Victor Kubik reports on his recent trip to Australia and the Australian leadership conference.
[Darris McNeely] This is Inside United. I'm Darris McNeely, associate media producer here at the United Church of God and with me today is Victor Kubik, our president. Vic has just returned from an extensive trip to Australia and to Singapore, visiting with members and ministers and conducting conferences, especially in Australia. We're glad to have you back. It appears it was another successful trip and met a lot of people and did a lot of good things.
[Victor Kubik] Indeed it was Darris. We really appreciated everything that happened on this trip and it was above expectations, as far as what we thought we would accomplish and see and what the conference would do.
[Darris] Why don't you tell us a little bit about that Australian leadership conference.
[Victor] This is the first time that an all Nation Conference was held since about 2008. Almost eight years since they had their last one and they brought in ministers and deacons from all over Australia. From the southeast, where most of the population is, but also from the west and even from remote areas of Australia. And we chose the subject of training tomorrow's leaders. It's becoming apparent in Australia, as it is in the U.S., about the need to train the next generation of those who will lead the church. And so we prepared for this conference for about eight, nine months and getting our topics together and getting the way we would explain them and so forth, how much would be lecture, how much would be discussion and workshop and it went extremely well.
[Darris] Good. Well attended then by so many people from all parts of the ...
[Victor] We actually had 90 some people come to the conference and actually we calculated at about 15% of the population. 15% of the church was there at this meeting. We had elders, pastors, deacons and we had others who were invited to come to this conference. I'm sure that if we made it wide open, we would have even a much higher number.
[Darris] Now do they plan to do this on a regular basis going forward?
[Victor] This conference cost some money and so they won't have one next year, but I told them that it'd be good to have at least a stripped down version or pay as you go version in a couple of years or so and to keep everybody abreast of what's happening, what the needs are and that type of thing.
[Darris] After the conference was over, you went where?
[Victor] From the conference which was in the Gold Coast, which is not too far from Brisbane in the northeast and Queensland, we flew from there to Perth. That's a distance of like from New York to California. Five and a half hour flight to Perth and Perth is the most isolated capital in the world. It's actually quite a large city two million people and it's a beautiful city on the Indian Ocean, but it's so far away from everybody. There we stayed at the home of Grant and Kim Chick. He's the pastor of that church and we had combined services with Perth and Bunbury on the Sabbath. We had a Bible study on the Thursday night before that and found the people to be extremely warm, very intense. In fact, on the evening of the Thursday night Bible study, it ended, the Bible study ended about 8:30 and then everybody stayed for another two hours afterwards. Just talking, fellowshipping, people were just very, very anxious to talk to people.
[Darris] How large is our church out in Perth?
[Victor] We had to combine the 65 people. The church in Perth is probably on a regular Sabbath 50 plus or so and the Bunbury church they're like 20, but when they combined, it was like 65.
[Darris] Then you went from there up to Singapore.
[Victor] Right. We found that distance to be about the same as it was. Another five and a half hour flight from Perth to Singapore and we met with about a dozen or so people. We couldn't be there for the Sabbath, we were there for a Bible study midweek. I believe it was, let's see. I figure Monday night Bible study and we really enjoyed that group very much. Some of them I have known from the past and communicated with, but we found that to be just very, very joyous, enjoyed the city of Singapore. Then we also went to Malaysia one day, which is crossing a causeway between the two countries. There was one member there who had not been feeling the best and so we rented a van and six of us went up there to see.
[Darris] That's good. Sounds like again, a profitable trip visiting the scattered brethren in that part of the world.
[Victor] I just realized how much people enjoy being visited and how important it is to them, how important it is for the ministry to be those who continually check with people, to see how they're doing and give them an atta boy. We really appreciate you. We love you and the people did really appreciate that.
[Darris] That's good. The role of the ministry and visiting with people is an extremely important and critical one, regardless of where it is and how it's done. Thanks for the report, we're looking forward to hearing more about the work in those parts of the world as well. We wish them the best, hope there are good fruits that are born from your trip.
[Victor] Thank you, Darris.
[Darris] Thanks for joining us on Inside United, come back again soon for more.