“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth,” he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” (Mark 2:10-11 NABRE)
The theme of this year’s SFC national conference in Melbourne, “Breakthrough,” set to inspire participants to embark on a transformative experience and to emerge with a renewed sense of purpose. Anchored by Mark 2:10-11, each session thoughtfully broke down the verse, unravelling different facets of its significance.
The conference began with a warm welcome from Mandrid Fernandez (CFC Australia Fulltime Pastoral worker) from CFC Sydney with the theme ‘Welcome home’, who reminded participants that through Christ, they find their true home. He expressed, “God will never look at our past. No matter how much we fail Him, He will always see us as His beloved children, welcoming us home with open arms.”
In the following session, the focus shifted to the theme of ‘Rise’, led by Rachel Bernabe (Household Head) from SFC Canberra. Participants were encouraged not only to rise from the paralysis of their sins but also to lift themselves through humility by forgiving others and forgiving themselves. She concluded by saying, “Let us embrace humility as a pathway to rise, to be transformed, and to walk in the fullness of God’s grace.”
In Session Three, titled ‘Breakthrough‘ and led by Jheron Reyes (Area Head) from SFC Sydney, it was emphasised that though sin may have caused us to stumble, we are not inherently broken by our nature. “Our identity must be anchored not in the eyes of the world but in the eyes of the Lord,” he shared, encouraging participants to embrace their true identities as children of God.
In the fourth session, ‘Journey Together,’ Vinnie Uriarte (Area Head) from SFC Canberra delved into the essence of true friendship. He shared the concept of the “3 G’s” – the Gift of Family, Gift of Faith, and Gift of Community – underlining the significance of these connections in our spiritual journey.
The conference concluded with the fifth session, ‘Take Charge!,‘ led by Charis Fernandez from CFC Sydney, which focused on the final aspect of the verse, inspiring participants to pour their hearts and souls into the mission.
The impact of SFC NATCON 2023 will continue to resonate in the hearts of all participants.
It served as a powerful reminder that we are sent out to others as living testimonies of God’s healing and forgiveness and we must embrace our true identities in Christ to share the gift of God’s grace with the world.
See you at 2024 conference at Sydney.
To God Be the Glory!