Events in 2011

Lunch at the NSW Parliament House 16-Nov-2011
"A New Wine and Fresh Skins"

Thanks to everyone who came and supported the Inaugural Transforming Sydney Lunch "A New Wine and Fresh Skins" - it was a great success.

82 people attended what was definitely a unifying occasion in the Strangers Dining room at the NSW Parliament House, with people representing many denominations both attending and speaking at the event.

Some of the guests at the Lunch

(Some of the guests at the Lunch)

A dear and faithful stalwart of righteousness, The Rev. Hon. Fred Nile MLC opened the lunch with prayer, and our very gracious host The Hon. Marie Ficarra MLC gave a stirring welcome to all, conveying the Premier's apologies, and reminding us that we are in the oldest parliament in Australia.

(Read the motion moved by the Hon. Marie Ficarra on the Transforming Sydney Lunch to the NSW Parliament.)

A first video for Transformation of Sydney was shown - the purpose to highlight the need for Sydney to recognise God as sovereign and saviour using the theme of the Lord's Prayer (sung in Aramaic - the language Jesus spoke), images from across Sydney, interviews from people at the recent all-churches outreach in Blacktown, and the Transforming Sydney motto "Repent, Heal, Transform". [Video was kindly prepared by Ian Cooke from Livingstone Media.]

The Convenor of Transforming Sydney, Lilian Schmid then gave a clear definition of Transformation, challenged us to think of Sydney as belonging to God and not men, and outlined the start of Transforming Sydney, and described some of the things that God is doing through His people to transform Sydney. Co-convenor Bjorn Schmid offered a brief illustration to highlight that transformation must start with our relationship with God and that through us transformation is brought into our families, our churches and the marketplace, and that as we do so God is glorified. (Read Lilian's address.)

Hon. Marie Ficarra, Lilian Schmid, Graham McLennan, Peter Kaldor, Rev. Lindsay McDowell, Bis. Julian Porteous

(Hon. Marie Ficarra, Lilian Schmid, Graham McLennan, Peter Kaldor, Rev. Lindsay McDowell, Bis. Julian Porteous)

Dr. Graham McLennan shared with us his "Transformational Journey", recanting many memorable experiences on his way to starting the National Alliance of Christian Leaders, the Australian Christian Values Institute, the Canberra Declaration and other causes.

In his very earnest and refreshing style, Peter Kaldor described his personal transformation and how God led him to encourage Christians to live and share Jesus in the workplace, citing practical examples of intentional prayer for work colleagues and also describing the activities of the City Bible Forum (of which he is the current CEO).

The intent, purpose and positive progress of "A National Act of Recognition" was presented by Rev. Lindsay McDowell, being primarily the overturning of the declaration of 'Terra Nullius' over the land of Australia by Lt. James Cook in August 1770 (which disowned the traditional land-holders) and the forced entry by gunfire against the aborigines at Kurnell on Botany Bay earlier the same year. [Transforming Sydney supports the Act of Recognition as this act of repentance and healing is needed to remove the 240-year rift between the earlier and later peoples of Australia.]

His book "A New Wine and Fresh Skins" was released in 2010, but Bishop Julian Porteous brought the subject alive expounding the work of the Holy Spirit as often unpredictable, wonderful and totally sovereign, raising mostly lay people to start spontaneous movements and covenant communities (particularly after the 2nd Vatican Council) that bring people into a greater holiness of lifestyle, faithfulness to their Lord and the church community, and a burning passion to share the Gospel with others, the latter echoing the call of recent popes for a 'new evangelism'. These movements are having a very positive impact on the Catholic Church and are motivating many to full Christian lives, in Spirit and Truth.

(Read a summary of Bishop Julian Porteous's speech.)

After thanking the speakers, Tony McLennan handed the remainder of the event to Bjorn, who thanked Tony, the sponsors Mission Australia, Livingstone Media, and Koorong and the Parliamentary Catering, and then invited Charles Northcote, Dan Kimes and Peter Kentley to come and lead in prayer for the focus areas of Family, Church and Marketplace.

Rev. Hon. Fred Nile, Tony McLennan, Dan Kimes, Peter Kentley, Charles Northcote and Bjorn Schmid

(Rev. Hon. Fred Nile, Tony McLennan, Dan Kimes, Peter Kentley, Charles Northcote and Bjorn Schmid)

Bjorn then thanked everyone and offered a classic benediction often said at the end of Catholic mass: "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord."

Our MC Tony McLennan handled the event with consistent flair and words of encouragement, performing his role admirably, even when during the early part of the lunch the organisers decided to make on-the-fly changes: thankyou Tony!

As always the food served by the Parliamentary Catering was excellent and the views out over the domain were a very restful backdrop for the venue.

Strangers Dining room at the NSW Parliament House

(Strangers Dining room at the NSW Parliament House)

Photos from the Lunch taken and donated by Ramon Williams

Yours faithfully,
Bjorn and Lilian Schmid
Transforming Sydney Movement Inc.

Event was gracefully sponsored by

Mission Australia Living Stone Media

Bishop Julian's Books
can be found at

Mustard Seed

The flyer is available here (Acrobat PDF format)