Tas Baptists’ Handbook, 2024: STATISTICS

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Your Church’s Statistics

Data from last year, 2023

Thanks for your time today as you record information about your church.

Please note that the Tas Baptist Council have requested a different set of numbers this year.

Gathering these statistics is no longer all about official “church membership”.

APOLOGY: This request for different records means you may not have all the information at hand. Don’t worry. Just do what you can.
We will aim to have a complete set of statistics next year.

This is important info which helps Tas Baptists keep a record of how we are going as a denomination. It is also used to plan the best strategies for the future.

It may take some time to collect all the necessary information. But once you have all the data, filling in this form should take you less than five minutes.

A TIP FOR YOU – Check last year’s Handboook Statistics!

CLICK/TAP HERE the button to download the statistical information that was published in last year’s Handbook (2022 data). It will give you a starting point as at 1st January 2023.

DEADLINE – 10th April

To be included in this year’s Handbook, please ensure you have recorded your details no later than COB Wednesday 10th April, 2024.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? CLARIFICATIONS?

Email anna-maree@tasbaptists.org.au | Phone Tuesdays/Thusdays 6391 2202
THANKS!

Anna-Maree Richardson
Tas Baptists Assistant Administrator

Membership Statistics 2023

Statistics for inclusion in Tas Baptists’ Handbook, 2024

Church and Contact person

Which church do you represent, and who do we ask if we have questions about these numbers?

MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION

PLEASE NOTE! 1st January to 31st December 2023 only. To see your Membership starting point, see p32 of the TB Handbook 2023. OR download the page from the button, above.

M1: How many members on 1 January 2023?

Starting point for 2023

A: Additions – Increase in Members 2023

New members in 2023 due to Baptisms, Transfers and Others

D: Removals – Decrease in Members 2023

Members who were taken off your list due to DEATH, TRANSFER or a REVISION (Eg. They stopped being part of the church)

M2: Total number of members 31 December 2023

A simple sum: M2 = M1 + A – D

Baptisms and Deaths

Total Baptisms

How many people were baptised at your church during 2023, regardless of whether or not they became members?

Total Deaths

How many people died at your church during 2023, regardless of whether or not they were members?

Attendance during 2023

Average Attendance

How many people attend your service/s, on average
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tas Baptists’ Handbook 2024, Pastors

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Thank you for your time today as you make sure all your details present and correct.
Filling in the form, below, should take less than 10 minutes.

SCROLL DOWN TO THE FORM

This is our annual check-in to make sure we have all your info correctly recorded.
Even if your details have not changed, we need to have a current record on our files for 2024.

The finalised Tas Baptists’ Handbook will be released at the May Assembly.
Watch out for it!

TIPS FOR YOU

Michael Henderson has already sent you the annual Tasmanian Baptist Pastors Accreditation process. Click here for pages 1 to 4 of that document >
If you haven’t returned yours to Michael yet, please get back to him ASAP!

NB: A Retired Pastor has no pastoral responsibilites, and/or works less than one day/week. If you are working at least one day/week, then you must return a form.

PLEASE check your personal Ministry History to ensure it is up-to-date, and add any adjustments in the form below.
To refer to the ministry history details we have on record for you, CLICK/TAP the button below to download the 2023 Pastors List.

DEADLINE

To be included in this year’s Handbook, please ensure you have recorded your details no later than COB Friday 12th April, 2024.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? CLARIFICATIONS?

Email anna-maree@tasbaptists.org.au | 6391 2202 (Tues/Thurs)
THANKS!

Anna-Maree Richardson
Tas Baptists’ Assistant Administrator

Tas Baptist Pastors 2024

Details and Pastoral History of registered Tasmanian Baptist Pastors for the 2024 Handbook

Name/s

Contact Details

Official Information

Your registration status, and Ministry History. Please download last year’s Handbook (above, on pp8-17) to check for definitions and your history details to May 2023.

Permission

I give permission to have my details included in the Tas Baptists Handbook 2024(Required)

Tas Baptists Handbook, 2024 – Church Details

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Church Details, 2024

Thanks for your time today as you make sure all your church’s details present and correct.
Once you have collected all the necessary information, filling in this form should take you less than 20 minutes.

PRO-TIP – Compare with last year’s Handbook!

It’s helpful to have the 2023 Handbook to refer to – it makes it easier to fill in the form, below.

If you don’t have a copy already available, CLICK/TAP the button to download the 2023 Handbook (1.2MB).


DEADLINE

To be included in this year’s Handbook, please ensure you have recorded your details no later than COB Wednesday 10th April, 2023.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? CLARIFICATIONS?

Email anna-maree@tasbaptists.org.au.
Or call the Union office on Tuesday or Thursday mornings: 6391 2202.
THANKS!

Anna-Maree Richardson
Tas Baptists Assistant Administrator

Our Handbook 2024

Tasmanian Baptist Church Information to be included this year’s Handbook

Your Church

So we know which church you represent, and who to contact if there are any questions.

Church Details

Pastor Details

Office Bearers

Local Missional Initiatives

For example: multicultural ministries, or Chat n Choose.

Baptist Mission Australia

BMA Missionaries your church supports

Other Overseas Agencies

Missionaries your church supports through other agencies
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Reap the Rewards of Transition

Facing the Future - 2024 here we come, Heartlands news

Facing the Future – WELL!

Transition is never simple – but there is always a silver lining

By Jenny Baxter, State Director, EmpowHer

Oh yes! 2024 has really, truly begun.

Children have returned to school, or perhaps just begun. Uni and TAFE students are on the verge of new semesters. The city traffic around the state is at its max for the year. And here we are, ramping up for another twirly dance around our glorious sun.

What does your year look like? Is it a case of the “Same Ol’, Same Ol’”? Or, are you switching to something else? Perhaps you really want to switch, and it isn’t happening because you are stuck in the Same Ol’!

If you are anything like me, you may feel as though your year has begun without any sort of familiarity. We have put our house on the market – but have no idea if or when we will move. I have finished my job – but have not yet begun the next thing. Our daughter and family came to visit a few weeks back – but until recently we had no idea how long they would be staying.

So, we have a full-on mix of excitement, noise, house inspections, constant meal prep, and lots and lots of cuddles! Crazy? Yes. Lovely? Also, yes! Transitioning? Absolutely.

Recover your life

I always feel better when I remember I am not at my best when in transition. It can be so unsettling.  Transition throws me sideways in unexpected ways. The “new normal” is not yet apparent. It takes work to remember that until I find an even keel, I need to be kind to myself, and cut myself some slack. Yes, things will level up again.

Over the years I have discovered there is gold within the tricky trials of transition. This liminal moment is an amazing opportunity to grow. I am beyond the usual flow of life. Situations come where it is essential to think outside the box. Unexpected and unprecedented problems beg to be solved. Learning curves are often steep, steep, steep.

There is gold to be found in the tricky trials of transition

Do you recognise the pattern? This is the growing and maturing process, common to every person on the planet. Whether learning to walk, to relate to others, or to solve complex problems, what I learn today will help me in my tomorrows.

This is Jesus’ encouragement to me (and to you too), as he says, “Take heart, dear one! I promise to be with you in your ups and downs. Keep company with me to live freely and lightly.”

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Managing transition

Here are some ideas to face your future, and thrive, through transition . . .

  • Get enough rest. Sleeping well helps you stay sharp. Here are a few strategies to help regularly get those 8-hours:
    Breathe. I know – so simple, who would have thought? Long, slow, deep breathing does wonders. Try this: Get yourself comfortable, then . . . Breathe in through your nose for a count of five. Hold for five. Breathe out through your mouth for eight. Repeat five times. That’s it! You will soon be out to it.
    Listen. Sometimes your mind is so active you need a bit more help. There are many sleep podcasts on Spotify and Youtube. Search around. Find some earbuds and find a favourite.
  • Keep up your exercise regimen. Exercise is more important than ever to get through these unpredictable days. There are many free apps to help you with daily exercise discipline. From gentle to vigorous, see what works for you.
  • Prayer and Bible study. These daily disciplines can be short, but incredibly valuable to keep priorities in the right place. There are free study plans on the YouVersion Bible App, and Lectio 365 has encouraging daily reflections and prayers. There are many others.
  • Ask for help. While this can be really hard, there is no shame in off-loading to a safe and trusted friend, family member, mentor or coach. Work with others to share the load, the kids, the laundry, and the nightmare! I know a do-it-by-myself girl, who was too proud to “suck it up” and ask for support. She toughed out incredibly difficult circumstances on her own. Sadly, she reaped consequences decades later, finding herself alone and physically broken. Learn from her mistakes.

Look for the GOLD

You know what they say: “Short term pain. Long term gain.” This is the essence of transtion. In reality, facing the future like this is a gift. Even if it is uncomfortable, good things will come. So stick at it, look for the gold, and know that one day not only will the “new normal” be the “Same Ol'” – you will have grown and matured as well!


Jenny Baxter

Jenny Baxter is the State Director for EmpowHer, Tasmanian Baptists’ women’s ministry arm. During Covid she experienced burnout, and learnt that stopping for a bit to take a breather is probably a good idea. Jenny and her husband Stephen live in Hobart, and enjoy a walk on the beach together most days.

Need help? Contact Jenny to find a good mentor to talk through your transition: jb@jennybaxter.com.au


Go back to Heartlands Summer 2024

2024 Here we Come

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Read More ReCharge

February 2024

Heartlands Summer 2024

Heartlands Summer 2024, EmpowHer

Heartlands is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

Table of Contents

    WHAT WILL FOLLOW THE DAY OF COURAGE?

    Women’s Event On the Way

    After the success of the EmpowHer Day of Courage last November, the organising team are praying about what to do next, because clearly, women want to gather!

    At this stage we are thinking there will be a similar event in early 2025.

    Stay tuned for more details to follow.

    A REQUEST: To create another special day like this, it will be necessary to grow the statewide team. Pleace get in touch to express your interest: empowher@tasbaptists.org.au

    EmpowHer logo

    To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS.

    SUBSCRIBE TO HEARTLANDS!

    SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OUR QUARTERLY EMAIL WITH ARTICLES, STORIES AND INSPIRATION FOR WOMEN!

    We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


    BE INSPIRED

    2024 Here We Come

    Perhaps transition a feature of your life right now? Facing the future “well” is for the brave-hearted!

    Facing the Future - 2024 here we come, Heartlands news

    TASMANIAN WOMEN CONNECT GLOBALLY

    Join the Women Leaders Network

    The concept of the WLN began with a whisper from God to Karen Wilson four years ago. Karen is the Vice President International Ministries – Global Leadership Network; CEO – Global Leadership Network Australia and New Zealand; and the International President of Baptist Women’s World Alliance.

    God gave a clear and compelling vision for women in leadership.  The vision was of women who are generals, standing alongside one another right around the coasts of every country of the world.

    Karen says, “I believe God said that they are waiting for His Spirit to come to their land and are protecting those who are behind them. They are all magnificently tall, strong, brave, and united! Dressed and ready in the full armour of God, ready for what He needs them to do. These women stand together as a global army”.  A local artist captured her vision in a beautiful artwork (below). 

    The Tasmanian Women Leader’s Network will launch in two areas in the coming months.  The north will be led by Amanda Towns, and the south by Jenny Baxter.

    Together, we will join in conversations of hope and encouragement, and seek God about the positioning of our Tasmania Networks.

    If you have not already indicated your interest, you are welcome sign up by scanning the QR code.


    A VIDEO to CHALLENGE YOU

    Karen Wilson Sees Differently

    Rev. Karen Wilson, guest speaker at last November’s Day of Courage spoke at Hobart Baptist Church.


    TODAY’S THOUGHT

    To Obey or, maybe, Disobey?

    You can so easily limit your capacity

    Did you hear of the lady-of-the-manor in old England? She was ordered bedrest by her family doctor to recover from an ailment. Straightaway, she began organising her household from her bedroom. Years later, a new doctor came to town, and when doing the rounds to visit his patients came across the bedridden woman. When she explained why she was still in bed, he said, “Get up woman! You are perfectly well!”

    We can all be guilty of a little too much obedience at times. Especially when to comes to doing what an authority says. And really, there’s no doubt you need to take care, especially if being given doctor’s orders. But it’s so easy to misinterpret what is intended to be a temporary instruction.

    It’s a good reminder that you are often a better judge of your body’s capacity than a doctor or other “expert”. Or put it another way, you are response-able!

    Can you identify ways you have limited yourself because you’ve been told your limit by someone else?


    MICAH WOMEN LEADER’S NETWORK*

    Your Invite: Asuntha Charles Evening

    The Micah Women Leaders annual gatherings (previously breakfasts) are now in their fourth year. It is a unique gathering, bringing together women Christian Leaders from across the state for an important conversation on justice, leadership, and how to use your voice as an advocate for change.

    You are very welcome to attend! Be assured you will be amongst friends as several of our Baptist women are already signed up.

    WHEN: Tuesday 19 March 2024, 7:00pm – 9:00pm 

    WHERE: C3 Convention Centre, 64 Anglesea St, South Hobart TAS 7004

    COST: $35

    RSVP by Monday 4 March 2024

    GUEST SPEAKERS
    Asuntha Charles, Global Women’s Rights Advocate. Asuntha was the National Director for World Vision Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover. She will provide a firsthand account of the needs she is seeing around her, as well as her experiences in some of the world’s toughest contexts.
    Tim Costello, Executive Director of Micah Australia. Tim will connect current global events to our biblical mandate to pursue justice.

    *NB: The Micah Women Leaders Network is quite distinct from the Global Leadership Women Leaders Network, referred to above.

    Heartlands Spring 2023


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    Waking Up to the Dream

    Waking up to the Dream at Christmas

    Preparing for Christmas

    Crossover Director Andrew Turner helps switch your mind from the Silly Season to Reality.

    Waking up to the Dream By Andrew Turner of Crossover.
Photo by Kira auf de Heide on Unsplash

    I love my weekly parkrun, but I don’t enjoy running. I enjoy the challenge. What I really enjoy is stopping running.

    During the fifth and final kilometre, as my brain struggles for oxygen, weird stuff begins to happen. I talk to myself out loud without thinking, so it’s a surprise to hear ‘Come on Turner!’ and realise the voice is mine.

    Time slows. The world shrinks until my sole focus is on that Sisyphean asymptote known as the finish line. When eventually I get there, there’s a further strange few minutes where I’m conscious of sanity gradually returning. Reality reappears. A weekend begins.

    It’s interesting how Christmas sits in the very final week of a long year. It’s meant to be about the breaking in of ultimate reality – the Word became flesh and dwelt among us1 – but by Week 52, the room can be swimming a little. Jesus gets lined up with elves and tinsel, fir trees and reindeer. It’s called the Silly Season for a reason, and we’re ready to suspend reality for a week or three to taste an idealised world where work is rare and cricket plentiful.

    So how can we be sensible enough to know we need rest, but also awake enough to the capital-R Reality of the inbreaking Kingdom? How do we keep it from just seeming like a dream?

    Do it well

    One way to do this is by Adventing well. Advent reminds us that the Kingdom has been coming in off the long run. It’s a dawning, not a random lightning flash that leaves you wondering whether you only imagined it. Come, thou long expected Jesus.

    Another is by Christmasing well. Read the story as a news story and pinch yourself – this has really happened. The hopes and fears of all the years are met – are met – in Thee tonight!2

    The hopes and fears of all the years are met – are met – in Thee tonight!

    Phillips Brooks

    And finally, let’s New Year well. The return to school, work or other mundane rhythms are no longer a doom, because they’ve been put in a new perspective. In Christ, we find that that Reality doesn’t bite, it kisses! Our Messiah comes not to condemn the world but to save it! Not to extort productivity out of us, but to offer an easy yoke! Not as a disgusting medicine only palatable if mixed with elves and tinsel, but living water! Not to mete out our wages, but to offer us gifts!

    Christ is not blind to or immune from the world’s pain, nor should we be. (Lenting well is next.) But he shows us that it’s a passing nightmare, not our defining reality. So we approach the new year driven by hope rather than dread, knowing that our Hope is not a Sisyphean asymptote, but closer than ever and certain to arrive.

    Merry Christmas, sacred agents!
    2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover.

    Andrew Turner is the Director of Crossover for Australian Baptist Ministries

    Crossover exists to Help Australian Baptists Share Jesus. Check out our resources, ideas and recommendations at crossover.org.au.

    1. John 1:14 (NIV) ↩︎
    2. O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks, 1868 ↩︎

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    reCharge NEWS December 2023

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      Tasmanian Baptists

      Our 2024 Calendar

      EVENTDATE
      Pastors and Leaders Muster (Hobart)5-6 March
      Launch of Frank W. Boreham College5 March
      Road Show (North)7 March
      Roadshow (Northwest)8 March
      Tasmanian Baptist Council16 March
      Mid-Year Assembly11 May
      Tasmanian Baptist Council15 June
      Pastors and Leaders Muster, family-friendly (Devonport)9-11 July
      Pastors and Leaders Muster (Launceston)10-11 September
      Tasmanian Baptist Council  21 September
      Annual Assembly19 October
      Tasmanian Baptist Council16 November

      Better World Gifts

      Baptist World Aid

      Are you still looking for Christmas gifts for colleagues, family and friends? It isn’t too late to add something extra special which has the bonus of assisting others overseas.

      There are Kids Gifts, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, Stocking Stuffers and more.

      These gifts are both physical products to give, and for those who have everything, gifts for others overseas which you give on their behalf. (A suitable card is supplied for your friend, colleague or family member.)

      This is a great opportunity to give to others in need at Christmas. Maybe you can kill two birds with one stone!

      Check the gifts out Baptist World Aid’s Better World Gifts.


      Tasmanian Baptist Churches Christmas

      Some of our churches have submitted their Christmas activities to reCharge.
      Want to find out about others? CLICK HERE for location and website info >

      Perth

      Perth Community Carols

      4pm Saturday 16th December

      Perth Community Carols
ReCharge News December 2023

      Christmas Sermon Series

      What brings you here? Every Sunday during December

      Claremont

      Christmas Carol Celebration

      6:30pm Saturday 16th December 2024

      Claremont Baptist  Church invites you to a Christmas Carol Celebration on Saturday 16 December at 6:30 pm. The Christmas Story in song and Scripture. 

      Christmas Lights

      We also invite you to drive by on your Christmas lights excursion to see our new nativity scene outside the church. We’ve been working hard on this life size stable scene and pray that it will give us opportunities to reach our community. 

      Claremont Baptist Nativity Scene; ReCharge News December 2023
      Nativity scene at Claremont Baptist

      Christmas Day

      9:30 am Christmas Day Service

      Citywide

      Christmas at Citywide

      10am 10th December     Memory Tree Day.   Bring a decoration to hang to remember someone you’re missing this Christmas. 

      10am 17th December   Carols Service – combined service at Mornington
      2pm 17th December     Carols Celebration at Levendale 2.00pm – all welcome
      5:30pm 24th December  Christmas Eve in the Paddock in the evening for neighbourhood
      10am 25th December     Christmas Day Service Mornington and Lenah Valley

      Citywide Christmas EVe in the Paddock; ReCharge News December 2023

      Hobart

      10am Sundays 17th and 24th December; 9:30am Christmas Day

      Is tehre room for Jesus/ sermon series at Hobart Baptist Dec 2023

      December is often referred to as ‘the silly season’. It’s a time when our lives become very full with finishing work projects, completing courses, planning family events and buying Christmas gifts for our loved ones.

      But in all of the business, have we made December so full that there’s no longer any room for Jesus in Christmas?


      Scripture Union Launceston

      Christmas ADVENTure 2023

      5-8pm, Saturday, 9th December 2023

      ADVENTure 2023 Christmas Celebration, Riverbend Park, Launceston.
5-8pm Sat 9th Dec 2023

      Riverbend Park, Launceston

      Would you like to go on a Christmas adventure with us?

      The Christmas ADVENTure is a FREE Carol Celebration at Riverbend Park Launceston that invites children, young people and their families to join in singing carols and find out about “The way we do Christmas in . . . “

      The multicultural Christian Church community will share the real meaning of Christmas and showcase how Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus around the world. Come along at 5 pm to join in the fun, bring a picnic or use the BBQ. Carols will start at 6 pm and conclude at 8 pm.


      Baptists Nationally

      Baptist Churches of South Australia and Northern Territory

      Historic decision forming the future for SA and NT Baptists

      Baptist Churches SA and NT logo

      The Baptist Churches of South Australia has amalgamated with the Baptist Union of Northern Territory.

      The legal mechanisms for this were:

      – A Baptist Union of Northern Territory Assembly decision on 16 September 2023 to wind up.
      – Followed by a Baptist Churches of South Australia Assembly decision on 18 November 2023 to adopt changes to the Constitution and become Baptist Churches of South Australia and Northern Territory Incorporated (BCSANT).

      This was a great day of celebration and has been warmly received across our churches.

      Rev Dr Melinda Cousins
      Director of Ministries, Baptist Churches SA & NT


      EmpowHer

      EmpowHer

      Heartlands for Women

      God Whispers

      On Monday 27th November, the Spring 2023 Heartlands was released to EmpowHer subscribers.

      CONTENTS

      EmpowHer Day of Courage rundown
      God Whispers – what to do when you don’t know what to do
      Books about women, ministry and leadership
      The Importance of Being Grateful

      Read HERE > | SUBSCRIBE to quarterly email HERE >


      ReCharge News December 2023

      Christmas Events

      Several Christmas events are happening around the state soon. Read, discover, enjoy and celebrate the arrival of Jesus the King.

      Journey to Bethlehem

      Rated PG | 99 minutes | Village Launceston (only)

      Musical Released Thursday 30th November

      A young woman carrying an unimaginable responsibility. A young man torn between love and honor. A jealous king who will stop at nothing to keep his crown.

      This live-action Christmas musical celebration for the entire family, weaves classic Christmas melodies into new pop songs in a music-infused retelling of the timeless story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. A unique new entry into the collection of holiday classic movies , this epic Christmas musical is unlike any before it.

      WATCH THE TRAILER!

      A Renaissance Christmas

      Penguin and Richmond

      Come to a shimmering concert of ancient carols and songs. Soprano Jacqueline Ward and classical guitarist David Malone will perform a charming program of sacred Christmas music, inspired by centuries past. Two locations only! 

      $25/person | $10 Conc/Student | FREE for Children under 10

      NORTH Penguin Uniting Church, 3pm Sunday 3rd December

      SOUTH St Lukes Anglican Church Richmond, 3pm Saturday 9th Dec

      Click button for full description. Get tickets online (preferred) or at the door.

      David Malone and Jacqueline Ward
      • Jacqueline Ward is a soprano specialising in early music, concert works, and recital. She has performed with Sydney orchestras and choirs and recorded for The Museum of Sydney; delighting audiences throughout Australia and overseas with a voice likened to “honey sliding down crystal” (Courier Mail).
      • David Malone is a guitarist who performs throughout Australia as a solo recitalist and chamber musician. He has been featured on SBS television and his performances broadcast on ABC Classic FM and ABC Radio National. David’s solo CD ‘Fretsongs’ for the Tall Poppies label received an Australian Classical Music Award and a five-star review in Limelight, Australia’s classical music magazine.

      Read More ReCharge!

      October/November/December 2023

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      reCharge news December 2023

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      reCharge News December 2023

      Download reCharge 2023

      reCharge 2023

      DOWNLOAD YOUR RECHARGE 2023 HERE!

      OCT/NOV/DEC 2023 IS THE MOST RECENT AVAILABLE

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      • N.B. The printed version is a very basic document (the email is prettier!)
      • Weekly prayer points are NOT included in the printed version
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      Matty Coppin

      Matty Coppin Minsitry profile

      Ministry Profile: Matty Coppin

      The Trip from Plumber to Pastor

      Mending broken drains in Melbourne, morphed into mending broken hearts in Alberta. Then the plot thickened as Matty Coppin responded to a call from Burnie Baptist!

      But what was an Aussie plumber doing in the wilds of Canada? And how did he end up in Burnie? Read on to find out . . .

      Early days and family

      I was born in Nambour up on the Sunshine coast, the youngest of four children. We moved to the eastern suburbs of Melbourne when I was three.

      I spent my younger years in Box Hill and enjoyed my community. We had a great neighbourhood, and most of my mates were just a walk or bike ride away. We spent a lot of time riding our bikes, playing cricket, and kicking the footy. I loved my AFL footy, and played for both the Surrey Hills Demons, and the Blackburn Panthers.

      My oldest brother’s birth father was a drummer for 70’s rock band Hush. The next brother plays drums for the band Antiskeptic. My sister married a scientist. And I am married to Ashley, who was born and raised in Canada. We were married 15 years ago. We have two daughters, Anneliese, 13 and Alyssa, 11. Ashley is trained in Clinical Chaplaincy and is looking forward to exploring opportunities in Tassy.

      Matty Coppin and the Coppin Family
      The restless years

      Our family was quite involved in our local church and so I was raised in a Christian environment. But there were some challenges and we ended up moving from my childhood church to another church. That was about the time I started thinking this wasn’t for me.

      I spent my teen years not considering God at all. I left school at age 16 and started my plumbing apprenticeship. Toward the end of my apprenticeship, I found myself struggling with meaning and purpose but didn’t know where to turn.

      At the age of 20, I completed my apprenticeship, and then invited on a trip to Uluru through a friend of a friend, with a Christian youth and community organisation called Fusion Australia. I thought it was a party bus for adults, and brought a few drinks with me. I was busted drinking on the first night and given an opportunity to step up and make different choices.

      Little did I know how much impact that trip would have on my life. It was a truly formative experience. It was confronting. At that time I realised my deeply formed prejudices, and my lack of direction. It was during those months after the trip that I began to press into a relationship with God and He began to set my paths straight. 

      Moving to Tas – twice!

      After that significant trip to Uluru, I felt something in my heart pushing me toward applying to do Fusion’s Certificate IV in Youth and Community, a work course based in Poatina. So, in 2005 I came to Tasmania for the first time, to do a six-month stint. It was there in Poatina that I met Ashley. After marrying in 2008 we moved to Canada.

      Living in Canada was a rich and wonderful experience, and it showed me that God is at work on a global scale. My journey via Canada has prepared me for such a time as this. 

      Living in Canada was a rich and wonderful experience, and it showed me that God is at work on a global scale.

      I love the Australian landscape. I didn’t realise how much the land had formed me until I was living in a foreign place. Tasmania has a beautiful diversity in the landscape which I love and appreciate. I think this is a great place for our Canadian-formed kids to experience Australian living. 

      This more recent move to Tasmania was the culmination of a discernment journey Ashley and I were on for a number of years. After living in Canada for 15 years, we knew there was a transition coming, and that a move back to Australia was in the mix. It was a big surprise to be asked about the role in Burnie. However we took it seriously, and recognised it was the right move for us.

      So I am currently serving full time as the Pastor in Burnie Baptist, and am hopeful to support discipleship initiatives within the denomination. I also love supporting my friends around the world to make a difference in their communities. As well, I love seeing others step into their calling. I love what happens when people make Jesus their King, and I love working in collaboration with others, especially those outside the Church. 

      Challenges and loves

      Creating margin in my work can be a challenge as I straddle the various dimensions of my vocational calling in the Kingdom, which crosses the borders between them. I also feel there are challenges in helping name, and take steps toward, becoming a “community of hope” in this current cultural landscape.

      The beach, walking in the bush, watching my Richmond Tigers play and exploring new places with my family are all things I love. I also enjoy music and playing drums, albeit not very well!

      I would appreciate prayer for my family as we continue to make the transition into Burnie. Also, please pray for Ashley as she embarks on the journey toward her Permanent Residency application.  The best piece of advice I have ever received is that things in the kingdom start with a seed. 

      Matty Coppin - things in the Kingdom start with a seed

      Short ‘n’ Sweet

      am looking forward to . . . exploring Tasmania and seeing God at work in Burnie.

      I am worried about . . . my family finding their place here.

      I am confident that . . . God is already at work in Burnie.

      I am joyful about . . . seeing my kids making new mates.

      I would like to change . . . my terrible hairstyle.

      I am at my best . . . I have had quiet time alone.

      Matty Coppin
      Pastor, Burnie Baptist Church

      Matty Coppin


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      Day of Courage En-courages

      Day of Courage - EmpowHer Tasmania. 18 Nov 2023 EmpowHer Day of Courage En-courages

      ABOVE Top: Jenny Baxter asks for volunteers to demonstrate C-O-U-R-A-G-E; Below: Speakers on the day

      The EmpowHer Day of Courage

      Baptist Financial Services

      MAJOR SPONSORS: BAPTIST FINANCIAL SERVICES

      By Fiona Bradley

      On Saturday 18th November, women from across Tasmania gathered at Longford for the inaugural statewide event, hosted by EmpowHer. 

      The Day of Courage sold out weeks ahead of time, with over 120 people from different denominations across Tasmania. The event provided an opportunity to connect with others learning to live out their God-given potential, hearing stories of courage.

      Keynote speaker, Rev. Karen Wilson (Perth WA), opened and closed the event. Currently the President of Baptist World Alliance Women, Karen spoke openly and warmly. In particular, she focussed on a recent accident, which taught her courage in the midst of her international schedule. 

      Mixing humour with insight, she also told of her hiking trip in 2018 along the famous Camino de Santiago trail. Karen explained how the hike forged courage at a key point in her life, and inspired listeners to be well-grounded in courage. As she spoke, she provided practical tips and challenged the audience to do the same.

      Four other Tasmanian women provided candid testimonies about how their lives had been shaped by courage. Each story was very different and described courage in grief, change, trauma and at work.

      A “Gathering”, not a “Conference”

      Jenny Baxter, State Director of EmpowHer, explained how the event and theme emerged as an idea with the EmpowHer team.

      “We wanted to make it more of a gathering than a conference, and focused on small touches toward this. Such as having people sitting around tables rather than facing the stage. As well, we provided grazing platters over lunch with live background music, rather than singing during the event itself.”

      According to Jenny, Karen Wilson was an obvious choice for main speaker.

      “I know her personally. She’s warm, very accessible. And she has great stories from her travels meeting with courageous women in all parts of the globe,” she said.

      One highlight of the day was the Baptist World Day of Prayer* session, when attendees prayed for women worldwide. Funds were raised for projects, in particular those organised by Baptist Women of the Pacific.

      Day of Courage 18 Nov 23 - EmpowHer Tasmania
Day of Courage En-courages
      By standing shoulder-to-shoulder, women affirmed that Courage is stronger when with others.

      Jenny said the Day of Courage exceeded expectations, going way beyond what she thought was possible. “The event highlights the power of our stories and the benefit of showing up and getting together as women on the journey.”

      Others present on the day agreed

      Attendee Michelle Walters said, “It was lovely to spend time with like-minded women. Thank you to everyone involved in bringing this beautiful day together and sharing your gifts and talents with us”. 

      “Excellent, well organised, loved the little extras like gift bags, coasters. Food was superb. Great to have women from different denominations come together. Karen was excellent. Thank you to all those who made the day happen,” said attendee Anita Brooker.

      “Well done on a beautiful event and doing such a great job gathering people from across denominations and from around the state,” said attendee Danielle Ratcliffe.

      Fiona Bradley
      Hobart Baptist Church

      In Other News
      Fiona has agreed to take on the position of Tas Baptist Communications Manager from January 2024!


      EmpowHer Team: Jenny Baxter (S), Jenna Blackwell (N), Wendy Marston (N), Gabe Fife (NW). Ann Robertson (S), while unable to attend on the day, assisted with the organising of the event.

      EmpowHer Day of Courage En-courages
      Karen Wilson shared dinner with the team before the Day of Courage. From left: Jenny, Karen, Jenna, Wendy, Gabe.

      Go back to Heartlands Spring 2023 >

      Day of Courage En-courages

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