IN CONVERSATION Journey Church’s Artists and Young Adults Pastor, Brett Mabury, talks about his Christian faith and life in Tennessee. PAGE 12 >>
“God’s way of preparing us for what’s ahead is almost never what we would expect … but it’s only God who knows exactly what we need for a future only he can see.” BONNIE DOWIE PAGE 13>>
5 A special Christmas Baptistcare staff are looking forward to working on Christmas Day >>
7 Christmas events
Photo: Phil Gabrielson
A collection of upcoming Christmas events across Western Australia >>
Pastor Rex Gabrielson and his wife Faye recently celebrated more than 40 years of ministry with Girrawheen Baptist Church.
40 years of service For more than 40 years, members of Girrawheen Baptist Church have prayed, laboured, given, persevered and made sacrifices that the life and witness of Jesus Christ may be evident and effective in their community. Central to the Girrawheen Baptist Church story and its celebrations, is its long serving Pastor, Rex Gabrielson, and his wife Faye, who after 40 years continue to faithfully serve and provide stability, care and compassion to the Girrawheen community. “From a small beginning, under God’s providence, we have come to this point of time when we reflect with thankfulness and we can say with confidence ‘This far has the Lord helped us’ [1 Sam 7:12],” Girrawheen Baptist Church Secretary Pedro Cruz said. Rex was appointed as Worker Pastor at Girrawheen Baptist
Church on 28 April 1972. Prior to that he had received Theological training and pastored a Methodist Church in the Eastern States before returning to Western Australia. After completing a year of studies at the Baptist Theological College, Rex and Faye threw themselves wholeheartedly into the Yokine Outreach Work. “It soon became apparent to us through the increasing preaching assignments that here was a man within our own ranks, called of God, gifted and able to lead us,” Pedro said. On 14 October 1973, a full-time program of services commenced
with 14 members from Yokine Baptist Church, plus other supporters and inquirers. The group changed its name from the Balga Fellowship to the Girrawheen Fellowship, and was officially recognised by the Baptist Churches Western Australia in 1974. An initial three-year, fulltime term as pastor began on 1 August 1977, and became the forerunner of many renewal calls to Rex, showing the appreciation of his leadership from the Church’s members. The unbroken continuity of the leadership, together with other key personnel remaining in Office from the outset has reportedly provided the church with great stability and impetus. When asked about his longevity in ministry at Girrawheen, Rex said, “There
11 Celebrating Luther Reformation Day drew unexpected crowds in Germany >> was a very certain call that we were sure about in our coming to minister in Girrawheen. We weren’t planning on being here – ministry in Queensland was a very real possibility – but the Lord had other plans for us here in Girrawheen.” “A highlight for me was the small core of people who committed to the journey and held to the vision in the early days – this was wonderful. This vision has stayed over the years even as people have moved on. Our church has a passion to reach out to the people of Girrawheen,” Rex said. “The passion and vision was evident in the starting of Emmanuel Christian Community School and the impact of this vision has seen marvellous results.”
Building healthy churches. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Don’t tell me what to do! Australians are an independent bunch. If we see a tall poppy we get our knives out. We look with suspicion on those positions of authority.
Mike Bullard Mike Bullard is the Church and Leaders Pastor for the Baptist Churches Western Australia.
We like to be treated as individuals for who we are, make our own decisions, and don’t like being told what to do. Geert Hofstede is an internationally renowned sociologist. He measured the degree of individualism in a culture – the tendency to be independent and the desire to make your own decisions. Where does Australia rank among other nations on measures of individualism? Second only to the United States. That means, if you were born here, or if you’ve come
here and you like it, you’re probably a person who values individualism, and likes to feel free to make your own decisions in life. That’s part of Aussie culture. But, it’s an aspect of our culture that can hinder us from growing as disciples of Jesus. The New Testament assumes that the input of others is vital for our spiritual growth. It turns out, in following Jesus, we need others to speak into our lives, correct us, and guide us. Consider these verses … Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with
all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. [Colossians 3:16] It is Christ we proclaim as we admonish and wisely teach everyone, so that we may present everyone mature in the Messiah. [Colossians 1:28] As Aussies, we tend to back away from anyone who would want to admonish us. Are we as Aussies, then, too far gone down the track of individualism to ever grow as disciples?
I don’t think we are. Consider this: At half time in any sporting match, the players usually gather together and are spoken to by the coach. The coach will often raise their finger, point to the players, and admonish them to do better. And big, burly, fit athletes will sit and nod their heads, “Okay Coach, I’ll give it a try.” There we have it! Aussies, being admonished, and actually taking it in. There’s something in that image that can help us as disciples of Jesus. There are people we need to accept into our lives as coaches, who will admonish us. Our spiritual growth depends on it.
On birthdays and beginnings… I love writing for the December/January edition of the Advocate. It’s a bit of challenge, as some readers will devour the content of this column in December, others delaying the delight until January. “What’s the big deal?” you ask.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
Simply this. December readers expect me to be saying something about Christmas, January readers about the New Year. I’ll try and be all things to all people and say a bit about both… Christmas, 2017. Ponder the 2017. If you think your 42 years make you old, ask how you’d feel if it were your 2017th birthday. And spare a thought for whoever makes the birthday cake – finding room for 2017 candles could be a challenge. “Don’t be ridiculous,” you
say. “Jesus isn’t really 2017 years old. He died in his early thirties. Christmas is just a reminder of his birth.” True – but it’s not as though we’d still remember his birth if it hadn’t been for his resurrection. And that resurrection proclaims him as still very much alive — albeit in post resurrection form. So bring out those 2017 candles, and let the celebrations continue. Of course, blowing that many candles out might take you until the New Year.
Do you enter it with optimism, dread or a bit of both? Actually, the path ahead is never certain. Most years I’ve set myself worthy goals for the beckoning year. Recently I flicked back and looked at the hopes I had expressed each year for the last decade. Some have been met – many are simply a distant memory and seeing them again I asked myself incredulously “Did you ever really think that was going to
happen?” A few years had some completely unexpected things take place. We never really know what the future is going to hold – do we? Which is why I plan to hold on to some basic, forever valid, truths … Like, I know nothing about tomorrow except that God’s love will rise before the sun; and I also assuredly know that the risen Jesus will accompany me on each and every step of this year’s journey. So happy 2017th Jesus, and roll on 2018 …
Bad theology kills It’s a time for speeches, with plenty to remember from Donald Trump. His threat to destroy North Korea, the ridiculing of its leader as ‘Rocket Man’ and his insulting of Iran stick in the mind; but the most disturbing element for me was his division of the world into ‘the righteous many’, and ‘the wicked few’.
Rhidian Brook Author of The Aftermath, Rhidian Brook is an award winning novelist, screenwriter and broadcaster.
We’ve heard this kind of rhetoric before. A belief that life is a struggle between the forces of good and evil. It is often described as Manichean – and I think it brings dangers with it. Manicheism was a dualistic religious philosophy taught by the Iranian prophet Mani in the third century. It was rejected by orthodox Christianity as heresy. Yet it often surfaces in the fundamentalist extremes of
these faiths and can be used by those wanting to stir up a binary nationalist feeling by calling ‘them’ the bad people and ‘us’ the good. In my view, it’s not only bad theology, but it’s not what the gospel tells us about God, ourselves or the world. Whole people groups can’t be righteous any more than whole countries can be evil. The prophets constantly warned against thinking in these terms. Righteousness was not a birthright.
Righteousness is a tricky word. Marrying the concept of goodness to an idea of justification. It has something to do with right action – like seeking justice for the poor and the outcast – but it has nothing to do with where we come from Jesus tells a parable about a religious leader and a tax collector who went to a temple to pray. The former prayed about himself, thanking God that he was not
like those other ‘bad’ people, and pointing to his good deeds; but the tax collector, feeling unworthy, simply asked for God’s forgiveness. No prizes for guessing which one walked away justified before God. In a world of wild rhetoric and hot boasts we must listen carefully to hear what’s really being said. The words of the righteous have been described as being like ‘a fountain of life’ or ‘apples of gold’. Perhaps when anyone makes a speech claiming to be righteous we should check for the evidence of that life and look for its fruit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by the 10th of each month.
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Christmas candles Evangelicals don’t do bells and smells very well in church. We like lights and sound, but we generally use them to create ambiance not significance. Historically, many churches have brought out candles for Advent; the four-week season leading up to Christmas. Christmas has been more than a day. It culminates a season of theological reflection and preparation. Perhaps some of us thought the weeks leading up to Christmas were for planning gifts, outdoor displays and menus.
He comes not as a mere messenger but as the King, preparing to reclaim what was His from the very beginning.
On the first Sunday of Advent many congregations light a single purple candle. The candle radiates significance. The light calls us to remember how desperately we need light in the darkness of the world. It also signifies the Light of the world; Christ himself. The colour purple denotes the royalty of the coming Messiah. He comes not as a mere messenger but as the King, preparing to reclaim what was His from the very beginning.
The candle is called ‘The Prophecy Candle: The Candle of Hope.’ What have the past 11 months held for you? Pain, heartache, loss or disappointment? How has 2017 turned out for you? A great year? A tough year? Awe and wonder? Apathy and fear? The first Sunday in December begins with the powerful reminder that hundreds of years before Jesus Christ came, the prophets of Israel foretold the coming of the Messianic King. Despite their own tragedies and failures, those men of old believed that a gracious God would send a royal saviour to redeem and restore humanity. They held onto hope [Isaiah 9:2-7], grounded in God’s own promise. Many people need such a word of hope again today. Are you facing another Christmas alone? Anticipating the first Christmas as a broken family? Wondering how your broken heart can handle the season of ‘good cheer’? Bitter about the darkness that has wrapped you like a weighty cloak? Burdened by fear of the future? Perhaps this week, get a purple candle ‘The Candle of Hope’ and light it each evening for an hour; a spiritual discipline with a difference that can make a difference as you ponder the thrice coming of the King; the first time in Bethlehem, the second time in our hearts, and the third time for eternity. Lift up your heads. Be not afraid. Author - Pastor Mark Wilson
Baptists assemble On Saturday 28 October, 300 pastors, ministry leaders and church delegates attended the 2017 Baptist Churches Western Australia Annual Assembly held at Inglewood Community Church in Dianella. Baptist Churches Western Australia Church and Leaders Pastor Mike Bullard was the guest speaker and shared on the journey that non-believers make before giving their hearts to the Lord and of the discipleship passage that all believers should journey on. Director of Ministries Pastor Mark Wilson, along with the Accreditation Team, were pleased to be able to present ten pastors as Accredited Persons in ministry. Key decisions made by delegates on the day included the
appointment of members to the Unions Appeals Panel along with the reappointments of Dr Vanessa Chang and Bruce Watkins to the Union Council. “I am looking forward with passion and God’s guidance to the future as we continue to be an empowering movement helping pastors, ministries, churches and their communities say ‘Yes’ to Jesus,” Pastor Mark Wilson said.
Merry Christmas from the team at Baptistcare Wishing The Advocate readers a safe and blessed holiday season with family, friends and loved ones. Baptistcare is one of WA’s largest not-for-profit aged care and community services providers, supporting communities in metro and regional areas for 45 years. Residential Care | At Home Services | Disability Services | Retirement Living
1300 660 640
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This Christmas, Baptist World Aid Australia is hoping that we can Be Hope to those people who are living without hope. The Be Hope appeal aims to fight poverty, hunger, sickness and despair by giving hope to those depressed and living without hope. People like Nepalese couple, Fulan and Kamta. Married as children at 11 and 13 respectively, life in Nepal was already very difficult for Fulan and Kamta. But when Kamta fell ill with tuberculosis, life got even harder. With her husband too sick to do anything but fight to stay alive, Fulan was left to fend on her own. Her family’s survival was entirely in her hands – literally. Fulan took to collecting grass and learned to make rope by hand. At first, the process would make the tender flesh of her palms so raw that she could make very little, but she persisted as she had no other option. “It was better to do something, rather than dying by starvation,” Fulan explained.
At Christmas, we reflect on the hope Jesus brings to the world ...
But no matter how hard she worked, Fulan could never sell enough ropes to feed her hungry family. “Many times we would go to bed without dinner.” For six years, this was the story of Fulan’s life. A sick husband and two young children – both with disabilities – to care for, unending hunger and a constant fight to stay alive. Fulan explained that she had no hope that things could ever get better and her heart was filled with despair. At Christmas, we reflect on the hope Jesus brings to the world and can share a small part of this hope with others. For Fulan and Kamta, hope means regular meals and full bellies for their family. Hope means buying clothes for their children, instead of watching them shiver in the cold. Hope means they can pay for medicine to cure tuberculosis, instead of more years of sickness. When she worked by hand, Fulan could only make 2kg of rope a day. The first day Fulan and Kamta used their new machine, this increased to 15kg of rope. “I feel very good, because of the machine we are able to get food, clothes and we have some savings as well!” Baptist World Aid is encouraging people to give generously and ‘Be Hope this Christmas’ to families like Fulan and Kamta’s. To give, visit baptistworldaid.org.au/be-hope
Photo: Baptist World Aid / Agnes Burrell
The power of hope
Fulan and her husband Kamta have been able to make a living income from making 15kg of rope each day.
Baptism springs from café
Robyn Losinski was baptised at the Golden Bay Beach on Sunday 8 October in obedience to God, whom she has been following for many years.
Pastor Joseph Chang has concluded as the Youth and Young Adults Pastor at Riverton Baptist Community Church. Pastor Garth Wootton is concluding as the Interim Pastor at Kununurra. Pastor Baren Van Heerden has been appointed as a Pastor at Beaumaris Baptist Church. Pastor Bruce Miller is concluding as the Associate Pastor at Gosnells Baptist Church and will be starting as the Pastoral Care Pastor at North Beach Baptist Church in the New Year. Pastors David and Kirsty Wager are concluding at Collie Baptist Church in 2018. Pastor Jason Hemsley has been appointed as the new Senior Pastor of Yokine Baptist Church.
BCWA Accreditation of Pastors On Saturday 28 October, the following pastors were recognised as being Accredited Persons in Ministry; Pastor Andrew Binns, Pastor Ann Clews, Pastor Bassam Abou Haidar, Pastor Ian Hewson, Pastor Daniel McGrechan, Pastor Grant Moore, Pastor Dinh Nguyen, Pastor Benjamin O’Reilly, Pastor Bradley Vigus and Pastor Kirsty Wager. Pastor Len van Aarde was presented to the Assembly having been accepted as an Accredited Person in Ministry through transfer of his Accreditation from South Africa.
Photo: Martyn Withnell
Keith Cowan emerges from the waters of baptism, assisted by his friend, Pastor Eliot Vlatko.
Two years ago, a group of people came together to transform a dormant building at Kalgoorlie Baptist Church into the Hope Café. Their vision was to create a place of acceptance and make a difference in the lives of people like Keith Cowan. Soon after launching, the café started being visited by a regular array of people from a variety of backgrounds.
“We first dreamed of, and prayed about, opening a ministry café where ordinary local community members would know that they are welcome,” Kalgoorlie Baptist Church Senior Pastor Eliot Vlatko said. “Thanks to our amazing team of volunteers who major on loving people, word soon spread that this was a place where you can find acceptance. Even local government mental health experts began to refer their clients to the Hope Café!” “I clearly remember first meeting Keith Cowan at the
Hope Café about two years ago. Our friendship developed over time, so when he decided to follow Jesus during Easter in 2017, I was so excited! In the months that followed, he joined the Life Group led by my wife Sandy and I. Keith has grown rapidly as a new believer.” “His baptism on 15 October was a day to celebrate how God has grabbed hold of Keith’s life, since he first walked in off the street and introduced himself.”
Making Christmas special “I just love being able to help and make a difference. If the residents are feeling down, I think about what I can do to brighten their day. I just love it,” Sue said. Christmas in particular is a day on which Sue makes an effort to work, as she believes it is important to be with the people she cares for throughout the year. For Sue, spending this time with the residents is like spending Christmas with family. “I work every single Christmas. It’s something I enjoy and put my name down for each year. I haven’t got a big family and my family doesn’t live nearby. So I just love coming in and being here for residents, especially those who don’t have a lot of family. The residents are lovely. We’re all like family to each other,” she explained. As one of the team working on Christmas Day, seeing the residents enjoy the day with good company, Christmas carols, a delicious meal of turkey and ham, and all the traditional trimmings, brings her joy. Celebrating with the residents and making sure
they feel loved and cared for on special occasions like Christmas, particularly those who are unable to spend them with family and friends, is an important way the team at Baptistcare help to reduce social isolation and loneliness. In light of Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt’s recent calls for more love and respect for older people amid claims as many as 40 percent of aged care residents do not receive visitors, this approach plays a crucial role in caring for our communities’ older generations. “You need to make it special. If the residents don’t have family or anyone else to make those special occasions special, it’s up to us to really make an effort and make sure they enjoy the day – that they’re happy and surrounded by people who care. It makes them light up. I just think it’s so important to bring them joy and make their Christmas special,” Sue said. Sue says her dedication to the people she cares for is shared by her colleagues. Ensuring each person feels valued and
Sue Owen has a heart for caring for older people and this Christmas Day she will choose to work at Baptistcare’s Gracewood Residential Care facility, so that she can be with the people she cares for throughout the year.
Baptistcare carer Sue Owen (left) with resident Pat
meaningfully connected to those around them is a priority for all staff and volunteers at the residential care facility.
Open day a huge success The annual Vose Open Day was held on Saturday 7 October and successfully brought together the local community, career exhibitors, families and future students. Throughout the day, more than 100 visitors came through the doors, some coming to check out the book sale and catch up with old friends, others opting to attend a mini-lecture or speaking
Photo: Sarah Prout
While the morning looked ominous and cold, the coffee van, live music, and vibrant community atmosphere brought warmth to the unseasonably cool spring morning.
Groundskeeper John Pim and Chaplain Chris Ellery at the annual Vose Open Day.
with Vose career advisors about future study options. “It was very encouraging to see the level of interest in studying at Vose; there are lots of gifted people open to God’s leading,” Vose Principal Brian Harris commented. Approximately 20 organisations exhibited in the Career Expo, connecting with current and future students about future employment opportunities. The day also featured outdoor lawn games, a cuddly animal farm and plenty of delicious food. Director of Vose Leadership Monica O’Neil gathered together with a few members of Vose alumni to plan for future engagement with the wider Vose community. “What I am excited about is seeing some investment from seasoned pastors and leaders into the next generation of people being trained for Gospel Ministry today,” said Vose alumnus Pastor Paul Quicke.
“I’m happy to be here and I know others feel the same. I hope I’m always able to be here and do what I do,” Sue said.
For more information about Baptistcare, please visit baptistcare.com.au.
Vose remembers Luther Vose Seminary commemorated the recent 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s reformation with a conference which aimed to highlight the significance of an event that changed the way we think, work and live. The Reformation had a profound impact on the Christian faith, and changed society as we know it and experience it today. The Vose Seminary conference revealed a number of little known facts. Did you know that Martin Luther wasn’t always called Martin Luther? Actually his name was Luder, but he changed it in 1517, drawing his new name from the Greek word eleutherius, which means ‘freedom’ or ‘the free one’. Luther’s name change was significant. He understood the gospel as a message of freedom in Christ, a message of the free grace of God that sets his people free – from sin and guilt, death and hell, fear and judgement. More than 40 people gathered to hear four papers presented by Brian Harris and Michael O’Neil (Vose Seminary), Peter Elliott (Perth Bible College) and Matthew Bishop
(Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Morley). Participant feedback was enthusiastic about the focus, content and quality of the papers. A first-time visitor to the Seminary expressed thanks for the invitation and said, “It was most enjoyable on a number of fronts.” Attendee Arthur Payne said it was a “memorable day” and that the clear talks “added to our knowledge of those momentous times”. Others expressed appreciation of the Seminary’s initiative in hosting the event, given there had been so little formal acknowledgement of the anniversary and its significance in Australian media and culture. The conference papers are available online in the Pacific Journal of Baptist Research November 2017 edition.
news DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Carey Baptist Church recently hosted a ‘Night on the Block’ at Carey Baptist College’s Forrestdale campus, with dads and children building memories together and enjoying time as a community. Carey Baptist Church’s Forrestdale campus Senior Pastor Mark Lilley shared that the Forrestdale church is “passionate about seeing the local community connect with church” through events like Night on the Block. “The evening creates an opportunity for the dads of Carey Baptist College Forrestdale to spend quality time with their children and other fathers,” Mark said.
Held on the school grounds, the night kicked off with Principal Nigel Wise leading a treasure hunt in the dark, aided by glow sticks and torches. Students participated in games including Tug-of-War and soccer with giant inflatable equipment. Volunteers from the church set up fire pits while chatting with dads and children as they cooked damper and roasted marshmallows together. According to Mark, the event comes out of the church’s vision to serve the community. “We host events, such as Night on the Block, to connect with and serve people in ways that will enable them to personally experience something of God’s love for them.” Carey Baptist College Forrestdale School Principal Nigel Wise welcomes and supports the
church involvement within the college. “This event is a wonderful opportunity for the church community to build relationships with the College’s community. As this is a dads and kids event, it is very important for our dads to spend meaningful time with their kids and also with other dads. At Carey, we value family and community and this underlines our commitment to both,” Nigel explained. Night on the Block is growing in popularity and the anticipation is building amongst the school families for future events. Carey Baptist College gave thanks to Pastor Mark Lilley and the Carey Forrestdale Church volunteers for hosting the families of the school.
Photo: Mark Wagenaar
Carey’s night on the block
Local fathers enjoyed quality time with their children and other fathers at Carey Baptist Church’s Night on the Block event.
Chaplain helps students see clearly
When Linda noticed one of her students wearing a pair of broken glasses, she knew she had to help. She approached her local OPSM store to ask if there was any way it could help cover the cost of new glasses. A member of the community paid for the glasses and the shop also provided a significant discount. Linda then organised for OPSM’s charity partner, OneSight, to come and provide free eye checks and glasses for students at
the school. The OneSight team is a made up of OPSM optometrists and employees who volunteer their time to help those in need. “The process was very easy, OneSight provided all the forms and information, which was sent out to all the families,” Linda said. “The students were required to return the form to attend the eye screening test.” The OneSight team completed 166 eye tests, with 63 staff and students receiving vouchers for ongoing checks and free glasses. Linda said the day was a great success for all, with OneSight indicating that this will be an ongoing service available to the Gilmore community.
The actions of Gilmore College Chaplain Linda Liddelow to help one of her students, has led to free eye checks and glasses for the Gilmore College community.
Author - Josh del Pino Gilmore College chaplain Linda Liddelow with OneSight Volunteers.
news DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
BCWA Christmas Events List Albany Baptist Church
Cornerstone Community Baptist Church
Lesmurdie Baptist Church
Carols Night 3 December Sausage sizzle at 5pm followed by Carols from 6pm.
Carols by Candlelight 9 December Pre-event starts at 4.30pm (face painting, camel rides, competitions). Main event starts at 7pm. Cooloongup Primary School, 21 Westerley Way, Cooloongup. Joint venture with Salvation Army and Deo Gloria Church.
Christmas at LBC 24 December Event from 9am. Service at 11am. 1 Varley Street, Lesmurdie. Join us for breakfast. The morning will also include pony rides and petting zoo, face painting and children’s craft activities.
Austin Cove Community Church Carols by the Canals 16 December Children’s entertainment from 6pm to 7pm. Carols from 7pm. Lucie Hunter Park, South Yunderup Road, South Yunderup. Free children’s entertainment: bouncy castle, face painting, mobile zoo and more. Sausage sizzle, coffee, and ice-cream available for purchase.
Beaumaris Community Baptist Church Carols in the Park 9 December Children’s events from 5.30pm. Carols from 6.30pm. Sir James McCusker Park, Iluka. The Carols in the Park is held in association with Ocean Reef High School’s various student bands and choir.
Bellevue Baptist Church Christmas Carols and Community BBQ 10 December Event commences 6.30pm. 35 Great Eastern Highway, Bellevue. Join us for a free community sausage sizzle at the church, followed by Christmas carols. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Busselton Baptist Church Christmas Carols Night 1 December Event commences 6.30pm. Cnr Queen Elizabeth Avenue and Recreation Lane, Busselton. All are welcome.
Carey Baptist Church Carols at Carey 10 December Community Festival with food and beverage trucks from 5.30pm. Carols begin at 7pm. Primary School Oval, Carey Baptist College - Harrisdale Campus, 51 Wright Road, Harrisdale. A great family atmosphere complete with farm animals, bouncy castles, face painting, kids craft zone and a variety of food available from food and beverage vendors.
Claremont Baptist Church Christmas Service 24 December Service commences 10am. 324A Stirling Highway, Claremont.
Coolbellup Campus – Mount Pleasant Baptist church Cooby Carols 16 December Event from 5.30 to 7.30pm. Hargreaves Park, Counsel Road, Coolbellup. Come and enjoy a family evening. Bring a picnic or enjoy a free sausage sizzle while singing Christmas carols in the park.
Maida Vale Baptist Church Dalkeith Baptist Church Family Open Air Carols 16 December Event commences 6pm. Dalkeith Baptist Church. 123 Waratah Avenue, Dalkeith. There will be singing of Christmas carols and hearing the Bible’s version of what Christmas is all about. There will be a sausage sizzle afterwards.
Denmark Baptist Church Christmas Carols at the Denmark Scouts Christmas Fair 16 December Fair event from 2pm to 7.30pm. Carols from 5pm to 6pm. Scout Hall, Brazier Street, Denmark. All of your family are invited to come to the Fair to help celebrate the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus Christ
Golden Bay Baptist Church Golden Bay Carols 16 December Family fun from 6pm. Carols from 7pm. Golden Bay Foreshore, cnr Dampier Drive and Marillana Drive, Golden Bay. A combined group of local churches getting together to share God’s good news with our community.
Inglewood Community Church Wonder 24 December Event commences 5pm. 10 Cleveland Street, Dianella. Festival with food truck, kids zone and live music. Carols together featuring Inglewood Collective.
Messy Christmas 16 December Event from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. 24 Edney Road, High Wycombe. Messy Church takes on a recycling theme for Christmas this year. Join us for family activities and tea together. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Beach Baptist Church Community Carols 17 December Funfair 4:30 to 7pm. Carols from 7pm. Charles Riley Oval, North Beach. Join us as we present The Christmas Cracker!
Scarborough Baptist Church Carols by Candlelight and Free Family Fun 10 December 4.30pm Scarborough Baptist Church – 158 Brighton Road, Scarborough. Come enjoy our petting zoo, face painting, balloon twisting, bouncy castle, dunk tank, sausage sizzle, ice cream and carols by candlelight. Totally free – all welcome.
Waratah Christian Community and Miracle Point Church Down to Earth, Port Bouvard Carols ‘17. #downtoearth 17 December Event from 5pm. Batavia Reserve, Wannanup. Carols ’17 is people coming together under the stars to join us as we celebrate Jesus coming … down to earth.
Lakeside Baptist Church
Yangebup Baptist Church
Christmas Eve Celebration 24 December Service from 5pm to 6pm. Cnr Bibra Dr and Farrington Rd, North Lake, Lakeside Recreation Centre. Join us for a high energy, modern take on the Christmas party! Let us celebrate the goodness of God shown in the gift of Jesus.
Yangebup Carols by Candlelight 2 December Activities and food from 5pm. Nativity and Carols at 7pm. Nicholson Reserve, Osprey Drive, Yangebup. Yangebup community groups and churches are staging the Yangebup Carols by Candlelight. An offering for the work of YouthCARE chaplains in local schools will be taken on the night.
Yokine Baptist Church Celebrating Christmas @ the Church with the Garden 17 December Event from 3:30 to 8pm. 50 Frape Ave, Yokine. This Christmas we want to share the Love of Jesus by engaging with our local community. There will be food, live music, adults and kids craft, community garden tours and much more.
feature DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Jesus Christ has made an indelible mark on human history and He continues to do so through His followers. Yet many people do not realise that the values western democracies are built on originate in the life and teaching of Jesus – the equality of all, servant leadership, care for the poor and marginalised, dignity of women and children, education, to name just a few.
Jesus the Game In 2018, Olive Tree Media will work with denominational and local church leaders across Australia for the Jesus the Game Changer National Campaign. This campaign is seeking to inspire and equip church leadership and attenders to focus on reaching people in their communities with the message of Jesus and will run in local churches for the six Sundays leading up to Easter 2018, from 25 February to Easter Sunday on 1 April. Jesus the Game Changer is a documentary-style series filmed in the UK, USA, India, Singapore and Australia. It contains 30 interviews of authors, researchers, Christian leaders and modern day game changers who explore how Jesus has influenced modern democratic nations. The series features people such as John Ortberg, Christine Caine, Rico Tice, Jossy Chacko, John Dickson, Paula Gooder and many others. The content of the series is balanced between historical information, cultural insights and retelling the stories of modern day game changers looking at topics including Jesus, equality, women and children, care, leadership, and forgiveness. Karl Faase, the well-known Australian Christian communicator, Baptist Pastor, leader and social commentator, leads Olive Tree Media and comments about the new series. “The primary method will be to invite people to join others to watch and discuss the Jesus the Game Changer series over six weeks. While every church and group will decide for themselves how to run the program, the model which will be encouraged is to invite people to a neutral venue, to share a meal, create relationships and discuss the series Jesus the Game Changer.” “Many churches are also focusing the theme of the Sunday service leading up to Easter on the topics of the campaign. The series will finish on Easter Sunday when churches will invite participants to attend Easter celebrations. Throughout the week of Easter, in groups and Easter celebrations, attenders will be challenged to respond to Jesus.” “The series of 28-minute episodes seeks to respond to the present attitude in western nations where Christian faith and belief is being removed from the public square. In this environment, where faith and belief is seen as a potentially negative influence, this series seeks to demonstrate the influence of the teachings of Jesus on the foundational values of our culture.” “We encourage as many churches as possible to take this opportunity to reach out to your communities with the message of Jesus. People are still open to hearing about Christ and are warm to the Christian faith. This campaign
gives you the opportunity to connect into your local community.” “Those churches involved in the campaign will have all the resources required. The episodes are on DVD or they can be streamed and a discussion guide for participants which is also available as a free app. There will be many other resources such as invitations, banners, children’s programs, PowerPoints, introductory videos and training videos for leaders, all available via the website free of charge for participating churches.” Well-known UK evangelist J. John reviewed the series recently and wrote on his blog the series is “… impeccably produced … The speakers are authoritative and communicate well; they are persuasive without being preachy, and neither dumbed down nor pompously academic.” “It would be easy to describe this resource as evangelistic or pre-evangelistic. It’s certainly that but it’s also more. It is an extraordinary and timely reminder of something that is increasingly widely overlooked: the values of our modern world that are universally upheld have not arisen by accident but are the fruit of the transforming power of the good news of Jesus. In doing so, this resource makes the point – essential in an age when religion of any sort is scorned – that Christianity is incredibly valuable. And although more implied than proclaimed, these videos carry a warning: suppress Christianity and don’t be surprised if its values and principles vanish.” “Its great strength is that it builds on precisely those values that our friends, neighbours and colleagues care for, and from them moves nearer to Christ. Alpha and Christianity Explored are wonderful resources for leading people who are interested in exploring Christianity to faith. The problem is that increasingly most people are even further back; they have little interest in exploring Christianity because they consider it irrelevant. By presenting a compelling case for seriously looking at the faith, Jesus the Game Changer alters that.” Churches across the Australia of all sizes are signing up to be part of the campaign. Two experienced leaders with significant churches, Pastors Brandon Chaplin and Nathan Harris are looking forward to their churches being involved. Brandon, Senior Pastor of Blackwood Hills Baptist in Adelaide, is excited by the prospect of being involved in the campaign, and said, “We have four congregations in three locations. Once a year we try and do something together, we are really excited about Jesus the Game Changer because it brings us all together with our Sunday services, content of sermons and what we do in our small groups.”
Senior Pastor of Bridgeman Baptist Community Church in Brisbane, Nick, said, “Bridgeman Baptist has signed up to this campaign and we will be using the series across our small groups and Sunday services. We are looking forward to using Jesus the Game Changer to have a gospel impact in our community.” Baptist Churches Western Australia Church Health and Leaders Pastor Mike Bullard is excited about local Baptist churches in Western Australia getting involved in the campaign. “We’re inviting churches to get on board and encouraging them to invite people from their community to explore Jesus and the impact he has had on history.” For more information and the chance to register your church for the campaign, visit olivetreemedia.com.au/ jesus-the-game-changer/
Changer goes national Who is this Man?
Senior Pastor at Menlo Church in California, John Ortberg, is interviewed by Karl as part of the series. In sharing about writing his book Who is this Man? with Karl, Ortberg commented that his experience of ministering in the bay area of California is that “many people have positive feelings about Jesus, but they know very little about him.” “When I started to talk about his impact on history, there was quite a sense of amazement. Most folks just don’t know what a different world we live in than we would have lived if there hadn’t been this guy called Jesus.” “His life and teaching simply drew people to follow him. He made history by starting in a humble place, in a spirit of love and acceptance, and allowing each person space to respond. His vision of life continues to haunt and challenge humanity. His influence has swept over history bringing inspiration to what has happened in art, science, government, medicine, and education; he has taught humans about dignity, compassion, forgiveness and hope.” “Even in death, Jesus’ influence is hard to escape. The practice of burial in graveyards or cemeteries was taken from his followers; cemetery itself comes from a Greek word meaning ‘sleeping place’. It expressed the hope of resurrection. If there is a tombstone, it will often have the date of birth and the date of death with a dash in between, the length of that human life measured by its distance from Jesus’ lifetime. In many cases, if a tombstone is unaffordable, a grave is marked with a cross, a reminder of Jesus’ death. To this day, if a cartoonist wants a shorthand way of referring to the afterlife, a simple sketch of Saint Peter in the clouds by a pearly gate will be understood. Whatever it did or did not do to his existence, death did not end Jesus’ influence. In many ways, it just started it.”
Mary Jo Sharp, a former atheist from the Pacific Northwest who thought religion was for the weak-minded, now an assistant professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University, and the author of the top-selling Bible study Why Do You Believe That? is also interviewed by Karl. She talks about her upbringing in a home that “valued the scientific endeavour and wasn’t steeped in the deep understanding of the Christian faith.” She discusses the significant impact that her high school band director had on her life and that his witness to her helped her through the tough questions that she was facing. “Is this all there is? Am I really just a collection of atoms in a vast and different universe?” Sharp shares with Karl the importance of knowing what you believe, the art of sharing your faith, and why you should be prepared to defend your faith as a follower of Christ.
10 news DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Leaders visit grieving church
Local pastors and field personnel with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) began providing grief counselling within hours of the shooting at First Baptist’s morning worship service on 5 November. Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Steve Gaines and SBC Executive Committee President Frank Page also arrived in Sutherland Springs on 7 November to offer prayer and encouragement. The North American Mission Board has offered to cover funeral expenses for all shooting victims in coordination with the SBTC. First Baptist Pastor Frank Pomeroy, who was out of town when the shooting occurred and whose 14 year old daughter Annabelle was among the dead, told reporters the church’s tragedy will exalt Christ. “Christ is the one who’s going to be lifted up. That’s what I’m telling everybody.
Photo: Screen capture from CNN
Southern Baptists ministering in the wake of what some have called the deadliest church shooting in the United States history say they have witnessed ‘God at work’ despite the 26 dead and some 20 others wounded at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
The 14 year old daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor was among at least two dozen people killed when an armed man opened fire during worship services at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
You lean into what you don’t understand. You lean into the Lord ... Whatever life brings to you, lean on the Lord rather than your own understanding. I don’t understand, but I know my God does. And that’s where I’ll leave that,” Frank said. Pomeroy’s wife Sherri, who also was out of town during the shooting, expressed thanks for the love she has received from
friends, community members and even strangers. She commented, “As much tragedy as Annabelle’s death entails for our family, we don’t want to overshadow the other lives lost yesterday.” “We lost more than Belle yesterday,” Sherri Pomeroy said. “One thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she
loved fiercely, and vice versa. Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family. We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together and worshiped together.” “Now most of our church family is gone, our building probably beyond repair and the few of us that are left behind lost tragically yesterday.”
“Please don’t forget Sutherland Springs,” Sherri said. Article first published by baptistpress.com and republished with kind permission.
Congress’ prayer tradition upheld The constitutionality of legislative prayer gained reaffirmation on 11 October when a federal court dismissed an atheist’s challenge of the United States House of Representatives’ right to bar him from delivering an invocation. Ronnie Floyd, President of the National Day of Prayer and former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press he is thankful the judge upheld the prayer tradition in Congress. “The freedom of religion should exist in every corner of American life, including when Congress meets in session,” Ronnie said. “We are a nation built upon the strong commitment, ‘In God We Trust’.” “There is no greater need in this nation than for all of us to pray. I am convinced we must do all we can to mobilise unified public prayer for America. First published in baptistpress.com and republished with kind permission.
Photo: World Watch Monitor
Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer of the District of Columbia said United States Supreme Court precedent undergirds the long tradition of prayer to open congressional sessions and the House’s rules in carrying out the practice. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Southern Baptist and evangelical prayer leader, expressed gratitude for the decision. Paul said he is grateful the House “can continue to begin its work each day as we have for centuries: taking a moment to pray to God.” “Recently, especially following the return of Majority Whip Steve Scalise [who was critically injured by a gunman in June], this institution has been reminded about the power of prayer.”
The United States Capitol building remains a house of prayer.
news 11 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Christians support Rohingya love your English neighbour. He said love your neighbour, period,” Mr Gidoomal said. “Whatever ethnicity, whatever religion, we must love them. Unless we demonstrate that love, without restriction, we betray our Christian faith,” he added. As foreign NGOs are no longer permitted to provide aid in Myanmar, aid organisations such as World Vision have asked permissions to provide emergency assistance to Rohingya in neighbouring Bangladesh, starting with food aid. Other Bangladeshi Christian groups are seeking to help the minority by demonstrating for their cause, offering shelter and food, and providing medical support in refugee camps. More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in less than a month following a military crackdown in Rohingya villages. Myanmar’s security forces had allegedly burned down thousands of Rohingya homes in reaction to a series of attacks by Rohingya militants in August. The militant group emerged in October last year, playing a strong part in the region’s increased state of violence. Previously, the Rohingya had been considered a mostly peaceful people group, despite years of persecution.
Members of the Rohingya minority in Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmar.
Crowds celebrate Luther
Author - Ramona Őtting Photo: Evangelische Kirche Hessen-Nassau, Twitter
According to Amnesty International, at least 430,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar (former Burma) to escape targeted violence. Considered one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, the Rohingya have been facing severe violence, torture and discrimination for many years. “We urge the Myanmar government to stop these atrocities on an immediate basis,” Chaudhry Amon Emmanuel, a Pakistani Christian social activist, said in an interview with Christians in Pakistan. Dozens of Pakistani Christians met in front of the National Press Club in Karachi in September to protest against Myanmar’s treatment of the predominantly Muslim minority. They condemned Myanmar’s government and military for carrying out severe human right abuses and stripping the Rohingya of their citizenship. “Our Christian leadership and community stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters in Rohingya. Our prayers are with them in this difficult time,” Pakistani Christian politician Asiya Nasir said at a meeting of Christian leaders in Islamabad. Ram Gidoomal, chairman of the Christian charity South Asian Concern, told Premier Christianity that all Christians should be concerned about what’s happening to the Rohingya. “Jesus said love your neighbour. He did not say love your Christian neighbour, or
Photo: Sk Hasan Ali / Shutterstock
Christians in Bangladesh and Pakistan are advocating for the Rohingya people, a muslim minority in Myanmar, to show their support for another persecuted minority in Asia.
Many visitors waited in line to enter the service at St. Catherine’s Church in Oppenheim, Germany.
Reformation Day drew unexpectedly large crowds into church services in Germany with thousands of visitors waiting in line to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing his 95 theses onto a church door in Wittenberg. Contrary to the general drop of church visitor numbers in many churches across Germany, some visitors missed out on a seat in church on 31 October. In Wiesbaden, a church community set up an outdoor marque with live-streaming as all 1,700 seats in the main
church building were taken. Some churches ran two services back-to-back to accomodate all visitors. “It was like Christmas and Easter combined,” said a spokesman for the Protestant Church in Hesse-Nassau, adding that almost nobody had expected
such large crowds for the Reformation Day services. The German government had made Reformation Day a one-off national public holiday this year, to celebrate the special anniversary. Author - Ramona Őtting
12 in conversation DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Life in Tennessee Brett Mabury, previous Worship Arts Pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and Head of Arts at Mount Pleasant College, moved from Perth to Tennessee in 2013 to become the Worship Arts Pastor at Journey Church. Caitlin Quartermaine recently caught up with him to talk about his Christian faith and life in Tennessee. How did you become interested in music and what led you to pursue it as a career? One of my earliest memories was sitting with my twin brother, Paul, under my Dad’s Rhodes piano. We were pretending it was a spaceship while Dad was overseeing a sound check. He was the Music Director of the Jesus People Big Band. After getting everyone’s attention, he counted in the band and I was taken to another place. Trumpets, trombones, woodwinds and rhythm section belted out Star Wars with a disco flavour – it was the seventies after all. I was three-years-old and as this blanket of sound enveloped me it somehow got inside my heart. My grandma taught Paul and I piano from six years of age, and at 13 Paul started learning drums and I took up saxophone. Upon finishing high school, I ended up doing a science degree and worked in the health field, but I still had a musical outlet with a band called The Jive Express. When I was 25, there was a night I sat motionless in my chair as the church service at Mount Pleasant Baptist finished. I was convicted of not developing the musical gift God had given me. In that moment I committed to make a change and all I could think to do was get saxophone lessons and start practising again. Little did I know, this would lead to an audition at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts just three months later. Miraculously, I was accepted into the program. I then spent the next seven years at school attaining a Bachelor of Music (Jazz) in Composition and Arranging with first class honours, and a Master of Art (Creative Arts). You moved to Tennessee in 2013. Are there any key differences you have noticed about Christianity and the church compared to your experience in Australia? I can see why it has been called the Bible belt. As I drive in my car I can choose from multiple Christian radio stations, two of which have nonstop sermons throughout the day. There are church buildings on every corner. If someone hasn’t had a traditional church attendance growing up they are usually from out of town. When eating in a restaurant I commonly see people praying before a meal. In coffee shops I often see church
leaders and business people meeting to plan for the next event, album, book, website, app or some kind of church resource. There is a huge machine that exists here to serve the church around the world. As I’ve gotten to know the personal stories of my Nashville friends, I’ve discovered there to be both great beauty and deep pain attached to this picture. Tell me about your role at Journey Church in Tennessee and what this involves. For the first three years, I largely looked after all the creative elements that happen in our different gatherings – our kids, teenagers and the Sunday services. As you can imagine, the talent that exists in Nashville is incredible. We have hundreds of artists moving to this city every month with a dream in their heart. The challenges for those that ‘make it’ – and those that don’t – are very real. As a result, most artists have talked to me about navigating these challenges. These conversations led to me starting the Journey Arts Collective. The purpose of this ministry is to build a community of artists and aspiring artists who support each other in their art and story journey. Wherever we gather, our focus is on what and who is forming us, the creative endeavors we are embracing, and how we’re serving together as we live out our God-designed life. The Arts Collective has become the focus of my role at Journey Church. You have recently returned from leading a team from Journey Arts Collective on a pilgrimage to Europe. How was this experience and do you have any key takeaways? I take artists to Paris, Lausanne and Florence to spend time with God, meet with local artists and create. I have different readings, reflections, questions and exercises for the group as we travel. It’s the second trip like this that I’ve led. I’ve seen God using the most unexpected art pieces and moments to speak and shape us as we travel. I will never fit God into my paradigm. His ways are higher than mine. I see God using artistry to impact the lives and culture around us, but we mustn’t limit this to our lifetime. We create
for His glory and leave the outworking of that to Him. I experience the temptation to try and control what I have organised, rather than trust the sovereignty of God. It is often these unexpected, challenging moments that most profoundly reveal the content of our hearts, allowing us to see what God is going to heal. You have also been involved in some exciting projects since moving to Tennessee, including Believe: The Movie and Brian and Jenn Johnson from Bethel Music’s After All These Years. Tell me about your involvement and highlights from these experiences. It has been amazing. On the movie, I got to work on the score, co-write a couple of melodies that were used throughout the film, and I orchestrated a couple of scenes. I also co-wrote two songs for the soundtrack and helped on set for two of the bigger scenes in the movie. With the Bethel album, I wrote all of the strings and conducted the section when recording at Blackbird Studios. In both cases, the highlight was the people. On the Believe film I saw a production team come together that I am still working with, and
on the Bethel project I got to work with my twin Paul and a close friend Jason Ingram. Sitting in the studio having those amazing string players perform the notes I penned was a taste of heaven. A moment of doing something I was made by God to do. How has your Christian faith impacted your career? I’ve learned being faithful to God in what he places before me on a given day will lead to the next thing God has for me. Just like David fought the animals before he fought Goliath. I don’t have to try and take it. I still plan for the future, but I do so with this awareness. As an example, in 2015 I wrote parts for a string trio to play at Journey on a Sunday because I wanted to encourage a young violinist and create more diversity in the musical worship expression of our church. I didn’t know it, but Jason was sitting in the gathering that day listening to those parts. A year later he called me to do the Bethel album. What do you do to maintain your own personal health, spirituality and wellbeing? I try to do this by creating space for God in my life, and for
what I believe he is speaking to me to be worked out in community. Creating space with God is extremely diverse for me and includes music, prayer, meditation, film, art, books, exercise and nature. Whatever the experience, it is always grounded in the bible. My primary community is my wife and four children. I also have a small group that I’m a part of and different mentors that I meet with regularly. Here I’m able to laugh, cry, celebrate and confess my brokenness, experiencing God’s healing. What is on the horizon for you? Definitely time with my family. My children are nine, seven, three years and two months old, so this is a special season. The Journey Arts Collective is looking to start developing a studio space for artists to work through the week. Connected to this, we will be starting different learning experiences for the next generation of artists. I’m also writing some of my own music and I hope to get this released next year.
growth 13 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Don’t give up your day dream There are points in life where anything feels possible and the dreams on our heart seem tangible and alive with hope. Then there are seasons where talking about dreams feels like one big cliché and our heart is weighed down with discouragement.
Stay encouraged To pursue the dreams on our life takes a huge amount of courage. Discouragement literally takes away our courage, and therefore our ability to see our dreams become a reality. Staying encouraged then, or filled with courage, is crucial as we go after our dreams. To stay encouraged, intentionality is key. We cannot expect it to just come our way and feel sorry for ourselves when it doesn’t. By pursuing and engaging with God and community, we should never be short of encouragement. Are you feeling weary and discouraged, disheartened at how far from living out your dreams you seem? Talk to God about it. Wait on him until you hear what he has to say. Get in the Bible until your heart is filled with encouragement again. His words always breathe life. Get around people who know the dreams on your heart, who see the treasures inside of you, and who won’t let you quit. I couldn’t list the amount of times the people around me have pulled me back from the brink of despair by speaking words of life to me, reminding me of who I am and filling me with courage to keep going. You can’t put a value on friends like that. Grow where you are The reality is, when we have a dream, there is always a process to its fulfilment. And often it is a longer, more convoluted process than we expect. Rarely, if ever, does life go the way we imagined. And guess what? We aren’t ever going to reach a place where we feel like we’ve ‘made it’. There is always going to be more to go after. Our dreams will expand and countless facets of our lives will open up requiring more growth. Sometimes in life there’s a strong temptation to check out from where we are because it feels like an ‘in between’ stage,
before we get to the ‘good part’. But God calls us to grow wherever we are, to engage fully in each moment, and to invest in the people around us wherever we find ourselves. Even when it seems a thousand miles away from what is burning on our hearts to do. Every single season of life we find ourselves in has purpose, whether or not we can see what it is. God’s way of preparing us for what’s ahead is almost never what we would expect and often appears quite obscure, but it’s only God who knows exactly what we need for a future only he can see. Will you choose to trust him through the process? Lean into him, grab hold of the peace he freely gives, don’t throw away your dream and embrace where he has you. His timing is perfect and his plans for you are much better than you could imagine. Take the focus off yourself You know those times where it feels like all your friends’ wildest dreams are coming true at once, and you’re the only one 50 steps behind? And as much as you want to celebrate with them, your heart is grieving and discouragement and self-pity begin to creep their way in? These are times we need to tell ourselves, ‘Stop it!’, and get out of our self-absorbed world – while of course acknowledging what our heart is feeling and bringing it to God. And the quickest way out of self-pity and discouragement? Go and be a blessing to someone else. Wherever we are, however much our heart is longing for unfulfilled desires, we should never stop being an encouragement to others. God didn’t give us dreams so we could become self-absorbed and wrapped up in trying to make them happen. In fact, he made it so without others, the fulfilment of our dreams and destinies wouldn’t be possible. So if you’re feeling 10,000 miles away from your dreams, go and encourage somebody else. You’ll be surprised how much your own heart will come alive again with purpose and hope. And may we never forget it’s God who gives us dreams. The dreams in our heart and the destiny we passionately want to fulfil, are ultimately for his glory, not our own. Knowing
If we let it, discouragement will steal away our dreams, our passion and our drive to move into all God has called us to and gifted us for. It will keep us small and hold us back from the extraordinary. No one is immune from facing discouragement, but the good news is we don’t have to let it take us out or snuff out our dreams. How should we respond then, when we find ourselves battling it?
this not only takes the focus off ourselves and puts it back onto him, it also takes the pressure off us having to strive to make things happen. It is only by his grace. And when we’re operating by his grace, things happen with a lot more ease! So there you go. Go and kick discouragement in the face and never stop dreaming. Keep on
keeping on, and as Heidi Baker said, “If you don’t quit, you win.” Author - Bonnie Dowie Bonnie loves all things oldfashioned, exploring new places, coffee with friends and being with her family. She is passionate about broken hearts and relationships being
restored through the power of vulnerability and honesty with God and others. Bonnie has a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies and a Master of International Public Health, and hopes to work in developing countries one day.
14 news DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
Carols and kindness at Carey Carey Baptist Church will host its popular and much-anticipated annual Carols@Carey event again this year.
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Matt Chapman Andrew Sculthorpe Caitlin Quartermaine Vanessa Klomp Peter Ion Sally Phu Sally Phu 5th of each month
and community, and join in the celebration of the birth of our Saviour through song.” Carey Baptist Church will be using the hashtag #iakindness on Instagram in the lead up to the event to spread the message of kindness that Christmas brings. For more details about the Carols@Carey event, visit church.carey.asn.au
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There is an amazing standard of production, accompanied by a really lovely community atmosphere with lots of children, families, young and old members of the community getting into the Christmas spirit ...
Carey Baptist Church will host its annual Carols@Carey event on Sunday 10 December.
Chelsea Cullen returns Chelsea Cullen will return with the release of her latest single, On This Rock, this December. The single will launch on Thursday 7 December at Bar Four5Nine. Chelsea will be supported by singer/songwriter and producer Sam Wylde, Annika Moses and eight piece accapella group, Darling. Chelsea released her first single, Truth, in May. In review of Chelsea’s first single, Music Director of triple j Unearthed, Dave Ruby Howe said, “Get ready for a powerhouse voice”. Chelsea has spent the past year writing and producing her upcoming EP, which is due to be released early next year. Many of these songs will feature at her upcoming single launch. Chelsea has several years of performing experience at a variety of shows, from intimate solo shows at The Ellington Jazz
Photo: Chelsea Cullen
Held on 10 December, the event will include a variety of food vendors as well as entertainment for all the family before the Carols event begins. The evening will begin with a festival event, including bouncy castles, face painting, kids’ craft, an animal farm and pony rides, as well as an array of food trucks and beverage vendors. “It is a wonderful community event. The brass band is amazing and the choir and soloists are so talented. There is an amazing standard of production, accompanied by a really lovely community atmosphere with lots of children, families, young and old members of the community getting into the Christmas spirit,” said event organiser Miranda Miller. Every year, Carey Baptist Church chooses a theme to centre Carols@Carey around. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Intentional Act of Kindness’. “With random acts of kindness being a bit of a buzzphrase these days, we thought we would direct people to the one intentional act of kindness that changed the course of history.” Carey Baptist Church holds its Carols evening as a way of serving its surrounding and wider communities, with more than 2,000 people expected to attend. “Everyone is welcome to come along for a night of fun
Chelsea Cullen will launch her second single on 7 December at Bar Four5Nine.
Club to performing with big names such as Lior and Fatai. Chelsea also has experience in worship and gospel music as the worship leader at Dalkeith Road Church of Christ.
For more information or to listen to Chelsea’s music, visit chelseacullen.com.
intermission 15 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
watch A minute with ...
Wish for Christmas Many parents might hope their child will share their values and convictions, but this is not always the case. Wish for Christmas is a story of a girl’s choice that turns her world upside down as well as those around her. She sees just what impact her parent’s faith has on every facet of their lives when she wishes away their faith in God. The story follows her journey from selfishness to faith, where God allows her to make a bad choice and endure the consequences, while continuing to look after her.
Alecia West – Volunteer Coordinator for Leavers Green Team and member of Beaumaris Baptist Church. You keep on coming back each year to serve at Leavers, what drives you to make this commitment? Every year over 6,000 leavers attend and they are so grateful that there were people out there who care enough to volunteer for a week to keep them safe. Not only that, the Leavers Green Team becomes an extended family. You make friends for life.
What is a feature of the team you are a part of that you’d like to share? Our older volunteers. When I first started in 2008 there were lots of young adults that volunteer. Over the years, I have seen parents and even grandparents want to come and be a part of the Green Team. Their love, compassion and energy to serve their community is inspiring.
Beautiful Word for Christmas Mary Demuth Beautiful Word for Christmas is a devotional book for women filled with bright bible passages illustrated in full colour. The book contains a devotion for each day focused on Christmas to help readers find joy and peace through the sometimes busy and stressful season. With the pages brightly coloured and every one different, the book offers readers an opportunity to read an age-old story in a new and inspiring way.
When you think of the young people you serve at Leavers, how would you describe them? They are fun, energetic, enthusiastic and grateful. What do you think God has been trying to say to you lately? God has been placing on my heart a greater passion for our volunteers. Without our 125 volunteers each year, we wouldn’t be able to serve the community. This has encouraged me to seek how we can better support our volunteers – even if it means me taking a tray of vanilla slice to them! What is the most important ‘nuts and bolts’ lesson that you can give me? What you do is important no matter who you are. Leavers is an incredible place to challenge yourself and maybe find something in you that you didn’t know you had in you. Do you have a plan to intentionally develop yourself as a leader? I never set out to be a leader, I just love to serve and use my gifts. Through opportunities to help, I have had people along the way help me develop my skill sets. Without other leaders alongside me, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess? Every leader needs to have a passion and dedication, not just on the project they are working on, but also for their team. I love seeing the volunteers get excited and talking passionately about Leavers to potential new volunteers.
This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – DEC/JAN 2018
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16 sport DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018
It’s about family
More precisely you need families. While I do not have family playing alongside me, many of my friends at my club do. Brothers, cousins, uncles and of course mothers, sisters and aunties all contribute to a good club. Many attend matches, assist at functions, hold office, or even presidency. Yet the dominant family relation at any cricket club is most often fathers and sons. What is the pinnacle of a father’s cricketing life? Playing alongside your sons. Though let us not pass over fathers and daughters or even mothers and sons. Playing a game of cricket with your progeny is a great honour for all parents. Inducting a child into an adult pastime in the form of sport is possibly the closest to initiation AngloAustralia gets. At a young age, many sons begin playing as substitute fielders out on the boundary. Far out on the boundary. Safe enough for Mum not to freak out. Close enough for the son to patrol the boundary and be a part of Dad’s game. Though, being on the field creates the possibility of proud Dad moments. I remember a game where one young son was fielding on the long off boundary. The ball was hit into the air in his direction. Many days in the backyard and junior games came to the fore. Small hands were raised for the high skied ball. Dad, the wicket keeper, inhaled shallowly. We all held our breath
Photo: Pixabay/Lisa Hunt
Playing cricket is a team and individual game. To win you need the team. To play well all you need is to win for yourself. To be a cricketer you merely have to play. To have a club you need family.
Cricket – the ultimate family sport?
as the ball descended towards young small hands. And we all winced at the missed opportunity of a first catch. We all ran to him immediately after. Cheers all round. Even from the batsman who noted, as we all did, that the boy did not shy away from the rather hard cricket ball. Meanwhile a proud Dad checked that there were no broken fingers for Mum to find. Of course times are changing and there are positives and negatives. Negatives come in the lack of time for sporting activities. Many parents have to work on the weekend. At most games
there is always one person who arrives late. Or worse, has to leave early. Our working culture today is a long way from the 38 hour working week. Positives come in the form of the possibilities with fathers and daughters. Though it is very rare to play against women in senior men’s competitions, it does happen. Now with the growth of women’s and girl’s teams there will surely be in the future opportunity for fathers and mothers to share the same proud moments. These moments are the ones that reinforce the family aspects of a cricket club.
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They are in my view more important than winning premierships, because they speak beyond the individual and even beyond the club. There is a difference between winning as an individual and winning as a team. And that is what team sport teaches at its best. As a team, as a club, dare I say as a church, we are better when we share in success and failures. We are able to commiserate and find solace with each other in defeat. In victory we are able to share even when we are not as effective as others. Proud Dad moments are there to show us how it should be. It is not win at
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all costs as the relational cost is too high. Author - Phillip Hall Phillip Hall plays suburban cricket in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs. When he is not playing cricket, Phillip studies at the University of Divinity and is working on a postgraduate degree in Theology.
The Advocate - December 2017/January 2018