Sth Qld District Conference Report 2015
Conference 2014’s initiative from our National Superintendent to merge a number of conferences together in Sydney, become reality in 2015. For many this gathering of Wesleyans for some District Conferences, a National Conference, National Wesleyan Women’s Conference along with the South Pacific Regional Conference to be held at the Merloo Christian Centre was pivotal.
Our family enjoyed being chauffer driven from Toowoomba by our 16 year old son Timothy. All in one piece.
Entering the facility, it was thrilling to see the Church family greeting each other. For some it was a reconnection from Kingsley College Days in the 80’s. (some even earlier) From a distance someone recognized someone else and so conversations were striking up everywhere. Leaders who once had black hair now had some gray! For myself I remember some as little kids who have embraced the joy of serving the Lord and carried on the heritage to another generation. For some there has been a migration from State to State to serve the Lord.
The conference was well organized thanks to significant work by Doug and Heather Ring. Of course many other folk pitched in, pulling together a lot of logistics while serving with love and loving to serve. The NSW District folk were welcoming. (though we missed out on the big party at their conference session!) Everyone had a bed for the night, even if some youth were found asleep on the lounge chairs near the fire! I had hot water, but it appears some missed out from time to time in the showers.
Powerful practical messages were received at the morning devotionals. Two of our ladies sharing from their hearts which connected emotionally as well as scripturally.
Our guest speaker Rev Kyle Ray engaged with us, reminding us of the implications to being planted by the streams. Many experienced an awakening of the heart in order to be effective in reaching out to those who do not know Christ in the community, or the local church. Groups of people shared and prayed, cried together.
Worshippers met together in the inspirational times to corporately use their voices in adoration to the Lord. For some this expression led to quiet reflection, another the raising of the arms, the lifting of the eyes to the Lord. There was even very loud exuberance and great gusto with the moving of feet and body and the pumping of the arms from one! Thankyou to Dean Ussher and team who gave much of their free time. It was noted that a few folk occupied the Lounge chairs at the rear of the auditorium. There was even the glimpse of ear plugs. Though I believe Nathan kept us slightly below the decibel recommendation!
The spirit of each District Conference was encouraging. God is a work in our Districts. Praise the Lord. Pastor Lex inspired us to step out in faith believing God to do the impossible.
Significant decisions were reached as we take a Christian stand on issues that are being raised in parliament which are not biblical. Maybe we will see some cost to our stance in the short to medium term.
We are a multi-national church. The inspiration and stories of the book of Acts alive today were felt as we heard from PNG and the Solomon Islands along with the great island of NZ to the right of our isle! We are humbled to be led by folk who are consecrated to the Lord. Rev Rex Rigby will be leading us for another term in Australia and the South Pacific Regional Conference areas.
Our youth were blessed by a great team of people ably led by Rachel from Life church, Maryborough. The children too were encouraged to put down deep roots into the Lord from Melissa.
The South Qld Conference sessions called us again to holy living, trust, obedience, total surrender. The reminder to church plant, offer internships, provide mentoring, develop multi-cultural churches, provide leadership development is fundamental. The growth in various areas of the local church was encouraging. Attendance, mid week, people saved, new members. Evangelism and Discipleship in action. We have new churches springing up and church planting is a priority.
The clear blue skies in the Blue Mountains was exhilarating. Groups from PNG and The Solomons in particular gained an incredible perspective of our nations landmarks as they viewed the Three Sisters and other areas of beauty.
A tour of the facilities for the new University being set up by IWU, Excelsia College, was encouraging for many as they saw the foundation being laid for Christian Education to a higher level. Bridget and Peter well done.
Elections saw comments flit back and forward to work well done for those retiring from serving positions. New folks were initiated into their new roles.
The dedication service for those who had studied hard and who had responded to the call of the Lord for district and local church positions was wonderful. God received the glory. Kingsley Australia and the work of Kevin Brown was well received. The Kingsley trainers, Gordon and others serving faithfully.
It was wonderful to see different folk who had been part of the Wesleyan church in the past come to celebrate and worship with us at various sessions. Of note for me was Tom Blythe, Ralph Lewis, Frank and Ruth Midavaine, Neville Cave, Jim and Miriam Midgley.
Of course our ladies had a wonderful conference. Twas banned but did manage to capture some photos for the archives. Men, we need a conference session too.
The food, well! Too tempting, and the willpower was overridden by desire. Working hard to take the extra off again.
Ruth Thomas did a great job, along with Jeff and Tina Adams too. This report cannot list the many important jobs completed by others but has reflected some who have taken main roles.
Testimonies were inspirational, jaw dropping! Wow, God is so good.
One cannot forget that memories are often made around a fire. It took a bit to keep the supply of wood up, but oh how nice, apart from some untimely smoke each time the door opened.
It was great too to hear of what God is doing in Noro Solomon Islands as we saw the need for establishing a Bible College, of seeing David Collins on track to take residence there and testimonies of what God has been doing in preparing and establishing the base with Jeff and Shelly Davies. Hearing later on face book about the answer to prayer with the final paperwork being received was wonderful. To God be the glory. It was thrilling to have people say they will come on a work team next year and for the start of the gift toward raising funds for a tractor / backhoe.
Thankyou Lord for the leadership you have given to us. We look forward to direction from Rex, Stuart, Lex and Phil and of course the Assistant Superintendents.
Plan to be at the next conference. Be a giver that blesses another.
Psalm 1: 3 reminds us. ‘That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever they do prospers’.
Rev Rod Hall