Use these links to navigate to any section of Bush Telegraph. Happy reading!
From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Theological Education and Leadership Training Review
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
From the Moderator
Our Church family
The Lord God called you, planted and nurtured you. "Do not be afraid, I will save you. I have called you by name - you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1)
Israel's journey from Egypt to the promised land was not a smooth and peaceful journey. There was tension, struggle and hardship. Our Church, as a denomination, as a family and as a community, are also on a journey where our resolve is tested. Our struggles and challenges are real.
There are changes taking place in our church communities: a shifting of some major parts of our "Presbyterian way, declining membership, amalgamation, church closures and a shortage of key leaders. It appears to be a downward spiral of irrelevancy and the sceptic would paint a picture of doom and gloom.
In my experience and from my travels and witness of our people, I believe that the Church family/whanau is moving along in line with our times. We are resilient and adaptable to change with the times. There are some fascinating stories, events, ministries in our family, and what I have seen is but a glimpse of the vast faith living events happening within our Church family.
The opening of St Paul Trinity Pacific hall in Christchurch was a massive achievement by our people. Their strong infrastructure, leadership, vision and endeavour was a sight to behold. It is always the people: the people, their story and their faith stands out and is an inspiration.
The formation of Hope Whangarei from three churches to one was a sign of the times. There is excitement and confidence in this new ministry. Change is not a popular part of human existence, I believe, but it is, at times, a necessity. And with insight, belief and prayer within the family, there is confidence, determination and a new ministry in born.
The Connect gathering of our youth leaders was an incredible event. Our young folks turned up in numbers from all over New Zealand. We also welcomed youth from Taiwan and Vanuatu. Our tangata whenua family, predominantly of the Tuhoe iwi welcomed, hosted, educated us, as we all merged as one in Christ. There was great preparation, good speakers, workshops and our young people experienced many spiritual moments. It was well led and prayerfully organised. My soul rejoices.
These are just a few current events in the life of your Church family. There are many, many more. Your Church is alive, moving, inspiring, transforming and blessed by the Spirit of God. It is always about the people. The love of God in Jesus Christ prevails. The Word became flesh, our Saviour lead us. Be blessed.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear friends and colleagues
I really enjoyed PYM Connect last month. Wonderfully hosted at Te Maungarongo Ohope Marae by Te Aka Puaho – it was a very special event. Excellent keynote speakers, inspiring worship, a variety of focused workshops; intentional discipleship and opportunities to connect with God and each other. A blessed time indeed! Events like this require a huge commitment in planning, discerning, engagement and prayer: thanks to each and every person who played a part – up front and behind the scenes.
I again noticed this year not only young leaders, but also older people, who were encouraging, mentoring and cheering folk on. We were reminded of the inter-generational aspect of ministry, mission and life. I came away from Connect very encouraged. I saw and experienced young leaders demonstrating the kind of life that is committed to intentionally embodying Jesus’ call to radical discipleship. Watch these videos from Connect
Matters arising from Assembly
I wrote to all parish councils in March this year about GA18 feedback to proposed legislative changes, including a voting paper. Thank you to those who have already returned the voting papers. Parishes are encouraged to consider these proposals and return voting papers by 10 December 2019.
Doctrine Core Group - End of Life Choice Bill report
General Assembly asked the Doctrine Core Group to make its report on the End of Life Choice Bill available for study by the wider church. This material has been sent to all parish councils.
Calling a newly trained minister
This year another group 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 person are available from the Rev Brendon McRae who coordinates introductions and discussions between final-year interns and ministry settlement boards. For more information, please contact Brendon.
Council for World Mission General Secretary vacancy
The current General Secretary will complete their term next year and the search is on to find a replacement. Download application pack
Interchurch Hospital Chaplaincy Board vacancy
There is an opportunity for a Presbyterian person with professional skills; excellent board or governance experience and a passion for the work of hospital chaplaincy to express an interest in serving on the Interchurch Hospital Chaplaincy Board. Please contact me in the first instance for more details.
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services Board vacancy
The Presbyterian Church sits alongside Presbyterian Support on this Board. We are looking for people to express an interest in serving in this way. Ideally greater Wellington based, the person will have a range of professional skills and strong empathy and support for Christian Social Services. Please contact me.
Thank you for your ongoing partnership as we together seek to bear witness to the Kingdom of God.
Theological Education and Leadership Training Review
The Council of Assembly appointed a group to review Theological Education and Leadership Training in our Church (TELT). We are Simon McLeay, Erin Pendreigh, Caren Rangi, Rob McIntosh and Sharon Searle.
We have stared meeting and wish to share our plans for consultation. Our first step has been to begin to have conversations with a number of people to help us understand the lie of the land. This month we plan to produce a consultation document outlining what we are currently doing and naming where we see the needs for further discernment.
We imagine that this document might ask us all to consider five areas, with questions like these:
- What do we discern about the changing shape of ministry into the future? (NOM, LOM, LMT, Amorangi, recognised ministries, bi-vocational, missional, eldership and leadership.)
- What has been our experience of internship as a training model? (What has worked well? Where is more work needed? Is this the model for the future?)
- What other needs do we have for leadership training across the Church? (What are we not doing that is important?)
- What is the ongoing place of KCML? Have we got its purpose clear and its governance right? (Are we doing the right things, and have we got the right structure?)
- How best can we use our library and archives to serve the Church? (What resources have we got and how can we best deploy them?)
We will be looking for input from individuals, churches and presbyteries during August, September and October. We will also seek further expert input.
Our discussion document will be available on the Church's website from 12 August. It will also be emailed to parishes and presbyteries.
It is our aim to give you regular updates on our progress, which will be here in Bush Telegraph and also available here.
Simon McLeay (Convenor)
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Connect 2019 - thank you
As described by our Moderator, we are just off the back of an “extraordinary, spiritual and meaningful time with God and with each other". Connect 2019 at our national marae in Ohope was special, and we are delighted to have jointly hosted Connect with Te Aka Puaho. You can watch the video highlights from Connect to get a sense of the experience. Thank you to all who contributed.
Going Global Myanmar
We are offering an exciting opportunity for young adults (18-30) from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand to connect with their peers in Myanmar, through the partnership between our Church and the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar. Together they’ll learn about each other’s lives, cultures and faith, while serving in mission in a local Myanmar community. This will include teaching opportunities at Tahan Theological College, faith sharing and worship. Participants will join our Church's missionaries, Helen and Wayne Harray, who are on staff at the college. Learn more about Going Global Myanmar
National Youth Manager
In June I visited Myanmar to take part in a meeting of church partners who, like us, support the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM). This gave me an opportunity to view the projects being supported by the Ricebowl Mission, and to visit Wayne and Helen Harray at Tahan Theological College (TTC). Although it was a brief visit, it is important to keep up-to-date with the PCM, and it was great to see the progress being made by Wayne and Helen. You can read more about their work at TTC on their blog, https://helenharray.com/. Donations for the Ricebowl Mission are always welcome and continue to make a huge difference in the lives of our partner church in Myanmar. Read the latest Mingalaba newsletter for more information about our work in Myanmar.
Going Global now open to all ages
Applications are still open for the Going Global programme to Myanmar in January 2020. This will focus on supporting Tahan Theological College’s English language programme. It was originally intended as a programme for young adults, but is now open to all ages. Applications close soon – read more.
Hosting young leaders from Vanuatu and Taiwan
Global Mission has recently hosted a team of ten youth leaders from Vanuatu and Taiwan for two weeks. Their visit culminated with attendance at the national youth leaders training weekend, Connect. Grateful thanks are extended to the leadership teams at St Helier’s Church in Auckland, Mangapapa Union Church in Gisborne, and the PYM leadership team for their support in making this programme a great success. I hope that we can continue to support our partner churches with shared programmes of this nature, to help build awareness and strengthen our capacity in cross-cultural mission.
Congregational and church school projects are ongoing in Vanuatu, with several groups and some individuals either currently there, or visiting in the next few months. Let me know if you want to explore options for becoming involved in our partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu.
Global Mission Coordinator
“One of the best things we can do for both young and old is structure our churches in ways that facilitate continuous caring encounters across the generations so that all ages can be enfolded in the warmth of the full body of Christ.” – Jim Merhaut
Our “Love Reaches Out” Art and Writing Competition has recently provided an avenue for inter-generational relationships to be fostered in a unique and faith-forming way. Many churches have used this annual event to encourage young and old to sit together and explore the theme: “Make a Difference: I Can, You Can, We Can” “Mahi Rereke: Ka Taea E Au, Ka Taea E Koe, Ka Taea E Tatou”.
Do you structure your church in a way that facilitates continuous “caring encounters” across the generations? These “caring encounters” aren’t solely for churches that have multiple generations present on a Sunday; “caring encounters” can include what happens within the interface of the church and community throughout the week and in the homes of the parishioners.
Could you help us collect stories? We are seeking a collection of stories of inter-generational “caring encounters” and would love to hear from you about how these encounters are being facilitated in your context.
Rev Robin Humphreys
Kids Friendly coach
Kia ora! I loved watching the daily live broadcast of Pacific Games in Apia/Samoa. It brings a warmer spirit against the winter atmosphere in my home of Porirua.
Recently I attended various occasions in Wellington. In April it was Business and Professional Women New Zealand (BPWNZ) 55th national conference where I briefly introduced PWANZ and our missions (nationally and globally). I was amazed to realise there’s an existing connection of church women and women in business and the welfare community.
On 14 June was the HELP launch, enhancing women’s wellbeing in danger zones, which was hosted by Dame Patsy Reddy, at Government House.
Later in June was the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles breakfast at Westpac, discussing how to embed a gender-balanced approach in New Zealand workplaces. Monitoring, review and adjustment of measurable targets were among the things discussed to help make gender equity a reality in Kiwi workplaces. The event was collaboratively hosted by UN Women Aotearoa, the Human Rights Commission, BPWNZ, Zonta International and others.
On 27 June, I was humbled to attend the Centenary of the Signing of the Treaty of Versailles and Youth debate on NZ’s global role at the invitation of Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern. The event was hosted by Ministry for Arts, Culture and Heritage and I was in awe of the insight, knowledge and powerful opinions of young women, whose voices on global change were heard during the debate.
On 11 July, I attended a Fono/Uipa’anga for Pacific People’s Human Rights issues. The first-ever Pacific Commissioner of a crown entity, Saunoamaalii Dr. Karanina Sumeo, Commissioner for Equal Employment Opportunities was the guest speaker. Aiming to create an inclusive Pacific People’s human resources strategy, identifying the role of the church in embracing HR issues with Pacific people; and considering the rights of Pacific women and girls to be on the platform of elimination all sorts of violence against them were among the topics discussed at the fono.
By the time you read this, we will have hosted the Women of Faith Hui at Ohope Marae. Check out our Facebook page for details
Buy Trade Aid and support CWS
CWS is pleased to announce a new initiative with Trade Aid which will benefit Trade Aid producers and CWS partners. Trade Aid has some beautiful crafts and food items available. Shipping is free for orders over $100. Make a purchase online and Trade Aid will give 20% of the sale price to CWS. Make your selection and simply enter the promotional code “ChristianWorldServiceFundraiser19” in the box marked Promo Code when you check out.
Our fundraising initiative to support Syrians in Jordan and Lebanon, Operation Refugee 2019, continues until September. The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees is in urgent need of funds for school holiday and healthcare programmes. Eat refugee rations for five days – we supply them once you raise $87 – or walk the talk by walking the same distance a refugee did to escape harm. The next focus week of this fundraising challenge is 10-16 August. Our new Relationships Coordinator Eric Park is keen to talk to interested people or congregations. Contact him at email@example.com or on 022 377 6606 for a chat.
On 4 August, congregations are invited to mark Peace Sunday, the Sunday closest to Hiroshima Day, 6 August. CWS has prepared worship resources “Be on your Guard against all sorts of Greed”. They have an economic focus in keeping with the readings, as well as information on the work for compensation after nuclear testing in Maohi Nui (Tahiti). Rev Jordan Redding contributed to the material, which is available here.
Most reports from South Sudan are full of misery, but Starting from Scratch tells how a group of former students have been creating hope on a daily basis. Printed copies are available from Sarah.
During Assembly in Dunedin in 1969 the report of the Special Committee on Consultation with the Congregational Union was received. The recommendations that were passed saw ministers and congregations of the Congregational Union received into the Presbyterian Church. This changed both denominations.
Resources will be available in due course for all congregations to use as part of their worship on Sunday, 3 November to mark this anniversary. A special service will be held at 4pm on Sunday, 3 November at Newton Pacific Islanders Church, Edinburgh St, Auckland to which all are invited. This will be led by the Moderator. More information will follow.
Shipwrecks and Saving Graces retreat
Revs Roxy Gahegan, Malcolm Gordon and Sharon Ross Ensor are leading a weekend retreat at the Home of Compassion, Island Bay, Wellington on 23-25 August called Shipwrecks and Saving Graces. The retreat is for anyone who feels battered or “cast adrift” by the their experiences in life and/or ministry. The cost is $210 per person. Registrations close on Wednesday 7 Aug. Learn more
Faith thinking events
The theology programme at the University of Otago has some events coming up soon, including August public lecture series led by Rev Dr Selwyn Yeoman: “Is God Green - and what about us? An exploration of human responsibility in the care of the Earth”. Check out the details of this and other lectures on our website. Learn more
Restoration of historic Milton Presbyterian Church
Feedback is sought about the level of restoration desired on this Category 1 historic building, constructed in 1889. Share your views by completing the survey here.
Faith Nursing conference
The annual conference of New Zealand Faith Community Nurses Association is being held in Wellington 22-24 August 2019. This year’s theme is "Who are our Vulnerable?: The call to Compassion". Information about how to register, programme details, and other info can be found here
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.25% percent per annum. This rate became effective on 1 July 2019. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.
Human trafficking event at Vaughan Park
Archbishop Sir David Moxon is facilitating a day seminar on Saturday 17 August, to explore how churches and others can help support local and national initiatives which care for and actively seek justice and freedom for people suffering from crimes of slavery and trafficking. The seminar: “Justice and freedom for victims of slavery and human trafficking – can you making a difference? is one of many upcoming events at Vaughn Park. Learn more
Changes in status
Rev David Williams, other recognised minister, United Church of Australia, to minister stated supply (two years), Auckland Central-Symonds Street, St Andrew’s First Presbyterian, Northern Presbytery, 1 June 2019.
Rev Howard Carter, minister, St Peters Ellerslie/Mt Wellington, to senior minister Hope Whangarei, Northern Presbytery, 30 June 2019.
Rev Anne Thompson, other recognised minister to member of presbytery, Southern Presbytery, 12 June 2019.
Rev Jonathan Barb, stated supply minister to minister, Christchurch Linwood Avenue Church, Alpine Presbytery, 11 June 2019.
Rev Kevin Finlay, minister Howick St Andrew’s, Northern Presbytery to other recognised minister Kaimai Presbytery, 30 June 2019.
Rev Werner Shroeder, youth ministry leader, Drury Presbyterian Church to stated supply minister, Te Atatu Union Parish, Northern Presbytery, 15 April 2019.
Rev Selwyn Yeoman, other recognised minister to minister emeritus and senior active minister, Southern Presbytery, 12 June 2019.
Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries
St David’s Union Church Carterton, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, parish dissolved 30 June 2019.
St David’s Presbyterian Church Carterton, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, formed 1 July 2019.
Check out details about upcoming events including details of activities planned to mark the 50th anniversary of Congregational Union parishes and ministers becoming part the Presbyterian Church. Learn more
Check out job vacancies within New Zealand and with our partners around the world on our jobs vacancies page. Ministerial positions within Presbyterian and Uniting churches can be seen on the ministerial vacancies table.