Healthy Presbyteries & Assemblies (Monday 15 July, 2019)


About This Year’s Refocus

At Refocus 2019 we’ll be investigating what it could look like for local churches to work together in gospel-centred mission. There is so much good that local churches can do in their regional communities and cities when they work together in partnership. The Apostles encouraged this, and expected that local congregations would express their unity in Christ by cooperating with other churches in a range of ways. This includes:

  • Sending and receiving workers to encourage existing churches and to plant new ones;
  • Sending and receiving material resources to support pioneering evangelism and church planting, to strengthen particular churches, and to meet believers’ physical needs;
  • Prayerfully sharing in the joys and burdens of all other churches; and
  • Promoting and overseeing the planting of new churches, especially in regions not yet reached by the gospel.

The initiative for this kind of gospel-centred partnership can and should arise from local churches. But it can and should also arise from regional leadership teams who meet regularly to pray, encourage one another in the Word, develop a common theological vision, examine and set apart new leaders, plant new churches and renew existing ones, resolve conflicts, and coordinate the wider mission of the church in the world. Fortunately, God has not left something this important to chance! He has provided a government for his church that extends beyond the borders of any particular church.

Within the Presbyterian church, we call this regional government a presbytery, and the state and national government an assembly. Presbyteries are the linchpins in our polity, yet in most cases they are not as functional as they should be. As a result, many of our churches and leaders don’t work together cooperatively and effectively for the gospel.

On 15 July 2019 we will hear from the Bible and the experiences of leaders from other states, presbyteries and local churches who have experienced renewal in their presbyteries and churches. We will also facilitate two workshops designed to help you apply what you learn with other leaders from your presbytery or local church.

It is our hope that Refocus 2019 will leave you:

  • Inspired by our distinctive theological vision for our churches.
  • Encouraged by real stories of effective leadership and positive change from our churches.
  • Refreshed by a new space for engaging conversation, deepening friendships and professional development with other pastoral leaders.

What is Refocus About?

Refocus is a conference about pastoral leadership. With our first conference in 2016, our aim is to serve pastoral leaders (ministers and elders) and their wives, and those training for pastoral leadership (students and apprentices), especially in Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Pastoral leaders and leaders-in-training from other churches are very welcome to join us.

Each year we focus on one of the four sections of our comprehensive theological vision for the Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW:

  • Healthy churches: centred on the gospel of Christ;
  • Healthy Christians: trusting in Christ and living for God’s glory;
  • Healthy leadership: teams of shepherds and servants under Christ; and
  • Healthy presbyteries and assemblies: working together for Christ’s mission

Program

8.30 Registration & Refreshments
9.00 Worship in Song
9.10 Welcome from the MC
9.15 Address by the Moderator (Kamal Weerakoon)
9.20 Keynote Address: Healthy Presbyteries and Assemblies (Alistair Bain)
10.20 Morning Tea
10.55 Worship in Song
11.00

Case Study: Renewal in Queensland (Mike O’Connor)

11.40 Case Study: Renewal in the Presbytery of Wagga Wagga (David Powell)
12.00 Case Study: Renewal in the Presbytery of the Hunter (John MacIntyre)
12.20 Address: A possible future for NSW (Matt Oates)
1.00 Lunch
2.00 Elective Stream A
Local Churches on Mission, Together (Kevin Murray with Mike O’Connor, Kristian Hartberg and Chris Siriweera)
• Workshop-style interaction focused on local church mission


OR

Elective Stream B
Presbyteries as Leadership Teams that Pursue Christ’s Mission (Matt Oates with David Powell & John MacIntyre)
• Workshop-style interaction focused on presbytery leadership and renewal for presbytery leaders and members who wish to cultivate improved health, cooperation and effectiveness for the gospel among the leaders and churches in their presbytery.
3.30 Afternoon Tea
3.50 Worship in song and prayer
4.00 Panel Discussion
4.25 Worship in song and prayer
4.30 Close

Registration

Registrations are due Friday 1st July (two weeks before the event).

General: $70 each

Interstate (outside of NSW): $60 each

Christ College Student/Spouse of Christ College Student: $45 each

Group tickets (3+ individuals): $60 each


Registrations are now closed. We will allow walk-in registrations, but are not able to cater lunch. Please e-mail us at admin@christcollege.edu.au.


Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Alistair Bain

Alistair is the Senior Minister at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Hobart Tasmania. He is also the Presbyterian Chaplain and a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Tasmania. Alistair will be giving the keynote address on healthy presbyteries and assemblies.


Mike O’Connor

Mike is Lead Pastor at Salt Church, Gold Coast and State Moderator of Queensland. For the last 11 years Mike served as the Senior Pastor in Rockhampton and on the Church Ministry Resourcing Committee (CMR = M&M). Before moving to Queensland, Mike served in pastoral leadership in Henty and Wauchope.. Mike will be sharing with us some of Queensland’s attempts and learned lessons in cultivating renewal in presbyteries and its Assembly. Mike will also help facilitate a workshop on local churches on mission in a regional coastal city.


David Powell

David is the Pastor of morningchurch at Albury Presbyterian Churches. He will be sharing with us some of the attempts made, and lessons learned, in cultivating renewal across the Presbytery of Wagga Wagga. David will also help facilitate a workshop in the afternoon for presbytery leaders and members who wish to cultivate greater health in their local presbytery.


John Macintyre

John is the Senior Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Newcastle. He has also served as a pastoral leader at St. Philip’s (Newcastle) and Tamworth. He will be sharing with us some of the attempts made, and lessons learned, in cultivating renewal across the Presbytery of the Hunter. John will also help facilitate a workshop in the afternoon for presbytery leaders and members who wish to cultivate greater health in their local presbytery.


Matthew Oates

Matt is the new Superintendent of Ministry and Mission for the Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW. He has also served as a pastoral leader at Epping, North Sydney and Mudgee. Matt will be speaking about a possible future for the Presbyterian Church in NSW. He will also facilitate a workshop in the afternoon for presbytery leaders and members who wish to cultivate greater health in their local presbytery.


Kevin Murray

Kevin is the Director of Australian Presbyterian World Mission. He speaks regularly in churches across Australia about global and local church mission. Kevin has also served as a pastoral leader at Hurstville, Strathfield and Narrandera. Kevin will be facilitating a workshop in the afternoon for church leaders and members who wish to cultivate more fruitful local church mission.


Duncan Anderson

Duncan is the Minister at Manly Presbyterian Church. He has also served as a pastoral leader at Gateway Presbyterian Church in Anna Bay. Duncan will be our MC for the day.

Where is Christ College?

1 Clarence St Burwood NSW

Parking and transport: Limited 2 hour ticketed parking is available in the surrounding streets. Free unlimited parking can be found a few blocks from the college. Please do not park at 3 Clarence Street or Burwood RSL Club as Club parking is for Club patrons only. Burwood Train Station is about a 7 minute walk from the college.