Around the Churches – Apr/May 2022
Every two months you can catch up with some of the latest events in Tasmanian Baptist Churches.
City Baptist in Launceston has been heavily involved in discussions with Launceston Council and the Tasmanian Government regarding the housing crisis as it relates to the street community, those fleeing domestic violence and refugee settlement. Our street chaplain, Stephen Avery works hard amongst our street community. And Associate Pastor Kay Hunter relates to a number of women at risk.
Ethnic community update
Our Hazara community garden at St Leonards is flourishing, pictured at top. Sadly we have not been able to hold combined services with our Nepali congregation due to Covid. We hope these can resume soon.
The “Makeover” continues
Anthea Maynard and Jenna Blackwell have been seeking to build connections with young adults and considering what model of being ‘church’ our Makeover process might lead us to. This is still a work in progress. Our Do N Chew craft program was celebrated in April when it decided to close after 34 years in operation.
Steve Cooper continues to lead our worship times most Sundays, pictured below. Settlement for the sale of our current property falls in mid-September. Around that time we will consider relocation in earnest.
Our Easter services were very encouraging with strong attendance at both our Good Friday and Easter Sunday Services. On Easter Sunday we had a community Easter egg hunt and morning tea before our service.
We are gearing up to get as many from our community to the Tasmania Celebration with Will Graham. We’re inviting the community to meet us and travel with us to the Sunday service, and then come back to our Hall for supper. We are praying for a good response.
David Madden was welcomed to Gateway Church Council and commissioned in prayer during Sunday morning service recently.
Our Stay and Play Playgroup began for 2022 on Friday May 6 for children aged 0-5 years and their mums/carers.
Associate Pastor Liam Conway and Hannah are hosting a young adults group every Tuesday evening in their home, and Liam has started a once a month youth group at Riverlands on Friday nights.
At the end of February we held a dedication service for Boaz Daniel Hutchison, pictured at top.
At Easter, many attended our Good Friday service and our Son-rise outdoor services. It was a day to celebrate the greatest news ever!
We have also turned on our Jesus lights to be a beacon to the community as the nights get darker. Pictured below.
Food, fellowship and Easter
After our Sunday church services over the summer months, we frequently joined together at Fairway Park for church family picnics. This was a great time of enjoying each other’s company in the open air. Now, as the weather is cooler and with the easing of Covid restrictions, we have resumed our regular post-service morning tea.
Over the Easter weekend we reflected upon the events of the cross, Jesus’ love for each of us and His gift of salvation. Our own Nerrelie Cann and Carolyn Smith shared their hearts and brought us the word on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And of course, we enjoyed hot cross buns and Easter eggs with our tea and coffee after the services.
Over the course of the last few months, we were challenged and encouraged by Pastor Louis as he preached his series titled “Spiritual wholeness”, and “How to be certain in uncertain times”.
In March we celebrated with Cameron Hingston and Abbey Cunningham as they became husband and wife, We also welcomed Greg and Helen Venz into membership.
Lower Barrington Church had a time of encouragement on Sunday 3rd April, with the baptism of Helen Phillips after our Church service at the indoor pool at Silver Ridge resort Sheffield.
This was followed by Lunch, with a great time of fellowship and sharing. Praise God.
Reaching the needs of the Wynyard and Cooee communities
The Wynyard Baptist Church and the local Lions Club ran a Food Drive to raise food and donations for the Community Food Hub that runs out of the ROC hall (formerly known as the church hall). For those enquiring minds ROC stands for Redeeming Our Community.
Over the two-day period, 21 crates of food were collected, as well as $1,239 in donations. This was a great achievement and will support the continual work of the community food hub. Wynyard Baptist took on the program after they were approached to take over “Grow, Gather, Give”.
Since then, they changed the name to the Community Food Hub, and the church has experienced continued growth in the program. The local community supports the food donations as well as farmers, Woolworths supermarkets and local bakeries. The hub runs out of the ROC hall on Mondays and Fridays, and on Tuesdays and Saturdays from the Uniting Church Hall in Cooee.
A group of volunteers from the community as well as the church runs the Food Hub. The church has found this to be a wonderful outreach to the community and it has given many opportunities of witnessing for Christ
At our recent AGM, the Levendale fellowship was formally embraced as a church plant under the umbrella of Citywide. We are in process of establishing Wi-Fi and IT functions there to enable streaming and sharing in our services.
Pastor Paul Rai from our Nepalese congregation spent February in Nepal visiting family, re-connecting with his former refugee camp and encouraging rural pastors and outreach missions. We are in discussions with Baptist Mission Aust to partner with them and formally bring our mission endeavours in Nepal under their covering.
For Clean Up Australia Day (pictured, top), we closed our Mornington service and encouraged our people to join in three different community clean-up areas (Warrane, Lindisfarne and Lenah Valley). Over 80 of our people joined in. Some older folk prayed together in homes, and others met at Lenah Valley campus where link-ups with the sites were shared and streamed online.
Again focussing on the community, our Anzac Day Celebration in the Park in Lenah Valley (pictured below). This year, with Dan Evenhuis’ encouragement, we ‘stepped up’ the event and served the community with a range of free activities and food to enhance the Anzac Day spirit. An event very welcomed and enjoyed by the Lenah Valley community.
Prayer and dedication
Prayer has been a growing focus at Citywide. We have recommenced our monthly Prayer and Healing services. We have joined with all the Eastern Shore churches in a combined prayer time – well attended and participated in – our unity growing – and ministry interactions developing. There is a work of grace God is growing among us.
Here at Claremont Baptist we are delighted with our recently completed outdoor entertainment area. We enjoyed our first BBQ in beautiful weather, and look forward to many more opportunities for eating and sharing outdoors. Hopefully, in time, our neighbours will also want a piece of the action as the smell of onions wafts out!
Many thanks to Alan Firth for his hard work in making this project a success.
Harmony Day and Easter services
In March, Hobart celebrated Harmony Day. To encourage and affirm our ethnic diversity, people dressed in various national costumes (pictured, top) and the Karen choir sang.
We held two very special Easter services which included a guest singer on Easter Sunday, and a moving montage displaying some Easter themes (pictured below).
Some special events
We also hosted the Christian Life & Witness Course in preparation for the Tasmania Celebration with Will Graham, coming up on 21st May.
After Easter, we began a new sermon series, “Hope in the Darkness”, exploring how darkness is no enemy to God’s purposes. You can watch all our sermons on our YouTube channel.
On Sunday 8th May we enjoyed hearing guest speaker Scott Pilgrim (Baptist Mission Australia) as he preached about “Crossing the Street” for May Mission Month.
April/May 2022 ReCharge
Faith Runs Deep Video Series
May Assembly Overview
Pastoral Profile: Dan Evenhuis
Fostering Hope: Respite Carers needed!
Deep Thought: Mike Frost – Becoming wise
Being Strong and Courageous
Wynyard Baptist Food Drive
Church Profile: Citywide