Regional RoundUp, July/August 2021
around the grounds:
Tasmanian Baptists in Action
The next Regional RoundUp is due by 15th October.
Please send contributions to email@example.com
At the Combined Service on 8th August, City Baptist Church congregation took a photo (pictured) with Jeff McKinnon 'wearing' a climate scarf. The scarf shows the average global surface temperature rises over the past 100 years - white and blues represent cooler temperatures; browns and reds show warmer temperatures.
City's Plans for the Future
Excerpts from Media Release, 15th July 2021
In a changing world City Baptist is now seeking to entirely reshape itself to provide a sure footing for compassionate ministry on into the 21st century.
The church is selling their building which is a major historical and cultural asset in Launceston. However, City Baptist Church is not closing. In fact, we are expanding. Amongst a suite of changes, we will be, in time, relocating to another inner-city venue. This will set us up more sustainably for ministry in the twenty first century.
City Baptist has become well known for its work amongst those with special needs. The fellowship comes alongside the street community. A home cooked meal and a listening ear is available every Saturday night, extensive work is carried out supporting vulnerable women and a volunteer street chaplain comes alongside those most in need. The Church is currently exploring ways to assist women and children fleeing domestic violence. The church has befriended the Hazara community, originally from Afghanistan. A Men's Group teaches conversational English and builds relationships, and a network of vegetable gardens assist family budgets. An agency of the church, Northern Refugee Support, quietly provides other services.
Latrobe Baptist is currently going through some challenging changes. Our long serving Church Secretary Glenis Smith, who has undertaken the role since 1998 is now in the Strathdevon Nursing home. Hence, a new leadership team will commence in late August.
Community activities continue and include Chat n Choose, where 96 people have registered and attended so far this year. They are involved in crafts including Hardanger, Knitting and Crochet, Macrame, Smocking, Beadwork, Card making and woodturning in the Men's Shed.
Our Men's Shed have recently received a grant from Baptcare enabling a new heavy duty Thicknesser and Biscuit Cutter to be added to the shed's equipment (pictured). Already over 440 community projects have been completed by men in the shed.
Following a grant from the Latrobe Council last year which enabled a fence and gates to be erected, our Playgroup continues on with many mothers bringing along their children aged 0-4.
Like many churches in Tasmania, Westbury Baptist Church has an aging demographic and is facing the very real prospect of further decline in the coming years. Over the past seven years, there has been a focus on solid biblical teaching led by Pastor Michael Ritchie, who is a gifted and knowledgeable speaker. Michael is retiring at the end of this year, and the Westbury Baptist Church has been wrestling with what we might do in the future, to build on the strong historical foundations of outreach, that is bone, marrow and sinew to our collective heritage. (CORRECTION: Michael is not retiring. He is finishing up with Westbury at the end of the year, and is open to other pastoral opportunities around the state. Ed.)
Planning has been ongoing for many months now. On Sunday 11th July 2021, Church members supported the proposition that the Westbury Baptist Church would reaffirm our focus on outreach, with a view to 'making Him better known' in the Westbury community. In practical terms, this means that we intend to commit a significant proportion of our resources to employing a full time Pastor, who has the ability to develop strong relationships into the community and who primarily, has a gift and a passion for mission.
We are looking for a person with a young family, who will live in Westbury and commit to at least four years. It is our very prayerful ambition to build a church that is relevant, outward looking and willing to become the 'hands and feet' of Christ.
This 'way forward' is challenging, and we welcome the prayerful support of our Christian brothers/sisters across Tasmania for what is clearly a vision dependent on God and the desire of our Church to fulfil what we are all called to do.
Christian History Made Easy
We have found a Bible Study course which has blown us away. It answers many questions we (I) have all always wanted to know and gives all the historical data. You experience the tremendous struggle God's Church has had to endure, and the people who paid the price with their lives.
It reports the eyewitness accounts of those who were there to clarify what they saw and observed. After that lesson you get a sense of belonging to a Christ and a God who personally laid down the rules for our salvation and the precious heritage we now have.
There were many attempts to steal the church for their self-aggrandizement. There was a Pope who issued a Papal Bull, a decree (I always thought it was a lot of B.), to say he was the ultimate authority of the Church. When a man by the name of Jan Hus dared to say that Jesus was the head of the Church and not the Pope, he had him burned at the stake.
Then there was an Ulrich Zwingli who dared to publicly disagree with the Pope, and the local hierarchy bound him head and foot and threw him the freezing Rhine while he sang hymns.
Now, we are at the bit where the Bible is translated into local languages for everyone to read instead of just Latin. Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, and Wycliffe into English. Printing presses were invented at the same time and so allowing mass distribution of God's Word. How lucky are we!
I cannot tell you anymore because we are only halfway, but I can say we should all get involved and learn quickly and easily, in just 12 weeks, you learn many of the key events every Christian should know.
When I know all the facts and finished the course, I will tell you the rest.
Christian History made easy. People and Events every Christian Should Know. 2005 Hendrickson Rose Publishers >>>
At the AGM Claremont Baptist was delighted to welcome two new deacons to our diaconate.
With the loss of our Kidz Klub program we are seeking God's guidance in redefining our mission statement and looking to the future. To this end we are engaging in Listening and Waiting on the Lord prayer meetings.
The Northern Suburbs pastors and ministers are now meeting regularly, and we look forward to more combined activities and shared fellowship.
Citywide, Mornington/Lenah Valley
We've recently held a Church Survey, the first since COVID hit, so it has been a helpful tool in assessing how people are feeling about the many changes and adjustments that have happened in the last 18 months. Results have been encouraging and interesting. Most are happy with the newly shaped worship services and direction of the church. Assessing the demographic and generational differences has also helped us gain a better appreciation for where to put our focus.
We have recently commissioned an external review for our Senior Pastor, Matt Garvin, in consideration of Matt's term of office coming to an end next June. A Church Meeting in August voted to extend Matt's role as Senior Pastor for a further five years, to 2027. Matt and Leeanne have eagerly accepted the offer, and he already has direction and ideas for the next stages of Citywide's growth and development.
Pastor Dan Hutchison and Maria have welcomed their new baby, Boaz, into their family (pictured). Skylah and Octavia are proud sisters.
Our buildings are undergoing constant maintenance and adjustments, the latest being the installation of four skylights into our cafe area - and what a difference it has made!
Our sermon series working through 1 Corinthians will conclude at end of August. It has been a journey of looking realistically at ourselves and discerning Paul's heart and intent in his cultural setting for us today. There's been lots of tough issues that our teaching team have faced full on and the challenges for us have been many.
Congratulations to Georgette Ambrose, and also to Sean Priest, as they made public their commitment to Jesus at their baptisms on Sunday 4th July.
We recently concluded a sermon series on the Story of Ruth, about a foreign woman who found redemption due to her kinsman-redeemer advocating on her behalf. The challenge: to offer news of the Kinsman-Redeemer to all cultures in our city.
Now our building upgrades are complete, we are looking forward to welcoming more people into our spaces for hire, and better facilities for our groups to use. This includes a Movie Night planned for Saturday 11th September. All welcome, registrations essential >>>
Stephen Baxter and Liam Conway have begun leading a series of Sunday afternoon Bible studies, working through the Letter to the Hebrews. These will take place over the coming weeks in two five-week blocks. Guests are very welcome to attend. More info Hebrew Bible studies >>>
READ MORE IN THIS EDITION OF ADVANCE | step by step
NEED to KNOW (News) >>> NBBL Grand Final | Stand Sunday during September | Farewell Peter Cuthbertson | When Christ says "COME!" ~ poetry by Ray Hawkins
CONVERGE >>> Advocating for those with no voice in Tasmania
NATIONAL PRAYER GATHERING >>> Re Covid, On Zoom, 31st August 2021