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 Youth Ministry
Theological Education and Leadership Training review update
Presbyterian Research Centre
Christian World Service
From the Moderator
“What is most needed in Church?”
"I will build my Church," said Jesus. (Matt 16:18) Jesus himself will build his Church, He references Peter, and maybe to believers - and even to you and I.
What does the Church need? Is it buildings? Is it people? Is it money? Is it land? Is it urban, or is it rural? Is it music?
The truth is that we need a combination of all the above… and much, much more. We, above all, need to focus on Jesus Christ. We must be prayerful people, individually and collectively. We must study Scripture with a focus on the Word. We must be in tune, on song and be aligned to the Holy Spirit as this is when "something beautiful, something good" takes place.
In our travels to presbyteries, parishes, communities and people, we have seen so much going on. There are challenges, there are struggles, and there are hardships in Church life. Our people - from north to south, west to the east - are giving their all for their Church. I write this message to encourage and support you. Keep on going for the Lord. Trust all you do in the Church to the Holy Spirit. Work together with those around you, as "many hands make light the load".
Remember the humble beginnings with home groups. Every gathering, community, or church has a specific need. So, whatever is working well for you and your people, keep going. Keep on doing church. The little you have, entrust all to God.
In a perfect world, we would be working collaboratively across and within our churches. Imagine if a parish in the north needed urgent funding to bring their building up to the required earthquake standard... and a parish from the east rescues them. Imagine if a parish in the south needed people to teach, lead and administer, and folks from the west step up. Helping each other in our deepest needs would make a tremendous change to our Church. But it is not a perfect world. We keep battling on and all the signs call us to confront out dwindling membership in faith and love.
I believe we must help each other. Work in our church courts, be involved in our missions, and if we have funds held for a rainy day, it's been bucketing down for a while. I believe we should utilise resources where there is need and where there are possibilities. I urge and encourage our able men and women to come forward to meet the need for more trained ministers. Fuel the fires in each of our local faith communities. The fire of the Holy Spirit calls everyday. Be led by the Advocate, the Helper. We need the power of God to continue moving among us.
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord. (Zec 4:6)
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
In October, I spent a week with the general secretary of the Methodist Church in New Zealand, the general secretary of the Uniting Church, and the general secretaries of each of the states in the Uniting Church - as we gathered in Western Australia.
These weeks are real highlights (we meet about every 18 months) as we discuss and share matters of mutual concern; trends; highlights; signs of hope; disappointments; worries; compliance and more. There is a high degree of respect - even when we find ourselves in different places on the matter we are chatting about. We do so as friends and as folk who share common roles in the life of the Church. We listen, learn, share and gain insights. We share devotions each day; pray; chat informally over food; enjoy the environment where we meet; start to get to know each other - as at least from the Australian side as there is a change in personnel from the last time we gathered - and reconnect with folk we have met before. I come away from these encouraged, challenged and mindful of the huge privilege this role affords, and the responsibility we all share in joining God in mission and ministry.
As our Moderator reminded us last month - on Sunday 3 November - we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the decision made at the Assembly in 1969 which saw ministers and congregations move from the Congregational Union to the Presbyterian Church. Resources are available to enable congregations to do this in their own setting (read or download the resources) - plus a special combined service is being held in Auckland at 4pm at Newton Presbyterian Church. The service will be lead by our Moderator and by the President of the Congregational Union, Rev Tale Hakeagaiki. All are welcome.
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.
Thank you again for your prayers.
This month, I want to draw your attention to several opportunities for people interested in Global Mission.
Training in Mission
First of all, for young adults aged 18-30, the Council for World Mission is inviting applications for next year’s Training in Mission programme which will take place in New Zealand, Fiji, South Korea and Jamaica. Applications close 10 January 2020. Information and application forms can be found here.
Partners in Mission
Then there are several positions available for members who are interested in serving overseas, also with the Council for World Mission. We currently have requests for high school teachers (American Samoa and Samoa), a lecturer in theology (Zambia), and ordained ministers (Guyana). Summaries of these positions can be viewed here.
Tradespeople required in Papua New Guinea
We have worked in a cooperative relationship with NZCMS (the Anglican Church equivalent of Global Mission) in recent years. They are seeking Christian tradespeople to help with the rebuild of Kapuna hospital in Papua New Guinea on short and long-term projects. Information and job descriptions can be found here
If anyone would like more information about any of these opportunities above, contact me.
Be sure to look out for the next edition of Spanz (which will be online next week). It includes encouraging stories relating to Global Mission, including the programmes this year where we hosted youth leaders from Vanuatu and Taiwan, and church school chaplains from Vanuatu. It also includes a story about Karo Wilson’s amazing trip to Palestine on a Face-to-Face programme with the Council for World Mission.
It’s been great to receive financial support from several congregations for the Ricebowl Mission in Myanmar. In the past month $10,000 has been received from three congregations, which has been a significant boost to our funding support for the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar. Read the latest news from our personnel, Wayne and Helen Harray, serving in mission in Myanmar here.
Global Mission Coordinator
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Farewell to Kev Ward
Rev Dr Kevin Ward has announced the conclusion of his ministry at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership at the end of 2019. This represents over 17 years of service, teaching, researching and serving the Presbyterian Church. An evening to “come together” in celebration of the many dimensions of Kevin’s ministry is planned for the evening of Friday, 29 November 2019, 7:30pm in the Cameron Hall, Knox College. Learn more
Summer 2020 intensive
A Practical Theology of Mental Health with John Swinton. The need to think theologically about mental health in the practice of ministry is vital. John Swinton is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, University of Aberdeen. He is the founder and director of the Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability at the University and in 2014 also established the Centre for Ministry Studies. The summer intensive runs from Monday, 27 January to Friday, 31 January and is jointly offered by the University of Otago and Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. Learn more
Highlights from our recent work
Kevin recently gave a keynote address at UCANZ in Alexandria. Kevin was opening the Scriptures in the Gospel of John.
The KCML team joined other national staff for a combined day in Christchurch with the Moderator-designate (Rev Hamish Galloway) to discuss the Moderator’s theme 2020-2021. This was a rich day.
Ministers’ study grants
The Senatus will be meeting in November to consider applications for ministers’ study grants. If you would like to apply, please submit your application to Susan Peters by Thursday, 14 November 2019. Find the guidelines and the application form on the KCML website.
Applications open for KCML Ministry Formation Co-ordinator
(up to 1.0, fixed term, 2 years)
As well as training people for National Ordained Ministry, KCML provides resources for Local Ordained Ministers, Local Ministry Teams and other recognised ministries in the Church. We support synods, presbyteries and congregations in their leadership development and help resource continuing ministry formation among the Presbyterian Church’s ministers and elders. We need a Ministry Formation Fieldwork Co-ordinator/s to:
- Contribute to teaching and formational programmes
- Take responsibility to co-ordinate and teach in at least two areas of:
- Presbyterian history and polity
- theological reflection
- Offer formational leadership in developing educational resourcing for continuing ministry formation
- Other responsibilities as required and in consultation with the Principal of KCML.
We encourage applications for fractional appointments and from different geographic locations around New Zealand. Applications close 5 pm, Thursday 14 November, interviews are planned for 21 November, 2019.
Enquiries to KCML Principal, Steve Taylor.
Dean of Studies
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Making the most of young adult commissioners - GA2020
We were greatly encouraged by the way young adult commissioners engaged at last year’s General Assembly. We noted how valuable their voice was during GA18 deliberations, and want to suggest some practical ways that churches can include the perspectives of young adults in their GA2020 discussions.
- Recommend any suitable potential youth commissioners to your regional youth coordinator or presbytery. Each presbytery has six positions available for youth commissioners. The PYM team has a comprehensive youth commissioner training and engagement process, which ideally starts nine months out from GA and includes:
- Online training (see example video)
- Attending at least two of their church’s session or church council meetings before and after GA (four in total)
- Attending at least one presbytery gathering (where possible) before and after GA (two meetings in total)
- Orientation afternoon on the first day of GA
- Daily catch-ups during General Assembly (7-11 October 2020)
Now is the time to invite young adults in your church to consider participating in GA2020.
- Include young adult commissioners in the pre-submission phase of any proposals being submitted to GA2020. This could be a simple as inviting younger people from your church or presbytery to explore and discern the issue with you and inviting them to give their perspective. Through this process you may discover some new insights and strong youth advocates for the proposal you're putting forward.
- Assist young adults to write proposals for GA2020. General Assembly is an unknown entity to most of our Church’s young people, however, it is an important court that helps shape the future direction of our Church. Encourage younger people in your parish to dream about what the future of our Church could look like and help them to draft proposals that could make some of those dreams a reality.
Consider contacting PYM or your presbytery youth coordinator for further support.
National Youth Manager
“So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Rom 12:5)
In mid-September, Presbyterian women gathered at Whakatu Church, Nelson for our 2019 AGM. The aroha and manaakitanga from the women of Whakatu was wonderful and we quickly felt that we were one family – which indeed we are, being one body in Christ.
We feel both proud and excited to welcome to the executive:
- Ruth Stevens (administrator)
- Ida Faiumu-Isaako (communications convenor)
- Tracey Sa (missions convenor)
However, it is with both sadness and gratitude that we farewell Sandra Waldrom (outgoing administrator) and Sally Russell (outgoing missions convenor).
Looking forward, I am currently gathering a delegation for the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women to be held in NYC in March 2020.
2020 will be a critical year for the gender equality and women’s rights agenda. It marks not only the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, but also the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. 2020 is also the five-year milestone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, and the 10th anniversary of the creation of UN Women – all of this is in the context of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
If this sounds exciting and you would like to be part of the PWANZ delegation to the UN, then please contact me over the next few weeks. Delegate positions are self-funded, which means that the delegate pays for their own flights and accommodation.
Can I suggest you like/follow our Facebook page as well as join Presbyterian Women, and join your voice with PWANZ as we aspire to be “one in Christ”.
Theological Education & Leadership Training review update
We are delighted to have spent the last three months meeting with presbyteries, minsters, elders and Assembly staff. We have enjoyed your warm reception.
The TELT survey is now closed. The last day to send in your email responses to the consultation paper is 5pm, next Monday, 4 November (the consultation paper and information about how to respond by email can be found here). That will bring to a close the first consultation phase.
You will see that we have posted some feedback to the website, which you might be interested to look at (read the feedback here). I have been asked whether I have read all the feedback to the earlier “Pre-change Proposal”. Access to that feedback was included in our terms of reference and I have begun reading through those comments. However, our team’s primary focus will be on the feedback that has been directed to this consultation.
We hope to share further information in December. Please pray for us as we now consider your feedback, and begin to see what to affirm and whether there are any changes we might need to suggest.
We are aware that the Church continues to change in the midst of a challenging culture, and some things such as our commitment to the scriptures and to spiritual formation will continue, but others may need to adapt.
Convenor – Theological Education and Learning Review Task Group
Presbyterian Research Centre
In September, the Te Aroha Co-operating Parish Council authorised that the parish's archival records, currently stored in a cupboard onsite, be deposited into appropriate archives. These consist of both Presbyterian and Methodist records dating from 1881 until the formation of the Cooperating Parish in 1978. It has proved quite a challenge for the team of volunteers in Te Aroha to sort out which records should go to the Presbyterian, and which to the Methodist Archives as all were stored together in no apparent order.
If you are part of a co-operating parish, it may be worth considering how archival records held onsite are stored, and where the records will need to be deposited in the future. Considering where records created since the union should go is also important. In the case of the Te Aroha Cooperating Parish, the records created since 1978 will be deposited into the Hamilton Public Library by prior agreement. It is a requirement that all Presbyterian records be deposited into the the Presbyterian Research Centre Archives in Dunedin or in one of the registered regional repositories, and other denominations will have their own requirements.
A plan will ensure precious records don’t get lost during future moves. If you have any questions or would like any advice about this, please contact the PRC Archives or phone 03 473 0777.
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, project updates or blog articles please sign up here.
Give Water this Christmas
Nine-year-old Asanti is the face of the Christian World Service Christmas Appeal. During drought in Ethiopia, she goes to the local waterhole with her mother and sister after rain. They each put their jerry cans into the brown water before carrying them home. Women and girls are more likely to have to make the long treks to collect water, missing school or risking attack.
The image is one that speaks for the one in three or 2.2 billion people without safe water. Who will stand with those who need water?
This year’s Christmas Appeal "Give Water for Christmas" – is for people needing clear, safe water. If you would like a kit or more information about the 74-year-old Christmas Appeal tradition, please contact CWS or phone 0800 74 73 72. Order posters in 10 languages, envelopes and service sheet covers now. Worship resources are being added this week.
CWS Supporters’ Council
Last month Archbishop Sir David Moxon spoke to the annual meeting of CWS supporters, giving examples of church involvement in global affairs and focusing on human trafficking.
The CWS Annual Review for 2018-9 outlines some of the achievements made with your support.
Gifts for giving
This Christmas, choose a gift with meaning and the promise of transformation. In South Sudan, Rhoda can see a better future ahead: selling cups of tea at her own stall. Buy A Market Stall and she can attend a business course designed for women who have children to raise and no income. Buy seeds or a buy a pig and improve a family’s livelihood. You can order a beautiful card or choose an e-card. Learn more at www.gift.org.nz
CWS asks for your prayers for the people of Syria as the conflict intensifies.
The new lectionary (Year A - Matthew) commences on 1 December 2019. Download lectionary and calendar for 2019-2020
The First Kiwi Christmas children’s book
A new children’s book, titled The First Kiwi Christmas has been released with the aim of making New Zealand’s early bi-cultural history more accessible to children. Targeting 4-7 year-olds, this little-known story tells of the warm relationship that developed between Rev Samuel Marsden and two Ngāpuhi rangatira: Te Pahi and Ruatara. Learn more
Labyrinths in the sand: mystics, muses and metaphors (retreat)
On the weekend of 8-10 Nov, join a retreat with Dr Sally Longley of the Canisius Centre for Ignatian Spirituality, Sydney, Australia. Gather up your brokenness and the tender fragrance of your dreams and bring it to a weekend of encounter with the spirit who transforms and transfigures each one of us. Learn more
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that from 1 October 2019 the interest rate paid on the Presbyterian Investment Fund is 2.5%. The Trustees have had to reduce the rate following recent reductions in the Official Cash Rate (which is now 1.0%). The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.
New book: In One Spirit by Dave Mann
Dave Mann, the originator of the Hope Project, has a released a new book on the need for greater Church unity. In One Spirit reflects and captures the essence of Mann’s conversations with over 1000 Kiwi pastors over the past eight years. Learn more
Spanz publication dates
There has been a change to Spanz publication dates: Spanz magazine will be published twice in 2019 (April and November) and once (in May) 2020. Read more
Changes in status
Rev Cate Williams, minister, St Peters in the City Tauranga, to other recognised minister, Kaimai Presbytery, 30 September 2019.
Rev Colin Hay, minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, died 11 October 2019.
Welcome Bay Presbyterian Church-The Lighthouse, Kaimai Presbytery Council recognise the existing faith community of Welcome Bay Presbyterian Church as a Presbyterian congregation pursuant to section 5.4(2) of the Book of Order with effect from Sunday, 6 October 2019.
Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. Learn more
Check out our job vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table.