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From the Moderator
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Church School
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NZ has been so battered by storms over recent months, culminating in the disaster of Cyclone Gabrielle. As people in the national Church have reached out to those most impacted, we have heard stories of churches taking key roles in community responses. And we have fielded so many enquiries from around the country from people in our wider Church who are praying hard and asking how they can help. This collective response is heart-warming and Christlike in the midst of such a devastating time. Thank you. If you have not seen it, please read my pastoral email to the Church.
I had the privilege of representing our Church at the Dawn Service and the Ecumenical Service at Waitangi this year. Being there provokes thoughts and conversations about who we are as a nation and the significance of the Treaty and the bicultural journey – this thinking and talking is important for New Zealanders.
It was interesting to see the central role of the church on the day. The dawn service this year was led by the Salvation Army and involved a wide cross-section of leaders in our nation. Around 2,000 people turned out for the service, not deterred by the gentle rain that blessed the occasion!
The day after Waitangi Day I was off to India with PCANZ Global Mission Director Rev Phil King to open a new classroom block at St. Thomas School in Jagadhri, named in honour of Rev Doreen Riddell. Presbyterian missionaries were in India from 1892 – 1993. Doreen Riddell was in Jagadhri for 34 years and was the last of our missionaries to come home. She started St. Thomas school in 1966 with five students. It is now a thriving school of 3,600 students and the huge new Riddell classroom block will allow it to grow even further. The school is led by the very impressive Dr Mrs Chandana Lall, a wonderful Christian woman who walks well the tightrope of being a Christian school with a wide array of religious affiliation amongst the student body. There is a deep thankfulness for the work of Doreen Riddell and the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand in Jagadhri – Phil and I were welcomed with open arms as representative of the PCANZ. The connections remain strong and deeply valued!
March and April are full of interesting moderatorial engagements including the leading of retreats for Northern and Kaimai presbyteries, and training days for the Pathways Programme which is designed to build on my Moderator theme of Empowering Generations, in this case specifically empowering people in the pew. If you are interested in more information about Pathways do not hesitate to email me.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues.
Nga mihi nui.
In the first Bush Telegraph for the year, I wrote about the flooding in greater Auckland. In more recent days Cyclone Gabrielle has impacted a wide area. Phrases like ‘extreme weather’, ‘Cyclone Gabrielle worst storm to hit New Zealand this century’, ‘utter devastation’, ‘flooding of biblical proportions’, and ‘destructive floods and landslips’ dominated our media. Then pictures and aerial views showed the extent of the impact. Heartbreak as lives were lost; property and possessions destroyed; livelihoods and employment washed away. And in those dark moments, as many were overwhelmed - uncertain and experiencing hopelessness - the first responders, Civil Defence staff, neighbours and others worked, at times in situations of great danger, to rescue others and to transport people to safety. They began the task of cleaning up and seeking to restore essential services, providing care and support to the many in need. Some arranged collection and transport of goods needed, others worked collaboratively to ascertain the support required and who could help in providing it. Some opened homes and spaces to welcome folk, feed them, and care for them. Many contributed to the various appeals to provide for immediate needs. Some listened and strategised for the longer to medium term.
And amongst all this was the message: ‘Please pray for all who have been affected’. This is something we can all do!
This event will have an ongoing impact for months to come.
I have been reading from the Gospel of Matthew, from The Message as these events were unfolding, and words and headings from Matthew 6 struck me: “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it”, “Pray with Simplicity”, and, “A Life of God-Worship” which finishes with these words; “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes”.
Words to live by in these challenging days…
Special Legislation Procedure Responses
Special Legislation Procedure Response to 2021 General Assembly decisions were sent to parish councils and a reminder - please complete the form and return by email to me by 31 March 2023.
First round of voting for Moderator-designate
Parishes have received information concerning the first round of voting for Moderator-designate. There are changes to this process as a result of decisions made at Assembly 2018. It is important parish councils read the background information paper as they prayerfully consider the matter. Names have to be submitted to presbytery clerks by 5pm 31 March 2023. To assist those who are being asked to prayerfully consider offering themselves for this role, a background paper is included in this information.
General Assembly 2023
The 2023 General Assembly will be held from 27 September - 1 October at Saint Kentigern College, Auckland.
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.
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.
Noho ora mai
Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Church Schools
Solway College - New Zealand's Most Sustainable School
To continue the series on our Presbyterian Church Schools’ service-learning initiatives here is principal of Solway College Janine Tupaea’s account of what they do and why.
“Solway College prioritised caring for the environment in its last strategic plan, which states they would 'as kaitiaki or caregivers of the Manaia block of land in which the school sits, build upon promotion and implementation of sustainability practices at Solway College. Reduce waste, increase recycling, explore solar, expand bush restoration, clean and protect waterways, and increase the profile of sustainability leadership within our school'.
Over the last three years, Solway College installed a 100kW solar panel system, and significantly expanded the area of native bush on their school site (which contained a remnant of the historic Kuripuni Bush). The native bush extension was all planted by the girls, using trees that were grown from seedlings by the students, or earned through the 'paper for trees' initiative or other community grants. The area also included the planting of nine Kahikatea stars mapping out the Matariki star cluster. These initiatives as well as the school's work on sustainability practices led them to be awarded the title of New Zealand's Most Sustainable School.
In addition to the girls learning to care for our environment within the school grounds, the school's value of 'serving within and outside their community', ensured that this service learning also extended beyond the school gates. In 2022 Solway College students mapped out and collected rubbish along and within each of the waterways within the Masterton area. The junior students in partnership with Mana Whenua then took part in a video project telling the stories of each of the local awa.”
May Solway’s vision inspire parishes with their mission to care for God’s creation too.
Read more about Solway College, Girls Boarding School, Wairarapa.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Presbyterian Children and Families
NEW Lenten resource
The Season of Lent, our intentional journey to Easter, has already begun! How are we traveling this road? How are we encouraging those with whom we minister on their own Lenten journey? There is always the continual invitation to walk deeply and meaningfully with Christ on this journey. Taking up the invitation to have a meaningful journey to Easter does not mean we must choose a complicated study. We know that ministry leaders and families are often looking for a simple guide that encourages and equips them to make meaning in these sacred seasons. That is why this year we have created a simple resource: ‘Wandering Together through Lent’, find it here! We have created a ‘Road Map’ with one theme per week of Lent. However, these could be used at any time through the season. Each road map has three simple steps to guide families or children’s ministry groups who are wandering together through Lent. We hope you will take a look and pass it along to families that you know.
Upcoming CFM Zoom Connect event
After receiving some great feedback about our termly CFM Zoom Connect events held last year, we look forward to hosting our first for 2023 on Thursday 9 March, 7.30-9pm. All ministry workers are invited to attend. Join us for a time of networking and sharing together, with a special focus on resources and ideas for Lent, Holy Week and Easter! To register, follow our Facebook page.
Blessings on your Lenten journey,
Robin Humphreys and Karo Wilson
Presbyterian Children and Families
I recently returned home from a trip to India with PCANZ Moderator Right Rev Hamish Galloway. The purpose of the visit was two-fold. Primarily we were there to dedicate a new school administration and classroom block named after the founding principal, the Rev Doreen Riddell. It was great to share this experience with Hamish and for him to learn of our history at St. Thomas School, and to meet first-hand the staff and students who have such high regard for Doreen and the PCANZ. Hamish contributed really well and helped to make the visit a great success. The welcome and hospitality was exceptional, and we are extremely grateful for having had the invitation to attend on behalf of the PCANZ. Photos and video of the visit can be found on the PCANZ Facebook page, and see video here.
A secondary but important part of our visit was to learn more about some of the complexities regarding property issues in the Jagadhri region involving Christian Hospital, which is steeped in PCANZ mission history. The hospital has currently ceased functioning, but the current Bishop of Delhi (The Church of North India has a largely Anglican structure) hopes to see it revived. Hamish and I were involved in conversations to that effect and have some information to consider before any steps are taken at our end.
The second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar was 2 March. This was marked by silent strikes all over the country as Myanmar’s population still refuses to acknowledge the military Government. I recently asked Stuff journalist Thomas Manch if he would consider writing a story highlighting the plight of Myanmar’s civilian population, as the coup has largely been forgotten due to many other crises around the world. However, the horrific situation in Myanmar remains unresolved and needs further global attention. I introduced Thomas to a Myanmar national, a dedicated young Christian man who lives in Wellington, and his story is here.
After Cyclone Gabrielle hit, we received a pastoral email from Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu Pastor Collin Keleb. On behalf of the church, he expressed concern and sympathy for all affected by the cyclone and assured the prayerful support of the people of Vanuatu. Seasonal workers have been caught up in the devastation and so this will have direct impact on Vanuatu and many Pacific island nations.
Please continue to remember our Global Mission partners in your prayers.
Global Mission Director
Summer Block Course
We have just completed the Summer Block Course in Dunedin. We welcomed six 1st Year NOM interns into the programme, and we included four LOM Probationers (from Southern and Alpine) for parts of the block course. We are looking for opportunities and ways to continue to involve our LOM Probationers in the block courses. We have also been ably assisted with four adjunct lecturers contributing to the teaching in the block course.
Rev Nikki Watkin finishes her secondment with KCML on the 31 March. Nikki has been 0.3 FTE with us since summer 2020. She now returns to her fulltime ministry at Kohimarama Presbyterian Church. Nikki will still help us out in an adjunct capacity for block courses as needed, until we are fully staffed. We are in Nikki’s debt. She has brought life and light into the class and shown an astonishing gift of insight and wisdom in the work of formation and training of ministers.
Our attention now turns to fill the 2.5 FTE permanent positions which remain vacant. As at the time of writing, the closing date for applications closes in a few days. We covet your prayers as we consider applications and discern God’s call in the process. We plan to interview those shortlisted in late March. We expect that as the appointment process is worked through, that KCML will still be operating below capacity for a time, from April. Requests for training in presbyteries are being responded to as capacity allows (e.g. workshops in Central and Kaimai presbyteries will be held over the next few months). We appreciate your patience in the interim.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Türkiye Syria Earthquake Appeal
Thank you for your prayers and the generous donations to the Türkiye Syria Earthquake Appeal. Together with our six local ACT Alliance partners, we can help people survive with food, blankets, hygiene supplies, shelter, and support. Churches are providing shelter and sharing food and comfort with some of the many people who have nothing left. More than 5 million people have been directly affected in Türkiye and 8.8 million in Syria. People need food, shelter and support. If you can, please donate to this appeal. Watch the video.
We are delighted to share news that Caleb and his grandmother now have their own rainwater tank thanks to your donations to the Christmas Appeal, Let Hope Flow this Christmas. Charles Rwabambari from our partner, the Centre for Community Solidarity in Uganda, says the family is delighted and looking forward to the rainy season. Now 54 families affected by HIV and AIDS have tanks. Donations to the Christmas Appeal will help more families improve access to clean water and better livelihoods – it’s not too late. Church treasurers please send in any donations before March 31.
7 weeks of Prayer for Peace
Pray for peace throughout Lent. Each week CWS will share a story and prayer items from a different region of concern. Our first focus is on Ukraine, marking the anniversary of the current conflict.
World Day of Prayer
You are invited to participate in the World Day of Prayer on Friday 3 March. Women from Taiwan have prepared this year’s resources, “I have heard about your Faith”, including a Bible Study on Ephesians 1:15-20. Services are organised by local committees throughout the country and can be used in other services as part of this event. The World Day of Prayer is a longstanding global movement of Christian women committed to prayer and action. Resources including music and materials for children are available on the website. Material can be used in other services or for private use. For more information contact your local World Day of Prayer organising group or email Zella.
Responding to Refugees
Plan to take part in our annual fundraiser Operation Refugee beginning in June. We are working on new challenges for individuals and groups to share God’s love and hospitality with people who have fled their homes. CWS is preparing resource for Refugee Sunday on 25 June. Please plan to join us.
Funds available for churches assisting those affected by floods/cyclone
The Government has established a $2 million Community Support Fund which is available to faith-based, religious and church groups supporting whānau and communities in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and other regions impacted by recent weather events, who are not contracted by a government agency. This funding is time-limited and only available until 30 June 2023. Groups can apply for up to $3,500. Funding must be used by 30 June 2023. See here what may be funded and how to apply.
Induction Service Rev Dr Geoff New, Principal, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Thurs 23 March
Come join Southern Presbytery, and other presbyteries, as we induct Geoff New as the Principal of KCML at East Taieri Church, 12a Cemetery Rd, East Taieri. This is an Assembly appointment, and the Assembly has invited Southern Presbytery to induct Rev Dr Geoff New into this role. We welcome other presbyteries to send members to share this occasion: 6.45pm presbytery meeting, 7pm Service of Induction begins. Narrative presented by Assembly Executive Secretary, Rev Wayne Matheson on behalf of the General Assembly. KCML staff member Rev Dr Darryl Tempero will lead the musical aspects of worship. Leadership Subcommittee convenor Rev Ryhan Prasad will preach the sermon. Supper to follow. Please email apologies to Alan if you cannot attend.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally held in Aotearoa between Ascension and Pentecost (18 – 28 May). Materials this year have been adapted for Aotearoa New Zealand by the National Dialogue for Christian Unity. There is still room to modify and interpret to suit your local context. The international materials were prepared with the churches in Minneapolis (the US city where George Floyd was murdered in 2020). The text chosen is Isaiah 1:12-18, and the focus verse is Isaiah 1:17 with theme, Do good; seek justice. Download here the following resources: Introducing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Word and PDF); Liturgy adapted for Aotearoa (Word); International text, which contains further resources (PDF).
World Day of Prayer
You are invited to participate in the World Day of Prayer on Friday 3 March. Women from Taiwan have prepared this year’s resources download here. The resources, “I have heard about your Faith”, include a Bible Study on Ephesians 1:15-20. Services are organised by local committees throughout the country and can be used in other services as part of this event. Resources include those for children and are available on the NZ website. The World Day of Prayer is a longstanding global movement of Christian women committed to prayer and action.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The interest rate paid on the PIF On Call Fund is currently 3.75% p.a. The Trustees are regularly reviewing the rate, noting that if the Official Cash Rate rises, there is an expectation that the PIF rate will also rise (although not necessarily in exactly the same manner). 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.
Church Property Trustees: Facilities Hire Agreements
The Trustees have prepared a series of draft templates to assist those congregations that hire out their facilities, including a cover letter; booking form; fee schedule; hire agreement; and a “Things you need to know” form. These will need to be tailored to suit each congregation. The drafts can be found here.
2023 Burns Lectures, Canon Dr Cathy Ross, University of Otago, 17 – 28 April
Canon Dr Cathy Ross will explore mission by engaging themes of lament, hospitality, salvation, whiteness, empire, and participation with God. Cathy comes from Aotearoa/NZ and has previously worked in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda with NZCMS. She is Head of Pioneer Leadership Training, Church Missionary Society; and Lecturer in Mission, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, UK. See more.
Albert Moore Lectures 2023, University of Otago, 15 - 17 March
The 2023 Albert Moore Lectures are the first lectures to be held since the interruption to the series due to COVID-19. Dr Dee Osto of Massey University will present two lectures and one seminar from 15-17 March. the first lecture is, Contemporary Buddhist Tales of the Paranormal. See more.
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 March/April 2023 here.
For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.
The following KCML student completed studies in 2022, and was licensed: Rev Ryan Feng, Southern Presbytery, 15 December 2022.
Ordinations and inductions
Rev Brett Reid, ordained and inducted community minister Ngaio Union Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 12 February 2023.
Rev Gene Lawrence, other recognised minister to minister Te Anau Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, 26 January 2023.
Rev Sandra Warner, minister Morrinsville – Knox Presbyterian Church to minister Tauranga – St Columba Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 12 February 2023.
Rev Tony Wood, minister Titahi Bay – St Timothy’s Presbyterian Church to minister Johnsonville Uniting Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 16 February 2023.
Non-PCANZ Ministers in Co-operative Venture Ministries
Rev Dan Yeazel, minister Presbyterian Church USA, from stated supply Waikari Presbyterian Church and Kowai-Cheviot Presbyterian Church, to stated supply Mackenzie Cooperating Parish, Alpine Presbytery, 1 February 2023.
Rev Johanna Warren, minister Hakatere Presbyterian Parish, Alpine Presbytery, to Minister Emerita, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 31 January 2023.
Rev Dr Graham Lyman, Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 29 January 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.