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NOTE: Due to GA23 timing, there will not be an October edition of Bush Telegraph. The next edition will be November 2023.
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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I write this as we prepare to leave the Island of Malo where along with Global Mission Director, Phil King, and from the Upper Clutha parish (Wanaka and Hawea) Joanne Foster and Rev Aaron Johnstone, I have been attending the 74th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. It was so good to be here to support Phil in the great work he does with our mission partners and to get a firsthand look at long term partnership projects, such as Talua Theological Training Institute and Onesua College. It was good to get a deeper understanding of the issues that face the PCV. Phil will be reporting more fully on the trip.
Investing for Mission Impact
Will be held on Wednesday 27 September from 9.30am to 4.30pm at St Columba Presbyterian Church Botany. There is a great programme coming together to inform and inspire those wanting input into how we can pivot off our capital resources to serve the community in ways that generate funds for mission. To see the programme, download it here and register here.
Profiling books written by New Zealand Presbyterians at GA23
We have had good response to the call out for books written by people in our Church community. If you would like to be part of this and have not responded yet, please email me before Friday 14 September.
This will be my last Bush Telegraph. Being Moderator has been a hugely enjoyable privilege and I am grateful to the Church for trusting me with the role! The welcome extended has been unfailingly generous and gracious. Special thanks to David Coster and the leadership team at Cashmere Presbyterian who covered; for my chaplains Lance and Sandra Thomas who cared for me; to the many previous Moderators who encouraged me; to the national staff team who from early stages engaged with the Empowering Generations theme, provided workshops to support the theme, were always available for advice and guidance, and offered me their collegial friendship.
Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Dear friends and colleagues
Much of our work is clearly focused on our upcoming Assembly. In the light of deadlines, time frames, meetings, requests and demands it is easy to lose focus. As reports come in -as all the work required is in danger of becoming all-consuming – it is good to pause to reflect and to give thanks for all those people that stand behind each of the reports. Can I ask you join with me, and many others, in praying for Assembly? For our incoming Moderator the Rev Rose Luxford; for the Assembly Business Work Group; the Assembly Co-Ordinator Pamela Day and volunteers - the people working behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of each day; and volunteers and staff and all Commissioners.
Assembly is an opportunity for us to gather and provides the opportunity for thanksgiving and mutual encouragement. It is also a time of discernment for how God may be calling us to mission at this time and in this place. In all that, may we be found as people who say, “Speak Lord, your servants are listening”.
The Assembly will commence with a powhiri and opening service at Saint Kentigern at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 27 September. Assembly will meet at Saint Kentigern from Thursday morning until its conclusion at lunch time on Sunday 1 October. If you are not going to be at Assembly, then sign up here to receive updates from GA23.
Assembly White Book
The White Book is expected to be available in early September.
Notices of motion for the Assembly due by 5pm Wednesday 27 September
The Assembly Business Work Group has determined the deadline for notices of motion has been set as 5pm on Wednesday 27 September. After this date only motions arising from dialogue or debate will be accepted.
Our Financial Compliance Director Camila Farias has been on parental leave since October 2022. She has advised she will not be returning to this role. We wish her, Simon and Hugo all the best for the future.
Lisa Wells, our PressGo Catalyst, has broken her arm and has been assessed as fully unfit for work until at least the end of September. We pray for a complete recovery for Lisa.
In these days and times - Noho ora mai and kia tupato, kia noho haumaru.
Assembly Executive Secretary
Join us in prayer for Connect National Youth Leaders and Young Adults Conference, 1-3 Sept
As I write this, our first Connect conference since 2019 is scheduled to kick off 1-3 September at Willow Park conference centre in East Auckland. We ask that you join us in prayer for the event and for those attending. Please pray:
That all those in attendance would be encouraged in their faith and ministry
That the Holy Spirit would move powerfully free from hindrance
That there would be a strong bond of love and fellowship formed between all those involved
Take 15 - prayer for the 1.6 million young people of Aotearoa NZ
You are invited to join our weekly Take 15 prayer meeting where we take 15 minutes to pray for the 1.6 million young people of Aotearoa NZ. This will happen at 7am and 1pm every Thursday. We would love for you to join us and extend the invitation to your congregation as well.
National Youth Director
Presbyterian value of serving others embedded in our schools
Service is a key component of our Presbyterian Church Schools, as I have been sharing in the last few months’ articles detailing some of what individual schools do. However, it is interesting to observe how the Presbyterian value of serving others has quietly embedded in our schools’ culture in ways even they may not recognise. For example, most of our schools support the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme which has a strong community service element at all its levels. And when I say support, I’m talking of having staff who guide students through the qualification process as well as helping them choose and complete the actual activities.
Another example, many of our schools have added International Baccalaureate as an alternative to NCEA. Some may think this is solely based on the academic prestige of this qualification but interestingly, it also has a compulsory Service module. Intrinsic to the IB is the concept of a well-rounded student – and doesn’t that sound familiar?
Our Presbyterian forebears, who set up the various schools around Aotearoa New Zealand, had varying aims but at their core was a deep appreciation of education, a desire to have this available to as wide a group as possible (hence the number of girls’ schools that are over 100 years old), and the belief that those in fortunate circumstances should share this with others. While Presbyterian schools have never been tied to national Church values as with most other denominations’ church schools, the underlying ideas that were at their founding are still there. And so, serving others remains, whether within the school and called ‘well-being’ or in the wider community and called ‘service’, whether called ‘developing global citizens’ or ‘well-rounded adults’, service is foundational to all our Presbyterian Church schools.
Stephanie Wells (Rev)
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office
Presbyterian Children and Families
Kia ora everyone
We are well into the second half of this year, and as we all know, the next few months will whizz by in a flash! We have had an amazing response to preorders for our Advent resource, with over 400 copies already requested! There is still time to order this fantastic family devotion, so be sure to pop over to our website here to preview the resource, and to preorder. Preorders close 8 September to enable us to have this printed before General Assembly.
At the time of writing, I am preparing to spend the weekend at Camp Columba, just outside Gore, where Southern Presbytery are hosting an Anchored retreat. This retreat is the beginning of the Anchored Curriculum, a resource that helps young people explore their faith more deeply, discovering where they see themselves in God’s ‘Big Story’, and to discern if it is the right time to be baptised or make a confession of faith. As this group of young people spend time looking at the bigger issues of faith in the coming months, we pray that they would sense God’s voice, and know God’s presence with them in this journey.
Seek me out at events during September
As we head into September, I’ll be keeping busy, attending the Connect Conference in Auckland on 1-3 September, Rachel Turner events in Wellington on the 17-18 September, and General Assembly in Auckland at the end of the month. I’d love to catch up with those connected to children’s ministry who might be at these events, so please feel free to seek me out and have a chat!
Save the date!
We will be holding a Zoom Connect event on Thursday, 19 October. Please mark it in your diaries and keep an eye on the PCFM Facebook page for details closer to the time!
Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry
The Council for World Mission is offering internships for young adults interested in working with a mission organisation. You can learn about this here (ignore the closing date of May 2023, applications remain open). Contact me for more information about CWM.
Life in Myanmar remains precarious and members of the Presbyterian Church there face daily challenges to their lives, including situations which are often dangerous. Violence has risen again with more internal refugees seeking shelter and refuge due to fighting in their villages. The church has become well versed in providing crisis support for those affected. With other partner churches, Global Mission has been able to provide some financial support for the PCM as they respond to these needs. Please continue to uphold them in prayer.
I have just returned from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu which was held on Malo Island, off the coast of Espiritu Santo. The local community did a wonderful job of hosting the event which included over 700 participants. I was accompanied by our Moderator, Right Rev Hamish Galloway, and from the Upper Clutha parish (Wanaka and Hawea) also Joanne Foster and Rev Aaron Johnstone. This is the first Assembly that PCANZ members have been able to attend since 2019 and it was great to have a team who all contributed well during our time there. Aaron and Jo were exploring opportunities for their churches to participate in our partnership with the PCV and they returned with many ideas to share with their congregations.
One other way we are working with the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu is including one of their youth leaders at Connect this month. Manle Simeon will be hosted by members of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Henderson during the 10 days he will spend here learning about PCANZ youth ministry. Next, we will host three members of the PCV at our General Assembly in late September.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have regarding PCANZ Global Mission.
Global Mission Director
We had our first full in-person faculty meeting over three days in August. The Rev’s Seb Murrihy and Ivan Martinez and Rev Dr’s Darryl Tempero and Andrew Nicol were all in Dunedin. We used the time to orientate the team to the various rhythms and tasks KCML is responsible for. We worked through requests for particular elder/lay training. We will invite presbyteries to select which training they want delivered in 2024. Beyond that, we plan to develop a lay leader/elder curriculum with a range of in-person and online options for training from 2025.
Our Spring Block Course commences on 12 Sept with NOM interns and LOM Probationers in attendance.
If you are considering study, Senatus meets in October, and you can apply for funding for your course. Applications and information can be found here. Applications need to be submitted by Friday 29 September 2023.
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 be leading and resourcing us over the three days; they are outstanding! We experienced this last August and 40 people were present. We delve into the history of our Presbyterian story and Te Aka Puaho, we learn about the Māori prophets and evangelists, explore Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and you’ll have time and space to ponder, think and engage. Details and registration information can be found here. This is a collaboration between KCML, PYM, and PressGo. Please note: accommodation on the marae is now full. If you would like to attend, you will need to stay off–site.
Yours in Christ
Rev Dr Geoff New
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
New Library Collections
MS Waugh Fund
The Mary Scott Waugh Gift Books Fund was established in 1970 to support New Testament studies via Hewitson Library. This fund has allowed us to purchase nearly four dozen titles recently, eighteen of which are ebooks. These are helpful in sermon preparation. Please see more here.
Scott Eastham Bequest
We have added nearly three hundred books recently from the bequest of Scott Eastham. He taught in English and Media Studies at Massey University in Palmerston North from 1993 to 2012. Dr Eastham championed the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to 'media ecology' and to questions of technology and human values, bringing together insights from religious studies, philosophy, art history, media studies, comparative literature, peace studies, and ecology. Please see more here.
Part of the Eastham bequest were nearly three dozen books on or by Raimon Pannikar. We now have the most extensive collection on Dr Pannikar in New Zealand, across a half-dozen languages. He was a Catholic priest, advocate for interfaith dialogue, scholar in comparative religion, and professor of philosophy. With a mother from Spain and a father from India, he helped bridge Christianity and Hinduism. Please see more here.
RM England Collection
The Rita Mayne England Collection on Asian Theology and Culture was launched in 2016, but it is being rededicated at a tribute for Rev Dr John England at 5:30 pm Thursday 21 September in the Seminar Room at KCML. Rev Dr Murray Rae will speak.
Presbyterian Research Centre
Let’s Stand Up for the Ocean
For centuries Indian fish workers have made a living from the sea but now they are facing challenges from every direction. Many have been forced to move inland to make way for huge power plants and large-scale industries like shrimp farms. CWS partner the Legal Aid to Women Trust is part of a network campaigning for the coast. Fish workers gather data to make the case for the ocean and the people who depend on it. Let’s Stand up for the Ocean tells how Muthamizh selvi and other women are learning new skills and starting small businesses on the edge of the climate crisis in the hope they can survive.
Season of Creation
Pakistan – One Year of Recovery
Thank you for supporting the Pakistan Flood Appeal. It has raised over $115,000. Donations helped Community World Service Asia assist 300,000 people with 3-months of cash assistance, and hygiene and dignity kits. Staff in its Mobile Health Clinics provided medical care to 49,386 individuals.
Welcome to Tim
CWS welcomes the Rev Dr Tim Pratt as its new CWS National Director. Before taking up this position, he was the lead chaplain at the University of Auckland. He has worked as the chief executive of the Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplains and the Global Fellowship of Global Youth. He looks forward to meeting you.
In Sri Lanka, small farmer Somawathi lives close to elephants and grows enough food to survive. But with climate change and an economic crisis, can she continue? Please pray for this year’s Christmas Appeal as we work together to share God’s love for the world. More information shortly.
ICBC commemoration of 21 years - Oct 6, 2023, Wellington lecture
2023 represents a milestone year for the ICBC, being the 21st anniversary of the formation of this unique ecumenical body. To commemorate the work of the InterChurch Bioethics Council they are hosting a public lecture in Wellington on 6 Oct with guest speaker Emeritus Prof Jonathan Boston ONZM, on “Keeping Hope Alive in Challenging Times: Confronting the Climate Crisis” at St Paul’s Cathedral, Wellington. Drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm (Loaves and Fishes Hall), lecture and Q&A at 6pm (in Cathedral, finish 7pm). See more here.
Read ICBC Starter questions on Bioethical issues in this Election Year
The ICBC has prepared some starter questions on ethical issues in this election year that Church members might find valuable to consider. The questions could be asked at a ‘meet the candidate’ event, provide a starting point for discussion in a small group, prompt a sermon or might be useful to a person considering how they will vote in October 2023. Download the questions here.
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The interest rate paid on the PIF On Call Fund will increase from 5.0% p.a. to 5.25% p.a. from 1 September 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.
Apply for Justice-Compassion Trust funding - closes 15 Sept
Do you have a project that entails Justice and Compassion that you require funding for? The Rev Dr James (Jim) Symons, a retired minister of the Presbyterian Church of the USA, served as a transition minister in eight New Zealand churches from 2001 to 2012. Out of a passion for justice and compassion, and in gratitude for friendship offered, he is funding a trust in NZ to help churches and communities move in the missional practice of justice and compassion. See more info on who can apply here. Apply on or by 15 Sept.
Māori Language Week begins Sept 11 Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
Everyone can contribute to te reo Māori revitalisation. Make te reo Māori welcome at church, home, work, and in the community: Encourage others to use and learn te reo Māori; Pronounce te reo Māori words correctly when speaking English; Learn a little, use a little; Learn more, and use what you know; Keep improving your language, and share what you know. See resources here to help you increase usage of te reo Māori.
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 early for a family holiday: Glen Innis, Hawke's Bay
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, see here for details.
The Season of Creation 2023, 1 Sept - 4 Oct, resources for churches
A 2023 Season of Creation guide to help you learn about the season and how your church can celebrate it can be found on our website here, and also a Season of Creation message to our Church from Rev Dr Jordan Redding on behalf of our Moderator. There's links to resources, including webinars and prayer services, sample flyers, newsletter inserts, plus the The Pacific Conference of Churches has prepared additional material and adapted resources.
Sign up for the Daily Decisions Summary during GA23
Receive the daily GA23 summary. Unlike former years, this will not be a series of newsletters but will instead be a daily summary of key decisions as noted by the Business Assembly Work Group during business. There will be links to video of the business sessions for full context. We also plan to share video of the installation of the Moderator, addresses by the outgoing Moderator, keynote speaker, guest speakers, plus announcement of the Moderator Delegate. Sign up and keep up during GA 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.
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.
Rev Paula Levy, other recognised minister to chaplain New Zealand Defence Force Linton Military Camp, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 12 January 2023.
Rev Hamish Kirk, chaplain New Zealand Defence Force Linton Military Camp to other recognised minister, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 2 February 2023.
Rev Ra Koia Jr, other recognised minister to minister Taneatua Maori Pastorate, Te Aka Puaho, 21 May 2023.
Rev Christine Harding, stated supply minister Hamilton – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church to other recognised minister, Kaimai Presbytery,11 June 2023.
Rev So’osemea Fa’atui, minister Glenfield Pacific Islanders, Pacific Presbytery to minister Porirua – Pacific Islanders – Church of Christ the King, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 22 June 2023.
Rev Dr Darryl Tempero, minister Kiwichurch, to minister Kiwichurch and Lecturer/Ministry Formation Coordinator, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Alpine Presbytery, 17 July 2023.
Rev Dr Andrew Nicol, chaplain John McGlashan College to Lecturer/Ministry Formation Coordinator, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Southern Presbytery, 31 July 2023.
Rev Seb Murrihy, minister Waitara – Knox Presbyterian Church, to minister Waitara – Knox Presbyterian Church and Lecturer/Ministry Formation Coordinator, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 7 August 2023.
Rev Vosalevu Fina’i, chaplain Pacific Presbytery to Northern Presbytery, 23 June 2023.
Non-PCANZ Ministers in PCANZ Parish Stated Supply
Rev Kelly Gilson, minister Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) USA, to stated supply Hamilton - St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7 August 2023.
Resignations from the PCANZ roll
Rev Hong-kyu (Andrew) Moon, other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, resigned and removed from the roll, 2 August 2023.
Rev Ray McKendry, minister emeritus, Southern Presbytery, resigned and removed from the roll,18 August 2023.
Removals from Roll
Book of Order 10.34b – ministers engaged in another occupation for more than five years
Rev Tae Han Lee, other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, removed from the roll 20 June 2023.
Rev Hyun-Sung Shin, other recognised minister, Northern Presbytery, removed from the roll 20 June 2023.
Rev Neil Lambie, minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 13 July 2023.
Rev Bob Fendall, minister emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 5 August 2023.
Invercargill – Richmond Grove Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbytery, dissolved 30 June 2023
Albury/Pleasant Point Presbyterian Church, Alpine Presbytery, dissolved 30 June 2023.
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