intrasyd JULY - AUGUST 2019
Youth Rally Highlights, P18
Features: Doing for others & Sydney Adventist School News
FROM THE PRESIDENT Terry Johnson
PRESIDENT Terry Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Joyce Taylor email@example.com
Graphic Designer Lynda G. Abreu firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Contributors Linda Ciric Dr Jean Carter Katrina Jorgensen (Graphics) Daniel Lavaiamat Lauren Bongard-Schwarz Ashley Stanton Linda Taskis Mary-Jon Tuaoi María José Díaz Villarroel
Next content deadline 30 AUG bit.ly/intraSYD
What is the gospel? Christians usually respond that it is Good News. However, news has to be relevant and timely in order for it to be news. Our Good News comes from 2,000 years ago and, for many in Australia, referring to the current religious controversies in our media, it has absolutely no relevance today and is relegated to the fairy-tales rubbish bin. Can the gospel therefore still be called Good News in our modern context?
For something to qualify as news there has to be four parts to it: 1. An announcement that an event happened. 2. A larger context or backstory within which the news event makes sense. 3. A sudden unveiling of the new future that lies ahead as a result. 4. A transformation of the present moment sitting between the event that has happened and the future event that will happen. As Christians we are good at sharing events that have happened—namely that Jesus was born, lived, died, and was resurrected. All of humanity is aware of these truths because of the common focus on Christmas and Easter. But the vast majority, including Christians, are unfamiliar with the backstory from which the events of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus make sense and become Good News. As Seventh-day Adventists we believe that Old Testament biblical prophecy has given an unveiling (the backstory) of the new future from 1844 through till the return of Jesus, and that means that we live in #4 of the items that qualify something to be news. We are living between the event that has happened and the knowledge of the future event that will happen. For some reason, instead of shouting this good news of His death and therefore the good news of His coming from every street in Greater Sydney,
it has over time led to a sense of apathy. Of course, if one cries “Jesus is coming!” often and nothing happens, then is it unusual that we become apathetic? Or could it be that we are truly blasé about the gospel because we know it intimately, but we have not experienced its transformative power? In his first known letter to a church, the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 1 reminds those new believers that they accepted the gospel in simplicity and they became disciples (imitators) while welcoming the message of Good News with joy. In verse 8 Paul states that “the Lord’s message rang out from you” to different parts. The news was so good that the new disciples could not help but share it in the context in which they lived. They turned from idols to serve the living God and found themselves waiting for His return just like us. They began to understand the backstory of sin and why the Saviour was such good news, and, in so doing, learned how to share the news contextually in order for it to be relevant to other Thessalonians who did not know the backstory and did not see Jesus as relevant to their existence. Greater Sydney is the new Thessalonica. People don’t see the Good News as relevant or transformative; instead, they see it lacking in real power. We need to choose to turn up the spiritual temperature in our personal lives, accepting the transformative power of the Good News, and share a sermon in shoes with our neighbours contextualized to their circumstances so that it becomes relevant good news to them. My belief is that our apathy will be shaken off and the power that is the gospel truth will joyfully be shared bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth right here and now.
UPCOMING EVENTS MATES CONFERENCE 18-20 OCTOBER 2019
ADDRESS Shannon Bldg,185 Fox Valley Rd Wahroonga NSW 2076 PHONE +61 (02) 9868 6522 EMAIL email@example.com
Remember the Sabbath
17-08 / 5:27 Friday to 5:27 Saturday 24-08 / 5:31 Friday to 5:32 Saturday 31-08 / 5:36 Friday to 5:37 Saturday 07-09 / 5:41 Friday to 5:41 Saturday 14-09 / 5:45 Friday to 5:46 Saturday 21-09 / 5:50 Friday to 5:51 Saturday
Sydney Adventist Youth
It’s been an exciting six months for us in the Greater Sydney Conference Youth Deptartment. With a completely new team comprised of myself, Pr Phil Yates and Lind Ciric, we've hit the ground running. So far, we have been tremendously blessed! Page 16 ARTICLE
Save the Date
24 Aug / End It Now Emphasis Day 07-15 Sept / Week of Prayer 08 Sept / Father's Day 10 Sept / Suicide Prevention Day 01-31 Oct / ADRA Appeal 18-20 Oct / Mens Conference Get the 2019 cal at bit.ly/GSC2018cal equipping for purpose. the mates conference exists to empower men to live out God’s purpose for their life as husbands, fathers and leaders.
FIND OUT MORE + REGISTER AT: MATESCONFERENCE
ADRA: Doing for Others
October is just around the corner, and it is the month that churches predominantly associate with the ADRA Appeal. But just what is the ADRA Appeal, and why is it so important to get involved? Page 11
2019 Calendar Features
Meet the May-June features! Want to be in the 2020 calendar or create art for it? Have someone to nominate? Write to us at sydney@ adventist.org.au. Page 15 NEW eGiving app COMING SOON
17-08 / Local Church Budget 24-08 / Union Project 31-08 / Education: Hurstville 07-09 / Local Church Budget 14-09 / Annual Sacrifice Read more at bit.ly/2nL4CtY
The new eGiving app will be available as an update in your app store.
eGiving is a simple way to return tithes and give offerings, available to registered churches in Australia & New Zealand.
Sydney Adventist Schools
There is much happening at our schools! Hills College is celebrating excellence, new branding is being rolled out all schools, plus the Sydney Adventit Schools Scholarship Forms are now online! Page 12
eGiving App Refreshed
eGiving is a simple way to return tithes and give offerings. The FEATURES improved eGiving app will offer a simper user experience and much more! Page 09 Simple User Experience
Quick Secure Giving
Set up Recurring Gifts
Conference Calendar Giving
Tithe/ Offering Calculator
View Giving History
EDITORIALS General Secretary
Adrian Raethel FROM THE CHURCH LTD BOARD
• The financial statements for the Church Ltd Trust for the 2018 calendar year have received an unmodified audit opinion. • Later this year, churches will have the opportunity to be trained in the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) program to assist those in the community under severe financial stress with basic budgeting advice. • On the recommendation of the Australian Union Conference, the Greater Sydney Conference (GSC) has adopted a paid parental leave policy that provides for 12 weeks of paid leave to eligible employees covered by the Division Wage Schedule.
Chief Financial Officer
Eva Ing I recently had the pleasure of hosting a number of special guests from Zimbabwe West Union Conference, one of three union conferences within Zimbabwe. They were the CFOs of the union and two conferences. It was a great privilege for me to meet them and to take them on a tour of one of our schools and aged-care facilities. What amazed me were their stories of how fast their church is growing and the significant financial challenges they face. With a membership of nearly 300,000, the annual total income for their whole system is approximately 1/3 of our conference’s tithe. Their pastors individually care for an average of 13 churches each. Put this in context of a country that has faced drastic economic and political upheaval in the past decade and a currency that has suffered hyperinflation to the point where the U.S.
FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
• The Ingleburn Adventist Lighthouse church plant has been granted provisional group status. • The Bondi church plant, sponsored by the Portuguese church and reaching out to the Brazilian community, has been granted provisional group status. • Approval has been given for the Eastwood Chinese group to become a company with the organizing service being held on 20 July, 2019. • The Concord church received a grant towards the cost of extensive renovation work on their church hall, including building and electrical work. • The GSC Wahroonga Estate Committee has been reactivated and includes representatives from the school and the two churches on the estate and the Aged Care Company.
dollar had to be used as their currency in recent times. I came away from this experience with great respect for my African colleagues, and it made me realise that our financial challenges were truly first-world problems in comparison. It’s with great sadness that I report the passing of a former treasurer, Mr Eric Howse. With over 38 years of interdenominational service, Eric distinguished himself at Greater Sydney, employed initially as an Accountant from 1971 to 1976, and Property Manager and then Treasurer from 1996 to 2003. Representing our conference, I attended the funeral at Avondale Adventist Memorial Church in Cooranbong and gave our condolences to Doreen and family. I expressed my regret that I had not been able to meet him and thank him for his significant contribution to the conference, where we have greatly benefited from his business and missional acumen. We look forward to that great and glorious day when we can meet in our Lord’s presence.
2019 CALENDAR FEATURES Illustrations by María José Díaz Villarroel
San Chapel Men Sydney Adventist Hospital July | Men's Ministries "We run the open worship event every first Friday of the month. These hour-long events aim to reaffirm the Hospital Mission of Christianity in Action and how we follow Christ’s example of health and healing. Join us." Dr Branimir Schubert (Photo Credit: Adventist Record)
Joan Cain Women's Weekly Worship August | Women's Ministries "At a time of great personal sadness for me––losing my dearest husband, Jim––the Women's Weekly Worship has provided me with a haven of friendship, encouragement and hope. Each week, Beryl and all the ladies welcome me with an openness and spiritual happiness that I have never experienced before." For more on the Women's Weekly Worship, visit www.facebook.com/sydneyadventistwomen.
wo long time clients of the ADRA Blacktown Centre were married at the centre on the 10th of June. Charles and Jennifer could not afford a celebration. Empathising with their situation, staff came together and gave the couple, and a small group of relatives, a party to remember. â€œ At ADRA Blacktown we don't just mend broken lives, we also bring joy.â€?Eddy Johnson
Have Have anything anything exciting exciting or or exextraordinary traordinary to to share? share? Email Email us us at at firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com.
01. FEAST, STORMS & HANGIS IN HOXTON & HORSLEY PARKS BY KESA LATU
love and fellowship in Christ.
On March 22, Hoxton Park Seventh-day
years of her morning exercise classes
Adventist Church celebrated its first agape feast in six years. It was a night filled with love,worship, food, fellowship and warmth, well received by church members and friends within the community. Just 30 minutes before the start of the feast, nature unleashed a heavy storm and hail. This, however, did not dampen the spirit of agape, and the program continued faithfully. Praise the Lord that in the eye of the storm we are still able to feel the agape
A few weeks later on the 22nd of April, Shirley Santos celebrated nine by having a hangi. Rain, hail or shine, friends and the community have turned up to Hoxton Park church every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. to attend the class, which includes stretching and breathing exercises, running, and aerobics, followed by a health/food demonstration and a nutritious, filling breakfast. This simple initiative has seen people brought to Harvest Fellowship in Horsley Park, where Shirley is a key member
CAPTIONS/CREDITS 01 Hoxton Parks Agape feast in the midst of a storm. 02 Hurstville Church Vigil for the Christchurch Massacre.
and contributor. As a professional in
tended a briefing about this project on
and heart-related issues with Pacific
the health field, her knowledge and
the 18th of June.
Island communities. This commitment
kindness has seen this exercise class continue faithfully.
02. HEALTH DEPT PARTNERS WITH INGHAM INSTITUTE Plans are underway for Adventist Health (GSC) to join the South Western Sydney Local Health District in stroke awareness research with the Ingham Institute. The research group intends to find out what our Polynesian members know about stroke and cardiovascular disease. Dr Paul Rankin, GSC Health Director, and Malcom Rea, GSC ADRA Director, at-
resonates with me, and starting with Someone in Australia has a stroke every
my own Samoan Adventist people is a
ten minutes. Thousands die, and others
are crippled for life. The good news is that healthy lifestyle decisions can
The Stroke Awareness Committee is
prevent stroke and, even when it does
about to present its proposal and ques-
occur, urgent medical invention can
tionnaire to the local ethics community
improve outcomes. This research is sig-
and, when approved, will be visiting
nificant, as it has the potential to reduce
churches to assess knowledge of this
the huge burden of this disease.
Ms Lily Roberts, Ingham Institute group
For info about this exciting stroke pre-
convenor, said, â€œWe are committed
vention research, call Dr Paul Rankin, GSC
to sharing information about stroke
Health Director, on (02) 9868 6522.
Stay in the know!
NEW eGiving app COMING SOON The new eGiving app will be available as an update in your app store. eGiving is a simple way to return tithes and give offerings, available to registered churches in Australia & New Zealand.
FEATURES Simple User Experience
Quick Secure Giving
Set up Recurring Gifts
Conference Calendar Giving
Tithe/ Offering Calculator
View Giving History
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October is just around the corner, and it is the month that churches predominantly associate with the ADRA Appeal. The words ADRA Appeal conjure up images of Pathfinders, door-knocking, and public collections. But just what is the ADRA Appeal, and why is it so important to get involved? The ADRA Appeal is one of four major fundraising campaigns run by ADRA Australia to raise funding for ADRA’s life-changing community projects, both in Australia and overseas—including eight projects right here in the Greater Sydney Conference. But what separates this campaign from the others is you. During October, you have the chance to get involved and help raise vital funds for ADRA projects impacting your local community. Not only that, you also have a chance to extend ADRA’s reach and get your local church, schools, or community group involved in actively serving others.
So what can you do? Door-knocking is still the most effective way of fundraising within your community. But it’s not the only way your church can get involved. If door-knocking is not for you, ADRA suggests one of the following ways that you can support the ADRA Appeal: hold a concert and showcase your church’s musical talents, gather and sell unused items at a garage sale, host a community meal, or run a fundraiser of your very own. To organise a fundraising activity and access supporting resources, go to adra.org.au/fundraising. Thank you for partnering with ADRA!
Raises vital funds to help Australians in need.
How will you get involved this year?
Register today by calling:
02 9868 6522
EDUCATION Excellence & Growth at Hills College By Linda Taskis NATHAN LAI RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE. Earlier this year, over 19,000 students from 400 schools (including Hills College) participated in the Computational and Algorithmic Thinking Competition, which is run by the Australian Mathematics Trust. They recently received the results, and the College is proud to have one of their students, Nathan Lai (Year 11), obtain an Award For Excellence for receiving a Perfect Score. This puts Nathan in the top 2% of all participants. Nathan also received a Certificate of High Distinction.
IN OTHER NEWS | It was a high day on 26 June for
Hills College as they welcomed dignitaries from both state and local governments to officiate at the opening of their new middle school building. This building caters to Year 7 and 8 students and houses purpose-built science laboratories, new bathroom facilities and change rooms, and four additional general-use classrooms. Hills Adventist College has undergone a continuous building program to cater to substantial growth since it commenced its additional campus at North Kellyville in 2011. Principal Dr Malcolm Coulson welcomes the new facilities and is proud of the vision that the college has, saying, “Hills Adventist College is focused on preparing its students to become caring and responsible global citizens, becoming young adults who are aware of the world around them and their important place in it.”
PICTURE 1: Nathan Lai with Mrs Hutanu (Head of Mathematics Dept). Thank you to Mrs Hutanu who facilitates and encourages students to do their best in Mathematics. PICTURE 2 (from L-R): Dr Michelle Byrne (Mayor of Hills Council); the Hon. Sarah Mitchell (NSW Minister for Education); the Hon. Ray Williams (Member for Castle Hill); Dr Malcolm Coulson (Principal, Hills Adventist College).
Adapts GC branding By Dr Jean Carter
The Seventh-day Adventist Church shares Jesus and His Word with the world through a variety of ministries, including education. Across Australia, the Seventh-day Adventist Church administers almost 60 schools catering to more than 12,000 students. Worldwide, the church operates almost 6,000 schools with a total enrolment of over one million students. This network of experience and care enables us to provide children with quality education in an ideal environment for them to learn and grow academically and as people.
the schools over the coming months, starting with our newsletters.
Following adoption of a global identity style by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventists Schools Australia has endorsed the adoption of new logos and style guide for its education ministry in keeping with the global brand. Schools in the Greater Sydney Conference will, over time, adopt the new logos and style guides to keep consistency with the global brand. “As part of the Adventist education philosophy we believe that each child is unique and of immeasurable value. At the heart of Adventist education is a belief that children achieve true growth when their mental, physical, and spiritual needs are met. With a focus on personal attention to your child, our independent schools provide a nurturing and caring learning environment where Christian values are upheld,” says the Executive Director of Education, Dr Jean Carter. “Our values are formed from our faith and our new brand is a reflection of the strength that embodies.”
New logos for Sydney Adventist Schools.
Choosing the right school for your child can set them on a path to a bright future, both personally as well as professionally. Sydney Adventist schools provide your child with an excellent all-round education.
LEARN MORE at bit.ly/SydSDASchools.
You will start to see our new brand rolled out across
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HELLO FROM THE
YOUTH DIRECTOR! It’s been an exciting six
istries department of the South Pacific Division, in conjunc-
Adventist Youth. With a
Faith is developed:
months for us at Sydney completely new team com-
tion with "Here to Stay", recognized seven key areas where
prised of myself, Pr Phil Yates
Service & Mission
ground running in Greater
and Lind Ciric, we've hit the
Sydney. So far, we have been tremendously blessed!
This is the third Conference I’ve been employed with
during my time in ministry, and I have found that God
- Participation -
Noteworthy Memory Events
always has people who are committed to Him and have a
Pathfinders and Adventurers are local Church-based
these people, and knowing they are there to support. We
these seven faith-shaping principles. Summer Camps, on
heart for Service. It’s a real joy meeting and working with
look forward to our years in service in the Greater Sydney Conference (GSC) Youth Department.
With the future in mind, we have had the opportunity to pray through and develop a vision for Sydney Adventist
Youth over the past six months. Here’s what it looks like: SHAPE FAITH. UNLEASH LEADERS. EMPOWER CHURCHES. EXPAND MISSION.
Shape Faith – Research has shown time and again that
young people make key decisions around life and faith between four and 14 years of age. While we firmly be-
lieve that parents, in particular, and the local Church have a profound influence in this space, we’re also convinced that we can make a worthy contribution to developing the faith of young people.
Three ministries that particularly come to mind are Adven-
turers, Pathfinders and Summer Camps. The Children’s Min-
(Conference supported), year-round ministries that fuel the other hand, only happen once a year, but they are
noteworthy memory events where young people encoun-
ter God, build authentic relationships, experience healthy intergenerational connections and are inspired to participate as servants in God’s Kingdom.
The purpose of Adventurers & Pathfinders has always
been to develop young people into leaders who engage in their local Churches and bear Kingdom responsibility with joy. This is why we run programs like “Master
Guides” for senior Pathfinders. We dream of Adventurers graduating from Pathfinders and taking up leadership
in the local Church. We dream of unleashing an army of youth who will take the Gospel to the world.
Empower Churches – The local Church is the heart of the community, sharing light & hope to the world. It’s where people meet Jesus and disciples are made. Greater
Sydney Conference has a dream that each local Church would:
Have a hot Spiritual Temperature
communities that share Jesus. With this vision in mind we
Be full of Empowered Members
place next year.
• • •
Connect with their Communities And be Digital Disciples
bring to your attention to two key initiatives that will take
The Growing Together Project – Greater Sydney
Conference has received funding from the South Pacific
We look forward to partnering with local Church leaders--of-
Division to take 20 Churches on a Growing Together cohort
to see our Conference’s dream for local Churches become a
Churches to engage young people and families and in turn
fering support and expertise where we can--as we endeavour
journey next year. This is an exciting journey that helps
increase the overall health of the Church.
Greater Sydney Conference has a population of close to 5.6
Churches, we could ascribe close to 58, 000 people to each
new initiatives that focus on empowering Youth leaders
like this makes you think seriously about the impact we are
finalised so we won’t give away too much yet.
Advent message centered on the Gospel of Jesus, we
If you are a Youth leader, a Church leader, or someone
Renewed Youth Leadership Focus – For the year
million people. If you divide the population into our local
2020, Sydney Adventist Youth is looking at a number of
Church. With Approximately 9,500 members in total, data
in the local Church. At this stage some details are being
having as a Church upon the community. With a profound
believe it’s imperative that we continue, by God’s Grace, to
expand in the mission we have been called to (Rev 14:6-12). We look forward to seeing more and more young people
reaching untapped areas in our city, doing mission out of their local Churches, planting new Churches and running missional
looking to engage in Youth Ministry in your local Church, stay tuned for what we have in store.
We're excited to see God move in 2020 and beyond. Simon Gigliotti, Director – Sydney Adventist Youth firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 15 – 16 this year, the
Unleashed Young Adults Conference will take place in Greater Sydney! Stay in tune for more details to come, we would love to see you there!
Youth Rally Highlights
How have we made our peace with God (Colossians
1:15-20) Local Churches will only be light and hope in the
world, when the people who comprise them are connected to Jesus, the one who holds all things together. This
was the essence of the message given by Greater Sydney Conferenceâ€™s new Youth Director, Simon Gigliotti, at the
July Youth Rally at Paramatta Church. It was exciting to see between four and five hundred young people come out to connect with God and each other on the day.
The day was a celebration of Jesus and what He means in
our lives and local Churches. Jahnneric Afele and his gifted musical group led out praise and worship. There was also a number of special items and a good portion of time for
discussion after the main worship program. During which,
all were encouraged to connect to Jesus and serve in their local Churches and communities.
The night was capped with Mexican food (cooked by Wetherill Park Spanish Church), hot drinks and music
by gifted saxophonist Rod Mart (Wetherill Park Spanish Church) enjoyed by the fire pits.
WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING IN PATHFINDERS AND ADVENTURERS
ADVENTURER FUN DAY (MARCH24) This day lived up to its name. All the clubs in greater Sydney came together for a short formal program and then a day of fun and food. Over 200
Adventurers representing 44 different clubs came out for a good time.
PATHFINDER LEADERSHIP AWARD (PLA)
PLA is a leadership training course that gets you ready for Pathfinder Leadership positions. It takes the best from Pathfinders and State
recognised outdoor certificate programs and merges them into a whole ADVENTURER RALLY (AUGUST 10)
heap of fun and exciting adventures. Here you learn learn everything
from running a Pathfinder club to taking a group camping safely. If you havenâ€™t already, you should definietly sign up for it next year. This year
DRUG FREE WALK (SEPTEMBER 7)
PATHFINDER EXPEDITION (SEPT 27-29)
PATHFINDER LEADERSHIP AWARD 3 (OCTOBER 12-13)
ADVENTURER CAMPOREE (NOV 1-3)
we had a group of 20 enrol in PLA. We are very impressed with them, and we hope you will be too!
map & compass Day (june 16) Map & Compass Day was a fantastic day out in the bushland of the Blue Mountains National Park. Over 180 pathfinders attended the event. Altogether, there were over 33 teams. The highest scoring team found 23 markers and recieved 750 points! More on Youth events, visit www.sydneyadventistyouth.com.events.
PATHFINDER RALLY (NOVEMBER 23)
bankwest stadium 14-15 FEBRUARY 2020
think tank conference In 2018, over 400 delegates from our 102 churches, companies, church plants and groups participated in the 1st bi-annual Greater Sydney Conference Mission2Sydney Think Tank came up with five strategies to guide our Conference. At the 2020 Think Tank Session we will spend time on two of the strategies outlining how we can be stronger in them.
Pr David Jamison
Church in the Valley, Canada “Adventist Community Engagement”
Pr Alina Van Rensberg
South Queensland Conference “Growing Together”
Mr Adam Johnstone
Director of Natural Church Development Australia
REGISTRATION OPEN/CLOSE: 1 JULY-30 SEPTEMBER 2019 http://bit.ly/GSCThinkTank FOLLOW @SYDNEYADVENTISTS
Adventist news from around Greater Sydney