Around the Churches, Feb-Mar 2023
Every two months you can catch up with the latest news in Tasmanian Baptist Churches.
CITY BAPTIST, Launceston
We continue to gather at Worldview as our interim meeting space. Throughout February we focused on the call back to community.
Our drop in centre meal continues at Red Dove café at Pilgrim Uniting on Saturday night. Steven continues his chaplaincy role to the street community. We would appreciate prayer for him and for Kay Hunter (who works with vulnerable women).
We continue to prayerfully discern appropriate gathering spaces as we seek to transition back to the city of Launceston – prayer for this, relationships on the edges of our community, and for future innovative ministries is much appreciated.
On Sunday 12th March, each family in the church was given a booklet which is a 31-day devotional by Ray Hawkins (The Point Baptist) called Captured By Calvary.
We are going to complete this Bible study together, reading it day-by-day, culminating on Easter Sunday. On the Sundays between now and Easter, congregation members will be invited to share about their thoughts on what is covered in the devotional.
Walk this way
Pastor Dan organised our church’s first ‘Walk This Way’ event. We are planning to have them regularly with the first one being held at Heritage Park. The weather was warm and so was the fellowship. It was lovely to see a couple of friends from Scripture Union joining with our congregation members and chatting together along the route. The second one was held at Trevallyn Dam on the 5th March.
Pastor Dan met with the Little Fish volunteers to talk about the new program which has commenced and working well.
Simon McCormack is leading the work at our church putting in a new conveniently located disabled toilet.
Elaine Carins and the rest of the Senior’s Drop in Centre crew were treated to one of Maureen Battesse’s delicious strawberry filled sponge cakes this month to celebrate Elaine’s birthday.
Time to take a break
Our pastor, Maddy Svoboda, was on Long Service Leave for the past few months. We’re all grateful for his dedication to our church over the years and are glad he can take a well-earned break. In his absence, we have been blessed to hear from many inspiring speakers from within our congregation, who have shared their insights, experiences, and faith with us.
Maddy has now returned, just in time for our church camp at Poatina Village on the 24th/25th February. It was a wonderful weekend of fellowship, worship, and meditative prayer. It also allowed us to reset, realign, and get to know each other on a deeper level.
The camp was a great opportunity for us to come together as a community and reaffirm our faith. We were reminded of the importance of connection, support, and empathy as we shared stories, sang and prayed together.
We are also grateful to the organisers of the church camp, who worked hard to ensure that all safety protocols were followed, and that everyone felt welcome and included. It was heartening to see people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences come together and build meaningful relationships.
On the Saturday before Christmas 2022, we arranged a Community Picnic. We had over 300 people come and be part of it. They then came to our Christmas Carol Service that night – over 200 people filled the church to overflowing!
Sunday nights at Perth
On the last Sunday in February, we commenced what will be a regular Sunday evening activity. There will be a meal once a month, and afternoon tea on the other weeks. The content will be The Chosen television series.
READ MORE about Perth Baptist in their recently released church profile >
We give thanks to God that we have had Starlink installed and are beginning to livestream our services via YouTube to reach out beyond our boundaries. It is very exciting that we have had responses even from overseas. It is such a blessing for a little country church in Tasmania.
On 24th February our Pastor Jeff Percival was guest speaker at a free Pizza night for men at Sheffield Town Hall with over 100 men attending. A great Gospel message was shared with them all.
Lifeway were recently announced as the national winners of Baptist Mission Australia’s Walk the World campaign!
The UBC family celebrated Christmas together on Christmas Eve with an entertaining skit, musical items and carols. We were able to host lunch on Christmas Day for those in our community who otherwise would have been spending Christmas alone. This was a lovely day, with about 65 attending.
Picnics and Baptisms
We have enjoyed the warmth of summer and gathered together for two church family picnics in Fairway Park. This has been a wonderful way to celebrate who we are. Not bound or defined by a building or location. Simply being who we are and who we are called to be. It was a great opportunity to connect with each other and meet new people. The highlight of these two picnics however was to celebrate with three of our young people, Charlotte, Josiah and Kailem by witnessing their baptisms at the beach.
Gone to Glory
We mourned the passing of long-time member June Woodberry in January. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
After a few years without having a children’s ministry it is an absolute joy to see Kids Church start up again. We are so grateful to Claire and Abbey for serving in this way and we love watching our UBC kids as they excitedly leave our church service to enjoy their program.
In February we were privileged to spend an evening listening to Shmuel Junger. Shmuel was born and raised in Israel and spoke about his amazing personal story and updated us on the unique challenges facing the brave pioneers who have settled in Judea and Samaria.
Appointment of new Pastor
Late last year, Burnie Baptist called Matty Coppin to a full-time pastoral position.
Matty, Ashley, and their two girls accepted the call, and are winding things up in Edmonton, Canada. They plan to arrive in July or August of this year. Please pray for a successful property sale, and a smooth international move.
Praise God with us at Burnie, as we are very excited about Matty and Ashley’s arrival.
There was a large gathering of people at Carols in Guttridge Gardens on Christmas Eve. This is an annual event, organised by our church and enjoyed by all who attend in a lovely setting near the Inglis River.
Approximately 100 people, from both the community and the church who are alone at Christmas, enjoyed a lovely Christmas dinner catered for by our church on Christmas Day in the ROC building.
Coffee makes a difference
We continue to support two children in India with Baptist World Aid with money from cappuccino sales on Sunday mornings after church fellowship.
Welcome Franz and Heidi!
We are delighted to have welcomed our Associate Pastor Franz Brosch and his wife Heidi into our fellowship on Sunday 11th February. We look forward to working with them, and getting to know them, as they share the ministry with Pastor Owen.
READ: Getting to know Franz Brosch >
Marrawah Baptist held a Thanksgiving service on Sunday 5th February as it closed its doors after 70 years of faithful service in the community.
People, young and old, packed out the building to celebrate the life, service and impact of the church over so many decades.
Mission Director Stephen Baxter spoke, and the morning was MC’d by Dan Evenhuis (Citywide) who has fond memories of leading the Marrawah youth group.
READ MORE about Marrawah’s Thanksgiving service >
Around the Churches Feb-Mar 2023
On Sunday 22nd January, Citywide closed our doors, and our three congregations combined to celebrate Aboriginal Sunday in an open air service on the Domain. Paul Dare preached and inspired us to continue on our journey of understanding and acknowledging the painful history of Tasmanian Aborigines.
In the early European settlements the native Australians showed the new settlers how and where to find water, and in exchange the Aboriginals had access to flour and salt. We celebrated this tentative exchange by drinking water together and eating damper. The service culminated in sharing a picnic lunch together.
We are excited in the new partnership we have formed with Baptist Mission Australia to work together in reaching the Hindu community of Hobart, primarily through the community services our Nepalese congregation offer to new arrivals.
We have received a generous grant from BMA towards purchasing a van and employing a Community Support Worker for two-days/week for two years.
Lunch time Forum
Rev Prof Rene Enrich, Principal and Professor of Practical Theology at Whitley College, spoke at a lunch forum on his specialized subject, Sexuality and Theology in Conversation. Rene stimulated and challenged those who attended, to allow the Spirit of God to reshape our thinking.
READ: Citywide Annual Report 2022
- MARRIED: Josh Garvin and Jen Paull on 31st December
- MARRIED: Kevin Chalk and Sonya Latham on 8th January
- ENGAGED: Mitchell Semmens and Sophie Garvin on 17th January
- BAPTISED: Sophie Griffiths on 19th February at Lenah Valley
Claremont’s ladies group, T2women, had a wonderful start to the year with a garden party under ancient elms in one of our member’s beautiful historic garden. The weather was glorious, the tea delicious and the conversation delightful as we shared our favourite flowers, poems and songs about flowers.
T2 comes from Titus 2:3-5 which encourages the women of the church from all generations to learn from each other. Our hope is to grow our faith through friendships.
Together with IC Church
We held a combined service with IC Church and shared lunch afterwards. It is hoped we might do this more often. Pastor Mohan from Singapore was the speaker so an extra blessing to know we can worship with brothers and sisters from around the world.
Currently we are doing a church review looking at our current ministries, their effectiveness and how we can build on these strong foundations into the near and long term future.
IC CHURCH, Glenorchy
On Sunday, 8th January 2023, Intercultural Church (ICC) at Glenorchy started the new year by celebrating the baptism of five young members of the congregation. It was very exciting to see these young men make a public declaration of their decision to follow Jesus.
Some very different faith journeys were involved – from growing up in a Christian household to coming from a non-Christian background.
Aasan, from Nepal, wanted to find out about Christianity so contacted the church via its website. Graham, one of the ICC elders met with Aasan and helped lead him to Christ. Aasan started attending the church and it was not long before he asked for baptism.
Franklin (from Hobart) in his own spiritual journey, had also reached a decision to be baptised.
Aasan and Franklin were joined by three brothers, Yosief, Musse and Fitsum who were originally from Sudan but have been Australians for six years now.
From many different parts of the globe but now brothers in Christ – sharing a bond that will last for eternity.
Events at HBC
On Saturday 18th February, City Bible Forum used our building as a hub to host the Life@Work Conference.
Then, on Monday/Tuesday, 20th/21st February, we hosted the Tasmanian Baptist Pastor’s Muster, where Dr Christa McKirland of Carey Baptist College, Auckland, spoke.
Find out more about the Muster >
It is great to have our new facilities used for gatherings such as these.
Fundraising for Ukraine
On Wednesday 22nd February, a piano recital was held at Hobart Town Hall to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees, who are being assisted by Ukrainian Pastor Anton Kaluzhny in Kyiv.
The event was MC’d by Sean Priest. Kelvin Smith and Timothy Prajogo performed – all from HBC.
READ MORE about the fundraiser in February 2023 NEWS >
DONATE to fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees >
We are looking forward to celebrating Sanctuary Sunday/Harmony Day on Sunday 19th March as we celebrate our broad ethnic diversity. We are grateful for contributions the Karen, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Anuak (Ethiopian) and other nations make to our fellowship.
- Getting to Know You Franz Brosch, Associate Pastor at Wynyard
- Generations of Legacy Perth Baptist Church Profile
- Deep Thought March 2023 by Dr Christa McKirland, Carey Baptist College, Auckland
- No Limits Women’s Symposium REPORT by Ann Herbert
- Marrawah Baptist Closes It was a grand finale! By Dan Evenhuis
- GOD and Life in Tasmania From the Mission Director, Stephen Baxter
- Walk the World Lifeway win Baptist Mission Australia award
- NEWS: February 2023 | March 2023