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A Long And Varied Day One At PCQ Assembly 2019

PCQ General Assembly began at 8.30am and concluded at 9.30pm.
That’s a long day, but it is also quite varied in content.
At 7.00am the live-in commissioners gather to hear a devotional talk (this year from Laurie Peake), sing praise and pray.
Alistair Bain, pastor of St Johns Hobart preached from Luke’s Gospel about our purpose as disciples being part of the growth of the kingdom of God. We preach the Gospel, show mercy, and trust in the power of Christ. It was encouraging to remember our role is not to make the old perishing kingdom better, but to invite and see people enter the new eternal kingdom of God.
Peter Mayrick from the Center For Ministry Development led us in a seminar, helping us to consider how our mission could be carried out faithfully in the era and culture in which we live. Previous generations faithfully lived out the mission. We live it now. We have the same tools as previous generations: word, spirit, people, place. It was particularly interesting to see how statistical and survey information can be skilfully interpreted in a manner that helps churches to understand if their practice matches their stated goal desires or whether some adjustment would be helpful.
After lunch three other seminars were offered in rotation (members could attend two) helping us think about leadership paradigms in churches of various size, use of technology to support parish management and administration, and the place and function of small groups in church life.
Assembly Business began with consideration of the Business Committee report (mapping out our agenda for the next two and a half days).
Peter Barson was elected as our new Clerk of Assembly with a remembrance of the late Ron Clark being held over to an appropriate time. Since the deputy clerk position is considered open when the Clerk’s position chances, Lesleigh Hall was elected deputy-clerk for the fourth time, a testimony to the Assembly’s respect for his skill. Other items of business were our Finance and Administration Board, the finalisation of various rule changes, matters referred to Assembly by our standing commission, and our appreciation to outgoing moderator Mike O’Connor, and our thanks to Phil Strong for his sermon at our opening service last night.
In the transition from afternoon to evening we had a missions dinner in which our Assembly Committee presented speakers who talked about the theological college’s training pathway that encourages and equips all students to engage, participate in, and support world mission. Then we heard from some people who are serving in the field. Kevin Murray, the national missions director addressed the dinner about the progress of our national church’s support of cross cultural and indigenous work. The consideration of the mission committee’s report and recommendations was also begun in our evening session and will be completed later in our meetings.
There was more. Scripture reading, prayer, a few other items I’ve overlooked.
A balance of devotional and administrative work.
The why and the how of our mission balanced as we gather togethers.
And of course there was time to speak to people while sharing breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon teas.

Now for sleep.
The weather looks a bit inclement, so I don’t know how my morning walk will go tomorrow.

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Business Starts At Assembly

PCQ General Assembly business begins.

The David Cook memorial chaplain selfie.

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Presbyterian Church of Queensland General Assembly 2019

The opening session of the 2019 Presbyterian Church of Queensland General Assembly was conducted tonight.
Rev Phil Strong was recognised as the moderator of this year’s assembly, and it was a privilege for Rev Davo Gunning and myself to be introduced as Phil’s chaplains for this year.
I’ll a few updates, starting tomorrow.

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When Sermon Illustrations Come To Life…

So, I mentioned yesterday that God’s will is known to be certain only in hindsight and volunteered that I was traveling to Brisbane and I’d know it was God’s will that I go there when I arrived.

I took this photo of Rundle Mall on my morning walk today intending to contrast it with, perhaps, the Queen St Mall in Brisbane.

Instead, I’ll include this photo of Melbourne.

Our direct flight was cancelled and we’ve been transferred on a two-step flight with an arrival time five hours or so later than intended. We’ll go (hopefully, if it’s God’s will) directly from the airport to the opening service of assembly.

Such is the stuff sermon illustrations are made of.

By the way, this is why I travel qantas when I get the choice, replacement booking, food voucher, help in other ways. Their customer service is outstanding.

Anyway, later there’ll be photos from Brisbane.

I hope.

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O Sing My Soul – Sunday Songs

O Sing My Soul is from the first EP of Matt Boswell’s Messenger Hymns.
Apparently he has a new release with Matt Papa later this year. I’m looking forward to hearing it.

The lyrics:
O sing my soul the ancient song and lend Your highest praise
To Him who is the King of old and dwells in endless days
How resplendent His glory, How majestic His name
Now to the Uncreated One, O Let the anthem raise
O worship Him our Father God, The Spirit and The Word
Who fashioned all things from His joy, and saw that it was good
What perfection of friendship, what communion we shared
But choosing death we fell from life, aside the guilty pair
Now hear my soul the gospel song, attend the joyful news
For Christ has come the perfect Son, His Father’s will to choose
In our place He did suffer, In our place became sin
The death of death, the death of Christ who stands alive again
Now people of the risen Lord, o hear the call to go
Into the world we have been sent as messengers of hope
Christ alone be our treasure, Christ alone our reward
Come bid the nations sing, sing with us, the praises of the Lord

Words and Music: Matt Boswell and Matt Papa
(c) Copyright 2012 Dayspring Music, LLC (BMI).
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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New City Catechism Question and Answer 25

Question 25
Does Christ’s death mean all our sins can be forgiven?

Yes, because Christ’s death on the cross fully paid the penalty for our sin, God graciously imputes Christ’s righteousness to us as if it were our own and will remember our sins no more.

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A Weekly Mutual Remembrance About The Coming Of The King (via Taylor King)

We don’t worship God because he needs it. We worship God because we need it.
From Taylor King:

We come to the Sunday morning service beat by the world if not beat up by ourselves. We come into the sanctuary with wounded hearts and worn out minds. When Heaven seems so distant, congregational worship reminds us that it isn’t really as far as we think it is. Jesus Christ our Savior is returning and we must marvel at His coming! Congregational worship helps us to march onward into the week where temptations wait for us. We need each other to cry out knowing we embrace the truth that our King is coming; therefore, we can endure the temporary madness that is real life. We have a God who keeps His promises. Rejoice in the glory that will be revealed!