MAGAZINE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE
INTRASYD MARCH - APRIL 2018 APRIL - MAY 2018
Features: Pumba's Story & Upcoming Events Features: Media Tipsinfor Churches The WaySocial Brightens Redfern
FROMTHE THEPRESIDENT PRESIDENT Terry Johnson
“Who are the four best
evangelists in the Seventh-day
Adventist church today?" That
was the question asked in an online
PRESIDENT Terry Johnson email@example.com
Editor Joyce Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphics Lynda G. Abreu email@example.com
blog by Pastor Chad Stuart. I was
intrigued and thought, “Who is the best
evangelist in our Greater Sydney Conference?” Pr Stuart had a brilliant answer. His top four,
best evangelists in the church were: The Car park,
the Groundskeeper, the Janitor and the Greeter at the front door! He is absolutely on point!
What do our church car parks, church buildings and grounds, the cleanliness of our church
facility and the friendliness and helpfulness of our church greeting teams say about our
willingness as a church to be welcoming to seek-
We don’t always take the time to consider the implications of this bubble isolation and how
it speaks out from our pamphlets, posters and signs. What if your church sign says
“Seventh-day Adventist” and then the name of your language or country; could that then
suggest to people in your community who are
not of that language or country that they should not attend or would not be welcomed if they did? I don’t know, but it’s worth asking the question of your local community isn’t it? Particularly, if it prevents someone from
attending and hearing the good news of Christ’s soon return. What a tragedy it would be if one person were lost because of a sign.
Jesus indicated that there would be a sign as to
ers of truth on behalf of the Kingdom of Heaven?
who were his disciples. In John 13:35 He shares
Those are apt questions that each of us should
by the way that you love one another.” If ever
Ben Turner Beryl Landers Craig Dwyer Pr Horace Evans Jarrod Stackelroth Jungyook Park (Photos) Katrina Jorgensen (Graphics) Rachel Aitken Tim Richardson
ask ourselves personally and corporately. Another question could be, “What is the
perception of our local communities about our faith and our openness when the first
impression they see are our facilities or our
personal lives?” We should make the answers to those questions a matter of prayer and church business meeting focus.
I was recently challenged by a member who
suggested that I ‘lived in a bubble’ because I
am a Seventh-day Adventist who works for the
Next issue content due 27 APR
denomination. After a time of reflection, I had
to admit that this was somewhat accurate. As a result, I am now focusing on being more careful
with my “Adventisms.” That is, my understanding of church and the Seventh-day Adventist
words that I use, that we—on the whole—know, such as Sabbath, AY’s, Vespers and foot-washing, because I don’t want to isolate those who are unfamiliar with them.
that, “They will know that you are my disciples
there were a clear sign of who we are, it would be in the way that we care for one another.
Sounds simple, but it is so much more complex in frail human reality. All too often sin rears its
ugliness through power struggles and spiritual abuse, and what our local communities
sometimes see, is that journey instead of Jesus. At our Mission2Sydney Think Tank, Dr Tom
Evans reminded us of the Biblical solution to our “signs” woe; Increase Your Personal Spiritual
Temperature! Ask, what needs to be removed
from my life so that Jesus shines through? What needs to be added to my life to increase the
spiritual temperature? When that communion and devotion with God is good, then all the
other signs take care of themselves and Christ is lifted up and draws all humanity to Him.
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Remember the Sabbath
13-04 / 5:35 Friday to 5:34 Saturday 20-04 / 5:26 Friday to 5:25 Saturday 27-04 / 5:18 Friday to 5:17 Saturday 04-05 / 5:11 Friday to 5:10 Saturday 11-05 / 5:05 Friday to 5:05 Saturday 18-05 / 5:00 Friday to 5:00 Saturday
14-04 / World Mission 21-04 / Local Church Budget 28-04 / Local Church Budget 05-05 / South Pacific Record 12-05 / Local Church Budget Read more at bit.ly/2nL4CtY
More than 400 leaders from Greater Sydney Conference (GSC) gathered at ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, for the Mission2Sydney Think Tank. What was gleaned will impact the Conference for the next four years. Page 18 ARTICLE
Save the Date
15-18-04 / HOPESTAYZ 21-04 / Equipping For Mission 27-29-04 / Flat Water Canoeing 05-05 / Church Board Consultation 06-05 / Pathfinder Fair Get the 2018 cal at bit.ly/GSC2018cal
Ben's Take on Converge
When encouraging people to attend Converge camp, they immediately pause and ask, “Isn’t Converge just a big camp for young singles?” The answer is no. Converge is about much more that that. Page 12
Helping Kids Try
Sanitarium's Kids TRYathlon aims to encourage children to give things a try and live active healthy lives. Adventist volunteers not only helped support the kids, but raised funds for their churches too. Page 05
Pumba wondered about the purpose of his art, but it wasn’t until he sat as a stranger at the 2017 Digital Discipleship Conference that he began to understand. Page 16
Beryl Landers: "We saw a significant rise in women under 30 and it was encouraging to see a good number of teen girls come out to this event and support the ministry". Page 07
EDITORIALS GENERAL SECRETARY
FROM THE CHURCH LTD BOARD •
Given that the resourcing need
is now greater in Church Ltd (with
ruary 2018. They meet at the Living Word Worship Centre, 7/2 Gladstone Street, Merrylands. •
2018, lead by Anders Svensson and supported by the Hoxton Park and Campbelltown churches. Initially, small groups and
several house churches will be established prior to regular Sabbath worship services commencing. •
end of 25-26 August 2018. Subsequently, a series of boards,
councils and committees will need to be appointed including: • •
planting), and that Schools company is more financially viable
board has approved a gradual reduction in the percentage of
gross tithe appropriated from Church Ltd to Schools Ltd over The board is exploring the option of using a portion of the 9
annual Education offerings to provide scholarships for students
to attend Adventist schools, who would otherwise be unable to afford Adventist Education.
FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE •
The Ghanaian group was formed into a Company on 3 Feb-
Eva Ing "it's going to be another great year!"
As I write my Intrasyd article for this issue, my mind races in terms of the many projects and plans for 2018. It is going to be a busy year.
Here are just some of the major milestones and events we’re expecting to achieve in the next few months: •
Since our Developmental Agreement (DA) was approved in
December last year, we’re planning our temporary relocation
while the Conference Office is redeveloped. We’re looking at
Schools Ltd board of directors; Aged Care board of directors;
• School Councils for each of the 6 schools within the Conference;
(with significant operating surpluses over the last 5 years), the
The regular Constituency Meeting will be held at Mountain
View Adventist College, 41 Doonside Rd, Doonside the week-
momentum building in church
the next 7 years.
The Narellan Church plant was launched on 16 February
Audit Committees for the 3 companies (Church, Schools
& Aged Care);
Real Estate Committee.
Growing out of the recent Think Tank, Conference Administration are committed to the principal of our Church in Greater Sydney “growing younger” rather than “growing older”.
Consequently, we will be inviting expressions of interest from
dedicated and committed members, particularly younger people and young professional adults, to accept positions on the above boards, councils and committees.
a number of options and will shortly make a decision as to our
temporary Office for 18 months. In the meantime, it’s business as usual at 4 Cambridge Street, Epping. •
The planning for the Conference Office Mission Trip to East
Timor is in full swing. We hope to leave Sydney on June 21 and return July 2. The Mission trip will have an emphasis on Health, and the Office team will also provide some practical assistance to our schools in Dili and around the Island. •
Later in August, our Conference Constituency Meeting
will be held. For our finance team, this means we will need to
provide financial information for the past four years. While our
2017 financial position for Schools, Church and Conference have not been finalised at the time of writing, I can say that overall,
God has truly blessed this Conference, beyond all expectations. It’s going to be another great year. Praise God!
Sydney Volunteers Help Kids TRY
The event aims to encourage children to give things a try and
Church groups from across the Greater Sydney Conference
obesity cycle in her family, but they found netball and cricket to
live active healthy lives which is part of Sanitarium’s larger focus on addressing lifestyle diseases including childhood obesity. The event can also have an impact on family members.
Juliana Harmeling is a mother of two who wanted her kids
Aaron, 13 and Jullian, 12, to be active and to help break the
volunteered at the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon at
be too competitive.
biked and ran across the finish line while being cheered on by
“I thought I’d sign them up for the 2016 TRYathlon after a friend
bonding together through a service activity.
want to do it every year for as long as they can.” The event has
The Hurstville Pathfinders (pictured) especially appreciated
setting her sights on her own athletic challenge. “I’m about to
ipants picking up and dropping off their bikes in the event’s
lon,” she says. “That’s something I never thought I would do!”
Olympic Park on 4 February where more than 2,500 kids swam, family and friends. Volunteering helped groups fundraise while
learning the essence of real teamwork as they assisted partictransition area.
“At the end, we believe what we received was much more than we have ever hoped for,” said Linda Lee, one of the leaders of
the Hurstville team. “The money raised became less important
compared to the satisfaction we saw in our Pathfinders as they were able to help the younger participants.”
recommended it,” says Harmeling. “They had such fun that they inspired a more active lifestyle for the whole family with Juliana turn 50 and now have a goal to participate in an adult’s triath-
A total of 10 groups from the Greater Sydney Conference vol-
unteered at this year’s event with each group receiving $27 per volunteer while playing a valuable role in the event’s success.
For information on the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon, visit www.tryathlon.com.au or head to www.facebook.com/AussieKidsTRY.
ministries Serving Redfern By Pr Horace Evans
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been involved in the Redfern community in one form or another since 1954. Through the help and dedication of many volunteers, the church’s Redfern-based entity, The Way, has become a well-respected and accepted part of the community. In addition to Monday night worships and Sabbath church services, it provides over 200 meals each week to the community and distributes food parcels to residents in need in the area. In 2016, in response to a need for a permanent place to call our own, the Conference purchased a new building from which The Way could operate.
If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to The Way Community Services not-for-profit organisation, please use the info above. Much has changed since church volunteers first began working in Redfern, but the need has always remained. While The Way has become a home for people from all walks of life, it attracts a variety of people with a variety of issues from homelessness, mental issues, violence and abuse to drug addiction. Some are past and present criminals, some are individuals living on the poverty line and some are members of the LGBTIQ community in need, with few places to turn. What they all have in common is a real need to belong and find hope. To a growing number of the residents of Redfern, The Way is seen as a refuge–a haven where no one judges, where it’s ok to not be ok, and where love is offered unconditionally.
With every New Year comes the promise of new possibilities. We start to imagine what could be, what we should be and what God wants us to be. We at The Way Redfern Community Centre are excited about what God can do through us and for us in 2018. However, we need help. We are planning to expand the programs and services that The Way provides and are looking to engage with the community more through programs such as a Women’s Group, a Life Art – Artistic Group, Bible Study groups, a Prayer Corner, Adventurers and Youth Group, Health and Lifestyle and Counselling Services. If you feel you can contribute to the programs we are looking to provide, or that you have spe ific gifts and talents to offer, please contact Pr Horace Evans on 0438 163 762 or email@example.com.
Church Plant in Camden-Narellan The official launch of the Camden-Narellan church plant took place on Friday, 16 February. It was held in the Narellan Child, Family and Community Centre.
Around thirty-five Seventh-day Adventists from in and around the Camden council area attended. Also present at the meeting was the Conference team. Pr Terry Johnson, Pr Adrian Raethel, Pr Nataniel Pereira and Pr Sven Ostring all attended to give their full support and encouragement to this new project. At the event, Anders Svensson, leader of the church plant, outlined the vision of the church plant as being a missional, disciple-building church. He also discussed the
Service in progress at The Way.
plan to reach people in the community by building relationships through initiatives such as Life Interest groups and Community focused projects. These initiatives would serve as a way to ultimately lead people to Christ. In committing to being a part of the church plant project, a number of decisions were made. The first house church opens during the month of March in the centre of the Camden council area, Elderslie.
United NIGHT Dedicating a Ministry By Beryl Landers
On Friday night, 2 February, at the Hills Adventist College Auditorium, Women’s Ministry launched its ministry year with our annual UNITED NIGHT – An Evening of Worship, where the women of Greater Sydney Conference dedicated themselves and renewed their commitment to making a difference in ministry and service again for 2018. In support of the White Ribbon Campaign (a campaign against Violence against women and children), the women all wore white. The excitement in the room was tangible and it was a beautiful scene to behold.
SYDNEY ADVENTIST WOMEN.
go by myself, so I called a couple of girlfriends, who had not been to church, or any church event, since their teens. They agreed to come with me and were so blessed by the friendliness and the excitement at UNITED NIGHT,” she added. “What impressed them the most is that the church (Adventist Women) are becoming relevant and in touch with social issues, such as domestic violence and disenfranchised women and are doing something about it". A client of the HOPE STAYZ Retreat shared her testimony of the blessings she experienced at the Retreat, which served as a powerful report and encouragement to the women as to what their financial support of the HOPE STAYZ program achieves. Her testimony moved the hearts of the women who responded generously by donating a further $6000.00 on the night for the work of HOPE STAYZ to continue.
This year we saw a significant rise in women under 30. It was encouraging to see a good number of teen girls as well–evidence of the increased interest and buy-in of this exciting ministry, which continues to create a platform for women to make a difference in their churches and communities. We took the opportunity to welcome, introduce, meet and mingle with our new President, Pr Terry Johnson, our guest speaker for the night, and his family. He introduced our theme 'CHOSEN' for the year and challenged us to be determined like the Shunammite Woman. Female participants at the event were ushered and served by the "Men in Black" - men from our Administration team and ministerial staff along with a few younger men from around our Conference. These kind gentlemen welcomed and blessed the women from the carpark, all the way to their seats in the Auditorium. It was a beautiful show of support to ministry and to the women of this Conference. Another blessing the "Men in Black" at this event afforded us, one far more valuable than gold, was an opportunity to display the characteristics of Christ in Godly men that so many of the women may not otherwise know, particularly at this event that partly served to raise awareness of an anti-Domestic Violence movement. An “all boys” worship team led the women in worship. "I didn't plan on attending, but I kept getting the Facebook notices,” said one attendee. “Of course I didn’t want to
UNITED NIGHT Guest Speaker, Pr Terry Johnson.
We recognise the importance of creating opportunities for the women of this Conference to gather. It is in the gathering that they get a picture of the incredibly powerful movement they can be a part of. A movement that reaches out and makes a difference; one that rescues women, restores dignity, multiplies disciples and increases our footprint in this city. There is so much power in the gathering of girls! So much can be wrought through the mobilisation of an army of women dedicated to prayer and service. My favourite author, Ellen G. White writes, "If there were twenty women where now there is one, who would make this holy mission (one-to-one ministry) their cherished work, we should see many more converted to the truth. The refining, softening influence of Christian women is needed in the great work of preaching the truth. (Evangelism 471)”
also studied the Bible with Brother Joel Babatid, desired a beach baptism. One week later on Sabbath, 16 December, another baptismal service was held for Elmyr, this time on the shores of Botany Bay at Sandringham.
02 ASHFIELD CHURCH REJOICES WITH HEAVEN BY KESIYA MPOFU Jesus says there is much rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. On Sabbath, 18 November 2017, Ashfield Church rejoiced together with heaven when Anisha Singh decided to be baptised by Pastor David Cherry. We praise God.
SYDNEY CHINESE CHURCH'S DAMAI MISSION TRIP BY PR DANIEL CHONG On 15-28 December 2017, a group of
lifford Goldstein (General Conference Adult Sabbath School Study Guide Editor & author of the bestselling book, “Baptising the Devil”) will be speaking on “Christian Scientific theories blending Creation and Evolution” here in Sydney. Dates are: 26 April | Hoxton Park Church Program begins at 7pm 28 April at Fountain in the City Programs at 2pm & 3:30pm More at http://bit.ly/2G5SS25.
Have anything exciting or extraordinary to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
21 people consisting of youth, teens, juniors, adults and parents flew to Sabah, Malaysia an a mission trip for the Adventist Primary School in Damai, Kota Marudu. The main purpose of the
NEWS FROM HURSTVILLE BY SUE CASTLE
trip was to conduct a Vacation Bible
After several months of Bible studies, 3
Campaign during the evening.
School (VBS) for the school during the day, and a Last Empire Evangelistic
ladies (Yu Ping Qian who studied with Brother Choon Yap, Zhi Fang “Gracy”
A total of 129 students enrolled in the
Nian who studied with Elder Michael
VBS program. The school and local
Lee, and Kathleen Obcemane who stud-
church helped by providing 50 volun-
ied with Brother Joel Babatid) reached
teers from their youth, church leaders
the next milestone in their Christian
and teachers. The kids and staff were
walk and were baptised. The special
provided with a free lunch, t-shirt,
ceremony took place on Sabbath, 9
crafts, snacks, and tons of songs,
December 2017 at Hurstville and was
stories, crafts and outdoor games.
presided over by Pr Jimmie Cha. During the evening, Pr Daniel and Another individual, Elmyr Orquiola, who
Pr Duani Pantai, the local church pastor,
The first award, given posthumously,
THANK YOU Glenys and Rosalind.
conducted the Last Empire Evangelistic
went to Glenys Chapman, a former
We're proud of you and the testimony
Campaign with live translation in the
member at our Wahroonga Sev-
of the God you served and are serving.
local dialect. The attendance was about
enth-day Adventist Church. The second
300 people each night. At the end of
went to Rosalind Carlson, a member of
the meeting, 10 people accepted Jesus
our Thornleigh Church who many know
Christ as their personal Savior and were
as she has been–and still is–a respected
baptised by the local pastor.
composer and music teacher. She's also known for the home made Jam she
Both our youth and the school’s young
sells for the ADRA Australia Appeal and
people were greatly changed forever.
for raising chooks that regularly win 1st
Cheng (16) said,” I want to come back
prize at shows!
meeting people, but this trip made me
These two women embody the holistic
a little more comfortable to befriend
service mentality of our faith and we
people and tell them about Jesus”.
honour them for their contribution
It's not often that we get to celebrate an Order of Australia Medal (OAM), but our Conference has recently celebrated two people being awarded the OAM.
We just wanted to share with you all the testimony of our Wonderful Weekend where we, the Youth and Children's Ministries of our church, ended our Global Youth Week of Prayer by going
here again”. Timothy (12) said, “I am shy
AUSTRALIAN MEDALS AWARDED TO ADVENTISTS BY PR TERRY JOHNSON
GRANVILLE FIJIAN YOUTH BECOME THE SERMON BY CAM TUILEVUKA
as citizens of our country. I had the privilege of calling Rosalind earlier this week and congratulating her and praying together. Delightful and full of life with a vitality that is palpable and she is well into her 80's!
out into the Central Sydney area and becoming the hands and feet of Jesus. Our calling was to feed the Homeless, so we prepared food packs with water, fruits and snacks to hand out. It wasn’t just the physical food we wanted to provide, but some spiritual food as well, so we also offered the people we came across prayer and song. We loved it!
Two fantastic examples of lives well lived. On behalf of a grateful church,
JOIN JUMPSTART LITERATURE EVANGELISM
CAPTIONS/CREDITS 01 Pick up"Baptizing the Devil" online at http://bit.ly/2ppY0Vk! 02 Yu Ping Qian, Zhi Fang “Gracy” Nian & Kathleen Obcemane at their baptism. 03 Orquiola's baptism at Botany Bay, Sandringham. 04 The baptism of Anisha Singh by Pr Davis Cherry. 05 Sydney Chinese Church's Damai Vacation Bible School. 06 OAM recipients Glenys Chapman (left) & Rosalind Carlson. 07 A young Granville Fijian Church member praying with a man.
There is a lot of good information out there to help people live happy and healthy lives, but the problem is that
Maryellen Fairfax has volunteered at
many people lack the motivation to get
the camps twice and says she has abso-
it and use it. Loneliness, depression and
lutely loved it both times.
sickness are key blockers that prevent people from taking a positive step in
“I guess for me, it’s such a great op-
their life. That’s where you could come in.
portunity to be a positive role model to teens and young people when they're
Literature evangelists place the books
bombarded with so many messages
on life, the Bible, health and truth about
and conflicting values through the me-
Jesus into the hands, hearts and homes
dia, etc,” Maryellen says.
of people. Often they are the sparks that help God’s lost children get back on
“It also really improves your leadership
a good path.
skills I think and forces you to rely on God for your energy levels—living out
So what are you waiting for? Be that Andrew on 0410 257 935 to get started
“Being so isolated from technology at
in this mission today!
Crosslands means you get to spend
BEARING PRESS FRAME NEEDED FOR MISSION WORK needed for Kukudu School Marine Department of the Kukudu Adventist College in the Solomon Islands. The part is crucial in that it allows the school to generate income. Please phone Terry Mcnee (04) 1918 1644.
Follow him at http://bit.ly/prTerryFB. The Greater Sydney Conference is also online and we're working hard to the good news coming to you! Follow and interact with us on Facebook @SydneyAdventists.
faith in action.
vital connection in someone’s life. Call
A 20-tonne bearing press frame is
PR TERRY JOHNSON IS FACEBOOK OFFICIAL
WAHROONGA YOUTH IN ACTION BY TRACEY BRIDCUTT It has become something of a tradition for Wahroonga youth to help out at the annual Crosslands junior and teen camps. And this year was no exception. Around 12 Wahroonga youth took time
a week really getting to know the kids, asking them deep questions and exploring who God is to them, and in that process you realise how distracted you have become throughout the year and it really starts your year in a good, God-focused place.”
COMPLIMENTARY SERVICE FOR CHURCH MEMBERS: WILLS To take advantage of this free offer, please book an appointment. Appointments must be confirmed with Alisa, email@example.com.
ADRA AUSTRALIA NEEDS YOUR HELP Help them help those in need. Donate today at www.adra.org.au/donate.
out of their summer holidays to volunteer as camp counsellors, and to coordinate the evening drama and
Don’t hide your news under a bushel! Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach images individually in one email.
Coconut Coconut Coconut black blackrice rice black rice summer Coconut summer summer porridge black rice porridge porridge summer porridge
Serves 6 Serves Serves 6 6
Prep 5 Prep Prep 5 5
Cook 30mins Cook 30mins Cook 30mins
INGREDIENTS Prep 5 Cook 30mins INGREDIENTS INGREDIENTS 1 CUP BLACK RICE 3 CUPS WATER 1 CUP BLACK RICE 3 CUPS WATER 1 CUP BLACK RICE CUPS WATER 4 CUPS INGREDIENTS WATER,3EXTRA 4 CAN CUPS WATER, EXTRA 4 CUPS WATER, EXTRA 400G COCONUT MILK 1 CUP BLACK RICE 3 CUPS WATER 400G CAN COCONUT MILK VANILLA 400G CAN COCONUT MILK 1 TABLESPOON HONEY ½ TEASPOON 4 CUPS WATER, EXTRA 1 TABLESPOON HONEY ½ TEASPOON ½ TEASPOON VANILLA 1 TABLESPOON HONEY VANILLA 400G CAN COCONUT MILK METHODS 1 TABLESPOON HONEY ½ TEASPOON VANILLA METHODS METHODS Soak rice overnight in water. Rinse and drain. METHODS Soak overnight in water. Rinse drain. Soak ricerice overnight in water. Rinse andand drain. Place soaked rice and 4 cups water in a saucepan. Soak riceto overnight inthen water. Rinse and drain. Bring mixture the boil, reduce simmer Place soaked rice and 4 cups water aand saucepan. Place soaked rice and 4 cups water inheat ainsaucepan. for 20Place minutes, stirring every few minutes. Bring mixture to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer Bring mixture to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer soaked rice and 4 cups water in a saucepan. 20 minutes, stirring every minutes. for for 20Bring minutes, stirring fewfew minutes. mixture to theevery boil, then reduce heat and simmer Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a further for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients simmer a further Add remaining ingredients andand simmer for for a further Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a further minutes. 10 10 minutes. 10 minutes. Garnish with nuts, seeds & fruits of choice. Garnish with nuts, seeds & fruits of choice. Garnish with nuts, seeds & fruits of choice. Serves 6
Garnish with nuts, seeds & fruits of choice.
Youth Dept A Participant’s Take:
Ben Turner on Converge
WHEN ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO ATTEND CONVERGE CAMP, PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY PAUSE AND ASK, “ISN’T CONVERGE JUST A BIG CAMP FOR YOUNG SINGLES?”
event praising God pledging theirTaylor world for SPEAKERS: Alina van and Rensburg (AUC) to andimpact Pr Terrance (USA) their world for Him. Each night was comprised of testimo-
nies and messages from the book of Ruth, messages super
exactly what it was,
I describe Converge simply as this: A big camp designed for young people. Organised by the Australian Union Confer-
ence, this camp caters only to the youth. Sure there’s an evening of speed dating (for those who wish to participate) and a few might have met their significant others at the event, but a Singles Camp this is not.
The festival focuses on fellowship and messages that are
deeply spiritual and inspiring, and this year’s event was no different. However, it was special in a very personal way:
this time I had my sister with me. Absent from church for a period of time, she recently decided to come back to God
in a major way, and really enjoyed and was impacted by the program and the spiritual elements of it.
Over 350 people aged between 18-30 were with us at the
event praising God and pledging to impact
relevant to the trials and lives of young people today.
Socially speaking, Converge is an opportunity to hang out
in a relaxing space. Into card and board games? Play a card or board game. Want to chill out and lounge? Chill out and
lounge. This in addition to a morning out on the water makes for a low-key environment to meet and mingle. And it was
socially conscious too. The ADRA Café was on hand serving mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages with proceeds going to support our brothers and sisters in need.
While the people were great and the social aspects un-
matched, the Word and the lives dedicated back to God
were what really stood out. If you’re over the age of 18, I encourage you to attend next year.
Photos by Charmaine Patel and Disciple.org.au. For Converge 2019 updates visit AUC at aucyouth. adventist.org.au/converge. Cost starts from $99.
Continuing to improve Mountain view
By Kathryn Carey, 4community
MOUNTAIN VIEW ADVENTIST COLLEGE RECEIVES NAPLAN RECOGNITION TWO YEARS RUNNING. For a second year in a row, Mountain View Adventist College has achieved substantially above-average gains in both reading and numeracy according to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Principal Tony Hay credits the growth to the efforts of teachers. “They are very excited that their efforts have been rewarded in seeing wonderful results two years running,” he says. Gains are measured against the national average, against schools with similar students and against students with similar starting scores. The results validate the commitment made by the school three years ago to launch a new literacy and numeracy program for students from Kindergarten to Year 9. With 74% of students who speak languages other than English, these programs have had a significant impact on student learning at Mountain View Adventist College. “While we would expect to see some good results, it is always pleasing to see the above average growth our students are achieving through the programs we
are implementing,” says school principal Tony Hay. Optimistic about their academic future Now in Year 10, Mountain View Adventist College student Jade Champness spends some of her spare time writing stories and poetry. However, words didn’t always come easily to her. In Kindergarten, she struggled to learn her site words, a spelling list of common words learned by sight rather than through phonics. She transferred from another school to Mountain View Adventist College in Year 4 and by late primary school Jade had become a self-motivated learner. “She doesn’t need any pushing from me at all, but strives all by herself. She loves school and loves learning,” says Corinne Champness, Jade’s mother. Her Year 9 NAPLAN results
Jennifer & Jonathan From Sydney Adventist School Auburn (SASA), the Serafim twins, Jennifer and Jonathan were baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Part of a family who’ve been at the school for many years, the twins now follow in the footsteps of their eldest brother, Joshua, who was baptised a few years ago.
ay 15 April 2 018, 4pm-9 pm Su nd
“We are happy with the decision that our children have taken in hand with Christ”, said Weber and Evelyn, parents of the two children. “We are especially happy since this decision was taken voluntarily. Thank you to the SASA staff who attended this special event for our family, and for the great spiritual and educational support that you always have given to our children”.
show that she has achieved growth in her results at a rate that is two to three times what would normally be expected. For Tanaka Ndhela, Year 7 NAPLAN tests also resulted in well above average gains than expected for her Year group. Tanaka has a broad range of interests. “As long as a topic is interesting, I enjoy it,” says Tanaka. Tanaka currently has thoughts of becoming a veterinarian or doctor. “I want to do good in the world,” she says. The school achieved above average gains across years five, seven and nine across all domains. For more contact: Craig Dwyer, MVAC Business Manager Craig.Dwyer@mvac.adventist.edu.au
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Pumba's PUMBA'S TESTIMONY TESTIMONY By Rachel Aitken digitaldisciples.info
As he sat in the mostly empty train car late Friday evening after the first day of the 2017 Digital Discipleship Conference, Faitele “Pumbah” Fereti couldn’t shake a question he had been asking himself all day, “What’s in my hand, and what am I going to do with it?”
The Promise Several years earlier, when he left his hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, Pumbah Fereti made his mum a promise to find a church. When she asked, he easily agreed. She was his soft spot, and he couldn’t say no to her. Pumbah spent most of his life growing up in a Samoan Christian church that he attended each Sunday. Although he went to Bible studies, he moonlighted with his partying and drinking. He spent time with his youth group and found community, but he hadn’t experienced a relationship with God yet. Arrival in Sydney His mother’s advice was brushed aside for a little while after his arrival in Sydney until one day the reminder of her words rang in his ears. He Googled and found a large, popular church in the area.
After attending, he felt he could tick the box and tell his mum he had found a place to worship. However, something unexpected happened. Although well known for its music, it was the distinct call of God upon his heart that caught Pumbah’s attention. Outside of his comfort zone, away from his friends, he realised he was submitting his life to God more and more each day. One church service, he felt himself drawn to the front as the appeal was made. He knew something very different was taking place in his life, and one of the first places that change showed up was on his Instagram account. He calls that time in his life “the transition”. “At that time, I started using spiritually inspired artwork as a mechanism to let the world know I am a Christian. I began to attend church on a regular basis and discovered a passion for Jesus and everything about Him. I noticed the change in myself, and it impacted all areas in my life including my creativeness. It was there in my journey where I realised that design was not just part of my life, it is part of my faith”
On the streets, Pumbah was known for his graffiti. When youth group was over, he would hang out and find places to tag his moniker. He lived for the street cred and recognition he gained. While his street life provided him an avenue to express himself creatively, he never felt that same opportunity at church. Now that his life was transitioning, he started sharing spiritually inspired posts on his Instagram account despite his fear and self-doubt. He wondered about the purpose of his art, but it wasn’t until he sat as a stranger at the 2017 Digital Discipleship Conference that he would begin to understand and catch glimpses of what God could do with it. The The Conference Conference Unlike many of the 2017 Digital Discipleship Conference attendees, Pumbah had to be convinced to attend by his girlfriend Janice. Pumbah had attended a few Adventist events with her, but he was still unsure about Adventism. He was worried he’d feel like an
outsider in a room full of Sevvies. He vowed he would slip in, get what he could out of the event and leave. Shortly after his arrival, he found an empty table and waited for the Conference to begin. As he waited, a guy named Shane, from Melbourne, took a seat at his table and warned him that his rowdy crew would be joining them soon. Those words would be pivotal in Pumbah’s journey to understanding that he wasn’t an outsider; he was right at home. “I didn’t feel like I was different. I felt like it was all about Jesus. I was greeted with so much warmth at the table. I felt like they all got me. When I shared with them that I wanted to do design for God, they all encouraged me very early on.” Two Conferences A few weeks after attending the Digital Discipleship Conference, Pumbah attended another Adventist conference: the One Project. The people he met at the two conferences and the moving of the Holy Spirit during the two events collectively persuaded him that he was finding his place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Pumbah and Janice started doing Bible studies, which began to answer many of Pumbah’s questions. When his mind wandered beyond what the lessons could answer, he messaged Cheonneth Strickland, Youth Director of the Greater Sydney Conference (GSC) for answers. After searching for a church
home, Janice and Pumbah landed at Church in the Fields. After attending and participating in youth group, Pumbah was asked to be the youth leader, a position he loves because of the fond memories he has from his days at his church’s youth group. And now, Pumbah is incorporating elements of creativity and digital discipleship into the youth group activities. The Challenge During this time, not only was Pumbah’s spiritual life growing, his creativity was growing as well. Three months after the Conference, he and Janice launched Reign Apparel as a way to cultivate faith through clothing. Reign Apparel aims to “present the gospel through design”. In making the decision to launch Reign Apparel Pumbah began to feel like he was realising his purpose. He was starting spiritual conversations with his t-shirts with people at work and at the gym. As Pumbah explores this new phase in his journey, he feels content saying, “I’m here and this is where God has put me. The next step is baptism”. The Phone Call The phone rang. The timing was off, but the voice was familiar. It was Pumbah’s mom.
filled my one condition for moving to Australia. You found a church.” Worried about their reaction, it took Pumbah three months to share that he’s becoming a Seventh-day Adventist with his parents. He’ll be the first from his family to leave the family’s church, however, he found it to be a non-issue. Happy her son has found a meaningful relationship with God, his mother said, “as long as you’re reading from the same book”. As Pumbah continues on his journey, he’s striving to continue digging deeper into his calling and fully utilise what God’s put in his hands. When the Digital Discipleship ministry recently faced financial challenges and was uncertain about its future going forward, Janice and Pumbah began to fast and pray each Friday on behalf of the ministry’s future. Pumbah said, “If it did that for me then who else can it do that for? I believe it’s going to do much more for someone else.” Digital Discipleship’s funding has been renewed for three years and will be moved from the GSC to the Australian Union Conference so that the church can benefit more broadly from this ministry. Special thanks go to the Greater Sydney Conference for launching this ministry.
She had witnessed Pumbah’s spiritual journey from the beginning. She told her son, “I can’t help but smile. I’m happy because you ful-
Sabbath Closing with Vania Chew of Adventist Record.
Mission 2 Sydney By Jarrod Stackelroth Photos by Jungyook Ryan Park
“I want you to risk and I want you to risk BIG during our Think Tank,” Pastor Johnson encouraged attendees.
With that, the two-day conference, starting Friday night,
began with a reminder of the history of urban outreach in the Seventh-day Adventist church.
It continued on Saturday with presentations covering unity in mission, church planting, how to change an established
More than 400 leaders from Greater Sydney Conference
(GSC) gathered at ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, for the Mission 2 Sydney Think Tank.
The Think Tank was designed to bring representatives from
all across Sydney’s churches together “to pray, to listen, and discuss innovative ways in which we can reach the secular
mind in Sydney,” said Pastor Terry Johnson, GSC President. In his welcome to attendees Pastor Johnson challenged
those in the room. Quoting the parable of the lost sheep, Pastor Johnson said there is great pain when “even one
sheep is lost.” He referenced the 13 million people that have left the church since the 1960, 4 out of every 10 and even
higher percentages of young people. He also made the point
that going out to seek for the lost sheep is a high-risk activity. Pr Adrian Raethel, GSC General Secretary facilitating a session.
church into a missional church, and stories of successful
ideas that are already being implemented such as the centre
of influence at Stanmore church and a “meet-up” photo club. A highlight was the presentation from Mark McCrindle from McCrindle research. He broke down the demographics of
Australia and the city of Sydney, outlining some of the chal-
lenges and the opportunities present both today and in the
future. He encouraged the church that the way to reach out was through innovative, collaborative and responsive ways. Keynote presentations were followed by prayer and then a time for discussion. iPads were provided for each table to
answer the discussion questions and submit their answers to be collected and collated. From these answers, recommen-
dations will be formulated and a strategy will be developed.
Mark McCrindle (McCrindle) chats with a delegate.
Overall, implementing change in the methods and trying new
things like centres of influence, raising the spiritual temperature of leaders and members so that they are prepared for mission, and shifting the church culture echoed throughout the hall.
“Culture will trump strategy, every time,” noted Pastor Tom
Evans, President of the North New South Wales Conference. “If the strategy conflicts with how a group of people already believe, behave or make decisions, it will fail.”
These recommendations will inform the strategic direction of the conference for the next four years.
Pr Tom Evans, North New South Wales Conference.
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