mgpcpastor's blog

Travelling Home from the South Australian Assembly

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Travelling home from the seventh Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of South Australia that I have attended provides time for a brief reflection. (Don’t worry, Roger’s driving)
Over the course of an evening, the following day, and another morning we have time to be fed from God’s Word. This year Robert Benn preached on Monday night (from Isaiah 64); Tuesday morning (from John 19) and gave a devotional talk (from Jonah 2) on Wednesday morning.
The business of the Assembly proper is to hear of the work of the Assembly’s committees. One of our principles as a chrurch is that there are areas of our work and witness that we carry out in partnership with our sister Congregations. We share expertise, resources and enthusiasm as we do so, achieving more together than we would on our own.
The Committees are made up of people from accross our Congregations. Each year they report on their progress and seek a mandate for their future plans.
Our Public Questions committee is an active advocate for Biblical principles in public debate, including issues such as gambling, religious liberty. and euthanasia.
The Mission committee seeks to help our local churches to fruitfully partner with those serving cross-culturally.
Fellowship is an important aspect of our meeting. Many Presbyterys have more members than the twenty four commissioners which comprise the PCSA Assembly. It means we’ll talk to just about everyone. Given our spread as churches in the South-East of SA through Adelaide and then beyond to Port Augusta and Whyalla, these time of friendship are vital.
We have a dinner together at a restaurant on Tuesday night. I know in other places that Commissioners would simply not come to such times, as if they are not an aspect of our kingdom work. I disagree.
Robert Benn and I presented the oppotunity for the PCSA to be involved in East Timor. The response was encouraging. I made one sale of twenty copies of ‘Timotio Nia Istoria’. Time to send some money to Darwin and get some more.
Meetings such as these get a lot of criticism, much of it unfair. If the work of the Gospel is not being accomplished in our Congregations and Denomination I don’t think the blame rests in the few days a year we spend at such meetings.
It seems to me there must be some failing with our activities on all the other days we are not at such meetings.
One other small matter: this was the first Assembly I’ve attended here that a dear friend has been absent. I missed his presence deeply, but as he has always maintained, the Lord is not dependent on any of us and His work goes on, even when we are gone.
And with thanksgiving to God, that’s exactly what happened: the work of the kingdom is advancing. All praise to God.

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