Around the Churches – Feb/Mar 2022
Every two months you can catch up with some of the latest events in Tasmanian Baptist Churches.
City Baptist is six months through its settlement period for the sale of its historic property in Frederick Street, Launceston. The vision is both to relocate to a non-church facility in the city centre. And to do a ‘makeover’ of how the church operates.
Anthea Maynard is a key person on the new Ministry Team along with Jenna Blackwell and Jeff McKinnon. Anthea has great interest in community health, enveloping children into worship experiences and global mission.
In February we had some visitors! Derek Bradshaw from Now and Not Yet Café in Warrandyte, Melbourne, along with Geoff Maddock from Baptist Mission Australia. They came to stimulate thinking on how best to do urban mission in the 2020s.
Latrobe Church was full to overflowing for a service to farewell Peter Creeley on Saturday 12th February.
Peter is described by many as a “rough diamond”, an honest hard worker who knew right from wrong. He was always the first to help in any situation. He was the “someone” who did the unseen jobs around the church, opening up, turning on lights, heaters and urn. As well, he was the one who always made sure there was milk in the fridge for the morning teas.
But Peter was not always a Christian. Following major heart surgery over 20 years ago Peter committed his life to Christ, and was baptised by Ken Preece. He became a deacon and was still one right up until his death on February 3rd. Peter was also the property manager, and if he couldn’t fix anything that needed doing, he knew someone who could.
He drove his decorated ute every year in the annual Latrobe Christmas parade. The ute had big signs telling the “reason for the season”! Peter was also instrumental in building our Latrobe Men’s Shed (pictured, above) and its development over the past nine years. He was always the first to arrive on winter mornings, and had the fire burning when the other men arrived.
His infectious smile, and many jokes, are sorely missed around the church and in the wider community. He described himself as Latrobe’s oldest teenager! Peter is now at rest with his Lord.
End of an Era at Westbury Baptist
Pastor Michael Ritchie served the Westbury Baptist Church for over seven years. He completed his ministry on the 26th of December, 2021. During that time, he endeared himself to the congregation both as an outstanding teacher and a man of indomitable faith.
Michael is a gifted speaker. His ability to quote passages of scripture and hymns from memory is legendary. In the minds of many, he has few peers in preaching God’s Word. He is also a compassionate and tireless listener who enriched the lives of those he visited in hospitals and homes. As well, he visited dementia patients at the Rainbow Room at the Community Health Centre. And residents at the aged care facilities of Kanangra and Grenoch.
Michael led regular Bible Study and Prayer Meeting sessions and participated in services connected with the RSL. He actively supported the chaplain at the Westbury Primary School. In addition, he was involved with the Kids’ Club where he told Bible stories, and participated in games and craft. His regular ‘Think Spot’ at Chat ‘n’ Choose was much loved and appreciated.
Two and a half years ago, Michael suffered personal tragedy when his wife Julie passed away. Julie was a great helpmate for Michael for almost 34 years. She was a lovely godly lady who always brought a serene and calming presence into the church. Her support in the Ritchie partnership cannot be understated, and her passing was a great loss.
Farewell Service, 26th December 2021
Michael’s Farewell Service highlighted his exceptional speaking ability. His exposition of the Christmas story highlighted once again, his inimitable ability to look afresh on the circumstances that surrounded that wondrous day when Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem. Those who spoke, sang and led the service testified to his many pastoral abilities. In particular, it was lovely to hear Daniel (Michael’s son) speak so lovingly of his dad. Surely the highest compliment a person can receive. The considerable number of old friends who attended the service says much about the man and the esteem with which he is regarded.
We wish Michael all the best, and acknowledge his considerable contribution during his time at the Westbury Baptist Church.
Lower Barrington are pleased to welcome Jeff Percival as the new pastor, along with Ann. He was inducted on Sunday 6th February. This took place only one week after the farewell of former pastor Chris Aulich.
Pictured from top: Sue and Jeff McKinnon, Chris and Lee-Ann Aulich, and Lwr Barrington Secretary Steve Marshall; Jeff and Ann Percival.
COMING IN RECHARGE!
During their substantial ministry life, Jeff and Ann worked for some time with Teen Challenge in NSW. Watch out for Jeff’s profile interview coming in ReCharge on Wednesday 23rd March.
Farewell Liam and Hannah
In January we said goodbye to our Ministry Apprentice, Liam Conway along with Hannah. They moved to Riverlands Longford and were inducted on 6th February. Several of us made the trek up the Midlands Highway to participate in Liam’s induction. We wish them well up north!
Welcome Matt and Kylie
In February, the people of Hobart Baptist welcomed Matt Henderson as Associate Pastor. Matt, Kylie and their boys Daniel and David were inducted on Sunday 6th February.
New Facilities for Muster
The Tasmanian Baptist Pastors’ Muster took place at Hobart Baptist Church on the 7th and 8th March. It was very exciting to see our new facilities used to serve the pastors as they did their professional development!
Visioning Series, 2022
Our annual visioning sermon series this year is “To See Like Jesus Sees”. This will culminate with the presentation of the HBC Vision on Thursday 7th April. This will be followed by Vision Sunday on 10th April.
Instead of our usual relaxed month of January, 2022 at Citywide has started off with a bang!
Welcome to the Evenhuis Family
In December we offered the position of Executive Pastor at Citywide to Dan Evenhuis. At the time, he was living in the UK with his wife, Danielle and four children. They immediately began plans for their return to Tasmania after ministering in the UK for 18 years.
With COVID impacts, Christmas, farewells and implications of moving across the globe, they finally arrived on 17th January. God provided a furnished house for them to rent in the short term. In addition to Dan’s position at Citywide, Danni procured a teaching position at Calvin School. The children are now enrolled in Southern Christian College and Elizabeth College. So they’ve stepped right into life here and already we are blessed by Dan’s gifting, experience and ministry.
Farewells and Inductions
On 9th January, Newstead Baptist inducted our former Associate Pastor Dan Hutchison as Senior Pastor. Over 30 people from Citywide travelled north to attend. On 13th February, Hobart Baptist inducted Matt Henderson (formerly our Chair of Elders and Youth Leader) as Associate Pastor.
So the comings and goings at Citywide have been significant with their different journeys and mix of loss and excitement.
Celebrating Cultural Diversity
On 23 January we celebrated Aboriginal Sunday with an outdoor service on Hobart’s Domain. This service was led by Paul Dare. He challenged and encouraged us in understanding Tasmanian Aboriginal history, and the injustices which scarred our Nation and people.
We are in conversation with Baptist Mission Australia. It is exciting to consider partnering with them in Mission to rural areas of Nepal via our Nepalese congregation.
A Day in the Wilderness
Claremont Baptist and Sandy Bay Baptist
On the 20th November 2021 a happy group of 27 boarded the bus for a special day trip. We visited Derwent Bridge and the Wall in the Wilderness. About half were church members, and the others friends and family. We started with a short prayer and then headed for the first stop at Ouse for morning tea.
Travelling to the beautiful Derwent Valley, we stopped to admire the hydro and scenic views along the Tarraleah leg. We arrived at Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel a little early. However, the well-organised staff gave us a sumptuous lunch of soup, sandwiches, snacks and cake. Top marks to the catering staff!
Being a bit early, we detoured to Lake St Claire. It was stunningly beautiful and we enjoyed just being out and about in the gloriousness of creation. Then onto the Wall in the Wilderness. As an awe-inspiring work and we were suitably delighted. The artist was in residence and we enjoyed talking to him.
Finally, we returned in the early evening. A couple celebrated their anniversary and someone had a birthday. So we had lots of fun, conversations flowed freely and new friends were made.
The day was only made possible by the generosity of our bus driver, Peter Gathercole. Certainly a day to remember.