Building Bridges: AU and NZ ministerial interns share experiences at joint camp

Participants at this year's Ministerial Interns Camp.

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More than 80 ministerial interns, ministerial secretaries, and Australian Union Conference (AUC) admin team members came together from April 3 to 7 for a national intern development camp.

The camp, which runs annually and is organised by the AUC, was held at Camp Howqua in Victoria. For the first time, this year’s camp was co-led by representatives from the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (NZPUC).

NZPUC ministerial secretary Pastor Victor Kulakov expressed his appreciation for the event, “This event was not just a gathering; it was a transformative experience, especially for us, the interns from NZPUC. We are grateful for the opportunity to have been part of such a well-organised and spiritually enriching program.”

Interns camp is an intensive training program where future pastors are given the tools to apply their knowledge in various areas by facilitating real-life scenarios and giving them the opportunity to ask candid questions.

The event featured workshops on topics such as preaching, pastoral care and visitation, as well as a tutorial on the ministry support tool, the Ministerial Development portal (MD).

There were discussions, presentations, and panels focused on the theme of “the heart of ministry” topics included boundaries, self-leadership and ministry for the long haul.

Ministerial spouses were also invited with breakout sessions provided for networking and support.

For AUC ministerial secretary Pastor Lyndelle Peterson, Friday evening was the highlight of the event. “We heard the ministry journey of interns and administrators alike. God really does call all types of people from all different walks of life to ministry. It was really encouraging and inspiring to hear stories of how God leads and continues to work in the life and ministry of our pastoral team,” said Pastor Peterson.

Orewa and Auckland Central Samoan churches pastor Mekuri Su’a also appreciated the community-building spirit of the event. “I loved the opportunity to share experiences with other intern ministers going through the same journey in diverse contexts. We can learn from that space. Making plans to pray for one another always, being empowered and encouraged, it’s not the work we do, but the work God does through us.”

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