Preaching to the preachers

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Cooranbong, New South Wales

Avondale College Church was the venue for last month’s Pastors’ Summit, attended by 675 church workers and their spouses. 

Mindful of the issues pastors and their congregations are struggling with, [Dr Jo Ann Davidson] used her time at the pulpit to uphold the authority of Scripture, creation and the Sabbath, and to explore the apparent delay of the second coming.

During five days of worship, learning and fellowship, pastors from across Australia had a chance to recharge and reconnect with colleagues.

The workshops, plenary sessions and evening meetings provided a good mix of practical information, theological insight and spiritual enrichment. Speakers included a number of Australian specialists as well as presenters from the UK and USA. The topics varied from marriage, parenting and health, to science, Muslim outreach and church growth strategies. 

Providing the keynote evening sermons was Dr Jo Ann Davidson, the first woman to teach in the Theology Department at Andrews University.

“Let’s do theology,” Dr Davidson pronounced as she launched into a reasoned, biblical and passionate defence of the threefold nature of God on the second evening. Mindful of the issues pastors and their congregations are struggling with, she used her time at the pulpit to uphold the authority of Scripture, creation and the Sabbath, and to explore the apparent delay of the second coming.
 

Keynote speaker, Dr Jo Ann Davidson.

Summit organisers were particularly grateful for the support of Avondale College, which hosted the event, as well as the effort put in by Avondale Memorial Church, whose members provided meals for the overflow of attendees who could not fit into the college cafeteria.

“Overwhelmingly positive” is how the feedback from the pastors was described by Pastor Graeme Christian, summit coordinator and Ministerial Association secretary of the Australian Union Conference. And the feedback is likely to continue, as a number of the main sessions, including the Saturday night Hymns & Songs of Praise event, were videoed by the Wahroonga Adventist Television team and are now available online at <findjesus.tv>.
 

Attendees enjoyed creative calligraphy up the front during evening presentations.

“I think there’s a tremendous amount of fulfilment that our pastors experience in their role,” Pastor Christian said. “While there are hard times and there are tough business meetings or whatever . . . the thing that keeps people going through the tough spots is the sense that God has put me here and I’m doing what He wants.”
 

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