Summer School 2008-2009 - Christadelphian Family Bible School

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This year marked the 45th annual Summer Family Bible School. Once more, our Father blessed us by enabling us to gather together as part of the greater family of heaven and earth at the Marlborough Girls' High School during the holidays. Pressures from the world’s economic problems left its impact with a slightly smaller number than usual assembling for the opening evening. Nevertheless, a relaxed and friendly atmosphere prevailed, and all were revived by the uplifting studies and fellowship around God’s Word. We also enjoyed the company of visitors from Australia, and as far away as the U.S.A. and the U.K.

The studies:
Brother Con Mitsos, Woodville, Australia, led our first study each morning on, “He Spake to Them in Parables”, based on the series of parables in Luke 14. Through these studies, Bro Con highlighted the virtues Christ expects to see in his followers—humility, service, prioritising, commitment, and integrity.

Brother Brian O’Grady, Tawa, Wellington, spoke on, “From Sinai to the Promised Land”. The journey Israel took mirrors our own journey to the Kingdom, and as Paul says, “these things happened unto them for ensamples”, so, many personal lessons were drawn out for our benefit and learning.

If you would like a copy of the recording of the studies, you can order these from our Resources section.

Evening sessions:
The theme for the evening program was “Blessed is he that Watcheth and Keepeth his Garments”, with family evenings and talks fitting into that theme.

Each of our three family evenings was highly entertaining, informative, and interactive for all ages. Bro Michael France looked at the marvels of the human eye, and sight. While the littlies made themselves an extra set of eyes, those older tested their skills in getting a laser beam to travel the furtherest from their watchtower, using mirrors, magnifying glasses, and various other materials, all within the length of their table. Rabbi Goldsmith (Bro Chris Yearsley) provided some little known information on modern Israel (God’s witness) and the Jewish people, using skits, videos, data show and other means to illustrate. Bro Tim Crawley considered garments in Script and ancient Israel. It was a sight to see children and adults with scissors in hand making cardboard cut-outs of the high priest, and then dressing him in his garments.

The evening study series reminded us of the nearness of Christ’s return through reviewing the signs of the times against the prophetic Word. Bro Alan Clark (U.K.) reviewed Israel, and how God has worked with that nation in scattering and regathering His people. Brother Neville Clark (Tawa) reviewed Europe, and the modern results of the work performed through Napoleon outlined in Revelation. Bro Paul Vogel reviewed Russia, and the manifestation of Gog-like characteristics in Putin; Bro Con Mitsos considered the Ecclesia, and what it means to watch and keep our garments in trying times. Highly stimulating and encouraging and sobering at the same time.

Our series was concluded with an evening of song and praise around the theme “the March of the Rainbowed Angel”. It was a fitting, thoughtful, and inspiring end to a wonderful school. [LISTEN to sample]

If you would like a copy of the recording of the studies, you can order these from our Resources section.

Junior School:
The Junior School, run by our Brother David Tooth and a dedicated team of teachers, considered the “Wilderness Wanderings” in the first session and "The Land of Israel” in the second. Kindy Corner, kept the kindergarten children occupied by learning lessons about the wilderness wanderings, at the end end of which they had completed a delightful little book which they (parents and siblings) will enjoy for years to come.

Bro Con Mitsos and Bro Brendon Clark took the teenage sessions with Bro Con looking at Moses, who chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy sin for a season, and Bro Brendon examined the life of Samson, who learned through bitter experience that better is he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city—two illustrious characters with many appropriate lessons for teenagers to learn.

The children’s activities culminated in a wonderful Junior School Afternoon, where the children demonstrated the lessons they learned in song and skits in an excellently prepared and lively presentation, which involved active audience participation. Bro Alvin and Sis Cindy Brown wrote and produced the this wonderful effort. The kindy children sang an item too—so cute. So did the teenagers under the leadership of their self-styled “Con-ductor”. Bro Con also spoke to the children and audience in his typically warm, humorous, and exhortational way.

“Shilo”, under the trees near the gym, was a welcome respite from the fierce sun most afternoons, and a place to chat and watch the antics of children (and some not so young) making good use of the water slide—and hose.

A planned fire drill turned out to be on one of the hottest days, and the tennis court offered little shade! Nevertheless, all were present and accounted for—even one who forgot, and was using the ablutions at the time!

The half-day outing was hot too! Onomalutu was the venue once again, and the trees proved invaluable from the sun, and the cool stream with its excellent swimming hole both relief and entertainment.

Bro Con Mitsos gave us a lesson in the Greek language using his “lexi-con” providing us with many helpful definitions and pronunciations of Greek words we know well. Bro Glenn Williams shared with us the experiences of his recent trip to the Olympic Games in China as a chiropractor, highlighting many scriptural and spiritual lessons we can learn from the athletes.
Wonderful spirit of service

Once again the school would not have been so enjoyable without the tireless work of all who assisted in the work. Many thanks to everyone who helped, and especially our heavenly Father for granting us the privilege of Fellowship around His word.

Bro David Emerson
On behalf of the New Zealand Family Bible School Committee
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