Sth Queensland District Conference Report 2014
2014 South Qld District Conference 25 – 27 September
The fortieth anniversary of the Wesleyan Methodist in Queensland was held at its first Church site and started with a devotional from Rev Peter Dobson.
Peter reminded us that we need to keep growing closer to God; to increase our compassion, our faith and our ability to forgive. We need to compare ourselves to Christ, not other people.
1 Thes. 3:9-13 our spiritual qualities need to increase
- The increase in our faith (v.10) “Supply” means “to arrange things in the right order”, to “complete”, to “perfect”. Eph 4:13. James 1:4 Maturity means we are complete. How do we grow our faith? We draw near to God. 1 Cor. 1:9; Lk 17:15.
- An abundance (overflowing) of love. This brings assurance, comfort, etc. God is the source of our love. 1 John 4:8; Gal. 5:6.
- That their hearts would be strengthened (v.13) 1 Cor 1:8. Having strong hearts = perfect love = holiness.
The main theme of this year’s conference was centred on what it means to be a compassionate Christian community, both as individuals and collectively. The question posed for consideration was, “What does it mean to be a good neighbour?” Elective sessions to further explore this question were offered to participants after the formal business sessions were completed each day.
Church communities were encouraged to actively pursue the fullness of God in their hearts and not to settle for less than God wants for their lives. We were urged to continue to draw near to God so that our faith increases and our hearts are strengthened. This is so that we may love others from all walks of life from the outflow of God’s love in the ever expanding capacity to love.
The conference’s key speaker—Professor Rob Fringer from the Nazarene College drew from 2Cor5: 14—21 to explore with us what it means to see others as God sees them, for until we do we cannot move towards truly compassionate responses to things that life throws at us. This is something our world is desperate for.
Message 1 – “Seeing”. “Compassion – It matters how we see others”. 2 Cor 5:11-21
Message 2 – “Being”. “Compassion – it matters who you are and it matters whose you are”. Matt. 5:43-48
Message 3 – “Doing” “Compassion: It Matters How We Treat Others”
Dr Don Hardgrave brought us a devotional thought in which he pointed out that because much of the community welfare work of Christians has been replicated by secular groups and organisations today, the only thing left for the church is to demonstrate the gospel by the quality of our lives! This is so important when you consider that some of our historical and modern leaders in society have turned away from the gospel because indifferent, inconsistent or uninformed Christians have been poor examples in the lives of these people. We were asked to consider what we are showing unbelievers about who Christ is in our churches through the example of our own lives. Dr Hardgrave shared how he had dreamed for a spiritual awakening across our nation. Together we celebrated the faithfulness of God throughout the years.
There were visual presentations on:
- Co-Labourers, which is our District’s church-planting fund;
- Kingsley Community, which is our denomination’s training facility;
- Self-Denial Appeal, asking every person to donate one day’s wage for our Wesleyan World Missions.
The Children’s, Youth and Young Adults’ ministries are flourishing and we are urged to support the attendance at these events. Other plans are being formulated as part of this ongoing growth. These include:
- The establishment of an Australian Protestant Evangelical University which will be a great resource for the education of our young ones coming on. Brigette Aitkinson gave a report on the vision of the Indiana Wesleyan University to create a global Christian University. They have bought Australia’s “Wesley Institute” to commence “Excelsia” college, which will become Excelsia University. Current course guide is available.
- To build global consistency and alignment with the American Wesleyan church, the Conference was advised that, from now on, we will be gradually implementing the logo of the North American Wesleyan District. It is available for download in different formats from our web site.
- Proposal for a Kingsley College Training Centre on the Darling Downs
- Proposal to train school chaplains by partnering with ACOM
- Development and expansion of the Kingsley Youth Media Camps.
Rev. Rex Rigby was re-elected as our District Superintendent, after serving us for the last five years. Rev. Rob Simpson was re-elected Assistant District Superintendent.
In discussing the celebration of our 40th Anniversary, Rex reminded us that the people who commenced our work here, were people of great passion and that we should follow their example. Being casual is not the Wesleyan way, rather total consecration is.
One of the awakening highlights was when it was announced that an Audi key ring had been found and the owner was being sought. Suddenly many of the delegates “owned” an Audi. Unfortunately for the Audi driver hopefuls it was quickly revealed that the key-ring was from Aldi, and contained a small token for driving a shopping trolley!!
The ministry to the interior was a most satisfying time. All those who attended were wonderfully well fed thanks to the tireless efforts of the ThreeSixteen Church catering crew. Friday night’s Island feast was simply sumptuous! The general atmosphere and fellowship was again a wonderful uplifting experience. It is great to hear from our family of churches and see people face to face. Seeing churches doing well is a great encouragement to all.
To enhance the fellowship experience we had the ThreeSixteen’s resident male peacock making the most of the opportunity to display his tail feathers for us as we all sat outside at meal times. Needless to say, he was the centre of attention– a great reminder of God’s amazing creation.