June 2023

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

Getting the big picture

I read news this week of a 20-30 percent drop in attendance at church in New Zealand post-COVID! That is discouraging. And yet to balance that, I have also seen so many encouraging things in the last month.  One of the absolute joys of the role of Moderator is to represent you in connecting with our Presbyterian churches and organisations up and down the country. Here are some of the situations that encouraged me in recent weeks:

  • Being with Prudence Stone, National Executive Officer, Presbyterian Support, as she coordinated a meeting of Presbyterian Support leaders for their ‘Day in Town’ where they gathered in Wellington with experts and politicians to grapple with concerning issues around care for the older generations.
  • Helping Rev Stephanie Wells, Director of the Church Schools Office, review the special character at Saint Kentigern and seeing first-hand the impressive efforts this school community makes in maintaining the Presbyterian dimension of their life and work. The stunning amount of community service they engage in is something to congratulate them on and celebrate as a Church.
  • Hearing about the long-term ministry to folk in social housing that has come out of Island Bay Presbyterian Church and the ministries of Rev Nathan Parry and Rev Dr Bruce Hamill.
  • Encouraging signs of church engagement with the younger generations: Rev Marcell Mey spoke to me about the youth scene at Knox Lower Hutt. I worshipped in the Wakatipu parish one Sunday in May - at St John’s Arrowtown – Rev Dr Carlton Johnstone needed to split the children’s programme into three classes. And then in the evening I was at Global, the evening service with a strong presence from the Brazilian community in Queenstown. Again, all generations were well represented as we enjoyed worshipping to the superb musicianship of Clay and Graziela Peterson de Oliveira. And over a coffee catch up with Rev Brendan McRae from Flagstaff, he told me about the ‘edgy stuff’ that is connecting with young families in their community – such as delving into issues like ecology and the bicultural journey.
  • Being associated with a Southern Presbytery gathering seriously engaged with thinking strategically about their future; well led by Rev Dr Kerry Enright - contributing strongly in early retirement, as many of our ministers are around the country.
  • Joining with folk from around the south at the Southern Ministry Conference to engage with Rev Sebastian Murrihy’s articulate and thought-provoking keynote addresses on ministry in a secular world.

Seminar on Social Enterprise

Another area of encouragement for me are the good news stories of social enterprises I have seen as I move around the Church. These are enterprises run by local churches that serve the community and raise money for further mission. There are definitely inspiring stories worth hearing, and things to learn in this space, for those interested. I am working with others to run a seminar to address this, and we are looking at doing something immediately before the General Assembly. More information to come soon.

God bless
Right Rev Hamish Galloway

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear friends and colleagues

Statistics. I wonder if for some the very word causes all sorts of emotions! Maybe we think they are the enemy, as numbers are thrown around in various settings and seem to confuse us at best, and maybe we are weary of being misled by them. 

Time Harford in his book The Data Detective* notes we need to understand what they mean and how they can improve our lives: they are, at heart, human behaviour seen through the prism of numbers and are often, "the only way of grasping much of what is going on around us". 

I wonder if that will be our approach when statistics from the censuses are made available in the months ahead. I wonder if that will be the case as folk complete statistic information that the Assembly Office sent out last week. I wonder if that will be the case as you consider the invitation to participate in the 2023 Church Life Survey NZ on any Sunday during August. I wonder if that is the case as we reflect on what our statistics say over the past 20 years. The data says in adults at worship, children at worship, and teenagers – all three categories - show a decline of over 50 percent in the period 2000-2020. Are these inviting us to grasp much of what is going on around us? We may have a name and logo, maybe even a building… do we have a presence? Are our statistics inviting us to return to some core spiritual practices – prayer, hospitality, and conversation?

Challenges and opportunities; let us hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

First round of voting for Moderator-designate

Presbyteries either have or are about to complete the process for the first round of voting for the Moderator-designate. In early July, election packs will be sent to parish councils containing information about each of those nominated, together with voting instructions and a voting paper.

General Assembly 2023

The GA23 website, where you will be able to register to attend GA and find GA information, will be launched in mid-June. The  2023 General Assembly  will be held from 27 September - 1 October at Saint Kentigern College, Auckland.

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 have either finalised or are in the process to determine this process for appointing commissioners.

Deadline for reports, proposals and recommendations to be considered by General Assembly 2023

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, 16 June 2023. Guidelines to assist in drafting reports and proposals have been sent to those groups that report to Assembly and to presbyteries to assist those seeking to bring proposals. 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.

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.

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. 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
Wayne Matheson
Assembly Executive Secretary

*Harford, Time. The Data Detective, Riverhead Books (February 1, 2022). 

Presbyterian Church Schools

St Andrew’s College defines service

St Andrew’s College in Christchurch defines its Presbyterian ethos of service through the following phrases - “the spirit of generosity” and “a culture of giving”. Like many other schools, St Andrew’s has traditions like giving Chapel offerings to organisations such as CWS, Pillars, or the 40 Hour Famine for World Vision, or giving Christmas presents to the City Mission. Stationery has been gifted with service trips to local Decile 1 schools, and clothing has been gathered for Dress for Success. And when sudden needs arise, like Cyclone Gabrielle, the school body is quick to raise funds to help.

But service is not all about fundraising. All senior students do community service hours to complete a Senior College Diploma (in 2021 this was calculated at 3,280 hours served). And community service student leaders devise and organise events that promote, work for and/or raise funds for worthy causes. These student-led initiatives instil ownership of the project for all those who are involved. Chapel prefects and Year 13s also lead other service projects.
Importantly, these activities are often as entertaining as they are worthwhile. I well remember the fun-filled photos I received of senior students preparing a chocolate Easter egg fundraiser for the Tongan earthquake last year. Who says service needs to be serious? Dressing up for Pink Shirt Day or wearing gumboots for Gumboot Friday are other examples.
In 2021 the school partnered with “So They Can” an Australasian charity supporting Mwikantsi School in Ethiopia. In addition to student fundraising, 3 percent of all donations to St Andrew’s now goes to “So They Can”. This ‘tithing’ process is an excellent modelling to students of one organisation supporting another. Through this connection students are learning first-hand the concept of ‘ubuntu’ – that your well-being is connected to our well-being. Find out more about St Andrew’s College here.  

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

Presbyterian Children and Families

Recently, I have turned my attention to our PCFM website, trying to make it more user-friendly and accessible, as well as ensuring that the information we have online is relevant and up-to-date. It reminded me that our website is not simply for those who work face-to-face in children and families ministry - there are some fantastic resources for the wider Church community, as well as information for church leadership and administration. 

One particular resource that we link to on our website is the Safety Warrant of Fitness. This website contains really important and relevant information pertaining to safety in children, youth and families ministry. After the recent tragedy in Northland, it’s a timely reminder to ensure that your church’s health and safety policy is up to date, and that children and family ministry leaders have had adequate training in this area. Head over to the website for more information.

Another great resource that I’d like to highlight is our Anchored programme. This programme is designed for young people who are exploring the sacrament of baptism or confirmation of faith. Over five sessions, Anchored explores the big story of God, and where we find ourselves in it; worship and the sacraments; confessions of the Church and the history of the PCANZ; statements of faith; and living the Christian life. If you have young people asking questions about baptism, please feel free to check out Anchored for more information or get in touch with me directly.

To keep up to date with everything related to children and families ministry, be sure to follow us on Facebook  or Instagram, where we share new resources, upcoming events, and much more.

Nga Manaakitanga
Karo Wilson
Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry

Global Mission

Vanuatu Cyclone Appeal

The cyclone appeal to support the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu is on our website here. Grateful thanks are extended to everyone who has already sent donations for this.  The appeal will remain active for several weeks so there is still plenty of time to donate. 
Saint Kentigern is planning a trip to Vanuatu in September when their team of students, parents and teachers will take part in a service programme with Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu schools and community groups. This will see the resumption of successful programmes which last took place in 2019. Project opportunities exist for congregations – contact me for details. 

Partners in Mission Programme 

Partners in Mission is a programme run by the Council for World Mission that supports the sharing of personnel between member churches. You can view the Partners in Mission promotional video here, and read about high school teaching and project manager opportunities in American Samoa and Kiribati here.

Cyclone Mocha, Myanmar 

News of Category 5 Cyclone Mocha which has devastated areas of Myanmar took a while to reach us due to communication problems. At the time of writing, we have just heard from the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, whose members have suffered serious damage to their homes and communities as a result of this cyclone. We are still working out how to respond to this so check the Global Mission website and Facebook page for information.  

In May I paid a visit to First Church in Invercargill where I shared about PCANZ Global Mission during a Sunday service. I have other engagements in my diary but still have some spaces available if your congregation is interested in learning how it can support our Global Mission partnerships. 

Phil King
Global Mission Director

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

It is a delight to be able to celebrate the appointments of Rev Dr Andrew Nicol and Rev Ivan Martinez to KCML. Andrew will commence on 31 July 2023 and Ivan (new Dean of Studies) will commence on 8 January 2024. Rev Dr Darryl Tempero returns from study leave on 17 July 2023. We have one more announcement to make for the remaining 0.5 FTE position. That will mean that all the KCML positions are full for the first time since 2019. I am thrilled with the experience and calibre of the team.

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.

Winter Block Course

We hold our Winter Block Course in Dunedin from 13-22 June. We have a range of guest and adjunct lecturers contributing: Rev Nikki Watkin, Rev Dr Tokerau Joseph, Rev Brendon McRae, Rev Charissa Nicol, Sue Mepham, Rev Dr Jordan Redding and Rev Dr Jono Ryan. We will also be joined by four LOM Probationers.

John Marquet

Some of you will have been led through the Ministry Development Plan by one of our MDP facilitators, John Marquet. John died suddenly on 15 May. This came as a shock to us all. John had a wide and deep ministry over many years in the Anglican Church, in university and police chaplaincy, and other contexts. He was a friend and inspiration to many. Our grief is tempered by the knowledge that he has entered into the eternal presence loving of God and his inheritance in Christ Jesus.

Yours in Christ
Geoff New
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Research Centre

Preaching Resources Available

Members of Hewitson Library can access many resources to help with sermons. There are electronic resources available online and print resources that can be checked out, either in person or posted out.  Email us if you are not yet a member here.  

Electronic resources from EBSCO

  1. Religion and Philosophy Collection – Extensive coverage of such topics as biblical studies, religious history, and world religions, as well as various philosophical studies. Contains more than 300 full-text journals.
  2. Australia/ New Zealand Reference Centre Plus - Combines Australasian newspapers, magazines, newswires, and reference books to create the largest collection of regional full-text content available to libraries in Oceania. This database includes leading Australia/NZ periodicals and international periodicals in full-text, as well as full-text reference books. Use this resource to find contemporary and local sermon illustrations.
  3. E-book Collection – We own a growing number of e-books through EBSCO, available for online reading or for full-text download. This includes Bible commentaries for this Lectionary Year A, from the ‘Interpretation’ and ‘Belief’ series.

Print resources

  1. We have a growing number of Bible commentaries, including now the complete set of ‘Interpretation’ for the New Testament.
  2. We have all the bibliographies for NOM and LOM interns’ block courses covered. Particularly, you could look for the Preaching course books to help with your sermons.  We have several titles now in multiple copies.

Blessings in your preaching.

Jay Robinson
Presbyterian Research Centre 

CWS Notices

National Director

CWS is looking for a visionary, strategic leader to fill the position of National Director.  Applications close on Thursday, June 15.  

Operation Refugee

World Refugee Day on June 20 is an opportunity to show support for all those who have sought refuge in communities and countries far from home.  CWS invites you to join us in a 12-hour challenge.   Make a team for double the fun and pick your challenge: a winter walk, food for life or a shelter challenge.  Raise funds for people who have fled Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria and Ukraine and need food, education and medical care.   Find out more at Operation Refugee 2023.  Please pray for people displaced by conflict and war, and our partners providing practical help.  Donations can also be made online.

Plants Give Joy and Security

At 79 years old, Wilson has transformed his life and is doing the same in his community on Tabon Island in the Philippines.  After he retired from fishing, he depended on his family for his food and other needs.  Life became harder, especially after the super typhoon that destroyed the area.  Thanks to our local partner Developers, who encouraged him to join the planting drive, he is growing food for his family and community.  The fish stock in the bay has been in sharp decline and people on the island’s coast say they are losing one metre of their land every year due to climate change.  Read Wilson’s story, watch the video, and if you can, please donate to our Family Food Gardens Autumn Appeal.

Refugee Sunday

Parishes are encouraged to mark Refugee Sunday on June 25 in the Methodist and Presbyterian calendar or July 2 with the Anglicans.  Prayer and worship resources will be available shortly.


You are invited: Ohope Bicultural Experience, 24-26 Oct, Ohope Marae 

There is no place better to learn about the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Aka Puaho, and their bicultural journey than beautiful Ōhope Marae at sparking Ōhope Beach. Through a new collaboration between Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Presbyterian Youth Ministry, and Theology at University of Otago (Rev Dr Murray Rae and Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa), you can participate in a three-day immersion - hearing and reflecting on our story in Aotearoa. From 3pm Tues 24 to 1pm Thurs 26 Oct. Read more.

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.

RDC Climate Action webinars, 14, 21, 28 June & 5 July

The Religious Diversity Centre Climate Action Group is holding a series of four webinars titled, “Building a Climate of Hope | E tū te mana o Te Ao”. A discussion with a small diverse group will follow each keynote, moderated by Rod Oram. They will discuss how hope is so necessary as we face the climate crisis. Webinars run 7.30-8.30pm, more here.

A Rocha Waste Wānanga for churches: from a te ao Māori & Christian worldview - morning 6 June, Auckland. Lunch provided.

A community wānanga on WASTE - a workshop to help your church work towards zero waste from a te ao Māori and Christian worldview. Stay for lunch after the event. A collaboration between Wilberforce Foundation, A Rocha Aotearoa NZ and Para Kore Marae Inc. with support from Auckland Council. From 9am to 12pm, 55 Hugo Johnston Drive, Penrose, Auckland. Lunch provided. RSVP by Fri 2 June. See more.

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.

Affordable computers for your church & staff via Techsoup

Techsoup offer churches that are a registered charity a good selection of refurbished devices (laptops, desktop computers, screens etc) at affordable prices “with a comprehensive warranty that covers replacement or repair costs and return shipping” plus church staff members are eligible to purchase these reconditioned hardware items for personal use too. Investing in refurbished computers contributes to reducing e-waste and making a positive impact on the environment. Register with Techsoup NZ or log into your account to see what’s on offer.

Glen Innis holiday home for ministers

See dates available for the original homestead (now known as James McNutt House) and the former gardener’s cottage (Maud Hooper House) for June and July 2023 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.

Information about copyright for your church

See information about how you can avoid breaching copyright when playing music or projecting the words of songs during church services on the PCANZ website here. There are links to where you can obtain a license to copy words of songs for display on screens, PowerPoint presentations, or printed bulletins, and different licenses for playing music and video. 

Church Register

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

Non PCANZ Ministers in PCANZ Parishes

Rev Mark Gibson, Methodist minister, ended at Port Hills Uniting Parish, Alpine Presbytery, 1 January 2023.

Resignations from the PCANZ Roll

Rev Michael Coutts, minister St Andrew’s Central Hawke’s Bay, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 11 May 2023.


Rev R Sporry, Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 12 April 2023.
Rev Brian Metherell, Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 2 May 2023.
Rev Mary Petersen, Minister Emerita, Kaimai Presbytery, 6 May 2023 .

Parish changes  

Nelson – St Luke’s Union Parish, Alpine Presbytery, dissolved 23 April 2023.

Social Media

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


Check out our job vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table and featured ministerial vacancies for the latest vacancies available in Aotearoa and around the globe.

Subscribe to publications

Self-subscribe to Bush Telegraph, Council News and to PCANZ ministries publications – see details here.