ADVANCE November/December 2021

Advance step by step NovDec 2021
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The November/December 2021 ADVANCE | step by step is being released on
Thursdays 4th and 18th November, and 2nd December.

This is the final Tasmanian Baptist ADVANCE | step by step

A new publication will be available from February 2022

No. 3: 2nd DECmber 2021

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No. 2: 18th November 2021

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No. 1: 4th November 2021

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Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)

City Baptist sells, 2021
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community engagement:

City have Signed to Sell

The progress at City Baptist is monumental! They signed a contract to sell the property in early September. There will be an eight-to-twelve month period of settlement.

The leadership is finalising the criteria needed for a new property and the market is being closely followed.

Anthea Maynard and Jenna Blackwell meet weekly with Jeff McKinnon to ‘dream’ and pray what the Makeover of City could potentially entail as we seek to be an intergenerational faith community culturally appropriate for young adults.

Jeff, Jenna, Anthea
Jeff McKinnon, Jenna Blackwell, Anthea Maynard

Street Community

The church and the city were rocked by the tragic accidental death of street person who lived on our property.  

Stephen Avery

150 people attended Daniel Tommerup’s memorial service at City Baptist. Street chaplain, Stephen Avery (pictured) continues to play a crucial role amongst some of the most vulnerable people in Launceston.

Kay Hunter is heading up an attempt to increase desperately needed accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Hazara Gardens

A slideshow is shown, below, on the development of extensive vegetable gardens by City Baptist Church, Launceston, since 2018.

These gardens are primarily for the Hazara people, Muslim refugees originally from Afghanistan.

This project is only possible because of volunteers from the church, coordinated by Sally Staley;  a setting-up grant from Baptcare; and in partnership with the Worldview Centre at St Leonards.

Jeff McKinnon, Pastor City Baptist (Launceston)

  • Child digging: Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)
  • Garden beds:  Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)
  • Buidling greenhouse:  Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)
  • Inside greenhouse:  Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)
  • Working in greenhouse:  Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)
  • Sandpit:  Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)
  • Shed play area:  Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)
  • Having a break at the Hazara Gardens:  Progress at City Baptist (Launceston)

READ MORE IN THE NOV/DEC 2021 ADVANCE | STEP BY STEP

Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, 2021

Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2021
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prayer for the state:

Wednesday 24th November, Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart

This year’s Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast brought 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.

Over 400 people attended this, the 16th annual Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. It was attended by Church and business leaders, aid agency representatives, and many other Christians from across the state.

A record number of State and Federal politicians attended, 26 out of a possible 40. This included the Premier Peter Gutwein, the Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff, and Leader of the Opposition Bec White. Jacquie Petrusma MP welcomed all as the Parliamentary Host.

Tasmania’s Young People

Prof. Patrick Parkinson speaks at the Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2021
Prof. Patrick Parkinson

The breakfast was chaired by Stephen Baxter (Tas Baptist Mission Director), who oversees the TPPB organising committee. The newly formed Calvin School Choir, pictured below, performed for those gathered.

Prof. Patrick Parkinson, the speaker at the recent Tasmanian Baptist Annual Assembly, gave an overview of some of his achievements. He spoke about the care and nurture of young people in Tasmania, and presented some concerning statistics. Having suffered childhood abuse, and his current blended family, he spoke into those numbers with heart-warming vulnerability and authority.

Framing

Stephen Baxter

As usual, Stephen Baxter gave a very insightful framing to begin the morning. It is reproduced here for you . . .

Let me take a moment to explain why I believe we are here.

We gather in the name and spirit of Jesus to pray for our state and its people. From the oldest to the youngest, those doing well and those not so well, those who lead and those who serve.

Across this room we are a rich and diverse tapestry of culture, experience, outlook and belief, believers and non-believers alike. We do life together on this magnificent island, Tasmania – lutruwita. We are wrapped in the world’s purest air, graced with magnificent forests and magical lakes, lined with epic coastlines and surrounded by crystal clear water. It is a slice of heaven. We are truly blessed.

Yet, our lives, public and private, could be better. Perhaps, more than ever, we are rightly aware of the wrongs of the past, sensitive to racism and injustice, and conscious of the need to care for our environment. But the same time we are distracted by fear and anger. It shapes our lives.

A damaging polarisation is at work. We see it in the rage and resentment that prioritises victimhood and grievance over community and resilience. We see it in the violence – verbal, written and physical – that seeks to silence the opinions of others. The result sadly, is division, conflict, and animosity, even between good people. And it solves little.

At the same time, we are losing the art of forgiveness. We dredge up things from someone’s past suggesting it defines them today – conveniently forgetting each of us is more than the worst we have done.

Some advocate the removal of faith from the public square. They do so unaware that true faith nurtures confession, repentance, and the potential for redemption and restoration. If we are to overcome the significant challenges we face, I am convinced we need to include faith.

As a spiritual leader I appreciate you might be sceptical. I am deeply aware the Church, in its various forms, has let our community down in so many ways. I know I speak for many when I say I’m sorry.

Churches are not exempt from the need for confession and repentance. We are always learning and relearning how to follow Jesus. His execution by the authorities of the day, which included the religious, was a brutal form of cancel culture. They did not like what he said so they silenced an innocent man.

We all can learn from his response. It was not resentment or rage, but a cry, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing”. We all need forgiveness. The resurrection of Jesus reveals God is willing to give it.

Love, acceptance and forgiveness. It’s what holds our lives and families, our communities and our future together. Every day, inconspicuously and unheralded, thousands of Tasmanians just ‘do it’. They don’t seek wealth, power, or fame, but quietly do what needs to be done: lending a hand, sharing a meal, volunteering at emergencies, caring for the forgotten, and courageously standing for what they believe.

It’s spiritual. It is what lights and sustains the fires of excitement, passion, vision and sacrifice.

It is the spiritual that will help us learn afresh how to respect one another, how to engage in civil dialogue, and how put aside our differences for the sake of the common good.

That’s why we come to pray.

Stephen Baxter, Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2021
Calvin Choir sing at the Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2021
Calvin Choir sing

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Need to Know

Mary’s First Christmas Ponderings, Ray Hawkins
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news Nov-Dec 2021:

2ND dECEMBER 2021

Safer Spaces Toolkit

On 22nd November 2021,  Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) released the Safer Spaces Toolkit. This is a  resource to address domestic abuse and build relationally healthy communities.

Safe Spaces toolkit

The Safer Spaces Toolkit is an endorsed project of Australian Baptist Ministries aimed at resourcing pastors and church leaders to address domestic abuse and build relationally healthy communities.

The project working group is made up of Baptist women from around the country who have expertise in pastoral leadership, theology, teaching, domestic abuse and project management.

This project started because ABM recognised that domestic abuse resources were often available only by region, and wanted to create a resource that could be accessed by any pastor anywhere, with access to the Internet.

The Safer Spaces Toolkit is a work in progress and feedback and suggestions are welcome. To get in touch please send an email via the CONTACT PAGE

The Safer Spaces Toolkit is available HERE 


GIA change their name

GIA become BMA

Global Interaction have got something exiting to share… they are changing their name! Global Interaction is becoming Baptist Mission Australia.  

This is not something they undertake lightly. Over the past year they began implementing the 2021-2025 Strategic Roadmap. With this came big questions about the future direction of GIA.

While listening to the Spirit, they saw it was time to refresh the name and brand for a new and exciting season of ministry.  FIND OUT MORE

Christmas Poem

Mary’s First Christmas Ponderings
Mary's first Christmas ponderings

A poem by Ray Hawkins of Beauty Point

READ HERE

Based on Luke 2:51

Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

READ MORE: NOV/DEC 2021 ADVANCE | step by step

18th November 2021

Big Hearted Gifts

Gifts that end poverty

Baptist World Aid (BWA) Big Hearted Gifts do much more than meet immediate needs like clean water, food, health and income. At their heart, these gifts are an expression of God’s extraordinary love at work in the world. They allow people to live with dignity, and they end poverty. Not just for individuals, but for whole communities. These are gifts that give hope.

Each gift supports the community-driven work run by BWA’s Christian partners. It’s about making a bigger, lasting difference by helping individuals and families develop long-term livelihoods, health, education and leadership skills.

Thanks to the lasting impact of your Big Hearted Gifts, along with the wonderful work of people on the ground, you help end poverty.

How it works

When you select a gift card for a family member or a loved one this Christmas, you’re also making a donation to a community development project. Your tax-deductible donation will fund vital community development projects that include the activity featured on your card.

  • You can give an eCard, a Gift Card (which is mailed to you for your use), or do a last-minute-dash and print your own as a PDF file.
  • Perhaps you need help working out what sort of gift to give? Use the Gift Generator to help you pick the perfect gift card, and make a difference on behalf of your loved one.

Tasmania Celebration Launch

Launceston and Hobart moments
A Time to Dedicate the Outreach Events with Will Graham, in 2022
Tasmania Celebration Launch, prayer events
  • LAUNCESTON: 6:30-8pm Friday 19th November Door of Hope Christian Church South Launceston
  • HOBART: 6:30-8pm Saturday 20th November C3 Convention Centre South Hobart
  • More info: tasmaniacelebration.org.au
Tasmania Celebration Launch

Converge Tasmania 2021

On the 17th August, 23 Tasmanian Baptist leaders from around the state met in Longford to prepare to speak out for the needs of the global poor, refugees and survivors of domestic violence.

Our church has been talking for some time about what it means to actively engage in issues of justice in the broader community. Ten of us made it to the Converge conference because we saw when Baptist churches work together in areas like these, we’re much more effective.
The work the different Baptist agencies have done in putting together the JUSTICE 2021 Report gives us a credibility and tangible way forward we simply could not do on our own.

Pastor Matt Garvin (Citywide)

Since then, Tasmanian Baptist teams have visited the local member in each of our five federal electorates, and to as many of our 12 senators as possible as part of Converge 2021. At each meeting they have discussed big issues, and presented each one with a copy of the Australian Baptist Justice 2021 report.

Check out the slideshow! Below there are photos of only five of the ten visits that took place.

  • Rodney Marshall, Jacinta Sinclair (BaptCare), Brian Mitchell, and Jeff McKinnon.
  • Mrs Bridget Archer MP, (Liberal) Member for Bass: Ed Love, Kay Hunter, Bridget Archer (wearing a climate scarf), Maddy Svoboda, Jenna Blackwell, Karlin Love
  • Jono Duniam, Stephen Baxter, Matt Henderson, Liam Conway. With Michael Henderson (photographer)
  • Receiving the Australian Baptist Justice 2021 report in Launceston with Jeff McKinnon, Kay Hunter and Stephen Avery
  • Kay Hunter, Ed Love, Sen. Helen Polley, Karlin Love, Jeff McKinnon

POLITICIANTEAM
Mr Brian Mitchell (ALP) Member for LyonsRodney Marshall, Jacinta Sinclair (BaptCare) and Jeff McKinnon
Mrs Bridget Archer MP, (Lib) Member for BassEd Love, Kay Hunter, Maddy Svoboda, Jenna Blackwell, Karlin Love
Sen. Jonathon Duniam, (Lib) ClarkStephen Baxter, Matt Henderson, Liam Conway, Michael Henderson
Sen. Peter Whish Wilson, (Greens) BassJeff McKinnon, Kay Hunter, Stephen Avery
Sen. Helen Polley, (ALP) BassKay Hunter, Ed Love, Karlin Love, Jeff McKinnon
Mr Andrew Wilkie MP, (Ind) Member for ClarkMichael Henderson, Stephen Baxter, Liam Conway
Sen. Anne Urquhart, (ALP) FranklinMichael Henderson and team
Hon. Julie Collins MP, (ALP) Member for FranklinMatt Garvin and team
Mr Gavin Pearce MP, (Lib) Member for BraddonNicholas Alexander and team
Sen. Anne Urquhart, (ALP) Braddon Nicholas Alexander and team
Converge Tasmania Team visits to Politicians 2021

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4th November 2021

Book Review

Finding God in Brazil: Personal stories to amaze and inspire
Author: Dr John B Dyer
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN: 978-1979439817
Available: $15AUD from Amazon >>>
Finding God in Brazil; Need to Know Nov-Dec 2021

Dr Dyer describes this book as a series of stories about his experience of living and working in Brazil over a period of 33 years. His story involves the stories of other people, and both become interwoven into a single fabric.

I found this book to be easy to read as it written in everyday language without the use of theological jargon. There is humility in Dr Dyer’s sharing. His sense of humour is evident as he tells of the lighter moments of being a missionary in Brazil. Clearly, he has an obvious love for the Brazilian people.

I am struck by the tenacity of both Dr. Dyer, and his wife Maria. They persevered through many hardships that come with living in a different culture. As well, there are difficulties with many subcultures, and a varied terrain and climate throughout Brazil. They also experienced personal tragedy with their first child being stillborn, and their second child dying 24-hours after birth. There is also adventure and danger. For example, John was hit by a car, and held at gunpoint in his own home!

A young child is miraculously healed of malaria in an Amazonian rainforest. And also a young man with cancer, given two-years to live in 1985, continues to serve God to this day. Yes, God still performs miracles.

John describes his book this way; “The aim of the book, written from the perspective of a Christian missionary working in the most remote parts of the country, as well as in some major urban centres, is to show how God is perceived to be involved in our everyday affairs.”

In my opinion, he has been successful in this aim!

Karen Buckney

Karen Buckney, Assistant Administrator
Tasmanian Baptists

Faith and the Arts

FATA22 Online from Poatina, 7-11 January 2022

Jump on faithandthearts.org.au to check out the amazing range of Electives and Mix It Ups

Faith and the Arts 2022; Need to Know Nov-Dec 2021

Faith and the Arts is an awesome annual conference held in Poatina, Tasmania, targeting creatives of all disciplines and skill levels. The aim is “to come together to give time and space to their faith-art journey.” 

I have always got heaps out of it, both personally and within my creative practices. There are always great speakers, highly skilled teachers, and a heap of fun. I especially appreciate the chance to try practices I am not familiar with.

This year it is online (Covid! they hope to return to normal in person in 2023). I am leading an afternoon workshop on Monday this year, called “Small Prophetic Art”. Hope to see you there.

Michael Henderson

Michael Henderson, Mission and Leadership Development Coordinator
Tasmanian Baptists

Ethical Fashion Guide

Baptist World Aid’s 2021 Ethical Fashion Report finds lingering gaps in wages, sustainability  
2021 Ethical Fashion Guide; Need to Know Nov-Dec 2021

People, planet or profit? What’s most important to consumers in purchasing the brands they like?

Today you can find out. The 2021 Ethical Fashion Guide/Report is now on the Baptist World Aid website, along with some great new features for consumers to communicate directly with brands. This year’s report also explores the impact of COVID on garment workers; slavery/exploitation of all workers in the supply chain; and the environment.

The grades of the brand companies within the report/guide reflect some progress, but we have a long way to go!

 About the 2021 Ethical Fashion Report   

With its mission to end poverty, Baptist World Aid Australia has published the Ethical Fashion Report since 2013. As one of Australia’s leading publications on ethical fashion, the Ethical Fashion Report and Guide helps consumers make better choices based on thorough data from almost 100 companies representing more than 400 brands. 


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The Man (or Woman) in the Mirror

Man in the mirror (or woman)
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youth and young adults:

A Check on your own attitudes and responses to the world. Who is that “Man in the Mirror”?
By Jenna Blackwell

Do you listen to Michael Jackson? It can be difficult not to sing along to songs like Beat It, I Want You Back, or Man in the Mirror. A friend recently played a Jackson song as a trivia night question, and while it didn’t create an uproar, it certainly started discussion!

Not sure what I’m talking about? Welcome to cancel culture – the culture that ‘cancels’ a person, group or organisation due to a conflict in values. It is now at work in our community today.

Michael Jackson: This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC
Man in the Mirror

Predominantly, it happens when there is a perception of immoral or unethical production, content, or in Jackson’s case, inappropriate behaviour with young people.

A Growing Awareness

People in today’s society, especially younger adults, are affected by mistrust, abuse and non-transparency. It may be because of their own experiences or learnt second-hand from the experiences of their parents. It includes the unbridled use of the planet’s resources, often fuelled by greed and unsustainable practices. Young people have an awareness in their hearts of the need for justice, equality, and fairness.

People in today’s society, especially younger adults, have been affected by mistrust, abuse and non-transparency.

The rise of clothing companies who value ethical practices and sustainability is a response to the is a concern of many, including the younger generation. This is because consumers boycott companies due to unethical treatment of workers. And more younger adults switch to ethical banks and superannuation funds.

Recently, our Mission Director, Stephen Baxter wrote, “The challenges facing churches are not due to the Church gone wrong, but a world grown different . . . God uses times like these to reform and renew his Church.”

Actions Speak Louder

So, what does this have to do with ministry for children, youth, and young adults?

These days, character speaks more than competency, and trust must be built and maintained. We have a message that needs to be heard by those who have never heard it, and by those who have heard a different variation of it.

We have a message that needs to be heard by those who have never heard it.
"Man in the Mirror"

It is a message of hope in Jesus Christ – not just for eternal life, but for transformation, change and love – here and now.

In these days of cancel culture, when character, integrity and aligning actions speak volumes (and the lack of such speaks even louder), we have a message that needs to be heard.

Since I started working for Tas Baptists a few years ago, several youth groups have shut down. Two new ones started, but overall, the youth scene has significantly decreased. This is sad and frustrating. And, while I am prone to take responsibility upon myself, we all have a part to play.

If younger people are willing to pay more for something that has a greater impact, what’s stopping them connecting with the cost of following Jesus?

Ponder these Points

As we imagine how to re-engage with younger generations (or any of society), let me present you with some points to ponder:

  • Following Jesus is costly. If younger people are willing to pay more for something that has a greater impact, what’s stopping them connecting with the cost of following Jesus?
    • Is it purely a lack of knowing or hearing? Or is it not being exampled?
    • Is it a lack of trust based on history – how we’ve treated people and the planet?
  • How well do speak of, and example, our Jesus of compassion, mercy, truth and forgiveness?
  • Do we value their voice? Are we too caught up in our well-known and well-loved songs?
  • Quite practically, is our tea and coffee ethically produced and traded? In other words, do we care more about Kingdom values or dollar values?

Checking that Man in the Mirror

Two questions for you to consider as you go about your work today, your church meetings and your Bible study.
"Man in the Mirror"

So, I have two questions for you to consider as you go about your work today, your church meetings and your Bible study. Let me challenge you to check yourself in the mirror.

  1. What are you doing with Jesus’ message of hope?

  2. How can you (and your church) share it, and example it, with the young people in your life?

Maybe today, you can take one small step towards sharing that message of hope with our young people.


Jenna Blackwell

Jenna Blackwell was, until recently, overseeing the Baptist youth and young adults’ ministry in Tasmania. She is the Tasmanian Baptists’ Leadership Development Coach, and a member of the AB Next Generations taskforce.
jenna@tasbaptists.org.au


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