Preparing for AnCon

by EU GradsFund

Every year, the EU holds an Annual Conference (AnCon) in the final week of the winter break. For many students, AnCon is not only a highlight of their year – it’s also a significant event in their journey of spiritual maturity and developing their love for the lost, especially those in less reached and less resourced areas (the LRLR).

For a conference of this scale – around 500 attending for 5 days – the AnCon team has been cooking up a feast! In partnership, eighteen students and staff are joyfully labouring to whip up the plenary sessions, concoct community-building activities, spread invitations on campus and online, and knead out the financial, logistical, and administrative aspects of the conference.

So what are the key ingredients that make AnCon such a momentous event in an EU student’s calendar?

Insightful Teaching

At AnCon, students soak in the juices of God’s Word for at least nine hours across the week: plenary talks in main sessions, Bible teaching from Howies, and seminars on various topics by Senior Staff. This year, the theme of AnCon is The Cross: This is Love. We’ll be stewing in the doctrine of atonement as we explore the ultimate demonstration of love as shown in Jesus’ death on the cross. 

We’re praying that, as students deepen their understanding of God’s love for them, they will also grow in their love for Him and His people – especially those in LRLR places. We’re particularly praying that many who do not yet call Jesus their Lord might come, hear, believe, and be saved – as was the case for a handful of international and domestic students who were exploring Christianity last year! Praise God!

Immersive Community

While so many hours of learning can leave our brains fried, there’s plenty of time for rest, singing, prayer and reflection in small groups and on our own, and a smorgasbord of fun community-building activities. As we baste in corporate praise and enjoy fellowship with brothers and sisters – both local and international – it’s common to hear AnCon described as a “taste of heaven”. For many, strengthening relationships with peers in their faculties and meeting those from other faculties also leads to a richer experience of community on campus in Semester 2.

Involvement in service and reaching the LRLR

AnCon is an opportunity to celebrate the fruit of the EU’s various ministries, and to stir up in students an evangelistic zeal and a desire to serve in these ways when they return to uni. Furthermore, students are challenged to consider supporting LRLR Workers in the field, using their vocation to serve the LRLR, or leaving their vocation to pursue full-time ministry. 

We have the pleasure of having over 10 LRLR Workers spend the week with us! This allows students to marinate in the nature, needs, and challenges of service in LRLR areas of Sydney, Australia, and the world. In the words of one LRLR Worker: “I can’t imagine a richer opportunity to be involved in seeing people grow in their engagement with global mission (& LRLR more generally).”

And in God’s kindness, the encouragement is mutual! Another LRLR Worker shared her reflection: “I find AnCon beats any other mission mobilisation event hands down. It is the biggest and most engaged group of young Jesus followers there is. Meeting all those great students at AnCon has (perhaps unexpectedly) refreshed & encouraged me in my own ministry.”

Praise God for the opportunity to partner with, encourage, and be encouraged by our brothers and sisters serving in LRLR locations!

With just over three months remaining until AnCon, faculties are excitedly inviting their communities, staff are preparing for their talks and seminars, and LRLR Workers are thinking about how to make the most of their time with us. It’s all happening!

Please pray with us that God would work in:

  • The students attending AnCon – giving them courage and humility as they prepare to learn, grow, be encouraged, and be challenged.
  • The AnCon Team – strengthening and sustaining them as they prepare the various aspects of the conference.
  • The Staff and LRLR Workers – granting them wisdom and diligence as they faithfully prepare their teaching content.

Want to taste it for yourself? You can! 

Upholding tradition, the Wednesday evening of AnCon is our Graduates and Supporters Night, when EU grads and those who partner with the EU join us for the plenary session and supper. We’d love to see you in person at Katoomba Christian Convention or worship together through our livestream option. 

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter or keep tuned for the details!

– Annie Tan, Howard Guinness Project 2023-2024

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