Bush Telegraph May 2009


From the Moderator

Warm greetings to you all.

On 8 April, I joined Church leaders in a meeting with the Prime Minister John Key and the Minister of Finance Bill English, to discuss practical responses to the social impacts of the global economic crisis, and to shape some priorities that can be supported by churches and their social service agencies.

During the hour-long meeting, attended also by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, we canvassed possible responses to the recession from the discussion paper, “Together We Can”. This paper was developed by Church leaders and NZCCSS in Wellington on 27 February – the same day as the Prime Minister’s Job Summit.

Of particular concern in this paper is the evidence that trends in child poverty worsen when unemployment worsens. This has again raised the long-term need for the government to commit to well-chosen measures that can do more to counter the damaging consequences of child poverty.

During the meeting we said it is just as important for New Zealand to emerge from the recession with a robust society as it is to emerge with a robust economy. This, we believe, will require a long-term focus and not just a series of short-term economic stimuli. The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said that they welcome the Church’s ongoing feedback and input.

International concerns:

It seems that almost every week we hear of a new international crisis – Thailand, Fiji, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and so on. I’m not always sure how to respond, but one thing is clear to me whenever I read the Beatitudes: that, as followers of Jesus, we view the world from the underside of history, from the perspective of those who are displaced and oppressed and who are deemed to be of little account. This alone should have a significant bearing on our prayers, our advocacy and our priorities. We are people of the Cross.
Graham Redding 

Assembly Office update

Dear Friends

My family and I have just returned from four days tramping in the extraordinary beauty of the Kahurangi National Park. Our three nights at Fenella hut, five hours in from the Cobb Valley car park, reminded me of a colleague’s suggestion that the tramping hut provides an interesting vision of a possibly ecclesiology: the Church as a place of arrival, rest, refreshment and story telling on the journey’s way.

Twenty-four people, crammed into a hut the size of a moderate living room, with all the associated sights, smells and sounds, offers such discomfort, such luxury! No one cares if you left a new BMW or an old bus at the car park. One’s fears, neurosis and anxieties are placed within the context of the grandeur of Creation, and the laughter and companionship of 20 strangers. As Scripture reminds us, getting out into the wilderness is always a transforming event.

The week leading up to Easter, preparing and leading worship, can be a very demanding time for ministers and Church leaders, so I hope that you have been able to take a break since then.

Council News

Following nominations from the Nominating Committee, the Council has appointed the Rev Emma Keown as the new Convenor of the Council of Assembly. Emma is minister of Glenfield Presbyterian Church, North Shore, and was the Deputy Convenor of the Council. Lisa Wells has been appointed Deputy Convenor. Lisa runs a fundraising company in Dunedin and has significant experience in both church and private sector leadership and governance roles. The Rev Wayne Matheson, minister of Knox, Lower Hutt, has been appointed to the vacant Council position.

The Council will hold a special meeting with the Pacific Island Synod early in May as a way of enhancing communication and understanding between the two groups. The next regular meeting of the Council will be in Auckland in July.

Presbytery Reform

Just a reminder that the General Assembly agreed that Presbytery Reform Teams be established by the beginning of 2009, that presbyteries are to begin operating within the new presbytery structure as soon as practicable, and that the new presbytery boundaries be formalised by the General Assembly. The Very Rev Garry Marquand is the Convenor of the Presbyteries Task Group and you can contact him for more details at gmarquand@clear.net.nz

Special legislative procedure

There are two matters which need to be dealt with by presbyteries, UDC’s and Te Aka Puaho, before August under special legislative procedure (formerly the Barrier Act). View the memo regarding these decisions.

Class of ’84

If you were a minister who graduated from “The Hall” in 1985, please contact the Rev Laurie Ennor, coordinator of a 25 year reunion to be held later this year in Christchurch. Have you thought about organising a reunion for your year?


It is very important that congregations support their youth leaders to attend the Church’s national youth training (and encouragement) event that will be held in Auckland in July. If you are setting your budgets now, please consider this to be a priority.

Budget time

Finance Manager Brendan Sweeney is in the final stages of developing draft budgets for all areas of national Church work. If you are part of a committee, work group or reference group receiving national Church funding, please make sure you discuss your budget with Brendan. Later this month, the Resource Committee will discuss the final budget for the next financial year.

Press Go

The Rev Ray Coster is leading the Press Go Board as it works to formulate its work patterns and priorities for the coming period. The Board depends on the innovation, enthusiasm and vision of Church leaders and members, to develop new ways of engaging our communities with the Good News. Please get in touch with Ray, or any of the other Board members, to talk through your ideas. More on Press Go.

I am conscious that many of your finance committees are working through their budget setting at the moment. It is critical for Press Go that congregations support this initiative by both making a commitment financially to its development (a target of providing at least a 1% return on each congregation's investments was agreed at the last General Assembly), and also working to develop new initiatives for outreach and mission that could gain the support of Press Go funding.

CWM Pacific Regional Mission Enabler

Working on behalf of the CWM Pacific regional management group, details for a new position to lead CWM's work in the Pacific have been finalised. More information on this role can be found job vacancies section.

Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church

Kids Friendly update

A transforming experience

Don’t you love those Holy Spirit moments when the hairs on your arms stand up and your body tingles? I had one of those unforgettable moments last Saturday at Glen Tui Meadows, preparing for the commissioning service of our young “Leaders in Training” (LIT).

At the time, we were half way through our first “Transformers – Raising Up Young Leaders” camp; 18 children (aged nine to 13), eight teenagers, eight adult mentors and leaders from seven churches relishing their experience of exploring what it means to be a leader inspired by Jesus.

We explored five Transformer LIT “codes” through interactive Jesus stories: we sat by a babbling brook as a young boy, and Jesus, fed us with two fish and five loaves; we mimed, danced and sang ourselves through Jericho following Jesus to a banquet at Zacchaeus’ house; we brought the Good Samaritan alive in clay; we joined frightened disciples in a storm and realised that Peter sank not because Jesus doubted him but because he doubted himself; we discovered that Jesus believes in us and that with His help we can be agents of transformation.  

Each child was commissioned in a candlelit “chapel” - each received a Transformers candle, certificate, prayer and a blessing sung by our Transformers worship team.

The feedback? “I am Transformed” said the Rev Glenn Livingstone from Christchurch. “This is a truly transforming experience” said the Rev Mary Jane Konings from Timaru. The children’s responses? There isn’t enough space to share them all here, so email me. To find out more on the Transformers camp, or to host one in your presbytery contact: jill@sthelierschurch.org.nz
Jill Kayser

Global Mission update

Hot topic

The latest Global Mission Gazette has been posted out to everyone on our mailing list, including all ministers. If you are not on our list, would like more copies, or if you have not received your copy, please let us know.

The only landing strip in Tuvalu, currently being eroded by rising sea water, is the Gazette cover photo. The Rev Dr Kerry Enright wrote the feature article.

The theme of this edition is the global economic crisis and its impact on the work of the Church, and our mission partners, overseas. We pose the question: How do you navigate economic turbulence when you have no where to land safely? We hope you find the articles thought provoking.

Our Church has huge assets at its disposal for tough times. Hear the heart cry in the following appeal for assistance from the Rev Dr Lalengzauva, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar. Dr Lalengzauva says that the church needs help to tackle a substantial financial shortfall and that he has appealed to friends abroad for help because he does not know how to solve this challenging and depressing problem. Dr Lalengzauva says that your continued financial assistance is greatly needed, any loving gift of any size (a little means a lot), would be very gratefully received.

The challenge Dr Lalengzauva outlines is huge, but help is possible. The most urgent appeal is for US$15,000 to buy rice to combat the impact of the rat plague that has devastated the people of the Chin Hills, where the PCM has the majority of its congregations (internet search for more information). This appeal is on top of the NZ$10,000 that the GMO and St Columba, Botany, have already sent. The decline in our dollar means that this is a call for close to NZ$30,000.

Can we raise the money? Of course we can. Will we? That is for you to decide. Your (urgent) donations to GMO will be gratefully received.

A little extra to the story, I received an email from Lalchhandama, the recipient of a three-year GMO scholarship until his recent graduation from the Trinity Theological College in Singapore. Lal writes:

“End of March 2009 my family and I will be going to mission field again. The place where I am working is my native place. I need your help in prayer. The problem that the people face in my place nowadays is famine. Because of rat, most people did not get enough rice for their family.”

As always, we are here to help you serve in mission.

In hope

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership update

A final reminder about our music scholarships for young people; the deadline for applications has been extended to 15 May. If you have musicians under the age of 30 in your church, get them to check out the details of these scholarships and grants on the Knox website, and encourage them to put in an application.

When you are on the website, check out details on the Calvin conference that Knox is hosting, 24 to 25 of August, to mark the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth The conference offers a range of international and local perspectives on Calvin, with particular reference to the New Zealand situation. The conference registration fee is only $60 for two days, and includes free entry to a specially commissioned Son et Lumière (sound and light) performance at the First Church of Otago. This performance will depict scenes from Geneva, Scotland and early Dunedin, allowing the voices of the community to speak as part of a multi-sensory engagement that will bring to life the origins of Dunedin.
Graham Redding

APW Update

Who are we and what is our role within the PCANZ?
The Association of Presbyterian Women is 45 years of age, but our roots stretch back further to the consuming interest in mission of Jane Bannerman, daughter of Thomas Burns.
In Roslyn, Dunedin, Jane Bannerman formed a Dorcas Society in 1868. Later, a Ladies Mission Aid Society began to help the children of missionaries who needed to come home from Vanuatu to New Zealand for education. A Women’s Missionary Society followed in 1892; this society raised half the salaries of two women missionaries in India.  The Society was the fore-runner of the Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union (PWMU).  Like-minded women in Otago-Southland, Canterbury-Westland, Auckland and Wellington established their own PWMU groups. A far-reaching decision, made at the 1905 General Assembly, merged these regional groups so the women could better serve the fuller mission of the Church. For further information visit the APW website.

National Mission update

John Daniel returned from study leave earlier this month to a full workload. The National Mission team is engaged in a number of different projects:

We recently (28 April) hosted a ‘Mission Possible’ meeting of people from around the country. The aim was to give people who have varied mission focuses the opportunity to network together, encourage each other, share resources, pray together and laugh together.

A Mission Symposium is planned for late June 2010, and will bring together both national and international mission teachers and leaders, with the intention of giving breadth of vision to local mission theology and mission practice.

CAIRA Supervision. CAIRA stands for Collegiality, Authority, Identity, Responsibility and Accountability, and it is a program that began in NZ to train people in the art of supervision. Good supervision provides one of the ways ministers and leaders can be in a healthy place in their ministry. Initially there will be two ‘taste and see’ (introductory) meetings with Marilyn Welch. The first of these will take place in Invercargill on 1 May, 2009, the second in Dunedin on the 6 May. For further information on these meetings, contact the National Mission office, email missionadmin@maxnet.co.nz. There will be further training opportunities available around the country. 

Another National Mission initiative is a monthly resource ezine (emailed magazine) to complement the National Mission blog. This will contain information about mission-focused books, leadership, wellness issues, resources, and other relevant material. To receive the ezine contact: missionadmin@maxnet.co.nz

 “Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: in the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation…” Barack Obama

Youth Ministry update

I’m three weeks into my role as the National Youth Development Leader and three words sum up my first impressions of the Church: encouragement, hope and excitement.

I am very encouraged by the top quality people I have been meeting during my travels around NZ; people who believe in the Church and are committed to serving, strengthening and building up local faith communities. Such people give me hope that Church decline, and the lack of young people belonging to Presbyterian churches, can be turned around. I am excited to have the opportunity to encourage, facilitate and support cultural change within Presbyterian congregations towards a culture that is inclusive of young people, relevant to their stage in life and faith journey and a place where they feel they can, and want to, belong.

I recently submitted my PhD thesis in sociology at Auckland University; it explores the embedded Christian faith journeys of Generations X and Y within New Zealand churches. One of the key findings is that belonging to a faith community remains important for Christian young people/adults (hence the term embedded faith). One of the challenges encountered though is finding a church to belong to. Decisions are often made around relationships and “fit”: is this a church community that I can belong to and become involved in? Involvement and ownership (read inclusion) within the life of a church are important criteria for emerging generations.

I look forward to working with presbyteries, sessions and local Presbyterian congregations to begin to envision what our churches need to look like and become to be welcoming, inclusive places for young people, and then to help facilitate and resource such change. This is happening already in some places, but we have a long way to go. Perhaps you, or someone you know, would like to help me in this journey; we are seeking a passionate National Youth Coordinator
Carlton Johnstone

Connect 2009

Advertising for Connect 2009 has now been mailed out to all those on the updated PYM database. If your church needs additional copies, or if you have database changes, please contact Emily Wotton at ycfministry@xtra.co.nz

I am looking forward to hearing the Rev Howard Carter at Connect 09. Howard is in the process of planting Studentsoul at Auckland University. Married to Kris, Howard is 46 and has four children. Now living in Auckland, Howard grew up in Titirangi and attended the Titirangi Presbyterian Church. At the age of 15, Howard became a Christian during a family camp run by the church, and soon afterwards he joined the church’s youth group leadership team and has been actively involved in various forms of church-based youth ministry ever since. He has been a volunteer; a paid youth pastor in two different churches (St Columba's, Tauranga and St John's, Rotorua); the “pioneer” youth coordinator for Auckland Presbytery; and five years ago started a youth group at the Napier church where he was minister.  

The theme for Connect 09 is “youtoo360”, inspired by the revolutionary stage design that rock group U2 had developed for their latest world tour. The stage places the band where they perform best - in the middle of their audience. It was created so the group could be visible and accessible, within a huge stadium, to the widest number of concert-goers possible (have a look at www.u2.com). Church-based youth ministry is kind of like that too; we find ourselves doing ministry in the middle of a whole raft of people and relationships. “Youtoo360” invites you to look ‘round and discover how you perform best within your relationships to your church and community.
Emily Wotton


Calvin Rediscovered conference website launched

To mark the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, and the Theology and Religious Studies Department of the University of Otago, are organising a two-day conference (24 - 25 August 2009), offering international and local perspectives on Calvin, with particular reference to historical and theological influences here in New Zealand.

Visit the new conference website for more information: http://calvinrediscovered.wordpress.com

South Island Ministry conference

19 to 21 May 2009
East Taieri Church, 12a Cemetery Road, Mosgiel.

The conference aims to provide the opportunity for people experienced  in ministry to share  their journey.

Keynote Speakers:
Stuart and Jill Brisoce
Robert and Ruth Bayley

The conference offers a wide range of workshops including youth and children’s workshops led by Kids Friendly coach, Jill Kayser and Stephanie Redhead, youth coordinator for Synod of Otago and Southland.

For more information email: office@etchurch.co.nz or for information on Kids Friendly workshops contact Jill Kayser at jill@sthelierschurch.org.nz

The Lombard Essay Competition 2009

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches is pleased to announce that entries can now be submitted for the best theological essay (in English) on: “John Calvin: Creation, Christ and the Stewardship of Life. What Would Calvin Say? Responsible Stewardship in the Face of Today’s Ecological and Financial Crises.”

Prize is open to all theology students or pastors 35 years of age or younger. Please submit no later than 1 September 2009.

1st prize US$1,000
2nd prize US$600
3rd prize US$400

For further information visit www.warc.ch or email: warc@warc.ch

Call for paper for the Ethical Foundations of Public Policy conference

A call for papers for the “Ethical Foundations of Public Policy” conference to be held in Wellington in December 2009.

The conference is being hosted by Victoria University, Wellington, University of Otago, Dunedin, and is sponsored by the ANZSOG Trust. Distinguished academics from around the world will contribute, as will senior politicians and public officials.

If you are interested in presenting a paper, or in attending, please contact:

Jonathan Boston, Professor of Public Policy, Director, Institute of Policy Studies, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington. Telephone 04 463 5456.

Presbyterian Church endorses World March for Peace and Non-Violence

The Presbyterian Church has joined with the Peace Foundation, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Auckland City Council and many other organisations and individuals in endorsing the first World March for Peace and Non-Violence.

The march will begin in Wellington on 2 October (the UN International Day of Non-violence), traverse the globe and end in Argentina on 2 January. The march is a grassroots movement to bring to the awareness of governments and social movements the need to reduce expenditures on war, progress toward nuclear disarmament, increase commitments to peace, and dedicate more resources to non-violent resolution of conflict.

New Zealand schools will also participate during "Peace Week", scheduled for 3 to 9 August.

For more information go to: http://www.theworldmarch.org/index.php?lang=eng&secc=&acc

The Introduction Work Group

The Introduction Work Group is seeking Parish Profiles for the 2009 graduating interns from the Knox Centre of Ministry and Leadership. Please forward the profiles to:

The Convener - Amanda Guy, 4 Mount Street, Wakari, Dunedin or email: children@kaikoraichurch.co.nz

For more information phone (03) 476 6559 or (03) 476 2967.

NZ Ecumenical Rural Ministry newsletter

The latest April edition of the NZ Ecumenical Rural Ministry newsletter is now available and can be downloaded from the webpage.

3D Mission Training School

Global Disciples NZ is offering mission training. The 3D Mission Training course will be based at The Hub in Riversdale, Southland. The Rev John Gullick of Riversdale Presbyterian Church will direct the 3D School. Global Disciples is working under the oversight of the Waimea Christian Trust.

WHEN? 15 June until 17 July 2009
WHERE? The Hub. 10 days training in Riversdale, 21 days in Tonga.

For further details please contact: Marshall Cowan 03 248 7949, 021 928609 or email cowanmc@ihug.co.nz

Rural parishes conference

The Presbyterian Synod Of Otago and Southland is planning a conference for rural parishes to be held in Balclutha, 25 to 28 June.

David and Linda Webber from the Cariboo Presbyterian Church will be the keynote speakers, and 21 workshops will be on offer. Moderator the Right Rev Dr Graham Redding will preach and lead Communion at the Sunday morning service with Christine Hansen (who will be the Synod's Moderator).

For more information contact the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland. Phone the office 03 477 7362

Spiritual Growth Ministries Trust offers Spiritual Directors’ Formation Programme 2010 - 2011

This comprehensive two year part-time course is open to mature Christians of any denomination.

The course offers : systematic study of spiritual direction, regular workshops conducted by an ecumenical team of qualified leaders, supervised practical experience and a ‘spiritual companion’ option in year two.

For details contact: sgmtp@xtra.co.nz, phone (04) 234 1992 or visit our website www.sgm.org.nz

Applications are due by 20 August 2009. Late applications may be accepted.

Fair Trade Fortnight

2 to 17 May 2009

This year’s Fair Trade Fortnight theme is environmental justice, and the campaign is called “Big Action for Big Change”. Churches are encouraged to think of an action they can take to support fair trade and reduce their carbon footprint.

Visit the websites www.mybigaction.ning.com and www.tradeaid.org.nz for more information about Trade Aid as a company, fair trade as a concept and environmental justice.

CWS notices


Fair Trade Fortnight

This year’s Fair Trade Fortnight will be held 2 to 17 May and features the annual Fair Cuppa and a supermarket challenge. Churches are invited to serve fair trade tea and coffee after a Sunday service. Mother’s Day (9 May) is suggested as it is also international World Fair Trade Day. Sugar, drinking chocolate and an increasing range of goodies are also available. The supermarket challenge aims to find New Zealand’s best fair trade supermarket. There is a checklist for assessing their credentials. Contact CWS for a Fair Trade Fortnight resource kit and see www.cws.org.nz for further information.

Go Bananas for Fair Trade

CWS is supporting a campaign for fair trade bananas to be sold in New Zealand. New Zealand is the world’s highest per capita importer of bananas so any change we make to the way we buy our favorite fruit will make a big impact on the growers and workers, many of whom struggle to support their families on less than $3 a day. Contact cws@cws.org.nz for banana demand cards and background information. The demand cards, asking for the option of buying fair trade bananas, can be dropped off at supermarkets.

Appeal for Sri Lanka

CWS is urgently appealing for donations to meet the immediate needs of those people fleeing fighting in Sri Lanka.  Local partners are providing food, shelter and medical assistance to the tens of thousands with no home.  To make a donation or download a church flier go to www.cws.org.nz or phone 0800 74 73 72. 


Thanks to the Association of Presbyterian Women and the Methodist Women’s Fellowship, CWS is able to contribute to one partner group working overseas. They are currently raising funds for the work of the women’s programme of the Lauru (also known as Choiseul) Land Conference of the Solomon Island. CWS has a video/DVD available for loan, Lauru, Our Land, which tells the women’s story. In addition, CWS is selling copies of a short DVD featuring the inspirational Green Acres Jandal band for $15 to raise funds for local schooling. For copies contact cws@cws.org.nz or phone 0800 74 73 72. 

Hewitson Library latest acquisitions

View the new acquisitions list for February 2009.

Church Register

Church Register Changes for Bush Telegraph as at 22 April 2009

Ordination and Inductions:

  • Rev Awatea Dawn Tupe, Secretary of Te Aka Puaho, to Amorangi, Taumarunui Maori Pastorate, Te Aka Puaho, 2 April 2009.


  • Rev Glen Ashton, Minister Emeritus, Waikato Presbytery, Supply, Raglan Union Church, to Minister Emeritus, Auckland Presbytery, 1 April 2009.

Ministerial vacancies

Visit the Ministerial Vacancies page for a complete list of the latest regional vacancies in New Zealand.

General Vacancies

For the latest job vacancies, visit the Job Vacancies page.

Vacancies closing soon:

  • Youth Ministry Coordinator
  • Pacific regional Mission Enabler
  • Scots College - Director of Boarding for 2010
  • Ministerial Vacancy: can you hear Karori calling?


Visit the Events page for upcoming events near you

Upcoming events

  • Calvin Rediscovered – New Zealand and International Perspectives
  • Connect 09
  • Call for Papers for a Conference on The Ethical Foundations of Public Policy
  • Christian singles ball - Auckland and Wellington