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Victoria V Bran ch Mat t ers

Ma rch 2 0 1 4 M

Vol 8 No 2

Wei-Han Kuan leading Bible Studies at SUTS2014

Were you at SUTS2014? State Director


ere you at SUTS2014? Several hundred adults, youth and children were! I have been barraged with the question, “How do you think SUTS in its new format went?” Your attendance and feedback - formal and informal - was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. Areas for improvement were noted, and the staff team has already begun the evaluation and planning process for next year. I’m positive about the strategic decision to change format and about the potential for future growth. Each year, SUTS represents a major commitment of CMS resources. This SUTS convinced me that this is – more than ever – a valuable ministry and a blessing to the wider church, and that it should continue and grow. We would like to hear from you if you did not attend this January: tell us why, and help us to create a conference that can serve you and your local church better. Since 1908 the CMS summer conference has given our membership and friends the opportunity to meet together to encourage one another and stir one another up towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25) particularly towards the good and great work of global mission.

This is a key function of the Church Missionary Society. We are a society of members who band together in the common cause of world mission – for which we need to keep meeting Wei-Han Kuan together and encouraging one another. SUTS is our major vehicle for this, so please plan now to be there in 2015. Our aim is to become recognised as Victoria’s premier missions conference. We want to keep offering world-class expository Bible studies, inspiring missionary presentations, stimulating seminars, and a Jesus-focussed kids’ programme. It was gratifying to see people who were at SUTS for the first time this year, including good numbers of young adults in the evenings. Our youth camp at Cowes was at capacity again. We need to build on all of this in the years to come.

Were you at SUTS2014? God, you and Mission Moving Offices Summer Evenings What I know for certain SUTS Youth Camp Diary

Please keep praying for the team and for our SUTS2015 Bible study leader, Rikki Watts, as we prepare for next year’s conference. Set aside 12-15 January 2015 now! Do let me know if you would like to volunteer at the advanced preparation stage. Work has already begun! We would love to have help organising seminars, accommodation, activities and implementing any number of other ideas. Thank you for your support of SUTS2014, thank you especially if you volunteered in some capacity. May the Lord bless us in our work of ministry this year.



Office Move

God, you and mission in 2014 by Elspeth Carr, former CMS missionary to Tanzania * names have been changed

I After more than 20 years in Queen Street, Blackburn, CMS Victoria is moving to 630 Mitcham Road, Mitcham. The office is brand new and will provide a more effective, team-oriented workplace with open plan seating. There’s a private office for the State Director, a quiet meeting room, a boardroom ideal for meetings of around a dozen people, as well as an informal break out area. The fit out has begun and we shall be packing our boxes to move early in April. We are planning an Open Day in May. Please pray for the staff as we move and learn to work in a new environment, serving together with you in the mission of CMS and supporting our missionaries.


Mission Exposure Tour Barcelona and Valencia Local church and university student ministry. Exposure to the work of CMS missionaries and opportunity to learn more about what mission involves. Enquiries and questions to Anna:


spain 20th June – 12th July 2014

recently texted Nancy*, one of the youth leaders at SUTS, “Can you mind my neighbour’s children while I read the Bible with her?”. I had found a Bible in her language at Koorong last year which helped as she loves reading. After a few weeks perusal of her new Bible, she was admiring “the wonderful man called ‘Yahweh’ who does such good things”. She’s an avid reader and has many questions.

Debbie Lesleighter also found the SUTS theme ‘God’s heart or your heart’ timely. After serving with CMS in Tanzania for a few years, Wei-Han’s talks encouraged her to seek local opportunities to befriend and share the gospel with people different from her. She’s praying that God continues to give her his heart for his world and to guide her in it. Dr Bruce Dipple’s three sessions encouraged us to think carefully about the local church’s involvement in cross-cultural mission. At our church we’ve already used his helpful grid to assess some mission plans for 2014. Bruce offered valuable insights into the why’s and how’s of mission, while Dr Kang-San and wife Loun Ling Tan enriched us with insights into how to reach our many Buddhist neighbours:

The speakers at SUTS raised many questions too. “Are you following God or being a sleepy, useless lump like Jonah?” asked Wei-Han Kuan. By ignoring God, Jonah became an ‘agent of death’ for the sailors. His disobedience created a storm, ending with the sailors calling urgently on Yahweh. God’s name was on their lips, 1. Enter into dialogue: David Williams speaking at SUTS while Jonah stifled in listen and learn, speak Summer Evenings seaweed. “Repent from and instruct. inertia and don’t be like Jonah – anti-God, anti-nations, 2. Discern the differences: be personand anti-God saving others”, Weisensitive. Han urged. David Williams added 3. Develop an insider’s perspective: from Hebrews 11, “Don’t drift”. bond through language and culture. Wendy* is certainly not drifting. It was 4. Be verdict-oriented: share your her first time at SUTS and she was heart and home, to show the validity thankful to often hear speakers say, of Christ. “Obey God’s call”. She’s seeking to obey his call by furthering her studies 5. Pray: for revelation of their need in two languages she’s been interested for a Saviour. in. It’s all part of the desire God has placed in her heart to develop 6. Be God-centred: regarding God, conversations and friendships, by humans and sin. enhancing her language abilities and Nancy was now enjoying a wellcultural understanding. As a trained earned holiday after leading at SUTS teacher, she’s taking advantage of youth camp, so another young adult government policy to teach foreign stepped in to care for my neighbour’s languages in secondary schools. children, so that we could study the In a world that encourages people to Bible in (relative) peace. Yes, the do everything for their own benefit, nations ARE on our doorstep, with Wendy’s willingness to trust and follow many eager to learn about God. God has challenged others, including Judith Lenthall who said, “Only God What are we doing about it? What knows where her obedience will lead. part will you play in 2014? May it bring God’s blessings to many.”



Summer Evenings

What I know for certain Heat wave prevented bushfire survivor and Christian Book of the Year author Ann Fogarty from joining us at SUTS. She wrote these words to us: I get very frustrated with my acute heat intolerance. I feel I am missing out on things I want to do. Oh, the joy of not having sweat glands! However, I have come to realise that I only feel this way if I leave God out of the picture.


Perhaps there are things God would like me to share with you that I can only compose sitting here at my computer when I can take my time and really hear his voice.

ot even the heat could keep away the young or old-timers from SUTS Summer Evenings. Praise God for the many young first-timers we welcomed to the Summer Evening sessions for three nights of worship, fellowship, and superb teaching on global mission. Worship was led by the talented City on a Hill band. Our missionaries updated us via video, helping us to engage with other cultures and gain insight into the still unfinished task of God’s mission and how we can get involved today. We were privileged to share in the joyful expression of their faith in Christ, his love for them and his work through them. David Williams’ series of three talks on faith and mission from Hebrews 11 offered a comprehensive challenge to “live out our lives today with God’s promised future as our prime reality.” He painted a picture of how our faith in and love for God and God’s people, should impact our involvement in local and global mission. Many came away enriched and challenged to consider how the reality of Christ’s mission should shape their lives, both in the short-term and long-term.

But there are many things I can be absolutely sure about, because I have lived them. They may be assurances that are mine because of much pain, but they are treasures that I would not surrender at any price. City on a Hill band at Summer Evenings.

We looked at Hebrews 10-12 and were challenged to have faith like the heroes of old.

Mentac challenged us to live out our faith here and now

CMS Travelling Light

You’d think that with all this experience of God’s presence in my life I’d be able to trust him absolutely. But no. I can be so full of anxiety that I can’t even think straight. But that is when he shines the most. With such tenderness he accepts me just as I am. In spite of all he has already taught me, again and again he enters my life in some beautiful way to support and help me. His faithfulness is beyond words and fills my heart with such hope and devotion that it enables me to pick myself up and go forward once more. But there is another important thing I do know about him. He has no favourites. What he has done so amazingly in my life he longs to do in your life. Trusting him is quite a journey, but one not to be missed for anything.

Wholeness in Mission gospel shaped social action Ken and Ally Thompson David Williams

Monday 10 March

CMS Centre Blackburn 6.30pm $5 with dinner

I do know that God never leaves us; even though in our darkest times it really feels like he has. I do know that God can take any situation and bring new life from it in ways we could never dream about. I do know that this wonderful Father of ours loves us so deeply and completely that we can safely surrender our whole lives to him, even though most of us do it kicking and screaming.

David Williams exhorted us to not drift!

SUTS Youth Camp by Stuart Asquith, Director


e had a wonderful time at SUTS Youth Camp this year. Rev Kim Beales spoke from the book of Genesis and Rev Chris Swann preached on various Psalms.

It was encouraging that so many young people devoted a week of their holidays to studying the Bible and growing in their knowledge and love of God. The missionaries spoke to us to not only consider being missionaries overseas, but also right now in our own contexts and schools.

Another highlight was the way God taught campers and leaders about the power of prayer. On the second night of camp the leaders and Year 12’s came together for a two-hour unplanned prayer session. The group’s prayers over the camp that night became a catalyst for prayer throughout the rest of the camp. Everyone was just praying for one another. It was so encouraging to see even the youngest of campers coming up to leaders and asking how they can pray for them. God truly worked in amazing ways this year at SUTS Youth Camp.

Small group discussion with Josh Glover

Andy Mulherin, leader at SUTS Youth, cooling down at CYC Cowes

The new workshops run by the youth leaders were one of the highlights of SUTS Youth Camp. Each leader spoke about an aspect of their Christian faith that they are seeking to passionately live out. The workshops focused on topics including prayer, considering full time ministry, and science vs Christianity. They were very well received by the youth.

Diary MCF in March

Come and meet and listen to Ken and Ally Thompson who are home from Cambodia. Wednesday March 12 at the CMS Centre, Queen Street Blackburn. Come at 10am for a ‘cuppa’before the meeting which starts at10.30 am.

1MPG (First Monday Prayer Group) Monday 3 March, 12:30pm

Prayer for God’s worldwide mission at the CMS Centre, Queen Street Blackburn. All welcome. BYO lunch. Contact Hugh Prentice on 9014 0968.

Bendigo Autumn Weekend 2014

CMS Autumn Weekend explores 1 and 2 Samuel presented by Andrew Grills. CMS Missionaries will be there.

Prayer for the Muslim world

First Friday of the month @St Andrew’s Hall with staff & residents. 6pm potluck dinner for 7-9.30pm prayer.

CMS Evensong Sunday 30 March at 6pm

On Sunday 30 March CMS will be celebrating a renewal of its more than a century-long connection with St Paul’s Cathedral at the 6pm Evensong service. Former missionary Jill Firth, now a member of the Cathedral staff, will preach. Afternoon tea will be served from 4.30pm in the Crypt, which still looks much as it did during the 80+ years that CMS had its rooms there, and when League of Youth meetings and Bible studies flourished in that space with under teachers such as C. H. Nash, Stuart Barton Babbage, David J. Williams and Leon Morris. Refurbishment works will happen this year, so this is your opportunity, if you remember the years before 1985, to reflect on a bit of our history, rejoice and give thanks to God for all he has done through CMS in the Cathedral. We hope to put up a display of memorabilia - contact the office if you have some! Whether your memory stretches that far or not, everyone is welcome to the Cathedral at 6pm on Sunday 30 March for the first in a new annual series of CMS Evensongs at St Paul’s.

Branch Matters March 2014  

Summer Under The Son edition with review of SUTS2014

Branch Matters March 2014  

Summer Under The Son edition with review of SUTS2014