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Presbyterian Church Schools' Resource Office Newsletter

January 2015

Happy New Year everybody from your Presbyterian Schools' Resource Office and welcome to this first newsletter for 2015.

A very warm welcome to Juliette Hayes, Principal at Columba College; Barry Kelk, Chaplain at John McGlashan College; Kate Lindsay, Head of RE at Columba College; Ashleigh Twist, RE Teacher at Scots College and any others who are beginning new Religious Education/Christian Studies roles within our Presbyterian Church Schools.

This newsletter offers news, information and resources which I hope will be useful in your work at your school this term.

Over January I have been working on the Resource Office's revamped web-site:  . Many thanks again to Scots College and particularly their Web Manager, Dominic Ballesteros, who has helped in the move to a Wordpress platform.
The web-site will continue to be developed over the next few months. It is intended to be a place where resources are shared, so if you know of a great web-site or resource, or are willing to share a Chapel Service or curriculum material for others to make use of, I would love to hear from you!

Warm regards for the beginning of what I hope will be a enjoyable and enriching term in your school.

Sharon Ross Ensor

Kids Friendly Resources for Lent and Easter

The Kids Friendly web-site offers all sorts of ideas which could be useful for RE lessons or chapel services. Of particular relevance this term is the Resources for Sharing Lent and Easter with Children link with lots of ideas for Shrove Tuesday (February 17th), the Lenten season (which begins on February 18th) and Easter.

Anzac Day commemorations 

Some of our schools mark Anzac Day with commemoration services.
I have some copies to give away of Hymn for Anzac Day written by Shirley Murray with music by Colin Gibson, published by the NZ Hymnbook Trust. The hymn comes in a beautifully presented booklet with melody line, full music and parts for SATB and a translation in Maori.
View a recording of the hymn by the City of Dunedin Choir and St Kilda Brass. The words can be viewed here
Contact the Resource Office if you would like to be sent a copy.

Pilgrimage to Israel 

Rev Reuben Hardie, Chaplain at Saint Kentigern Boys' and Girls' Schools in Auckland went on a 'Pilgrimage to Israel' last year with a group from the Presbyterian Church led by our Moderator the Rt Rev Andrew Norton. Reuben has written a wonderful study leave report reflecting on the experiences of his trip. Recommended reading!

Developing RE Curriculum

I'm pleased to announce that Dr Jennifer Macleod (pictured) from John McGlashan College in Dunedin will be developing senior school Religious Education curriculum for our Presbyterian church schools this year. Jennifer, who has a doctorate in Physiology and teaches Physics, Science and Christian Studies at McGlashan, is in the final stages of completing a Bachelor of Theology at Otago University. She has already written curriculum for Religious Studies, namely Level One NCEA, Christian Studies, Church History . She will be developing further curriculum this year for Levels One and Two (and possibly Three) NCEA. The work will be freely available to the Presbyterian church schools. Even if you are not offering NCEA in Religious Studies at your school, I am sure the curriculum will be a valuable resource for RE/CS teachers. 

Presbyterian Shapers Curriculum

We have some great stories to tell about Presbyterians in NZ who have helped to shape our society.
Have a look at the first in our 
Presbyterian Shapers curriculum on the web-site which looks at the story of Rev Dr Rutherford Waddell and his work in addressing the issue of sweatshop workers in Dunedin in the late 1880's.
Rev Yvonne Smith has written this curriculum for Year 10/11 and has linked it with the biblical call to work for justice, along with the modern day prevalence of sweatshop working in developing countries and poverty in NZ. 

A new song from Malcolm Gordon - Beneath the Southern Cross

It was great to visit Scots College's Junior School chapel at the end of last year and hearing them sing 'In You We Live' with real enthusiasm. 'In You We Live' was one of the songs on the CD given to those of you who came to the Church Schools' conference last year, compiled by Malcolm Gordon the Presbyterian Church's Music, Worship and Arts Enabler.
Just before Christmas Malcolm released a new video of a song called Beneath the Southern Cross. The song was written 'to celebrate the diversity and richness of the Presbyterian church and the heritage of the story that it is a part of in this year of giving thanks for 200 years of the Gospel in Aotearoa'. This song could also work well in a school setting. 
The music can be purchased and downloaded here.

A helpful web-site for chapel services:

Proost: Inspiring resources that fuel faith.

Proost is a UK web-site from the 'emerging church' movement which has a lot of resources for worship which can be purchased at a small cost, The resources available include music, liturgies, poetry and reflections. They can be purchased and downloaded (or in some cases, you can buy the hard copy).
Recommended for the Lent and Easter season are:
40. 40 illustrations of Jesus' temptations and time in the wilderness (pictured above).  
Twelve Stations An animated movie following the traditional twelve stations of Jesus' journey to the cross.

Christian World Service (CWS). In case of emergency...

Christian World Service responds in the case of earthquake, tsunami, hurricanes and conflict.  Through the ACT Alliance we have people from local communities ready to organise help when it is needed and in the long term. 
Maybe your school would like to help Palestinians rebuild their homes and livelihoods in Gaza or build a new school in Haiti? 
We have stories to tell.  Please contact: or 0800 74 73 72.
Fair Trade Fortnight takes place on May 8-22 this year and CWS will have resources available in the next couple of months in support of that event.

Resource Office Library's recommended read


We are slowly building up a collection of resources in the Multi-media section of the Resource Office web-site which are available to be borrowed by chaplains and teachers in our Presbyterian church schools.
This newsletter's recommended read is the picture book It's OK by Jo Heslop. 
The story is about a young boy named Brody who has special needs. The story tells how his classmates come to realise that 'It's OK to be different'.
Jo lives in Central Otago and has a child with special needs who is the inspiration behind the book. You can read more about her story here

RE Today magazine and resource books


The latest issue of RE Today magazine and resource books from the UK have arrived in the Resource Office and are available to be borrowed. The Spring 2015 magazine is called 'The Wisdom Issue'. The Primary resource book has a 'Fairness and Justice' theme while the Secondary resource book looks at 'What does it mean to live a spiritual life?'  

Presbyterian Church Schools in New Zealand on Facebook


Follow us on Facebook and ‘like us’. I post stories, events, news, photos and other information about what is happening in our Presbyterian church schools on a regular basis to encourage a sense of connection amongst our schools. 
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