CMS Summerview 2009
God's wide plans advanced at SummerView
Do you go to church when you’re on holidays?
Know the feeling? Just occasionally ‘church’ can be seen as work and participation a matter of obligation. How different, then, that 183 (mostly) Anglicans of all ages from across Tasmania and interstate joyfully and enthusiastically participated in the CMS summer missions and Bible teaching conference at Port Sorell in January.
The conference theme, ‘God’s Wide Plans’, was drawn from Simon Manchester’s Bible studies from chapters 4, 14 and 24 of Luke’s Gospel, but was an apt description of the thrust of the rich mission input too.
Simon, long-time Rector of one of Sydney’s largest churches, emphasised the need to listen to Scripture until the meaning is 'clear’, and his careful, measured treatment of these key passages dealing with Jesus’ agenda, his realism and the hope he brings, were stimulating, memorable and hugely encouraging.
Ajith Fernando, who has for many years served as Director of Youth for Christ in war-torn Sri Lanka, spoke with passion and from a refreshing Third World perspective on the evergreen basics of the faith – that Jesus IS the only way and that the Bible IS the primary source – moving on to analyse what the Global South can offer the West, and vice versa, as we partner in world mission. Do listen to at least this talk if you possibly can.
An extraordinarily diverse group of mission personnel enriched the conference:
Buenos Aires resident Beatriz Buono, whose input in Spanish was translated live by Michael Collie, recently returned from serving with CMS in Argentina to take up the National Secretary role with SPCA-A; Judith Calf, Bible College teacher in Tanzania and about to take up a training position at St Andrew’s Hall; Federal Secretary of CMS John Thew, who with Cathryn served with CMS in Pakistan. John brought informed updates of CMS work around the globe and Cathryn led a seminar on teaching English as a service and outreach to immigrant communities.
The elective program broadened the scope and usefulness of the conference, and wonderful people served us by providing a crèche, programs for younger people, morning tea, book displays and all those ‘extras’ which make for good conferences.
'Too short’, said some. 'Not enough time on the beach', said others. But no-one said, 'Never again!'
Next year’s conference, also at Port Sorell, runs from 14 to 17 January 2010, and the Bible studies will be delivered by Dr Peter Adam, Principal of Ridley Melbourne.
Listen to the talks
MP3 files of five of the six main talks at the conference are available to download. Simon Manchester (Luke Ch. 4, Luke Ch. 14, Grasping the Hope of Jesus Christ), Ajith Fernando (The Uniqueness of Christ and The Unfolding Drama in the Book of Acts).