Regional RoundUp June/July 2020
What's Going On?
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North - Launceston Churches
Ministry continues - City Baptist has had a significant focus in continuing the programs that we can with vulnerable groups in Launceston - the street community and Hazara people. The recent death of a young man has rocked the Muslim community.
At City, we have worked hard to stay in touch with our most isolated and vulnerable people within the church. The drop-in centre has kept on going, with tweaks, to stick to current government restrictions.
90th Birthday celebration - We had a great pop-up 'street party' (socially distancing) on Saturday May 30, celebrating David Jacobs' 90th birthday. (See photos, below) David and Pat are a deeply loved couple at City. We knocked on their door, sang Happy Birthday and gave David a card and cake. Later we delivered a catered evening meal.
Carpark open - recently, Summerhill has been able to bless the local medical centre with use of their car park for their drive through flu vaccination station.
Future planning - They have also been through a branding workshop process with S. Group for the next season in ministry together. In regard to church services, the decision has been made to postpone those until at least August.
Those who meet at Gateway have been running online services, and playing with creative preaching styles.
Please pray - During these past months, the congregation at Newstead have not been meeting. Please pray for them as they seek to find a new pastor after an evaluation process.
Services resume - Riverlands are scheduled to resume smaller gatherings this Sunday June 14 and will be exploring together what things post-Covid look like.
We met as regional leadership teams via Zoom on Sunday May 17 to discuss collaboration in mission, in light of what our city is experiencing. We will be having another conversation to keep the conversation going and look at some concrete initiatives moving forward.
Town and Country Churches
Services Resuming - Latrobe will be opening this coming Sunday, June 14, at 10am for worship.
The Men's Shed will also be opening on Friday mornings for community work. Unfortunately both Chat 'n' Choose, and Playgroup, will remain closed until restrictions are lifted.
Connecting, and blessing - As with all churches, the last few months have been very different. With an aged congregation Perth have many without email, so they have had to ensure regular phone contact. However, they have been able to maintain the publication and distribution of their weekly newsletter, and provide a message each Sunday. They have also encouraged people to go online and watch a service, which many have done.
Perth's friends at Eskleigh have arranged a weekly service using online resources, and hand out the Perth Baptist newsletter. However, they really miss not being able to get out to church and fellowship.
Services resume - They plan to have the first service post-Covid in early July, which will be a time of encouragement and sharing.
Services Resuming - Over the past while it's been quiet at Penguin Baptist, we've kept in touch with each other by 'phone and newsletter. But now the restraints are lifted, we're resuming public worship on Sunday, June 21st at 10am. ALL - Covid-safely! - WELCOME!
LifeWay Baptist, Devonport
LifeWay have been focusing on teaching and connecting.
Zoom Groups - Over the past few months, everyone was allocated into Zoom Groups to facilitate connection through sharing and prayer. These groups meet each Sunday following the sermon, (some groups meet mid-week as well), The groups share how people are going, and discuss questions relating to the teaching that morning. The sermon is delivered via their YouTube channel, live-streaming (usually) from Pastor Nicholas Alexander's basement! They are going through Hebrews at the moment, which is both challenging and exciting.
Currently, LifeWay are trialling adding some music from our worship band, and considering allowing Zoom Groups to meet together face-to-face, if groups can comply with the current restrictions relating to meeting in homes. They also encourage people to share through the church Facebook group: music that is helping, prayer points, prayers, and reflections. It's quite simple, but it seems to work.
There are things we miss - like singing together, sharing communion and just catching up. But people are enjoying the small group connections, and the quieter, more relaxed pace of Sunday morning.
In Memoriam - Dan Rough's dear wife, Irene, passed away on Friday June 5 after a long illness. Dan is a regular attender at the NW Pastors get-togethers. Dan and Irene pastored our Latrobe and Sassafras churches back in the 80's and 90's and then represented Leprosy Mission. Precious memories of a lovely lady.
Lower Barrington Baptist
Lower Barrington have continued Sunday services, including communion, at home. The service is sent out by email with the service outline by rostered leader including hymns and sermon. Some meet on Skype, others meet as a small group of one or two people meeting together in homes with social distancing. For those without email, the person who lives closest prints off a copy with the service, and they are sent an audio copy of the sermon to their mobile phones by text message.
The Leadership team have a small number of the congregation to ring on a regular basis to check how they are doing. If they need more frequent calls, they are encouraged to contact any of the Leadership team.
Pastor Chris Aulich endeavours to contact every member also, and his response has been well-received among the fellowship. Pastor Chris also sends a audio copy of a short Devotional through the week called a Sunroom Chat.
Every week the Tas Baptist Prayer points, ADVANCE emails and any other relevant information is forwarded on, so everyone kept in the loop.
Dear sister in Christ, Roslein Priddle, was promoted to glory on Friday 29 May 2020. With her husband John, she was a founder member of Claremont Baptist. She was loved and respected and had many friends in the wider church community. Her wise counsel, gentle ways and wonderful example of living by faith will be remembered and treasured. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held later in the year.
Zoom meetings - In recent months, Claremont have held Zoom meetings on Sunday afternoons and 80% of regulars have been able to negotiate the technology and share in this unique way of gathering. There has been a strong feeling of community as people have stayed in touch by phone, cards, email, Facebook and care visits. Surprisngly, the Virtual Bible Study has been well supported and purposeful and it is most likely this will be the preferred option for a midweek evening study even when things get back to "normal".
Citywide micro church - With their own YouTube channel, including multiple playlists, Citywide have an active online presence. They also meet regularly using as "micro Churches" Zoom.
Services have resumed at the Lenah Valley campus, with restricted numbers.
Auditorium Renovations at Mornington - With the auditorium not being used, it seemed timely to undertake the work involved to move the wall and the associated works. This change will reduce the size of the main auditorium, and for the next five years provide greater space for one of the main tenants, Clarence Gymsports. The Facilities Team are managing this project. The building work took about two weeks, and is being followed by painting. Finalising the project will happen as restrictions resulting from the virus allow.
Services at Mornington have not yet recommenced but by the time they meet there again, it will be in the newly renovated auditorium.
Congratulations to Pastor Paul Rai and Manisha on the safe arrival of twins Aaron and Aiden on May 18.
Paul is our featured interview this week! Read all about Paul, his life as a refugee, and God's call to pastoral ministry HERE >>>
Hobart Baptist has a weekly YouTube service scheduled every Sunday morning at 10:15am. People are welcome to join in for a Zoom chat both before and after the service. Services will begin again on Sunday June 21, with numbers limited as required.
Kids' Church have met regularly on Sunday morning with Zoom meetings.
The building development continues with the completion of the units at the rear of the property, and the next phase to renovate the Soundy Hall and Building now underway.
Sadly, Margaret Hart, born 7 April 1929, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday 30 May 2020. She was a member of Hobart Baptist Church for 76 years.
In July Hobart will celebrate Christmas in Winter, including Advent, carol-singing leading up to Christmas Eve, and a Christmas Day service on Sunday July 26.
Hobart Baptist Internationals
Overall, Hobart's "International Sanctuaries" have coped well, and have discovered their unique ways of supporting each other.
Karen Congregation - Pastors Paw Nay and Moo Lay have been visiting homes for prayer, family devotions, and birthday celebrations, while observing the guidelines and restrictions. They have also been on Zoom for meetings and have been using it for mutual encouragement and support.
Anuak Community - The members of the Anuak community have carefully observed isolation. They have stayed connected via social media, and been calling each other regularly. They have also joined a prayer service via group connection with a ministry to the Anuak based in the U.S.A.
Mabuhay Filippino Congregation - From Pastor Joel Ortiz - We have been encouraging each other via FB Messenger, which we have used for more than two years now, where I post the daily Bible Readings copied from the Lectionary of the Presbyterian Mission. We celebrated Communion on 12 April, via FB Messenger. Since the easing of restrictions May and June, I celebrated communion with five people in a home. I have also visited many of the members ofr our congregation. Some have been following their home church on line; others have reconnected with their home church in the Philippines and have been watching their services via YouTube.
International Fellowship - Joel and Tracy Ortiz have personally met a few times with some of the international families; and with the others via Messenger. They're all doing well