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From the Moderator
Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Church Schools
Presbyterian Children and Families
Connecting with the Church of Scotland
To maximise the opportunities provided by being in Europe for the WCC Assembly, I have arranged to be in Scotland from 9-19 August. This provides the chance to catch up with a number of leaders in the Church of Scotland, including the moderator, the Rt Rev Iain Greenshields. I am particularly interested in hearing about the impact of recent decisions made in the Church of Scotland around firstly, the rationalisation of the number of parishes, and secondly, same sex marriage. Part of the trip will be the privilege of preaching at St Cuthbert’s in Edinburgh and a pilgrimage up to the iconic Isle of Iona. I look forward to reporting on this trip in due course.
World Council of Churches Assembly
The 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches will take place in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 31 August to 8 September 2022, under the theme "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity". The WCC Assembly only meets every eight years. It is the time when the entire fellowship of member churches comes together in one place for prayer and celebration. It brings together more than 4000 participants from all over the world. It is a unique opportunity for the churches to deepen their commitment to visible unity and common witness. I look forward to reporting back in due course.
I encourage people to register for this conference for PCANZ leaders set down for 17 -19 November at St John’s in the City, Wellington. It will be a much-needed chance for us to gather for networking, encouragement, inspiration and resourcing.
Connecting with Church Schools
In the last month I have joined with Stephanie Wells, our Director of the Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office, in visits to Presbyterian Schools in the Wellington area: Scots College, Queen Margaret College and St Oran College. At Scots this involved a rewarding and inspiring three day visit to review special character. It is encouraging to see these schools taking the Presbyterian connection so seriously in the way they deliver education to their young people.
In the first week of August, I will attend the Presbyterian Church Schools conference in Hawke’s Bay.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues
I wrote in the February edition of Bush Telegraph that I had some health issues and would require surgery and be heading on sick leave, and then study leave.
I returned to the office in early July. I am grateful for our health professionals and system, and for the opportunity to recovery well and take study leave. The space was a gift and I am very grateful for the time to rest, read, listen, reflect, ponder, and pray in the non-anxious environment of being at home. I do want to record my thanks to the Council of Assembly for their support during this – especially from Convenor Rev Dr Jaco Reyneke and Deputy Convenor Kat Solomona.
To Rev Phil King who served as the Acting Assembly Executive Secretary, and Heather McKenzie who served as Acting Clerk of the Assembly while I was away – I and we – express thanks and appreciation for all you have done; for your care and attention which we have benefited from over these months. Thank you.
I will share some on-going learnings from my study leave in coming months.
Principal Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership vacancy
Applications are invited for the position of principal at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership in Dunedin. A full job description and information about how to apply can be found here.
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.
Thank you for your ongoing partnership as together we seek to bear witness to the Kingdom of God.
Assembly Executive Secretary
ONE National Leaders Conference
Te Whakakotahitanga - Gathering as one people under Christ will be held 2pm Thursday 17 November - 2:30pm Saturday 19 November at St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington.
Calling all PCANZ church leaders including elders, children's Leaders, youth leaders, ministers, pastors, chaplains, administrators and more. You are Invited to ONE Conference. Come for inspirational stories, great worship, practical breakout sessions, fantastic kai and the opportunity to connect and laugh together. The One conference is for everyone in your congregation who leads in some capacity, we encourage you to come as a team so you can learn and reflect together. For full information see here.
Early Bird Price: $99* (register before 10 September)
Regular Price: $129* (Registration closes on 23 October)
* Price does not include transportation, breakfast or accommodation.
Key Leaders Retreat 19-22 Sept 2022, Queenstown - FREE!
Just a few spaces left!
We acknowledge the essential work of ‘key’ youth leaders within the Church’s youth ministries. A key leader is someone who heads up youth ministry at a particular church or organisation and leads a team of youth leaders in a volunteer or paid position. Research shows how vital this role is in the health and effectiveness of a youth ministry. We continue to see youth ministries thrive when a key leader has been in the role five to seven years plus. This retreat is aimed at: gathering, acknowledging, refreshing and equipping key leaders from across the Church.
Please tell the key youth leader at your church they are invited to attend, completely free of charge, for one key leader per church (transport not included). If you have a second key leader at your church, the additional person will cost $150. The retreat aim is to reconnect, acknowledge, refresh and equip key leaders across our Church. Registration is open now!
National Youth Manager
Praying for Children Week 21-27 Aug
In partnership with Presbyterian Support, we have created and offer a variety of resources to aid our congregations in praying for children. Last year our Praying for Children week came in the midst of the national COVID lockdown. Therefore, the resources we provided were not able to be fully utilised. We have renewed them for 2022 and are excited to offer them for use in our communities of faith across the PCANZ.
The 2022 Praying for Children resources reflect on Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:3b-4: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
The resources provided are an invitation to delve into seven qualities of children and encourage us to remember…Wonder, Giving Attention, Innocence, Curiosity, Playfulness, Ongoing questions, and Trust.
Praying with Children week is 21-27 August. We hope you will consider using the Sunday service resources for 21 August. We also have provided bookmarks which we hope you will distribute to your congregation for parishioners to take home and make use of during the week. The bookmarks are available in English, Te Reo Māori, Samoan, and Korean.
You can find ALL of the resources here: Praying for Children 2022 – Praying for Children (nzprayingforchildren.org)
Please consider sharing your experience, email us.
Father’s Day ‘Family Faith Moment’
With Father’s Day just around the corner (4 September), we have created a Father’s Day ‘Family Faith Moment’ to help families celebrate this significant day. While our ‘Family Faith Moments’ are intended to be used at home, they are easily adaptable to a children’s ministry or Sunday service setting. Find all of our Family Faith Moments here: Family Faith Moments – Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry.
Ngā mihi nui
Robin Humphreys and Karo Wilson
Presbyterian Children and Families
I have returned to the Global Mission role after a few months as Acting Assembly Executive Secretary and am grateful for the way Rev Paula Levy managed Global Mission in my absence.
Vanuatu’s borders are now open again and travellers are able to visit without the need for quarantine. The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu (PCV) leadership has expressed a willingness to re-engage and so once we have assessed priorities, I hope our congregations and Church schools will be able to consider opportunities to once more share in mission with the PCV.
English Teacher wanted
We have received a request for an English teacher to live and work onsite at Talua Theological Training Institute next year. This is a position that Global Mission previously supported for many years. The position does not come with a salary, but accommodation is provided and travel costs and living expenses will be covered. Suitably qualified personnel are invited to view the job description here and contact Global Mission Director Phil King for further information.
In August I will be attending a Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM) partners roundtable meeting in Singapore. This meeting, hosted by the Council for World Mission, will hear from leaders of the PCM and assess ways in which partner churches can continue to support them in the ongoing crisis in their country. The current situation in Myanmar remains volatile with outbreaks of violence occurring regularly in Tahan and the Chin State where the majority of Presbyterian Church members live. Despite this, Tahan Theological College and other ministries of the church continue to function as much as possible while always needing to be careful. Just last week, the college was used as shelter by junta forces who then took 10 villagers captive as they left. Villagers live in fear of being arrested or implicated in anti-junta activity.
Please pray for the leaders and members of the PCM and their communities as they cope with daily life under these stressful and often dangerous conditions.
Global Mission Director
We have recently completed our first in-person NOM Intern block course for a year. Our last two block courses have been online due to COVID restrictions. It was a delight to be together in-person, engaging with the teaching and formation.
We have six to seven NOM interns for 2023 and are still open to receive expressions of interest from churches who would like to host an intern for two years. The key requirements include a skilled mentoring minister and context which can expose an intern to the breadth of mission and ministry. The deadline for interested churches is Friday 12 August. Email Geoff New for an expression of interest form.
Two workshops on Preaching the Parables will be run in early August in the Pacific Presbytery and Northern Presbytery. Please contact your presbytery office for details.
Acting Principal/Dean of Studies
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Learning through Service: Saint Kentigern
This series on service learning in our Church schools continues with Saint Kentigern’s in Auckland. Unable to do their usual international service trips due to Covid, they started focusing locally. For example, a recent Weekend Warrior Service Trip was to the new food hub venture that Presbyterian Support Northern and Northern Presbyterian are developing on Dominion Road. A team of 16 Year 8 students from Boys’ and Girls’ Schools, each with a parent and five staff, spent Friday to Sunday installing a concrete path, building fences, installing gardens and shelving, painting the foodbank, etc. A follow-up trip is planned for this month.
Saint Kentigern also set up a school-based Food Bank in 2021. The food collected is divided into boxes by the college boarders, with staff supervision. Most of the 65 boxes produced each week are then delivered to Presbyterian Support social workers in Auckland schools. Local police also receive 10 boxes. It is calculated that the school community has contributed $100,000 in money of food donations with the School Board contributing $50,000 to this project in this year alone.
Another initiative is ‘Hangi for the Homeless’. A team of about forty-five Year 6-8 students from the Boys’ and Girls’ schools, plus parents and staff, volunteer each month on a Friday night, and all-day Sunday to prepare vegies and chicken, the 200 parcels then go into two Jumbo Kai cookers, and are delivered and served to the homeless in downtown Auckland on a Sunday night. This project is run in conjunction with ‘Sunday Blessings’.
The school is hopeful their international service trips to Vanuatu will be able to restart next year. (They have on-going relationships with schools and communities there, read more in this Spanz article). However, this year they are focussing on a special fundraising project with World Vision.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Two verses of a song
Last Sunday Pathways Presbyterian Church started its service with two verses of the song “Simply to Be” by Shirley Erena Murray and Colin Gibson:
Simply to be, to be in stillness,
simply to trust, that God is here
simply to know the holy presence
is to be blessed
so we are blessed.
Simply to hold the given moment
simply to lay concern aside
simply to let the heart be speaking
is to be blessed
so we are blessed.*
I found these two verses to be profoundly moving and a timely reminder of the benefit of taking time to wait quietly for God’s holy presence in the hurly burly of our everyday lives which can be taken over by incessant demands of work, family, even our church life. In this season of winter with its short days and long nights it seems easier to be more contemplative about our faith journey and rest in the holy presence of our loving creator.
Presbyterian Women Aotearoa NZ
* Shirley Erena Murray, music: Colin Gibson, Church Copyright Licence Number 1447766.
Standing for Justice
‘Sometimes we Starve’ is the story of Premalatha, a young Sri Lankan woman who left her rural home to find work in a sewing factory. The conditions were tough; when Covid-19 closed the factory she and her daughter were left with nothing. The last two years have been hard but no one knows how the people will manage through the severe economic crisis the country is facing. CWS partner the Women’s Centre has launched its first Solidarity Kitchen. A small group of workers prepare food and provide good company, helping to manage anxiety. Please pray for the people of Sri Lanka and if you can, support the Winter Appeal for Economic Justice.
Peace Sunday 7 August
This year Peace Sunday occurs on 7 August, the day after Hiroshima Day. CWS has prepared worship resources around the lectionary readings for you to use in worship or for reflection. There are stories and prayers to encourage people to be watchful and alert. In this time of conflict and uncertainty please pray and work with us for peace.
Hold a Gathering
One way you and your congregation can do something to help refugees is by organising a Gathering as part of this year’s Operation Refugee. Very Rev Richard Dawson has written and filmed a Bible Study which is an excellent place to start. Organise food. Do the Bible study. Pray. Make a plan. Raise funds so our partners can offer hospitality: food, education, medical care or whatever refugees need in Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Ukraine.
Last year 89.3 million people were displaced and the numbers are rising. We who are called to welcome the stranger need to reach out to them. Please pray for refugees and think about how you can help. Email Murray or for a chat or to organise a speaker, you can also phone him, 0800747372.
Praying for Children: Karakia Mo Ngā Tamariki 21-27 August 2022
Praying for Children week is a PresCare collaboration between Presbyterian Support NZ and Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry. Begun in 2021, the theme this year is, 'become like a child', and the resources invite you to engage with seven childlike qualities. See the blog, bookmark, Powerpoint, stories and other resources on the Praying for Children website and on the Church website.
Luminary art exhibition St John’s in the City Wellington, until 7 Aug
Luminary | Luminare by Karen Sewell at St John’s in the City, Wellington, 31 July-7 Aug. Evening: Fri 29 July, 6.30pm-8pm. A two-metre sphere of uncertain substance floats high, partly concealed and bathed in light. A low-level NASA recording conveys our solar system, the exhibition of photographic lumen prints originate in the light of dawn. Artist talk: Sat 6 Aug, 2:30pm. Swap Project: Lumen prints, donated by the artist, can be swapped for non-perishable food items or a cash donation. All donations to DCM for their ongoing work with those experiencing homelessness in Wellington.
The Inclusive Faith Project: Waikato & Wellington, 3 & 10 August
A series of regional gatherings bringing disabled people into conversation with faith influencers and leaders so that opportunities are fully explored. The Project’s objective is the full participation of disabled persons in the life and practice of their faith communities. Wellington 3 August 6-9 pm, Waikato 10 August 10am- 1pm. Free to attend, they hope to see regional reps and pastoral staff from congregations. See more.
Wellington Winter Lecture: Science and Faith in an Age of Misinformation, 6 Aug
The relationship of contemporary science and faith can be both intriguing and challenging, especially in an Age of Misinformation. You are invited to lectures and discussion on topics related to Physics and Ethics at St Johns Presbyterian Church, Wellington, Sat Aug 6, 9am to 3pm. Read more.
The Justice Conference 3 Sept 2022, Auckland
Attend The Justice Conference Aotearoa/NZ. Injustice can thrive without strong voices and actions of God’s people to stand against it. This year there is a great line-up of contributors to inspire, encourage and challenge you to use your voice for justice. There is also a live-streaming option so you won’t miss out on this powerful event. For more information and to register see here.
Intergenerate Conference 2022 Auckland & Christchurch 9 & 11 Aug
An action packed one day/night conference to create an intimate and personal environment where local people can gather, be inspired, wrestle through the current questions of how we "Engage All Generations". We are partnering with churches across both nations who are on the journey of what is means to "Engage All Generations". Christchurch, 9 Aug, Auckland 11 Aug. See more.
Bill and Margaret Best Travel Fund
A reminder that this funding is available to assist church workers wanting to further develop their area of service to the Church. The term ‘church worker’ includes ministers, lay ministers and elders, and funding is intended to assist with training and study courses. The Personnel Work Group administers the Fund, and applications close 30 September each year. See more details here
Glen Innis holiday home for ministers
Proof of vaccination is no longer required to stay at Glen Innis. See dates available for the original homestead (now known as James McNutt House) and the former gardener’s cottage (Maud Hooper House) for the period Aug to Sept 2022 here.
For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.
Receptions to the Roll
Rev Won Hyuk Joung (Presbyterian Church of Korea), other recognised minister and special ministry, Northern Presbytery, 9 June 2022.
Rev Alan Missen, stated supply Kowai-Cheviot and Waikari Presbyterian Churches, to senior active, Alpine Presbytery, 18 January 2022.
Rev Dr Fei Taule’ale’ausumai, minister Point Chevalier Homestead Community Church, Northern Presbytery to minister Wellington – St Andrew’s on the Terrace, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 7 April 2022.
Rev Anna Gilkison, minister Lower Hutt – Hutt City Uniting Congregations to minister Kapiti Uniting Parish, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 21 April 2022.
Rev Karl Lamb, other recognised minister to minister Mornington Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 22 May 2022.
Rev Arona Tusega, other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery to minister Otara Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church, Pacific Presbytery 2 June 2022.
Rev Tony Dawson, local ordained minister Invercargill - Richmond Grove Presbyterian Church to minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 17 April 2022.
Rev Sally Carter, minister Napier - St Paul’s Presbyterian Church to minister Emerita, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 8 May 2022.
Rev Kevyn Harris, minister New Plymouth – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church to minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 30 June 2022.
Rev Gladys Stiles, minister Emerita, Alpine Presbytery, 5 June 2022.
Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. Learn more