Hope Conference Streams

A stream is a community of learning with space for story-telling, worship, prayer and pastoral care for one another. Each stream runs for three mornings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 


A stream costs $199 for three days.

Why is the Workplace a Threat to the Church?
Why is the Workplace a Threat to the Church and its Programs?


So many sermons and church education focus on the inner spiritual life and the importance of serving in the church.  As a result the workplace and the home, the spheres where people spend most of their time, are ignored and even seen as threatening to the church and its programs.


Rod Wilson

Rod Wilson served as President of Regent College from 2000-2015.
Originally trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Wilson pursued theological training after completing his doctoral work. He has been involved in the field of counselling and consulting for over thirty years and has held various positions at Tyndale College and Seminary in Toronto from 1978 to 1995:

Spiritual Practice in Small Groups
Spiritual Practices for Small Groups

How to lead small groups or whole congregations into communal spiritual practices: various forms of prayer, contemplative approaches to the Bible, journaling, fasting, simplicity and Sabbath keeping. How to talk about spiritual practices to groups, resources to use, and how to keep spiritual practices grounded in grace and joy rather than a sense of duty or legalism.

Lynne Baab

Leading Communal Spiritual Practices – by Lynne Baab, Jack Somerville Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, University of Otago, and Adjunct Tutor, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Stories of Gender-Based Violence in the Bible.
Stories of Gender-Based Violence in the Bible.

How and why should we read biblical stories that feature gender-based violence? These sessions will explore gender-based violence as a challenge for the worldwide church, and will critically examine biblical passages presenting gender-based violence in different forms. The sessions will suggest how a deeper understanding of gender-based violence can contribute towards a more constructive biblical, theological and pastoral approach within churches.


The materials will include the Church of Scotland World Mission Council 2015 publication ‘A Gender Based Violence Bible Study’ and the Tearfund 2013 report ‘Breaking the Silence: The role of the church in addressing sexual violence in South Africa’.


Session 1. Gender-Based Violence as a Challenge for the Church.


Session 2. Stories of Gender-Based Violence in the Old Testament.


Session 3. Stories of Gender-Based Violence in the New Testament.

David Tombs

David Tombs is Howard Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues, and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues. David studied theology and philosophy at Oxford University, Union Theological Seminary (New York), and London University.

Hope Through Relationality
Can Relational Theology Provide Hope for the Church?


What would it look like if theology was less talk about God and more of letting God talk? What difference could it make if we saw God as existing in dynamic relationship, and believed relationships are God’s primary concern? In this stream, we will discuss theology in a hopeful, holistic way, providing a vision for churches to align with God’s activity in our congregations, neighborhoods, and personal lives. This quest requires rethinking how God exists, how persons grow, and what it means to be a theologically relational church.

Wednesday – Finding Hope in Knowing God Relationally

What do we mean by a personal relationship with any person? What do we mean by a personal relationship with the triune God? Explore how we miss love in our relationships and how to find hope in God’s relational agenda.

Thursday – Personal Growth that Brings Hope

What does it mean to be a person and to grow as a person? We will explore a new paradigm for thinking and acting in ways that deepen our relationships and fulfill a biblical vision.

Friday – The Relational Church

What does a healthy relational church look like? What are the pitfalls and what are the possibilities? We will discuss how to evaluate and create community with God, in the church family, and in the neighborhood.


Marty Folsom

Marty Folsom, PhD is the Executive Director of the Pacific Association for Theological Studies (USA). He maintains a private Marriage and Family Counseling practice and teaches theology in the Seattle area. His theological interests are Relational Theology, Trinitarian Theology, Theological Anthropology, Theology and Therapy, Theology and the Arts, Karl Barth, John Macmurray, John ZIzioulas, and Theologcal Education. He is forming a theological neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest called the Northwest Theological Collaboration, including all the theological schools in WA, OR, ID, and BC. Marty has two books published in his Face-to-Face trilogy (Wipf & Stock, 2013, 2014)

Reading New Testament Letters

How do we understand New Testament Letters? We’ll be outlining some principles for reading these letters and then will be applying them to reading 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians and 1 Peter.

Reading New Testament Letters
Paul Trebilco

Paul Trebilco is Professor of New Testament. He studied Chemistry at the University of Canterbury, and then did a Bachelor of Divinity at Otago before completing his PhD in the New Testament in 1987 at the University of Durham.

He has published work on the Jewish and Greco-Roman backgrounds to the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, the apostle Paul, early Christians in Ephesus, the relationship of Scripture and Church tradition, and the Self-designations used by the earliest Christians in the New Testament.

Prayer Ministry Today
Prayer Ministry Today

Do any of these scenarios sound like you or your congregation?



One of the theological truths that the Christian church celebrates is that God has come near us. Isaiah 9, John 1, Matt 28 tell us that He is not only the Almighty transcendent God but the Immanent One who knows our flesh and understands our needs. In and through Jesus Christ we may have a relationship with God as though we were talking face to face with our father or our friend and neighbour. He is that close and He has promised never to leave us.

But sadly though the church longs for this type of relationship, how many really enjoy it and know how to pursue it or help others to experience it? What is the Christian birthright – an abiding relationship with Jesus- seems all too elusive to many.

In this seminar we will learn a simple and practical way in which to ‘practise His presence’, how to attune to His everlasting love and how to find a greater and greater sense of healing, wholeness and peace. In essence to learn how to abide in Him.

Helen Harray

Has been a Presbyterian minister since 2002. She founded and led the studentsoul ministry at Otago University for 12 years and more recently has been the Associate Pastor at Leith Valley Presbyterian Church in Dunedin.

Helen grew up in Auckland and graduated with a BA and Diploma in

After many years of investment in helping people find wholeness and healing, Helen offers a simple and effective way to help people find a more intimate and satisfying relationship with Jesus and inevitably as a result of practising this prayer lifestyle, by ourselves and with others, people also experience healing on many levels.  

Exploring New Interfaith Boundaries
New Zealand’s increasingly multicultural society poses a number of questions about Christian ministry in New Zealand and its roots in the Torah that we need to ask ourselves? 


Although Jesus stated that he was called primarily to the 'Lost House of Israel' he spent a significant amount of time among the Samaritans provoking the Israelites to become aware of their prejudice towards their half-cousins. We could ask ourselves with all earnestness, who are our Samaritans in Aotearoa? 


Cultural arrogance produces a pride in us that repels people from those who see themselves are religiously superior. Jesus way of humility asks us to change our methods of learning from 'Our New Neighbours' and find friendship and community with them when we take 'a one down approach’. Adult inductive learning methods are significant in their ability to pave the way for understanding rather than misunderstanding. Meaning is explored in a safe context and the cliches we stereotype each other’s group with fade to insignificance when true friendship is discovered. 


The Teaching of the Torah always envisaged that strangers coming to reside in the land would be treated as family and enjoy the same privileges and community participation as the people of the land. Alienation destroys the God created value of human beings. 


In recent times people are arriving in our shores that come from the most challenging and distant cultures from our own, but strangely they are succeeding in finding new communities of faith, learning and business with remarkable resilience.


Bryan Johnson will facilitate workshops and discovery sessions that will open our eyes to new frontiers in local mission. 

Bryan Johnston

Bryan has had years of interfaith experience and brings with him a wonderfully compassionate and unique understanding of the cultural complexities of interfaith relationships.

Be inspired by New Zealand stories of innovation.


Experience new forms of worship. Follow the journey of a fresh expressions from conception to birth. Learn about the ways that top down and bottom up, centre and edge, can partner in mission. 

Your Stream companions will be Steve Taylor, Jill Kayser and Lisa Wells.


New Forms of Church in Mission
Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor, an experienced church minister, theological educator and academic leader, joined the Knox team in 2015 as Principal.  

Prior to that he served as the Principal of Uniting College for Leadership and Theology in South Australia.

He has held a wide variety of lecturing posts and his interests are in missiology, practical theology, indigenous Christologies and popular culture. 

He is the author of The Out of Bounds Church? and Built for Change. 

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