Get to Know Anthea Maynard
Well-travelled. Diverse. Caring. Community-Minded.
Anthea Maynard recently began working with Jenna Blackwell at City Baptist Launceston
Where were you born and what was it like growing up there?
My father, Bruce French, was working as a lecturer in the Agricultural college. Our time was cut short due to me being born with a heart condition. We returned to Sheffield for a few years before my mother, Helen French, felt challenged by the book "Rich Christians in a World of Hunger" and we responded practically by moving back to Papua New Guinea. We spent time in different locations over the subsequent years (Sheffield, Brisbane and Burnie) and I especially loved the warm, relaxed climates.
When and why did you leave Tasmania, and what prompted you to return?
My family of origin moved back and forth from Tasmania to PNG and Brisbane. My husband and I have travelled and lived in East Africa and Scotland before having children. As a family, we have lived in Townsville to allow me to study for my Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (2010), and God provided us with the opportunity to live in a cross-cultural hostel. We subsequently went to work alongside people in the Methodist Church in Harare, Zimbabwe for a year (2012/13), focussing on health promotion, food security, Methodist circuit ministry, and education.
What do you enjoy most about living in Tasmania? And what do you enjoy least?
I have found it easy to encourage people in other locations to value the uniqueness of their place/location in the world. It has taken me years to accept living in Tasmania and enjoy the obvious richness that surrounds us. Tasmania is one of the most unique and beautiful Islands in the world (rich soils, clean air, beautiful rivers, resilient people, beaches, ecological diversity etc). I do not enjoy the familiar cold weather - the tropics/subtropics is the environment where I feel most alive.
Tell us about your family?
I am married to the amazing Grant Maynard. If you have had the pleasure of encountering Grant, you know what I mean. We have three young ladies in our family who are fun and full of faith. They all live in Tasmania at the moment.
I also grew up under the nurture, love and care of my parents Bruce and Helen French. And now have a special step-relationship with the delightful Deb French (nee Larkins). Bruce and Deb have been pastors at Penguin Baptist, and currently attend Romaine Park Christian Centre in Burnie.
How did you become a Christian?
I became a Christian through the ministry of Rev. Chris Aulich (now at Lower Barrington Baptist), along with supportive faith formation in my home. Mrs Collins faithfully discipled me but as I transitioned to Brisbane, I encountered struggles and challenges in my early teen years. In seeking God's forgiveness, I went on to reaffirm my faith and be baptised at Ashgrove Baptist in Brisbane.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
As a person who loves new ideas or activities, the best piece of advice has been to complete one task before I move onto the next. This is a spiritual discipline for me!
When people ask you how you spend your time, what do you say?
I begin by saying I have a diversity of interests. Depending on who I am chatting with, I may mention doing life with my family and community/faith community, working in community nutrition and food security (Food Plants International), encouraging intergenerational faith formation (City Baptist) and promoting health (Primary Health Consultant - Primary Health Tasmania).
What is your role in the Baptist Church?
My role is team leader of the new ministry team at City Baptist, Launceston. The role, team members, mission and ministry are still developing and growing with the gracious prayers, love and support of the awesome City Baptist congregation and City Baptist community.
What excites you most about what you do?
I am excited to see how the deep and strong foundation of faith, ministry and mission of City Baptist can be built upon in new ways. There is a calling to foster a stronger intergenerational faith community, and this is something that excites me.
What challenges do you have as you do this work?
The challenge is to maintain focus on where Christ is working in the world and to be sent as a church/congregation/faith community in the Holy Spirit's power to join His mission. This may lead to spaces and places that are unexpected.
How can we pray for you and your work?
I would appreciate prayer to live into Christ's calling, and for the breadth of community connected with City Baptist to feel God's love, acceptance, invitation, and challenge as communitas.
Short and Sweet
I am looking forward to ... creating a safe place to explore what Jesus is inviting us into next
I am worried about the ... connections and community that may not move with us
I am confident that ... the City Baptist community is strong, faithful and open to transformation
I am joyful about ... the team that I am working with
I would like to change ... the way we celebrate children, youth and young adults
I am at my best when ... I am part of a positive, diverse team