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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Church Schools
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Presbyterian Research Centre
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Conference on Social Enterprise and the PCANZ
GA23 starts with a Powhiri at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27 September. During the day, from 9.30am to 4.30pm, there will be a mini-conference at St Columba Presbyterian Church Botany, Auckland, called Investing for Mission Impact.
I am hosting this along with the PCANZ Resource Sub-committee Convenor, Craig Donaldson, and the Executive Officer of the Presbyterian Church Property Trustees, Russell Garrett.
This conference supports my Moderator theme of ‘Empowering Generations’ as it looks to best invest the resources we have for the benefit of future generations in our Church and community. Despite talk of financial struggle and decline in the church, most religious institutions have more resources than they know. This conference is an invitation to explore innovation, possibility, and hope in utilizing those hidden resources – property, investments, people and passion – that are available right now to revitalize churches, as well as their surrounding communities.
We are inviting people from around the Church to come to listen, learn, and be inspired and empowered around:
- Biblical principles underpinning social enterprise
- Compelling examples of social enterprise action and opportunities
- Practical ingredients that make social enterprises work
- Interactive panel discussion
- Workshopping ideas for your context
The cost of the day is $25 and you can register here.
Thank you from St Andrew’s, Hastings
After Cyclone Gabrielle, there was an outpouring of prayer, love and support for people and communities who were hit hard by the storm. One project that attracted significant support from people in the PCANZ was GenLend which was run out of St Andrew’s in Hastings. People from around the Church gave generously and the money raised continues to be used well in the response to post-Cyclone needs of the community. St Andrew’s has written a letter with both information about what is happening and heartfelt thanks for the donations and support. You can read their letter here.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues
In June, I joined the General Secretary of the Uniting Church in Australia, the Methodist Church of New Zealand, and general secretaries from a number of regions in Australia. In the past, we have met face to face every 18-20 months – this was our first such meeting since October 2019. When we gather we discuss together matters of common interest, share ideas, note learnings, and wisdom is passed on of what we have learnt in each of our own settings that may provide insights for others. We met at O’Reilly’s Retreat Centre, Lamington National Park in Queensland. It is known for its rainforest and amazing birdlife. You can see Regent and Satin Bowerbirds, Green Catbirds, Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots, plus Lewin’s Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills and Superb Fairy-wrens and Australian Brush-turkeys. Amazing!
Being surrounded by birds, it was noted that one rare bird is the Regent honeyeater – in fact it is listed as critically endangered. As one of the participants in our gathering pointed out, research warns that the rapid decline in this rare songbird means its young are struggling to learn mating calls as adults disappear, which could further strain conservation efforts to avoid extinction. The complexity of their songs has declined; 12 per cent of males were found to be singing other species' songs. This loss of song can reduce the bird’s ability to find a mate, and, if they do, the female is less likely to lay an egg. In reflecting on this, we wondered about parallels with the church when we note our statistics. (May I continue to commend to us participation in the Church Life Survey – details can be found again in the notice section of this edition of Bush Telegraph.)
How is faith shared and taught and passed on? What is our song? Are we singing other songs? Very interesting conversations followed! What might your reflection be? I personally reflected on some of my reading while on study leave last year. These words came to mind from Dallas Willard:
“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 – let us hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Voting for Moderator-designate
Election packs have been prepared and were sent to parish councils containing information about each of those nominated, together with voting instructions and a voting paper.
General Assembly 2023
The 2023 General Assembly will be held from 27 September - 1 October at Saint Kentigern College, Auckland.
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.
Calling a newly trained minister
This year another group will complete their training as interns. Profiles for each person are available from the Rev Anne Thomson who coordinates introductions and discussions between final-year interns and ministry settlement boards. For more information, please email Anne.
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. The ability of our Office to do this is dependent on church councils advising updates of 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 people.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Take care.
Ngā mihi nui
Assembly Executive Secretary
Register leaders & young adults for Connect Conference 1-3 Sept, Willow Park Auckland
The Connect conference is a fantastic event for junior leaders, youth leaders and young adults. Isolation is one of the most often cited challenges for youth ministry leaders and for young adults trying to follow Jesus. The Connect conference provides the opportunity for attendees to connect, worship, and learn with peers and colleagues. See here updated conference details.
Take 15 – Prayer for the 1.6 million Young People of Aotearoa New Zealand
Join us for 15 minutes each week as we pray for the 1.6 million young people on New Zealand. Kicking off in term three, we are inviting you to join us on zoom each week on Thursdays at either 7:00-7:15am or 1:00-1:15pm. See here for more info and to join us.
Support for young elders
While the wisdom and experience of older generations is vital in our eldership, we can’t overlook the insights and challenges that younger generations can bring as we discern the present and future in all three courts of our church. To support younger elders in their 20s to 30s, PYM is offering online and in-person training and conversations, specific resources for both young elders and their parishes. Visit our website for more information and to register young elders for the programme.
The Four Big Ideas of Ministry to Children, Young People, and their Families
We’ve condensed into one short document some of the most important ideas that Scripture, research, and decades of experience have taught us about good ministry to children, young people, and families. We suggest that you discuss these points as a parish council and contact us for any support you would like to make these ideas more of a reality in your church. You can view the four big ideas here.
National Youth Director
Service at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School
Rangi Ruru has always been committed to instilling in its ākonga (students) a sense of social responsibility and a desire to give back to their community. Despite many societal changes over the years, this concept of Manaakitanga (Generosity of Spirit) remains one of the kura’s (school’s) core values.
“Service at Rangi is so powerful because when we all contribute just a little bit, collectively we can have a huge impact on the communities around us.” - Bex Skinner, Head of Service, 2023.
This year, the Service Council and Equestrian Teams combined to support the victims of the Cyclone Gabrielle/Flood disasters. Over one weekend, the school community donated two large vans worth of essentials which they then transported up to the disaster-stricken areas.
Also, a ‘Service Day’ was established for Year 9 students, run by Year 13 ākonga from the Service, Wellbeing and Sustainability Councils. Activities included painting rocks with inspirational quotes, harvesting and planting native plants, and making Easter cards for overseas NZDF personnel. The aim is to teach the importance of giving back not only to help others but also to encourage stepping outside comfort zones, gaining valuable interpersonal skills, and better understanding of the world.
In addition, Rangi was one of the first to introduce a Student Volunteer Service award for all Year 9 to 13 students. In the last four years, 19 silver badges have gone to students completing more than 250 community service hours. And two students achieved their gold badges, realizing more than 500 hours of service!
As Bex Skinner says, “Community service is so valuable because not only does it help others, but it also helps you better understand yourself and the world around you “.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Presbyterian Children and Families
Kia ora everyone!
Wow, it’s hard to believe we are halfway through the year already! PCFM have been keeping busy with lots of different things happening behind the scenes!
One of the things that I love doing at PCFM is creating meaningful resources that lead families and children’s ministries to authentically engage with God! I am constantly adding to our kete of resources, and recently I was inspired to create a new style of resource: Lectio Divina is a fantastic spiritual discipline and is something that people of all ages can participate in! ‘Lectio Divina for Families’, is a step-by-step guide to help whānau engage with Scripture – hopefully the first in a series covering spiritual practices. Get it from the PCFM facebook here. If you have a particular practice or theme that you’d love us to create a guide for, get in touch!
I am also developing an exciting resource for Advent, a resource for families to authentically engage with Advent together. Keep updated with developments, sign up to our mailing list by emailing me.
Anchored in Southern Presbytery
In August, I will join Southern Presbytery to run Anchored, our confirmation/baptism course. A great event where young people having the opportunity to learn a bit more about faith and tradition in the Presbyterian Church, and reflect on where they see themselves in God’s big story. Previous participants really enjoyed their experience! If you’re in the Southern Presbytery and have young people exploring the idea of baptism, come along. See more here.
Praying for Children
PresCare, a partnership between the PCANZ and Presbyterian Support NZ, gives expression to the shared faith, commitment and call of our two organisations in supporting the wellbeing and flourishing of children and families. One resource PresCare offers for this is Praying for Children Week, this year August 20 -26. The theme is ‘Growing our Children’, using the images of gardening and growth to hold children and those who care for them before God in prayer. Keep an eye out for resources in late July, including bookmarks, a prayer, daily scripture reading and worship service outline.
Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry
Thanks to the congregations and individuals who contributed to the cyclone appeal for the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. Even as parts of New Zealand recover from serious weather events, and the country is entering a recession, the PCANZ membership remains generous towards our partner churches. Find appeal information here.
Another Global Mission partner is also reeling from the impact of a devastating cyclone. Cyclone Mocha reached Category 5 and hit Myanmar and Bangladesh on May 14 causing extensive damage with the loss of hundreds of lives. The Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM) sustained serious damage to property in the Southern Chin State and Rakhine State and many of their pastors and members’ homes were destroyed. The PCM is trying to support their members and has also sent a request to their global partners for support as the needs are great. Their letter can be found here. Donations can be made to PCANZ Global Mission 02 0500 0086963 10 with the reference Cyclone Mocha.
Three young adult members of the PCANZ will have a wonderful experience when they are hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan in July. They will participate in a programme called ‘I Love Taiwan’, which hosts young adults from churches around the world and gives them exposure to the life and culture of Taiwan. They will contribute to mission and outreach ministries of the church during the programme, which has been offered for the first time since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to Taiwan’s international isolation, and growing threat from China, the church is deeply appreciative of contact with its global partners.
English Teaching in Vanuatu
We are advertising for an English teaching position at Talua Theological Training institute in Vanuatu for 2024-2025. A staff house is provided onsite, travel costs and insurance are covered, and a stipend is paid. The successful applicant may also receive grants and donations from mission supporters. The context is suitable for a couple who have an interest in serving in mission. The job description can be viewed here.
Global Mission Director
Winter Block Course
We completed our Winter Block Course a few days ago. In attendance were eight NOM interns, five LOM Probationers, and a guest from Princeton Seminary (US). The teaching was by a range of people: Rev Nikki Watkin, Rev Charissa Nicol, Rev Dr Hyeeun Kim, Rev Dr Tokerau Joseph, Rev Dr Jono Ryan, Rev Dr Jordan Reading, Rev Brendon McCrae and Sue Mepham, along with members from Flagstaff Presbyterian Church (Dunedin). Rev Ivan Martinez joined us to sit in and contribute with view of his commencement in the New Year as Dean of Studies.
The time was engaging, energetic, robust, and refreshing. Attention now turns to preparing for the commencement of new faculty from mid-July: Rev Dr Darryl Tempero, Rev Dr Andrew Nicol, and Rev Seb Murrihy.
Noho Marae 24-26 October
You are invited to join us for a noho marae at Ōhope. Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa and Rev Dr Murray Rae will lead and resource us over the three days; they are outstanding! (We experienced this last August with 40 people present.) We will delve into the history of our Presbyterian story and Te Aka Puaho, we will learn about the Māori prophets and evangelists, explore Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and you’ll have time and space to ponder, think and engage. Spaces are limited. Details and registration information can be found here. This is a collaboration between KCML, PYM, and PressGo.
Yours in Christ
Rev Dr Geoff New
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
New materials from Te Aka Puaho
At the Presbyterian Archives we have recently finished processing a collection of new material which arrived from Te Aka Puaho. We were very excited to see this material which helps to show important parts of the story of the Māori Church. Special taonga in this collection include a Minute Book of the Māori Mission Workers and Minutes of the Māori Section of the National Council of Churches, as well as a collection of material relating to Rev John Laughton, who played such a major role in the Māori Missions and in the development of Te Hinota Māori, the Māori Synod.
With Matariki fast approaching, we’d like to draw attention to some resources which are available on our Recollect website. These include a number of publications which have been digitized - see Other PCANZ Publications - including the five volumes of He Taonga hei Whakatu Honohono: a Gift toward Partnership, a series of books which were gifted to the Church by Te Hinota Māori in 1992 and which remain a valuable resource. Another useful publication available online here is Ngā Ritenga Karakia Me Ngā Tikanga, which includes a good selection of worship resources in te reo.
On the Recollect website you can also search our extensive collection of images from the Māori Missions, Te Hinota Māori, and Te Aka Puaho.
Presbyterian Research Centre
“Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me…” Matthew 10:40a
Refugee Sunday is a time to honour the former refugees in our community and reflect on the biblical imperative to offer hospitality. Last year, record numbers of people fled their homes because of war and persecution. In places like Lebanon, Pakistan and Poland, our partners are welcoming refugees and displaced people with love. They share food and support with people in an unfamiliar place. CWS has prepared worship resources around the lectionary readings for June 25 and July 2, Hope Away from Home and a slide for your service - it's not too late to use these resources.
Share Love with Refugees
CWS challenges individuals and churches to put their faith into action and share love with refugees in this year’s Operation Refugee. Take on one of the three challenges and raise funds, organise a special event like a dinner or concert, or make a direct donation to Operation Refugee. Help raise funds for local partners providing emergency supplies, education, and healthcare to refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine. Our local partners warmly welcome refugees into their communities and help them to meet their most urgent needs.
ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) is supporting refugees and displaced people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. After the Nova Kavhovka dam was destroyed on June 6, local partners immediately diverted aid deliveries to help some of the nearly 700,000 people affected. ACT is distributing food and safe drinking water in the region while continuing to support people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
Donations to the Ukraine Appeal will continue to assist refugees in Poland with child-friendly spaces, support groups for mothers and grandmothers, psychosocial programmes, disability equipment and other support. Please pray for them and all refugees struggling with depression and lack of income.
Apply now for CWM opportunities in UK & Tuvalu for PCANZ lay people under 30
Two opportunities with The Council for World Mission covering all costs associated – travel, accommodation, and meals: PCANZ can nominate one lay person, under 30, to attend a CWM Interfaith Eco-spiritualities Global Consultation at Missenden Abbey, UK from 23- 27 October, 2023. The PCANZ can nominate two lay people, under 30, to attend a CWM Youth Consultation on Ecology and Economy in the Pacific, Tuvalu, 7 - 12 September 2023. See more on the Church website.
Prepare for Matariki 14 July - resources
See the PCANZ website for church resources for Matariki including ideas for church services, video, resources to download, and links to further resources.
RDC Climate Action webinar 5 July with Rt Hon Helen Clark
The Religious Diversity Centre Climate Action Group is holding a webinar ‘Hope for our World’ keynote speaker Rt Hon Helen Clark, as part of their series, “Building a Climate of Hope | E tū te mana o Te Ao”. A discussion with a small diverse group will follow the keynote, moderated by Rod Oram. They will discuss how hope is so necessary as we face the climate crisis. Webinar runs 7.30-8.30pm, more here.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The interest rate paid on the PIF On Call Fund increased from 4.25% p.a. to 5.0% p.a. from 1 June 2023. A reminder to please provide advance notice (of at least 3 days) for major (>$100,000) withdrawals. 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.
New Zealand Christians in Science: Lectures, "Themes in contemporary science fiction" – Aug, Auckland
August 9, Dr Yael Cameron Klangwisan - Spectres of Moses in Dune; August 16, Andrew Shamy - “An Enlargement of Our Being”: C. S. Lewis’s Theology of Science Fiction; August 23, Rev Dr Anne Van Gend - What if?; August 30, Dr Gray Manicom - God in the Machine. At the MacLaurin Chapel, 18 Princes Street, Auckland, 6.30pm. More here.
Eco Church is promoting ‘Plastic Free July’ for churches
This ‘Plastic Free July’ Eco Church invites your church to include Plastic Free July tips in your newsletter, or have a plastic free morning tea. See all the resources for churches here. Sign up for the plastic free challenge here and receive helpful ideas and small steps in your inbox every week throughout July.
CPT Help with Property
A reminder that there is a lot of helpful property information from the Trustees available on the PCANZ website here. This includes the Property Handbook, Facility Hire templates and the Church’s Earthquake Prone Buildings Policy.
Book now: Glen Innis Holiday Homes
Now’s the ideal time for ministers to think about booking a holiday at Glen Innis. Grab a break over the winter months or lock in some time over summer. See here for details.
The Season of Creation 2023 Celebration Guide is now out
This year, the season’s theme is “Let justice and peace flow”. The guide will help you learn about the season and how your church can celebrate it. More resources, including webinars and prayer services, sample flyers, newsletter inserts, and more can be found on the Season of Creation website. Download the guide here.
Bill and Margaret Best Travel Fund
The Personnel Work Group is now inviting applications to this fund. Its purpose is 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. The Fund supports courses and study within NZ as well as overseas, and we particularly invite applications from ministers who are planning to take study leave. Funding is provided for travel costs only. The deadline is 30 September, details here.
2023 Church Life Survey - participate any Sunday in August
The AES Rev Wayne Matheson has written to all Presbyterian and Union churches to invite them to participate in the 2023 Church Life Survey NZ on any Sunday during August. Held every five years, the Church Life Survey is a nationwide survey of church goers, and denominations throughout New Zealand are enthusiastically encouraged to participate. All who attend your church are encouraged to complete the survey. Questions will focus on demographics, church life, community, faith, and leadership. and will provide for valuable feedback – the kind of insights that could be useful in future planning for the life of your church. Read the invitation to participate here.
Need advice? email e-Minister a real, ordained PCANZ minister
Got questions concerning faith and personal life issues? Not ready to go to worship or approach a minister in person? Email e-Minister, a real, ordained Presbyterian minister who is bound by professional ethics to respect confidentiality. e-Minister will endeavour to reply within 48 - 72 hours. See more here.
For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.
Reinstatements to the Roll
Rev Dr Christine Sorensen, other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, 16 June 2023.
Ordination and Inductions
Rev Lynmaree Sopoaga, ordained and inducted local ordained minister, Malvern Cooperating Parish, Alpine Presbytery, 28 May 2023.
Rev Sharon Ross Ensor, other recognised minister Kaimai Presbytery to other recognised minister and Presbytery Liaison Manager – Presbyterian Support Northern, Northern Presbytery, 27 April 2023.
Non-PCANZ Ministers in Co-operative Venture Ministries
Rev Alison Slater, Anglican minister, to stated supply New Plymouth – Brooklands Cooperating Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 27 April 2023.
Rev James Veitch, other recognised minister and stated supply Martinborough – First Church Presbyterian Church to Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 14 June 2023.
Removals from Roll
Book of Order 10.34b – ministers engaged in another occupation for more than five years
Rev Stephen Tema, other recognised minister (Pacific Presbytery), removed from the roll 31 May 2023.
Rev Libby Smith, Minister Emerita, Southern Presbytery, 20 May 2023.
Wadestown Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, dissolved 30 June 2023.
Hamilton South - St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, dissolved 30 June 2023.
Check out in one handy place the links to the social media of the Presbyterian Church and its ministries including websites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and video.
Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. Learn more
Self-subscribe to Bush Telegraph, Council News and to PCANZ ministries publications – see details here.