Seminars

Please choose 1 seminar to attend on the day.

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.

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.

Kamwende Gatende

But how can I really know?

Maybe you know the feeling, you read certain passages of Scripture and you wonder: 'What if that's me? What if I'm the one being described here? The one who falls away, the one who doesn't endure to the end, the one who was never chosen in the first place...?' Or you've read those passages and thought: 'That's my friend, is there any hope for her?'

How can we know that we are saved? What assurance does the Bible offer us that we are? How should we read passages in the Word that seem to suggest that we're not safe?

I don't have all the answers, but in this seminar, we'll dig into God's Word together to see what He has to say to assure His children that He will never let them go.


I was born and raised in Kenya and became a Christian when I was 16. I came to Australia to study commerce but my involvement with Christian ministry at university and eventual role as president of the Melbourne University Christian Union made me realise that ministry is my passion and that's what I want to do for the rest of my life. I went back home and worked in an organisation doing university and radio ministry for just over a year. Currently, I am studying my Master of Divinity at Ridley College and interning with Pioneers Australia. I live with my twin sister and my adorable one year old niece.

Laura

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. Her research explores how medieval Christians taught theology through stories of suffering. 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. Together they enjoy serving in their delightful and diverse multi-cultural church. When not buried in the depths of a library, Laura enjoys baking, old books, and long walks.

Jan Martin

Loving Your Church

We all have vastly different experiences of going to church. We are encouraged to be part of a church and we know it’s probably important. So how do we go to church well? How do we love our church? How do we serve well in our less than perfect group of local believers? How do we find encouragement for ourselves and how can we encourage others? In this seminar we will think hard about our attitudes, our actions and most importantly, what the bible has to say.

                                                            

Jan is married to Dave. They have spent many years ministering to university students with AFES while being involved in a local church. Now they are planting a Presbyterian church in Melbourne’s outer south east. They have three grown sons and three precious grandchildren. Jan grew up on a farm and loves to be outside attending to her vegies, chooks and calves. A special joy is sharing these loves with playgroup and families from church.

Hannah Njoto

Found in the cross of Christ

In a world of identity demand, where we strive for approval and relevance, where we feel forced into playing a game of consume or be consumed, where “Who am I?” is in a constant state of flux. Is there a place for the weary soul? Come and explore how we are to be found in the cross, where Christ has disarmed the powers that demand and raised us to fullness of life in him.


Hannah is the Youth Minister at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Camberwell. In her time at St Mark’s she has enjoyed reading God’s word with others, playing endless games of Empires, and learning the fascinating language of Gen Z (she’s still a beginner). Hannah lives in Ivanhoe with her much smarter husband, Ricky, where she enjoys eating, cooking, making music, and watching Asian dramas. 

Fiona Scheffer

Jesus - history or hoax?

Every so often somebody comes out with a new theory about Jesus - was he married? Did he have kids? Did he even really exist? In this seminar we will ask, how can we trust what we know about Jesus? Is there evidence for the big claims that the Bible makes about him? Whether it's you asking these questions, or somebody you know, come along as we explore this together.

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.