Hi Friends,

I’m very much aware of the complexity we are encountering as we lead in churches and organisations during this season.  It can be demanding work to continually run into new challenges and opportunities and to steward them well for the Kingdom.  This reality is likely to continue as we look to emerge from lockdown in the weeks and months ahead in NSW/ACT.

We need wisdom.  And not just human wisdom, but that given by God through the Holy Spirit (Col 1:9).  What a blessing it is to know that as leaders we can ask God in faith for it, and he will generously give it (Jas 1:5-6)!

So as you lead through another week, can I bring a simple encouragement to you: ask the Lord for wisdom.  For yourself, for your fellow pastors and leaders, for those with whom you lead in your local context.  God is faithful and he will answer!

 

Blessings
Steve

Check out the video for July’s update!

Insights News – July Edition from Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT on Vimeo.

Hi everyone, and welcome to Insights:News for June.

Thanks to those of you who were able to complete our Ministry Survey from earlier in the year. At Insights last week we highlighted some of the main findings of how our leaders and churches are finding life and ministry now compared to what it was like before the pandemic hit. As a team we continue to be committed to all our leaders and churches as you seek to serve God and your communities in an ever changing world. As part of the Resilience phase of our Disaster Recovery Framework, we will be encouraging ongoing conversation about how everyone is traveling, as well as providing resources, input and opportunities to engage in how to respond to the opportunities this season presents. We want to encourage you to engage as you need and to be connected in your local networks and regions for ongoing support and partnership.

As part of the support we want to offer, there are opportunities to share, connect, be equipped and encouraged coming up. In today’s Insights:News you’ll find details about some of those options, such as The Form Conference, That Thing in July and Leadership Conversations and more. We hope and pray that you will find opportunities in this time of ongoing change to be refreshed, encouraged and supported in your leadership development.

Blessings,

Heidi.

Heidi Tak
Acting Director of Ministries
Baptist Association of NSW & ACT

Hi everyone and welcome to this month’s Insights:News – the monthly digest to help you stay up to date on opportunities and resources within and beyond our movement.  I trust it is of benefit to you and your church!

 

Blessings,

Steve.

Steve Bartlett 
Director of Ministries
Baptist Association of NSW & ACT

At our online Insights hour for pastors and leaders this month, our guest speaker Omar Djoeandy spoke about redefining success in life and ministry.  It was a timely reminder that, even subconsciously, we are all susceptible as leaders to think about success in ways that bear little resemblance to how Jesus understood it.  We may become overwhelmed, or start listening to that internal voice that says we are not up to the task to which we’ve been called – not difficult to do in the challenging season we are in as Christian leaders coming out of COVID.  Alternatively, we may lose sight of the fact that all God does in and through us is by his grace alone.

For Jesus, a life well lived was fulfilling the mission his Father had given him (John 6:39).  May that be the case for all of us as leaders – may it stretch us to embrace God-sized visions for His glory, never losing sight of the call to take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:36)

In this month’s Insights:News the Gen1K Health team reflects on making disciples, our Public engagement group highlight significant upcoming opportunities for your church to make its voice heard in the areas of Indigenous reconciliation and “Caring about Aged Care”.  There’s lots of other helpful and informative stuff here as well – I encourage you to click and read!

As we approach this Easter season, I pray that you may experience afresh the wonder of Jesus’ great gift to us as he fulfilled his earthly mission on the cross.  And the power active in his resurrection at work in and through you (Eph 1:19)!

 

Blessings,
Steve.

Steve Bartlett 
Director of Ministries
Baptist Association of NSW & ACT

Welcome to Insights: News – the new Association resource delivered to your inbox monthly! Insights: News replaces our Pastors and Leaders Enews from prior years, and sits alongside our revamped monthly Insights online gathering for pastors and leaders.  While you’ll continue to see helpful information and resources in this new format, Insights:News will have additional content that I trust will equip you in leadership and mission in your church!

You’ll see here encouraging stories from our churches and updates of what’s happening in various areas of our movement’s life, including our affiliated groups, so you can stay up to date.  This month watch for a number of upcoming events to train and resource people in your church!

As I write this our Special Assembly is coming up fast on Saturday 27 February.  This will be a time when we will be discussing and discerning some complex matters in the life of our movement.  I was reminded and encouraged this morning by reflecting on Eph 4:1-6, where Paul says:

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all.

In the previous chapter Paul has made the astounding statement that God’s wisdom is displayed through the church (Eph 3:10).  His exhortation in these verses above is that this unity will require our active effort, focused around the source of our unity, God himself.  Our unity with one another flows from our being united to Christ (Eph 2).  As we all know unity is not uniformity or even necessarily agreement – otherwise I doubt Paul would either give it such weight as a matter of witness, or urge it so strongly, as it would be relatively easy to achieve in our own strength.  But true unity is God-inspired and gives glory to Him.  What a vision for God’s church!  Unity is also a blessing to experience.  It is a robust, God-honouring thing.  My prayer is that at this Assembly, but also in the life of our churches and our movement generally we might, bring honour to the One whose name we bear.

 

Steve Bartlett
Director of Ministries
Baptist Association of NSW & ACT

AUGUST 31st 7.45pm!! Australian Baptists Movement-Wide Prayer Gathering: Praying for COVID crisis

With the seemingly-unending COVID crisis in Australia and around the world, the most powerful thing we can do in response is to pray. If you are a pastor, leader, or member/attender of one of the churches in our movement we invite you to this online prayer gathering where we can seek God together.

Where:     Zoom (click here to register)
Date:        Tuesday 31st August 2021
Time:        7.45 pm – 8.30 pm

Register to attend our prayer gathering here.  

Join with others from across our country in prayer for the COVID situation, and that His Kingdom come and His will be done in all that is before us. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Free Counselling Support extended through October 15 for Pastoral Leaders

The events of this past 18 months have been very challenging and many of you have been supporting individuals and families in your church communities through this.  The recent lockdowns in Greater Sydney have only added to what was already a heavy load to carry.

We have extended the free counselling services available through Bruce Chan for people in pastoral leadership roles in churches, fellowships and church plants which are part of the Association. You are now able to access up to 5 sessions, paid for by the Association.

Bruce has been providing counselling services for over a year in disaster-affected communities and has significant expertise in mental health.  Bruce previously worked with BaptistCare Relationship Services for over 10 years, providing counselling to individuals seeking support through grief and loss, relationship matters and other personal needs.

Bruce is currently able to allocate two days per week for counselling appointments through 15 October. If demand exceeds this, we will look at whether this can be extended.  You can book directly through Bruce to maintain confidentiality, and the costs will be paid by the Association. Bruce can be contacted on 0411 445 511.

Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity if this will benefit your wellbeing in ministry.  Please know that we are praying for you.

2021 NCLS – Online and hardcopy participation in Church Life Survey, Leadership Survey and Church Census FREE for your church!

Dear Pastors, Leaders and Church Administrators,

In 2021, we mark 30 years since the first National Church Life Survey in 1991. The continuing mission of NCLS is to encourage church vitality, health and effectiveness within the Australian context.

Our Association has had a strong connection with NCLS over its life. We believe that participation in NCLS is of great benefit for the local church in assessing mission and ministry, resourcing good reflection on the present and creative thinking about the future.

Because of this we are making a major investment in the 2021 survey. We will be offering the Church Census, Leadership Survey and Church Life Survey free of charge to all NSW&ACT Baptist Churches, fellowships and church plants.

This year the survey can be completed online, so no need to worry about restrictions! Can I strongly encourage every church to participate in this unique opportunity to provide insight into ministry, tools for leadership at the local church level, and a cohesive snapshot of our movement as a whole at this significant time. Each of the surveys can be translated into at least 10 different languages and a child survey is also available for church attenders between 8 and 14 years of age.

NCLS are also offering a new Local Community Survey this year, which is another valuable tool for the local church. The cost of this survey is $200 and I strongly encourage churches to engage in this practical, missional and strategic research.

The survey is scheduled to take place between October and November this year, with results available in 2022.

To register your interest, please visit https://www.2021ncls.org.au/ for further information. If you have any further questions, please contact the NCLS office or our Association NCLS Coordinator, Steve Hales, at shales@nswactbaptists.org.au.

 

We look forward to partnering together.

Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Steve Bartlett
Director of Ministries
Baptist Association of NSW and ACT

COVID-19 Update

Following recent announcements from the NSW Government, you may be aware that from 12:01am on Friday 3 September 2021, weddings can be held in NSW.  5 guests can attend, in addition to those needed for the conduct the wedding. 

We are aware that the Public Health Order will be finalised over the coming days and once released, further details will be reflected on our FAQ page here. We are also aware that vaccination will not be a legal requirement for weddings, however will be strongly recommended and this will be confirmed in the Public Health Orders to be released later this week.

Relief funds for COVID hotspot areas
The NSW Government has made relief funds availale for community-led initiatives During COVID-19.  Local community organisations and groups are now eligible to apply for funding to deliver community-led grassroots projects supporting vulnerable members of our community.
Eligible organisations can apply for funding between $10,000 and $30,000 for their projects until Friday 3 September. You can read more about how to apply for these grants here.

Find out more about what’s going on across different areas of our Gen1k & Association Ministries

From Grae McWhirter: Associate Director, Strategic Support and Regional Development

We want to acknowledge the significant leadership challenges which our pastors and leaders are facing at this time. We want to encourage you in this season to stay connected with one another and make sure that you feel free to connect with any of the BMC team members who can offer support, point you to information or resources you may have missed, or find a specialist who might be appropriate to advise you. We are here for you! ….. Keep reading by clicking below!

Click here to view Gen1k Leadership's September Update

We want to acknowledge the significant leadership challenges which our pastors and leaders are facing at this time. We want to encourage you in this season to stay connected with one another and make sure that you feel free to connect with any of the BMC team members who can offer support, point you to information or resources you may have missed, or find a specialist who might be appropriate to advise you. We are here for you!

At this month’s INSIGHT Zoom for Pastors and Leaders we spent time considering some of the key issues facing leaders around the roadmap out of restrictions. The recording of that session is available on our COVID page if you missed it. Coming up in INSIGHTS for the rest of this year for our pastors and leaders is:

  • Re-engaging Leaders (Wednesday 20th October, 1pm) as Craig Corkill, (incoming Associate Director, Discipleship and Leader Development), talks about how we can re-engage leaders in a pandemic aware world and culture.
  • Plan A is for Advent (Wednesday 17th November, 1pm) as Belinda Lakelin helps us to know how we might encourage people in our churches to share Jesus during Christmas (no matter what restrictions may or may not be with us in that season this year).

Don’t forget to sign up your church to be part of this year’s NCLS SURVEY as the Association is paying for each of our churches to be able to participate. To register your church click here: www.2021ncls.org.au .

May God bless you in this season of leadership challenge and opportunity.

Click here to view Gen1k Leadership's August Update

A number of you engaged with our LEADERSHIP CONVERSATIONS CONFERENCE online earlier this month.  Kylie Butler from Arrow and Christian Coaching Network was our guest speaker. It was a great time together. If you’d like to catch up on what you missed, let us know.

This month’s INSIGHT for Pastors and Leaders was also a great time as we heard from Sam Sterland from NCLS. Don’t forget to sign up your church to be part of this year’s NCLS survey as the Association is paying for each of our churches to be able to participate. To register your church click here: www.2021ncls.org.au.

 Coming up in Insights for the rest of this year for our pastors and leaders is:

  • Support September (Wednesday 15th September) as a number of our team share a whole lot of resources, programs, networks and initiatives designed to support you and your local church in ministry and mission.
  • Re-engaging Leaders (Wednesday 20th October) as Craig Corkill, Senior Pastor at Narara Valley Baptist Church, talks about how we can re-engage leaders in a pandemic aware world and culture.
  • Plan A is for Advent (Wednesday 17th November) as Belinda Lakelin helps us to know how we might encourage people in our churches to share Jesus during Christmas (no matter what restrictions may or may not be with us in that season this year).

We are excited to announce the NEW GAP YEAR PROGRAM which is a partnership between the Association and Morling College. The new gap year program and team was launched at a special online event on Thursday night, 26th August. If you are interested at all in this gap year program as being an option for school leavers in your church or networks, we encourage you to register and join in by clicking here: https://bit.ly/37YE6Xb.

MARRIAGE CELEBRANT TRAINING is coming up and is a compulsory training event for everyone who is to be an accredited minister and for recognised ministers who wish to apply for a celebrant’s licence.
Jenny Casey and I will be running this free Zoom training afternoon on Thursday 16th September from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
To register, go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZElf-yvpzIvHNJ0X3qtaLWT_uRCA3M9qo1c
If you have any questions, please email me at gmcwhirter@nswactbaptists.org.au

Meanwhile, we encourage you amidst this extended and extensive lock down, as pastors and leaders, to care for yourselves as you care for and lead others. At this time, remember, that you need connection, but so does your church – connection with God, connection with you and connection with one another. May God bless you in this season of leadership challenge and opportunity

Click here to view Gen1k Leadership's July Update

We were looking forward to our inaugural “That Thing in July” for Associate Pastors, but like so many things, the COVID restrictions have caused us to cancel this for 2021.  Restrictions or no restrictions we are going ahead with Leadership Conversations online.  Kylie Butler from Arrow and Christian Coaching Network will be speaking and we’d encourage you and your teams to log in and join together in this equipping and inspirational event for leaders.

We are excited to soon announce the appointment of a team that will head up a new Gap Year program which is a partnership between the Association and Morling College. The new gap year program and team will be launched at a special event in August. We hope you’ll be able to be part of it.

Meanwhile I (Grae) will be moving out of the role as Team Leader, Leadership Development to a new role as Associate Director, Strategic Support and Regional Development. The Association is in the process of appointing a new person to be Associate Director, Discipleship and Leadership Development. This is part of our Association restructure. Please pray for us all in this transition.

While we continue to encourage our pastors, leaders and churches to be recognising, raising, releasing and resourcing leaders across our movement as we journey towards a thousand healthy churches in a generation.

MARRIAGE CELEBRANT TRAINING:

This is a compulsory training event for everyone who is to be an accredited minister and for recognised ministers who wish to apply for a celebrant’s licence.

Grae McWhirter and Jenny Casey will be running this free Zoom training afternoon on Thursday 16th September from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

To register, go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZElf-yvpzIvHNJ0X3qtaLWT_uRCA3M9qo1c 

If you have any questions, please email Grae at gmcwhirter@nswactbaptists.org.au

From Jamie Freeman, Associate Director – Mission & Church Development: 

Is there any more strategic investment than in building our capacity to shine our light and share our good news more effectively? The key to deep, lasting transformation of individuals, families, communities, cities, and nations is this: People need to hear the good news of King Jesus!……. Keep reading by clicking below!

Click here to view Gen1k Mission's September Update!

Is there any more strategic investment than in building our capacity to shine our light and share our good news more effectively?

The key to deep, lasting transformation of individuals, families, communities, cities, and nations is this: People need to hear the good news of King Jesus!

Crossover helps Australian Baptists share Jesus. It is an arm of Australian Baptist Ministries and exists to serve our movement by providing encouragement, training and resources for outreach and evangelism. I have been on the Crossover Taskforce for several years and across this time have seen it be a key partner in the Gen1K vision of a thousand healthy churches in a generation.

Four Strategic ways Crossover is supporting churches to share Jesus right now:

  • Christmas Resource package: Good News for a Change which will include 4-part advent series with sermon outlines, a video and associated design package to invite people along and prepare for the series. To be released in October.
  • Plan A: Crossover is working with our very own Evangelism Consultant, Belinda Lakelin, to further develop and promote “Plan A” to empower churches across Australia.
  • A new Crossover website: They are reorganising the many resources and ideas on their website and making it easier to browse and access them. Launching in October, at the same website address crossover.org.au
  • PRAC and Sacred Agents coming soon: Stay tuned for new editions of PRAC (which aims to serve pastors, elders, denominational leaders and other thought leaders) and the ‘Sacred Agents’ blog/column (which will be accessible for people in Baptist congregations).

 

Spring Appeal

I believe that as we work out what it means to live in a pandemic aware world, there will be many opportunities to share the hope of Jesus. With the disruptions of COVID over the last 2 years, Crossover is $90,000 behind budget for support, just when they’re gearing up with a tonne of ideas and projects that Australian Baptists need. So let me encourage you to join in the special Spring Appeal by promoting this within your churches. Thank you to those who have already invested in Crossover through the annual Easter Offering 2021!  You can give anytime via crossover.org.au

 Crossover would love to hear from you, whether you have a creative idea for evangelism that can be shared, or you are looking for ways they can help to share Jesus in your local context. To connect, please contact:

Crossover Director – Rev Andrew Turner, andrew.turner@baptist.org.au 0412 095 670

General Enquiries / Offering Enquiries – Cat Nugent, crossover@baptist.org.au 02 9868 9236

NSW & ACT Crossover Rep: Jamie Freeman jfreeman@nswactbaptists.org.au 02 9868 9256

Click here to view Gen1k Mission's August Update!

As the Association continues to move towards the Gen1K vision of a thousand healthy churches in a generation, I am excited to introduce Rev Ken Kamau who has recently been appointed as the Church Multiplication Team Leader. Ken has been a key part of the Church Multiplication team over the last few years, and I am excited to see him step into this leadership position.

Ken brings a wealth of experience locally and around the world. In Kenya he led a large church of over 1800 in weekly attendance across 4 campus’ that multiplied 5 churches in 6 years. While in the US, Ken was part of a multi-site mega church with campus’ throughout Indianapolis. As part of a global partnership Ken joined our team, alongside revitalising Earlwood Baptist Church and serving as a key part of the Transform Southern Sydney (TSS) regional team.

In this interview Ken shares briefly on his journey and hopes for ministry and mission.

1. Tell us how you came to be a part of the Gen1K Mission and Church Development group?
I came to Australia in 2018 as part of church planting partnership between my sending church in Nairobi, Grace Church in the US and the Association. As part of my journey in revitalizing Earlwood Baptist I was drawn into the bigger Gen1K vision of not only revitalizing one church but being part of a bigger movement seeing 1000 healthy churches.

2. What have you learnt about faith and leadership during the challenges of COVID?
I have learnt that in times like these that depth of our personal journey with God is vital. It is hard to lead during times of constant change and uncertainty when you are personally at a place of emptiness. You first need to lead yourself well in your personal prayer and devotional. I have also learnt to look at those that have gone before me, especially the early church. As I reflect in the Book of Acts, they navigated the challenges on their knees. By looking back, I have learnt to trust God despite not knowing what tomorrow or next week will hold because He has been faithful in the past, He remains faithful in the present and future.

3. Where have you seen God at work in the area of Church Multiplication?
I have noticed an increase in more churches seeking out what it means to be a multiplying or sending church. This is very exciting, because when church leaders start asking these types of questions, the sending platform increases in size, the rally call for church planters is amplified, and the culture of multiplication starts becoming embedded.

4. What most excites you about your new role as the Team Leader – Church Multiplication?
I get to work with an awesome team towards a great vision.

5. What would you say to a church or individual considering church multiplication?
The best time to start is now. It is hard to find the perfect time. A lot is shifting, and I honestly see that the future of multiplication in our movement will be predominantly through Networks and collaboration, so I encourage individual church planters and churches to start looking for opportunities to either be part of a network or even start a network. I will end with an African proverb.. if you want to go fast walk alone if you want to go far walk with others 

Click here to view Gen1k Mission's July Update!

As Baptists, the need for partnership is reflected in our core values and our strategic objectives. Across the State and Territory, we are seeing smaller collaborative networks emerge in places like the Hunter, Central Coast, Penrith, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Canterbury, the Shire and many more! These networks have a vision for their local government area (or City) and develop around relationships, resourcing, raising leaders and reproducing new congregations. They help move us towards our 4 vision pictures:

  • a movement of transforming, healthy communities
  • a movement raising and empowering Kingdom-focused leadership
  • an extraordinary mission shaped movement of God across our churches and affiliated groups
  • a movement impacting our society, culture and world

Together for Ryde (https://togetherforryde.org.au) is one example of this. One of the key strategic efforts of this network in the last few years has been the development of the Vertical Villages research project, involving a collaboration with a team at Macquarie University toward the production of a Report and accompanying Toolkit. This report provides significant value to church leaders, missional thinkers and Bible colleges all around Australia, especially as we think though the implications of seeing the majority of the world living in high rise in the not-too-distant future, and what this might mean for church ministry, church planting, and the significance of place-making.

The next step is the “Project Vertical Villages Symposium” which has been booked to be held at Morling MALC on Sept 8th, 2021, from 9.30am-3pm. There is a place-holder website here (http://www.verticalvillages.org.au) which will soon host info and registrations. This event will be for church leaders and representatives of Christian organisations to consider the content and implications of this report and catalyse future thinking around these themes in a way that we hope may lead to an ongoing network of thinking and resourcing and potential future symposiums.

Members of the Gen1K Mission team will be at the Symposium to learn and join the conversation.  We’d love to extend the initiation on behalf of Together for Ryde for you to join too!

 

From Tim Burns, Church Health Team Leader

I see light! Yes, surely, that is light at the end of the tunnel. After more than three months of lockdown for Greater Sydney, and somewhat less for other parts of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the 70% and 80% vaccination targets are being reached and the shimmer of long-hoped for freedoms is growing stronger every day…… Keep reading by clicking below!

Click here to view Gen1k Health's September Update

I see light! Yes, surely, that is light at the end of the tunnel. After more than three months of lockdown for Greater Sydney, and somewhat less for other parts of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the 70% and 80% vaccination targets are being reached and the shimmer of long-hoped for freedoms is growing stronger every day. 

At time of writing this article, the LGA where I live recently had a freedom returned. People living in Canterbury-Bankstown, and the other LGAs of concern where lockdown measures have been most severe, are now allowed to go for family picnics in local parks. Heady on the fumes of this new freedom I suggested to my family that we do just that only for my twenty-three year old son to roll his eyes and my wife to say, “I’d rather be allowed to have a haircut”!

There is a sense in which the light at the end of the tunnel is welcome, warm and comforting. However, this same light may also prove agonizingly bright when it reveals the damage done by lockdown to many congregations. Even now pastors and leaders are wondering what life will be like in the months ahead. Will everyone who was part of our public worship and regular ministries return? Will our church still have the capacity to finance ministry when the government assistance ends? What should church life and witness look like as we learn to live with COVID?

If you are a pastor or leader who is wrestling with questions like these then I would remind you of an excellent tool that was made available last year. Called the Cycle of Discovery it serves to equip leaders and churches to discover what new things God may be doing in and through the Church as it emerges out of COVID. 

There is no doubt that lockdown has taken a toll, and that leaders and churches must adopt a recovery mindset, but the Lord our God is with us and will do a new thing. Isaiah 43:19 was given to the Old Testament people of God during the long hard years when they were in exile. “See I am doing a new thing” said the Lord. Having reminded His people that He delivered them from Egypt, parting the Red Sea and snuffing out the enemy, God went on to declare that He was doing something new, “making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”. Surely, it’s the same today. The Lord our God does not change. In the words of Frank Gaebelein, “The fundamental principles of the divine activity are changeless, but the outward shape of that activity alters with the changing needs of God’s people”. God is doing a new thing and we would do well to invite Him to show us what it is so that we can participate and marvel at His provision.

 

Click here to view Gen1k Health's August Update

The church health team are always looking for ways to get quality resources and tools into the hands of our church leaders as part of our partnership in pursuit of 1000 healthy churches in a generation.

That’s why we’re particularly excited about the special opportunity this year with the NCLS.

This survey runs every 5 years and is built on 30 years of research and experience. This October and November, thousands of churches in over 20 denominations across Australia will participate in the 2021 NCLS.

And for our Baptist Churches, this year the costs are covered by our Association. It’s a significant investment but we’re making it because we see the value for our churches, leaders and movement.

 

The NCLS is all about church vitality. It provides:

  • information to help us gauge and better pursue church health
  • a solid, informed basis for directions and decisions
  • evidence and trends that help us see clearly what has happened and point to what is emerging
  • a way to resource and support local church leaders in their discernment and planning

The NCLS is especially valuable in the midst of Covid:

  • at a time when many are feeling disconnected, it’s one simple way of letting people know we value them and their views
  • it informs us as we seek God’s leading in and through this time of disruption

You can order paper and/or online surveys and it’s super easy to switch over to give people online access to the survey, even at the last minute and even if you ordered paper surveys, if restrictions prevent us from meeting together physically.

The confidential reports available for those who complete the Leaders Surveys are an excellent resource for effective and sustainable leadership, providing feedback about personal resilience and a basis for their own development.

The children’s surveys provide a simple opportunity to give our children a voice into the life of our churches and let them know we value them and their views.

The survey is available in 8 different languages. 

Register now at:          2021ncls.org.au

Follow the links, it only takes 5 minutes. Ignore the pricing when it comes up. The only cost is $200 if you choose to do the optional Community Survey for those who don’t regularly attend your church. This is quite separate to the NCLS itself but definitely worth considering if it would help in your context.

Need any more convincing?  https://www.2021ncls.org.au/local-churches/10-reasons-why/

If you have any questions, or issues registering, don’t hesitate to let me know and I’d be very happy to assist. I can even enter your order directly if that makes it easier – just let me know and I’ll call or email through the relevant questions.

 

Grace and peace,
Steve Hales

shales@nswactbaptists.org.au

Click here to view Gen1k Health's July Update

Back in the good old days, when Sydney churches were having in-person services, I was invited to preach at a church close to where I live. By way of introducing me to the congregation the person leading the service asked me a series of questions about my family, my ministry experience, and my role as an Association church health consultant. He drew the interview to a close with a question along the lines of, “As you visit different churches in the Association what encourages you most, and what concerns you most?” I didn’t hesitate. “What encourages me most? That’s easy! The people. The people who make up our churches are our most valuable resource. God has blessed us with a rich mix of people who if they will unite together and rely on Him can achieve great things. As for what concerns me most; that’s easy too. It’s the people! More particularly, it’s those people who have never read Philippians chapter 2, or who have read it but are choosing to ignore it. 

Many of the problems the Church Health Team encounters in the consultancy work it does stem from Christian believers behaving badly towards their fellow believers. Yet, Philippians chapter 2 imposes on all of us the solemn responsibility of imitating Christ Jesus. Verse 5 calls on us to have the same mindset as Him, while the verses that surround verse 5 leave no doubt about the type of life that will produce. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition” they say, “or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”

One of the Values we share as an Association is that of being ‘relationally committed’. The Bible doesn’t leave us wondering what that involves. It’s clearly visible in the life of Jesus and in the pages of His Word. So let’s strive, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to have the same mindset as Him.

From Kelly Crawford, Team Leader – Church Witness/Public Engagement Lead

On 19 July 2021, Independent MP Alex Greenwich released his Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.  You can read a copy of the Bill here.  He intends to table this bill in parliament soon. Conversations about assisted dying provide opportunities to reflect on what a good death looks like.  What does it look like to care well for someone who is at the end-of-life?  How can we as Christians model Christ’s compassion and care for people as they are dying?  How can we also care well for the carers?….. Keep reading by clicking below!

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill

On 19 July 2021, Independent MP Alex Greenwich released his Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.  You can read a copy of the Bill here.  He intends to table this bill in parliament soon. 

Conversations about assisted dying provide opportunities to reflect on what a good death looks like.  What does it look like to care well for someone who is at the end-of-life?  How can we as Christians model Christ’s compassion and care for people as they are dying?  How can we also care well for the carers? 

The Baptist Association has a website called https://agooddeath.org.au/ that aims to resource Christians for conversations about assisted dying as well as open discussions about death. 

On this website is a position paper on euthanasia and assisted dying that has been authorised by the Public Engagement Group.  It aims to provide background information on some of the concerns about assisted dying legislation, and also provide a biblical reflection.  Recent updates have been made to the paper to reflect Victoria’s legislation, introduction of Bills in other states, and the Greenwich Bill.  You can access the paper at: https://agooddeath.org.au/discover/.

We understand that assisted dying is an issue that we may not all agree on.  In 1995, the Baptist Association NSW & ACT released a series of statements in light of the debate at the time around euthanasia.  To read these statements, view pg. one of the above-mentioned paper. 

According to “Dying Well”, a good death is:

  • To know when death is coming, and to understand what can be expected
  • To be able to retain control of what happens
  • To be afforded dignity and privacy
  • To have control over pain relief and other symptom control
  • To have choices and control over where death occurs (at home or elsewhere)
  • To have access to information and expertise of whatever kind is necessary
  • To have access to any spiritual or emotional support required
  • To have access to hospice care in any location including home, not only in hospital
  • To have control over who is present and who shares the end
  • To be able to issue advance directives that ensure wishes are respected
  • To have time to say goodbye, and control over other aspects of timing
  • To be able to leave when it is time to go, and not to have life prolonged pointlessly

As followers of Christ, we will continue to have a lot to offer people in terms of open, loving conversations about death and care at the end-of-life.  These conversations and the care provided help to create the settings for good deaths to occur.

Converge - National Advocacy

Converge and the Justice 2021 Report

Representatives from Baptist Churches in NSW & ACT and the Baptist Ministry Centre recently joined with Baptists from around the country in the Converge Preparation Day.  Converge is an initiative of Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) and sees Baptist leaders meet with Federal MPs to advocate for issues of justice.  The event is typically held in-person in Canberra but this year, because of Covid-19 restrictions, most Australian states delivered sate-based Converges. 

Converge 2021 saw the launch of a new report from ABM called Justice 2021: Toward a More Just Australia.  You can view this report here.  This report highlights eight areas of justice where Australian Baptists have ‘skin in the game’. 

This year representatives from NSW & ACT focused on three of these justice areas:

  • Justice for People Living in Extreme Poverty.  This issue touches upon our aid budget and our global response to Covid.
  • Justice for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence
  • Justice for People Vulnerable to the Impacts of Climate Change

Each chapter in the report was co-authored by a Baptist organisation including BaptistCare Australia, Baptist World Aid Australia, A Just Cause, the Baptist Association NSW & ACT and the Baptist Union of Victoria. 

Nicole Hornsby, Executive Director of BaptistCare Australia said, “The report is a strong reminder that Australian Baptists are front and centre on major issues confronting Australians and will be a critical resource for Baptists interested in those issues.”

The Converge Committee hopes that churches will find the report useful as we track with justice issues over time.  The Committee is also planning to develop accompanying materials for churches such as Bible Studies and prayers/reflections that relate to the topics covered in the report.

Over the coming weeks, Baptist leaders will be having meetings with their MPs to advocate on the issues listed above.  Please pray that our leaders would be receptive to our asks and would work towards a more generous and just nation and world.

Domestic Violence and the Safer Spaces Toolkit

Domestic violence continues to be an issue of significant concern for Australia. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare declares, “family, domestic and sexual violence [to be] a major national health and welfare issue that can have lifelong impacts for victims and perpetrators.” (1) One in six women have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner since the age of 15. (2) One in four women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or previous partner since the age of 15. (3) Frontline DV workers in NSW indicated a “dramatic spike” in calls to national and state-wide domestic violence hotlines and a rise in client numbers through the pandemic. (3)

In 2018, Baptist churches collectively responded to Domestic Violence (DV) through the No Place for Violence Here (NPFVH) Campaign. This campaign focused on raising awareness and educating church leadership on DV. Since then, Baptist churches continue to be equipped to respond to DV, however, this effort is often piecemeal due to the nature of partner agency funding and access to training.  

What is the Safer Spaces Toolkit?
In early 2020, a group of Baptist women from around the country formed a working group to look at how to further equip the Australian church to respond well to DV. Together, they have developed the Safer Spaces Toolkit, a blended learning program built around a trauma-informed preaching lens. It aims to stop the re-traumatisation of those experiencing DV and to equip pastors to ensure they are comfortable with what is and isn’t helpful to say as well as gain further understanding of how their words and actions are interpreted through victims’ eyes. The ultimate goal is healthier relationships amongst those in our churches that model biblical principles for respectful relationships. 

The toolkit also includes in-depth video training on issues related to domestic abuse and building healthy relationships, and follow-up support for church leaders. The toolkit is designed for pastors and leaders, and is victim-focused and trauma-informed, assisting with the recovery of victims of abuse and ensuring their safety when at church. The materials will be made available online with additional online support, accessible to any church in Australia, with some contextualising on a state-by-state basis.  

The Safer Spaces Toolkit will launch in the second-half of 2021. Baptist Insurance Services and Baptist Financial Services are generously funding the development and initial roll out of the project. The Safer Spaces Toolkit also received some funding from the Baptist Association NSW & ACT and the Baptist World Alliance.  

——

(1) AIHW. 2019. “Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story.” p. vii. Accessed at https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/b0037b2d-a651-4abf-9f7b-00a85e3de528/aihw-fdv3-FDSV-in-Australia-2019.pdf.aspx?inline=true

(2) Ibid

(3) Ibid

(4) Hickey, S. 07 April 2021. “Domestic violence workers plead for adequate funding.” Accessed at: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=9c7a1bbe-7c85-45ba-b51c-e5d74dfdcd8c

 

From Ministry Standards Team:

September has seen the continuation of a lot of really positive things within the Standards Team. Here’s a quick snapshot! Creating Safe Spaces workshops continue even throughout lockdown, and the NSW government is moving forward with its proposal to make the Child Safe Standards mandatory for all organisations working with children, including churches..….. Keep reading by clicking below!

Click here to view Ministry Standard's September Update!

September has seen the continuation of a lot of really positive things within the Standards Team. Here’s a quick snapshot!

  • Creating Safe Spaces workshops continue even throughout lockdown. We are very grateful for our presenters and hosts whose skills enable Zoom workshops to remain engaging for participants.
  • The NSW government is moving forward with its proposal to make the Child Safe Standards mandatory for all organisations working with children, including churches. The legislation to implement the Child Safe Scheme has already passed the lower house but was stalled in the upper house by the cancellation of Parliament due to Covid. The government listened to our initial representations and has now included sporting organisations in the scheme and removed mandatory guidelines. We have continued to make representations to members of government to ensure that the bill in its final form adheres to the content of the Child Safe Standards as developed by the Royal Commission and does not add elements which might adversely affect religious freedom.
  • We are excited to see more applications for the Safe Church Health Check arriving fairly consistently. Please ensure that your Safe Church Register is complete, including all screening questionnaires and codes of conduct, before submitting your application. Congratulations to Eastwood, Liverpool, Orange, Narromine, North Canberra, Griffith and Bowral Baptist Churches who have recently satisfied all the requirements. We are confident that your communities will appreciate your commitment.

Please pray for our team as we support churches with exciting proactive work to develop Safe Church Culture and also with the more difficult task of addressing complaints, concerns and claims.

Click here to view Ministry Standard's August Update!

This month we have seen over 175 leaders from over 14 churches take part in our Advanced Creating Safe Spaces Course. This was an incredible response and a fantastic way for churches and leaders to gain a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of safe church culture.

We look forward to running this course again in 2022 and hope to see even more churches engage with this 2 day training opportunity.

Click here to view Ministry Standard's July Update!

Advanced CSS

Monday 9/8/21 from 9-5pm &  Monday 16/8/21 from 9-5pm (online)
Attend fully Online:
https://creatingsafespaces.org.au/event/zoom-css-advanced-intensive-9-august-23-august-via-zoom/

Advanced Creating Safe Spaces builds on the training provided in our popular Creating Safe Spaces workshops. If you have not previously completed Advanced Creating Safe Spaces and you are a pastor, elder, deacon, safe church team member, we encourage you to join us for these two days of important information and practical training.

This training will cover important issues regarding the theological foundations of developing a Safe Church culture, pastoral challenges in preventing and identifying harm, reporting obligations and the best ways to help care for victims of abuse. We will hear from industry and ministry leaders with experience in child protection, risk management, legal obligations, investigations and church culture. There will be an update on recent legal changes and some additional explanations of the Safe Church Health Check. We will also have opportunities to discuss the complexities and challenges of dealing with risks in a ministry context.

The workshop will be hosted by our Ministry Standards Manager Jonathan Bradford over two days (participants will need to attend BOTH days). Please note that we have made some changes to the schedule for this event, to better enable us to respond to any possible Covid related restrictions. Both days will now be entirely online.

 

2021 has been all about casting a new vision for what an internship experience could be! I have been connecting with a variety of church leaders across the state and listening to their needs, hopes and dreams for ministry…… Keep reading by clicking below!

Click here to view BYM's September Update!

 

2021 has been all about casting a new vision for what an internship experience could be! I have been connecting with a variety of church leaders across the state and listening to their needs, hopes and dreams for ministry. Pete and Rach (BYM Regional Youth Support and Engagement) have provided amazing guidance for developing the internship to be practical for those living in regional areas. I have also been working closely with Louise Bartlett (Baptist Children’s and Families Ministries) to extend the internship beyond youth leaders to kid’s ministry leaders too! 

This has led to rebranding the ‘SYC Internship’ to be the IMPACT Internship: a 1-year program for those who are passionate about youth or kids’ ministry. The Internship is designed to equip for leadership, invest in the individual’s children’s or youth ministry and provide opportunities for further growth. The program consists of weekly content to engage in, fortnightly video calls, monthly cluster meetings and various in-person events. We are still developing the details of the internship, however are planning the program to be a flexible experience for the individual to complement how they are currently serving in their church, contribute to their spiritual growth and connect them to other Christian leaders. 

These are a few of the topics we will be covering.

  • Engaging with & teaching the bible
  • Fostering community
  • Mental health support
  • Discipling & mentoring
  • Christ-focused leadership
  • Evangelism & outreach

If you are a pastor who wants to further invest in your ministry leaders or a leader looking for further development, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to chat to you about how we can partner with your church in strengthening your ministry! 

You can get in touch with me at: ependleton@nswactbaptists.org.au 

AND watch this space for more information https://yourimpact.org.au/ 

Click here to view BYM's July Update!

 

From Fiona Gardner – BYM Mental Health Coordinator
Part of breaking the stigma that sits around mental health is people not talking about it. So let’s talk about anxiety! We’ve recently developed some really helpful Mental Health Fact Sheets for ministry with young adults, check them out here.

Anxiety is the most common mental illness with 15.4% of young people aged between 16 – 24 years having some form of anxiety in 12 months. The statistics change slightly to 13.1% when we look at a larger age bracket (16 – 84 years). But what is anxiety?

Fear and Anxiety come from a part of our brain called the Amygdala. It is a part of our brain that is hardwired for our protection and survival, kicking into gear when we feel threatened in a situation. Unfortunately, the Amygdala can’t always tell the difference between a real threat and a perceived threat. While the situation of being chased by a bear and public speaking are very different, the Amygdala sees them both as equal threats and kicks into gear. Most of us are able to still get through the job interview, the public speaking, the situations that make us nervous and anxious.

Someone with an anxiety problem has the same feelings everyone does when anxious, except it is more severe, longer lasting and interfere with the person’s work, other activities, or relationships. Anxiety effects their thinking, feelings, behaviour and physical well-being. There are different types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Phobic Disorders
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The one type of anxiety that doesn’t get talked about much is High Functioning Anxiety. Whenever I talk about it a lot of people have a light bulb moment. I personally believe a lot of people deal with High Functioning Anxiety (myself included) and have just learnt to put up with the thoughts and feelings they have. If the chart below resonates with you, seek help.

You can do this by seeing your GP and talking about a mental health plan, finding a certified counsellor to talk to, looking into relaxation techniques (see the breathing exercises below) and look for self-help strategies. You can also get more information about anxiety at: Resources | Baptist Youth Ministries.

Breathe Exercise are a great way of calming your body and mind when you are anxious. The 3:3:3 is extremely effective.

  • Inhale to the count of 3
  • Hold your breathe for a count of 3
  • Exhale to a count of 3

Once you get into a rhythm and a good practice, you can add in positive reinforcements such as “Fear not; God is with me,” “God is on the throne,” “Calm,” “God is my strength,” or whatever else helps you resonate with God. The one I use personally is “I can do this (in breathe) through Gods strength (exhale).”

Click here to view BYM's June Update!

Oh hey there, 

We’re so glad you’re here. Welcome to our BYM monthly newsletter! This edition is packed with awesome goodies;

  • Meet our new BYM team members
  • Spotlight on  Digital Ministry
  • Catch up on everything SYC and the SYC Fest signature item for 2021!!
  • Do you want to hear what’s happening with Impact Gap Year?
  • Have you heard: What’s coming up next?

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are excited to announce the appointment of four new team members this month. Our purpose as Baptist Youth Ministries in NSW and ACT is to support those overseeing youth and young adult ministry in our Baptist family of churches and our values outline that we do this in is a relational manner. As part of this we have identified the need to provide more intentional support to our youth pastors and leaders across Sydney though the appointment of four part-time volunteer roles to help facilitate greater connection, training, and combined experiences for young people.

We are grateful not only to these four individuals, but also their churches who have generously released them for a couple of hours each week to be able to do this. Please join me in welcoming Annie from Springwood, Jas from Georges River, Steve from Windsor, and Will from Thornleigh.

We trust this will provide greater awareness of needs and opportunities for ministry, as well as increased pastoral support and investment in those serving in youth ministries across Sydney.

 

___________________________________________________

 

Digital Ministry with Kiran Skariah

Hi everyone!

Kiran Skariah here (or PastorSKAR if  you prefer haha) with a quick update for you from the land of online ministry!
This month I had the pleasure of hosting a gaming tournament with around 50 competitors from around the world, and many more cheering them on from the sidelines as a way of reaching out and connecting with our audience.

The event was a huge success and right before the Grand Final we got Dan Waugh (Discipleship Pastor at Swansea Baptist) to share the gospel and some of his story – it was awesome! We ended up having 5 people from various countries decide then and there to make a decision to follow Christ! A huge win for the Kingdom!

We’re also excitedly working on many “behind the scenes” pieces as we continue to build a leadership pathway program, focus more on discipleship in the online space, and plan and prepare for the things God has in store ranging from key evangelistic events, to local church partnerships and building a proper framework to help the Ministry continue to move consistently forward, and for the long term.

It’s also been a huge blessing having a variety of pastors and leaders join us as guest speakers, from various Baptist Churches from a variety of contexts and physical locations, speaking into the lives of many online. God is certainly at work!

Please continue to be praying for the pioneering work and the many decisions and much prayer that goes into an (almost) entirely digital form of doing ministry, especially with the people that simply can’t / don’t go to any physical Church. The opportunity is huge, and we’d love your continued support!

Feel free to reach out to me at any time if you need help connecting in digital spaces or would like to be more involved in any capacity in what we do.

God bless,
Rev. Kiran Skariah
Digital Ministry Consultant for the Baptist Association of NSW & ACT.

___________________________________________________

Growing Young Together.

If you’re interested in learning more about Growing Young and how you can use it in your ministry context, this is for you!

We’re launching a group coaching cohort that will take place online and go through the book together. We’ll spend time in the second half of this year reading and discussing the book, and we’ll have several follow up calls in 2022 to track progress and celebrate wins together.

If you want to be a part of this, or need more information, contact Rachel rstuhr@nswactbaptists.org.au or Pete palarcon@nswactbaptists.org.au

___________________________________________________

 

State Youth Camp 

State youth camp is only 90 days away!!!!

We hope you are getting excited!

If you have not registered your youth group to attend make sure you click the link below to register, and get your youth to start registering their tickets.

 

 

 

 

Every year at SYC we host our own short film festival, the SYC Fest gives youth groups and young people the chance to get creative, have fun and make a short film. Then we all get to watch a screening of the movie with popcorn, judging and awards! It is a great night and a great way for all our amazing creative young people to use their gifts and talents!

Check out the promo for SYC Fest announcing the signature item to be included in the film here: https://vimeo.com/563941105

We are so excited to be launching a new Baptist Kids Camp in 2022!  This will be an opportunity for the primary aged kids in our churches to gather together to connect with God and with one another.  The camp will be hands on, creative, interactive, and a whole lot of fun!…… Keep reading by clicking below!

Click here to view Children & Family Ministries September Update!

We are so excited to be launching a new Baptist Kids Camp in 2022!  This will be an opportunity for the primary aged kids in our churches to gather together to connect with God and with one another.  The camp will be hands on, creative, interactive, and a whole lot of fun!  Peak experiences are so important in faith formation, and this will be a highlight week for young people to grow in discipleship and leadership.  We’ll be heading to Kiah Ridge from 4-7 July, so pop the dates in your church calendar! 

We’ll also be continuing our Connect Days next year. The Connect Day is a day of community, inspiration, ideas, equipping and leadership development.

It’s an opportunity to be connected with other ministry leaders and local churches in your region. We believe those connections strengthen each of our local faith communities as we encourage, support and share ideas.

Whether you are a volunteer or in a paid role, Sunday kids program leaders, volunteering in kid’s clubs, playtimes, SRE teachers, holiday programs or intergenerational ministries there will be something for you.

Connect Day takes place across multiple locations with a mixture of locally facilitated and video content.

We are looking forward to hosting Connect Day again in 2022! Read more about past connect days here

 

Like us on Facebook for regular Updates, Articles and Links!
For information about SRE click here
For information about Creating Safe Spaces click here

Click here to view Children & Family Ministries August Update!

Across NSW and ACT Covid has prevented face to face kids programs at this time. Programs are only one space where faith can be nurtured for children. This season though tough is also an opportunity for families to grow in faith together, for generations to connect and care for one another and for community and a sense of belonging to be created. It takes creativity but Kids and Family ministry leaders are often gifted by God with significant creativity. We are seeing some excellent and inspiring ideas being lived out from church wide online fun nights, regular family faith practices being picked up, encouragement and support for local schools, financial support of BaptistCare’s Domestic Violence services among many ideas. The buildings may be closed but the church can be alive and active welcoming children as fellow disciples.

If you want to engage with fresh ideas for ministry with children and their families in this unique time, then head to https://baptistcfm.org.au/ and contact the team here  https://baptistcfm.org.au/about-us/

 

Like us on Facebook for regular Updates, Articles and Links!
For information about SRE click here
For information about Creating Safe Spaces click here

Click here to view Children & Family Ministries May Update!

Relationally investing in families is a powerful tool when it comes to lifelong discipleship. When we engage with parents and children, develop friendships with them and invite their input, we are one step closer to sowing seeds of lifelong faith in Christ. 

We know that Mums and Dads have the greatest influence on their children’s faith in Jesus……so with that in mind, when was the last time you met up with a parent to listen to their concerns and their families’ needs as well as discovering the great ways they are nurturing faith? How often do we reach out to parents to ask them questions, rather than providing them information? 

Consider ways you can partner with parents, and connect families with each other for friendship, support and a sense of belonging in your church setting. 

Involve the kids! What gifts, skills and interests do the children bring? Perhaps those who are artistic could develop a mural to display in the church, or children with developing musical strengths be given opportunity to serve in the worship band once a month? Are there kids who would enjoy helping serve morning tea or an end of term BBQ lunch with their parents, alongside another family? Look for ways you can affirm each child’s value and help them feel like they belong to the whole church not just the program.    

Kids & Families Pastors Retreat
An opportunity to escape the routine and reflect on the ‘why’ of ministry and connect with other kids ministry team leaders to share ideas and be inspired. 

More details to come. 

August 30 – 31
Kiah Ridge 

Like us on Facebook for regular Updates, Articles and Links!
For information about SRE click here
For information about Creating Safe Spaces click here

Discover OurStory

Have you heard about OurStory? The purpose of OurStory is very simple: To tell the story of Baptist Churches in NSW and ACT as we journey towards the Gen1k Goal, becoming a movement of 1000 healthy churches in a generation. OurStory is a powerful reminder that we are “Greater Together” and that by God’s grace, as a family of faith communities; we can achieve incredible things for His Kingdom. 

OurStory is available as a hardcopy magazine (released quarterly) and online with additional articles, videos and interviews! Keep up to date with the latest at OurStory.org.au and share the site with your church. 

Updates from Affiliated Groups

Find out what’s going on with our Affiliated Groups. 

Study with Morling

At Morling we share our passion, collective knowledge, and 100+ years of experience to equip people, so that our students are better prepared to invest in the lives of others. We believe that learning happens best in community and that authentic faith impacts all we do.

We want to meet you where you are with flexible study options. Enabling you to study on-campus, online, in the semester breaks or over the summer holidays. If diving into full study isn’t possible with your workload or family commitments, then let us support you in part time study, one subject at a time

Get in touch with our Future Student Advisor, share your passion, calling, and where you think God is leading you, and we will find the right course for you. 

Baptist Financial Services - Invest with Purpose

Baptist World Aid Australia - Action for Afghanistan

Action for Afghanistan
With so much to lament in the world – the horrors in Afghanistan, Haiti’s earthquake, conflict in Myanmar and Ethiopia, and COVID’s impact on already vulnerable nations – it is easy to be discouraged, and to grieve and wonder how to respond.

But as Christians, we know it is not supposed to be this way. God wants a better world. And so we pray, Lord, have mercy. And we ask to be his hands in helping others.

What can you do?

  1. Pray – Join Baptist World Aid to Pray for Peace in Afghanistan. Pray with us for:
    1. Safety for families across Afghanistan fleeing for their lives.
    2. Protection for vulnerable women and girls.
    3. Provision for people in need or food, shelter and hope.
    4. Peace and justice to prevail wisdom for global leaders
    5. Comfort for Afghans in Australia
    6. For light to shine in the darkness
  2. Advocate personally – Pick up the phone to call your local MP. You can find their details Tell them that you’d like them to use their voice in their party and in the parliament to advocate that Australia:
    1. Offer 20,000 additional refugee resettlement places for Afghan refugees Tony Abbott did it in 2015 with additional places for Syrian and Iraqi refugees, Malcolm Fraser did it in the 1970s to welcome Vietnamese refugees. We can do it again today to share the responsibility to protect Afghan lives at risk.
    2. Immediately increase Australian aid to the region to support programs to assist people who have been displaced across borders and, wherever possible, support organisations still offering assistance within Afghanistan.
    3. Extend permanent protection to Afghans on temporary protection visas, recognising that return to Afghanistan will not be safe for many years to come.
  3. Involve your church – Highlight the situation in Afghanistan, and share ways for your church community to advocate for people in Afghanistan for whom home is no longer safe.
    1. Explore the theological foundations to offer welcome to people who are not safe.
    2. Explain actions that church members can take, and provide a space for these.
    3. Provide a space for anyone interested in advocacy to meet up and discuss ways to take action.
    4. Find ways to support the Afghan community in your area, many of whom came to Australia to find safety and freedom from the Taliban. Some may be concerned for family and friends in Afghanistan, or be at risk of being sent back to Afghanistan in the future as they are on a SHEV or TPV visa.
  4. Donate – Your financial gifts can mean the difference between life and death in this crisis. They show the world that God is greater than the crisis in Afghanistan. Baptist World Aid’s partner is active and committed to continue meeting the needs of those most vulnerable: displaced families.
    Through your financial gifts and as soon as it is practically possible, our Christian partner will be enabled to help displaced families at risk of starvation, keep families warm and sheltered in camps during the oncoming winter, and provide mobile emergency healthcare services and medical assistance.
    Please donate today. Join us as we respond to this unfolding tragedy and provide real assistance to those who need it most. Thank you!
    GIVE NOW

Annual Stakeholder and Member Event

BaptistCare NSW & ACT warmly invites you to attend our Annual Stakeholder and Member Event, including the 77th Annual General Meeting. 

The event is on Thursday, 11 November from 2:30pm – 4:30pm. 

The event will be online again this year to ensure we stay COVIDSafe. Registrations will open soon; for more information, please visit https://baptistcare.org.au/annual-general-meeting 

If you have any questions about this event, please email events@baptistcare.org.au. We look forward to seeing you online at this event.

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