PALCON – AFRICA SOUTHERN HUB 2023 CONFERENCE
From 8-12 November 2023, 800 African Nazarenes gathered at the Goodnews Convention Centre outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, for the Pastors and Leaders Conference (PALCON) for the Southern Hub of the Africa Region. The Southern Hub represents three fields, the Lusophone Field, the Southeast Field and the South Field, which encompasses the countries of Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively. The purpose of this conference was to “Bridge the G.A.P.” (Growth in Authenticity and Presence) through building transformative leadership. There was special emphasis on training our local and district leaders who are involved in education, leadership, missions and evangelism, with the goal of these leaders returning to their homes and sharing what they have seen and learned. This conference focused on the mission of the church of the Nazarene, to “Make Christlike disciples in the nations” as well as the four core values of the Africa Region: Authenticity, Presence, Relevance and Interdependence,
The conference was also comprised of 30 workshops on topics relating to the auxiliaries of NYI, NMI and NDI, presented by field and regional ministry leaders as well as workshops geared specifically toward treasurers, secretaries and local pastors as they care for themselves and their flock. Additionally, there were 9 plenary sessions with speakers such as Dr Daniel Gomis (Africa Regional Director), Dr Reuel Khoza, Professor Maria Kanjere, Dr Stanley Bhebhe (Vice Chancellor of Africa Nazarene University), Dr Gift Mtukwa, Dr Herman Mvula and others. It is very important for the church to be intentional in encouraging and equipping leadership from various districts and local churches so that they continue to uphold the mission.
In the evening services, the Jurisdictional General Superintendent, Dr Filimão Chambo, encouraged the leadership to experience growth in authenticity especially as they live a life of holiness and of service to God as described in the Great Commission. He encouraged the leadership to constantly experience and acknowledge the presence of God in their lives and continuously surrender their lives to God.
Furthermore, Dr Daniel Gomis had the opportunity on the first day to share the strategy of the Africa Region. Emphasis was given especially for the need to be authentic in all that we do and to love each other truthfully in the context of “Tuko Pamoja”, a Swahili saying that means “We are together”.
The conference ended on Sunday morning with an ordination of ministers from across the Southern Hub by the General Superintendent. Everyone who attended the conference went back to their homes with great excitement, revived and ready to go and serve.