Developing Leaders

Food for the Soul NovDec 2021
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food for thought:

Moses and his l-o-o-ng training

Time to Challenge about Developing Leaders!

the story of Moses, and how God prepared him for a huge Leadership task

Is God preparing you for something huge?

By Frans Ammerlaan

Being Useful

I have often wondered about the relationship Moses had with the Lord, “whom the Lord knew face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10). It took 80 odd years to fashion his character to make him useful for His purposes.

As marvelous as God’s management was of Moses’ birth, young adulthood, and his education. Remember that since Jesus saved us, we all have this close relationship with God – if we choose!

Since Jesus saved us, we all have this close relationship with God – if we choose!

In the old days, before Jesus, any time God looked at developing Leaders or Messengers, He had to grow him from scratch, and then be able to relate to him. Here I think of Jonah who did not really want the job, but reluctantly did it anyway, after first running away and hiding (Jonah 1:3).

Trained . . . and Humbled

Just think, for God to develop leaders among the Jews in Egypt was almost an impossibility. To start with the Hebrews were illiterate and ignorant slaves. God had to pick a gifted baby and have him nurtured, educated, and trained, state-of-the-art, as it were. As God tells the story in His word, so well-known now, it appeals to our imagination.

A baby found in the reeds of the ile River by a Princess going for a swim.Food for Thought: Developing Leaders

You know the story, found in Exodus 2. A baby found in the reeds of the Nile River and taken, by a Princess going for a swim, into Pharaoh’s Palace. So begins Moses’ upbringing as a Prince of Egypt. He was educated and developed as the leader of the Jews, with the best education money could buy. What a break!

After developing into manhood as a prince of the realm, and no doubt with the arrogance that came with it, now came the time to be fashioned into a humble useful leader.

This finely educated prince now spent 40 years in the desert to humble him. So humble, that he said to God he could ‘not speak’! Exodus 4:10 (With the great education he had? What a ‘come down’!)

Lives in Parallel

I also think our lives are often parallel with Moses’ story.

When I was 19, I thought I was God’s gift to mankind. A God I did not even know. Fortunately, He grabbed me later – and all my kids. It was not until he was 80 years old that God considered Moses ready.

So much of this story applies to many of us who, in the first flush of our youth, think we can do it by ourselves. Then discover the Lord’s purposes for our lives.

The relationship Moses had with the Lord is of course now available to every saved believer in the world. (I think that is really “magic”).

I also used to think, as a kid, that the Old Testament was boring, but I now realise that every recorded word of God is truly full of treasure. When I read it closely and ask, “Why would He say that?” I can almost see His thoughts!

For us, for me, as for Moses, it is good to remember that He never leaves us or forsakes us, even when we are in doubt.

For us as for Moses it is good to remember that he never leaves us or forsakes us, even when in doubt.
Developing Leaders

Often, in my youth, did I despair into hopelessness, and came close to ending it all. It was then that He carried me.

Then He saved me and my whole house! By so doing, He demonstrated His love, and that He occupies the centre of our hearts carrying us in the palm of His hands. Can you beat that!

What a treasure we have in Jesus.

Frans Ammerlaan is a member of Sassafras Baptist Church.



Annual Assembly 2021

Reengage | Reimagine | Realign
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Engaging with the “3R’s”

Tas Baptist Annual Assembly
22-23 October 2021, Longford

By Kate Barnett, Newstead Baptist

Reengage, Reimagine, Realign

On Friday night at the Annual Assembly 2021, we gathered with other Tasmanian Baptist church representatives. It was a time of sharing what has been happening in our different fellowship communities.

Prof. Patrick Parkinson with Mission Director Stephen Baxter. Annual Assembly 2021
Prof. Patrick Parkinson with Mission Director Stephen Baxter

The Mission Director, Stephen Baxter, reflected on the year past which demanded so many adjustments associated with the impact of the pandemic. But also, more broadly in the context of our changing society. He considered how this relates to being the body of Christ – His church – and how this looks very different from past years.

Our guest speaker, Professor Patrick Parkinson, explained many enlightening statistics. These included how changing family structures, and the decline of marriages over recent decades, has led to increasing challenges for children, parents, and our communities. This provides so many opportunities for Christians to reach out and care in relevant ways.

Morning Sessions

On Saturday we explored further the “Reengage, Reimagine, Realign” vision for Tasmanian Baptists. We also participated in a very short business session.

Denise Stephenson
Denise Stephenson

Denise Stephenson (LifeWay, Lymington) spoke of her experience of growing up deeply within the Tasmanian Baptist church community. Finding herself dis-engaging in her teens, she later returned to the Baptist church network in a new ministry capacity.

This has led to her reaching out to people in day-to-day interactions within her local neighbourhood. Now, she seeks God’s guidance for next steps with fellowship at the “long table” she and husband Mark have installed in their new home.

Maddy Svoboda
Rev. Maddy Svoboda

Maddy Svoboda shared about the journey Summerhill Baptist has been on as it seeks to value the transition period.

He spoke of the “liminal spaces” where we step across into the “not yet known” – where God is at work. And of trusting God with the unknowns which are known by our Sovereign God.

Annual Assembly 2021, attendees
Annual Assembly 2021 Attendees, 23 October 2021

After Lunch Electives

After lunch, we chose electives. I appreciated participating in Jenna Blackwell’s workshop, which provided personal reflection time on the 3-R’s. In addition, Michael Henderson led a group reflecting on how churches can reengage, reimagine and realign. And a third group looked at the future implications of Covid for our churches in light of new vaccination policies.

In the workshop, Jenna posed a series of questions prompting us to Reengage as we described in our own words God’s Big Story, the Good News. Then exploring our own response, considering our strengths and passion, significant life experiences.

Questions prompted us to Reengage as we described in our own words God’s Big Story, the Good News

We then moved to Reimagine what God might be saying to us in how our own lives are being lived. And then, to Realign by considering what may need to change in our lives to Reengage full circle with God in the now!

At home, I’ve been sorting and “culling” all manner of stuff to make room for our daughter and her family. They are moving from interstate and will be living with us. This exercise reminded me to “let go” and to “make space”, so God can do his transforming work of Renewal! 

That renewal is what God does in our lives. It is what we can see happening in many of our Tasmanian Baptist churches. I was so encouraged by our Annual Assembly 2021.

Kate Barnett, Annual Assembly 2021

Kate Barnett
Newstead Baptist Church


Getting to Know Geoff Maddock

Geoff Maddock GIA Tas/Vic
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All About Geoff Maddock

Geoff Maddock Global Interaction

Geoff began his work as the Tas/Vic Global Interaction state rep in early 2021. So it’s time we caught up with him!

What makes him tick? Read on . . .

Where were you born and what was it like growing up there? 

I was born and grew up on a dairy farm near Yackandandah (North-eastern Victoria). My dad was the fourth generation Maddock in our valley, and it was in many ways, an idyllic rural upbringing. Riding motorbikes, trout fishing in creeks, shooting at rabbits, and learning how to care for animals and land.

My parents were also church planters and worked with ministries from bikers to prisoners. So our home was constantly visited by weird and wonderful city folk. Never a dull moment! 

Tell us about your family?
Geoff Maddock Global Interaction with Sherry

My wife, Sherry, and I met in the USA studying in the same Missiology program (we studied together, fell in love, and married in 2000). She is from Atlanta, Georgia. We have an 18-year-old son named Isaac.

My mum and dad have been in ministry all their lives as pastors, counsellors, and chaplains. Dad served for over 50 years as a chaplain for Prison Fellowship in Victorian jails. Mum trained as a nurse then went on work as a chaplain at a cancer hospital.

My sister and her husband served as MAF missionaries for many years in Africa and PNG. My brother became a high school teacher and lives with his family in Queensland.

How did you become a Christian? 

Gradually. Growing up as a child of pastors made me aware of the challenges and obvious blessings of Christian living. It was important to my parents that I didn’t simply inherit my faith but took it seriously and claimed it on my own terms.

I can name several key moments where my relationship with the Living God was instrumental, but I have no Damascus story. It some ways I think it is true that we are all becoming Christian, gradually, each day, as choose to follow Jesus.

What is the best piece of advice you have received? 

“It is better to inspire hope than to be admired”. From one of my brilliantly humble Seminary professors, A. H. Mathias Zahniser. 

Best advice: "It is better to inspire hope than to be admired." AH Mathias Zahniser
Geoff Maddock Global Interaction
When people ask you how you spend your time, what do you say?

I spend it with people, one on one or in larger meetings sharing in the joy, surprise, and challenge of God’s love for the world. 

AS “Geoff maddock, Global Interaction” you must have worked in overseas mission. Where did you go, and what did you do there?

I worked and lived in an historic African American neighbourhood in the city of Lexington, Kentucky. We lived and worked for 18 years, loving neighbours, seeking justice, practising kindness, and sharing in the blessing of God’s mission.

Much of our work was helping welcome and settle refugees alongside urban agriculture initiatives. We planted a missional community, and learned how to offer and receive hope and forgiveness. We started non-profits and helped people learn what the world feels and looks like across cultural, racial, socioeconomic and religions difference. 

What is your role with GIA? 

I am honoured to serve as the Global Interaction State Leader for Tasmania and Victoria. I love the opportunity to learn from our Baptist family in both states – how they are discovering mission as a way to grow in faithfulness and maturity, personally and collectively.

 It is my privilege to help churches grow in missional imagination and practice. Geoff Maddock Global Interaction Tas/Vic

I’m especially inspired by the way Tasmanian Baptists are forging creative and innovative pathways in mission across the state. I came away from the May Assembly this year inspired and challenged. It is my privilege to help churches grow in missional imagination and practice across the street and across the world. 

What excites you most about what you do? 

I’m excited to see in very practical ways how the Gospel is a reality that travels across cultures and contexts and reveals God’s very particular love for all people and places. I’m thrilled to learn that the Christianity I am familiar with takes on new character and nuances, depending on the cultural context.

God made the world with such beautiful diversity. And then honours that diversity by ensuring that “all tribes, tongues, and languages” are part of our eternal future. What could be more exciting! 

What challenges do you have as you do this work? 

The challenges moving forward include being faithful to God’s mission. But also, re-aligning strategy to fit a radically and rapidly changing world. Change always comes with challenges, but we can be assured that the Gospel message is translatable. 

Change always comes with challenges, but we can be assured that the Gospel message is translatable. 

Geoff Maddock, Global Interaction
How can we pray for you and your work? 

Pray for me as I help churches recognise the mission opportunities in their own neighbourhoods. Mission is for each of us, in every place, as well as for particular people called to a specific context. There is a continued need to share our resources and energy to take on certain challenges. So I ask and pray for our organisation to have the wisdom to know what to prioritise. 

Short and Sweet 

I am looking forward to . . . travelling again after lockdowns in Victoria. 

I am worried about . . .  the asylum seekers detained in a hotel in our city

I am confident that . . . “grace abounds all the more”

I am joyful about . . .  God’s love for the world continuing through God’s people

I would like to change . . . Australian policy on asylum seekers to reflect Christian values

I am at my best when . . . wandering around an unfamiliar city with my camera (I’m an avid photographer)


Painting a Picture of Jesus

Crossover spring appeal

crossover update:

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The Crossover Spring Appeal

BY Crossover National Taskforce rep, Maddy Svoboda,
Maddy wonders about altering friends’ perceptions of Jesus, and how the “Crossover Spring Appeal” will help!

In the 2006 movie ‘Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby’, Will Ferrell’s character Ricky Bobby and his family, as well as his NASCAR teammate Cal Naughton Jr, are having a meal.

Ricky Bobby gives thanks for the meal of KFC, Dominoes and all manner of food. It makes me wonder how effective a prayer is when asking God to bless this food to our bodies, as Ricky prays to Baby Jesus. He prays over and over to tiny baby, infant Jesus (8-pound 6-ounce baby Jesus who is so cuddly and omnipotent) before his wife stops him.

Will Ferrell and Ricky Bobby, Crossover Spring Appeal
Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby

Everyone has a picture of Jesus

What impacts me about this scene (apart from the absolutely ridiculous nature of it) is the implicit truth that we all have a picture of Jesus, or God. This picture shapes us – and is an image of Jesus that we gravitate towards.

Part of our work of evangelism is telling the story, or painting the picture of Jesus, as accurately as we can. This means we can invite people to know Jesus as he is, rather than how we imagine him to be.

What is Crossover?

Crossover Spring Appeal

The ministry of Crossover has richly blessed Tasmanian Baptists. Before COVID-19 struck, Crossover ran conferences for people with a noticeable gift of evangelism. Crossover funds covered the entire cost for each attendee. This meant people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity attend an event like this, could be there.

Why Crossover’s Spring Appeal?

In Tasmania alone, 15 people have attended the Emerge Evangelism Conference over the years. As I look back over the list of attendees, I see people who contribute to our life in significant ways. I’m so thankful to be part of Crossover, and to see the fruit from our investment into evangelism and mission.

Crossover Spring Appeal, As we move towards our vision of seeing Tasmania infused by the kingdom of God, it involves the proclamation of the good news of Jesus

That’s why Crossover is running a Spring Appeal over the next few months.

For Crossover to continue to provide resources, and equip the church to proclaim the good news of Jesus, we are asking churches around Australia to commit financially to Crossover. There are multiple ways you and your church can do this.

Please check out your options at You can also visit the Crossover website to discover resources, including Christmas resources, so you can share Jesus well.

If you would like to engage in a conversation around the content of this article, please feel free to email me!

Maddy Svoboda
Rev. Maddy Svoboda

Maddy Svoboda



Walk Pray Love, Heartlands Events, Spring 2021

Heartlands SPRING 2021

Walk | Pray | Love Events during November 2021 (scroll down)
Being an Imperfect Ministry by Jenna Blackwell
Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women by Elissa Macpherson



Join with others state-wide to walk, pray, love and enjoy the company of other women.

NorthMonday 1st Nov7:30-8:30pmHomes and GroupsGlobal Day of Prayer
 Saturday 20th Nov11:30amHollybankHollybank Picnic Adventure
NorthwestMonday 1st Nov7:30-8:30pmHomes and GroupsGlobal Day of Prayer
 Tues 30th Nov7:00-8:30pmUlverstone Baptist ChurchLadies Evening with Amanda Cox
SouthFriday 5th November7:30-8:30pmHobart Baptist ChurchGlobal Day of Prayer
 Saturday 13th Nov10am-1pmClaremontWindermere Bay-Claremont Loop

NORTH – walk | pray | love

Monday 1st November

7:30-8:30pm Global Day of Prayer Informal Gatherings
INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

Global Day of Prayer, North
Saturday 20th November

11:30am Hollybank Picnic Adventure
INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

Walk Pray Love: Hollybank Picnic Adventure

NORTHWEST – walk | pray | love

Monday 1st November

7:30-8:30pm Global Day of Prayer Informal Gatherings
INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

Global Day of Prayer, Northwest
Tuesday 30th November

7:00-8:30pm Ladies evening
INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite
RSVP to Yvette: by 25th November | $10 pp on the night

SOUTH – walk | pray | love

Friday 5th November

7:30-8:30pm Global Day of Prayer Coffee and Dessert Night
INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

Global Day of Prayer, South
Saturday 13th November

10:am-1:00pm Claremont-Windermere Bay Loop Walk
INVITE FRIENDS! Download Invite >>>

Walk Pray Love South Windermere Nay walk

EmpowHer is an activity of Tasmanian Baptist Women
Tasmanian Baptist Women

OUR VISION is to see a network of women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

Being an Imperfect Missionary


Heartlands Spring 2021

Heartlands News

Being an Imperfect Ministry by Jenna Blackwell (scroll down)
Walk | Pray | Love Events during November 2021
Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women by Elissa Macpherson

food for thought:

Mission in Tasmania

Jenna Blackwell ponders her frustration about mission in Tasmania

A friend once asked me when I first heard about mission or “felt the call”. I fumbled for words, speechless. No recollection, just compounding moments and realisations through teachings, coaching and mentoring.

It made me wonder: Am I a missionary?

I looked out the window at the blistering wind and thought of the people in my city, Jenna Blackwell, Food for Thought

Recently, I was sitting in my lounge room on a rainy morning, heater on, cup of tea in hand. I looked out at the blistering wind and thought of the people in my city – those without homes, without food, without heating, without safety, without peace.


I sat there in my frustration, guilt, and sadness.

Is it as easy as just going out into the streets and filling my lounge with people for a night, so they can get out of the ice and wind? What about the next night? What about the people fleeing domestic violence? What about those who are grieving loss?

There is so much hurt! How can I call myself a follower, while I sit in my comfort? Please, tell me you’ve wrestled with this.

Called to GO

As I reflected, I was reminded of my friend’s question about mission. We often think mission is about being overseas, or just for ‘really special’ people. But aren’t we all missionaries?

We are called to go – to the hurt, to the broken, to the lonely, to the messy. Jenny Blackwell, Food for Thought

My workplaces are mission fields – full of opportunities to show the character of God, and to connect people to the Kingdom. But I so often fail my own expectations. There is still something in me that desires perfection.

While there is a balance needed, and while I cannot do everything, I also cannot excuse my own laziness and selfishness.

We are called to go – to the hurt, to the broken, to the lonely, to the messy. While I know this to be true, it is uncomfortable. So many of our churches are full of middle-class people. Have you wondered why? Have you considered how to change this? Do you even want to?

Recently, Denise Stephenson challenged us to consider “unfiltered” selves, and an unfiltered church. Maybe there’s a connection between this, and our comfortable churches. I like comfort. I like safety.

But God does not call us to be comfortable. He calls us to follow the feet of Jesus, who did life with those who are messy, who others thought were unworthy, and no one wanted to be around.

The hard work of WRESTLING

I am an imperfect missionary.

As I’ve sat in my lounge over the last few weeks, soaking in Luke 10 and contemplating all of this complexity, I have wrestled – with myself and with God.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. Luke 10:2 (NIV)

It’s been uncomfortable. But I have resolved to not be unattached and ignorant of those most vulnerable in this city. I may not have the right words or actions to understand this fully yet, and it is terrifying! But there is nothing about me that makes this easy or special. Just a hesitant willingness to follow God into the difficult, heartbreaking and vulnerable places.

I don’t know what it is to live and relate without privilege, and I don’t have all the words, or a 12-step plan. But I know following God must mean changes.

My next step is to learn to be in the places my privilege resists, and do it out of an overflow of God’s presence. To be an imperfect missionary.

God’s presence is key

After spending time in Luke 10, it suddenly hit me one day that immediately following Jesus sending the 72 out with power and authority, he told a story about a foreigner/outsider being the one to sacrifice and help someone in humiliating need. (Luke 10:25-37) In so doing, he challenged the one who thought he was right to take that same position of vulnerability and humility.

Doing is not the goal. Rather, it is about doing as an overflow of being. Jenna Blackwell, Food for Thought

Jesus then challenged the balance of being and doing. He reinforced that being at his feet was most important. To take the position of a humble learner who spends time and their teachers’ feet is to know the teacher and the ways of the teacher, so much so that everything one does is an overflow.

If life consisted of only being at Jesus’ feet, I think I would be at peace with that. It is my natural reflective state, and I could spend days in God’s presence. The challenge for me is to act, to do. But as I have been challenged to do, God has reminded me that doing is not the goal. Rather, it is about doing as an overflow of being – spending time at the feet of Jesus, in God’s presence, so that my life and actions may be an overflow, an extension, of the One that I live for.

Your call

I am an imperfect missionary, drawn to safety and familiarity. I am someone who, without compounding understanding, would not have called themself a missionary. But we are not on this Earth for ourselves.

We are called to be an extension of the Kingdom of God here on Earth – to spend time at the feet of Jesus so we may be filled to overflowing and transformed by his grace, ready to go about our daily lives, extending transformation to those around us – in our workplaces, in our homes, in our streets, in our cities and towns.

How is God calling you to be an imperfect missionary?

  • How is your balance of being and doing?
  • What does being look/sound/feel/taste like?
  • What does doing look/sound/feel/taste like?
  • What’s your next step?
  • Who are you doing the journey with?
Jenna Blackwell

Jenna Blackwell is the Tasmanian Baptist Mission and Leadership Coach

Read more in the July/August 2021 ADVANCE | step by step

Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women

Say of Prayer, Heartlands Spring 2021

Heartlands Spring 2021

Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women by Elissa Macpherson (scroll down)
Being an Imperfect Ministry by Jenna Blackwell
Walk | Pray | Love Events during November 2021


Participate in a Global Event

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

 Colombian Women at a Day of Prayer event
Colombian Women at a Day of Prayer event

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.

Inspire HOPE

Leading prayer in Nigeria
Leading prayer in Nigeria

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

Elissa Macpherson
President, Baptist Women of the Pacific
Contact Elissa for more information and support.

Complete guide to running your own World Day of Prayer: BWA World Day of Prayer >>>

What to do next

The World Day of Prayer can be held on any day in November.


7:30-8:30pm Monday 1st November
Gather in homes and groups to pray.
Contact Gabe Fife (

7:30-8:30pm Monday 1st November
Gather in homes and groups to pray.
DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> | Contact Wendy Marston (

7:30-8:30pm Friday 5th November 2021
Coffee and Dessert evening at Hobart Baptist Church.
DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> | Jenny Baxter (


Baptist women in Cambodia
Baptist women in Papua, Indonesia at a Day of Prayer gathering, 2021

ADVANCE | step by step – Sept/Oct 2021

Advance September/October 2021
Request Print Version via Mail >>>

September/October 2021 No. 1

Released 9th September 2021

Advance SeptOct 2021 No. 1
  • Brave New World Reading the signs of the times – Stephen Baxter
  • Church Profile City Baptist Launceston
  • Engaging with your Community – Michael Henderson
  • Need to Know EmpowHer Walk | Stand Sunday | Calling All Artists | BWA Ethical Fashion Report

September/October 2021 No. 2

Released 23rd September 2021

Advance step by step Sept Oct 2021 No. 2
  • Anthea Maynard Q&A Interview
  • Baptist World Day of Prayer for Women
  • Pastors and Leaders Muster – Report
  • NEED TO KNOW Book Review | Covid Vaccinations | Operation Christmas Child – How to pack a box

September/October 2021 No. 3

Released 7th October 2021

Advance SeptOct 21-3
  • Food for Thought Bob Goolsby (George Town) considers Our Divine Purpose
  • Global Disaster Zones Haiti | Myanmar | Afghanistan
  • Crossover Australia latest update
  • NEED TO KNOW Prof. Patrick Parkinson at Assembly | Tasmania Celebration Launch | Christian Book of the Year

September/October 2021 No. 4

Released 21st October 2021

Advance SeptOct-21-4

Regional RoundUp Sept-Oct 2021

Sassafras Baptist Spring Regional Roundup Sept/Oct 2021
Advance Sept-Oct 21 Regional RoundUp

around the grounds:

Regional RoundUp Sept/Oct 2021


Wynyard Baptist
Wynyard Baptist
  • 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.


Penguin Baptist Church
Penguin Baptist Church

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.


Latrobe Baptist Church, Photo credit Duncan Grant 2018
Latrobe Baptist Church
  • 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.


Spring service at Sassafras, Regional RoundUp Sept/Oct 2021
Spring service at Sassafras
  • 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


Gateway Launceston

Gateway's Mystery Art Sale, Sept/Oct 2021 Regional RoundUp
Art Sale Flyer
  • 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.


Hutchison Family 2021
Dan, Maria and the family, August 2021
  • 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.


Perth Baptist Church
Perth Baptist Tabernacle
  • 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.

Riverlands Longford

Roberts and Cloudsdales, Regional RoundUp SeptOct 2021
Alan and Meg Roberts | Ann and Steve Cloudsdale
  • 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.



Citywide Converge Team with Eric Abetz,  Resional RoundUp Sept/Oct 2021
Citywide Converge team meets with Sen. Eric Abetz
  • 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!
Citywide Camp 2021 Sept/Oct 2021 Regional RoundUp
Camp fun in Poatina
  • 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.


HBC Movie Night, Regional RoundUp Sept/Oct 2021
Movie Night watching “Blue Miracle”
  • 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.

Bringing the Kingdom of God to Tasmania

Reengage | Reimagine | Realign
Advance Header


It’s time to …

“Reengage Reimagine Realign”

What the newly adopted strategic plan might mean for us as Tasmanian Baptists

Seeing Tasmania infused with the salt and light

When Jesus taught about the kingdom of God (or kingdom of heaven in Matthew) it was more immediate and grander than just securing a place in heaven for people after death. The kingdom of God is the rule of God here on earth. It exists in part now and will exist in fullness when Jesus returns.

Jesus taught of something new entering into our broken world. His presence among us, along with his miracles and healings, was evidence of God’s rule coming to this planet. After his resurrection he charged his disciples with the responsibility of keeping the project going. Ever since, when the Church has been at its best, it has been an agent of this kingdom.

What we hope for

We acknowledge it “is not the church of God that has a mission, but the God of mission who has a church” [1]. God has a job for his church in Tasmania. As Tasmanian Baptists, we are committed to becoming a union of churches who willingly “lay aside our personal preferences for the sake of the community being served” [2].

It “is not the church of God that has a mission, but the God of mission who has a church”

Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

This is the heart of the new vision that we adopted at our May 2021 Assembly. It is to see “Tasmania infused with the salt and light of the kingdom of God.” We believe this is God’s hope for the state of Tasmania; it is our hope too.

The Church needs to adapt

The vision goes on to note that our contribution to the realisation of this vision will be through “facilitating and developing innovative, diverse, and transformative member churches and faith communities living out the Gospel.”

By stating this, we acknowledge how many in our communities do not consider the Church a place to go to for assistance with the issues they face. Our inherited form of being and doing Church needs to adapt to the changing world. This is not a something new for God’s Church. At many points during the past 2000 years, the Church has undergone renewal and reformation as the Spirit has remoulded it for successive generations.

Three key strategies: Reengage | Reimagine | Realign

With that in mind, the newly adopted strategic plan outlines three key strategies: to assist our churches and members to reengage in God’s mission, to reimagine the church for our time and to realign our resources (time, finances, buildings, organisational structure) towards these ends.

This is no mean feat and will not happen overnight. As I’ve said a bit lately, it took God weeks to get Israel out of Egypt, but 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel. Like Israel, we can fall into mourning the loss of the past, rather than embracing the opportunities God has before us. Yet this is the call of the journey of faith, to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us [by] fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”[3].

“run with perseverance the race marked out for us [by] fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”.

Hebrews 12:1b-2a

We live in a profound moment in the history of the world. In declaring Jesus is Lord, and praying that God’s kingdom may come, and that God’s will may be done in Tasmania as in heaven, we are not only aligning ourselves with God’s purposes in our world, but asking God to use us.

I trust you can say “Amen” to that.

Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter
Mission Director, Tasmanian Baptists

[1] Former Archbishop Rowan Williams

[2] Church of England, charge for candidates for Pioneer Mission

[3] Hebrews 12:1b-2a