IN CONVERSATION Dr John Dickson discusses his faith and his latest project, a documentary on the best and worst of Christian history. PAGE 12 >>
“We live in a world that perpetuates the lie that our greatest satisfaction is found in centring on ourselves ...” MADELINE TURNER 13 >>
3 Sex conversations Christian Sexologist presents talks >>
4 True love
Photos: Gratton family
Dementia will not end the love story >>
Car bursts into flames moments after Mandurah Baptist College Principal, Rob Gratton, pulls woman to safety.
Principal saves woman’s life from fireball A day’s outing to the Porongurups in the southern region of WA turned into an emergency response for Mandurah Baptist College Primary School Principal Rob Gratton, his wife Tina and 19 year old daughter Kasey, during the recent winter school holidays. Having completed the Granite Skywalk in Porongurup National Park, the trio were driving to Porongurup village when they came across a West Highland White Terrier running unaccompanied on the road. With a similar dog back in Mandurah, Rob pulled over and collected the dog, intending to find its owner. “We noticed that there were a number of farmhouses close to where we picked up the dog,” Rob said.
The family tried two properties with no success, and decided to try one more before heading to the village with the dog. “On our way to the third house, we found a local farmer and he said that the dog likely belonged to a 92-year old lady nearby and that he’d take it to her,” Rob said. “As we were chatting, I saw a car go by on the road and shortly after I heard a metallic crunching sound.” “Driving back to the dirt road, we saw there was a car rolled on
over its side, blocking the whole road.” “On approaching the car, we found a stunned woman standing on the driver’s side window with bleeding cuts on her head.” Rob said that his instinctive response was “I’ve got to get her out!” So, he attempted to pull on the door of the vehicle but found it was jammed, even with the woman pushing from within the car. Thankfully Rob noted that the hatchback’s boot had popped
open during the rollover and Rob was able to guide the occupant out of the rear of the vehicle, where she collapsed on the ground. During this time, Rob’s daughter Kasey was able to alert emergency services to the unfolding situation. Rob assisted with the call, providing more information regarding the condition of the vehicle’s occupant, when he noticed smoke coming from the front of the vehicle. Within a few minutes, the car was fully engulfed in flames, singeing trees on the roadside. Due to its remote location, emergency services arrived on the scene 30 minutes after the crash. Continues on page 3 >
14 Colin’s back Colin Buchanan chats about his latest album >>
Generous hearts committed to building the Kingdom of God.
BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view OCTOBER 2018
The remedy to casualisation Statistics indicate the percentage of workforce holding full-time jobs, with benefits such as holidays, sick leave and other entitlements, has significantly decreased in recent years. This is known as the casualisation of the workplace.
Mike Bullard Mike Bullard is the Church and Leaders Support Pastor for Baptist Churches Western Australia.
Statistics around relationships also show an increasing casualisation. Despite some recent positive trends, Australians are waiting longer to marry, fewer are getting married and the proportion cohabiting before marriage is now at 81 percent. Casualisation seems to be on the rise in many areas of life. Even church attendance has fallen. In addition to this, the people who do attend church attend less regularly.
We live in a culture that makes fewer commitments, treats those commitments with less seriousness and moves on to new commitments faster than ever before. Some have described our commitment framework today to be ‘until I get a better offer’. This, of course, is concerning if we are interested in spiritual health and discipleship. When we read through the Bible, God tends to move things towards increasing commitment and
security. Far from being casual, God is covenantal. God is seen to be a maker and keeper of covenants. In the Old Testament, covenants were entered into with oaths and sacrifices. They were a big deal. God’s relationship with creation, with humanity, and with His people are described in covenantal terms. He encourages people to have covenantal relationships. Jesus asks for a strong commitment from His followers.
He used the symbol of the Passover meal captures the giving of His life for the salvation of people – the new covenant. This is not a relationship to be entered into lightly. It is covenantal. What does it mean for us to swim against the tide of casualisation? I think it means becoming covenantal in our approach. Long-term, committed relationship; fewer and deeper friendships; regular and consistent spiritual disciplines: these move us in the direction of being covenantal rather than casual. We become more ‘solid’ people who are then more able to be ‘solid’ for others.
Words will never hurt me? ‘Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ Did anybody else grow up with that?
Miriam Lochore Miriam Lochore is a country pastor’s wife, mother of three and teaches creative writing at Sheridan College.
I did. If other kids said awful things to me I was taught to act tough. Pretend I didn’t care. Can’t hear you. And the flip side? Well, if other people’s words couldn’t hurt me, my words couldn’t hurt them. I could say what I liked! I could say thoughtless, or hurtful things, and if my words had an effect, I could blame the other person for being too sensitive in reacting to them. One of the things God does over time, if we keep walking
with Him, is a relentless probing. He does it through interactions with others, through life’s circumstances, and, most consistently, through our ongoing engagement with the teaching of the Bible. Nothing is exempt from God’s X-ray vision: not our secret thoughts, not the desires of our heart, not even the cultural assumptions we grew up with that are as normal to us as breathing. One by one, God takes our values, beliefs, attitudes and
behaviour, and compels us to examine them. I never thought I’d have to pick apart the things I grew up with, but God had other ideas. Think about this: ‘Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire ... With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.’ [James 3:5, 9-10] It has taken me 45 years to work this out, but this is not compatible with ‘words will never hurt me’. Words do hurt me. My words hurt other people too. The things I say and the way I say them matter to God. It is okay for me to ask others to be careful with their words. I can take responsibility for being careful with mine. Are there any assumptions you grew up with that God might want you to examine?
Unread books … If you are like me, at any one time you have a pile of books waiting to be read. Actually, I have several piles – one in my office at Vose Seminary, another in the study at home, another next to my bed … well, I won’t bore you with the details.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
Sadly, only about ten percent move from the ‘to be read’ to the ‘read’ pile. I give most a fair shot by reading the opening pages. Many tell you what they’re on about, the first few pages being all you need – the rest of the book simply filling out concepts clear from the start. A look at the concluding chapter confirms you haven’t missed much inbetween. I classify them as ‘books I’ve almost read’.
More scholarly works can be challenging. I apply the ‘second time’ test. If I have to read a paragraph a second time, and the meaning remains obscure, I put the book in the ‘when I gain another ten IQ points’ pile. A remarkable number of books finish there, a thorn in the flesh to my pride, and a reminder that humility is sometimes the only realistic option.
Some books are too wordy – their 500 plus pages announcing that the author has not consulted your diary and is indifferent to the restraints on your time. They finish on my ‘when I master speed reading’ pile – but could get a look in, especially if they have clear chapter divisions announcing topics of interest. I might then read chapters 1, 17 and 43 before they are relegated to my ‘books I’ve partly read’ pile.
One book stands in its own category. I come back to it daily. It’s long, and old. Parts are easy to read, others seriously complex. For over 50 years it’s been in my ‘books that transform’ pile. When I read it, I feel that it is reading me – that it knows me all too well, and anticipates the changing seasons of my life. It’s a book I will never consider read, rather a book I will always keep reading … perhaps you’ve guessed the title?
letters to the editor send us your letters The Advocate welcomes your letters to the editor on topics of concern to you and the community. Send your letters of no more than 100 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 10th of each month.
Christian Sexologist Patricia Weerakoon presented a series of talks regarding sexuality at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, for its week of Candid Conversations about Sexuality held in July. Over twelve different talks, more than 3,000 people attended, representing over 25 churches. Patricia said that it was a privilege to speak to so many people in Perth, and particularly that they came from many different churches across the city. In her opening talk, The Tea Makers Daughter, Patricia shared from her personal life and faith journey. Born in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka, she had a conservative upbringing of first generation Christian parents, and then studied medicine at a missionary boarding school. Patricia was introduced to the world of sexology in Hawaii,
where the union of her two passions for God and sexology began. Patricia’s life journey and professional life have converged at this particular time, allowing her to speak with confidence, authority and understanding on the area of sexuality and identity. Patricia spoke on many different topics pertinent to the times in which we live, including living with sexual integrity, gender issues, sex education for the CyberGeneration, pornography and singleness. Question and answer sessions highlighted the need for open and honest conversations in the area of sexuality. “It is so good that we can talk about these issues and ask questions about matters we are confronted with, that no one in the Church seems willing to talk about,” one young adult said. “It was so good to bring these issues into the open, but can we keep talking and not just think that we have done that and can now move on. We really struggle with these things and value practical
Photo: Mount Pleasant Baptist Church
Conversations about sexuality
Christian Sexologist Patricia Weerakoon sharing about sexuality at the ‘Candid Conversations about Sexuality’ talks.
ongoing advice and support as we live with the challenges that have been talked about,” another young person said. Before leaving Perth, Patricia had been booked by several other
churches to return later in the year and speak further on the area of sexuality. Author – Sue Ford
> Continued from page 1 Upon reflection, Rob shared that he is thankful to God that he was able to remain focused and calm during the crisis. He thinks that being a school principal for 11 years helped prepare him for this situation. “I felt a sense of peace and a level of control in dealing with a crisis that I’d never dealt with before,” Rob said. It was only later that the enormity of the situation sunk in for Rob, when a close friend pointed out that they had saved the woman’s life. “As we reflected on it that evening, the reality was that God had us in that place, at that time, for a reason.”
“We wouldn’t have gone there if that little dog hadn’t been on the middle of the road.” Three weeks after the accident, Rob and Tina had the opportunity to speak with the woman and her husband on the phone. They both expressed their gratitude for saving the woman’s life. Rob and Tina also shared that they felt it was God who was in control and helped them. “It was His leading that brought us there and we thank God that she was safe.”
Quality residential care for you or your loved one Baptistcare is dedicated to helping each person we support maintain the important connections and activities they need for a full and meaningful life. If you are looking for quality permanent or respite accommodation, or specialised care for people living with dementia, we can help. You can expect a warm and friendly welcome from our highly skilled and caring staff. For more information please contact us.
Photo: Gratton family
1300 660 640 baptistcare.com.au
Baptistcare is one of WA’s largest not-for-profit aged care and community services providers, supporting communities for more than 45 years. A woman is thankful to Rob Gratton for pulling her from this wreakage.
news OCTOBER 2018
No barriers to true love After 65 years of happily married life, dementia was not going to be the end of the love story between former farmers, Peter and Glennys Dougherty. She also added that a strong faith in God has always been there for them both, with Glennys still actively involved in her local Albany church, art and singing. According to Glennys, Peter is happy at Baptistcare Yallambee because he gets more visits now than he ever did in Albany and is receiving the most appropriate care for his condition.
The Dougherty’s have five children, Christine (62), Steven (60), Merrin (58), David (55) and Michael (53). They also have 17 grandchildren and 10 greatgrandchildren and the move to Baptistcare Yallambee has meant the family can stay in close contact. Yallambee Lifestyle Coordinator, Kylie Christian, said she believes that Peter’s involvement in the daily activities at Yallambee and his many visitors contribute to his happiness and wellbeing. “He loves poetry and singing in our choir group and has the opportunity to see his family on a regular basis,” Kylie said. For more information, visit www.baptistcare.com.au.
Respect is number one. You have to respect each other.
Peter and Glennys Dougherty in the gardens of Baptistcare Yallambee.
First prayer breakfast for new governor The Governor of Western Australia, Kim Beazley, attended his first Governor’s Prayer Breakfast on Friday 10 August after being sworn in as the State’s 33rd governor in May. The event marked the 26th anniversary of the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast with a record attendance of more than 1,200 guests praying for the State and Nation. While it was the Governor’s first breakfast in WA, Mr Beazley attended many prayer breakfasts during his time as Ambassador to the United States of America. The Governor said the genuine goodwill and respect between all who attended, regardless of their different denominations and faiths, was outstanding. This year’s guest speaker was well-known Australian author, speaker, historian, media presenter and pastor Dr John Dickson. John spoke about his journey to the Christian faith and the significant role of his Scripture teacher in giving his
life to Jesus and influencing his academic career. “In all that I do, whether in the media or the church, creative or academic, I strive to be a public advocate for the Christian faith in doubting times,” John said. Prayers were led by key members of the WA community including Member for Canning Andrew Hastie, who prayed for the nation and State, and WA Commissioner of Police Chris
Dawson, who prayed for the community and public sector. Many schools were also represented at the event by student leaders. Planning has commenced for the 2019 Governor’s Prayer Breakfast to be held on Friday 6 September. For more information, visit gpbwa.org
Photo: Lasting Joys Photography
Glennys travels by bus from Albany to Baptistcare’s Yallambee Residential Care in Mundaring every three weeks to visit her husband for a week. Baptistcare Yallambee was a good choice for Peter because of the care provided, the natural bush environment and the fact that three of his five children live close to the centre. While the couple do spend time apart, Peter receives regular visits from family and has made friends with other residents who share his passion for farming, tractors and football. Peter is an enthusiastic Eagles supporter having played football in South Australia in the early 1950s. Both he and Glennys are from farming families. The couple met at a dance in Renmark, South Australia, a farming town where the men worked the land and women were typically bank clerks, hairdressers or teachers. Glennys grew up on a farm in Ballarat, Victoria and had embarked on an adventure, arriving in Renmark as a hairdresser. Later she became a salon manager. The path to true love was not smooth, Peter’s first proposal was knocked back because Glennys loved her job and did not feel ready to ‘tie the knot’ and settle down. Peter persisted and his next proposal was accepted. The couple were engaged for two years before their wedding in 1953. Glennys has firm beliefs when asked the secret to her long and happy marriage. “Respect is number one. You have to respect each other,” Glennys said.
The Governor of Western Australia, Kim Beazley, being welcomed by breakfast attendees.
Students bounce back
YouthCARE Chaplain Sue Robinson and teacher Emily Eldridge organised the event, which is part of the school’s focus on students’ social and emotional development. “The day was about helping parents, teachers and students explore together what they can expect in the coming years as the Bounce Back program is implemented and taught,” Sue said. “This program is part of the health curriculum, which sees the school maximising strong support in the social and emotional development of our young students.” Activities included a bouncy castle, sumo suit wrestling, obstacle course, gratitude chain, emoji hand painting, games challenge table and Bounce Back people table. Students Samuel and Isla said they really enjoyed the day. “I’ve learnt not to let people push you down, but if they do, how to bounce back up,” Samuel said. “I like the programs [chaplain Sue] organises,” Isla added.
Photo: Josh del Pino
Floreat Park Primary School recently launched the Bounce Back program to help teach students about resilience by holding a school fun day.
YouthCARE Chaplain Sue Robinson with the Victory Life International Bible Training Centre volunteers at Floreat Park Primary School’s recent fun day.
“I know that it’s okay to tell other people how you’re feeling.” There was also a great community feel to the day. The Town of Cambridge provided funds for a sausage sizzle lunch, with 600 sausages cooked and served by the local Rotary Club. All Saints Floreat Uniting Church prepared the morning tea while Victory Life International Bible Training Centre volunteers helped run some of the activities.
Floreat Park Primary School Principal Jane Rowlands said Sue and Emily, who had worked on the fun day for about six weeks, had done a brilliant job. “Sue’s contribution to the school has been fabulous and having a program like this has been a really good way to lead into her work and tie things together,” Jane said. She said many of the skills taught in the Bounce Back
program cemented what Sue was already teaching the children – resilience, courage, relationships and working through difficult times. “The program teaches the kids that sometimes you do go through hard times and that’s okay.” “A lot of children don’t have that emotional literacy.” “Many grow up thinking they need to be like someone else. Each
child is unique and we teach them that being themselves is okay.” “We equip them with the skills to get up and keep going – how to push through those times, deal with negative feelings and how to express them.” Jane concluded that a day like this gives her access to all the children. They then know who she is and where she can be found. Author – Josh del Pino
Growth through Baptist Financial Services As a Baptist ministry operating throughout much of Australia, Baptist Financial Services, (BFS) primary purpose is to resource Christian ministry. denominations across the State; to not only bless and empower them in their various ministries, but also to support many valued Christian organisations supporting Indigenous education programs, child sponsorships and religious education in the Northern Territories public schools,” Anina said. “It is such a privilege for us to work side by side with likeminded ministries reaching out to their local communities all across the country.” In Western Australia, Baptist Financial Services has been operating for 12 years and during this time has provided financial assistance to the Pastoral Retreat, Fresh Conference, SportsFest and Leavers. BFS have also sponsored seminars that help increase the financial knowledge of attendees. For more information, visit www.bfs.org.au
BFS National Networking Manager Anina Findling said that many Baptists are familiar with the churches, schools and ministries that have received loans through Baptist Financial Services. “However, what might not be as well-known is the variety of grants and sponsorships given to further enable the growth of God’s Kingdom,” Anina said. “In 2017, Baptist Financial Services gave over two million dollars of grants to support Baptist ministries, conferences and events throughout Australia, included in this amount was a $164,000 grant to Baptist Churches Western Australia.” In May, Anina visited Darwin as part of BFS’s sponsorship of the Together 2018 Territory Women’s Conference. “The conference was a wonderful event that brought together women from various
Baptist World Aid Australia National Partnerships Lead Stephanie Dobbin with BFS National Networking Manager Anina Findling at the Together 2018 Territory Women’s Conference in Darwin.
news OCTOBER 2018
Broome Baptists buy building Situated across the road from a primary school, it comes complete with its own car park, more space than their existing facility, and requires minimal work to be fit for its new purpose. Located in the tourist hub of north-west Western Australia, Broome has a transient culture, with a large influx of visitors over the dry season. This is reflected in the Broome Baptist Church congregational ebb and flow. “When the dry season is in full swing, we find ourselves with the lovely problem of being at full capacity,” said Pastor Andrew (Mako) van der Moezel. Mako said that space had become an increasing issue over the past year as the church had seen considerable growth in regular attendees. The church has been meeting at Broome Lotteries House for over 20 years, a community office and hall rental space. “This space has been a blessing and certainly served Broome Baptist well over the years, however, it’s a communitybased rental and this has limited the opportunity for midweek and evening activities and ministries,
as other community groups also require the space; not to mention the cost of its hire,” Mako said. For a number of years, the church had been looking for a place of its own to worship and minister from. Championed by current and preceding pastors and leaders, the church had looked, prayed and waited. Mako said that when a building in Roebuck Estate went up for sale it was looked at as a possible church site, but the price was well out of range for their modest little church. Early in 2018, the purchase price of the building dropped significantly and it seemed within reach. “Carefully investigated and prayed over by the leadership team, this was going to require a great step of faith,” Mako recalled. “This decision was not only a financial challenge but also a work challenge of set-up, then the ongoing maintenance, something we’ve not had to worry about before.” “The leadership team presented the church with the option and challenges that lay before us if we purchased the
Photo: Kylie Taylor
For the first time in the 28-year history of Broome Baptist Church, the congregation will be able to meet in their own building having purchased an old mini-mart, in the heart of the Roebuck Estate community.
Katherine Marchioni with Levi Coughlan, Jessamy vander Moezel and Leslie Nieuwoudt getting ready to welcome people to church.
building, and the church voted unanimously to proceed.” The new building has a larger hall space, kitchen, toilets, air-conditioning and rooms for children’s ministry. It also
has outside space which they plan to make into a children’s ministry area. “The most encouraging thing about all this is that we are now able to do more for God’s
Kingdom and we wait to see how He now chooses to use us.” Author – Matt Chapman
Carey on stage Hundreds of hours of rehearsals and preparation culminated in Carey Baptist College’s production of Disney’s High School Musical on Stage! in June. large audiences was also a great opportunity for students to grow in confidence. Julia Ramirez (Year 11), who shared the female lead role of Gabriella Montez, said that it was confronting to hear her own voice and that she struggled with selfdoubt each performance before going on stage. However, she found that once she stepped onto the stage, her nerves disappeared and she became immersed in her character. “The audience sensed the excitement coming from the cast and it was reflected in their response,” Tim said. “It was an all-round positive experience and the students should be very proud of what they achieved.”
Photo: Carey Baptist College
About 80 students performed in the school’s first ever production to a combined audience of more than 1,500 people across four shows. Teacher-in-Charge of Drama Timothy Bowles said he was proud of the students’ performances and their attitudes towards the performance experience. “By God’s grace and the hard work of all, it was a very harmonious cast and crew environment,” Tim said. “We told the students that we were far more interested in what unites us as ‘fellow artists’ than in our differences, and they completely took that invitation onboard, functioning as a supportive community, building up and encouraging each other.” As well as developing the students’ theatre skills and growing closer as a creative community, being part of a production and performing to
The cast of Carey Baptist College’s High School Musical on Stage! production.
The day began with Bible Society Chief Operating Officer Melissa Lipsett speaking on what the Bible has to say to and about women. Melissa reminded the women gathered that women are the beloved image bearers of God, created for His glory. “Every one of us designed to use our gifts and have influence in the sphere in which he has placed us,” Melissa said. This theme of strength in leadership and calling was carried throughout the day with talks from Zoe Bradfield, Kelley Chisholm, Sarah French, Amanda Viviers and Karen Wilson. Using Scripture and personal testimony, they exhorted the listeners to stand courageously in what God has called them to do. Conference attendee Melissa Mirabella said the calibre of the speakers was outstanding. “Each one different, but the content was insightful, practical and so God-inspired,” she said. Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) Council Chair Pastor Karen Siggins led a discussion with a panel of West Australian women who are leaders in ministry and workplace settings. Each spoke candidly and generously about the challenges they face in their roles, their joys and fears, and their own sense of calling and identity in Christ.
brief Baptist Historical Society There will be many events in November to commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Peace Treaty to end the First World War. To remember the part Baptists of Western Australia played in this ‘war to end all wars’, Ann Harding has researched far and wide, and will share her findings at the Baptist Historical Society’s AGM Public Meeting on Sunday 28 October at 2.30pm, at South Perth Baptist Church, Lawler Street, South Perth. Ann has uncovered many interesting stories and connections for her historical paper titled World War I and the Effects on WA Baptist Churches. If you had family members who were in the services especially, you may learn more of those times and events, or contribute information or photographs to the discussion. All welcome.
More than $90,000 was given to support Baptist World Aid Australia’s Vulnerable Children Fund, which helps women in Bangladesh ‘say no to child brides’. Baptist World Aid’s Stephanie Dobbin spoke about the difference the Fresh Conference attendees had made to the lives of women living in impoverished conditions around the world over the years. Perth musician Rob Humphries performed an original song based on the Scripture Micah 6:8 and Fresh Conference founder Karen Wilson encouraged women to consider how together, they could make a difference to the lives of women living in poverty. Conference attendee Dorothy James said it was a powerful moment. “I felt privileged to be able to make a difference as part of something so much bigger than I could do as an individual,” Dorothy said. Fresh Conference 2018 also marked a significant moment Karen who opened the conference by handing over the leadership to BCWA Women’s Leadership Pastor Yvette Cherry. This ‘passing of the baton’ was a poignant moment. Attendee Nicole Douglas said the way the organisation of the event was handed over and received in such a gracious, humble way was an amazing testament to God and the love we should have for His work and His workers. “In talking about leadership, it was truly encouraging to see that example being displayed in such a way,” Nicole said.
Zoe Bradfield, of Bentley Baptist Church, presenting a powerful message based on the midwives of Exodus.
New WA director appointed Global Interaction has appointed Pastor Dan McGrechan as its new State Director following the retirement of Pastor Colin Meadows. Colin served for six years in the role and was farewelled by Baptist Churches Western Australia staff at a special meeting on 18 July. The outgoing director shared his excitement at Dan’s appointment.
“I have every confidence that Dan will faithfully serve many candidates and cross-cultural workers into the future,” Colin said. Global Interaction helps Baptist churches fulfil Jesus’ command to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ [Matthew 28:19], with six WA families currently serving in Malawi, Mozambique and Thailand. Dan shared his passion for mobilising churches to fulfil their call to mission. “I look forward to engaging with churches in cross-cultural
mission through prayer, giving, learning, sending and going,” Dan said. “We long to see vibrant faith communities among the leastreached groups of people. “There is no greater joy than to do life together with Jesus and partner in his life-changing work. “Wherever God call us, we are all workers in God’s plentiful harvest.” Dan is also involved in local mission as the Pastor of The Sanctuary Community Church, a church plant in Midland.
Shalom House hit with another setback Swan Valley rehabilitation facility Shalom House has faced yet another hurdle in its fight with the City of Swan over zoning regulations. The City of Swan has given the not-for-profit facility 12 months to close its doors as it does not currently meet residential zoning guidelines. Since 2015, Shalom House founder and CEO Peter LyndonJames has been fighting to have Shalom House reclassified for community use, which would make it legal under current zoning laws. The issue, which began with the City of Swan, has made its way to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), the Supreme
Court of Western Australia and back to the SAT over the past three years. The SAT ruled the City of Swan reconsider its position on the issue. However, after a revote, the City ruled not to approve the change of use application. Councillor Charlie Zannino said Shalom House did not meet the requirement to be classified for community use because it is a private facility. City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said the issue had been given full consideration. “I believe this is one of the most difficult decisions to come before Council in decades,” Mr Lucas said. The facility is currently at full capacity, housing 140 men recovering from mostly drug and alcohol-related addiction.
Photo: Shalom House
More than 670 women came together for a day of learning, inspiration and worship at the 2018 Fresh Conference in July.
Photo: Sarah Wickham, SJ Creative
Fresh Conference inspires
Shalom House founder and former drug addict Peter Lyndon-James
Author – John Igglesden
at the gates of the rehabilitation facility.
opinion OCTOBER 2018
Every Baptist church is autonomous. It’s part of our DNA. There is really no such thing as ‘The Baptist Church’, like The Catholic Church or The Anglican Church. Each local congregation selects its leadership, its worship form and oversees its financial matters without outside control or supervision.
The Unity Paradox everywhere in between – we acknowledged that we are all one in Christ. It was a simple way to demonstrate our unity and participate in a small way in answering the prayer of Jesus. But it was more than that. While unity is important, Jesus had in mind much more. He goes on to pray, “Father, may they be one as you and I are one, so that the world may know that you sent me.” Jesus links our unity, the unity of Christians and the unity of our churches with his mission in the world. Too often churches, including and perhaps particularly Baptist churches, have ignored or overlooked this prayer of Jesus. When Christians in local congregations have trouble getting along together it is little surprise we sometimes find it difficult to reach across our denomination to other Baptist churches, let alone churches from a different tradition. Yet, Jesus was adamant and gave us a commandment. “Love one another.” Why? Because it is by love that “everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” [John 13:35]. The Father sent His son into the world, and the Son sends His church. We are God’s last witness to the world. In our unity
we demonstrate powerfully the love of God for the world. I believe Christian unity is the most powerful tool we have in reaching Tasmanians with the good news of Jesus. As local Baptist congregations across Tasmania, we have a unique contribution to make. It comes from a belief that can, at times, appear quite paradoxical. On the one hand we boldly and courageously hold onto the autonomy of the local church, while on the other hand we boldly and courageously maintain our interdependence. It is a very difficult tension to sustain, but we are at our best and most effective when we do. Jesus knew that would be the case, that’s why he prayed, “Father, may they be one just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” May this be our prayer too. Author – Rev. Stephen Baxter
Photo: Tasmanian Baptists
However, that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in unity, although there are times when some are led to doubt it. In much the same way that Paul describes the church as a body and implies the idea of an ‘individual Christian’ is an oxymoron, so to is the notion of an ‘individual church’. That’s why, despite appearances, the autonomy of the local Baptist church should never be considered without recognition of the interdependence of our Baptist churches. Unity is very important to God. On His final night with His disciples, Jesus prayed a very specific prayer, and it wasn’t only for His disciples. It was for us – you and I included. Jesus prayed we would be one with Him and each other, just as He and the Father are one. His focus was unity. It was as if He was saying, “Father, can they just learn to get along, so that they know the fullness of love?” Our unity, experiencing the love of God and loving each other, was Jesus’ highest desire for us. Recently on Pentecost Sunday, across Tasmania 146 churches celebrated Communion with bread baked from the same lump of dough. From Strahan to King Island, from Marrawah to St Helens, Bridport to Dover – and
Rev. Stephen Baxter is the Mission Director of Tasmanian Baptists. This article was first published in the June 2018 edition of Tasmanian Baptists’ Advance magazine.
Ruby wheat sourdough, from a single, sourdough starter, straight out of the oven from Pigeon Whole Bakers in Tasmania.
I was a freckle-faced 18 year old who knew little of the things of God when I journeyed by car, just eight hours from home, to do my Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission. Three months later, I took my first overseas plane trip with my outreach team of nine, to the coastal city of Lae, Papua New Guinea. I didn’t know a whole lot, except that God had done so much in my life and I was eager to tell others about His goodness.
Championing Youth Day after day, as we shared the gospel through open-air drama and puppet shows, I was astounded at the number of people who would come to give their lives to God. It was exciting to see the prayers that God answered again and again, on behalf of these young people. I was starting to learn that God believes in and champions youth. Now, all these years later, I am still excited to see God work through the lives of young people. He delights in their simple obedience and belief that all things are possible through Him. You don’t have to look hard to see through history that He always has. The Bible is full of stories ‘starring’ young heroes and heroines. A personal favourite of mine is the story of David and Goliath. Maybe because Goliath described him as a ‘ruddy-faced boy’ and it reminds me of things said about my own freckled face! The unlikely underdog who does not stand a chance against the seasoned warrior comes out slinging a stone and dongs the expert warrior on the head, killing him instantly and securing victory for the nation. David, despite being young, had proven character. We see in 1 Samuel 17, that he was a diligent servant
of King Saul: a hard worker, an obedient son to his father, brave and fearless as a shepherd and soldier, fiercely loyal to God and His reputation. He trusted God completely. David is in good company with many other young people: Esther, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Samuel, Namaan’s wife’s servant girl in 2 Kings 5, Mary. Jesus’ mother was young too, as were most of Jesus’ disciples. Think about the boy who gave his lunch to feed over 5,000 people, and Timothy, just to name a few. And not just with small things, but with big, major assignments for His kingdom. He values them highly and we should too. He gives them time and invests in their lives. Think of how He trained David as a shepherd using bears and lions in preparation for facing the fierce giant. If He believes in young people, shouldn’t we as His people spend time and energy investing in their lives too? How could you do this? Get to know the young people around you, seek them out. Make time for them, come alongside them and champion their dreams and potential. Invite them over to your home for a meal or to hang out, and let them spend time with you and your family. Listen
to their story, hear their heart, share your stories of struggle and discouragement, of change and victory – ways God has answered your prayers and miracles you have seen. Take them under your wing and disciple them. Encourage them to go on a missions trip or get involved in serving others practically, going outside their comfort zone, doing things where they have to trust God rather than their own capacity. Invest financially in seeing them trained and equipped for serving God. Support their own personal growth and development, as well as involvement in serving the wider community. They need leaders to reach out to them and entrust them with something that is bigger to stretch for. I remember several years ago reaching out to a couple of young women and asking them what excited them and what they were passionate about. As they shared their heart, I invited them to join us as a mission in their areas of passion – one in administration and serving others, and the other in community development. I think both of them were surprised that someone wanted them on their team – that someone would dare to take a risk, believe and walk with them on the journey.
That is the power of leadership – to champion and trust young people. Paul believed in Timothy and he became a trusted and valuable team member, someone who was reliable and grew into a great leader. Remember Paul’s challenge to Timothy: ‘Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young …’ [1 Timothy 4:12 NLT]. Young people need people to believe and trust in them. Is there a ruddy-faced or freckle-faced young person you can take under your wing and invest in? You never know – they could be a Timothy, a David, an Esther, or a career missionary in the making. Author – Colleen Noblet Colleen Noblet is a founding member of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Perth and Leader of the Ministry Development School. This article was first published in the January 2018 edition of YWAM’s Westcoast News.
10 world news OCTOBER 2018
Flooding devastates India
In August, as the flooding reached its peak, Baptist World Aid Australia released $20,000 from its Disaster Action Fund to its Christian partner on the ground in India. Baptist World Aid Australia CEO John Hickey said the fund allowed the organisation to respond with immediacy when disaster, like the Kerala floods, struck. “In this case, the funds have been used by our Christian partner to provide urgently needed food rations and clean drinking water for food affected families,” John said. The situation in Kerala became direr by the sodden earth giving way to landslides in hilly regions.
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“Sadly, families have been ill prepared to deal with the effects of their collapsing surroundings,” John said. “Homes have been destroyed, livelihoods have been swept away, and lives have been lost.” They were the worst floods the state had experienced in nearly a century. The devastating monsoon season has left families with nothing. They have no means of providing food for their hungry children or safe drinking water to prevent against the rapid spread of waterborne disease. As the flood waters recede, Kerala has declared a heath alert following a rat fever outbreak. “Our Christian partner on the ground, the Emmanuel Hospital Association, is continuing its disaster response,” John said. For Baptist World Aid, the disaster in Kerala followed a week of urgent response to the Lombok earthquakes in Indonesia. “It’s been a demanding time for our partners on the ground in both nations,” John said. “I’m just so grateful for the faithful generosity of our supporters, which means we can respond to disasters, very soon after they strike.” “In The Little Book of Big Hearted Gifts this year, you’ll find the Big Hearted Gift of Emergency Shelter.” Find your copy of The Little Book of Big Hearted Gifts in this issue of The Advocate or visit baptistworldaid.org.au/ disaster-action-fund to support this work today.
Photo: Emmanuel Hospital Association
Destructive monsoon flooding has killed around 400 people in the southern Indian state of Kerala since rains began in June this year. At least 800,000 have been forced to flee their homes by the rising flood waters, seeking shelter in relief camps across the state.
The destruction caused by monsoon flooding in India.
Baptists respond to Lombok earthquakes Baptist World Aid (BWAid) is assisting earthquake relief efforts on the Indonesian island of Lombok with a $20,000 grant to aid victims and churches. More than 460 people have died since the first in a series of strong earthquakes hit Lombok in August. BWAid has been working with Asia Pacific Baptist Aid, Transform Aid International and others in relief efforts on the ground. Doni Wijaya, of the Union of Indonesian Baptist Churches, noted in a Monday morning
email [to BWAid] that another earthquake registering 7 on the Richter scale struck Lombok. “Thank you for your kind attention and concern for [the] situation in Lombok.” Baptist World Alliance General Secretary, Elijah Brown wrote to Baptists in Indonesia and the region after the island’s magnitude 7 earthquake on 5 August, conveying prayer support from 239 Baptist World Alliance member bodies in 125 countries. “On behalf of the worldwide Baptist family, we pray with you today and in the days to come,” Mr Brown wrote. “Be assured that we have already sent resources to be applied to assist in alleviating
To make a donation, visit bwanet.org/online-giving. Please note ‘Disaster response’ in the comment section of the form.
Photo: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho
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the resulting suffering, and will continue to encourage Baptists around the world to hold you fast in prayer and to provide all that will be needed in the days to come.” “We ask God to comfort you and provide for you as we pray for the example of your faith to draw others near to you in this time of need.” “We thank God for your strong witness and for the opportunity for you to minister in your communities and country.”
a Place to belong A building in Lombok lies in ruins following the first earthquakes in August.
world news 11 OCTOBER 2018
Persecution growing in China In several provinces across China, children and young people under the age of 18 are no longer permitted to attend religious gatherings or services and Christian kindergartens have been shut down. According to Open Doors International, this is seen by some as the beginning efforts to stunt the growth of Christianity for emerging generations. Churches in the westcentral province of Jiangx have reportedly been ordered to display the national flag and hang up posters of the socialist party. In other provinces, the landlords of officially registered house churches were put under pressure to cancel the leases to the churches. Other churches received orders to sing the
national anthem at the start of every service, collect personal data of its members and install surveillance cameras. According to Open Doors, religious leaders must conduct religious activities in the Chinese context, practice core socialist values, carry forward the traditions of the Chinese nation, and actively explore religious thought, which conforms to the reality in China. Open Doors researcher Aaron Ma told World Watch Monitor that the government is worried about the impact China’s rapidly growing Christian population could have on the country. “The CCP [Chinese Communist Party] believes the church is a destabilising
force, but not because it is bad; in fact, local communities and authorities tend to believe Christians are good people,“ Mr Ma said. “Some suggest that because Christians’ allegiance is first and foremost to God and not the Communist Party, there is a conflict of interest that the party believes can potentially hinder the process of unification. Others are more concerned by what they perceive as potential ‘chaos’ arising from the huge number of Christians.” Approximately 70 million believers live in the communist country with Christianity the fastest growing religion. According to Open Doors, the number of Chinese Protestant believers has grown by ten percent annually since 1979, and some estimates indicate that China is on track to have the world’s largest population of Christians by 2030.
Photo: W. Scott McGill/Shutterstock
The persecution of Christians in China has notably increased since the start of the year. The Chinese government has brought in new religious regulations to align “religion with Chinese characteristics”, tightening its grip on Christians.
Experts say the Chinese government is worried about the impact China’s
Author – Ramona Humphreys
growing Christian population could have on the country.
Sumatra gets the Word
Recent attacks on Indonesian churches, in which 13 people died in three separate church bombings in one day, have not deterred charity organisation Wycliffe Associates from its mission to see the Bible translated into the churches’ respective languages. Along with training to translate God’s Word for
Indonesian communities, Wycliffe Associates hopes to provide more than 1,020 tablets with translation software to mother tongue translators within the next six months. In an interview with Premier Christianity, Wycliffe Associates CEO Bruce Smith said people were hungry for hope and desperate for the truth of God’s
Word, even in remote areas and areas of intense persecution. More than 700 languages are spoken in Indonesia. Churches can only legally operate if they have at least 90 members, the consent of 60 non-Christian neighbours and the approval of the regency chief.
Photo: Stuart Taylor/Shutterstock
A project to translate the Bible into local Indonesian languages has gained momentum following requests from Indonesian Christians wanting to read the Bible in their ‘heart language‘.
Author – Ramona Humphreys
A church in a rice paddy at Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia.
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12 in conversation OCTOBER 2018
John’s love of God How did you become a Christian and develop a faith in Christ? Through my Scripture teacher at a public school when I was about 15 or 16. She was a wonderful, generous, thoughtful, middle-aged mum from down the road, who volunteered half an hour a week to teach Scripture lessons at my high school. I couldn’t get away with all my smart alec questions because she had funny, intelligent answers, so I decided to listen. What I heard about the person of Christ was incredible, and I wanted to know more. She invited the whole class to her home on Friday afternoons for hamburgers and Bible study. We went back every Friday afternoon for about two and a half years. We would eat her food and listen to her talk about the Bible. She basically read the gospels to us. She knew we knew nothing, so she thought the best strategy would be to introduce us to the person of Jesus, which she did beautifully. It was really coming to know Christ in all His power and love that convinced me to follow Him. How have you grown spiritually and what is the biggest challenge in your Christian walk? The first answer is, way too slowly. It’s one of those things where the longer you’re a Christian the more attuned you are to how far you’ve got to go. In my first year or two as a Christian, I thought I was doing really well. I’d grown massively. But I look back and think, ‘Wow, the Lord was patient with me.’ I’d say amongst the biggest challenges for my Christian life is prayerfulness. I have an activist personality. I like to do things, so the idea of hanging around praying doesn’t fit naturally with me. But of course, I know that things don’t depend on my activity but God’s grace, so that encourages me to pray more. To be honest, the ultimate challenge every Christian of every era faces is to genuinely glimpse the love of God in Christ’s death and resurrection, genuinely believe that the Lord of the universe gave Himself on our behalf, because if you genuinely believe that, if that’s the conviction at the centre of your universe, that’s what will drive all behaviour, all prayerfulness, all attempts to share our faith, all kindness toward the poor, love of enemy, and so on. That is the challenge.
You have accomplished many things in your career, what are you most proud of? I almost, as a joke, want to say, “I’m most proud of the book on humility I wrote five years ago,” because I did write a book on humility. After I first became a Christian my friends and I started a band. It was full-time for six years. I travelled Australia, singing and sharing Christ, and I still meet people today, 25, 30 years later, who are Christians because of that ministry – that is stunning. I am also really blessed to have been able to start the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) 11 years ago. I was in leadership there for ten years. I am proud of the scholar-communicators that we gathered together, what we have done together and what they continue to do. You are the Founding Director of CPX and now a Senior Consultant to CPX. How did this come about? It was a dream I’d had for many years to establish a centre where scholar-communicators could spend their time communicating to the public, mainly through the media, the beauty and truthfulness of Christianity. I was given a grant 11 years ago and Greg Clarke, my co-founder, and I launched out – we employed people, rented offices and promoted the public understanding of the Christian faith. I’ve since left, but after ten years, they are going on from strength to strength. What does your role involve on a daily basis? My day is pretty random, because it depends on what sort of mode I’m in. I might be in a mode of the year where I’m doing very little but writing the next book. I’m blessed to be able to spend four to six weeks a year just writing. I also lead an Anglican church in Sydney. I preach most weeks of the year, so I’m also preparing sermons and visiting people who need it. I’m also occasionally travelling with film documentaries. Over the last three years CPX and I have been filming For the Love of God: How the church is better and worse than you ever imagined. My role now with CPX is a loose association as my ministry has taken a different shape.
You recently launched For the Love of God in Australian cinemas, what prompted you to produce this documentary? Years ago, we [CPX] were involved in a major debate, broadcast by the ABC, on the topic ‘We’d be better off without religion.’ We spectacularly lost the debate, in other words, most people thought we would be better off without religion and the religion under discussion was mainly Christianity. That got us thinking how important it is to confront the evils of the church – not to run away from them, not to try and produce a documentary that was only about the positives, because I don’t think that will get very far with our sceptical friends, but to produce something that honestly assessed the best and worst of Christian history. It took us three years to produce it and was prompted by the attempt to engage the sceptic who thinks Christianity has only damaged the world. What we want to say is, “It’s true Christians have done terrible things in Jesus’ name, and it’s true Christians have given the West some of the things it loves most, like charity and hospitals, human dignity, equality for all, and so on. Jesus wrote a beautiful tune, but Christians haven’t always sung in harmony with that tune.” That’s the main message of the documentary. How has your involvement in this film provided opportunities to share your faith and was moment during filming that stood out? Everywhere I went for the documentary, I had opportunities to talk about what we were doing and therefore talk about our faith, but one of the standout moments was filming a scene outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem where, almost 1,000 years ago, Crusaders had slaughtered Muslim men, women and children, in the name of Christ. It wasn’t just a simple war, it was a war that spun out of control where they slaughtered innocents as well. I stood on that spot and told that awful story, but my guide was a Muslim. She was standing just off camera, so I had to deliver these lines with her less than a metre away. As I delivered my lines, I could see she had a tear in her eye. A thousand years after this war, it was still a wound, which reminded me that the bad behaviour of Christians can damage people for a long, long
Photo: John Dickson
Dr John Dickson’s story is eclectic. Starting his career as a professional singer-songwriter, he now works as an author, speaker, historian, senior pastor and media presenter. In August, John was the guest speaker at the annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast. Vanessa Klomp had the privilege of catching up with John after the event.
John Dickson regularly speaks at Christian events around the globe.
time. It was very awkward. As soon as we finished filming the scene, I apologised to her. Even though I wasn’t there, I felt it was the right thing to say. She was beautiful. She said, “Oh, it’s okay.” But it had really stung. What do you think is the biggest pressure facing churches today? Spiritually speaking, the biggest pressure or challenge is the one I mentioned earlier, to genuinely believe that God loved the world so much He entered the world and gave Himself on the cross for us. I know that sounds hyper-spiritual, but it’s the thing that animates everything. If you get that, you get first that we’re freely saved, but second that we go into the world with a similar love and willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the good of our world and for the world’s salvation. In a time where there are increasing pressures on the church from society, people are increasingly sceptical, and people are increasingly wanting to remove privileges that currently belong to the church. The danger is that the church will respond with anger and self-righteousness, and offensive
entitlement. But, I believe if we genuinely let the cross of Christ transform us, we will respond to these efforts against the church with compassion and humility, willingness to admit fault, and yet a desire to continue to serve the world that sometimes doesn’t want us. What is on the horizon and what are your aspirations for the future? I have about five books in my head I would like to finish. I have a major research project on ancient education that I want to finish over the next five or six years. I want to do my best as a local church minister. I have a couple of other documentaries that I would like to produce in the next few years, one on world religions and one on what all Christians share as a belief. That should be a challenge, because lots of sceptics say, “You Christians can’t even agree. You have Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and others.” I think I’ve found a way to explain the core of the Christian faith that all denominations agree on, and I think for the sceptic that will be helpful.
growth 13 OCTOBER 2018
Pursue God’s dream
At the time, I didn’t realise how helpful it would be in countering all the worldly advice I received about my future. I was told, “Pursue your dreams!” and “Reach for the stars!” Never mind if I lacked skill or talent, because … well, “If you can dream it, you can have it.” With enough hard work, I could make all my dreams come true! It was tempting to believe, especially when it appeared as though all others were steering their own course and achieving their ambitions. But I learnt early on that it is God who determines where we go and how our lives unfold. He is the author of my life story, not me. Sometimes that’s a hard truth to swallow. So, when I find myself wrestling with God about unfulfilled dreams and His plan for my life, I try to remember a few key truths: God is sovereign We are not God. Nor are we masters of our own destinies.
We struggle to control how each day unfolds, let alone our whole lives! God knows the end from the beginning and He is sovereign over all creation [Isaiah 46:10; Colossians 1:17]. He has planned every day of our lives before one has come to pass [Psalm 139:16]. And He has the right and the power to prevail upon our plans, for His good and faithful purposes [Psalm 135:6]. My life is not my own When you become a Christian you lose your life, as you knew it. Having been purchased by Jesus’ blood, our lives no longer belong to us, they belong to Christ. Galatians 2:20 says, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’ We find entirely new life in Christ, so our dreams and desires start to change and we begin to want what He wants. The best way to thank Jesus for His sacrifice is to give our lives back to Him, to be used according to His plan and purposes. Christians are called to a life of surrender. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say, ‘Follow your dreams’; He says, ‘Follow me’. Jesus’ command is clear: ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me’ [Luke 9:23]. Jesus has been
One of the first Bible verses I learnt as a teenager was Proverbs 16:9, ‘In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.’
given authority over heaven and earth [Matthew 28:18). He is Lord over everything – and that includes your dreams, decisions, plans and ambitions. Pursue Christ We live in a world that perpetuates the lie that our greatest satisfaction is found in centring on ourselves, that pursuing our dreams will quench our thirst and give our lives meaning. But the satisfaction we long for is not found in pursuing
our heart’s desires, it is found in centring on God. Our whole purpose is to worship and glorify Him [1 Corinthians 10:31]. God offers Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ alone provides the satisfaction and joy we so desperately seek [John 6:35]. And He is so much better than anything this world has to offer! Though we may not have chosen many of the directions in which God has led us, we can rest assured that He is working for our good and His glory
[Romans 8:28-29]. Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”’ God knows what He is doing with our lives. Are we willing to submit to Him and allow our dreams to be transformed into His? Author – Madeline Turner Reprinted with permission, www.ap.org.au
Hillsong Perth – 12 months young In February 2017, I wrote what turned out to be my most read and engaged with post on my blog (markedly.com.au) as pastors and churches all over Perth heard the news that Hillsong was launching a campus in Perth. music you use, whatever demographic you are targeting, I believe Hillsong has some adaptable values and practices that are worth emulating. We noticed the abundant signage. At my own church, we have had visitors remark how difficult it was to find basic amenities. I looked at the clear and well-branded signage and have made changes at Inglewood Community Church. They also have teams of greeters. Sometimes we tend to allow people just to find their own seat. In fact, it was nice as a visitor to have someone help you find a seat. You did not have to think about it. They were well-trained, had big smiles and made you feel at home. What is fascinating about Hillsong is how the church feels very similar to every other Hillsong church I have visited. One lovely afternoon, I met with Perth Campus Pastor Chrishan Jeyaratnam for coffee and a chat. What I discovered was a gracious, humble, missional
and passionate man. I asked him how they had transferred such a positive culture across the nation, and indeed across the world. His comment was that culture was caught as much as taught. The welcoming attitude starts with the leaders and permeates throughout the church. It was two hours I treasured, as I peppered him with questions on church growth, raising up leaders, creativity and the general values of Hillsong, which has seen it become the incredibly influential church it is. He was so generous with his time and vulnerability. Twelve months on, the churches in Perth have not seen a mass exodus out their doors into Hillsong Perth. What we have seen is a valuable addition and challenge to what God is doing in our city.
Hillsong’s Perth campus recently celebrated its first anniversary. In that time, it has established a growing congregation who meets at the University of Western Australia, has seen multiple baptisms, led people to Jesus, and helped people grow in their faith and community. Some people may wonder why Perth needs another church. I personally feel that Hillsong Perth has added a much-needed element to the church landscape in our city. It is a vibrant, creative and social media savvy church. Everything it does is done with a contemporary flavour and a relevance that informs other churches. Personally, I believe that the humble observer can use Hillsong Perth’s example to challenge the status quo of their own church for the better. Like many in Perth, I visited a Sunday service to see how Hillsong has been building community and reaching out to the community. Whatever your particular culture, whatever
Author – Pastor Mark Edwards Pastor Mark Edwards reflects on Hillsong – a year on from its opening in Perth and what could be learnt from the church.
14 music OCTOBER 2018
Colin releases new album
You’ve recently released an album called Fam! Bam! Bible Jam!, but before we chat about that, could you give our readers a quick background of your career in entertainment? My entrance into full-time music was unconventional insofar as, having grown up in Sydney, my wife and I went and lived in a little Christian community in Bourke, in western New South Wales. That’s where I started writing songs about the bush and, unexpectedly, those songs opened the door to a career in country music. I won a bunch of Golden Guitars and released albums and so forth, and then about three years into that I was signed to ABC Music. There was word that Play School was auditioning and so I auditioned. Having been a trained primary school teacher, it gave me a background. I was a presenter for Play School for about eight years. I remember watching you on Play School. I’m 25 so your time on Play School was prime time for my childhood! I sing ‘On the Ning Nang Nong’ song [popular Play School song] at concerts and it’s funny to see the reactions of people in their twenties and a little bit older. About six or seven years in, I started recording. I had a bunch of songs that I’d written over the years, predating our time in Bourke, like kids’ Christian songs and I made a simple little album called Remember the Lord. That became the beginning of the series of albums which spanned
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right up to the present day. It was never intended as a career move, more a chance of releasing some of these songs ‘into the wild’, and I just found this continuing so it was encouragement to do that. When would you say that your faith became real to you? I grew up in a church-going home but we didn’t really talk about faith. We talked more about behaviour and morality, and church attendance was pretty much non-negotiable. I think even from an early age I was really attracted to the notion of knowing God, not simply fulfilling those conventions. Being told as a child that it was possible to have a relationship with God through Christ was something that I can remember. As a seven or eight year old I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart as I understood Him and as He was presented to me. Then a few years later as a new high-schooler we had a new Sunday School teacher and he presented the gospel in a really clear way. That put a bit more knowledge on the whole notion of God’s greatness, my sin and the consequences for that, and therefore the provision of Christ as the means of knowing God and being forgiven. I thought, well this is like chocolate, I want to know God. I needed no convincing of the presence of sin and to know that you can be assured of forgiveness was something really wonderful. We had a great youth group and we’d do Bible studies, and
I think music and worship fit well together. So, how did Fam! Bam! Bible Jam! come to be? Did you have any specific goals when you were writing the album? Well it’s a very different concept. Originally it was going to be called RTL FM, as in my first album Remember the Lord. I just thought that it could be Remember the Lord FM like a radio station and so that idea had been lurking in my mind for a long time. I was working on a video project earlier this year that seemed to be a little too complicated and I felt like it was not the time for it, so I thought I’ll put my mind to an audio project instead. I would love to do the radio idea and I’ve had the thought that it could follow the theme of encouraging families to spend time in God’s Word together, which is something that I found, in our family, a hard thing to be consistent with. It’s not particularly complicated and it really does pay dividends, and when we’ve been regular with that it’s built good things into our family life. That was broadly the theme and I found myself crafting a radio style album. It included a bunch of [radio] links that involved Nudge [puppet character] and I walking through ideas like what is God’s Word, how do we understand it, what it is useful for and what does it teach us.
So, you’d say that the links between the songs help explain the message of the songs? That’s right, but done in a way that has a fairly ‘kooky’ delivery. The contents have been delivered with squeaks, bangs and bumps and so on. We wanted to deliver content in a way that meant the medium doesn’t overtake the message. I asked the guy who built a radio show I previously worked on – I always loved his work and he was always a great encouragement to me – to build the radio links for the album. I got him to build some ‘ads’ and little statements to inject some of his radio theatricality and sensibility into it. So, it’s got the shape of radio because it’s crafted by someone who really understands and knows radio. You can really tell it flows well and fits. Is there one song that you think exemplifies the message on the album best? I like the title track as I have semi-invented the whole notion of Fam! Bam! Bible Jam!, with the intention of it being like family devotions. Family devotions might mean something to those who have grown up in Christian circles, otherwise it is probably a confusing term and rather than try explain that, it’s better to create an idea that can explain the power of God’s Word and the role His power plays in our lives and in our families’ lives. You’re currently touring, are there any other albums in the works? Or, are you focusing on finishing the tour and then you’ll start to think about what’s next? I would like to enter a song into the country music awards [Country Music Association Awards] as a precursor to another country album, which I’ve not
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it was great being in a group of people who were finding a knowledge of God, His Word and what that means. I learned to play guitar and so writing songs and being involved in music was something that was part and parcel. As a kid, I wasn’t sent to piano or guitar lessons or anything like that. Music was discovered and enjoyed in a very organic way.
COMPETITION With compliments from Colin Buchanan, The Advocate is giving away ten copies of Colin’s latest album, Fam! Bam! Bible Jam! Be one of the first ten people to answer the following question to win a copy: What was the name of the children’s TV show Colin hosted? Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Colin Buchanan
Colin Buchanan is an Australian Christian Music icon. With close to 40 albums under his belt and time spent presenting on radio and television, he has well and truly captured the hearts and minds of young and old alike. John Igglesden caught up with him to discuss his latest album, Fam! Bam! Bible Jam!
done for many years. I’ve also got a lot of songs in my kitbag that I’d love to release. I’m sure everyone would love to hear another country album from you. I’ve got lots of options. I think the collaboration with Mal Heap, who is the puppeteer for Nudge has been a really positive one and Fam! Bam! is a unique product. I’ve always found an appetite and inspiration are a good rule of thumb. I’ve just let projects sort of nudge or push themselves to their prime, if you like. The whole thing has never really been driven by marketing so I think that’s the best motivation – just to see what happens with my creative energies and see what pops out. I imagine that would mean it feels more natural when you’re creating, and feels like the right project to be doing at the time as opposed to be doing something forced or …? Yes, definitely. I’ve found that generally with my music that I’ve always felt more comfortable in thinking, ‘well, I would rather someone just really appreciate and enjoy this music, or not, than me sort of hold their arm up behind their back in one way or another’, be it through self-promotion, et cetera. It’s good to make people aware of it and I’m happy to talk about it, but I always felt like I would like it to speak for itself. I agree, I think the music definitely speaks for itself, as I’m sure many children and twentysomethings like me would agree. Thank you for the interview, we look forward to whatever comes next, whether it be a country or kid’s album. For more information, visit www.colinbuchanan.com.au Author – John Igglesden
intermission 15 OCTOBER 2018
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Steve McQueen: American Icon Irwin Brothers Steve McQueen – big movie star, loved his fast cars and bikes, that’s what I remember. The documentary Steve McQueen: American Icon reveals a life started in difficult and heart-wrenching circumstances, through a troubled youth and determined rise to stardom, just to discover the emptiness at the top. However, through interviews of those who were there and able to tell the story, viewers can see how God had His hand on Steve McQueen’s life and was calling him home to Himself long before Steve actually made a commitment. Such a great testimony of how only God can fill that emptiness in people’s hearts, not fame and fortune, and it doesn’t matter what has gone before. Dorothy
Nick Martin — Senior Pastor of Karratha Baptist Church You commenced as the new Senior Pastor of Karratha Baptist Church in February of this year. What led you to this role? My wife, Sarah and I sensed God calling us into a new adventure in 2018, and when presented with this possibility, we both felt very strongly this was the adventure He was asking us to embrace. Changing roles, along with moving from one part of the country to another, can bring its challenges. How have you gone and have you put anything in place to look after yourself and your family? It’s been great. Our new church family has been amazing, and we keep in regular contact with family and a number of close friends back in Perth. I’ve also been building networks with the other North West pastors.
listen III (Three)
What is a feature of your church you would like to share? It’s noisy, there’s kids everywhere, it’s laid back and it’s real. We all just love having a crack at trying to work out this whole ‘faith journey’ thing. I love it!
Hillsong Young and Free III is the third album from Grammynominated worship collective Hillsong Young and Free, a youth movement born out of Hillsong Church in Sydney. This album illustrates Hillsong Young and Free’s unparalleled ability to blend pop and electronic dance music with powerful worship anthems. Be captivated and inspired by the authenticity and raw personal nature of these songs, derived from the highs and lows of life we all relate to. Endless good vibes, coupled with a maturing confidence, Hillsong Young and Free opens its heart to listeners and it shows through the excellence of III. Joseph
What do you think God has been trying to say to you lately? Time and again, He has been proving His trustworthiness and showing His delight in us having fun. Who are the people that have influenced you the most and how? From a faith perspective, Mark and Karen Wilson have been key in my development. Additionally, the influence of my parents and my wife can never be underestimated. They model resilience, faith and wisdom. What do you do to recharge your batteries? Barbecue ‘low n slow’, watch sport and explore the majestic Pilbara. What would you like to go back and change? I am who I am because of my cumulative past experiences. So, I wouldn’t change anything. A final thought … Following God is as much of an adventure as you are willing to let it be. It can be the most beautiful, exhilarating and scary journey all at the same time.
read It Will Be Okay
This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – October 2018
Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley staff Website: www.koorong.com Address: 434 Lord Street, Mount Lawley Phone: 08 9427 9777
Lysa TerKeurst Growing up is tough. Especially when it brings fear and change. It Will Be Okay, by Lysa TerKeurst, is an allegory about a little seed who is perfectly happy inside his farmer’s warm and dry shed. One day the farmer, knowing his full potential, places him deep in the ground. Away from all that he knew, the little seed becomes scared in his new surroundings. He can’t understand how such a dark, dirty place could be good. Every day the farmer comes and watches over the little seed, watering him. The seed knows that even though he can’t see what is happening, the farmer is good and will take care of him. I love how this story beautifully illustrates for children that no matter what we are going through, and regardless of how frightening and hopeless it seems, God is watching over us, He knows our potential and will always carry us through. Renee
16 sport OCTOBER 2018
New National Director for SCA Sports Chaplaincy Australia (SCA) announced the appointment of a new National Director, Michael Pailthorpe, in February. a trusted and well-respected chaplain,” Warren wrote in a major newspaper article. Michael said that he is very honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to be take on the National Director role of Sports Chaplaincy Australia. “SCA, through its chaplains, has such a rich history of serving clubs and sporting communities through Australia,” he said. “I’m looking forward to meeting and working with all of our key stakeholders, including the local churches, sporting clubs, sponsors, supporters, and of course, the hundreds of dedicated chaplains that serve our sporting communities every day.” In a message to chaplains and supporters on the Sports Chaplaincy Australia website, Michael reflected on the busy first few months and noted the high regard in which chaplains are held. Identifying that his primary task is to plan and pull together the people and resources to achieve the vision of a chaplain in every sporting community or club, Michael shared some key components to help achieve this. Working more closely with churches was a focus point. “We are rolling out a partner church program where we formally partner with selected churches who will host churchbased teams of chaplains,” Michael stated. “That church will be active in identifying potential chaplains, hosting chaplaincy training, connect with their local sports clubs and provide ongoing prayer, support and pastoral oversight of the chaplains.” For more information, visit www.sportschaplaincy.com.au
Photo: Sayher Heffernan
SCA Board Chairman Luke Tattersall said the board believe Mike’s business background, work as CEO of Habitat for Humanity Australia and with Variety in WA, and also as the NSW State Manager of World Vision, show that he has the skills to build on and grow Sports Chaplaincy Australia. He is also passionate about serving people, and has a deep love for sport. Michael officially took up his role in March and replaced Sports Chaplaincy Australia’s longserving former National Director, Cameron Butler, who stepped aside from the role at the end of 2017. Sports Chaplaincy Australia has been serving the people of Australian sport through chaplains placed in local and elite sporting communities for over 30 years. SCA’s chaplains have been involved in supporting sports clubs and people through many of the most challenging situations they have faced, including the untimely deaths of Phil Walsh (Adelaide Crows coach), Phil Hughes (Australian cricketer) and Peter Brock (motor racing legend). They have also served unheralded through critical moments in the lives of many regional sports communities. The recognised value of these men and women has led to Sports Chaplaincy Australia currently holding thousands of requests from local and elite sports clubs for chaplains. After Phil Walsh’s passing, Port Adelaide Premiership Captain Warren Tredrea reflected on the question of who is the most valuable person in a football club. “In tough times, there is nothing more valuable than
Sports Chaplaincy Australia CEO Michael Pailthorpe with Australian Cricket Coach Justin Langer at the Sports Chaplaincy Australia Champions Dinner at the MCG.
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