Story: Presbyterian Church

The moderator, Margaret Schrader

The moderator, Margaret Schrader

The 1995 moderator of the Presbyterian Church, the Reverend Margaret Schrader, stands with Millie T. Kaawa of Te Aka Puaho (the Māori synod) before a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony) at Whakatāne. After training as a Methodist deaconess in Melbourne, Schrader married a New Zealand Presbyterian minister, Warren Schrader, in 1966. She became a Presbyterian minister in 1979 and job-shared with her husband in the Wellington parish of Wadestown. Her time as moderator was marked by debate over whether 'practising' (sexually active) homosexual people could become ministers. She was supportive of the proposal, but opposition from those who saw homosexuality as a sin led the general assembly to defer the matter for further discussion. This result highlighted the participatory nature of the church's governance structure, with major decisions made by a court representing the wider church rather than a leadership elite.

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Presbyterian Archives, Knox College

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Presbyterian Church - Church structure and culture', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/31082/the-moderator-margaret-schrader (accessed 6 December 2019)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Mar 2017