Part of being a national church with state and regional levels of oversight is that various bodies can be held accountable for their decisions. Today the GAA considered an appeal to bring the decision of one of our state bodies under review, and a petition seeking a recommendation of one of our national committees to placed under review. Those took up a fair bit of time, but responsible leadership welcomes accountability.
Rev Ligon Duncan preached a most affecting sermon based on 1 Kings 19.
Notes won’t do it justice. If it was recorded and turns up online please listen to it.
He unfolded these three points.
1. Even ministers who believe in the sovereignty can fail to believe that The Lord is God.
2. Even ministers who fight against idolatry can succumb to it.
3. Even when The Lord looks like he’s being hard on his servants you can be sure his provision is staggeringly generous and kind.
We continued to receive a number of reports and approve proposed plans by the respective committees for the next three years.
National Journal Committee, presented by Mr Duncan Parker spoke of the more widespread circulation of the now 20 page quarterly magazine, freely available in print or online.
Presbyterian Inland Mission: presented by Rev Rob Duncanson and Rev Stuart Bonnington, with a contribution from Padre Chris Woonings who spoke about the great need for biblical preaching in outback towns.
Defence Force Chaplaincy: presented by Rev Allan Harman making special mention of the high number of chaplains provided by the Presbyterian denomination, with a special address by Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley.
Rev Geoff Macpherson, representing Grace Presbyterian Church, New Zealand addressed the house.
Ballots were conducted to fill the various national committee positions for the next three years, with results being announced later in the evening.
Church And Nation: presented by Rev Stefan Slucki and Rev David Palmer who both spoke to a comprehensive report on a variety of ethical matters. Professor Patrick Parkinson of the Sydney Law School addressed the Assembly on the subject of concerns regarding religious liberty.
Reception of Ministers also presented a substantial report. Over a dozen men from other denominations were approved to be received as ministers of the Presbyterian Church of Australia upon the fulfilment of a variety of conditions.
Hopefully tomorrow business will conclude at a relatively early stage.
Everything is flowing along very smoothly.
David Cook is doing a wonderful job as moderator, and I hear his chaplains are giving adequate support.