They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and that’s certainly the case for Jessie Boston, who worshiped at Wellington’s St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church for over a decade. The 26-year-old currently works for Tearfund in London, an evangelical international aid and development agency that “follows Jesus where the need is greatest”, says Jessie, the daughter of Professor Jonathan Boston (Professor of Public Policy at Victoria University) and Mary Hutchinson, a GP-turned-photographer who spent much of her medical career working with refugee patients.
“My parents chose careers that put others first, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. Their focus has been on inequality, child poverty and climate change, as well as speaking out for those who don’t have a voice, which has definitely influenced me to do the same.”
While she’s always had a strong streak of social justice/activism, since moving to London two years ago Jessie has been become even more politically active, attending the Women’s March alongside thousands of others after President Trump’s inauguration, protesting outside Downing Street after Trump’s Muslim ban and against a weapons expo in the city last year.
“It’s an amazing feeling being with thousands of other people who feel the same as you, standing up for what you believe in,” she says.
Since living in London, Jessie has also become more focused on climate change and the way in which small, seemingly insignificant, lifestyle changes can make a difference.
“I became vegetarian and am now vegan, and I also make a conscious effort to cut out plastic as much as possible, from bags to packaging. Even making the smallest decision can make a difference.”
Jessie also credits her social activism to attending St John’s in the City from age 11 to 22, where she was involved in a range of church activities, including youth group and Easter camps, as well as attending Presbyterian Church ministry events such as PYM’s Going Further.
In 2013 she travelled to Myanmar where she attended Global Mission’s Going Global. “It was a fantastic experience,” she recalls. “Not only did it teach me about mission work but it also took me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to operate in situations that weren’t familiar to me.”
In fact, Jessie believes that taking responsibility in Presbyterian circles and stepping into leadership roles at a young age stood her in good stead for moving to London on her own.
“It definitely helped me to take a leap into the unknown and to know that everything is going to be okay. Having that Presbyterian Church experience has definitely shaped me into the person I am today.”
Jessie was born in the UK where her father was on sabbatical at Oxford University but grew up in Wellington. She originally considered a career in academia but realised her passions lay in the visual communications field. She completed a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design (Hons) at Massey University in 2015 and headed straight to London.
Jessie landed her current digital producer job at Tearfund not long after arriving, thrilled to have found an organisation that aligns not only with her social conscience but also her Christian values.
“When I arrived for my interview, they asked if they could pray for me, which put me at ease. It also made me realise that these were the kind of people I wanted to work for.”
Jessie now works in Tearfund’s digital team on their website and social media, along with other visual collateral for campaigns as varied as disaster relief and changing policy across the 50 countries the agency operates in.
“I love working for an organisation that has at its core such strong Christian values and whose current slogan is ‘We won’t stop until poverty stops’. This job allows me to use my skills but also help people, serve a purpose and serve God.”
While Jessie currently has no plans to return to New Zealand, she trusts that God will lead her where she is most needed. “I feel open to opportunities and going wherever the need is greatest. I’d encourage other young people to do the same if the opportunity arises for them. Pray about it and God will show you what to do.”
A mission trip to Nepal in early 2019 – will you join the team?
The Leprosy Mission New Zealand’s Youth Advocate Scholarships enable students with a passion for overseas mission to experience our work, learn about the causes and consequences of leprosy, share time with people affected by leprosy and raise awareness and funding for Leprosy Mission projects.
In the past eight years the Leprosy Mission has organised a team who traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal. They will organise another team in 2019 to experience the continuing progress in the aftermath of the earthquakes on some of Nepal’s most vulnerable people – people affected by leprosy.
The past Youth Advocates have provided funding for vehicles and electricity generators that have been vital for the effective delivery of services at the Leprosy Mission’s Anandaban Hospital following the earthquakes. The hospital has managed a tide of crush injuries in makeshift wards and sending teams into the community to assess and attend to their needs.
Past Youth Advocates had this to say…
“Amazing trip that has included so much in a short time”
“The complete environment – place, people, experiences have all been perfect”
“My favourite was when we went into Anandaban Hospital and I got to spend time and take portraits of the patients, speaking to them with the little Nepali that I had. That was such an incredible experience!”
You now have an opportunity to be there and get involved.
Get in touch to say, “YES – I Am Interested”: firstname.lastname@example.org / 021 537 356 / 09 631 1806
Or download the application now Click here to download.
Once again, we have been staggered by the post feedback we received from Connect 2018. We’ve been contacted a few times since Connect asking for some of the content used.
We have put together a folder that has content such as the epic Prayer stations from the Saturday night, the wording to the Mihi Whakatau including the grace, Abby’s mainstage prayers and a good number of the workshop handouts.
Once again, we have been staggered by the post feedback we received from Connect 2018. We are so thankful for each person who attended, because we know the awesome vibe we had at Connect came from you.
Connect has been based in El Rancho in Wellington for the past 3 years and before we sign on the dotted line to run Connect 2019 at El Rancho, we thought it was a good time to pause, reflect, survey our people, and seek God’s will for the venue for next year.
For both Matt and I in our quiet time we have had a sense that Connect 2019 should happen on our national Marae in Ohope. We have a sense, this would be an amazing shared experience for us, and on top of the usual Connect experience, we would engage and be upskilled on our bi-cultural commitment. We could really explore what God mission in Aotearoa looks like in 2019.
At Ohope, participants would have the option of sleeping marae style, or in bunks, or staying in local B&B’s, hotels, cabins etc.
We acknowledge getting to Ohope isn’t as easy as a major centre, and this may affect attendance. Whakatane has a little airport with planes coming in from Auckland. Rotorua and Tauranga have airports an hour and a half away. There are also well priced bus services leaving from Auckland and Wellington that go through Whakatane or Rotorua.
So we want to ask you our whanau, what is your take? How does this idea sit with your soul? Does it feel right, that for a one off, we should run Connect at our national Marae in Ohope? Please answer this survey here.
See Survey here
From the makers of Faith Box, Faith4Families have just launched Faith Talk Trigger Cards.
The trigger cards are the size of a deck of cards and are an ideal resource to recommend to your parents of teenagers.
Each card has “would you rather” openers followed by topics from Reputation to Forgiveness, Temptation to Peer Pressure.
NUA is all about exploration: it’s a film series that encourages questions, acknowledges doubt, and offers an engaging perspective on the Christian faith. Discuss your worldview and wrestle with the things that don’t seem to make sense—this film series is about the life-changing experience of working out your faith.
Session One // How Did We Get Here?
Session Two // Jesus: Fact or Fiction?
Session Three // What About The Resurrection?
Session Four // What Was Jesus Really Like?
Session Five // Why Do I Like Jesus, But Struggle With Christians?
Session Six // How Can You Say That God Is Good?
Session Seven // Has The Church Caused More Harm Than Good?
Session Eight // What’s Jesus Got To Do With Me?
Youth Pastor (Full time or Part Time)
St Alban’s Presbyterian Church is a larger church which is committed to being Bible-based
and Holy Spirit led. The youth pastor has oversight of intermediate, high school and young
adult programmes. We are seeking a person who has:
- a real and growing relationship with Jesus and able to articulate what that means.
- experience in youth ministry.
- a passion to train and equip leaders.
- a willingness to seek others’ input and a team approach to leadership.
- good communication skills, in an upfront teaching role and in personal situations.
- an evangelical theology and an openness to the Holy Spirit.
The position will be at least 35 hours per week. If this sounds like you then please contact
Rev Steve Jourdain ( Jourdain@xtra.co.nz or 027 2925 421) before July 27th.
The PYM Recommended payscale has been recently updated for staff being employed in May 2018 – May 2019.
The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand adopted the Living wage at GA2012 as the minimum an employee should be paid. The Living wage is currently set at $20.55. This is the minimum amount any lay ministry staff member should be paid.
In addition to the current living wage, it is recommended churches take into account qualifications, experience, responsibility and their location when determining the pay.
It is hoped that the pay scale will encourage lay ministry workers to work longer for churches and to get better qualified.
It is recommended once employed, the lay ministry worker should be reviewed annually, with an increase in salary set on 1 July based on the Labour Cost Index to March, issued by the Department of Statistics.