HEARTLANDS News Winter 2022

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

    Diary Dates

    Check the details on these events by scrolling down.
    Have you subscribed to Heartlands to find out about events in your region?

    • Fri/Sat 24/25 June SOUTH Shelter Retreat – read the overview!
    • Sunday 31st July NORTH Cosy Cuppa, Chat & Craft at Westbury Baptist
    • Saturday 17th September NORTHWEST Coffee and Walk, Latrobe
    • Late Oct/Early Nov World Women’s Day Of Prayer – events across the state

    OVERVIEW: SHELTER Retreat

    Southern Event

    FRI/SAT 24-25 June 2022, Blackmans Bay

    How the Shelter retreat weekend unfolded

    OUR THEME: SHELTER

    Shelter Retreat, Heartlands Autumn 2022

    Everyone needs it. God provides it. We sleep, eat and live in it.

    But how do you live in the SHELTER of the Most High God?

    “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

    Psalm 91:1

    Overview of the SHELTER Retreat

    Denise Stephenson and Jenny Baxter
    Denise and Jenny
    • The retreat was led by Denise Stephenson (LifeWay) and Jenny Baxter (Hobart)
    • A rejuvenating literal Sabbath, from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday
    • Delicious home-cooked meals, in an intimate setting
    • Great connection with old and new friends
    • Amazing harp music – live and in-person!
    • Times of input, plus silence and reflection
    • Creative activities to keep minds focussed, and hands busy
    • A trip to the beach to explore and reflect
    • Private counselling and prayer opportunities
    • A real sense of God’s SHELTER in this busy world

    Denise and Jenny are available to run similar women’s retreats in other parts of Tasmania.

    To express interest please contact Jenny at empowher@tasbaptists.org.au

    What’s Coming Up?

    Pig Island Walk, Latrobe

    Northwestern Event

    10:30am Saturday 17th September
    Pig Island Walk with EmpowHer, Sept 2022

    Invite Others! Download Brochure

    Join a friendly leisurely walk at Pig Island Latrobe on the Mersey River.

    Continue with coffee at at Monclair of Latrobe and Madame M Cafe.

    All women welcome!

    RSVP or MORE INFO:

    Gabrielle – 0421 434 138

    International Women’s Day of Prayer

    Late October/Early November 2022

    This year there will be Day of Prayer events held in the north, northwest and south of Tasmnia as we pray toether and raise funds for Baptist women working on some amazing projects in developing countries.

    Subscribe to HEARTLANDS to find out details of these events as they come to hand!


    Cosy Cuppa, Chat & Craft

    Northern Event – NOW OVER!

    2:30PM, SUNday 31st JULY 2022

    Invite Others! Download brochure

    Come along for a cuppa and craft at Westbury Baptist for a relaxed afternoon together.

    We will be joined by special guests Maria Hutchison (Newstead) and Lacey Holloway (Westbury).

    RSVP or MORE INFO:

    Jenna – 0488 330 390; Belinda – 0408 267 188 | Or via our Facebook group: EmpowHer (North)


    Action for You

    Invite someone along

    Have you noticed that not everyone is back yet?

    Winter walk at the beach
    We all need each other!

    Post-Covid hesitancy is a thing. Maybe it’s because people are reluctant to move out of their houses and safe spaces. Or maybe we got used to managing on our own.

    Whatever the reason, it’s true to say we all need each other. Being part of a community is critical to good mental and emotional health.

    Whether or not you are wary about getting back into circulation, why not ask a friend to come with you? That could be as simple as going for a walk together on the beach, grabbing a coffee at a local café, or heading off to the gym or church together.

    Or maybe you could invite someone to one of the EmpowHer events lined up in your region.

    It’s a good time to be the blessing!


    God’s Whisper

    It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem. Instead, remember to listen for God’s still, quiet voice.

    By Jenny Baxter

    Too many people and not enough food!
    How many times have you been caught in that situation? I have to admit, I’ve been there a few times. Tiny servings of apple crumble, and thinned-down pumpkin soup have featured on my table, much to my horror.

    Read More >


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

    EmpowHer

    God’s Whisper

    God's Whisper

    Waiting for that still, quiet voice

    God’s Whisper

    Heartlands News

    It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem.

    By Jenny Baxter

    Too many people and not enough food! How many times have you been in that situation? I have to admit, I’ve been caught with that a few times. Very small servings of apple crumble, and thinned-down pumpkin soup have featured on my table, much to my horror.

    Have you noticed how we usually try to solve problems using our own nicely thought up solutions? That’s what the disciples did in this story when Jesus gave them an out-of-the-box response . . .

    By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” Mark 6:35-36 (NIV)

    When faced with catering for 5,000, they suggested the crowds go find their own food. They were providing the obvious, most expedient and rational solution to quite a large problem. It was an immediate response – they didn’t stop to consider Jesus may have a far more creative solution sitting in the background. I have to admit, small servings of apple crumble was my best solution one wintry evening.

    Just like the disciples, when I faced a problem, I automatically turned my mind to solving it. However, sometimes there is a way ahead which I did not expect nor plan. It is at those points of dire need, when things seem to have fallen apart, that miracles happen.

    The BEST Plan?

    It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem, and to look at it from a human perspective. To gather information and to analyse the best course of action – the most sensible path. Yep. Small serves!

    To the disciples, they suggested what seemed to be the best plan. But did they come to the Master with the problem? No. It took Andrew, another of the disciples, to offer a different course of action.

    … Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:7-9 (NIV)

    The unexpected extra in this scenario was one young boy with some dinner!

    What a thoughtful and aware mother he had. There’s no mention of her in the story, but I bet she never even dreamt that the food she sent with her son was to be used for a miracle. Just as well she let her son go off to listen to Jesus that day – with food.

    I wonder what my unexpected extra might have been if I had thought to come to Jesus with my apple crumble problem?

    Learnings for us

    • Sometimes our nicely thought-out solutions leave little room for God to work.
    • Creative answers will mostly come from unexpected sources. Perhaps it is wise to listen for God’s whisper before acting.
    • Miracles always arrive when there is hardly any hope left. While we often ask for miracles, actually, requiring a miracle is a terrible position to be in!
    • God’s capacity far, far exceeds our capacity.
    • Mothers (and women in general) are often good at thinking ahead. Maybe I could have thought ahead a bit more with those apples.
    • HOPE is always an option when Jesus is in the equation.

    So, if you are facing a difficult problem – from scheduling issues and lack of resources; to financial hang-ups and not enough dessert – the best idea is to pray and wait for God’s still, small voice (see 1 Kings 19:12).

    Rushing around and stressing about the outcome is usually a waste of time.

    I wonder what would happen if you listened first, and then acted, whenever there was a difficulty? What would it mean for your family, your workplace and your friendships? Not to mention your meals?

    If you listen to God’s whisper, perhaps you will find an unexpected solution, outside-the-box.


    Jenny Baxter

    Jenny Baxter is the State Director for EmpowHer*, and the Communications Manager for Tasmanian Baptists. She is married to Stephen, and they have five children and four grandkids, spread from Hobart to Melbourne to Madrid!   

    * EmpowHer is an activity of Tasmanian Baptist Women

    Read more about EMPOWHER – Tasmanian Baptist Women’s Ministry


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    HEARTLANDS News Autumn 2022

    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

      Diary Dates

      Watch out for more info coming from your region, directly to you.

      • Saturday 21st May NORTH Basin Café and Gorge Walk.
      • Saturday 24-25th June SOUTH Day-Retreat: “Shelter”
      • Late Oct/Early Nov World Women’s Day Of Prayer – events across the state

      What’s Happening?

      Basin Café and Gorge Walk

      9:30am, Saturday 21st May 2022
      EmpowHer Walk May 2022, Heartlands Autumn 2022

      Invite Others! Download brochure

      Join us for a cuppa at Basin Cafe (RSVP required)

      A walk through the Gorge to Duck Reach will follow (weather permitting)

      RSVP ESSENTIAL


      SHELTER Retreat

      5pm to 5pm, FRI/SAT 24-25 June 2022, Blackmans Bay

      SHELTER

      Everyone needs it. God provides it. We sleep, eat and live in it.

      But how do you live in the SHELTER of the Most High God?

      Shelter Retreat, Heartlands Autumn 2022

      “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
      will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

      Psalm 91:1
      • Led by Denise Stephenson (LifeWay) and Jenny Baxter (Hobart)
      • $45/person Covers food and materials. (This is a non-residential retreat.) Contact us if you have hesitations about cost. There are other ways you can contribute. Contact us if you have any hesitations about cost. There are other ways you can contribute.
      • Get your Rego Form Call or SMS Jenny 0401 652 566
      • Invite Others! Download brochure

      Action for You

      Praying with intention

      Do you often pray like this?

      Praying with Intention; Heartlands Autumn 2022
      • God bless Mary
      • Lord, please look after my son
      • Jesus, can you please stop all wars
      • Father, give me a good life

      These are all good prayers, and quite legitimate, but they are so general! They are all “motherhood prayers” – prayers so broad it is impossible to know if God truly answers them.

      Instead, pray with intention. Fill those prayers with meaning and talk to God about what worries you. And, when prompted, follow up your prayer with action. Relationship is critical to answered prayer.

      How different are these prayers to those above?

      • God, how can I bless Mary today?
      • Lord, give me wisdom as I call my son, so I can encourage him.
      • Jesus, I pray about the war in Ukraine. Is there something I can do to assist?
      • Father, help me to love and care for others around me, even if my life is not so good.

      It’s a time to be the blessing!


      Undervalued or Super Loved?

      Undervalued or super loved, Heartlands Autumn 2022

      Women’s ministry at Beauty Point

      By Rachelle Hawkins

      Since the The Point* Baptist’s inception in 2006, we have endeavoured to hold many outreach events to reach our town of Beauty Point.

      The message is always about who Jesus is, and why it’s important. These events include men’s dinners, women’s dessert nights, concerts, kids’ clubs, and an annual visit by Texan missionaries who do all the above, and more.

      We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.

      Read More >


      The Science of Seeing God

      ANNETTE SPURR, Heartlands Autumn 2022

      Gratitude and thankfulness for the World, the Universe, and Everything!

      By A.J. Spurr

      Recently, I interviewed a young man who had been struggling with addiction since the age of 12. He had completed a program at a Christian rehab centre, and while he was there, he encountered Jesus.

      “The first thing I noticed,” he said, “was that I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before, even though it had been happening the whole time. I was finally able to feel it.”

      So, what had changed?

      Read More >


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

      EmpowHer

      Undervalued or Super Loved?

      Supervalued or underloved

      Heartlands – Autumn 2022

      Women’s Ministry at The Point

      By Rachelle Hawkins

      Heartlands News

      Since the The Point* Baptist’s inception in 2006, we have endeavoured to hold many outreach events to reach our town of Beauty Point. The message is always about who Jesus is, and why it’s important. These events include men’s dinners, women’s dessert nights, concerts, kids’ clubs, and an annual visit by Texan missionaries who do all the above, and more.

      We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.

      At the beginning of last year, we were feeling disappointed that international borders were still closed due to Covid-19. It meant our Texan friends could not come out to hold their mission outreach. As well, watching social media, it was clear our town had a number of people experiencing varying levels of anxiety, grief, depression, loneliness, confusion and hopelessness. We, as a church, long to share the hope Jesus offers.

      Cormorant Café - Undervalued or Super loved
      The Point Baptist Church meets here:
      The Cormorant Café, Seahorse World

      A timely visit

      Wendy Marston
      Wendy Marston

      When I was visiting Newstead Baptist Church, I was taken with the personable and articulate way Wendy Marston led the service. Her voice conveyed a particular sense of love and care. And her words conveyed her love for the Lord and the people and activities of the church.

      After the service I asked her if she’s ever shared her story. At first she said no. Then remembered she had shared it once before. I asked if she would be willing to share her story again to a group of ladies in Beauty Point, and without hesitation she said yes, she would.

      So we planned another women’s event.

      And the response? Outstanding!

      The vent was soaked in prayer - Super loved

      We decided to host a 3-course meal in The Cormorant Cafe, cooked by our chef. Wendy would be our speaker, and I invited a musician – guitarist and singer/songwriter Briar Marshall to bring some music. Wendy titled her talk “Undervalued or Super Loved?” and this went out on all the invitations.

      The event was soaked in prayer, and was run by a team of women helping the logistics.

      The responses came flooding in. We were all floored when 54 people RSVP’d to come, with 26 of these not currently attending church. On the night, we announced we were about to start a new Bible study, designed to introduce people to the life and love of Jesus.

      From this initial night, seven ladies became part of the Bible study. A follow-up Bible study is currently underway, with most of the same ladies plus some new ones.

      The debrief – Reflecting on what happened

      We consider this outreach meal particularly successful. What made it so, compared with many events we’ve held which were all equally prayed over?

      1. Timing – it was June 2021 and people (especially mums) were keen to get out of the house
      2. Offering a free meal in a café, which was neutral territory
      3. The title of the talk “Undervalued …. Or Super-loved?” resonated with a lot of the attendees. This can not be stated enough, as a number of women commented that it sounded like something they “really needed to hear”.
      4. Having the follow-up bible study planned, with flyers to hand out, which allowed the ladies to respond on the spot, by expressing interest in a bible study.

      Beauty Point still has a whole lot of people who need to hear of the hope and forgiveness that Jesus offers, and the lengths he went to, to purchase it. We hope 2022 brings more opportunities to share His love.

      Jesus died because sin is killing us

      Undervalued and super loved

      Invest in people's lives and get to know them. Super valued!

      The important thing, in my view, is to recognise that without the forgiveness of Jesus, people all around us are heading for eternity without him. We, at the Point Baptist, feel the burden of telling that message clearly.

      So whether that’s through personal/friendship evangelism or inviting friends to events such as the Tasmania Celebration with Will Graham. Perhaps by investing in people’s lives, getting to know them and showing a genuine interest in them. Or events like the one described above.

      All these create opportunities to explain Jesus died because sin is killing us. His life and death was God’s plan to deal with our problem of sin and death. What an exchange!

      Once someone accepts Jesus’ free gift of forgiveness, they have a restored relationship with the God of the Universe. Even more than that, He comes and lives inside them to guide, shape, convict and counsel them, and to transform them into the likeness of Jesus for the rest of their life!

      That’s one heck of a deal that people living all around us don’t even know is offered.


      About Rachelle

      Rachelle Hawkins grew up in rural NSW and studied science at Newcastle University.  Immediately after marrying Craig, they moved to Tasmania where Craig took up a job as a forester.  Here she studied aquaculture and was employed as Senior Biologist at the newly starting seahorse farm in Beauty Point.  Six children and many thousands of seahorses later, Rachelle loves nothing more than coffee with friends, time with family, her involvement with the Point Baptist Church, local soccer, and driving the taxi for her kids. 


      * The Point Baptist Church in Beauty Point is a small congregation in a small town. We meet at 5pm every Sunday in The Cormorant – Café on the Pier, which is upstairs in Seahorse World.

      Read More in the Autumn 2022 Heartlands >

      The Science of Seeing God

      The science of seeing God

      Heartlands – Autumn 2022

      In Awe of God’s Creation

      Gratitude and thankfulness for the World, the Universe, and Everything!

      Heartlands News
      "I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before"
Seeing God
      “I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before.”

      Recently, I interviewed a young man who had been struggling with addiction since the age of 12. He had completed a program at a Christian rehab centre, and while he was there, he encountered Jesus.

      “The first thing I noticed,” he said, “was that I could feel the breeze on my skin. I’d never experienced it before, even though it had been happening the whole time. I was finally able to feel it.”

      So, what had changed?

      Romans 12:2 explains that you’re transformed as you renew your mind. But how does one go about doing that?

      ‘You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

      Matthew 5:8 (MSG)

      Awe and Wonder

      Have you ever watched a newborn discover their hand for the first time? It’s mesmerising. They slowly turn their wrist, then watch in wonder as each finger, one by one, moves by the power of their mind, their eyes as wide as dinner plates at the sheer wonder of it. Then they discover their feet and toes and the slow, awe filled dance continues.

      But then one day, their hands and feet are just ‘there.’ No longer mesmerising, just existing without fanfare.

      A while ago, a friend severed the top of his finger and it had to be surgically reattached. His whole finger was wrapped up tight for weeks while it healed. When it was finally unwrapped, his fingertip was so sensitive to touch, like electricity running through his hand, he had to get used to it all over again. I imagine that’s what it feels like for newborns; every touch like electricity, until their brain and senses adapt.

      Auto-pilot vs High alert

      The fact is, if we spent our days staring at the wonder of our hands, and feeling electricity at every touch, we wouldn’t get very much done. So our brains have a ‘block out’ system, ensuring we only notice what’s ‘necessary’ at the time. It’s why you can drive home from work and have no recollection of the journey.

      Your brain is on ‘auto-pilot’ in familiar surroundings. But it’s on high alert, taking in every street name and landmark when you’re driving in unfamiliar territory. Put simply; if we took in every piece of information thrown at us each day, our brains would not cope.

      It means that noticing things which have become familiar doesn’t come easily. We have to consciously make an effort to notice, and strive not to lose the wonder in the familiar. Being transformed, as it were, by the daily renewing our minds (Romans 12:2).

      Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

      Romans 12:2

      Seeing God

      So, what does a breeze have to do with seeing God? Well, what if I told you that God is speaking to you every day through His creation?

      ‘See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth… “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”’

      Psalm 46:8-10 (MSG)

      Your whole outlook on the world changes when you literally stop to smell the roses. Stand under a canopy of trees and recognise the creativity that went into designing each leaf, and the delight God must have felt as he crafted each of the colourful birds chattering amongst the branches, and taught them to weave elaborate nests, miraculously engineered to survive summer storms.

      smelling roses, seeing God
      “Your whole outlook on the world changes when you literally stop to smell the roses.”

      I explain more about the science behind ‘God encounters’ in my book, ‘The Simple Joy of Seeing God.’ But when the Bible says, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ here’s what it really means…

      A while ago, I was struggling with anxiety as I walked through a particularly stressful season in my life. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, literally causing pain in my back and neck. My heart racing, tears flowing, I stepped outside and lay on the thick carpet of grass in our backyard.

      As I lay still, gazing upwards, slowly, the thoughts in my head quietened, and for the first time in a long time, I started to hear birds happily chirping as they flittered to-and-fro, and the wistful hum of bees as they gathered around a tree bloom. A sense of peace and lightness came over me.

      “Now,” His familiar voice gently whispers, “now I have your attention.”


      ‘Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.
      Remember the world of wonders he has made.’

      Psalm 105:4-5 (MSG)

      A.J. Spurr
      Author, The Simple Joy of Seeing God (2021)

      A.J. Spurr is a speaker, freelance writer and regular radio guest who has worked in media for over 20 years. A.J. is a praying mama of two boys and happy wife of a footy-loving, barbecue aficionado. 

      READ MORE in the Autumn 2022 Heartlands

      Praying for Alice

      Alice's Wedding Welcome Table

      A Lifetime of Prayer

      Heartlands News
      Jenny Baxter

      By Jenny Baxter, Tasmanian Director, EmpowHer

      What do you do when the answers don’t seem to be coming?

      While my life flashed before my eyes, I sat in the Spanish winter sunshine, nervously waiting for the bride, our Alice, to be given away.

      Well, it wasn’t my life exactly. It was pieces of Alice’s life I’d kept close in my heart. Moments I had participated in, helped with, and cried over. 

      The memories flickered through my mind like precious flowers, once fresh but now pressed, faded and time-worn.

      FLASH: Her traumatic assisted delivery, after an almost-C-section.

      FLASH: The trip to Canada before she could even crawl.

      FLASH: Sitting in piano lessons, piano lessons, piano lessons.

      FLASH: Tears over a nasty gravel graze, her first week on a bike.

      FLASH: Her first grown-up hairdo, Grade Six graduation night.

      FLASH: Torn, watching her lag at the back of a pack of high-schoolgirls, convinced she was born to lead.

      FLASH: Goodbyes on the bus, leaving home for Victoria, little knowing she was really on her way to France, via Sydney and Japan!

      The memories flickered through my mind like precious flowers, once fresh but now pressed, faded and time-worn. Compressed into short minutes.

      And the prayers. Especially, I remembered the prayers. So many for this very moment. This day, when she would promise: To have and to hold from this day forward.

      Praying for Alice – and the switch

      Prayer is a commitment I made to my children as each was born. I pray for them all, regularly.

      As well, I committed to pray for each one’s life-partner as both halves were forming and founding, maturing and mellowing, living and learning. What better time to sow into their lives until the two became one? Granted, I didn’t know who those partners would be. But God did.

      For well over three decades, I prayed for Alice, and her as-yet unknown husband. Where was he? What had happened to him? My hope wore out.

      Only a year ago, Alice had given up. But during one Zoom call, from somewhere deep down, I found the words to encourage her to keep believing he would materialise. Tearily, she’d agreed. But only when remembering the letter her close-to-death grandfather had written 13 years ago, for opening on this very day.

      It’s hard to believe it was only 10 months since I’d switched up my praying. Inspired by the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24,  I stopped asking for a husband. Instead, I audaciously asked for Alice to be the answer to someone else’s prayer.

      The most unexpected answer

      And here he was. My soon to be son-in-law, AJ. Arthur Jnr. Standing with the minister, patiently waiting for Alice. He was everything I had hoped for, and nothing like I expected.

      I didn’t know he would be Nigerian-American. Or that he would live in Spain. Or that Alice would move to France, and now Spain, to join him for their new future. How little I knew!

      But those qualities. They were everything I had prayed for. Faithful. Caring. Believing. Strong. Determined. Loving. Kind.  

      Her moment had come. That prayer from her birth, now answered before my very eyes. God’s magnificent answer.

      And then came Alice on her Dad’s arm! Jessica’s Theme melodically bringing an undeniably Aussie flavour, and tears to my eyes. She was ready. In love. Looking gorgeous and dewy-eyed. Having waited all those years.

      Alice and her dad, walking the aisle to "Jessica's Theme" from Man from Snowy River. Photo Credit: Jonas Mantay

      Here was the culmination of a lifetime of prayer. Pinching myself this was all real, I was so aware it was a moment I will savour forever, that morning in the wintry Spanish sunshine. It was an ending and a beginning. The old and the new. The faded and the fresh.

      My prayers for Alice and her future husband, are now complete. Thank you God!

      But, you know, there is more to come. From here on, I pray for Alice and her newfound family.


      Alice and AJ

      Alice’s life in pictures

      • Alice at 2
      • Alice at 4
      • Alice at 10
      • Alice at 12
      • Alice at 14
      • Alice at 17
      • Alice at 24
      • Alice at 29
      • Alice at 32
      • Nigerian betrothal. Photo credit Jonas Mantay
      • Mr and Mrs - celebrate.  Photos Credit: Jonas Mantay

      Heartlands News

      This story was first published in HEARTLANDS Summer 21-22.
      This is the quarterly e-mail news for EmpowHer, an activity of Tasmanian Baptist Women.

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

      EmpowHer

      HEARTLANDS News Summer 2022

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

      Table of Contents

        Diary Dates

        There’s a few things coming up in the EmpowHer Calendar!
        Watch out for more info coming from your region.

        • Sunday 27th February Northern Walk at Tamar Island. SEE BROCHURE for details >
        • Monday 4th April Release week for HEARTLANDS Autumn
        • Saturday 9th April Proposed Southern Day-Retreat: “Shelter”
        • Saturday 21st May Northern event. Stay posted for details!

        Recent EmpowHer Events

        Ladies Event at Ulverstone Baptist

        Tuesday 30th November 2021

        Ladies evening with Amanda Cox 30Nov21, heartlands-news-summer-2022

        The evening went off! Attending on the night were 93 women to hear speaker, Amanda Cox, talk about belief systems.

        Many of the women at Ulverstone Baptist invited their friends and family members. The talk was both inspiring and challenging, and the delicious supper afterwards was a great time to share some treats and good conversation with friends.

        Congratulations to Gabe Fife and her team for pulling off a wonderful pre-Christmas event.


        Action for You

        Thinking outside your box

        heartlands-news-summer-2022

        It’s both an interesting and challenging time in Tasmania. COVID has caught up with us! No matter where you are in the pandemic journey, it’s always good to connect with others to encourage, and intentionally create a safe space to engage.

        So . . . who can you catch up with, one-on-one? Who do you know who might need someone to talk to? You could go out for coffee. Meet at the park. Call someone up. Or, make an effort to connect more deeply after church.

        These can become moments of connection, support and encouragement for both you and your friend or family member. Maybe you could even offer to pray for them, or ask them to pray for you?

        There are many ways you can interact to make sure others are cared for during this time.

        It’s a time to be the blessing!


        Praying for Alice

        Jenny Baxter

        By Jenny Baxter, Tasmanian Director, EmpowHer

        Praying for Alice became my lifetime passion

        While my life flashed before my eyes, I sat in the Spanish winter sunshine, nervously waiting for the bride, our Alice, to be given away.

        Well, it wasn’t my life exactly. It was pieces of Alice’s life I’d kept close in my heart. Moments I had participated in, helped with, and cried over. 

        The memories flickered through my mind like precious flowers, once fresh but now pressed, faded and time-worn.

        Read More >


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

        EmpowHer

        WALK | PRAY | LOVE

        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

        NOVEMBER 2021 EVENTS

        EmpowHer

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

        REGIONDATETIMEWHEREWHAT
        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
        SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE INFO

        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: admin@ub.church 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

        People

        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.

        Without.

        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?
        READ Jenna’s POEM, INSPIRED BY THIS ARTICLE
        Jenna Blackwell

        Jenna Blackwell is the Tasmanian Baptist Mission and Leadership Coach
        jenna@tasbaptists.org.au


        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

        prayer:

        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.
        (president@bwpacific.org)

        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.
        HERE ARE SOME PRE-ORGANISED TASMANIAN EVENTS!

        PARTICIPATE WITH WOMEN IN TASMANIA

        NORTHWEST
        7:30-8:30pm Monday 1st November
        Gather in homes and groups to pray.
        DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> |
        Contact Gabe Fife (gabfife@gmail.com)

        NORTH
        7:30-8:30pm Monday 1st November
        Gather in homes and groups to pray.
        DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> | Contact Wendy Marston (wendy.marston@iinet.net.au)

        SOUTH
        7:30-8:30pm Friday 5th November 2021
        Coffee and Dessert evening at Hobart Baptist Church.
        DOWNLOAD FLYER >>> | Jenny Baxter (jenny@tasbaptists.org.au)

        READ THE 2021 WORLD DAY OF PRAYER PROGRAM >>>

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