By Amanda Murthy
“We need to take the time to really discern which direction God wants us to take, and ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to empower, inspire and remove all fear so that we can go out and preach the Good News to all people.
“The Church in Australia is so fortunate to have the 2020 Plenary Council, where we can all gather together, pray, listen to one another’s thoughts as guided by the Holy Spirit, and use the information gathered to evangelise – Just as the disciples went out to preach after they had witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit in the upper room on Pentecost day.”
This was the message delivered by Fr Roy Pereira during his homily at the Flame Ministries International (FMI) 29th Annual Flame Congress Mass, where over 120 participants gathered for three days, inspired by the theme ‘They Shall be Baptised with Fire’.
The Congress, which took place from 18 to 20 January at the John XXIII College in Claremont, was accompanied with a statement written on the brochure that read, “The anointing that was upon Jesus is the same anointing upon you, and it is equipping you for the same work in this age.”
The program was packed with rallies, talks, prayers, as well as praise and worship sessions led by the FMI Music Ministry.
Congress speakers included FMI founder Eddie Russell, as well as members Kaye Rollings and Cyrus D’Souza, who took turns giving their experience about the work of the Holy Spirit, while making reference to passages of scripture.
Other speakers included Carlos Alberto Jardon from Mexico, via video conference, and Anne Marie Gatenby.
Giving an example of a bush fire that spreads rapidly and engulfs everything that is around it, Fr Pereira challenged those present to be like a burning bush fire – to share and spread the fire (of the Holy Spirit) burning within them with everyone they meet.
“Don’t keep that fire to yourself.
“Being inspired by God’s love and power is one thing, we cannot let our fears, doubts and worries stop us from actually going out there and being that example of Christ,” he said.
“When we have the courage to live out the Gospel of Christ, we will not only have a closer relationship with God, but we will inspire others to be closer to Him – And that my brothers and sisters in Christ, is very important in upholding God’s message,” Fr Pereira concluded.
FMI Music Director and organiser Patrick Carre said the response throughout the Congress was overwhelming and there were many participants who openly shared on how having the music helped them pray better.
“Being able to lift our hands, putting God first, and surrender everything to Him in through song in that space without worrying what the other person is thinking, was a beautiful thing for the band to witness through the praise and worship sessions,” Mr Carre said.
Mr Jardon spoke to the Congress via a three part video, talking about his faith journey and encounters with the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”.
Encouraging participants to always trust in Jesus, Mr Jardon ended his message with a reflective hymn, urging all present to ask God to increase their trust in Him.
“We want to encourage you to take a step into the faith, raise your hand, and ask the Lord to accomplish His will.
“We need to have faith, that He will revive us,” he said.