General Assembly 2018

September Update


Hi everyone


With just over two weeks to go until General Assembly, it has been all hands on deck. The White Book is now available for download from the Assembly website and commissioners should have received the password for downloading it via email. If you haven’t received an email, please let us know. If you requested a printed copy of the White Book, this will be winging its way to you in the next little while.


In this update you will hear about the Rev Ned Ripley, who is our final keynote speaker for this Assembly. Moderator-elect Fakaofo Kaio will also be sharing a little more around the evening programme for General Assembly.


Thank you,

Abi Trevathan and Liz Whitehead

Assembly Co-coordinators


First-time Commissioners

Presbyterian Youth Ministry has put together a series of videos that first-time commissioners may find helpful as an induction to what General Assembly is about. We’ve put these on our website for ease of access. You can view them here.


Ministers’ Resourcing Day

It’s not too late to register for this. Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership is hosting a day focused around Resourcing the Spirituality of Lifelong Learning from 10.30am – 3.30pm on Wednesday 3 Oct, prior to Assembly beginning. The full programme and registration form can be found here


Airport Transport

A reminder that if you requested an airport transport for Assembly and haven’t yet sent us your flight details, please do so ASAP. We are in the process of organising shuttles and would hate to miss someone. Email us to let us know.


Three Keynote Speakers for GA18

Three of the Church’s leaders will share their insight and wisdom as keynote speakers at this year’s General Assembly.

Moderator-elect Rev Fakaofo Kaio has invited Very Rev Margaret Schrader, Very Rev Dr Graham Redding and Rev Ned Ripley to each speak for 30 minutes on an aspect of relationship with God. In this update, we profile Rev Ned Ripley.


Rev Ned Ripley

Rev Ned Eric Ripley was born and raised in American Samoa. When he was 23, he entered the Theological College of the Congregational Union of New Zealand in Auckland.

He was ordained in the Congregational Union in 1966, and then called to the newly established Otara Pacific Islanders Church, Auckland, where he served in ministry for 15 years.

In 1980 he became a Justice of the Peace and an elder among Pasifika communities. The same year he was appointed Dean of Maori and Polynesian Studies at Knox Theological Hall, Dunedin.

Ned was awarded the Queen Service’s medal (QSM) in 1982 for his contribution to Pacific communities.

He retired from the Church in 1990 and relocated with his wife Alice to American Samoa, where they served in parish ministry for 21 years. Alice died in 2017.


Message from the Moderator-elect




The evening sessions will focus on discovering our Church.

On Thursday evening, we want to share stories of hope. The last time Assembly met in Christchurch it was just after the first earthquake in 2010. The damage that occurred was devastating, earth-shattering and there was death and despair. It is poignant that we are back. Some local congregations will share their stories of hope, opportunity, staying strong and rebuilding their churches (not just buildings) in the midst of sorrow and tragedy. Stories will be verbal and visual.

On Friday, we want to provide the opportunity for some R&R for commissioners. Commissioners can choose to take an evening off to catch up with family and friends, or take the opportunity to reflect and rest. There is also the option of booking one of several activities including a Christchurch bus tour. More information can be found on the here.


On Saturday evening, a panel of church leaders will share their stories in a TED-style panel discussion. “Going Deeper – Rising Stronger” will discuss making changes to the culture of our churches so that we can set a new direction in our relationship with God and each other. Instead of talking about the latest programme or idea to “fix” the church, our  speakers to take us deeper and look at what may help us make a more lasting difference.


The hope is to inspire, encourage, provoke, challenge and leave people with some take home ideas for their local church.


Rev Fakaofo Kaio