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.