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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
God’s creation and the gathering of the people
“I lift up my eyes to the hills for where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)
God’s creation all around us – land, sea, sky – is awe inspiring. We need to pause, walk, look, sense and appreciate our world, our time and especially our God.
In my role as Moderator of General Assembly, there is a requirement to travel the countryside by air, by train, by car and walking.
My wife Ruth comes as my companion as these excursions and visitations are usually three days to a week away from home. We reflect and give thanks for the environment and for the people.
Recently, we travelled to Paihia for the Waitangi commemoration. The aptly named “Bay of Islands”, the site of Waitangi, the land and the marae were awe-inspiring.
We have also travelled to Greymouth on the West Coast for the Alpine Presbytery gathering. We saw the plains and the contours of the land from a small plane. We saw the cliffs, rocks formed and chiselled by the sea, the rain at Punakiaki and blow holes that seems to blow in unison with the incoming tidal waves. The drive (as a passenger) over Arthur’s Pass, wove through valleys and terrains. They were all awe-inspiring. It took our breath away. Wow. The work of God, in time and history.
But, the greatest sense and appreciation of the presence of God was in the people. At Waitangi, there was unison, an atmosphere of celebration and thanksgiving. There was life, confidence in grief. It was truly awe-inspiring.
At the Alpine Presbytery gathering there was a determination to work cohesively, and inspiringly. You felt recharged, uplifted, appreciated and loved. The gathering was truly awe-inspiring. May we revere the creation world. May we also appreciate one another.
“The Lord God made them all.”
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Dear Friends and Colleagues
In February I attended the dawn service and ecumenical service at Waitangi. It was great to see the Moderator of the General Assembly and the Te Aka Puaho Moderator share in the dawn service. It is important that the ongoing journey for justice continues; the cry of the wounded land is not lost; relationships continue to be built and mutual respect gained. Let us continue to teach each other the truth, for the truth always sets us free.
The past six weeks has been a time of a number of meetings. At every level I see, engage with and am impressed by, those who serve our Church with passion, wisdom and their professional abilities. I am reminded that anything of value I have done has been with others – and usually with the assistance of others. I am also reminded of the verse from Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Together with God we have the opportunity to be agents of transformation and change. A humbling thought really…
Book of Order and Other Supplementary Provisions update
A reminder that a new version of the Book of Order was published in early February. Other Supplementary Provisions were also published at this time. Both documents are available for download from the Church's website. Read more (Please note that there have been no changes to the Code of Ethics, Conditions of Service Manual or Child Protection Policy.)
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 of them will shortly be 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
Recently Rev Dr Tokerau Joseph and Rev Jordan Redding travelled to Tahiti and took part in a Council for World Mission hosted gathering, which addressed mission, racism and colonisation in the Pacific – including the legacies of slavery in the South Pacific. They took part in a number of street Bible studies; listened to stories and experienced the life and hospitality of the Protestant Church in French Polynesia, the Etaretia Protetani Maohi (EPM). They have written reports for the Council of Assembly and are willing to share their experience, learnings and the challenges with a wider audience. Please feel free to contact them direct using the links above.
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.
The Gospel message reminds us there is always room for one more. I wonder how you and your community are planning to celebrate upcoming Neighbours Day? This year, parishes are invited to build community by caring for creation in local neighbourhoods. Native seeds are available to parishes (free of charge) which are involved with caring for local reserves, parks or public spaces. Find out more
Thank you for your generous support of the work we do together as a Church.
Think deeply, wholistically, carefully about faith in life. Brought together by Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership and published as Snapshots in Mission 2018 - a collection of writings reaching back and across cultures in order to think forward about being church tomorrow. Now, with Lent-inar 2019, join the authors online. Discuss mission and ministry in Aotearoa. Be blessed by poetry and song. In March contributors to Snapshots in Mission 2018 will be hosted by Lisa Well, PressGo catalyst and interviewed via online video conferencing. What sparked their writing? What piece of music speaks to their article? What are the implications, for church, ministry and mission? There will be time for Q and A, using video conferencing technology. The Lent-inars are on Thursdays (March 14, 21, 28, 2019, 4:45-5:30 pm). Attend one. Attend them all. Access the recording at a later date if time does not suit. Learn how to access by emailing email@example.com
Mission Action Experimenting
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership invites ministry leaders and practitioners to join in an action experimenting course in local mission. This builds on listening work done in your local community. Previous participants called it practical, empowering and offering life-long tools for mission in community. The course starts 26 March as an online webinar. Learn more or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At General Assembly 2018, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership launched a ministry resourcing website: www.livinglibrary.org.nz. The website is based on research commissioned by KCML, in which ordained and lay leaders were asked what the Church needed to learn going forward.
In response to the research, the Living Library recommends books and websites, videos, archival materials, short courses and provides webinar and coaching opportunities under five thematic areas - Faith, Community, Witness, Leadership and Innovation.
Dean of Studies
I can’t believe how quickly February has gone! I’ve just finished a short trip to Gore, Mataura and Balclutha where I shared about the work of Global Mission and got warm responses in each location. Being rural communities, there is growing interest in, and support for, the farm development project Wayne and Helen Harray are doing at Tahan Theological College in Myanmar. Read up-to-date information about the Ricebowl Mission partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar in our Mingalaba newsletter.
The new English teacher to Talua Theological Training Institute in Vanuatu has just arrived and is settling in. This year the Rev Cassandra Nixon from Australia is filling the role as we had no one available. We are grateful to Cassandra for stepping into support this important ministry. Last year’s teacher Rev Dawn Daunauda has just been inducted to her next pastoral ministry position at Culverden in North Canterbury.
Plans to bring youth leaders from Vanuatu and Taiwan to Presbyterian Youth Ministry’s Connect (national youth leadership training weekend) are underway. Dependent on successful visa applications, we hope to have five from Vanuatu and perhaps six from Taiwan, visiting for two weeks, concluding their visit to New Zealand at Connect.
Applications for the annual I Love Taiwan programme in July will be available soon. Successful applicants are eligible for a subsidy from Global Mission. Read about I Love Taiwan and email me for more information.
There is an exciting opportunity for young adults to join a team from Wakatipu Presbyterian Church on their visit to the amazing Bush Mission outreach in Vanuatu in July. This would suit youth leaders who could then go on and lead a team next year, or others interested in working with children in a different cultural context. Cost is $2,000. More about Going Global 2019
There are lots of opportunities to support our Church’s Global Mission. Visit the Global Mission website for more information and contact me for any follow up.
Presbyterian Research Centre
We would like to welcome Jessica Ladbrook to the Archives team. Jessica, a third-year Otago University student, is interning with us for 16 weeks and her first project is to ensure that any documents that might be needed for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions are indexed and accessible to the Commissioners. Many of the earliest orphanage records have been lost or destroyed (or in some cases never existed) underlining how important it is for records to be kept and to be archived once they are no longer actively needed by the organisation. The most mundane records can sometimes be the most useful in the future.
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.
The PressGo board has its first meeting for 2019 in late February and will set dates for applications for Mission Enterprise Fund and Small Grants (Presbyterian Foundation) for the year. Check on the Church’s website in early March to see updated dates, guidelines and other helpful hints.
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 me at an early stage. As well as providing helpful advice on the application form and process, I am 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 the Assembly Office. It is also available on the Church’s website to download.
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. First contact is me, Lisa Wells: email@example.com, or telephone on 027 4455 723.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Connect 2019 - Ohope Marae
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.
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 traveling from distance.
Participants will have several accommodation options available - from the authentic marae sleeping experience, through bunk rooms in the adjacent Ohope Christian Camp as well as a series of baches and Airbnb accommodation.
Child Protection Policy
On the 11 Dec 2018 The Council Assembly published a Child Protection Policy for the Presbyterian Church. This is a stand-alone Supplementary Provision to the Book of Order.
This Policy must be applied when people in the Church have responsibility for children and young people. Congregations must comply with this policy by the end of 2019.
In supporting congregations to comply with the Child Protection Policy, PYM and Kids Friendly are converting the Safety WOF training to a video-based training programme that can be run by a congregation with their own people. The training will be ready for congregations to use by 1 Aug 2019.
Director Resourcing and National Youth Manager
International Women’s Day on 8 March 2019 celebrates the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women across the globe. Presbyterian Women Aotearoa reminds you the General Assembly 2016 recommended:
- That a PWANZ Special Collection be taken on the Sunday nearest to International Women’s Day each March to support the ongoing advocacy role of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand locally, regionally, internationally, as well as at the United Nations.
Since 1998, Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ (PWANZ) has Special Consultative Status as a Non-Governmental organisation with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Up to twenty self-funded delegates, led by our United Nations Convenor, go to the UN headquarters in New York each year.
The executive team of PWANZ promote the activities of Presbyterian women, and through ecumenical co-operation, an annual mission project is supported by Presbyterian Women and Methodist Women's Fellowship (MWF) groups.
New opportunities encouraged by PWANZ also focus on building capacity for women and girls in the Church. Particular emphasis is placed on the roles of women to promote their voice and leadership within the Church and the wider community. Presbyterian Women take their faith-based voice into civil society through submissions to select committees, participation in sister organisations and leadership in community life.
PWANZ need your support, and ask that a retiring collection be taken on Sunday 10 March 2019 as contributions will enable our administration and activities to continue over the next twelve months.
Join Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ, and receive a monthly newsletter, a vote at the Annual General Meeting 2019 to be held at Whakatu (Nelson) in September, participate in our mission projects and have your voice heard. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support of the PWANZ executive in your contribution to our mission.
You can help someone who has fled conflict in Syria. This month CWS launches Operation Refugee 2019. The challenge can be undertaken between April and September, with a special focus on 16-20 June. Participants live on the Food Box for 5 days (2 days for students) or walk the talk, raising funds for food, education and healthcare. CWS will prepare materials for Refugee Sunday on 23 June. Plan to stand #Withrefugees.
Please pray for the people of South Sudan as conflict and hunger persist. Funds donated to the South Sudan Appeal will assist newly displaced mothers to set up gardens and small businesses to support their children.
Fiji is the focus of this year’s Special Project for Presbyterian and Methodist Women. Funds raised will fund a new programme focusing on mai (grassroots) democracy and rural livelihoods with SEEP (Social Empowerment and Education Programme). Resources are available now and donations welcome.
Seven Weeks for Water
The Ecumenical Water Network prepares resources for reflection and action during Lent. Asian theologians have prepared them this year. World Water Day is celebrated on 22 March internationally. “Leaving no one behind” supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and challenges us all to deliver safe water to some of the 2.1 billion people missing out. There are many resources to help your congregation explore water justice. $366 will pay for a half share in a rainwater-harvesting tank for a family of HIV and AIDS orphans in Uganda. Can you help them build more?
World Day of Prayer
Women from Slovenia have prepared worship material “Come – Everything is Ready” for the international day on Friday, 1 March. Services are organised locally. The national committee encourages people to use these resources widely. For more information, contact Zella.
2018/19 lectionary and calendar available
A reminder that the latest lectionary (Year C - Luke), which commenced on 3 December 2018, is available for download from the Church’s website. Download lectionary and calendar for 2018/19.
Have your say on the Copyright Act
Consultation is now open on the issues paper: “Review of the Copyright Act 1994”. This is the first stage of public consultation on the Copyright Act review. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking feedback on how well the copyright regime is functioning and also seeking evidence of issues that could be addressed in this review. Information about how to make a submission, and a copy of the issues paper is available here. Submissions close 5pm on Friday, 5 April.
Link Arms Aotearoa
On Children’s Day, Sunday, 3 March, Stop the Bus is calling on people across New Zealand to take a stand against child abuse by linking arms either as a group of friends/family/neighbours, as a church, a sports club, a business or even as a whole town! You are invited to take a photo or video of your group linking arms which can be emailed to Stop the Bush for inclusion in a film about child abuse, or shared via your own social media using the hashtag #linkarmsnz. More information about Link Arms Aotearoa can be found here
Asia Sunday resources available
Asia Sunday reminds Christian Conference of Asia member churches, like us, to offer special prayers and organise worship services as part of the observance of Asia Sunday. In 2018, it falls on 2 June, but as usual, churches and councils are free to choose a date to suit. Learn more about this year's theme - Stateless and Trafficked People: Our Co-Pilgrims - and download worship resources here.
Celtic pilgrimage retreat – Vaughan Park
Held on 9-10 March, and facilitated by the Rev Dr Hilary Oxford Smith and Celtic harpist, Julie Saraswati, the retreat will be at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre in Long Bay, Auckland. More details about the retreat, costs and how to register can be found here
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid on Presbyterian Investment Fund deposits remains at 3.50 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
An update to the Church Register will be provided in the April 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.