July 2021


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

From the Moderator

Wait on the Lord. 

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope”. Psalm 130:5. 

In each of our lives’ journeys we need to make major decisions. Usually finance plays a part. But mainly it is about people, friends and families that determines the outcome. We are surrounded by people who matter to us. They are part of our life journey, for they feature in our life plans - in our present, and into the future. These can be family, village, community, church, and bodies of people who are our networks. But these decisions are solely yours and mine to make. We lean on our faith. We are influenced by our hopes and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

When you are in such a predicament, making a decision that will impact and affect your life dramatically, wait on the Lord. Wait trustingly, patiently on the Lord. The Psalmist says, “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord. O Lord, hear my voice”. Psalm 130 1-2. We have all been in such situations in life. Wait on the Lord. Be prayerful as you discern. Dwell on the Word as you wait. Be at peace, in mind, body and spirit. 

This was my father’s advice when I asked him how you know that it is time to move to another church. My father was a missionary with the LMS (London Missionary Society). His words have helped me in deciding when, where to move too in ministry. My father’s words have guided and moulded my decisions in many matters of life. He said, “Be at peace”. The peace that Jesus promised. Be at peace in mind, body and spirit. Be at peace within your family. 

Beloved in the Lord Jesus, be at peace, as you wait on the Lord. Blessed journey in life. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your daily companion. And seek always to know Christ and to offer yourself to serve and to be his disciple. 

Recent events

  • Forum National Dialogue Christian Unity, Wellington. 
  • Prayer Worship Service for Christian Unity, Catholic Church, Owairaka Auckland. 
  • Letter for new Knox College Head, Caroline Hepburn-Doyle, c/ Rev Dr Jordan Redding. 
  • Council of Assembly budget meeting on Zoom. 
  • Preparation for Commemorative Service. Zoom meeting Northern Presbytery personnel. 
  • Celebration of 150 years for First Church, Martinborough, Wairarapa. Four days with our people, great time. 
  • Attended funeral Rev Doreen Riddell at Chartwell Hamilton. Devotion, wonderful support, incredible ministry. 
  • Northern Presbyterian Gathering at St Columbus, Auckland. Full house, 200 plus, great day. 
  • Council of Assembly gathered at Ohope Marae for our meeting. Spent four wonderful days with our Te Aka Puaho family. 
  • Completed letters to PCANZ ministers for their Ordinations; congratulations and acknowledgement.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27. 


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear friends and colleagues,

In preparation for the recent Council of Assembly meeting, I spent time reading reports. I was encouraged to find similar themes flowing through a number of these and highlighting the challenges we face together as we follow Jesus and participate in God’s mission. In noting how we can be slow to adapt, the challenge of moving to a collective mind-set and living out what we have understood to be at the heart of our Presbyterian polity came through. We live in a world that continues to rapidly change. The impact of global and national events and crises, as well as changes in how we interact, communicate and learn, has had a significant influence on all of us. 

So how then shall we live? It might be easy to seek to point the finger elsewhere or to blame someone or something.

I was reminded of two significant quotes, the first from Dr Rosemary Dewerse, Thornton Blair Research Fellow: 

“Presbyterians hold a reputation for intelligent faith and for valuing Christian education, but in the process of listening I am hearing deep concern over levels of biblical illiteracy, a lack of confidence in the Gospel, and God-knowledge that is too small.”  

And the second, from Dallas Willard, a philosopher also known for his writings on Christian spiritual formation: 
“Our most serious failure today is the inability to provide effective practical guidance as to how to live the life of Jesus. And I believe that is due to this very real loss of biblical realism for our lives.”

Challenges and opportunities as we seek to live as disciples of Christ.

Voting for Moderator-designate

Election packs have been sent to parish councils containing information about each of those nominated, together with voting instructions and a voting paper. If you have not received your voting papers, please get in touch with me as soon as possible. Please return all completed voting forms to Assembly Office by 5pm, Friday 13 August.

General Assembly 2021

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

Assembly is a time for us to learn, grow and celebrate our Church's life and mission. Full details about the event and how to register are available on the dedicated General Assembly website. More information about the Ministers’ Training Day will be available in July.

Nominating committee

Presbyteries need to identify suitable people with the skills and ability to represent the breadth of our Church, to be selected for the Nominations Committee, which will meet prior to General Assembly. Nominating committee membership will be confirmed by Council of Assembly. 

Staff news

Camila Farias - our new Head of Finance and Operations and Finance Manager - started on 28 June. Welcome to the team Camila!

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.

Police checks 

A reminder about the requirements of those completing police checks. Please see details here. Applications using old forms or that are incomplete applications (such as no application form or identification documents) will be automatically returned as Assembly Office cannot process these applications.

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

Queenstown Key Leaders Retreat 27-30 November  

Registration is now open so key youth leaders put this into your calendar. If you head up the youth ministry at your church this amazing 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 you would like to attend as well, the additional person will cost $150.  The aim of this retreat is to reconnect, acknowledge, refresh and equip key leaders from across the PCANZ. 

Regional Youth Ministry Training 

It was great to see so many youth leaders attend one of the regional youth leaders training events over the past month. Thank you to all those who made these events possible. 

Online Training Series

We have now run two of the five 90 minute long zoom-based training sessions planned for this year. It has been great to have so many people join us for these trainings. Here are the upcoming sessions: 

  • 26 July, Intermediate Ministry Essentials (with Neville Bartley, National Youth Ministry Leader at Scripture Union),
  • 13 Sept, Transitioning well, moving on from Intermediate and High School, 
  • 8 Nov, Helping parents win.  

These are provisional topics, we may change topics if circumstances require us to tackle another urgently. Find out information here

Young Adult Ministry Cohort 

PYM is currently in the process of setting up Young Adult Ministry Cohorts. These groups are for people who either work with young adults or are interested in starting. It's great we have 20 people already signed up. Each group of six to eight people will either meet in person, but more likely online, likely  monthly, to learn, share and support each other and discuss relevant topics. If you are keen to join, sign up today

Interest List 

Here are a few things to be aware of: Emerge Leadership Formation, PYM’s newly created leadership video series, and General Assembly - Young Adults Commissioner Programme

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Presbyterian Research Centre

There are a huge number of fantastic resources available in the Hewitson Library and the Presbyterian Archives. There is however so much information that it can seem overwhelming to people just wanting information about a specific thing. We are planning to create small topic-based lists of recommended books and other resources that address relevant topics that can be requested by churches or individuals. 

These topics could be about new ways of doing church, conflict resolution, pastoral care (within specific contexts), the environment or climate change, gender and sexuality, the closing of a church or much more. What do you think? If you have a topic that you think would be useful please let me know.

If you would like to become a member of the Hewitson Library, please enter your details here.  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 you can sign up here.

Jane Thomsen
Presbyterian Research Centre 

Presbyterian Children and Families

As we move into the second half of the year, we begin a new search for an Associate Children & Families Director. We are looking for someone to join our team who will bring their skills, energy, and passion for this ministry as we live into the mission of the PCANZ and the vision of PCFM, which is, ‘To see communities of faith inspired to share God’s big story by engaging authentically with children and families’. 

Download a complete job description.  For further information and to apply, contact Robin Humphreys, robin@presbyterian.org.nz.

5 ‘Matters’

This month we conclude our series sharing the, “5 ‘Matters’ of Children and Families Ministry”, written by Cheryl Harray (before her retirement at the end of last year).

These are Cheryl’s reflections and highly recommended resources. Last, but not least, here is the fifth ‘matter’ to finish out the series.


5. YOU Matter
Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me, work with me and watch how I do it… learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”   Matthew 11:28-30.

  The Message
You can’t keep giving out in Christian ministry if you are empty and worn down. Take time to discover and regularly practise rhythms of spiritual nurture that help YOU keep close to God and ‘fill your tank’ (Bible reading, study, prayer practices, physical exercise, sharing with friends, rest and refreshment… ).


Robin Humphreys
Presbyterian Children and Families

Global Mission

This month’s report acknowledges the loss of three significant leaders within our Global Mission history and partnerships. 

First, the Rev Neal Whimp died on 27 April in Tauranga. Neal was a key figure in mission with the Presbyterian Church of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) in the 1970s. He is remembered with great respect by the church in Vanuatu. A letter of condolence and appreciation for Neal’s ministry in Vanuatu was received from the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. Global Mission has extended condolences to Neal’s widow Jill and her family. 

On 2 June, Rev Doreen Riddell died after a period of failing health. Doreen had an amazing impact during her long and significant time of service at St. Thomas School in India, and she is fondly remembered by all who knew her. There were many messages of love and affection from former students and colleagues in India when the news was shared, including a message of condolence from the General Secretary of the Church of North India. 

We remember these dedicated servants and give thanks for their legacies of faithful service. 


On 13 June, we received word that the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu, Pastor Allen Nafuki had died in Vanuatu after battling illness for some time. The PCANZ Moderator Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio sent a message of condolence to the PCV on our behalf. Pastor Allen had been a hugely significant figure in our partnership with the PCV and his loss will be felt deeply. We remember his family, the PCV and the nation of Vanuatu as they grieve his loss. 

Wayne and Helen Harray’s service as Partners in Mission at Tahan Theological College in Myanmar has officially concluded as of 30 June. However, the TTC farm project will be ongoing and we will continue to send funds in support. Information about this will be sent to donors in the near future. 

Phil King
Global Mission Director

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Our Winter Block Course was held in Ōtepoti-Dunedin 22 June – 1July. In addition to our regular faculty teaching, we welcomed several guests who led parts of the block course: Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa (introducing us to the Parihaka connections here in Dunedin and our partnership with Te Aka Puaho), Rev Brendon McCrae and Sue Mepham (walking us through Flagstaff Presbyterian Church’s bicultural journey), Kristin Jack (teaching communication in difficult situations), and Rev Phil King (contributing to our theological reflection course). In addition to these, we had five other guests who were part of panel discussions.

In July, some of the KCML team join in the training of Ministry Development Plan facilitators with the view of overseeing the new process once it is fully implemented.

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

Presbyterian Church Schools

Lindisfarne College is another one in the Presbyterian Church School network. It is a state-integrated school situated on a 22ha site in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, currently accommodating 500 boarding and day boys (Year 7-13). 

The school opened in 1953 with 33 pupils due to the generosity of EJ Herrick - who offered to sell his farm called ‘Lindisfarne’ to the Presbyterian Church to set up a boys’ school - and the hard work of Rev F Robertson (the first rector), A Kirkpatrick (the first College Council Chair) and RD Brown who managed to raise the funds in a month! The former homestead remains a centre-piece of the property, while the grounds give the students ample room for sport and leisure, as well as an extensive campus. 

With a sister school named Iona, it seems fitting the boys’ school honours the other ‘holy’ island of Scotland – Lindisfarne. This was the mission base of St Aidan, who had been trained at the monastery on Iona. The school’s coat of arms recognises him, as well as the other saints associated with Lindisfarne - St Oswald and St Cuthbert. Rev Robertson suggested the motto, ‘Ascensiones in Corde’ (translated as ‘Highways in the Heart’) which underpins the school’s desire to grow a ‘good man’.

In 2007, the rector of the time, Grant Lander, reinforced this concept with the addition of the ‘Good Man’ stained-glass window in the chapel refurbishment. With pictures of Sir Edmund Hillary, John Rangihau, Sir Ernest Rutherford and Charles Upham, plus the school values of respect, kindness, courage, humility and integrity written around them, the boys are continually inspired to follow similar paths. The four cornerstones of Lindisfarne - academic excellence, sporting endeavour, cultural participation, and Christian dimension - are also ways the school seeks to develop students into well-rounded men. 

For further information see the school website.

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

CWS Notices

Operation Refugee 

CWS is challenging churches and individuals to join this year’s Operation Refugee.  Congregations may like to organise a banquet, feast or a walk to raise funds for emergency food, education and medical care. Individuals or groups can choose to live on the Food Box for five days, eating food equivalent to what they would receive as a refugee. Please share this challenge.

At 17, Assef a Palestinian who has spent his whole life as a refugee, tells how CWS partner the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees has encouraged his interest in robotics and how he shares that with more recent refugees from Syria.
Operation Refugee runs until 24 October.  Please join the challenge!  Contact organiser, Eric Park to find out how you can take part or phone 022 377 6606.  

Refugee Focus

Last month the United Nations advised that by the end of 2020, nearly 82.4 million people had fled wars, violence, persecution and human rights violations.  Nearly nine out of 10 refugees are hosted in neighbouring countries.  As a member of ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), CWS is in touch with many local organisations working with them.  You may like to use something from materials prepared for Refugee Sunday by Rev Sharon Ross Ensor in your worship, drawing attention to their needs and concerns.

Coronavirus Appeal

CWS asks for your continued prayers for those affected by Covid-19, especially in Fiji and India.  People are hungry and in danger of infection.  The Coronavirus Appeal is focusing on India where our partners are working hard through lockdowns to protect Dalit and Tribal people from Covid-19 and hunger. By working to make sure everyone is protected and vaccinated, we can end this pandemic.  If you can, please donate to this appeal.  


Get One Give One - Anglican Missions Covid-19 vaccination equality campaign

Anglican Missions is inviting NZ churches to partner with them in a campaign to support equality in Covid-19 vaccination worldwide. When you get your vaccine, you can donate $10, the cost of getting a vaccine to someone in the developing world through their crowd fundraising page, and funds will be given to COVAX. See more about the “Get One Give One” campaign and download resources. Watch a video for more information Donations are tax deductible.

GA21 notice from the Moderator designate: Theme & keynote speakers, video

“The Moderator Designate has chosen the theme ‘Empowering Generations’, working to make our Church a place where all generations thrive. This theme will thread throughout the proceedings of GA and into the two years Hamish is Moderator. GA keynote speakers will be Theresa Cho, beaming in from St Johns Presbyterian Church in San Francisco (Theresa brings great insight into areas of intergenerational connection and change management in the church), and James Beck, a Christchurch local with a perceptive and engaging take on the future of the church. For more information about the programme for GA watch this video.” Video is also available of the LAC GA21 website.

Praying for Children 22-28 August resources – coming mid-July

Resources developed through the PresCare partnership of Presbyterian Support NZ and PCANZ invite you to learn from children by engaging with their innocence and curiosity. Presbyterian Support Northern with Rev Robin Humphreys, Rev Sharon Ross Ensor, Rev Roxy Gahegan and Cindy Jang Barlow are creating resources to encourage people to pause and take time to engage with children, whether it be at church, as part of a family or their local neighbourhood/community. A bookmark in several languages is planned, as are several other exciting and engaging resources. Look out them mid-July. 

Church Property Trustees - 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 remains at 1.0% pa. 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.

Resources for Global Peace and Justice

Resources for peace and justice days and events to share with your congregation can be found in the Global Mission section of the PCANZ website.

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

Church Register

For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.

Ordinations and Inductions

Rev David Jackson, local ordained minister (ordained and inducted), Scots College Wellington, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 19 February 2021.

Changes in Status

Very Rev Dr Graham Redding, from Master Knox College to Other Recognised Minister, Southern Presbytery, 7 May 2021.

Rev Arii Taimataora, minister Plains Presbyterian Church to other recognised minister, Alpine Presbytery, 21 May 2021.

Rev S Blaikie, from minister Presbyterian New Church Palmerston North to other recognised minister, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 6 June 2021.

Lay Appointments

Rachel Masterton, from Superintendent Methodist Church, to lay supply Coastal Unity Church, Southern Presbytery, 1 June 2021.

Alec Wallis, to lay supply St Columba Tauranga, 1 July 2021.


Rev Gillian Woodward, minister emerita, Kaimai Presbytery, resigned and removed from roll, 10 June 2021


Rev Irving Rutherford, minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 14 May 2021.

Rev Doreen Riddell, minister emerita, Kaimai Presbytery, 2 June 2021.

Parish Changes

St Marks’ Presbyterian Church Hastings, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu, dissolved 13 June 2021.

Christchurch North St Luke’s, Alpine Presbytery, dissolved 30 June 2021.


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.