A wonderful start to the ministry year at the Priscilla & Aquila conference

The 2018 Priscilla and Aquila Centre conference was held on Monday 5 February at the college. The annual conference has a two-fold aim: firstly, to encourage the ministries of women, and secondly, to think more seriously and creatively about how men and women can better serve together in gospel ministry.

Although they are aimed primarily at men and women in vocational ministry, these conferences are also open to lay men and women, and many lay people attend each year. This year, just over 230 men and women registered to hear talks, encourage one another and enjoy Christian fellowship.

The main talks in the morning were given by Moore College faculty member Peter Tong. Peter’s two talks were from Luke, and were entitled “Servants of God: The role of women in Luke’s story of Jesus”. He asked key questions, such as “Does Luke present the role of women in his story of Jesus positively or negatively?” and “Luke records more episodes featuring women than any other Gospel writer, but does he portray their role in a positive light? For example, beyond Luke 2, women hardly speak, and those who do are corrected by Jesus. Although women are privileged to be the first resurrection witnesses, their testimony is dismissed as uncredible.”

Peter conducted a study of the roles women play at some of the key points in Luke’s story—including the birth narrative, and Jesus’ passion and resurrection. In his talks, Peter showed how Luke weaves his presentation of women among other major themes in the Gospel, such as discipleship and Jesus’ treatment of the lowly. Conference attendees were able to weigh the evidence and decide how Luke portrays women, and through this, gain a deeper grasp of God’s purposes for men and women in his kingdom.

Apart from the main talks, in the afternoon, there were seven practical electives for delegates to choose from, which were well attended and much appreciated, judging from the feedback received by conference organisers. These electives were: “Encouraging women in a variety of ministries” (Cathey Clarke, Ben Gray, Nathan Walter and Emma Thornett); “Falling in love with this world” (Peter Jensen); “Divorce and remarriage” (Mark Thompson); “Co-leading mixed Bible study groups” (Phil and Jill Wheeler and Libby Janssen); “Men and women in the image of God” (Andrew Leslie); “Resilience: The new buzzword or a critical issue in our ministry’s age?” (Kara Hartley and Kirsty Bucknell); and “Singleness in life and ministry: A personal testimony” (Jane Tooher). 

Audio and video from the conference will be progressively added to the P&A Centre Resources page and the 2018 conference page over the next couple of months. Why not bookmark https://paa.moore.edu.au/resource-center/ and https://paa.moore.edu.au/conference/past-conferences/?

The 2019 P&A annual conference has been scheduled for Monday February 4, 2019. The main speaker will be Graham Beynon, Senior Pastor at Grace Church Cambridge (member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches UK [FIEC] and the Acts 29 church planting network) and Oak Hill College faculty member. Mark this date in your diary now.

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