June 2019

Use these links to navigate to any section of Bush Telegraph. Happy reading!

From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Research Centre
Global Mission
Presbyterian Women
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
CWS Notices
Church Register

From the Moderator

“Arise, shine, for the light has come. And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)

Jesus died on the cross. He was buried in a tomb. Three days later he rose victorious. Death is defeated. Sin is conquered. The risen Lord was seen (Luke 24:31), he made breakfast (John 21:12), he taught (John 20:17), he called (John 21:15), he was touched (John 20:27), he blessed (John 20:29) and he commissioned (John 20:21). The Lord Jesus Christ came that “we may have life, life in all its fullness”. (John 10:10)

We – each one of us – are challenged, called and sent out. Our mission is to make Jesus known. We – Jesus’ followers and disciples in this generation – are called and sent out.

So, this reminder to us all about our part, our responsibility, our participation in the Kingdom of God: we have an important and a crucial part to play. We must “arise, shine” because Jesus Christ, the Light, has come. Again, and again, “arise, shine”. And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

Christians, brothers and sisters, the Spirit of the Lord is calling you and I, each day. We must “arise shine”. Get up, stand up, rise for your Lord and Saviour. Do not be idle and passive about your Christianity. Never be casual or lacklustre about Jesus Christ, or about your faith in Him. You are called by name “for the Good Shepherd knows his sheep” (John 10:14). Arise in Jesus for the glory of God. Stand up for truth, righteousness, justice, peace and love. Get up from your slumber. You are needed for the strife at hand in your family, in your community and in your church. Arise for the Lord. 

And “shine”, before all people. Jesus taught: “Shine before all people, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven”. (Matthew 5:16) 

Shine in living a good life, do good work for people and with people. Be a role model, humble and diligent, ever caring, kind and compassionate. “Shine” before all and God will be praised and glorified.

Now is your time for the Lord, and for his reign. Arise and shine.


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Two things have struck me in the past month in terms of our life, work and mission. These insights come from different settings yet show dedication, passion, commitment and humble serving. I think of it as being difference makers.

Together with our Global Mission Co-ordinator, Rev Phil King, I have been in India for ten days.

While visiting Jagadhri in particular, we observed the long and deep connections that we have we have in that place. In the hospital, there are numerous plaques that mark and honour the contribution made by our Church. As you enter the building a commemoration stone marks the golden jubilee of the church and the school. Everyone asks about Miss Riddle - Rev Doreen Riddle - who served as principal at St Thomas School for 27 years. She is seen as a huge gift, not only to the school but to the children of Jagadhri. Doreen is seen as one who has and continues to make a huge difference in the lives of others. It was a huge privilege to listen to the stories and see the ongoing mission work. Difference makers.

This month we have available to us an excellent resource produced by the Interchurch Bioethics Council: ICBC Legalisation of Cannabis Referendum Resource. The folk that serve on this Council – often unseen and unknown by many – seek to resource us so we can engage on important matters like this. They gift their wisdom, professional skills, knowledge and insights to enable us to engage in these vital conversations. Difference makers.

I wonder if you can pause and think of those who are difference makers in your life and our life together – and give grateful thanks to God for them.

Doctrine Core Group
General Assembly asked the Doctrine Core Group to make available its report on the End of Life Choice Bill for study by the wider church. This material was received last month and 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.

Update your office bearer contacts
We use electronic communication to share information, update on important matters and pass on other news. Our office’s ability to do this is dependent on church councils advising updates to key contact people, changes in email etc. Please pass on any changes to Lynne from our office, so that we can ensure we are communicating with the appropriate office bearers.

Thank you for your partnership in God’s mission.



The PressGo Board met on Tuesday, 21 May and discussed a wide range of grant applications that resulted in the following grant decisions:

Mission Enterprise Fund

  • St Margaret’s Presbyterian church, Bishopdale (Alpine Presbytery) - $75,000 towards new mission facilities and activities.
  • Alpine Presbytery - $50,000 towards a new missional community in Hanmer Springs.
  • Hope Presbyterian Church, Christchurch (Alpine Presbytery) - $150,000 towards new mission facilities and activities in West Melton.

Presbyterian Foundation

  • St John’s in the City, Wellington (Presbytery Central) - $5,000 towards Marton Mission.
  • St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church, Silverstream (Presbytery Central) - $5,000 towards mission with young people and their families.
  • Kiwi Church, Christchurch (Alpine Presbytery) - $9,000 towards establishing a new missional community in West Christchurch.

The Board was excited with the number of projects which displayed a real depth of innovation and creative response to mission.

The next meeting will be late August and applications for the Mission Enterprise Fund will be accepted up to 1 August 2019. Applications for small grants from the Presbyterian Foundation will be discussed at the November meeting and will have a 1 November deadline.

It is important to be aware that the funds the Board has available for allocation in the Mission Enterprise Fund are extremely limited and intending applicants should contact the PressGo Catalyst well ahead of the deadlines to discuss all funding options.

Lisa Wells
PressGo Catalyst

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

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. What are the steps that will 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@knoxcentre.ac.nz for 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.

Geoff New
Dean of Studies

Global Mission

I’ve just returned from a visit to India with Assembly Executive Secretary Wayne Matheson where we met with the General Secretary of the Church of North India, and viewed projects supported through Global Mission. We discussed the benefits of our current support and directions for the future. It was good to see the ongoing benefit that our mission support is providing, particularly for students from low socio-economic families. 

Male teacher needed in Myanmar
I recently had a request from the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar for a male volunteer English high school teacher. This would be at Victoria Boarding School in Mindat, Chin State. This is not straightforward, but could be a great experience for the right person, and some funding is available for travel expenses. Contact me to find out more.

Going Global
Applications are still open for the Going Global programme to Myanmar in January. This is for young adults and will focus on teaching conversational English to students at Tahan Theological College, where Church personnel Wayne and Helen Harray are serving. Applications close at the end of June, so it would be great to hear from youth groups or individuals who might be interested in exploring this. 

Vanuatu update
Several congregations and church schools are involved with projects in Vanuatu over the next few months. It’s great to see the level of commitment and support that exists for our partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. Let me know if you would like to find out how you or your congregation can become involved. I have several preaching engagements booked for the remainder of the year, and am always happy to discuss options for sharing with your church. 

When Wayne and I were in India, the general elections were taking place. Without fail, all the Christian people we spoke with were concerned about the return of the BJP Government, due to its conservative policies that discriminate against minorities. Life is becoming tougher for Christians and other minorities in India. Please remember them in prayer as they face concerns about their future.

Phil King 
Global Mission Coordinator

Presbyterian Research Centre

We have had several people tell us that they buy books rather than borrow from a library. In response, we have created a post in The Treasures of the Presbyterian Research Centre blog:

  By signing up for membership to the Hewitson Library (and using its resources) you will be helping the environment by resource sharing, informing yourself, stepping out of your comfort zone, broadening your horizons and saving money by only purchasing books you really want to keep in your personal library.  

The Library has some fantastic resources and we encourage you to use them.

If you are not on any of our mailing lists and would like to receive emails from us about new books, events or blog articles, please sign up here.

Jane Thomsen

Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women have a strong focus on mission. Each year we support two projects: one through the international development agency of our Church, Christian World Service (CWS), and one here in Aotearoa. 

For the international project, we are working with CWS and their partner the Social Empowerment Education Programme (SEEP) in Fiji to support Go Organic! Grow Organic! in villages. This initiative involves working in new villages specifically targeting i-Taukei (indigenous Fijians) landowning units where major developments like mining are planned or underway. The programme will:

  • Help these communities to prepare in case of disaster
  • Improve agricultural livelihoods using organic and “slow food” methods
  • Strengthen local participation especially for women and young people, growing “organic” democracy from the grassroots up.

The New Zealand project is with Bellyful, which provides free meals to families with newborn babies, and families with young children who are struggling with serious illness, particularly those where there is limited family or social support. 

More information about these projects is available here

Women around the country quietly support mission through action in our church activities and community projects. We all know the bakers, knitters, visitors and activists in our churches.

In all that we do, relationships and partnerships are at the heart. PWANZ wants to support and empower people in their lives. We want to talk to people and discuss needs and opportunities, and then offer assistance as we can.  

Working together as the women of Presbyterian and Uniting churches we can make a difference in the lives of others. 

Sandra Waldrom
Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Going Global Myanmar
We are offering an exciting opportunity for young adults (18-30) from our Church to connect with their peers in Myanmar, through the partnership between ourselves 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 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. More about Going Global

Te Whakakotahitanga 2019 - Connect 2019
We are delighted to confirm that Connect 2019 will be 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. 

There are several accommodation options available for Connect 2019 including bunk rooms in the adjacent Ohope Christian Camp as well as a series of baches and Airbnb accommodation.

Get your registrations in soon. Register here

Looking for IT professionals
What does it mean to minister in the digital space that we all live in these days? We are looking for IT professionals who want to bring together their God-given skills and passion for mission. We will bring together a digital space team for a training weekend at KCML’s Lighthouse conference in Auckland on 30 Aug to 1 Sep. We want this team to then go on and dream about mission possibilities. Please consider inviting IT professionals in your congregation who are passionate about their faith. Contact Gordon Fitch for more information: email Gordon or phone on 027 272 7716.

Gordon Fitch
Director Resourcing and National Youth Manager

CWS Notices

Refugee Sunday
Sunday, 23 June is Refugee Sunday, a time for prayer and reflection on the growing number of refugees. World Refugee Day is 20 June. Worship resources “What is your name?” based on the lectionary readings will be available by 1 June. CWS asks congregations to hold a special offering to provide schooling and educational opportunities, medical care, and psychosocial support for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

Operation Refugee
CWS invites you to join Operation Refugee 2019, a challenge for people willing to show their love and concern for their global neighbours. Eat refugee rations for 5 days (2 days for students) or walk the extra mile, and raise funds. You can do the challenge any time up to 20 September.

Register here and invite others to join you – it is more fun as a team. Funds raised enable the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees to keep the lifeline going to families from Syria. If you want to find out more, please contact Sarah. New organiser Eric Park will be available to speak to interested groups from June.

Apply for CWS mentoring programme
CWS invites applicants for its one-year decision makers mentoring programme, which provides an opportunity to learn more about governance, social justice and strategic thinking as well as the work of CWS. Applications for the one-year programme are open until 30 June. Apply now

Living on a minefield
Mining has the potential to divide communities, destroy livelihoods, and undermine village life in Fiji. Our partner, SEEP, wants communities to have good information and processes so rural Fijians can have a say in their future. They have been pioneering Mai democracy, an inclusive process building on their traditional culture. Read their story and please support this new project as it begins on 1 July.


Apply for a Tindall Foundation grant
Presbyterian Support, a regional donation manager, is seeking applications from Presbyterian and Uniting parishes for grants from The Tindall Foundation (TTF). Grants must support initiatives that meet the Foundation’s Family/Whānau Focus Area and priority will be given to activities that support the wellbeing of children, young people and their families in Aotearoa New Zealand. Read more

Study theology at Otago Uni
Semester two enrolments are available for a variety of on or off-campus theology courses at Otago University, including Maori Religion and Theology, a week-long intensive residential course that explores Māori theology and religion from pre-colonisation through to Māori encounters with, and adaptations of, Christianity. Semester two starts on 8 July and new enrolments are due by 25 June. For details of papers go to: https://www.otago.ac.nz/theology/study/papers/

Week of prayer for Christian unity resources
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Committee for Ecumenism has prepared resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which this year is from 2-9 June (Ascension Sunday to Pentecost Sunday). View or download resources 

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 questions for study, which will prompt deeper discussions about the issues involved. Download here

Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.50% per annum. This rate became effective on 1 September 2017. However, the Trustees give notice that the rate 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. Information about how to book, current vacancies and images of the properties can be found on our website. Learn more

Church Register

An update to the Church Register will be provided in the next edition of Bush Telegraph.


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.