The Rev Rose Luxford of Oamaru was elected Moderator designate of Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) during its General Assembly held virtually on 30 September. This will make her the fifth female leader of the PCANZ in 120 years, which she says is both daunting, humbling and an honour.

The minister of St Paul’s Maheno-Otepopo Presbyterian Church in Oamaru has served as Moderator of the Auckland Presbytery and also the Southern Presbytery, and she appreciates the two-year lead time to explore the current issues and needs of the national Church before she assumes her role in 2023.

Christian denominations today face challenges such as aging and shrinking congregations, and increased compliance issues for churches run largely by volunteers. Rev Luxford said of these challenges, “Our Church needs to be realistic about how things are, and make hard decisions, yet we also need to nurture and give oxygen to those things that are healthy, life-giving and surprising. We have amazing, gifted and creative people in the Church and they need to be valued and celebrated.”

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