intrasyd People, Places & Events in the Region of Greater Sydney MARCH - APRIL 2014
Growing in Discipleship
Reach Up, Reach Out, Reach Across
Like www.facebook.com/sydneyadventists GREATER SYDNEY CONFERENCE
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Counselling & Christian Faith
Last month, with my family, I was blessed to attend our local church camp at Crosslands. What a privilege it was to spend time together with church family, learn, grow, pray and have fun together. Opportunities like this give us a foretaste of heaven. As we enjoyed the weekend at Crosslands, it was great to spend time not just with fellow believers but also with God in nature. I found it fascinating just to look at the many different rock formations including their different colours and shapes. As we closed Sabbath together, I was blessed by this passage from Desire of Ages, p. 20.1, “In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. ‘His strength setteth fast the mountains.’ ‘The sea is His, and He made it.’ Psalm 65:6; 95:5. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love.” What an amazing creator God that we have, that in all aspects of creation, God is sending us a message of His love. If you haven’t been to Crosslands recently, it is certainly worth a visit. Our (relatively new) caretakers, Bruce and Maxine Hill are doing a fantastic job and the facilities are looking great. Allocations have been made this year to continue developing and enhancing the facilities, including a particular focus on the access roads and parking areas. As a church we should be proud of these wonderful facilities for camps and retreats. In just a few weeks’ time, our Conference training, resourcing and equipping weekend, INSPIRE, will be upon us. This year, we have responded to feedback from you as members and will be conducting INSPIRE as a FREE, four-day event at Mountain View Adventist College. I am excited by the quality of the speakers and presenters we have lined up for the main times of worship, the plenary sessions and the workshops. We are blessed to have Elbert Kuhn as our keynote speaker, and also to have our SPD President, Dr Barry Oliver taking a number of meetings throughout the weekend. (24-27 April.) This year, INSPIRE is based around what we believe are the key issues that need to be addressed in empowering the church to fulfil its commission to take the 3 Angel’s Messages into all the world. Therefore, the key focus of INSPIRE is “Growing in Discipleship” (growing disciples who are making disciples) with the three plenary streams being based around our Seventh-day Adventist World Church focus of, “Reach Up (passionate spirituality and wholistic worship), Reach Out (evangelism and community service) and Reach Across (developing biblical community).” I invite you to watch the video I’ve recorded to explain this focus to you. Visit www.gscadventist.org.au/web/connect/video/
Adventist Schools Nurture Spiritual Growth
I look forward to catching up with you at INSPIRE as we build up our church and focus our energy on the Great Commission of Matthew 28.
Reach Up 4 5 5
A Desperate God?
Sticky Faith Book Review
Reach Out 6 7
Dinner Seminar Evangelism
Launch of Liverpool Samoan SDA Group
It Takes a Movement
CHIP: An Insider’s View
Cabramatta Church: A Heart for Mission
Pathfinder Clean-up Day
Reach Across 10
Jacob’s Well Church: Outreach Strengthens Community
Wollongong Church: Blue Ribbon Ministry
Concord Youth Group
Michael Worker President
Next Intrasyd Deadline 01 JUNE
Editor: Michael Worker Assistant Editor: Rachel Lemons Aitken Design: Rachel Lemons Aitken Editorial Consultant: Adrian Raethel
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firstname.lastname@example.org PH: (02) 9868 6522 Fax: (02) 9868 6533 4 Cambridge Street Epping 2121
Greater Sydney Conference Communication Department
In this issue, we’re focusing on the key areas that will be highlighted during INSPIRE: Growing in Discipleship by Reaching Up, Reaching Out and Reaching Across. For our INSPIRE training and resourcing weekend, being held at Mountain View Adventist College 24 – 27 April (over the ANZAC long weekend), the format and venue has been intentionally changed to make it more accessible and affordable. The non-residential program will still feature inspiring worship, workshops and seminars (on a variety of topics to choose from), a moving ANZAC service, ABC specials and specialised programs for primary and high school children and youth. Meals are available (Friday and Sabbath lunch and dinner), but must be pre-ordered and pre-paid. Order forms have been sent to all churches, however if they have missed you, just call the Office. Highlights from the Seventh-day Adventist Church (GSC) Ltd Board • Every month, the first item on the agenda is evangelism and outreach, which this year has three parts to it: a coordinated series of CHIP programs commencing in May (with an associated public relations and media campaign), a coordinated series of “The Last Empire” programs commencing late August and outreach activities on a number of school campuses. • The unaudited operating statement for the 12 months ending 31 December 2013 was presented to the Board indicating a small surplus of $66,588, which is a positive result with a growth in tithe of 3.8%. • A new local church “Child Safe Environments” policy was presented to the Board. Following some revision and minor changes, this policy will be rolled out to all churches within the Conference replacing the existing local church “Child Safe” policy (see page 15 of this issue). • In line with SPD policy, independent audit committees have been established for all three Conference companies. Highlights from the Executive Committee • The Indonesian group that meets at the Stanmore Church has been granted regular group status. • Negotiations are continuing regarding the option for the sale of the Spurway Drive property at Kellyville. • Options are being considered to strategically reach areas of Sydney where there are small numbers of Adventists, particularly the Eastern suburbs. Adrian Raethel General Secretary
You described your relationship with God.. My walk with God is never ending. I have ups and downs, but the constant thing is His love and saving grace for me. Dani Piot Concord Youth Group Leader (Read Dani’s Story about her journey with God as well as the joys and challenges of leading the Concord Youth Group along with Rose Miranda on page 14)
Correction The January/February 2014 issue of IntraSyd incorrectly listed the following churches: The following were listed in South/South West instead of Central: Caringbah Hurstville Lakemba Tongan Punchbowl Samoan Hurstville School The following was listed in West instead of South/South West: Wetherill Park Spanish
Read IntraSyd Electronically www.gscadventist.org.au/web/connect/newsletter/
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We see a church that is passionate about knowing and experiencing God, both personally and through a lifestyle of church community worship. Our goal is to be a community that grows in its capacity to love God and allows Him to increasingly work in and through us to love people.
Yout SDA Church dney Tongan
Weatherhill Park Spanish Church
A Desperate God?
hool Class h Sabbath Sc
I leave the house at night, collect an old mat from the shed and look for a place in the garden where I can escape the lights around me. I lie on my back and take
in the breathtaking panorama above me. The night sky is rich with His Glory, His Majesty. I am awed and speechless. The heavens really do “declare the Glory of God.” Why don’t I come here more often? How is it that the Almighty God chooses to partner with us? He seems desperate to work with us, almost as if He cannot do it on His own! An angel begs, “Pick me, pick me!” Another, “I understand the urgency and know the approach that is needed at this time. Please let me go; the strain of just watching the fight is too much for me to bear.”
Minister’s Meeting to pray for and discuss the Last Empire
But no! The Master has another plan. “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” And how patient He is, waiting for us to turn our gaze His way again. Trying to catch our eyes in a crowded noisy room. But no. We are leaving the room. So He follows. Now He sees us approaching the place where we last met. He rushes ahead and waits again, hoping that we will remember the joy we shared together. What an unusual God. There is just so much to be done, and although He holds the universe in His hands, He waits on you and me. When driving from Khartoum to Kosti in Sudan with Salah Imam Ibrahim, we
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stopped at a roadside village to get a bite to eat when Salah disappeared around the side of the building with his prayer mat. All I was thinking about was food! He had a time and a place. Another Sudanese memory: Having dinner with one of our Muslim managers and his wife one evening, I noticed their two-year-old son out of the corner of my eye. What was he doing over in the corner of the room? He was using his father’s prayer mat, and he was bowing in prayer. His Dad had a time and a place. I have a few times and places that are a blessing to me, and my spiritual life thrives when I listen to that “still, small voice” and meet Him there. Although it is not always easy to make time in the rush of life, things have a way of sorting themselves out when I open the door to Him and we “eat” together. It is the highest honor to be called into partnership with heavenly agencies in the fight against evil. I know my selfish heart. Only a desperate God would call me into service. Yet, here I stand. Building character by going about God’s business provides me with the deepest meaning and fulfillment in my life. I just have to shout, “HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!” Malcolm Rea is Director of ADRA Services, Health Ministries and Prayer Coordinator. If you’d like to join the Greater Sydney Conference Prayer Network, contact Malcolm via e-mail at malcolmrea@ adventist.org.au.
Helping Kids Develop Sticky Faith Learning and analysing Phillip Hughes’ findings (from Christian Research Australia) that every year in Australia 50,000 young people leave the Christian faith and decide they have no religion got Mitzy Camilo, Children’s Ministries Leader at Mile End Church thinking. Mitzy attended and participated in Sticky Faith, the Annual Children’s Ministries Training Weekend held on 14-16 February at the Greater Sydney Conference Office and at Kid’s Reach in Wesley Theatre. On Friday, attendees heard Terry Williams, one of Australia’s leading Children’s Ministries Specialists. On Saturday, the group joined Kids Reach and concluded on Sunday with a variety of very informative workshops. Here, Mitzy shares her experience from the event and her thoughts on her role as Children’s Ministries Leader.
I see myself using what I learned in
Sticky Faith with my family at home to strengthen our faith and the faith of our two boys by sharing verbally our own faith journeys, teaching them who to turn to when they have doubts, making connections with caring adults, addressing everyday issues from a Biblical point of view and helping people around us who are in need.
Also, I would like to help and equip other families from our community to grow their faith together and give these families opportunities to contribute and participate in church.
Children’s Ministry is important to me because I love seeing children involved in all kinds of service areas within the church; I love seeing them grow spiritually as well as physically. I value what each child contributes to our community, knowing there is so much to learn from them. I enjoy leading Children’s Ministries; I enjoy providing opportunities for these young lives to learn and experience how much God loves them. I absolutely love seeing how sincere children are and how they spontaneously worship God. But one of the best things to witness is seeing how caring and loving children are to those in the community and beyond.
Shaping children’s faith is a combined effort between home, church and school. We give lots of INFORMATION to families and children through programs but this is not enough to shape children’s faith. We need to intentionally add experiences that focus on FORMATION so that faith goes deeper. The result, as Terry Williams explained, will be TRANSFORMATION.
Contributed by Mitzy Camilo, Mile End Church
Visit http://www.gscadventist.org.au/ web/2014/03/21/stickyfaithmitzycamilo/ for more from this interview and for links to the resources Mitzy uses in ministry.
Falling in love with someone, then engaging in a relationship with them through the rest of your life is the most life-changing experience a person has. Likewise, the most impor tant experience in Christianity is to discover what it takes to have that same kind of relationship with Jesus. Without such a relationship, theology and doctrine are useless. So what does it take and how does one go about securing a relationship with a Being that you cannot see or audibly hear? After 38 years of struggling to find relevance in his life, Author Herb Larsen discovered the answers. You’re invited to take a journey with Herb to that place of discovery through the pages of this book. Falling in Love with Jesus is available at the Sydney & Wahroonga ABCs or can be ordered online at www.sydneyabc.com.au
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We see a church that is actively serving in our community and is reaching a growing number of people within Greater Sydney with the eternal gospel. Our goal in evangelism is to develop mature disciples who are making disciples and healthy churches that are planting new churches.
Dinner Seminar Evangelism Success Contributed by Kerina Haora, Penrith Harvest Evangelism Leader
Warren D’Costa on Mis sion Trip to India/Nepa l
Hoxton Park Youth Vis iting Homeless on Glo bal Youth Day
The Lord blesses into the hundreds yet again at the four th Dinner Seminar held by Penrith Church on 22 February 2014 at the Penrith RSL.
You Said... “I love Jesus and want to grow in my relationship with Him Georgia Fraser Student, Hills Adventist College (Read Georgia’s Story on page 12)
This year, Penrith Church was faced with the significant challenge of merging two new audiences: community contacts from the Harvest 2013/Last Empire Campaign and community contacts obtained from outreach initiatives earlier this year. The evangelistic strategy resulted in the development of a new mini-series entitled, "Life After Life," which involved the leadership and direction of Evangelist and Presenter, Pastor Geoff Youlden together with Lulu Lewis, graphic designer from the Adventist Media Centre, Greg Teschner, IT specialist/technician/photographer and Kerina Haora, Penrith Harvest Evangelism Leader. The “Life After Life” seminar series was launched with a community Dinner Seminar that
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resulted in 104 in attendance with 90% of the audience consisting of community contacts; the function room was almost 'full to the brim.' Pastor Geoff Youlden presented excellent content, which established the credibility and reliability of the Holy Scriptures. The Beyond the Search DVD resource played an important role in the seminar, so much so that by the end of the Dinner Seminar, 95% of the community in attendance formally registered for “Beyond DVD Followup.” Integral to the Dinner Seminar was the invitation to attend the next “Life After Life” seminar. Over 80% of the community guests registered. Without a doubt Dinner Seminar Evangelism is a highly successful form of outreach, and we praise the Holy Spirit for the many Biblical principles, strategies and resources that have been incorporated within this form of outreach at Penrith.
Pathfinder Clean-up Day All Christians agree that there are many oppor tunities to share God’s love, but do they believe it can happen while picking up trash?
On the 2nd of March, Pathfinders throughout the Greater Sydney Conference proved it can, as they joined many other Australians for Clean Up Australia Day. Though it was raining, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of 57 Pathfinders from the Castle Hill Club who braved slippery conditions, to dedicate their Sunday to collecting rubbish. The group spent four hours at Fred Caterson Reserve, Castle Hill, searching for illegally dumped rubbish around its streets, footpaths and riverbanks. Similarly, the Pathfinder Club from Granville Fijian Church also participated
in this day of community service, and they were especially excited since it was the first time their club was involved in this event. Working from 6-8 am, they got an early start on cleaning up the Granville Park. Their act of service touched the heart of a passerby who stopped and asked what they were doing. Eager to explain, Paul, one of the youth in the group, explained who they are, what they were doing and then proceeded to invite the stranger to church the following Sabbath. To acknowledge and support their effort, the kind stranger bought Macca’s for the group.
participated on Clean Up Australia Day were excited they could share God’s love in this way to others while caring for the community.
All of the Pathfinders who
Contributed by Pr Pablo Lillo, Castle Hill and Seru Bogi-Tokaduadua, Granville Fijian
Driven by a Vision to Make Disciples
The Samoan community’s decision to establish an additional Samoan language congregation in the southwest corridor of Sydney was driven by their vision to make disciples for Jesus who belong to the Seventh-day Adventist church. And according to one church member, “the establishment of this new group in Liverpool underscores the demographic reality of the city and the shift of the Pacific Island population towards the south and west of Sydney.” On Sabbath, the 15th of February 2014, twelve families publicly made their commitment to be part of the core membership of the new Liverpool Samoan SDA Group. The decision to establish this new group of worshippers was a collaborative initiative of
the existing Samoan churches and companies in the Greater Sydney Conference to multiply disciples. The church plant was fully supported by the Conference administration and the Executive Committee and is part of the Conference strategic plan for the city of Sydney. The church service was held at the Mt. Druitt Samoan Church. Special guests included Pr. Michael Worker, president of the Greater Sydney Conference and Pr. Sven Ostring, Director of Personal Ministries and Discipleship Movements. Contributed by Margaret Kitiona, Liverpool Samoan Church
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It Takes a Movement Catching the train to the Conference Office in Epping was the best option for me when I first arrived in Sydney. In fact, it has been something I have really enjoyed. Firstly, it reminds me of growing up in Hong Kong, where I would catch the MTR train every day to school. More significantly, though, it has given me a chance to spend 10 minutes every morning mingling with many people from the community. If you catch the 7:31 am train at Thornleigh, there is always a father and son chatting to each other, close to the edge of the platform. There are a couple of women in office uniforms and sneakers who always arrive at the station together. Once the yellow and grey train pulls in to the station, the shrill whistle of the station master gives you a warning nudge to keep you moving towards the train doors. As you step off the train at Epping, you walk through a wall of people waiting to get on the train and then catch sight of a buzzing community of girls in pink school uniforms scattered throughout the station hall like a flock of pink galahs. It is exhilarating to be on one of the 287 million journeys that customers make on the Sydney trains each year! Yet, in the midst of the exhilaration, there is also
that nagging thought. How many of these people know what we know? I mean, how many of them know that Jesus died on the cross for them? That He is offering them the free gift of salvation and His righteousness? That the kingdom of God is at hand and that Jesus is coming soon? Most importantly, how many of them have accepted Jesus as their Saviour, Lord and Friend? And if they don’t know, how will we reach them? We have much to praise God for here in Sydney. In 2011, there were 11,701 people that said that they were Seventh-day Adventists when they filled out government surveys. Over the last 6 years, there have been between 160-320 people who have joined our church each year. Also, there are over 2.6 million people in Sydney who see themselves as Christians. Yet, this still leaves over 1.7 million people who publicly state that they don’t believe in Jesus. Even more sobering is the reality that many people who tick a box saying that they are Christian are not actually disciples of Jesus. How will we reach them? It has been said that it takes a movement to reach a city. A movement is a growing group of people who are united by a shared vision and a passionate commitment to a cause. Think of the African-American civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.
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Insider’s View Or alternatively, think of the people in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt who overthrew whole governments in the Arab Spring in 2011. Movements have the power to change the course of history. Consider the life of Jesus. He never wrote a book. He never owned a house. He never started a business or ran for office. Yet, Jesus changed history by starting a discipleship-missionary movement that now spans the globe. In fact, if you were to take a satellite view of the global history of Jesus’ true church, the best way to describe it is as a missional movement focused on sharing the good news about Jesus and His kingdom and preparing for His soon return. Revelation also depicts an end-time movement of people who have a special message for every nation, kindred, tongue and people. It will take a supernatural movement to reach Sydney. Do you see yourself as part of that movement? Do you hunger to be part of the discipleship movement that Jesus started and the prophetic missionary movement that prepares the way for Jesus to come back? Sven Östring is the new Director of Personal Ministries and Discipleship, with a specific calling for discipleship movements in Greater Sydney. Tweet @SydneyAdventist
Keith Broos Castle Hill Church When I was younger, I was reasonably healthy. I would play and referee touch football, but then I star ted to get a lot of injuries and my lifestyle completely changed. I consumed fast, fatty foods regularly and ate a lot of red meat. Exercise became completely non-existent. I experienced continual stomach pains. After a series of tests, over a nine month period, all signs were pointing to my liver. It was discovered that it was badly damaged due to having too much starch in my diet. With a young family, including a wife and three kids aged 10, 14 and 16, my health was critical so I acted quickly to help turn my life around. I was sick of ‘bandaid’ solutions and was looking for a permanent lifestyle change to improve my condition. The information and tools available in CHIP are invaluable in helping par ticipants change their lifestyles completely. I went from five coffees a day to none at all and replaced soft drinks with water. The facilitators are passionate and practice what they preach as they were program par ticipants themselves. My blood pressure dropped from 175/119 to 135/83 and I have lost 20 kilos since October 2013. People are constantly complimenting me on how great I look. Now, even my whole family is eating healthily! I also believe my liver condition has improved.
A Heart for Mission
Contributed by Thavy Ouch, Cabramatta SDA Church
“I remember asking a little girl in one of the villages, ‘Who is God?’
and she said, ‘He’s someone who lives up there!’ That was a very moving experience for me,” recounts Thavy Ouch, one of twenty members from the Cabramatta Church who did mission work in January 2014 in six different areas of Cambodia. She continues, “The little girl who said this comes from an area where there was no knowledge of God prior to Cabramatta Church visiting it. I am glad that she now knows who God is.” Cabramatta Church, which has a growing Cambodian community, has been doing outreach to Cambodia since 2009. So this wasn’t Thavy’s first time in Cambodia; in fact she has a strong history with the country.
For Thavy, Cambodia
represents love. First, she’s of Cambodian heritage. Second, she has a love for mission and it was here that she served as a student missionary. Third, it was here that she met her husband. While Thavy was serving as a student missionary teaching English at an Adventist School, Satya Nhep was just returning home to Cambodia from being a student missionary in the Philippines. In their shared experience of serving God in countries away from home, they realised they both had hearts for mission. This is what brought them together. Now, they continue to serve, as a family. On this trip to Cambodia, they brought along their children, Ariyana (8), Bethany (7) and Ezekiel (5) and served together.
Similarly, over the past five years, youth and adults from Cabramatta Church
have been going to Cambodia to reach out to communities there. Their outreach has included providing meals to communities, doing outreach with the adults and visiting villages’ HIV/AIDS centres and rubbish dumps and doing kids programs. During the programs, they sing songs, tell Bible stories, and teach practical living, including basic hygiene. Church members also deliver care packages that include toiletries, education packs and Bible stories.
The number of churches, companies and groups who meet each Sabbath in the Greater Sydney Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
It’s clear that the hear t for mission that Thavy
and Satya have is pervasive throughout Cabramatta Church. Thavy expresses it best when she says, “I always have a passion for mission work. Being able to share Christ with the people we met in Cambodia is an amazing feeling!”
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We see a church where people experience authentic Christian relationships and real Biblical community by being involved in the life and mission of the church.
Jacobâ€™s Well: Outreach Strengthens Church Community
Contributed by Michelle Pincheira, Jacobâ€™s Well
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Concord SDA Church Youth Group
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Our community, the streets surrounding our church, is now familiar and becoming more familiar with who we are. This
is because every Sabbath we start with Sabbath School, and then we head out in different directions to deliver bread to our neighbours with donations from the food bank. In delivering the bread, we take the opportunity God has given us to catch up with our neighbours, who we call friends. We ask them how their week has been and if they have any heartaches. We simply ask if they would allow us to pray for them. Some of our neighbours are more in need than others, and these neighbours are the people who come every Sabbath to join us for the lunch that we provide on the yard outside the church building. Every first Sabbath we hold either a BBQ or breakfast; on these weeks, we go around to our neighbours and invite them to come. On the other weeks, we invite them to our lunches and each time, we get at least Tweet @SydneyAdventist
two members of the community joining us. We pray and ask God to guide us as a church in what we should be doing within the community, and our prayers are constantly being answered! We have recently started a depression seminar as we have noticed many in the community around us have different levels of depression and anxiety. Most importantly, we are constantly feeding ourselves spiritually to then be able to have the strength and wisdom to help them in any way we can. We are all praying about the same things, for the same people around us and for each other; this definitely brings us closer together. We believe the only way to be strong for the community is to first have strong relationships with each other. God has rained and is continuing to rain blessings on our church. Though we are a very small church, all of our members have hearts willing to help, and at the end of the day, we all roll up our sleeves to contribute.
How Does Counselling Fit into the Christian Experience? As a Psychologist and a Christian, the question of how counselling and Christianity can be integrated often comes up. The concept and practice of counselling has been viewed and received in different ways by the church and its members.
Why does the church need counsellors? Many Christians may wonder why the church needs counsellors. Isn’t it enough to have good preaching, leadership and discipleship? Isn’t Christ sufficient to meet all human needs? Couldn’t the efforts of dedicated church leaders, as well as the inspired knowledge and instruction in God’s Word eliminate the need for counsellors? After all, God sent us the Holy Spirit as our counsellor (John 14:26), and in his interactions with others Jesus modeled personal helping and encouragement. In following this, many techniques of psychotherapy are compatible with Christianity because they are not unique discoveries of psychology but reflect the common sense and thoughtful reflection every Christian should practice as a matter of course in their interactions. Listening, talking, confessing, accepting, thinking and understanding are neither purely psychological nor exclusively Christian in the process of understanding and
helping others. However, Counsellors have the time and special training to provide these appropriately and confidentially. Counselling has a strong scientific basis, which is important in proving its effectiveness as a treatment for many mental health issues and literally thousands of scientific research studies have examined the demonstrated effectiveness of counselling. Counselling and Weak Faith Some Christians have also viewed counselling as being for those who have weak faith and mental health issues as being indicative of poor spiritual health. This way of thinking can have a damaging impact on those who require professional intervention. In fact, mental health issues are medical conditions like any other and can be brought on by common human experiences. For the Christian Psychologist, Counsellor or Psychotherpist, there is a willingness to learn and integrate what God has allowed them to discover through Psychology and other fields of knowledge, and a desire to determine how both scriptural truths and scientific data can better enable us to understand and help people. As part of their in-depth training, counsellors learn special helping skills and gain knowledge about the nature of common emotional problems like depression or anxiety,
the impact of biology on behavior, handling faltering relationships or dealing with interpersonal conflict. So how does counselling fit into our Christian lives? Christian Psychologists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists are concerned with understanding and improving human functioning in a holistic way, including emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. It can be too easy sometimes to compartmentalise our Christian faith as just one segment of our lives, however Christ has declared that He is Lord of all (Col 1:1520) and charges believers to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2). The counsellor then becomes a guide for the client in the process of taking captive every thought, exploring and identifying the problem or cause of their psychopathology. Counsellors Strengthen the Church Counsellors also strengthen the church by freeing pastors and other church leaders for the overall work of the ministry as no one person is called or equipped to do everything. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 teach that members of the church have different spiritual gifts and responsibilities. Counsellors use their gifts to help people, honour Christ, and strengthen Christians in their churches. Counsellors also help pastors, missionaries, and other church leaders
deal with difficulties in their own lives as they too may be struggling with marriage or family issues, insecurities, irrational thinking or emotional disturbance. They too need a person who can be objective, available, and trained to deal with the unique problems that may be draining energy, vitality, and effectiveness from God’s chosen servants. God could heal all our diseases and instantaneously wipe away all depression, anxiety, inner turmoil and interpersonal conflicts, but instead he works through compassionate human beings with the gifts of encouragement, discernment, and counselling.
Claire Marsh is a trained Psychologist and Manager of the Greater Sydney Conference Adventist Counselling Services, which provides professional and confidential help for a wide variety of issues. ACS also offers customised marriage preparation and enrichment courses for engaged couples or long-term couples who wish to strengthen and improve their relationships. It operates on an income-based sliding scale. Claire can be contacted at the centre on (02) 8876 5238 or via email on clairemarsh@ adventist.org.au
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Students Make Ultimate Commitment
Three Hills Adventist College students recently made the ultimate commitment
- giving their lives to Jesus through baptism. Since the beginning of Year 6, Brooklyn Chan, Georgia Fraser and Hannah McNeill have consistently taken part in an after school Bible study group led by Lyndelle Peterson, pastor from Kellyville church, as they have sought to have a deeper understanding of God. Their baptism was a culmination of ‘a village’ working together to impact their lives and to be the hands, feet and heart of God to these girls. The girls say that it was a combination of the influence of family, friends, pastors, summer camps and teachers that ultimately led them to the decision. "I love Jesus and want to grow in my relationship with
Him" was Georgia’s reason for being baptised. "I love Him and want everyone to know it!" Brooklyn proclaimed; she made her decision over 12 months ago, and waited to share the day with other girls from her Bible study group. It was important for them to be baptised as a group. "We can tell each other anything and we know we won't be judged." Hannah said as she described the relationships between the girls in their Bible study group. The school family at Hills Adventist College wish the girls all the best as they grow in their love for Jesus and develop an even deeper relationship with Him. We are so proud of the decision for baptism made by all of our students and look forward to seeing them grow and serve Jesus both at church, at school and in their community.
Sydney Adventist School Auburn Helps Students Reach Up to God
Sydney Adventist School Auburn is helping its students reach up to God through
fun and engaging activities that inspire them to learn more about Jesus and how much He loves them. School Chaplain, Pr Brian Leuluai, shares how the school nurtures the spirituality of its students:
We star t and end each day with God. Prayer,
worship and the Bible are an integral part of the nurturing process here at Auburn. We are also planning to have two Weeks of Spiritual Emphasis (WOSE) this year, one in Term 2 and another in Term 4. Our theme for the first one will be iResponse and will explore the different ways our students can respond to various situations. The idea will be to encourage them to respond like Jesus. We also have our regular chapel programs and worship activities.
All of our classes have an opportunity to lead out during our worship programs, which they all enjoy. Recently, we ran a
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program on the theme of 'priority,’ and I asked a few Year 4, 5 and 6 students to help me with a skit. In the skit, Jesus joined me in a car as my best friend, in the seat right next to me. However, as more friends got into the car, Jesus got pushed to the next seat and the next, until He was asked to hang on to the back of the boot. As the car turned a corner, Jesus fell off and sadly, no one really cared. The kids that participated admitted that they enjoyed themselves, and more importantly, the students clearly got the message – Is Jesus a priority in my life?
As the chaplain, I try to be present in lots of ways, not just for ‘Bible’ things. I get involved in the general life of the school as much as I can – music classes, sports activities, worship and also Bible studies with students. At the moment, one of my Bible study students is planning to get baptised, which is exciting.
We were blessed to see
one of our Year 4 students, Joshua Serafim, get baptised. We praise God for His stand for Jesus.
Early Learning Centre Exceeds National Quality Standards Contributed by Pr Pablo Lillo, Castle Hill
The Hills Adventist College Early Learning Centre, located in Castle Hill, Sydney, received an "Exceeding National Quality Standards" rating, which is the highest rating the Centre could have attained.
Achieving the “exceeding national quality standards” designation means the Hills Adventist College Early Learning Centre has come out on top across key criteria: educational program and practice, children’s safety, physical environment, staffing arrangements, relationships with children and collaborative partnerships with families and communities. The new National Quality Framework is the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to improve the quality of long day care, preschool/ kindergarten, family day care and outside school hours care services. “I believe we’re the first Seventh-day Adventist Early Learning Centre, to be recognised at this level,” said Rochelle Weiss, Centre Director for Hills Adventist College Early Learning Centre. “We’re achieving more than we are required to nationally.”
Hills Adventist College is a K-12 Christian school, which includes a 59-place Early Learning Centre. It’s split across two campuses and will be educating over 600 students in 2014. The recognition is important for Hills Adventist
College, as there are many pre-schools and private schools within the Hills district. “We have many neighbouring schools recommending to new families that their children attend our Centre, before enrolling in their school,” said Mrs Weiss. Hills Adventist College has provided the Hills community with quality Christian education since 1961. “As a church, we are proud of the Hills Adventist College Early Learning Centre; we have outstanding leadership and staff who are dedicated to providing the highest quality Christian-
based early childhood education, nurture and development,” said pastor Michael Worker, president of the Greater Sydney Conference. “It’s pleasing to see that the accrediting authorities have recognised what we have known all along.” “Our focus is to ensure a Christcentered, family approach,” said Mrs Weiss. “It’s important to me as an Adventist early childhood professional, that our families and children know that our focus is on Jesus, and that our interactions, programs and values reveal this clearly.” The ELC serves as a feeder to Hills Adventist College. “The basis for our children's transition into the College begins the moment they walk through our doors,” said Mrs Weiss. “They see and hear the College and become involved in school life. They establish relationships with school staff well before their formal years—in a very natural way. This gives the many non-Adventist children and their families an introduction to Adventist education.”
Insider’s View Video: Macarthur & Mountain View Share How God is Moving at their Schools Watch as Chaplains Bernard Deojee (B’z) of Macarthur and Panapa Leuluai of Mountain View open up their schools and give an insider’s view into the schools’ Weeks of Spiritual Emphasis and into their thinking as Chaplains. Learn how the Adventist Schools nurture spiritual growth and how the Chaplains aim to connect with their students on a daily basis. Visit www.gscadventist.org.au/web/ connect/video/
Reach Across Notice to Churches The 28th quadrennial Constituency Meeting of the Greater Sydney Conference will convene 23 – 24 August 2014. Part of the business of the meeting is the election of the Conference officers and the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee (appointed at the 2010 Constituency Meeting) will commence its work on Tuesday 20 May 2014. The Chairman of the Nominating Committee is Pr Chester Stanley, President of the Australian Union Conference. Section 6.3 of the GSC Constituency Meeting and Election Procedures states the following: “Delegates who have substantive concerns with respect to any incumbent officer of the Conference shall formally raise those concerns in writing with the chairperson of the nominating committee prior to the first meeting of this committee, the date of such meeting and the name of the chairperson having been clearly advised to all churches by the Conference. The chairperson will bring those concerns to the committee, giving opportunity for the delegate to address the committee if he/she wishes. In view of this, no opportunity will be given at the constituency meeting for matters of concern to be raised with respect to incumbent officers who are recommended for election by the nominating committee.” Contact details for Pr Stanley: PO Box 4368, Ringwood Vic 3134 email@example.com
Insider’s View: The Making of Youth Group Leaders Who: Concord Youth Leaders: Dani Piot & Rose Miranda Favourite Activities: Camps Outreach Projects: Nursing homes, Soup kitchens, Community Outreach, Visiting with older church members, Helping with Children’s Ministry, Cleaning, Cooking
Rose: It is such an honour that I have been given the opportunity to lead the youth over the past few years. It’s a big responsibility. It is like when God chose David to be king; he knew he was capable to lead a nation. With us, we never know when God is going to use us. I didn’t grow up in the church. Funny thing is what got me involved, when I first got connected to a church, was the youth group. I always remember that verse about not letting people despise or look down on you because you are young. It is a reality check with your faith: what you’re teaching, what you’re living, is what the youth will see. Definitely seeing the work of God’s hand, unveiling His love towards them, and seeing them grow impacts my spiritual life. Dani: I count it a privilege and honour to be a part of the spiritual journeys of the youth. It’s an important role God has asked Rose and I to do this year and we couldn’t be happier, but we also understand the seriousness of it and as a role model to the youth, we have to reflect upon our own lives and actions, as the youth are looking up to us and watching our examples. It makes me want to be more and more like Jesus so our wonderful youth can see Jesus through us and want to be more like Him. Also, studying the Bible with some of the youth has really made me shape up with my Bible knowledge as they have lots of questions and are eager to learn more. This is an encouragement to me and constantly inspires me. Visit http://www.gscadventist.org.au/web/2014/03/27/concordyouthgroup/ to read more about Dani and Rose and Concord Youth
Wollongong Church: Ida’s Blue Ribbon Ministry
Ninety-eight year old Ida Johnson from Wollongong Church has a special ministry; she has been blessed with the amazing gift of hospitality. To this day, she is well known for making special delicious treats for potlucks, youth events and even the local Bulli Show, where she’s won numerous blue ribbons. What drives her to do all of this is her desire to keep young people interested. Fellow church member, Naomi Slow says, “She’s an inspiration. She just soldiers on and nothing slows her down. She has a behind-the-scenes, quiet, background ministry.” Ida credits it all to God saying, the thing that has kept her strong in her relationship with God is “having [her] hand in Jesus’ hand.” Naomi knows first hand how impacting Ida’s ministry is. When Naomi had bypass surgery, one of the other church members enlisted Ida to cook meals for her and freeze them, to allow Naomi time to heal. Ida will turn ninety-nine in June. Over the years and through various experiences, she has learned that by staying steady in the Lord, He will see her through.
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Child-Safe Code of Conduct
Suzanne Hadfield, Safe Place Coordinator invites you to view a video that outlines the Child-Safe Code of Conduct, which outlines how children are to be treated in church. To watch, visit: http://www.gscadventist.org.au/web/connect/video/ Learn more about Safe Places: www.safeplaceservices.org.au
May, Jun e 2015
Visit www.gscadventist.org.au for a full calendar
Conference Dates April 24-27
Inspire Resourcing Weekend
Just Pray No to Drugs
5 1/2 weeks visiting the sites of the Protestant Reformation in 7 European Countries: Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, England & Scotland An inspiring opportunity open for church employees and lay members alike
Sydney-wide CHIP Program
Family Ministries Parenting Resources
Home Grown Rally
IMAGINE - The Bride Wore White
Warriors Step Up
Senior School Day of Worship
World Changers Bible Project
Offerings April 19
ADRA Disaster & Famine Relief
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Special Screening Donâ€™t miss this award-winning independent film! Saturday, 26 April Saturday, April 26 at 7:45 PM
7:00 pm at Inspire SYDNEY PREMIERE SCREENING MOUNTAIN VIEW ADVENTIST COLLEGE 41 Doonside Road Community Church March 19, 7 pm @ Fox Valley SDA Doonside