IN CONVERSATION “The call for unity in the West against the incessant and fatally intrusive scourge of terrorism is a couple of decades too late.” STEPHEN MCALPINE PAGE 12>>
“Foot washing is an expression of love – it’s a wonder we don’t wash each other’s feet more than once a year.” MEGHAN MURPHY-GILL PAGE 13>>
5 Thriving churches WA Global Interaction team member Pam Gallagher’s first visit to Assam >>
8 Worshipping daily
Photo: Rob Douglas
Worship isn’t about music – 4 ways to worship God in daily life >>
Lorraine Holdsworth and her donkey visited Messy Church at Maida Vale Baptist Church to help the group appreciate afresh the story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Getting messy at church At a time when church attendance appears to be falling, there are many fresh expressions of church that are bucking the trend. With more than 500 known congregations in the United Kingdom, Messy Church is now one of the fastest growing fresh expressions of church in that country, where it has been described as a national phenomenon, according to Maida Vale Baptist Church Pastor Rob Douglas. “There are more than 3,200 congregations of Messy Church in 20 countries around the world and the movement is also growing in Australia,” he said. Maida Vale Baptist Church is the only Baptist church in Western
Australia where congregations exist in denominations as diverse as Anglican, Uniting Church and The Salvation Army. “About 40 percent of those who attend Messy Church at Maida Vale Baptist would have little or no other church connections,” Rob said. “It is an exciting and vibrant part of the life of our church.” The first Messy Church was established in the UK in 2004 to create church for families who can’t or don’t go to church on a Sunday. It was to be a place where they could be introduced
to Jesus and experience ongoing discipleship. According to the founder of Messy Church, Lucy Moore of the Anglican Church’s Bible Reading Fellowship, the distinction between host and guest dissolves and an all age, Christ-centred community emerges. Messy Church at Maida Vale Baptist Church is held on the fourth Saturday of each month from 4.30pm until 6.30pm, and has been coordinated by the church’s Children’s and Family Worker, Robyn Douglas since 2012. “Life is messy for most families, and Messy Church provides a way of connecting with the Church without the formality that goes with a Sunday morning service,” Robyn said. Messy Church normally consists of an activity that the
whole family can participate in, a short time of worship including a Bible story and active singing, then eating a meal together. These three elements are tied together by a theme. According to Rob, traditional, institutional church often found it difficult to keep up with a fastchanging society, leading to a decline in church attendance. He said Messy Church is not a means to get people to church on Sunday, but is a unique congregation. A workshop about Messy Church is being held at Maida Vale Baptist Church on Saturday 16 September. Messy Church WA Coordinator Greg Ross will be in attendance. For more information, email email@example.com
11 Ramadan Challenges for Christians living in Muslim parts of the world during Ramadan >>
Building healthy churches. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view JULY 2017
Venom in the virtual world With reports of online abuse from around the world on the rise, it feels like a new pandemic is at large.
Rhidian Brook Author of The Aftermath, Rhidian Brook is an award winning novelist, screenwriter and broadcaster.
The internet’s speed and reach, abetted by its anonymity, have seen abuse disseminated faster and wider than ever before. According to Maria Miller, the former culture secretary, Britain needs better internet laws to stop online abuse, stating ‘people are unleashing their inner venom in a way that is not healthy for society.’ You don’t have to view a chat forum, or surf the news to encounter this poison. It can surface in a careless email word
choice or the uncertain tone. It’s in the group chat I should never have entered whilst in such a foul mood. Or the terse response I gave to a polite request. Back when the internet seemed innocent, a wise friend told me never compose an online message you wouldn’t want the world to see. Too late. The message has been sent! In this speedy world such advice is easy to ignore. But if the platform is new, the problem – the venom – is as
old as snakes. When Christ, in a moment of choicely worded anger, accuses his abusers, saying ‘you brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?’ He goes on to state a helpful truth, namely that what the mouth says (or fingers type) is determined by what’s going on inside that chamber of conscience – our hearts. And it’s to the heart that the antidote needs to be applied. Aside from creating new laws, we can do something else about it. We all have what you might call an inner editor. We probably just need to engage it more rigorously when composing messages and reading those of others. Of course,
it’s not just about what we say. Sometimes the best antidote to a toxic exchange is to say nothing. We just don’t always do it. Scripture may have been written long before broadband but it offers surprisingly handy tips on how to operate in the virtual world. I paraphrase, but the next time your fingers hover over the send button, take a pause and ask yourself: are these words full of grace, seasoned with enough salt, will they say what is helpful, and build up and benefit the reader? Perhaps then the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts will be acceptable in their sight.
out of a chair is also apparently forbidden. Taking up gardening as a hobby is said to be a sure sign of an imminent demise, so I’m at absolutely zero risk there. Given that this is an article about me, I should mention that my mother-in-law turns 100 the same month I turn 60. Of course I don’t feel old. A chat on the phone to her (she lives in South Africa) and I feel like a 20 year old (“and how are you my boy?”). And what kind of a biblical scholar would I be if I didn’t remind you that Moses was invited to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt when he was 80. You can imagine him reading
this article and sniffing, “you’re a paltry 60. Tend a few sheep in the desert for another 20 years like I did, and you just might be ready to do something.” And who knows … Moses might be right. For when you journey with God, anything can be around the corner.
soaring out of control, or whispered Kingdom-focused encouragement when the darkness seemed deafening. These people invested their energy in us to develop a group of leaders who would share Christ with others. As I sat back from my computer and looked at the various job titles on my screen, ‘missionary in Kenya … pastor … worship leader’. I was challenged. Who am I showing patience to? How can I help develop the young leaders around me? As I stepped into my church on Sunday morning, I
felt like God was whispering possibilities all around me. “What could he discover if you showed him patience?” and “What could she learn if we gave her a go?” or, “Do you want to join the Spirit at work in that person’s life?” Patience, it was shown to me in increasing measure, how could I not show it to others? I pray that as you and I look around us, may God give us the gift of patience to sit with those yet to be refined, to especially speak into the potential of those younger.
Sixty, not out … I turn 60 in July. I know you’d never have guessed it, and find it hard to believe as well. But there it is, the big six zero looming up ahead.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
So, when does old age begin? According to an often cited study, the British consider themselves old at 59, the French at 63 and the Greeks (bless them) at 68. I haven’t spotted an official Australian figure, but my research did lead me to a paper suggesting that old age really only begins at 80, while the footnote commented that this is only true if you rule napping and knitting out, and work the gym and travel in. Though it wasn’t
clear, I think the implication was that you actually had to do something whilst at the gym, and that the travel would be further than to the local supermarket. I discovered helpful tips to avoid aging as rapidly as the British. Dressing for style, rather than comfort, was one of the more unpleasant ones, as was the reminder not to wear slippers or to say “back in my day”. Sighing whilst getting
A heart of patience I remember encountering Facebook for the first time. All those names of people I thought I would never see again after high school and youth group were now connected back into my world digitally.
Aashish Parmar Aashish Parmar is the Senior Pastor at Ellenbrook Baptist Church.
A few of us have less hair than I remember, most of us are parents now and we are all scattered across the globe. As I scrolled through the list of names, I was encouraged by one common trait in a handful of my old friends. Almost 20 of us from our youth group days had gone on to serve in a full-time ministry role somewhere. Many more had gone on to significant service in various Christian churches
around the world. They were all different: missionaries in Kenya, pastors in USA, small group leaders in England and faithful servants in Finland. All of us had a similar story. A lot of people, a long time ago, were patient with us so less people today needed to be. They let us fail and stumble, and then lifted us back up. They gently guided us back when our egos went
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What is God saying to us? Inglewood Community Church Senior Pastor Mark Edwards commented that it was a time that was challenging and spiritually enriching for those who attended. So much so that Allan has been invited back to Perth in 2017 to speak to a wider church audience at the Whisper Conference being held at Inglewood Community Church on 29 July. “Many of us wanted people in our church to have the opportunity to hear such material, and to have Allan expand on the message he brought to the Pastoral Retreat,” Mark said. “One of the most challenging parts of our Christian faith is knowing what it is that God is saying to us.” “As we ponder the stories in the Scriptures we wonder how the prophets of old could stand and
proclaim so confidently that God had spoken.” “The prophet Elijah heard from God through a whisper. God does speak, and how we hear and understand His message is the challenge,” he said. Inglewood Community Church, a Baptist church, is hosting the half day conference where Allan will tackle the issue of hearing the voice of God and moving in the Spirit. It is expected this will be a challenging conference assisting Christians in their faith journey. This topic is something Allan has studied and presented talks on all over Australia at various conferences and retreats. Allan has led NewHope Baptist Church in Melbourne for over 20 years and brings a wealth of practical and pastoral experience.
Photo: NewHope Baptist Church
In 2016, Reverend Allan Demond spoke on the subject of ‘How do we hear from God?’ at the All Together Baptist Pastoral Retreat.
Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Mark Wilson said Allan’s teaching is biblical, backed up with experience from his own life. “Allan grew up in a very conservative Baptist church and has experienced the freedom of being released in the person and power of the Holy Spirit,” Mark said. “Allan is a brilliant teacher, communicator and senior pastor.” “I believe the Whisper Conference, where Allan is the keynote speaker, will be of incredible benefit for any pastor, church leader or church attender who wants to hear the whisper of God through His written Word and promptings from the Holy Spirit.” For more information, visit inglewoodchurch.org.au/ whisper-conference
Pastor Allan Demond will be helping people to better understand what God is saying to them at the upcoming Perth Whisper Conference.
Join our team! YouthCARE Chaplain Kim Scaddan is happy to provide filled backpacks for school students.
Josh del Pino
When it comes to buying school equipment, some students need a helping hand. Noticing a need in their local community, local couple David and Christine Thomas and YouthCARE Chaplain Kim Scaddan decided to help provide stationery for students at Grovelands Primary School, Westfield. “We regularly receive children into our school that come without anything at all,” Kim said.
“Some families are reluctant to even send their children to school due to not being able to buy basic supplies needed to feel ‘ready’ for school.” The idea that seemed to make most sense to the trio was to see if a few backpacks filled with the school booklist could be provided for each year level. Kim provided Christine with the booklists and she took the proposal to her leadership group. They then filled them with the booklist items for each year level. More than ten backpacks have been distributed this year already. “It means children can focus on learning, instead of worrying about supplies,” Kim said.
At Baptistcare, we place a great emphasis on people – both the people we serve and the people we employ. Baptistcare employees enjoy more than just a job. If you’re looking for a rewarding career where you can help enrich the lives of others in the community, why not join our dedicated team? Aged care, community services and officebased positions available.
Great staff benefits including: • Training to improve skills • Salary packaging • Employee Assistance Program • Discounts on banking and insurance products.
For more information please contact our People and Culture team on 9282 8610 or email@example.com
news JULY 2017
Cross-cultural churches unite Christians of different ethnicities, Romanian and Vietnamese, worshipped together and witnessed the baptism of four people that decided to place their lives in the hands of Jesus Christ. Romanian Baptist Church Pastor Ioan Busan expressed his joy at the opportunity to have fellowship with his brothers and sisters from a different ethnic background. “Fellowship and worship together is an illustration of the truth that the Church of Christ is one, beyond any cultural differences; the ethnic dimension is not so important in worship, but the cleanliness of the heart,” Ioan said. The music teams from both churches had previously met for the rehearsal of the songs that were sung at the joint service. The rehearsals brought opportunities for learning from one another and for developing a friendship among the musicians.
... most of our cross-cultural churches have embraced the attitude of openness and acceptance ... Eternity Christian Church Pastor Dinh Nguyen preached about the importance of baptism for the believer and about the love of God that calls people to salvation.
Eternity Christian Church has been in existence for just over a year. “This inaugural baptism service was a significant celebration that was worth sharing with another congregation,” Dinh said. The baptism in water was followed by a prayer for those who joined Eternity Christian Church through this act. The fellowship continued after the service through a lunch prepared by members of the two churches. When asked how the joint worship service affected their congregations, Ioan responded that everyone enjoyed it. “We should do this more often. We should hold a worship service with all other cross-cultural churches,” he said. Baptist Churches Western Australia Cross-Cultural Consultant Reverend Victor Owuor was also present at the baptism. “The diversity represented in our cross-cultural churches is a testimony of how God is building His Kingdom to include all kinds of people living in Western Australia,” Victor said. “In the midst of this diversity, most of our cross-cultural churches have embraced the attitude of openness and acceptance by doing activities together.” “One of the aims of Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) is to encourage churches to work together to do what would be difficult as individual congregations.” “Cross-cultural churches in BCWA have embraced this vision and have been working together as part of this important part of our Christian witness.”
Photo: Michael Busan
The Romanian Baptist Church in Bayswater hosted and was part of a special event in the life of the believers of Eternity Christian Church in Bedford on Sunday 7 May.
Eternity Baptist Church believers accepting prayer from Pastor Ioan Busan before their baptism.
Forging strong partnership
With a shared vision to see lives and hearts transformed, Baptistcare CEO Russell Bricknell and Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Mark Wilson, recently met to discuss opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the two like-minded organisations. Baptist Churches Western Australia works to support organisations like Baptistcare, one of WA’s largest providers of residential care, at home services, retirement living and disability services, recognising that more can be achieved working together to ensure the best quality of life for people who are vulnerable in our communities. Russell joined Baptistcare as CEO earlier this year, presenting a new opportunity to explore
collaborative initiatives. He recognises the need to get to know and understand the Baptist churches in WA and their communities better. “I believe there is great potential for our organisations to work more closely together for greater impact, especially given our shared values and vision for the community,” Russell said. “Our Christian ethos is at the heart of everything we do.”
close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be.
“In this current period of unprecedented change in the aged care and disability services sectors, it’s particularly important for us to work closely with the Baptist community to ensure we can continue to effectively provide compassionate care and support to our residents, customers and the wider community,” he said. Baptist Churches Western Australia and Baptistcare hope to harness their energies and serve communities together through staff recruitment drives, volunteering opportunities and other useful initiatives such as information sessions to demystify government funding options for seniors (Home Care Packages) and people living with disability (National Disability Insurance Scheme). For more information, visit www.baptistcare.com.au
digital church 06/06/17
Ron Edmondson ronedmondson.com Walking by faith – leading into the unknown – always teaches me more than I could learn in a ‘safe place’.
Brett McCracken 9marks.org When churchgoing becomes mostly about finding the church that best supports my own subjective ‘spiritual path’, it will eventually become an impossible task, more frustrating and draining than it’s worth. Why? Because no church
will ever be perfectly tailored to my preferences.
Heather Lovell writesomething.org.au ‘I am sorry’ would be one of the most important phrases in our lives. It keeps the focus on our actions and not on the other person’s response. I can’t begin to imagine if God had put conditions on my repentance of wrong.
Max Lucado twitter.com/MaxLucado You can. With God’s help you can
David Roper odb.org The One who made all things beautiful makes the clouds float through the air. He does so to call us to wonder and adoration.
Craig Groeschel twitter.com/craiggroeschel God often allows you to experience more than you can handle to teach you to trust and depend on Him.
Rick Warren pastorrick.com/devotional The Bible contains more promises about giving and generosity than any other subject. Why? You’re never more like God than when you give. God gives. It’s what He does. He’s generous.
remain. I pray that we, as a group of churches, would love the gospel more than we love anything else. 16/06/17
Steven Furtick twitter.com/stevenfurtick The key to persevering through seasons of pruning is remaining confident in God’s purpose.
jdgreear.com We are, all of us, always at risk of adding something to the gospel. And soon enough, the-gospeland turns into the-gospel-of … until eventually the gospel fades away and only the lesser things
desiringgod.org The Lord is pleased not by those who treat Him as a needy watering trough, but as an inexhaustible, allsatisfying spring.
Leaders stand together Women in leadership roles across churches, denominations, businesses and social sectors gathered for a full weekend at Orchard Glory Farm Resort, just north of Perth. Perth artist Corina Jasmin met with Fresh Conference Director Karen Wilson prior to the event and was able to create a piece of artwork to help convey the message that would be shared with the women there. “As I told the story and the painting was revealed, many were deeply touched and could ‘see’ what was being spoken about,” Karen said. Karen spoke on having faith like Elijah. Seeing, knowing, hearing – and then leading others to do the same. “The past season has been extremely difficult for many leaders.”
“There have been extremely intense ministry and personal challenges. Yet, God is calling us to hear His voice and to answer with a resounding ‘yes’ to whatever He asks of us,” she said. The Fresh Conference team planned and prepared for this event and were all part of leading the weekend. “I felt God had laid it on my heart to go deeper and to gather others who would stand together to see God move across the state of WA,” Karen said. “The rain is coming, and we are going to see women gather and stand strong in bringing change to their world.” “They will stand side by side and be ready for whatever God has them to do. The strength of this stance, will catch the attention of thousands to achieve God’s purposes and for His glory.”
Photo: Corina Jasmin
A piece of artwork was pivotal in providing the keynote message to over 100 women leaders at Fresh Leadership Winter retreat in June.
Perth artist Corina Jasmin created an artwork to reveal a prophetic message at a leadership conference recently.
The women travelled from as far as Esperance, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, many locations in the South West, as well as from all over the metropolitan area. “Across the weekend there was healing, renewed hope, impassioned vision and a sense of unity amongst all who gathered,” Karen added.
This year the Fresh Conference team have taken a step of faith and have booked HBF Stadium as the venue for the Fresh Conference to be held in August. The hope to is to fill the venue to capacity. International speakers will travel to Perth and women from more than 250 churches are expected to gather together.
“God is whispering His plans. Leaders are coming together and walls are going down. We will see an impact on our city,” Karen said. For more information, visit www.freshconference.net Artwork reproduced with permission.
Western Australia Global Interaction team member and former cross-cultural worker Pam Gallagher recently visited Assam in northeastern India. It was Pam’s first visit to Assam and she met members of the vibrant Boro, Garo and Rabha churches. “It was an incredible joy and privilege to witness the thriving churches,” Pam said. “I vividly remember hearing stories from my childhood about Assam and of being told of the many people who had never heard about Jesus in a meaningful way.” “I also remember giving to the ministry and praying that there would be a strong movement of God among these people.” During her trip, Pam heard about churches supporting evangelists to share the good news with their own communities and of people coming to faith. “These communities are generous, with families encouraged to set a serving of rice aside at each meal to be brought to the church and sold as a means of supporting the evangelists,” she said.
Various Global Interaction cross-cultural workers lived in Assam for 23 years before government restrictions closed off the area to Christian workers. Global Interaction believes that the responsibility of church leadership should be with the local people and that the crosscultural workers responsibility is in training and equipping these leaders to reach their own people. “Its view has helped set churches up for the years ahead where there would be limited outside support and no residential cross-cultural workers,” Pam said. Global Interaction’s partnership with Assam continues through scholarships for church leaders, visits for teaching and pastoral encouragement, and ministry program subsidies.
Photo: Keith Gallagher
Global Interaction members being welcomed with a traditional dance at a local church in Assam.
A first for church admin Over 80 pastors, administrators, secretaries and treasurers attended the inaugural Church Administration Seminar run by Baptist Churches Western Australia in early May. More than 35 churches were represented, with attendees coming from as far as Katanning,
Busselton and Kalgoorlie to the seminar held in the new John Olley Centre at Vose Seminary.
Event organiser, BCWA Business Manager Greg Holland said the seminar achieved what they hoped for by providing key people in Baptist churches with valuable information. “We were overwhelmed with interest for the event. It was outstanding to have so many attendees hear presenters cover insurance, risk management,
financial services, finance and governance topics.” Representatives from Baptist Insurance Services (BIS), BIS Risk Management, Baptist Financial Services and BCWA shared their knowledge. The organisers are planning to make the seminar an annual event as well as hold the seminar in regional churches.
news JULY 2017
Photo: Kelly Doye
Three Musketeers at Austin Cove
Austin Cove Baptist College students rehearsing for the College’s major drama production for 2017.
Austin Cove Baptist College will hold its sixth major drama production, The Three Musketeers, at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre in July. Inspired by the artistic mind of Stephen Capener, Head of the Arts Department, this production aims to invoke the audience into contemplation, entice them with suspense and action and leave them amazed through scene changes and unique concepts. “Each year we raise the bar in terms of professional standards and acting abilities to create a high-quality production that you would expect to be performed at any high-class theatre,” Stephen said. It is the vision of Secondary Principal, Orlando dos Santos, to showcase the College as one of the finest performing art colleges in the State, granting students an opportunity to grow both in confidence and create a sense of inclusivity. “Every year at this time, we see the College atmosphere transformed and students really come out of their shell ... there is a sense of comradery as they work together ... and then for them to be up on the big stage and see the response from the audience, it’s really satisfying for them,” Orlando said. Exposure is not the only reason that year after year these productions are undertaken. It is the message that is entwined into the screenplays that ignites the passion and commitment.
Messages of repentance, freedom and hope in Christ are all topics that are portrayed in every production. “The great thing about it is that people are more inclined to be touched by the message because they are in a position to receive – they are not only coming to be merely entertained, they are coming because they expect to have an experiential encounter with the gospel which is portrayed on stage,” Orlando said. “This year, the fundamental message of the performance is to not limit yourself, to know that you can create anything you set your mind to and that you are not imprisoned by your own circumstances; that God has got a future and a plan for you which is full of good things and He will lead you on the right track if you trust in Him.” “This is a great opportunity to bring your friends to a powerful production which reflects hope, forgiveness and love,” Orlando concluded. The Three Musketeers will be presented at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre with four shows from Thursday 27 July to Saturday 29 July. For more information, visit www.mpac.com.au
Kids ministry and beyond
Baptist Churches Western Australia’s children’s ministries will break new ground in October by hosting the Beyond KidsMin Conference in partnership with Warnbro Community Church. The theme ‘Reimagining Ministry to Children’ will be explored by keynote speaker Frank Bealer, CEO of Phase Family Centers and Executive Director of Leadership Development at Orange/The reThink Group. He was previously the Family Pastor at Elevation Church in the United States. Next Generations Pastor Ed Devine said the aim is for children’s ministries to have an impact beyond a Sunday morning. “Attendees will be encouraged to go beyond their understanding of children’s ministry, beyond
their own understanding as they look to God; and this will allow ministers to broaden their vision for children’s ministries in WA,” Ed explained. Several experienced local children’s pastors and leaders will present elective workshops in the areas of leading teams, kids’ worship, check-in systems, going beyond Sunday mornings with parents, effectively running games, small-church kids’ ministry, early childhood and inclusive special needs ministry.
“The Conference will deliver powerful concepts and practical tools to children’s workers, leaders and pastors across denominations in WA,” Ed said. “I believe it will bring significant impact to our Baptist family of churches and I encourage children’s ministers to consider making this their first choice training event for the year.” Supported by Vose Seminary, Church of Christ’s Kids Vision and 98five Sonshine FM, the conference will be held from 10am Friday 13 October to 3.30pm Saturday 14 October. It will include worship times, plenty of networking opportunities, meals and refreshments. For more information and tickets, www.kidsmin.org.au
A fresh perspective Samara Linehan
Fresh is just around the corner. This August, the dynamic women’s conference will be hosting a special guest visitor from Food for the Hungry, Cambodia – Linly Gula. Fresh founder Karen Wilson first met Linly earlier this year on a Women in Leadership trip with Baptist World Aid Australia. Linly is the Country Director for Food for the Hungry, Cambodia, one of Baptist World Aid’s Christian partners in the field. “I was impressed by her warmth and passion,” Karen recalled. “But I did not realise what a privilege it would be to have the next two days with her.” “She is humble, yet strong; kind yet firm … It was an honour to watch her and learn from her.” Linly shared her story with Karen as they rode together on a bouncing bus, somewhere in Cambodia. Karen was so inspired by what she heard, that she wanted the women at Fresh to experience meeting Linly as well.
“The women of Western Australia need to hear Linly’s story. They will be deeply touched by the way she chooses to live her life,” Karen said. “Fresh is about empowering women to make a difference in their local and global communities, and Linly is a woman who is doing just that.” In partnership with Baptist World Aid, Fresh is one of several Australian Baptist women conferences that raises funds each year, to bless children living in poverty. “When you invest in children, the whole community benefits,” Karen explained. “I have seen this work with Baptist World Aid and it’s amazing to see.” “Children are encouraged to step into leadership roles at
young ages … not only leading their young peers, but, often, the adults too.” To hear Linly speak while she’s in Australia, and find out more about this inspiring work, women can catch her at Fresh Conference on Saturday 19 August. Linly will also be speaking at Woodvale Baptist Church on Sunday 20 August, where all are welcome. Anyone who can’t make either of these events can still do something to make a difference for children in local and global communities by running a Be Love Sponsorship Sunday event at their church. “A small sacrifice for us, brings a lifetime opportunity for another. Why wouldn’t we participate in something like that?” Karen said.
Photo: Baptist World Aid Australia
For more information about Be Love Sponsorship Sunday, visit baptistworldaid.org.au/ be-love-sunday For more information about Fresh Conference, visit freshconference.net
Carey’s new secondary school
Country Director for Food for the Hungry, Cambodia, Linly Gula will be visiting Australia in August.
briefs Baptisms Sara Claessens, siblings Michael and Savannah Inouye, and Paul Stephens were baptised at Parkerville Baptist Church in May/June.
Photo: Carey Baptist College
Pastoral and Church Changes
Carey Baptist College are busy with preparations to open a secondary school at their Forrestdale Campus in 2019.
Carey Baptist College is set to launch a secondary school at their Forrestdale Campus in 2019. Commencing with Year 7, the school will offer a range of ATAR and vocational subject options. Since opening in 2016, the school has developed into a vibrant community, with 110 families enrolled. “While the secondary school will be new for the Forrestdale Campus, it will be developed and supported by the strength of the successful Carey Harrisdale
Campus,” founding Principal Nigel Wise said. “Carey Forrestdale has the warmth of a close-knit school community, coupled with the backing of Carey’s 20 years of experience in excellent education.” “We are thrilled to expand into secondary in 2019 and are
already in consultation with Carey curriculum experts around ATAR subjects and structure,” Nigel said. The secondary school will grow each year with the founding 2019 cohort, providing these students with unique leadership opportunities. All Carey Harrisdale Year 7 students participate in a Secondary Transitional Program in Term 1 and the Forrestdale students will also enjoy the benefit of participating in this successful program. More information, visit www.carey.wa.edu.au
Perth Chin Christian Community became a recognised Church Plant with Baptist Churches Western Australia in June. The church is currently comprised of people who speak the Falam Chin and Zanniat Chin dialects from Chin State in Myanmar. They were settled in Australia through the government and United Nations refugee resettlement program. Ballajura Baptist Church has appointed Pastor Craig Rodger as their new pastor. Girrawheen Baptist Church inducted Pastor Douglas Inawashiro and Pastor Terry Chester as Associate Pastors on 4 June with Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Pastor Mark Wilson leading the induction. Pastor Gareth Price is concluding as the Young Adults Pastor at Morley Baptist Church.
Leavers The Baptist Churches Western Australia Leavers Green Team helps to create an environment
where the young people at the Dunsborough Leavers Zone are looked after and treated with respect and love. They offer parents the security in knowing their children are being cared for and have volunteers who have sacrificed their time to care for the young people they meet. For more information, visit greenteamwa.org.au
feature JULY 2017
I’ll never forget my Sunday school teacher telling us we’ll spend all eternity worshipping God. The glee on her face wasn’t replicated by the room of seven year old kids who just wanted to play ball. “You mean, like, singing?” I asked. “Yes!” she exclaimed with joy. “We’re going to praise God forever.” I nodded with compliance, but I couldn’t help but think that this sounded more like hell than heaven.
Worship isn’t 4 ways to worship God in daily life
Indeed, I do believe we were created for worship. But I really hope that doesn’t just mean an ongoing worship service. That may be fun for 20 minutes or so – an hour at best – but what are we to do with the other 10,080 minutes in the week? If worship is what we’re created for, then we are certainly not just called to do it for a few minutes on Sunday morning. At its core, worship is accrediting worth to God. And there are actually many different ways we should worship God. Worship through obedience If God is Creator and we are created, then He knows what’s best for us. And if He knows what’s best, then it doesn’t credit any worth to God when we say, “Thanks for the advice, God, but I got this one. I actually figured out a better way.” Obedience to God accredits worth to God. As with singing, heartfelt obedience is the goal; the joyful stuff that flows from within, delighting in doing God’s will. God tells Israel: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart ... therefore you shall serve your enemies” [Deuteronomy 28:47-48]. Israel was punished for not serving God with joy. But what about those times when you don’t feel like obeying? We all have those moments. I know God is good, I know I should obey Him, and I know sin will only bring temporary pleasure but will bite me in the end. So why do I do it? Why don’t I desire to obey God more often? I don’t know if I have a good answer to this other than our sinful nature sometimes smothers our desire for God. But we still need to obey Him – even when we don’t feel like it. We are to love, to serve, to forgive the one who wrongs us over and over. Don’t wait for the feeling to come upon you. Maybe it never will. But sometimes – and here’s the key – joy follows an act of obedience, even if it doesn’t precede it.
Worship through work God created us to work. It was the first command He gave humankind: “Let them have dominion” over the earth [Genesis 1:26]. Having dominion over the earth is the umbrella concept for all that we do, including our work. But work was never designed to be a joyless burden. We worship God when we work in such a way that showcases His character and glory. This means our work should be filled with integrity and faithfulness. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” [Colossians 3:23]. The hardworking, submissive, joyful, and creative worker, who works with a knee bowed to his Creator, attributes much worth to God. Worship through creating God didn’t form us in His image so that we would become robots – mindless agents of production. In an age that worships achievement and productivity, we need to remember that God made us to be creative and not just productive (the two are not mutually exclusive, of course). God. God is creative; it’s fundamental to who He is. So, we also, as image bearers, are creative. It’s the way God wired us. When we create, we reflect God – and therefore accredit much worth to Him. Worshipping through creativity extends to all areas of life, and I’m convinced we are all creative by nature. Being creative is much more than just producing artwork. It extends to any area of life where you take a piece of creation and make it better or more beautiful. Working with wood, working with cars, working with words – all of these are only possible because we possess God’s image and are therefore creative. Don’t take a break from worship to be creative. Worship God by being creative.
feature JULY 2017
about music Worship through play Are you capturing the vision? Can you see the snowball rolling? Once you understand what worship is, you can quickly fill up those 10,080 minutes in the week with pleasurable acts of worship. Even sports, hobbies, exercise, or just laughing with your friends can be an avenue of accrediting worth to God. Take laughing, for instance. Have you ever thought of laughing as a spiritual activity? Of course, it depends on what it is that made you laugh. There are plenty of sinful things that could cause someone to crack up. But laughter itself is a good thing. Not just a neutral thing – neither wrong nor right – but an actual reflection of God. Think about it. Laughing is good for you. The mental and physiological benefits of laughing are well-documented. Laughing lowers anxiety, relieves depression and can even lengthen one’s life. Laughing is part of God’s creation – which was deemed ‘good’ several times in Genesis – and is therefore created for a reason. Laughter brings worth to God by enjoying His gift. And that applies to all areas of life. God wants us to enjoy His gift of creation, and when we enjoy it the right way, we give worth to our Creator. God designed us to run, swim, hike, work, eat, sing, write, draw, laugh. These are gifts given to us. When we don’t use them (in as much as we can), we fail to give worth to our Creator. When we use them, and enjoy using them, we proclaim to the world, ourselves and to God that He really is the good Father He says He is. But we must use them in the way that He designed them to be used. Otherwise, these good gifts can steal our joy and destroy our soul. Worst of all, we’ll fail to accredit worth to our Creator. Preston Sprinkle is a speaker, podcaster, blogger and The New York Times bestselling author of several books. He is also the President of The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender. For more information visit, www.prestonsprinkle.com
Is it music to His ears?
Our worship for God comes in many different shapes and sizes. Whether we are doing dishes at home or proofing a report at work, we can act in a way that worships God. Our actions should reflect our love for God in every aspect of our lives and should extend far from our ‘place of worship’ (a term that should likely be left behind as we don’t just worship in church). When it comes to music and singing, there’s no doubt it plays an important role in our praise and worship (just read Psalms). It seems the difficulty comes when we ask the question, is the music we are making worshipping God? I’ve led music at church and at multiple youth and young adult camps over the past five years or so, and I’ve basically made all the music leading mistakes you could make. I’ve started in the wrong key, played the wrong song, strummed countless wrong chords – all in front of hundreds of my peers. By far the biggest mistake I’ve made though, is being too proud. Was I playing for me or for God? This is the question music leaders need to be continually asking themselves. Why are you leading music? We must remember that music in the setting of worship plays a different role to music in a performance setting. We have to differentiate between performing a concert and leading a congregation in worship. They both might look the same (a band on stage playing music) but the heart behind the music needs to be completely different. A performance is for the glory of the performer, worship is for the glory of God. Large teams of musicians can play perfect masterpieces, but that doesn’t mean they are worshipping any more or less than an elderly lady on an out of tune piano in a country town hall. Music leaders must use their abilities for the glory of God, and the congregation should participate in musical worship. My church has a group of deaf believers who participate in every aspect of the service through an admirably diligent interpreter. They can’t hear what they sound like, let alone what I sound like on stage, but it doesn’t matter. They worship with all their hearts and there is no denying that it is music to His ears. John Igglesden leads music at Yokine Baptist Church and has directed music at multiple Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students camps during his time at university.
10 news JULY 2017
UK festival a charitable victory
The Big Church Day Out took place on two consecutive weekends in two locations in the UK and drew 20,000 attendees each from across the UK and Europe. Targeted at a diverse church audience of different ages, denominations and tastes in music, the event featured Christian artists and worship leaders from across the world. On five stages, artists such as Bethel Music, Rend Collective and Hillsong’s Reuben Morgan performed to an engaged audience. The festival organisers called it a “one of a kind expression of church unity that’s as vibrant and varied as its wonderful guests.” “If you think about 20,000 people gathering together for a weekend, what God can do in and through that I think is incredibly exciting. We’re chuffed to bits to have a small part to play in that,” musician Tim Hughes said in a Premier Christianity interview prior to the event. “For us, it’s not about trying to perform our new songs. It’s about saying: ‘Hey, this is the Church gathered together on this beautiful location in the open air – let’s lift high the name of Jesus’,” Hughes added.
The UK charity and sponsor of the event Tearfund handed out 1,500 bags of popcorn kernels to demonstrate how essential a simple item like grain is to people in Malawi, where millions struggle to recover from two consecutive years of drought. The Great British Bake Off star and Tearfund ambassador Martha Collison advocated for the cause. She spoke passionately to festival-goers about how her faith motivates her to help people find ways to lift themselves out of poverty. Over the first weekend at the Big Church Day Out, enough supporters committed to give five pounds a month to Tearfund to provide farming training for 3,400 families in Malawi, helping them to secure a hunger-free future. “We are hugely grateful for the generosity of festival-goers at this year’s Big Church Day Out,” Tearfund’s Head of East and Southern Africa Donald Mavunduse said. This year’s Big Church Day Out was the first time in the eight year history of the festival that an additional weekend was added to the event.
Tens of thousands of Christians celebrated God and worshipped together during the Christian music festival Big Church Day Out in the UK. Besides having a good time together, the festival-goers raised enough money to support more than 3,000 families in hunger stricken Malawi.
The Great British Bake Off star Martha Collison spoke to tens of thousands at this year’s Big Church Day Out to raise awareness of Malawi’s hunger crisis.
World Vision helps Sri Lanka
Violence in Egypt continues Coptic Christians in Egypt continue to face violent persecution. In late May, terrorists attacked a church bus trip to a monastery 140 miles south of Cairo, killing 28 and injuring 23, including children. As reported by Reuters, between eight and ten gunmen opened fire on the bus convoy, stole jewellery from some of the women onboard and attempted to force the Christians to pray the Islamic creed. All Ramadan opening celebrations in Egypt were cancelled following the attack. It is the third major terroristic action against Christians in Egypt since Christmas.
ISIS targeting Christians in the Philippines A group of militants pledging allegiance to ISIS has laid siege to the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines and taken Christians as hostages. According to World Watch Monitor, the group has taken 13 Christians and a catholic priest as captives and is using them as ‘human shields’ in order to force Filipino government troops to withdraw. Locals reported that nine civilians, who they identified as Christians, were pulled from a truck and shot dead at a militantrun checkpoint in Marawi. The militant group set fire to a number of buildings inside the city, including a cathedral and a Protestant run college.
Photo: World Vision
Three of World Vision’s program areas in Sri Lanka have been affected by floods and landslides.
World Vision has initiated emergency recovery operations in south-west Sri Lanka as 15 of the country’s 25 districts struggle with the impact of the worst flooding in years. The charity delivered tarpaulins, hygiene kits, medicine packs and more to the affected areas. Flooding and landslides displaced more than 16,800 people in south-west Sri Lanka after torrential rain. According to World Vision, 213 people are confirmed dead, 79 are still missing and more than 595,000 people have been affected by the floods. Continuous rain has increased
the risk of further landslides in the districts Ratnapura, Kalutara and Galle. In immediate response to the situation, World Vision delivered essential items such as water pumps, bottled water, blankets and shelters. The organisation has set up child friendly spaces in some of the 185 temporary camps that emerged after the flooding. These safe spaces for children are run by trained staff
who offer a range of activities to help the children regain a sense of normality. Three World Vision programs (Neluwa, Wattala and Nuwara Eliya) and 886 sponsored children were affected by the disaster. World Vision is monitoring the situation in these areas and has addressed the needs of the affected communities. In Neluwa, the World Vision team was taken out of the area as a safety measure. While landslides have become common in Sri Lanka during monsoon season due to heavy deforestation, World Vision National Director for Sri Lanka Dhanan Sennathirajah believes the recent events to be particularly severe.
news 11 JULY 2017
Being a Christian at Ramadan
From late May to late June, hundreds of millions of Muslims take part in a period of fasting and prayer to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to the prophet Mohammed. During Ramadan, Muslims are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual relations, from sunrise to sunset, for 30 days. A believer in South-East Asia shared that he still fasts during Ramadan, but since converting to Christianity his focus and reason has changed drastically. “When I was a Muslim, I fasted to get ‘pahala’ [spiritual merits],” he shared. “I needed lots and lots of them so that at Judgment Day, when Allah weighs my deeds, my rewards would hopefully outweigh my sins [and I could enter paradise]. But even then, I still couldn’t be sure that Allah would accept my rewards, or know if they would overcome my sins.”
Even in some cases, Christians may face physical violence due to the fact that they were caught eating their lunch by their fasting Muslim co-workers or neighbours. “But praise God I am now a Christian. I have Christ’s assurance that my sins are washed away by His blood. I don’t have this nagging fear anymore.” “Now I fast to deepen my relationship with God and to know Christ more.” “Now I fast to pray for God to save other Muslims who are still trying to please God.” “Now I fast so that Muslims will discover the abundant bliss of knowing Christ as I have experienced,” he added.
A group of Christians in Oman annually meet on the ‘Night of Power’ [the climax of Ramadan on one of the last ten days of the fasting period] to pray for their neighbours. “We pray for Muslims to see the truth and receive visions and dreams of Jesus,” one local shared. “Each year we hear testimonies of that actually happening. They see Jesus dressed in white clothes.” As working hours are by law shortened from 8am to 2pm in many countries during Ramadan, Christians cannot help but be at least somewhat affected. “That is the law, and for us the law is a blessing since it gives us time to organise extra church services and worship meetings,” said a Christian from Qatar. “We have more time to pray and seek God’s presence than during normal working days.” But despite some Christians’ efforts to make the best of their situation, Ramadan remains a difficult time for many believers in places like Egypt. “It does carry a great deal of burden and concern for the Christian community in Egypt. It is a very long 30 days during which Christians in schools, work or public spaces may receive harsh looks and verbal harassments from some Muslims because of their faith,” a Christian in Egypt explained. “Even in some cases, Christians may face physical violence due to the fact that they were caught eating their lunch by their fasting Muslim co-workers or neighbours.” “I remember as a young boy having to eat and drink in the school toilet to avoid trouble with Muslim classmates and teachers.” Open Doors encourages Christians to pray for their Muslim neighbours each year at Ramadan and to remember fellow believers who might meet persecution during this time of the year.
Photo: Open Doors
Christians living in majority Muslim parts of the world face multiple challenges during the month of Ramadan. In an interview with Open Doors Australia, believers from South-East Asia, Qatar and Oman shared what it is like to be a Christian during that time of the year.
Muslims entering a mosque in Oman.
For further information contact Wade Sinclair: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0407 992 611 Visit the website www.rivo.org.au
12 growth JULY 2017
Photo: Shutterstock / Rawpixel.com
Unity around what exactly?
The call for unity in the West against the incessant and fatally intrusive scourge of terrorism is a couple of decades too late. We have lost unity and we won’t be getting it back. There is no unity left in the West to call us to gather around. ‘Unity around unity’ is as much as empty slogan as ‘Love is love’. Both are mealy mouthed shibboleths devoid of any actual content. They mean whatever the placard holder intends them to mean. Actual content has been driven from the centre of our culture. We are not content because we are contentless, adrift on a sea of images, personal experiences beyond the critique of anyone else, and online shopping. This is a worrying time. This morning The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen, and Brendan O’Neill, the editor of Spiked, both scorned the very idea of a call for unity, precisely because of what I just said above. There is nothing to be united around. That lack of unity, a deconstruction process by the old postmodern crowd (remember them?), was taken up and globalised in the West by the high tech whiz-kids who thought that technology would do what religion and patriotism had failed to do. Yet the purveyors of this thoroughly hypermodern technology have no control over its use by the most medieval terrorists the world has yet seen. What was supposed to be the freedom of our culture, a
disconnection from the old world and all of its dogmas, and a glorious utopian attachment to the new, has failed to materialise. We have a chimera of unity around glossy ads telling us about ‘being connected’ and the ‘future is now’, and ‘imagine a world that’. It’s all nonsense. It’s hard to imagine a world that stubbornly isn’t, when you are confronted with the world that shockingly is, in the faces and names of young girls killed at a pop concert. The problem is that there is no new framework to attach ourselves to. Technology overreached itself, seeing itself as an end in itself, rather than a means to a greater end. And we will pay the price for decades to come. There is no longer any commonwealth to unite around; no common goal; no common idea of human flourishing; no common understanding of what is good or evil; no common understanding that there even is good or evil. Well did Miroslav Volf say in his famous essay on human flourishing: ‘The idea of flourishing as a human being has shrivelled to meaning no more than leading an experientially satisfying life. The sources of satisfaction may vary: power, possessions, love, religion, sex, food, drugs –
whatever. What matters the most is not the source of satisfaction, but the experience of it – my satisfaction. Our satisfied self is our best hope.’ Volf nails it. If there is no source and only experience, then the call to unity is a waste of time. A source is outside of ourselves. It is a reference point, a lodestar. An experience? Well we all have those and they are as subjective, fragile and ephemeral. The last one is never as important, or as vital, as the next one (I did mention online shopping, didn’t I?). So what is the West supposed to be united around exactly? Both Albrechtsen and O’Neill have a point. You can’t take out of the bank what you have not put in. We are a fractured society in the West and a call to unity is not going to work if we have no idea what to unite around. The worries are that rampant nationalism, ironic nihilism, or sheer utopian denial will be the calling cards left on the West’s doorstep. My worry about Albrechtsen and O’Neill, despite my admiration for their work in general, is that the unity they call for will first be around anger, then around vengeance. No doubt about it, it is a zero sum game being played out in the West.
The Left is at war with the Right. Populism is rife. A recent major study revealed that across the world trust in institutions has declined drastically, even over the course of the past 12 months [Edelman Trust Barometer]. Along with this, the religious framework of our culture is under increasing strain (it’s unpopular or is in pre-persecution stage, depending on your viewpoint). Radical Islamists must not be able to believe their luck. The West is doing all the hard work for them through a process of slow, self-implosion. And then we read that we will never let the terrorists win. What does that even mean to say that? If the goal of terrorism is terror (it pretty much says what it is on the packet), then they’re doing a pretty good job of achieving it. For the people of God, the way forward must be unity, but not around anger. And it’s a unity that first we model among ourselves to a watching world, and then in light of that, offer it to the world. Remember the Scriptures, Ephesians 4:3. ‘Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ Unity is not something to attain, but rather maintain. True unity is a gift from God, not something we build from scratch. We can lose it and reduce it to nothing, but we can never build it from nothing – it must have a source, and a source outside our own personal experiences. Its source is the Spirit of God, who it says, binds us together in peace
The unity of God’s people – locally and globally – is built upon a God who doesn’t allow us to take vengeance, but who says that we should leave room for vengeance, because it belongs to Him [Romans 12:9]. We should take no comfort in calls for unity around a desire for vengeance towards terrorists, because in the end such vengeance is uncontrollable by us, as nationalism and nihilism merely prove. Besides, we see the God to whom vengeance belongs, taking in on Himself through His Son, all of the world’s injustices and hatreds. And that’s a huge safety valve. It’s a perspective on the world that Albrechtsen and O’Neill, despite their admirable call out on the vacuous nature of the calls for unity by our ruling elite, cannot grasp. Christ is filling up, reconciling, the entire cosmos around Himself. His presence and work means that there can be no true, lasting unity around anything else, nothing, at least, that will not morph into something even worse than what we already have. Stephen McAlpine is a pastor and church planter for Providence Church. Used with permission, www.stephenmcalpine.com
growth 13 JULY 2017
Foot washing is an expression of love It's a wonder we don’t wash each other’s feet more than once a year
My worries quickly abated, however, when upon our arrival our priest took my son by the hand and walked him through the church, explaining in hushed tones the holy practices we would all participate in that evening, him included. My son was uncharacteristically quiet. How much of this is he getting? I wondered to myself. Apparently enough, and more than I could have expected. When it came time to wash our feet, my son didn’t hesitate and was the first to climb into a chair. As the rest of the congregation chanted “Veni, Sancte Spiritus”, beckoning the presence of the Holy Spirit, our priest knelt at my son’s feet, helped him remove his shoes, and poured water over his chubby toes. I knelt down next to him and helped dry his feet with the soft towel. It was a holy moment. “It’s your mama’s turn now,” the priest said, when we’d finished washing and drying his feet together. I helped my son out of the chair and sat down. This part felt more uncomfortable to me. Between all my work, errands, cleaning and general caretaking as a mum, I hadn’t had any time for even a DIY pedicure. I was embarrassed by the state of my feet, but this mattered not at all to my son. The priest helped him pour water from a stone pitcher over my feet. They then held them in a towel. Fat tears filled my eyes and tumbled down my cheeks, surprising me. Why was I crying? I wondered. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another,” Jesus tells His friends in John’s Gospel, the only of the four accounts of Jesus’ last supper to include the story of how Jesus washed his disciples’ feet [John 13:34]. Holy Thursday, I thought, looking at this Scripture passage, is all about loving and humbly serving one another. And yet the moment that had moved me to tears was when I was loved and served by my own son. In the days that followed, I prayed and reflected on the cause for my tears. When Jesus prepares to wash His friends’ feet His last night on earth, Peter protests, aghast that
the one He calls teacher should sit at His own feet and wash them. He only agrees to the whole scenario once Jesus tells him, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me” [John 13:8b]. I imagine Peter covering his eyes in embarrassment and wincing as His saviour removes his sandals for him. Foot washing, like most church rituals, has a meandering history. Between the lack of paved sidewalks and preference for open-toed footwear, foot washing was a necessity in Jesus’ day, not unlike the instinctual stomping and removing of boots those of us in northern climes are familiar with. A pitcher and a bowl at the door (and a servant to do the washing) was probably as much a sign of hospitality as it was a request. As someone more familiar with snow than sand, I can’t help but think of my own gestures of hospitality: “Come on in! Can I take your coat? Oh, you can leave your boots right there”, as I motion to the tray where my family’s own shoes are lined up. While historians believe that Christian communities continued to practice this ritual, and it appeared in the Roman Missal in the late 16th century, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it was included in the celebration of Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Last Supper. The Roman Missal says the practice isn’t obligatory but ought to be practiced when a pastoral need suggests it. In other words, a parish pastor can choose to skip the ritual. I think that’s a mistake, and after my Holy Thursday experience last year, I am even more convinced that foot washing should be a regular Christian practice. As I reflected more deeply on this new commandment from Good Friday to Easter and then through the rest of the year, it occurred to me that I’d only been taking part of Jesus’ instruction seriously. Since my son’s birth, I’d been living out the ‘love one another’ part of the ‘new commandment’ in a way that consumed all the minutes of my life. I’d cleaned his face after every meal, bathed him every night, and wiped his bottom countless times a day. But suddenly, here he was, at
Photo: Shutterstock / Kittibowornphatnon
I took my son to church for Holy Thursday for the first time last year when he was just more than 18 months old. I worried that we’d have to leave early or stand in the back of the church, resigned to tracing the stained-glass windows with our fingers while the rest of our community prayed, listened to Scripture, shared the eucharistic meal, and washed each other’s feet.
my feet, washing and drying me. Loving and serving me. One of my biggest spiritual challenges, and one that I revisit every Lent, is to not let my ego get in the way of my reliance on God. I don’t like to be vulnerable. And I’m wary of relying on others. As a smart, competent American woman, I’m afflicted by a particular zeal for self-reliance in the way many parents, caretakers, aid workers and nurses are. That pull-yourself-up-by-thebootstraps mentality can go too far and is a way to make the self the centre of life instead of God. Sometimes, when we focus so much on serving others, and do so in the name of God’s love, it’s so easy to forget that we are just as beloved. In truth, we are reliant on our brothers and sisters, regardless
of whether we recognise it. So, there is a constant pastoral need to liturgically practice Jesus’ new commandment that we love one another as we are loved by God. It’s a wonder we don’t wash each other’s feet more than once a year. When I watched my son easily climb into the chair and remove his shoes, I was offered a glimpse into what the new commandment looks like in honest, vulnerable, faithful practice. It’s not merely God’s dream that we love and serve each other, but that we also accept our own belovedness. Foot washing, then, is sacramental, revealing God’s desire for creation to care and be cared for. Recently I was remembering last year’s Holy Thursday service with a friend of mine. He
recounted how one of the women in our congregation, whose health had started to decline, sat down to have her feet washed by her husband. “They are approaching the end of their life together, and here was the sacrament of their 50-odd years of marriage: him washing her feet, her allowing him to do it, both in absolute trust,” my friend said. “I was expecting the sky to rip open any moment.” Meghan Murphy-Gill is the managing editor of U.S. Catholic. Copyright © 2017 Claretian Publications. Reprinted by permission from the April 2017 issue of U.S. Catholic magazine, www.uscatholic.org
14 news JULY 2017
James sets a new jazz standard John Igglesden
… Morrison demonstrates his love for the genre and his want to encourage jazz in the next generation.
Accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic orchestra and conducted by Keith Lockhart, The Great American Songbook is a collection of jazz classics from the likes of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and
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many other legendary names of the jazz genre. Described as jazz standards by those in the industry, the pieces are a collection of Morrison’s personal favourites that have played a significant role in his life. “I proposed to my wife by walking into the bathroom playing My Funny Valentine, Every Time We Say Goodbye was played at the funeral of a dear friend, Summertime was the first time I worked with a singer, A Foggy Day was the first song I performed in public on the piano (aged 10), and of course Duke Ellington answered the unanswerable question ‘what is jazz’? in (It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” James said. Having accepted seven Carey Baptist College students into the James Morrison Academy of Music for 2017, Morrison demonstrates his love for the genre and his want to encourage jazz in the next generation. Morrison sung praises of Carey Baptist College’s jazz culture. “That’s too many soloists in one school to be a coincidence.”
James Morrison blasted his way into the ARIA Jazz and Blues Albums Chart in the beginning of June.
Hymns for Him
For more information, visit www.jamesmorrison.com
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Featuring pieces that would have originally been sung, Morrison takes on the melodies with his trumpet rather than voice, having arranged them especially for trumpet and orchestra. He is described by renown trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie as, “One of the best”. The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, a space famously used by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, Radiohead and Coldplay.
Photo: Alexie Jell
James Morrison’s new album, The Great American Songbook debuted at number two on the ARIA Jazz and Blues Albums Chart, early June.
The Bible Society celebrates two hundred years of spreading God’s word.
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Mount Pleasant Baptist Church’s Booragoon Campus resounded with the singing of hymns to celebrate two hundred years of the Bible Society on Saturday evening 10 June. Over 1,000 Christians of all ages attended Hymnfest, with
music provided by the Perth Adventist Orchestra and Choir. Other choral music was also performed by various groups, with a mix of congregational singing and performances. “It was very encouraging to see so many Christians of different ages coming together to worship God and celebrate a great milestone,” Hymnfest attendee Elise Kirk said. “The orchestra and choir were amazing, but the show was stolen by the children’s choir who won the hearts of all present,” another attendee Jahjah Chou said.
Nearly $9,000 was raised for the provision of Scripture resources to chaplains throughout Australia and for Indigenous Bible translation. Hymnfest is annual event of the Bible Society, an organisation that translates, publishes, distributes and engages people with the Bible across the globe. For more information, visit www.dev.biblesociety.org.au
intermission 15 JULY 2017
A minute with ...
He is Faithful from A-Z
Trish Harrop He is Faithful from A-Z is a raw selection of powerful testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Trish Harrop’s conversational style invites the reader into her life as she tells of God’s guidance, love and mercy, some even before she knew Him. The unconventional set-up gives the reader the option to read the book cover to cover or select chapters or segments as they need encouragement in a certain area of their life, much like a promise book. Each segment is an individual testimony and can be read independently with reference to other segments as appropriate. The highlighted scriptures placed through the book shows how God uses His Word to speak to people as they travel through this life and how important it is. – Dorothy
watch How Great is Our God
Baptistcare General Manager of Aged Care Services Graydn Spinks
Louie Giglio An inspiring follow on from Louie Giglio’s Indescribable, in How Great is Our God Louie takes the viewer on a journey through the stars to demonstrate just how big and awesome God is. However, it doesn’t end there because this great and powerful God also knows everything about every person on the planet and desires to have a personal and individual relationship with each of us. Louie’s contagious enthusiasm never dulls as he captures the minds and hearts of his listeners, appealing to those with a broad cosmic understanding and the lay person alike, using vision and words to weave his story of God’s love for everyone. ‘If the Earth was the size of a golf ball …’ – Dorothy
The Baptistcare General Manager of Aged Care Services is a new position for you, what are you looking forward to? Working with Baptistcare Chief Executive Officer Russell Bricknell to strengthen and grow Baptistcare’s position in the complex, rapidly changing, residential care market. And, delivering on its vision to transform and enrich the lives of those we care for in an evolving consumer driven market. What experiences do you bring to the role? The last ten years I worked at Southern Cross Care where I held a number of senior executive roles, including General Manager Services. I also have an extensive background working in aged and community services in the not-for-profit and local government sectors across metropolitan, regional, rural and remote settings. What challenges do you envisage? I am looking forward to leading the residential care services team in a fast-paced and dynamic environment which presents many opportunities for Baptistcare. How do you spend your time outside of work? I am usually at the gym and I am an armchair cricket and rugby critic (Western Force is my team), depending on the season. I also enjoy home improvements (as directed by my better half) and cooking.
listen Without Words
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Bethel Music Do you ever just want to escape all the noise and chatter in your world? Then you will relish the musical treat that is Bethel, Without Words. An oasis of sound for a listener’s busy day, the album is full of instrumental tracks that promise to delight their senses. There are classics featured such as the harp and piano, but also some more unusual culprits like a vintage radio and a typewriter. Bethel’s Without Words is an album that can be on repeat, centring praise at home or in the car. – Gemma
16 sport JULY 2017
Running builds friendships
Baptistcare At Home Services recently supported Steven Micale to join a local running club, On My Feet, to achieve a significant personal milestone of running 100 kilometres and gain a valuable new network of friends. of achieving this goal. The organisation identified an appropriate support worker and connected him to a local running club, On My Feet.
... helps people in the community to develop self-worth, purpose and confidence ...
“Steven runs every Monday evening and this has become one of the highlights of his week as he connects with his support worker and other runners, building valuable friendships while improving his health and wellbeing,” Richard said. For more information, visit www.baptistcare.com.au
The club helps people in the community to develop selfworth, purpose and confidence through running. Steven has made amazing progress since he started. At first he struggled to run 600 metres but through his commitment and motivation, along with support and encouragement from his support worker and running club, he now regularly completes five kilometre runs and has achieved his personal goal of 100 kilometres since he began. Baptistcare offers flexible services to support people with disabilities and their families, to live life to the full. Everyone has the right to choose how they are supported and how their resources are used. The customer decides how much – or how little – help they need to manage their services. Baptistcare Service Facilitator Richard Akubuiro said Steven identified that he wanted to be more proactive about his desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to lose weight. Baptistcare, through its At Home Services, came alongside to support him on the journey
Steven Micale has built a valuable network of friends and maintains a healthy lifestyle through running.
Stephen Curry reminds us God is the real MVP
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Golden State Warriors won the NBA championships for the second time in three seasons on 13 June. Not only was this the second championship win for the team, but it was also their third consecutive season reaching the finals.
Stephen Curry looks to God whenever he plays for his team, the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors continue their incredible run of broken records and victories, with two time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), Stephen Curry. Stephen, along with wife Ayesha of two and a half years, is a devout Christian and was raised in a Christian household by his father, Dell (former NBA player) and mother, Sonya. Along
with brother Seth and sister Sydel, they attended Central Church of God in Charlotte, North Carolina where Stephen met his wife. Curry is well known for his favourite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The verse reference 4:13 is printed on the laces of his signature shoes. Curry routinely reminds himself of his purpose in life with a personal show of faith whenever he steps on the court. “I do a little sign on the court every time I make a shot or a good pass and I pound my chest and point to the sky – it symbolises that I have a heart for God,” Stephen explained. “It’s something that my Mum and I came up with in college and I do it every time I step on the floor as a reminder of who I’m playing for.”
The Advocate - July 2017