IN CONVERSATION Mark Wilson talks about ten years as the Director of Ministries with Baptist Churches Western Australia. PAGE 12 >>
“What I feel Jesus is teaching me in my spiritual walk.” SIMONE FIELD PAGE 13>>
4 Is God relevant? Youth seek answers to deep faith questions at Mount Pleasant event >>
Photo: Craig Yeomans
6 Playgroup for all Intergenerational playgroup launched at Mundaring residential care facility >>
Cyclone Debbie ripped through communities in south-eastern Queensland and northern NSW in April.
8 Leaving well
Caitlin du Toit
Communities continue to clean-up across southeastern Queensland and northern NSW after the chaos left behind by Cyclone Debbie in April. Whitsunday Baptist Church have witnessed the devastation in the community and have been active in assisting with clean-up, support and repair. “People are still coming to terms with the damage. While everything is tidy now, there are still reminders of the cyclone everywhere,” Whitsunday Baptist Church Pastor Craig Yeomans said. “We live in an idyllic tropical environment, which has been stripped bare and feels like a landscape more akin to land destroyed by fire, but without the charred blackness,” Craig explained. Home of Whitsunday Baptist Church’s services, the PCYC,
requires reroofing and extensive interior renovations due to significant damage caused by water pouring into the building. “We expect repairs to the PCYC will take at least six months.” “In the meantime, we are looking for an alternative location to worship, but the damages to civic buildings has also placed a premium on large meeting spaces and commercial sites,” Craig said. Churches, community groups and individuals have come together to clean-up and support local families and businesses. The cyclone has left mixed feelings in the community, however many are optimistic about the future.
“God remains sovereign and we live in the wake of His providence,” he said. “Whatever happens to us in the midst of a cyclone, whether we suffer material loss, injury or even death, nothing can separate us from the love of God. His presence remains with us always.” “I am sensing that the people of our congregation are grateful God has spared all the lives of the people in our community.” “We have experienced hardship, but not tragedy. He has sustained us and we are looking forward to what He will bring out of this.” Whitsunday Baptist Church launched a hamper project immediately after the cyclone hit. Truckloads of donated food, other necessities and gift cards have been distributed through organisations, such as Australian Red Cross and The Salvation Army. This met an immediate need, but there is concern that the abundance of resources has started to wind down.
“The real needs are starting to surface. There are people who have lost work and possessions. They will need help to get back on track,” Craig said. “We anticipate that this need will become quite large in the near future.” “We need people to stand with us in prayer. The Whitsunday Region is a spiritually oppressed region and a natural disaster exacerbates human need.” “We are praying for spiritual breakthrough in the lives of many people.” Whitsunday Baptist Church are aiming to raise $10,000 towards ongoing and strategic ministry to the community by providing for genuine needs and support to individuals. “We long to bring people to a place in which they discover the real, living Jesus.” For more information, visit www.wbc.org.au/debbie
How to manage leaving well – jobs, relationships or commitments >>
Generous hearts committed to building the Kingdom of God. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view MAY 2017
Could this be God? Dr Brian Harris, regular contributor to The Advocate newspaper for over a decade with his monthly My View column has recently combined his column pieces into a new publication – Could this be God? In a series of pithy, poignant and profound readings, this book explores the intersection of faith and life. Spotting parables in the everyday, Brian’s aim is to equip readers to explore whether they might be bumping into God without realising it. Heartening and often humorous, it applies biblical truth in a way that both fascinates and liberates. Sheridan Voysey, speaker, broadcaster and author commented that “Brian Harris shows us that life’s seemingly insignificant moments really do
matter. Why? Because God can be found in them. Written with grace, cheer and deep reflection, Could this be God? is a delightful read that will bring inspiration each day.” Derek Tidball, former Principal of London Bible College, and current visiting Scholar at Spurgeon’s College, London said, “I couldn’t stop smiling as I read this wonderful book. Don’t mistake its light touch, practical stance and humorous style for shallowness. It conveys great spiritual wisdom.”
Brian has served as the Principal of Vose Seminary since the start of 2004. ‘A period during which the seminary has seen rapid growth and development’ according to Baptist Churches Western Australia Council Chairman Bruce Watkins. Brian is also the Pastor at Large for Carey Baptist Church and its associated ministries. He is well known for his preaching, teaching and writing ability, as well as for his insightful understanding of the Christian church, an insight which sees
him serve on the boards of numerous church, educational and mission organisations throughout Perth and Australia. He has written several books, including one on leadership, The Tortoise Usually Wins: Biblical Reflections on Quiet Leadership for Reluctant Leaders, another on Christian worldview The Big Picture: Building Blocks for a Christian World View, and in April 2016 Paternoster released, When Faith Turns Ugly: Understanding Toxic Faith and How to Avoid It. For more information and to purchase, Could This be God? and Brian’s other publications, visit www.brianharrisauthor.com
On 10 years of Advocate articles I don’t know if it’s come across your radar, but recently British publisher The Bible Reading Fellowship collated my last ten years of The Advocate articles in a book Could this be God? Bumping into God in the Everyday.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
Naturally I’m delighted this column is now being read by a global audience. Okay – I’m not going to pretend that J K Rowling or Stephen King are trembling that my book will outsell theirs, but the publishers assure me it is doing well, and have asked me to write another. So what thoughts do I have on writing Advocate articles for over ten years? Observation 1: A decade ago each column was 500 words.
Now it’s 350. People simply read less, and in a Twitter age, you’ve got to get your message across fast. It’s disappointing for those who love adjectives and adverbs, but there it is. The word count forbids elaboration, pithy points being the order of the day. Point 2: While some remember what I say in the column, it’s my photograph that attracts the attention of others. When visiting a church
I won’t name, one elderly and presumably senile saint said, “Goodness, you’re even uglier than your picture!” Comment 3: Sometimes words make a difference. If you ask why I write, it is because readers have shared that the column has touched their lives. Some stories have been hauntingly poignant. The writer of Proverbs 15:23 enthuses, ‘A word spoken in due season, how good it is.’ Indeed. And you
are never sure what that word will be. While I try to write with a light and humorous touch (lest you hadn’t noticed), the underlying themes are serious. Abraham Lincoln once wrote: ‘With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.’ A smile can open us up to new possibilities and hopefulness. If that’s why I write, why do you read? For a decade I’ve been writing with the hope that once in a while this column will cause you to pause and ask “Could this be God?” For God sometimes speaks at unexpected times …
Praying with simplicity I like to process. I’ll never go into a meeting without well thought-out dot points ready for discussion and I’ll never approach a conflict without a well-rationalised argument prepared. I’ve recently come to the realisation that I approach prayer in the same way.
Shelby O’Reilly Shelby O’Reilly is a Chaplain with YouthCARE and Carey Baptist College.
Before praying, I’ll have done a considerable amount of pondering, thinking and considering. I bring so much cognition into the process, that by the time I get to God, I’ve usually got it all sorted. By the time my prayer gets to God I have no urgency for Him to respond, as I’ve already got it all figured out. For the children I work alongside, things are so simple. When I meet with a child, they
never bring a perfect list of points that they’d like to share. They just bring their true selves, full of honesty and raw emotion. When it comes to a child’s development, they are still learning how to process and rationalise. At work, students are sent to me because they don’t have the tools needed to regulate their emotions, which have resulted in them making negative choices. I had once considered their inability
to cognitively process things as a limitation until one day I heard a child’s prayer: “Dear God, I’m feeling sad. Please help.” How could a prayer this simple be so utterly profound? It’s natural, instinctive and instantaneous. The child didn’t stop to ponder the way they felt. They simply felt an emotion and turned to God in prayer. What would it look like to simply feel something and
immediately look to God? What could be benefited by offering Him our most raw and unrefined selves? I’m not saying cognition is negative. I merely wonder how much more prayer could be if God was brought into the emotion first, and was then invited into the processing journey. It can be all too easy to become dismissive of our children, and feel frustrated with what we may consider to be their limitations. However, I’m discovering that if we opened ourselves more to the possibility – there is a lot to learn from children. After all, a student did just teach her school chaplain how to pray.
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.
On Friday 17 March, 575 youth seeking answers to deep faith questions gathered at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Youth Pastor Michael Yoo and his Amp Youth team coordinated a festival with plenty of variety to begin the night. Various inflatable obstacles, sports, video games, food vans and more had the youth meeting new people and having great fun together. “We kicked off the celebration with a great time of praise and worship, where barriers were broken down and hearts were opened and fixed on Christ” Michael said. Presenting answers to the faith questions was Queenslander Dan Paterson, a Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Apologist and Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Dan presented five ‘cut scenes’ of the Christian faith, each building a strong case for God’s relevance in a person’s life. The scenes included ‘Made in His Image’
(addressing creation), ‘Damaged by Evil’ (addressing sin), ‘Restored Us for Better’ (addressing salvation), ‘Sent to Heal’ (addressing purpose) and ‘Everything Set Right’ (addressing eternity). “Through great storytelling and brilliantly constructed phrases, Dan fully engaged with the ‘digital generation’s’ mindset and delivered the truth of the gospel in a non-judgemental yet uncompromisingly biblical way,” BCWA Next Generations Consultant Ed Devine said. “One could see the many youth pastors present scribbling notes for use in their ministries.” Dan’s message finished with him holding up a first century denarius coin. He recounted Jesus’ discussion with the Pharisees in Mark 12:17 in which Jesus said, ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.’ Dan’s follow-up
question was “Whose mark is upon you?” “There were responses to the powerful question from youth all around the room, some deciding for the first time to follow Jesus,” Ed shared. When asked earlier in the evening about the goal of his message, Dan responded that he will try to convince the youth that the story of Jesus is true. “In current culture many young people wouldn’t care if Jesus was real because they are confused about what it would mean for their lives if He was.” “To deal with their arguments and help them step into the Christian story to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ is tonight’s goal,” Dan said. The conversation was carried into Saturday’s ‘Reboot’ session for leaders, which provided the opportunity for in-depth and thought-provoking discussion. “‘Is God Relevant’ was a wonderful weekend that brought unity, stretched the mind, encouraged the soul and brought clarity to faith for many young people,” Ed concluded.
Photo: Ben Staer
Youth ask “Is God relevant?”
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Apologist and Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics Dan Paterson shares why he believes God is relevant.
Photo: David Griffith
National Volunteer Week Ian and Anne Howard enjoying the Global Interaction morning tea.
Over 80 friends of Global Interaction came to hear various speakers, including Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Pastor Mark Wilson and Global Interaction State Administrator Pam Gallagher, share details of their recent trips to Mozambique and Malawi in Africa, and Assam in India. Pam said there was a ‘buzz’ around the room as the participants listened to the speakers at the recent Friends of Global Interaction morning tea. Bunbury Baptist Church member Jeanette Cross was one of the participants that travelled a few hours to attend. “It was so great to hear all the wonderful information from our
fields. God is surely great and amazing,” she said. Closer to home, Morley Baptist Church Gillian Walker also attended. “I came because it is totally inspiring and relevant and it is what we need to hear,” she said.
8-14 May 2017
A big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers! Baptistcare volunteers provide valuable community interaction to ensure elderly members of our community stay connected to others.
Choose from a wide range of activities that match your interests and availability, including:
Looking for a way to make a difference and get involved in the community? Why not become a Baptistcare volunteer and help us enrich the lives of our aged care residents?
• Intergenerational playgroups
• Baptistcare Music Connection Program • Group activities – arts and craft, men’s group etc. • Sharing a hobby you enjoy – music, gardening etc. • Visiting with a pet • Chatting over a cup of tea.
Please contact us to find out more.
news MAY 2017
Lakeside’s 25 year journey Sunday 26 February was a significant day for Lakeside Baptist Church members as they celebrated 25 years of ministry in the local community with a special service.
Moreover, while it was a day to thank the many people who have been involved, it was a day to reflect and thank God.
Photo: Brooke Bourdon
Senior Pastor Anthony Palmieri said the service was an opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone who had played a role in the Lakeside story. “The story of Lakeside is one of pioneering and stepping out in faith. It was encouraging to hear stories of changed lives, stories of people saying ‘yes’ to Jesus,” Anthony said. “Moreover, while it was a day to thank the many people who have been involved, it was a day to reflect and thank God. It was a reminder of God’s faithfulness, how great our God is.” In the late 1980s, Leeming Baptist Church met in a local community hall and was a church that had a desire to reach its community with the lifechanging message of Jesus. The church grew and soon was looking for land to build a facility that could meet all its growing needs, as well as being a place for community outreach. A 20 acre site in North Lake that looked perfect was located, however, it was zoned ‘recreation’. Senior Pastor at the time, David Snell, along with others saw this as an opportunity to step out in faith and build a facility that would be used Monday to Sunday, and to use sport as a platform to reach the community for Christ. On 26 February 1992, at a cost of around $2 million dollars and considerable volunteer time, Lakeside held its very first church service on Court One, with Lakeside Recreation Centre officially being launched with an Open Day on Saturday 14 March 1992. Today, Lakeside is a vibrant facility with around 8,000 people
Original Lakeside Building Committee member Murray Elliot (centre) shares memories of the vision of Lakeside
a week participating in programs and sporting competitions and the team is passionate about seeing people say ‘Yes’ to Jesus. “Lakeside has never been about just being a recreation centre, there has always been a larger purpose. From the beginning, the larger purpose that bound the church together was the deep desire to reach out to the community and Lakeside is a church that still has that deep desire, that larger purpose, that bigger focus,” Anthony explained. “Throughout the Old Testament, we see the people of God constantly building altars or memorials, after they saw God move.” “The anniversary celebration was a time to build a ‘pile of rocks’. It was a ‘memorial’, that reminds us of all the incredible things God has done in and through the people of Lakeside.” “We were reminded that God is bigger than anyone of us, that He is faithful and we can have courage to go where He leads. Even if it means building a recreation centre.”
becoming a reality with Senior Pastor Anthony Palmieri (right) and those attending the 25th anniversary service.
Vose graduates inspire
The theme for this year’s Commencement and Conferral held by Vose Seminary was ‘Inspire’. The annual Vose event has the dual task of farewelling successful Vose graduates and welcoming the many new students. Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Pastor to the Community Graham Mabury delivered the keynote message to approximately 500 people gathered at the event, which was held at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Monday 13 March. Prize-winners included Andrew Binns, Brooke Bourdon, Geoffrey Carslake, Noel de Boulay, Braden Fildes, Rohan Nelson,
Jason Park, Katharine Steven and Kirsty Wager. Ray Forlin, who graduated with a Master of Divinity degree, won the Dux award and special mention was made of his externally examined project, which was awarded a mark of 95 percent. “This is almost unheard of for projects of this kind,” Vose Seminary Principal Dr Brian Harris said. Robert Bathurst won the Oliver Heyward Prize from the Australian College of Theology as the top graduating student in the country.
His grade point average of four is the highest that can be awarded, meaning he obtained a High Distinction for every paper he completed at Vose. “We are proud of our students, both past and present, and are confident they will go on to contribute to the work of building the Kingdom of God no matter where they find themselves,” stated Brian after the event. Graduating student, Sally Pim, spoke of her call to serve God in Mozambique and has since left Australia to fulfil her mission. She is amongst the many Vose graduates who serve God on all continents across the world.
digital church 12/04/17
thinkchristian.reframemedia. com As Scripture teaches older generations to pass the faith on to the next generation [Psalm 145:4; Eph. 6:4], youth leaders, parents, and educators will have to study the sea changes their children take for granted.
twitter.com/karlfaase Good Friday is a reminder that our greatest victory is not a life free of darkness but a life lived knowing the darkness will not win.
backyardmissionary.com So what does a ‘win’ look like when you don’t want to play the game like those who are abusing you? … For Jesus it meant death. It meant allowing Himself to be killed by those who didn’t get Him and who felt threatened by Him. He gave His life literally.
stephenmcalpine.com And here’s the truly amazing hope. What if the world we see right now in all its blazing colour is but a pale, anaemic, washed out version of the world that is coming?
thegospelcoalition.org When we live a life focused on temporary pleasures, we can only expect temporary happiness. In contrast, by living for that which is eternal, we find purpose and joy in our daily life.
Kyle Idleman twitter.com/KyleIdleman No matter what you’ve done or who you’ve become, God’s grace has not given up on you.
Greg Morse desiringgod.org He willingly stepped forward in love and authority to manifest his excellencies, that we might declare them in this life, and experience them perfectly in the next.
twitter.com/craiggroeschel The Saturday between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday is a true reminder that God’s delays are not God’s denials.
jdgreear.com I was drowning in a sea of my sin, and Jesus came by in a boat and threw the life vest out to me and pulled me onboard and saved me.
twitter.com/CSLewisDaily I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer … You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?
College rocketing to the future
“The aim is for each child to reach their best potential and to shoot for the stars,” College Principal Gary Harris said. “The rocket launch helped to symbolise this for the wonderful students we’ve been blessed with.” The mission of Atlantis Beach Baptist College is to empower all students to achieve and celebrate their personal best within a culture of high expectations and to articulate, demonstrate and value knowledge and skills that will support them, as life-long learners, to establish a lifestyle that honours God and serves others. “In support of Atlantis’ mission, we believe the Atlantis Beach Baptist community will bring glory to God and build a legacy for generations to come,” Gary said.
A key aim of the College is to equip students with the skills, knowledge and wisdom to be successful learners, confident individuals and informed citizens with hearts for service, social responsibility and an awareness of God. As part of recognising the need for environmental awareness and stewardship, the College which is located near Yanchep National Park is in the process of developing a site-wide environmental management plan which will provide an integrated systems approach for the environmental wellbeing of the College. It will also provide the opportunity to raise student awareness of the issues of environmental and sustainable development in the context of acting locally and thinking globally.
Photo: Lucy Jarvis
A rocket was launched at the Atlantis Beach Baptist College Open Day on Wednesday 1 February. The rocket represented a dynamic ‘take off’ for the new College located in Two Rocks, one of Perth’s northern most suburbs.
The Atlantis Beach Baptist College community celebrating the launch of their new College.
Atlantis Beach Baptist College has included in its building and development plans a commitment to collect and store stormwater in rainwater tanks and use this water for grounds watering. The use of solar energy and new technology in battery storage is also planned so the College can reduce its reliance on mains electricity.
The College has made a commitment to be ‘off-thegrid’ with its energy provision as much as is possible, with a vision for solar, battery and wind turbine power in the future. “The College foundation students, families and staff are excited to make history and give glory to God for the journey thus
far and are looking forward to what the future will bring,” Gary commented. The College currently offers Pre-Kindergarten to Year 9, progressing to Year 12 by 2020. For further information, visit www.abbc.wa.edu.au
After 23 years as Senior Pastor, Sunday 26 February was Pastor Colin Lituri and his wife Sharyn’s last official day at Woodvale Baptist Church. At Colin and Sharyn’s final service, many testimonies were shared of the impact their ministry has had in the lives of individuals and families over the past 23 years.
“I have had the joy of seeing lives changed, marriages restored, families reconciled and the power of the Word of God manifest in people’s lives. What a joy and privilege!” Colin said. Special guests included Joondalup City Mayor Troy Pickard, Former Member for Kingsley Andrea Mitchell and Woodvale Baptist Church’s first youth pastor, Travis Johnson, who travelled from Adelaide for the celebration. Colin said he was most surprised to find his ‘mini-me’ standing at the pulpit when he arrived.
“I later discovered that it was a cake (yes, a cake!), and it soon became apparent one of us was not going to get out of there in one piece. Fortunately, it was ‘mini-me’ who made the sacrifice!”, he joked. Colin will be undertaking some work with Baptist Churches Western Australia until the end of the year. Thereafter Colin and Sharyn will return to the Queensland Sunshine Coast for Colin to begin a new ministry that will take him to churches all over the country and overseas.
Photo: Simon Abrams
Colin’s 23 years of ministry
Pastor Colin Lituri had the unique experience of preaching alongside a look-alike cake made in honour of his 23 years of ministry at Woodvale Baptist Church.
A special art exhibition to celebrate Easter was launched at Parkerville Baptist Church on Friday 24 March. Local artists worked together to create the exhibition and ten works capturing the story of Easter and Jesus’ journey to the cross were on display in the auditorium of Parkerville Baptist Church.
Curator Yvonne Wadley said the exhibition was a moving experience. “We have a concentration of artists living in the hills and Parkerville Baptist has its fair share of these – over 100 people attend craft groups each week,” Yvonne said. “More than 25 local artists, crafts men and women, teens and children linked to the church have created the artworks, which range from clay work, quilting and fibre art to paintings and digital photography.”
Yvonne said the exhibition captures the Easter story in a way that would appeal to all age groups. “Alongside each artwork hangs a meditation which includes an artist’s statement and reflections to help the viewer visualise the various stages of Jesus’s journey on His last day before His crucifixion,” she said. The exhibition had been over a year in the making and was open to the public on Sunday mornings after the regular morning Church service, as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays through to Easter Sunday.
Photo: Parkerville Baptist Church
Parkerville experience Easter with art
Potter Gwen Brennan and curator Yvonne Wadley with some of the artwork that was on show at Parkerville Baptist Church.
news MAY 2017
Playgroup for the young at heart
A new intergenerational playgroup for the Mundaring community, Playgroup at Baptistcare Yallambee, was recently launched at Baptistcare Yallambee residential care.
For more information, phone 9295 1511.
Baptistcare employee Larissa Clark. Larissa put out a call for expressions of interest on the Perth Hills chat forum and Facebook, and said she was encouraged by the level of support they have received. “We encourage anyone to come along and be a part of it.” “If you have any talents, piano playing or dancing with kids, anything like that would be an amazing help.” “Donations will never go astray, we can always get new and better things for the kids and residents,” said Larissa.
Baptistcare Yallambee resident June and one of the playgroup children share a morning tea snack.
Chaplaincy secured beyond 2018
The playgroup brings elderly people at the residential care facility, parents and young children together for quality interaction through activities and playtime for a few hours each week. Children and residents have the opportunity to enjoy activities together, including movement activities for exercise, story time, singalongs and indoor and outdoor playtime. Baptistcare Yallambee Facility Manager James Townley said the playgroup is a good opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy meaningful interaction and there has been a fantastic response from the Mundaring community and local businesses. “It’s great for the residents as it helps keep them connected with the community.” “A big thank you to Larissa Clark, Baptistcare nurse and local mum, for her inspiration to get the playgroup started and for volunteering her time,” he said. One of the residents at Baptistcare Yallambee, June, said she enjoyed the regular interaction with the children. “I like having the children here and watching them play,” June said. Ashleigh, mother to a two year old son and three month old daughter, said the playgroup provides a positive and valuable learning environment for her children to socialise with older members of the community. “We don’t have grandparents close by and we thought it would be nice for my son, to teach him patience and things like that,” she said. Local community partners have lent their support, with Mundaring Community Bank awarding a community grant to go towards sourcing toys and equipment for the children and residents. Mundaring Community Bank Executive Officer, Karen Beale, said the playgroup was a great initiative for members of the local community which Mundaring Community Bank is excited to support through its grants program. “It’s a win-win situation and ticks all the boxes,” Karen said. “There’s a lot of research about intergenerational playgroups. It’s good for the young ones and engages the elderly residents as well.” Starting up the intergenerational playgroup was the idea of local mum and
Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan being questioned about school chaplaincy at a recent event.
Josh del Pino
Funding for public school chaplaincy beyond 2018 is now secure following a commitment from the Western Australian Premier and the Opposition Leader. This news has been welcomed by YouthCARE. At a question and answer session at a major event in Perth, former Premier Colin Barnett and the then Opposition Leader Mark McGowan responded to a question from YouthCARE CEO Stanley Jeyaraj,
about their commitment to school chaplaincy services in public schools beyond 2018 – when the current funding agreement ends. Mr Barnett said the school chaplaincy service was a great support to children and families and took a lot pressure off schools.
“We want to guarantee that any school that wants a chaplain can have a chaplain … the funding will just go on – as the population grows, the number of chaplains will grow,” he said. Mr McGowan also agreed school chaplaincy was a vital service in the school community. “I’ve had considerable involvement with chaplains in my electorate of Rockingham, they do a brilliant job,” he said. “Yes, I agree that the program should continue. It is a very good program and the funding should roll on.”
Stanley said he was pleased that both parties expressed strong support for school chaplaincy. “We welcome and thank Mr Barnett and Mr McGowan for their support and confirmation of ongoing funding for school chaplaincy beyond the current period,” he said. “It is very reassuring that their commitment ensures school chaplaincy in public schools is secured well into the future.”
WA Baptists changing the world Today Glenn and Liz Black and their boys are waking up in Thailand ready to serve among a community of people where Jesus is almost entirely unknown. They arrived from Western Australia in March to join the Global Interaction Ethnic Thai Team. They are part of a movement that has witnessed people experience the freedom that comes from a life-transforming encounter with Jesus Christ.
“May Mission Month is a great time to learn and discern our responsibility in global mission. Mission is everyone’s responsibility,” Eaton Baptist Church member Ayla Elliott said. Esperance Baptist Church mission convenor, Debbie Broughton, sees May as an opportunity to remind everyone that even smaller and older church communities can be active partners in global mission. “We love standing side by side with our Western Australian cross-cultural workers, getting to know more about them and what they do,” Debbie said. “We know we have a greater impact by partnering with the wider Baptist family and through our prayers and giving can enable the gospel to be shared with communities across Africa, Asia and outback Australia.” The Hungry Hippo makes an appearance at Maida Vale Baptist Church during May Mission Month. The church has identified a Global Interaction mission project and each week they will be encouraged to give generously by placing their contributions in the Hungry Hippo money box. Global mission is an important part of their church
life throughout the year but May gives them a special opportunity to focus, hear directly from a Global Interaction worker and recommit to partnering with Australian Baptists in reaching the least-reached. Global Interaction challenge believers to consider how they and their church celebrate Global Interaction’s May Mission Month this year. “Perhaps there’s a Glenn and Liz Black in your congregation just waiting to hear God’s call to go?”, Pam said. “Or perhaps God is calling you to be a prayer and financial partner in His mission to share the life-giving gift of Jesus to all the people of the world?” Global Interaction have several resources to assist churches with May Mission Month, including Bible studies, children’s activities, project information and video updates from the cross-cultural teams.
Photo: Tim Booth / Shutterstock
It was during a prayer led by a cross-cultural worker at a global mission focused service at Riverton Baptist Community Church that God set Glenn and Liz’s life on a path that would lead them to an unreached people group in a remote part of Thailand. It is a journey that has brought Glenn and Liz into partnership with thousands of Australian Baptists working together in response to the call of God. Each year, Global Interaction conduct May Mission Month as a celebration of God’s faithfulness and a call for His church to recommit itself to His mission. “It is a reminder that in our efforts to reach our local neighbours, God does not want us to forget our global neighbours, especially those who live in leastreached communities where there are little, if any, believers,” said Global Interaction State Administrator Pam Gallagher. This month, churches around the state are invited to mobilise for mission in response to Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Global Interaction has provided resources to support churches, small groups and individuals of all ages to consider their part in God’s mission to share His gift of Jesus with the world regardless of what cultural, religious, social and geographical obstacles must be overcome. Eaton Baptist Church is one of the many churches involved in May Mission Month.
To download May Mission Month resources, visit www. globalinteraction.org.au/MMM For more information, phone 6313 6300. May Mission Month gives people the opportunity to explore Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well and how to cross cultural boundaries.
briefs Pastoral and church changes Holy Ark of God International Church became a recognised church plant with the Baptist Churches Western Australia at the beginning of April. The families that make up the congregation are from Burundi and settled in Australia as refugees. Pastor Zakaria Nyangara is the pastor of this congregation. Pastor Chris Hawkins has been appointed as a new Associate Pastor at Bentley Baptist Church.
Winter camps Registrations are now open for the Winter Camps being held at Serpentine Camping Centre. Baptist camps have been running at Serpentine for over 30 years. Over that time, they have been significant in the lives of many people by helping shape and grow their faith while connecting them with like-minded people, with whom many form lifelong friendships. For more information, visit www.baptistwa.asn.au
feature MAY 2017
In the last six months, I have found myself in ‘a state of leaving’; leaving the busier role of hands-on parenting to head out into the unchartered waters of empty nest syndrome, as my 19 and soon-to-be 18 year old teenagers spend more and more time away from home rather than in it. And moving on from commitments and ministries that I have been involved in for many years as I sense God leading me into new ones. I have felt somewhat lost as I tried to make sense of the mixture of grief and loss combined with the feeling of relief and anticipation for what is to come.
I have read a lot about the need for change and letting go, the healthy aspects of the ‘seasons of life’, et cetera, but I have not heard a lot of advice about how to manage the actual leaving process well. I do know that I have personally experienced, and also witnessed others, leaving jobs, relationships or commitments badly; sometimes in an explosion of unresolved conflict and negative emotion. At those times, it may have felt like quitting was the only way forward, and giving in to the need for selfjustification or emotional venting was the only authentic way of processing the situation. Many of us know the country tune ‘take this job and ...’; celebrating the mysterious deliciousness of being able to tell the ex-boss or ex-partner what you really think of them. Letting it all out seems so therapeutic, and feels so good at the time! But then the long-term consequences of this ‘crash and burn’ approach start to sink in; bridges are burned, people are deeply hurt, relationships are damaged beyond repair and our Christian testimony becomes negatively affected as we eventually realise in the wisdom of hindsight that we may not have handled the situation as well as we could have. The short-term satisfaction of doing what felt so good at the time may now have led to long-term damage, and some of us have left a wake of badly managed decisions and broken relationships behind us. The loneliest existence I can imagine, and have sadly seen too often, is of someone who has reached a point where they truly have no one, and nothing of significance left to hold on to in life – they have burned every bridge and now find themselves utterly alone. Even just this haunting image should be enough to motivate us
to make amends where possible, and do what we can to leave a clean slate behind us. The Message paraphrase has a very down-to-earth version of Romans 12:17-19: ‘ Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”’ Last month as I was considering this topic, a friend was sharing with me how she had just finished a job contract, and felt incredibly unvalued and let down by her previous manager, wanting to tell them how badly they handled the communication process at the end of her contract. She felt ‘wrongly done-by’ and wanted to let them know that in no uncertain terms. But a few days later, fortunately before she had taken the opportunity to do that, that same manager emailed and asked her if she wanted to consider taking on a new contract with the same company, an offer she gladly accepted. She mentioned to me that she was so glad that she had not burned that bridge, and was grateful to be able to cross back over it for a job that was perfect for her family rhythms and financial needs. Around that same time another Christian leader I spoke with was also processing the ending of their job, one that they had passionately invested into, that had ended quite suddenly and painfully. They also felt that the communication process in that situation had not been handled well, but had resolved to rise above it and seek to leave the situation behind with as much blessing as possible. “Even though it cost me at a deep level, I was determined to only speak and act in ways that would build the Kingdom,” they said. I personally have never witnessed such a painful job situation being handled in such a godly manner.
feature MAY 2017
Both of these life examples were a great inspiration to me, giving me a practical example of what leaving well looked like. In addition to the above passage from Romans 12, several other Scriptures have also given me wisdom for navigating these often-turbulent waters, like James 3:13, 17 and 18: ‘Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom ... [for] the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peaceloving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.’ Many of us know the popular verse ‘Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins’ [1 Peter 4:8, New Living Translation]. This is a verse that has often helped me extend grace (at times through gritted teeth, I might add!) in times of emotional strain and conflict in family relationships. Have you had a current or previous boss treat you wrongly? Peter encourages us: ‘Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority ... Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God’ [1 Peter 2: 13a, 18 and 19]. Do you feel a need to defend or justify yourself? When I have been sacrificially obedient to God’s Word, allowing Him to fulfil His biblical promises about defending righteousness and vindicating a just cause, I have experienced such peace and a far better long-term outcome than any solution I could have tried to work out for myself.
As I look back on my most recent process of leaving, one that I have tried to manage with as much blessing as possible, I have found it helpful to make note of a few questions for the next time I find myself trying to navigate these more familiar waters: • Will I regret burning the bridge to this relationship, ministry or job in case I might want to cross back over it, or resume it again, in the future? • If I give in to the short-term desire for selfjustified venting in this current conflict, what kind of long-term damage might I be causing in the process? • Am I prepared to sacrifice what might feel good for me, for the sake of being more of a blessing to others? • What is the best way to build the Kingdom of God through the challenging situation I am currently trying to navigate? May the God of wisdom, peace and comfort guide us through every season, and help us to manage life’s transitions well. Anina Findling is the Relationship Manager for Baptist Financial Services.
10 news MAY 2017
Mechanics for God
The mechanic’s motto is printed onto a banner for everyone to see: “We want to pass on God’s love” it says in large letters on a wall next to the car hoists. The mechanic’s mission is not to evangelise his apprentices, but to help them become part of the workforce despite their performance at school in the past. In Germany, good grades, a spotless resume and a secondary school certificate are generally essential in order to secure an apprenticeship. At Robert’s garage, the focus is instead put on personal drive and potential ability to succeed as an apprentice auto mechanic. Since the start of the project in 2003, the garage has helped 13 young people successfully finish their apprenticeships and enter the workforce – something which Robert thinks would probably not have been possible for these young people previously. “One of our former apprentices even went on to become a master auto mechanic and founded his own company,” Robert recounted with pride in an interview with the online magazine Pro. So far, only three apprentices had to leave the garage prematurely, because of behavioural issues.
While there is certainly no shortage of applicants, the garage cannot take on everyone. Currently, eight people work in the project: two master auto mechanics, two administrators and four apprentices. “We are a small company,” Robert explained. “We can’t offer an apprenticeship to as many people as we would like to.” The garage is financially dependent on private and corporate sponsors due to the costs created by taking on more apprentices than the garage can employ after they finish the apprenticeship; on average 10,000 euros per apprentice per year. Self-sufficiency remains a goal for the future. The award-winning project has shown good fruit elsewhere in Germany and inspired the establishment of another car repair garage with a mission. This garage has achieved financial independency by encouraging members of the local church to support the initiative. Church goers specifically choose to service their car at this garage to show their support of the idea of giving a helping hand to disadvantaged, but willing and motivated, young people.
Photo: Robert Bosch
Young people with potential and drive are offered a helping hand at a Christian-led car repair garage in Germany. By taking on apprentices who have been turned down elsewhere, garage owner and master mechanic Robert Bosch wants to “pass on God’s love”.
Robert Bosch (far right) with employees and apprentices in front of their car repair garage in Essen, Germany.
Persians renew church in UK
Governor pleads for Christian values In an interview with the NBC, Californian Governor Jerry Brown pleaded with President Donald Trump and his government to reconsider building a wall between the United States and Mexico. The Governor said that California “will do the right human – and I would even say Christian – thing” by fighting the plans. “Trump’s supposed to be ‘Mr Religious Fellow,’ and I thought we’ve got to treat ‘the least of these’ as we would treat the Lord. So I hope he would reconnect with some of these conservative evangelicals, and they’ll tell him that these [undocumented migrants] are human beings, they’re children of God,“ Governor Brown added.
Missionary loses final appeal in Russia Don Ossewaarde, the missionary who was among the first to be charged under Russia’s ‘anti-terrorism’ laws introduced in July 2016 has taken his case to the European Court of Human Rights after losing his final appeal in Russia. Mr Ossewaarde was charged with conducting missionary activities in violation of the new set of laws in August 2016 (The Advocate reported in December 2016). The missionary and his wife Ruth have ministered to people in Oryol, Russia for 14 years. Mr Ossewaarde had said from the beginning of the court case that he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.
Photo: Kate Marshall
Persian asylum seekers are bringing cultural diversity to a post-industrial community near Manchester.
Churches in the United Kingdom have joined ongoing reports of asylum seekers across Europe converting to Christianity. Some report of new communities coming to life, renewing church congregations. In Stoke-on-Trent, 70 kilometres south of Manchester, Rev. Sally Smith has seen her congregation be transformed over the course of just four years: from 18 people attending on a regular Sunday to having baptised 75 former
Muslims and running bilingual services. Her church is located in a low socio-economic area where asylum seekers are often placed while their application is processed, many of them coming from a Persian background. As Rev. Smith reported in an interview with Premier Christianity, she reacted to rising refugees numbers in town by initiating a support charity for asylum seekers. The support provided includes helping with bureaucracy, providing emergency accommodation and assisting in all areas of life. The support group operates on church premises, but is strictly non-evangelistic. “Still, it drew many who were looking for a sense of belonging to
a family towards the church”, said Rev. Smith. Embracing the new community, Rev. Smith initiated controversial changes to the traditional service structure such as readings in both Farsi and English. She remains optimistic even though all previous attendees have now joined another church. “I think that it’s an opportunity for the Church to be renewed,” she said. “The ministry gifts that people are bringing from all around the world is something that we desperately need.” “My church was like a stale pond, getting stagnant; we needed them coming in, creating more of a river,” Rev. Smith concluded.
news 11 MAY 2017
Crisis in South Sudan
‘We appeal to the international community and friends of the people of South Sudan to provide immediate and large-scale assistance,’ read a statement released by the South Sudan Council of Churches. The young country which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 has been in a state of civil war for three years, claiming the lives of thousands and strongly affecting villagers’ ability to operate farms and provide food. The United Nations (UN) has officially declared that a famine has struck the country, estimating that 100,000 people are currently on the verge of starvation and another 4.9 million need lifesaving food assistance. The man-made famine has caused severe instabilities in the East African region. In 2017 alone, 172,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring Uganda with an average of 2,800 arrivals per day in the month of March. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
Photo: Vlad Karavaev / Shutterstock
The South Sudan Council of Churches has called upon the international community to take action and advocate for humanitarian aid to be delivered to majorityChristian South Sudan.
Thousands of South Sudanese live in refugee camps such as this one in Juba, South Sudan.
South Sudanese refugees in Uganda will surpass a million by mid-2017, based on present rates of arrival. Humanitarian aid attempts have been complicated by aggression towards aid workers from both sides of the South Sudanese civil war. According to the UN, 100 humanitarian
aid attempts were blocked in November 2016, with violence against aid workers and supplies used in 67 of these incidents. In March, eight Samaritan’s Purse staff workers were kidnapped by armed rebels who demanded aid deliveries as ransom. The staff members were later released unharmed.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien has called the crisis in East Africa the largest humanitarian crisis since the UN was founded in 1945, as more than 20 million people across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria “face starvation and famine”.
According to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center, more than 60 percent of people in South Sudan are Christian. In 2017, the Australian Government has allocated $34 million in response to the worsening crises in the region.
No place for Christian burials in Nepal
Christians in Nepal face struggles when seeking land to bury their dead. In Kathmandu, they must hike up a mountain to find a place of rest for their loved ones.
Believers are forced to hike up the mountain for one and a half hours ... one and a half hours, carrying the body of the deceased. The churches could not see another option but to buy this land in order to avoid further conflict with neighbouring residents, and land closer to the city was too expensive.
Photo: Kate Artyukhova / Shutterstock
According to a World Watch Monitor report, Christians in Kathmandu previously buried their dead on a piece of land inside the complex of a Hindu temple until this area was blocked off for Christian burials in 2011. Without an alternative, believers started to bury the dead on their own private land, meeting strong opposition from neighbouring residents who demanded that the bodies would be dug out and buried elsewhere. In absence of a better solution, churches in Kathmandu and surrounding areas united to buy a piece of land for a cemetery on a secluded mountain, far from the city. The land can only be accessed by four-wheel drive vehicles, which few have. Believers are forced to hike up the mountain for
Christians in Kathmandu, Nepal have no choice but to bury their dead in a remote mountainous area.
12 in conversation MAY 2017
Reflections on 10 years of ministry In February 2007, Pastor Mark Wilson commenced as the Director of Ministries for Baptist Churches Western Australia. In this, his 10th year of ministry with Baptist Churches Western Australia, Vanessa Klomp caught up with him to discuss this season of ministry.
You have a family who have strongly supported you in this role. Briefly tell us about them. I am married to Karen. We have two adult children. Our son, Daniel, married Julia 15 months ago and our daughter Katherine is dating a Christian young man. From when I first started this role in 2007, Karen stepped in as a volunteer to do the Baptist women’s ministry. She has been doing this for ten years. Out of this grew the Fresh Conference. In the first year we had about 100 women. Last year, ten years later, we had Fresh Leadership for women on the Friday with 400 to 500 women attending and then on the Saturday we had the Conference at Curtin Stadium. It was booked out and there was approximately 1,200 women who attended and over $300,000 was donated last year for projects for children and women caught in slavery. Karen has also been involved in running the Pastors’ Retreat and other things as well. What led you to apply for the Director of Ministries role? I was approached for the role. I didn’t apply initially. I had been in local church ministry for 19 years and I was in my 14th year at Whitford Church (now called True North Church) and a group of Baptists came and asked if I would consider doing the Director of Ministries role. At this point I declined and during the following
two year period they approached me again. Eighteen months into the process, my wife and I started to really think [about the role] and we felt God leading and guiding us to have a conversation with them again, so we had that conversation which led to us going through the process to apply. After Scripture and people encouraging us, I felt God possibly calling us into this. I went to the elder board at the Whitford Church and told them the whole story and I said to them, “I want you to go away for the next two weeks and pray, and if you believe before God we should apply for this job, we’ll do it. If you believe before God we shouldn’t, and we should stay, we’ll stay.” Two weeks later we met together and they said we don’t want you to go, but we know it’s the right thing. So that’s when I officially applied, had interviews and the Assembly voted on it. A vote is conducted every five years to determine whether I continue in the role. In 2007, you shared with The Advocate that you wanted to build strong relationships between churches and yourself. Why was this important to you and how has this progressed over the last ten years? First of all, I absolutely believe in healthy pastors leading healthy churches. In the first year of my role, I met every single senior or sole pastor for the purpose of building relationships. I have continued to do this, with some years better than others. It’s not just me, it’s a whole team of us trying to build these relationships and continue to build them as it’s not based around one person. The whole process for me is to build relationships with pastors and then out of that comes trust and out of trust you can have influence, and that’s how you change the movement. It’s the same with churches. The pastors are accountable, but they are the leaders of our churches and so they are a key part of the relationship building. For anyone who is a pastor, it’s not just teaching and preaching on Sunday, but it’s either working a system for pastoral care or doing pastoral care. We have tried to set up systems for pastoral care so we have created ‘pastor small groups’ and we are trying to get
as many pastors as we can to be involved in them. Our desire is that every pastor will be in some sort of pastor small group. A lot of our churches now have multiple staff so that’s [built] around relationships as well. You also commented that “your hope for the future is to see Baptist churches that reach out to their local community and make an impact on the community”. As you reflect on this statement, how do you believe Baptists are performing in this area? It’s a key part of who we are and what we do. Some churches are doing it better than others but the majority are good news stories about how they are reaching out. Schools, community centres, sporting facilities, aged care and early childhood are all areas where we are impacting within the community. There is no ‘cookiecut’ – what works in Broome won’t work in Claremont. They need to work out what’s the best way for them in their local community to reach out to the people in their community. It’s a continuous process and it comes back to inspiring and influence. What does your role as Director of Ministries involve? What do you do day-to-day? My role is quite diverse with responsibility for over 120 churches. I meet with pastors and church leaders and try and help them in their circumstances and situations. I have between 50 and 60 staff, which includes the camp sites, special projects and events, and buildings – that is one major area. Two other major areas are Vose Seminary, and business and finances. The final big area, which all the previous areas exist for, is church and pastors. We have different people employed in that area, such as children, youth, young adults, cross-cultural, Safe Church, accreditation of pastors and marriage licenses. I’m often invited to churches and preach in a different church almost every Sunday. I’m also a member of a number of boards. I sit on the board of Baptistcare, which is a 120 million dollar not-for-profit and that has a lot of complexity. I’m also on the national Australian Baptist Ministries board. I’m a part of the
How did you become a Christian and develop a faith in Christ? I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian family. My parents were missionaries on an Aboriginal mission at Roelands, where I grew up as a child. A man came and talked to the kids about the wide road that leads to destruction and the hard skinny road that leads to everlasting life. It is the parable that Jesus told. At that point, he asked if anyone wanted to make a commitment to become a follower of Christ. As a young child I did that and this began my relationship with Jesus Christ. Three to four years later I went through water baptism and over the years I am thankful for the people that poured into my life as a young person, from a discipleship point of view, and mentoring and helping me grow in my faith.
Baptist World Alliance which is Baptist unions and conventions worldwide and has about 120 million people. The other part of my role is vision and setting vision. People represent me on different school boards and national boards. I meet with the school principals every term. We have approximately 15 Baptist schools. I have a specific role to take care of all the remote churches and pastors. I Skype call with them every month due to their remoteness. What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? And, the most challenging? The most satisfying is when I meet with pastors or leaders and then out of that they take on things you say and then you see them ‘kicking goals’. I get a lot of pleasure empowering and helping others to fulfil their potential. This is one of the most encouraging aspects, along with seeing churches making an impact in the community for good, and people finding faith in Jesus Christ and getting baptised. The most challenging is dealing with mistakes from the past or major conflicts. Are you optimistic about the future of the Baptist denomination in Western Australia? What challenges do you believe it will face in the coming years? I am optimistic about the future and I will not let up on the whole philosophy of relationship, trust and influence to change the movement. We’ve had multiple strategic plans which we have achieved. One of the big things
for the future is doing church planting and seeing churches revitalised. We plan to meet with some key stakeholders and staff, and the Baptist Council, and have a ‘Blue Sky Day’ and vision cast the big goals we would like to see happen in the next five to ten years. This provides optimism about the future. We aim to keep pastors healthy – physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally in their roles. Your role would have its stressful moments, large amounts of travel and constant output of energy, what do you do to maintain your own personal health, spirituality and wellbeing? I have a mentor who I have been seeing for over 12 years and he is the person who supports me personally and emotionally, by asking about my faith, family and relationships. He keeps me accountable and this is important. Also, I am in a pastor small group myself and we have been together for over 20 years. They have been an incredible support. The other thing is keeping my personal relationship with Jesus Christ healthy, through daily reading of Scripture and prayer. I try to have a Sabbath day every week. I enjoy catching up with friends – I have lots of friends that aren’t Christ followers as well as friends that are followers. I’ve been a member of the West Coast Eagles Football Club for 12 years. I love hiking, so I try and walk every day with one or two hikes a year. I have hiked most of the Bibbulmun Track with another pastor. I have an incredibly supportive wife who is my ‘rock’. We love sharing our days off together and finding that life balance.
growth 13 MAY 2017
I’ve been seeing a physiotherapist. She is great. I think she’s a nice person. This opinion continues from the moment I walk into the studio until she starts treating me. When the treatment begins, I start to think less charitably of her. I’m having some muscle issues. A particular few are not behaving as they ought, leaving a greater strain on some other muscles in the neighbourhood, resulting in overload and restricted movement. I do not like the process for fixing this while it’s happening. It hurts, and it costs money. It takes time away from the other productive things that I should be doing. For the week or so after the treatment, though, things improve a little. I can move more easily and do the exercises for strengthening that will lead to ultimate realignment and success. This, in turn, will lead to me being able to resume the forms of exercise that energise and recharge me. It will help me to move without hindrance through daily life and trust this body, this jar of clay, to obey commands involving
normal gait and movement, in comfort instead of discomfort. I was thinking about the obvious parallels, as I lay with a heat pack on some sore muscles, between what’s going on with my physical muscles, and what I feel Jesus is teaching me in my spiritual walk. When I am corrected, be it pride or learning to trust Him more, it kind of hurts. It brings about discomfort, and it hurts my ‘feelings’. If I’m not careful, this can lead to me taking offence and thereby not taking that gentle lead of the Holy Spirit into a place of realignment and correction. Unlike with my physio (who I really do like), the pain and struggle is in my soul and it’s not expensive to fix. How do I work through it? There’s a few steps involved for me. First, I need to acknowledge that my ways are not necessarily the best ways. ‘I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.’ [Psalm 119:59] Goodbye pride. When I say goodbye to pride, I can step back and look at the big picture. I can consider that while this may hurt for a little while, or may not appear to be the easiest route in front of me or the route that others are needing to take right now, my hope is that the result will be God’s glory. For
Photo: Wave Break Media
Something about realignment
what other purpose can I truly hope to live? ‘Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea.’ [Isaiah 24:15] Hello, humility. Then, if I am honest, I may still struggle, but eventually, I will turn to prayer and praise, for I know that they are my finest weapons and the healing tools that God has given to
all of us. The posture of kneeling, of weeping, of raising hands while my head is bowed, does deep realignment within my soul. ‘I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.’ [Psalm 30:1] I don’t have this completely figured out yet. I do have the biblical pattern, though, for realignment and seeking God’s
glory. I do have the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit who can calm even the stormiest battles that wage within my soul. And I do have the secure knowledge that I belong to Jesus, struggles and all, and He is not done with me yet.
the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.’ [John 16:13-14] There’s a partnership that goes on with the Holy Spirit that doesn’t edit us from the story; it develops our character to its fullest. I want to be edited by the Holy Spirit. More than this, I want a heart that’s being transformed by Jesus. Left to my own devices,
even the best editing work will leave my heart a scarlet shade of dirt but, in Jesus, there’s ongoing reformation. New stories are being written, further editing is taking place and, brick by brick, a different house is being built. That’s the slowest editing work of all, but thankfully, it’s crafted by the unforced rhythms of grace.
Used with permission from Simone Field, writesomething.org.au
Something about editing
I miss grammatical errors, typos and clumsy sentence construction more than I’d like because, well, it made sense at the time. Some of these errors are uncovered through self-examination, others are glossed over several times without me realising my feeble grasp of the language. It’s not as though they’re intentional. Ideally, everything I write would be 100 percent errorfree. It wouldn’t be a guarantee for it being interesting or readable, but it would be squeaky clean. My wife, Fiona, is the chief editor of my words. Most of what I write, on Write Something at least, is read and edited by her. Sometimes she’s willing, sometimes coerced and half asleep, but she’ll read through and correct grammar and syntax so that it says what I meant it to say. Sometimes she’ll ask “what are you trying to say here
because you’ve lost me” and together we’ll figure a better way to express the thought. Interestingly, I’ve found that I can see errors I’ve previously missed while reading along over her shoulder as she edits. When I have to put my editor’s hat on for others, I read differently. I’m not reading something I wrote; I’m doing for others’ writing what Fi does for mine. In those moments, I find the same errors that I’m inclined to gloss over in my work. I don’t think this is because I’m soft on myself – sometimes I think it’s because I read what it’s supposed to say rather than what’s necessarily written. Paul writes to the Romans: ‘Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings
Photo: Swell Photography
I need editors. And I need to edit. There’s something about my writing brain that, more often than I’d like, overlooks error.
too deep for words.’ [Romans 8:26] Intercedes. Do not know. Groanings. Too deep for words … Feels like heavy editing language to me. Not in order to remove content (though sometimes that’s necessary), and not to highlight the error, but to bring clarity. Holy Spirit interprets, purifies, sanctifies, discerns, convicts, and, emphatically, reveals Jesus. Holy Spirit reveals truth. ‘When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all
Used with permission from Simon Elliott, writesomething.org.au
14 news MAY 2017
Bright City sing over their city
98five Music Director Chela Williams
Described as a ‘family of artists’ from UK’s Brighton, Bright City is not your usual church worship band. Debuting on radio stations around the world with their single ‘Colour’, songwriter Elle Smith spoke to 98five’s afternoons host Tim Bain and shared Bright City’s passion for exploring every avenue of artistry God has created.
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a Christian I really believe that God’s in control,” Elle said. “Even though this is a terrible and awful incident that happened, things happen every single day that we don’t know about in this world and it breaks my heart.” “We can’t do it all but I just believe that God can and He can conquer the bad things and [we] need to stand together as people of faith, rise up and pray for these people, our brothers and sisters.”
Photo: Bright City UK
... it serves at such a crucial time for the UK in light of the recent London terrorist attacks.
Bright City plan to continue to take over their town of Brighton once a month with worship nights.
The road to redemption
For more information, visit www.98five.com/latest-music
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Photo: Vision Video
“We have a music stream and that’s where the albums are written from, within that group of people,” Elle explained. “Then we have dancers in Bright City dance, Bright City visual arts and Bright City production. The whole group is Bright City and we all go to St Peter’s [Church] in Brighton. That’s our sort of ground really and we all get inspired and it’s amazing.” Named after their own town, Bright City set out a plan to take over Brighton once a month with worship and music. “All of last year really, every month we did a Bright City worship night in the city of [at a] sticky club floor where all the kids are going to on the weekends and we would fill this space with our non-Christian friends [and] our friends from church,” Elle laughed. “We kind of cram everyone in, about 300 people on a Sunday evening at a grotty venue and we’d play this music. Our songs are just worship songs in general.” Being in the centre of Brighton is at the core of Bright City’s vision which it serves at such a crucial time for the UK in light of the recent London terrorist attacks. “It’s so easy to be wrapped around in fear [but] actually as
Starring Kaitlyn Griggs and Rose Sengenberger, Redemption Way is scheduled to arrive on screens this August. PUBLISHERS GENERAL DISCLAIMER All the articles, comments, advice and other material contained in this publication are by way of general comment or advice only and are not intended, nor do they purport to be the correct advice on any particular matter of subject referred to. No reader or any other person who obtains this publication should act on the basis of any matter, comment or advice contained in this publication without first considering and if necessary taking appropriate professional advice upon the applicability of any matter, advice or comment herein to their own particular circumstances. Accordingly, no responsibility is accepted or taken by the authors, editors or publishers of this publication for any loss or damage suffered by any party acting in reliance on any matter, comment or advice contained herein.
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Caitlin du Toit
Due to be released this August, Redemption Way is a drama with faith-based themes. Jenny Paine, a hospice nurse, feels it is her mission to safely deliver souls into the next life, however when Jenny’s
childhood friend is placed in hospice her attempts to share her Christian faith are unsuccessful. Throughout the movie, Jenny experiences a feeling of helplessness in other areas of her life as she longs to be a mother and experiences a challenging road to a promotion at work. In an interview with Daily Southtown, Producer
Brad Podowski said it is not about ‘the Christian is right and the atheist is wrong’. “It’s about opening up a conversation about faith. It’s really about friendship and forgiveness and sacrifice,” he said. The movie will be available on DVD and digital download platforms.
intermission 15 MAY 2017
A minute with ...
Photo: Australian Defence Force
Take this Cup Bodie and Brock Thoene I reviewed the first book in this series – Jerusalem Chronicles – some time ago but Take this Cup has taken me on a different journey than When Jesus Wept. How do we know the one known as Jesus of Nazareth is really the Messiah prophesied about in what we know as the Old Testament especially when the story is unfolding before our eyes and everyone has a different opinion? This is the dilemma of 10 year old Nehemiah charged by his beloved and trusted rabbi to take a gift to Jesus across many miles and in the face of great danger. Through Nehemiah’s eyes, the reader sees how scary and uncertain following a calling really is, but if a person steps out in faith God will meet them and their needs, practically and supernaturally. – Dorothy
watch Hacksaw Ridge
Colin Meadows – Riverton Baptist Community Church Associate Pastor, focusing on pastoral care.
Hacksaw Ridge is a touching movie based on the true story of the remarkable life of war hero Desmond Doss, a World War II American army medic, who served during the Battle of Okinawa. Well told and directed by Mel Gibson, this graphic, yet realistic, movie retells the life and experiences of an incredible man who stood by his belief to an extravagant length by refusing to touch a gun while still fulfilling his desire to serve his country. Incredibly, Desmond becomes the first man in Amercian history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. With his dertermination and strong reliance on God he was able to accomplish extraordinary things on the front line of war. Hacksaw Ridge gives the viewer a glimpse into his gruesome situation, however it not only leaves them emotional but inspired to put their trust in God wholeheartedly just like Desmond. – Alison
What is a feature of your church or ministry you’d like to share? Our journey towards being a church of all ages and many cultures excites my heart. We have seen a strong inflow of people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds as a result of our openness to welcome such people. What do you think God has been trying to say to you lately? Seek to look out for younger people whom I can mentor and encourage. Did anyone put you through an intentional plan for leadership development? What was the plan? I have not been part of a leadership development strategy and so I had to find my own way through by trial and error. I was blessed by my studies at Vose Seminary in more recent days. It is exciting today that there is far more focus on intentional discipleship and coaching. Therefore, I have sought to be available to younger leaders to encourage them. What would you like to go back and change? To be far more intentional in preparing myself for ministry, marriage and life in general. Especially to overcome my tendency to procrastinate, even over the writing of this article! What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? Find a good mentor and give them permission to speak into your life. Ask God to give you a teachable spirit. A final thought … Try to slow down a little in this fast paced world, allowing God to speak to you in the whispers of your quieter moments. He has much to tell us, if we would just slow down.
This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – May 2017
Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley staff Website: www.koorong.com Address: 434 Lord Street, Mount Lawley Phone: 08 9427 9777
listen Here I am Send Me Darlene Zschech Darlene Zschech is just as passionate as ever after fighting for her life against breast cancer and this translates into amazing and inspiring lyrics and music in Here I Am Send Me. The title track has a challenging lyric – ‘Send me; to the nations, Send me; to the neighbours’ – no one is exempt from the Great Commission and that means everyone should do something and not just leave it to others. This is immediately backed up by the next and last song on the album ‘Go’. The deluxe edition includes a great DVD which shows the live recording and how intimate the setting was. Although Darlene was amazing she also brought out and encouraged the best in the others within the team. – Dorothy
16 sport MAY 2017
Photo: Carey Baptist College
Dockers train Carey students
Carey Baptist College Forrestdale Year 5 teacher, Huntz Thieme, delighted with the recent visit from Fremantle Dockers: Michael Walters, Taylin Duman, Sam Collins, Ethan Hughes and Nat Fyfe.
Carey Baptist College Forrestdale Year 5 teacher Huntz Thieme was not sure whether it was the students or the parents who were more excited to see five Dockers players visit the school recently.
“The players caused a bit of a stir down at the front office, as they arrived when mums were dropping the kids off. Bit of excitement – and lots of photos taken as well!” Huntz said. When Huntz organised for some Fremantle players to visit his class at Carey’s Forrestdale campus, he assumed only one or two players would come. He was amazed to see the club had sent five players – including Captain
Nat Fyfe – to chat and play with the Year 5 class. “The guys were great. They spoke to the kids, and the kids asked lots of great questions, which was wonderful,” Huntz said. “We kicked goals, did handballing, kicking, had a Q&A. It was fun,” Year 5 student Rylee Gentry said. As well as valuable ball skills, Huntz said the players gave students an inside look at what
being an elite sportsperson is like. The students asked players about their diet and nutrition, fitness levels, and what a typical day of training may include. They also wanted to know what it is like to be famous. Ten year old Halle Selepe said it was exciting to meet the players and learn some new tricks with the ball. “It was really cool and fun. They were really nice to
everyone. And sometimes when people were asking them questions they would ask us questions, to know more about us,” Halle said. While there are no immediate plans, Huntz said he would welcome visits from any sports club to the school, as it was a real thrill for the students. “The kids get a real buzz out of it,” he said.
Faith a big factor in NFL
Photo: Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com
In a round-table discussion among American sports journalists, NFL columnist Armando Salguero highlighted the place of faith in the NFL when asked about stories in American football that do not receive enough attention by the media.
American football players are often seen kneeling in prayer before the big game.
“The biggest under-covered story in the NFL every year is how huge a factor faith in God and Jesus Christ is in the playing and coaching of the sport,” Salguero said. “Every day, in season and out of season, coaches and players (and women on staff) pray before they begin their duties and often ask God through Jesus Christ for guidance and health in the carrying out of their functions. Yes, they get paid and rewarded, but for many, everything they do is unto God.”
“It is their motivator and at the centre of who they are.” Despite the personal importance to many players, this part of the NFL often gets overlooked, he added. “They turn to their faith for answers, strength and encouragement.” “That touchdown celebration you see every weekend, where guys point to the sky? That’s not the first or only time these men address God, Christ, and heaven, but rather that is the public view of a deep and daily walk and
relationship these people have with their Lord,” he described. “And yet, their stories – their testimonies – go unreported because the media is largely secular and the NFL wants to keep the game largely secular, despite the fact a large percentage of its employees are believers,” Salguero concluded.
The Advocate May 2017