Some responses to the Diocesan Training Day
A great success!
The recent Training Day was a great success and Bishop Richard suggested that we include a few brief reports/comments in the December Tasmanian Anglican. Thank you to those who responded!
I have happy memories of our Diocesan Training Day. I remember thinking the brilliant sunshine was reflective of God’s radiating happiness at seeing His people gathering together to learn about Discipleship. There was a tangible sense of joy and expectation in the air.
At one point, I closed my eyes and listened to the singing. There was power in the unity of meeting and worshipping together. The message I took from the day was ‘Go’. Go and share with others where my hope comes from. I was both inspired and convicted by Col Marshall. Being busy serving God as a Parish Warden is not enough – I must be prepared to disciple others. Then to no surprise, (after all God was in control) my workshops provided me with the tools to start putting my conviction into action. I met Jesus during an Alpha course 20 years ago, and Alpha is again at my fingertips.
Sonya de Lacey
Living in the North West can often seem isolated from the action, and the opportunity to mix and meet old friends and make new friends was wonderful. The opening message from Bishop Richard set the scene: the day was about ‘helping us be more effective in making disciples of Jesus here in Tasmania right now, and growing in our confidence together’.
Both workshops I attended were interactive, thought provoking and challenging. Stephen entertained us with a short video clip that illustrated why change is needed, then elaborated on 7 Incontrovertible Laws of Changing Tasmanian Churches, under 8 headings sprinkled with examples of when and how. Bishop Richard’s Sharing Your Story session was exactly what I thought it would be and effectively took me out of my comfort zone, forced me to abandon some inhibitions and inspired me to believe that ‘yes I should, could and would do it’.
It doesn’t get much more ‘out there’ than Helen Devenish sharing Jesus and life on the edge with the street teenagers of the Hobart Bus Mall: risky discipleship infused with clarity, graciousness and passion.
Which contrasted with the gentle exploration of relationship building and the taking of time that were key messages from Dennis Quinn’s look at mature-age discipleship.
The countercultural, the cross-cultural, the edgy, the tried and traditional: all were showcased for us, prompting the question: what kind of discipling is God equipping me for?
Well, maybe there is one particular friend … perhaps some more intentional God-talk coming up soon?
‘God makes disciples … God opens eyes … God softens callous hearts … God unstops the ears of the spiritually deaf …’
Bishop Richard kicked off the Diocesan Training Day with a timely and visionary word of encouragement. He urged us to get on our knees in prayer. He warned us about the lure of wealth and cares of this world. He pleaded with us to tell ‘the old, old story.’ He encouraged vigorous, faithful, courageous preaching of the gospel. And in my view, you can’t get a better starting point than that!
What was especially encouraging to me was the obvious goodwill and eagerness of the day’s participants. As the word was preached, God’s people were lapping it up. And if that isn’t the start of something special, I don’t know what is! I’m praying that this is the first of many such training days where we meet together to be equipped.