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.