I am very pleased to be able to make available to you the video recording of Rev Malcolm Gordon’s song Pioneers of Hope, written to mark the centenary celebrations of a number of our Presbyterian Schools’ over 2014-2019.
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The Sound Fuse summer camp is a clashing of faith, music and culture. It is designed to capture the feeling of a music festival, but with the “we’re in it together” focus of a missional task-force. It is a micro-microFestival. (That’s a new phrase.)
It is aimed at senior high-school students who want to make a difference in the world, who have a bent for creative expression, and who love (or are curious about) God. During this week together, we are looking to create those moments of deep connection where music + people + place all combine into something unique and meaningful… and we’ll be using the powerful creative capabilities of music and words to help lead us there. The questions we’re looking to answer is, how do I become the kind of person the world needs more of? and, how can I do that with style? 😉
Location: Tirohanga Camp, Dunedin, NZ
Dates: 17th-21st January, 2017
Pray for our Pacific is non-denominational and open to interpretation. Therefore each church community has an opportunity to Pray for our Pacific in whatever way best reflects their community and capacity. These are some examples:
- Dedication of a prayer during your sabbath service.
- Dedication of your church service to #PrayForOurPacific
- Youth-lead #PrayForOurPacific activities
- A #PrayForOurPacific prayer circle
- Sharing stories from relevant scriptures with Sunday school children
- Sharing local stories of climate impacts
- Remembrance service dedicated to lives lost during climate change disasters
- #PrayForOurPacific church rally which includes all of the above!
Your event can be as big or as small as you like. What is important is that your church owns your event and you know that you will be joined by our brothers and sisters throughout the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Possibly beyond!
It’s important that we as a people use our faith to empower ourselves and this movement. We aren’t looking to our faith as a way to solve the issue of climate change, but we are looking to our faith to find the strength to continue the fight to protect the planet that was gifted to us. Not a planet that we have dominion over, but a planet we are stewards of.
This year Alpha’s going global with over 52 countries launching at the same time in
September, extended over 18 months. Through the campaign video and materials, Bear Grylls will challenge the perception of being a fearless outdoor adventurer by sharing an untold story of his inner adventure to faith.
With the help of Bear Grylls popularity, Alpha New Zealand is planning on running a significant advertising throughout the country. My understanding is, that Alpha aims to have 350 churches in our country start an Alpha course just after Easter in May 2017. Alpha can’t make this happen, and needs churches to partner with them.
In September 2016 Alpha New Zealand will be holding “Invite the Nation“, 1 hour events, across New Zealand. With food, a talk and discussion Alpha wants to encourage cities and towns to come together to invite the nation.
Whangarei: 5th September 2016, 7pm, St Andrews Uniting Church
Auckland – North Shore: 6th September 2016, 7pm, Birkenhead Baptist Church
Auckland – Central: 7th September 2016, 12pm, Mt Albert Baptist Church
Auckland – East: 7th September 2016, 7pm, Elim Botany Downs
Hamilton: 9th September 2016, 12pm, Hamilton Central Baptist Church
Tauranga: 9th September 2016, 7pm, Bethlehem Baptist Church
Hawke’s Bay: 10th September 2016, 7pm, St John’s Presbyterian Church, Hastings
Palmerston North: 12th September 2016, 7pm, Salvation Army Palmerston North
Waitara / New Plymouth: 13th September 2016, 7pm, Knox Church Waitara
Wellington: 22nd September 2016, 7pm, Salvation Army Johnsonville
Nelson: 15th September 2016, 7pm, St Barnabas Anglican Church Stoke
Christchurch: 16th September 2016, Grace Vineyard City Campus
Dunedin: 19th September 2016, East Taieri Church
At these meetings you will get access to resources to invite your community/your peers/your colleagues to explore faith. With one of the worlds most recognised TV stars as the face of the Invitation, there’s never been a better opportunity to invite people on Alpha.
Each year Kid Friendly (the children’s department of the Presbyterian Church) runs an art and writing competition, with over $900 worth of cool prizes to be won..The compeition has different age categories, ranging all the way up to Year 8. So this may be worth checking out if you have an intermediate youth ministry.
The Love Reaches Out art and writing competition winds up on Friday, 26 August 2016.
The Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership is offering a limited number of scholarships in 2016, to Presbyterians doing part-time or full-time theological studies through Otago University, Auckland University, Laidlaw College or Carey Baptist College. If you know of anyone who might benefit from such a grant, please encourage them to apply. They should send a letter of application detailing their course (and costs) of study, and what church they’re involved in. They should also include a brief letter of support from someone in their church (preferably their minister, so we can discuss their church involvement and the course of study). Deadline for applications is 30th June 2016. Letters should be sent to the Principal, Rev Dr Steve Taylor, at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Knox College, Arden Street, Opoho, Dunedin 9010 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The amounts awarded are dependent on the number of applications received and the amount of trust funds available. The number of theology papers being taken and previous amounts awarded are also taken into consideration.
May 18 – 20th 2016
Opito Bay – Coromandel
Sometimes you have to escape the city and walk the beach and breathe the salt laden air, only then can you see clearly. Breathe deeply and listen to the breath of God.
Three incredible days
Day One: The quest / The story
Day two: The sensation / The adaptive challenge
Day three: The rhythm / The whole
Material covered will offer personal and ministry insight along with the collective wisdom of an amazing group of people.
What to expect Each day will have a variety of exercises including personal reflection, prayer, mentoring, rest and relaxation. Each day we will follow that pattern of the sunlight and will flow with the weather conditions.
Cost: This retreat is being run at cost price (Food and accommodation). Approx $350
Registration It is vital that you register as early as possible to ensure that you have a place. Numbers are restricted to a total of 8 people. Download Retreat Info and Registration Form
Arrive Wednesday 18th 11.00am at Opito Bay (Google directions or give me a call)
Depart Friday 20th 2.00 pm from Opito Bay
What to bring
- Casual dress
- Warm jacket
- Sleeping bag or bedding
- Walking shoes
- Personal hygiene/ medications
- Towel, soap, toothbrush etc
- A small item / symbol that tells a story about a significant time in your life. It could be a photo, a newspaper cutting . . . etc
A beach house with water views 20 mtrs from the beach!
What others have to say . . .
“I attended one of Andrew’s retreats for people in ministry in 2015 and had an absolute ball. The retreat provides the perfect background for a retreat which allows one the space to look at life from a completely new perspective.
Andrew leads in the very best of ways by providing material upon which the group members can reflect openly and honestly and he draws the group members out in a sensitive and yet honest fashion which encourages all to participate fully. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!” Richard Dawson
‘Into the wild with Andrew Norton was for me both affirming and exhilarating where all running comes to a standstill and you learn to breathe again, listen to your life and take notice while rediscovering your rhythm. Doing this (being this) in one of New Zealand’s best kept secret locations had a way of gently tugging at my soul strings allowing me to take stock and consider not only God’s beauty around me but my own as God’s beloved. The retreat doesn’t feel like homework, a check list or a burden, rather Andrew follows the rhythms of nature in sync with the Holy Spirit (present) and in amongst great food, wine, stories, good company, scenery, fresh air, you re-discover yourself (in Godself) in the valleys, in the wide open spaces and on the mountain tops where you feel liberated again and all your obstacles become possibilities’.
I attended Andrew’s mountain retreat in March 2015. It was an amazing 4 days in a stunning location. With time and space and careful process questions Andrew lead the group into significant areas of self discovery. The camaraderie shared among the group was an added bonus. The retreat was the best way to start the year. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
The Bible Society is currently conducting a survey for Christians aged 13-18. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
This survey does not take any identifying information from the participants, and the 30 questions are generally asking about bible reading habits, with a couple of interesting questions about social media memes that reference the Bible.
The survey is being conducted until 29 March 2016.
It will be interesting for us to see what Bible reading habits seem to be working in New Zealand. In the best case scenario, we will shape our ministries differently thanks to the results of this survey.
I would encourage you to get your young people to fill in the survey. If we can get 200 young people to answer the questions from a Presbyterian setting, we will have a large enough sample size for the Bible Society to produce results for Presbyterian young people, which we can compare to the national stats.
Reach out in Christian hospitality
Neighbour’s Day falls on 19 and 20 March and coincides with Palm Sunday, with Easter Friday just four days later. Prescare is inviting parishes to show good old-fashioned Christian hospitality to their neighbours. Consider “Sharing the cross” by delivering bought or baked Easter buns to neighbours.
Ideas for getting involved
As well as delivering Easter buns, you may also wish to share the Easter story. PresCare can help on both fronts:
- Delivering Easter buns – If your parish doesn’t have the funds to purchase or bake buns, then see below about how to apply for a small grant.
- Sharing the Easter message – Simply download and print any of the resources below that feature a picture or explanation about why Easter buns have a cross, and attach these to the buns before they are delivered. They could be delivered to neighbours or youth groups could take the Easter buns to local schools and preschools. (If handing out at a school, because of the Easter story slips on the bags, you need to ask the school to request parental permission for the children to receive the buns.)
There are plenty of ways to reach out to your neighbours. Check out these ideas for different ways of getting involved in Neighbours Day. Read more
PresCare Neighbours Day Poster
Download a Neighbours Day poster for your church
Easter story slips and images
If you wish, print off any of these images or short stories to assist you to “Share the Cross” with your neighbours.
The cross as a symbol of hope (written by the Rev Phil King)
Jesus takes up the cross image (supplied by Kids Friendly)
Jesus is nailed to the cross image (supplied by Kids Friendly)
Simon of Cryene helps Jesus image (supplied by Kids Friendly)
Stations of the cross images (supplied by Kids Friendly)
- Station 1
- Station 2
- Station 3
- Station 4
- Station 5
- Station 6
- Station 7
- Station 8
- Station 9
- Station 11
- Station 12
- Station 13
- Station 14
PresCare is making a small number of grants available to assist parishes to purchase or bake Easter buns. Each grant will be to a maximum of $50 and in the event that the number of applicants exceeds the number of grants available, parishes will be randomly selected using the age-old method of pulling names out of a hat. To register for a grant, simply email us the following details by 5pm on Friday, 11 March:
- parish name,
- parish contact person,
- that person’s contact details, and
- a 100-200 word description of with whom and how your parish will be sharing the Easter buns.
You will be advised by email of the status of your application no later than Tuesday, 15 March.
Consider working with Presbyterian Support
If you want to get involved, consider making contact with Presbyterian Support in your region to investigate the possiblity of a joint initiative.
Presbyterian Support Northern
Community Mission Advisor & PresCare Project Manager
P: 09 520 862409 520 8624
Presbyterian Support East Coast
Donations and Bequest Manager
P: 06 877 819306 877 8193
Presbyterian Support Central
P: 04 439 492904 439 4929
Presbyterian Support Upper South Island
P: 03 363 820903 363 8209
Presbyterian Support South Canterbury
Marketing Communications & Fundraising Manager
P: 03 687 114803 687 1148
Presbyterian Support Otago
P: 03 477 711503 477 7115
Presbyterian Support Southland
P: 03 211 826003 211 8260
Tell us what you are doing
So you’ve decided to get involved, great! Let us know. Email us, and we’ll publicise your event on the Church’s Facebook page. Also send us some photos.
Why get involved?
Many people today are isolated from their neighbours, yet are unsure what to do about it. Neighbours Day provides an opportunity to come together, and serve those in need and in doing so strengthen the communities in which we live.
The goal of Neighbours Day Aotearoa – to build strong communities – is well aligned with the Christian mission of the Church and Presbyterian Support. Love thy neighbour.
By participating in Neighbours Day, local churches and Presbyterian Support can strengthen bridges between ourselves and our communities, and in doing so build meaningful mission with those in need in our communities.