Report of the Easter conference by Sophie Jewell

by Susie Jean Sharkey


Easter Conference Report

Grace opened our Easter Conference of 2019 on Friday night,with some great old hymns which really set the tone for the weekend. Alison preached a sermon titled “Lead Me Lord Once More to Calvary”. She spoke about the importance of repentance and the necessary of continually returning to Calvary to repent of our sins. At one point she spoke specifically to the young people in the congregation, saying that the commitments to God we make when we are young set the foundation of our spiritual lives and referenced 2 Samuel 24:24, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (NIV). She closed her sermon with a powerful image of Jesus’ suffering urging us to look at Him in his anguish at Calvary and see that we are required to respond by giving Him our own lives.

On Saturday afternoon, after the singing, Stephen and Rebecca Jewell sang Rebel Heart by Lauren Daigle. The song speaks of God’s abundant grace and forgiving power. After them Andrew spoke. He titled his sermon “The Plaintive Bleating of a Lamb” and spoke of the symbolism of the story of the deliverance of God’s people out of Egypt and the Passover – which celebrates this event – which was celebrated at the time leading up to the crucifixion. He talked about how the lamb chosen by each household to sacrificed, which had to be without blemish, symbolises Jesus to us. As it was separated and sacrificed as a substitute for a life, so Jesus was separated from His father and gave his life in order that we don’t have to give our own. He also pointed out that the blood was out on the doorposts and lintel but not on the doorstep so that you entered underneath the blood and never stepped on it, showing us that we should treat the blood of Christ with reverence.

In the Saturday night meeting the United Choir sang Is He Worthy? by Andrew Paterson. It’s always really special when the United Choir sing and this was no exception. After this Diana preached. She spoke of the intimate relationship God wants us to have with Him. She centred much of her sermon around Song of Solomon 3:6-11 which speaks of Solomon’s chariot. She spoke of Solomon as representing Christ, inviting us to sit with him in his chariot away from the “wielders of the sword” who protect it. Diana also spoke of the peace we should have in the knowledge that God is completely in control. There is no need for us to stress or strain, we need only sit in Christ’s chariot. 

The next morning, Grace spoke a sermon around the theme “we would see Jesus”. She spoke of the meetings between individuals and Christ after His resurrection. She spoke of the contrast between Mary’s suffering and joy in the garden where she meets Jesus. After this she spoke of Peter’s denial, saying that the problem with being a strong person, like Peter, is that you depend on yourself until God brings you to the end of yourself. She spoke of the fact that resurrection and suffering go hand in hand, and it is through experiencing something of both that we come to know Christ more. 

That afternoon there was a tarry meeting in which God’s presence was very strongly with us. The children also had an Easter egg hunt, as they do each year.

The evening meeting was our baptismal service which is always incredibly moving and is consistently my favourite part of our annual Easter Conference. Jennifer spoke about the significance of water baptism, both in the Bible and for the individuals who choose to be baptised. She also spoke specifically of Jesus’ own baptism which we read of in the gospels. After this, one at a time, those being baptised gave testimony, were given a baptismal promise (read by Grace)and were baptised. The testimonies of those being baptised spoke so clearly of the relentless persuit of God’s love and brought an incredible atmosphere. God’s blessing was so clearly over the whole service. Personally, I found the testimonies very uplifting and I’m sure I speak for many others in saying so.

God’s presence covered the whole weekend, and I’m sure there was no one who left without having felt the power and blessing of it. Now we are looking forward to the summer camps with much expectation!


Report of the Youth Weekend held from 1st to 3rd February 2019

by Susie Jean Sharkey


Report written by Clair Mellstrom

Friday night 

This is the second year we have had the youth weekend. It started on the Friday night with Tiffies talking about the Baptism in the Holly Spirit. She said a little on her experience and what it was like for her at the time when she received it. She also said that we should not panic if we hadn’t got the baptism yet and that our time will come, we just have to seek a little harder. Like last year there is a theme to the weekend. This year the theme was Spy’s. Everyone got special names and put into a team.


Saturday 

In the morning Sophie, Johnny and David sang ‘Fall Away’. Eric was taking the rest of the morning. He gave us 6 rules that’s makes us be a good spy, but he was also saying being a spy is a bit like being a Christian. He was saying that we should know our God and know where we can find him, be close and never lose sight of your God,  listen, and make sure you know what he is saying to you, don’t get caught doing the wrong thing and don’t let sin get in the way of your life between you and god. 


At the night meeting Lauren Semple said a bit about how she received her baptism. Some you the older teens sang ‘Christ is enough for me’. It was a nice start to the night meeting. Lorna was taking the main part of the meeting. She was talking about a 12 year old boy called Jonathan Bryan.

Tonight during the prayer time people went forward for prayer, and tonight also there was a lovely presence that I will never forget. Many people, including myself were very moved during the prayer time and got a real sense of what God’s love is really like. Many people stayed on after the meeting to just sit in that wonderful presence of God. I’m my opinion I think it was one of the best prayer times we have had at a youth weekend. So many young people were moved and reaching out to know more of God. 


Sunday 

The last meeting Lorna was taking. Her title was ‘Mission Possible.’ She was saying that we have a mission, that mission is being a Christian. Lorna was comparing is to a duo parachuter.  God is always there like the parachute instructor who will release the parachute. We just have to trust him. I have really enjoyed the weekend, We have all been touched by the presence of God this weekend.





New Year Conference report by Isabelle Neilson

by Susie Jean Sharkey


The New Year Conference is something I greatly look forward to. It concludes the year gone by in a way that always makes me thankful for the strength and joy that He has brought to me over the past twelve months. It prepares and revives me for the year ahead, making me open to whatever He has planned for my life.

On the days preceding the Conference you can feel the anticipation of what God will have in store for us in the days to come. At the first meeting on New Years Eve, a highlight for me was the United Choir singing “Too Small a Price”. At the end when the whole church rose and sang in worship, “Jesus is the Lord of All” - it was amazing and gave me goosebumps!

On New Years Day, (afternoon meeting), Diana was preaching and she helped us look towards the future of the Church, and our calling within it. I am sure that I was one of many of our young people eager and drawn to fulfil Gods calling within our lives.


On the final meeting of the Conference, Mrs Gault gave the New Year Word:
Exodus 23:20
“See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you.”

1 John 5:14
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

I really love both of these verses and look forward to watching how this will unfold in 2019."