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Alpine Presbytery Gathering in Timaru

“Signs of Hope”

6th – 8th October 2017
Over the weekend of 6—8 October Presbytery gathered for its second widespread meeting for 2017. Approximately 80 people from right around our Presbytery came together for a weekend of connecting with each other, enjoying great hospitality and meals, receiving very helpful and informative resourcing sessions, making some decisions as a Presbytery, and hearing signs of hope from the churches and ministries in the southern region of our Presbytery.

Some highlights included:

New Moderator
We appointed a new Moderator to take up the role for Alpine Presbytery in May 2018. Rev Anne Stewart is a member of the ministry team at The Village Church in Christchurch. We wish Anne well in this coming role.

Some matters of Business
Over the weekend we:
* approved the 2016/2017 Annual Financial Performance Report for Alpine Presbytery;
* accepted a task group report on ongoing Presbytery Funding for staff. Because parish levies just cover Presbytery’s operating costs we require additional funding to maintain staffing so Presbytery agreed to set aside between 5% and 10% of funds, as needed, from the sale of property from the dissolution of parishes. A review of the structure and funding for Presbytery will be conducted at least every 3 years;
* agreed to the five Legislative Proposals from General Assembly 2016;
* received an Interim Report on the Hanmer Project;
* discussed the current research being conducted on children and youth resourcing across our Presbytery;
* discussed a recent Council of Assembly report on the role of the PCANZ Moderator.

Resourcing
We received helpful input from:
* Barry Ayers’ interim study-leave report looking at the future shape of the Presbytery and churches as they adapt for mission in the new context;
* Helen Clyde-Smith – our Presbytery Health & Safety Officer;
* Sheena Dickson – our Church & Society Task Group Convenor, who challenged our thinking about the effects of ‘neo-liberal’ trends affecting people in our society;
* Steve Taylor and Rosemary Dewerse, who reported on a research project evaluating ongoing learning of our ministers and congregations across the PCANZ;
* Paul Humphries – South Island Scripture Union Rep, who shared a powerful presentation on issues facing people struggling with mental health and suicidal thinking;
* Michael Parker – CEO of Presbyterian Support South Canterbury, who reported on the extensive work of PSSC in our southern region;
* Robyn Humphries – Kids Friendly Resource person based in Christchurch, who shared “Godly Play” with us.

Slices of Life – Signs of Hope!
Alongside our resourcing and business we heard from 8 parishes and our southern Lindisfarne Camp with stories of hope in the midst of challenge. All stories were fascinating and inspiring.

Our thanks to St Andrew’s Geraldine, Albury/Pleasant Point, Camp Lindisfarne, St David’s Union Timaru, Trinity Temuka, Pukaki Cooperating, Waimate Cooperating, Timaru Presbyterian and Knox Church Waimate for sharing your stories with us!

Thank you!
Presbytery Council expresses its sincere thanks to all who presented to our Presbytery. Your input was greatly appreciated!
We also note our thanks to the TPP/Knox Waimate Music team who led our worship and Robyn for sharing with people of all ages!
Thanks to all who prepared paperwork and reports for our business sessions.
Grateful thanks to the catering team and people from Timaru Presbyterian who hosted us!
Thanks to all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ people who set up the venue and managed the tech gear!
Thank you to those who welcomed us to Sunday church and led us in worship.

Next meeting/s
We are already underway planning for 2018. The New Year will include:
– A Presbytery Gathering in Christchurch over the weekend 27th – 29th April
– A Presbytery Retreat around mid-year
– Some ‘mini-Gatherings’ in the regions prior to General Assembly
– General Assembly 2018 hosted by Alpine in Christchurch at St Andrew’s College from 3rd to 7th October.

Resources
Resources from presenters at the Gathering have now been collated and can be downloaded/viewed here:
Timaru Gathering Resources

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