By Emily Ferguson
Alan Hirsch, Doug Paul and Karina Kreminski have been announced as the keynote speakers for this year’s Fresh Hope Collective, addressing the theme ‘Fulcrum’.
Collective, the annual gathering of Fresh Hope’s pastors and leaders from across NSW and ACT, will be a hybrid experience this year, accessible both at The Tops Conference Centre and online from Thursday to Saturday 12-14 November.
Regarding the theme, Executive Ministry Director Andrew Ball commented, “A fulcrum is another word for a ‘lever’ that is used to move something that is heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. In this extraordinary season of COVID, the Church either remains static or it moves. I feel very convicted that we need to leverage from our strengths to reposition ourselves as the Church to offer hope and spiritual resources to our communities that are totally disrupted.
“The speakers for Collective will all embellish and elaborate on this theme, primarily because for the Church to avoid being static, we need encouragement from those who are championing the cause. Our guest from America, Doug Paul, is facilitating hundreds of younger church leaders into groups where innovation and contextual mission is explored. Similarly, both Alan Hirsch and Karina Kreminski will share stories of transformation in neighbourhoods and in broader movements of leaders where new methods, opportunities and insights are leveraged.”
But it’s not just great input that is being planned for Collective. This year, perhaps more than ever, Collective will be a much-needed opportunity to gather as family, whether in person or online, to encourage one another and hear from God together.
John Crowther, Director of Mission and Ministry, observed, “One of the things that has come up this year is pastors have been so busy trying to keep the basic things moving that it will be nice for them to have a space where they don’t have to be responsible and can come and go, ‘Ah, there’s other people with the same vision, the same joy, the same sadness and lament all in the same room.’
“I think there’s also space and an invitation this year to ask, ‘How do we be the people of God in the context of a broader cultural meltdown? What can we let go of and what is the invitation of God to pick up in terms of opportunities to reach the broader community and the culture around us?
This year, Collective will also be an opportunity to farewell Andrew Ball, who finishes his role as Executive Ministry Director in December.
“I’m hoping to celebrate some of the things God has done in the last two decades and out of that to honour Andrew’s service to the Church and to the churches. I think it’s a transition and end of one era, and an invitation to peep over the fence and see what God might be leading us into in the future.”
Collective 2020 will look different to previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and organisers are working to design the event in order to host the event safely and in line with government advice.
Core components such as being together as family, albeit in smaller numbers given physical distancing requirements at The Tops, and receiving quality input that encourages your thinking will remain unchanged. But a number of things will look different, like the ways in which worship, mingling and meals happen. A number of sessions will also be streamed online for those who choose to participate in Collective from a different location.
“With limited numbers for the in-person experience, we are trying to prioritise getting ministers there as it’s been a really hard season for them during COVID,” said Laura Payne, Key Event Leader. “And because it’s Andrew’s last year and he has journeyed with them over the last 18 years we want to give them the opportunity to be there if they can for the last hurrah with him and to send him out well.”
Register for this year’s collective HERE