March 2009

From the Moderator

In recent days we have seen horrifying images of the devastation wrought by the bush fires in Victoria. We struggle to grasp the scale of the tragedy and to imagine what it must be like to watch home and neighborhood destroyed in a matter of moments. Just because it is beyond our understanding, however, does not mean it is beyond our compassion. On your behalf I contacted the General Secretary of the Uniting Church of Australia (UCA), Terence Corkin, to convey our sympathies and prayerful best wishes. Please pray for the many victims of the bushfires, for those who have been fighting so valiantly to bring the fires under control; and for the ministry of the UCA and its partner churches in providing pastoral care and other practical support during this awful tragedy. Financial support can be given through a variety of charitable agencies. I was privileged to be in Waitangi this Waitangi Day with a delegation from Te Aka Puaho. This is the second year running that the Church has been represented at the celebrations. It is good for us to be there. The Moderator of Te Aka Puaho, Millie Te Kaawa, and the director of Te Wananga a Rangi, Wayne Te Kaawa, are clearly held in high regard. I was impressed by the speeches offered by the Prime Minister and the Leaders of the Labour and Maori parties, and Pita Sharples delivered a fine address at the 10 am. church service. There were many things about the celebration that gave me cause for hope. The paua fritters weren’t bad either. Grace and peace to you all. Graham Redding   

Assembly Office update

Dear Friends We have just moved house from Highbury to Mt Victoria. The pipes in our former rental house burst and we had to make way for a team of repairers, so the easiest option was to shift. Five kilometres, but what an expedition! Where does all that stuff come from? When I finished my ministry training all I owned fit into the back of my ’67 Volkswagen – and I had room for a hitchhiker. Now I spend $750 per year insuring all our “things”, and we need what seems like an armada of moving trucks; not to mention having to come to terms with the overheard comments of the moving crew in relation to our “taste” in art. The most pleasurable part of the whole experience was taking a whole lot of stuff to the recycling centre at the tip. I contemplated for a moment what it would mean if we had a rule that every congregation was required to swap locations and move somewhere else every ten years or so. I imagine that there is some Biblical basis for this idea, and it would also be a good way to get rid of all those old church hymnaries collecting dust in the back cupboard which no one can bear to throw out. I have been greatly encouraged at the start of the year by the commitment shown by the two new groups supporting the work of the Press Go initiative and the Knox Centre. Despite the real challenges that we face, we are indeed blessed by wonderfully able and committed people who show such generosity of spirit and hope.

2009 Yearbook

Our Assembly Office staff worked very hard to complete the Year Book. It is being sent out this week to all those in the book. You will also receive copies of the Church’s latest social issues study guide, Caring for Creation. If you do not receive a copy of the Year Book and would like one, or if you discover any errors in Year Book details, or if your parish requires more copies of Caring for Creation, please contact Sandra at Assembly Office 04 801 6000 or email:

Presbytery Reform

Every presbytery should now have established a presbytery reform team, with the intention of putting in place the new presbytery structure by October of this year. The function of these teams is outlined in the Presbytery Task Group Report (D8-1 and following) in the White Book. Among the functions of the team is the need to consult with other presbyteries to establish a reconfiguration of presbytery boundaries. The Very Rev Garry Marquand is the convenor of the Presbyteries Task Group and you can contact him for more details

Mission Review

The Council of Assembly has been very fortunate to enlist the services of the Rev Murray Robertson to facilitate a three week review process relating particularly to the way the national Church fulfils its commitments to support local and overseas mission. Murray, who trained at the Theological Hall, has recently retired from his role as senior minister at Spreydon Baptist Church in Christchurch, and is about to begin the process of developing a leadership training centre for the Baptist Church. For more details please contact the Acting Convenor of the Council of Assembly, Emma Keown at

Two Groups

Two groups central to our Church’s focus on leadership training and resourcing of congregations held their inaugural meetings in February. The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership Advisory Board was greatly encouraged by the work being undertaken by the Centre, and the successful completion of the transition from the old School of Ministry. Work is well advanced on the first stage of the redevelopment of the Archive facilities at Knox. The Press Go Board held its preliminary meeting to review the breadth of information being developed by our Communications Manager, Amanda Wells, that is going out over the next few weeks to congregations, presbyteries, the PI Synod , Te Aka Puaho and the Council of Asian Congregations. The Board were greatly encouraged to hear that a number of congregations and a presbytery have already committed support to this initiative. The Board will lead the development of a range of strategies to support the vision of the Press Go initiative.

Resignation of Stephanie Redhead

Many of you will have heard that Stephanie has resigned her national youth ministry role. We will all miss Steph, however she will be continuing to support our commitment to young people in a voluntary capacity. Planning has begun for the national youth leaders event “Connect “ later this year, and Steph and a PYM focus group will get together in Christchurch early in March to plan directions from here.   In March we will also be holding interviews for the new youth leadership role which was advertised last month.

Get the very latest edition of the Book of Order

The 2008 edition of the Book of Order is now available online It incorporates changes approved by the 2008 General Assembly. Printed copies are available on request to the Assembly Office

The Council of Assembly

The Council of Assembly meet in Wellington on 26 and 27 March. If there is any material you would like the Council to consider, please get it to me within the next 10 days. Among other things, the Council will meet with Murray Robertson to discuss his preliminary review findings.

Class of 84

A particularly outstanding group of students graduated from the Theological Hall in 1984. Later this year I will be joining my class to celebrate 25 years of ordained ministry in a weekend event. For details please contact the Rev Laurie Ennor who is coordinating the occasion, Thank you again for your prayers and your generous support of our Church.


Finance update

Unaudited accounts for General Assembly for the six months to 30 December have been prepared and reported to the Resource Committee. In this period GA achieved an operating surplus of $333,000, based on higher than expected revenue, mainly from interest on investments and operating costs under budget.  We are in a positive cash flow position, this is due to greater than budgeted parish payment of Assembly Assessment, encouraged by a significant reduction in AA over the past two years, and by a Resource Committee policy of review and write-down of old outstanding amounts.  The Resource Committee and I wish to express our appreciation to the vast majority of parishes that pay AA in full, and on time, and to assure members that any accumulated funds are reinvested back into the Church. For example, General Assembly last year approved $750,000 toward development of the Church Archives facility in Dunedin, PressGo projects will also be partly funded from reserves. The 2009/10 budget setting process is due to commence. Next year interest income will decline significantly because of falling interest rates; however it is hoped further reduction in operating costs will mean Assembly Assessment will not increase. FSD staff numbers reduced to three with the resignation of our accountant in August last year; Katrina, Margaret and I have absorbed accounting duties.

Brendan Sweeney

Press Go

Press GO webpage The Press Go Board, convened by Ray Coster, held its inaugural meeting early in February in Auckland. The Board, which also includes Neville Guy, John Kernohan, Lisa Wells and Andrew Norton, is very keen to see the vision of Press Go embodied in the decisions each congregation makes about its commitment to mission, and in its use of resources to fulfil this commitment. If you know this group of people you know they have no desire to sit back and do “a bit of rubber stamping now and then”. They are very keen to encourage innovative mission that will bring the Good News to our diverse communities. Congregation have been sent brochures outlining the purposes of Press Go, and letters inviting commitments to support this initiative. Applications packs will be available shortly. The Board are keenly aware that what will really make a difference are to see the initiative in action. We need congregations, presbyteries, the Pacific Island Synod, Te Aka Puaho and the Asian Council to work on developing some exciting, growth-focused mission projects which we can all support and celebrate.    The brochure and letter you recently received is the first in a series. In the future you will receive information on how to support Press Go, how to apply for funding, news about projects or ministries under way and details on making bequests. While the Board want to minimise meeting and organisational costs, they will meet again next month to look at how congregations have responded to the first mailings, and to develop a strategic path way for enhancing Press Go’s commitment to growth. 

Kids Friendly update

New frontiers for Kids Friendly

We are very happy to welcome Lorraine Morgan to the Kids Friendly team. Lorraine is a highly competent and passionate children’s minister from St Andrew’s in Geraldine. She will be working 20 hours a week for Kids Friendly, and will be invaluable in contributing to new developments. A common complaint I hear from churches is, “We can’t get enough leaders!” My response is, “Are you training leaders from within?” An exciting new Kids Friendly initiative is, “Transformers – Raising-up Young Leaders Camp”. Taking up the challenge to work with us to pilot this leadership development camp is the ministry team of St James’, Spreydon, and St Andrew’s, Rangi Ruru. The camp will be held in April for children aged nine to 12 years (tweens). Churches in the region are encouraged to send children and a mentor to “Transformers” to explore how they can influence their church and communities as leaders modelled on Jesus. In June, we will be having our first Kids Friendly national networking and training conference. We are inviting key leaders to contribute to the planning of this and will publicise details shortly. We are thrilled to have 15 representatives from 11 presbyteries participate in our Kids Friendly coaching clinic in March. Participants will learn more about Kids Friendly resources and culture change processes. Later, in May, Kids Friendly will be offering two workshops at the South Island Ministry Conference in Dunedin. It’s going to be an exciting and busy year. If you would like to know more about any of these events, or how Kids Friendly can assist you in your ministry to children, please contact me:

Jill Kayser

Global Mission update

Hot Topic

This New Year witnessed our closest neighbour suffer devastating fires. The fires destroyed everything in their path; Australia has been burnt into our minds and hearts. In the smoke clouds, shown so graphically by the media, there was turmoil, terror and despair. In the wake of such a disaster, many can only gaze blankly at these images. However, it is in the midst of this darkness that God’s light permeates. In the midst of disaster, bloody conflict, economic crisis and political self seeking, God calls us to be involved in mission. The latest Time magazine reported on a catastrophe happening in Madagascar: “Over the last few weeks a crisis has been taking place in the capital, Antananarivo, where police killed more than 25 protestors.” In contrast to this news, I recently received a letter from a Christian orphanage based in the capital. Even in the midst of crisis, the orphanage continues to care for young girls who would otherwise be living on the streets. God’s light and love is permeating in the darkness through those who obey his call. The Global Mission Office is here to serve you and to enable you in God’s mission - to shine God’s light in the darkness.

God Bless Stuart 

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership update

A reminder about the new music scholarships being offered by the Knox Centre. Please check out our website. A reminder, too, about a seminar that will be led by professor Robert Jenson when he visits Dunedin as the University of Otago’s Burns Lecturer. Described by Wolfhart Pannenberg as, “one of the most original and knowledgeable theologians of our time”, professor Jenson is a theologian of immense stature. He is also a gifted communicator. He has kindly agreed to lead a half-day seminar at the Knox Centre on the subject of: “The Eucharistic Church being a Missional Church”. The seminar will be held Friday 13 March, from 9 30 am to midday. Because the seminar will be interactive we have set a limit of 30 people. The cost per person will be $25 including morning tea. To register, please contact our registrar, Catherine van Dorp: or 03-4730783. On 14 February a memorial service was held at Knox College for Frank and Beth Nichol, during which a memorial plaque for Frank was unveiled and dedicated. Frank and Beth were great servants of the former Theological Hall, where Frank served as principal and professor of systematic theology and Christian ethics, and Beth served as the Hewitson librarian.

Graham Redding 

National Mission update


Studentsoul is now on the University of Auckland campus! The Rev Howard Carter has been appointed Auckland studentsoul minister; he has moved from Napier to the “big smoke” with his wife Kris and family. The influence that studentsoul has on the Otago University campus is well-known; many young people have being given the opportunity for leadership training. Howard is passionate about seeing similar results on the Auckland campus. Mary Jane Konings, studentsoul national facilitator, has been key in helping with the new studentsoul; she will continue to assist in the development of studentsoul on more campuses around New Zealand.   Mary Jane and her husband Chris have moved from Dunedin to Timaru to take up positions as joint ministers working with two congregations - St Stephen’s and Trinity. This is a new step for both churches, and part of an ongoing mission project to enable four Timaru churches to grow and develop.  Approximately 200 people from the four churches will hold a “mission summit” on 7 March to reflect on, “Their mission to know and make Christ known and to discern the next steps in the Timaru churches journey”. John Daniel continues his study leave until early April. Check out the Studentsoul website for further information.

Youth Ministry update

News from PYM: due to health reasons I have resigned from my position as national youth coordinator.  I had a challenging couple of years in this role, and I enjoyed the challenge.  This is for me definitely not a goodbye from PYM, just from the national role (I will still see many of you around the place, I’m sure). Martin Baker, in consultation with the national focus group, is looking to employ two people to fulfil the important role of working with our youth and supporting the youth leaders in our PYM whanau.  It’s exciting to anticipate the new direction that PYM will take and I encourage you all to get involved as much as possible.  God Bless, Steph

APW update

Do come and join us in May 2009. The theme of the APW Conference is, “God calls: Touch the Earth Lightly". (We will consider various aspects of climate change and our changing environment.) International keynote speaker Linda Bales will address global consequences of climate change and how our responses to these affect women and children globally. As director of the Louise & Hugh Moore Population Project, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, Washington, DC, Linda focuses on women’s issues. Linda has a strong belief that the Kingdom of God can be realised on earth (a profile of Linda can be found in the latest SPANZ. Keynote speaker Dr Kevin Tate will outline why he considers climate change a far more serious challenge to humankind than the current financial meltdown, although both have the same cause. Kevin is an international expert on climate change and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Teacher and facilitator, the Very Rev Pamela Tankersley, and conference chaplain the Rev Sharon Ensor, will ground the conference theme by exploring the idea of Sabbath: What it means for us to celebrate Earth as a sacred space filled with God's vibrant presence, and to hear God's call to be partners with Christ in the healing of creation. The APW National Triennial Business & Study Conference includes excellent teaching sessions, time for personal reflection, workshops, plus a parade of wearable recycled art.

Join us:

APW National Triennial Business & Study Conference 1 - 3 May 2009 at The Steeple Conference Centre, Kingsgate Hotel, Palmerston North. Registration closes 31st March. For programme & registration forms please visit the APW web page


Prison Fellowship New Zealand is seeking a National Director

The Prison Fellowship New Zealand has a long term focus on restorative reintegration, and aims for every prisoner to have the opportunity to embrace the Christian faith, to be mentored holistically and to join a supportive community upon release. Those interested in learning more about the position of National Director are asked to contact the PFNZ national office on free phone 0800 777 887.

Introduction Work Group seek parish profiles

The Introduction Work Group is seeking parish profiles for the exiting 2009 ministry interns. Please send your profiles to: Amanda Guy - IWG Convener, 4 Mount Street, Wakari, Dunedin or email to: Further enquires please phone: (03) 476 6559 or (03) 476 2967

Faith-based poetry sought for anthology

Pleasant Point writer and poet Karalyn Joyce is compiling an anthology of faith-based poetry and short prose for ‘inspirational’ reading. The work is being selected from a nationwide competition. Writers are asked to submit pieces to be considered that reflect some of the wonderful things that happen or that are around us, for example the miracle of birth, the wonder of a sunrise. Karalyn says the anthology will be something that will make you think about life and living whether you’re a person with religious beliefs or not. For an entry form write to: 4a Horton Street, Pleasant Point, South Canterbury (include a stamped self-addressed envelope) or email:

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Ministry Study Grants Are you a Presbyterian minister planning on further study? Do you know that you can apply for a study grant from the School of Ministry? Applications are invited in March and September each year for post-ordination study grants for ministers in good standing of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. These grants are made possible through the generosity of the Mary Ann Morrison and MS Robertson estates, and are administered by the Senatus of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. What are the rules? 1. The proposed course of study will aid the applicant's professional development. 2. There is a potential benefit to the Church, and the probability of significant service to the Church. 3. Parish and presbytery approval has been obtained for the study, where appropriate. In normal circumstances grants do not exceed one-third of the study costs involved and may be held in conjunction with other scholarships and grants other than the Postgraduate Scholarship. Grants are not made retrospectively and relate only to costs to be incurred by the scholarship holder themselves. How do I apply? Applicants are asked to address the criteria and set out their expected costs including conference fees, tuition fees, basic accommodation and travel, and to supply any other information that may be relevant. Enquiries to: The Registrar, Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street Opoho, Dunedin.  Email:  
Application due date: 31st March 2009

CWS notices

Give something back this Lent

It is easier to give up something for Lent if you’ve got something to start with. Far too many people in the world are without life’s basic needs:

  • 923 million people wake up hungry
  • 15 million people are homeless because of war or violence
  • 40% of people don’t have access to sanitation

Yet it costs only:

  • $18 for a month’s supply of rice
  • $128 for a basic rations pack for emergency shelter
  • $257 for a toilet and sanitation.

Give something back this Lent. Help CWS keep hope alive and support the Lent 2009 Appeal. Donate online at, phone 0800 74 73 72 or post a cheque to CWS Lent Appeal, PO Box 22652, Christchurch.

Walk for the Planet

The Lenten “Walk for the Planet” is now underway. People are walking from Stewart Island to Wellington to show their concern about the environment and share hopes for a better future. You can take part by holding a walk in your own community, joining the walk as it travels up State Highway One and sharing your thoughts, concerns and prayers for the planet. See to add your views to those being carried to Wellington, and for updates on the journey to date.

World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day and is held by the UN each year to raise awareness of water access and sustainability. CWS has resources to help you hold a special service for World Water Day. Contact CWS or download them from 

Church Register

Church Register Changes for Bush Telegraph as at 25 February 2009

Ordination and Inductions:

  • Rev Mark Johnston, Other Recognised Minister Wellington Presbytery, to Auckland Co-ordinator for Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Auckland Presbytery, 1 February 2009.
  • Rev Kevyn Harris, received into the PCANZ from the Baptist Church of New Zealand, to Minister St Andrew’s Uniting Whangarei, Churches Together in Northland, 4 February 2009.
  • Rev Gideon Hanekom, received into the PCANZ from the Dutch Reformed Church of Republic of South Africa, to Minister Tikipunga - Trinity Uniting, Churches Together in Northland, 4 February 2009.
  • Rev Nicholas McLennan, Licentiate Wellington Presbytery, to Associate Minister Mahurangi Presbyterian Church, North Shore Presbytery, 29 January 2009.
  • Rev E.J. (Bert) Schoneveld, Minister Waiuku and Districts Combined Churches, South Auckland Presbytery, to Minister MacKenzie Co-operating Parish, South Canterbury Presbytery, 10 February 2009.
  • Rev Jonathan (Jono) Ryan, Minister Stated Supply Dunedin - Highgate Presbyterian Church, was inducted as Minister Dunedin - Highgate Presbyterian Church, Dunedin and North Otago Presbytery, 18 February 2009.

Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries:

  • Rev Amos Muzondiwa of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, to Minster Inglewood United Church, Taranaki Presbytery, 22 January 2009.


  • Rev Brian Brandon, Minister, St Martin’s Papatoetoe Presbyterian Church, to Minister Emeritus, South Auckland Presbytery, 31 December 2008.


  • Rev Albert Moore, Minister Emeritus, Dunedin Presbytery, died 23 January 2009.
  • Rev John McDougall, Minister Emeritus, Auckland Presbytery, died 21 February 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:

  • Browns Bay Presbyterian Youth Coordinator (10 hrs/week)
  • Ministerial Vacancy: can you hear Karori calling?
  • Minister vacant - Kaiapoi
  • Children’s Ministry leader - Tahunanui 


Visit the Events page for upcoming events near you

Upcoming events

  • National Triennial Business Study Conference
  • Opoho celebrating 100 years
  • National Conference - Labour Weekend 2009