Dean Eaton believes a new local mission movement is on the rise in the Lutheran Church of Australia.
The LCA’s Church Planting Mentor and Mission Facilitator shared this view after the roundly lauded inaugural New Horizons local mission retreat held in Queensland in April.
Approximately 70 LCA pastors, church planters, evangelists and lay people spent three days in prayer and dialogue reflecting on local mission at the event held at the St Theresa Spirituality Centre at Ormiston, east of Brisbane.
‘A fresh people movement in local gospel mission is arising in the Lutheran Church of Australia’, Mr Eaton said. ‘Participants marinated together in the understanding that the incarnated, crucified and now ascended Jesus is the prime mover in local gospel mission.’
He said many attendees gave very positive feedback about the event.
After the retreat, Pastor Tom Hoffmann, from St John’s Lutheran Church Southgate in Melbourne, said: ‘New Horizons was quite possibly the best conference I’ve been to. I learned a great deal’.
Pastor Aldi Elberts, from St Paul’s Box Hill in the Melbourne suburbs, agreed. ‘This was one of, if not the best, retreats or conferences I have been to put on by the LCA. It truly lived up to its name: New Horizons’, he said.
Led by Mr Eaton, the retreat featured LCA Bishop John Henderson and the LCA’s Pastor for New and Renewing Churches, Rev Dr Noel Due, as keynote speakers. Electives revolved around the practice of church mission.
There are now plans for the next New Horizons event to be held in 2019.
Resources relating to the 2018 retreat, including Rev Dr Due’s recommended reading list and PowerPoint presentations, are available to view at www.lca.org.au/new-horizons
More comments about New Horizons
‘Noel Due’s wonderful sessions on the ascended Jesus were full of gospel and really refreshing. The mutual conversation with pastors and missional leaders and practitioners was a great joy. But above all, I think, the sense that God is doing something wonderful in opening up new horizons for mission in the LCA, and that this gathering is a kind of first fruits of that, is probably the greatest highlight.’
‘It was a time of renewing in the Holy Spirit and in pondering and planning for God’s mission for the church within the LCA and far beyond!’ – Eunice Blanchard, St Paul’s Lutheran Church Box Hill, Victoria
‘The presence of the great encourager, the Holy Spirit, was clearly evident as we developed new personal relationships in informal gatherings and encouraged each other through prayer and shared experiences.’ – David Filsell, Faith Lutheran Church Warradale, South Australia
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