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MAGAZINE

intrasyd APRIL--APRIL MAY 2017 MARCH

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TRYATHALON FUNDRAISING RE-CAP

June - July 2016

W enda

COMES HOME

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LOCAL NEWS


FROM

THE PRESIDENT Michael Worker

At the recent Australian PRESIDENT Michael Worker michaelworker@adventist.org.au

Editor Joyce Taylor joycetaylor@adventist.org.au

Graphic Designers Lynda G. Abreu Lyndagomes@adventist.org.au

Katrina Jorgensen Katrina@SpearmintStudio.com

Union combined Advisory, Pr Jorge Munoz, AUC President, challenged us anew by the experience

Other Contributors Anjuli Cruz Rangi Eiao Wenda Dutczak Claire Marsh Dr Andrew Pennington Sanitarium

Next issue content due 28 APR

pray continually for God to lead in our lives, He will provide us with opportunities to share our faith with people we meet. As a

of Moses with a message, “What is that in

church and as individual disciples, the Great

your hand?” We have heard this message

Commission compels us in our daily life to

preached many times before. However,

share Jesus with others and to share with

what I liked in how Pr Munoz presented

them His promise to come again. I want to

this message was his challenge to throw

challenge you to pray each morning that

down the things in our hand and allow God

God will put people in your path to whom

to take charge of them and lead in our

you can share your faith in Jesus and what

lives. To relinquish control and to put every

that really means to you.

aspect of our life in God’s hand is one of the great challenges we face. Yet when we

Our Welcome Home Sabbath, on 6 May, is

do, we can experience incredible fellowship

just around the corner. I am confident that

with Him and incredible blessings.

as we pray for and connect with friends and family who are no longer attending church

Joyce Taylor joycetaylor@adventist.org.au

to take charge and lead your life? If we

Mission to the Cities continues to be a vital

on a regular basis, that God will bless you,

part of how we are growing in disciple-

them and the church in amazing ways. We

ship here in Sydney. Our focus on Mission

pray that many will ‘come home’ and that

to the Cities is to support, enrich and

our churches will be revitalised as a result.

strengthen our existing churches, as well as

I would encourage you to not just invite

plant new churches in unentered areas and

them to a church service, but also find ways

people groups. Two key initiatives that are

to reconnect with them socially. An essen-

designed to revitalise our existing churches

tial part of ‘church’ is having a strong sense

are the 40 Days of Prayer and our Welcome

of community.

Home Sabbath. Please continue to pray for the pioneering We are in the midst of our 40 days of

work of our church planters across Sydney

Prayer Journey. How is it going for you?

as we continue to pray for those who are

Are you being blessed by this series? I

serving and growing their local churches.

pray that you are experiencing spiritual

Together we have an incredible message of

renewal and revival in your life as a result of

Hope to share with the people of Sydney in

this focused experience of prayer. Are you

preparation for Christs’ soon return.

asking God to help you throw down the things in your hand so you can allow Him

Michael Worker


@ SydneyAdventists

COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT

ISSUE FEATURE

1

April 2017

UPCOMING EVENTS

ADDRESS 4 Cambridge Street Epping NSW 2121 PHONE 02 9868 6522 EMAIL sydney@adventist.org.au

SUNSET TIMES

Remember the Sabbath

08-04 / 5:43 Friday to 5:42 Saturday 15-04 / 5:35 Friday to 5:33 Saturday 22-04 / 5:26 Friday to 5:25 Saturday 29-04 / 5:19 Friday to 5:18 Saturday 06-05 / 5:12 Friday to 5:12 Saturday 13-05 / 5:06 Friday to 5:05 Saturday

$ OFFERING

eGiving.org.au

08-04 / World Mission Budget 15-04 / Local Church 22-04 / School Evangelism 29-04 / Local Church 06-05 / South Pacific Record Read more at bit.ly/2nL4CtY

Wenda Comes Home

“Wenda is a great example of how a life can be turned around by the power of the Holy Spirit. The joy she has over her baptism is inspirational.” Pr Barend Nieuwstraten Page 18

ARTICLE

Sanitarium’s TRYathlon

In addition to providing a platform for kids to test their physical endurance, the Sanitarium’s TRYathlon provided churches the opportunity to raise some funds. Page 10

ARTICLE

Health Ministries

Ever since its inception, healthy living has been a part of the Adventist message to bring to the world. We know that God desires us to be healthy in mind and body and spirit. Page 12

Save the Date

Thru 29-04/ 40 Days of Prayer 10-12, 04 / HOPESTAYZ 13-20, 04 / Health Week 29-04 / VBS Workshop 06-05/ Welcome Home Sabbath 20-04 / Leadership Training 27-05 / Believe (Women & The Word) NEWS

News Around Sydney

Evangelism has many facets. It can be done through a series of informative presentations, through door-to-door book sale and Bible studies, or the expression of comfortable hospitality. Page 06

NEWS

SASA Turns 100

On 22 July, the school will host an anniversary celebration to commemorate its longstanding commitment to Adventist education in Greater Sydney. Page 15

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editorials

General Secretary

Adrian Raethel

FROM THE CHURCH BOARD LTD

• Health Ministry is one of the SPD strategic focus areas for the current quinquennium (5-year period). The Conference is partnering with Dr Andrew Pennington in the establishment of a health and lifestyle clinic at Hornsby. As part of this partnership, Adventist Counselling Services will relocate to the clinic as of 26 April, and a part-time health worker will be appointed to run health and lifestyle programs and seminars at the centre and to liaise with local churches. • As part of the strategic focus on Media ministries, the second Digital Discipleship Conference will be held 14-16 July • The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is recommending a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse.

FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

• The membership of the Conference as of 31 December 2016 was 9,450, which was a 1.22% increase for the year. We praise God for the

194 people who joined the Conference through baptism or profession of faith • At their request, the Lilyfield Church plant will be called Echo Christian Community • Concord Church received a grant to assist with major repairs and renovations in accordance with the Conference building grant policy • Campbelltown Church is about to commence a major extension of their complex, including a new hall and Sabbath School rooms • The Lakemba Tongan Church has changed its name to Lakemba Church due to the multicultural background of attendees • Due to declining attendance, the Seven Hills group voted to disband as of 7 January 2017 • The Merrylands Samoan Church voted to disband as of 21 January 2017. In its place, two new Samoan on Adventist Companies will be formed, one at St counselling Marys and Central Sydney Samoan services, church based in Merrylands notifications and • Loan application has been recomthe digital mended through to the Australian discipleship Union Conference for stage 1 of Conference the Middle School building at Hills Adventist College. • The next regular Constituency Meeting will be held 25-26 August 2018

chief financial officer

Eva Ing

This time we’ve decided to pool our resources with the NNSW Conference and build the website together. It makes good sense to collaborate, because–after all–both Conferences’ ABC stores sell much of the same books, literature and health foods. We expect the website One of the things to be completed in early April we’ve been busy and will let you know when it’s working on in the ready. So watch this space!

Conference is the re-launch of our ABC website.

Another project that’s nearing completion is the Wahroonga Stage 1 School Building. Situated on Fox Valley Road, this is the largest single building project in our school system. Comprising of 22 classrooms over four

levels, this long awaited building will make a significant difference to the school and will enable the development of the high school, with general and specialist classrooms, including music, art, science, industrial arts and food tech. Just this year alone, Wahroonga School grew by 90 students, validating growth projections and the need for this school to increase capacity. Lastly, in the background our Epping Conference Office redevelopment is slowly gaining momentum. Since we submitted the Development Application to Council in November, the project has been publicly exhibited, receiving no objections from the community. The building design is currently in the process of being reviewed by the Parramatta Council Design Excellence Advisory Panel to ensure compliance to Council planning controls and development standards. It’s all happening! God is good!


GSC’S NEW STAFF MEMBERS Two new leaders have joined the Greater Sydney Conference’s Education Department.

Julia Heise

Julia Heise has commenced work as Associate Executive Director taking over for Murray Chapman who recently accepted a position at AdSafe. She joins the Conference from Hills Adventist College where she spent the past four years serving the school as Director of Teaching and Learning. Prior to that, Julia served as a Principal at Sydney Adventist College​, worked for TAFE – NSW, lectured at Australian College, and ran groups for the Department of Corrective Services. While she loves kids, teaching, working with her colleagues and being the hands and feet of God, Heise beams at the challenges of her new role. “I look forward to continuing the journey of quality Adventist education; to growing our schools as we face the challenges of the 21st century learning; and to empowering teachers so that they in turn can develop engaged citizens of the future”.

Peter Wallace

Joining Heise as an E-learning Specialist in the department–a new position at the Conference–is Peter Wallace. Wallace completed high school at Sydney Adventist College, attended Avondale College for his bachelor’s degree in Education, and earned master’s degrees in Education Administration from La Sierra University (California, USA) and Education Technology at the University of Southern Queensland. Peter has always been a teacher, but this will be his first year out of the classroom since the age of six. Prior to joining the conference, he taught at various schools throughout Queensland, with a 15-year run outside Australia in New Zealand, Fiji and PNG. Nearly all his years teaching have in been in Adventist schools. His main role as E-Learning Specialist is to foster an enriched learning environment using technology. Emphasis–first and foremost–is on the pedagogy.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @sydneyadventists INTRASYD

FebrUARY

2017

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LOCAL NEWS D

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ear #SydneyAdventists,

Since our IGNITE Sabbath 18 March, members around the city have been praying. Praying for themselves, each other, this city and our chruch. That the Holy Spirit can do tremendous work through us along the Eastern Seaboard. That we can reconnect with those who’ve wandered off along the way. Keep praying church. Keep praying. What’s #SydneyAdventist? It’s the hashtag we’ve adopted at the Greater Sydney Conference to mark threads online. Are you posting about your church or a fellow Adventist? Hashtag it so we can follow along!

Have anything exciting or extraordinary to share? Email us at sydney@adventist.org.au.

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01 WAITARA’S VALENTINE’S DAY OUTREACH BY MARLETA FONG

For Valentine’s Day, Waitara Church shared God’s love with their local community in a 2-step outreach initiative. Church members felt impressed to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity, a time when everyone is either looking to be loved, or wanting to show love. In Step 1 we letter-boxed all of Waitara and parts of Hornsby with an A5 flyer. On the flyer was 1 Corinthians 13, followed by “God is Love” (1 John 4:8) and a note from “your friends at

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Waitara Seventh-day Adventist Church” with our service hours. It was basically an invitation. Twelve people came out at 7am on 12 Sunday to letterbox for two hours. And that was a hot weekend! In Step 2 we illuminated the stations of Waitara and Hornsby using the “A life saving gift” GLOW tract, which tells the story a 12-year-old boy in need of a heart transplant and transitions into how we need new hearts too. Six church members gave out 1,200 tracts between the hours of 4:30-6:30pm. What was left of them others took from church to share.


PHOTOGRAPHY The latest statistics on Google indicates that although our church is in Waitara, “Seventh-day Adventist” doesn’t register as a religion noted in the suburb. We have a number of newly built high rises around us even across the street. The letter-boxed invitation will be the first contact they will have had with us.

03 FILOSHIP CONNECT COMPANY STRENGTHENS BY MELISSA BARTIDO

CAPTIONS/CREDITS 01”There is something very special about being able to be reunited with family that we

Magandang Sabado! Greetings from

have not seen in a long time and

Filoship Connect Company (FCC)!

be able to welcome them back home. We will need to prepare

Filoship (Filipinos + Fellowship)-Con-

for their return and even have

nect Group (Connected in Christ) was

a spiritual clean-up, but the joy

inspired by the Holy Spirit from the

of having them home again will

need to connect scattered Filipino

make all of the effort worth it.”

power of The Holy Spirit!

Adventists around NSW, cater for

Sven Östring

02 EVANGELISM SERIES LEADS TO BAPTISM AT MOUNT COLAH BY BOB SAUNDERS & ADRIAN LEMKE

and celebrate the Filipino heritage;

02 Belinda (3rd from left) and Pr

to spread the Gospel to the greater

Bob Saunders (4th from left)

After the successful Ancient Mysteries

tated the formation of FCC in 2015. Its

04 The “Valentine” GLOW

first program was held 24 April 2010.

tracts handed out at the Waitara

We are praying for our neighbours! Excited to keep on reaching out! Praying that hearts will be transformed by the

series presented at Event Cinemas Hornsby last year by Mount Colah and Thornleigh Churches, Gary Webster, Director of the Institute of Public Evangelism South Pacific Division, returned for a follow-up program at Mount Colah Church during January and February. The 6-part series, entitled “Portraits of the Prince”, was aimed at re-enforcing Jesus as our Prince and the centre of all the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation. The meetings concluded with the baptism of Belinda Wooller on the 4 February in Mount Colah Church. A teacher at Mountain View Adventist College, Belinda says her journey occurred over a long period, but that the Ancient Mysteries program helped her “put all the pieces of the puzzle together”. It was a great day with many members of the local community attending, as well as work colleagues

the needs of the Filipino community,

community; and–most importantly–to connect with the Lord Jesus Christ. The

03 Some members of the

need for regular services and dynamic,

Waitara letter-boxing group

evangelism-minded believers necessi-

and Hornsby stations FCC regularly meets every Sabbath at Seven Hills North Public School, with regular youth programs, a growing Pathfinder and Adventurers community, literature evangelism, an FCC choir and strings ensemble, socials, camps, weekly Bible studies, outreach opportunities and Vespers every Friday evening. Guided by the Holy Spirit, FCC aims to continue to grow and impact the community, with the war cry: “Outreach through Unity”.

04 ADVENTIST MEDIA LAUNCHES THE TABLE After many months of planning and

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prepping, Adventist Media aired their first episode of The Table on YouTube

and attendees of the seminar.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

CAPTIONS/CREDITS 05 Always Cheerful video still, mus.camp/2016-Videos 06 The Table

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07 The Filoship Connect Company Strings Ensemble at practise

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08 Group shot, Filoship Connect Company 09 Jim, Helen, Lester & Rhea, Fellowship Harvest Group

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10 Bagpipers performing for the community, Wahroonga Open Air Fest 11 Serving the community, Wahroonga Open Air Fest

22 February. In it The Table joined Fiona, Rachel, Maryellen and Shona as they tackled issues facing women today—C-sections and screaming babies, eating to lose weight and some cute lunchbox hacks. Comedienne Hannah Boland shared her story of recovery

episodes air on YouTube Wednesdays.

05 MUSIC MINISTRY BY EMMANUEL HIGGINS

after devastating loss.

Every winter for the last three years,

The Table is a TV panel show featuring

been working together to produce

real women; smart and sassy ladies with real lives, real families, real struggles and real joy. More than a series of awesome videos, it’s also an invitation for conversation via its website and various social media platforms and an opportunity to dig deeper by reading in-depth articles and making featured

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Visit thetabletv.com to watch. New

young musicians and singers have high-quality music productions as an evangelism/outreach tool. July last year, 60 young people spent two weeks at Johns River, near Port Macquarie, producing five new films. The experience has inspired the youth and been a blessing to many. Now

recipes and hands-on tips a reality.

they have been working together with

The project is part of Adventist Media’s

to produce an outreach Music DVD

commitment to reach young families with an interest in spirituality and wholistic living but who have no current faith commitment.

Pr Geoff Youlden (Stanmore Church) themed on the love of God. The DVD will feature six recent music-video productions with Pr Youlden speaking on God’s great love between each song.


For more info and to watch the music

expression of comfortable hospitality,

videos, visit: https://mus.camp.

relaxed and congenial.

06 NEWS FROM FELLOWSHIP HARVEST GROUP

There over the footpath in front of

The Harvest Fellowship Group, a church plant at Horsley Park, would like to share the joy of having conducted their first four baptisms. Four of the precious souls that attend the church regularly asked for baptism following a number of studies. The baptisms were conducted at the Hoxton Park SDA Church by pastors Matthew Pearce and Sammy Lee, on this summer. The group has been worshiping at the Horsley Park Community Hall since October 2015, and have witnessed many of God’s blessings along the ways. “We pray and hope that all newly formed church plants may be blessed by this witness, as we see God’s hand at the end of earth’s history, of the work to the cities,” said Jim Tyrokomos, Lay Leader at the church. “This is the time to sow and let the Lord will reap.” All are welcome to come to worship and fellowship with the group. Please find us and like us on facebook at face-

Wahroonga Church–for all to see–hung a banner that read, “Open Air Music Fest 5-7pm Sunday, January 22, 2017”. The idea of this Music Festival, organised by Lance and Sandra Weslake, was to “give our community a chance to see that we enjoy many of the same things they do”.

car park became a mini food and music festival with an outward focus. Church members and people from the enjoyed easy-listening music from more than a dozen musicians including, Damien and Band, Dean Banks and Grahame Fletcher on piano, trombonists and bagpipers, whilst being served mouth-watering refreshments. “I saw your sign as I was walking past, to and from the Sydney Adventist Hospital, and I thought I’ll take my family enjoyed the music and the food was so terrific!” said another.

08 SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY FOR CHURCHES Is your church struggling to maintain

07 OPEN AIR MUSIC FEST: WAHROONGA CHURCH BY DAVID SEDGMAN & CAROL BOEHM

us! Anything posted on our page is free

done through a series of informative presentations, through door-to-door book sale and Bible studies, or the

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to this!” said one local couple. “I so

book.com/harvesthorsleypark.

Evangelism has many facets. It can be

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Late afternoon that Sunday, the church

its social media presence? Take it from for reposting. So drag-&-drop, copy&-paste away! We plan on releasing strategised social media resources for churches to use shortly.

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Follow Greater Sydney Conference on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sydneyadventists.nsed esenihi liquameni

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Lee rewards ‘completion’ not ‘competition’ By Sanitarium

A

ustralian cricket legend and Weet-Bix Kids TRY Hero Brett Lee recently cheered on 2,500 Sydney kids as they swam, rode and ran their way around Sydney Olympic Park as part of the biggest kids’

friends,” said Laniel. “It was a wonderful family day out filled with excitement and joy and the look on the children’s faces once they finished and got their medals - just priceless!” Evidence suggests that physically active children are more likely to mature into physically active adults. Since its inception, over 190,000 Aussie Kids have participated in the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon. The annual series includes ten events held across the country from January to May, attracting more than 16,000 Australian children each year.

triathlon series on the planet, the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon.The Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon aims to inspire the next generation to build a love for physical activity that will last a lifetime, with the “focus on completing, not competing”. “The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon isn’t about getting the fastest time or winning a race. It’s about having fun, making new friends and being healthy,” said Lee. “One of the most appealing things about the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is watching kids burst with pride as each participant crosses the finish line and receives a gold medal just for completing the course.” Groups from many churches volunteered on the day to help make it a success. Laniel Rima from Sydney Cook Islands Pathfinders said their group had a wonderful time helping out. “It was such a thrill to see not only the children getting involved, but also their siblings, parents, grandparents and

Weet-Bix TRIATHLON PARTICIPANT. Top: Nicholas Camilo and Levi Gordon.


Churches Raise Funds at TRYathlon Where Sanitarium ventures, their goal is to bring the church along. Parallel to providing a platform for kids to test their physicality and endurance, the company offers churches the opportunity to connect with the community and raise funds. One local church has taken this opportunity and turned it into a well-organized fundraising machine. Miles’ End has been participating in the Sydney leg of the TRYathlon for the last five years. Every year, the church’s Pathfinders run a Vegie Delight stand (top right). Those not racing in the event help manage the stand under adult supervision. They set up Friday, rest on Sabbath, then turn up at 6am Sunday to prep, and cook, serve and run the till until 1pm. For all their efforts, the club generally makes around $3000, which carries the group–30-strong–through the year.

Funds can be used for anything, from social activities to evangelism material. As further incentive, volunteers receive free breakfast, lunch, snacks, shirt & hat. Like Holroyd Church (bottom image), Sherry Shi, ADRA Youth Ambassador, rounded up members from 3AM Church (below) to raise money for ADRA. “It is a simple way to get out and meet people of this great city and also help a worthy cause,” said church member Penny Fang. “Sure it’s a little early to rise on a Sunday, but it’s just one day. You can do it!”

“The money goes towards supplies and things like ski camps, food kitchens and supplementing fees,” says leader Glen Gordon. “Colin Taylor of ActiveEdge, the company that coordinates the vendors and sponsors, and Dean Epps of Life Health Food, which subsidizes the Vegie Delights, have been good to us. They’ve been instrumental to our success.” Food stands are not the only way to fundraise. Sanitarium offers a second option. For every volunteer registered under a church group, the company will pay that individual $27.

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counselling

e

ver since its inception, healthy living has been a part of the Seventh-day Adventist message to bring to the world. We know that God desires us to be healthy in mind and body and spirit (see 3 John 1,2 for example).

The church has been advised to create small centres of influence in large cities that can be a light for God (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, p. 551). As I have been blessed with medical skills, I see it as my role to follow this advice. Thus, Sanctuary Lifestyle Clinic in Waitara was born. Sanctuary Lifestyle Clinic is set up as a holistic medi cal and dental clinic to offer care to the community. We seek to use conventional medicine and dentistry along with lifestyle, natural and holistic treatments to best serve our patients. This is our mission. We promote NEWSTART as the basis for good health and have a full General Medical and Dental set up, includ ing treatment room, for minor procedures, vacci nations, pathology etc. We currently have a male and female GP, a dentist, a nurse and two wonderful receptionists. In April, we will be blessed to add counseling services, with the relocation of Adventist Counseling Services under the direction of Psychologist Claire Marsh into Sanctuary Lifestyle Clinic. We are also blessed to be adding a lay health worker whose role will be to promote, recruit and run lifestyle and community programs (such as CHIP) and Depression Recovery in the clinic, and liaise with local churches in the area running these programs. Sanctuary Lifestyle Clinic is unashamedly Christian, yet treads carefully and gently to­welcome patients from all walks of life. We hope that as Sanctuary Clinic shines its light, it will attract like-minded staff and become a training centre of influence as well as a community centre of excellence for quality physical, mental and spiritual care. Without a doubt, this is a faith decision. As anyone who is a business owner would understand, there are many risks involved with such an undertaking. But I trust God, and that in seeking his will and guidance–and doing what He is asking of us–He’ll make it His problem to resolve. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to fulfil Gods purpose for medical missionary work in the city of Sydney.

by Dr Andrew Pennington & Claire Marsh

Adventist Counselling Services (ACS) was established to be a professional, affordable Christian counseling service and has expanded to include psychology services. For decades, ACS has been providing individual, couple and family counselling, along with various group workshops and pre-marital preparation. Along with these services, ACS now also provides psychometric testing to assist in identifying learning difficulties in young children, and focused psychological counseling for mental health conditions, testing that is rebated by Medicare. Claire Marsh manages of the Adventist Counselling Services in our Greater Sydney Conference. She also works in two of our Adventist schools in Sydney. Claire is a registered Psychologist who has worked for the state government in the Department of Human Services as an Assessor and Public Servant for many years prior to taking on her current role for the church three years ago. In the coming weeks, Claire and ACS will be relocating to partner with Sanctuary Lifestyle Clinic. This move will enable patients to access a range of Christian health professionals in the one location and experience a more holistic approach in their ongoing health care. ACS will continue to provide the same services as it has done so in the past, but with a renewed vision of its role in health ministry. For more information about Sanctuary Lifestyle Clinic visit www.sanctuaryclinic.com.au. Please like and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sanctuaryclinic.

ADVENTIST COUNSELLING SERVICES From 26 April 2017, ACS will be located at Sanctuary Lifestyle Clinic, Suite 3, Level 1, 41/45 Pacific Hwy, Waitara. Contact ACS: 8876 5238 or GSCACS@adventist.org.au


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EDUCATION

MVAC education gets national recognition

M

search-based teaching strategies over recent years. At the same time, they introduced a range of classroom and remedial literacy programs that make use of explicit instruction and consistent, regular testing to measure student progress.

ountain View Adventist College received recognition from Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) today for significant improvement in educational outcomes. This is in response to national NAPLAN test results, made public today on the My School website, which show that students from the school have made impressive gains in literacy and numeracy since last tested.

The change in direction was made possible after the school received a federal Action Plan grant in 2013, designed to lift educational standards after a report into OECD countries showed that Australian schools have been slipping in the rankings. The grant was administered through the Association of Independent Schools (AIS), the peak body for independent schools in NSW.

The K-12 coeducational Christian school puts these results down to the fact that they have implemented new, re

Report by ACARA

MIND THE GAP - MVAC

T

he annual Senior Day of Worship is an event that is highly anticipated on the education calendar. This is where all the Adventist senior schools in Sydney (Years 9-12) gather for fellowship, food and worship. The fellowship section of the day took place at the Sydney Ice Arena where we observed about 500 students and teachers from different schools carving up the ice and getting to know each other more. Avondale College journied down from Cooranbong and provided lunch for all students and staff. Their contribution was immense, and we are so grateful. The worship program saw all three schools participate in what proved to be a moving experience. Our guest speaker for the event was Pr Phil Yates, a former teacher at MVAC. Pr Yates explored the theme, “Mind the Gap.� As you mind the gap between the platform and the train, it is also wise to mind the gap between our peers, family members, colleges and people around us. We must also be mindful of the gap between God and ourselves, that we should endeavour to have this gap smaller, if not, closed.

Pr Phil made an alter call for senior students who would like to close the gap in society and with God. About 75% of the students came forward for special prayer. Following the alter call was an invitation to all Year 12 students from every school to come forward for a prayer of dedication. We prayed for encouragement in their final year and direction for their next phase in life. A devotional was gifted to each Year 12 to remind them of this special day, and to help them experience Jesus for themselves. God is blessing our senior students. by Rangi Eiao

SENIOR students gather as PR PHIL MAKES AN ALTER CALL


​Auburn ADVENTIST COLLEGE celebrates 100 Years

T

wenty seventeen marks 100 years for Sydney Adventist School Auburn (SASA) as a provider of Adventist education in Greater Sydney, a milestone that deserves a bit of pomp and circumstance. On 22 July, the school will host an anniversary celebration to commemorate its longstanding commitment to Adventist education in Greater Sydney.

Last year the school issued a request for stories and memories to provide more colour and context to its history. Stories have already begun coming in as previous alumni heed the request, with some students providing insight as far back as 1937! “This school has touched the lives of so many students. I am sure many look back with fond memories”, says Efstratiou.

Current Principal Danyel Efstratiou recognizes how important this milestone is, not only to the school and Adventist education in Greater Sydney, but also to the people who have journeyed through the school over the years and have impacted or have been impacted by it.

SASA is still requesting stories and memories. Share your story or register for Auburn’s 100 Year Anniversary Celebration by calling the school at 02 9649 5279 or by visiting their website at auburn.adventist.edu.au. by Anjuli Cruz

“I am so excited to celebrate 100 years of education at Sydney Adventist School Auburn! And I am looking forward to meeting the people who have played such an important part in creating the wonderful culture of school that we have today”.

CELEBRATING

The July celebration service will include reflections and testimonies from former staff and students, followed by lunch. Festivities continue into the afternoon with a plaque ceremony, a meet-and-greet, and proceeds through the evening including with fun activities for families and a concert.

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Youth

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n Sunday, 26 February, the youth of Wahroonga began their Youth Week of Prayer. Each night from Sunday to Thursday, young people from the church led the programs and delivered powerful messages.

The theme for the event was “BLUEPRINTS”, and it focused on sharing God’s plan for each of our lives. It was so encouraging and uplifting to see the young people of our conference step up and be used by God to bring the Word to their peers. Throughout the week we had a number of young people from different churches around Sydney in attendance as well as a cluster of attendees from our conference summer camps that came out to support their counsellors who spoke throughout the week. This was a special highlight for me. On the Friday night guest speaker Pr Raymond Moaga delivered powerful and relevant messages encouraging the young people of this generation to “GO” and finish the work God has entrusted the youth to do. On Sabbath morning, 4 March, we held our conference youth rally at Wahroonga SDA church for the first time ever. It was an amazing partnership between the local church and the conference youth department.

The day began with a breakfast that was absolutely delicious. (The folk at Wahroonga really know how to cook!) We then moved on to divine service that included a dynamic testimony by Moses Tanaki, a beautiful baptism celebration and a concluding message by Pr Raymond Moaga with an appeal that resulted in 19 young people making the decision for baptism! The youth department had a great time partnering with Wahroonga church and seeing the young people lead out in all elements of the program. This is our focus as a youth department. To see the local churches thrive and young people become leaders of today and tomorrow. We look forward to partnering on events and trainings with more local churches, as we know that God has an amazing plan for them all. by Pr Raul Moran, Associate Youth Director


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FEATURE

Wenda

COMES HOME

MY NAME IS WENDA DUTCZAK AND I WAS BAPTIZED ON THE 26TH OF FEBRUARY THIS YEAR. PEOPLE SAY THAT THE LORD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS. I’D LIKE TO ADD THAT I AM LIVING PROOF OF THAT.

Wenda’s Baptism with Pr Andrew & Pr Barend I had always believed in God–limited as that belief was early on–I thought he had forsaken me.

Prior to losing my mum, I lost my father, a holocaust survivor, when I was ten. At the age of 45, he died also of cancer. Years after at age 20, I came out to my family as a homosexual. I am now 54 years old. I don’t define myself as a daughter of a holocaust survivor. I don’t define myself as a homosexual, nor do I define myself as a grieving daughter. These are earthly things. Rather, I define myself as one of the luckiest people on the earth because I am a child of God. And because I now understand that the Lord is ever-present and in my life “I DEFINE despite the rough ride I’ve had thus far and MYSELF AS may yet experience in the future.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be a joyful, baptised member of the Adventist church, I would have said you were NUTS! I had never been to a church service or read the Bible. And I had never even heard of the Sabbath (which is now my favourite day of the week). But with the encouragement and support of my best friend Krystel, and pastors Andrew Russell and Barend Nieuwstraten, here I am on the right path. The reason I choose this date is because it was my mum’s birthday. With great sadness to my brother, sister, stepfather and myself, we lost her a year ago this day to a very aggressive form of cancer. My mum was a brave woman and the foundation of my family. She was well loved. And before she died, she accepted Jesus Christ as her saviour.

ONE OF THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE ON THE EARTH BECAUSE I AM A CHILD OF GOD.”

My family lives in the UK, and due to my unemployment at the time, I couldn’t afford to fly back and attend her funeral. I was broken hearted, as was my family. Why am I telling you all this? Well, to preface my grief and how the severity of it became unbearable. That grief brought depression and although

I didn’t expect after my baptism that I would wake like sleeping beauty. As a result of engaging with the pastors, and now my church family, my life has dramatically changed for the better. I am building my relationship with the Lord, I have a friend in Jesus Christ, my heart is open to the Holy Spirit and I am truly blessed.

So to all of you reading this article, I have Kings 10:9 to say to you: “Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you!” If you’ve lost your way, He will welcome you home too. Wenda Dutczak


MAY 6

Welcome Home SABBATH #SYDNEYADVENTISTS

IGNITE

After months of planning, our IGNITE event has passed with great success! Thousands of church members from around the Conference gathered to worship together, praise together and pray for lost members and new churches on the Eastern Seaboard. Look out for a recap in the next Intrasyd.

40 Days of Prayer

40 Days of Prayer, which began at IGNITE, continues until 29 April. This is an opportunity to make sure that prayer is the

central focus of the Greater Sydney Conference. We believe that through this opportunity, God can really pour out His spirit on this city and that His work will advance as we commit ourselves to a lifestyle of prayer. This prayer initiative arises from the Greater Sydney Conference’s strategic focus on ‘Growing in Discipleship’. We’re confident that an intentional focus on each person having a strong and vibrant spiritual life will lead to churches that have a greater sense of loving community and a greater focus on, and success in, evangelism and community service. “Our greatest need is not necessarily better strategies, even though it is good to plan strategically,” says Sven Östring,

Director of Discipleship Movements. “Our greatest need is to connect with Jesus, the all-powerful Creator of the universe,

and to allow His power and mission shape our lives and plans”. We should all be people of prayer and people of the book. This is the essence of the Christian life.

May 6 Welcome Home Sabbath

On 6 May, churches around the Greater Sydney Conference will be hosting a Welcome Home Sabbath, a special Sabbath program to invite former and inactive members home to their local church. The initiative was born out of a desire to have a targeted and intentional focus on reconnecting with Seventh-day Adventists who have drifted away with their local congregation. For the program, we ask churches to ensure that people returning are made to feel welcome, and that the language used in the service is welcoming and inclusive. Make a call for all persons present to rededicate their life to following Jesus and engaging in the mission of the church. Also consider a fellowship lunch. Breaking bread together is a great way to build relationships. A training booklet has been produced and is available as a PDF. This has been supplied to pastors and senior elders. It is important that this is not a launch-and-leave strategy and that friendship is not just a Sabbath morning event, but that these former members are integrated into the community of the church, as they are willing and able.

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PH: (02) 8876 5238

EMAIL: GSCACS@adventist.org.au

Sydney ADVENTIST COUNSELLING SERVICES ABOUT US?

IS THERE A COST?

ACS is a service operated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in the Sydney region. It is a non-profit organisation that offers professional confidential counselling and psychology services to individuals (adults and adolescents), couples and families.

ACS fees are determined on a sliding-scale which is income dependent. We are committed to providing a professional counselling service that is affordable to all. We are also able to offer a Medicare rebate if you have a referral from your GP to see a Psychologist.

WHAT DO WE OFFER? ACS provide specialised services in the following: • Pre-marital counselling • Mental Health workshops • Marriage seminars and workshops • Forgiveness seminars and workshops • Intelligence testing for children and adolescents •‘Cool Kids’ Anxiety group program for children and adolescents

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? ACS can provide help with a variety of issues impacting on relationships, quality of life, general mental health and well-being. Some of these may include Depression, Anxiety and other mental health conditions; grief and loss; family relationship issues and conflict; trauma and abuse; separation and divorce; career decisions, or clarification of values and goals.

WHERE ARE WE LOCATED? ACS is located in The Sanctuary Lifestyle clinic where we work alongside other Christian health professionals. The clinic offers holistic health care for all patients and is located at Suite 3, 41/45 Pacific Hwy, Waitara (entrance off Yardley Avenue).

HOW TO BOOK? ACS is open from 10am to 7pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. To make a booking, contact (02) 8876 5238 or email GSCACS@adventist.org.au

March - April 2017 Intrasyd  

Adventist news and stories from Greater Sydney.