Earlier this year, Katoomba Christian Convention (KCC) launched ‘KCC Conversations’, an online series of free interviews on hot topics about life, work and faith. Since July, we’ve added two more inspiring and encouraging interviews to the series. Catch up on the latest conversations for free with Peter Moore and Dr Andrew Browning on the KCC Oxygen Facebook Page or the KCC One App.
In July’s KCC Conversation, we sat down with Dr Andrew Browning, who shared his experiences with giving hope to women in Africa. In this conversation, Andrew speaks about how he has been helping women affected by obstetric fistulas - a debilitating condition resulting from obstructed childbirth.
After nearly two decades in Africa, Andrew came back to Australia to allow for the schooling of his two boys, but has been given special dispensation during COVID to travel to Africa four to five times a year. This is so he is able to continue to help relieve the suffering of more African women and train many other doctors in this life-changing surgery.
Although Andrew describes some of the challenges as a missionary doctor and the harsh circumstances of the women in this situation, he also shares the way God has brought hope through this ministry, saying that “...the real miracle in people is to see them restored to Christ and have the hope of eternal life.”
Our latest KCC Conversation features Peter Moore, who provides wisdom and tips on how to be calm, purposeful and find joy in life and ministry.
Peter is a Presbyterian minister who has pastored churches in NSW since 1991. He currently mentors 38 Christian leaders in Australia and beyond. Peter also works two days a week for Reach Australia, supporting a coaching strategy for pastoral leaders, as well as teaching a Grad Cert Christian Mentoring at SMBC and BST.
Suitable for those who are overwhelmed or experiencing fatigue and burnout with their ministry (particularly in this COVID-19 period), Peter Moore goes through some transformative solutions to the challenges of ministry. In this conversation, he also shares some resources to reshape ministry into something that is more enjoyable and much more effective.
Watch previous KCC Conversations on
the KCC One App!
Catch up on all our past KCC Conversations throughout the year through our Facebook pages below or watch them all on the KCC One app!
Stay up to date with KCC Events
With COVID restrictions pressing pause on plans for KYCK Spring, we’re pleased to announce an alternative option for youth who missed out on a KYCK 21 ticket back in April. Join us for KYCK On-Demand, launching this Friday 17th September.
KYCK On-Demand promises a ‘front-row' experience to the youth convention through 6 one-hour episode-sized videos, featuring content from our KYCK #2 live event this year. So, no matter if you’re in New South Wales, interstate or overseas, there’s no need to miss out! We’re giving high-schoolers and their leaders a high-quality program with the flexibility to create a KYCK experience that works just for them.
Whether you choose to tune in from your living room during the school holidays or watch it with your youth group in Term 4, you’ll have access to:
Check out the preview below!
KYCK On-Demand tickets are now available online at $39 per person and information on how to access KYCK 21 On Demand will be released via email on Friday 17 September. Register any time until 30 November. Please allow 10 business days for shipping to ensure that your KYCK Experience Packs arrive on time. For more information about the program and speakers, visit https://www.kyck.org.au
Win a limited edition KYCK hat!
We’re giving away TWO limited edition KYCK hats every week! Want to win one?
Here’s how to enter:
The best two entries from each week will win a KYCK hat. The competition starts from Friday, 10 September and ends Friday, 22 October at 11:59pm. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Stay up to date with KYCK
On Saturday 21st August, 1421 women gathered virtually to hear and learn more about holiness from God’s Word at OneLove Women’s Conference. Though church halls and homes were closed off to gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions throughout the country, many OneLove delegates found joy in the gift of technology and met virtually. OneLove 2021 saw women tuning in across Australia and overseas, including New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Scotland, West Africa, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The OneLove Committee took inspiration from international keynote speaker, Jackie Hill Perry’s new book ‘Holier than Thou’, to develop this year's theme ‘Made for More: Created for Holiness’. The full-day program, broken into three impactful sessions, empowered women to think about how God created them to pursue holiness rather than the earthly pursuits or aspirations as celebrated by society. Chairwoman Madeleine Dudley shared why this year was an important one for women to consider:
“Isaiah 64 tells us God is the potter and we are His clay, moulded by Him and for Him. He designed our lives in all their shapes and sizes, with one purpose only, to be Holy like He is. But what does this actually mean? If you're anything like me, holy may be a word that you come across really frequently but actually struggle to define... Over the course of today we're going to look more closely at God and His holiness so we can understand how we, as His precious handiwork, ought to pursue holiness too.”
Jackie Hill Perry delivered two talks focusing on ‘The Holiness of God’ and ‘The Unholiness of Idols’. In her opening talk, Jackie prompted women to consider God’s holiness and how this should change their perspective on their own pursuit of holiness. She reminded delegates that “if God is holy, that means He cannot sin. If God cannot sin, that means He cannot sin against you. If God cannot sin against you, doesn’t that make Him the most trustworthy being that exists?”. In her final talk, Jackie reinforced this message by juxtaposing the characteristics of idols against those of God, and pointed delegates to find refuge in God’s holiness, having all reason to be fully satisfied and reliant on Him.
CEO of ADM Reverend Jo Gibbs was invited as a special guest to deliver a topical and narrative-style talk to OneLove delegates. Jo shared her talk in session two, where the session focused on observing what holiness looks like in the lives of everyday women. Through sharing her own past experiences, Jo encouraged women to pursue holiness by speaking the truth in love, to treat sin seriously, to ask more questions, to call out others and to challenge structures and processes that discourage women, doing so firmly and with grace.
The OneLove program also featured three testimonials from women who shared their stories of faith and how God has called and used them to pursue holiness in their lives. Bible college student Ellie Williams Roldan shared her realisation that she was made for more than the treadmill of success that she was pushed onto at birth and how God has made her to do His work. Jo Kim, mother of four and pastor’s wife, offered hope that as women grow in holiness, suffering, trials and challenges will most definitely come but they are all purposeful for us in Christ. SRE teacher Linda Chan opened up about her Buddhist past and the battles she faced with family tradition, remembering she was not made to fit in, chase experiences or live for her own truth, but to pursue holiness.
Senior Assistant Minister from Northlight Anglican Church, Natalie Ray, joined Jo Gibbs on the Q&A panel and shared practical wisdom on where to look in the Bible to meditate more on God’s holiness, how to cultivate a heart of holiness in practice, not just knowledge, and how to battle temptations and sin that can hinder one’s pursuit of holiness.
To bring connectivity and virtual fellowship to the program, women enjoyed some interactivity through sending group photos, origami creations and haiku poem reflections to be shown and read out in the program. To continue their growth beyond the day, each delegate was also given access to the Made for More: Growth Program, an exclusive four-session program to dig deeper into how to apply holiness in their lives.
With stripped-back, acoustic-style music and scheduled breaks, delegates were given opportunity for self-reflection to think about pursuing holiness because of Jesus’ work on the cross, responding in repentance and faith. Many were refreshed, renewed and shared what they learned during the day.
It was wonderful to be able to experience OneLove with the other women in my family at home as it encouraged us to have deeper conversations about life and faith - and holiness! – Sarah
It was a big encouragement knowing so many other Christian women were making growing in their faith a priority, especially at this hard time. All of the talks challenged me in how I view God and how I live that out too. I really appreciated the stories section too because that showed real women walking out their faith journey. – Naomi
It was such an encouragement to join in this event. I felt connected even in lockdown. The Bible teaching was inspiring and challenging. The testimonies were moving and authentic. The worship songs were encouraging and well led by the team. The visual styling and media in the lead up and on the day was professional and stunning. A genuinely great quality in content format and engagement. – Niki
I wish we could have been physically gathered but as always, God was at work as we heard the word proclaimed. I was challenged to not just seek to reform my behaviour, but to have my beliefs about God transformed so that I grasp his holiness more fully. – Keris
OneLove is set to return in 2022 at Sydney Town Hall on Saturday 27th August.
Re-watch until the end of October!
The OneLove livestream will be available on-demand until the 31st October. This means you can rewatch your favourite segments from the program any time.
To access on-demand, purchase a ticket from the OneLove website, where you’ll also receive a resource pack to complement your experience. If you already have a ticket, just use the same link and access code to view the content.
You can also access the OneLove book collection here, the Spotify playlist here, and the feedback form here.
Don’t forget to also further your OneLove experience beyond the day by completing the Made for More: Growth Program, your exclusive four session small group study that's designed to help you work through and think about applying holiness in your everyday life.
Stay Up to Date with OneLove
Ahead of Father’s Day, we'll be sharing stories of everyday Christian fathers, and how knowing God and the gospel has shaped their perspectives on children and parenting. In this reflection, Chris Thomas shares how God has been at work in his family as he parents children with special needs and chronic health issues.
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Chris Thomas, a fairly average guy who grew up in QLD but has called NSW home for over 20 years (but I still chant QLDer come State Of Origin time). I’m 45 years old, that strange age where I still forget I’m not a kid anymore, but am legitimately feeling the years starting to pile up on my body.
I often tell people that I’m the father of three and a dad to 5—a short way of saying that the Lord blessed my wife and me with three children who entered our family the old-fashioned way, and then two more who entered our family via the Foster system. Our five kids range between 20 years old and 5, so I feel like I’ve been changing dirty nappies for two decades!
When I’m not changing nappies (and can choose how to fill my time), you’ll find me either writing, sitting beside a fire somewhere near a secluded creek, or researching the ultimate property on which to live ‘off-grid’ (hey, we can all dream, can’t we?).
2. What are the joys and challenges of being a parent to a child with special needs?
We never intended to specialise our Foster Care journey in Special Needs, yet a little over 12 years ago, when Master M* entered this world, we first met him in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) — early, small, alone, and though we didn’t know it yet, profoundly broken. Miss I* entered the world five years ago, only halfway through the time she should have spent in the womb, and spent the next three months of her life in NICU, and will spend the remainder of her life with significant health challenges. Both of these children have severe brain damage caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol, which they feel the effect of every minute of every day.
The obvious challenges that come with being a dad to children with special needs are wrapped up with the particular challenges that our kids have. Every dad dreams of seeing their kids grow and thrive, but the challenges my kids face mean that thriving will look different for them, which also means that my dreams have needed to look different as well. In some ways, life becomes simpler, so many of the choices we make are dictated by the restraints that special needs bring. Yet, life is more complex as well—even simple tasks, simple errands, and simple outings, are from ‘simple’ anymore. Living in this tension can be exhausting.
But raising my children has also been the source of some of my greatest joys. There is joy in seeing the world through different eyes. There is joy in celebrating the hard-fought wins our kids have. There is joy as I see my biological kids develop insight and compassion for kids different to them, and even choose career paths that will serve the neediest of our society.
Being a dad is complex, filled with a unique blend of joy and sorrow, yet all held securely within the cup of God’s sovereign love.
*Names in this story have been changed to protect the children's privacy.
3. What does being a Christian father mean to you?
I know many great dads, some of whom don’t know Jesus yet. So being a ‘Christian’ dad isn’t just about being a ‘better’ dad—in fact, the quest to be better, or define our worth by our achievements, may, in fact, be an example of everything that stands opposed to the gospel. No, being a Christian dad has meant that I can find my value ultimately in Christ. My failures, of which I have many, don’t define my identity, instead they drive me evermore into the arms of a saviour. Being a Christian dad means that grace flavours and reshapes how I discipline and train my kids, preparing them for what God has in store for them, not to carry the burden of being my legacy to the world.
4. What do you believe to be the ultimate purpose of fatherhood?
In a sense, being a father is akin to being a Steward of Gondor; we sit on a borrowed throne for just a few years. When my kids were young, they would gaze up at me with eyes ablaze with trust and adoration. But that trust will eventually be broken, the adoration tarnished by reality. Fatherhood is holding those brief years on the throne with soft hands, with fingers willing to open and release. Fathers are shepherds, but shepherds who love the flock owned by another. A greater king will return, a greater shepherd will call our kid’s names. My job as a father is to tune my children’s hearts to recognise the ‘true and better dad’.
5. How does knowing God the Father change the way you parent your kids?
I hope it has left a fingerprint on every aspect of parenting, but the sphere I’ve been most aware of is how grace is applied to parenting. I want my parenting to demonstrate something of the grace of God. Not only that, but I want my kids to experience what it means not to have to ‘earn’ my love, or my trust, or my attention. I want, when faced with a tension or dilemma, to lean toward grace rather than law, and if I err, then I will err on the side of grace.
6. Can you share something that God has been teaching you, since you’ve become a parent?
That’s easy. There is nothing like parenthood to expose your selfishness. A day has barely passed over the last 20 years when God hasn’t gently placed his finger on some treasured corner of my heart, and little piece of me that I am reluctant to relinquish. The often read passage relegated to weddings has been a constant guide to me—love is many things, but self-centredness isn’t one of them!
Being a dad can be lonely; mums tend to have much better developed networks of support. I’ve found that being deliberate in my friendships with other dads, searching out older men who’ve walked the paths I’m navigating, as well as opening up your life to younger men just stumbling into fatherhood, are all essential relationships to invest in. You might be blessed with many friends, or maybe just one, but whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself in your role as a dad—you’ll need a band of brothers.
Enjoyed this read? Check out another
On Saturday 14th August, 1052 men gathered to be challenged and encouraged from God’s Word at BASECAMP men’s conference. Though COVID-19 restrictions throughout the country once again greatly impacted the ability to gather in person, BASECAMP delegates were motivated to gather in groups virtually and enjoyed fellowship despite being in isolation. Men across Australia and other parts of the world, including the USA and Singapore, set time aside to hear God’s Word preached.
This year’s BASECAMP theme was ‘Unbound: To Love God and Love Others’. The three-session day kick-started with a talk from international plenary speaker Dr Tim Lane (Counsellor & President of The Institute for Pastoral Care), who presented on self-awareness as a critical part of the change process. He wrapped up the event with a talk on growing in Gospel awareness as an essential part of lasting change. Tim’s talks were based upon his latest book Unstuck: A Nine-Step Journey to Change That Lasts, which combined teaching based upon biblical texts and real-life illustrations. Men were provided with a concrete and practical understanding of becoming more like Jesus as they face the challenges of daily life.
Session two featured second plenary speaker Arnaldo Santiago Jr. (Lead Pastor, Anchor South West), whose talk focused on practices to get unbound and declutter the heart. Arnaldo’s talk addressed the practice of the confession of sin as God’s gracious gift to His people to be restored and re-storied (into the Gospel) and bring about His character in oneself for the sake of the world. He also discussed the prayer of examen and taught men to learn to explore what is happening inside them and prompted delegates to see that the forces that have shaped them are necessary to their spiritual growth.
Special guest Dr Jonathan Andrews (Clinical Psychologist, Heart in Mind) wrapped up session two with a practical short talk that pointed men to the need for connection. He gave three important considerations for men to reflect on as well as some practical tips, including the connection between them and God, the connection between them and others and the connection within themselves.
BASECAMP also featured two testimonials from Josh Callahan and Ashish Pawar. The testimonies brought encouragement to BASECAMP delegates as each of the men presented very honestly and vulnerably. Both men openly shared their stories of faith and how God unbound their hearts and revealed Himself to them amid the harsh circumstances they each faced in their past.
The program offered many moments of self-reflection, where men could unveil the need to guard their hearts, to uncover and unbind from the unhealthy and destructive patterns that can hinder their desire and freedom to love God and to love others. Each delegate was given either a hard copy or soft copy of Tim Lane’s book, along with the BASECAMP Local four-session program, to continue their growth and reflection beyond the one-day event.
Despite many being in isolation due to the pandemic, the program encouraged interactivity and fun with others and highlighted some of the interesting hobbies of BASECAMP delegates. Along with worship music and scheduled breaks, delegates were given ample opportunity to connect with others and share the things they learned during the day.
"The selection of talks and testimonies this year seemed to be particularly relevant to our circumstances We need encouragement and perseverance in a COVID lockdown world. There was a great balance between encouragement and challenge." – Phil
"Content was very relevant to assist men to continue to be Godly men during this extended period of trial with COVID-19." – Richard
"Love the talks. Very practical. Reminded to look for evidence of God's grace in my life and others." – Daniel
"I'm a church pastor. COVID lockdown has been very hard for me this year mentally. To be honest, I almost didn't sign up for BASECAMP. However, I wanted to be a role model for men in my church... I enjoyed Tim Lane's talks most of all. His focus on knowing and living God's grace was very helpful. I also really enjoyed the music and sang along. LT (and the younger guy) did a great job MCing and I've since downloaded Lectio 365 on his recommendation. The testimonies I heard moved me significantly. I had a very encouraging day in the midst quite a difficult week for me personally. So, thank you for all your effort putting BASECAMP together. I look forward to coming in person next year and bringing men with me." – Peter
BASECAMP will return in 2022, as two gatherings in August. BASECAMP City will be held on Saturday 6 August at the UNSW Roundhouse and BASECAMP Mountains will be held on Friday 12– Saturday 13 August at the StayKCC site in the Blue Mountains.
Re-watch until the end of September!
The BASECAMP livestream will be available on-demand until the 30th September. This means you can rewatch your favourite segments from the program any time.
To access on-demand, purchase a ticket from the BASECAMP website, where you’ll also receive a copy of Tim Lane’s book Unstuck: A Nine-Step Journey to Change That Lasts and resource pack. If you already have a ticket, just use the same link and access code to view the content.
You can also access the BASECAMP book collection here, the Spotify playlist here, and the feedback form here.
Don’t forget to also further your BASECAMP experience beyond the day by completing the BASECAMP Local program: Your exclusive four session small group study that's designed to help you work through the material in 'Unstuck'.
Stay up to date with BASECAMP