“Let your kids see your warts … so that they can see you seeking Jesus to make you healed and whole and fully dependent upon Him. There could be no greater gift.” SIMON ELLIOTT PAGE 13>>
IN CONVERSATION Russell Bricknell talks about what led him to commence the Baptistcare CEO role recently and his vision for Baptistcare. PAGE 12 >>
4 Hunger crisis Catastrophic food shortages in East Africa affect more than 25 million people >>
6 Breakfast club Photo: Shutterstock / opailin
Primary school breakfast club teaches life skills to student volunteers >>
The latest research reveals that there are effective ways of communicating the gospel with Australians.
If necessary, use words
There is good news for Christians who have only ever experienced angst about evangelism due to feeling inadequate at delivering compelling gospel presentations and convincing apologetic masterpieces that turn sceptics into true believers. You also don’t need to find a famous identity to present your message. New research finds that in the Australian context there is a more effective way of relating the gospel, and we can all do it. This is according to the results of the new Faith and Belief in Australia report, produced by McCrindle Research, in partnership with Olive Tree Media, Christian Media and Arts Association, Christian Schools Australia and the Ministry Training Strategy. The report features a wide range of outcomes including
that the top attractor in relation to religion and spirituality is people who live out a genuine faith. This is an ‘attractor’ that cannot be contained within a church program or event. It relies on Christians to understand the importance of an authentic faith and the degree to which this affects the openness of people looking on to consider the claims of Christ. These results would not have surprised the Apostle Paul who talked of believers being a ‘living letter’ [2 Corinthians 3:3]. The most potent place where
this attractor is at play would be through our working lives. In Thank God It’s Monday, Mark Greene highlights the importance of the workplace to a Christian’s evangelistic potential: ‘There are very few places where a non-Christian could and should see the difference that Christ makes in a life so clearly as working with someone 30, 40, 60 hours a week; we are called on to look for common ground with non-Christians when, in the workplace, we already share it; we are being exhorted to build bridges when, in the workplace, the bridges are built and have been crossed; we are exhorted to go and develop relationships with people, but, in the workplace, the relationships already exist; and we are encouraged to go out and fish in pools and puddles when we are already sitting on a lake full of fish.’
In an Australian context where there is such a negative perception of the church due to the ongoing sexual abuse enquiries, authentic Christian living is essential. Of course, it is always essential. As a business owner, I have found it necessary to hide the Christian identity of many of my customers from my staff due to the poor way many of them behave, particularly about relatively trifling amounts of money. Time and time again poor behaviour has simply served to underline pre-existing perceptions that my staff have of ‘hypocritical’ believers. Discipleship is therefore a critical element of preparing believers for effective evangelism. Do what I say doesn’t cut the mustard. Used with permission from Stan Fetting, www.crossover.org.au
11 Loving community Picnic tables across the USA and around the world are a symbol of hospitality >>
Committed to being honest, transparent and above reproach. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view AUGUST 2017
Pocket money joy My ten year old daughter was standing on the driveway with her hands on her hips when I pulled in. Before I could even take my seatbelt off, she had opened the car door and proclaimed, “I am the only kid in my class who doesn’t get pocket money. I need pocket money!”
Yvette Cherry Yvette Cherry is the Worship Ministry Coordinator at Riverton Baptist Community Church.
I cleared my throat, and in my haughtiest ‘lady of the manor’ voice stated, “One does not simply demand pocket money. One must earn it.” Later that night we negotiated a ‘chores for money’ plan for the two eldest children. It was genius, in my opinion; 49 jobs for seven days. They would receive ten dollars at the end of the week, but for every job not completed, 20 cents would be deducted.
At the end of the first week, the eight year old pocketed the whole ten dollars and the ten year old earned $9.80. At the end of the second week, the eight year old was on $9.60 and the ten year old $6. Comments like, “wash your gross toothpaste down the sink. I don’t want to clean it!” and “separate your undies from your pants before you put them in the basket”, were making me chuckle. By the third week, Big Sister had become a slacker. Her sloppy
performance had earned her three days suspension from earning pocket money and when she resumed, Little Sister noticed that Big Sister was ‘cooking the books’. Little Sister was growing a little bitter. The system broke down as she protested more and more about her dodgy colleague. Don’t we all fall into that trap occasionally? We are happy and content with what we have, until we notice that our neighbour seems to have a better deal. We
take our eyes off what is before us, look sideways, and start to wonder if we’re being cheated. Comparison steals our joy, and makes us feel as though we’re coming off second best. Galatians 6: 4-5 says, ‘Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.’ [MSG] Let’s do our creative best! No comparison. Full of joy! Working for far more than pocket money.
Uber, and all that … I don’t know how quickly you adopt new technology, but I fall somewhere in the middle. If there is something seriously wrong with it, I’m happy for someone else to find out first. So, I only recently had my first Uber ride.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
I’m proud to say I succeeded in downloading the app unaided, and then hailed my first Uber. Whilst wondering how to determine which cab was mine, my phone lit up informing me my drive was less than three minutes away, a dot on the map showing where it was. That dot moved closer and closer until I thought, “any closer, and it will be next to me” – which is when I spotted that it was!
Hopping in, I was about to give my driver my destination, but was assured he already knew. He sped away chatting rapidly: “No, it hasn’t been a very busy day” he informed me. “Adelaide’s dodgy weather is to blame. Ah, how I wish I could be back in Perth. Perth, that’s where the sun always shines.” “Perth,” I said, “that’s where I’m from.” He looked at me with undisguised envy and told me I live in paradise. Though I knew it was bucketing with rain in Perth
at that very moment, rather than be contrary, I simply agreed that Perth is a lovely place. “So how do you enjoy being an Uber driver?” I queried. He gave a longish answer, before the punchline. “Our customers rate us. If my average falls below 4.5 stars, I’m out.” Now he didn’t actually say, “so please rate me as 5 stars” but I did spot the conversation’s subtext. And I obliged. Disobeying the command
not to judge anyone, when Uber asked my view of him, I awarded him 5 stars. But I did think how hard it must be to keep your ratings up. One mean-spirited customer who ranks you as one, and that could be it. And once again I was grateful that I live in a world where God’s grace, and not some customer’s ranking, will have the final word.
Meditations on rescue Chill light filters through bars. The dawn, after Passover. From the quiet of my cell, noise outside seems ominous. A crowd; excited. Harsh, strident voices. I hear them shout my name.
Sharon Jackson Country pastor’s wife and mother of four, Sharon Jackson teaches men to read, and women to read the Bible.
“Crucify him! Crucify him!” It’s a mob, on the verge of riot. “Crucify him!” they cry. I sink to my knees with a gasp. A grim-faced guard leads me to a courtyard. Through an archway, I glimpse the paved path to Golgotha. Before me stands another prisoner, bloody from beatings. He shudders with pain as he meets my eyes. The corners of his lips rise slightly, then falter and fall. He shoulders his crosspiece, turns, and walks beneath the arch.
I start to follow, but the guard stops me with a grunt. “Take the other door. That’s Jesus, the one they call Messiah. Today, he will die in your place.” My name is Barabbas. I’m the man who walks free.
Last harvest, I nearly died in a car crash. My newly installed cruise control locked the accelerator on, and the car reached shocking speeds despite my foot
riding the brake. Frantic with fear, I rang my husband. Jeff answered immediately, despite our patchy country reception. He told me to put the car in neutral. And – after a brief grind of the gearbox as, shaky with adrenaline, I overshot and put the car in reverse at about 170 kilometres per hour – the engine was suddenly powerless, revving fruitlessly. I was able to guide the car to a gliding stop about ten metres short of a 60 tonne grain truck.
For the next week, I stuttered every time I spoke, as my brain recovered from its massive adrenaline spike. The other after-effect was more pleasant. I overflowed with love and gratitude for my husband, whose calm advice at the crucial moment rescued me from imminent death. I knew, that without Jeff’s intervention I would have been dead. After a while, these reactions subsided, but I was left with a lingering thought: Jesus Christ has also rescued me from imminent death. Like Barabbas, I walk free. Knowing this, do I overflow with love and gratitude to Jesus? Do you?
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Language is no barrier
Baptistcare Gracewood residential care in Salter Point has started the Win-Win Culture Exchange, a program involving Japanese volunteers and residents that is proving we don’t need a common language to communicate effectively. though I was unable to fully converse with them.” Shizuka contacted Japanese youth in Perth and an au pair agency supporting Japanese people living in Perth, which promoted the volunteering opportunity to its members. As a result, four au pairs and ten youth responded. Residents living with dementia spend time with volunteers doing activities the resident is known to enjoy, such as listening to music, singing, arts and crafts, exercising and playing games. These interactions have had a positive impact on the residents, their families and the volunteers. “There was one particular instance when a resident, Mary, who was showing signs of anxiety, completely relaxed when she was joined by Aya, a volunteer,” Shizuka recalled. “Aya asked Mary if she would like to listen to music together. Aya found Mary’s personal music collection on her iPod and they sat together, holding hands and listening to music.”
The program is part of Baptistcare’s Dementia Enrichment Project, which aims to enable residents living with dementia to live their best life possible at its residential care facilities in Perth and regional WA. Shizuka recently introduced the Win-Win Culture Exchange at the 32nd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, an annual four day symposium attended by approximately 4,000 people from around the world. Representing Australia, Shizuka met with leading dementia researchers and advocates. For more information about volunteering, visit baptistcare.com.au/volunteering
Inspired by her own experiences as a volunteer when she first arrived in Australia, Baptistcare Lifestyle Coordinator Shizuka Yokoi saw an opportunity to connect Japanese youth with Australian seniors. Individuals living with dementia often find it difficult to communicate verbally, as do new Japanese residents of Australia, but Shizuka realised that social interaction is much more important to these individuals than spoken communication. “Instead of focusing on the loss of cognition and abilities in people living with dementia, I saw their abilities and recognised a great opportunity for volunteer youth to get involved,” Shizuka explained. “When I first arrived in Australia, my spoken English was very limited. However, I found I could communicate with residents with advanced dementia without the use of higher language skills,” she said. “Interacting with them also helped to ease my loneliness in a new country. I could see I was making people happy even
Residents and volunteers enjoying meaningful interaction at Baptistcare Gracewood residential care.
New chair-elect for ABM
Steve will take over the reins in May 2018 from Rev. Dr Bill Brown. Dr Brown, Senior Pastor of Syndal Baptist Church in Melbourne, who has held the Chairman position since May 2015. Steve has been a Baptist pastor for 27 years and currently runs his own consultancy business working with Christian churches and not-for-profit organisations in the areas of leadership, governance and professional standards. “My passion is to help organisations develop health and to enable leaders to grow in their ability and character,” Steve said. “I hold a deep belief that health comes through work-life balance and growth as a person, not just through work place achievement.”
More than care
Photo: Matt Chapman
Australian Baptist Ministries has appointed Pastor Steve Ingram as the chair-elect for its National Council.
“My motivation in getting involved with the National Council was to support the great work already being done by our state leaders and our national ministries.” Steve said it is a privilege to be working alongside other excellent leaders and helping to keep Baptist national ministries coordinated and communicating well together.
Steve Ingram is looking forward to his new role with Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM).
At Baptistcare, we understand no two people are the same.
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Baptistcare is one of WA’s largest not-for-profit aged care and community services providers, supporting communities in metro and regional areas for more than 40 years.
news AUGUST 2017
Hunger crisis in East Africa
According to the United Nations, this is the worst humanitarian crisis that the world has faced since World War II. Baptist World Aid Australia Project Officer for Disaster Management Justine* outlined that it is also a crisis which many of us know little about. “Just over 30 percent of all Australians are aware of the hunger crisis,” Justine said. “Unfortunately, the media just isn’t picking up on the gravity of the situation, and because it’s not making headline news, a lot of people don’t even know that it’s happening.” Without a broad awareness about disasters such as the hunger crisis, it can be difficult for organisations like Baptist World Aid to continue to raise funds to support their emergency response. But a continued and urgent response is precisely what is needed, according to Justine. In February this year, the world’s first famine in six years was formally declared in parts of South Sudan. For famine to be declared in a country, at least 20 percent of the population does not have enough daily food; at least 30 percent of children are experiencing acute malnutrition; and more than two adult deaths per 10,000 people, per day, are caused by starvation. “Because of emergency relief and food distributions from the government of South Sudan and international aid organisations, the famine was broken in June,” Justine said. But despite this fact, the crisis is a long way from being over.
“Although the situation in South Sudan is no longer meeting the technical definition of famine, the number of people on the brink of famine in the country has actually increased in recent months,” Justine explained. “Additionally, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen remain on the brink of famine too, so a continued response to this crisis remains a clear priority.” It is expected that conditions in the four countries will be at their worst in July and August during the ‘lean season’, when food supplies are usually exhausted before the next season’s harvest. As the Baptist agency for international development and relief, Baptist World Aid has been urgently responding to this humanitarian disaster since mid-March. “Baptist World Aid is currently working through local partners in five East African countries as well as in Yemen,” Justine said. “We are providing emergency food assistance, access to clean water, and are supporting farmers with seeds and livestock.” To give lifesaving relief to hungry families in East Africa and Yemen, visit baptistworldaid.org.au/ hunger-crisis * Surname withheld for safety reasons.
Photo: Food for the Hungry, 2016
With catastrophic food shortages in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen currently affecting more than 25 million people, families are dying of hunger and the situation is set to rapidly deteriorate.
A refugee camp in Northern Uganda. As the Hunger Crisis continues in East Africa, more refugees migrate to neighbouring countries, spreading the impact further afield.
Building a legacy
“At Parkerville Baptist Church we want to build ministry that will bless our children and our children’s children,” Parkerville Baptist Church Senior Pastor Craig Lydon said. The extended church building, completed in December 2015, has created space for children, youth and family ministries, and is a vehicle for ministry. “It is totally necessary but there isn’t anything holy about
the bricks and mortar,” Craig said. “What we are able to achieve with God’s prompting within the building brings glory to God and grows His Kingdom.” “Through our ministry we want to build a legacy, something long lasting, an inheritance to the future children of our hills community.” Craig and Associate Pastor Brad Paterson have been preaching on ‘building a legacy’ with a specific focus on financial responsibilities that believers have. Key events held during this time included a week of fasting and a celebratory dinner. “In focusing on our financial responsibility to invest in the future, it was
explained that paying down on our building loan would make future funds available for ministry,” Parkerville Baptist Church Office Manager Jenelle Taylor said. “The dinner was a time to celebrate how God formed and grew the church from its beginning in the local community hall to the newly extended auditorium.” Previous Chairmen Ken Wright and Garry McGrechan were invited to share with the dinner guests the humble beginnings of the church, previous building projects and stories of God’s grace and transformation.
twitter.com/ChristineCaine Don’t forget to remember, the giant in front of you is never bigger than the God inside of you.
twitter.com/craiggroeschel Jesus said “come apart and rest”; if you don’t, you’ll just “come apart”.
to believe ten thousand true facts, as long as they are blind to “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ”.
This year, during June and July Parkerville Baptist Church have been focusing on what it means to build a legacy in the hills east of Perth.
digital church 08/07/17
Levi Lusko twitter.com/levilusko Remember this: God isn’t scared of what you’re scared of.
Steven Furtick twitter.com/stevenfurtick Just because it didn’t happen the way you wanted doesn’t mean God isn’t working.
Beth Moore twitter.com/BethMooreLPM It’s you Jesus is after. Not your perfection or performance. Give Him every shard of your
fragmented self. This is the genesis of wholeness.
Jo Saxton twitter.com/josaxton As we step into the life God’s called us to, it’s essential to know what truly matters to Him.
Kyle Idleman twitter.com/KyleIdleman The greatest danger in life is anything other than Jesus that becomes a foundation for our confidence (i.e. performance-based religion).
Susan Alexander Yates thegospelcoalition.org Our identity must rest in the finished work of Jesus, not our own progress or productivity. He is the reason God loves and accepts us. And He answers our fears and insecurities with a promise: “I am with you” [Isaiah 41:10].
C S Lewis twitter.com/CSLewisDaily The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God.
John Piper desiringgod.org Satan would be happy for people
Leslie Koh odb.org As we continue growing to be more like Jesus, may we seek to love like the Father loves, forgive like He forgives, care like He cares, and live in ways that please Him. It is a delight to copy His actions, in the power of the Spirit, knowing that our reward is the affectionate, tender smile of a loving Father.
Essence backs ethical fashion ‘Ethical is the new black’ will mark the midyear event for Essence, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church’s women’s ministry. The event, taking place on Saturday 5 August, will feature guest speaker, Eliza Johnson, Baptist World Aid Australia’s Advocacy Coordinator. Eliza will reflect on the clothing industry’s slide into ‘fast fashion’ and the real cost of clothes. “We will consider who makes our clothes; who spins the yarn and sews the fabrics we wear and what their lives are like,” Eliza said. “I’ll begin by sharing a little bit of my story, and how I first connected with the issue of exploitation in the fashion industry.” Eliza will also be speaking about Baptist World Aid’s 2017 Ethical Fashion Report and Ethical Fashion Guide, the improvements made by the Australian fashion industry over the last five years, and the challenges that remain. “I will share stories from workers in countries like India and Bangladesh, and talk through some of the ways that we can
ensure that workers throughout the fashion supply chain are protected,” Eliza said. Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Pastor of Community Ministries Sue Ford explained the inspiration behind the event as a desire to spread the good work of Baptist World Aid Australia. “Baptist World Aid has been instrumental in increasing public awareness of the clothing industry and encouraging people to act,” Sue said. “This has already brought some change and has the potential to bring greater change to the lives of the vulnerable, particularly women and children.” “By spreading this information, more people are empowered to shop ethically – so as those who are called by God to love the vulnerable we can participate in and together advance this change,” Sue said. The ‘Ethical is the new black’ event sees a union between Essence (formed in 2006) and Catalyst, the advocacy arm of Baptist World Aid. It presents an opportunity to fulfil Essence’s vision of supporting and promoting works that change the lives of women, while also exposing a large audience to the work of Catalyst.
Soul to Sole dancers, a creative ministry of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, will perform on the night and a musical item will close the formal proceedings, followed by Devonshire tea and a large-scale clothing swap. “It is my great hope and prayer that attendees will leave the event feeling challenged to reconsider their consumption habits, empowered to shop ethically, and equipped to call on Australian fashion brands to do more to protect their workers,” Eliza said. Women from many of the local churches are invited as well as friends and interested community members.
Photo: Shutterstock / 101imges
For more information and tickets, visit mounties.org.au/ethical before Wednesday 2 August.
New pastors for BCWA executive team
Global climate agreement The National Council of Churches in Australia have called on Prime Minister Turnbull to show leadership in commitment to the global climate agreement. National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) President, Bishop Philip Huggins believes this is the best opportunity for stewardship of the world. “This momentous climate deal is bigger than just one country, one person or a handful of climate sceptics,” Bishop Huggins said. “It is about the urgent survival of humanity, the ability for all children to be able to born into and live in a world with clean air and clean water.” NCCA General Secretary Sister Elizabeth Delaney said Australia needs to keep its focus on the task of implementing and strengthening its commitments to its people and those in surrounding countries for a 1.5 degree warming limit. “Prime Minister Turnbull, a man of faith, will understand that Australians are looking to him for leadership on one of the biggest threats facing us
and future generations. Our very survival is at stake,” Sister Delaney said. Australia’s neighbours in Tuvalu and the Carteret Islands are already feeling pressure to flee their country because of a rise in sea level. In Australia, unprecedented heat waves are having serious consequences for our land, livestock, vegetation and homes. “This climate deal, signed by 195 countries, is about action and trust that our leaders understand that there is no second chance at this,” Bishop Huggins said. “Global warming is real, and it will have devastating effects on us in our lifetime.” “Prime Minister Turnbull should lead in protecting this planet for our children and for their children, regardless of the short-sightedness of the US President or climate sceptics,” Bishop Huggins concluded.
Photo: Matt Chapman
Pastors Jackie Smoker and Mike Bullard all set to join the BCWA team.
Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Pastor Mark Wilson recently shared with churches and pastors the appointment of two new pastors to the Executive team, based at the Rivervale office. Pastor Mike Bullard has been appointed to the role of Church and Leaders Support Pastor. “Mike’s major focus areas will include pastor small groups, church consultations, church planting, evangelism and church revitalisation, assisting with the appointments of pastors, pastoral reviews and being available for preaching engagements,” Mark said. Mike was previously the Senior Pastor at Riverton Baptist
Community Church and has also been involved in a similar role with Churches of Christ. “I’m keen to support and resource pastors and churches to fully embrace God’s call for them to live out the Great Commission in their lives, families, communities and around the world,” Mike said. Pastor Jackie Smoker has also joined the team as the Church Health Pastor. “Jackie’s main areas of responsibility include pastor’s
accreditation and ongoing accreditation, marriage licenses, pastoral reviews, writing and revising policies, and Safe Church Program education,” Mark said. “I’m passionate about helping churches be healthy, nurturing spaces where people flourish having taken hold of the full life that faith in Jesus offers,” Jackie said.
news AUGUST 2017
College within church
Mount Pleasant College are hosting their annual Launchpad event on Friday 15 September. The night will feature music students from Mount Pleasant College, Northlake Senior Campus and Carey Baptist College. entertaining and inspiring night featuring our talented students,” Mount Pleasant College Head of Creative Arts Janelle Anthony said.
Photo: Mick Stringer
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit mpc.wa.edu.au/Launchpad
Carolyn Thomas and Alanah Quartermaine perform at Mount Pleasant College’s Open Day.
Breakfast club teaches life skills
Mount Pleasant College’s media students, who come from a variety of schools across Perth, will also have their work on display. A Registered Training Organisation, Mount Pleasant College specialises in delivering nationally accredited Vocational Education and Training courses for people of all ages. Creative Arts students are able to study courses in music, sound production, media, film and graphic design. Taught by a number of skilled industry professionals, students are encouraged to push the limits of their creativity. Christian ministry courses are also available, with students exploring biblical studies, theology and ministry subjects in greater depth under the instruction of the church’s teaching pastor. Students come from a number of public and private schools across Perth. Although most students are in Year 11 or 12, there are also a number of adult students in the Certificate IV courses. This year, the College has 60 students enrolled in onsite courses, and a further 160 studying under auspice arrangements with key partner schools. Mount Pleasant College has also developed a number of non-accredited courses to meet needs of community members. These are generally shorter in length and tend to focus more upon lifestyle and hobby interests, such as photography, hospitality and creative writing. “Our heart is to serve the wider body of Christ. Our goal is to equip people for life and the workplace,” Head of Mount Pleasant College Mick Stringer said. “Our students benefit from quality training, delivered by well-qualified trainers in an encouraging and supportive atmosphere.” Students have been working all year to prepare for Launchpad. There will be live music compositions, creative media graphics and design work, as well as scriptwriting, filming and editing work from media students. “Launchpad will be an entertaining night of music, food, film and media displays … We’re looking forward to what promises to be an
Students from Maylands Peninsula Primary School helping make breakfast with YouthCARE Chaplain Kasorn Campbell.
Josh del Pino
When Kasorn Campbell started her role as chaplain of Maylands Peninsula Primary School in 2015, she immediately set about strengthening local connections. She started off at her local Coles. “I called to introduce myself, say ‘hello’ and ask if they would like to support our Breakfast Club Program,” she said.
“The manager jumped at the chance as he thought the program was a great community initiative.” From then on, whenever Kasorn needed some supplies, she would ring the Coles and they would have a shopping trolley with food ready to be collected. “They have been amazing from day one,” Kasorn said. “Whether it’s cleaning supplies, pancake mix or toast – they haven’t said no to anything.” It’s just as well, as the program has seen a surge in popularity, with numbers increasing from 22 students to
more than 60 students – with more than 2,200 meals served in 2016. Maylands Peninsula Primary School’s Breakfast Club runs two days a week and according to Kasorn, the club is about more than food. Students volunteer to help prepare the food and wipe down the tables after breakfast. The best volunteer is also recognised at the end of each term. “It’s not just about hungry children,” Kasorn said. “The students learn how to interact with each other, be kind and clean-up after themselves.”
“My goal is to teach life skills and responsibility.” Principal Paul Andrijich said the Breakfast Club had been running for the past eight years and was a key part of the school’s pastoral care program. “Breakfast Club is not only there to provide a nutritious and healthy meal for those students who may go without in the morning, but also provides an opportunity to be part of the school community in a fun and socially responsible way,” he said.
The Austin Cove Community Church are thankful recipients of the Strengthening Communities: Volunteer Grants 2016 offered by the Department of Social Services. The Strengthening Communities Volunteer Grants are part of the Australian Government’s work to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers who help disadvantaged Australian communities and encourage inclusion of vulnerable people in community life. Pastor Sarah Baggaley submitted an application on behalf of Austin Cove Community Church in December 2016 after receiving information about the Volunteer Grants, just four days before applications closed. Despite the tight deadline at one of the busiest times of the year in the church calendar, the application was submitted and a letter of offer was received in May 2017. The successful application requested $5,000 to purchase
computer equipment, whitegoods, office equipment and first aid items, as well as contributions toward the cost of undertaking background screening checks of volunteers and volunteer training. “This couldn’t have come at a better time – our current fridge was donated to us three years ago and while it has served its purpose well, it was a struggle for our volunteers to remember to kick the door shut,” Sarah said. “We are also looking for a youth pastor to start on our pastoral team soon, so the computer equipment will be of great use in our youth community programs.” Sarah is also thankful that the funds can be used towards the required background checks and training of volunteers as this
will help alleviate some of these financial costs. Federal Member for Canning Andrew Hastie paid a visit to Austin Cove Community Church to congratulate them on their grant success. “As the only church in Austin Lakes, Austin Cove Community Church is doing a very important job. Good churches are vital to the life and health of local communities,” Mr Hastie said. “Pastor Sarah and the congregation at Austin Cove are deserving recipients of a Federal Government Volunteer Grant and I’m pleased to be working alongside them.” Sarah looks forward to being able to work with Mr Hastie on other needs in the future. “It is a real blessing having a Federal MP who understands and values the great work we do in our local community,” she said. Austin Cove Community Church is currently in discussions with Mr Hastie about establishing their own footprint in the community by the way of land acquisition.
Photo: Matt Ledger
Volunteers receive grant
Federal MP Andrew Hastie congratulates Pastor Sarah Baggaley on receiving a grant for Austin Cove Community Church.
A new competition aimed at encouraging students to foster a love of Shakespeare recently opened with $1,750 in prize money, along with three double passes to Bell Shakespeare’s production of Othello. The Canning Shakespeare Competition was sponsored by Federal Member for Canning Andrew Hastie and Senator Dean Smith. Entrants were encouraged to submit a video monologue from Shakepeare’s work, with finalists
required to ‘battle it out’ at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre Fishtrap Theatre with the final heat performed on Saturday 1 July. Schools from the Peel region participated in the competition, including Mandurah Catholic College, Mandurah Baptist
College, Frederick Irwin Anglican School, Halls Head College and Pinjarra Senior High School. “However, it was the nine theatre enthusiasts from Austin Cove Baptist College who made a stunning impression on the judges, receiving first, second and third place during the final heat,” Austin Cove Principal Orlando dos Santos said. Amongst the finalists from Austin Cove were Year 12 student Paris Meeres and Year 11 students Jade Chilcott,
Caidan Doye and Ebony Eastman, with Paris taking out first prize. “Austin Cove Baptist College is a small school with a big heart and is known for their focus on the performing arts and is performing their fifth major production, The Three Musketeers at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre from 27 to 29 July,” Orlando said.
Photo: Austin Cove Baptist College
First prize for love of Shakespeare
Canning Shakespeare Competition winners Jade Chilcott, Paris Meeres
To purchase tickets, visit manpac.com.au
and Caiden Doye with their drama teacher Steve Capener.
feature AUGUST 2017
The recent national Faith and Belief in Australia report by McCrindle Research has found that the greatest attraction to investigating spirituality and religion is seeing people live out a genuine faith.
Evangelism - if necessary, use words
The report shows that 45 percent of Australians identify as Christians, with a further 14 percent identifying as ‘spiritual but not religious’. (Figure 1.) More than half of Australians (52 percent) say they are open to changing their views given the right circumstance and evidence, but this drops to just 12 percent when looking at those people who are ‘very interested’ or ‘quite open’ to changing their current religious views. The results vary widely across the generations, with 20 percent of gen Z (born 1995-2009) saying they would be very interested or quite open to changing their views, compared to 12 percent of gen Y (born 1980-1994), and just four percent of baby boomers (born 1946-1964). One gen Y non-Christian participant said, “I swap day to day, week to week, year to year. Sometimes it might be work related, or personal … when something isn’t going right and I want to go towards a positive path. I think a lot of other people my age do the same.” In a country where 45 percent of adults never talk about religion, it is surprising that the most common reason that people are prompted to think about spiritual or religious things is through conversations with people. Baby boomers are the only group to buck this trend, with global/national
issues and a death in the family being more likely to prompt spiritual thinking. Gen Z are significantly impacted by social media, 32 percent say it is their most significant source of spiritual thinking. (Figure 4.) Ninety-two percent of Australians know at least one Christian (with 46 percent saying they know over 11 Christians). That also means that almost 1.5 million Australians don’t know any Christians, with one in 10 gen Y not knowing any Christians. Non-Christians who knew at least one Christian described them as caring (41 percent), loving (35 percent), kind (35 percent), honest (32 percent) and faithful (31 percent). However, Christians were also described as hypocritical (17 percent), opinionated (18 percent), judgemental (20 percent), intolerant (12 percent) and rude (4 percent). (Figure 5.) The report divides belief blockers (those things that would stop nonChristians ‘open to change’ from exploring Christianity) into behaviours and issues. Unsurprisingly, 73 percent of people say that sexual abuse of children within the church and other scandals are a significant negative influence on peoples’ perceptions of Christians and Christianity. Sixty-five percent say that the hypocrisy of Christians has a negative influence, with 64 percent saying religious wars.
Sixty-seven percent say the major issue blocking peoples’ interest and engagement with Christianity is homosexuality. One in four people identify suffering as their ‘belief blocker’ while 28 percent of people say hell and condemnation. On the plus side, ten percent of people say that the reliability and validity of the Bible would ‘completely engage’ their interest in Christianity. When it comes to Jesus, people were much more positive. Love is the attribute of Jesus that most Australians positively connect with (50 percent). (Figure 3.) In schools, 44 percent of parents with children at government schools think it is appropriate to talk about spirituality and religion at school. Thirty-one percent think it is inappropriate. Unsurprisingly, 57 percent of parents with children at independent Christian schools and 53 percent of parents with children at Catholic schools think it is appropriate. At university, Christian school parents thought it was an entirely appropriate forum for the topic (70 percent), but government school parents were more likely to disagree (41 percent). Olive Tree Media CEO Karl Faase said, “in 2016, several ministry leaders approached Olive Tree Media and suggested that after five years it would be helpful to repeat the research to look at trends in the community, as well as seek responses for new areas such as the communities’ views on
faith in schools and the churches social licence.” Original article published in Eternity, 9 May 2017 and repurposed with permission, eternity.news/s/5vgy3
Figure 4. McCrindle Research
feature AUGUST 2017
10 news AUGUST 2017
NGO supports Marawi refugees
of evacuation centres closer to the coast. RASFI team members have distributed 900 ‘malong,’ a versatile cotton tube like sarong that can be used as clothing, sleeping cover, baby sling or to carry goods. The malong were supplied to the heads of families of internally displaced people (IDP) the team members visited in refugee centres. Team leader Jetka said many of the 230,000 IDPs are traumatised by the initial attacks and the uncertainty of their current situation, living in local schools and community buildings out of the battle zone. “We have a team of 18 workers visiting IDPs each day,” Jetka said. The team is living in a two bedroom house in Iligan City and travelling to relief centres with military escort each day. As well as malong, the team is distributing food packs, including rice, water and hygiene kits. “The people have nothing,” Jetka’s husband and fellow team leader Ali said. “One of the most important things we are doing is listening to people’s stories. It is one of the
A RASFI team member listens to the stories of people who fled for their lives when insurgents attacked Marawi City in Mindanao, Philippines.
best ways to help people through trauma,” Ali said. The team has conducted two medical clinics in communities as well as visits to distribute food and hygiene packs. “Many times people are happy for our team to pray for them in the name of Jesus,” Jetka said. Marawi City has yet to be liberated from the insurgents.
international briefs Human rights award for refugee doctor Cynthia Maung, a medical doctor who has spent nearly 30 years treating refugees who fled oppression and repression in Myanmar, was presented with the 2017 Baptist World Alliance Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award during the global organisation’s Annual Gathering in Bangkok, Thailand, on 5 July. Maung was hailed as a ‘woman of faith’ who ‘draws heavily on her Baptist heritage’, committing herself ‘selflessly to the welfare of the poor and oppressed’. In 1989 she, along with six volunteers, established the Mae Tao Clinic in a dilapidated building in Mae Sot, which lies on the border of Myanmar and Thailand. The clinic, which has since moved to a more secure location, has grown to more than 600 staff treating up to 150,000 patients per year, including locals, migrant workers and refugees.
Kidnapped missionaries appear in video A coalition of jihadist groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda released a video showing six foreign hostages, including three missionaries, just hours before French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Mali in July. According to the US-based SITE Intelligence Group, the footage was posted on the 1 July by Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (also known as the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims). The three missionaries include 82 year old Australian surgeon Ken Elliott who was kidnapped with his wife Jocelyn in January 2016 from northern Burkina Faso, near the border with Mali. Jocelyn was released a month later, but her husband is still being detained. “This video is to ask various governments, in particular the Australian government and Burkina government, to do what they can to help negotiate my
release,” Elliott said in the video. Addressing his family, he added: “I just want to say, again, I love you all and I appreciate all your prayers and all your cares. I look forward to one day being reunited.”
UK public pro-religious diversity at schools A recent survey commissioned by the Accord Coalition revealed that the majority of the general public in the United Kingdom is in favour of current ‘selection cap’ enrolment practices which faith-based schools are required to follow when selecting new students. UK schools are not allowed to select more than half of their students on religious grounds – a policy which UK conservatives are seeking to overrule. The survey of more than 2,000 people showed that 79 percent of Anglicans and twothirds of Catholics would like to keep the policy in place in order to have students from a range of backgrounds learn together.
A new General Secretary for BWA American Elijah Brown has been appointed as the next General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance following from Jamaican Pastor Neville Callam who will retire in December after more than ten years of service. The General Secretary is the CEO of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and has overall responsibility for the administration and operations of the organisation, and is its chief representative to global organisations and institutions, ecclesial and secular, and to governments. Brown, 36, has had a decade of involvement in the international umbrella organisation for Baptists, starting in 2007 when he was named one of 35 global emerging leaders by the BWA. He is a member of the BWA General Council and sits on a number of its committees. He is the vice chair of the BWA Commission on Religious Liberty and is a member of the Commission on Theological Education. Brown’s specialty lies in human rights and religious liberty. His dissertation focused on issues related to world Christianity, including mission and church growth, peace
Photo: Baptist World Alliance
RASFI, a not-for-profit group that promotes education and training for children and adults, works in several locations across the Philippine island of Mindanao including Marawi City. After struggling to hire vehicles, team leaders based in coastal Iligan City managed to drive into the heavily barricaded region to rescue their team members and some sick university students trapped on the Mindanao State University campus. Private vehicles clogged the few roads out of the town as people tried to escape the violent war zone. The 40 kilometre trip down the mountain from Marawi took almost ten hours instead of the usual 75 minutes. Heavily armed military personnel stopped every vehicle, including the two vans carrying RASFI’s team, many times to check identity papers and search for insurgents and firearms. By the end of June, five weeks after the initial trouble, 230,000 internally displaced people had escaped from Marawi. Some walked up to three days to reach the safety
Radya Al-Salaam Foundation Inc. (RASFI) workers were trapped in Marawi City when Islamic insurgents attacked the city and tried to overpower government police and military on 22 May.
Elijah Brown has been appointed as the next General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance.
building and conflict resolution, and the interaction of religion and politics. He helped to launch the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and became its Executive Vice President. “I understand my own calling to be one of global, collaborative engagement that believes in the local church, takes seriously the Word of God, listens to the Holy Spirit and seeks to build networks that act together in areas of mission, justice and deepening theological education as Christcentred witnesses within the public square, especially in areas of conflict, persecution, refugee marginalisation and injustice,” Brown said. Brown is married to Amy and is father to Hudson, Sahara and Keziah.
news 11 AUGUST 2017
Picnic tables bring connection
Turquoise picnic tables have emerged across the USA and around the world as a symbol of hospitality, neighbourhood love and community connection. They are the centrepiece of the #Frontyardpeople movement led by author Kristin Schell.
They are seen as a symbol of inviting people in, slowing down, being hospitable.
Photo: Kasandra Keyes
have emerged in almost all of the 50 states of America and in six other countries. They are seen as a symbol of inviting people in, slowing down, being hospitable. “I really thought my calling would be international and I never in a million years thought that the Lord would ask me to walk outside of my door – into the mission field where I live – and get to know my neighbours,” Kristin said.
Kristin Schell did not realise that moving a picnic table to her front yard and spending time at it would lead into a movement of people who long to connect with their neighbourhood.
Community at the table
“The Lord has taught me and I am learning to be present. Listening is not a skill that came naturally to me at first. Nor was being present.” Today, Kristin’s idea has sparked the social media movement #Frontyardpeople, a movement of ordinary people who long to create community right where they live by inviting neighbours to stop by – for a chat, a cup of coffee or a casual get together at a turquoise picnic table. Photo: Simone Schulze-Kösterke.
Four years ago, delivery men dropped off a picnic table in Kristin Schell’s front yard in Austin, Texas. It was intended for a backyard party which the mother of four had organised, but when the table arrived, Kristin intuitively knew that its ultimate destination would be in the front yard, underneath a big tree right next to the road. Kristin painted the table in her favourite colour, turquoise, and set her mind on turning it into a neighbourhood gathering place. “I always knew we were supposed to love our neighbours – because that’s the great commandment – but living that out, day by day, is hard. Especially when you don’t know your neighbours, which is the situation I was in! I did not know my neighbours,” Kristin shared on her website. At first, Kristin was unsure about what exactly to do with the table in her front yard. She started with simply spending time at the table – working at her laptop, reading a book, asking God what to do – and within three hours of moving the table to the front yard, Kristin met a neighbour who she did not know before. “I was saying to God: ‘Here I am, Lord. Your will be done. Go before, behind and beside me; into the neighbourhood.’ And that very day, life changed.” Since that day in 2013, thousands of turquoise tables
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Children, seniors and people from all walks of life came together for a casual open-air communion meal in Flensburg, Germany.
Following an open invitation to all, approximately 1,000 walk-in guests came together to enjoy a casual open-air communion meal at an 850 metre table which had been set-up inside a city-centre pedestrian zone in Flensburg, Germany. German pastor and event initiator Johannes Ahrens told German online magazine Pro that the motivation behind the event was to invite people to the table and enjoy a meal
together just as Jesus did on many occasions. As a symbol for community, the long table was intended to create common ground and the opportunity
for a casual get-together between people of different walks of life. Close to 100 churches, non-profits and local businesses worked together to make the event happen.
12 in conversation AUGUST 2017
A move for aged care Russell Bricknell recently moved to Perth to take up the position of CEO for Baptistcare and lead the organisation into the next era of aged care. Vanessa Klomp caught up with Russell to discuss what led him to this role and his vision for Baptistcare.
Tell us a bit about your employment background, leading you to the CEO role at Baptistcare. I went to university and studied maths and physics, and to obtain employment I completed a Diploma of Education. I didn’t know where I wanted to do ministry but I knew I loved working with kids so I taught at a high school in Brisbane for three years. When I was in high school, one of the career choices was management consulting. I had undertaken leadership development courses so knew that this was the type of job I wanted to pursue. After three years of teaching, a job was advertised for a regional Human Resources person for high school teachers in the region where I was working – this was closer to management consulting so I gave it a go. For three years I managed all high school staffing in the largest region in Queensland. After this, I got a job in another government department as an internal organisational consultant. We did things like planning workshops, leadership development programs and training courses. This was the start of me working with people in team environments. At the same time, I started studying a MBA [Masters of Business Administration] and after one of my presentations, a person who worked at Queensland Treasury in the financial management reform area approached me. He said, “We have a financial management training business
in Queensland Treasury, you’ve been a teacher and I’ve seen you know how to present – come along.” So, I became a financial management training manager for Queensland Treasury, working with the ‘big six’ accounting firms. During this time I identified two firms I wanted to work with and after approaching them I got a job at KPMG, where I was a management consultant for about five years. It got to a stage where as a family we were starting to wonder if we were doing what God wanted us to do. My wife and I went away for a weekend and spent time in prayer. We were very clearly led to start to look at options outside of consulting and in Christian ministry. An opportunity came up to be the CEO of Churches of Christ Care in Queensland and that was how I stepped out of the management consulting world. As a missionary child, I had always been more focused on social justice and involved in community work than most, so working for Churches of Christ Care gave me a wonderful opportunity to do this, caring for the most vulnerable people in society. I led that organisation for seven years and then in 2008 left to set-up an aged care property trust. Unfortunately 2008 wasn’t a good year to do it in. Lehman Brothers crashed and the people that backed us lost all their money and I was left consulting without a permanent job. In October 2008, I was invited to work as part of the Senior Executive Team for Baptistcare in NSW and managed one of their regions, getting me back into an operational role. Most recently, I was CEO of Aged Care Channel, a company that provides education to people working in the aged care industry in Australia and the UK. About 12 months ago my wife and I both got the sense that it was time to change back to a Christian ministry organisation. Western Australia intrigued me because I grew up here and I could see the industry was quite innovative. The Baptistcare position came up so I applied. We thought if this is what God wants us to do, the doors will open and things will fall into place and they did. To me, organisations like Baptistcare are special because you are working with a dedicated team to touch people’s lives and you don’t get a lot of opportunity in commercial businesses to do that.
My daughter said it really beautifully when we were making the decision to come to WA, “Dad, what do you want to do? Do you want to be a CEO of a multinational company that is growing or do you want to make a difference in people’s lives?” What does your role as CEO involve? What do you do day-to-day? For me, it’s about facilitating our teams to achieve our mission and purpose. So, for Baptistcare, it’s not just about making a difference in people’s lives in a physical sense, but also in a spiritual sense. I work closely with all our teams to make sure that’s happening. A lot of my day involves working with others, helping them to solve problems and removing obstacles. The other part is building relationships with the organisation and its main stakeholder – the Baptist Church in WA. One of the things we want to do over the next three years is to build a really close working relationship not just with Baptist Churches Western Australia but with Baptist churches themselves. I also connect with stakeholders such as the Department of Health and accreditation agencies. I’m meeting with counterparts in other organisations on a regular basis and we’re working collaboratively to improve aged care in WA. We are about to build a strategy for us [Baptistcare] for the next three to five years and that will really drive what we do moving forward. I try to remind people that they are only a temporary visitor in the story of this organisation. Baptistcare is an organisation that has been around for longer than a lot of our workers and will continue to be around longer than we will be, so we have to advance the organisation in its mission and leave it in a better state than what we found it in for the people that follow us, so it can continue to grow and build. There are a lot of people who have done a lot of good work to get Baptistcare to where it is now, particularly Lucy Morris, my predecessor. The best way to honour that legacy is to take it forward. What are some of the biggest issues you believe aged care is facing at the moment? Earlier this year, the home care side of our industry was
Photo: Eden Connell
How did you become a Christian and develop a faith in Christ? I grew up in a Christian family, my dad is a Baptist minister and I was born on the mission field in Papua New Guinea. As I grew up within a Christian environment, Sunday School was just a matter of course. When I was 14 I went on a Scripture Union camp and during that camp a speaker took us through an apologetics discussion: Why would you become a Christian? What are the thinking processes? Basically, if you don’t believe you are crazy, but if you do believe you are onto a good thing. This made sense to me so that’s when I became a Christian. Over the next few years through high school, I became more involved in camps and that’s when I started to progress in my faith.
deregulated, meaning if you have funding for a home care package you can choose who delivers that package rather than go to a provider like us and ask to be serviced. This is a significant change for us as we’re now open to competition on that side of the business from all sorts of providers right across the state. Inside the next three years, residential care is also going to deregulate and people are going to be able to choose how they want their care delivered rather than us deciding it for them. At the same time, we are switching from the builders generation to the baby boomer generation coming into aged care, who will have a completely different expectation of service. Our whole model of care and our building stock here in WA is currently designed around the former generation so our big challenge is: How do we get our business ready for all these changes and at the same time how do we start to invest in the future and grow as an organisation? Normally you get an organisation ready for change, position it and then grow it. As we don’t have a lot of time, we need to do it all at the same time. We also need to continue creating and delivering a model of care that seamlessly meets our clients’ needs regardless of what setting they’re in. What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? And, the most challenging? The most satisfying part of my job is talking to the residents in our facilities and the clients in our home care services. The stories people tell you are incredible and the living history is just amazing. I love that interaction, particularly with clients, and that’s what I missed
most in the last five years before stepping into this role. The most challenging part of my job will be making necessary changes and hard decisions to ensure we are positioning ourselves well to meet our strategic goals. Over the next few years we’ll be making decisions on what type of services we will deliver and how we will deliver them. It may mean taking away some service areas and adding new ones, which is difficult when it may require talking to people about our direction and advising them that our plans won’t include what they’re currently doing. What are your aspirations for the future of Baptistcare? Baptistcare is an organisation that joins you on your journey as you age to deliver a seamless experience of care in the context in which you are most comfortable. If your needs change due to dementia or specialist care needs, we want the transition between care contexts and settings to be the only thing that changes – the constant is care. The care Baptistcare provides is not just physical, emotional and social, but also spiritual care, so one of the things that we have done a bit of work on is our philosophy of care. The other aspiration is to remind ourselves that our organisation started because churches could see a great need in the community for aged care services and started Baptistcare to meet that need. Going forward, I would like to see Baptistcare working with churches to re-engage with that sort of community focus and help churches identify ministry needs in their communities and support them to address the needs that exist.
growth 13 AUGUST 2017
Something about warts
The book spent last week on our staircase just asking to be read some more. A couple of days back, halfway up the stairs, Molly spied it there, picked it up, and read the title. A conversation resulted. Molly (in questioning tone): Loving our kids on purpose?? What’s this book about? Fi: It’s a parenting book. Molly: A parenting book? Fi: Yes, as in a book on being a parent. Molly: But, Mum, you already are a parent. Fi: Yes, but I read books to help me to be a better parent. Like this one is about how to make sure you and Clovey still feel loved even when we disagree about stuff. It’s also helping me work on disciplining you without getting angry. Molly: Yeah, I can tell you’ve been working on that. Fi: Aw, thanks Molly, I really want to get better with this sort of thing. The next day I was catching up with a couple of guys that I meet regularly; one with a young daughter, the other expecting his first son. We talked about our knack for wanting to ‘perfect the art of parenting’ away from the action,
so we can present ourselves as prime specimens before our children. Essentially, we wanted our kids to see us as great parents without them seeing that we needed or wanted to grow as parents. Without them seeing our struggles and failures as parents. I had the occasional wart when I was in primary school. They’re horrible things. I remember having to dab some potent, probably carcinogenic, liquid on them and then cover them up with a bandaid, so they could shrivel up and disappear away from sight. That may work for warts, and hiding them helps the social stigma, but it’s not the best parenting strategy. Children need to know they are loved. Amidst the desire to discipline, correct, encourage and grow them, they also need to know that they are loved by imperfect people. Parents who get angry with their kids, parents who argue, and, in the midst of those struggles, want to become better parents. Indeed, we want to be healed from the stuff that trips us up and regularly pray to see that happen in our lives. It’s been said that one of the great gifts you can give your
Fi’s been reading a book lately titled Loving Our Kids on Purpose. I should read it when she’s done as well.
children is showing them how to argue well. Not to never argue. Not to only argue behind closed doors. But to disagree, argue, resolve and stay reconciled to one another. Many children have never seen a good argument. Some children have never seen an argument. Either way, they haven’t had good arguments modelled for them so they’re left to either fill in the blanks or think that any argument must be catastrophic. Children need to see our warts. Not so they can gawk at them and be damaged by their effects but because they, too, are part of the
journey of us becoming healed and whole. And, as they are, we powerfully model what repentance and forgiveness look like in action. Your kids may think you can do no wrong but, regardless, they don’t want you to be as perfect as you might think. They want you to love them warts and all and, remarkably, they’re prepared to accept that we may have a few warts of our own. You know you do. Further, though they may not have the vocabulary and framework to describe it, they know, too. Our words and actions and confession
of our frailty are part of what brings foundation and structure to the little lives we’re growing; lives that aren’t built on the platform of perfect parents, but the foundation of a perfect Saviour. Let your kids see your warts. Not for the sake of grandstanding your garbage, but so that they can see you seeking Jesus to make you healed and whole and fully dependent upon Him. There could be no greater gift. Used with permission from Simon Elliott, writesomething.org.au
Are you taking possession of your possessions? David Bertch and I have been friends for over 50 years. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas and we have a phone call once a month to sharpen one another as disciples and leaders. [Proverbs 27:17] In one of our recent calls, he quoted Francis Schaeffer as saying that the greatest sin of Christians in the West is not taking possession of their possessions. I have not stopped thinking and praying about this since he shared it with me. Is this statement true? If it’s true, what should I do about it? In what way am I not taking possession of my possessions? What is my role in helping others, especially leaders, to take possession of their possessions? I am inclined to think that what Schaeffer meant was that
we Christians in the West do not consistently appropriate all that we have in Jesus and do not make the best use of what we have because we have Him, and He has us! On 21 May this year I read the following: “Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.” [Joshua 1:6, ESV]. As I have been meditating on this verse, the idea of taking possession of possessions (and helping others do the same) popped into my head and I saw a correlation. God has land He wants to give me/us – not literal land, but things which I’ve inherited and have a right to because of who I am in Christ and who He is in me. I am motivated to be used of the Lord to help leaders lay claim to all that is theirs in Jesus – all of it; all of their gifting, capacity and vision, all of the promises of God! I wrote down Joshua 1:6 and made it my memory verse
Taking possession of our possessions
for June. I don’t want to miss out on anything the Lord Jesus has for me. I don’t want to be crawling around under the table looking for crumbs when on the top of the table is a banquet feast laid out for me, and for you as well. My friend David also reminded me that there are over 50 different things I’ve
inherited as a result of Jesus drawing me to Himself. I’ve heard about this list before, but haven’t thought much about it for quite some time. Lord Jesus, allow me, by your grace, to take full possession of everything which I possess because of your death, resurrection and the indwelling Holy Spirit. As
I seek to influence leaders, use me to stretch them to take possession of all that you have for them – both in life and in ministry – as we are all led by you, empowered by you and seek to honour you! In Jesus’ name, Amen! Used with permission from Dave Kraft, www.davekraft.org
14 news AUGUST 2017
Silvie returns to Perth
Silvie Paladino will be returning to Perth this September to perform at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast and in two concerts at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
She has an extraordinary voice, but in fact it is her love for the Lord that shines through her musical presentation.
Photo: Jeff Busby
“I have always felt that the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast is a significant event in our city, bringing people in prayer from right across Perth,” Nick said. “I am delighted that as a church we can work closely with them for this important event.” To purchase tickets to the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, please visit www.gpbwa.org To purchase tickets to Silvie’s performances at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, please visit www.mounties.org.au/events
Silvie Paladino will be returning to Perth in September to perform at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
Tommy bound for Perth
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Tommy Emmanuel will be playing at the Perth Concert Hall on 26 September as part of his current world tour. Starting and finishing in California, the tour is taking him across America, through Asia, down to Australia and New Zealand and then back to America over the space of six months. Emmanuel grew up in NSW and is no stranger to Australian audiences having toured here many times across his decades of performing. Joining Tommy Emmanuel on stage will be Steve Wariner, another award-winning guitarist. The two share a common love
Photo: ABI Management
Silvie performed at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church last year and the event was well received, with more than 600 people in attendance. “Many people were completely overwhelmed at the impact Silvie’s ministry had on them,” Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Senior Pastor Nick Scott said. “She has an extraordinary voice, but in fact it is her love for the Lord that shines through her musical presentation.” Nick Scott explained that his strong friendship with Trevor Stiles, Chair of the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, led him to invite Trevor to Silvie’s performance at the church last year. “It was after hearing Silvie’s testimony through word and song that together we felt Silvie would be a good fit for the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast,” Nick explained. Silvie will be the guest singer at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast on Friday 1 September at Crown Perth Grand Ballroom in Burswood. Silvie will also be performing two concerts at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Saturday 2 September at 2pm and 7:30pm, where she will share music from her life in musical theatre, as well as her testimony and songs that have inspired her own spiritual journey. Accompanying Silvie at these performances will be the renowned Western Australia Brass, conducted by Ken Waterworth.
Tommy Emmanuel with his well loved, custom Maton acoustic guitar.
of the music of Chet Atkins (‘Mr Guitar’) and are two of only five guitarists ever that Chet classified as Certified Guitar Players (CGPs). Emmanuel firmly believes his playing is a huge part of God’s
plan for his life and that God has given him his talent to share with the world. For more information, visit www.perthconcerthall.com.au
intermission 15 AUGUST 2017
A minute with ...
I Dared to Call Him Father
Photo: Matt Chapman
Bilquis Sheikh It’s almost impossible for a woman to convert out of Islam, but nothing is impossible for God. Bilquis Sheikh tell her story in I Dared to Call Him Father and reveals the miracle that was her discovery of Jesus Christ and her conversion out of Islam. She encounters God through dreams, signs and wonders and eventually comes to realise that the evidence is overwhelming. Follow Sheikh’s story as she discovers the wonder of a relationship with Christ and navigates the trials that follow. I Dared to Call Him Father is truly an inspiring and uplifting read that will bring readers to a closer understanding of God’s immense power and love. – Rachel
watch The Devil in Pew Number Seven Rebecca Alonza The Devil in Pew Number Seven is the harrowing true account of a young Rebecca Nichols, her parents’ faithful service to the Lord in Sellerstown, North Carolina and the terror of a man who sought to send them running and destroy them at all costs ... whether dead or alive. From shock and horror at the devastation and pain caused in the lives of the Nichols family to the heartwarming reminder of the forgiveness and peace that only God can bring to even the worst situation, this is an inspiring tale and a roller-coaster of emotions waiting to happen. – Renee
Pastor Mike Bullard – Church and Leaders Support Pastor, Baptist Churches Western Australia What led you to this role? I worked in a similar role in the Churches of Christ a number of years ago. I loved that role. It’s a good mix for me in terms of pastoral contact with leaders, training opportunities, and thinking through strategic issues. I love spending time with leaders and helping resource them for their roles. Over the course of your career, what stands out for you regarding leadership? I’ve had the privilege to work with some high profile leaders in the past. One thing I’ve taken from that is, whatever our public responsibility, there is always the need to make sure our private worlds are taken care of. All of us have weak spots, and all of us need support. Do you have a plan to intentionally develop yourself as a leader? I’ve been studying my Doctor of Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary for 16 years now. That’s longer than it’s supposed to go. However, I’ve valued the continual interaction with new material on leadership and church ministry. My main project is focused on training leaders in semi-literate contexts, specifically Papua New Guinea. But, I’m finding the same issues apply all over the world. We all need to have Christ at the centre, we all need to gain our security and worth as people from our relationship with Him rather than from our work, and we all need to be attentive to His guidance and direction daily. What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? Stay close to Jesus. Accept humble tasks. Learn from others.
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listen Miracle Third Day One of the first songs that made me seek out Third Day music was ‘I Need a Miracle’. Then I heard the back story at a Third Day concert and it so touched my heart that nearly every time I hear it I still tear up. That God would so love every person that He would cause such an intersection of circumstances that can only be described as a miracle to save one life and impact one family that then would touch millions of lives through this beautiful song just ‘blows my mind’. Other favourites on the Miracle album are ‘Your Love is Like a River’ and their beautiful rendition of ‘Morning Has Broken’. A definite favourite. – Dorothy
16 sport AUGUST 2017
Photo: Adrian Rowse
Rise of the underdog
At 14, Isaac Cox is the youngest Ping Pong-A-Thon event organiser, and he will be picking up his bat in October to help put an end to human trafficking.
A quirky ‘underdog’ movement is calling on everyday Australians to take up table tennis bats to free some of the world’s most vulnerable people from sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
Photo: Adrian Rowse
Australians of all ages will be working up a sweat at table tennis venues across the country in the 2017 Ping Pong-A-Thon. One hundred communities Australia-wide will host a Ping Pong-A-Thon venue this October, aiming to collectively raise $500,000 for human trafficking prevention initiatives.
Taking place in schools, sporting clubs, workplaces, community spaces, churches and pubs, the 24 hour table tennis event will engage Aussies as advocates/fundraisers on behalf of exploited young people. Participants commit to play table tennis for a minimum of three hours and invite their
family and friends to sponsor their efforts. The theme for ‘The Pong’ in 2017 picks up on the much-loved Aussie pastime of supporting the ‘underdog’. The Australian narrative is full of underdog heroes; from bushranger Ned Kelly to our armed forces at Gallipoli and
an array of against the odds sporting triumphs like John Bertrand’s 1983 America’s Cup win, Steven Bradbury’s speed skating 2002 Winter Olympic Games gold or the 2016 Western Bulldogs first AFL premiership since 1954. There is something in the Aussie blood that causes us to throw our support around the ‘little guy’ or to stand up for victims of injustice. Founder of ‘The Pong’ Adrian Rowse said Aussies are embracing the Ping PongA-Thon movement, which has raised $750,000 since its inception in 2011, because of the fun, community-rich nature of the event and the opportunity it gives participants to tangibly advocate for some of the biggest underdogs on the planet. “There are 45.8 million people who are slaves in the world today. That’s twice the population of Australia who are being used daily like products off a supermarket shelf because they’re circumstances make them vulnerable to the greed of others,” Adrian said. “These are the true underdogs of the human community. Each of these people matter. Each deserve the chance to live a life that is free.” Ben Grieger is a teacher from Loxton High School in regional South Australia. He ran The Pong in his school in 201516, inspiring the community to a school’s fundraising record of $10,124 in 2016.
“As a teacher, I love helping young people be the best they can be and it breaks my heart that there are young people in our world living lives of captivity, deprivation and exploitation,” Ben explained. “Other than the abusive circumstances these children are facing, they are just like the students I teach.” Ben loves the obvious impact that takes place through funds raised at the event, which are used by Ping Pong-A-Thon’s seven partner organisations to combat trafficking and exploitation in South-East Asia in a variety of ways. But he also speaks passionately of the impact The Pong is having on staff and students at his school. “The Pong doesn’t just change lives overseas; it changes the hearts, minds and attitudes of participants,” he said. “They become ambassadors and champions for this cause and will grow up to be men and women of conviction who will go on to teach their children to value all people and to help those in need rather than exploiting them.” For more information, visit www.pingpongathon.com
The Advocate - August 2017