Speakers Show the Way to #ChooseJoy in WOW Week

This week, Priscilla Mariassouce and Rhys Charleson have painted a powerful word picture of what it means to truly #ChooseJoy. The five-day Week of Worship (WOW), which ended today, has immersed students in the joy of colour, music, drama, prayer, and storytelling. From a mosaic of experience, a clear image has emerged: choose Jesus, accept His gift of salvation, and this will lead you to profound and lasting joy.

Who are Priscilla and Rhys?

Rhys is our guest speaker for Primary WOW. He resides in Melbourne with his wife Nadia and their baby son Spencer. After completing ministerial studies at Avondale University, he spent time in volunteer missionary work, before being convinced that God was calling him to serve as a paramedic in emergency medical services. He finds great joy in tending to people who have medical and emotional needs and sees this time of ministering to people in the community as an important experience.

Priscilla is our guest speaker for Secondary WOW. She is chaplain at Avondale University and derives great joy from ministering to young people with her husband Zayne and their five-year-old son, Hunter. She has been involved in music ministry from a young age, touring with the contemporary Christian singing band Endless Praise.

What compelled these speakers to say 'Yes' to this event?

For Rhys, accepting the invitation to speak at BAC's Week of Worship was a decision he did not take lightly. He knew it would require time away from his job, and potentially Nadia and Spencer. However, the opportunity to share stories with children and witness newfound perspectives dawn on their young faces made the sacrifice worthwhile. He loves working with children, and believes that stories can shape us and broaden our understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

Priscilla has always loved Brisbane and was eager to spend some time here. She really wanted to work with our BAC teenagers and says that speaking to them helps her keep her message fresh and relevant. As well, engaging with young people reminds her to reexamine her own Christian experience while she conveys her own relationship with Jesus.

Did this week hold any surprises for our speakers?

Priscilla discovered that even although students are expected to attend the special chapel services during Week of Worship, they are very open to spiritual concepts and worship experiences. Many of our students actively practice their faith whichever faith background they come from, and they are open and curious about the many opportunities for building faith throughout the year.

Rhys talks about the joy of working with the BAC chaplains and teachers to produce a highly powerful, engaging program for our students. He can see the high priority we place on Week of Worship and mentoring students to hone their talents, and has enjoyed watching our young people minister to each other, which he believes leaves a lasting impression and positive association with faith and spiritual matters.

What is the purpose of Week of Worship? And do our speakers have memories like this from their own time at school?

When Priscilla thinks of the weeks of worship she experienced as a teenager (and by the way, she was taught by Mr Henley and Mr Hobson, too!), she can see that schools have a better understanding now about the lasting impact a week like this has on the spiritual climate and culture of a school. “The thought, creativity, time, and resources are investments in our students' futures,” she says.

Rhys remembers weeks of worship as important "memory events" that have a way of resurfacing later in our lives, sometimes during challenging or highly significant moments. "A Week of Worship ultimately prompts us to be spiritually aware and reflective,” he says.

You are invited...

If you have free time tomorrow, why not join us in the Life Development Centre at Springwood Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 11am to approximately 12:15pm. Come and enjoy music and singing with our inspirational Secondary worship band, hear about the highlights of our week from the BAC chaplains, and benefit from the spiritual insights offered by our Secondary school guest speaker, Priscilla. As we wrap up this transformative week, remember to #ChooseJoy. Embark on your own lifelong spiritual journey with Jesus.

Week of Worship speakers
Priscilla Mariassouce gets real with teens about how they can #ChooseJoy
Week of Worship Speakers
Rhys Charleson captures the imaginations of his young audience