Midyear Assembly 2022
TB Assembly, May 2022
By Matt Henderson, Hobart Baptist Church
On the weekend of 6-7 May, I attended a Tasmanian Baptist Assembly for the first time.
I must confess to not being a big fan of conferences, and my expectations of Assembly were not high. However, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by how much I took away from the experience.
Tasmania is a highly regional state and there are very few opportunities for pastors and leaders from the different regions to come together as one collective group. Assembly provides this opportunity.
Midyear Assembly 2022 – slideshow
Friday Night – Three Chats
So Assembly was great, but also challenging. On Friday night at dinner, we heard three short talks: Scott Pilgrim, about Baptist Mission Australia; Paul Manning of Baptist World Aid; and Jenny Baxter of Tasmanian Baptist Women – EmpowHer. She spoke about the changing nature of women’s ministry in the 21st Century. This includes the ongoing effort to raise up and recognise women in leadership across Baptist churches.
Myself, and I’m sure many others, took to heart the challenge for us to do better in this space.
On Saturday morning, we heard about some of the exciting community partnerships that Baptists in Wynyard have built. As well, we watched a video from Citywide. It told the story of their ongoing partnership with the Lenah Valley RSL in putting on a special day for the Lenah Valley community on Anzac Day.
We heard from and formally recognised myself and three others as Pastoral Leaders.
It’s great to hear these stories, as they are both inspiring and challenging to the rest of us to find ways to support and ally with other churches doing valuable community engagement. It also shows us the kinds of things that are possible if we do the work and build the relationships.
It was very exciting to hear from Maddy Svoboda about how much things have changed during his time working pastorally across Tasmania. During the morning session, we heard from and formally recognised myself and three others as Pastoral Leaders. This was really exciting and humbling.
One significant moment during Assembly was the vote agreeing to the inclusion of Hobart Vision Church within our Union of churches. Pastor Samuel was present to represent the Korean-speaking church, which meets on Sunday afternoons at the Hobart Baptist building.Stephen Baxter, TB Mission Director
On Saturday afternoon, we heard more from both Baptist Mission Australia and Baptist World Aid. I found it important to get these updates, as it helps us to not just be completely fixated on our local context, but to see and think globally about the ways in which God is working right across the world.
The opportunity to build networks which are not just regional, but state-wide, is a something very valuable. Our Mission Director, Stephen Baxter, and the entire Tasmanian Baptist were named and applauded during the day on Saturday. The team has done a tremendous amount of work particularly over the past two years – during a pandemic – to keep the networks and lines of communication for Baptist churches and leaders in Tasmania working, and healthy. It was good and right that their work was recognised and commended at Assembly.
The Midyear Assembly 2022 was a valuable experience, certainly a more important experience than I expected to have. I’m glad I went along, and I will look forward to the next one.
Matt Henderson is the Associate Pastor at Hobart Baptist Church. He is married to Kylie, and they have three boys, one daughter-in-law and a baby granddaughter!
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