2019 Christian Leadership Series
Forming Disciples for Mission: A Scriptural Lens
The Christian Leadership Series is an annual offering especially aimed at supporting the faith formation of parish leaders and all those interested in exploring what Christian leadership looks and feels like in the context of 21st century Australia.
This year’s series, 'Forming Disciples for Mission: A Scriptural Lens', offered participants a survey of key books, themes and figures from our biblical tradition. Guided by some of the country’s leading biblical scholars, a range of topics were explored from creation through to the prophetic movement, the Lukan narrative and the Pauline letters. Guest speakers included Dr Mary Coloe pbvm, Rev. Assoc. Prof. Mark O'Brien OP, Rev. Dr Chris Monaghan CP and Dr Rosemary Canavan.
Missed the series? Videos from some of the sessions will be uploaded to this webpage over the next few weeks, along with speaker notes and questions for discussion. Available now is the first session, 'God and creation', presented by Dr Mary Coloe pbvm.
Session 1: God and creation
'In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void, and darkness covered the deep…' (Gen 1:1-2)
This session was presented by Dr Mary L. Coloe pbvm, BA., BTheol (hons), D.Theol., who brought together current science—which speaks of an evolutionary and expanding universe—and the way the Bible reflects on the meaning of this universe. She spoke of the biblical tradition as yet another way God reaches out through particular people and their history. God speaks and reveals Godself through both creation and scripture. Mary presented her talk in two parts, firstly exploring the developments in science and religion and how this affected our understanding of Scripture, and then in the second half explored the creation story and how various literary techniques were deftly used by its authors to communicate God's relationship with God's chosen people.
Session 2: Prophetic voices
'O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed;
You have overpowered me, and you have prevailed.'(Jer 20:7)
The book of Jeremiah provides a powerful example of a prophetic vocation and the impact it had not only on Jeremiah’s audience but on himself as well. It can serve as a timely challenge for us to reflect on what it may mean to be a prophet in our time and place. As baptised Christians we are called to share in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet and king. Presented by Rev. Assoc. Prof. Mark O'Brien OP, BSc, STB, LSS, DTheol
Session 3: God-with-us
'Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women … and many others…' (Lk 8:1-3)
The Lukan narrative offers us a rich glimpse into the life and public ministry of Jesus. Early on, the canticles already tell of God’s fulfilment of the covenant and the inevitable heartache that is to follow. Through parables, miracles and conversation, Jesus shows us who he is, what the kingdom of God looks like and, importantly, how we belong and behave as members of this kingdom. Luke’s gospel offers us a roadmap for what discipleship looks like in today’s age. Presented by Rev. Dr Christopher Monaghan CP, BTheol, LSS, PhD
Session 4: Christ-centred identity
'Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.' (Col 3:14)
The great legacy of St Paul and his companions is the collection of letters that were written to communities to strengthen them in their faith and mission. In this last session, Dr Rosemary Canavan examined the clothing imagery employed by Paul to construct a new sense of Christ-centred identity and offered insights for the relevance of this missional-identity for today. Presented by Dr Rosemary Canavan, BA, BTheol (hons), GCHE, PhD