LUCY CRAYMER AND NZPA
Anti-gay bumper-sticker sized cards sent anonymously to the Presbyterian Assembly's members across the country have outraged the church's leaders.
The cards, which say "Gays aren't welcome in our church, help us let New Zealand know" and "Gays are a cancer in our church, let's keep them out of leadership", were sent to the Presbyterian Assembly's 500 members nationwide.
Members vote this month on a ruling to exclude homosexuals and those in a relationship outside marriage from becoming ministers or church elders.
The church has 430 parishes which more than 40,000 people visit each week.
Havelock North St Columbas' minister the Rev Roger Gillies said he had received two of the cards last week, which looked like they had been printed off a home computer on to photographic paper.
He said the comments on the card were not representative of the views of the Presbyterian Church and that he didn't agree with what the cards said.
Mr Gillies said he would not distribute the cards or put them up.
Presbyterian Assembly executive secretary Kerry Enright said police and the Human Rights Commission had been contacted and said under current laws little could be done about the situation.
Presbyterian Church moderator the Rt Rev Garry Marquand said the message was "contrary to the accepted processes of the church".
In a 2004 vote, 63 percent of members supported the motion to ban ministers and elders outside marriage and the motion has since been put to regional groups for discussion.
If adopted, the ruling would not apply to homosexuals licensed, ordained or inducted before 2004.