April 2021


From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Children and Families
Global Mission
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Church School
NZ Council of Christian Social Services
Presbyterian Women
Church Register

From the Moderator

Sail on in God’s love.

“Mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore - the Lord above is mightier than these”, Psalm 93:4.

Keep strong beloved in Christ. You have been tested and shaken violently. These past months have seen us all shaken violently. These past months have seen our resolve, our core, our faith put on the platform of public opinion. The scrutiny and comments have highlighted ignorance and lack of understanding that Christianity is not a social club, nor a fashion faze - but it is faith in a God who is in the storm with the world.

Humanity has truly faced the full force of a vicious pandemic. We will suffer more before the tide is turned. Our faith is what defines us. Therefore, our faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour is our strength. Hold on to your faith. Focus on the Lord. Heed his words, “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age”. Matthew 28:20.

On my wall is a picture of a small sailboat, with a single person on-board, in a storm. The words on the bottom read, “You cannot calm or change the wind. But you can adjust the sail”. 

Sail on in the love of God in Jesus Christ.

Recent Events

Northern Presbytery ministers’ retreat, 43 registered. Wonderful time together. Rested. Reflection. Getting to know each other. Three days at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre. Thank you for this initiative. Spiritually refreshed.

Alpine Presbytery gathering at St Davids in Allenton, Ashburton. Good turnout, wonderful atmosphere. Numerous transformational stories of ministries told and shared. Challenged about Intentional Community Ministries by Rev Dr Bruce Hamill. Intentional Community Ministries is a reality today. It is a very different way of doing church. It is about church folks working in the community, living, interacting, 24/7, a personal presence. The PCANZ is challenged in light of our crisis with the shortage of ministers in training.

Crossway Community Church, official opening and dedication of the new building. A Union parish, Methodist and Presbyterian partnership. Because of the earthquake in Christchurch, and the rebuild that followed, this parish moved eleven times to different sites before settling on the final site. It is quite a story of resilient people, resilient community. Ably led by their minister Rev Dr Jooh ong Kim.


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear friends and colleagues

Please see the notices below:

First round of voting for Moderator-designate

All parishes have received information concerning the first round of voting for Moderator-designate. There are changes to this process as a result of decisions made at Assembly 2018. It is important parish councils read the background information paper as they prayerfully consider the matter. Names have to be submitted to presbytery clerks by Friday, 9 April. To assist those who are being asked to prayerfully consider offering themselves for this role, a background paper is included in this information.

General Assembly 2021

The 2021 General Assembly will be held from 29 September - 3 October 2021 at St Andrew’s College in Christchurch.

Commissioners to Assembly

Pursuant to Book of Order 8.16 (1) A presbytery is responsible for the organisation of appointments of commissioners to attend the General Assembly (2) The selection of commissioners is to be based on the total number of full members of congregations within a presbytery, on a fair and reasonable basis. For every 100 members, a presbytery will commission one elder or minister and will allocate the commissions across the congregations within the presbytery. Presbytery clerks and administrators will be working to determine this process for appointing commissioners.

Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly 2021

Following consultation with the Assembly Business Work Group convener, a deadline has been set for receiving all reports and proposals that will be considered by this year's General Assembly. All material must be received by 5pm Friday, 18 June 2021. This timeframe will enable us to facilitate a consultative process with presbyteries prior to Assembly. In this way, we will be able to fulfil the 2012 Assembly’s decision supporting presbyteries’ participation in the setting of the Assembly agenda.

Staff news

Our Head of Finance and Operations and Finance Manager Sandra Kennerley has accepted a role with a Not for Profit organisation and she will finish on 16 April. Sandra has made a significant and valuable contribution during her time – especially in leading our Financial Consolidation Compliance process. We wish her well for the future.

Assembly Office closed over Easter

During Easter, Assembly Office is closed from 5pm Thursday, 1 April and re-opens on Wednesday, 6 April. If you need to contact a staff member for an urgent matter during this time, please see our website for contact details.

Calling a newly trained minister

This year another group will complete their training as interns. 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 Grace so that we can ensure we are communicating with the appropriate office bearers.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Take care.

Ngā mihi nui

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Emerge Leadership Formation Video Course 

We are excited to introduce Emerge. Our ministry vitality depends on our leadership capacity. We need to create a strong culture of invitation, discernment and leadership development throughout the Church.  This year we have been working hard to develop Emerge. 

Emerge is a free two-year video-based leadership formation programme aimed at creating a culture of servant leadership in our young people (Year 11+), developing their character, competency and sense of calling. This two-year course has six sessions per year (12 in total). Participants will: 

  • Gain clarity about their gifts and skill sets; 
  • Gain understanding about their personal calling plus have the opportunity to grow in that calling; 
  • Connect with potential mentoring figures in their specific calling where possible; 
  • Grow a deeper connection, sense of belonging and participation with their local church. 

The course is super easy to run and can be led by a volunteer youth leader in a church, in partnership with other churches, or regional/presbytery-wide. Learn more, watch episode 1 here

Queenstown Key Leaders Retreat – 27-30 November 

The Key Leaders Retreat is back this year! Please invite your key youth leader to this retreat. Other than travel to Queenstown, this retreat is completely free of charge for one key leader per church to attend. If you have a second key leader at your church, or a spouse, the additional person cost is $150. We aim to reconnect, acknowledge, refresh and equip key leaders across the PCANZ. See more

Future Connect Online dates for your calendar 

It was great having Ivan Martinez speak at our first Connect Online of the year, helping us think about setting up of ministries to thrive. Dates for future online evenings: 

  • 10 May, Young Adults 
  • 12 July, Intermediates 
  • 13 Sept, Transitioning well, moving on from Intermediate and High School. 
  • 8 Nov, Helping parents win 

 Provisional topics, we may change them if circumstances require us to tackle another urgently.

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager


Health and Safety and External Groups Using a Church Property

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, members of a church council are all Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). This means members of a church council have a duty of care, to as far as is reasonably practicable, ensure the health and safety of everyone involved with or affected by work on or at the church. This includes when a church property is being used by an external group.

To an extent, it is reasonable to rely on the external users of a church property to be reasonable for their own health and safety. The external users are also PCBUs and they have the same obligations, although they might be applied differently because of their different role. 

The following points may be helpful as a starting point for your thinking:

  1. External users should be told that they are responsible for the health and safety of their group. This requirement could be included in any property use agreement. 
  2. Where there are overlapping responsibilities, talk with external users to coordinate work to ensure everyone’s safety. 
  3. External users should be given safety information, for example evacuation and emergency drill procedures. 
  4. External users should be told to raise any safety concerns they have with the church. 
  5. For one-off or occasional users, you probably don’t need to do fire drills. For regular users you may wish to do so, it may be a matter of including them in your own regular drills. 
  6. Continue doing a regular safety audit of the property. 
  7. If you notice any safety issues with the way the property users are conducting themselves, address these issues, but you don’t need to constantly monitor external groups.
  8. Ensure that all electrical and gas appliances are safe and have been inspected as required by law. 

There is helpful health and safety guidance and templates at the InterChurch Bureau New Zealand website, and the PCANZ website

Matthew Hague
Legal and Compliance Director

Presbyterian Children and Families

As we journey through Holy Week and into Eastertide, let’s share with our children and families the profound, powerful and mysterious death and resurrection of Jesus! Around tables at church and in our homes, we can use elements (bread, fish, water, etc) as we read relevant Bible passages along with interacting, discussing and reflecting together. 

One way to do this is outlined in a wonderful resource by mainly Ministries called “At our table”. There are seven sessions that can be used in any order and are available in multiple formats. After each Bible reading, there are suggestions for further engagement with each passage, then some reflective questions for thinking and conversation. Find the ‘Free Easter Resources’ here. We will post these sessions on our Facebook page and Instagram account

This month we continue a series sharing the 5 ‘Matters’ of Children and Families Ministry, written by Cheryl Harray. These are Cheryl’s reflections and highly recommended resources. The second ‘matter’ is below, and full text is at 5 'Matters' .

2. Children Matter – Luke 18:15-17 – Children are spiritual too and able to explore faith from an early age. Highly recommend: “Children’s Spirituality – What it is and Why it Matters”. Dr Rebecca Nye shares important research and challenges what that will mean for our content, programmes and relationships with children. Helpful six point SPIRIT checklist: 1. Space – physical and auditory (time to think and answer). 2. Process – spiritual life is not a product.  3. Imagination – encourage users to help them go deeper. 4. Relationship – at the core, with God, with one another. 5. Intimacy – creating safe spaces to question and share. 6. Trust – God is at work, take a long view of ‘results’.

Easter Blessings
Robin Humphreys & Diane McKinstry
Presbyterian Children and Families

Global Mission

Myanmar’s military coup continues to dominate the concerns among our Global Mission partnerships. Standing in solidarity with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, the PCANZ has written to the New Zealand Government and the Myanmar Embassy in Australia (our nearest Myanmar Embassy). 

The situation in Myanmar continues to deteriorate with an increasing death toll of mainly young protestors, with hundreds more being arrested and unlawfully detained. The international community has so far been unable to make any headway through diplomatic channels and the immediate outlook for a resolution to the crisis appears bleak. 

I have been in regular contact with the General Secretary and other leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar offering support, and I am also supporting members of the Myanmar community in Wellington, many of whom are connected through family ties and community networks to members of the Presbyterian Church. Please continue to pray for the situation in Myanmar – you can stay informed through online news sites like bbc.com/asia and irrawaddy.com


The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu’s cyclone rebuilding projects have been moving forward slowly. One of the projects that we have committed to supporting is Tata Presbyterian School on Espiritu Santo. Several staff houses, classrooms and the administration block were destroyed, or severely damaged, in last year’s cyclone. Progress has been very slow but with funds received from Global Mission, they are beginning to rebuild. The Village Church in Christchurch is currently raising funds for this project and further donations are welcome. 

Asia Sunday

Looking ahead to May, Asia Sunday will be observed on 16 May. The Christian Conference of Asia has produced resources for this which can be downloaded here.

Download the latest edition of the Council for World Mission’s Insight magazine here.

Phil King
Global Mission Director

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Staff change

It is with regret that the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership (KCML) has accepted the resignation of Rev Dr Fei Taule’ale’ausumai Davis. 

Fei was appointed to KCML as a Ministry Formation Co-ordinator on 1 March 2020. This was a part-time (0.3) two year fixed-term position that Fei took up alongside her role as minister (0.7) of Point Chevalier Homestead Community Church (Co-operating Parish). By combining the two roles, Fei gave interns the benefit of being taught by someone engaged in active parish ministry. 

It is only after much prayer and deliberation that Fei has resigned and she tells us that her home parish is, “Excited at the prospect that I will be returning to parish ministry full-time in the imminent future". 

We thank Fei for her work with KCML and trust God to continue working through her among the people of Point Chevalier. May they continue to experience and proclaim the love of God.


Next month (Friday 31 April to Sunday 2 May) we are excited to work with Alpine Presbytery and PressGo to host a weekend in Hanmer Springs for explorers and pioneers called "Coracle." We are delighted with the response from people and groups from around Aotearoa NZ. 

Begg Dickie Scholarship

We are pleased to announce modifications to the Begg Dickie Scholarship. The scholarship is for postgraduate study in New Zealand or overseas. Previously this was available for ministers having graduated from KCML within five years, however recognising this limits opportunities, Senatus has decided that this time limit no longer applies.

We encourage any minister who has graduated from KCML to consider applying; particularly applications that will enhance diversity of PCANZ and its mission scholarship. The scholarship is offered once a year. Applications to be received by September and awarded in October. Details can be found here. Send applications to registrar@knoxcentre.ac.nz.

Rev Dr Geoff New
Dean of Studies/Acting Principal
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Church Schools

Next in the Presbyterian Church Schools series is one of our newer schools - St Oran’s College. This integrated school for Year 7-13 day girls was opened in the Hutt Valley in 1958, after Queen Margaret College in Wellington had to limit enrolments due to overcrowding. Under the leadership on Rev George Dallard, and with the support of Dr A M (Sam) Rutherford - minister and elder of St Stephen’s - the local presbytery set up a Presbyterian girls’ college at 550 High St, Lower Hutt, where it remains to this day. 

St Oran’s is the only school in the Presbyterian Church school’s network to have no boarding establishment, however, the current roll of 502 - drawn from all over the Hutt Valley - still provides a family atmosphere. The old homestead, named Dallard after its founder, has recently been modernised to provide a revamped library, administrative and pastoral hub, as well as a Yr13 common room. Such initiatives are part of St Oran’s continuing drive to provide quality education for local girls.

St Oran’s College was named for one of the twelve companions of St Columba who based his mission on the island of Iona, Scotland in the 6th century. Apparently, Oran was too sick and/or old to join the arduous mission trips on the Scottish mainland, so he stayed home and prayed. According to Columba it was Oran’s prayers that ensured their success. This saint, who may have thought he was less than the others, proved otherwise. He is a fitting role model for a school that seeks to integrate the traditions of Presbyterianism - with its emphasis on education, equality and community - into their vision of ‘empowering young women to be the best that they can be'. For further information see St Orans website.

Stephanie Wells (Rev) 
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office


The PressGo Board met by Zoom on 4 March 2021, its first meeting since August 2020. Key decisions and discussions were:

  • Final instalment of grant to Whakatu Presbyterian parish to support new ministry was approved for payment. 
  • The Catalyst presented a paper outlining an initiative to re-energise interest in Presbyterian Foundation grants. This will take the form of offering $500 grants for “give it a go” projects, with the intent of activating mission imagination and generating stories of mission in action. More communication on this will follow. Contact Lisa for early details.
  • Implementation of the new MEF grants process has been communicated to presbyteries. If you are intending to make an application for a Mission Enterprise Grant this year, please make early contact with your presbytery regarding the new process.
  • The Board discussed the implications of the PressGo Review 2019 as related to the process of new appointments and the increased expectation of PressGo Board members taking a significant voluntary role in the work PressGo has been asked to do or be involved with. Appointments are now processed by the Nominating Committee and the PressGo Board will have some vacancies to be filled at General Assembly.  
  • PressGo has been invited to partner with Alpine Presbytery and KCML and help develop “Coracle: A Weekend for Explorers” which will be held at Hanmer Springs in early May. PressGo will provide some financial support from its mission activities budget as well as personnel.

Lisa Wells
PressGo Catalyst

NZ Council of Christian Social Services

The NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) is a voice for the social service arms of the six major Christian denominations in NZ at a political and government policy level.

NZCCSS recently appointed a new president for the Council, Rev Bonnie Robinson. She is one of the Presbyterian representatives on the Council, and was elected president at the AGM in late 2020. Bonnie has more than 20 years experience in social service management and leadership.

A new Executive Officer, Nikki Hurst, started on 22 March. Nikki has a background in youth work, youth development, academia and the non-profit sector.

The Council is currently working on a range of policy and service delivery issues including food security, and how the housing crisis is impacting the most vulnerable in our communities, including older people.

For information about the current work of the Council see their website

Bonnie Robinson
President NZCCSS

Presbyterian Women

Virtually in New York

Gender stereotypes can be formed from a young age, reinforced by patterns in society. Prime Ministers and presidents, bishops and moderators, board Chairs and CEOs remain disproportionately male despite recent improvements.

The priority theme of the 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65) this year is ‘Women's full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.’ In opening remarks, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted the differentially harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and noted that there is an urgent need for our world to change course: “..women's equal participation is the game-changer we need” (see complete address here). 

Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PresWomen) has enjoyed special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council since 1998. This year, eight women from PresWomen are zooming in to the totally virtual CSW65. With Ecumenical Women at the United Nations, we advocate for elimination of gender-based violence, gender justice for women and girls in all their diversity, and transformation of society to dismantle barriers to women’s full participation in public life. Searching social media with the hashtags #CSW65 and #EWCSW65 will provide colourful and challenging glimpses into the diverse issues facing women and girls in today’s world. 

Special Collection

You can support the ongoing work of Presbyterian Women by becoming a member, and as a congregation by having an annual collection. We recently had the PWANZ 2021 Special Collection and celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021. 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.”

There’s still time to contribute, download a letter from PWANZ and see bank account details here.

Mavis Duncanson
UN Convenor
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ 


The Tindall Foundation Funding Applications

Presbyterian Support New Zealand is The Tindall Foundation’s local donation manager for Presbyterian Support organisations and Presbyterian church run community facing initiatives. Initiatives that fit within the Tindall Foundation’s ‘family’ category are the focus for this funding. The Tindall Foundation priorities and requirements within this category can be found on their website. Please contact Presbyterian Support New Zealand to discuss your initiative. Applications open Monday, 3 May and close Monday, 28 June 2021. Funding criteria and application form are on the website.

Attend the Alpine Presbytery ‘Coracle’ 30 April – 2 May 2021

Alpine Presbytery has teamed up with PressGo and KCML for an exciting event that is open to anyone in PCANZ. Coracle is a weekend to gather to hear stories and dream about what the new shape and form of "church" could look like. Some amazing people will share their stories and there will be plenty of time for questions. We encourage you to come as teams, so that you can spend time together discussing your own context, and how the stories you are hearing may apply to what God is doing in your neighbourhood. Runs 7pm Fri 30 April to midday Sun 2 May at Hanmer Springs Forest Camp; $50 pp includes meals on Sat, refreshments and venue. See here for more information and to register

Presbyterian Investment Fund

Deposits and withdrawals can be processed as normal during current alert levels, observing the requirement to provide advance notice for major (>$100,000) withdrawals. The interest rate paid on the PIF On-Call Fund is 1.0% pa (from 1 April 2021). The interest rate on the PIF Long-Term Fund remains at 3.0% pa plus inflation. Rates are subject to change. The PIF is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For details on the Long Term Fund or further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.

Glen Innis holiday home for ministers

Ordained ministers are entitled to a week's free holiday accommodation each year at Glen Innis Station, south east of Waipukurau in Hawke's Bay. Note that both houses have had dishwashers installed. Stays are running from Monday to Sunday to allow 24 hours between guests to allow for a deep cleaning. Check out the website for video tours, available dates and contact details to make a booking. Learn more

Poetry book

"God Welcomes Us" is a new book of poems and reflections by Vivienne May Ball, author of "Dipping into the Well" and "Peace." Order here and contact the author.

Church Register

Changes in Status

Rev Gabe Hawker, from Stated Supply, Mornington Presbyterian Church, to Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, 23 February 2021.


Rev Dennis Povey, Minister Emeritus, from Southern Presbytery to Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 14 February 2020.


Rev Seung Kwan (Joshua) Choi, from parish minister, Christchurch Korean Presbyterian Church, to Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 27 December 2020.


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 for the latest vacancies available in Aotearoa and around the globe.