Around the Churches, June-July 2022
Every two months you can catch up with some of the latest events in Tasmanian Baptist Churches.
City Baptist (in Launceston) has been working hard as we transition Anthea Maynard (above) and Jenna Blackwell (below) as our Ministry Team, in time for Jeff McKinnon’s retirement at the end of the year.
The Ministry Team is guiding the church through a ‘makeover’ of ‘how we do church’. Simultaneously we are preparing to relocate! First to a rental venue at the end of August this year, then again after 3-6 months purchase a new property.
We may also potentially purchase an investment property so as to fund a third part-time member on the Ministry Team.
The severe housing crisis has drawn attention to out-of-control homelessness, and the difficulty of bringing new refugees to Launceston. The church and related groups have played a major role in bringing these issues to the fore, increasing the church’s civic and community profile.
Table Tennis Anyone?
After a two-year break (due to Covid), we once again have a Table Tennis competition in full swing. We have 25 participants who not only enjoy the rivalry of competition but also the social aspect of the group and a healthy bash of “round-the -table” before finishing the evening.
May Mission Month
On a personal level, and as a church, we were challenged by this year’s May Mission Month’s theme, “Crossing the Street”. It was a wonderful opportunity to engage with our three supported missionaries whom we partner with, and to hear of their day-to-day life, challenges, and moments of joy and praise through videos.
A special morning tea of cupcakes was enjoyed with donated monies gifted to May Mission Month.
Crossing the Street! – Challenge Accepted
With the cost of living on the rise, the community of Ulverstone has come together to offer hope and a lending hand to those in need.
We are excited to partner with businesses, individuals and organisations within the Ulverstone community and host a space for The Ulverstone Community Kitchen to operate. This event is organised and run by community volunteers, providing a hot meal cooked in our kitchen and served in the hall.
This is a wonderful opportunity to connect and chat with people in our community in a safe and warm space.
From the Pulpit
Over the course of the last few months, we were challenged and encouraged by Pastor Louis Fife as he preached his series titled “Spiritual Identity” and “Reimagine”.
Supporting One Another
- The Pastoral Search committee meets regularly in our search for a new Pastor for Burnie.
- Our congregation is faithful in their support of each other, as with an aging congregation, sickness keeps many away during these colder days.
- Our support of City Mission is ongoing as they provide hot meals from our kitchen for as many as 30 or 40 each week day, with the majority of those being homeless or disenfranchised is some social way.
Jesus said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Mat 14:16)
On 10th June, Mrs. Iris Walker passed away at the age of 91.
Iris became a member of the Latrobe Baptist Church in 1968, where she was an active member until the later years when poor health and Covid meant she was no longer able to join with us each Sunday. In the month leading up to her death many of her family members travelled from far and wide to visit her.
As Iris had eight children, 26 grandchildren and over 30 great-grandchildren, it was a large gathering to say goodbye on Thursday 16th June.
Iris left a wonderful legacy of a truly gentle, kind and caring woman of God, and a real witness to all her family and those she came in contact with.
At rest with her Lord now, but we know we will meet again.
We are continuing our monthly Dinner Together events where people either host or attend a home for a Friday night dinner (pictured). Each month the mixes of people changes, so we get to know more people across our congregations and grow in our relationships and sense of belonging together. These are good fun nights enjoyed by all who attend.
Ministry Team Leaders’ Day
We recently held a Ministry Team Leaders day together with all the leadership of Citywide. A group of 25 attended and shared together. Everyone’s brief reports on their areas of ministry was very encouraging and unifying. Especially significant were the interactions with our Nepali ministry leaders, and to see how far we have come in integrating across our different cultures.
Prayer and Fasting Week
In the shortest daylight week of 19-26 June, coinciding with Dark Mofo, we held a Prayer & Fasting week where people were encouraged to seek God through prayer and fasting. In addition to personal resources, we encouraged all to do a neighbourhood walk praying over the homes and people as we passed; and we met on Rosny Hill on the shortest night to pray for and over our City (pictured).
On Saturday26th June we held our annual winter dinner – pictured, top.
This year our theme was CHRISTMAS, and entertainment was provided by The Jammers who led us in Carol-singing – pictured, below.
In all, 54 people attended, about half of whom where family of our regular Sunday worshipers. It was a wonderful evening of fun, food and relationship-building.
Our annual Luminous Festival took place from 9th June until 3rd July. Luminous encompassed an art installation How lonely lies this land, once so full of people, by Michael Henderson; three significant “conversations”; and Christmas in Winter.
This was a cooperative exhibition, with three churches participating – St Georges Battery Point (REMEMBER), Hobart Baptist (WELCOME) and C3 Hobart (COURAGE). Each location told another part of the story regarding the non-indigenous response to reconciliation.
The sculptures provided powerful imagery to provoke conversation around the history of engagement with our first nations peoples, and provide a hopeful re-telling of the future.
Three Important Conversations
- Truth Telling and Treaty with Tim McCormack, Kate Warner, Michael Henderson, hosted by Stephen Baxter.
- Brave Leadership with Bec White, Wendy Quinn, Jenny Baxter, Ella Hickey, hosted by Stephen Baxter
- Losing my Religion with David Knox (former Tasmanian Baptist pastor)
Christmas in Winter
This special celebration included two “Sundays in Advent”, as we anticipated the coming of Jesus’ light into the darkness as the winter solstice approached.
Everyone was encouraged to celebrate Christmas by hosting a Christmas dinner in their homes. The dinners provided a place where people can easily engage with the Christmas story, minus all the trappings that come with Christmas in Summer.
There was also a well-attended Christmas Day Service on Sunday 3rd July.
It is only our second time to host the Luminous Festival, and we look forward to making it a special event when we can creatively engage with our community each year. Roll on 2023!
June/July 2022 ReCharge
Deep Thought: Courage to Make a Difference by Mark Wilson, ABM
Ministry Profile: Who is Matt Holloway?
Your Church CAN: Caring for Foster Carers
Tas Baptists Grow: Hobart Vision Church
Youth: Hobart Baptist Church
From the Mission Director: Take Courage in Dark Times
Church Profile: Gateway Baptist