May 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

The Lord said, “Peace be with you”. Luke 24:36b

This will be my last ‘write-up’ about Covid-19. This pandemic has left its mark on our world. There will be an uncertain future for years to come. Normality will return but with a very clear difference that will add to how we live and exist. Everyone has been affected. There have been changes. Some families have been devastated by redundancy, lost accommodation, and the passing of loved ones. It has been a nightmare to say the least.

It is all about adjusting, adapting and moving on. Changes to our lifestyles are not easy to accept but many options and choices have been taken away.

In this experience of Covid-19 I was privileged to see, hear and be present at the plight and downward spiral of lives and dire situations. The responses by the Church, community agencies and government departments was of incredible compassion and grateful assistance. Truly a team of five million. 

In our family bubble (seven adults, two children) we were in strife like everyone else. Lost incomes, and restrictions on travel and movement. We rallied together, talked about our situation and planned to manage our way forward. Resilience, resources, working together sharing everything. It was a good time for our family bubble, some of the best days as a family. 

Recent events 

  • Council of Assembly met in Christchurch. Full agenda. Wonderful face-to-face meeting.
  • Induction - Rev Siitia Si'itia Asi to Avondale PIC, Pacific Presbytery. Great occasion.
  • Talanoa - Zoom with Pacific Church Leaders. Good sharing.
  • Devotion - PCANZ Resource personnel at St Francis Retreat Centre, Auckland. Intimate and personal. 
  • Funeral – Rev Cedric Hay, a Methodist colleague. A beloved former neighbour in Devonport, Belmont, North Shore.
  • Visited and addressed Mairangi & Castor Bays Presbyterian Church. Minister - Rev Dr Tokerau Joseph. This parish nominated my name for GA Moderator.
  • Attended and addressed Synod of Otago and Southland 155th AGM. Grand occasion, time with our folks in the deep south.
  • Attended and partook in UCANZ (Church in Union, Cooperative) in Waikanae, Kapiti Coast. Important part of our ministry. PCANZ has lots of parishes in UCANZ, the most of any denomination. 

Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you”. John 13:34


From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear friends and colleagues,

In the Christian calendar we recently remembered the death of Jesus on the cross; we celebrated the risen Christ!  If the Gospel means glad tidings or good news - if it is meant to convey the coming of the Kingdom of God through Jesus - then this Kingdom would/should turn the world upside down. 

I have been re-reading a couple of books recently to remind me of this. They are not the sort of books that you read to make you feel good, rather the opposite: they disturb me, challenge me, and draw me back.  

One is Richard Stearns’, “The Hole in Our Gospel”, and the other is Keith Stewart’s, “We Were Wrong: An Evangelical Pastor's Radical Transformation Through Following Jesus In The Margins”. I am grateful to those who introduced me to both of these books.

I am reminded once again of the daily invitation for me to pray, “God what are you doing in your world and how can I be a part of it?”.

Emergency Assembly

An Emergency Assembly has been summoned –  details here. The sole purpose of the Emergency Assembly is to discuss amendments to the Book of Order to enable both  General Assembly and Special Assemblies to be conducted electronically in exceptional circumstances.

First round of voting for Moderator-designate

Parish Council will have submitted names for Moderator-designate to their presbyteries and each presbytery now votes for two people from those nominated by its church councils. This process must be completed by 4 June.

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.

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

Mr Martyn Vincent will be our Acting Finance Manager until a new appointment is made. His contact details can be found here.

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 that use old forms or 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

Regional one-day Youth Ministry Leadership Training

As was announced at the beginning of the year, our flagship national youth ministry leaders conference Connect will not be happening this year due to the COVID threat.  We said at the time we would be supplementing this void by hosting a number of online trainings, regional day gatherings and a Key Leaders Retreat in Queenstown at the end of the year. Today we announce the dates and locations of regional one-day youth ministry leaders gatherings, either being run by presbyteries or ecumenically, and supported by PYM:

  • 19 June – Auckland 
  • 19 June – Christchurch 
  • 19 June – Dunedin 
  • 26 June – Tauranga 
  • 3 July – Wellington 

Connect is for anyone who is involved in youth ministry leadership, and for emerging leaders aged 17 years and over who come with a supervising adult. We encourage ministers and key youth leaders to bring their team. Find out information here.

Health update on Matt Chamberlin 

Matt continues to recover from the concussion he received last year. Unfortunately, he has had a setback, and has been advised by his doctor to reduce his hours currently to 10 hours a week. Please continue to join pray for his recovery.  

Interest List 

Here are a few things to be aware of 

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Presbyterian Research Centre

Research Centre staff are now able to focus on a backlog of non-urgent enquiries, now that we are no longer required to prioritize searching records in response to the Royal Commission. Staff are enjoying resuming previous work streams and, once again, engaging fully with customers.

We have started to explore and evaluate the current resources and services offered by the Hewitson Library so that we can ensure these are useful to our current and potential members. Initial feedback shows that people are not always aware of the existence of the library, and don’t realise that anyone can become a member and borrow books, and explore our online resources. 

We have a huge collection of not only pastoral theology and the books of the Bible, but also the nature of world Christianity, material about youth ministry and the evolving shape of the Church, works by contemporary theologians exploring topics like sexuality, and works on history, art and literature in NZ – all available at no cost to members.  We send out regular newsletters to both parishes and presbyteries, so we would encourage you to circulate these to your congregations in your own newsletters.

If you will be in Dunedin on 13 May, we are holding a library-related event where you will have the opportunity to explore our collections and hear from some of our researcher-members. All welcome. If you would like any further information about please contact us at

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
Presbyterian Research Centre 

Presbyterian Children and Families

With Mother’s Day coming up, we encourage the practice of engendering empathy around this day for all women and families. This is a difficult day for many and we, as the Church, are called to respond with care as we celebrate all women in our communities of faith. We direct you to a video that celebrates all types of mums, which connects to a variety of Biblical examples: Mother's Day 2021 - Animation (

Our resources for Pentecost can be found here: Pentecost – Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry (

We continue our series sharing the “5 ‘Matters’ of Children and Families Ministry”, written by Cheryl Harray. These are Cheryl’s reflections and highly recommended resources. Here is the third ‘matter’:
3. Families/Households Matter – Deuteronomy 6:4-9 – It is widely recognised that PARENTS are the primary nurturers of their children’s faith. The church’s role is to support, encourage and equip the home/households of faith to flourish.

There is no shortage of resources available but that can be part of the challenge. What do churches choose to focus on to support their parents without sending them on a guilt trip about all the things they are NOT doing? Below is ONE idea and resource that could make a big difference if practised regularly.

“FAITH5 (Faith Acts in The Home)” is a simple, easy-to-implement faith practice. When done over time, the FAITH5 carries the power to enrich communication, deepen understanding and promote mental, physical, and spiritual health for everyone in the family. 

Watch Dr Rich Melheim enthusiastically unpack what each of the five steps is about and get started straight away!

What if ALL the households of faith in your congregation started practicing Faith5 regularly?  The full text can be found here: 5 'Matters'

In the name of our Risen Lord
Robin Humphreys & Diane McKinstry
Presbyterian Children and Families

Global Mission

The opening up of the travel bubble with Australia, and the anticipated roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, gives some hope for a resumption of travel and face-to-face Global Mission connections; but for the foreseeable future, we continue to maintain our partnerships remotely. 


Life remains very stressful for the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, where conditions throughout the country have become more violent and dangerous since the 1 February military coup. In the past month, there have been bloody clashes between the army and civilians in the twin city of Tahan/Kalaymyo (also referred to as Kale or Kalay) where the Presbyterian Church General Assembly office is based and where many church members live. This has directly impacted the church with some families fearing for the safety of their members who participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement. As a precaution, some of these members have gone into hiding to avoid arrest. The situation remains volatile and the church’s leadership is grateful for the prayer support of international partners. One of these partners, the PCUSA, recently published an article on their online news site, referring to these recent events. Please continue to uphold the nation of Myanmar in prayer. Please also remember that many thousands of former Myanmar refugees now living in New Zealand, many of whom are Christian and worship in our churches, are under increasing stress fearing for family and friends who remain in Myanmar.


Last month I referred to the ongoing cyclone rebuilding work in Vanuatu, with funds from the Moderator’s appeal being distributed as the rebuild progresses. A recently published Nambawan newsletter gives some more details read it here

Global Peace and Justice

Resources for the following events occurring in May that you might like to share with your congregations can be found on the PCANZ website:
Asia Sunday, May 16
Pacific Day of Prayer, May 7
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, May 16-23

Phil King
Global Mission Director


We have three grant streams that are currently open for applications.

The new Give-it-a-Go grants for one-off mission idea projects have been well received and we have made three grants to date:  Tirau Co-operating Parish for an Easter foodbox event; St Aiden’s Northcote for a Matariki Craft Afternoon; and St John’s Wellington for a pilot ‘Whanau Night’.  These grants are for $500 and are open at any time. Please remember that we can’t make a grant for a project that has already been run, so make sure applications are made in plenty of time before the anticipated event. Application forms available from Lisa.

Presbyterian Foundation grants are available for people-to-people mission, outside your usual activities. These grants can be up to $10,000 and we expect the sum asked for to be matched by the parish. Deadlines for these grants are: 1 May, 1 August and 1 November. Feel free to contact the PressGo Catalyst for more information or for support with your application. Deadlines, criteria and handy tips can also be found here.

Mission Enterprise Fund applications now come via presbyteries, and are top-ups for projects that have already received funding from Presbytery Mission Funds.  Contact your presbytery for further information.

In order to provide additional service to parishes involved in fundraising and looking for funding from sources external to the PCANZ, PressGo now has access to a searchable database of NZ Trusts and Foundations and can provide up to date information on these funding options.  Please contact the PressGo Catalyst to discuss this.

Finally, to mention PressGo’s role in supporting “Coracle, a Weekend for Explorers”, 30 April-2 May 2021 in Hanmer Springs.  We are pleased to partner with Alpine Presbytery and Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership and look forward to sharing stories of the exciting things happening around the country and the new ideas that are being sparked.

Lisa Wells
PressGo Catalyst

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Applications for the Ministers Study Grant are invited. Guidelines and application forms can be found on the KCML website. Please send your application to Susan Peters (registrar) by Friday 28 May.

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 Susan Peters (registrar).

Intern Placements 2022

If your church is interested in partnering with KCML in the training and formation of a national ordained ministry intern for 2022-2023, contact Geoff New for an expression of interest form. At this stage we are unsure how many interns will be entering the programme and where in the country we will require placements, but it is good to begin exploring options.

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

Presbyterian Church Schools

Solway College in Masterton is the next church school to be highlighted. This integrated boarding school for Year 7-13 day girls was opened in 1916, with 19 boarders and two day girls. By 1918, it had increased to 100 pupils - forcing them to build a new building to use as a dormitory. This was in addition to the colonial homestead already on the 100 acre property that the school was leasing. With this sign of success, the property was purchased and the school remains there to this day.

However, in 1919, the Spanish flu swept through the school causing one death and necessitating that everyone else be quarantined on site. There have been other times when the school has also gone into quarantine - due to polio epidemics and other contagious illnesses. The 2020/21 lockdowns were another to add to the list.

Key figures in setting up this new school were Rev Laurence Thompson and his wife Marion. For Laurence, the school was a way to continue ministry when he retired from parish work due to illness. Marion, however, was the main driver of the school’s development. She was its first principal until 1942 and also taught, raised funds, and cleaned the buildings among a multitude of tasks. In addition, she raised her family and cared for her sick husband. Marion Thompson left Solway with an excellent role model of ‘strong women of faith’ and embodied the original vision to “provide an excellent, progressive education based on Christian teaching and values” – an aspiration that still drives the school to this day.

The school added regular day girl enrolments in 1954, but continues to be primarily a boarding establishment fostering a strong family feel. A maximum roll of 175 also helps promote this culture. For further information see the school website

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

CWS Notices

Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day coming on 9 May, it is a good time to think gifts. Choose a special gift from Gifted for your mother or in her memory.  We will send you an attractive card or e-card and your gift becomes a donation to the programme you choose. Gifts like bestseller Send a Child to School will answer a Haitian mother’s prayers for her children.

As we remember our own mothers, and the women in our community who have shared their love and care, let us pray for all mothers.

Support Refugees

We invite you to join this year’s Operation Refugee fundraiser for refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, beginning 20 June, World Refugee Day - also Refugee Sunday.  Organiser Eric Park is keen to talk to people who want to take part, email him or phone 022 377 6606.  Worship resources will be available 1 June.

Bushfires in South Sudan

CWS sent $7,100 from emergency funds after four bushfires swept around Maridi in South Sudan where our partner Maridi Service Agency is based.  No other agency was helping the 3,552 people who lost everything. Donations to the South Sudan Appeal will replace bedding, utensils and other items lost in the fire. Please remember them in your prayers.

Clean Water in Uganda

Thank you for supporting our Summer Appeal for Water so generously. Specioza was delighted when early rains filled her brand new rainwater tank. “This is a miracle to have a source of water at my home… God has mercy upon his poor people,” she said. Read her story.  

Special Project

After last year’s lockdown limited activity, the Presbyterian and Methodist women Special Project will continue to focus on women and children in Palestine: Chosen People called to Proclaim.  More resources are available here


Church Property Trustees - Presbyterian Investment Fund

Download here information from CPT on the PIF On-Call Fund and the PIF Long-Term 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.

Falling Leaves and Gathering Kindling, 7 May 2021

A day retreat with Rev Dr Hilary Oxford Smith and singer/harpist, Julie Saraswati, at Teschemakers Resort, Oamaru. Enjoy a day of nurture and restfulness, refreshment and reflection. Be companioned by the insights and wisdom of Celtic Christian spirituality, music, poetry, creativity, quiet times, prayers and blessings. See more.

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.

Free English language classes Tokoroa

Free for NZ citizens and residents: English language classes in Tokoroa for migrants and refugees who need to improve their English. Free Home Tutor Service for people who can't attend the class. For those on different kinds of visas $80 a term (8 classes). Contact English Language Partners NZ – Waikato. Ph 07 853 2188, Email: 

South Island Ministry Conference 18 & 19 May 2021

Location: East Taieri Presbyterian Church. Theme: Resilience and Wellbeing in Uncertain Times. Key note speakers: Dr Rod Galloway & Paul Reet. See programme details here. Registrations close Friday 7 May 2021. Email:

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

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 16-23 May 2021

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere between Ascension and Pentecost Sundays. Preparation of resources is overseen jointly by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Download from the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference website.

Pacific Day of Prayer 7 May

The Pacific Conference of Churches has produced a resource for a Pacific Day of Prayer. It includes statistics on Covid-19 in the Pacific, Bible studies, and a suggested liturgy for a Pacific Day of Prayer service, download here.

Asia Sunday 16 May 2021

Asia Sunday will be observed on 16 May 2021. The Christian Conference of Asia has produced resources for this which can be downloaded here.

Church Register

Receptions to the Roll

Rev Andrew Cox, Christian Community Churches (Open Brethren) New Zealand, received 25 March 2021, Northern Presbytery.

Changes in Status

Rev Cate Williams, from Other Recognised Ministry, to Parish Minister, Rotorua District Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 21 February 2021.
Rev Rob Williams, from Stated Supply to Parish Minister, Rotorua District Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 21 February 2021.

Reinstatements to the Roll

Rev Bruce Graham, to Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, 24 March 2021, Supplementary Provisions Chapter 10 pursuant to the Book of Order Chapter 10.32B, Reinstatement to Ministerial Roll.


Rev Tom Phillips, from Other Recognised Minister, Northern Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister Kaimai Presbytery, 12 February 2021.

Short-Term Appointments

Rev Dr Kevin Ward, from Minister Emeritus and Senior Active Minister, to Stated Supply, Maungatua Presbyterian Parish, Southern Presbytery, 27 January 2020.

Parish changes   

Waimauku Parish, Northern Presbytery, dissolved 24 June 2020.
St David’s Khyber Pass, Northern Presbytery, dissolved 2 August 2020.
St Aidan’s Conifer Grove/Takanini, Northern Presbytery, dissolved 7 March 2021.
Ruawai Cooperating Parish, Northern Presbytery, dissolved 1 April 2021.
Ruawai Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, added to the roll 1 April 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.