It was planned for the 2019 PCQ General Assembly to conclude its business mid-afternoon and so it proved to be.
The final two sessions dealt with the remaining items of the agenda, along with matters that had been deferred from earlier sittings.
Something I’d never experienced at Assembly before occurred with Alister Bain’s final sermon. Today he delivered a sermon that he had originally preached at a carols service with his local church. The focus of the message was evangelistic, and as he unfolded the passage from Isaiah he identified the theme of a better future, the common human yearning for a better future, and how the Christian message is the fulfilment of Isaiah’s promise and an invitation to consider and receive God’s offer of that better future. Then Alistair asked for questions and comments, so the Assembly was able to think together about the craft and the heart of preaching.
Assembly resumed consideration of PresCare, commending that ministry of the church and committing to better identify how its work aligns with our local mission and ministry as a denomination.
Outreach and Nurture Committee presented their report on the growing youth and camping ministries of the denomination, along with their desire to develop a staff team who are able to develop resources and equip and train leaders for local youth ministry.
The Gospel in Society Today (GiST) committee considers various ethical and social issues and seeks to help guide the church about how we can best express the unchanging standards of the Bible while we engage with rapidly changing social circumstances and standards. The Assembly and its members feel the pressure of wanting to have ready responses that are informed by the mind of the church to in the context of processes that take time to achieve collective expressions. The Committee does this very well, and I was encouraged by the scope of their output, as well as the pastoral heart behind it.
Apart from those major items we expressed out thanks to Brisbane Boys College for hosting the Assembly. Those of us who make use of the live-in facilities are particularly well-served.
Phil Strong provided a considered and assured presence in the chair which enabled the Assembly members to feel supported by process in achieving their outcomes rather than being obstructed.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a thing or two, but it was a great time of considering progress in our mission and ministry, along with making decisions aimed at enabling, under God’s grace, our future steps forward.
Davo Gunning, Phil Strong, and me.