FIND A CHURCH

The Methodist Connexional Office is located at:

Weteriana House
50 Langdons Road
Papanui
Christchurch 8053

Postal address
:

PO Box 931, Christchurch 8140

P. (03) 366 6049   I   0800 266 639

Please phone our main line (as above) and at the prompt either dial '0' to speak to Reception or enter an extension number. FOR A LIST OF EXTENSIONS CLICK HERE

Email the Webmaster
Email the Connexional Office

METHODIST CHURCH OF NEW ZEALAND

TE HAAHI WETERIANA O AOTEAROA

CONFERENCE 2004 – SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES

On the First day of the Conference, the Treaty Partners met in caucuses to discuss specific issues and processes relating to their life. Conference gathered together for the Powhiri at Pitt Street Methodist Church on Saturday during which Noel Billinghurst, Gordon Cornwell, John Currie, Ian Grant, Allen Hall, Campbell Lucas, Davinia Taylor, and Lilyan Vaoga were remembered and celebrated. In the afternoon Ron Malpass and Kenneth Smith were inducted as President and Vice-President respectively. Later in the afternoon the gifts and contributions of Gordon Abernethy, Jean Bruce, Raewyn Cubin, and Malcolm McLeod were celebrated as they move to retirement, On Sunday the Conference gathered to celebrate the ordinations of Margaret Donald, Viliami Finau, Motekiai Fakatou, and Setaita Kinahoi Veikune. During the service the four ordinands, together with Prince Devanandan, Jo Durrant, Sione Fatai, Rob Ferguson, Taufa Filiai, Andre Le Roux, Alan K Webster, and Gillian Woodward were received into Full Connexion.

From Monday through to Wednesday Conference received reports form its working groups and made decision of the Conference. These are summarised below.

Council of Conference

A brief background and history of the Council was shared.

- Background to three theological reflection sessions undertaken by the council on Nationhood, Te Reo Maori, and Bicultural/Multicultural Church

- Minor alterations to Strategy and Vision Statements adopted

- In response to a request to examine the role and nature of Presidency the Council reported that sufficient information and research already exists within the life of the church and this should be collated and used.

Tauiwi Report

A suggestion that the Tauiwi Strategy and Stationing Committee is broken into two committees – Tauiwi Strategy Committee, and Tauiwi Stationing Committee - as a means of making the Stationing processes more efficient, was referred back to Tauiwi for further discussion and work. It was agreed that the Stationing Committee would be form a workgroup to assist in the processing of Stationing itself, and the matter of membership and the purpose of the Tauiwi Strategy meeting be referred for further discussion through the Tauiwi partner groups during 2005.

Te Taha Maori

Background of a series of theological reflections.

Theology/Ministry matters

- the importance of ongoing training for those engaged in ministry in all forms

Reflecting on the parts of the Board of Ministry report, suggesting that there may be a move toward an ‘enabling team’ model for ministry, Te Taha Maori reflected and shares with the Conference some of their history and experience in developing their Enabling Ministry Team.

Rangatahi

- a report was given of the activities of Rangatahi through the Rohe, and their important place in the life of the church and Te Taha Maori.

Bicultural Journey/Partnership Issues

- information was shared on Te Taha Maori’s input into the Otago-Southland Distruct Synod, particularly in relation to the development of models of ‘Regional Church’ and conversations with the Auckland District Synod.

Communications and Organisations

Connexional Website

- background and information was given on the website, including training opportunities, funding, and updates/upgrades to the site.

Data Projectors

- information given about bulk purchasing of data projectors. Emphasis was given on the usefulness of working together as bulk purchases of data projectors resulted in savings of up to 20%.

Touchstone

- Conference affirmed the continuation of Touchstone in its present format, and asked the Council of Conference to determine the priority and extent of Connexional budget funding for the paper.

Wesley College

- Steve Tema (Chaplain) and Norman Johnston (Administrator) were honoured by Conference for their contribution to the life of the College.

Decision taken included:

- the affirmation of proposals to develop a fund for the purchase of new technologies in the church

Board of Ministry

Information was shared on

- the activities and programmes of Trinity Methodist Theological College

- the Diaconate

- Youth

- Wasewase Ko Viti Kei Rotuma e Niu Siladi

Decisions Taken Included:

- transfer of responsibility for the disbursement of Methodist Tertiary Chaplaincy funding to the Board of Ministry

- the Interim Executive of the New Zealand Methodist Lay Preachers Network ceases to exist, and synods are asked to appoint two Lay Preachers to continue to address ongoing matters relating to Lay Preachers.

Faith and Order

Information was shared on

- Methodist – Roman Catholic Dialogue including affirmation of the mutual recognition of Baptism between both Churches.

- Methodist – Anglican Dialogue, identifying that this is in an early stage and the need to continue to develop the concept of “Ecumenical Space” and ongoing dialogue, as well as preparing to jointly share celebration of the contribution of John and Charles Wesley to both Churches.

- Local Shared Ministry, outlining the need for models of Lay ministry given the current and likely ongoing shortage of Presbyters available for deployment.

- Deacons and Full Connexion – information shared relating to the issues surrounding the questions as to whether Deacons should be received into Full Connexion

Decisions taken included:

- A statement of recognition of the Anglican and Methodist churches as part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, and mutual recognition of baptism and membership, and a further statement affirming this for the Presbyterian, Congregational Union, and Associated Churches of Christ.

- Encouragement for local Methodist and Anglican churches to share in a joint celebration of our shared ancestors, John and Charles Wesley. Liturgy being prepared.

- Conference referred issues surrounding the question of receiving Deacons into Full Connexion to the Council of Conference for further discussion and consultation with the church with a report to be brought to Conference 2005.

Board of Administration

Information was shared on

- the data collected during the Church Building and Loan Fund review

- the expanding range of services offered by the Connexional office including centralised payment of accounts, payment of stipends, etc)

- responses the church needs to make to the Actuarial review of the Supernumerary Fund

- the review of archives and proposed archives policy

- background information on investment funds overseen by the Board of Administration

- information on the WHS (Wesley Historical Society: Te Roopu Hitori o Te Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa which celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2005)

- a background to current progress in the Charities Bill.

Decisions taken included

- affirmation of the WHS oral history project and other strategic directions relating to archives and information retrieval.

- Noting that the name of the Church Building and Loan Fund will change to the Methodist Connexional Property Committee from 1 February 2005.

- Agreement to the merger of the Presbyter, Deacons, and Layworkers Loan Fund and the Presbyters’ Housing Fund.

- Parishes are encouraged to transfer responsibility for the payment of Presbyter Stipends to the Administration Division at the point the centralised payroll system commences.

- In the event of the Charities Bill being passed into legislation, the Church authorises the Administration Division to register the Methodist Church as a single entity.

- In response to the lack of sufficient funds existing in the Supernumerary fund should every existing presbyter retire and withdraw from the fund, the Board of Administration is asked to prepare a guarantee underwriting the fund to cover any shortfall should this occur.

- Conference notes the award of costs in favour of the Church in respect of the proceedings over the Otahuhu Tongan Church ($193,522) and affirms the Board of Administration’s decision not to pursue payment.

Law Revision Committee

Decisions taken included

- formal establishment of the Otara Tongan Parish

CASI – Churches Agency on Social Issues

Information was shared on

- current activities and resources

- The Interchurch Bioethics Council

- The recently released Social Issues Resource Kit (distributed to Parishes at Conference)

Decisions taken include

- that Conference urges the Government not to proceed with the Foreshore and Seabed legislation at the present time but to engage in further discussion and consultation.

Mission and Ecumenical

Information was shared on

- two resource/study kits entitled “Transforming Mission” and “Being Ecumenical”

- John Roberts’ trip to the Solomon Islands

- CCANZ, including information about the decision of the CCANZ to cease its active life in September 2005

- Resources relating to the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence

- The work of CWS

Decisions taken include:

- a reaffirmation of the mission partner relationship of the Methodist Church of New Zealand with the United Church of Papua New Guinea

- a request that the Mission and Ecumenical committee to engage with the Faith and Order Committee in discussions on identifying the most appropriate way to manage the various ecumenical relationships of the Methodist Church.

WesleyCom

Information was shared on

- concerns over government funding and support for aged-care social services

- concerns over the current level of payment for those providing home and residential care services and support (noting that the church seeks to pay above the lower levels paid in the sector overall

Decisions taken include:

- that Conference directs the President to convey the following statement to the Prime Minister: “The Methodist Church affirms its commitment to equitable and quality care for all of New Zealand’s older people as outlined in the Health of Older People Strategy. To achieve this goal, the Methodist Church urges the government to significantly increase the level of funding of services for the older person. The Methodist Church has a long tradition of providing support and care for the ageing population and watches with grave concern as the level of funding falls drastically below the costs of providing these services.”

Presentations and Life Stories

Futurechurch

Rosemary Neave challenged the Conference to look toward allowing the growth of faith communities that are responsive to the ongoing spiritual search of society, and asked us what we would need to allow to happen in order for intentional groups to develop and grow parallel to the life of the institutional church.

MWF

Conference shared in the history of the MWF highlighting the development of the MWF over the last 40 years and some of the women who have held significant leadership positions within it.

Wesley College

Students from the College shared a mix of drama, music and dance, including scenes which are entered in the National Shakespeare Competition. Conference warmly welcomed the staff and students as the business relating to Wesley College was processed.

New Zealand Police

A Police presentation on the impact and prevalence of P in our communities was shared with the Conference, challenging our understanding of the impact of this drug in society.

Bonnie Hebenton

Shared on the experiences of developing different forms of ministry in the Waikato-Waiariki District, including the development of ministry teams, the role of ministry enablers, and challenges and opportunities facing local ministry now and into the future.

Human Rights Commission

Presenters from the Human Rights Commission shared with Conference following on the theme of Human Rights and the Treaty, a discussion which began with their presentation to Conference 2003. A summary of feedback from small group discussion about the opportunities and hopes relating to these issues was offered, and a summary of progress in the area of Human Rights and the Treaty in the last year was given. A number of areas of current discussion and debate in relation to Human Rights and the treaty were then shared and Conference broke into groups to discuss these and offer feedback.

On Wednesday morning, the Memorandum of Understanding was formally presented to the Church by the Ex-President and Ex-Vice President, together with the group responsible for developing and completing the Memorandum

Rev Dr John Salmon was selected as President-elect, and Mrs Mary West as Vice-President –Elect. John and Mary will be inducted into their positions at Conference 2005.