ABOVE Clockwise from top left: Sherry and Geoff Manning (BMA); Assembly attendees, Saturday; Friday dinner; Stephen Baxter prays for newly registered pastor Ben Cochrane (Somerset); Saturday lunch; Friday night.
Reflection on Assembly
FRI/SAT, 28th and 29th October 2022
By Anthea Maynard
Assembly was a humbling, inspiring and encouraging experience, as diverse representatives from across lutruwita (Tasmania) gathered to share food, stories, reflections, prayers, songs and questions together.
We had a range of presenters including Mission Director Stephen Baxter, Sherry and Geoff Maddock (Baptist Mission Australia), our historian Laurie Rowston, and Paul Manning (Baptist World Aid). Plus, a well-organised business session, led by Peter Clark on Saturday afternoon.
Friday night sessions
Sherry and Geoff Maddock spoke on “God’s placed love”, with examples from their lives as a family on mission. This resonated with me as I am deeply affected by place – geography, ecology, faith, history, culture, food and stories.
Sherry also shared about her vocation of tending and keeping, cultivating and flourishing, which is embodied in her work as a gardener. I love the idea of creating spaces of hospitality for people to encounter one another and God, especially in living landscapes.
Our Mission Director, Stephen Baxter, gave a “State of the Union” address, outlining a current picture of the Baptists in the Tasmanian community.
He also summarised a consultancy report about Tasmanian Baptist churches by Andrew Turner of Crossover called “Ready to Really Move”. It highlights the need to transition from ideas of deconstruction to construction; closed to open faith communities; and theoretical to tangible faith-life engagement.
God’s Mission – Missio Dei
On Saturday morning, Laurie Rowston spoke passionately about the history of Baptists in Tasmania. He has now completed comprehensive research and published eight associated books. This work is a gift to Baptists in Tasmania, with the hope to see people come to know Jesus.
Geoff Maddock spoke again, this time about world Christianity and how the church joins into God’s bigger mission (Missio Dei) that goes beyond borders and boundaries.
He said we are invited to have an attitude of curiosity, offer hospitality, and open our lives to others. Smaller groups then identified and discussed what the major issues were in our world and society. We also discussed how our missiology, ecumenism and interfaith relations influence our response.
Geoff reminded us that there are no God-forsaken places or people.
Paul Manning shared about Baptist World Aid’s work of supporting communities to face challenges associated with poverty.
There is an opportunity to identify and challenge unjust systems within our society and beyond, as Jesus said he came to give life in fullness. The updated Ethical Fashion Guide has just been released and opens our eyes to the slavery and ecological destruction that our consumer actions have.
There are a diverse range of ways to connect and be involved in this impressive work. This includes becoming a Better World ambassador; the Better World gift catalogue and the 2022 Christmas Appeal, to name just a few.
The polity and relationships of the Baptist movement are refreshing, enabling and Spirit led. I found that attending the Tasmanian Baptist Annual Assembly this year was a privilege.
Ministry Team Leader
City Baptist Church, Launceston
Find out about Better World Church resources >
Watch the Better World Ambassador Video!
CHRISTMAS RESOURCES For Baptists from Crossover
AROUND THE CHURCHES October/November 2022
FAMINE In the Horn of Africa Melissa Lipsett, CEO Baptist World Aid
PRISON MINISTRY By Cameron Brett of Prison Fellowship Tasmania
DEEP THOUGHT The Sound of Silence By Denise Stephenson
FROM THE MISSION DIRECTOR: Does God Really Care? By Stephen Baxter
SCHOOLS MINISTRY: Mustard Lives Transformed by Jesus
CHURCH PROFILE: Newstead Baptist
October 2022 NEWS | November 2022 NEWS