Bill Muehlenberg Vice Chairman NACL
Another successful and inspiring dinner was held in Canberra by the National Alliance of Christian Leaders. Under the capable leadership of Dr Graham McLennan, the NACL has been going strong for several decades now. Their annual dinner is always a highlight of the Christian calendar.
This year was no exception, with a stellar cast of Christian ministries represented, with plenty of challenging and encouraging speakers. All up some 30 organisations were represented at the November 14 dinner, held not all that far from Parliament House.
The Federal Parliamentary Chaplain Peter Rose opened the evening by saying grace. Then 10 short but powerful talks were given by a range of different speakers, involved in various aspects of Christian ministry.
Steve Blizzard from Perth spoke about the history and influence of the Challenge Newspaper, which is having a big impact both in Australia and overseas. Lindsay McDowell from Southern Cross Ministries discussed his ministry to Aboriginals and his work toward a national day of reconciliation.
Paul Maroney spoke about his unique ministry in retail chaplaincy, and how vital it is to have a Christian presence in our large shopping malls, offering hope and comfort to shops owners and customers alike.
Hilary Maroney described the work of her Prayer House not far from Canberra, and the urgent need to keep our nation, our leaders, our churches, and our society bathed in prayer. Spiritual warfare, intercession and extensive praying are all a part of her much-needed ministry.
The topic of prayer, the deeper life, and victory in Christ was presented by Des Higgs. He challenged us to appropriate the benefits of Calvary, and see afresh the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Peter Kentley from Australian Marketplace Connections in Melbourne spoke of the need for Christian ministry in the business world, as well as presenting some thoughts on Christians, society and eschatology.
John Heininger from the Australian Evangelical Apologetics Society spoke of his important work in engaging with unbelievers, sceptics, Darwinists and atheists, and the importance of challenging the foundations of these various worldviews.
Kelvin Crombie spoke of his many years of ministry in Israel, and outlined the vital historical role Australia has played in the formation of the modern nation of Israel. He presented lots of fascinating and encouraging details about this which are rarely heard in secular Australian education.
Mark Harwood spoke about the work of Creation Ministries International, and their powerful film on Darwinism in this important anniversary year. Alasdair Webster, a former MP, spoke about the exciting work of the Gideons, and shared inspiring stories about his work in places such as Mongolia.
Bill Muehlenberg from CultureWatch offered some closing remarks, and Brian Pickering of the Australian Prayer Network closed the meeting in prayer.
It was certainly a challenging and inspiring evening. As usual we owe a debt of gratitude to Graham, his wife, and his team for pulling off another great event, and for his ongoing work as leader of the NACL. We need many more men like him, and many more ministries like his.