Just before I share some highlights from recent administrative meetings, can I ask a couple of simple questions?  I’ve now written literally dozens of newsletters like this one*.  Do you appreciate this type of newsletter or is there another way?  A better way?  How can we do better in communicating what is going on in our Conference?  I will value your feedback so please email me.  GChristian@Adventist.org.au
 Harvest Victoria
This initiative, developed with prayer and many committee hours, was presented to leadership as a five year strategy for becoming a thriving disciple making movement across Victoria and was well received.
As a church in Victoria, we have a significant task – the number of people moving to Victoria each week is about 10 times the number who join our church in a year.  If we’re going to take the job Jesus gave us seriously, we’ve got to be more effective in reaching our State for Christ.  There are millions who don’t know Jesus is coming again.
Some of the highlights of the Harvest Victoria strategy involve:
• Continuing discipleship training
• Effectively connecting with community people
• A reaping program with John Bradshaw and Eric Flickinger
• Continued discipleship training, and
• Planting new churches in strategic locations.
The training event in February this year (Joining Christ in the Harvest) was very successful, with more than 80 attending.  We have John Bradshaw coming for our regional days in August this year.  Please pray that God will lead to be effective in connecting with those who are responsive to His Spirit.
Structure Review – Australian Union Conference (AUC)
Representatives from the AUC  and its review team presented a report on the Church Structure Review process.  “As a church, can we do better?” is the significant question that has led to a review of church structure.  Extensive consultation with interested parties from a wide range of experience across Australia and evaluation of responses has resulted in  recommendations as to how we can be more effective at creating a thriving disciple making movement in Australia.
Key recommendations accepted were:
•To work with the AUC in exploring • the development of a single Adventist Aged Care system, and
• the development of a single Adventist School system
•To be part of the development and implementation of an action plan for the ‘operational issues’ identified by the review
• To explore with the AUC options to create greater efficiencies/reduce the management and governance of administrative structures.
This is just phase one of the Structure Review.  There remains much more work to be done.
It is envisioned that the Harvest Victoria strategy would be offered to the AUC to conduct a trial of the district/network model.
Infrastructure Projects
We’re all aware of the Pavilions project, redeveloping the old ‘camp ground’.  However, I’m not sure if you’re aware that, after prayerful research properties have been purchased for the Casey and North Melbourne Samoan churches.  Additionally work continues to help Werribee church with it’s new building.
Edinburgh Early Learning Centre
The Conference Committee has approved funds to construct an extension to the Edinburgh Early Learning Centre.  The ELC is full to overflowing – and that’s great for the future of Edinburgh College.
AdventCare Victoria
While there have been challenges, I was delighted to see the bottom line for AdventCare is now, after the closure of the Bendigo facility, well and truly in the black.
So as always, let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, stay focused and pray God will lead us to be a thriving disciple making movement across Victoria!
Graeme Christian
Conference President