Emerging generations embodying Jesus’ Way

Posted in Faith

The SURRENDER conference is held in Melbourne and Adelaide every year. The Adelaide event, which will be held from 13-15 October at Marion Church of Christ this year, has become a huge part of the ministry and discipleship of young people across the state, and has seen significant engagement from members of the Uniting Church SA.

“The Uniting Church and [Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian] Congress in South Australia have been involved with SURRENDER since it started in Adelaide in 2013,” explains Congress Resource Officer Ian Dempster.

“The first two conferences were held in Uniting Church buildings – Clayton Wesley Uniting Church and Burnside City Uniting Church. Congress has been a sponsoring partner since the second Adelaide event. Congress is involved because SURRENDER always seeks to give a special place to First Peoples in their programs.”

The aim of the conference is to “raise up Christians to live the radical call of Jesus and follow him to the least, the last and the lost”.

With a strong focus on social issues, the program is designed to support emerging generations across denominations in taking action as a result of their faith. There is a strong focus on mission and justice.

Danica Patselis has been involved in SURRENDER Adelaide for several years, both as an attendee and an organiser.

“SURRENDER is a conference that embraces fullness of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. We so often learn a ‘truncated gospel’, which doesn't offer the fullness of justice, compassion, holiness, discipleship, community, advocacy, healing, diversity, etc.,” she explains.

“SURRENDER Adelaide whole-heartedly seeks to partner with Aboriginal people as we take Jesus call to reveal God's kingdom among the least, the last and the lost seriously. It has always been a conference that welcomes people of all ages, denominations and cultural backgrounds but intentionally provides opportunities for emerging leaders.”

This year’s conference will focus on the theme of “Embodying the Way”:

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…Wide is the road to destruction, but narrow is the Way to life.” We are called to follow the Way, but what does it mean for us to live a full and flourishing discipleship? As one body with many different parts how can we fit together to fully embody mission, justice, community, and prayer in our local communities and global world?

SURRENDER website (here)

“We are excited to have local, national and international speakers who all bring a different perspective on following Jesus. SURRENDER seeks to be very practical, very accessible and highly relational. I hope to see people grow in their understanding of how they can begin planting kingdom ideas in their local neighbourhood,” says Danica.

The Uniting Church will have a strong presence at the 2017 event, with leaders Rev Mark Kickett and Sam Chan both speaking at the event.

Mark is a Nnongar man from Western Australia, and is the Development Officer for the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress in South Australia. He is passionate about empowering First Peoples in ministry.

Sam is the CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) Project Officer in Mission resourcing, Mission and Leadership Development, at the Uniting Church SA. He is passionate about supporting and connecting with CALD and Second Generation communities within the Australian church.

Dusty Feet Mob (pictured) will also be performing at the conference. This captivating dance troupe includes Congress members from Port Augusta and surrounding communities. The group was formed in 2013, and features dancers between the ages of 6 and 29.

Other central speakers at this year’s event include Missouri pastor Rev Traci Blackmon (Missouri pastor), Steve McKinnon (youth worker), Dr Mick Duncan (scholar), and Rev Dr Karina Kreminski, who recently spoke at the Uniting Church SA’s evangelism conference, The Hope We Have. Input will also be provided by musicians Joel McKerrow and Georgia Germein, and speakers Leighton Boyd, Melinda Cousins and Ralph Reilly.

A number of workshops will also be held, including some led by Congress leaders Rev Mark Kickett, Sean Weetra-Newchurch, Wanita Calyun and Lynnette Wanganeen.

All members of the Uniting Church are encouraged to attend SURRENDER Adelaide in 2017 – to be transformed by the words and actions of the many inspirational people contributing to this year’s conference.

“SURRENDER taught me so much about evangelism and social justice in light of the life of Jesus; it has been transformational for me, personally, and I believe it will be for other young people,” says Danica.

For more information about SURRENDER Adelaide, or to register for the event, please visit the website here.

Photo: Dusty Feet Mob performing at Rev Denise Champion’s ordination in 2015.

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