Looking Carefully

Do we take our communities for granted? What I mean is, do we truly know our communities or are we just guessing what they think, feel and need?

We live in very different and diverse communities. Touching our communities in one city, town or suburb may look completely different in another. However, it would be sad if we did not have a good look at the community, in which we live, work and play. Outreach is enhanced by our understanding of the people we are wanting to reach. Yes, we may know so very little, but I think of Acts 17:22-23. Then Paul stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. (NIV)

Note that he walked around and looked carefully. What he learnt of the community, gave him a stepping-stone to talk to the people. Have we taken the time to consider and understand our communities, their passions, their need, their fears and their concerns? God is wanting us to connect with our communities! But how can that happen if we have never taken the time to do so? How can we see the needs if we are not looking? All of us can fall into the trap of saying I am too busy to get involved, but that does not sound like the response that Jesus would want us to have. Matt 9:36-38 NIV When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”.

 Help us to look Lord
for we know that the compassion and the actions will follow,
when we truly see.

Regards,

Rev. Rex Rigby

Posted in A Word from Rev Rex

YA Camp

YA Camp 2017 was an amazing weekend. I must admit to being somewhat emotional this year as this was to be my last YA Camp as director after five fantastic years. It started as a desire to see young adults become more passionate about their faith in Jesus, and to see them become engaged in their local churches.

As always he had a great weekend full of fellowship, worship, teaching and fun activities. This year we went for a walk to the bottom of Kondalilla falls on Saturday afternoon. No one was brave enough to swim in the rock pools but the walk was fantastic and the weather was perfect.

Pastor Lex Akers was our speaker and he not only taught us about the significance of our faith in Jesus, but also what that looks like in our lives in a practical way. He wanted us to know our potential as ambassadors for Christ. For me the thing that stood out the most from Lex’s teaching was the challenge to evaluate if the way we live out our faith is more a product of our culture than our calling. What are the cultural practices that we have always known that may be hindering our faith? Lex also had a very strong word of encouragement for women in ministry. This was not just a word of encouragement for the young adult women, but also for the young adult men. We all need to be deliberate in ensuring that our Wesleyan belief about women in leadership is not just nice words in our handbook – we need to see the evidence of it in our churches…

One of the highlights for me was Saturday morning. I gave the young adults an hour to go out onto the camp groups to spend an hour alone with God. I encouraged them to do some worship, to journal, to pray, to sit quietly, to read, but most of all to listen to God. Then Pastor Lex, Pastor Scott Lucas and myself prayed for all 60 young adults as they left the building that they would commune with Jesus and hear clearly from him. As I walked around the property, I saw almost every one of the 60 young adults sitting somewhere in personal time with God. It was so good to see. The best part was the reports that came back later that morning. Many had never taken an hour to just sit at the feet of Jesus. One told me he had never written down anything before in a journal and he wrote down what was on his heart and told me he felt a strong reassurance from God that he was loved and that the answers to his prayers would come. Others said they discovered the benefits of sitting in silence and listening rather than doing all the talking. Others dwelled on some scripture and others felt they got some direction they were seeking from God. My encouragement to them was this – If your time with God was that good in just 1 hour this weekend. Imagine what could happen if you did that every week or even every day!

Sometimes I wish there was a way to do more for our young adults (and kids and youth). They only get one weekend a year. My prayer is that one day soon our district will have an increase in financial resources to allow us to employ someone to do more for our generational ministries. I believe that day is coming. I’m going to pray more for that opportunity to happen!

Our Young Adults have so much to offer our churches. When they gather together like this to worship and go deeper in their faith, they come alive and the passion for Jesus becomes so evident. I wonder how we can encourage and support our younger generations more and allow our churches to give them the freedom to express their love for Jesus more openly. Perhaps their enthusiasm is just what we need… 🙂

God Bless

Nathan Bell

Posted in Sth Qld District

Kingsley Update

Bum-Shufflers Play Group
Meet Kerri- she enrolled into Field Education (better known as “God in the Neighborhood”), a Kingsley Community Advanced Diploma subject. Kerri and her class-mates explored how the church can be part of community development.
In Kerri’s words, “One of the highlights of the class was being able to visit the work of ‘Urban Seed’ in Melbourne city and Geelong. We got to meet the people who are working on the streets and to hear their stories and struggles. We were able to see where they work and understand why they do what they do.”

Each Field Education student was expected to research, carry out interviews in their community, and draft the plan for a project that would serve the community. One of the joys of Kerri’s life is helping to care for her disabled grandson. Her project was to work with others and develop a play group for families who care for disabled children. The play group will provide an opportunity for the kids to play together, and just as importantly, give the parents a chance to chat with others and relax over a cuppa.
Many of the kids shuffle around on their bottom- just like Kerri’s grandson- hence the name; “Bum-Shufflers Play Group.”
Kerri is just one Kingsley student of the very many who are living out their faith in their community and making a difference in the Name of their Savior. Well done Kerri!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Librarian Legends
For many years Margaret Tong served in the Kingsley library in Glenroy. Since the move of the Kingsley Headquarters to Broadmeadows, and development of a library across several of the Kingsley Community Training Centres, Margaret and Norm have both worked faithfully. Norm and Margaret have sacrificially given their time and energy, well into retirement years. Their goal has always been to serve their Lord- and provide study resources for Kingsley students.
The library collection in Brisbane needed a serious sorting out. Recently, Margaret and Norm drove from Melbourne to Brisbane and whipped the South Brisbane library into shape.
Kingsley students and Wesleyan leaders from around South Queensland are very welcome to make use of the library at the Kingsley training centre, Mackenzie.

Thank you for your hard work in Brisbane Margaret and Norm! Welcome back to Victoria where there are many more books ready for your attention…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Development in Semester Two, 2017
Each year in Kingsley College we open up our subjects to welcome leaders and pastors for professional development.
The Doctrine of Holiness subject ran in semester one. A couple of our experienced pastors joined for PD. One of our pastors gave this feedback:
“The web interaction was good and being able to use ebooks while interacting with the class was good. Doing courses this way meets my need of face-to-face interaction as opposed to straight correspondence.
A good course and I think maybe all pastors should be more involved in continued education, especially on this subject.”
We could not agree more- all of our pastors should be involved in continuing education. In semester two, we have some excellent opportunities for PD. Below is a list of just some of those opportunities. Contact the College office in Melbourne on (03) 9357 3699 for more info and to enroll, or check the Kingsley Facebook page or website.

Biblical Foundations: Genesis 1-11 (offering in Brisbane and by web conference)
Mentoring Leaders (Offering in Melbourne and web conference- Tuesday mornings from the 8th August)
Church Planting & Development (offered in Melbourne and web conference- one week intensive, 31st July to 4th August)
Christian Apologetics (Offered in Melbourne and web conference- seven Monday’s from 7th August)

 

Posted in WMCA

Wesleyan Women

The National Executive of Wesleyan Women hosted a forum on Domestic Violence at our National Office in Brisbane on 25 May 2017. The purpose of the forum was to inform key stakeholders in the Wesleyan Church and Wesleyan Women on domestic violence issues, to resource-share and to brain-storm strategic responses going forward. Julie Tyler (Southern District) facilitated discussions and provided input. Elisiva Moala of Divine Grace WMC, (Sth Qld District), Leonie Taylor of One Mob Fellowship and Lee-Anne Simpson from Yeppoon (Nth Qld District) were keynote presenters. Written submissions were also received from June Qoraqana (Solomon Islands Wesleyan Women), David Collins (missionary/theological trainer, Solomon Islands) and the office of Dame Carol Kidu, retired Member of Parliament in Papua New Guinea. The forum resolved to form a task force to draft a strong position statement on domestic violence for presentation to the National Board of Administration.

– Deb Kuss (on behalf of National Wesleyan Women)

Posted in WMCA

The Next Step

God has been doing some amazing things in and around us. I am reminded of the scripture, Matthew 16:18b NIV,

And on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Some recent developments are:
• The establishment of a centre that services the office needs of the SQ District Administration, National Administration and the SQ Kingsley Community hub. This site is a professional centre, which will enable us to do far more, and we are now on the verge of increasing it’s potential.
• The Office of World Hope Australia, as it impacts need around the world, particularly in our region and within our own country. These are early days but in due course we will see this take place. As well as the appointment of Ruth Thomas as the Australian CEO.
• The gifts and compassion of the people that are impacting our communities in so many ways. The potential is great when God takes a hold of us.

The next key stone in the building is the Revitalisation and Multiplication Strategy headed by Rev. Troy Beer in line with the vision we have for the church to be all that God wants us to be. While this strategy is still in the development stage, I will say that this is emerging with a depth and clarity that can make a profound difference. It is not a one size fits all.

I want to present to you Rev. Troy Beer and Mrs Stephanie McGill, who will be working together in this endeavour. In August I, the Superintendent, will be meeting with Troy and Steph over two days refining the strategy further.

This next step is, I believe, a God movement to revitalise and multiply our Churches. Troy and Steph under my leadership, and with the support of the District Superintendents will, when they are invited, come alongside the churches and the leaders around the country.

Please click here and take some time to listen to Troy as he shares the next step.

Blessings,

Rev Rex Rigby
St Qld District & National Superintendent

Posted in WMCA

Help, I have to launch a Youth Group!

When I arrived in Childers, I found myself asked to take on the Youth ministry. Like many small country towns, the fellowship suffered from an ageing congregation and Young Adults moving away to the big cities. The previous youth team had faithfully kept a small group going but were tired. I personally am in my late fifties and have a “patched up” back so I have to be careful. This is what we did.

First I prayed. Then I called a meeting for any interested folk to help with Youth Group. As the time drew near, God placed on my heart a model that was a little different. Some folk offered their place to use, which had a fireplace, a food hut and a large area for night games.

Due to unexpected delays, I found myself on Monday still needing to promote the Youth Group launch on the coming Friday. Again, I took a step of Faith. Picking up my church directory, I typed in every email address I could find, even if the folk were 80 years old! All I added to the actual Youth program was these comments. “Hi everyone, if you know anyone who has High School aged youth, could you please forward this Youth Program to them?”

On the first night, we had about 7 folk interested in helping out…A few more folk have since joined the team. So I was able to get some to run the games at the start, others to provide supper at the end and one wise older man to do campfire stories in the middle.

But the real difference was that we invited the parents to stay as well! (They love the atmosphere and get to listen in on the campfire chats). Some parents came back to pick up their youth at Supper time and we put on coffee for them also, but most STAYED and were keen to meet other folk.

On the first night we had 18 youth, plus leaders and parents. That meant around 30 folk were at our welcome BBQ. When finished at 9:00pm everyone kept talking until 9:30. Since then we have had up to 25 youth and a community of about 40. Some of our other church folk have visited and spent the night chatting to parents as well.

As we finished for Easter Break, we gave Surfer Bibles and a copy of “One solitary life” to all the youth including some folk who had never had a Bible of their own.
It is a relaxed model where everyone carries the load, and I get to chat to parents and teens one on one as the opportunities arise.

I have included our Youth Program, to show you what activities the Youth enjoy, and we run an 8-week program per term.

Hope this encourages you,

Pastor Alan Brown

Childers

UPSTREAM YOUTH PROGRAM TERM 1
10/2/17 Sausage Sizzle: Be on time as sausages and drink will be ready at 7:15pm sharp. (Look for the glowing balloons on right at 128 Rainbows rd)
17/2/17 Chappy Shane and his amazing mechanics trailer: A great chance to catch up with Shane and to have him share at the Campfire.
24/2/17 The Big Pancake Challenge: Wow you get prizes for cooking crazy pancakes and then you get to eat them! Life’s good.
03/3/17  The Cryptic Treasure Hunt: Be part of the winning team that can solve the clues first. An exciting adventure awaits.
10/3/17  Campfire Relax: Sometimes we just need to enjoy a bit more down time.
17/3/17 The Green Night: Dress green, green food, even the grass is green!! It will be a St Patricks day of green
24/3/17 Marshmallow burning and other cooking fun: Perhaps you can cook better than Chappy Ralph, but it will be lots of fun either way.
31/3/17 Campfire relax: Just Chillin in Childers!!

Posted in Sth Qld District

Ministry To Men

For the past 3 years I have been the director of and speaker at Man Camp. At these 3 camps I have seen every day blokes give life changing teaching, I’ve seen men set free from bondages such as alcoholism, sexual confusion & addiction, fear and anger, I’ve seen men give their lives fully over to Christ and others stand a step deeper in to their faith. The Man Camp experience for myself has been amazing with much teaching and refining from God, deep relationships being built and the pure joy of being an instrument of the Lord.

The focus has always been on setting men free from worldly issues and setting them on a path to understanding their identity in Christ. From the vision God showed me about 5 years ago we have stayed true to that calling and the impact has been amazing and the revelation of God in these men’s lives has been miraculous.

This year, on 3rd June 2017 (08:30-16:00), we are running Man Camp Express at Axis Church, North Lakes. This is a compressed version of the real camp bringing together the most impactful teaching from the last 3 camps into a single day event: Legacy, Identity, Peace & Contentment, Love, Priorities, Son ship, Courage. Designed to be both impactful but also to give a broader audience the chance to see what Man Camp is about. With powerful teaching, a BBQ lunch and connection with other men, this day will be a unique event within our church and will most definitely be an encouragement to all men who attend.

We would love to see as many men as possible attend this event. Please encourage your church, your mates, your husband, your sons and brothers to attend. Register here: www.mancamp.org.au/mce2017

Please contact me if you need any information for newsletters.

Stephen Ellis
District Director for Wesleyan Men
Director – Man Camp
E: stephen@mancamp.org.au
M: 0415 806 649

Posted in WMCA

Kingsley Update

Kingsley Community Training
Kingsley training in 2017 has begun well. Many lay people from Wesleyan churches and other fellowships are learning and growing in confidence through the Kingsley classes. Ministerial candidates can be found in Certificate IV classes (just beginning), studying the Diploma, Advanced Diploma and the Graduate Certificate (the final step to ordination).

Please be praying for Kingsley students and trainers this year. Pray also that God would call many more men and women into a variety of ministries. In the coming weeks- consider how you could encourage someone in your local church or community to begin Kingsley study in semester two, 2017.

Professional Development Opportunities
Each year Kingsley College offers subjects that provide excellent Professional Development for existing leaders. Pastors and leaders are welcome to join a subject for one seminar or for several- at a very reasonable cost. All seminars are available for web conference connection.

Seminars in Christian Education are available on the 24th April, 22nd May, and 19th June.
Seminars in Doctrine of Holiness are available on 1st, 8th, 15th and 29th May, then the 5th June. On the 8th May Peter Lam will lead a study on- Preaching Holiness Today.
The 15th May will see Susan Lee lead the discussion on- Experiencing the Holy Life.
Contact the College office in Broadmeadows for more details- 0423 127 199.

PD opportunities for the second half of the year include;
Church Planting and Development (first week in August)
Mentoring Leaders
Christian Apologetics

Rev Kevin Brown
Kingsley Australia

Posted in WMCA

World Hope

World Hope’s ministry in Cambodia began in 2005 in our effort to combat human trafficking. We worked alongside other faith agencies in a consortium to rescue, restore and reintegrate under-aged girls who had been trafficked into sexual slavery. Over the years of caring for these girls and restoring them we also ran training and education programmes for the community and government officials such as the police, social services etc. In 2013 we closed our centre because we were no longer getting the rescued girls, this is a good news story because our community education had worked. But we still saw a need to help rural Cambodians out of their poverty and so we began the Mushroom House project.

Chany is just one woman whose life has been impacted by her mushroom house. Chany, her husband, and their son used to live in a small house that was in poor condition in the Kompong Siem district of Cambodia. Her husband migrated outside their village for a job cutting wood, but he had to spend a lot of time away from home and often wouldn’t get paid and it was illegal work so the danger of being caught was there.

Even though they didn’t have the financial resources to invest in a business endeavor, Chany was able obtain a mushroom house. Over the past year life has completely changed for Chany’s family. Using the revenue from their mushrooms, Chany and her husband built a much-needed new home. Her husband no longer needs to travel for work. They have an ongoing source of income that not only provides daily food but enough earnings to improve their livelihood. All this with one simple investment—agricultural waste.

They use agricultural waste from one annual planting of rice and mung beans to create an environment for the mushrooms to grow. Since they already have the materials necessary for cultivation, startup costs are cheap—people without credit, opportunity, or savings can participate.

The results of this project have been amazing! Farmers sell their mushrooms at markets in Phnom Penh where their organic product garners twice as much revenue as its chemically-treated counterpart. For more information check our website.

(https://www.worldhope.org.au/agriculture/the-power-of-mushrooms)

Ruth Thomas

Posted in WMCA

A Year on Prayer

I am known for preaching year-long series. I do this because I believe my role as a pastor is to make disciples, and while I have sometimes grown in an instant, most often I grow by a steady progression towards truth and a new way of doing things. I have also discovered that when I am given too many topics from the pulpit, I get confused as to which ones I should work on. If I am asked to share my faith one week, and work on my marriage the next week, and to read my Bible the next, I find that it is almost as good as an injection inoculating me against taking up any one of the many challenges. I know this is probably because of my personality, but to help my church along a slow and steady journey towards truth, I use a method of preaching I have come to call incremental preaching.

In this method I take a major overall topic and add a small bit of truth to it each week. Using this process I have taught a variety of discipleship topics including A Year on Jesus and A Year on Community. My current theme is A Year on Simple Faith. I plan to spend the year developing principles and tools that help me and others, live faith in a simple but profound way. I’m trying to take away any confusion on the matter and leave people with confidence that they are living the life that Jesus taught.

One year I taught A Year on Prayer. My tag line was “a journey into the meaning, purpose and practice of prayer.” When I announced to my church that I was going to preach the whole year on prayer, besides some thinking I was mad, others wondered how I would fill the year up. They asked me “what will you do after the first week?” Well, all that is history now, and I actually ran out of year before I ran out of material.

These days I get asked the question, “What is one thing you learned out of teaching for a year on prayer?” And my answer is always the same. I learned that prayer is more about aligning my will with God’s will. It’s more about finding out what he is on about and praying for that. It more about his will than my will. It is submitting to what he wants to do in my life and in the world. This does not mean that I stop praying for him to intervene in things over which I have no control; I must still petition him. But when I start recognising who he is and what his plan is, then my prayers change to being less about myself and more about what he wants. This simple truth has changed my prayer life and helped my discipleship life. I find that my recent prayers are much more submitted to Him and what he wants, and they are much more powerful. Now I am more able to pray with integrity the words, “may your will be done on earth as in heaven.”

Lex Akers

 

 

Posted in NSW District

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