September 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
Theological Education and Leadership Training Review
Global Mission
Presbyterian Women
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
CWS Notices
Church Register

From the Moderator

Life, to the last sunset
"Let us run with determination, the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.” (Hebrew 12: 1-2)

We have all experienced the passing away of a loved one. We are shaken to the core of our being. Everything around us seems to stand still - time, appointments - and items on our agenda seem so trivial.

It is gracious and helpful to get alongside those who have lost a loved one. I share with you a wise suggestion that was passed onto me: just be there. Sometimes you do not need to say or do anything, but just be there. Your presence, without words, can make a difference. Presence in silence can be a very powerful expression that hopefully can begin the healing process of grief. It can help to empty the other so that the distracting voices around can be still. At the end of the day, you are there for the other. We are not present for our own need.

Life can be like a race. There is a beginning and there is an end. It can be a long race or a short race. In this race of life, be determined to do your best and to give your all. Enjoy the race. Be filled with faith, hope and love. Don't carry or be loaded down with unnecessary excesses. Run well. Trust in who you are, "the Lord God created you in his image" (Genesis 1:26). May the way you run your race be a good and helpful influence for the race of others.

Keep your eyes focussed on Christ. This is very important and crucial for the race of life. Why? Because there are so many distractions. 

There is a beginning and there is an ending; that is all we know. Be confident in the one we are focussing on, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Revelation 22:13).

Run well beloved.


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

I am reading The Lost Guttenberg – a well-researched account on version number 45 of the Guttenberg Bible and those who wanted to own it, and in particular Estelle Doheny.

Life magazine named Johann Guttenberg its “man of the millennium” in Autumn 2000 putting the printing of the Bible atop its list of the most important events of the past one thousand years. Yet the book ends saying the very version of the Bible remains locked away… inaccessible.

In our day, the Bible has never been so accessible! It has been translated into over 2,500 languages. Millions of copies are purchased or given away every year. Nothing else is a close second. 

Yet, biblical illiteracy is a big problem!

It is a strange thing. A lot of people cheer the Bible, buy the Bible, give the Bible and own the Bible: they just don’t actually read the Bible. They act as if it is as inaccessible as the Guttenberg Bible number 45. 

Sometimes people become superficial with it, and they measure spirituality in ways like: How much of the Bible have you read? How much of the Bible do you know?

The older I become, the more I think God’s goal is not for me to get all the way through the Scriptures; God’s goal is for the Scriptures to get all the way through me.

That is a work in progress for me.

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.

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.

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 ongoing partnership as we together seek to bear witness to the Kingdom of God.


Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

In August, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership (KCML) staff have been out and about – leading an elders workshop in Auckland, working with presbytery mission catalysts on training resources, and coaching ministers in Lawrence. 

Listening in Mission
As a way of resourcing churches in mission, KCML offers online training. This resourcing is practical and grounded. Our next round of resourcing is Listening in Mission, which we are running for a third year. Feedback from previous participants has been overwhelming positive. Any local church can participate and be coached in gathering a group to take a first step in local mission.  

There was an online introduction on 29 August. The short course starts on 26 Sept and runs for five Thursdays, from 4:30-6:00 pm until 21 November. Check out the short explanation video. There is a per church cost of $200 to cover extra costs associated with this new form of resourcing. 

KCML, in partnership with Presbyterian Development Society, is welcoming 10 teams from across New Zealand to a weekend of innovation and mission coaching. In a workshop setting, teams facing mission challenges in their local communities are provided with working processes to take their mission opportunity to a next outcome. After three years of testing and excellent feedback, in 2020 KCML are looking for partners to host more local Lighthouses.

Steve Taylor
Principal – Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Research Centre

After a long process of fundraising we are about to begin to implement new archives management software which will also deliver a new website for the PCANZ Archives. We expect to have this launched before Christmas, although implementation and fine-tuning will be ongoing.

The software will give us the capability to make our digitised photographs available as thumbnails online, linking them to an online store for people who would like a higher quality copy for publication or other use. As appropriate, we will also be able to make indexes of our archive holdings available and searchable, ensuring our collections are more easily accessible by those unable to come to Dunedin.

We will also be able to curate galleries and stories about our collections – if you have any stories about the Presbyterian Church (or your community) that you would like to see highlighted, please let the Archives know. This will help us plan and prioritise displays about the things people most want to see. 

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.

Jane Thomsen

Theological Education and Leadership Training Review

The review team is excited to be at Southern, Alpine and Central presbyteries in the next few weeks; we are in contact with all the other presbyteries and look forward to consulting with them as well.

We are starting to see people fill out our survey and have also received a few direct submissions. Please continue to pray for us and the team at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership and Presbyterian Research Centre as we seek to hear God’s voice through listening to his people.

Learn more about how you can have your say about how the Church undertakes theological education and leadership training.

Simon McLeay

Global Mission

Vanuatu school chaplains visit NZ
We’ve had some good events in the past month hosting members from the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV) on two different programmes. Last month we hosted a team of youth leaders, culminating in their attendance at Connect, and this month we welcomed two Vanuatu school chaplains to the conference of the New Zealand Association of Religious Education Teachers and School Chaplains. Then they attended the Presbyterian Schools Conference at St Kentigerns College, so had a full week of learning. Their context in Vanuatu is very different to what they experienced here, but it was a valuable week for them. It was really good to be able to offer this opportunity to our partner church. Thanks to the Rev Reuben Hardie of St Kentigern College (and his family) for hosting our two visiting chaplains for the week. 

Mission update
There has been a lot of activity in the past few weeks with some of our churches sending teams to grow their support for the mission of the PCV. Teams from Wakatipu and Howick churches have made excellent contributions on two different islands (see photos and stories on the Global Mission Facebook page); and Nicola Young from Auckland returned to Port Vila to give some assistance to the Korvan Community Health School as they prepare to deliver another village health worker training course. 

PCANZ to attend Presbyterian Church Vanuatu General Assembly
In late August our Moderator, Rt Rev Fakaofo Kaio and his wife Ruth will be attending the PCV General Assembly. This will be held on Ambrym Island, which is quite undeveloped and dominated by two volcanoes… so it is sure to be an interesting experience. It will be the first time we have had a Pasifika Moderator attending a PCV Assembly. I will accompany Fakaofo, which will give me the opportunity to catch up on the many PCV projects we are supporting. 

It’s been good to share the good news of what is happening in Global Mission with congregations. I am always available for those who want to find out how they can get involved.

Phil King
Global Mission Coordinator

Presbyterian Women

On the coldest, windiest and rainiest day of 2019 in Wellington, we met and toured the Pacific. 

Talofa lava, kia orana, malo e lelei, greetings to our members of Presbyterian Women and a special welcome to the New Zealand Methodist Women’s Fellowship President Siniva Viatohi and four of her executive who travelled from Auckland. We journeyed to Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Cook Islands plus Aotearoa as we sang, danced, laughed and shed tears together during the day. Thank you to our PWANZ President Faaolataga Leasi and her team at PIPC, Porirua for the warm hospitality, and generous welcome to eighty-five women of all ages who gathered at Christ the King church hall. 

We heard again the story of the women at the well and reflected on the lesson from John’s Gospel (4: 4–26) with Dr Deborah Bower from Queenstown. We learnt, too, of the Tokelauan model of the holy spirit through a moving presentation with Dr Linda Hope, chaplain at Auckland University of Technology. 

The younger women brought their skills and talent to our gathering, and shared their personal stories. It was agreed that the lessons from the day were powerful, and the message to take away was that our faith gives us hope.

AGM coming up in September
Join PWANZ at our gathering in Whakatu – we hold our Annual General Meeting at Stoke, Nelson on Saturday, 14 September 2019. Have you registered? email: At our AGM we will report on the activities of the past year, elect an administrator, communications convenor and mission convenor. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to share and network as we focus on our mission – serving God locally and globally in love. Contribute your voice to the work of Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand.

Sandra Waldrom
Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

In December 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 are working with, or have responsibility for, children and young people. Congregations must comply with this policy by the end of 2019. In short, congregations must: 

  • Ensure the safe recruitment of all volunteers and employees who work with children or young people (including police vetting of all current personnel once every three years) 
  • Ensure all volunteers and employees who work with children or young people are trained in the PCANZ Safety Warrant of Fitness 
  • Ensure all volunteers and employees who work with children or young people are following safe working practices  
  • Ensure any suspected child abuse is reported appropriately. 

To support congregations, the Church provides a free police vetting service, and as of the 1 Sept 2019 free parish-based training in the PCANZ Safety WOF will be available. This training is video-based and can be facilitated by anyone in the church at any time. All videos, manuals and other information for the PCANZ Safety WOF training can be found here:

The training is divided into three sessions, which we suggest are run over three evenings, but could be done over one day: 

  1. Ethical Practices 
  2. Health and Safety 
  3. Recognising and Responding to Child Abuse 

For each session, there is a video, facilitators guide and a participant’s workbook. The training works like an alpha course; participants watch a video, pausing it periodically for group discussions or a group exercise. 

Gordon Fitch 
National Youth Manager

CWS Notices

Take action for Syria
Concerned about falling levels of aid and growing human rights violations in Syria, aid agency CEOs including CWS’s Pauline McKay are asking for increased humanitarian support. Watch the video, sign the petition, support our appeal for Syria and pray for an end to the violence and suffering.  

Special thanks to those who supported Operation Refugee. The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon are in urgent need of funds as they begin the new school year and assist refugees who say it is not safe to return home.  

Supporters’ Council
The annual Supporters’ Council will be held at St Peter’s Cathedral lounge in Hamilton on Saturday, 12 October from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Archbishop Sir David Moxon will speak on inter-church engagement in the pain of the world. Lunch is included. For more information, contact Sarah.

CWS offers you the opportunity to buy meaningful gifts from our much-improved website. You can choose a cute animal, train a young person in Gaza or pay for schooling. You buy a gift and we send you a beautiful card and tax deductible receipt, or choose an ecard and enter your own message. Either way your purchase becomes a donation to one of our partners making change one family at a time.

World week for peace in Palestine and Israel 
Please set aside 15-22 September for a World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This year’s theme is “Humanity and equality in God’s creation” with resources available from the World Council of Churches. Please support the work of our partner, Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees in East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and the West Bank. If you would like more information or images, contact Gillian.


Representatives sought to attend CWM 2020 Assembly 
In June 2020, the Council for World Mission will meet in Johannesburg. As a member Church, we are entitled to send up to four representatives to attend. Travel and accommodation costs are covered. Full details about the application process and skills and experience sought are available on our website. Learn more Expressions of interest must be with the Church's Assembly Executive Secretary, Wayne Matheson, no later than 5pm, Mon, 23 September.

Faith thinking events
The theology programme at the University of Otago has some events coming up soon, including August public lecture series led by Dr Deborah Bower: “Going deeper into the acts of the apostles”. Check out the details of this and other lectures on our website. Learn more

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 Trustees are currently considering the implications of the 0.5% cut in the Official Cash Rate (OCR) to 1.0% pa which occurred on 7 August, having earlier signalled that the PIF interest rate would likely have to follow the OCR down. The Fund is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.

Seasons of the Spirit lectionary resources
Seasons of the Spirit is an international curriculum. The curriculum year begins with Advent and is shipped out twice a year, and available in three different formats (print, CD and online). To download a free sample of each pack, please go to Call Philip on 04 475 8855 to obtain a full catalogue.

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

CWM seeking applicants for senior positions
The Council for World Mission is inviting interested candidates to apply for the following positions: (1) Deputy General Secretary and (2) Mission Secretary, Research & Capacity Development. Read more

Spanz publication dates
Parishes and subscribers have recently been advised of a change to Spanz publication dates: Spanz magazine will be published twice in 2019 (April and November) and once (in May) 2020. Read more

Church Register

An updated Church Register will be available in the October edition of Bush Telegraph.


Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. 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.