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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Research Centre
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
From the Moderator
Children in faith, in church: our future
Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 19: 14)
This well-known story reminds us of the importance of nurturing faith in our children. Jesus left Galilee and went into Judea. He was teaching and answering testing questions about marriage and divorce from some Pharisees when people brought children so that Jesus could bless and pray for them.
The disciples rebuked those who brought the children: Jesus stopped everything and said, “Let the children come to me, do not forbid them: for of such is the Kingdom of heaven”.
Children, as members of our families, are always meant to be members of faith communities. Our churches must have a children’s ministry: children need to be welcomed, included and catered for.
The Church is a family and a faith community with strong emphasis on children’s ministry. Our Kids Friendly team supports and resources our ministry with children. We have 14 Presbyterian schools across the nation where the Presbyterian ethos, traditions and history are integral. We must do more, where we can, in support, involvement, promotion and prayers.
In each family and each household, the lessons, teaching and nurturing in faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour must be constant, natural, and not rushed. We must invest in the spiritual life of our children.
Parents and families, together with the faith communities, must strive to have relevant, meaningful ministries, with the children and for the children.
This is as always, an urgent matter in the life of our Church. Bluntly and truthfully put: if there are no children in our Church communities, we have no future that can be envisaged. Healthy generational communities start with the children. Our Church is no exception.
Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God”.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
At the time of writing this, the shortest day has arrived. Many say that is when winter really begins!
Maybe it reminds us of changing seasons; that things do not stay the same… that the words of Ecclesiastes 3 are worth our deep reflection.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I wonder how a conversation might go if we were to ask each other what season of life we find ourselves in? How is that for you? What about in terms of the relationships we value most?
What season are we in personally with God? And what season are we in as a denomination with God?
Sounds like the sort of conversation starters we could find helpful as we journey together through the long nights of winter…
And in the light of that – live accordingly.
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.
I continue to thank God for all who serve in God’s mission as together we are bearers of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Ministers’ Study Grants
Apply now for a Ministers’ Study Grant. Your programme of study needs to be approved by presbytery and you will need to be a minister in good standing of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. More information, including application criteria and forms, can be found here. Send completed applications to Knox Centre registrar, Susan Peters, before Friday, 2 August.
The Lighthouse: Mission Innovators Weekend
Knox Centre is hosting a mission innovators weekend at Vaughan Park, Long Bay, Auckland from 30 August – 1 September.
The weekend is suited to those from Presbyterian and Uniting churches who need to clarify their next move in mission. A set of steps to yield pathways and actions for turning local church mission opportunities into a next outcome. Come with a team. Full travel subsidy available. Applications invited. $75pp. Contact Mark Johnston more information. Sponsored by Presbyterian Development Society and facilitated by KCML with Christine Wood, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Auckland University and Charissa Nichol, Pioneer Minister.
Members of some of our churches, and particularly youth leaders attending the national youth leaders training weekend (Connect) will have the opportunity to meet and share with young adult members of the Presbyterian churches of Taiwan and Vanuatu in July. Five members from each of these partner churches are being hosted for a two-week programme in Auckland and Gisborne, culminating in their attendance at Connect. We hope this will strengthen relationships between our churches and encourage greater involvement in shared mission opportunities.
Read Wayne and Helen Harray’s blog for up-to-date news about their service as partners in mission with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar at Tahan Theological College. Can you consider going to Myanmar in January as part of a team to help teach English conversation to Helen’s students, or to assist Wayne on the College farm? As well as the Harray’s role at TTC, we will continue to support projects of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar through the Ricebowl Mission. Your donations to support this partnership are welcome.
Last month I mentioned concerns that minority groups in India are facing as conditions become more difficult under the oppressive nationalist BJP government. Here is an article I found useful in helping me understand some of their concerns: read the article. After meeting with members of the Church of North India, we have decided to continue to offer scholarship support for students at two Church of North India schools and the Christian Hospital School of Nursing in Jagadhri for the next few years. Donations for these can be sent to Global Mission.
Over the next few months, I have speaking engagements at various congregations and will be working with others on projects and youth exchange programmes. Why not explore how your congregation can become involved? Many discover that becoming active in Global Mission helps their congregation get more energised for local mission. Contact me for more info
Global Mission Coordinator
Presbyterian Research Centre
The Hewitson Library is always adding new books to its collections. Every month or two we send out a new book list to those who are interested. The most recent one can be found here. Please feel free to share this in your church newsletters or websites.
If you would like to receive emails from the Presbyterian Research Centre about new books, events or blog articles, please sign up here.
The Presbyterian Archives is often asked about what parish records should be kept and eventually sent to the Archives. The Archives website has a useful guide to what we collect and some helpful tips and tricks to looking after the records you have. “Born digital” records also count – if most of your documents are now in electronic format, you can email them to us or provide a link. You don’t need to print them out and send them in paper format. If you have any questions about this please email the Archives
Powerful Pentecost messages from pre-schoolers to paper cranes in the post!
A conversation at the breakfast table on Pentecost Sunday with my almost four-year-old:
Me: “We are visiting a church today and Daddy is going to be speaking.”
Her: “Oh, I thought the children were going to speak.”
Me: “That would be great! It’s not our church so I’m not exactly sure what they will be doing. If you could go up the front this morning, what would you say?”
Her: “I would say…Peace be…Peace of God be with everyone!”
Thank you, Holy Spirit! This Pentecost morning conversation with my daughter was yet another reminder of the way God speaks through children. If we would but make space for them to speak truths, which are full of God’s love, what a more spirit-filled Church we would be!
Cashmere Presbyterian Church in Christchurch also received a Pentecost message – a powerful one – in the mail: 100 paper cranes were posted from a church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A letter introduced the gift as a “handmade mobile of cranes to symbolise peace and healing”. The cranes were sent in loving response to the tragic shootings on 15 March. The American church that sent the cranes had also received a similar box of paper cranes after the shooting at The Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018 in their region. Their sender was from Parkland, Florida. The paper cranes were folded by young and old as powerful messages of peace, through which we are all bound by the same Spirit.
The Holy Spirit certainly surprises us with powerful messages of love, whether through the words of pre-schoolers or messages received in the mail. May we continue to stay alert to all that God is saying in and through God’s Spirit!
Rev Robin Humphreys
Kids Friendly coach
Hui Wairua Wahine – Women of Faith gatherings
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ seeks to provide opportunities to “unite in prayer, study, fellowship and service”. We value the Council for World Mission for providing financial support for this goal.
You are invited to join the PW executive at Te Maungarongo Marae, Ohope, over the weekend of 26-28 July 2019. This is a chance to listen and learn from Te Aka Puaho in discussion and fellowship, and find ways to work together building capacity for women and girls in the Church and society. Check out more info about the event on Facebook
Accommodation for up to 60 is available on the marae, or participants can come for Saturday only. Costs of accommodation and catering are covered – bring personal requirements and koha if able. Contact Sandra Waldrom, Presbyterian Women administrator, for a registration form.
Other upcoming gatherings
Women of faith will gather at Christ the King, Porirua on Saturday, 17 August from 10am to 4pm. Dr Deborah Bower will be a keynote presenter along with a programme of workshops, networking and fellowship.
The Annual Meeting of Presbyterian Women will be held at Whakatū Presbyterian Church of Nelson and Districts, 13-15 September 2019. Save the date and plan to attend a rich time of learning together.
Commission on the Status of Women in 2020
Almost 25 years ago I remember Hon Jenny Shipley, talking to our congregation about her experience at the Fourth World Conference on Women. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights. In New York this year I was privileged to meet Gertrude Mongella of Tanzania, Secretary General at Beijing. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of this World Conference, alongside the five-year milestone towards achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa will send a delegation to the 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) which will be held in New York 9-20 March 2020. UN Women describe 2020 as a pivotal year for the accelerated realisation of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere. If you are interested in joining the delegation please contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow our Facebook page to keep in touch.
UN Convenor (joint)
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Te Whakakotahitanga 2019 - Connect 2019
Registrations for Connect close on the 7 July.
This year, Connect 2019 is on our Church marae at Ohope Beach from 4pm, 19 July until 2pm, 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.
Participants will have several accommodation options available including bunk rooms in the adjacent Ohope Christian Camp as well as a series of baches and Airbnb accommodation. Register for Connect
Going Global Myanmar
Through our Church’s partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, we are offering an exciting opportunity for our young adults (18-30) to connect with their peers in Myanmar. Together they’ll learn about each other’s lives, culture and faith, while serving in mission in a local Mynamar 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
Will you stand with refugees?
If you missed Refugee Sunday, resources around Bible readings for July 7 are available to help pray and reflect on our responsibilities to people displaced by war, conflict and a well-founded fear of persecution. CWS is appealing for donations to keep the lifeline going to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
Currently 240 Syrian refugee students are sitting their final exams in Syria. They have worked hard in cramped conditions, and have been tutored by Syrian refugee teachers in Arabic. For students who cannot speak the French or English necessary to study in Lebanon, this makes the difference. The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) Lebanon has organised the classes and extra support. For the last six years, DSPR has arranged safe passage for students to and from Syria as well as accommodation for the three weeks. Refugees are not allowed back into Lebanon, but the authorities have granted this one exception. The students are determined to get the qualifications they need for their future. Thank you to those who have supported the Syria and Operation Refugee Appeals for making this possible.
You can donate to the Operation Refugee Appeal or take part in Operation Refugee 2019 challenge up until September. The challenge is to eat refugee rations for five days (two days for students) or walk 40 kilometres to safety and fundraise for refugees. If you want to find out more or invite someone to speak, please contact Eric Park for a chat.
Zero Carbon bill
Many of our partners have been deeply affected by the climate crisis and are doing their best to help people adapt to often harsh conditions. CWS campaigned for the Zero Carbon Bill, open until 16 July for submissions. We encourage your church to make a submission
Matthew Fox in Auckland
Between 4-7 July, Matthew Fox, who is a spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest and activist for gender justice and eco-justice, will be giving a four lectures in Auckland. Matthew will be speaking on: “Creation Spirituality: Reawakening Mysticism, Protecting Mother Earth”. Learn more
Bible studies about gender-based violence against women in Samoa
Bible studies to promote deeper discussion about violence against women were produced as part of a research project into gender-based violence in Samoa. The report by the New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research aims to support church capacity for transformative social leadership in the area of gender-violence and the second part of the report provides a briefing on violence against women in Samoa with particular attention to the challenges it raises for churches. Read the report or download the studies
Legalisation of cannabis referendum resource
The Interchurch Bioethics Council has produced a useful source for church communities containing up-to-date information around the legalisation of cannabis debate in New Zealand. Included in the document are suggested discussion questions, which will prompt deeper discussion about the issues involved. Download here
Presbyterian Investment Fund (rate reduced)
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund will reduce to 3.25% per annum from the 1 July 2019. 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. Please note that James McNutt House is under renovation, and bookings are expected to be available from August onwards. Information about how to book, current vacancies and images of the properties can be found on our website. Learn more
Receptions to the Roll
Rev Bonnie Robinson, removed from the roll BOO 3.3 April 2014 and reinstated as member of Presbytery, Northern Presbytery 15 June 2019.
Changes in status
Rev Sharon Ross Ensor, director Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office, to other recognised minister, Kaimai Presbytery, 15 April 2019.
Rev Werner Schroeder, youth ministry leader, Drury Presbyterian Church, to stated supply minister Te Atatu Union Parish, 15 April 2019.
Rev Selwyn Yeoman, Presbyterian minister Dunedin Churches of Christ, to other recognised minister, Southern Presbytery, 12 May 2019.
Rev Lorne Campbell, local ordained minister, Whangarei St Andrew’s to local ordained minister, Hope Whangarei, Northern Presbytery, 1 July 2019.
Rev Kevin Finlay, minister Howick Presbyterian, to other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, 30 June 2019.
Rev Chris Barnard, Whakatane Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery to St Columba Presbyterian Church Botany, Northern Presbytery, 7 March 2019.
Rev Wayne Toleafoa, minister Te Atatu Union Parish, Northern Presbytery to minister St Columba’s Presbyterian Church, Havelock North, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, 4 March 2019.
Changes in Co-Operative Ventures
Rev Si`tia-Asi Saifaleupolu, other recognised minister to stated supply minister, Avondale Union parish, Northern Presbytery, 1 November 2018.
Rev Dawn Daunauda, Anglican minister, appointed to Amuri Cooperating, Alpine Presbytery, 1 February 2019.
Rev Lorelle Chapman, Non-PCANZ minister (Methodist), appointed to St Paul’s Union Church, Taupo, Kaimai Presbytery, 7 February 2019.
Rev Warren Fortune, chaplain Lindisfarne College Hastings, appointed to minister emeritus, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, 12 April 2019.
Rev Colin Price, local ordained minister, Amuri Cooperating, Alpine Presbytery, retired 2 February 2019.
Rev Ivan Smith, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, died 25 May 2019.
Rev Russell Denne, minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, died 27 May 2019.
Rev David Grant, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, died 4 June 2019.
Avondale Pacific Island Presbyterian Parish, established 9 September 2018, Pacific Presbytery.
Whangarei St Andrew’s Inner City Church, dissolved Northern Presbytery, 30 June 2019.
Onerahi St James, dissolved Northern Presbytery, 30 June 2019.
Tikipunga Trinity Church, dissolved Northern Presbytery, 30 June 2019.
Hope Whangarei: new church established from Whangarei St Andrews, Onerahi St James and Tikipunga Trinity, Northern Presbytery 1 July 2019.
St David’s Palmerston North & Palmerston North St Mark’s and St Andrew’s came together on 1 July 2019 and will be known as Presbyterian New Church, Palmerston North.
Check out our listing of national and regional events.
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.