Pastors eNews - February 2020
Hi Pastors and Leaders,
Welcome to the first Pastors eNews of 2020. It has been a whirlwind start to the year and I am aware that across our movement we have churches who have been deeply impacted by the bushfires, drought and floods. I would like to thank every church and leader who has donated to our Bushfire Relief and Recovery appeal. You can read below about some of the ways this has had a positive impact on the affected communities.
This week we have opportunity to join together at Toongabbie Baptist Church and through Livestream for a morning of networking and development at Pastors and Leaders. I look forward to meeting with you and sharing a space where you will be built up in your ministry and will be able to take some tangible learnings back into your church context.
As you are probably aware, The Gathering is fast approaching and I would like to extend an invitation to you and your church to attend on the 1st and 2nd of May.
The Gathering is the major movement-wide inspirational event of the year and again this year will be combined with our Annual Assembly into two days of equipping, inspiration, encouragement and challenge that is open to everyone – not just pastoral leaders. Why not join us as we explore our theme of ‘Saved, Called, Sent’.There will be powerful keynote messages, interactive and practical workshops along with the official opening of the new Ministry and Learning Centre (MALC). The MALC is a wonderful new resource for Morling College, Baptist Financial Services, the Baptist Association, Macquarie Baptist Church and our whole movement.
You can again take time to connect with fellow leaders, pastors and others in our Baptist Movement as you are challenged and inspired by our guest speakers Dan Patterson, Karen Wilson, and others.
My hope for each of us as we have begun powering ahead into a new decade is that we take these opportunities to connect and grow together. Enabling us to find friendships that strengthen us in times of need and input that will inspire us as we lead those in our local ministry context.
Director of Ministries
Pastors and Leaders Day - 5th March
This event is for people at all stages of their ministry, and whatever your role. Whether you’ve only just stepped into leadership or if you’re much further along the path, we encourage you to come and be a part of a morning set aside to invest into YOU!
This event continues to grow year by year, and connecting face to face is part of what makes it such a great opportunity. However, if you live out of driving distance, the morning will be live streamed, so gather your team to watch together or grab a cupper and watch online.
At the Pastors and Leaders Day this year we are delighted to welcome Richard Black to help us explore the markers of an emotionally healthy church and some keys for emotionally healthy leadership. Richard is sought after as a counsellor and communicator. He has worked in pastoral leadership for many years and understands the everyday struggles that people face and the demands on church leaders. Now as the founder and Director of Strength to Strength, he helps people strengthen their thinking, be proactive in relationships, and succeed with life.
As usual we will have exciting updates and information on the 2020 Gathering and other opportunities to be built in your leadership gifting. We will connect, pray, worship and share a meal together. We hope you will come and be a part of this event!
Thursday, 5 March 2020
Toongabbie Baptist Church
180 Toongabbie Rd
9:30am – 1:30pm, followed by lunch
Physical Attendance – Includes morning tea and lunch
Earlybird = $35pp (ends 20th February)
Full Price =$40pp
Earlybird = $15 (ends 20th February)
Full Price = $20
Friday, 28th February
Bushfire Relief & Recovery Update
The Baptist Association would like to thank you for your generosity over the past month as we seek to assist churches and communities affected by bushfires across NSW and the ACT. Thank you for your prayers, your offers of assistance, and your contributions to the Bushfire Relief and Recovery Fund. Together we have raised over $150,000.
Stories of how our churches are responding in bushfire affected regions are emerging. One example was given by Colin Earnshaw from Wagga Wagga who said, “Most of our aid (financial) is giving out vouchers to local business.” One church member has been travelling around bushfire affected areas on his motorbike, talking to people and listening to their stories. Colin said, “The physical loss is horrendous, but beyond that is the effect of stress on people and longer-term trauma that will follow and continue for years.”
Across the Riverina region alone, hundreds of homes (and many more sheds) were destroyed along with fencing, crops, stock, wildlife, and more. One report that has emerged is of a farmer whose stock had stampeded into a gully trying to escape the fires. The farmer later found a “heap of over 1000 animal bodies.” The effects in many areas have been severe and recovery will take a long time. We ask for your continued prayer for drought and bushfire affected regions.
To assist your church and community as you deal with the effects of the fires, we have put together resources for a Bushfire Service of Lament that your church could run for the church and community. In this resource, you will find suggested Scripture passages, reflections, songs, and prayer activities. We desire that it would be a helpful resource your church as it grieves along with those communities affected by the fires. Feel free to adapt it as you see fit. You can access the resource here: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bushfire-Service-of-Lament.pdf
If your church is in bushfire affected area and you would like to access funds, you can do so via this link: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/bushfire-relief-and-recovery/bushfire-relief-application-of-funds/?et_fb=1
The Gathering 1-2 May
In 2020 we will again be providing the opportunity to experience The Gathering through livestream and we will have Livesites in locations across NSW and ACT where you can attend the Annual Assembly.
Our prayer is that everything you experience at The Gathering will equip you to be sent back into your local communities to bless your families and ministries.
1-2 May 2020
Ministry and Learning Centre
5 Saunders Close
Registrations will open early December. Click here for more information.
Art Exhibition at The Gathering; Submissions Open
Affiliation, Baptist Values and Same Sex Marriage Discussion - Final Forums Announced
We are currently in a process of discussion as a movement about these matters, following on from a notice of motions brought to our September Assembly. A taskforce is overseeing this process which consists of forums throughout NSW & ACT and the opportunity for people in fellowship with one of our churches to give feedback to the taskforce via an online portal. Please note that any written submissions to The Taskforce need to be submitted by Friday 14th February 2020.
We have recently confirmed the following forums to take place across February and March of 2020.
- Central West – Sat 7 Mar 2020 – 12pm – 3pm – Dubbo Baptist Church
- Sydney West – Sat 14 Mar 2020 – 1pm – 4pm – Penrith Baptist Church
- Central Coast – Sat 14 Mar 2020 – Time: 1pm – 4pm – Erina Community Baptist Church
Those wishing to participate are encouraged to register here simply click on the ‘buy now’ button and rest assured that registration is free.
Recent information sent from The Taskforce to all our churches can be viewed here.
Safe Church Health Check and Reportable Conduct Information Sessions
The Safe Church Team are greatly encouraged that many local church leaders are currently engaging with the Safe Church Health Check we launched in late 2019. One church has already successfully completed the Safe Church Health Check! Last week we sent every Baptist church in NSW and ACT a copy of the Safe Church Health Check, the Safe Church Package of resources – and a packet of jelly beans for your Safe Church team. Completing the Safe Church Health Check will assist your church to:
- effectively reach out to your local community in mission and evangelism;
- protect children, young people and vulnerable adults;
- comply with the Child Safe Standards, which will soon be mandatory for all churches;
- fulfil legal obligations under the reportable conduct scheme and mandatory reporting (in NSW this is new as of 1 March 2020);
- confidently make the declaration that Baptist Insurance Services require by 31 May 2020;
We encourage every church to complete the Safe Church Health Check. To start this process recommend that each church:
- Appoint a Safe Church Team
- Encourage the governance body to adopt the necessary policy and procedures
- Ensure that all staff and volunteers are appropriately screened, inducted and trained
- Work through the items in the Safe Church Health Check and submit the application
You will also have recently received an email with details of the upcoming Office of Children’s Guardian Reportable Conduct Information Sessions and Safe Church Health Check Discussion Forums in various regions and via livestream. We encourage you to attend these important events. For further details and registration please click here.
If you have any questions about the Safe Church Health Check or the Reportable Conduct Information Sessions, please contact Katie Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 9868 9212.
Kids and Family Ministry Connect Day 2020
Have you heard about the Kids and Family Ministry Connect Day? It‘s happening again in at least 10 regions across NSW on
Saturday March 21 and Saturday 30th May 2020.
We have some excellent presenters lined up, practical workshops and an ideas market along with some team time to chat about what people have seen and heard.
It’s for anyone involved in any type of ministry with children and their families.
$15 per person and leaders 17 and under come free. Registrations open soon.
You can check it out here to find the nearest option for your leaders.
Simple Church Network Day 2020
New Types of Churches.
The Simple Church Network Day is an open forum to explore new forms of church. This year we have Mike Frost sharing his insights on this topic. Can you imagine how ministry might look when everyone gets to play? What would it look like if there were churches that were smaller, ‘back to basics,’ ‘bare-boned’ communities that reached out into our neighbourhoods to those who don’t easily fit into mainstream churches? What would be the impact of those devoted to God’s Word, worshiping, praying, celebrating and serving together, and see mission as a natural overflow in life? Can you imagine church life where everyone, adults and children, contribute in discipleship and making disciples who make disciples?
Jesus the Game Changer 'To the Ends of the Earth' Church Campaign
Do you want to see a renewed passion in your church to take the gospel to the ends of the earth – whether that is around the world, over the fence or across the kitchen table?
Do you want to join together as a community of NSW Baptist Churches, as well as join other churches and denominations right across the country to see mission and evangelism become our focus?
Let’s make Jesus last words our first priority.
To find out more, visit the website or come along to one of the Sydney Church Leaders events (more to come):
- Mar 17: North Shore, Gordon Baptist Church
- Mar 18: South Sydney, Gymea Baptist Church
- Mar 18: Northern Beaches, Manly Life Church
- TBC: Greater Western Sydney (email email@example.com to express your interest)
Watch the trailer of the documentary series here
A new resource from Baptist World Aid…
Beginning Monday 2 March, Christians around Australia will be choosing to make their silence count as they take the Give My Voice Challenge!
The idea is to sacrifice our own voice and intentionally set aside time to realign our hearts with God’s in the lead up to Easter.
Israel took 40 years. Jesus modelled 40 days. Challenge takers are encouraged to set aside 40 hours.
Challenge your church family to 40 hours of silence over 40 days… and to help support vulnerable children, women, and men living in poverty as they invite others to sponsor their sacrifice!
So… if you haven’t done so already, will you encourage your church family to download the End Poverty App and sign up for the Give My Voice Challenge?
Simply use the provided resources to promote the Give My Voice Challenge in a Sunday service prior to 2 March 2020.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to call Baptist World Aid’s friendly team on 1300 789 991
SRE Information for Pastors
Are you aware of what your role is as a pastor supporting SRE teachers in your church? Do you know you are required to interview people wishing to be involved in SRE? Head to our website to download Pastor’s Info Pack that offers invaluable information about your role for prospective teachers and ongoing support you can offer them https://nswactbaptists.org.au/sre-information-for-pastors/.
Do you have SRE teachers and helpers from your church serving in the local primary and high schools? Our SRE Coordinator Shelley Ashton is keen to hear from you. She needs an accurate list of people from your church who will be involved in SRE in 2020. She would appreciate you contacting her either via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 98689239 to let her know who your teachers/helpers are and who is coordinating SRE in your church.