Twice a year, Presbytery Central holds their Gathering. This is an opportunity to learn, fellowship and grow together. We welcome all members of Presbyterian and Uniting churches in the Central region, along with anyone else interested, to join us for a marvellous weekend.
We’re back at St Albans Church in Palmerston North. As a central location, we’re delighted that Rev Brendan O’Hagan and his team have agreed to welcome us again. We hope you can join us as we explore our identity in Aotearoa
Our keynote talk and a theme running through the weekend is around our cultural identity. We will explore our history, present and future, trying to understand our place in the New Zealand we live in today.
We’ve worked hard to put together an inspiring range of workshops to engage with all facets of church and personal life. From relationship building to worship to self-care, there is something for everyone.
On the left side of this page, you can find out more about who’ll be presenting and what the workshops are and register your place for the Gathering. We’d be ecstatic to have you take advantage of this opportunity. Register today and let us know which workshops you’ll be attending.
David is chaplain at Scots College a Presbyterian Co-Ed school in Wellington. He lives in Porirua with his wife Lydia and their three children. David is excited to share recent journeys into understandings of biculturalism.
David is presenting the Ahi Kā, keep flames of friendship burning workshop
Kyle Hastelow is the Associate Youth Enabler for Presbytery Central. He is passionate about supporting those working with youth towards more holistic and sustainable practices of wellbeing in ministry.
Kyle, alongside Dr Susan Wardell, is presenting the Self care for your future self workshop
Dr. Susan Wardell is an academic and writer from the University of Otago. Her doctoral research focused on burnout, wellbeing, and selfhood, among faith-based youth workers.
Susan, alongside Kyle Hastelow, is presenting the Self care for your future self workshop
Ko Aoraki to māunga
Ko Mata-au te awa
Te Waitaha tōku Iwi
Ko Ani taku Wahine, nō Ngati Porou ia
Ko Elihu raua, Ko Theodore auk Tama
Ko Ryhan Prasad tōku ingoa
My name is Ryhan (most people call me Raz) and I’m Māori, I also have Fijian Indian and Pākehā heritages and I’m the Minister at Khandallah Presbyterian Church. All these things can go together! I have a beautiful and amazing Whanau, my wife Ani ( who is Ngati Porou) and two boys Eli and Theo.
So imagine having an Indian name, being brought up Pākehā always knowing you are Māori. Thats been my world as I have grown up, always having a foot in each world, able to bridge gaps but never being able to fully stand in my own Whakapapa. Praise God that has changed for me and is continuing to change as Khandallah Presbyterian Church embraces the understanding of Bi-Cultural worship and how we can grow in that space.
Stuart is the Presbytery Central Mission Catalyst, which sees him travelling around Presbytery helping (hopefully helping) congregations discern how God might be calling them to participate in God’s mission in their context. He is married to Lala (Harilalao Rasoavololona) who is from Madagascar and together they have three children, Harena (18), Manda (20) and Aina (22).
Dr Alistair Reese is a public theologian as well as a farmer and historian. Alistair’s research focusses on Te Tiriti/Treaty of Waitangi as a doorway to reconciliation in Aotearoa New Zealand. His writing includes a particular emphasis on Pākehā identity and how we can live in a colonised land. He holds postgraduate degrees in History and Tikanga Māori including a PhD in Theology from University of Auckland. He lives near Te Puke in the district of Tapuika/Waitaha.
Ahi Kā, keep flames of friendship burning (Rev David Jackson)
He hono tāngata e kore motu; kā pā he taura waka, e motu, (Unlike a canoe rope, a human bond cannot be severed). David Jackson, chaplain at Scots College, shares about the important role friendships play in the College’s growing commitment to biculturalism; and how being a Presbyterian school provides unique benefits.
‘Self-care’ is a common buzzword. But maybe it isn’t what you think it is? In this workshop we explore the bigger picture; what is the purpose of self-care? How does it fit with Kingdom values of self-sacrifice? With interactive opportunities to unpack your own practices, we discuss the difference between ‘first aid’ self-care and longer term care for future selves.
Kia ora Everyone,
This workshop is for those interested in embracing a bi-cultural approach to worship. It’s going to be short, sweet and to the point.
We are going to do this in three ways:
Come along and share what this all means for us together going forward.
Change for Good (Rev Stuart Simpson)
How do we go about culture change while not losing a sense of who we are? Change can be scary, but it can also be life giving, especially if that change is grounded in Jesus’ call to follow Him. As the Presbytery’s Mission Catalyst, I’ve been helping churches move from a place of simply surviving to thriving. This move isn’t necessarily about giving up our history, rather it is discerning where God is calling and making small changes so that we can go in the same direction, while at the same time, holding onto that which makes us Christians connected to the protestant tradition.
This workshop will give you some tools to use as you work out where God might be leading you as the church and enable you to move from surviving to thriving.
An exploration of what it means to be living in contemporary Aotearoa. Find out more HERE