Reap the Rewards of Transition

Facing the Future - 2024 here we come, Heartlands news

Facing the Future – WELL!

Transition is never simple – but there is always a silver lining

By Jenny Baxter, State Director, EmpowHer

Oh yes! 2024 has really, truly begun.

Children have returned to school, or perhaps just begun. Uni and TAFE students are on the verge of new semesters. The city traffic around the state is at its max for the year. And here we are, ramping up for another twirly dance around our glorious sun.

What does your year look like? Is it a case of the “Same Ol’, Same Ol’”? Or, are you switching to something else? Perhaps you really want to switch, and it isn’t happening because you are stuck in the Same Ol’!

If you are anything like me, you may feel as though your year has begun without any sort of familiarity. We have put our house on the market – but have no idea if or when we will move. I have finished my job – but have not yet begun the next thing. Our daughter and family came to visit a few weeks back – but until recently we had no idea how long they would be staying.

So, we have a full-on mix of excitement, noise, house inspections, constant meal prep, and lots and lots of cuddles! Crazy? Yes. Lovely? Also, yes! Transitioning? Absolutely.

Recover your life

I always feel better when I remember I am not at my best when in transition. It can be so unsettling.  Transition throws me sideways in unexpected ways. The “new normal” is not yet apparent. It takes work to remember that until I find an even keel, I need to be kind to myself, and cut myself some slack. Yes, things will level up again.

Over the years I have discovered there is gold within the tricky trials of transition. This liminal moment is an amazing opportunity to grow. I am beyond the usual flow of life. Situations come where it is essential to think outside the box. Unexpected and unprecedented problems beg to be solved. Learning curves are often steep, steep, steep.

There is gold to be found in the tricky trials of transition

Do you recognise the pattern? This is the growing and maturing process, common to every person on the planet. Whether learning to walk, to relate to others, or to solve complex problems, what I learn today will help me in my tomorrows.

This is Jesus’ encouragement to me (and to you too), as he says, “Take heart, dear one! I promise to be with you in your ups and downs. Keep company with me to live freely and lightly.”

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Managing transition

Here are some ideas to face your future, and thrive, through transition . . .

  • Get enough rest. Sleeping well helps you stay sharp. Here are a few strategies to help regularly get those 8-hours:
    Breathe. I know – so simple, who would have thought? Long, slow, deep breathing does wonders. Try this: Get yourself comfortable, then . . . Breathe in through your nose for a count of five. Hold for five. Breathe out through your mouth for eight. Repeat five times. That’s it! You will soon be out to it.
    Listen. Sometimes your mind is so active you need a bit more help. There are many sleep podcasts on Spotify and Youtube. Search around. Find some earbuds and find a favourite.
  • Keep up your exercise regimen. Exercise is more important than ever to get through these unpredictable days. There are many free apps to help you with daily exercise discipline. From gentle to vigorous, see what works for you.
  • Prayer and Bible study. These daily disciplines can be short, but incredibly valuable to keep priorities in the right place. There are free study plans on the YouVersion Bible App, and Lectio 365 has encouraging daily reflections and prayers. There are many others.
  • Ask for help. While this can be really hard, there is no shame in off-loading to a safe and trusted friend, family member, mentor or coach. Work with others to share the load, the kids, the laundry, and the nightmare! I know a do-it-by-myself girl, who was too proud to “suck it up” and ask for support. She toughed out incredibly difficult circumstances on her own. Sadly, she reaped consequences decades later, finding herself alone and physically broken. Learn from her mistakes.

Look for the GOLD

You know what they say: “Short term pain. Long term gain.” This is the essence of transtion. In reality, facing the future like this is a gift. Even if it is uncomfortable, good things will come. So stick at it, look for the gold, and know that one day not only will the “new normal” be the “Same Ol'” – you will have grown and matured as well!

Jenny Baxter

Jenny Baxter is the State Director for EmpowHer, Tasmanian Baptists’ women’s ministry arm. During Covid she experienced burnout, and learnt that stopping for a bit to take a breather is probably a good idea. Jenny and her husband Stephen live in Hobart, and enjoy a walk on the beach together most days.

Need help? Contact Jenny to find a good mentor to talk through your transition:

Go back to Heartlands Summer 2024

2024 Here we Come



We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Read More ReCharge

February 2024

Heartlands Summer 2024

Heartlands Summer 2024, EmpowHer

Heartlands is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

Table of Contents


    Women’s Event On the Way

    After the success of the EmpowHer Day of Courage last November, the organising team are praying about what to do next, because clearly, women want to gather!

    At this stage we are thinking there will be a similar event in early 2025.

    Stay tuned for more details to follow.

    A REQUEST: To create another special day like this, it will be necessary to grow the statewide team. Pleace get in touch to express your interest:

    EmpowHer logo

    To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS.



    We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


    2024 Here We Come

    Perhaps transition a feature of your life right now? Facing the future “well” is for the brave-hearted!

    Facing the Future - 2024 here we come, Heartlands news


    Join the Women Leaders Network

    The concept of the WLN began with a whisper from God to Karen Wilson four years ago. Karen is the Vice President International Ministries – Global Leadership Network; CEO – Global Leadership Network Australia and New Zealand; and the International President of Baptist Women’s World Alliance.

    God gave a clear and compelling vision for women in leadership.  The vision was of women who are generals, standing alongside one another right around the coasts of every country of the world.

    Karen says, “I believe God said that they are waiting for His Spirit to come to their land and are protecting those who are behind them. They are all magnificently tall, strong, brave, and united! Dressed and ready in the full armour of God, ready for what He needs them to do. These women stand together as a global army”.  A local artist captured her vision in a beautiful artwork (below). 

    The Tasmanian Women Leader’s Network will launch in two areas in the coming months.  The north will be led by Amanda Towns, and the south by Jenny Baxter.

    Together, we will join in conversations of hope and encouragement, and seek God about the positioning of our Tasmania Networks.

    If you have not already indicated your interest, you are welcome sign up by scanning the QR code.


    Karen Wilson Sees Differently

    Rev. Karen Wilson, guest speaker at last November’s Day of Courage spoke at Hobart Baptist Church.


    To Obey or, maybe, Disobey?

    You can so easily limit your capacity

    Did you hear of the lady-of-the-manor in old England? She was ordered bedrest by her family doctor to recover from an ailment. Straightaway, she began organising her household from her bedroom. Years later, a new doctor came to town, and when doing the rounds to visit his patients came across the bedridden woman. When she explained why she was still in bed, he said, “Get up woman! You are perfectly well!”

    We can all be guilty of a little too much obedience at times. Especially when to comes to doing what an authority says. And really, there’s no doubt you need to take care, especially if being given doctor’s orders. But it’s so easy to misinterpret what is intended to be a temporary instruction.

    It’s a good reminder that you are often a better judge of your body’s capacity than a doctor or other “expert”. Or put it another way, you are response-able!

    Can you identify ways you have limited yourself because you’ve been told your limit by someone else?


    Your Invite: Asuntha Charles Evening

    The Micah Women Leaders annual gatherings (previously breakfasts) are now in their fourth year. It is a unique gathering, bringing together women Christian Leaders from across the state for an important conversation on justice, leadership, and how to use your voice as an advocate for change.

    You are very welcome to attend! Be assured you will be amongst friends as several of our Baptist women are already signed up.

    WHEN: Tuesday 19 March 2024, 7:00pm – 9:00pm 

    WHERE: C3 Convention Centre, 64 Anglesea St, South Hobart TAS 7004

    COST: $35

    RSVP by Monday 4 March 2024

    Asuntha Charles, Global Women’s Rights Advocate. Asuntha was the National Director for World Vision Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover. She will provide a firsthand account of the needs she is seeing around her, as well as her experiences in some of the world’s toughest contexts.
    Tim Costello, Executive Director of Micah Australia. Tim will connect current global events to our biblical mandate to pursue justice.

    *NB: The Micah Women Leaders Network is quite distinct from the Global Leadership Women Leaders Network, referred to above.

    Heartlands Spring 2023



    We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

    Heartlands Spring 2023

    EH Heartlands News - EmpowHer

    Heartlands is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

    Table of Contents


      EmpowHer Day of Courage

      What happened on the big day?

      the EmpowHer Day of Courage
      Rev. Karen Wilson
      Karen Wilson

      WHEN: Saturday 18th November 2023 Riverlands Baptist (Longford)

      KEYNOTE: Rev. Karen Wilson President of the Baptist World Alliance Women, and CEO of the Global Leadership Network Aus/NZ.

      Fiona Bradley (Hobart ) gives a rundown about the Day of Courage, when women from many denominations gathered with us for one day of en-couragement.



      HOPE is always an option, even when you have no solution.

      God Whispers


      Women ~ Ministry ~ Leadership

      These three words do not always easily fit into one sentence.

      Here is a reading list to find out more. The following come highly recommended. …

      Emboldened TaraBeth Leach, Intervarsity Press USA
      Throughout Scripture and church history, women have been central to the mission of God. But all too often women have lacked opportunities to minister fully. Many churches lack visible examples of women in ministry and leadership.Tara Beth Leach, senior pastor of her denomination’s flagship church, issues a stirring call for a new generation of women in ministry: to teach, to preach, to shepherd, and to lead. Buy it here >
      Better Together Danielle Strickland, W Publishing
      Better Together is a beacon of hope in a challenging storm. It’s where thoughts can be rechanneled and hope rekindled as author Danielle Strickland offers steps toward a real and workable solution. Her premise is that two things are needed for change: imagine a better world, and understand oppression. Understanding how oppression works is an important part of undoing it. Buy it here >
      Marg Mowczko is an Australian theologian committed to writing articles about the mutuality and equality of men and women in Christian marriage and ministry, plus Bible studies and articles about life in Jesus.


      The Importance of Being Grateful

      Can you consciously give thanks today?

      God provides in such amazing and subtle ways. We so often take it for granted, or think it is co-incidence. God is over our lives in such prolific detail every single day.

      Have you ever noticed the glory of eucalypt leaves, shiny wet after rain?

      Or our stunning, ever-shifting backdrop of clouds.

      Or how water, our source of life, literally falls out of the sky!

      True. Sometimes we may feel unseen in our complex world. But if you take a moment to notice the little things, and express your gratitude today, you will find your big problems are either less important, or shift radically.

      • Take a moment to express your gratitude and you will find your big problems are less important.

      Our abundance of water, ability to find car parking spots, sunshine at the right moment, a beautiful rainbow to encourage you, and yes, even wet leaves, are provision by a loving God who sees so much more than we can imagine.

      What’s one “normal” thing you can be thankful for today?

      Jenny Baxter
      State Director, EmpowHer

      PS To read regular short reflections from Jenny, join the I Am Better Together Facebook group.

      To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!


      Heartlands Spring 2023

      God Whispers

      God Whispers

      Waiting for that still, quiet voice

      It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem.

      Too many people and not enough food! How many times have you been in that situation? I have to admit, I’ve been caught with that a few times. Very small servings of apple crumble, and thinned-down pumpkin soup have featured on my table, much to my horror.

      Have you noticed how we usually try to solve problems using our own nicely thought up solutions? That’s what the disciples did in this story when Jesus gave them an out-of-the-box response . . .

      By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” 

      Mark 6:35-36 (NIV)

      When faced with catering for 5,000, these clever men suggested the crowds go find their own food. They were providing the obvious and rational solution to quite a problem.

      It was an immediate response – they didn’t stop to consider Jesus may have a far more creative solution. I have to admit, very small servings of apple crumble was my best solution one wintry evening.

      Just like the disciples, when I faced a problem, I automatically turned my mind to solving it. However, sometimes there is a way ahead which I did not expect nor plan. It is at those points of dire need, when things seem to have fallen apart, that miracles happen.

      The BEST Plan?

      It’s so easy to think up your own answer to a problem, and to look at it from a human perspective. To gather information and to analyse the best course of action – the most sensible path. Yep. Small serves!

      To the disciples, they suggested what seemed to be the best plan. But did they come to the Master with the problem? No. It took Andrew, another of the disciples, to offer a different course of action.

      … Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:7-9 (NIV)

      The unexpected extra in this scenario was one young boy with some dinner!

      What a thoughtful and aware mother he had. There’s no mention of her in the story, but I bet she never even dreamt that the food she sent with her son was to be used for a miracle. Just as well she let her son go off to listen to Jesus that day – with food.

      I wonder what my unexpected extra might have been if I had thought to come to Jesus with my apple crumble problem?

      HOPE is always an option

      Learnings for us

      – Sometimes our nicely thought-out solutions leave little room for God to work.

      – Creative answers will mostly come from unexpected sources. Perhaps it is wise to listen for God’s whisper before acting.

      – Miracles always arrive when there is hardly any hope left. While we often ask for miracles, actually, requiring a miracle is a terrible position to be in!

      – God’s capacity far, far exceeds our capacity.

      – Mothers (and women in general) are often good at thinking ahead. Maybe I could have thought ahead a bit more with those apples.

      – HOPE is always an option when Jesus is in the equation.

      So, if you are facing a difficult problem – from scheduling issues and lack of resources; to financial hang-ups and not enough dessert – the best idea is to pray and wait for God’s still, small voice (see 1 Kings 19:12).

      Rushing around and stressing about the outcome is usually a waste of time.

      I wonder what would happen if you listened first, and then acted, whenever there was a difficulty? What would it mean for your family, your workplace and your friendships? Not to mention your meals?

      If you listen to God’s whispers, perhaps you will find an unexpected solution, outside-the-box.

      Jenny Baxter

      Jenny Baxter is the State Director for EmpowHer*, and the Communications Manager for Tasmanian Baptists. She is married to Stephen, and they have five kids and six grandkids, spread from Hobart to Melbourne to Madrid!   

      Read more about EMPOWHER

      Subscribe to Heartlands

      • Check box for your quarterly email


      ReCharge NEWS July 2023

      26th July 2023 | ReCharge News

      Click Item to Read

        NCLS Webinar for Leaders

        Thriving and Resilient Leadership, 11am and 7.30pm Wednesday 2 August 2023

        NCLSLeadershipWebinar, 2nd August 2023

        NCLS Research presents a webinar on “Thriving and Resilient Leadership: Latest findings and reflections on resilience, fulfilment and thriving in church leadership post-COVID”.

        This webinar explores how Australian church leaders are coping, and what factors contribute to their resilience. Findings are based on the results from the 2021-22 NCLS Leader Survey by NCLS Research.

        You will discover:

        • What does thriving look like and what is burnout?
        • How has it changed in Australian church leadership over the past five years? Are current practices sustainable?
        • What are the personal foundations contributing to resilience and sustainable leadership?
        • Practical ministry implications: Case studies and guiding principles for leaders.


        Sam Sterland, Senior Researcher of NCLS Research, will present research findings on leader wellbeing and resilience, and responses to COVID-19.

        Guest speaker Tim Dyer will provide his reflections on the implications of these findings for ministry and mission.

        Youth Alive Undivided

        NORTH: 6pm 18th August | NW: 6pm 19th August | SOUTH: 6pm 25th August

        In August, Youth Alive are running “Undivided”three regional youth gatherings. They would love to invite your youth ministry and young people!

        Youth Alive’s mission is to reach young people with the message of Jesus. They believe these events will see youth ministries united, faith ignited, momentum gained, and young people respond to the Gospel!

        Outreach events are a great way to unite young people, reach youth, and share the truth of Jesus. At every one of these events attendees will be invited to a local church or youth ministry as a next step of faith. They would like to partner with you to help reach the next generation.

        The Youth Alive team are building volunteer teams for each of these events. If you would like to volunteer, please click the button, below.

        Winter Heartlands

        EH Heartlands News - EmpowHer

        Heartlands, the quarterly e-news for women, was released last Friday 14th July.
        There’s lots of good reading here >

        Day of Courage well-grounded

        Day of Courage Registrations are OPEN
        Sat 18th November, ALL WOMEN WELCOME!

        Australian Baptist Women ends
        Find out what happened, and what happens next.

        Heart of God-square

        Being Transformed
        Tuning into the heart of God. By Jenna Blackwell.

        Villain-Origin Story
        Or testimony in-the-making? By Maddie Mandall

        Pastors’ and Families’ Muster

        11th-13th July, Devonport

        The July 2023 Muster was held at Oldaker Christian Church in Devonport. Here, pastors and their families found a comfortable space which was suitable for music ministry, teaching, eating and a great children’s program.

        During the Muster, guest speaker Bree Mills explained her work around the idea of “micro-church”. This included how we might better disciple people, by adding small faith-based communities to our local church contexts. Read Bree’s article about Missional Leadership >

        Wednesday afternoon free-time, brought several families together as they headed up to Leven Canyon to enjoy a bushwalk, and one another’s company.

        Thanks must go to Jenna Blackwell for organising the Muster; Bree Mills for coming from Melbourne to speak; Bryce Roberts and Nicole Mayall for caring for the children; and David Pearson and Oldaker Christian Church for their excellent hospitality!

        L to R: Bree Mills; Worship team; Leven Canyon walk; Everyone; Michael Henderson; Bryce and Nic are thanked.

        Some Impressions of the Muster

        • Putting missional intent into all my “activities” can transform them.
        • Great connection and relationship.
        • The overall highlight for me was being with other pastors and families and having a chance to share life.
        • Be Discipling.
        • Motivation to support pioneers and keep them linked onto and supported by the church.
        • Being Together, kids and all. To be intentional Living in the tension of a ‘hybrid’ model.
        • Good tools with implementation guidance with safeguards are always welcome.

        EmpowHer Day of Courage

        Registrations now open!

        On Saturday 18th November, all women are welcome to attend the Day of Courage at Riverlands Longford. The speaker is Karen Wilson, President Baptist World Alliance Women, and CEO of the Gobal Leadership Network Australia. She will explore the topic of being well-grounded.

        Already there is interest across the state, from a broad cross-section of the community. This will be a special day – not to be missed! Postcards are now available to invite your friends and family. If you cannot see them at your church, contact

        Registration covers morning tea, lunch and all materials.

        EARLYBIRD: $45/person – Until 30th August
        FULL PRICE: $55/person – From 31st August

        Day of Courage 2023, register now

        SparkLit Awards Night

        Thursday 31st August

        The 2023 Australian Christian Book of the YearYoung Australian Christian Writer and Australian Christian Teen Writer Awards will be announced and prizes presented during this year’s SparkLit Awards Night on Thursday 31 August. Join in online to celebrate the courage and endeavour of Australian Christian writers! 

        Register now to receive the livestream link (free of charge) to watch the in-person event at St Alfred’s Anglican Church, Blackburn North.

        The Australian Christian Literature Awards encourage Christian writing and publishing that helps people discover Jesus in a way that is authentic and culturally meaningful. The SparkLit Awards recognise and encourage excellence in Australian Christian writing and publishing.

        Intergenerate Conference 2023

        9am-4:30pm, Friday 18th August

        There is a great national conference coming to Hobart (via satellite). This year the theme is: A Gospel for all Ages.

        The conference comes highly recommended by Anthea Maynard (City Baptist, Launceston):

        “I have been part of the national intergenerational resourcing group for a number of years. The speakers are excellent and have practical and thoughtful ways to explore intergenerational faith formation and community engagement. “

        Find out more at the Intergenerate Facebook page >

        Intergenerate - a Gospel for all ages

        NCLS Update

        Checking-in on your church’s health

        Did you know you don’t need to wait five years for the next National Church Life Survey to listen to your church?

        The Church Life Survey, by NCLS Research, is one of the church survey tools available to local churches and can be done anytime. It is an opportunity to check-in regularly and receive updated feedback and insights into church health and vitality, including your congregation’s experience of church life, discernments for the future and willingness to be involved.

        Both paper and online survey options are offered, with a quick turnaround of results. After completion of the Survey, churches will receive a Church Life Profile that provides insights into the life and experiences of church attenders and provide indicators of church health and vitality which can inform and equip future directions for ministry and mission.

        For more information, please visit

        NCLS Survey - Listen to your church attenders at any time

        Hold Fast Outreach

        The Point are hosting a 25-day Texan Partnership Mission

        Hold Fast Outreach at The Point, ReCharge News July 2023

        Four Texans have arrived in Beauty Point, three of whom have partnered with the church ten times in the last 14 years! The outreach began on 23rd June, and will continue through until 19th July.

        There will be a number of events ranging from Men’s, Women’s, and Kid’s outreach events, including a holiday club and basketball clinic. there will also be Bible studies and several family events.

        CONTACT Rachelle Hawkins for more info on 0409 272 877. 
        DOWNLOAD the brochure, which includes a short bio on the Texans.

        All are welcome to come and be part of it!

        School Chaplains

        Positions Vacant with Scripture Union Tas

        Provide emotional, social, and spiritual support to school communities…

        Scripture Union has multiple chaplaincy positions available across Tasmania. Chaplains provide emotional, social, spiritual, and often practical support to school communities. They are in the prevention and support business: helping students find a better way to deal with issues ranging from family breakdown, loneliness, depression and anxiety.

        SU Chaplaincy models the compassion and unconditional love demonstrated and taught by Jesus, as recorded in the Bible. Chaplains will be sensitive to, respectful of, and available to all regardless of beliefs or religious affiliations. All SU Chaplaincy staff and volunteers are champion a child-safe culture, and commit to the highest standards of safety and care in their work with children, young people and families.

        See positions available in Tasmania >

        Read More ReCharge!

        June/July 2023

        DOWNLOAD Recent (PDF) Issues of ReCharge

        Recharge news July 2023

        Subscribe to reCharge Here!

        Keeping you updated with Tasmanian Baptists latest PRAYER, STORIES and NEWS

        We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

        ReCharge News July 2023

        Heartlands Winter 2023

        Heartlands Winter 2023 is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

        Table of Contents

          FOR ALL WOMEN

          EmpowHer Day of Courage


          Karen Wilson

          Saturday 18th November 2023 | Riverlands Baptist (Longford)

          Speaker: Karen Wilson, President of the Baptist World Alliance Women, and CEO of the Global Leadership Network Aus/NZ.

          Join the EmpowHer team and women from around the state as we gather for the Day of Courage. This will be a 21st-Century gathering (not a Conference!)

          THEME: Well Grounded | Postcards now available to invite your friends!

          Day of Courage


          The end for
          Australian Baptist Women

          Jenny Baxter

          Did you know Australian Baptist Women has been ‘a thing’ since the 1930s? But as all things begin, so all things must end.

          By EmpowHer State Leader Jenny Baxter

          Australian Baptist Women ends


          Being Transformed

          Jenna Blackwell

          Jenna Blackwell, a member of the Tasmanian Baptists’ Mission and Leadership Development Team, gives insight into God’s amazing heart of grace.

          Inner Critic: Why don’t you have everything together?
          Jesus’ gentle voice: Did you hear about the disciples I chose?

          Tuning in to the Heart of God-Jun23


          Villain-Origin Story?

          or Testimony in Progress

          As the EmpowHer Day of Courage nears, Heartlands News will feature some deeper thinking articles for readers to press into the idea of being “Well-Grounded”.

          Maddie Mandall (Queensland Baptist Women) writes: If we allow our wounds to fester, they end up driving us and defining us in monstrous ways.

          Heartlands Winter 2023, Villain Origin story, or Testimony in the making?

          To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!


          Heartlands Winter 2023

          Australian Baptist Women Ends

          Australian Baptist Women ends
          Heartlands News

          Tasmanian State Leader Jenny Baxter explains why Australian Baptist Women began, and how things have changed.

          In the early days in Tasmania, there were some heroic women who led the ministry in during the depression when cars were still few, telephones a luxury item, and most communication was done by mail!

          Setting the scene

          Australian Baptist Women (ABW) has been an entity since the 1930s. When the national body began, it aimed to provide opportunities for Baptist women to gather and connect. ABW was formed separately to the infant Australian Baptist Ministries, which began a few years earlier in 1926.

          Nationally, ABW State leaders were appointed. This handful of women oversaw the ministry in each state and territory, gathering annually until 2020. Around that time, independent of one another, the states/territories gradually ceased those positions, with the exception of Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania.

          20th-Century ministry?

          No thanks!

          After over a decade with no Tasmanian leader, I was appointed in 2017. By then, many Tasmanian Baptist women’s ministries had wound down. I soon discovered there was little appetite for returning to 20th Century-style women’s ministry.

          Nationally, things were moving. Covid disrupted plans for the ABW national meeting in 2021, and then came a series of online discussions, think-tanks and brainstorms. But nothing seemed to fly. The question was: How do we continue to support Baptist women, when state Unions are less inclined to appoint ABW state leaders?

          THE QUESTION: How do we continue to support Baptist women, when state Unions are less inclined to appoint ABW state leaders?

          Moving onto 2023

          Mark Wilson

          In May this year, the National Council Taskforce gathered in Sydney. There was intense and robust discussion about women and women’s ministry. However, good decisions were made.

          Soon afterwards, National Ministries Director Mark Wison, made an official announcement.

          As a result of this announcement, ABW officially ceased to exist:

          The clear decision of National Council is that ABW, as a delegated body, is not the desired way forward for the State Leaders and National Council Taskforce. This decision is due to a number of factors including lack of agreement on purpose/scope, lack of buy-in from state associations [unions], changing understandings of needs and the inconsistency with how other delegated bodies operate. National Council has a desire to bring this group to an end well and recognises there might be different responses from current ABW group members. Some may feel disappointed or hurt, others relieved or even excited about the change.

          Mark Wilson continued …

          I want to affirm that this in no way says National Council is not committed to developing and supporting women leaders . . . National Council is creating a new delegated body, specifically focused on Women in Leadership. This is a new group and will involve representatives appointed by each state association [union].

          What does this mean for us?

          In God’s goodness, we Tasmanians were ahead of the curve!

          Since 2021 a statewide team consisting of Wendy Marston (Newstead), Jenna Blackwell (City, Launceston), Gabe Fife (Ulverstone), and myself (Hobart) have met, mostly on Zoom (and very rarely in-person!)

          EmpowHer became our new name.

          EmpowHer Team Sept 2021
          The EmpowHer Team: Jenna, Jenny, Wendy, Gabe (Sept 2021)

          EmpowHer Vision:

          A network of women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

          EmpowHer Mission:

          Providing community, training, and support for Tasmanian women to empower them to move into leadership, and to take their God-given place within the Baptist churches of Tasmania.

          I look forward to this new era as we further develop EmpowHer.
          Here is what’s happening next …

          Day of Courage

          The Day of Courage in November will be the first statewide event in this new paradigm. We are looking forward to hosting as many women as possible at Riverlnds (Longford). All women are welcome!

          Women’s National Taskforce

          I will also work with the National Taskforce to help develop the newly delegated body, focussing on women in leadership.

          The team and I value your prayers as we lead and encourage women around Tasmania.

          Jenny Baxter

          Jenny Baxter
          State Director, EmpowHer

          Heartlands Autumn 2023

          Heartlands Autumn 2023 is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

          Table of Contents


            World Women’s Day of Prayer

            WORLD dAY OF PRAYER 2022

            Last October, Day of Prayer events were held around Tasmania. Did you get to one of them? These are incredibly encouraging times of hearing, praying and giving.


            • HEARD about the work, and worlds, of women around the globe.
            • PRAYED for the women, some of them have devastating stories.
            • GAVE to the amazing projects, run by women, which are changing families and communities.

            In 2020, Australian women raised a total of $365.
            In 2021, Tasmanian women raised a total of $560.
            And in 2022, Tasmanian women raised a total of $869! WOOT!

            Great work everyone! Watch out for the Day of Prayer opportunities in your region in October 2023, and make a difference to our world.

            NORTHERN EVENT

            Weekend Wind-Down

            Fireside Chats EmpowHer event 17th March 2023

            WHEN: 7-8:30pm Friday 17th March 2023
            WHERE: Hoo Hoo Hut, Trevallyn Nature and Rec Area (Duck Reach Rd)
            WHERE? Change of plan! New location: Liv-Eat Kings Meadows,
            Shop 143 Hobart Rd. SEE MAP
            WHAT: Wind-down for the weekend and enjoy supper!
            WHO: All women welcome
            INFO: Wendy (0407 765 414); Mary (0408 335 618)
            FLIER: Unfortunately, the flier is now out of date and no longer available.

            SO FAR IN 2023

            Women in Leadership

            No Limits Conference Feb 2022, Heartlands Autumn 2023

            Ann Herbert explains what took place at the recent No Limits women’s conference in Brisbane, when many of the sessions explored the importance of women in church leadership.

            Pictured above are Tasmanian attendees Jenna Blackwell (City), Zahara Rehrman (Summerhill), Tracey Avery (City), Ann Herbert (Citywide); Jenny Baxter (Hobart), and Kez Hutchison (Wynyard) . Plus the speakers panel, and the women gathered.

            ON THE LOOKOUT?

            WANTED: Southern Team Members

            EmpowHer are looking for additional team members in Southern Tasmania.

            If you regularly attend a Baptist church, enjoy being with women, and are good at organising things, then how about joining our team?

            Please contact Jenny Baxter to find out more:

            EmpowHer Southern Tas Activities, Heartlands Autumn 2023
            Recent EmpowHer Southern Tasmania events

            Heartlands Spring 2022


            Learn to Live with Less

            Heartlands Autumn 2023 - Live with Less

            How one family stopped shopping for a year

            Ethical consumption isn’t just about what you buy; it’s also learning to live with less.

            Here’s how one family took drastic action to discover what they really need for a fulfilling life.

            From Baptist World Aid.

            To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!


            Heartlands Spring 2022

            Heartlands Autumn 2023

            Heartlands Spring 2022

            HEARTLANDS news is the quarterly email for EmpowHer – a network of Tasmanian women growing and encouraging each other in their God-given potential.

            Table of Contents

              Diary Dates

              Check the details on these events by scrolling down.
              Have you subscribed to Heartlands to find out about events in your region?

              • Pro-Tip: DOWNLOAD invitations to invite your friends by email, or print some for your church, or another group.

              DAY OF PRAYER, northwest

              DOP NW event 2022

              Ulverstone Baptist
              10am, Saturday 22nd October
              RSVP Mon 17th Oct

              DAY OF PRAYER, south

              DOP South event 2022

              Claremont Baptist
              2pm, Saturday 22nd October
              RSVP Sat 15th Oct

              MORNING TEA, northwest

              Morning tea in Latrobe

              Monclair of Latrobe
              10am,Saturday 12th November

              World Women’s Day of Prayer

              Late October/Early November 2022

              World Day of Prayer 2022, Heartlands Spring 2022
              Heartlands Spring 2022, Day of Prayer 2022

              President of Baptist Women of the Pacific Elissa Macpherson explains what the Day of Prayer event is all about.

              This event was launched by the Baptist World Alliance Women over sixty years ago, after World War II had shattered unity between the nations.

              Read More >

              Heartlands Spring 2022

              Action for You

              FOMO or JOMO?

              Do you suffer from FOMO? It is so easy to have a Fear Of Missing Out!

              The Joy of Missing Out, Heartlands Spring 2022
              You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and
              clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11 (NIV)

              We don’t want to miss out what’s on social media. So we scroll, and keep on scrollinig.

              We don’t want to miss out on that delicious cake or muffin. So we stack the kilos on.

              We don’t want to miss out on that special moment, or this event, or the other big gathering. And in the process wear ourselves out.

              But check this: THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!

              Have you heard of JOMO?

              The “Joy Of Missing Out” is easy too.

              Stop scrolling, and ease your anxious heart.

              Say NO to that cake – and enjoy a slimmer you.

              Take a break from endless commitments, to make some space to rest your body, soul and spirit.

              Instead of being fearful of missing out, choose JOY and relief in taking time out. Today.

              Women Making a Difference

              From one Generation to the Next

              Love Beyond our Backyard

              Heartlands Spring 2022

              Three generations of northwest Baptist women leave a wonderful legacy across the world.

              Sophia Russell recently chatted with three women from the same family from Wynyard: Shirley Wilson, daughter Cindy and granddaughter Kelsea Clingeleffer. Kelsea is the International Programs Coordinator at Baptist World Aid.

              Read More >

              To find out about EmpowHer events and activities for women in Tasmania, please subscribe to HEARTLANDS!


              Heartlands Spring 2022

              Love Beyond our Backyard

              Cindy, Shirley Wilson and Kelsea
              Heartlands News

              From Local to Global

              How three generations of Baptist World Aid supporters built a legacy of generosity

              Sophia Russell recently chatted with three women from the same family from Wynyard: Shirley Wilson, daughter Cindy and granddaughter Kelsea Clingeleffer. Kelsea is the International Programs Coordinator at Baptist World Aid.

              Giving has shaped our lives to bring a perspective way beyond our backyard

              Shirley Wilson remembers the day she first decided to become a Child Sponsor with Baptist World Aid Australia.

              It was 1977, and she was raising four children, working part time as a nurse, and helping her husband, Graeme, run a small poultry farm in the northwest of Tasmania.

              A guest speaker from Baptist World Aid Australia visited Wynyard Baptist, and spoke about a Child Sponsorship program. He explained that Australians could provide a monthly gift to support the work of Christian Partners working in places like Bangladesh and India. The funding would support children in those countries, helping them build a future free from poverty.

              ‘I decided it would be a good thing,’ Shirley said. ‘I’ve always loved Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40, “as much as you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did to me,” and I wanted to put it into practice’.

              A Thrilling Discovery

              After that Sunday, Shirley decided to support Anika*, a Child Partner living in India. Anika was nine years old, which made it easy for Shirley’s similarly aged daughter, Cindy, to connect with her. Cindy was thrilled to discover Anika enjoyed the same things she did—skipping rope, running games, playing outside with friends. But Cindy also learnt that their lives were vastly different.

              ‘It was an interesting education to have insight into somebody else’s world,’ Cindy said. ‘That’s when I started to think outside my own community.’

              ‘It was an interesting education to have insight into somebody else’s world,’ Cindy said.

              Cindy loved exchanging letters with Anika so much, that when she got her first job as a teenager, she used her pocket money to become a Sponsor.

              ‘Mum’s example had a big impact on me,’ she said. ‘We can’t all go overseas, but this is how we can contribute’.

              One Generation, to the Next

              Cindy didn’t stop contributing—even when she married her husband David and they had children of their own. And even when it wasn’t easy. ‘David lost his job about 20 years ago,’ Cindy said. ‘We clung on to our Child Partner for as long as we could, so it was heartbreaking when we couldn’t support him anymore’.

              When David started working again, the first thing they did was ask if their Child Partner was still available to support. ‘I was so happy that he was,’ Cindy said. ‘That made me realise what a big impact our Child Partners had on us.

              Sponsorship also had a big impact on Cindy’s kids. Her eldest children, Kelsea and Braden, took over a newspaper delivery business as teenagers, and used their earnings to support a Child Partner themselves.

              ‘My mother’s heart sang!’ Cindy recalls. But for Kelsea, raised by big-hearted parents and grandparents who travelled with overseas mission organisations, generosity wasn’t something extraordinary. It was just part of the Christian life.

              Generosity wasn’t something extraordinary. It was just part of the Christian life

              A BIG Perspective


              ‘I always knew that there were communities that were in different circumstances to mine,’ Kelsea said. ‘In my family, it was normal to see the world as a bigger place, not just to focus on us.’

              This perspective eventually led Kelsea to pursue a career in international community development, spending 22 months in Cambodia with the United Nations Development Program. At the beginning of 2022, she started serving as an International Programs Coordinator at Baptist World Aid. Her role, which focuses on building community resilience and responding to disasters, is a far cry from her paper delivery days. But her heart is the same.

              ‘While it’s easy just to focus on ourselves, God calls us to love our neighbour,’ Kelsea said. ‘That might be the person next door, or it might be someone overseas.’

              Having a Heart that Rubs Off

              Today, Shirley, Cindy and Kelsea still call the northwest coast of Tasmania home. And they continue their legacy of generosity. Shirley’s home is full of gifts she’s crafted for children in need overseas—girl’s skirts, doll clothes, toy hedgehogs made from old scarves. She’s still supporting children, now with friends from Wynyard Baptist Church. And she couldn’t be prouder of her granddaughter Kelsea.

              ‘You always hope that having a heart for others rubs off on your kids, and their kids,’ Shirley said. ‘It’s pleasing to know that we can make a difference to someone else’s life.”

              Cindy, who is still part of Baptist World Aid’s Child sponsorship program, agrees. ‘We’re not meant to live as islands,’ she said. ‘As Christians, we’re called to live in community and support each other, even across the globe’.

              *not her real name

              Sophia Russell is the wife of a minister, mum of two children and the communication specialist at Baptist World Aid.

              Read Heartlands, Spring 2022

              Read ReCharge

              August/September 2022

              Disaster Strikes Floods in Pakistan – Baptist World Aid
              Around the Churches News and events statewide
              Ministry Profile Ben Cochrane, Somerset
              Deep Thought 21st Century Mission by Laurie Rowston
              From Andrew Turner of Crossover Census Overview
              Stand Sunday 2022 Make a stand for foster carers ~ During September
              Church Profile Claremont Baptist
              From the MLT Achieving Lasting Social Change

              August 2022 NEWS
              July 2022 NEWS

              DOWNLOAD Recent Issues

              Subscribe to reCharge Here!

              Keeping you updated with Tasmanian Baptists latest PRAYER, STORIES and NEWS

              We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

              Love Beyond our Backyard



              We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.