NSW ACC Movement
Next Meeting of the NSW ACC Movement
2013 - TBA. Venue: TBA.
October 2012 with the ACC National Chair Rev Dr Max Champion at Bexley Uniting Church.
Lamenting the unavailability of the Apostle Paul, the meeting nevertheless made do with two challenging and informative talks by Rev Dr Max Champion:
"Marriage - Heart of Creation; Heart of Redemption": Noting the importance of working ecumenically in relation to marriage, Max drew on the teachings of Pope John-Paul II and Ephesians 5 to show how Christian marriage is a reflection of Christ's love for the church, AND:
"A Confessing Voice: Good for Society; Good for the Church": Drawing on Acts 17, Max illustrated how Paul's engagement with the Athenian public is a model for us as we engage the public sphere of our own time. Max noted that Paul's speech was not met with universal acclaim or great worldly success, and quoting Leslie Newbigin, noted that modern secular culture is in fact a paganism borne out of a rejection of Christianity that is far more resistant to the gospel than the pagan culture that the first Christians encountered.
Rev Peter Chapman, Secretary
Thank you to Bexley Uniting Church, and the minister Rev Dr Sang-Taek Lee for their hospitality and leadership. Nearly 60 members enjoyed a full and robust day of addresses and discussion.
The NSW ACC Movement met at Sutherland Uniting Church on Saturday 14 April 2012. Dr Jeff Aernie spoke on "Imperial Triumph or Prophetic Procession? Christian Discipleship Then and Now from 2 Corinthians 2:14 - 16". Dr Aernie is the New Testament Lecturer at United Theological College.
The NSW Chair/Convenor, Rev Ian Weeks presented his report to the NSW ACC 2012 AGM, providing an overview of the NSW ACC Movement during the last year.
God is at work - in Ruth, and in us! A report and reflection: ACC NSW Movement 2012 AGM Report
During the Sundays leading up to Easter, I preached a series of sermons through the Old Testament Book of Ruth. It is a great story of God's gracious and sovereign redemptive plan worked out in the lives of very ordinary people in a particular time, place and culture. In the Godly man Boaz, the widowed and socially despised foreigner Ruth finds a Kinsman-Redeemer in whom she can have refuge, security and a hope for the future. In Ruth & Boaz's union, we see that we too find a Redeemer. For from the family line of Ruth & Boaz, which becomes the line of David, comes the ultimate Kinsman-Redeemer: Jesus. Amazing Grace! God's plan of salvation is at work in the messy lives of people and in the structures of law and culture, even today! In Christ we find our refuge and hope for eternity.
In Chapter 3 of Ruth, I think Naomi begins to question whether Ruth & Boaz will ever get together. It seems that in her directions to Ruth in vv 1 - 4, Naomi is asking that question that I'm sure many of us have asked at some time: "God are you still at work? Why are things going so slowly? Lord have you fallen asleep or forgotten about us?" These are the questions we ask when things don't seem to be going at the pace we would like; when our prayers are not answered in the timing we would prefer.
They are the type of questions that are asked of me quite frequently as I meet with members of the UCA in various places: "Why haven't things changed in the Synod/Assembly of the UCA yet? Why hasn't revival come yet?" They are difficult and testing questions. But I take great comfort as I read the Book of Ruth again, and see God's hand at work in the little "co-incidences" of that story, and in the answered prayers of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz.
We may like to see things changing for the better in the UCA more quickly. We may like to see revival come sooner. And so we keep on praying and keep on working in the Spirit towards these goals. And as we patiently work and wait, we have the confidence to know that God is accomplishing His eternal plans and purposes. As Paul reminds us, as we wait patiently: "endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope" (Rom 5:4) I pray that you will keep on enduring and looking to see the gracious hand of our faithful God at work.
The NSW Committee has been seeking to be faithfully doing this also as we have met to try and find ways to encourage ACC Congregations, groups and individuals throughout NSW.
We welcome invitations to come and share with your congregation or group about the work of the ACC.
It is a real blessing for us to hear of the exciting things that are being done in various Congregations in NSW. What an encouragement to know that there are ACC/UCA congregations in NSW having wonderful Gospel opportunities in their local communities through various ministry activities.
This past year our fellowship has extended beyond the bounds of the UCA. ACC NSW subsidized 10 ACC NSW Pastors to attend a large gathering of pastors and church leaders across the denominational spectrum for quality Bible teaching, encouragement, networking and refreshment (Oxygen August 2011 organized by KCC) . It is interesting to note that the organizers contacted the ACC (via Peter Bentley) in order to invite evangelical UCA leaders to the launch of this event concept in 2010. Perhaps the ACC is being recognized as the contact point for evangelical ministries within the UCA by our ecumenical partners? We hope that there will be further opportunities in the future to be involved in similar like-minded ecumenical ventures where evangelical UCA pastors and leaders can be strengthened in their faith and empowered in their ministry
I am grateful for the faithful labours of the NSW Committee in the many and varied tasks we seek to accomplish. I especially thank Mr Bruce Fairhall who has been the Secretary of the NSW Committee for a number of years, and who is retiring from that role at the 2012 AGM. Thank you Bruce for your efficient and diligent work. My appreciation also extends to the other members of the Committee: Alan Russell, Ngan Ha Le, Fatai Slender, Alton Bowen, Mele Fakahua-Ratcliffe, Lupe Tapueluelu, Colin Seymour and Michael Earl who have served during the past year. We are blessed also to have regular access to the ACC National Executive Officer Peter Bentley at our NSW Meetings. Much of the work of the ACC is done by the National Council and its affiliated commissions, for which we are thankful. We must always uphold Peter and the national body in prayer as they work diligently on our behalf.
The AGM is an opportunity for you, the members of the ACC in NSW, to be involved in this encouraging work. NSW Committee members are sought from the membership of the ACC in NSW. The Committee has been meeting four times a year on a Friday morning at Wesley Mission (we are grateful for the use of Wesley Mission facilities for our meetings) in Pitt St, Sydney CBD. Please prayerfully consider your availability to serve on the NSW Committee, and especially if you are able to provide some minute taking-and-distributing skills.
The work of the ACC goes on. Our labours for the Gospel go on. All working together with God's eternal plans of redemption, coming together for His glory and our eternal benefit - that is our hope and prayer.
NSW ACC Meeting - October 2011
John Mallison spoke on Developing Relationships in the context of a wide presentation on Evangelism and Discipleship in the 21st Century at the October 2011 meeting. A summary was provided in the December 2012 ACCatalyst magazine, but if you would like a copy of his extensive notes (by email) please contact the ACC Office.
Ian Weeks presents his first report to the NSW ACC Movement – 2011 AGM.