It began with stories. The sharing of the journeys that had brought a diverse group of people together for the two-day retreat called Ministry Endorsement Pilgrimage last month.

Those gathered were people new to ministry within Churches of Christ in NSW and ACT or students studying the Restoration Movement (history of Churches of Christ) with ACOM.  

The annual retreat, held at The Tops Conference June 18-19, created an opportunity for delegates to get to know key leaders passionately leading in the movement, as well as to connect with others, be inspired and resourced.

“Our prayer is that those who participate in Pilgrimage sense that God has set apart this family of churches uniquely,” says Mission and Ministry Director John Crowther, who led the two-day event.

“We have a core orientation that we value relationships before structure. It is our hope that Pilgrimage provides the environment where people want to belong, not out of obligation, but because they sense the dynamic and life within our family.”

ACOM Principal Stephen Smith and retired lecturer Dennis Nutt drew together the historical and cultural threads that set the scene for the emergence of the evangelistic and entrepreneurial DNA of the Churches of Christ Movement in Australia. Fresh Hope Executive Director Andrew Ball shared the values and strategic positioning that will lead the movement into the future.

Short presentations by Fresh Hope Engage and Pioneering gave breadth to the differing ways the movement is reaching into local communities.

Alongside the formal sessions, there was plenty of opportunity for informal connection among delegates during meals, a Q & A session, devotional reflections and a bushwalk.

We invite those who are new to ministry in Fresh Hope to join us for next year’s Pilgrimage journey from 8 – 10 July. We hope to take you on a journey through our history and DNA so that we can partner together for the future.

Anne Simpson 
Formation & Resilience Consultant