It takes a dedicated and committed team of appointed and associated members to fulfill the administrative responsibilities that the General Assembly delegated to the Council of Assembly. I want to acknowledge, honour and thank everyone on Council of Assembly for their time and energy invested in this role and their service to the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Kingdom.
As every congregation works hard and diligently to fulfil God’s mission while facing various challenges - and presbyteries do their best to support and facilitate the worship, life and mission of their congregations - let us remember:
|“… that God, who began the good work within you, will continue God’s work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6).|
|“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2)|
Council of Assembly recently met three times via zoom and has attended to a number of other matters electronically. Among work covered: the Abuse in Care Royal Commission (on which the AES reported); required financial consolidation of all congregations and associated entities; identifying and progressing common threads of reports received by General Assembly (Strategic Hui and Te Haere Tonu work group); and seeking ways to return to a balanced budget with the reality of reduced income (due to contraction of congregations’ income and the PCANZ having less congregations).
- Delighted in announcing the appointment of Rev Dr Geoff New as principal for Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership.
- Confirmed staffing roles for the Knox Centre, to enable advertising for these to take place.
Last Council meeting for Moderator of Te Aka Puaho
Marina Rakuraku will shortly conclude her term as Moderator of Te Aka Puaho and the October Council meeting marked her last meeting. Council has deeply appreciated her contributions to the Council and her voice of Te Aka Puaho. In addition, her commitment to leading Te Aka Puaho in challenging times is both valued and respected.
Our Moderator Right Rev Hamish Galloway reported on his visits to the Church of Scotland and the World Council of Churches Assembly. He also reported on the initial meeting of the dialogue on sexuality, and planning for the ONE Conference. We continue to invite you to pray for Hamish as he serves in this role.
Approximately one year before the next General Assembly, the Moderator Designate joins the Council. It is a delight to welcome Rev Rose Luxford as an associate to the Council. We look forward to working with Rose as she prepares to become our Moderator at General Assembly 2023.
Appointment of Te Haere Tonu Work Group
Following decisions of the General Assembly, Council has established the Te Haere Tonu Work Group to:
|a.||Continue the discussion on the issues raised by Te Mahi Tahi I te Roopu Mahi in regard to the discernment of a strategic direction for the Church.|
|b.||Reflect on the nature and role of our national structures in resourcing and empowering the presbyteries.|
|c.||Work closely and collaboratively with presbyteries at all times as any future recommendations are crafted, and,|
|d.||Report back to the next General Assembly.|
Council has appointed the following to serve on the Te Haere Tonu work group: Rev Alistair Lane, Rev Tala Fa'amausili, Mrs Ruth Vercoe, Rev Cate Williams, Mr Chris Rodwell, Rev Rory Grant and Rev Martin Stewart. Additional appointments will be made.
Appointment of Emissions Reduction Work Group
Following decisions of the Special Assembly to establish a Carbon Emissions Work Group, Council advises that terms of reference have been approved and the following appointed: Rev Dr Jordan Redding (Convener), Alva Feldmeier, Indira Venkatraman, Chris Lambourne, Brett Reid and Dr Andrew Shepherd.
Convenor Craig Donaldson noted staff changes in the Assembly Office finance team and the work of financial consolidation. He emphasized the need for clear strategic direction in terms of priorities for spending. Council agreed that it would bring recommendations to General Assembly 2023 to this end.
Convenor Rev Ryhan Prasad reported on the various work streams of the committee. He noted the desire that the committee would move beyond simply a reactive mode to a looking forward strategic mode as it fulfilled its terms of reference.
MOU with the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan
As advised previously, this has been agreed. Both our Moderator and the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan have now signed this, see the pictures below.
MOU with Congregational Union of New Zealand and Ekalesia Niue
As reported in our September edition, this has now been agreed by all parties. Our Moderator will represent us at the signing to be held in Niue in January 2023. He will be joined by the moderator of the Pacific Presbytery.
Farewell to Pacific Presbytery representative
At our October meeting, Winston Timaloa was farewelled from the Council. He has stepped down as he is preparing to begin his nationally ordained ministry internship. His contribution was noted, and his service warmly appreciated.
AES Performance review
Council received the findings of the Assembly Executive Secretary’s annual performance review. Council expressed its appreciation for his work and commended him for his dedication and grace with which he fulfils the role.
As the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand let us in faith and practice hold on to the fact that, “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” (Ephesians 1:22-23)
Rev Dr Jaco Reyneke Mrs Kat Solomona
Convener Deputy Convener
Council of Assembly Council of Assembly