need to know – news June 2021:
Bangladesh struggles with COVID
“The pandemic has impacted Bangladesh profoundly,” says Baptist World Aid’s South Asia Regional Lead, Nathan Sarkar, who lives in Bangladesh. “It’s disrupted people’s livelihood and raised poverty in 2020 . . . there could be about 90 million people who are under severe poverty stress due to the pandemic.”
And garment workers are in a vulnerable position, he says. “They can hardly follow health protocols and have to live in congested spaces where ensuring social distancing is difficult. They use common bathrooms, and sit and eat in common places.”
Yet, through the pandemic, Baptist World Aid continues to support families in Bangladesh. Some of whom, like Suresh, work for garment factories in Dhaka.
For almost 20 years, Suresh has worked in the garment industry. The early days (of the pandemic) were the hardest. Leaving his wife and youngest daughter behind in his village to fend for themselves, while he travelled to the city for work.
Away from home, he worries for his wife and daughter. And that, says Mr Sarker, is where Baptist World Aid and its local partners have stepped in.
“Many generous Australians are helping to support the families of garment workers like Suresh,” he explains. “They learn new skills to help grow the family income, growing fruit and vegetables, fish farming. And in this time of COVID, they’re also learning life-saving hygiene techniques.”
If you’d like to learn more about this work or support it yourself, please visit www.baptistworldaid.org.au/matching-grant.
Acting Chief Operating Officer, Baptist World Aid
Tasmania Celebration, Sunday 28th May 2022
Will Graham is coming to Tasmania next year, and there will be a KidzFest program as part of the Saturday program.
Members of Christian churches in Launceston are urged to consider supporting this event as much as is possible. A team is being gathered to help lead this event in the best possible direction and create a mega-awesome kids fun for the day on Saturday 28th May 2022.
Please get in touch with me, Russell McKenzie, if you would like to join the organising team, and/or if your church would be interested in participating in this event.
Co-ordinator of KidzFest Launceston: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more info: Tasmania Celebration
Poetry by Ray Hawkins
Ray attends The Point Baptist Church, Beauty Point
The Longing of the Heart
There were many places waiting for me, So many things to do and see. Then, unexpectedly, All this changed. My life was rearranged, New desires took hold of me, Changing me completely. READ MORE
- Regional RoundUp Perth, Ulverstone, Wynyard, Citywide, Claremont, Hobart
- Baptists in Mission Conference The HOW-TO of “Missional Church”
- Farewell Jeff McKinnon Thanks to a passionate servant
EmpowHer Southern Coastal Walk
Walk for Southern women and girls, 19 June 2021
The fist walk was a great success! To find out more about EmpowHer activities, you can sign up the Heartlands Quarterly News HERE
Where: Arm End Circuit
When: Saturday 19 June
Perth Thanksgiving Service
Sunday 30th May
Saying ‘thanks’ is an important part of living together as well as in our relationship with God.
The Perth Baptist Church had a special Thanksgiving Service on 30 May as part of the town’s bicentennial of the naming of the town.
The service focused on thanksgiving for the past, the present and the future. Those attending gave thanks to God for William and Mary Gibson whose vision and obedience to God resulted in the building of the church in 1889 and the hall opposite in 1862 along with many other churches in Tasmania.
It was noted that Perth was named by Governor Macquarie on one of his visits to the Gibson’s home. William Gibson was not a preacher, but he had the gift to generate a profit from his business and used that money to build churches and ‘import’ preachers from the Spurgeon College in England to pastor churches in Tasmania.
The vision for the church was for it to be a place of worship and to go forth and preach the gospel.
When the Gibson family home became too large for the needs of a single family, the home became a place of care for people with severe or multiple disabilities. Eskleigh Home was born, and remains today as a home for people with a disability. It was a blessing that some residents and their careers, were present at the Service.
Read more about Perth’s Thanksgiving Service in the June 2021 Regional RoundUp
Luminous Festival, Hobart
17th June to 4th July
In the fourth century, Christians began celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25 in a reworking of the pagan Roman winter solstice celebrations. The cold, dark, bleak reality, of winter was an ideal time to celebrate the warmth and light of Christ coming into the world as a signpost of hope and redemption. Winter in Hobart lends itself to do the same.
This year, Hobart Baptist Church is challenging the city of Hobart with a festival coinciding with Dark Mofo. Several events are planned, and all are welcome!
Carols at the Tab Celebrating Christmas in Winter | 6pm, 2nd July
FREE REGISTRATIONS ARE ESSENTIAL! More info and Registrations
These Luminous events are now complete:
- Breathe, Shine and Seek to Mend Michael Henderson Art Installation | LAUNCH 6pm, 17th June | OPEN 18th – 22nd June
- Conversation with Ruth Burgess From Hindu Guru to Christian | 6pm 23rd June
- Conversation Panel Religion, Spirituality and the Future of Tasmania | Jacquie Petrusma, Cassy O’Connor, Stephen Baxter, Paul Dare | 6pm 25th June
National Church Life Survey
How to be involved
We urge local churches to sign up for the 2021 National Church Life Survey (NCLS). It is a safe and effective tool to listen to churchgoers in unprecedented times.
Results will help local churches focus on the future. Set aside a week in either October or November for church attenders to complete these anonymous surveys (paper or online).
Local church results will arrive in early 2022.
See 2021ncls.org.au for more.
COVID-19 Crisis in Asia
From Roshan Mendis, Asian Pacific Baptist Aid (APBAid)
Please continue to keep APBAid in your prayers as we continue to serve our brothers and sisters who are in need in the region.
DONATE to their work here >>>
The devastation in India continues as it has recorded more than 25 million cases and 275,000 deaths, but experts say the real death toll is several times higher. Hundreds of corpses have been found floating and buried around the Ganges riverbank, highlighting the massive discrepancy in the deaths being reported. (Source – BBC.)
With lockdowns extending across the country the poor working class of India have been hit the most, with little to no food, more borrowing, and no support to fall back on. (Source – Scroll.in)
It’s also with deep heartache that we bring the news of the tragic loss of over 40 Pastors from the Baptist family in India to this intense second wave. Please keep the families that have been left behind in your prayers. Continue to prayer for God’s comfort to surround them.
Nepal and Sri Lanka
Threat of surge in Covid cases as the more infectious Indian Variant is found in Nepal in the midst of lack of beds, oxygen, equipment and Health Workers.
As the Covid numbers rise, Nepal continues to struggle with sourcing vaccines and control the situation.
Sri Lanka has also seen an increase in the COVID cases, and a lockdown took effect from the 21st of May to manage crowd movement with upcoming religious festivals to help flatten the curve.
Over 100 days since the coup, and the fight for democracy still continues in Myanmar, with the people being relentless in their fight for democracy.
The United Nations in Myanmar warns of the impact on public health, including the COVID-19 response in Myanmar, due to the attacks on medical personnel and facilities, and reiterates its call for health workers, health facilities and patients to be protected.
Please continue to pray for justice for the people of Myanmar.
Bangladesh has also been affected with the extended lockdown being put in place to control the spread of the virus.
- PROFILE Hobart Baptist Church
- ASSEMBLY Welcome to Country (History-making!)
- TESTIMONY From Swami to Christian
Religious Freedom Weekend
Conducted by Freedom for Faith
Join with Churches and Faith Communities across Australia to Pray for and Protect Religious Freedom
Faith groups across the nation will be praying for the globally persecuted and the protection of religious freedoms in Australia. Religious Freedom is only weakly protected in Australian law, and those protections are rapidly eroding.
Download the Resources Pack to find out more.
Let your Light Shine
26 June 2021
Free training day for the leadership teams of our Town and Country Churches
An important message from our Mission Director, Stephen Baxter
There is a special training day planned to support and encourage our Town and Country Churches (TaCC). These are a special and unique set of churches in our Union who serve in rural settings across our State. TaCC leadership teams are invited to another special time together.
This is an opportunity to meet with leaders of churches facing similar challenges and needs. It will be an important opportunity for TaCC teams to communicate and be heard by myself and Jeff McKinnon.
The Training Day is open to all, pastors, church leaders, and those in your church who would like to attend. I anticipate a representative from every TaCC to attend.
DETAILS: Let Your Light Shine Training Day
- WHERE: Latrobe Baptist Church, 123 Gilbert Street Latrobe
- WHEN: 10am-2.30pm Saturday 26 June
- THEME: Let your light shine: taking the Gospel to your community
- TRAINERS: Stephen Baxter and Jeff McKinnon
- WHO: This event is open to all leaders of Town and Country Churches
- COST: Free, including free refreshments and lunch
- RSVP: Karen Buckney email@example.com by Friday 18 June.
Two AMAZING online Baptist conferences
- PASTORS MUSTER! Baptists in Mission Conference (July 5-7), available in Tasmania at regional hubs.
- Baptist World Congress (7-10 July) – free registration to Australian Baptists!
KEEP READING TO FIND OUT ALL ABOUT THEM
1. Baptists in Mission Conference, 5-7 July 2021
Online at regional hubs – THIS IS ONE OF OUR REGULAR PASTORS MUSTERS
This is a great event so why not to attend!
A collaboration between Crossover Australia and Global Interaction
This conference is about the mission of God, and the mission of God is at the core of our Australian Baptist identity.
WHO IS IT FOR? Pastors, leadership teams, and emerging leaders
- Program >>> Every afternoon, 2 to 6:30pm each day, 5-7 July
- Register >>> $75 (Earlybird before 10 May: $67.50)
- Regional Hubs >>>
SOUTH Citywide Lenah Valley| NORTH Riverlands Longford | NORTH WEST Cancelled
- Find out more >>> Great speakers and inspiration!
2. “Together” Online Conference, 7-10 July 2021
The Baptist World Alliance invites you to attend the 22nd Baptist World Congress.
Held every five years, the 2020 Baptist World Congress, originally planned to take place in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, was postponed due to COVID-19.
The big news is that the postponed Congress will be available for online for Baptists to attend globally, with free entry for Australians!
A Special Update for Australian Baptists from the General Secretary Dr Elijah Brown, Baptist World Alliance, with news for Aussies about attending.
“We are called together to God’s global mission.”Dr Elijah Brown, General Secretary Baptist World Alliance
FIND OUT MORE:
TOGETHER, 22nd Baptist World Congress, July 7-10
The US$70 registration is available to Australians, which includes:
- Access to the entire 2021 Virtual Congress Experience
- 1 Pre-Conference (Wed July 7) Registration for either Global Conference of Baptist Women or Religious Freedom Summit
- 7 Days of on-demand Congress content access to enhance your ministry engagement and ministry collaboration.