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Melbourne River of Life

River of Life unites Melbourne churches

NEWS | Dean Troth

Monday 4th March 2013

God’s Spirit is at work in Melbourne, tearing down denominational walls and rivalries, according to more than one Melbourne pastor.

River of Life, a conference to be held in Melbourne on 9-10 May, will focus on bringing unity among the broader Church, not simply by teaching leadership principles but by raising the levels of faith, prayer, trust and vision in the wider churches, according to conference convenor, Peter Kentley.

“Unlike other Christian conferences, ‘River of Life’ has been endorsed by over 100 Christian leaders and is being promoted by an oversight team of fifteen including Anglicans and Pentecostals, Baptists, Presbyterians, Salvation Army, Korean ministries and Christian organisations,” he said.

The conference, over two days, will feature international speakers from Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, the largest local church in the world, Dr David Yonggi Cho and Dr Young Noon Lee.

It also features Australian speakers from a range of backgrounds, each demonstrating how Christ is loving Melbourne, from worship leaders Darlene Zschech and Roma Waterman; to social and homelessness care from Salvation Army Officer Brendan Nottle and Father Joe Caddy of Catholic Care; from Cam Butler of Sports Chaplaincy Australia to Pentecostal leader David McCracken.

“It’s a powerful force and sends a strong message of unity across denominations we are one Church!” said Salvation Army Divisional Commander, Major Gary Hart.

However, it is the prayer movement leading up to the conference that has made a great impact on hundreds of individuals from dozens of churches and denominations, according to Dale Stephenson, Senior Pastor of Crossway Baptist Church.

“Crossway hosted one of the Prayer events and it was a real blessing. There was a great sense of God’s presence in the gathering touching the hearts of each person who called out to him,” he said.

“I sense God is moving in Melbourne to breakdown rivalry and denominational barriers and bring unity among his people. This has been driven by key pastoral leaders across the city getting together regularly to share and pray which has deep implications for the future and speaks well of what God is doing in his church,” Dale said.

“There is a sense that Melbourne is ready and primed by God for a church-wide shared event and for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This ought not be taken for granted because there have been other times when this would seem a long way off. Now is the right time,” he said.

More details about ‘River of Life’ can be found at

Image: flickr_coreyleopold

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