Ethics for the 21st Century – Wayne Matheson

man whispering in earRev Wayne Matheson is the Assembly Executive Secretary, and this is the first of a two-part series written by Wayne on ethics in the Church.

For the past four years in my role as the Assembly Executive Secretary, one of the privileges and pleasures has been running the Ethics and Risk Management workshops with co-presenter Jane Zintl. While available for all, it’s mostly ministers who attend. We start each session by looking at the Code of Ethics – but there are somethings I notice before that.

As I listen in these settings some things strike me: who does not attend; who is there for their growth and well-being, and who is there to tick the box that they have attended; what is said in both large and small group times; what side conversations take place. I see and hear from emotionally healthy and self-aware people. I hear from people that are not. Continue reading

Out of Retirement – Ray Coster

Ray is a former Moderator of the PCANZ and is back from a year away as he embarks on his retirement from full-time church ministry

Recently I returned to New Zealand after a year ministering in a Methodist Circuit in London. Consideration of further parish ministry was never on my bucket list when I turned 65. When I retired after nearly 40 years of serving the PCANZ in parish ministry I did have a plan for my retirement years. A friend and I had a dream of working for a third of our time, serving humanity for a third, and ‘playing’ for a third. Continue reading

Help! We’ve got a conflict! – Heather Kennedy

In my involvement at presbytery and in my ministry, I have seen – and been caught up in – many conflict situations. Some of the insights I have gained, I am happy to share with you all. I do not propose to give you a check-list to tick, or a quick fix resolution, or even new information you haven’t already explored in order to resolve conflict situation.

One of the key pieces of advice I would like to share is: Be Prepared. You will undoubtedly encounter conflict, and probably have already: it cannot be avoided. Continue reading

Accusing Jesus – Stuart Vogel

VermeerOver recent years, I have had a fascination with the great Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). Vermeer had the rare artistic ability to capture a particular moment – and make it eternal.  A little like the gospel writer, Luke.

Recently at the Auckland Taiwanese Presbyterian Church I preached on the story in Luke 10, of Jesus in Mary and Martha’s home. In 1655, Vermeer painted the scene in his painting “Christ in the House of Mary and Martha”. 1655 was within the final years that the Netherlands controlled Formosa (Taiwan) as a colonial power. Continue reading

Youth worker vs youth minister – Gordon Fitch

Gordon Fitch is national youth manager with Presbyterian Youth Ministry. In this article he explores the difference between youth workers and youth ministers and encourages a focus on employing youth ministers.

Youth worker, youth leader, youth pastor, youth coordinator, youth director: there are a lot of titles given to a person who heads up a church’s ministry with young people.

No matter what the title is, I believe there are two types of positions, and I’m going to call them a youth worker and a youth minister. Continue reading

Looking to the future – Simon McLeay

Simon is Senior Minister at St Peters in the City in Tauranga

I’m convinced that God has a good future for his Church.  I see signs of life and health in many churches.  I also wonder whether it is time for us to move away from a “one size fits all’ mentality when it comes to ministry.  I’m currently doing some study leave and looking at the leadership styles required for different sized churches.  Continue reading

Prayers for praying

Hey there!
Who writes prayers for worship?

Would you be willing to submit some for Candour?

Contact me: martin(at)villagechurch.nz with your contributions!!

Robert Simpson, a retired minister in Christchurch has prepared these prayers to start us off:

LORD,
Triune God,
You are magnificent,
marvellous and almighty One.

You are creator.
You are holy.

Your love is constant.
Your words are true.

Your works are dependable.
Your plans are enduring.
Your purposes last eternally.

You are mysterious.
You protect me.
You save me.

I offer obedience, trust and praise,
and worship only You.

LORD,
I have so much to celebrate!
My world echoes to Your beauty.
Your great love surrounds me.
The friendship You offer me is returned.
The open-door hope that You bring,
shows me the outstanding future.
Thank You!

LORD,
rest our minds in thinking,
touch our lips in speaking,
hold our hands while working,
guide our feet in moving,
watch our bed while sleeping,
and shield our faith in serving.

LORD,
the horrors of war, famine,
death, injury or starvation
confront millions of people.
We don’t know how to pray for them,
or even what to pray about.
You said, “Pray for the least of my people,
and you have prayed for the world”.
That should be enough to go on!

LORD,
we hear from Your Word
loud and clear –
Forgiven! – Forgiven! – Forgiven!

May we act to others in the same way.

Women of the Burning Bush: Still Burning 25 Years On – Dr Vivienne Adair

This research came across my desk today, and I thought it would be of interest to Candour readers.

Women of the Burning Bush: Still Burning 25 Years On is a study of women in ministry within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. The research, led by Dr Vivienne Adair, follows research on the same topic commissioned by the Very Rev Margaret Reid Martin in 1990. Continue reading

Missional leadership on the road to Emmaus – Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor is the Principal of the PCANZ Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership

Luke 10:1-12 is a favourite text in mission today. It presents mission as a journey.  Rather than “come to us” modes of attraction to church, mission is “playing away from home.” The disciples are sent by God to spend time in homes, amid the domestic life of local village communities.  They start by speaking the shalom of God to those they meet. Where that peace is welcomed, they stay, accepting the hospitality, respecting the culture and customs of the communities in which they minister. Continue reading