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In Conversation Leading Australian Economist Professor Ian Harper discusses how his Christian faith relates to economics. PAGE 12 >>


“As we look at the leadership landscape today we do well to ask why there are still so many who quit, are set aside or are plateaued and directionless.” DAVE KRAFT PAGE 13>>

4 Reflecting Fiona Stanley Hospital patient Warren Boggs finds motivation to write >>

7 Wellbeing conference Photo: Ben Good

Emerging issues for Generation Z discussed by conference delegates >>

Participants at SportsFest queuing during a meal break, benefitting from the hard work of many volunteers.

SportsFest a winner

11 Religious freedom

Ben Good

Over 1,000 competitors, more than 150 volunteers and a host of spectators and supporters from over 30 Baptist churches attended SportsFest 2016 in the South West over the September long weekend. SportsFest is a combined churches sports competition and has been run by Baptist Churches Western Australia annually for the past 18 years. A palpable excitement filled Leschenault Leisure Centre to open the weekend as the 30 competing churches paraded into the stadium wearing brightly coloured team shirts and representatives unveiled team banners. Catchy slogans or themes such as ‘Super Messiah’, a take on Nintendo’s Super Mario game, ‘Finding Glory’ a take on Pixar’s Finding Dory, and many more were brandished on the many banners. There was even choreographed dancing

and a re-enactment of a scene from the latest Star Wars movie. The audience responded with cheers and applause, making the atmosphere very festive. Organisers said the festive atmosphere continued throughout the weekend, with some wonderful sportsmanship on display. Sporting games often began and concluded in prayer, teams shaking hands and even hugging the opposing team. Volunteers noted how impressed the youth from the local community were. “The youth could see how much respect people have for each other,” Yvonne, a volunteer from Mount Barker said.

One of the main objectives of SportsFest is to give non-Christian young people the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel and the Sunday night service is traditionally an important part of achieving this. After a rocking praise and worship set, Baptist Churches Western Australia Youth and Young Adults Consultant Ed Devine shared a message with the 1,200 strong crowd. In response, 16 people said ‘yes’ to Jesus and 20 more made recommitments. SportsFest’s success is always largely attributed to the volunteers. “We couldn’t run SportsFest without them. Their positive attitude and willingness to do whatever they can to make the games a great success is amazing,” Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries, Mark Wilson said. “Some of them have been faithfully serving at SportsFest for many years.” Yvonne has been volunteering since 2009.

“I’m young at heart. I love encouraging and supporting our youth and I love the atmosphere,” she said when asked why she keeps coming back. Lindsay, from Gosnells Baptist Church was a competitor in the past and has been volunteering for the last five years. Aside from helping out his church’s team he loves reconnecting with people from other churches and would recommend volunteering to others. “Definitely, get involved. It’s great doing SportsFest ‘from the other side’, going from a competitor to a volunteer,” he said. “More volunteers are needed, so why not put your hand up and give volunteering a go?” SportsFest is held each Queen’s Birthday long weekend and in 2017 will be held 22 to 25 September. For more information, visit

Chinese government propose changes to religious affairs law >>

Committed to being honest, transparent and above reproach. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA


my view NOVEMBER 2016

When there just aren’t words to say I sat in a dimly lit room, crowded with grieving women, my forehead pressed against that of a lady I don’t even remember meeting before, both of us bawling our eyes out.

Kath Beeck Kath Beeck and her family work with Global Interaction in Mozambique.

My best friend had passed away the day before, tragically lost after childbirth complications. We’d spent every other day together for three years, ever since I moved to Mozambique. She had taught me all about my new neighbourhood, a new language and invited me to be part of her family. The morning of the funeral I arrived early to go with a group of women to prepare my friend’s body for burial. Afterwards, I returned to the family home to

await the ceremony, back to the dimly lit room where I sat, cried, and held my friend’s mother as she called out over and over, “My child, my child.” A cry I’ll never forget. Over the last few months I’ve had more opportunities than I care to count to sit with friends in the depths of grief. Sickness, poverty, suffering and death are rife in Mozambique and they’ve been hitting the people we love hard. In all those times spent sitting with people, not

once have I thought of a single comforting thing to say. I usually just sit silently and pray. I pray that people will know that I love them. I pray that they might know that God loves them. I pray that they too might know the God of all comfort and that somehow He might use me to comfort others. I’m surrounded by people whose language I don’t speak very well and whose culture I’m really just beginning to understand. Barely a day goes

by when I don’t ask God what He has me doing here? Lately, He’s been reminding me that it’s not my fancy words or my wisdom that people need, it’s my presence that speaks the loudest. I think it’s easy to feel that way wherever we are – worried that we’re not going to know what to say to our friend who might be grieving or suffering. Maybe God is saying to you too, don’t worry about the words so much – just be present.

On forgetting a name … Don’t know if it has happened to you. You are staring into the face of someone you know, remembering all kinds of things about them … the work they do, how many children they have, the suburb they live in, who they are friends with – everything except their name. And it is their name that you require.

Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.

Of course you can try the old Christian trick, and say something like “Hello brother (or sister), nice to see you!” But it doesn’t fool many, nor does it work if you’re supposed to be introducing them to someone else. Or you can try being clever, “Can you remind me how you pronounce your name?” Naturally it’s rather awkward if it turns out to be Sue or John. Most commonly I just mumble and cough and say “nice to see you

again G … cough, splutter … How are things going with our friends the Morgans?” Does this matter? To some people, not in the slightest. Indeed, some heave a sigh of relief and admit they don’t remember your name either. There is nothing like shared ignorance to ensure an amiable atmosphere. Others find it more difficult to accept, and take it as a sure

sign that they don’t matter to you (can’t even remember my name, so don’t pretend you have been praying for me). Actually, that’s not necessarily true. For me, praying for people often involves a series of pictures that flash through my mind of people I feel burdened for. Their name may or may not attach to the picture, but I do entrust their need to God. For all that, I do often ask myself why I struggle to

remember people’s names, and am quietly envious of those who have no memory lapses in this area. Perhaps it is because I know that God takes our name so seriously that He sometimes offers to give us a new name – one that more accurately reflects our life calling. And perhaps that’s the key – not to worry when others don’t remember our name, but to listen more closely for the new name God wants to give us.

Life in a box The cupboards are empty. There’s nothing on the shelves. All that is left are bare walls, an unlaid table, and a bit of furniture. Everything else, all that was deemed ‘unnecessary’ for four days is crammed away in a 33m3 shipping container.

Jackie Smoker Jackie Smoker is a Senior Pastor at Como Baptist Church.

Everything. Thirty years of everything so well crammed that I’m scared to open the back door of the container for fear that everything will spring out like a jack-in-the-box! I admire the way my husband Phil packed the container, with not one vacant space – everything fitting like the ultimate game of Tetris. The ‘least important stuff’ right at the back, and graduating based on need. Only problem is that four days

has now turned into ten days, and will turn into more. What was deemed as unnecessary is looking more necessary! And what is unnecessary, but greatly desired, is right at the back of the container behind 32m3 of other things … my paints, ink, brushes, books and papers. The tools I use to creatively commune with God. So, I was faced with a dilemma. Take the risk of opening the container, carefully unloading boxes, tables, bags and crates to

get to the back, or, find an alternative to my paper, books, brushes and inks. I found an alternative. It was much easier. But it’s not as satisfying … Now, what is my point? Sometime soon, the box has to be unpacked. The container needs to be emptied – and carefully, so that it doesn’t all come tumbling down. This is the harder task. It is so easy to fill a void, a yearning, with a substitute; to focus on

what we think the necessities of life are – and jam what seems less important into the back room, hoping to get to it someday. Sometimes what seems like a luxury, or an indulgence, is more essential to our being than we realise. Something as simple as paper and ink – brightly coloured inks. Is there something that should be more necessary in your life? Something that helps you connect with God? Because there is no good substitute for an honest relationship with Him. “O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you.” [Psalm 63:1, NRSV]

letters to the editor send us your letters The Advocate welcomes your letters to the editor on topics of concern to you and the community. Send your letters of no more than 100 words to by the 10th of each month.




Fresh fills a stadium

Fresh Conference exists for this purpose. Fresh Conference Director Karen Wilson said participants have changed the face of many communities they have been involved with over the past decade. Nearly 200 children have been sponsored via Fresh Conference and seen their lives radically changed as a result. “Local West Australian women have joined forces and realised they can do much more when they gather together with the goal of making a difference in the lives of others – for the sake of the world,” Karen said. Held in August, this year’s event surpassed organiser’s expectations. With over 550 delegates for the Fresh Leadership day on the Friday, and over 1,200

delegates attending the Friday night and Saturday program, the stadium at Curtin University was at capacity. The keynote speaker, Dr Caroline Leaf challenged the women to think in a healthy way and not allow toxic thoughts to take over. Karen Wilson brought a strong message on the 2016 Conference theme ‘Living Beyond’ based on Ephesians 3:20. A range of other speakers contributed to the leadership day. Worship led by Riverview Church and The Rocks Church drew women together from 199 different churches, representing every denomination in Perth. “The dream is to see this conference flourish and bring unity amongst women from every denomination and every walk of life,” Karen said.

Photo: Israel Hobson

Fresh Conference celebrated its 10th anniversary in style as a record number of women from across Western Australia attended the two-day event that seeks to make a difference to the local and global community.

More than 1,200 women from throughout Western Australia worshipping at Fresh Conference 2016.

The call was given to continue the rebuilding work in Nepal after the earthquake of 2015 and an incredible amount of $199,850 was given. This amount includes 51 children from the Nepal rural regions being sponsored through

Baptist World Aid Australia. After the conference finished, people continued contributing to the Vulnerable Children Fund and the total kept increasing. “When women stand together, impacting things happen. Perhaps

it is no longer a conference but a movement of God,” Karen concluded. Next year, Fresh Conference will be held 18 to 19 August and will remain a stadium event utilising the facilities of the HBF Stadium.

Another gold for The Advocate The Advocate has once again won the Gold award for Best Design – Newspaper and Bronze for Best Cover– Newspaper (February 2015) at the Australasian Religious Press Association’s annual awards held in September. This was the third consecutive year that The Advocate has won the best design award. The judges shared their extensive praise for the monthly publication’s design. “It doesn’t get much better than this.” “Each issue demonstrates that this publication’s designers have an excellent understanding of world’s best practice in newspaper design, typography, colour control and the dynamics of story placement and image effectiveness,” the judges commented. Editor of The Advocate Matt Chapman said the awards were acknowledgement of a great team effort by all those involved in pulling the newspaper together each month. “The Advocate seeks to be the voice of not only Baptists in Western Australia, but also present news and thought from a Christian perspective. Our team of writers, designers,

editors and contributors are to be congratulated on this acknowledgment”, Matt said. The award ceremony was part of the Association’s annual two day conference, which Christian media representatives from across Australia and New Zealand attended in Sydney. Delegates participated in sessions that looked at a number of timely issues, including the importance of storytelling, where the church might be in 2024, the response of the church in the digital space, whether Christian publications are adequately equipped for a constantly changing digital future, and how publishers can effectively communicate and understand the needs of those with disabilities and mental illness.

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A variety of accommodation options to suit your preferences and budget. Services and support for you to live at home for as long as you wish. Co-located with our 14 residential aged care facilities in metro Perth and regional WA. Enjoy being part of a caring community.

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news NOVEMBER 2016

Writing and reflecting Warren recently wrote a collection of stories about his life and his post-accident adventures, including an international wheelchair tennis career, a 950 kilometre quad bike trek in South Africa, handcycling from Thailand to Laos, and skiing at Thredbo. He is currently enduring a longer stay in hospital due to a recent setback and said writing about his journey had helped him reflect and find meaning. “It helps you think about and understand your experience on a deeper level,” he said. Warren hopes reading his work will inspire others in similar situations and remind them that a disability is not the end and it is still possible to live a full and happy life. He said visits from pastoral care staff at Fiona Stanley Hospital had helped motivate him to start writing. “The nurses and doctors are fantastic but they’re really busy,” he said. “It gets pretty lonely being in hospital, and the sense of friendship and support provided by pastoral care has helped me gain the confidence to channel my energy into writing.” Fiona Stanley Hospital Pastoral Care Coordinator and accredited pastor with Baptist Churches Western Australia, Rev. Sheldrin D’Rozario said Warren was proof of the positive benefits of multidisciplinary care. “Patients like Warren need treatment for various aspects of their condition, including the associated emotional challenges,” Sheldrin said.

“Clinical staff, quite rightly, are concerned with the direct treatment of the patient’s condition and often don’t have time to sit and listen,” he said. “We’re here to provide that friendship and in doing so, support the patient’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing.” “There are many sad moments in the work that is done at the bedside, however, there are moments when I receive joy from the Lord, especially in those times when the patient has moved from restlessness, hopelessness, pain and agitation to calm and peace.”

Warren hopes reading his work will inspire others in similar situations ... “For my evangelist heart, this is important for me to see and know that God is working right up until the end. God is good and just, faithful and true,” Sheldrin said. The Pastoral Care Service is available to all patients, visitors, carers and staff at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Sheldrin emphasised that the services were available regardless of the patient’s condition or length of stay. The service caters to all religious beliefs and provides a contemplation room, prayer room and garden courtyard accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Photo: Anni Fordham

Sixteen years after a catastrophic fall left him a paraplegic, Fiona Stanley Hospital State Rehabilitation Service patient Warren Boggs hasn’t let his condition stop him.

Sheldrin D’Rozario (left) has had the privilege of learning about Warren Boggs’ life while providing pastoral care.

Yoga for Christians Lakeside Recreation Fitness Centre instructor, Amy Lee, recently discovered an alternative to the popular Yoga fitness practice. Amy’s quest to find a variation of traditional yoga began after watching a documentary about stress and how it is a major health risk affecting a lot of people. Research in the program found that yoga and meditation were able to combat stress and illness within the body. As a Christian, Amy was not comfortable with yoga, which resulted in her finding PraiseMoves and becoming an Accredited Instructor. Initiated in the United States in 2001, PraiseMoves is for those who are concerned about the spiritual element to yoga,

which originates from the Hindu religion. It is a stretch class with a difference, consisting of a series of strength building postures, each linked to a verse of scripture. Participants meditate on God’s Word whilst gently exercising and strengthening body, soul and spirit. “We have found a number of benefits from PraiseMoves, including reducing stress, improving posture and balance, which decreased falls in the elderly. It also also promotes healthy digestion, circulation and eases joint inflammation,” Amy said.

on the outside; it’s what the Holy Spirit is doing on the inside. No matter how dubious the concoction of our lives might be, the alien righteousness of Jesus is the only ingredient God sees.


The program is based on Romans 12:2, restoring balance in the body, whilst being transformed by the renewing of participants’ minds. Classes are held at Lakeside Recreation Fitness Centre in Bibra Lake as well as various locations and times across Perth. “Participants leave feeling uplifted, there is something very powerful about speaking Scripture out loud,” Lakeside Recreation Fitness Centre Manager, Karen van Namen said. “Amy is also great at modifying the class to suit all ages and abilities.” For more information, phone Amy Lee on 0402 520 293.

digital church 03/10/16

06/10/16 If you love Jesus more than your marriage and your ministry, that is a wonderful, centred, and freeing place to be. Your spouse will fail you. Your church will most certain disappoint you. Jesus is always with you and never fails you. Our work is not insignificant in view of eternity, nor is its significance found in eternity … Ultimately, our work is an occasion for us to love and glorify our God, and this occurs most often in the way we show love to our neighbour.



Brian Croft

Kyle Idleman What if God judged us not by His standards but by the standards we place on others? Where would you fall?

Chase Kuhn

Johnathan Kana thinkchristian.reframemedia. com The difference between Christians and other sinners isn’t primarily the way we look


JD Greear Anonymity sometimes has its perks. It certainly releases you from a lot of accountability. But for Christians, remaining anonymous isn’t an option. Jesus doesn’t want us to stay in the shadows. Instead, He calls us to boldly confess who He is and follow Him without shame.

Nancy Guthrie The parenting journey that lasts a lifetime is not about doing everything right. Instead, it’s about radical reliance on the grace of the only One who’s ever parented perfectly.

says, “I’ve allowed someone or something to become the centre of my life instead of God.”


Craig Groeschel We are not just called to receive the love of Jesus, but we’re actually called to show love to one another.


Rick Warren

18/10/16 One of the ways you know that Jesus is at the centre of your life is you worry less. Any time you start worrying, it should be a red flag, a warning sign that The ultimate aim of all God’s messages, both miraculous and written, is to shed the light of heaven on Jesus.

Max Lucado




Disaster action report released

Samara Linehan

Baptist World Aid has been responding to disaster with emergency relief for more than ten years. In that time, the generosity of its supporters has helped save thousands of lives. Daniel Skehan is Baptist World Aid’s Disaster Management Specialist. “This 16 page publication is a way of reporting back to those who have generously contributed to our disaster work in the 2016 Financial Year,” Daniel said. “In the report are the reallife stories about the people our supporters have helped during times of disaster.” Baptist World Aid funds its disaster work through specific emergency appeals for large scale disasters and through its Disaster Action Fund. The organisation supports lifesaving and recovery work in response to large events that the public will be familiar with from the media. However, the report also includes articles

on their work through smaller scale disasters and disaster risk reduction. Because of its impact on the vulnerable, Baptist World Aid believes that its response to disaster is an important part of its response to poverty itself. The destruction caused by disaster can halt development in communities for years at a time. “Unfortunately, many people living in poverty also live in some of the most disaster prone areas in the world. Further, it is the vulnerable people in these communities that are often most affected,” Daniel said. “Through good disaster management, there is a massive opportunity to alleviate suffering when people are in need. But, by having a good understanding of community development we can make sure we have meaningful and sustainable impact in the long-term too.” It is Daniel’s hope that the Disaster Action Annual Report will

Photo: LSESD

In September 2016, Baptist World Aid Australia published its second Disaster Action Annual Report.

Baptist World Aid Australia supporters enable a local partner in Lebanon provide protection to children living as refugees in the Bekka Valley, Lebanon.

help Baptist World Aid supporters to understand the nature of the disaster management work that they are supporting. “There are three phases to good disaster management: response through the provision of emergency relief, recovery work after the initial emergency is over,

and risk reduction to prepare vulnerable communities to face disaster.” “Recent research published by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade indicated that every dollar spent on disaster risk reduction saves up to $25 in response and recovery

when disaster strikes. That’s an awesome investment and one which Baptist World Aid is proud to be making,” Daniel concluded. For more information, visit:

Lifting up the faith communities in Thailand

One of the ways that Baptist churches throughout Australia support Global Interaction's work is through People Group Focus. This initiative is a formal commitment to learning about the people and culture, praying for them and supporting the crosscultural workers in the region. NewHope Baptist Church in Melbourne have focused on the Ethnic Thai people for the past 15 years and Senior Pastor Allan Demond shared the importance of the church focusing on a people group. “We have grown in our understanding of the region, developed a church-wide heart for this least-reached people group, become more strategic in our fundraising and communication and deepened our investment in international mission.” “By naming a focus, we have become strategic in our listening, praying and giving,” Allan said.

In 2008, NewHope partnered in sending out team leaders Muana and Villy to the region. Since then, the Thailand team has been involved in the beginnings of four small house churches. The team shared about how these faith communities continue to make declarations of faith, visible through the baptism of local believers and the active sharing of Jesus with their family and friends. “The work in Thailand is visionary and entrepreneurial, experimenting with forms of indigenous witness and church planting.” “During the period of our support we have seen seeds of witness planted, communities of hope formed and a network of Thai believers emerge. The progress of a year looks slow but the work of a decade is very rewarding,” Allan said.

Photo: Dema Prachuau

For over a decade Global Interaction has had a team working in the mountainous setting of Nan province in rural Thailand. The team has recently shared that Christian believers are regularly meeting together to worship and that the lives of local Ethnic Thai people are being transformed.

Ethnic Thai believers meeting together at a church camp.

The impact is not limited to the work being done in Thailand but also on NewHope itself. The updates and stories from the workers in Thailand, as well as short-term trips have provided encouragement to the church. “Many of the participants on these trips have become leaders in ministry and

some have engaged in longterm international mission themselves.” “We are part of the bigger vision. It is a privilege to link in with the national Baptist strategy and partner with other Baptist churches. We feel connected with what God is doing,” Allan said.

WA Candidates Glenn and Liz Black plan to join the Thailand team early 2017. To learn more about the Blacks or how to focus on a people group, visit


news NOVEMBER 2016

Celebrating every human being Almost one in five Australians live with a disability, according to the Australian Network on Disability. Alex Corkill is one of them.

... becoming more and more a community that celebrates every human being as one made in the image of God ... “It would be great to be able to declare that Lesmurdie Baptist Church excels at welcoming people of all abilities, giving them a genuine place to worship and fellowship and serve. But, all I can say with confidence is that because Alex and Ken and their families belong with us and have stayed with us, we are slowly and messily becoming more and more a community that celebrates every human being as one made in the image of God,” Karen said. “Ken and Alex are the reason we started this journey and there are now a number of younger ‘one in five children’ who belong with us and inspire us to keep on figuring it out together.”

Photo: Céline Grobler

Rob Nichols from Luke14 has spoken at the church on many occasions. Using Luke14 material and presenters the church community has participated in six on-site workshops. The church also used the Luke14 resource Church Bar None – a six week preaching and small group resource that can be used across the whole church.

Alex Corkill enjoys being with other young adults at Lesmurdie Baptist Church.

Playgroup with the aged

Photo: Baptistcare

Alex is a young adult who, like many of his peers, went to youth group as a teenager and made a commitment to follow Jesus at a youth camp. Alex was baptised and for a decade now has been part of the life of the Lesmurdie Baptist Church community. He hardly misses a worship gathering. Alex has served on the youth group leadership team. He helps a team of men care for a young boy with autism during worship services. Just recently Alex joined the team who serve communion and he became a church member. Outside of church life Alex has been awarded a Certificate II in Hospitality and a Certificate I in Information, Digital Media and Technology. He likes playing electronic games and he really enjoys socialising. What makes Alex the ‘one in five’ is his autism and PraderWilli syndrome. Ken Gray has Down syndrome. Ken started going to Lesmurdie Baptist Church with his family as a small child. He is nearly an adult now. Ken and Alex have been the very personal reasons that Lesmurdie Baptist Church, with Lead Pastor Karen Siggins, set out to learn more about being a community that genuinely welcomes and includes people of diverse abilities. In 2013 Ken’s parents Mark and Keiko introduced the church to Luke14, a CBM Australia organisation helping churches become places of belonging for people and families living with disability.

Baptistcare Gracehaven residents and playgroup children enjoying a parachute game together.

Linda Lee

The intergenerational playgroup at Baptistcare’s Gracehaven residential aged care facility in Rockingham is a big hit with residents, parents and children alike. ww

Working with Playgroup WA, Baptistcare Gracehaven’s Lifestyle Coordinator Kim Jordan recently started playgroup visits where parents and young children spend time interacting with the residents. “Social interaction between the oldest and youngest members of our community has been shown to have wonderfully positive effects,” Kim said At a recent playgroup visit, the residents and children spent time socialising through games. “The children dressed up in different costumes and everyone

especially enjoyed the parachute and playing the piano together.” “Bringing people from different age groups together helps to foster respect and friendship between the generations.” The playgroup visitors are usually small in number which contributes to the intimate ‘family-like’ atmosphere. Residents have the opportunity to enjoy the children’s sense of fun and are able to share their parenting knowledge and experiences with the parents. The activities also help children to build important

social skills with a range of different people. “The residents absolutely love it and the kids have a great time too. We look forward to more visits from the parents and children,” Kim said. If you would like to be involved with the community interaction at Baptistcare Gracehaven or any of Baptistcare’s  residential aged care facilities, phone 1300 660 640.




Colleges converge at conference Keynote speaker Claire Madden, highlighted emerging issues for Generation Z with their seamless online/offline lives to stimulate the delegates’ thinking. Claire is Director of Hello Clarity, a strategy and communications agency, as well as a social researcher, media commentator and TEDx speaker. Claire also asked teachers to be mindful when shaping and moulding this new generation and to “guard their hearts well”. The event was attended by over 500 delegates from Baptist schools across Perth, including the host school, Kennedy Baptist College. A variety of sessions were also on offer for delegates to attend. “You could hear the intake of breath as Dr Jenny Brockis produced a brain – fortunately plastic – in the ‘It’s not just fish and walnuts’ session,” Kennedy

Baptist College Public Relations Officer Sandra Doick said. Author of Future Brain, Dr Brockis’ mission is to become the Jamie Oliver of brain fitness, making having a healthy, highly aware brain as widely appreciated as nutrition. Delegates could learn how to deal with difficult people in a session presented by Vose Leadership Director Monica O’Neil, or gather some hints on positive education from registered psychologist and Presbyterian Ladies’ College Director of Wellbeing, Laura Allison. The delegates could also prepare for their future with some practical hints on superannuation from NGS Super or reflect on their present lives in a prayer and quiet time directed by Kennedy Baptist College’s Counsellor Golda Newland and School Psychologist Jess Plenty.

Photo: Sandra Doick

Change drivers of the 21st century and the impact on human wellbeing were the major topics of discussion for teachers and school staff attending the second biennial Baptist Colleges Conference.

Dr Jenny Brockis shares her insights about the human brain.

After a fun stretch session with Britz n Pieces rap group the day was rounded off by the final keynote speaker, Vose Seminary Principal Dr Brian Harris, who

spoke about faith and human flourishing. Using the analogy of the Maori saying ‘ka mua, ka muri’ – we walk backwards into the future, Dr Harris spoke about

Silent disco for all ages

local briefs Baptisms

Laura McRae

Maida Vale Baptist Church celebrated the baptisms of Olivia Bong, Ruth Bong, Grace Bong, Joy Bong, Undra Futengim and Miki Walker, on 28 August. Katanning Baptist Church celebrated the baptisms of Michael Altus, Luke Hall, Allison Harris, Ben Patterson and Tom Patterson, on 31 July.

The program connects residents with the community using music and is designed for people who have trouble communicating verbally. Shizuka Yokoi, one of Baptistcare’s staff trained specifically in the care of residents with dementia said residents, staff and relatives enjoyed coming together to listen and dance to music on their own headsets. “The intergenerational disco was a big hit with all age groups, each person choosing from a selection of popular songs from Pink to Frank Sinatra and dancing to their very own special beat,” Shizuka said. “The dance floor was filled with couples waltzing alongside children disco dancing.”

Photo: Baptistcare

To mark Dementia Awareness Month and as part of its Music Connection Program, Baptistcare held a silent disco for residents at Baptistcare’s Gracewood residential aged care facility in Salter Point. A Baptistcare resident enjoying a silent disco with music on her headset.

One resident, who has had a stroke, could not resist getting on the dance floor in her wheelchair. “She was smiling brightly and nearly crying while saying, ‘I am enjoying myself so much, this is the best moment I’ve had over the last few years.’,” Shizuka shared. Baptistcare staff have seen how personalised music and movement has an amazing positive impact on Baptistcare’s residents living with dementia. Music helps to trigger memories, improve their posture, movements and speech. The effect is noticeable almost immediately when they listen to their favourite music.

“Sometimes our residents with dementia find it difficult to express what they are interested in,” Shizuka said. “When they listen to music that reminds them of a favourite time or wonderful day they had, suddenly they smile.” “We have one resident who has difficulty communicating verbally but whenever she hears a song that was played at her wedding, she talks about how she met her husband, memories of their life together and the dress she wore on her wedding day.” To volunteer or obtain more information, phone 1300 660 640.

the way our vision is fixed on history, learning from those who have gone before us as we forge new paths.

Friends of Global Interaction Global Interaction held its Friends of Global Interaction event on 29 October. It was an opportunity for those supporting Global Interaction to hear about ministry amongst the least reached people groups. Ben and Sam Good, and Lucy Twining were guest presenters.

Month of prayer and fasting Baptist Churches Western Australia joined with a number of Christian leaders from throughout Australia to support a call for a month of prayer and fasting, focusing on marriage and families, during October. Several denominational leaders, including the Australian Baptist Ministries National Ministries Director Rev. Keith Jobberns, church network leaders and prayer leaders, called for all Christian churches and Christian organisations across

the nation to support the call for prayer.

App to discover God Global Interaction have launched their new app Ekteino. Over a period of four weeks, this app helps users to discover more about God, His plans and how to partner with Him in our world through intentional action and reflection. For more information, visit /Ekteino

New pastors Pastor Arthur Broughton has been inducted as the new pastor at Esperance Baptist Church. Pastor Andrew van der Moezel has been inducted as the pastor at Broome Baptist Church. Pastor Gareth Price has been appointed as the new Youth Pastor at Morley Baptist Church. Pastor Brad Vigus has has been appointed as the new pastor for Sunday evening services at North Beach Baptist Church and Pastor Henry Harding is retiring from ministry at North Beach Baptist Church.

Obituary Pastor Garth Manning passed away in September in Albany, WA. Garth pastored at South Perth and Bentley Baptist Church.

Photos: Ben Good

10 news NOVEMBER 2016

Listening as an act of love

Ramona Ötting

The idea for the project hit Pastor Braley while talking to a group of friends about the difficulties of building community in the city. Shortly after, with the thought of “listening as an act of love” in the back of their minds, Braley and his ministry colleague Greg Knake held the first of many Cincy Stories events in a local pub in February 2015. The set-up of the events is simple, but authentic – people come and tell their stories, they listen, they mingle and they get to know each other in a pub atmosphere with music. While Braley’s church supports the project financially and through volunteers, Cincy Stories is not formally affiliated with the church. Braley and Knake were concerned that a ‘religious’ event could alienate parts of their neighbourhood, so they chose to take a somewhat ‘secular’ approach.

As Mr Knake told Christianity Today, he thinks that sometimes people do not fully open up within a church context, because they feel uncomfortable and fear they will not fit in. Cincy Stories has seen a diverse crowd, with young professionals sitting next to former inmates and drug dealers. Speakers are encouraged to share freely and their stories remain uncensored when published on the project’s website. Over the years, people such as atheists and members of the LGBT community have shared stories which the event founders believe they would not have shared at an official church event. “It was a really beautiful thing we found out, because when people got in front of a crowd and they just bore it all, in a raw, real, vulnerable way, we all made this connection,” Braley remembered.

Photo: Sharee Allen

Cincy Stories is a community building project in Cincinnati, Ohio, initiated by Pastor Shawn Braley. At Cincy Stories, people from the Cincinnati neighbourhood are invited to take ten to 15 minutes to tell any story from their life, in an uncensored, raw and real way.

Community Connector Jai Washington shares about how a trip to the salon taught her that her outside appearance doesn’t define her.

Some members of Braley’s church voiced concern about the content shared, but they were fewer than he had first anticipated. “Jesus is obviously the inspiration for this,” Braley told Christianity Today.

“The marginalised people and the people on the outskirts: He loves them and just listens to them, and that’s why they’re drawn to him. We want to replicate that.” Since 2015, the project has grown and now holds a

Boxing event at Cathedral

international briefs Mexican priests abducted and killed

Ramona Ötting

Photo: REP Photography

The Dean of Coventry Cathedral, England, has defended hosting a boxing fight in the place of worship, saying that the event raised money for an important cause and that it brought people into the Cathedral who would otherwise not go there. The Help for Heroes boxing event at Coventry Cathedral with the tapestry

The event raised more than £10,000 ($15,990) towards the charity Help for Heroes, which helps men and women who have been injured in military service. The event however drew some initial criticism about the appropriateness of a boxing fight being held inside a cathedral. “It wasn’t a straightforward decision and I did give it very careful and prayerful consideration,” Dean of Coventry, Rev. John Witcombe, explained in an interview with the Coventry Telegraph.

Christ in Glory by Graham Sutherland in the background.

“In the end, the decision to host the fight was influenced by the good cause of the charity and the hope that the event would draw people to the cathedral who would not naturally find themselves there,” Rev. Witcombe said. “If you look at Jesus in the Scriptures and the kind of people that He would associate Himself with, frankly, we perhaps had some more of those

in the Cathedral on Saturday evening than we would perhaps ordinarily would,” he told Premier Christianity. As he pointed out to visitors at the nightly event, the Anglican cathedral is well known for its international work in peace and reconciliation. The event was part of an ongoing series of boxing events that Help for Heroes is holding across the United Kingdom.

permanent studio location where walk-ins can record their story inside a ‘story booth’. Braley has positive hopes for the future and would like to see the effects of storytelling spread across the city.

Two Mexican priests were found dead in a field beside a road on Monday 9 September, hours after they had been kidnapped. Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Jose Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz were abducted from their church by gunmen the previous day. Their driver was able to escape unharmed and is now under police protection. The priests’ church is located in Veracruz, a violence torn state of Mexico which is known for drug cartel related crimes. According to the Mexican Catholic Multimedia Centre, 14 priests, one seminary student and one clergy member have been killed in Mexico in the last four years.

Egypt eases church building regulations Egypt has approved a new church building law which will ease the regulations for building a church. Some of the previous requirements, in place since 1856, made it almost impossible for Christians to build a church. Amongst other requirements, they necessitated that Christians ask permission of the President and local Muslims to build a church, and forbade the

construction of churches near mosques, schools, village canals, railways, government offices, government facilities, or between residential areas. While some see the new law as a step in the right direction, others are sceptical because of remaining restrictions, such as limiting the church size to the number of Christians living in the area.

Christians tortured in North Korea According to a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Christians in North Korea could face torture, rape and death for openly following Jesus. “Religious beliefs are seen as a threat to the loyalty demanded by the Supreme Leader [Kim Jong-un], so anyone holding these beliefs is severely persecuted,” the report stated. Christians charged with publicly practising their faith can be sent to labour camps. Even North Korean Christians living in China have to fear deportation if caught, the report specified. While North Korea claims that there are 13,000 Christians in the country, estimates suggest that the actual number of practising believers in North Korea might lie between 200,000 to 300,000.

news 11 NOVEMBER 2016

Religious freedom shrinking

Ramona Ötting

imprisonment. However, Mr Hu’s defenders saw the true reason for his imprisonment as his leadership of underground churches and his advocacy for greater freedom of speech and religion. Yet another attack on Christian congregations has been observed in the removal of 1,500 crosses and the demolishing of church buildings labelled as “illegal structures”.

Practising believers in China and human rights organisations worldwide are concerned about the government’s most recent steps to regulate religion.

... to strengthen its resistance towards “foreign religions” ...

As the US State Department put it in its annual report on religious freedom: “Over the past year, the Chinese government has stepped up its persecution of religious groups deemed a threat to the state’s supremacy and maintenance of a ‘socialist society’. Christian communities have borne a significant brunt of the oppression, with numerous churches bulldozed and crosses torn down.” Open Doors Asia called the recent developments in China “the most blatant attack on the Church since the Cultural Revolution.”

US study: faith counts

Ramona Ötting

The socio-economic impact of religion on the US has been valued at $1.2 trillion annually, outweighing the combined value of the US technological companies Apple, Google and Amazon. The estimated value was derived from the study The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society which analysed the impact of religious congregations, religious institutions and religion-related businesses.

Photo: ESB Professional

Among the amendments, the changes restrict the venues and activities of religious congregations, and take greater control over religious education. Overall, they propose that no religious activities can take place without the approval of the Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA). The new developments stand in line with a speech given by President Xi Jinping earlier this year in which he urged the country to strengthen its resistance towards “foreign religions” and to “help religions adapt to the socialist society”. “Freedom in all sectors of society [has been] shrinking since Xi Jinping came into power, and there is evidence that the government is also tightening its grip on the Three-Self Patriotic Movement [the state-approved Church],” the organisation Open Doors reported. In July, Open Doors USA reported that unregistered churches in the Chinese province Guangdong were struggling to find venues for their church services as increasing restrictions made landlords unwilling to rent to Christian congregations. The churches were also subtly advised to shrink the size of their congregations to a maximum of 50 people, which is half the size of what had been tolerated previously. In August, the prominent church leader Hu Shigen was officially found guilty of “subversion” and sentenced to seven years and six months

Photo: Francis Wong Chee Yen

The Chinese government has proposed a new set of amendments to its law regulating religious affairs. It is one of several developments pointing towards the government seeking to exert greater control over practising believers in China.

A recent study has put the socio-economic value of volunteers and organisations serving the community into numbers.

It is not solely based on revenues but includes the value of social services provided by congregations. According to the study, congregations finance more than 1.6 million social service programs annually and provide 7.6 million volunteers. “In an age where there’s a growing belief that

religion is not a positive for American society, adding up the numbers is a tangible reminder of the impact of religion. Every single day individuals and organisations of faith quietly serve their communities,” co-author of the study, Dr Brian Grim concluded.

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12 in conversation NOVEMBER 2016

Economics for life

How did you become interested in economics and choose it as a career? I was introduced to economics by a very enthusiastic high school teacher and by the time I finished school I knew that I wanted to study economics in combination with law. I did think I was going to be a lawyer, but soon realised that I was much more interested in and suitable for economics. I dropped law and started studying economics in earnest. How did you become a Christian and develop a faith in Christ? I went to an Anglican school and had a backdrop of knowledge of faith, but no hard commitment at that time. Then, much later in life, my wife came to faith, which brought a bit of a crisis in our relationship because I felt I knew about this Christian faith and wanted nothing to do with it. She had a different view and so as we worked our way through that tension, God brought two of my professional colleagues into my life. One was a visitor from Oxford and the other was a former economist who was a vicar of an Anglican church, which I, under protest, agreed to go along to for my wife’s sake and the sake of my family. Between the two of them, one way or another, they initiated conversations with me that tested me and challenged me about my views on Christianity. They were people, because of their professional standing, whom I couldn’t simply dismiss as deluded or in some way self-interested or feeble minded or anything like that. I was challenged by people who were my professional peers. Through that process, God worked in my heart. One Christmas Day at a communion service, it dawned on me that this is actually true, and so I went forward as communion was given by the former economist turned vicar of the church we were attending and took communion. When he asked me why I had taken it after the service, I said, “because it's true”. Reviews state that in your book, Economics for Life, you demonstrate why economics is a good servant but a bad master. Can you briefly explain this observation? Economics is the science of wealth creation. It’s about how we marshal our worldly resources to produce material welfare. We

improve people’s material lives. In that capacity, it is a good servant. People often quote Micah 6:8, and with good reason, ‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Well, I say there is no justice, no mercy in bad economics. If you ignore economic principles or run them in reverse, then you can create material deprivation, poverty and misery for large numbers of people – Zimbabwe immediately comes to mind. Economics can help us to care for our neighbours, alleviate poverty, care for the sick and look after our environment. In all sorts of ways good economics can deliver those outcomes, but it is a bad master in the sense that it can lead people to think that is all there is. It’s not that economics isn’t good – economics is good, but it’s not God. Any sort of idol worship is ungodly, whether it is worship of money, sex, power – worship of economics is just that. So, good servant, bad master. We worship the Creator not creation and we worship God not material wealth. As an economist, how does your Christian faith affect your career? It certainly brings challenges because, occasionally, people are inclined to think that I’m bringing my religious views to bear on economic issues. My answer to that question is “yes, at some level, yes, of course I do”. You can’t engage in any human endeavour without bringing your own values to bear. Whatever you do, whether you are an engineer, doctor, nurse, homemaker or bus driver, you can’t divorce the way you act in the world from the things that are deep inside you – your own values, the way you think about what’s right and wrong. Many people operate on a Christian moral framework without knowing it. They adopt Christian morals, but would never acknowledge where they come from. Nevertheless, I am able to say “look here are my moral principles, here are my values, they are written down in a book. They are publicly expounded every week. People know. It’s no secret what a Christian thinks about morality. And, you can test if you think my behaviour is inconsistent with that. You can call me to account. You can look it up and say ‘hang on, you’re

supposed to be a Christian, why are you doing this?’” So, my view is that my Christian faith makes me a better economist. It strengthens the moral foundations on which I operate. The same would be true for Christians working in any endeavour because it gives you that degree of wholeness. What opportunities do you have to share your faith with people you interact with in the business world? Quite a few. For instance, events like The WA Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. I’m not actively involved in inviting people, but my part is to say ‘yes’ to come and give a talk, and churches can invite all sorts of people to come along. So, there is an opportunity by virtue of the fact that even if someone would never come to a prayer meeting, they might come to hear this economist because they see his name in the newspaper and think ‘that’s interesting who is this fellow and what’s he got to say?’ They wouldn’t come if it was the Reverend Ian Harper or Bishop Ian Harper, but they might come for this and possibly go away thinking, ‘I think he is mad’ or they might think ‘well, my friend collects butterflies – this guy happens to like Christianity, well, good luck to him’. But, it is a matter for the Spirit in the end, who knows everybody’s heart, to be able to respond. Those opportunities arise through public invitations to speak. At the office there are occasions when people seek me out. They are often in the case of personal tragedy, or pain. It is an interesting thing, that in circumstances where people feel particularly helpless or hopeless, then often they will come to a Christian. This is something as Christians we shouldn’t be surprised about, because we bear the name of the One who is the great healer and comforter. At The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, you spoke about ‘bad economics’ in terms of justice and mercy. Are you one of those economists who concurs that ‘trickle-down’ economics does not work and in terms of justice and mercy ‘trickle-down’ economics is bad economics? Depends on what you mean by ‘trickle-down’ economics. If the proposition is you don’t need to

Photo: Australian Treasury

Professor Ian Harper is one of Australia’s leading economists. He was Chair of the Federal Government’s recent Competition Policy Review and the inaugural chair of the Australian Fair Pay Commission. He is currently a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Access Economics and a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia board. The Advocate caught up with Professor Harper to discuss how his Christian faith relates to economics.

intervene at all in order to secure a just income distribution, then I would reject that proposition. I don’t think there is any orthodox economist who would endorse the proposition that the income distribution produced by the market unaided is the right income distribution and should be left alone. Public economics is all about the study of how you can design tax and welfare systems most efficiently so they achieve the income distribution that you are trying to achieve at minimum cost. So, if you mean by ‘trickle-down’ economics that you can just leave it alone and the weakest, lowest paid and least talented are looked after, well that is demonstrably wrong. There’s at least 150 years’ worth of economics that points out that the discipline takes the opposite view. Here in Australia, we have mechanisms that actively seek to redistribute income in favour of the sick, the weak, the poor and the unemployed. My proposition is that like most orthodox economists, if we are going to intervene to achieve a certain outcome in the name of justice, fairness and decency, then let’s make sure we intervene in the most efficient way to achieve the objective we are seeking to achieve at minimum cost. How did your appointment to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Board come about? I was invited by the Treasurer to take a vacancy that was available on the board. There is a tradition, that goes back at least 40 years, that there is a professional economist amongst the nonexecutive board of the Reserve Bank. I hope to be a faithful, valuable and competent nonexecutive director of the Bank, which means I hope to bring to the discussions at the board table my experience and expertise and also my judgement. Do you see your faith and beliefs intersecting at all with the RBA role? Only in the sense that, like every member of the board, I

bring my whole person to the board table. Am I at the Reserve Bank board to proselytise my religious views? Obviously not. Am I there to offer an opinion on a particular matter of economic policy? Yes. And is that opinion divorced from my values and outlook on life? No. And the same would be true of every single member of the board, whether they are Christian or not. You can’t be in public life and leave your values at home. It’s impossible and nobody wants you to do that. That’s why you have been appointed. If they wanted a machine to make the decision they would use a machine. In conclusion, is there anything else you wish to share? I encourage young people, in particular, to think about economics as a career. Economics has been a wonderful profession for me and if I had my time over, I wouldn’t choose any differently. I think, as an act of grace, God intervened in my life and one of the consequences is that it has made me a better economist, thinking about economics from a wholly different, much broader perspective. God didn’t call me out of my profession – I’m grateful for that. So, I just want to encourage young people who are thinking about a career that you can serve other people in lots of good and godly ways, but don’t leave out economics. Don’t think that the only way you can serve people, particularly if you are a Christian, is going overseas as a missionary, being a pastor, or a doctor, or a nurse. Not that any of those things are bad, but don’t leave economics off the list because in the final analysis you can influence how people live their lives in the material dimension. You can serve your neighbour as yourself. You can do justice and love mercy, and seek the welfare of the city in which God has placed you by being an economist.

growth 13 NOVEMBER 2016

Dave Kraft

Bobby Clinton, professor of leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary, has an insightful leadership viewpoint on Matthew 9:36-38 when he wrote in The Making of a Leader that: ‘When Jesus saw the leaders He was filled with dismay because: • So many quit. • So many were set aside. • So many were plateaued and directionless.’ As we look at the leadership landscape today we do well to ask why there are still so many who quit, are set aside or are plateaued and directionless. We are seeing leaders all around us dropping like flies – in government, business and the church. It would appear that we are in a leadership free fall … a colossal meltdown. Everywhere we look, we see signs of leaders violating the trust that has been placed in them by co-workers, shareholders, customers, constituencies, followers, congregants and trusting friends. According to Michael Ross, writing in the Christian Times, 1,400 pastors leave the ministry each month because of stress, disillusionment or forced termination. Something is dreadfully wrong and getting worse.

A small roll call would include top leaders from Enron, World. Com, the Arthur Andersen company, Catholic priests and bishops and numerous political figures. A few years ago, in The Seattle Times there was a story of a local mayor stepping down due to financial misappropriation. In my home county in Southern California, the pastor of the largest church within 100 miles left in disgrace. It seems like almost every day I pick up our local newspaper and read of some leader some place, some how, for some reason who has quit or been removed due to financial or moral sin. Many others are exhausted, discouraged and disgusted with their leadership role. By the droves they are quitting, being set aside, plateaued and at a standstill. What’s going on here? Why is this happening on such a large scale? Let’s take a closer look. Here are seven possible explanations. Perhaps you have a few of your own. 1. Refusal or negligence in taking action and accepting responsibility – being tentative, sitting on the fence, afraid to take a stand, make a decision. Not owning up to failures – making excuses, playing the blame game, disappearing or quitting in order to protect image or reputation. 2. Believing that you can get away with a double standard for ‘ethics’, one for your work life and another for your personal life – convincing yourself that you are above the rules … that your private choices don’t have any effect on your leadership ability.

Photo: Antonio Guillem

Quitting, set aside or plateaued

3. Not being able to deal with the ‘dark side’ of success – envy, resentment, bitterness, pride, greed, competition and revenge. This is a ‘biggie’ which [could be] dealt with in more detail in a future instalment. 4. Not taking sufficient time for solitude, reflection and renewal – going at breakneck speed (which sooner or later breaks your emotional/ spiritual neck) edges out times for reflection (leading to perspective, repentance and resolve) time for family and for healthy accountability with a few close friends.

5. Not having a clearly articulated life-purpose – saying ‘yes’ to too many things and spreading yourself too thin due to a lack of discovering the few themes that compose your life. Having a clear purpose statement will facilitate saying ‘no’ to many things so that you can say ‘yes’ to a few things. ‘Long-distance winners’ often have a disarmingly simple purpose statement. 6. Not understanding your strengths and weaknesses – doing things that don’t fit you and trying to do

everything by yourself, rather than being a team-player and surrounding yourself with key people who compensate for who you are not and complement who you are and what you are gifted to do. 7. Not taking charge of your own personal learning and development – no time to read, learn, think, dream, improve lead to stagnation burnout and ineffectiveness. How are you doing? Any red lights on your ‘dashboard’? Used with permission from Dave Kraft,

Reverse the Advent trend

Jill Birt

Many families prepare for Christmas using an Advent calendar. For families with children, a useful version of an Advent calendar is colourful card with a small window to open each day of December. The favourite version of this calendar reveals a chocolate treat.

Canadian journalist Julie Van Rosendaal had an epiphany while in a local wine shop one day when she noticed 12 sections in an empty cardboard wine box.

“Why not create a reverse Advent calendar to make donations to the local food bank?” “It popped into my head to use a couple of wine boxes which conveniently have twelve sections each … with little cardboard separators,” Julie said. She posted the idea on Facebook and it circulated around the world. Josee Desrochers Sauve from Cornwall, Ontario decided to create a Facebook event using the idea. “I like Julie’s idea ending with a full box on 24 December, but it is a bit late to help needy families who might need the food for Christmas. So my event starts on 15 November and ends on 10 December,” Josee said. “So many people need help for whatever reason. If you are in a position to help someone, then you should do what you can.”

“Kindness and generosity is what this world needs right now,” she said. Canada is not the only country with people in need. Thousands across Western Australia will find themselves in difficult circumstances this Christmas. Agencies, including Fusion Australia, St Bart’s, The Salvation Army and UnitingCare West, are all expecting increased numbers of families needing help. UnitingCare West’s Financial Services Director, Rhonda Livingstone reports a significant rise in families facing bankruptcy over the past six months. “A lot of the new cases we are working with are due to the downturn in mining which has a domino effect down to small businesses and workers in the hospitality industry,” Rhonda said.

Most organisations will supply food parcels from early December, so adjusting the dates an Advent calendar makes sense. Any type of cardboard box will do, just place a tin of food, a jar of peanut butter, a kilo of rice, some tea bags or another item in the box each day for two to four weeks then deliver the goods to the charity you prefer. Whether you are a single person or a large family group, a reverse Advent calendar could be a valuable new tradition, helping children and adults practice generosity and be reminded of God’s great gift to people, Jesus Christ.

Where you can give to help people in need Fusion Australia Contact Rose on 0412 107 716 to organise drop-off St Bart’s Phone 9323 5100 The Salvation Army Visit their website for your nearest location UnitingCare West Phone 9220 1200 or deliver to Unit 6, 5 Aberdeen Street, East Perth

14 news NOVEMBER 2016

The best of Jordan Feliz

98five Music Director Chela Williams

Californian native Jordan Feliz started his musical career fronting a heavy metal band before changing his tune to become a church worship leader. With two hit singles ‘The River’ and ‘Never Too Far Gone’ both appearing at number one on the Billboard Christian charts, Jordan is following up his success with his third breakout release ‘Best of Me’.

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way about something before and now you have this whole new view of the way God views us and the way that we look at our kids.” The hardworking artist has had a successful year wrapping up 2016 with three nominations for the Dove Awards, his first nominations ever. “I feel like it’s more of a confirmation for where the Lord has me and the path He has me down.” ‘Best of Me’ is now playing on 98five Sonshine FM. For more information, visit

Jordan Feliz admits fatherhood has been a fun new journey giving the artist’s songwriting process a burst of creativity.

Carey musicians headed to SA

To find your local Baptist church visit

Carey Baptist College’s Music Department has reason to celebrate, with six students offered places at the prestigious James Morrison Academy of Music in South Australia for 2017.

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Photo: Centricity Press

“‘Best of Me’ came out of a time of growth. My wife and I had just lost our first child and we came out of this season of being angry with the Lord,” Jordan said. “Over that time, we realised that the one thing, the one person, that we were the most angry with was the solution to our problem. And when we would give Him those things, give Him our hurt and our pain, or whatever we are dealing with, whether it be good or bad – when you give those things to Him you find the best version of yourself.” “That’s where ‘Best of Me’ comes from!” Jordan co-wrote his second single ‘Never Too Far Gone’ after having since becoming a father again. He admits fatherhood has completely changed his perspective on songwriting. “Oh man! I feel like since having our daughter, songwriting has become more intentional for me,” Jordan explained. “Whenever I’m writing a song, I’m thinking about the new perspective I have on the way God views us as His children.” “Because, when becoming a father, you’ve never felt that

Carey has a longstanding tradition of excellence in music, with every graduating student from 2016 that applied for entry into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts accepted. The James Morrison Academy of Music at the University of Adelaide has recruited students from Carey in the past but this is the first time they have accepted six students. “Carey Baptist College is an incredible school. It is the first time we have had six students from one school accepted into our program,” James’ wife Judi Morrison said. “The highest number of students we have had from one school previously is two.” Carey Baptist College’s Director of Music, Scott Loveday

has been with the College for 17 years and has built a highly regarded music department. His philosophy is based on a hands-on approach. “We teach music differently,” Scott said. “We encourage kids to play from the very beginning.” “It’s like learning football, you can’t just learn the theory, you need to get on the field and play.” This approach has given these Carey students a chance to realise their dream of attending the James Morrison Academy, where they won’t just be playing on the field but rather entering the professional league.

Agnes Water/Town of 1770, Queensland. A growing coastal tourist destination is seeking our God appointed Part-time Pastor to lead a small, but thriving contemporary Baptist Church. A demonstrated theologically sound application of the Word is desired. If this is you and would like a Pastoral Package, contact: John Whitehead

intermission 15 NOVEMBER 2016

Facebook presence increases

watch Freedom Set in the 1800s, Freedom follows the story of a slave family as they attempt to escape a plantation in Virginia to freedom in Canada. Cuba Gooding Jr plays Samuel, a young man bitter from the years of abuse from the plantation owner and angry at God who would let this happen. However, he is surrounded by devout Christians, including those aiding their escape, and he eventually comes face-to-face with the reality of a faithful and loving God. Recounted within the story is that of John Newton and his faith journey is brought into light because of Samuel’s ancestry. The shocking treatment of people as property during the history of the Western world is disturbing, but there is more slavery and human trafficking today than ever before. This story provides viewers the inspiration to be a part of the answer to this problem and help make a difference one life at a time. – Dorothy

read Blue Like Jazz Donald Miller Having seen Blue Like Jazz as I stocked the shelves many times and after countless recommendations from both fellow staff and customers I finally read it – twice. I found it to be a very honest read, taking me on a journey with someone who obviously loved God and had experienced Jesus through His Spirit, but was still confused and dissatisfied with some of his experiences. Miller takes you on his faith journey with all of its failures, successes and questions. His writing style is engaging and personal so you feel like he is stitting across the table expressing his thoughts and even waiting for your response. I found that some of his questions were also my questions and it was a refreshing and mind opening conversation that I am glad I had. His story of the confession booth that he and some friends set up on their college campus brought me to tears. I would particularly recommend it to those who have been in the faith for a few years and perhaps are starting to grapple with the deeper faith questions that sometimes arise. – Andrew

Baptist Churches Western Australia’s Facebook presence has increased over the past year with a number of new pages created for specific ministry groups within the state. Youth and Young Adults Consultant Ed Devine said there are many new forms of social media that can be used for communication today. “One age group uses Instagram, another Facebook and another may use one of the many other options. We need to be in these spaces to minister to people,” he said. Due to the changing social media landscape, Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) have created Facebook pages for ministry leaders in the areas of children, youth, and young adults. Niche areas such as Leavers Green Team, Vose Seminary and SportsFest also have had their own page developed. BCWA’s main Facebook page reaches over 3,000 people each week with content about ministry events and news, along with posts about news from The Advocate newspaper. BCWA staff member Matt Chapman said that Facebook has helped reach members of local churches, allowing BCWA to share with them about important news such as upcoming youth camps and the Annual Assembly. For more information and to check out the latest posts, visit

listen WOW Hits 2017 Deluxe Edition

This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – November 2016

Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley Assistant Manager Dorothy Waddingham

Website: Address: 434 Lord Street, Mount Lawley Phone: 08 9427 9777

WOW Hits 2017 Deluxe Edition is a compilation of Christian hits from 2016, with songs from a variety of artists, giving the listener a great range of music to enjoy. From the encouraging words in ‘Flawless’ from MercyMe and ‘Good Good Father’ by Chris Tomlin to the jumping rhythms of ‘Real Love’ by Young and Free and ‘Everything Comes Alive’ from We Are Messengers, there is a wide variety of contemporary music over two discs. The Deluxe Edition offers an additional six songs for only an extra $3. It is hard to pick a favourite tune amongst all the great music so pop them into a CD player for encouragement and inspiration. – Dorothy

16 news NOVEMBER 2016

Serving up freedom to the world’s most exploited

Annette Spurr

A quirky table tennis movement is helping everyday Australians free some of the world’s most vulnerable people from sexual exploitation and human trafficking. government organisation in Thailand, which provides support and services to young men aged 8 to 24 years, who are living and being exploited in the red light districts of Chiang Mai. It started as an experiment to try to engage men on issues of trafficking and exploitation, and has doubled in size each year, raising more than $400,000 and giving many Australians a sense that they can make a significant difference in the world. “I’ve seen firsthand the huge challenges that so many young people in our world face, simply as a result of being born in an environment of extreme poverty,” Adrian said. “Many children in SouthEast Asia are sent by their families to the cities to fend for themselves or to find ‘work’ and send money back home to support the rest of their family.” This year Ping-Pong-aThon aimed to raise a further $400,000 to support the work of nine partner organisations in South-East Asia, who are combating issues of human trafficking and exploitation of young people from a range of different angles.

Photo: Adrian Rowse

During October people from Perth worked up a sweat playing table tennis for the annual Ping-Pong-a-Thon, the national event which also challenges boys and men to make a personal commitment to treat girls and women with dignity, value and respect. Lake Joondalup Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, North Beach Baptist Church and Rockingham Baptist Church hosted 2016 Ping-Pong-a-Thon events, engaging hundreds of locals as advocates/fundraisers on behalf of exploited young people. Participants committed to play table tennis for a minimum of three hours and invited their family and friends to sponsor their efforts. Matt Birch from Rockingham Baptist Church and South Coast Baptist College enlisted participants from the Church’s men’s ministry, young adults’ ministry, youth ministry, and the College. He also hosted a men’s breakfast with a special focus on what men can do to wrestle with human trafficking together. “I love ping-pong so an opportunity to marry pingpong up with mission really appealed to me,” Matt said. Ping-Pong-a-Thon founder Adrian Rowse came up with the idea in 2011 while working as the director of a small non-

For more information, visit, Perth’s annual Ping-Pong-a-Thon raises awareness and funds for those being exploited in the Pattaya red-light district, Thailand.

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