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"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea". Antoine de Saint- Exupéry.
In November we celebrated our tenth Centrifuge conference, where we gather together to be inspired and energised around our mission of 'bringing the light of Christ into communities'.
While the event included some elements of education and professional development, it was more than that. While it included lots of time to catch up, it was more than networking. While it was a time to reflect on what God has called us into, it was more than a worship event.
It was a day to gather together as the broad Churches of Christ in Queensland and remind one another again WHY we do what we do. To hear the stories, understand the need, reflect on the plan and be mobilised to go and be part of the solutions.
At Centrifuge this year we looked at the theme of 'colouring in the vision' and in particular on our organisational values of behaving with integrity, modelling unconditional love and being good stewards.
We decided to steer away from having one or two keynote speakers and instead went for a creative TED* style event where we invited more than 20 different speakers, musicians and storytellers to unpack their understanding and experience of one of our values. This played out like a huge collage of ideas but allowed us to explore our values from a wide variety of angles and engaged the heart, mind, soul and spirit.
Michael Frost spoke with us about the link between love and persistence and urged us to commit to our communities for the long-term, just being present and serving those around us.
Denise Powell spoke about stewardship from Genesis 1-3, about how God is calling us to create order out of chaos. This was something that resonated with many people as we often feel like our areas of responsibility are chaotic. Denise reminded us that we are being good stewards as we seek to bring order.
Paul Colman sang and entertained us, whilst also sharing his own vulnerable story about seeking to put away the masks and instead live with honesty and integrity.
All in all, the day was a celebration of Churches of Christ in Queensland with over 300 people in attendance, The levels of energy, pride and enthusiasm for our mission was at an all-time high. Our mission is really compelling and we would invite anyone connected with Churches of Christ in Queensland to make the annual Centrifuge conference a fixture in your diary for 2017.
(* TED events involve a form of short, powerful talks. Go to ted.com to learn more about TED talks.)
Carrying the inspiration of Centrifuge with them, many attendees returned for the Annual General Meeting, joined by a multitude of additional members from our church, missional and care services for dinner and celebration.
Chief Executive Officer Dean Phelan addressed the meeting, providing an update on the state of Churches of Christ in Queensland and the landscape in which we exist—both where we have been over the past 12 months and the journey we will be on over the next 12.
Key points from his detailed presentation include Churches of Christ Care’s focus on family and early intervention services and a move away from centre-based care; the challenge of engaging with an Australian population who is turning its back on religion; and the strength and good health of our organisation.
As part of official proceedings for the evening, Board Chair Gary Edwards presented a summary of the current financial position of Churches of Christ in Queensland. The 2015-16 Annual Report was tabled and adopted by the voting members, and a motion was passed to accept three new churches to our movement.
We were privileged to welcome Mountain Top Community Church, Eikon Church, and Beth-El Church to our family. Members from each church were present and warmly welcomed.
The Churches of Christ in Queensland Board and Conference Council members were accepted and new members welcomed. Long serving Chair of Council and Conference President, Greg Runge, will soon end his time in this vital position. He received a warm farewell and thanks, including a spontaneous duet with Paul Colman.
The new format for the Annual General Meeting Dinner also incorporated the presentation of local CEO Excellence in Service Awards. See the full list of winners below.
These awards recognise Churches of Christ in Queensland church members, volunteers and employees who demonstrate our values and mission either in their work or personal life. The awards allow the organisation to publicly acknowledge and show appreciation for the incredible work individuals, teams and programs are doing through caring ministries to bring the light of Christ into communities.
Each year we recognise people whose commitment and dedication to bringing the light of Christ into communities is evidenced through their many years with Churches of Christ in Queensland.
The CEO Excellence in Service Awards recognise those who show excellence in demonstrating our mission and values either through their role in the organisation or their personal dedication to those less fortunate through an activity or project in their community. This year’s winners are only a snapshot of so many amazing people dedicated to our work.
Discover more about Churhces of Christ in Queensland in the latest edition of Networking.