Seminars

Please choose 1 seminar to attend on the day.

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Jean Williams

Unrealised ambitions:

dealing with disappointment in life

Work. Marriage. Ministry. Family. Health. Home. Maybe you have a bucket list; but what about the bucket list you carry closer to your heart? What do we do when life fails to measure up to our dreams? When our story turns out differently from the one we would have written for ourselves? In this seminar Jean Williams, who knows more than she ever wanted to about broken dreams, will share what God's word has taught her about disappointment and how to replace our dearest ambitions with His ambitions for us.


Jean Williams is married with four children, supporting her husband, Steve, in uni ministry. She knows all the spiciest chai lattes and the tree-iest walks near her house, and loves listening to music (indiecoustica, according to Spotify), playing board games, and reading or watching fantasy. As life and health allow, she enjoys writing and teaching women. But none of that is who she is: she continues to learn that what matters is not her relationships or what she does, but that she's loved by Jesus.

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Helen Bell

Embracing Weakness in a Post-Christian World

We live in a post-Christian world and increasingly find ourselves out of step with the broader community. Christians are seen not just as old-fashioned, but as destructive. We feel pressured to privatise our faith and keep it to ourselves. And, as stories about churches and ‘Christians’ misusing power continue to surface, we may even find ourselves wondering whether they are right. In this seminar we will explore ways of confidently standing for Jesus by embracing weakness and learning to say, with Paul, “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness … for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:10.


Helen Bell has worked with the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) in student ministry for over 20 years. She spends her days talking with uni students about Jesus and the life He offers them. Helen is married to Andrew, loves op shopping with a good coffee, and is part of Bundoora Presbyterian Church.

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Laura Paul

From bad analogy to everyday reality:

The Trinity in the nitty-gritty of daily life.

What comes to your mind when you think of the Trinity? Boring doctrine? Bad analogies? Maybe nothing at all. The Trinity is complex, no doubt. But what if, before it is confusing, the Trinity is actually the reality that holds the whole story of God together? This seminar will explore God’s three-in-oneness as the glue of our daily Christian life. 


Laura is a  PhD candidate at Ridley College.  With a background in children’s  and youth ministry, she is passionate about bringing the riches of ancient Christian thought into conversation with current questions. Laura is married to J., a curate in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. They have an adorable one-year-old son, Justin. Together they enjoy serving in their delightful and diverse multi-cultural church. 

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Jan Martin

Loving Your Church

We are encouraged as Christians to be part of a church and we know it’s important. We all have different experiences of going to church and, in the last few years, new and strange ones as we navigate COVID 19. So how do we love our church well, find encouragement to persevere and be an encouragement to others? In this seminar we will think hard about our motivation, our actions and most importantly; what the Bible has to say.


Jan is married to Dave with three grown sons and three precious grandchildren. They have spent many years ministering to University students with AFES while being involved in a local church. They are now fours years into planting a Presbyterian church in Melbourne’s outer south east where they get to live on the land the church bought. This means plenty of room for veggie gardens, calves, chooks and a lamb. An extra delight is the joy these bring to church and playgroup families.

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Gillian Asquith

Can We Trust the Bible?

What would you say to someone who questions the trustworthiness of the Bible? This seminar will look at ways in which people may challenge the Bible and it will equip you with answers. We’ll look at how we come to have the Bible today and how we can be sure it is reliable, especially when there are verses in the King James Version that don’t appear in modern English translations.  We’ll also look at how the Bible stacks up against archaeological finds and whether claims from prominent archaeologists that find their way into headlines, such as David not being a real king, are cause for concern. At the end of this seminar you will be able to explain why we can trust that the text of the Bible is reliable, and why we can confidently believe what it says.


Gillian grew up in England and gained an MA in Oriental Studies at Oxford University followed by a postgraduate teaching qualification. She taught on and off in the public and private sectors in both England and Australia before moving into theological studies. Gillian teaches New Testament and Greek at Melbourne School of Theology and has previously lectured in Early Christianity at the Australian Catholic University. She is also currently engaged in part-time doctoral studies looking at how everyday personal documents help us understand of the vocabulary of the New Testament. Her wider academic interests include the transmission of the text of the New Testament and biblical archaeology. She loves to take students on archaeological digs to Israel and is at her happiest when hot and dirty on a dig site with a trowel in her hand.

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Fiona Scheffer

Bible Big Picture

Whether you have grown up hearing stories from the Bible, or are exploring it all for the first time, knowing how parts of the Bible fit together can be tricky, yet it is so helpful in understanding what God is saying to us in his word. In this seminar we will explore this - learning about the big picture of the Bible, what it teaches us about God, and what it mean to live for him.

Fiona lives out in Pakenham, where her husband Matt is the local Anglican minister. She has a background in uni ministry, but these days finds herself involved in youth and kids ministry in her church, as a part time school chaplain, and as a mum to her two kids.  You'll usually find Fiona talking to somebody - often about Jesus, and preferably with a coffee in hand.

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Lexi Chiswell

Teen Seminar: Who do you follow?

It's a pretty noisy world. 

Influencers, followers, friends and trends all have opinions on who we should be, how we should live, and even what we should believe. 

So how do we cut through the noise? 

In this seminar for teens and young adults, we'll take a step back to notice this noise and think about some strategies for how to follow Jesus when the culture around us doesn't. 

Lexi has followed Jesus since a young age through both life’s joyful seasons and challenging ones. She is married to the lovely David and mother to two gorgeous girls, Eden and Freya. Before devoting her time to raising the girls Lexi studied psychology and theology. She is passionate about connecting local communities with the church and walking with people through life’s valleys.

Lexi is more of a hobby dabbler. Currently she’s into running, tennis and growing her own vegetables.