Tuesday, June 03, 2008

In America

I know - long time no post. I've been facebooking the last few months and have also been super busy at work.

Annette and I have travelled to the states for me to do some networking with people involved in ministry training in the Wesleyan church in the US. We're at Houghton College at them moment and will be flying to Orlando tomorrow for the Wesleyan Church International and General Conference.
The flight over was not straight forward. The Qantas strike in Australia meant we switched flights and took a direct Melb-LA flight then went LA to San Fran for out connecting flight ot Buffalo but the flight was delayed into San Fran ad we missed our connecting flight. The olnly option we had that day was to take a San Fran to Toronto flight and hire a car to drive from Toronto to Buffalo. We landed in Toronto at 12:30am but are bags did not arrive. We left Toronto at 1:30am and arrived in Buffalo around 3am - still in the same clothes we put on 33 hours earlier. We found our bags the next morning at Buffalo airport - they came in on a US Airways flight (the carrier we were meant to travel with from San Fran to Buffalo).

The last tow day have been more joyful time catching up with some friends at Houghton and having some discussions around ministerial training and education and the Houghton Down Under study abraid program.

We're flying out to Orlando tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wesleyan Methodist Church - South Pacific Convention

January 13-17 was the quadrennial Wesleyan Methodist Church National Conference and South Pacific Convention. Rev. Steve DeNeff was the guest speaker and delivered some powerful messages on personal holiness and a new view on Jesus as Holy. Dr. Tom Armiger (General Superintendent) chaired the business meetings and the DeNeff's and Armigers enjoyed their Aussie experience including a tirp to the local Koala park and the Penguins right on Philip Island where the convention was held.
The Convention itself included separate children's and youth programs and a wide range of seminars and electives. A highlight for me was the didgeridoo playing of Shea Taylor from the Baparrdu Fellowship in Rockhampton.
I was kept busy with organising the powerpoint for the main rallies as well as attending the main business meetings of the conference and explaining the new direction of Kingsley College. Let's just say that not everyone at the conference was completely happy with where Kingsley is going but after some vigorous and necessary discussion the conference gave a strong endorsement to the actions of the College Board and National Board to
1. Sell the property at South Street, Hadfield and
2. Move out of offering higher education awards and focus on preparing people for ministry in the Wesleyan Methodist church which includes entering strategic partner arrangements with other providers- Tabor Victoria being the first and most significant because it includes the transfer of staff and students to Tabor from Kingsley.
The National Conference also saw the conclusion of 11 years of service and leadership from Rev. Stan Baker. Stan has led the church through some difficult years and he should be congratulated on his statesmanship and courage in leadership. The conference elected Lindsay Cameron (recently returned missionary from Africa) as the new National Superintendent. I was also re-elected as Principal for another four year term.
All in all a good conference, I can't really say that I was looking forward to it - mostly the issues related to Kingsley - but I came away having met some new friends and more connected to God and his mission of love for the world. The kids had a ball - we hardly saw them the whole time - they made lots of new friends too and are looking forward to the next National Conference in four years time.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kingsley End of Year Dinner

The Kingsley staff and faculty dinner was at Alfreds Homestead this year. We enjoyed a smorgasbord meal and had a great time chatting. Wynand and Marianne DeKock, John and Wendy Capper and Tim and Jenny Farmilo from Tabor College joined us and it was good to get to know our new colleagues a bit better.

Numurkah Holiday

We had a week away at Numurkah recently (7-13 December). We stayed at Lakeside Country Club and utilised all the facilities of the resort - indoor and outdoor pool, mini golf, squash and tennis - but mostly the pool which the kids really enjoyed. We had a couple of day trips to Shepparton and Tocumwal.
At Shepparton we visited Kids Town which is a free outdoor adventure playground - well worth a visit if your traveling through Shep.
Our day trip to Tocumwal included a stop at The Big Strawberry at Koonoomoo - it has a great cafe and gift shop with everything strawberry - yum - strawberry milkshakes and chocolate covered strawberries for morning tea.
We traveled another half hour to Tocumwal - so we could say we visited NSW in our holiday. We had a nice lunch on the banks of the Murray River before heading back to Numurhkah.
Matt, Kate and Tom with the Shrek Cow in a park in Shepparton. The parks have various themed cows scattered through them in Shepparton.
Having a rest during our walk through the Kinnairds Wetlands in Numurkah
Family reading time

Monday, October 29, 2007

Living Water - Worship

I led the worship time at Mimos two weeks ago and I set up some "worship stations" based on the theme of Living Water. Our passage for reflection and teaching was John 7:37-38.
We had five stations set up:
1. Care Boats
People wrote their cares and anxieties on a piece of rectangular paper which they made into an origami boat. They placed the boats in the tub of water and symbolically gave those concerns to the living water of Christ.
2. Waterfall
Station 2 was playing the song "Waterfall" by Matthew Ward. People could sit, read the lyrics and listen to the song.
3. A Prayer for the Thirsty
Psalm 143 was printed out and put on a a wall. Kneeling pads were placed near the wall for people to kneel and read the prayer of David.
4. Living Water
Five passages of Scripture were printed out for people to read and meditate on. Psalm 36:5-9, Isaiah 41:17-18; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:1,2,17
5. Lectio Divina and Drawing
The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4:4-14) was printed out and people were asked to read through it a few times and imagine themselves being there in the conversation. Paper and textas were available for people to write of draw their impressions of the encounter.

New Directions for Kingsley Colege

Wow!!! A month since my last post - I really have been busy. What has been taking my time and energy has been the restructuring of Kingsley College. Kingsley will be taking a change of direction from 2008. Kingsley will be focusing it's energies on the development and training of people serving the Wesleyan Methodist church. To this end Kingsley will be partnering with Tabor College Victoria who will deliver the majority of the courses Kingsley is currently delivering. Kingsley will continue to offer some courses through the Sydney College of Divinity but eventually all courses will come under Tabor College Victoria. Kingsley staff and faculty will join with Tabor and the new combined College will offer classes from Ringwood, Berwick and Hadfield (Kingsley's current campus). Kingsley will still oversee Kingsley Community - the local church ministry training program. Tabor College Victoria will offer the courses required for ordination in the Wesleyan Methodist church and Wesleyan faculty such as myself, Glen O'Brien and Kevin Brown will take n a tutoring/coaching role with Wesleyan ministerial candidates. So..... some big changes for Kingsley and my role. I will continue as Principal of Kingsley and oversee its role in providing ministerial training and I will also be on the leadership team at Tabor.
Read more about the new direction for Kingsley here.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Springtime in the Garden

With the recent warm weather combined with some (although not enough) rain, the garden is coming to life. The daffodils are all but finished but the viburnum, wisteria, genista, wigelia and irises are all in full bloom.