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Visits “down under”

Joseph, Tammy and Greg attend conference in Australia

Joseph and Tammy Tkach and Greg Williams recently attended a conference for GCI pastors and members held in Australia’s Gold Coast. They joined more than 230 people attending from six countries. The conference provided an opportunity to say “farewell” to outgoing President Joseph Tkach and his wife Tammy, and to welcome Greg Williams, who will become GCI president at the end of this year.

The conference was a wonderfully warm occasion for fellowship and learning. As one participant noted, “What an excellent conference. We love our church, and are grateful for the journey we have shared. We are going away encouraged and motivated to continue in faith, hope and love with renewed clarity and enthusiasm.” Another said, “We loved the interview format and learned so much. We appreciate the prayerful and professional transition taking place—so good to see the relationship between Joe and Greg.” As shown in the picture below, a highlight of the conference was the ordination of Daphne Sidney.

Joseph Tkach shared this concerning the conference:

Tammy and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Queensland for our Australian Conference. It was like a family reunion and a celebration! The praise music and the worship were excellent, and the food and fellowship were abundant. Even though I retire this year, we are planning a return visit in the future.

The McLeans and Tkachs

Greg Williams shared this:

I was overwhelmed by how receptive and welcoming the people were toward me. It was a lovely reunion since my last visit to Australia was in 1982 for SEP. I noticed among our members a deep appreciation about our past and a very positive spirit about our future. Daphne’s ordination, which reflects her deeper dive into ministry, was exciting. She has wonderful experiences and skill sets that should serve our Australian pastors and churches very well.

Greg visits New Zealand

Greg addressing members

Prior to meeting up with Joseph and Tammy in Australia, Greg spent three days visiting members and leaders in New Zealand. In church services during the visit, Greg gave a sermon titled “The Big Picture” in which he gave an overview of his vision for GCI’s future. He addressed the goal of developing healthy churches and outlined other goals as well as the structure and culture of GCI going forward. Pastor Dennis Richards submitted this report about Greg’s visit:

What a joy it was to have Greg Williams swing by Wellington, one of GCI’s most southerly congregations. Our gathering started with a finger-foods lunch allowing all to stand around and chat, so by the time services began, Greg had already met many who came. Our service began with an informal Mihi (greetings) given by Louis Smith in Maori, Samoan and English, followed by an explanation of the Maori welcoming customs by Janis Murton, who also spoke in Maori and English. At the heart of Greg’s sermon were his projections for advancing our vision for living and sharing the gospel, and how what he foresees for our future connects to and emerges from what has been accomplished under Joseph Tkach’s leadership. Generally, the word afterward was how much all were encouraged by the message, and how much each appreciated his effort in coming so far to visit us.

Greg with the congregation in Wellington

3 thoughts on “Visits “down under””

  1. It is always exciting to have church leaders visit the local congregations. Glad Greg made it to New Zealand – he seems built for the position of lock on the rugby field! “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.” (Proverbs 25:25)

  2. I attended the Queensland Australian conference which projected an example of seamless transition of church leadership plus it projected an undercurrent of positive expectation and changes in the future. The Tkach’s interview session revealed Joe’s spontaneous, genuine tears. The tears were endearing, bonding us all. Some human details of the stories behind past doctrinal changes, helping us to understand our past helps us to accept where we are now plus helps gives us a clearer overview of what the future may, or could hold. Thanks to all in all directions for this “hilltop” conference as we look forward to new adventures.

  3. Eu nao estava ai fisicamente, mas espiritualmente sim, gostamos dessa conferencia australiana de despidida ao presidente cessante Joseph Tkach e sua esposa Tamy, boas vinda ao novo Presidente Greg William que se tornará presidente do G.C.I no final do ano.
    Sei que da forma que Deus usava o Presidente cessante sera a mesma com o novo para que a obra dele vai sempre a frente.
    Bom reposo para o Presidente cessante, Joseph Tkach, e boas vinda para o novo Presidente na pesoa de Greg William, pedimos que haja sempre colaboraçao entre os dois.

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