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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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Phil Strong – Moderator Elect Of The Presbyterian Church Of Queensland

The General Assembly have unanimously elected the Reverend Phil Strong as Moderator-Elect (moderator of the 2019 General Assembly).

Phil is on staff at Creek Road Presbyterian and is Moderator of the South Australian Assembly and Presbytery, being an Assessor (appointed member) of those bodies. He is functioning as project manager of the Adelaide Churches revitalization work. He has previously served as convener of the Qld Ministry Training Committee.

(an earlier version of this post mentioned Phil’s involvement in the acquisition of the new premises of the Queensland Theological College. Phil has informed me that his departure from the Ministry Training Committee predated those plans, and he had no personal involvement that project. So I’ve updated this post. He’s a details guy.)


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Thanks To John Mansfield

The following motion was passed with a standing ovation, marking the conclusion of John Mansfield’s 37 year long work with the Department of Christian Education.

I remember John’s work back in the early 1980’s, and there will be thousands of people who know Jesus or have grown deeper in their following of Jesus because of the work that John has done in facilitating and conducting camps, events and youth work.


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Reappointment Of Peter Barson as PCQ Director Of Ministry Resourcing And Christian Education

The General Assembly Of The Presbyterian Church Of Queensland unanimously voted to reappoint Rev Peter Barson as Director Of Ministry Resourcing and Christian Education for a five-year term. This will be Peter’s third term, having commenced in 2008.

Peter is a blessing to the church. Wise, empathetic, experienced; able to have hard conversations and implement hard decisions with grace and love. He is a model of servant-leadership who has a driving passion that people (particularly young people) will come to know Jesus through the ministry of local churches, supported by the activities of the wider denomination.


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Ministry Training In The PCQ

The Queensland Theological College and Committee On Training For The Ministry reported tonight.

A new standalone facility has been purchased, renovated and opened in the central business district of Brisbane.

There are six full time lecturers, around 170 people undertaking some form of study; nearly 50 full time students – 19 training for ordained ministry.

Graduates serve around Australia and internationally.

The operations of QTC as a facility continues to develop as a business model, and needs to develop its funding model.

The Qld Church has a world class teaching and training facility.