship, democracy and discipleship; and reconciliation, Christian ethics and public theology. The Masters involves doing these taught papers, and a 20,000-word research dissertation, focusing on some feature of leadership in a faith-based organisation.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.50 per cent per annum. This rate became effective on 1 September 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’ Maud Hooper or James McNutt House. Information about how to book, current vacancies and images of the properties can be found on our website. Learn more
Our listing of national and regional events includes details of activities hosted by Presbyterian churches and other organisations.