Bush Telegraph October 2010

From the Moderator

Compared to the devastation wrought by the earthquake in Haiti, and the floods in Pakistan, the earthquake that rocked Canterbury in the early hours of Saturday 4 September seems minor. But to those who experienced it personally and are faced with the cleanup, and because of its close proximity to the rest of us, it has featured prominently in our thoughts and prayers.

The Friday following the earthquake I was able to visit Christchurch and see firsthand some of the damage. The Moderator of Christchurch Presbytery, Martin Stewart, took me round a handful of churches, including Kaiapoi Cooperating Parish, St Stephen’s, St Giles’ and Knox. St Giles’ and Knox in particular sustained considerable damage and were closed. I drove past St Paul's Trinity Pacific Church, also closed, and noticed the fresh cracks in the church towers. I also visited a couple of parishioners of Martin’s who had been forced to evacuate their home. Towards the end of the afternoon I met with about 15 Christchurch clergy who had come together at Martin’s invitation to share stories and encourage one another. I was able to assure them of the prayerful support of the wider Church. This has been backed up by numerous offers of support from parishes and presbyteries around the country.

While the people I spoke to were clearly tired after a very demanding week, they were also conscious of how much worse the earthquake could have been if it had struck at a different time of day and if New Zealand did not have such stringent building codes. They spoke appreciatively of neighbourhoods coming together and of many individual acts of kindness and compassion.

As I drove across the city I was impressed with how quickly earthquake damage is being attended to. While some streets and areas have been particularly hard hit and some people's lives have been heavily disrupted, I gained the impression that everyone is pulling together and that for 95 percent of the city it won't be long before it's business as usual.

The decision to proceed with the upcoming General Assembly was not made lightly. Please uphold the Assembly Business Work Group, Local Arrangements Committee and St Andrew’s College in your prayers as the Assembly approaches. And do continue to pray for the Presbytery of Christchurch, its Moderator the Rev Martin Stewart, and its parishes at this time.

Graham Redding

From the Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear Friends

On the eve of the General Assembly I am very conscious of the enormous amount of work that has been done to prepare for this event. The Assembly has been organised a little differently this time with the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC), under the leadership of Cecile Pierce, taking on a much greater role in organisation and management than in previous years. The 4 September earthquake and aftershocks have added further complexity to the task, but once again we need to thank the LAC for their decisiveness in decision making and for their enthusiasm for hosting the Assembly in Christchurch. Our whole Church conveys a huge thank you to all those who have worked so hard in a difficult situation to make this event happen.

This year we will be welcoming international guests from Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Korea, Taiwan and Australia, as well as delegates from the Pacific Conference of Churches.

You can keep track of all that is happening at the Assembly on the Church website.

As soon as possible after Assembly I will be in touch with all presbyteries and Te Aka Puaho, CTN and UDCs to let you know of any specific matters or changes in regulations that might impact on the life of our Church.

In Korea

It was an enormous privilege for me to travel with the Rev Dr Stuart Vogel, and the Rev Yong-Hwan Kim, to Korea in early September to meet with leaders from three Korean Presbyterian churches and to attend their General Assemblies. I will be writing a full report to the Council and will be happy to send you a copy if you are interested. One factor to ponder is that the membership of Korea’s various Presbyterian churches is now 20 times the stated membership of the Church of Scotland and more than three times that of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Who could have imagined even 50 years ago that, in terms of membership, the international hub of Presbyterian worship would be South Korea?

National Parenting Forum

This past weekend eight of our church members from Auckland, Katikati, Cambridge, New Plymouth, Wellington, Ashburton and Wanaka represented the Church at the National Parenting Forum in Wellington. They had entered our national draw for free places back in June. I enjoyed meeting the lucky eight who are all passionate about finding ways to better support families, and are involved in parent education in their churches and communities. Feedback from the event is very encouraging. One attendee said it was noted at the forum that “the Presbyterian Church values families enough, in particular young families, to have reps present”. Thank you to all who attended.

Media Awards

Congratulations to senior communications advisor Angela Singer who has won a bronze award from the Australasian Religious Press Association for her December 2009 Spanz article “Superannuation primes generational time bomb.” It was in the “best story on social justice” category. This is one of the most contested categories in these annual awards, which attract entries from the publications of Churches and faith-based agencies in Australia and New Zealand. Angela says there would not have been a story without the generosity of those in the Church who shared their stories with Spanz, including David George, the Rev Rhys Pearson and the Rev Ray McKendry.

Crime and Justice social issues study guide

The Church’s eighth social issues study guide, Crime and Justice has been sent to all parishes and is also available on our website. It was produced to encourage congregations to reflect about issues impacting our communities. It explores the Biblical mandate for justice, punishment and forgiveness. The study guide examines if we are in a crime wave or if crime rates are falling, how crime and our responses to it impact us all and what actions we can take individually and collectively to reduce crime.

If you have not received your copies of Crime and Justice by 4 October, or would like additional free copies of this booklet, phone our office on 04 801 6000 or email us at info@presbyterian.org.nz

Press Go Board

The Press Go Board meets in Wellington in late October to discuss current projects and new applications for support. Please contact the Rev Ray Coster, Press Go Convenor, if you would like to discuss your mission ideas and plans.

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

Martin

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Please take note of several significant upcoming events. The first is the visit to New Zealand of Dr Alan Roxburgh, a world-renowned speaker on the missional church. There are two events being organised around his visit. The first is in Auckland and some of the details have yet to be finalised, but it is likely to consist of an open lecture on Friday 26 November and the following day a meeting with presbytery leaders. Contact our Auckland coordinator, Mark Johnston for details. The second event is a few days later in Dunedin, 30 November to 2 December. It will consist of a two-day seminar on missional leadership (1 and 2 December) and two public lectures on the missional church (30 November and 2 December). Contact the Knox Centre for further details or read the full Flyer.

 

The other major event to note is the Going Further discipleship training school for young adults from 31 January to 6 February 2011 on Great Barrier Island. The inaugural Going Further event, held earlier this year, was a transformative experience for around 40 young people and the event next year promises to be the same. Encourage your young people (aged 17 to 30) to check out the web site for more details, including how to register.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to an advertisement on the Church web site  for a new position, a Director for the Presbyterian Church Schools’ Resource Office. This position is being created under the auspices of the Knox Centre to serve the needs of our 13 church schools around the country. If you know of anyone who might be suitable, please show them the advertisement. Thank you.

Graham Redding
Principal

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Youth Assembly and General Assembly are upon us with many important issues on the agenda. It goes without saying that young people are a vital part of our Church life and our future and therefore need to be actively included and involved in the decision-making process. There are five excellent and important questions being asked by the Strategic Planning Group that are part of the Assembly papers (D10-1-10-8). I implore you to ask your young people these questions and allow their responses to inform your own thinking. No doubt they will provide insight into some of the bigger challenges facing us as a Church when it comes to young people, as well as where they are seeing God working and where the Spirit is leading.

On the PYM front, we launched our new website, which is getting good response and engagement. You can order a free Supervision Scrapbook if you have a paid youth worker. This is an excellent resource. There is also a research section where you can find interesting articles on young people, their faith and development and rites of passage. A number of the articles are New Zealand based.

I had the privilege of speaking at the Manawatu/Wanganui Presbytery resourcing night. The focus was on mission and ministry to and with young people. Rather than the typical 20 minutes I had two hours so it was nice having Mo Morgan come along and do some stuff on adolescence and counselling. There is great potential for presbyteries to be places that support and enable ministry to young people within the local churches they are made up of.

Gordon headed down south to the regional Southland Connect and experienced the always exceptional southern hospitality thanks to Steph and her team. He made it home in time, following some snow diversions, to speak at the Wellington Regional Youth Service. Such regional events and gatherings are not only places that encourage and strengthen the faith of young people and youth workers, they also serve to remind us that we are part of something bigger, and together we can do and achieve more than on our own. Surely this is part of the collective potential of presbyteries too.

Carlton Johnstone
Youth Ministry Development Leader

Kids Friendly

I have just returned from running our fifth Transformers: Raising Up Young Leaders camp. Joining with us at the Magnificat Retreat Centre to explore what it means to be a Jesus (servant) leader were 18 Wellington Leaders in Training (LITs). aged 10 to 13 years, plus their church mentors. These LITs had fun learning new skills to use in their churches including puppetry, drama, art and technology. They were commissioned at a celebration service on Saturday night and will work with their mentor to achieve eight Transformers awards over the coming year.

Mentoring is the key to the leadership development of these young people. Their mentors befriend them, journey with them, encourage them and facilitate their contributions. Some children miss out on coming to camp because their churches “can’t find anyone to mentor a child”. Other mentors fail to maintain the monthly meetings prohibiting the LIT from growing and contributing. “Mentoring is about an intentional relationship, one-to-one interaction that encourages, inspires and enables,” say Mary-Jane and Chris Konings in their mentoring guide.

Did you know? When a young person is mentored by an older person he/she has better attendance at, and attitudes towards, school, (church?), higher grades, positive relationships with all ages and social attitudes including helping behaviours, increased self-worth and empathy. Research suggests that when young people are intentionally partnered with older church members, and are given opportunities to serve and make a difference, they stay in the church longer.

Transformers is more than a programme, it is a process for facilitating intentional relationships between young and old in our churches and enabling young people to contribute and belong.

This is what happens when intentional mentoring takes place:

“Our group of six Transformers LITs is going strong with leadership activities planned now until Christmas. They recently washed 18 cars to raise money for seven Ugandan households to build rain harvesting tanks. We now have others wanting to become Transformers so will need to book another camp for next year!” - The Rev Anne Mills, Chartwell Co-operating Parish, Hamilton.

Jill Kayser 
Kids Friendly coach

Global Mission

Kevin Heath and I had a great visit to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. It generated many requests for projects that need personnel and/or funding. Can you help?

For details on any of the projects, or other ways to join in our mission in Vanuatu, email Kevin Heath, chair of the Vanuatu Liaison Parish.

Here are three opportunities to support our mission at Talua Ministry Training Centre in Vanuatu, where the Rev Ken and Jenny Williams are our missioners.

Sponsor an assistant librarian. Talua need funds, approximately $3000, to train and employ a local person as a library assistant – a half time post. We are looking for parishes, individuals or maybe a home group or APW group to offer finance to make this happen.

Join a building team in January. Talua expects an increase in student numbers next year for the BMin intake. We are looking for a team to go to Talua for a week or so in January to put up some more accommodation for students and families. Email Kevin

The big onea teacher of English to theological students – a two year appointment. Read more about this vacancy and see the article in Spanz.

Joining together in mission is what it is all about.

Pamela Tankersley
Global Mission coordinator

Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women New Zealand (APW) at General Assembly 2010

During General Assembly, at lunchtime on Friday 1 October, there will an opportunity for General Assembly attendees to participate in an update on Presbyterian Women (APW). This will be an opportunity for you to bring your lunch and hear of the involvement of Presbyterian Women New Zealand on a local, national and international level.

Mary McIntyre, National Convenor, and the Rev Pamela Tankersley, United Nations Convenor, will speak on the direction of Presbyterian Women in our world today, and the broadening influence and involvement we have through Ecumenical Women at the United Nations, and our annual national and international projects.

The location of this lunchtime meeting will be advertised at the General Assembly. We look forward to seeing you there.

Mary McIntyre
National Convenor

Notices

Christian Meditation Silent Retreat at Waikato University, Hamilton

“Seeing the World for the First Time, Ecology and the New Creation”

Led by Fr Laurence Freeman

Sunday 30 January - Thursday 3 February, 2011

For information and to register phone Raewyn 07 549 4005, email raewynblair@netsmart.net.nz , or phone Jane 09 361 4657, or email Jenny n.keating@clear.net.nz

Presbyterian Investment Fund

The Church Property Trustees advise that the interest rate paid to Presbyterian Investment Fund depositors, increased from 5 to 5.25 per cent on 1 September, will remain at 5.25 per cent for October. The Fund accepts deposits from parishes, but it is not open to individuals. For further information email the Secretary to the Trustees, Heather McKenzie.

Win a trip to Jamaica: Commission on Youth in the Ecumenical Movement essay contest

The World Council of Churches in conjunction with the Commission on Youth in the Ecumenical Movement invites young people aged 18 – 30 years to take part in an essay contest for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation. The topic is “Glory to God and Peace on Earth” and the essay should be 1500 – 2000 words. The writer of the winning essay will attend the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Jamaica in 2011. Contest closes 31 October 2010. Download entry information.

Pre-school parenting book for sale, $19.99

Nanette Jenkin who runs the Sunday school at her church Union Parish in Cambridge, and is an experienced early childhood teacher, has authored a book on parenting. Titled, “Surviving The Pre-School Issues In A Nutshell” the book is full of practical ideas and solutions for the parents of pre-school children. Books are $19.99. Phone Nanette, 07 8276076 or email bnjenkin@clear.net.nz

Connected: texting and cyber surfing handbook for teens

Connected is a new resource funded by Vodafone focusing on teens’ use of technology, in particular cell phones and the internet. It explores their benefits and dangers and how the use of these technologies impacts teens. It also addresses sexting, pornography, grooming, text and cyber bullying. $12 + post. Order online.

Parenting Place monthly book specials

The Parenting Place is offering monthly specials on a range of parenting books. Order online.

International Day of Older Persons, 1 October 2010

This year Age Concern Awareness Week includes celebrations of the International Day of Older Persons. See events in your region.

World Habitat Day 5 October

The theme this year is Better City, Better Life to highlight the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all, to adequate shelter.

World Food Day 16 October

United Against Hunger

In 2009, the critical threshold of one billion hungry people in the world was reached in part due to soaring food prices and the financial crisis. The “1 billion hungry project” invites people worldwide to sign the anti-hunger petition.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 17 October

"From Poverty to Decent Work: bridging the gap"

On this day people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins gather to renew their commitment to make poverty history and show their solidarity with the poor.

CWS Notices

Week of Action on Food

Please join with thousands of people, churches and communities around the world in the Churches Week of Action on Food 10-17 October calling for change in the way food is grown, sold, distributed and shared. A sermon writing competition will be held in conjunction with the week of action. Details are forthcoming. Resource materials are available at www.cws.org.nz

Children’s magazine

The latest World Watch magazine for 7-12 year olds is now available. “Share the Care” focuses on a special programme in Zimbabwe providing food for children in drought affected areas. With harvests destroyed by drought, the lunchtime meal of nutritional porridge children receive at school is often their only meal. World Watch is a free resource with cartoons, puzzles and activities and a teachers’ guide to lead you through a sample lesson plan. If you want copies for your children’s group email youth@cws.org.nz

Earthquake update

CWS has been running out of temporary offices thanks to the hospitality of Trade Aid. Once the necessary repairs have been made, staff expect to move back in and resume normal operations. Volunteers were quick to help process donations, and although the mail out of the Christmas Appeal resource kits was delayed it has now been sent to all parishes. Email cws@cws.org.nz if you have not received yours. Thank you for your support. Our prayers remain with everyone that lost homes, jobs, parishes and businesses.

Pakistan Appeal

CWS is continuing its efforts to raise more funds to assist in providing urgent basic needs to the millions of Pakistanis made homeless by record breaking floods. Currently CWS staff member Nick Clarke is working with our partner Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan on secondment in Islamabad. Regular reports, a movie and information about the appeal can be found at on our website.

Church Register

Ordination and Inductions

Rev Ron Bennett, Other Recognised Minister, Auckland Presbytery, to Minister, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, Kaimai Presbytery, 1 September 2010.

Rev Paul Prestidge, Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, to Minister (Methodist appointment, part-time), Miramar Uniting Church, Wellington Presbytery, 31 July 2010.

Transfers

Very Rev Pamela Tankersley, Minister, St David’s Presbyterian Church, Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wellington Presbytery, to Overseas Mission Co-ordinator, Assembly Service Team, with the status of Other Recognised Minster, Wellington Presbytery, 16 August 2010.

Short-Term Appointments

Rev Dr Hilary Smith, Minister of the Church of Scotland, Stated Supply Minister, Hibiscus Coast Parish, North Shore Presbytery, 3 May 2010, for 3 months.

Rev Monika Redman, Minister of the Church of Scotland, to Stated Supply Minister, St Ninian’s Uniting Church, Wellington Presbytery, 2 August 2010, for 6 months.

Rev Ken Smith, Minister of the Presbyterian Church of United States of America, Stated Supply Minister, Hutt City Uniting Congregations, Wellington Presbytery, completed his term, 31 July 2010.

Co-operative Venture Appointments

The Rev Anne Bennett, Minister, Anglican Church of New Zealand, to Minister, St Luke’s Uniting Parish, Rongotea, Manawatu-Wanganui Presbytery, 27 June 2010.

The Rev William Clifford, Minister of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, Tuakau Union Parish, South Auckland Presbytery, completed his term, 1 February 2010.

Retirements

Rev Verna Healy, Honorary Assistant Minister, St John’s Co-operating Parish, Raumanga, Churches Together in Northland, to Minister Emeritus, Churches Together in Northland, 31 August 2010.

Resignations

Rev Les Solomona, Minister, St Christopher’s Presbyterian, Seatoun/Strathmore, Wellington Presbytery, to Other Recognised Minister, Wellington Presbytery, 22 August 2010.