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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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Tena koutou katoa
As I write this it is a couple of weeks since our General Assembly in Auckland. It was so good to be able to have an in-person Assembly and be ‘in the same room’ together. Amongst the worship, business, dialogue groups, meals and evening sessions, valuable connections between people were made and we were able to celebrate being part of the Presbyterian Church family. I really enjoyed it all. Thank you for your support as I begin my term as Moderator. I seek to serve the Church well in this time, and look forward to meeting those of you I don’t as yet know, and reconnect with ‘old’ colleagues and friends.
I will be spending 75 percent of my time working for the national Church, and 25 percent for my local parish of St Paul’s Maheno Otepopo in Oamaru. I will be monitoring this to see how it is working out, I know workload will vary from time to time. I am grateful for the good support of our parish council and to the Rev Dr Hilary Oxford Smith who is doing some supply in the parish.
Over the next two years I will be travelling around the country visiting parishes and presbyteries and I look forward to that engagement. If you have specific events you would like me to attend, please let me know as soon as you are able so that I can get these into my diary.
To finish, something to ponder. While doing some reading for my sermon this week I came across the following quote, “God comes to you disguised as your life” (Paula D’Arcy). It is a short quote… with a lot of depth!
May the blessing of God be upon us all.
Ka kite ano
Right Rev Rose Luxford
Dear friends and colleagues
A focus of our life together was the General Assembly in Auckland at the end of September-beginning of October. This was the first time Assembly has met in person since 2018. We gathered at Saint Kentigern College and opened our time with a powhiri and opening service that set the scene for our time together. We experienced wonderful hospitality as we prayed, worshipped, attended to business, were inspired, and shared food together. There was space to reflect and discern; to relate to others and to be inspired. Our Moderator Rose led us well as we moved through each day. We were unrushed as we attended to matters.
Such a gathering does not simply happen – and there is a great deal that happens in the months beforehand by a wide group of people who ensure our agenda and business flows, that we have all we need in terms of reports and papers, and an agenda of what we will be doing. My thanks to the Assembly Business Work Group and Deputy Clerk Heather McKenzie for your work.
I want to acknowledge and thank the Assembly Co-ordinator Pamela Day and her wonderful team, and all who played a part in the organisation and running of what was, for me, an inspiring event. Thank you.
General Assembly evaluation
There will be an opportunity for everyone who attended Assembly to complete an evaluation. The online survey provides an opportunity to assist the local arrangements committee, business committee, and others to plan for the next Assembly in 2025. If you were at Assembly, you will get an invitation to participate in the survey. Please do take the time to give us your feedback.
Assembly minutes and matters for consideration
All Assembly minutes will be posted online after the Council of Assembly has confirmed these. Other matters for consideration, study and action by presbyteries and church councils will be sent out over the coming months.
Summary of Assembly decisions
You can watch video from all days and read decisions from Assembly. Click on this link for daily pages with full coverage of GA23 on the Church website, including video links to daily business and decisions.
Assembly Executive Secretary
Connect 2023 was a tremendous success!
Thank you so much for your prayers and patronage of the Connect 2023 Youth Leaders and Young Adults Conference. Over 170 people joined us for an exceptional weekend of learning, worship and fellowship. We have received very positive feedback from the event. Here is what one participant had to say:
"I really appreciated all the planning that made it run so smoothly. A great range of workshops on offer, a well paced timetable, an awesome venue and yummy food. The weekend flowed and I felt well informed about what was happening every step along the way. It was a real treat to be looked after so well and to learn from passionate people prepared to share their hearts and their wisdom. Thank you!"
You can watch highlight videos from the conference here. Information about next year's event is coming soon.
Please join our PYM Facebook Group to stay connected
We recently launched a PYM Facebook Group alongside our Presbyterian Youth Ministry Facebook page. We will use this group to share updates and resources to help your youth ministry and give you the space to ask questions and share resources. The benefit of a Facebook group is that you will see everything we post and not just the few things the Facebook algorithm lets you see. Join the group here.
Fantastic support for anyone wanting to study youth work or youth ministry, the PYM internship programme will add tremendous value to their study with:
- A tried and tested internship structure that creates a sustainable learning environment and will potentially cover your study costs
- Opportunity to participate in a great learning community with fellow interns - skype discussions, opportunities to meet up
- Opportunity for additional learning experiences that will enhance your theological and ministry skills and your understanding of the DNA the PCANZ
- Regular learning and internship support from PYM
- Course curriculum advice
Please contact me for any support or advice regarding the internship.
National Youth Director
John McGlashan College
The final school I want to highlight in exploring the theme of service learning is John McGlashan College in Dunedin. Across the entrance of their library (see here) are stenciled the words, “From those to whom much is given much will be expected”. Their stated values and all they do espouse this desire to, as their mission statement states, ‘be active contributors to local and global societies’.
One way John McGlashan offers service opportunities to its young men is through the highly popular Duke of Edinburgh Award and International Baccalaureate programmes. Through them students are involved a wide range of areas - coaching, service in their local church, regional sport organisations, local conservation groups and iwi (Town Belt Kaitiaki, Kāi Tahu - St Clair, Otago Regional Council, Project Gold and more), playing music in local rest homes, and fundraising through school-wide mufti days for Presbyterian Support and other local causes.
An exciting recent development is the College’s purchase of Fiordland Lodge in Te Anau (see image) as a second campus. There are exciting plans being made for this venue to become a place of learning, character development and spiritual retreat for boys at all year levels. This will include working with DOC on local conservation projects. In this way the school will be working towards fulfilling their values of Whakangakau (valuing and caring for the environment; cultural, spiritual social and physical), Manaakitanga (showing empathy, compassion and respect towards others and the environment) and Aweawe (seeking fairness and justice for all and being brave in defending their beliefs) which are all key to the idea of service. I suspect, especially in this environment, the students will also learn that service can be fun.
The Presbyterian ethos of service is influencing over 10,000 students every year. That is a significant influence both now and for the future.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Presbyterian Children and Families
And just like that, we are in Term 4! What a busy couple of months it has been for PCFM.
The Little Book of Advent
Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has placed orders for The Little Book of Advent! By the time the Advent season begins, 3,000 booklets will have been distributed across Aotearoa. This has far exceeded my expectations. I am really looking forward to seeing how churches and families engage with this resource, and I invite you to join with me in praying that God will speak into the hearts and minds of children and families through this little booklet.
Recently, I was fortunate to attend the workshops presented by Rachel Turner in Wellington. Rachel is a funny, dynamic speaker who really has a heart for equipping parents to do the very important task of raising faith-filled children. If you are a church leader, and want to learn more about supporting and equipping parents in this area, I highly recommend the Parenting for Faith website.
It was a joy to meet many of you at General Assembly. I love GA, and the fellowship that comes with being together. I especially enjoyed providing entertainment in the form of the quiz on the final night - never have I seen such heated competition for a chocolate fish!
As we head towards Advent and Christmas, be sure to keep an eye on the PCFM website for inspiration and ideas on celebrating this season with children and families in your church and community.
Peace be with you
Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry
General Assembly 2023
Global Mission hosted overseas guest from the Council for World Mission and the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu at GA23. It was encouraging to see the level of engagement from Commissioners with these guests. From Vanuatu we have hosted school chaplains, a youth leader, and now the General Secretary and his wife, and Onesua College principal. It has helped build momentum in our partnership after the difficult Covid-19 years.
Another step forward has been the resumption of Saint Kentigern schools projects with schools in Vanuatu. Two teams of students, parents and teachers successfully completed projects during the October holidays. View a video on the Global Mission website page here.
The Presbyterian Church in Myanmar continues to navigate its way through the civil war decimating their country. More internally displaced persons have recently descended on churches in Tahan seeking shelter from fighting in their villages. The church’s executive has decided to try and take steps towards negotiating a ceasefire between local defence forces and the military in their region. PCM General Secretary Rev Pek Muan Cuang said, “The first step we are going to take is to convene with church leaders and discuss the possibility of appointing mediators who will negotiate with both parties so that the shooting, bombing and burning of houses and arrests can be reduced. Many people think and have a hope that if churches take initiative the suffering can be reduced…. therefore we need your prayer support.” Please pray for them as they move forward with this bold initiative.
Israel and Gaza
The world’s burdens are weighing heavily on us as we reel from the violence and suffering in Israel and Gaza. From that very land 2,000 years ago, Jesus said, “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you”. Is this an impossible dream? Or is it the only solution? Let us pray for an end to this present suffering, and visionary leadership on both sides to help bring about a long-term resolution to this conflict.
Global Mission Director
New to the team
We welcome Matt Chamberlin (PYM) and Karo Wilson (PCFM) into the wider KCML team. This shift in teams for Matt and Karo is to recognise their contribution to the training ministry of KCML to the Church. We are looking forward to refreshing and expanding our vision accordingly.
Spring Block course
Our Spring Block course was held in September. Eight interns and four Local Ordained Ministry probationers were in attendance. It was an especially pleasing time of training and development.
Hui at Te Maungarongo marae Ōhope
Recently National Ordained Ministry interns, Local Ordained Ministry probationers, Receptions ministers, PYM, PressGo and others gathered for two days of learning at Te Maungarongo marae (Ōhope). In all, 38 people gathered for the hui. Rev Dr Wayne TeKaawa and Rev Dr Murray Rae led participants in engaging with topics such as “Missionaries and Prophets”, “Exploring Te Tiriti”, “Kaiwhakaako and the Presbyterian Story”, “Exploring Te Reo in Theology and Worship”, the story of Te Aka Puaho, and other subjects.
KCML Advisory Group
The KCML Advisory Group is now underway under the convenorship of Dr Marion Sanders. Members include Honey Thrupp, Rev Anne Stewart, Rev Mose Taumaoe, Brad Kelderman, and Dr Paul Trebilco. Their wisdom and spirituality wonderfully contribute to KCML’s ministry.
Training opportunities 2024
We are also planning with all presbyteries and offering a suite of training opportunities for 2024. We will be endeavouring to be present and offering training both in provincial and metropolitan centres.
Begg Dickie Scholarship – applications invited
Finally, applications for study funds for ministers and also for the Begg Dickie Scholarship are being called for. Applications are invited which enhance the diversity and mission of the PCANZ. Details can be found here. The deadline for applications is Thursday 28 March 2024.
Yours in Christ
Rev Dr Geoff New
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Hewitson Library has recently added over six dozen EBSCO ebooks to our Chrysalis Seed Collection on Christianity and the Arts. These run the gamut of topics in this area, and mirror many of the more popular titles that we already hold in print.
Click here for our complete list of acquisitions in September for Chrysalis Seed, which are almost all ebooks.
To review some tips on using Hewitson Library ebooks:
- You will need to know your member login. Membership access to Online Resources is available to all.
- To use EBSCP ebooks (and all other non-JSTOR ebooks), you may freely view and Download them, via their links in the Koha catalogue record. We have already purchased these titles.
- To use JSTOR ebooks, view them online via their catalogue record links, but please do not Download them unless you really need to save them. We purchase these titles at the point of Download.
- To sign-up for Library membership, or for any questions, please email us.
Ebooks really bring the books right to you, via online access anywhere in the world. Enjoy them!
Presbyterian Research Centre
Please pray for the people of Gaza, Israel and Palestine, and for peace. The suffering is immense. CWS has launched an appeal to assist with food, shelter and medical support – DSPR operates three Primary Health Clinics in Gaza. It’s main building has been severely damaged, and staff have been displaced.
CWS has launched an appeal after major earthquakes in the Herat Province. People have lost family members and their homes. Local ACT members have distributed the first winterised tents but many more are needed. They plan to make cash transfers so the most vulnerable families can buy what they need.
At the heart of this year’s Christmas Appeal Share Food this Christmas is Somawathie. In Sri Lanka she is grappling with rising costs, drought, climate change and wild elephants. Resources for churches to use on each Sunday through Advent and on Christmas Day will be available shortly. Please order posters and appeal leaflets for your church.
Please help promote Gifted in your church and community. The new Gifted catalogue is available, or order online at any time. There are 24 gifts to choose from – gifts act as a donation to one of our partners. Choose a beautiful, printed card or ecard to accompany your gift or no cards at all. Gifted cards work for Christmas, birthdays or any special occasion.
Free Resources for Faith Leaders after a Death by Suicide
If you are leading a funeral/farewell or supporting a bereaved whānau or family after a suicide loss, two recent free resources from the Mental Health Foundation offer practical advice and helpful information. The Foundation, a respected charity championing mental health, consulted with experienced ministry leaders (including Presbyterians) from a range of Christian churches nationally, as well as celebrants and others, to develop these two resources. See how to order the free resources here.
Resources for White Ribbon Day 2023 - 26 Nov White Ribbon Sunday
PCANZ White Ribbon Ambassador Rev Hana Popea has prepared resources for churches for White Ribbon Sunday on 26 November. Resources include a new song, video, and print resource she has compiled with helpful information and a message of support from Moderator Rt Rev Rose Luxford. Hana prepared these resources early so they could be shared by her at GA23. See here for resources and for contact details for Hana.
2023/24 lectionary and calendar is available
The lectionary for 2023-2024 Year B Mark is available to download here on the PCANZ website. The lectionary starts with Advent and is the calendar of the liturgical year, including Scripture readings for each week.
Apply for two CWM Mission Secretary roles in London, Singapore or Johannesburg
CWM invite you to be part of their global family of driven individuals to make a difference to the lives of the people and communities around the world. They seek two Mission Secretaries for their team – one Social Justice, and one Peace & Development. The positions can be based with CWM in either their Singapore, London or Johannesburg offices. Applications close 15 Nov. See more here.
Auckland churches... host free bike checks for your church and community!
A free offer for churches in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland from Eco Church & Bike Hub Mt Roskill. The "Love My Bike" free safety check will come to your church to check bikes and encourage your church members to bike more. So, get your bikes checked over. Reduce transport emissions! Email Richard to book for your church or phone 0212771213.
Apply for Southern Presbytery Executive Officer role
The Church in the South seeks an executive officer to help it nourish vibrant communities of faith. The appointee will work with the Council, the governing body, to communicate and advance the Church’s strategic direction. They will lead a small team of employees and interact with diverse communities, congregations and groups across the region. Inquiries sought from people with the energy and skills to help transition us into the next stage of our life together, beginning in 2024.
For position description and info email Rev Dr Kerry Enright Applications close on 20 Nov.
Common Grace Aotearoa 2023 gathering 10-12 Nov, Waikanae
Are you energised by a vision of a flourishing of people and planet with Christians in Aotearoa contributing to the common good by advancing policy solutions to climate, economic and Te Tiriti justice? The Common Grace Aotearoa national gathering is for you at Ngatiawa River Monastery, Nov 10, 5pm - Nov 12, 2pm. Speakers, trainings + campaign input, prayer + worship, kids programme. Contributions from Alva Feldmeier of 350 Aotearoa & Rev Dr Jordan Redding of St Heliers Church. More here.
New book by Very Rev Marg Schrader
Former PCANZ Moderator Very Rev Marg Schrader has written a new book, “The Ever-Widening Circles” available as both an eBook and printed book. “At every stage of her rich and varied life, Marg Schrader has responded to God’s call. Join her as she tells her remarkable story.” More here.
Book early for a summer Hawke’s Bay holiday: Glen Innis
Hurry as there are only a couple of vacancies left for the summer holidays. Those with school aged children are urged to book early for holidays, so get in now so you don’t miss out! Visit the Glen Innis page for criteria and details.
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.
Receptions to the Roll
Rev Tony Roberts (Queensland Baptist Union), other recognised minister, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 17 August 2023.
Rev Mike Kirkby-Sing, minister Lumsden/Balfour/Kingston Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery to minister Bethlehem Community Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 27 August 2023.
Rev Mo Morgan, minister Whanganui - St James’ Presbyterian Church to other recognised minister (A Rocha), Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 17 September 2023.
Rev David Coster, minister stated supply Cashmere Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery ended 30 September 2023.
Rev Tony Roberts, other recognized minister to parish minister New Plymouth – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 8 October 2023.
Rev Apa Leali’ifano, minister Glen Eden – Pacific Islanders to Minister Emeritus, Pacific Presbytery, 10 September 2023.
Rev Helen Harray, other recognised minister to Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 15 September 2023.
Resignations from the PCANZ roll
Rev Catriona Cairns, other recognised minister, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 18 September 2023.
Rev Neville Burns, Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 24 August 2023.
Rev Nolan Martin, Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 9 September 2023.
Rev Sione Faitala, Minister Emeritus, Pacific Presbytery, 7 February 2023.
Rev Ron Lau’ese, minister Mangere East – St Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Northern Presbytery, 19 September 2023.
Invercargill – Otatara Union Parish, Southern Presbytery, UCANZ parish dissolved 24 September 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.