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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Research Centre
From the Moderator
The body of Christ at work is most vivid and incredible in a gathering of people in one accord. What a privilege and an honour it was to witness and experience first-hand our Church family on song at General Assembly 2018.
Folks were talking to each other, sharing meals, catching up with old acquaintances and making new contacts. I heard many languages in prayers. People spoke in psalms and songs of grace to each other. Young and old, male and female – there was a sense of unity, oneness, warmth and respect.
For me, it was Christianity at its best. The lord Jesus Christ was at his rightful place - the head of the Church. Praise and glory belongs to our God.
Returning to my local church, Onehunga Co-operating Parish, reality awaited us. The passing of loved ones brings a solemn check on life: Mama Ayalau Rivaia, Rev Ned Ripley, Daphne Douglas and Tama Fama Pili. People whose lives are intermingled with yours captivate you at their passing. You actually stop everything, life and plans, to attend, to lead, to preach, to counsel, and to be comforted yourself. It has the same effect on us all.
I take a deep breath – a couple actually – and move on slowly, continuously and carefully, and consider what the experience of General Assembly was all about. For me, it was a mountain-top experience with God, and with all who gathered at St Andrew’s. I felt that we experienced the breath of God, filling our beings with the word.
It was warm and gentle, yet compelling and affirming. It was love in action. It was, for me, Jesus' words coming alive in our relationship with God, and in our relationships with each other. The Lord reminding us all: "I am the way, the truth and the life".
I felt blessed. I felt the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I felt the love of Christ Jesus. I felt the presence of God, nodding at His Church, and in my three-year-old grandson Kalos' constant comment: "Good boy, Papa". It was a wonderful and an inspiring experience for myself and for my family. I hope you felt something special and meaningful for yourself, and for our Church.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear friends and colleagues
A focus of our life together was the General Assembly in Christchurch last month.
We experienced wonderful hospitality as we prayed, worshipped, attended to business, were inspired and shared food together. We had the opportunity to learn, reflect and discern together. We were given space to relate – catch up with people we know and develop friendships with those new to us. We found ourselves unrushed and non-anxious. We started and ended our time in worship, and our Moderator Rt Rev Fakaofo Kaio ensured prayer was central as we moved through each day together. We experienced God at work among us.
The initial feedback has been warm, appreciative, and encouraging.
I want to acknowledge and thank the Assembly co-ordinators Abi Trevathan and Liz Whitehead, the wonderful local arrangements team from Alpine Presbytery, and all who played a part in the organisation and running of what was, for me, an inspiring event. Thank you.
General Assembly evaluation
There will be an opportunity for everyone who attended Assembly to complete an evaluation. The online survey provides an opportunity to assist the local arrangements committee, business committee and others plan for the next Assembly in 2020. If you were at Assembly, you will get an invitation to participate in the survey. Please do take the time to give us your feedback.
Assembly minutes and matters for consideration
All Assembly minutes will be posted online after the Council of Assembly has confirmed them. Other matters for consideration, study and action by presbyteries and church councils will be sent out over the coming months.
Summary of Assembly decisions
You are reminded that a summary of the decisions and stories from General Assembly 2018 is available. The information is provided in various formats to make it easy to share information with your parish. Keynote and other addresses are also available to view and share. View GA18 videos
CWM A New Face Programme 2019
On a different note, applications are now open for the six-week A New Face programme, which is being hosted in Auckland in Oct/Nov 2019. Applications close on 15 Dec 2018. The 2019 focus is on the work and witness of ministers with disabilities. Learn more or apply here
Thank you for your ongoing partnership in the mission of God.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
KCML is glad to have Rev Dr Mark Johnston back from 15 weeks of sabbatical. We pray for the Rev Dr Geoff New as he spends 10 weeks at Westminster College, Cambridge, working on a book for ministers that reads the Lord’s prayer theologically, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Join us at the KCML graduation
KCML graduation is a public occasion to honour God and celebrate the academic achievements of the exiting class of 2018. KCML invites church members and leaders to join us at John McGlashan College at 7:30 pm, Wednesday 5 December. Adjunct lecturer Rev Dr Hyeeun Kim is sharing the Word.
Visit the new KCML Living Library resourcing website
Our GA18 ministers’ resourcing day provided input for 80 ministers around the theme of life-long learning. The day included the launch of a ministry resourcing website at https://livinglibrary.org.nz. The website is based on research commissioned by KCML, in which over 280 leaders in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand were asked what the Church needed to learn going forward. In response to the research, the Living Library recommends books and websites, videos and archival materials, short courses and provides webinar and coaching opportunities under five thematic areas - Faith, Community, Witness, Leadership and Innovation. As a Living Library, there will also be access to BeWise, a leaders’ training curriculum.
A Maori whakataukī encapsulates the hopes and dreams for this Living Library: He waka eke noa – naaku te rourou, naau te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi. Resourcing each other empowers each other to grow. Please visit https://livinglibrary.org.nz. Please give us feedback on what resources you. And what doesn’t.
National Assessment reminder
A reminder that applications for National Assessment are due to KCML by 15 December. A flowchart of the process is at http://knoxcentre.ac.nz/ordained-ministry/national-ordained-ministry/national-assessment
Illustrated Gospel resources
A reminder that the Illustrated Gospel Project: Mark and the Illustrated Gospel Project: Luke are available to churches upon request. These provide a wealth of worship resources – poems, songs, stories – that animate the Gospels for our time.
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services
NZCCSS is contributing to the government’s transformation of the welfare system. Trevor McGlinchey, NZCCSS executive officer, has been co-hosting some of the Welfare Expert Advisory team’s public consultation hui, hearing the views of communities on the current welfare system.
The impact of social welfare inequity is felt largely by families, and especially by children.
Work is underway to develop a child and youth wellbeing strategy as part of the government’s child poverty reduction programme. Cross-party support ensures the programme’s sustainability.
The Government's vision is that New Zealand is the best place in the world for children and young people. Public engagement on the draft strategy is underway now. For more information on the Child Poverty Reduction Bill and the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy follow this link: https://dpmc.govt.nz/our-programmes/child-and-youth-wellbeing-strategy. Young people are also invited to have their say about what is important to them through an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/tellthepm
NZCCSS is working alongside government policy-makers to inform this work by providing advice on the development of new legislation and a link between government policy groups and the experience of NZCCSS members who work with our most vulnerable children and families.
Never before have we had a national vision for our children and their welfare as a way of demonstrating our belief in social justice. Our children are our future, and the health and wellbeing of our communities and society relies on our collective ability to care for and nurture them.
Presbyterian Support NZ representative on NZCCSS
General Assembly report
“Forgiveness and Reconnecting” (through enhancing relationships) is what I captured from the gatherings at this year’s Assembly! I believed that this is God’s message to my presidential role as we look to welcome on board our waka new generations, so that we can paddle together.
I was extremely humbled to be given the opportunity by the Moderator and Assembly to officially welcome myself and my colleague Amber Parry Strong to present the Presbyterian Women recommendations. Though I wasn’t aware of the protocol, I felt I should thank the Moderator and the Assembly for the official welcome. So thank you – kia ora, Faafetai tele lava and thank you so much indeed for the warm welcome.
The great news is that Assembly agreed to all of our recommendations, which were:
- Recommendation 55: That the General Assembly support and actively encourage each presbytery to institute a quick and agile process to facilitate participation in civil democracy through submissions on public issues including Parliamentary Bills and statutory enquiries.
- Recommendation 56: That the General Assembly request the Book of Order Committee review regulations 8.9f to take account of the changing structures of Presbyterian Women of Aotearoa NZ.
I advised Assembly that one of the submissions we made and responded to was the Child Poverty Reduction Bill. Thanks to Mavis for updating me with the news about the acceptance of our submission prior to presenting to Assembly.
It was an incredible gathering and was such a wonderful GA with the opportunity to connect and reconnect with women and colleagues in ministry, and with so many awesome people and delegates. It was great to meet Rev Erin again and some honoured members of APW (then) sharing their memories and inspiring stories and experiences of being APWans.
Assembly agreed to new rules for membership of the Pacific Presbytery and this is a great opportunity to reconnect with our Pasifika sisters, our Maori sisters of Te Aka Puaho and our sisters in the various presbyteries.
The spiritual strength I gained prior to and through General Assembly was a result of being engaged in singing, laughing, fellowshipping, worshipping and meditating!
Faafetai tele, thank you Moderator, Rt Rev Kaio and the Very Revs Andrew Norton and Pamela Tankersley and also Mary Gibbs for supporting us. To you PWANZ, thank you for your prayers.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Connect 2019 at Ohope on Te Maungarongo Marae
We are delighted to confirm that Connect 2019 will be on our Church marae at Ohope Beach, 19-21 July next year.
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, from the authentic marae sleeping experience, through to bunk rooms in the adjacent Ohope Christian Camp as well as lodging at a series of bachs and Airbnb homes.
Safety Warrant of Fitness (WOF) training
PYM and Kids Friendly are committed to running training in each geographical presbytery at least once a year. We strongly recommend that every church puts their leaders who work with children and young people through this training once every three years. For full information check out the PYM website
- 27 Oct - Whangarei
- 10 Nov - Hastings
- 16 Nov - Rotorua
- 16 Mar 2019 - Christchurch
National Youth Manager
Applications for grant funding have closed for 2018, as our last meeting will be late in November. You can still apply for grants from the Mission Enterprise Fund and Small Grants (Presbyterian Foundation) at any time until 1 February 2019 and those applications will be considered late in February. See further details on applying here.
If PressGo has funded your church in the last year (or even earlier than that) and you have not yet lodged your Small Grants evaluation form, please get them back to Lisa Wells, the PressGo Catalyst, as soon as possible.
If you are considering making an application, either for the Mission Enterprise Fund or for a Small Grant in 2019, it is important to talk to Lisa at an early stage. As well as providing helpful advice on the application form and process, she is also able to help identify alternative funding sources and give a broader perspective on projects and initiatives.
The PressGo Annual Report for 2017-18 was circulated to commissioners at GA18 and a limited number of printed copies are still available from Assembly Office. It is also available on the Church’s website: download the 2019 PressGo Annual Report
Feel free to contact PressGo for resources on mission planning, fundraising, Christian giving and much more. We are happy to help you run your strategic and mission planning days and workshops. The first point of contact is PressGo catalyst, Lisa Wells. Contact Lisa by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 027 4455 723.
Although in some ways it has been a quieter month for Global Mission, much good work continues to happen.
The Harrays have completed four months at Tahan Theological College, and are immersed in relationship building, house building, curriculum building and preparation for crop planting: their first crop being Sasha Inchi (you might have to google that!) They are grateful for continued good health and the interesting community they are amongst. Please continue to pray for them and their work.
Next month we are very excited to host three church leaders from the Presbyterian Church in Myanmar. This is another step in our partnership and it will be wonderful to have them share their story first-hand in several places around the country. Gaining visas has not been a simple process and we would value your prayers for this visit.
Dawn Daunauda is completing her term at Talua Training Institute. At present they have a particular need for someone short-term to help with auditing tasks – so, let us know if that could be you. Please continue to pray for the Jones’ and Vincents as they reintegrate back to life in NZ. A team from Hibiscus Coast recently returned after a great job completing the new Etas Grace school toilet facility.
Training in Mission programme 2019
If you are between 18-30 and keen to be involved in a mission-focused training programme that happens between May and December, apply to be part of the Training in Mission programme. Learn more
Finally, it was wonderful to be able to show at Assembly a summary of Global Mission’s impact and activity over the last two years. View the video
As always, please contact the GM office if you are keen to support or be involved in any of our partnerships and projects. As we begin to approach the Christmas season, contact us if you would like to give a gift to a community beyond our shores.
Paula Levy (on behalf of Phil King)
Global Mission Coordinator
It’s coming! Get ready!
Has someone already told you how many days it is until Christmas? If not, it will happen soon as our nation hurtles through November and December with a consumer-driven focus on this festival. Sadly the good news of Jesus’ birth, which is at the heart of Christmas, can get lost amongst the toys, tinsel, trees and tasty treats.
What is our response? Could we highlight Advent more?
The four weeks of Advent (starting on Sunday 2 December this year) is a time of waiting and watching, which an increasing number churches observe, with helpful resources and practices.
Let’s face it: the Christmas story – God’s coming among us – is so big and so important that we need to tell it slowly. We need to tell it at church, at home, and wonder how it was for each character, taking time to put ourselves into the story… again and again.
Kids Friendly has gathered many resources for sharing Advent and Christmas in church and the community. One popular activity, for families with younger children, is the Mary and Joseph dolls who journey from house to house over Advent. There are great conversations and anticipation as Christmas Day gets closer and closer. Many more ideas can be found at: http://www.kidsfriendly.org.nz/resourcing/seasons/
“Worship Together Advent” provides a fresh approach to services with a stone koru wreath, art, drama and body prayers. http://www.kidsfriendly.org.nz/worship-together-advent-an-intergenerational-resource/
Kids Friendly is so grateful for the partner churches and parachurch organisations below, who are producing creative and engaging Advent and Christmas resources too. Check out:
- https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/ - Intergenerational colouring posters and more
- https://www.athomeandchurch.org.nz/ - The Advent Tree - affordable gift for families
- https://www.strandz.org.nz/ - Journey through Advent – another gift and activity idea
- https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories-overview/ - Five stories. New this year: “Jesus was a refugee”
Let’s respond to the bustle of the season with Advent practices that help people of all ages slow down and wonder at the greatest story ever: “Emmanuel, God with us.”
Kids Friendly coach
Presbyterian Research Centre
The primary collection in the Hewitson Library is the Practical Theology Collection. This collection is always growing and is a resource for ministers and other church leaders throughout New Zealand.
In response to feedback, we are removing the Hewitson Library membership fee. If you would like to borrow books for a personal or group project, we will mail them to you free of charge and will also include return postage. If your parish is grappling with a challenge or exploring a topic we are also happy to send you a selection of books for an extended time-period. We can choose titles for you, or you can select the ones you would like from the Library catalogue (https://hewitson.mykoha.co.nz). Email email@example.com for details.
The Hewitson Library has some great resources, including the recommended books on the Living Library website, so we encourage you to use this service.
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.
Indonesia Earthquake Tsunami Appeal
CWS is appealing for donations to help some of the 1.5 million people affected by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake and a sizable tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi on 28 September. Over 2,000 people lost their lives and more than 205,000 have been displaced. The New Zealand Government aid programme is matching funds donated.
ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) Indonesia is supplying much-needed emergency supplies like food, water, hygiene kits and shelter materials to some of the more difficult to reach areas and those needing medical care. Each day five trucks are delivering approximately 60,000 litres of water to 3,291 people in seven different locations. They have distributed 302 large water tanks and are focusing on transitional shelter to last up to two years in Sigi District, which was one of the worst affected areas. Entire villages disappeared under landslides or were buried in liquefaction. Please continue to pray for all those affected.
2018 Christmas Appeal
This year CWS is using the Sustainable Development Goals as the background to the 2018 Christmas Appeal. CWS invites you to Be the Lifeline to people in need of food, clean water and safer communities. Worship resources prepared by Rev Dr Susan Jones, Rev Clare Lind and the people of Tawa Union will be posted in the next two weeks. CWS has sent the Appeal Kit to churches. If you would like a copy, please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can order resources online.
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 and Working Group Marian Hobbs reflect on CWS, aid and foreign affairs.
Join the ‘Roaring Chorus’ to mark Armistice Day
Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage is inviting Presbyterian churches to join the centenary of Armistice Day by participating in the Roaring Chorus campaign on Sunday, 11 November at 11:02am. The Ministry wants our communities to help recreate the ‘roaring chorus’ of thanksgiving and jubilation that erupted across New Zealand as word of the Armistice reached our shores 100 years ago. The roaring chorus could include the ringing of church or hand bells, choral or congregational singing, or the playing of organ or other church music – or all of these at once! Read more
The Armistice Beacon is a five-metre high interactive digital installation which will be a dynamic feature of the Armistice Centenary commemorations at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on Sunday, 11 November 2018. Some 32 digital screens will display a continuous stream of messages submitted by New Zealanders around the world by text message or online. Learn more
Church Life Survey
The Church Life Survey is taking place again this year. This is an interdenominational survey that looks at the views of individual church members. Taking part is simple – there are just five easy steps:
- Register on the website www.clsnz.com and receive your unique secure code. This provides you secure access to your results. The cost of registration is $50 per parish.
- Download the questionnaire from the website at no additional cost, or you can ask CLSNZ to print and post questionnaires with a charge to cover the costs of printing and postage. (Details on the website)
- Do the survey one Sunday or get people to fill it in online. The survey is anonymous and designed to be filled out in about 5 minutes.
- If you did the survey on paper, then enter the results through the easy-to-use website. If you do this yourself there is no extra charge; otherwise the CLSNZ can enter it for $1.00 per questionnaire.
- Download the automatically generated reports. The completed questionnaires can be entered by the church or denomination directly on the website. Some training can be given to assist with this. There is no charge for doing one’s own data entry.
Register now through the website www.clsnz.com
Faith-based postgrad leadership qualifications
From February 2019, church managers and leaders will be able to gain postgraduate qualifications via new programmes offered by the University of Otago’s Department of Theology and Religion. Learn more about the qualifications – a Postgraduate Diploma in Faith-Based Leadership and Management and a Master of Faith-Based Leadership and Management – here.
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
There are no reported changes to the Church Register. An update will be provided in the December edition of Bush Telegraph.
Our listing of national and regional events includes details of activities hosted by Presbyterian churches and other organisations.