Elim Heights was a busy hive of activity on Friday afternoon June 10 as preparations were underway for the opening of the 2011 NSW Spiritual Conference. Many hands make light work, so while sound and recording equipment was being set up in the church hall, the kitchen was also full of helpers preparing the evening meal. Soon we were welcoming visitors from across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia—it was wonderful to have so many attending this special event. The chosen theme for the weekend was “The Gift of Eternal Life,” presenting the united work of the Godhead in the salvation of mankind. The opening of Sabbath meeting, taken by Br Geoff McCutcheon was entitled “Perfect Rest in the Truth”. After the meeting we all gathered in the dining hall to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Before each meeting, time was allocated for a short song and praise service. These were full of favourite hymns and uplifting testimonies. Sister Lana Ilic and other young people took us through these segments of the program. Brother Peter Lausevic welcomed each one present and officially opened the Conference. The evening service, entitled “The Supreme Sacrifice”, was taken by Br Alasdair Pow. During this meeting we were reminded that the plan of salvation was prepared before the foundation of the world and we were made to appreciate that it cost all of Heaven in order for us fallen mortals to be saved.
The Sabbath morning program started with morning worship entitled “The Divine Promise” by Br Alasdair Pow. The Sabbath School program started earlier than normal with song service beginning at 9:00am and the Sabbath School at 9:15am, this gave more time for the lesson study. The review was entitled “The Day of Atonement” and the lesson for the day was “The Vision of the Prophet Daniel”.
The mid-morning services started with a song and thanks service at 10:45am followed by the Divine Service. The message, entitled “The Gift of Eternal Life”, was taken by Br Peter Lausevic.
Lunch was next on the program and then at 2:30pm the youth meeting was taken by Sisters Amy Voncina and Lana Ilic. The theme of this meeting was “Jesus as a Youth”. Beautiful items of praise were shared, together with readings from the inspired pen of Sister E G White and the congregation was quizzed from the Bible.
Once again all were able to participate in the song and thanks service prior to the closing of the Sabbath. The close of Sabbath meeting, entitled “God So Loved That He Gave”, was taken by Br Peter Lausevic. After a scrumptious evening meal all were able to spend some time relaxing and socializing.
The Sunday morning worship service was entitled “The Gifts of the Spirit” and this was taken by Br Luke Kneebone. Mid-morning two more presentations were shared—“The Incarnation” by Br Peter Lausevic and “The Father’s Love” by Br Alasdair Pow. While these meetings took place in the church hall, a separate children’s program was conducted by Br Garry Kraus in the children’s new building. The children learned to knead and shape bread dough which was baked and tasted later by the enthusiastic young bakers!
Following lunch, Br Alasdair shared one more presentation entitled “The Personality of the Holy Spirit” while the youth joined in a special program prepared for them. They had a choice of three workshops:
1. Making a Billy-Cart – Br Rolf Hauptmann assisted by Br Benny Gules
2. Sewing cushions – Sister Lidia Voncina assisted by Ethel Stoyko and Tabitha Hauptmann
3. Cake decorating: icing and sugar craft – Sister Faith Pow assisted by Sisters Lilly Sas and Josie Allen
All partook of the evening meal and then due to many having very muddy feet from the rainy weather it was decided that the final meeting should be held in the dining hall. Brother Geoff McCutcheon took the evening worship entitled “Reception of the Holy Spirit” and Br Peter Lausevic closed the conference and Br A C Sas pronounced the benediction.
Everyone’s spirits were kept high even though it was an extremely cold and wet weekend. Our hearts were warmed by the messages we heard, the fellowship we had with one another and by the lovely fireplaces that were alight. May the experiences made and the wonderful messages heard during this camp keep our hearts burning with zeal for Jesus as each one returns back home.
Many thanks to all those who helped make this conference a success and a very pleasant experience for all.
—by Lidia Voncina & Tabitha Hauptmann
PS: Video recordings are being prepared, and will be available soon!