Every November, Baptists from all over the planet come together to pray for women, and support them financially.
From cities far and wide across the world, women and men join the World Day of Prayer. They pray from Cameroon, to Cambodia, to Croatia, and Canberra. They unite in one cry for women: “Lord, help the women of the world, sisters facing persecution, civil war, natural disaster, and poverty.”
Reunite women . . .
. . . Who live in desperate times
The World Day of Prayer began in 1948, in response to the devastation and division created by WWII. To facilitate healing, the Baptist women of Europe organised the first Day of Prayer, aiming to reunite Baptists alienated by war.
The movement gathered momentum, and now Baptists globally gather in groups of five, 20 and 100s. They represent over 200 Baptist women organizations, and pray in more than 80 languages. They unite in prayer under the banner of Baptist World Alliance Women (BWAW). This is a global collective representing Baptist women from 145 countries. They have networks and projects across the world, but this is the one day they focus on the most important activity of all: PRAYER!
Just like the devastation of WWII, our world is once again in a global crisis with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, there are Baptist women bravely giving free medical care amid the coup in Myanmar; leaders dealing with devastation caused by earthquake in Haiti; Baptist sisters volunteering as midwives in remote villages in PNG; and yet others providing a 24-hour helpline for women feeling distressed by unplanned pregnancy in Argentina.
Being a light to the world is integral to the call of BWAW. Consequently, as part of the Day of Prayer, an offering finances the ministry and support global projects. This year’s financial gifts will support a frog farm in Thailand, sewing clubs in Vanuatu, a library in Cameroon and a resource kit addressing mental health issues in the Philippines.
These projects will inspire hope and enable women to flourish.
You are invited to be part of this day. Why not gather a group to pray, and let the voices of Tasmania join the global movement?
Elissa Macpherson President, Baptist Women of the Pacific Contact Elissa for more information and support. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CHAT N CHOOSE Many ladies are pleased to be meeting again with their friends after a long break due to COVID. Wednesday Get Together is now on the 1st and 3rd Week of the month for fun and fellowship.
JUST GIRLS. SPRING REVIVAL. The ladies’ ministry organised an enjoyable afternoon with people asked to wear an item from their favourite Op Shop. Irene Godman spoke on Healing, Trauma and PTSD, a biblical way of ministering healing those suffering from the effects of trauma . Ailleen also spoke of her work, and the beginnings of Grow Gather Give, an outreach and support providing food to those who need it. This is run from our ChurchHhall, ROC, on Monday and Friday mornings.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD. 226 shoe boxes where packed from our church and Chat n Choose this year.
Sarah raised $644.30 for the Cancer Council through the sale of daffodils.
News from Penguin: we are small in number, in good heart and varied health.
This month we began a preaching series on Isaiah 1-39. We have joined the solar age with a substantial array on the roof, and have a new container for the ministry Library Aid International to fill and send to Africa for distribution. This will be the tenth (and likely the last) container to go.
Chat n Choose continues at the Latrobe Baptist Hall every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm. Ladies bring along their knitting/crochet/hardanger work or any other craft to join with up to 50 others and enjoy chatting together. Morning Tea is served at 10.30am, Cost is just $2.
The Woodturning Group meets in the Men’s Shed. Latrobe Men’s Shed continues every Friday from 9am to 12pm with a BBQ at 12. We are always looking for community projects and new members to join in. A toolbox meeting guarantees a great time of great fellowship, with morning tea at 10am.
Latrobe Community Playgroup continues every Friday morning from 10am. All mothers/carers are welcome to bring their little ones up to age 4 and join with up to 20 others for a fun time of activities. A story time and singing finishes each morning around 11.30am.
This Spring seems to have arrived so quickly! Again, the Sunday School greatly blessed us with a presentation. Even more impressive were the volume and beauty of the flower arrangements. It is a reminder of the grace and kindness of the Lord so obvious for all to see in this blessed Island. The various talents of the children were all on display this year often to the wonder of the Congregation. (Doting parents and teachers opening and closing their lips in tune with the script the kids spoke). One talent which came to prominence last year was in poetry, and again this year we heard from Rochele Long.
Spring is here and the flowers are vibrant
And the birds chirp happily singing God’s great song
The lambs have grown up so much like the plants that grow too
God planned all this and we should thank Him.
Spring sunshine beams, the days lengthen
Swallows spiral up to heaven, the Larks sing praise to their Creator
Lambs gambol in the spring grass
Hidden bulbs and seeds burst from the soil to worship their Creator
New life comes from our God let us praise and worship Him.
Rochele Long, Sassafras
We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all the artists and Churches who supported and helped with our Mystery Art Sale Fundraiser for the children of Haiti.
Newstead Baptist Church are pleased to be welcoming Dan Hutchison as Pastor beginning in January 2022. Dan and his wife Maria and 3 children will be moving north from Hobart where Dan is currently working at Citywide.
We are looking forward to Dan’s ministry with us and would value prayer for a smooth transition for the whole family into life in Launceston including a suitable family home and schools for the girls.
We are holding our Annual Celebration meeting on Sunday and give thanks to God for a good year as a fellowship, for the many people who have come to preach throughout the year and the many ways that God has blessed us.
Our Seniors Drop-in Centre has being going well with new people from the community joining. Praise God for this opportunity to share his word over a game and a cuppa.
Many from around Tasmania would have known Wyn Gurr in her ministry over many years. Wyn passed away in September following a long battle with her health. She has gone to join her husband Allan in glory.
We are thankful and blessed by the four people who recently came into Membership.
Our Wednesday night ‘Better Men’s’ group is starting to attract a number of men with needs and a willingness to share.
The craft group continues to attract new ladies.
We hosted a very successful Community afternoon tea for the wise and elderly of the town which attracted a full Hall. We pray that we will see many of them again
The relationship with the school enabled us to sponsor two children to attend camp as their parents we not able to pay for them to go. This will provide us contact with those two families.
This year a Children’s picnic and family BBQ will precede our Carol Service – the whole town will be invited.
As the only Christian Church left in Perth, we take our responsibility to be Christ’s representatives in the growing town seriously. Please pray that what we do will be God’s will and will bear fruit.
On 29th August, Riverlands made space in our Sunday service to acknowledge and appreciate the commitment and contribution of two special couples. Steve and Ann Cloudsdale and Meg and Alan Roberts have served in various ministry roles and activities at Riverlands over many years. It was a special moment as we prayed for each couple and released them from ministry responsibilities as they enter a time of sabbatical for rest and refreshment. As they continue to journey with their Riverlands family, they will be waiting on the Lord for his wisdom and guidance for this next chapter in their lives.
During September, several of us visited State and Federal Politicians following the Converge Justice Training Day in August. They presented their cases for Domestic Violence, Global Poverty and Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
One of us is involved in the local Climate Change Action Group. They facilitated an excellent Climate Change Expo for the public at Citywide premises. There were various speakers and booths demonstrating how they can recycle responsibly as well as other informative information.
Church Camp: The first weekend in October saw us all heading to Poatina for our first church camp in many years. Poatina is an incredible site for such a gathering with various accommodation options, good food, and many interesting local activities. Our theme for the weekend was Living in Community and the staff at Poatina shared their experiences. Our mix of congregations, including the Nepalese, were blessed and we have achieved a further development in our joining together. Everyone is already talking about our next camp next year!
During October we hosted a team of 6 from the YWAM Discipleship Training School in Perth WA. What a blessing they are! They for involved in Citywide groups, the wider body of churches in Hobart, and our local community by door-knocking and street evangelism.
We now produce a weekly podcast, each Wednesday, which involves a panel of four people discussing, and personally sharing about, the challenges from the previous Sunday’s sermon. Find it on our YouTube channel or as an audio on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Our current series is on ‘Next Steps’ and what it means to follow Jesus.
Sunday 10th October was our Shoe Box Sunday. Our congregations packed 150 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child during the service! This is an activity people engage with eagerly and we pray heart-felt prayers for each box.
At Hobart we recently held a great Movie Night including games, a scavenger hunt and pizza!
We have already had several weddings in our refurbished spaces, with more booked in.
The Mustard Seed coffee shop, on Elizabeth Street, will soon open, creating more opportunities to connect with our neighbours, and Elizabeth College students next door.
Our youth are raising funds to provide income for one teacher to teach youth in a Karen refugee camp in Thailand.
At home, online, in groups, at church, with other denominations
NOVEMBER is a big prayer season, not just in Tasmania but across the nation and globally. There are many ways to participate.
Perhaps you could choose one or two of these prayer events that best suits you.
1. BAPTIST WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
State-wide events during first week of November
Pray and raise funds for Baptist women around the world who are working on many projects to help disadvantaged communities. Funds for Frog farming (Thailand); Lighters of Hope in Darkness (mental health support, Philippines); Educational Library (Cameroon).
Preparation Prayer Events for the Tasmania Celebration
Gateway Baptist Church hosts weekly prayer meetings for Tasmania Celebration. 7am every Thursday morning. 22 Wellington St Launceston
Launceston Prayer Walks in City Park. 10am every Thursday. 45-55 Tamar St Launceston
Time of prayer and breakfast!
Hosted by Ps Dave Morse and the Executive Leadership Team Co-chairs Ps Matt Sharples and Rev Pete Adlem you will hear how the Tasmania Celebration is not just a single event next year but a series of collaborative events designed to increase our prayer activity as a collective church; equip local believers through the intensive Christian Life & Witness Classes; increase our effectiveness for Christ through new outreach initiatives and offer opportunities to get involved.
7-8.30 am Wednesday 27th October | Your Church, 29 Charles St Moonah RSVP HERE for the breakfast for catering purposes.
Generally, these times of prayer are at 7.30am on the last Wednesday of each month for coffee, however next month it will be a gathering on Wednesday 17th November
Tasmania Celebration Launch, 19th/20th November 2021
An invitation to the launch of Tasmania Celebration 2022 with Will Graham, to gather, prepare and pray for the events next year.
Hobart Launch event: 7-8:30pm Fri 19th November, C3 Convention Centre.
Launceston Launch event: 7-8:30pm Sat 20th November, Door of Hope Conference Centre.
The Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast brings together like-minded people from across Tasmania to pray for our State, our leaders, parliamentarians, businesses, schools, communities, and community organisations; our families, youth, and children. In the name of Jesus, we ask God to grant us the will and wisdom, the creativity and strength we need to care well for each other and to see Tasmania flourish in every dimension. Join us for this special moment of unity and humility.
Guest Speaker, Prof. Patrick Parkinson
Professor at the TC Beirne School of Law, Patrick Parkinson is a specialist in family law, child protection, law and religion, and the law of equity and trusts.
Professor Parkinson served as Chairperson of the Family Law Council, an advisory body to the federal Attorney-General, and chaired a review of the Child Support Scheme in 2004 which resulted in major changes.
Nationwide – Online
4. MOVEMENT-WIDE PRAYER GATHERING, 3 NOVEMBER
Australian Baptist Ministries invite you to join in a nationwide prayer gathering via Zoom at 7:45-8:30pm Wednesday 3rd November. Register here: bit.ly/ABMpraywithus
5. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH, 7 NOVEMBER
Pray with persecuted Christians suffering for their faith.
Your church can unite in prayer for the persecuted church, with Open Doors. Please take a moment during your service to pray for the persecuted church on 7 November. Find out more and
Big changes are heralded at City Baptist in this Sept/Oct 2021ADVANCE | step by step. Read first of all an overview of the shift. And then a reflection about the changes from Gary Billing, below.
Planning for the Unseen
Change is in the wind for City Baptist as they work on their “Makeover Vision”
City Baptist Church, in the centre of Launceston, is preparing to undergo profound change. You may have heard that the Frederick Street property is on the market. You may not have heard that the church has also just called two younger women onto staff.
So what’s going on?
Hard decisions and a faithful response
Last November the church faced the necessity of some hard decisions. The congregation’s response once again has proved its courage and boldness. For some years they had sought to be a community of disciples based on the scriptures.
Serious discipleship led them to befriend those in greatest need – especially the street community and the refugee community. Mission, in turn, took the church into active advocacy for social justice. Local mission is now in the DNA of the church.
But how was this vital ministry to continue into the future, in a changing world? The Church Council prepared a vision in February, The Makeover Vision: Our role is to be a welcoming Christian presence in the centre of Launceston, befriending those on the margins. To establish this on a firm footing for the future, with God’s help we intend to become an intergenerational faith community, culturally relevant to younger adults, whilst remaining a Baptist Church with our particular values and priorities.
Discernment about property . . .
Thus began a further four-month discernment process. From November 2020 to June this year, the church met no less than six times to pray, discuss and eventually decide.
So with sadness, we decided to place the current property on the market. The 180-year building is full of historical significance and beauty. There is a strong sense of grief in moving on. Yet for the future, we believe the Gospel will be better served by direct street frontage, more flexibility, lower maintenance.
The Pastor, Jeff McKinnon, and his Advisory Group – Kay Hunter, Garry Billing and Ivan James – oversaw the ‘makeover process’.
We listed the property for sale in July. Tenders were due on 1 September. It may be then a further year before City vacates the property, because of the potential for a lease-back arrangement.
. . . and discernment about staff
The Church also appointed a Pastoral Search Committee, convened by Pastor Maddy Svoboda. Maddy eventually brought two names to the church in August.
Pictured, are Anthea Maynard (Team Leader) and Jenna Blackwell (Leadership Development) who were commissioned on Sunday 5th September. Until December 2022, City Baptist will undertake a period of transition, as the new Ministry Team is formed and prepares to take over from Jeff’s leadership.
Jeff will meet regularly with Anthea and Jenna (and eventually a third team member), until Jeff retires. It will be this new Ministry Team who will lead the church into its unseen future.
Unless a grain of wheat falls in the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds.
The seed head of a dandelion substitutes the “O” in HOPE on the dust jacket of Tim Costello’s book of that title (Hardie Grant Books 2012). From the beautifully formed orb of the dandelion, seeds drift off in the breeze, scattering new life abroad. Tim’s compiled stories arise from his years of work as CEO of World Vision Australia. They depict the hope that can arise within confronting settings of challenge and disruptive change.
Our circumstances are obviously different, but for me, as a member of City Baptist, this dandelion image has become symbolic. It is evocative of both relinquishment and possibility as we anticipate a re-envisioned mission within Launceston CBD.
With fellow members, I value many aspects of our current church life. Our traditions of corporate worship, patterns of community ministry, the beauty of historic architecture, and so on. The dandelion image stands as a metaphor for all of this. There’s a part of me that would like to keep it intact as it is. However, I realise this is a transitory beauty, and we must allow life to be disseminated in fresh ways. Our current form will yield to life’s wider potential.
I sense God now inviting us to surrender the conventional comforts of our current congregational life. But in inviting his Spirit to “blow where he will”, we offer our “seeds” to his breeze, confident of their germination in fresh earth. We open ourselves to strategic relocation To the formation of an enhanced leadership team. And to the seeking of more user-friendly facilities tailored to our distinctive city mission. We call this a “makeover vision”.
God’s gentle Spirit-breeze is evident in this new vision He is giving us. This is clear from the harmonious decisions arising from our shared prayer and discussion. I’ve found our legitimate sense of loss in relinquishing a conventional model dim, as we anticipate with hope the possibility of something excitingly new. I expect the core values of our mission will be novel, life-giving expression in ways we cannot yet see. But for which we can confidently trust God.
This fills us with well-grounded hope, and encourages us to remain radically open to God’s future.
Garry Billing Community Music Liaison Officer City Baptist Church