Monsoon rains regularly affect the north of Pakistan. However, this year recent rains, combined with melting glaciers, have created catastrophic flooding. Over 1,400 have died since June, a third of whom are children, and the floods have affected 33 million people. Sadly, the death toll rises daily.
‘There is no question Pakistan’s tragic floods will require a long-term response. A recovery that will take years,’ said Laura Fontaine, International Programs Manager at Baptist World Aid. ‘That’s why we have begun the immediate work of partnering with other Christian organisations and their local partners who are currently doing food and shelter distribution.’
Crops and livestock are destroyed and infrastructure between many villages is now non-existent. Pakistani officials say more than two million acres of agricultural land is flooded, preventing remaining farmers from planting new ones. They are calling the floods the worst in the region’s history.
‘Where do you drain the water? It’s an ocean. It’s a merciless sky.’
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Climate Minister
Pakistani government’s response
The government distributed water pumps in recent weeks, but the equipment is overwhelmed, according to Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate minister.
‘Where do you drain the water?’ Rehman said. ‘It’s an ocean. It’s a merciless sky.’
The flooding comes at a particularly difficult time for Pakistan. Economic downturns, poverty and food shortages have troubled the country.
‘The human toll is unimaginable in every way,’ Fontaine said. ‘Pakistan needs our prayers and our coordinated help to bring immediate relief and begin the difficult but crucial work of long-term recovery.’
PLEASE PRAY FOR PAKISTAN:
That children would be safe, reunited with family, and have psycho-social support;
For quick and safe delivery of humanitarian aid, despite flooded roads;
That God’s people would provide ongoing support, prayer and assistance for the Pakistani people in the years to come.
Walk the World is an invitation for your church, families and people of all ages to get out in your local area and pray for your neighbourhood and the world.
This is a fun and interactive new way for you and your church, family or small group to have a Kingdom impact! Watch the video to find out more.
Across the weekend of 11th -13th November 2022, commit to praying as you walk, run, wheel, cycle, imagine or drive around your area. Pray for God to be at work in your community and in communities around the world.
As you do, our teams in Africa, Asia and Australia will be praying for you too!
Resource for all ages are coming soon. These are being developed to help equip and inform your prayer time as an individual, family or group.
23rd November 2022 | Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
The Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast brings together like-minded people from across Tasmania to pray for our State, our leaders, parliamentarians, businesses, schools, communities, and community organisations, our families, youth, and children. In the name of Jesus, we ask God to grant us the will and wisdom, the creativity and strength we need to care well for each other and to see Tasmania flourish in every dimension.
Hosted by Tasmanian Baptists’ Mission Director Stephen Baxter, you can join this special moment of unity and humility.
This year’s speaker is passionate Tasmanian, Robyn Moore. Robyn began her career as an educator, then explored her love of recording and entertainment in Sydney, becoming Australia’s most versatile voice-over artist in iconic commercials, award-winning syndicated radio comedy and in animation series, seen around the world.
She calls herself a “RE-MINDAVATOR” rather than a motivational speaker, and was recently recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list with an AM for services to the performing Arts and to Charitable Organisations.
Early-bird registrations close Friday 14th October 2022.
The sixth annual “small festival of art, music, and words” will be held in 2022 at the Huon Valley Hub. The workshops, live art, concerts, panel discussions, and award events will occur on the first weekend of the festival, with the exhibition continuing through the 14th.
The Pilgrim Artists Festival 2022 seeks submissions reflecting on Justice and Mercy.
Entries are accepted from Christian artists worldwide, of all ages. Your entry need not be explicitly religious, but should engage meaningfully with this year’s prompt.
If you are over 18, submit by 1 October and your submission is free. Late adult submissions incur a fee. We cannot accept adult submissions after 22nd October. If under 18, your submission is always free, and you may submit until 29th October.
See entry forms for further details, including terms and prizes.
Nancy Jones of Pamela Court Summerhill, passed away on the 20th July 2022 after a short illness.
Nancy was born in Hobart and attended the Macquarie Street School. In 1958 through to 1962, Nancy trained as a nurse’s assistant while studying to be a nurse in Aged Care. That same year Nancy moved to Launceston and met and married Clarrie Powell who had built a house in Walkers Avenue, going on to have two children, Karenlee (stillborn) and Shane.
In 1984 she met Des, and married him in 1985. Des’s son David became part of the family, and it was at this time that Nancy decided to dedicate her life to being a fantastic and wonderful mother. This included bringing up two of Des’s grandchildren Kirsten and Ricky who they adopted in 1991. She made it her mission to improve the lives of others.
While living at Hagley, Des and Nancy attended the Longford Baptist Church. They were involved in assisting with work among young people, especially at the annual camps at Liffey.
Des and Nancy and their two children, Kirsten and Ricky, attended the Newstead Baptist Church very regularly through the 1990s. Nancy was a passionate about craft. When she wasn’t filling her home with warmth and kindness, she could be found at the Newstead Baptist Church Chat ‘n’ Choose craft group.
Relatives and friends are respectively invited to attend Nancy’s Memorial Service at 11:30am on Sunday 11th September at Newstead Baptist Church.
Grief Seminar, Devonport
9:30am – 4:30pm, Tuesday 13th September
New Mornings is hosting a Grief Seminar in Devonport on Tuesday 13th September in partnership with other local services. A comprehensive program includes three educational streams for:
People who are grieving(at least three months after a loss).
People wishing to learn how to better support others.
People who support grieving clients in the course of their worke.g. support workers, community workers, pastors, chaplains, pastoral carers, nurses, carers, youth workers, teachers.
Please DOWNLOAD THIS FLYER to forward on to your leadership team, congregation and other contacts.
COST OF GRIEF SEMINAR:
Service providers: $95 early bird until 9th September; $135 standard after 9th September Community members: FREE! Due to extra funding received this week. Use Promo Code: SPEC-NM3 when you click the REGISTER button
He traveled to more than 15 nations, teaching leaders as well as preaching the Gospel. Peter is known for his passion for developing leaders through his weekly TV program on LTV known as the Excellent Life. As well as he runs the annual outreaches to Uganda’s many universities.
His greatest love is to help and encourage up-coming leaders. Peter has so far written two books, Your Vision Is Your Future and The African Pastors’ Handbook.
Carols in Your Backyard
Your church can run a local carols outreach, without the cost and complexity of professional musicians and staging!
Carols in Your Backyard is a professionally produced and recorded live-stream event for pre-evangelism at Christmas.
Produced by Gymea Baptist and now in its third year, it will be available free and unbranded. Gymea has decided to commit to the live-streamed format of carols due to its potential to reach more people than a traditional carols event and its ability to foster genuine relationships formed in smaller settings.
You can stream Carols in Your Backyard wherever you can set up a screen and speakers: in a park, church hall, car park, lounge room, or backyard.
On 28th August City Baptist held its final service in the historic Christchurch building in Frederick Street. This was a wonderful time of celebration and thanksgiving. The congregation reflected on the amazing 180 years of stories encapsulated in the old buildings.
Ivan James led those present through the long history of Baptists in Launceston, and Kay Hunter led a time of remembering and thanksgiving for the current congregation. A lovely fellowship lunch in Milton Hall capped off a great day as the doors were closed for the final time.
On Sunday 4th September City Baptist found their way to the Worldview Centre auditorium at St Leonards. This will be their home for about six months or so. Anthea Maynard and Jenna Blackwell led the Gathering in recognising our corporate calling as we step consciously into a new, liminal space.
Our Drop-in Centre ministry has also moved to a new venue, the Red Dove Café at Pilgrim Uniting in the city centre.
Comings and Goings Farewell to the Beeston family, Andy, Penny, Mikaela and Emalyn. We officially said goodbye at the service on the 7th of August. We shared lunch together after the service. Congratulations Gayatri & Sanjay Sagar on the arrival of Ruhi Sagar, sister to Brianna born 15th August 2022. Congratulations to Gateway’s A Reserve Men’s Basketball team on reaching finals. They played in the Baptist Grand Final on Saturday 27th August, and were runners up to the Free Reformed Men’s team. Final result 26 to 40. Our sincere love and condolences are extended to all the family of Chris Sundstrup who died at home on 31st August. Chris was a valued member of Gateway, a willing contributor and much appreciated Church Treasurer.
Guest speakersvisit Pastor Abdul-Karim Kamara brought the message to George Town Baptist Church on Sunday Morning 28th August. He asked the question “How Keen Are you to Serve the Lord?” It was a challenging and uplifting message.
Erik McKitrick addressed the Men’s Breakfast in August, explaining how we can effectively share the gospel in ways that are easy and inoffensive to others.
Wade Miller, whose family once owned the Hillwood apple and berry farms spoke at the September Breakfast meeting.
Men in the shed One recent Friday, the men were treated to some time in the shed with the master, Phil Marston, telling his story of the blessing of procuring these machines that enable him to manufacture anything out of metal. One such labour of love is his Lila (purple) 1948 Dodge Fargo which we got to have a look and listen to. Phil also demonstrated the art of cutting a thread on a bolt.
The men left with a couple of reflections: A master who has been doing the job for a long time knows his tools and what he is working with, reflecting Jeremiah 18:1-17 the Potter and the clay. Finally, when change comes, when our eyes are on God and not our situation we come out the stronger and blessed.
Spring into action! Newstead Baptist is springing into spring starting a new series: The Kings Apprentice: Our Moments with the Master, and providing resources to participate in a 40-day prayer guide.
On Sunday August 28th we had a meeting to develop our strategic plan for the next five years.
Pastor Dan is also glad to be moved into their new house in Newstead, and took a couple of weeks off to settle in.
A Very Special Service On Sunday, 4th September we celebrated our Church’s link to the Eskleigh Foundation which has, amongst its other services for people with a disability, this residential home in Perth.
Originally, our Church Hall was built by David and Mary Gibson and opened 160 years ago. When it grew too small, they built our Tabernacle in 1888, in which we continue to meet. When their large family home got too big for them, they gave it to the community as a place for adults with severe or multiple disabilities.
Several residents and their carers attend our morning service and where suitable other events during the week.
How the day went
On this particular Sunday, we had three buses turn up at 9:05 with a sense that the morning was going to be special.
How different to attend a service where our friends met, welcomed, and prayed for us. Two helped take up our offering with great enthusiasm, and another prayed her special prayer of thanks.
Ron, a carer who has continued to work past his age of retirement to bring them to our service, spoke of the impact coming to church has on the residents. To him, he believes that every Sunday morning has an impact. He referred to the scarfs and other things knitted by our members and the other gifts given to them over the years.
We were blessed to sit and be ministered to so enthusiastically by our lovely friends.
The theme of the service was Kindness, with a link to 1 Corinthians 13 with the encouragement for us all to seek out our neighbour as the Good Samaritan did, and show that special kindness that comes from God’s love to all we encounter people every day.
It is such a blessing that one of our members works at Eskleigh, and has a day-to-day relationship with the staff and residents. Rob arranged and led the service, followed by a great morning tea and fellowship.
Chocolate Winterfest The weekend of 14th August saw the return of the Latrobe Chocolate Winterfest, after a two year absence because of Covid. The Latrobe church over the years has taken part in the festival by inviting the Choir of High Hopes from Launceston to come and perform in the church on the Sunday afternoon. This year it was wonderful to have them back again. 25 choir members came and presented a wonderful afternoon of songs and items.
A “chocolate themed afternoon tea” followed, which everyone loved. Many people contributed to the amazing food on offer which included biscuits decorated with music notes in keeping with the music from the Choir. This was a great opportunity to be part of the community, and to be a witness to the people of Latrobe.
Getting together Just Blokes meets quarterly with some very interesting speakers. In June we heard from a former policeman who spoke of his work and his journey of overcoming cancer.
Just Girls. In June, our ladies met for breakfast at a cafe in Burnie, then onto some retail therapy in Devonport. In July, we met for lunch and enjoyed an interesting PowerPoint presentation. It was given by a local lady who has lived and worked overseas for many years.
Wednesday Get Together meets twice monthly. It’s a great time of fun and fellowship with carpet bowls and board games, a shared morning tea and a cake to celebrate those who have had birthdays.
Child sponsorship. We continue to support two children through Baptist World Aid with money from our cappuccino sales on Sunday morning after-church fellowship.
Domestic Violence Awareness We recently held a day seminar to inform us about domestic violence. This is to begin to prepare us as a church to minister to people who have suffered in this way. 25 people were educated, inspired, challenged, and began to see possibilities of how Citywide might develop a ministry in this area.
Alpha Citywide are in the middle of an Alpha course, the first we’ve offered for many years. We are delighted over 50 people attend, of whom approximately 12 are first time questioners and open to seeking God. Please pray with us for Kingdom growth.
Life Group Leaders’ Lunch We recently held the first of quarterly lunches for Life Group Leaders for training, encouragement and sharing of group issues. At Citywide, 10 different groups operate involving 100 people. We want to increase our support of these valuable groups who facilitate a large part of our pastoral care.
Farewell Heather Claremont are sad to announce that Heather Elise Hunt died on Saturday 23rd July after a short illness. She was aged 94.
Youth car wash HBC Youth, combined with the Boys’ Brigade, are raising funds to support a Karen teacher in a Thai refugee camp. So far they have raised over $1100, including $450 from a Saturday afternoon car wash and coffee event. Nice work everyone!
Alpha Course A Sunday afternoon Alphacourse began at Hobart on 31st July, and will continue through until 9th October. Please pray for the participants, especially for those who are new to faith. It has been a very encouraging time of seeking and searching the answers to important life questions.
Living Hope For the last few months our sermons have focused on Peter’s letters with Living Hope – Changing Your Life for the Better. Jesus-followers are called to a Living Hope – hope that is alive and a hope that is lived. As well, we have ceased our pre-recorded YouTube services and are now live-streaming. These are available from 10am Sunday mornings on the Hobart Baptist YouTube channel.
Ben began as the new pastor at Somerset in March 2022. Having had a few months to settle in, it’s a good time to touch base and find out more about him.
I was born in the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane and am the second of four siblings. My dad was (and still is) a pastor in the Pentecostal Church, so much of my childhood revolved around the church. My parents modeled for me a sincere passion for Jesus and a costly commitment to His people.
Because I grew up in a Pastor’s household, I was exposed to the Gospel from an early age. However, after experiencing a number of personal crises in my late teens, I started engaging with my faith with fresh eyes. All of a sudden it was as if the Lord Jesus became real to me in a way that He hadn’t in the past. Since then, I have been on a spiritual path of discovery in the Lord.
My wife, Sharmani, and I arrived in Tasmania in March 2022. For some years we felt drawn to this beautiful place and to serve God’s people here. It all came together when an opportunity arose to serve as Pastor of Somerset Baptist.
Sharmini and I love the wild beauty of the North-West. The cooler climate is also a welcome change from the sweltering humidity up in Queensland. But what we enjoy most about living here is the people. The locals have just been so warm and generous towards our little family.
Changes, changes everywhere
The best piece of advice I have ever received is to be patient! God works in His own time! Because I have the tendency to rush and be impatient, this was some sound advice.
I am the pastor of Somerset Baptist. As a pastor of a small church, you tend to have to wear my different hats! But I consider the primary focus of my role to be helping others follow Jesus. In a world that is rapidly changing, this is getting harder and harder to do.
I spend my time shepherding people. Depending on the given week, this may look different. It may look like doing an Alpha Course with someone exploring the Christian faith. It may look like visiting an older member in a nursing home and encouraging her in her faith. Or even meeting up with a younger member for a coffee and reading the Bible together and thinking about how it applies to our lives.
All this variation is part of what makes ministry exciting.
I get excited bywitnessing God’s transforming power at work in the lives of everyday people. This might sound really basic, but I get a front row seat to this!
My big challenges focus around how our culture is becoming more and more post-Christian. Many of the older ways of reaching the lost are simply no longer effective. Part of the challenge of ministry today is having to think of new ways to re-engage people with the message of Jesus.
Please pray for our family as we continue to settle into a new community. Pray for boldness to step out of my comfort zone and make connections with people in Somerset. And, most especially, pray for patience.
I am looking forward to . . . seeing God show His faithfulness.
I am worried about . . . whether I have what it takes.
I am confident that . . . God has my back!
I am joyful about . . . watching my family grow and seeing God’s transforming grace in people’s lives.
I would like to change . . . my pessimism.
I am at my best when . . . I’ve spent five minutes in silent prayer, and had my morning coffee!
With thanks to Frans Ammerlaan (Sassafras) for his assistance in compiling this interview.
Mission in the 21st Century is necessarily very different to the mission of yesteryear.
By Laurie Rowston
The preaching once heard from evangelists of the past such as Henry Varley, which was used so effectively to tell people about Jesus, has lost its persuasiveness in part because the language of religious experience is increasingly unfamiliar.
If we keep using methods that worked for them to talk to non-church attenders about Jesus, we might see some fruit. But we can be quite certain we’ll lose the vast majority, and we’ll lose the vast majority under age 35.
Further, even the great and thoughtful preaching of that era, such as sought after by Congregational Church preachers, will not fill a church, as much as we wish it would and think it should.
What is more, it is harder today to put together a good 20-minute sermon than a prattling 40-minute conversation. On the saw-dust trail, it was a case of bringing folk to Christian faith in a limited time frame.
Keeping the mission alive
So, in the post-Christian, post-modern age in which we live, the method of evangelism must change in order to keep the mission alive.
Here are a few pointers . . . and they have more to do with the subject of evangelism generally, than the week-by-week preaching in church. For these ideas I am indebted to Carey Nieuwhof, who is pastor of one of the most influential churches in North America.
Embracing the question is as important as giving an answer
Evangelism used to be mostly about helping people find answers but, often, in the process of providing an answer, we fail to really embrace or honour their question.
Steering the conversation is better than pushing for a conclusion
We should not step away from people’s questions. We need to learn to listen without judgment. We need to affirm a person’s intentions. Being open is more effective than being certain. We can be certain. Ultimately, we must be certain because our faith is certain. Our faith stands on a sure and certain ground. But, when talking to others, coming across as certain is far less effective than coming across as open. The person who is always certain thinks they’re being convincing, when the opposite is often true.
We need to learn to listen without judgment.
Arrogance, smugness and superiority are dead
For too long putting the case for Christianity has been carried with a tone of arrogance, smugness and superiority. It was the case with Billy Sunday. There was a triumphalism in his words. This triumphalism continued in “Moral Majority”, and today continues in the preaching of imaginative TV preachers. Arrogance is so ingrained in many Christian cultures that Christians don’t even see it or hear it anymore. Humility is attractive. Humility is what makes Jesus so much more attractive to people. Spreading the kingdom does not mean hell-fire evangelism; it means living a Christ-like life.
Humility is what makes Jesus so much more attractive to people.
The timeline is longer
We like to conclude everything in about 35 seconds; revivalists did, within the hour. Increasingly, evangelism doesn’t work that way. People who come to faith when pressured often leave it after a few years.
Conversely, the people who come to faith in their own timeline tend to be flourishing years down the road. It took the disciples three years to figure out who Jesus was, didn’t it? We need people and leaders who will take the time to go on a journey with people. But for the revivalists such as Billy Sunday, it all had to be done in the time frame of the particular revivalist meeting. People were there to hear the message, respond to the message, acknowledge their sin, repent and commit.
We need people and leaders who will take the time to go on a journey with people.
It is true we are not to lose our sense of urgency in the mission, as we should not raise doubts where there are none. But we need to give people space, and we need to give the Holy Spirit space to do His work.
Laurie Rowston is Tasmanian Baptists’ historian. His latest book, Tasmanian Baptists, Lessons from Our First Twenty Years, will soon be available.
By Andrew Turner, Director of Crossover, helping Australian Baptists share Jesus
I know most of you don’t love statistics as much as I do, probably 98.841% of you with a margin of error of … WAIT! Don’t switch off. The recent Australian Census data is important. Let me try to translate the number columns into a meaningful story.
Some results were not that surprising. Turns out we’re all five years older than we were at the last census five years ago. Over that time the Australian population grew 8.6% (1.5% per year) to 25.4 million. Half of that growth came from migration. Ask your parents where the other half came from. Speaking of which, did you know nearly 50% of us have a parent born overseas? Oh, and that Millennials have totally taken over as largest age demographic? LOL. Eye-roll emoji.
But it was the Religious Affiliation data that surprised many. The proportion of Aussies who claim to be Christian dropped sharply, from 52% to 44% (in 2011 it was 61%). At the same time, those who ticked ‘No Religion’ rose from 30% to 39%. This represents two million nominal Christians no longer claiming to be what they don’t practice.
Most of us would see this as a rise in honesty – don’t claim to be a musician if you don’t play an instrument. But if it’s a shift from ‘I’m a lazy musician who hardly ever practices’ to ‘I’m no musician and selling my trumpet’, it is a loss and a grief.
The drop-off from those claiming Christianity was not spread evenly across denominations. Anglicans especially, but Catholics, Uniting, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Salvos had very significant reductions. Pentecostals and Churches of Christ fell a little. And Baptists actually grew – by 2,192 – small falls in most states were more than offset by a jump of 4,500 in Victoria. Go BUV!
The generation that is least ‘Christian’ (31%) and most ‘No Religion’ (47%) are those millennials, now aged 26-40. But this may be more about life-stage than generation; young adults often do a prodigal walkabout before returning to faith. Let’s be sure to welcome them.
So what’s the story? What might God be saying to us and what might we do with all this?
For just a few hours a month, you can significantly impact the life of a child in care for the better.
Fostering Hope is a community organisation who work closely with Tas Baptists to encourage and support Baptist families and churches to provide loving homes and church community for foster kids.
Their work is inspired by the Bible and the teachings of Jesus to ‘visit’ and ‘care for’ orphans and widows, to put the lonely in families, to love the fatherless, to care for children, and to love the neighbours in the communities.
Through their Mentoring Program, Fostering Hope seeks to provide a “friend with purpose” for kids in care.
Here is a way to live out your faith by caring for those in need. You can make a difference for a child in care by becoming a mentor.. Be equipped with training, connect with a child and be provided with ongoing support as you mentor your foster child.
The next training day is on Saturday, 1st October, in Hobart (Northern training will be available in 2023)
*EmpowHer is an activity of Tasmanian Baptist Women
Help Fight Famine Today
Write to your MP
Baptist World Aid’s Christian Partners have seen first-hand how devastating hunger can be to a person’s health and wellbeing.
In Australia, we’ve seen our own food prices skyrocket due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, climate disasters and most recently, the conflict in Ukraine. But in communities and countries where people were already facing life-threatening hunger, this conflict has pushed them to the breaking point. Right now, 49 million people are facing famine.
This is an urgent crisis that can’t wait. But we can make a difference. We can help save lives. We can help fight famine.
Baptist World Aid is part of Help Fight Famine, a new campaign calling on our government to urgently deliver $150 million to support the world’s hungriest countries, including communities in the Horn of Africa, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria.
Write to your local MP hereand call on them to push our new government to do our part in responding to this urgent crisis. It’s really easy!
Library Aid International
USED BOOKS AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPLIES URGENTLY NEEDED
Library Aid International Inc in Burnie, Tasmania is now filling a tenth shipping container for an overseas destination BUT have completely run out of incoming books and educational resources.
Please send any you no longer have a need for!
Boxed resources labelled ‘Library Aid c/- Burnie Depot’ can be left at any DeBruyn’s transport depot, and will be transported to us at no cost.
Educational resources for any age level are wanted for this next shipment and to keep our volunteers busy! Books used by your kids and grandkids and no longer use. High School, College and University textbooks are also needed.
For a full list of suitable educational and school supplies, please see the Books tab on the Donations page when you visit https://libraryaid.org.
In Australia, on average one woman is killed each week by a current or former partner. While men can be victims of DV, the overwhelming majority of victims are women. Children, too, experience severe trauma and developmental delay when exposed to domestic violence.
Aware of this concern, approximately 25 people met at Citywide Baptist Church recently to learn more about domestic violence (DV). Dr Wilma Gallet led us through a one-day workshop on how the church can respond to this serious social issue.
An ever-present help
We explored the myths and facts about DV, its prevalence in Australia, the different forms it takes, and the ways in which it impacts people within our church communities as well as more broadly.
In particular, we looked at the SANCTUARY approach as a framework to help the church be better prepared to provide appropriate responses to both the victims/survivors of DV and those who perpetrate violence in the home.
A sanctuary is a sacred place, a place of safety and refuge. Psalm 46:1 tells us that, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”. Churches can be places of sanctuary where all people can find rest and refuge as expressed in the Gospel.
The DV Sanctuary Commitment is to create environments where victims of domestic violence feel safe, believed, included and loved. This includes:
Acceptance and trust
Networks of support
Caring for children
Understanding unconscious bias
Affirming personal agency
Recognising red flags
Step 1 for Citywide Baptist Church has been to make us more aware of the domestic violence issues in the community. Our challenge now is to work through what SANCTUARY can look like in our particular church community.
With God’s help, we will be an inclusive, safe sanctuary where healing can occur.
Gathering for the first time in person since 2019, over 600 Baptist leaders from more than 65 countries participated in worship, prayer, learning, relationship building, and shared ministry at the 2022 Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Annual Gathering.
Offered as a hybrid event, hundreds met on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, (pictured) with more than 150 others participating virtually.
Newnham Baptist closed its doors in April 2016. At that time the leadership team made plans for remaining funds in their bank account .
This year, all funds have been donated to mission work as agreed. Jit and Jan Yawan, and their work with Lanternlight Ministries in Thailand, were recipients of some of the funds.
Below are excerpts of the thank you letter sent to Jill Ashdown. Jill is a past member at Newnham Baptist, who has overseen the project.
Dear Jill and all associated with the former Newnham Baptist Church,
We have seen your support gift and also the letter you sent to Baptist Mission Australia to tell us about the gift. We have very fond memories of the breakfast gathering at Jill’s home. We loved the setting and felt a very warm acceptance at that session. We also remember our visits to the Newnham Baptist Church gatherings.
We have seen your support gift and also the letter you sent to Baptist Mission Australia to tell us about the gift . We have very fond memories of the breakfast gathering at Jill’s home. We loved the setting and felt a very warm acceptance at that session. We also remember our visits to the Newnham Baptist Church gatherings.
We want to take this opportunity again to say thank you for the support you sent for our work with people with disabilities through Lanternlight Ministries.
Our recent newsletter gives you a snippet of an update of some of the folk we have been able to visit to touch your hearts.
Jit and Jan Yawan
Stand Sunday 2022
Supporting Foster Carersduring September
On Stand Sunday, Christians unite on behalf of every child in care. They commit to pray for them to be restored to a forever family.
In Australia, we host Stand Sunday on the second Sunday of September to coincide with National Child Protection Week (4-10 Sept) and National Foster Carer’s Week (11-17 Sept). In 2022 that is on Sunday 11th September. However, your church is welcome to participate on any Sunday in September.
Each year, Fostering Hope provides a Stand Sunday Kit and video for you to use in your church, small group or community. These will soon be available.
Mary with her two sons. For security reasons Mary’s foster sons cannot be photographed with them.
Become a Money Mentor
Christians Against Poverty calls on the Christian church community to consider becoming money mentors to meet growing demand.
With continued interest rate rises and the skyrocketing cost of living, it’s likely that more than 1 in 4 Australians will currently be living in financial distress and CAP says they need thousands of church-based money mentors to meet the growing demand for their services.
CAP trains volunteers to walk alongside people experiencing financial distress. They give them the tools and support they need to see beyond their current financial challenges.
CEO of CAP, Rosie Kendall says, “We re working hard now to ensure that no Australian suffers financial distress, and we’ll need a lot of help to do that. Especially in the current economic climate. The fact that so many Australians are living in financial distress just shows that we’re all vulnerable to it, especially in times of uncertainty”.
Recognising that financial stress isn’t just about the dollars and cents, CAP has released a free Financial Wellbeing Scale to help people improve their understanding and measurement of all the different elements that make up their financial wellbeing.
Stand Sunday is a way for us to all rediscover the importance that Jesus puts on caring for vulnerable children in our community.
Individual Christians have fostered, offered kinship, and informal care for decades, but overall the church in Australia is not responding to this local need. Fostering Hope believes if the church in Australia takes seriously the call to open our homes and churches to vulnerable children, there would be more than enough homes for all the children who need one.
Stand with Carers
The early Church was known for its sacrificial care for widows and orphans. Can you imagine the ripple effect in our community if Christians took this seriously today and we became known as the place that offered families and communities of respect, healing, and kindness to everyone in the system?
We all hear the negative media about child protection systems, workers, and children growing up in care, As Christians, we can step into this space to offer light and hope and point to our Heavenly Father.
Stand Sunday is an opportunity to stand with the carers in your church or community, and to celebrate them! It is also a time to talk about the needs in Australia and ask people to consider responding.
When is Stand Sunday?
Stand Sunday is an international movement. In Australia, we celebrate it on the second Sunday in September (the 11th in 2022) as it is National Child Protection Week and National Foster Carer’s Week in the first two weeks of September. So it is a great time for churches to STAND with children and their carers. However, your church is welcome to participate any Sunday in September.
Fostering Hope recognises not everyone is able to be a foster carer. But we can all do something. You could be a mentor – Fostering Hope runs a mentoring program for children growing up in care, and connects volunteer babysitters and tutors. As well, we facilitate meals for fostering families, and run trauma-awareness training so churches can have greater understanding of children with extra needs. You may also know some carers in your local community who you could reach out to.
What to do Next
VISIT our YouTube channel for this year’s Stand Sunday video If the 2022 video isn’t there yet, it will be soon!
Claremont Baptist is one of Tasmanian Baptists’ more recently developed churches.
In 1964 the church was the brainchild of Rev. Matthew Francis, pastor at Lenah Valley. Council planning included building new schools, and people were looking to live in the northern reaches of Hobart. The fledgling church began as a home fellowship called Abbotsfield Baptist Fellowship.
CLAREMONT BAPTIST CHURCH
A church for the working classes
Claremont Baptist Church (CBC) was originally planted to service the northern suburbs of Abbotsfield and Chigwell, just over 50 years ago.
At that time, the surrounding community were mainly working class, and there were many Housing Commission homes. The early influences are still in evidence today. The building is not an ornate church design, but more like a community hall. The traditional offering plate has never been passed at the church – there is a box near the main entry (and now of course e-banking).
Unfortunately, younger families no longer call CBC home. The congregation is mainly elderly. The average age of members would make a great batting score!
From the extended church family, about 30 attend the Sunday morning service each week. One of the great assets of the church is the large, dedicated team of volunteers who keep everything running smoothly.
In 2021, we were excited to celebrate our 50th Anniversary on the 6th March.
We have welcomed some new members to the church in recent times. We’ve also had past friends return to us after a season elsewhere. As a local church we are not focused on guarding our patch, but are happy to celebrate when the Kingdom grows. We bless members when they leave and bless them when they come back.
As a local church we are not focused on guarding our patch, but are happy to celebrate when the Kingdom grows.
Claremont Baptist Profile
March this year, marked 20 years Since Peter and Jenny Clark began providing pastoral leadership at CBC. Peter does most of the preaching/teaching, and Jenny is the music leader. Over the years, a great team of preachers has ably supported them, as well as musicians, and other highly gifted contributors. Peter can remember one Sunday morning where our members were preaching at five different churches in Hobart (including CBC).
Building friendship is the focus of our current ministry. This includes groups such as Book Nook which meets on Tuesday mornings. We also hold Bible study and prayer meetings.
As well, there is a strong emphasis on [overseas] missions at Claremont, with missionaries receiving finances, prayer support, and encouragement. This has been a feature of the church since its beginnings.
With some external support from Tasmanian Baptists, a review is being conducted into the future direction of CBC.
The members understand something new must emerge for the ministry to continue. We also need to reposition the church so the welcome which was always extended to the past community will also appeal to an increasingly multi-cultural and diverse population.
To that end, we value the prayers of our Baptist brothers and sisters as we look to God for what that future might look like.
By Peter Clarke Pastor of CBC, and Chair of Tasmanian Baptists
Pam was a founder member of the Constitution of Claremont Baptist in 1977. She has been an active member for some 45 years. She is a special person in our church family.
In my earliest years I believed in God and after a time I found myself at Claremont Baptist, which is where I am today.
Through attending on a regular basis, I became a true believer and even though times have been tough, the Lord has always brought me through. We have regular prayer times and keep in touch with each other.
People are strengthened through prayer, including me, and praise is strong when we gather on Sunday. Going through COVID hasn’t been easy but taking things daily really helps.
We also celebrate in good times and gather whenever we can. From my first attendance over forty years ago until now, I feel that I belong.