Pastors & Leaders eNews - December 2020
Hi Pastors and Leaders,
At our recent Annual Assembly I shared from Psalm 42. It is a Psalm which, within a few verses, canvases discouragement, intimacy with God, deep distress, and unshakeable hope in God. It is a good Psalm for 2020 – a year of enormous difficulty, challenge and opportunity for many of us in ministry. And as we anticipate this Christmas season, which we know will still be different to normal, we also look ahead to next year recognising that ministry will not be the same again.
What a wonderful reminder it is that at Christmas “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14)! God is not removed from our triumphs and our struggles – he himself understands the human experience because he has lived it. And he offers to continue to transform us as we give ourselves to him in worship and obedient service for His glory.
I am praying for all of you this Christmas, that you might be energised and refreshed again by the beauty and wonder of the advent events. May you be drawn to worship and renewed service for Him (1 Cor 15:58), who became Emmanuel, God with us.
Director of Ministries
Find out what happened at our Annual Assembly
On Saturday 31 October 2020, over 260 people across 122 churches came together for our Annual Assembly. Our main venue was the new Ministry and Learning Centre in Macquarie Park and 6 additional venues were in Peakhurst, Mayfield, Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Tamworth and Grafton.
Despite how different our 2020 Annual Assembly was this year, it was an encouraging morning as we spent time reflecting on all that God has done and will continue to do as we seek the His leading in the overall direction of our Baptist Association. A number of significant matters were tabled, reported or voted on, and updates were given across a wide range of areas.
The Association’s 2020 – 2022 Strategic Priorities were presented and were unanimously affirmed by Assembly as we look to the next season, continuing to pursue the GEN1K vision in a post COVID-19 world. You can view the Strategic Priorities presentations here or in the full recording on the day.
Throughout the morning, we received other updates and discussed the following matters:
- We received an update from Ross Clifford, Principal of Morling College including details of the exciting development of the merge of Vose Seminary, the Baptist College in Western Australia, with Morling.
- We heard from our Women2Women Director, Linnah Hahn about the wrap up of this ministry which will occur over the next few months. We give thanks for the ministry of W2W over a significant period of time.
- We were introduced to Charles Moore, new CEO of BaptistCare as he shared his vision to serve God in this role. We also showed a video that highlighted some of the great outcomes of partnering with BaptistCare during the bushfire crisis earlier this year.
- Rev Jenny Casey and Rev Jonathan Bradford, on behalf of the Committee for the Ministry, presented updates to our Accreditation Guidelines, Code of Ethics and Conduct and Policies and Procedures for Handling Allegations against Recognised and Accredited Ministers which were affirmed.
- We also agreed to the accreditation of 9 ministers who then proceeded to Accreditation at our service in the afternoon.
- We welcomed Graceway Church and Sanctuary Church as newly affiliated churches of the Baptist Association of NSW & ACT.
- Chair of our Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, David Slinn spoke to and presented the 2020 Budget which was agreed.
- Assembly unanimously voted on and welcomed the following nominees onto our Association Committees:
- Jonny Lam (Eastwood Community Baptist Church)
- Andrew Hall (Epping Baptist Church)
Morling College Council:
- Helen Blanch (Riverstone Baptist Church)
- Ric Sindel (Rouse Hill Baptist Church)
- Hashini Panditharatne (Baptist Community Church Burwood)
Baptist Churches of NSW Property Trust:
- Mike Williams (Northside Baptist Church)
- Ross Low (Epping Baptist Church)
The Taskforce Report on Affiliation, Baptist Values and Same Sex Marriage was received following a series of forums that were held across NSW and the ACT in late 2019 and early 2020. This process followed the tabling of motions by 5 affiliated churches at our September 2019 Assembly. We greatly appreciate the time and effort members of the Taskforce have willingly given over the last year:
- Rev Tim Burns (Mortdale-Oatley Baptist Church) – Chair
- Rev Matt Glowacki (Dickson Baptist Church)
- Rev Christine McGowan (West Ryde Baptist Church)
- Mrs Cathy Monro (Carlton-Kogarah Baptist Church/Assembly Council) – Assembly Council Liaison
- Dr Edwina Murphy (Morling College/Blakehurst Baptist Church) – Vice-Chair
- Rev Dr Brian Powell (Eastwood Community Baptist Church)
- Rev Christine Redwood (Seaforth Baptist Church)
- Rev Dr Andrew Sloane (Morling College/Harbourside Church)
We thank each of these people for their willingness to serve and significant contribution they have made to our movement in this way.
A Special Assembly will be held on Saturday 27 February 2021 where the motions tabled by the 5 affiliated churches at our September 2019 Assembly will be discussed. Further information will be circulated soon.
After lunch, we also celebrated as Andrew Allinson, John Bomford, Andrew Hulme, Enoch Nagabyrava, Dennis Park, Lyndon Rumsey, Andrew Sumpton, Daniel Waugh and Robert Li were accredited. It was encouraging to see each of their commitment to follow God’s call in their life and how they are serving across a number of churches in our movement!
New National Ministries Director of Australian Baptist Ministries Announced!
New National Ministries Director appointed
Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) has appointed Reverend Mark Wilson as the next National Ministries Director starting in March 2021.
Mark will step down from his current role as Director of Ministries for Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) to take up the role. Mark has served BCWA since 2007. Mark has also served as Chair of the Western Australian Heads of Churches and will continue to serve as a Vice President for the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation.
BCWA Council Chair, Rev. Karen Siggins, expressed the Council’s excitement saying, “Mark has led Baptist Churches Western Australia with integrity and skill. The Council is delighted that Mark will have the opportunity to make even more of a difference for the Kingdom, at a national level.”
BCWA will commence a search process for the next Director of Ministries. For the first time, the ABM National Baptist Office will be based in Perth, Western Australia.
The current ABM National Ministries Director, Rev. Keith Jobberns, concludes in March 2021.
Rev. Steve Ingram, ABM National Chair said, “Baptist Ministries across Australia have benefited greatly from Keith’s leadership over the last nine years. Keith has represented us publicly, in all of our diversity, exceptionally well. At the same time, he has performed the quiet background work that goes on every day with equal excellence and grace. We have a solid transition process in place, and we look forward thanking and honouring Keith as he concludes his ministry to Baptist churches across the nation, but we take this opportunity to publicly thank Keith for the important role he has carried on our behalf. We are delighted that Rev. Mark Wilson will be stepping into the role. Mark brings excellent experience and understanding for the position and we are excited to see where God will lead us as a national movement over the coming years.”
Mark Wilson: 08 6313 6300
Keith Jobberns: 02 9868 9236
Live Q&A: Christmas Resources & Carols in Your Backyard
During a recent Live Q&A session, we looked at Have a very COVID Christmas: In what ways can we hold Carols, Christmas services, holiday clubs and other events during current restrictions? What resources are around to help? We are keenly aware that the Christmas season this year will look different to how it has in the past and we were highly encouraged by the enthusiasm the pastors and leaders had for finding new ways to share the message and hope of Jesus this Christmas.
Throughout this session there were several key resources that are available for adaptation within your local church. These can be viewed below. We also polled our attendees to find out more about what they are planning for this season. To view the polls from all Live Q&A sessions click here.
- The Kids and Families team have curated loads of ideas for sharing the hope of Jesus with your community and all generations in your church – check it out here
- Marc Rader and Gymea Baptist Church are making a Carols in Your Backyard resource available for use in your church. Visit their website to find out more and contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Baptist World Aid Australia have 3 ways your church can support the work they are doing this Christmas;
- Disaster Support in Lebanon – Save lives. Give emergency food, water, healthcare, and livelihoods support to survivors of the Beirut explosion.
- Ethical Fashion Guide – Register now to be the first to know how your favourite brands fared when we release the COVID Fashion Report and COVID Fashion Guide later this month!
- Sponsor a Child – your sponsorship will help equip the most vulnerable communities with the knowledge and resilience to cope with crises like the coronavirus
- Crossover has created a great new video for Christmas that churches can use to spread the message of hope that comes from the birth of Jesus. More resources will be available on their website shortly. If you want an overview of what is in-store, you can rewatch the video we shared during the session.
BYM State Conference 2021
Well, what a year it’s been, you and all your leaders have had to lead through seasons none of us have experienced ever before. Now more than ever before, we recognize the need for us to be able to gather, to be in each other’s presence, to share our stories and to learn together. We would like to ask you to encourage your Youth pastor or volunteer Youth Leader to be involved in our annual BYM State Conference 2021.
We have made some big and exciting changes to BYM State Conference for 2021, changes to be able to meet safely within government restrictions but also changes coming from the feedback you give us each year at the end of conference.
This year we will be holding conference at the Baptist Ministry and Learning Centre (MALC) at Macquarie Park in Sydney. It will be great to be in our own building using the still like new facilities and technology to gather. While there is no pool onsite (unfortunately ☹️) there is plenty of outside space to fellowship together safely during break times. Plus, plenty of activities available at the Macquarie Center 5mins walk away
We will not be able to arrange accommodation for 2021, but on our website is a list of nearby accommodation options and contact details for you. Maybe you have family or friends you could stay with?? Public transport is easy to navigate with buses and a Metro Station 5 mins walk away.
Our program will remain similar to previous years, but with a few tweaks reflecting your feedback. Keep an eye on our website and socials to hear speaker details, elective topics and presenters.
One unfortunate change that has had to be made is to our numbers cap, we are limited to 100 at the Ministry and Learning Centre under current COVID guidelines. We are asking that for this year, you don’t bring a team from your church, just yourself. Registrations will be limited to one person per church attending. If guidelines change, we will certainly let you know what that means for our cap and make changes accordingly.
We can’t wait to see a representative from your church @ BYM State Conference, February 2-4, 2021. Registrations are now open!
2021 Ministerial Remuneration Recommendations
These have been finalised and published as of 1 December 2020. You can find them here: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/project/remuneration-recommendations/
SYC Internship Coming in 2021! - Application Close Soon
Want to invest in your youth ministry?
Want to grow your youth leaders?
Is there someone in your church eager for more leadership opportunities?
Check out the State Youth Camp Internship!
The State Youth Camp Internship is a 1-year program for those who are passionate about youth ministry. It is designed to equip for leadership, invest in your youth ministry and provide opportunities for further growth. It functions as a 3-way partnership between Baptist Youth Ministries, the intern and your church.
- For youth leaders, this internship will…
- Build understanding of God, of young people and themself.
- Provide opportunity to connect with different pastors and leaders across NSW churches, serve in new ways and explore their gifts.
- Invest in abilities through mentoring, reflective practice and engagement in ministry events.
- Release for ministry to keep serving those God has called your youth leaders to!
This internship will…
Build Your Understanding of
- Biblical perspectives and teaching for young people
- Discipleship and discipleship frameworks
- Caring for young people
- Running effective small groups
- How to write and share your testimony
- Personal development as a disciple and a leader
- A biblical approach to leadership and leading others
Provide Opportunity to
- Have new learning experiences from a variety of Christian leaders about a range of perspectives and topics. This will happen through engagement with Morling College’s IMPACT classes, Building a Discipleship Culture (BDC), BYM State Conference and Tuesday Teaching Days.
- Explore gifting, abilities, and calling through teaching, reflection and practical serving experience
- Be mentored and invested in by Christian leaders
- Engage with Baptist Association Staff, the BYM team and the National Baptist Youth Ministry Network
Invest in the Your Abilities which
- Allows ideas and convictions to be been reflected on and expanded upon
- Develops particular ministry/leadership skills
- Broadens relational links
- Builds confidence in discipling and leading others
- Allows time to reflect on personal and spiritual growth while being equipped to continue doing so.
Release You for Ministry through
- Receiving a certificate of completion for both the SYC internship and Morling College’s IMPACT course
- Joining the SYC Internship Alumni for future connections and ministry opportunities
- Potential ongoing volunteer serving opportunities in the SYC Team
- Optional peer mentoring of future SYC Interns
- Continuing with BDC post internship
COVID Fashion Report - Baptist World Aid Australia
Over the last month, the Baptist World Aid Australia team have launched their 2020 COVID Fashion Report. Find out more about how your church can get involved below.
COVID Fashion Report
Get your special COVID edition of the Ethical Fashion Report you know and love!
A year like no other…
In 2020, COVID-19 swept across the planet, sparking health, economic, and humanitarian emergencies. While no country, part of life, nor sector has been left untouched, it’s industries like fashion which have been among the most impacted.
Millions of garment workers have lost their jobs and wages. Fashion companies have faced declining sales. Consumers’ lives have been disrupted.
In response to this global crisis, the approach to Baptist World Aid’s ethical research required adjustment this year. And this special COVID Fashion Report is the result. It differs from the standard Ethical Fashion Report (which will next be published in 2021) because it tells a specific story. . . the story of an industry in crisis.
Continuing Ministerial Development - CMD Reporting is due!
The end of 2020 is fast approaching and we encourage you to promptly complete your 2019 Continuing Ministerial Development CMD report for 2019.
Need to Purchase your Report?
Please follow the following instruction to complete your report
- Pay for your 2020 CMD fees through this link https://nswactbaptists.org.au/product/continuing-ministerial-development-2020/
- After payment, please login and click on this link to complete your report: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/2019-continuing-ministerial-development-submission/
- OR go to ‘My Purchased Pages’ found on the ‘My Account’ section of the website (You will need to be logged in)
Already Purchased your Report?
Please follow the following instruction to complete your report
- Login through this link https://nswactbaptists.org.au/my-account-2/
- Login and click on this link to complete your report: https://nswactbaptists.org.au/2019-continuing-ministerial-development-submission/
- OR go to ‘My Purchased Pages’ found on the ‘My Account’ section of the website (You will need to be logged in)
If you have any issues please contact Amy at email@example.com if you have further enquires about your CMD.
Equipment Trailer – ‘free to a good home’ for ministry purposes!
An 8×5 enclosed in trailer, previously used by Bayside Community Church to transport sound and other equipment every week, is no longer being used by the church. Bayside was blessed to receive it years ago and now desires to bless another church or church plant who might use it for ministry purposes. It is registered and in working order. If that sounds like your church please contact Steve Bartlett at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Forming Church Podcast - New Episode this Thursday
Ten weeks ago we launched Forming Church Podcast and we have been completely blown away by the response! We spent several days as the number 3 Australian ‘Religion & Spirituality’ podcast if you haven’t listened to it yet, don’t miss out!
Forming Church is all about exploring what church planting, mission and evangelism could look like in our rapidly changing world. We want to create content that generates learning and conversation around these areas, while resourcing the next generation of planters, urban missionaries and followers of Jesus in contemporary Australian contexts.
The podcast is being produced by the Baptist Association of NSW & ACT in collaboration with Lead by Story, and will be hosted by Will Small and Benj Gould, who currently host Inhabit podcast — a conversation about forming habits to help us follow Jesus. After each episode Jamie Freeman will sit down with a few friends and unpack what we’ve just heard, sharing insights and dreaming about what Forming Church could look like across Australia.
Benj & Will
The podcast is hosted by Will Small and Benj Gould. Will is a poet, speaker,
podcaster, founder of Lead by Story and pastor of Meeting Ground.
Benj Gould heads up Greenhouse Church in Long Jetty and host Inhabit
podcast alongside Will.
Round Table Host
Jamie Freeman heads up the Gen1K Mission team for the Baptist Association
of NSW & ACT. He planted H3O Church and served churches in the UK and
Australia. Jamie now spends his time working with the Gen1K Mission Team
to mobilise new communities and expressions of church as we become a
movement of a thousand healthy churches in a generation.
Pip Miner & Ken Kamau
Pip spent time on the ground in South-East Asia, now working with Global
Interaction as a Partnership Consultant and Gordon Baptist Church pioneering
new ways to create community and foster cultures of multiplication.
Ken has served in the Nairobi Chapel family of churches, leading Kileleshwa
Covenant Community Church (K3C) through a revitalisation journey where
they planted another 5 congregations across the city.
Can you help? - Creating Safe Spaces and Safe Church Health Check translation
We are looking to translate the Safe Church model documents and Creating Safe Spaces material into languages other than English. Some of our churches have already started work on Chinese and Korean translations but we are looking for some additional assistance.
If you know of someone who may be able to assist please contact Katie Watson: email@example.com.
Also. if there are any other languages that your church would like to see Safe Church materials translated into or if you know someone who can help with translation into other community languages, please contact Katie Watson: firstname.lastname@example.org
BaptistCare Sunday - It's not too late!
For many years BaptistCare has asked our churches to set aside time during one Sunday service in November to focus on the work of BaptistCare. We want to thank each church who set aside this time and joined us as we prayed for:
– acknowledge & celebrate God’s provision that enables this work to continue.
– inform and remind ourselves that the services BaptistCare provides are part of Baptist’s shared efforts to ‘love our neighbour as we would love ourselves” and
– to thank both individuals and churches who partner with us and make this work possible
While BaptistCare employs staff, our volunteers have been an integral part of our ability to assist so many people across NSW & the ACT. In fact, Baptist Homes Trust was established by visionary Baptist women and men who wanted to demonstrate the love of God in practical ways, particularly to those most disadvantaged in society. This reliance on volunteers continues and in conjunction with many partner churches, we see increasing opportunities to demonstrate God’s love in action.
If you were unable to host a BaptistCare Sunday in November, time has not run out! There are several resources to help you focus on BaptistCare Sunday whenever you choose to celebrate throughout the year, including:
All the resources can be found online at https://baptistcare.org.au/baptistcare-sunday
We encourage you to take time in your Sunday services to share the story of BaptistCare with your congregation.
Work at Baptist World Aid
Are you passionate about ending poverty? Wish your career could be your calling? Want a job that means more? At Baptist World Aid we long to see a world where poverty has ended and all people enjoy the fullness of life God intends.
We believe that by living our faith, and loving with action, we can end poverty. Work for Baptist World Aid and use your God-given talents to be love as you serve in the name of Jesus. For a full list of vacancies please click here. We would love to hear from you today!
Earlier this year we launched our new website ourstory.org.au. ‘Our Story’ will build on the work of ‘Together Magazine’ as we share stories of our wider Baptist movement.
We have begun sharing stories from across our movement as we journey towards our goal of becoming 1,000 healthy churches in a generation (2050). There are stories of church revitalisation and rebirth, growing and expanding during COVID-19, engaging in mission and seeking justice and gathering together through the use of our christian conference centre Kiah Ridge.
We will need your help to tell stories of how Baptist Churches in NSW & ACT are navigating key issues (such as the bushfires and Covid-19), as well as stories from our affiliated groups.
Stories will be published on the OurStory website, and will be shared on social media through our Association Facebook and Instagram along with regular emails (use the sign-up form below to update your email preferences or join our mailing list!) and a free printed magazine to those who subscribe.
Sharing stories is vital so that we can learn from each other, be encouraged to persevere in our ministries, and witness how God is working amongst his Church. We hope that Our Story will be an inspiration for you and your church.
To ensure that we are able to paint a broad picture of what God is doing amongst our churches, the Our Story team needs to hear your stories. If there is something encouraging or inspiring happening within your church, we would love to hear about it and share the story on your behalf. Please feel free to to fill in an OurStory Submission here or contact our Content Creator, Emily Christoforou, any time via email (EChristoforou@nswactbaptists.org.au) – preferably with the following information:
- The gist of the story (what has happened/what is happening)
- A quote from yourself about why this story excites you (optional)
- Contact details for anyone else involved (that I could interview/cross-check with)
- Any images/video/audio content that goes with the story