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Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office Newsletter

November 2014

Hello <<First Name>>

As we keep being reminded, the end of the year is fast approaching!
This final newsletter for 2014 from the Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office brings you news of staff changes in some of our schools and related organisations, along with a reminder of some resources which might be of use to Chaplains and RE/CS teachers.

In the midst of the busyness of the remaining weeks of term 4, as you anticipate a well-earned summer break and look towards the 2015 school year, may you know God's spacious gifts of joy, peace, love and hope breaking in on us in the birth of the Christ-child. 

                                                        Image by Michael Leunig

Sharon Ross Ensor
Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office

News of staff changes in our Presbyterian Church Schools 

Congratulations to Rev Barry Kelk who has been appointed Chaplain at John McGlashan College in Dunedin, commencing in Term 1 2015.
Barry is on the ministry team at Highgate Presbyterian Church. He replaces Rev Roly Scott who is retiring from the Chaplain's role after 19 years of dedicated service to the College. Our warm regards and best wishes go to Roly who, whilst stepping aside from his role at McGlashan, will be continuing his work and ministry with the Baptist Church in Dunedin.

Elizabeth Wilson, appointed as Principal of Columba College in 1980, retires at the end of this year. Elizabeth's remarkable career including thirty four years of service to Columba College was recognised in 2010 when she was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to education. Thank you Elizabeth for your leadership and your involvement in the Presbyterian church schools network over the years. Our warm regards to you for an enjoyable and fulfilling retirement.
We look forward to welcoming Juliette Hayes to the Principal's role at Columba College. Juliette is currently Principal of Geraldine High School and was previously Deputy Principal at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. 

Congratulations also to Rev Dr Graham Redding who has been appointed Master of Knox College in Dunedin, 'one of New Zealand's best-known university residential colleges'. Graham will be finishing in his role as Principal of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership in Dunedin in mid-January 2015 and starting in his new role soon after.
Graham is looking forward to continuing his association with Presbyterian Church Schools in his new role.

Presbyterian Shapers Curriculum

I am happy to make available the first in a curriculum series called Presbyterian Shapers which is being written for our Presbyterian Church schools. This curriculum is aimed at Year 10 or 11 students and explores the story of a notable New Zealand Presbyterian connecting it with a current issue.
The first of the series looks at the story of the Rev Rutherford Waddell, minister of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Dunedin, who in the late 1800's worked tirelessly for the rights of sweatshop workers. His work contributed to the establishment of employment law in New Zealand.
Rev Yvonne Smith (previously chaplain at Rangi Ruru Girls' School)  has written this resource connecting Waddell's work with the biblical mandate for justice and the issue of sweatshop workers in the developing world today.
You can find the resource here. It will also  be posted onto the revamped web-site (which is currently under construction).
We welcome any feedback you might have about this resource, including whether you have used it with your students and how it went for you. 
Our next resource in the series will be looking at the story of David Dingwall (whose bequest established Dingwall Home in Auckland in the 1920's) and the issue of vulnerable children in New Zealand today.

Kids Friendly Advent and Christmas resources 

The Kids Friendly team have come up with a wealth of ideas for the Advent and Christmas season including creating an Advent wreath, the outline of an Advent celebration, the 'Mary and Joseph journey to Bethlehem activity', a community Christmas sheep trail and plenty of craft ideas for you to adapt or use 'as is' with your students.

InterChurch Bioethics Council

Those of you who were at the Church Schools' Conference and enjoyed Deborah Stevens session might be interested to complete the survey the InterChurch Bioethics Council is currently running. 
Deb writes: The InterChurch Bioethics Council (ICBC) is composed of appointed representatives from Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches for the purpose of addressing crucial ethical issues in NZ relating to bioethics
Ethics is the study of ascertaining how people make decisions between right and wrong which constitutes an ethical dilemma. Bioethics deals with the ethical issues relating to scientific research and related technologies. It promotes careful deliberation of thought and analysis, and is not about convincing people of a particular viewpoint or idea.

Through this survey, the ICBC, wants to identify the bioethical topics that concern people today.

Some questions we struggle with daily include:
Should legal highs be allowed in NZ? What are the benefits and harms of fluoridation? What about vaccination? Who owns embryos ... can I donate for a fee if it helps a childless couple? Is it all right to withdraw life support to granddad who is dying of cancer? Do modern technologies prolong life or prolong dying? Is informed consent applicable for patients under the mental health act? How can we reconcile faith and science?

The survey can be found here . 
 Your responses will help the council understand the needs of their constituents regarding bioethics.
The survey will just take a few minutes, is anonymous and confidentiality is assured.
You can read more about the InterChurch Bioethics Council here.

Youth Alpha

Have you seen the new version of Youth Alpha?
Called The Alpha Youth Film Series, it is a contemporary exploration of the Christian Faith which aims to 'help young people explore the character and claims of Jesus.' 
It has been developed by Alpha Canada and uses the same themes as the original Alpha material but with a specific focus on young people.
The material is free and accessible online after registration with Alpha New Zealand, 

Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office web-site

Many thanks to Dominic Ballesteros, Web Manager and Headmaster Graeme Yule, of Scots College for their support in hosting the Resource Office web-site. The web-site is currently being moved onto a Wordpress platform which will give greater flexibility with being able to access resources for Chaplains and RE teachers. 

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