Well-Being Australia’s mission model of 'Around the Tables’ established in 2001has been welcomingly copied by a myriad of missions - if possible, get a sponsor, meet in a congenial and central venue such a city hotel, at least one night there, and the 10-12 gathered ‘around the table’ in confidence to open their hearts.
This first Well-Being Australia’s “Around the Tables” was a gathering of six mission couples who met in this manner and around a table.
On that inaugural occasion there were three presenters and a convener who each spoke for only a limited time, so as to allow participants a chance to open their heart and hurts. It was a festival of healing.
Dr Rowland Croucher of John Mark Ministries was one speaker, the late Mr Tom Scotland a former WEC missionary was another speaker, Dr Clive O'Connor an attorney at law also spoke - the convener was then SIM missionary Reverend Harry Munro.
It was Harry Munro who gave Well-Being Australia it's mission motto, “Don't touch the glory, it belongs exclusively to God.”
“Around the Tables” was a gift from Well-Being Australia to the people who attended, who in turn are now serving around the world. One missionary couple, in particular, regularly communicate how special it was.
Variety of formats
Since then 'Around the Tables' has witnessed several similar functions and more recently Mark and Delma Tronson has found it to be more provident at times to meet alone, couple to couple. This festival has now functioned with various twists and turns, sometimes several times in a year, and has settled into a proven formula.
Hotels have all been wonderfully supportive over the years, looking after our appointments and accommodation whether we've been in Sydney, Cairns, Wellington New Zealand, Birmingham (England), or a plethora of other places.
We continually welcome other mission agencies and church communities to follow this model. Only recently we were celebrating our grand children visiting us and as I had a $60 gift voucher from the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce, we went for dinner to the Tweed Heads Bowling Club.
The next table along the Tweed Shire Councilors and their partners were meeting over dinner. It looked very familiar to our ‘Around the Tables’ except that the hotels provide us a private room. In effect, we’ve adopted a common business model that has been running for centuries upon centuries, but with a twist.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html