From the Moderator
Another New Year and tragically another natural disaster; this time it’s in Haiti. At the time of writing the information received is patchy, but we know the scale of damage caused by the earthquake is horrifying; over 100,000 people are thought to have died, hundreds of thousands more injured, more than a million are homeless; the country is devastated.
We are reminded yet again that in this kind of natural disaster it is always the poorest who suffer the most. Like Haiti, New Zealand lies on a fault line and is earthquake-prone. But things like earthquake insurance and strictly enforced building codes, which we take for granted, are non-existent in impoverished nations. Natural disasters are indiscriminate in terms of where they strike, but they often highlight the immense gulf that exists in our world between the haves and the have-nots. However, from a Biblical perspective, there is one thing we can be certain of: God suffers with those who suffer, and this fact alone should reawaken in us commitments to acts of prayer, compassion and justice.
These commitments form an integral part of the Gospel churches everywhere seek to proclaim in word and deed, but are we prone to miss some opportunities to do so?
Recently, I received a letter expressing concern about the number of Presbyterian, Methodist and Uniting churches in the writer’s region that either did not hold a Christmas day service or failed to adequately promote their Christmas services to the wider community. The writer said many of the notice boards outside the churches failed to provide clear information in a font and format that would be visible from a car. In the writer’s view this constituted a missed opportunity because of the surge in church attendance that often occurs on and around Christmas day. This is not the first such complaint I have received. Other people have told me how difficult they have found it to get information about worship services in towns and cities they visit. And many of our churches are not adequately signposted so they can be hard to find. Surely an important part of being community-facing is being visible.
From the Assembly Executive Secretary
I hope that you were able to take a refreshing break over January. I had quite a different fishing experience, I finally gave up on squid and pilchards and shifted to soft baits – I caught six kingfish and a few snapper. I ended up swapping two of the kingies for a bucket of pipis, so I have pretty much satiated my hunter-gatherer instincts for a little while.
We had fantastic weather at Oruawharo; the bay filled with a school of dolphins, lots of rays and a couple of hammerheads for good measure. In one day our garden on the Barrier hosted tuis, kaka and kereru along with a family of banded rails (living under the house) and a morepork nesting in a nearby tree. I am again overwhelmed by the beauty and abundance of our country and the goodness and kindness of the people we enjoyed spending time with over the break.
Work relating to the next General Assembly, 30 September - 3 October, will become the main focus at Assembly Office in the months preceding. I am very grateful for the assistance that has already been committed by the Business Committee and the planning team in Christchurch. Shortly I will be sending out a memo to all presbytery clerks etc advising about the process of bringing proposals to the General Assembly, however, given the fact that many presbyteries meet together less frequently, it is not too early to think about matters your congregation or presbytery may like to bring to the Assembly.
Please pray for the people of Haiti and support the CWS emergency appeal. We are in touch with our CWM family of churches working together in Haiti - the Guyana Congregational Church, churches in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The Moderator has conveyed the assurance of our prayers and concern to them and we will provide a donation toward their restoration and ministry work in Haiti.
Moderator elections for the 2012 General Assembly
Parishes are invited to consider names of suitable nominees for the role of Moderator to bring to their Presbytery/UDC.
Each Presbytery/UDC should consider all the names which have been submitted both from their parishes and from their own Presbytery/UDC. The Presbytery/UDC votes, and recommends one person as Moderator-Designate. This name needs to be posted by 30 March 2010 to the convener of the Nominating Committee, Ann Owen, 12 Aongatete Road, RD2, Katikati 3178.
Presbyteries combined after the 2008 General Assembly, and whose boundaries await ratification at the 2010 Assembly, should use their own processes to allow for a nomination to be made from each of the presbyteries involved in the combination.
Congratulations to all those living south of the Waitaki whose efforts over the last few months have led to the establishment of the Southern Presbytery. The new Presbytery will meet for the first time later this month under the leadership of the Moderator the Rev Richard Dawson and clerk Mrs Zona Pearce.
The good news stories surrounding the new ventures supported by the Press Go initiative should be encouraging for us all. You can read, see and hear some of these stories. We need to emphasise that the only way this initiative is going to be sustained is through generous contributions by congregations and individuals to support new growth focused mission initiatives, and to generate these initiatives as presbyteries and congregations.
Communications survey results
In December we conducted a survey to help us find out what you think about Presbyterian Church communications. Thanks to everyone who filled in the survey – it was great to get such a big response. You can read a summary of the survey results.
This month the Church begins promoting e-minister to the wider community. Although e-minister has been around since 2003 and is known within the Church, this free service is not really known or used outside of our Church and we would like that to change. A flyer has been produced explaining what e-minister is and that anyone, churchgoer or not, can contact e-minister anonymously for free advice. The flyers will go out nationwide to libraries, Citizen’s Advice and other places that our communities gather over the coming week. The Moderator will “re-launch” e-minister on Ash Wednesday, 17 February as key part of our Church’s responsibility to help grow healthy communities.
CWM scholarship for mission experience in Jamaica
Applications are now open for a faith and culture exposure programme to introduce clergy who are active in ministry to a ministry context different to their own to stimulate theological reflection and to gain a cross-cultural perspective. This is a six-week residential programme beginning in early September. CWM will pay travel and living costs. For more details and an application form please email me. The Rev Carol Grant, who attended a similar event in Jamaica a few years ago, found it both challenging and life changing. She is happy to talk with you about it, phone 04 2934518 or email.
Korean Presbyterian churches and ministers
Our engagement with Korean ministers and their congregations, many of whom are being supported by a number of South Korea (ROK) based Presbyterian denominations, is an important challenge for us.
Through our Asian Advisory Committee in Auckland we are intending to hold a forum for all Korean ministers and their senior elders who have come from various Presbyterian churches in Korea. Please note that this event has moved and is now scheduled for Auckland, Saturday 27 March. Contact Stuart Vogel for more details. This forum is intended to provide these ministers and their congregations with information about the Presbyterian Church and to engage with any ministers or congregations interested in joining in our life and witness. Please could you email Stuart if you know of any congregations or ministers who may be interested in attending.
Focal Identity Statement – Kupu Whakapono
Please take the opportunity to engage with the completion of this important faith statement. Use the website for responding if at all possible but the FIS Workgroup are also quite happy to accept email responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org
They will accept responses based on hard copy posted to:
C/- Leith Valley Presbyterian Church
267 Malvern St
Conference Room at the Assembly Office.
Over Christmas we have re-arranged some of the Assembly Office lay-out and shortly we will have a meeting room that will comfortably accommodate 12 people around its table. There are teleconference facilities, a data projector and a white board. There will be no cost to church groups using the room but you will need to book first with Sandra.
Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
On 8 February, the Rev Dr Lynn Baab will deliver this year's inaugural lecture, titled "Seeing is Believing: Visual Communication and Visual Arts in Congregations Today". The lecture is at 1.30 pm, Cameron Hall, Knox College. All are welcome.
Up to 50 young people will be gathering on Great Barrier Island from 2 to 7 February for the “Going Further” event promoted towards the end of last year. These young people will be challenged with the radical demands of discipleship and encouraged to work out what this means for them in their context. We are hoping to make this an annual event.
Applications are now invited for the six annual music scholarships and project grants. Details are on our web site. Do encourage your young adults aged up to 30 to apply. The deadline for applications is 30 April.
Applications are also invited for ministers' study leave grants. Details are on our web site. The deadline is 31 March.
Please uphold our new ordination students in prayer as they begin their parish-based internships in February. We have 11 students commencing their training this year, and six students entering their final year of training, a total of 17 students on our books - the highest number for some years.
The National Mission team thank God for the good 2009 we had working with ministers and laypeople, presbyteries and parishes throughout the country.
Mission Tools and Practice
St Irenaeus said: “The glory of God is a human being fully alive!”
The Wellness Project continues to be one of our main focuses, incorporating a holistic approach to ministers’ health, backed up by workshops; a database, a library of books and articles; a network of key professionals; CAIRA supervision training, and parish development reviews.
Regular postings on our National Mission blog inform readers about resources, alternative ways of being church, and the many ways we can focus on mission. Our monthly ezine is archived on the Church website.
Ongoing strategic mission planning enables churches to value and learn from the past, manage the present, and work towards a mission-focused future.
“Mission Thinking” brings mission-minded people together so they can share their stories, vision and ideas. The theme behind these meetings is always that “mission is possible”.
As National Mission Enabler, the Rev John Daniel spends time in consultation with forward thinking and missional-minded people throughout New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Australia. One of the expected outcomes of these consultations is a Mission Symposium to discuss mission practice and theologies of mission.
Mission People and Projects
The Timaru “cluster approach” to church is being picked up in other parts of the country. For more information, contact the National Mission Office. Workshops with Pacific Island people and the building of relationships with the Pacific Island and Te Aka Puaho synods continue.
Studentsoul church plants are expanding - Howard Carter is working in Auckland and there are ongoing discussions in other parts of the country. Several missional workshops are scheduled to take place in parishes and presbyteries in 2010, and all this is backed up by a network of intercessory prayer.
We trust God for a great 2010 in enabling mission.
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
A New Year is upon us and 2009 now seems like a blur. I hope you have started 2010 feeling refreshed and looking forward to the year ahead. With a newborn in the house (my son, Max, is now six weeks old, smiling lots and “changing” every week) I didn’t manage to start the year quite so refreshed but I am certainly looking forward to it.
I want to highlight to you three events that are taking place this year for young people and youth leaders:
“Going Further” for young adults is taking place on Great Barrier Island as you read this. We would appreciate prayers for a successful event and that the participants return to their churches strengthened and encouraged in their faith and motivated to serve their faith community.
“Connect”, our National Youth Leaders’ training weekend, will be held this year 2 - 4 July at El Rancho in Waikanae, Wellington. Please encourage your youth leaders to mark it on their calendars. We will have a wide range of workshops for new leaders through to those with decades of experience.
We have a wonderful opportunity to send one or two young people on a CWM Training in Mission (TIM) programme. CWM TIM is a youth development programme aimed at giving young people the opportunity to experience mission in a radically new way. It is a 10 month programme based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Madurai, South India. Costs are covered by CWM. The young person who takes up this opportunity should be:
- Interested in exploring mission issues in an international and multi-cultural context
- Committed and active member of the Church
- Able to spend 10 months away from home
- Aged 20-30, single and not an ordained minister
- Committed to sharing experiences on returning home
If you have someone in your church that you think would be interested in this mission training opportunity then please get them to contact me, email email@example.com
Blessings for 2010
A New Year prompts one to take stock of the past year and plan for the future. New Year resolutions abound, reflecting our personal aspirations, but what of our corporate dreams?
This time last year I encouraged all our churches to view the “Next Generation” DVD (download at www.cmn.org.au or request it from Kids Friendly). This DVD features children who challenge us to make a difference as a church by both ministering to children and offering opportunities for children to minister.
Kids Friendly have been invited to attend a conference in February called “One Generation from Extinction” (see more at www.newwine.org.nz). It will be led by the renowned theologian, author and Anglican priest Mark Griffiths whose message is loud and clear: we are losing and have lost children and young people from our churches and if we are to grow we need to prioritise ministry to this generation because “the time is right for a decade long emphasis on the children and youth of our world.”
Our church is undergoing change. The formation of new ‘super presbyteries’ creates opportunities for identifying new ways of being.
The launch of the Kaimai Presbytery in September included a range of workshops to promote mission. When the Rev Lance Thomas invited me to contribute, he explained that “we want to start off as we plan to carry on and mission with young people is key to the success of our churches.”
The moderator of the new Southern Presbytery, the Rev Richard Dawson, has shared his vision: “We really need to promote the discipleship of young people in every parish, and our children and youth work must regain its strength and relevance”. Richard said we should make 2010 the time to “do whatever it takes” to reach and serve young people and incorporate them into our communities of faith. For help with this contact Kids Friendly. Cheryl Harray is the newly appointed Kids Friendly Coach for the Synod of Otago and Southland, and Lorraine Morgan and I serve the rest of the country by offering resources, coaching and training to all our churches.
If loving and serving children and families is one of your New Year’s resolutions, please contact us.
Kids Friendly Coach
Five Otago-Southland presbyteries form one Southern Presbytery
From February 2010 the five Otago-Southland presbyteries (Southland, Mataura, Central Otago, Clutha and Dunedin & North Otago) have agreed to form one Presbytery for the area south of the Waitaki. The five presbyteries will remain in existence for legal purposes until General Assembly 2010 approves the new Southern Presbytery and its boundaries.
There will be an Inaugural Service to mark this joining together at Calvin Church, Gore at 2pm on Saturday 13 February 2010 conducted by the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Rev Dr Graham Redding, who will induct the first Moderator of the Southern Presbytery, the Rev Richard Dawson, and the 10 members of the Presbytery Council.
From 1 February 2010 ALL correspondence should be forwarded to:
The Presbytery Clerk
Mrs Zona Pearce
PO Box 58
-The Rev Geoffrey Vine
Facilitator for the Combined Presbyteries Reform Team
Presbyterian Investment Fund
The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors will increase from 4.50% to 4.75%, from 1st February. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information contact the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.
The Spiritual Growth Ministries programme of events for New Zealand 2010
Events include weekend retreats, quiet days and workshops. The programme is now available from:
55 Navigation Drive
The SGM Journal of Contemplative Spirituality "Refresh" is also available from the administrator. The subject for this edition is "Recession".
Spiritual Growth Ministries are also pleased to be hosting a workshop entitled "Spiritual Thriving", led by Dr Susan Phillips. It will combine teaching and reflection on two core biblical metaphors of rootedness and journeying and draws on her rich spiritual direction, practice and experience:
Wednesday 3 March 2010
9.30am registration, 10am -4pm workshop.
Church of the Saviour, 2 Heaphy Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland.
Registrations are limited. To ensure a place we encourage you to register early. Pre-payment essential.
Cost: $70 before 17 Feb or $80 thereafter.
Registrations administered by: MERCY SPIRITUALITY CENTRE
Ph 09 638 6238 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
See the SGM website for further information on Dr Susan Phillips.
Parishes would have already received a letter from the Church’s Finance Manager alerting you to this new provision from the IRD. Some congregations may find real benefits in a situation where an employer allows for this provision. Payroll giving allows employees to "give as they earn" by making donations directly from their pay to approved donee organisations. For every dollar an employee donates they receive a third back as a tax credit in the same pay period. Because payroll giving is voluntary, employers have the choice of whether to offer the scheme to their employees.
It means that donations can be made to your church through the employer's payroll system.
Church newsletters wanted
Does your church produce a newsletter? If so we want it so that we can share some of your stories with the wider Church! Please send or email your church newsletter to:
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
PO Box 9049
Please let me know if you would like stamped self addressed envelopes to post your newsletters in. Thank you to all those churches that are posting in their church newsletters.
New free study resource from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC)
“ Power to Resist and Courage to Hope” book and study guide focuses on economic and ecological justice by church-based economists and justice advocates in the Caribbean region .“The cry for life resounds throughout scripture,” says Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth. “The Bible is a record of God speaking through prophets and calling the faithful to challenge injustice in the world around them.”
Download a free copy of this book and other WARC resources
Peace building Certificate Course 2010
Peace Builders International, an organisation our Church has an affiliation with, will be running a residential certificate course from 12 April – 15 May at Kings School, Sydney. If you are interested in attending see their web site or email Martin for the programme.
Funding available from the Elsie Steele Trust
The Elsie Steele Trust, administered by St James' Church and Community, has funding available to support the aged, infirm or needy in the Auckland City region. Interested organisations can obtain further information and application forms from:
Fundview at www.fis.org.nz or by contacting:
PO Box 5134
Email: StJames@ihug.co.nz or phone 09 377 4985
The situation continues to be desperate for the people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Material aid is slowly reaching them but, due to the lack of data and weak government coordination, the organisation and distribution of aid is still a challenge. CWS partners are already providing water, food, shelter, medical care, sanitation and trauma counseling but much more is needed.
The magnitude 7 earthquake struck 15km southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince, on 12 January, just before 5 pm local time. It is thought to have been the strongest earthquake in Haiti for more than 100 years. There has been widespread destruction of homes and schools, as well as major damage to water and electricity supplies and road systems – 60 to 80 percent of buildings in the capital have been destroyed. There are reports are of even worse conditions in rural areas.
Please support the CWS appeal. Updates are being posted on www.cws.org.nz
Donate to CWS: PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8142. Phone 0800 74 73 72.
Youth Topics Available
The latest edition of Youth Topics “Give Us a Chance” focuses on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. It includes fun activities, games and Bible study material for young people. Contact email@example.com for your copy of this poster resource.
Christmas Appeal survey
Thank you to everyone who supported the 2009 CWS Christmas Appeal. CWS is asking for feedback to further improve resources sent to churches. We would appreciate people taking a few minutes to respond to this online survey. This is your opportunity to have a say in how CWS better resources churches.
Check out our listing of national and regional events
Reception to the Roll:
- Rev Lionel Nunns, received from the Baptist Church of New Zealand, 20 October 2009.
- Rev Rodney Ramsay, received from the Methodist Church of South Africa, 25 May 2009.
- Rev James Lee, received from the Presbyterian Church of Korea, 10 September 2009.
Ordination and Inductions:
- Rev Mary-Jane Konings, Minister, Trinity Presbyterian Church Timaru, to Minister (part-time), Timaru Presbyterian Church South Canterbury Presbytery, 29 November 2009.
- Rev Chris Konings, Minister, Trinity Presbyterian Church Timaru, to Minister, Timaru Presbyterian Church, South Canterbury Presbytery, 29 November 2009.
- Rev Ian Crawford, Local Ordained Minister, St David’s Presbyterian Church Invercargill, Southland Presbytery, to Stated Supply, Windsor Community Church Invercargill, Southland Presbytery, 1 December 2009.
- Rev Jennifer Doyle, Local Ordained Minister, Kawerau Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, to National Ordained Minister, Kawerau Presbyterian Church, Kaimai Presbytery, 2 December 2009.
- Rev Dr Susan Jones, Minister, Opoho Presbyterian Church, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, to Minister, Timaru Presbyterian Church, South Canterbury Presbytery, 10 February 2010.
- Rev James Lee, Minister (non Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand), Lord’s Church of Auckland to Minister, Auckland Presbytery, 26 November 2009.
- Rev Rose Luxford, Minister, Blockhouse Bay – Iona Presbyterian Church, North Shore Presbytery, to St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Oamaru, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, 26 January 2010.
- Rev Brendan O’Hagan, Licentiate, Christchurch Presbytery, to Minister, Wairau Presbyterian Church, Nelson/Marlborough Presbytery, 13 December 2009.
- Rev Lionel Nunns, Minister (non Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ), Ngaio Union, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister (part-time), Ngaio Union, Wellington Presbytery, 20 October 2009.
- Rev Rodney Ramsay, Chaplain, St Andrew’s College, Christchurch, Christchurch Presbytery, to Chaplain, Kristin School, Albany, North Shore Presbytery, 4 October 2009.
- Rev Alfred Taylor, Minister, East Coast Bays Methodist Church, to Minister, St Aidan’s Presbyterian Church Northcote, North Shore Presbytery, 3 December 2009.
- Rev Scott Wishart, Other Recognised Minister, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister Stated Supply, St Stephen’s Reporoa, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 August 2009.
- Rev Warren Howes, Lay appointee, South Kaipara Presbyterian Church, Auckland Presbytery, to Local Ordained Minister, South Kaipara Presbyterian Church, Auckland, 13 October 2009.
Changes in Status:
- Rev Kenneth Harray, Minister, Mosgiel-North Taieri Parish, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, to Member, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, 31 December 2009.
- Rev Bruce Hellyer, Stated Supply, St James Union Parish, Greerton, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, 9 November 2009.
- Rev Tala Fa’amausili, Minister, St Paul’s Waiheke Island, Auckland Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Auckland Presbytery, 27 October 2009.
- Rev Glenn Barclay, Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, to Minster Emeritus, Auckland Presbytery, 17 November 2009.
- Rev Neil Johnston, Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, 1 May 2009.
Changes in Co-operative Venture Ministries:
Rev Gary Husband, Minister of the Anglican Church, to Minister, Pio Pio, Aria, Mokau Co-operating Church, 26 September 2009.
- Rev Bryan Gilmour, Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, Transitional Minister, St Paul’s Presbyterian Timaru, South Canterbury Presbytery, to Transitional Minister, Timaru Presbyterian Church, South Canterbury Presbytery, 29 November 2009 until 31 December 2009.
- Rev Evan Stenlake, Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, Transitional Minister, Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Timaru, South Canterbury Presbytery, to Transitional Minster, Timaru Presbyterian Church, South Canterbury, 29 November 2009 until 31 January 2010.
- Rev Dr James Cunningham, Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister Stated Supply (part-time), St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, Wellington Presbytery, 7 September 2009 for an initial period of three months, and then renewed until 28 February 2010.
- Rev Mervyn Aitken, Minister Emeritus, Auckland Presbytery, to Minister Stated Supply, Tawa Union Church, 7 May 2009, for 3 months.
- Rev Glenn Barclay, Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister Stated Supply, Tawa Union Church, 4 November 2008, for four months.
- Rev Simatavai Alefaio, Minister, Papakura Pacific Islanders Parish, South Auckland Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, South Auckland Presbytery, 29 November 2009.
- Rev Brian Walker, Minister, Balclutha Presbyterian Church, Mataura Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Mataura Presbytery, 18 January 2010.
- Rev John Dalbeth, Minister, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Ngongotaha, Kaimai Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Kaimai Presbytery, 4 October 2009.
- Rev Desmond Botting, Minister, St David’s in the Fields, Auckland, Auckland Presbytery to Minister Emeritus, Auckland Presbytery, 31 January 2010.
- Rev Glenn Barclay, Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, 1 July 2002.
- The Very Rev Robert Yule, Minister, Greyfriars Presbyterian Church, Mt Eden, Auckland Presbytery, to Minister Emeritus, Manawatu/Wanganui Presbytery, 31 January 2009
Rev Newton Fink, Minister Emeritus, Wellington Presbytery, died 1 July 2009.
- Amalgamation of four Timaru parishes – Trinity Presbyterian, Chalmers Presbyterian, St Paul’s Presbyterian and St Stephen’s Presbyterian to become the Timaru Presbyterian Church, 29 November 2009.
- Mangakino Co-operating Parish closed on 6 December 2009.
Columba Presbyterian Church, Oamaru and Waiareka-Weston Presbyterian Church, Dunedin & North Otago Presbytery, amalgamated under the name of The Columba Waiareka-Weston Community Presbyterian Church, 1 November 2009, for a trial period of three years.