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Newsletter 17th May 2018

Message from the Moderator - Pentecost 2018
The Spirit in the Church
At Pentecost, the Spirit of God comes in a manner that is both reassuring and completely alien; unless we understand this we will be doomed to look in the ‘wrong way’ for the Spirit moving amongst us today.

For centuries Christians have read the accounts in Acts of the Spirit’s coming in Jerusalem, plus other towns in Israel and the Roman Empire, in a manner which has inured us to how strange these episodes are in the Church’s life…but they are. The spontaneous breaking into praise in languages unknown to the speaker but known to those listening; two jail breaks achieved with no human intervention, including the spontaneous release from chains and the mysterious unlocking of prison doors; prophetic utterances which reveal information that could not have been known by the speakers. There are healings and various other miracles which all trace activity of the Spirit which is, frankly, alien. And yet, the fruit is an acceleration of the growth of the Church and of faith throughout the Roman Empire.

We are justified in looking for the Spirit to move again today and we should all be expectant that the Spirit is still moving through the Church to convince and convict those who do not know Christ’s love and grace. The Spirit is in no way finished with the Church or, frankly, with the world which God loves. But the Spirit has not changed and so the Spirit’s activity will not look like it once did. In other words, we can expect it to remain, in part at least, strange.

I too have made the mistake of looking, on many occasions, for the Spirit to move in a familiar way. I was involved in the great move of the Spirit in this country in the ‘70s and ‘80s and it was amazing and gave great heart to the Church. It introduced many young people to both the grace and the sovereignty of God and it convinced us of the desire of God for intimacy because we experienced in many various ways the closeness of God. But that was then and since then I have found many who are disappointed that God is not moving in the same way as God did then. And yet this is precisely what we should not expect.

In any revelation of God, and this is precisely what occurred during the revivals of the ‘70s and ‘80s, both the likeness and the unlikeness of God will be exposed and we must be prepared for that. God is like us in some respects but, as the theologians are fond of saying, God is also “completely other”. We must take this into account when anticipating God working through the Spirit.

Now although we thought we could recognise the likeness of God in the ‘70s because it seemed like the Acts experience, in reality there were many things which happened then which were unlike anything in Acts. The rise of new and more modern music and the phenomenon of ‘Spirit -filled worship’ through this took things to a new level. The rise of people falling down under the power of the Spirit – something which had occurred in previous waves of revival - is not recorded in the New Testament. And there were many stranger things than this – things that many others in the Church could not accept were real - and I witnessed some of them.

The question is, where is the Spirit of God today? What is the Spirit doing today? I do not believe that the Spirit has gone into hiding. I simply think the Spirit is working strangely in a manner we do not recognise to bring about the same things – a glorifying of Christ in the world…and I do mean the world.

Perhaps the greatest misunderstanding about the Spirit’s role is that we imagine that it is confined to the Church. It is not. Yes, the gifts are given to the Church so that the Church might operate to reflect Christ but the key goal of the Spirit’s activity is to convict and convince the world of God’s love and this is where we probably need to start looking for the next move of the Spirit. I say this because I believe that wherever the Church sets out to address the world’s needs with any kind of real intentionality, the Spirit will attend that activity. The Spirit is the Spirit of God’s mission first and foremost.

So, may you know the moving of the Spirit in your Pentecost celebrations but more so, may you be led by the Spirit to bring the healing love of Christ to the world, for through this are we more likely to witness the strange but powerful moving of God amongst us again.
Yours in Christ, Richard Dawson, Moderator PCANZ

Grand Re-Opening of Linwood Avenue Union Church
Sunday 3rd June 2018.
A service of celebration at 2pm. You are welcome to join us (cnr Linwood Ave & Tilford St)

Presbytery Retreat
Its Retreat time again!
Save the date: Sunday 8th July 3pm to Monday 9th 4.30pm, plus workshop Tuesday 10th July.
Venue: Hanmer Springs.
More details to follow.
An important time to connect with God and each other and discern the path ahead for our Presbytery.

Hymns for Today's Church (words edition) - Books Available
We have at least a hundred hymn books in good condition to give away. If you know of a church or group that might like them, please contact Stephanie at St Mark's Avonhead office for more details. P: 358 5443 or E:

Other Newsletters
PWANZ Bush Fire May 2018
People Helping People—PSUSI magazine

PWANZ—We are at the Well
  • Thursday 21st June St Andrew’s Rakaia, from 10am with lunch to follow
  • Thursday 21st June Cashmere Presbyterian Christchurch, from 7pm with coffee & dessert   
  • Saturday 23rd June Whakatu Presbyterian, Nelson beginning at 9.45am
Dr Deborah Bower, Inspirational speaker, Theologian, Spiritual life coach, will speak on "In John’s gospel Jesus encounters a woman at a well (John 4.4-42). She has a past, and her present is less than perfect. In this unusual encounter Jesus connects with the woman's the heart, and she is never the same again. Where is Jesus in our story? Do we have a well experience? Lets go on a journey of discovery and explore the terrain that is our heart."

No Cost; to assist us with planning and catering please register in advance email:

100th Celebration of Presbyterian Support South Canterbury
This will include a Sunday Service at Trinity Church, Timaru, on 1st July at 10am with the Right Rev Richard Dawson, Moderator of PCANZ, speaking on "Justice in Action: We say Yes!" 

The Church service will be followed by an opportunity to view displays and talk to staff from PSSC, in the Trinity Community Centre adjacent to the Church. A light lunch will be served. Everyone welcome.  

Whakatū Presbyterian Youth Worker
Are you passionate about youth? Whakatū Presbyterian is seeking someone who is passionate about connecting with young people, wants to encourage young people in their walk with God and to be connecting with the community of Richmond/Stoke. This role is for 10 hours per week with the possibility of an extra 10 hours as a 24/7 youth worker in the local high school.

The Parish Youth Worker shall be an energetic visionary person with suitable knowledge, skills, values and life experience to relate to young people and offer leadership in youth ministry within the church and community. The parish places a high value on the position of youth worker.

The Youth Worker shall be responsible to the Associate Minister and indirectly to the Governance Council for the development of Youth Ministry in the Parish.  A support team is in place. This is a new position.  As the job of Youth Worker develops over time some flexibility as to key tasks and hours allocated will become necessary. This will be done in consultation with the Youth Worker.

If this sounds like you, please contact Rev Sage Harris either by phone 0273560740 or by email

Applications close on the 6th of June 2018.

St Ninian's Riccarton Centenary
St Ninian's Riccarton Centenary will be marked with events at Queen's Birthday weekend: - a get together 4-6pm on Saturday; a communion service and lunch on Sunday.

We invite anyone with links with St Ninian's to get further information by e-mail,, or ph 03 3486418."

CW00e0b4e0-1c0e-4ef7-9ab6-68470e134a89.pngS Operation Refugee
Join Operation Refugee and challenge yourself to live off refugee rations for 5 days.

Operation Refugee will see you put yourself in the shoes of Syrian refugees for 5 days (or 2 days for our Operation Lite participants). It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be eye opening and it’s going to give hope to Syrian refugees living in Lebanon and Jordan.

More information at

B@tCH — an innovative church operating out of the Coronation Hall in Maori Hill, Dunedin, as part of the Highgate Presbyterian Church — is seeking a new leader. We seek a leader to help us nurture the B@tCH community and to work with us to grow our mission to the people of our wider community. The position is 50% of full time and offers a great opportunity for the right person. If you think you might be that person (or know that person), you can find more information (including Parish Profile and Minister We Seek document) at . 

For more information, Terms of Call, and expressions of interest, email Jordan Redding, Acting Convenor of the Ministry Settlement Board at by Friday, 8 June.

Charity related resources
Steven Moe, who was a speaker at the recent Gathering, recently attended a Charities focussed event at Te Papa. The two day conference looked at issues like “Are there too many charities in New Zealand”, how reporting standards for charities are working, the intersection between charity, business and social enterprise as well as a keynote talk by the Minister for the Voluntary Sector. 
Access all of the videos and materials here: 
Also available are a few slides from the IRD about the makeup of the charitable sector in NZ—Data Snapshots from IR & DIA

Presbyterian Church Insurance Update
Crombie Lockwood have updated us on several important matters relating to the upcoming insurance renewal 1st August 2018.

Included in their information are: Market Update; Fire Service Levy Update; EQC Update; Indications for 2018 Property Renewal; Risk Information Database; Modal Valuation Tool and Guide; Insurance Manual; Arson Prevention Advice; Key dates; Your Duty of Disclosure.

Many parishes will have received this communication directly, but it can also be downloaded here: Insurance Renewal August 2018

‘It’s Just a Phase’ Training Day
For Parents, Youth and Children’s Workers, Teachers
Saturday 19 May, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: Hope Presbyterian, Hornby
Cost $10 ($15/couple)
Presenter: Diana Langdon of Strandz
Register online @

Celtic Sacred Space: Weaving your Story
With the Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith and harpist, Julie Saraswati.
Friday 15th June, 5.45 – 8.30pm and Saturday 16 June, 9.30am - 5.00pm

In the beautiful and tranquil setting of St. John’s Church, Hira, Nelson, enjoy a weekend retreat, intertwining Celtic traditions of art, music, poetry and blessings.
Cost: $110.00 per person which includes all materials, evening meal on the 15th, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea on the 16th .

To register for this weekend retreat, please email or phone 021 0283 5435.

Download poster here: Celtic Sacred Space:

The Pastoral Net351a24cc-e74d-4345-baa5-7b9cd391b279.pngwork
One key way Strength to Strengths eek to support the wellbeing and work of the church is by caring for the carers. The Pastoral Network has been created to do just this. To hear more about The Pastoral Network and how it can benefit you and your church, attend  the launch:

Wednesday 30 May, 10:30am-12pm, at La Vida Centre, 38a Hanson Lane, Christchurch.
RSVP by Tuesday 22 May to

Who is The Pastoral Network for?
All those involved in the pastoral care of the church whether paid or voluntary.
Who should come to the launch?
Senior Leaders, Pastoral Care Coordinators, and key pastoral workers.

PCANZ Statistics
Parishes will have this week received the 2018 Statistics forms from the PCANZ Finance Administrator. For those that have not received, or cannot locate, the forms, they can be downloaded from  our Dropbox: Statistics Forms 2018.


A time to sow—an Alpine Presbytery Resourcing event. Sunday 13 May, Whakatu Presbyterian church

St Ninian’s, Riccarton, centenary:Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Please share this Newsletters around your Parish, especially with members of Session/Parish Council & all office bearers.  Forward the email, or print out copies for people to take and read.  Anyone wanting to go on the distribution lists to receive the Newsletter directly, please contact Gail in the Alpine Office:
















_Newsletter 1st March 2018

Click here for images & links in  this Newsletter

Induction - St Kentigerns/Burwood

On Sunday morning 25th February the Moderator inducted Rev Bob Reid to a part-time (50%) ministry appointment at St Kentigern-Burwood parish in East Christchurch. Bob is no stranger to the congregation there having served as Stated Supply Minister for some time. His appointment in the parish is for two years until the end of 2019. The parish is currently embarking on a significant strengthening and upgrading building project and hopes that Bob will provide pastoral stability through that process. Our prayers are for Bob and the congregation as they work through this time.


Property for Sale

Considering downsizing? Ellesmere Co-operating Parish has two retirement units for sale.

30 High St, Leeston. Recently redecorated two bedroom unit in a well-planned, independent-living complex. No lawn to mow, a small garden, friendly neighbours and warm, sunny home. Competitively priced.

Leeston is an urban town, close to Christchurch and Ashburton, with good amenities. We invite you to take a drive out and see what there is on offer.

Contact: Noel Dalley (03)3243 171 or John Lay (03)3291 617


Alpine Presbytery Gathering

27th-29th April 2018. Now to be held at The Village Church in Bryndwr (cnr Ilam Road & Aorangi Street). Registration for this important event will soon go live, and all parishes are encouraged to ensure that they are represented.


St Andrew’s Church Workshop - 24 March 2018

Venue: St Andrew’s Church, 5 Henry St, Blenheim

Cost: $10.00 per person, pay on the day. Eftpos not available.

The workshops on offer are:

Church leadership: Does your minister hold the tack AND try to work the hammer or do they have a good team behind them? The Presbyterian leadership involves elders who are to be that team. This session will focus on the roles of elders but is relevant to any church that uses team leadership. Presenters: Barry and Clare Ayers

Child Protection: A brief introduction as to why we need child protection policies, signs and symp-toms of child abuse and what to do. We will review our own policy and explain it’s application. Presenter: Marion Rowe

Worship: There are many ways to express worship. Come and hear of some and perhaps share some of yours. Presenter: Rev. Derek Harding

Communication and Committees: Don’t you just love the sound of this and wouldn’t it be wonderful if every church could say these function well. Come along and get some ideas and explore how these may work better for your church. Presenters: St Andrew’s Team

Click here for more information and the Registration form


Preaching the Scriptures Workshop – Geoff New

Saturday 17th March, 9am-4:30pm, at Whakatū Presbyterian 271 Songer Street, Stoke.

Whether you are an emerging or experienced preacher, this workshop is designed to encourage and deepen your ministry of preaching. Through a range of input, exercises and multi-media presentations you will be given the opportunity to hone your skills as you seek to hear the voice of God in your preparation and delivery of your sermons.

This workshop includes sessions on:

Hearing a Voice – why we preach and our place as preachers

Seeing the Voice – considering Jesus’ example in addressing the church

Discerning the Voice – how to study Scripture for the sermon

Being a Voice – how to structure the sermon

An extensive workbook will be given to all participants.

Geoff is the Dean of Studies at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. He lectures in preaching and pastoral care. He was minister of Papakura East Presbyterian Church (1997-2015). He is co-ordinator of Kiwimade Preaching (, conducts preaching training in south Asia and has authored two books on preaching.

We ask for a $10 Koha towards hosting the event. This will provide morning and afternoon tea for participants. Please bring along your bible and lunch. RSVP by the 10th of March to Sage Harris either by phone 027 356 0740 or email

Book for Sale: Live, Listen, Tell: the art of preaching (2017) by Geoff will be for sale. $15 (cash or online banking)


South Island Ministry Conference

Dates: 15 & 16 May 2018

Ministry Conference at East Taieri Church will be a bit different this year. We are going to be running a 2 day conference – Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th May, with conference dinner being on the Tuesday evening.

The reason for this change is because Alan Vink from LeadershipWorx and some of our pastor friends from Dunedin have arranged for Carey Nieuwhof to give a Pastors Day Seminar at Mornington Presbyterian Church, 16 Maryhill Terrace Dunedin on Thursday 17th May, as part of his NZ Tour (see more information below). We recognise that this is a great opportunity to hear Carey and we want to work in partnership with this event. If you are coming to Ministry Conference and are being billeted, you will be welcome to stay on with your billets for the extra night so you can attend the Carey Nieuwhof Pastor’s Seminar.

Register for Ministry Conference from mid-March at

Leading Healthy Churches – Leadership Seminar

1-Day Conference – 17 May 2018, with Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a Canadian pastor with a big reputation as a conference speaker and podcaster. Check him out at

When & Where:

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Thursday 17 May 2018

Mornington Presbyterian Church, 16 Maryhill Tce, Mornington, Dunedin.

Morning and afternoon teas, and lunch provided


Early bird (before April 20) - $75 per person

Regular - $90 per person

Group discount – buy 5, get 1 free.

Please note this tour is organised by LeadershipWorx. Registrations and more information at

Download the Flyer from PDF


Update from Presbytery Council Meeting, Thursday 22nd February

Presbytery Council cancelled its January meeting so this was the first monthly Council meeting for the year.

Christ the King!

David Coster shared a reading (Mark 4) – the parable of the Sower & the seed where Jesus says “Are you listening to this; really listening?” Before we too quickly read Matthew, Mark & Luke’s interpretation we need to pause and ask ourselves: What do we really make of Jesus’ story? What is the meaning of the seed? What is the nature of the soil? What is God saying to us? Let’s ponder in this Lenten season how we pause and listen to what God may be saying to us!

The Moderator constituted our meeting in prayer.

Read More


Call for Interest in Heritage Buildings

The Christchurch City Council is inviting applications from individuals, groups and organisations interested in using and/or helping fund the restoration of 17 Council owned heritage facilities. They include four buildings in the central city, and 13 community buildings across the City and Banks Peninsula. This is a rare opportunity for individuals and groups with a passion for our city’s heritage to indicate their interest in making one or more of these extraordinary heritage buildings a big part of their lives.

You might be a commercial entity interested in leasing and running your business out of one of these unique buildings. Maybe you’re a charitable trust or community group wishing to occupy the building.

You may be able to partially/fully fund its repair and restoration – perhaps in exchange for favourable lease terms or a partnership arrangement with the Council.

We welcome all workable proposals that protect these buildings’ heritage values and help get them repaired, restored and reused soon.

Applications close for four central city buildings on Tuesday 3 April 2018, and applications for the rest of the buildings close on Thursday 29 March 2-18.

Get further information on how to register your interest and for a full list of buildings:


Other Newsletters:

Church Property Trustees Newsletter February 2018

Bush Telegraph March 2018

WCRC eNews for February 2018.

Volunteering Canterbury also have an email Newsletter (view it here), and this includes details of events and workshops relevant to users of Volunteers.



Preaching the Scriptures Workshop: 17th March, at Whakatū Presbyterian

St Andrews, Blenheim—Training Workshops: Saturday March 24th.

Alpine Presbytery Gathering: 27-29 April 2018, at The Village Church

Ordination and Induction of David Sang-Joon Kim at St Mark’s, Avonhead: 5th April