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