IN CONVERSATION Professor Tremper Longman discusses the importance of the Old Testament ahead of the Ancient Wisdom, Modern World conference. PAGE 12 >>
“Suddenly both of us were ‘right’, both of us were ‘wronged’, and my neighbour had become my enemy.” ANDREW HAMILTON 13 >>
4 Sima’s story
Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
How one sponsorship can change a village >>
8 They were right The message behind, ‘All You Need Is Love’ >>
Will Graham told the Goldfields Celebration crowd that time was the greatest natural resource we have.
Hope for the Goldfields In May, 6,000 people converged on KalgoorlieBoulder for the Goldfields Celebration with Will Graham – 550 responding to the message of salvation. Held at Kalgoorlie’s Centennial Park, the weekend included sessions ranging from Shake the Shell, KidzCelebration and Outback Sing-A-Long, to evening sessions drawing large crowds, some coming from as far as the Northern Territory. Kalgoorlie Baptist Church Pastor Eliot Vlatko said Church Together on the Sunday morning was an amazing answer to prayer. “The sound of praise filled Centennial Park, declaring the lordship of Jesus over the Goldfields,” Eliot said. Constant throughout the event was the message of hope delivered
by Will Graham, grandson of evangelist Billy Graham. Will has a deep passion for reaching regional Australia and an ability to effectively engage an Australian audience. As his father and grandfather before him, he spoke the truth of the gospel, and called on those listening to respond. Planning for the celebration began following a similar event held in Alice Springs in 2016. The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Ministers’ Network was asked whether the city’s churches would like to invite Will Graham to an event in their city. The decision was unanimously yes. The network, which involves leaders from multiple denominations in Kalgoorlie, has been running for decades and grew out of the city’s remoteness and passion for spiritual transformation. St Paul’s Lutheran Church Pastor Glenn Crouch said the network had formed the basis for
Christian unity and effectively functioned as the Christian Church in the Goldfields. “[The preparation for the celebration] took a very good local leadership team of pastors and lay people,” Glenn said. Oasis AOG Australian Christian Church Pastor Bill Kirkland said there was great support from the local council, Christian businesses and churches. Bill said Pastor Peter Young of Oasis AOG also coordinated prayer leading up to the event with over 200 meeting in the week of the celebration. Goldfields Christians of all backgrounds have met monthly for many years to pray for the transformation of their city, an initiative that Glenn said laid a solid foundation for the celebration. “Following the Goldfields Celebration this drive for transformation has not
diminished,” he said. Eliot said the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association broke its events down into 45 percent preparation, 10 percent proclamation and 45 percent preservation – the first and third stages being largely dependent on the local churches. “We are now in that third stage in which we have the challenge of following up those precious souls who responded,” he said. Pastor Darryl Hall of C3 Church Kalgoorlie spoke of the vision for Kalgoorlie-Boulder to be the first truly transformed city in Australia by 2020. “The Goldfields Celebration was a big step towards achieving that vision and will not be the last,” Darryl said. Author – Bree Bender
11 A royal sermon Royal wedding sermon watched by billions >>
Building healthier churches.
BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view AUGUST 2018
In the waiting A couple of weeks ago I found myself at Immigration waiting on a simple letter that would let me out of the country without my visa (I do have the visa receipt, just not the actual official card yet). I waited a while until someone told me that it couldn’t be signed that day. So I left, and came back the next day to be told that now the letter wouldn’t be signed until next week.
Sally Pim Sally Pim lives in Mozambique, serving the Yawo people.
Sometimes my life here feels like I’m in a constant state of waiting. Like sitting at Immigration, it is uncomfortable and it is challenging (although sitting at Immigration is nowhere near as challenging now, thanks to the mighty efforts of the team who have gone before me). I have now been living in Mozambique for a year and I’m learning what it means to be
patient – slowly. I’m waiting to see how God will use me in his plan for the Yawo people to know Him. I’m waiting to understand language and culture better. I’m waiting for answers to particular prayers, and for guidance from God. However, as I wait, I am learning some things. I’m learning to be hopeful – God does hear us. I’m learning to be expectant – whether I see it or
not, the Holy Spirit is at work. And, I am learning that God is faithful. He has not left us on our own. While I was waiting for the letter, I chatted to two of the Immigration officers and learnt about their families. I then went to a friend’s house nearby and spent valuable time with her and her daughter. I told her what I was waiting for and she immediately called her husband (he has a ‘high
up there’ position). Within an hour, my letter had been signed and was ready to be collected. It can be good to wait. Even when it’s frustrating or hard. And the waiting doesn’t mean we’re any less valuable, or any less a part of what is happening around us. In fact it could be the very place we need to be to grow that little bit more. Sometimes it might just be a reminder that we don’t have to go it alone.
As the challenge grows … 2017 was a tough year for the church in Australia. The Report of the Royal Commission, plebiscite on same-sex marriage and the results of the 2016 Census all put the church on the back foot, uncertain of how to move forward, and desperate not to slip further back.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
I’ve recently returned from sabbatical leave in the UK, and whilst there observed how the church has adapted to challenges similar to our own, but which they have faced for longer. Fewer people attend church in the UK, and on average are a little older than in Australia. If you imagine this means the church in the UK is about to shut down, think again. Local church after local church I attended was bursting
with life. The calibre of faith was impressive. I remember a conversation with an 87 year old widow who confided that she gets up each day because two of her neighbours are recovering alcoholics. “They need me,” she said. “Without my encouragement, they won’t make it. It will take about five years before they are fully stable. God has told me He’ll keep me going until they are. So I guess I’ll be
around until I’m 92.” I marvelled at her clear plan for her final years. With homelessness a significant problem in the UK, I was struck by how many churches have an active ministry to homeless people. No – I don’t mean they have a committee that talks about homelessness, but actual hands-on ministry to homeless people who have names and personalities and are loved by their local church. One
whom I met was a young man – probably 22 or 23. Intelligent, articulate and with a level of biblical literacy higher than your average church elder, with the help of the local church he has been drug free for a month. A long road lies ahead – and that church will walk it with him. As I saw these many acts of tangible kindness, I had a ‘what if’ moment. What if churches in Australia could match those levels of love and kindness? If we can, perhaps a tough 2017 will be followed by an incredible 2018 …
Jesus is like you grandma A little boy and his grandmother were playing with the boy’s dinosaur collection. As they set the dinosaurs up in an imaginary Jurassic Park scene, the conversation turned to all the animals God had created. This got them talking about God and what He was like, before the boy’s grandma asked him, “What do you think Jesus is like?”
Karen Siggins Karen Siggins is the Lead Pastor at Lesmurdie Baptist Church and Chair of the BCWA Council.
The little boy was quiet. His grandmother decided she had taken the theological moment a little too far for a four year old. Trying to rescue the mood she enthusiastically turned her attention back to helping her grandson arrange the plastic dinosaurs when the boy said, “I think Jesus is like you Grandma”. At this point the grandmother felt she had wandered into
awkward theological territory and she abandoned any further God talk that day! I remembered this story with a sharp jolt recently when I reread Oswald Sanders definition of spiritual leadership. Sanders writes, spiritual leadership ‘is the power to change the atmosphere by one’s presence, the unconscious influence that makes Christ and spiritual things real to others’.
The little boy in the story saw Jesus in his grandmother. He didn’t have words to describe Jesus, but he knew Jesus was real in the presence of his grandmother. I thought back over the hospital and home visits I had made in the last week; the conversations I’d had with staff and ministry teams; the way I had engaged with the receptionist while I waited for
a physiotherapy appointment; and I wondered if my presence in those spaces had changed the atmosphere for people. Does my presence make Jesus real to others? That’s a big question. I believe we can be people who make Jesus real to others. We can be spiritual leaders if we remain in Jesus, apart from whom we can do nothing [John 15:5], and if we intentionally show up as people who follow Jesus in all the relational spaces that every day brings. There is always someone watching – may they see Jesus when they look at you.
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Woodvale’s gift empowers
Last Christmas, Woodvale Baptist Church made the decision to include the offering on Christmas Eve. However, Senior Pastor Rob Furlong said he could not ignore a niggle in the back of his mind from God. “After discussion with the leaders of the church it was unanimously decided that we would give our entire Christmas Eve offering to the poor in our local community,” Rob said. The decision was announced to the congregation and the result was a $9,000 collection. City of Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob was consulted and on his recommendation the money was donated to the Patricia Giles Centre, an organisation dedicated
to assisting women and families caught in the cycle of domestic violence. The money was allocated to the Wollstonecraft Program, which aims to empower women by training them to build micro franchise businesses and giving them a genuine chance of breaking out of the poverty associated with domestic violence. Patricia Giles Centre CEO Tillie Prowse said the lives of nine women would be changed as a result of Woodvale Baptist Church’s gift. “The Wollstonecraft Program is an exciting and empowering project with women from all over Perth, including the Joondalup/ Wanneroo area, who are eligible,” Tillie said. “The church’s gift and interest was heartening as it encourages [us] in our work to build a strong community, free from family and domestic violence.” Rob said Woodvale Baptist’s leaders’ motivation to give was to demonstrate love to their community.
“We wanted to show the love, grace and generosity exemplified by Jesus toward every one of us when He came at that first Christmas in Bethlehem,” he explained.
The church’s gift and interest was heartening ...
“We want our community to know that there is a God who loves them deeply, that He understands their hurts and concerns and that He wants to be in relationship with them.” “In light of Jesus’ magnificent generosity, we also wanted to be generous to the most vulnerable in our community.” For more information, visit www.wollstonecraft.org.au
Photo: Ted Chang
When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, pastoral leaders wrestle with whether or not to include an offering, given that it is a regular part of a worship service.
Woodvale Baptist Church Pastor Rob Furlong with the Certificate of Appreciation from the Patricia Giles Centre.
Coast to coast ride for children Driving across the breadth of Australia is on many people’s bucket lists, however biking it is only for a few hardy souls. In September, Inglewood Community Church Pastor Andrew Binns will cycle 4,000km across Australia to help make a difference in the lives of children living in poverty. Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast starts on Saturday 15 September in Perth and culminates at Compassion Australia’s head office in Newcastle on Tuesday 16 October.
Along with 27 other riders, Andrew will ride for 28 days at an average distance of 150km a day and 200km on the longest day. He is looking forward to the adventure and to date, has 3,165km of training under his wheels and two punctures. Andrew and wife Bronwyn are paying their own way across Australia including accommodation and travel expenses so all money raised supports children living in poverty. For more information on Andrew’s coast to coast ride, visit coasttocoast.raisely.com/ andrewbinns Author – Matt Chapman
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baptistcare.com.au Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast participant Pastor Andrew Binns will cycle across Australia to raise funds for children living in poverty.
Baptistcare is one of WA’s largest not-for-profit aged care and community services providers, supporting communities for more than 45 years.
news AUGUST 2018
Sima’s story August marks the beginning of Baptist World Aid Australia’s Be Love Sponsorship Sunday – a month-long celebration of the impact church communities have on children living in poverty. “Before her family joined the Baptist World Aid child sponsorship project, Sima’s mother struggled to pay for her school fees,” Samara said. “In fact, it would not have taken much to end Sima’s education for good, trapping her in a life of poverty.” “But through the child sponsorship project, Sima’s mother was trained in goat raising and vegetable farming, which has helped her to grow her income. Now, it’s easier to pay for Sima’s school fees and there are plenty of fresh vegetables for the family as well.” In a village like Sima’s, growing your own food means so much more than just food on your plate. A trip to market is not only a four-hour walk each way, it is also a treacherous journey. “It’s something I didn’t truly understand until I attempted walking that impossible terrain myself. There I was, on the side of a cliff, muscles screaming in agony, and I suddenly
comprehended what a convenient supply of food could mean to a family like Sima’s,” Samara said. “God is using the generosity of Australian child sponsors to bless families and free children, like Sima, from poverty.” Today, Sima is at the top of her class. In the future, she hopes to bless others in her village by becoming a nurse. “Of course, people’s generous child sponsorship means full stomachs and it means a good education … but it also means so much more,” Samara said. “When you sponsor a child, like Sima, you help give them hope for a brighter future – and that is just incredible.” For more information, visit baptistworldaid.org.au/ sponsorship
The generosity of Australian sponsors has helped free Sima from poverty.
Two new Baptist churches in Perth’s north A number of Baptist churches have recently commenced in Perth’s northern suburbs – some of the fastest growing suburbs in Australia. Pastor James Middleton, with wife Kelsey, has started a church plant in Wanneroo, meeting with a core group of people who are aiming to launch the church in April 2019. “Currently we’re in launch phase, which means we’re still learning who we are and how
we’re going to do things before we launch next year,” James said. “As a church plant, we’re passionate about making more disciples who have an impact on their community and ultimately, further afield.” In the fastest growing Perth
suburb, Yanchep Community Church has been planted by Quinns Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastors Andrew and Danelle Hamilton. “If you’re looking to be part of a pretty earthy bunch of people who are just doing their best at loving God, loving one another and loving the community around them then you’ll probably slot right in at the Yanchep church,” Andrew said. “Most of what matters to us are things like authenticity, simplicity and integrity – a simple expression of church, big on relationships and seeking to help everyone find their way to a genuine relationship with Jesus.” Initially, the Yanchep church will come under the leadership of Quinns Baptist Church, but as it grows and becomes selfsustaining, it is anticipated that this relationship will change.
For more information about either church, visit www.yanchepchurch.org.au or www.wanneroochurchplant. church Author – Matt Chapman Two new Baptist churches have been planted in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Photo: Baptist World Aid Australia
Baptist World Aid Communications Coordinator Samara Linehan said Be Love Sponsorship Sunday was one of the Baptist World Aid team’s favourite times of the year. “It’s a time when we can celebrate with churches the incredible impact they’re having on children living in poverty, thanks to their generous child sponsorship,” she said. Child-focused development work is an important part of Baptist World Aid’s heritage. Since the beginning of its first child sponsorship program in 1974, Baptist World Aid has been dedicated to ensuring children have the future they deserve. “This year, we are sharing the inspiring story of a young girl named Sima who I had the privilege of meeting on a recent trip to Nepal,” Samara said. Sima is a bright young girl with her whole life ahead of her. But as Samara found out, things might have been very different without the help of Sima’s Australian child sponsors, Graham and Carly.
digital church 02/07/18
thinkchristian.reframemedia. com We get angry or sad or afraid because something is not right. The tension we feel in those moments is a reminder of the tension all around us – between right and wrong, perfection and brokenness, fallen humanity and a perfect God.
twitter.com/CSLewisDaily If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will – then we may take it it is worth paying.
Vaneetha Rendall Risner desiringgod.org If you want to discourage a grieving friend, analyse their grief instead of being slow to speak and quick to listen. 04/07/18
Rick Warren pastorrick.com When you’re not forgiving of others, you’re setting yourself up to not be forgiven yourself. Because God says you’re going to need forgiveness in the future. 05/07/18
Kyle Idleman twitter.com/KyleIdleman May we never tie up the Holy Spirit with our traditions. May we never limit the Holy Spirit with our preferences.
Max Lucado twitter.com/MaxLucado The church. More than family, we are friends. More than friends, we are family. God’s family of friends. 05/07/18
Stephen McAlpine stephenmcalpine.com The role of the church leader is to empower the people under their care (note: not their command), because battle plans that are not deeply embedded as instinctive practice – or as James Smith calls it “liturgies that trump other liturgies” will not survive first contact with the enemy. 05/07/18
Heather Pace thegospelcoalition.org It’s okay if your quiet time doesn’t ‘feel’ a certain way. It doesn’t need to be Instagram-worthy. The goal is to be faithful. Do it today, and wake up tomorrow and do it again. As you stick with it, you will be well on your way to a lifetime of solid quiet times.
Chaplain’s dream lives on Rebecca Anderson was a youth pastor at her church and chaplain at Eastern Hills Senior High School for more than nine years. In 2013, while on a family vacation, the 36 year old passed away unexpectedly when her heart stopped. Such was the outpouring of grief in the community, that a memorial was built at the school where she impacted several generations of students. One student wrote on the memorial: “Her heart was too big for her little body.” For those close to her it was obvious, her life and career were going to be passion driven. Rebecca loved Jesus above all else and apart from working with young people, she enjoyed writing. Nanette and daughter Nicky Ford remember with fondness how prolific Rebecca was, writing poetry and even a book. Bumpel Swivet is a children’s book about two friends who go on imaginary adventures around the world from their home backyard. The origins of the name are a mystery.
“She wrote it about 15 years ago – when she first gave it to me I talked to her about publishing it, but it didn’t happen,” Nanette explained. After Rebecca passed, Nanette was determined to get it published. The text for the book was mostly complete, but still needed illustrations. Nanette tried in vain to find an illustrator. “Then Nicky said to me ‘Mum, why don’t you do it?’,” Nanette said. “So, I got myself an art teacher and she helped me work on the illustrations.” “I based two of the characters on my grandchildren Lachlan and Emily.” Emily beamed with pride when asked about the drawings. “Last year when my school had a book fair, I just dressed up as myself!” she said. The book launch in July – on Rebecca’s birthday – was a special moment for the family. “It was so surreal,” Nanette said. “I wanted it to be professional, not half-baked. Good or not at all.” “The response from people
Photo: Josh del Pino
A picture of her daughter Rebecca rests in the corner of the room as Nanette Esam reflects on a life well-lived, but tragically cut short.
Nanette Esam reads Bumpel Swivet to her grandchildren Emily, Lachlan and baby Ivy.
has been incredible – it’s still not real to me.” While 2016 marked the final year group of students who Rebecca cared for and supported at Eastern Hills Senior High School, Bumpel Swivet ensures the beloved
chaplain will continue to impact many generations to come. “Rebecca left a legacy at Eastern Hills – we’re all very proud of her,” Nanette said. Part of the proceeds of Rebecca’s book go to chaplaincy.
Bumpel Swivet can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Book Depository. Author – Josh del Pino
Marie Davies and her six-year-old labradoodle Max are on a mission to spread the benefits of pet therapy to the elderly. Marie and Max are regular visitors to Baptistcare’s David Buttfield Centre in Gwelup on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. A desire to give back to the community, along with her dog Max’s calm disposition and friendly attitude, prompted Marie to become a volunteer. “Max gives me so much comfort and companionship, I wanted to share that with others,” Marie said. Pet therapy has been part of the wellbeing program for residents in the centre’s dementia care and memory support unit for more than 12 years. David Buttfield Centre Lifestyle Coordinator Hannah Motamedi said the benefits of pet therapy were significant. “We see our residents making a connection with Max and there’s been a noticeable increase in their cheerfulness, mental wellbeing and socialisation,” Hannah said. “A pet provides something different for each individual, for some that may be a friend, for others it’s comfort or a sense of purpose.”
Around the world, research has shown physical and psychological benefits resulting from pet therapy. Studies cite positive reactions from people living with dementia who might otherwise not engage in activities normally, but who respond to the presence of a dog or other therapy animals. “We’ve seen similar reactions here. Our residents want to cuddle, pat, talk to and feed Max, and his visits are a welcome addition to their lives,” Hannah said. Seventy-nine-year-old resident Jule Sanders said she very much looked forward to Max’s visits with Marie. “Max is wonderful, just a beautiful dog. We have such a nice time together, it makes me feel great and really brightens my day,” she said. Baptistcare Chief Executive Officer Russell Bricknell acknowledges that the special bond between people and animals
can play an important role in optimising a person’s wellbeing. “We recognise the amazing impact animals can have in relieving stress and making people smile,” Russell said. “We’re extremely grateful for volunteers who bring in pets. The companionship they provide is invaluable in reducing feelings of loneliness and social isolation.” “This is very important to Baptistcare’s mission of ensuring each person in our care has a sense of purpose and belonging.” Pet therapy is not limited to aged care residents at Baptistcare with the organisation incorporating therapy animals into its employee wellness program to help reduce workplace stress and encourage a positive work-life balance among employees. The aged care provider is the first West Australian workplace to participate in the Delta Society Australia’s Paws the Pressure initiative, which promotes staff wellbeing through therapy dog visits. Earlier this year, Baptistcare’s Belmont head office and David Buttfield Centre were flurries of excitement when four therapy dogs and their owners dropped
Puppy love for aged care residents and staff
Therapy dog Max with Baptistcare resident Jule Sanders and volunteer Marie Davies.
in for pats, belly rubs and to chat with employees. Many people reported feeling refreshed and invigorated following their interactions with the canine companions and more visits are planned in the future.
For more information, visit baptistcare.com.au Author – Linda Lee
news AUGUST 2018
Churches support Leavers 2018
I love the positive interaction we, as Christians, can have with the Leavers ...
As an advocate for the ministry of Green Team, Siobhan has been promoting Green Team to the Lakeside community and
this has been followed through with a significant number of volunteers for 2018. “This year, Lakeside are planning to have 30 people ranging from 19 to 75 years of age volunteer,” Jess said. It will be Siobhan’s fourth year serving with the Green Team, and second year as Team Leader at the entrance gates – chatting to the leavers and welcoming them to the Entertainment Zone, which caters to over 8,000 Leavers each night. The Zone includes rides, silent discos, chill out areas, lounges and first aid. “I love the positive interaction we, as Christians, can have with the Leavers and the opportunity we have to shine the light of Jesus while creating a fun but safe environment for the Leavers to celebrate it,” Siobhan said. Lakeside Baptist Church Assistant Youth and Young Adults Pastor Braden Fildes will be returning again this year to organise activities and devotions for the Green Team volunteers to connect together, create community and spiritually prepare themselves for the Zone. In 2018, several Western Australian Baptist churches are supporting Leavers, including Baptist Church volunteers from Beaumaris, East Fremantle, Ellenbrook, Kelmscott, Lake Joondalup, Morley, Mount Hawthorn, Mount Pleasant, North Beach and Riverton. “I can’t wait to see these churches continue to promote and support Green Team and help shine the light of Jesus,” Jess said.
Pastor Braden Fildes, Pastor Anthony Palmieri with wife Siobhan and Pastor Jakeb Gosling are looking forward to participating in Leavers 2018.
Young adults rally strengthens faith
Photo: Greg Sercombe
The Green Team, an outreach ministry of Baptist Churches Western Australia, partner with the Western Australia Police and Western Australia Health Department to provide the Leavers Entertainment Zone in Dunsborough each November. “It has been very encouraging to see that the involvement of local churches and pastors has never been higher than in 2018,” Jess said. “It’s a great opportunity for churches to be involved in an urban mission outreach event targeting our next generation of young adults.” Last year, ten Western Australian Baptist pastors volunteered with Green Team, and more have signed up for this year. Of the pastors and churches present in 2017, Siobhan Palmieri and her Lakeside Baptist Church team were well represented.
Photo: Lakeside Baptist Church
Over the past two years, there has been a growth in the number of Leavers Green Team volunteers representing Baptist churches and pastors, according to Baptist Churches Western Australia Events Coordinator Jess Ford.
Ken Brown and Aaron Watterson have a swing at bullseye golf-tennis at the Great Southern Young Adults Rally in Katanning.
For almost ten years, young adults in the Great Southern region of Western Australia have gathered for a weekend of fun, friends and spiritual growth.
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Last month, from 6 to 8 July, 50 young adults from Albany, Esperance, the Wheatbelt and Perth came together at the Kobeelya Conference Centre in Katanning. Great Southern Young Adults Rally organiser Lachlan Patterson said the goal of the rally was to reach out to the current generation of young adults from churches and communities across the Great Southern and to strengthen them in the Christian faith. “God is already at work and we hope to participate in
His purposes for their lives,” Lachlan said. This year’s speaker was Hayden Patterson, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Theology and the youngest speaker in the rally’s history. Baptist Churches Western Australia’s Next Generations Pastor Ed Devine said it was encouraging to hear emerging preachers share God’s Word in an environment like the rally. As well as hearing God’s Word, the rally was full of
outdoor adventures and talks around a bonfire. Catering to a younger age group in the Great Southern is the High School Youth Rally from 3 to 5 August, at which Albany Baptist Church Youth Pastor Jordan Diaz will be the speaker. Another youth and young adult event held earlier this year was the Great Southern Easter Camp for 16 to 28 year-olds. “All are welcome to participate in these events and it is the hope of the leaders that these ministries will impact lives both now and into the future,” Ed said.
One person making a difference service providers believe that without donations and the service of volunteers, their services to the community would cease or be drastically curtailed. In a report commissioned by the Study of the Economic Impact of Religion on Society and launched by the Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, Deloitte Access Economics found that religious organisations play an important role in promoting the wellbeing of individuals and communities. ‘Religiosity is associated with 194,320 additional volunteers in Australia each year who collectively contribute 30.5 million hours in volunteering time, or 2.4 percent of total volunteering hours in Australia’, the report stated. ‘The monetary value of this volunteering time is estimated at $339 million.’ The report, compiled from findings from a national survey of over 7,000 Australians, noted that it was difficult to ‘untangle religiosity from other factors which might cause donating and volunteering behaviour and that in practice the estimates provided in the report were likely to be very conservative’. Author – Matt Chapman
briefs Baptisms Albany Baptist Church held 14 baptisms on the weekend of 9 and 10 June. On the Saturday night, Pastor Phil Beeck baptised Austin and Zac Beeck with Pastor Jordan Diaz baptising Jacob and Rebecca Davies, and Hayley Brown. On the Sunday morning, Pastor Jordan Diaz baptised nine young people including Elijah, Calum and Anna Wearing, Sarah and William Mutton, Kirralee Joyce, Hsee Kler Thein, Zac Torre and Marisa Van Der Mescht.
Golden Bay Baptist turns 21 Golden Bay Baptist Church (formerly known as Comet Bay Baptist Church) started in the home of John and Faye Edwards in 1997 and affiliated with the Baptist Union of WA in October 1997. In celebration of its 21st birthday, a high tea will be held on Saturday 15 September at the Coastal Community Centre, Tangadee Road, Golden Bay at 2pm. Those who have fellowshipped with the church are welcome to join. RSVP to
secretary@goldenbaybaptist. church before Saturday 8 September.
Historical Society Ann Harding is preparing a paper for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice (Sunday 11 November) for the Baptist Historical Society AGM to be held on Sunday 4 November. Ann would love to hear from anyone with Baptist grandparents who served in World War I. The paper will be titled, World War I and the Effect on the Baptist Churches in WA. Photographs of nurses and servicemen would also be welcome. Contact: annharding@ redbroadband.com.au
Mount Zion Aussie Indigenous Church’s 25th anniversary Mount Zion Aussie Indigenous Church will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on Sunday 11 November at 3pm. A celebration service will be held at Centenary Park Community Centre, 105 Daly Street, Belmont. RSVP to Pastor Keith Truscott on 0433 424 708.
Pastor Gavin Douglas and Frank Ludovico preparing to serve in partnership with Youth for Christ at Youthquake in October 2016.
SportsFest 90s edition Preparation for SportsFest 90s edition is well underway with a new logo, website, promotional video, fixture shuffle, shift in the age bracket, launch event and after party. SportsFest, a ministry of Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA), is designed as an opportunity for young adults to invite their friends from the community to participate in a long weekend of over 35 sporting options, while building friendships and having the chance to hear about Christ. Participants at the SportsFest 90s edition will be encouraged to embrace the 90s with lycra, bright colours, graphics, skates, slinkies and sweatbands, while listening to some of the all-time greatest hits from the 90s. BCWA Events Coordinator Jess Ford said she thinks SportsFest is going to be bigger and better than ever before and she can’t wait. “I’m looking forward to five new churches joining us this year, seeing many of our regulars returning, especially with some coming out of retirement with the age increase,” she said. “This is an amazing outreach opportunity, and your prayers are very much appreciated for those taking part.” For more information, visit www.sportsfest.org.au
Photo: Jess Ford
Gavin was one of five Tom Price volunteers acknowledged by the Nintirri Centre and Shire of Ashburton. In a Facebook post to the community by Nintirri and the Shire it was noted that: ‘He [Gavin] is the perfect example for the saying “it only takes one person to make a difference”, single-handedly taking community feedback to Council and pushing for a disc golf course to be installed in Tom Price and Paraburdoo – with the installation progress beginning later this year.’ In 2014, Gavin with wife Alana and their two boys moved from Perth to Tom Price to pastor the local Baptist church. During this time, Gavin has volunteered untold hours in the local schools, on festival committees, community carols and even as a projectionist at the Tom Price Drive-In. When asked about his involvement with his local community, Gavin reflected on two core reasons for his serving. “I genuinely love Jesus and because of this, I love the community and want to see it flourish,” he said. Gavin’s service to his community is not in isolation. Anecdotally, many community
Photo: Felipe Carranza
Tom Price Baptist Church Pastor Gavin Douglas had his services to the community recognised during National Volunteer Week celebrations in May.
BCWA Next Generations Pastor Ed Devine is looking forward to embracing all things 90s at the 2018 SportsFest.
feature AUGUST 2018
In 1967 The Beatles were asked to write a song with a message that could be easily understood by the world. The song was to be broadcast as part of Our World, the first live, international satellite television production ever. The result was the performance of their song, ‘All You Need Is Love’, to close the Our World live broadcast on 25 June 1967.
Our World had the largest television audience ever up to that date: an estimated 400 to 700 million people in 25 countries around the world. ‘All You Need Is Love’ captured the utopian sentiments of the Summer of Love era of 1967 and went on to top singles charts in Britain, the United States and many other countries. Brian Epstein, The Beatles manager, said of the song, “It was an inspired song and they really wanted to give the world a message. The nice thing about it is that is cannot be misinterpreted. It is a clear message saying that love is everything.” John Lennon attributed the song’s simple lyrical statements to his liking of slogans and television advertising. He likened the song to a propaganda piece, stating, “I’m a revolutionary artist. My art is dedicated to change.” Author Mark Hertsgaard viewed the song as The Beatles ‘most political song yet’ up to 1967 and considered it the origins of Lennon’s posthumous standing as a ‘humanitarian hero’. The simplicity of the song, and the repetitive nature of the chorus, has been ingrained into the musical hearts of millions of people around the world; there wouldn’t be many people in the West who couldn’t at least sing the chorus. I’m not exactly sure why ‘All You Need Is Love’ was considered to be so revolutionary at the time. I can’t quite work out why Lennon would see this song as being dedicated to change. Why did the charts elevate this song to international fame when the message was nothing new, it wasn’t revolutionary, and it’s hardly a stimulus for change. The heart of this song had been shown to the world 1967 years before it was conceived in the minds of its musical creators, and even much before then, back to the creation of the world, and even before that. Out of an act of love God created man and woman in His image, equally, so that they might experience the kind of the love that God the Father, Son and Spirit had known together, for, quite a while.
The heart of this song The heart of this song was lived out when God so loved the world that He sent His only Son into our world, so that whoever believes in Him might have life, and life to the fullest (the words Jesus said to an audience of a few). The implication of this song was on the lips of Jesus and all the New Testament authors as they in one united voice exhorted God’s people with the foundational message that to really reflect God in the world, then all you need is love, for one another. There are almost 60 statements we read in the New Testament where love is all you need. Jesus utters the words ‘love one another’ in John 13:34 and John 15:12. Paul says the same words in Romans 13:8. Peter and John share in this line in their letters. Throughout the letters written to new Christians in the early church, the love is all you need message is given through the myriad of ‘one another’s’ that litter the New Testament, that blow through the lives and communities of the day as they sought to be the imagebearers of the resurrected Christ. Be at peace with one another, be devoted to one another, live in harmony with one another, stop passing judgement on one another, serve one another, forgive each other, accept one another, carry each other’s burdens, bear with each other, teach one another, be patient with one another, encourage each other, pray for each other, offer hospitality to one another, don’t grumble against each other, and on and on they go like a scratched record that the needle just can’t get past. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the one another’s that punctuate all the letters written to Christian communities are in fact what we should call miracles; when this love of one another actually works itself into the lives of those who call themselves followers of Jesus, miraculous things happen – relationships are restored, lives are healed, reconciliation between nations, between people groups, between diverse people living in the same land, is possible.
So maybe Lennon was right after all, ‘All You Need Is Love’ is a revolutionary concept, because when worked out in reality it can change the world. I sometimes struggle with the idea of miracles healing headaches or sore fingers or minor ailments; I sometimes struggle to see what this actually does in the life of the recipient that actually makes a difference in the world. But love, the kind of love that comes from the transformative power of God as seen in Christ and is with us in the power of the Holy Spirit, love that changes us, is really all we need. And so, love, is really all we need. It’s harder than it sounds, but it really is the hero of humanity. Author – Grant Harris Grant Harris is the Senior Pastor of Windsor Park Baptist Church in Auckland, New Zealand – a church that was planted 67 years ago and comprises a broad mix of people who are seeking to do life and faith, together. Article used with permission from Christian Today.
feature AUGUST 2018
A place where Professor, Poet and Priest can all pitch their tents While broadcasting Today’s Thought For The Day for the BBC from the Hay Festival, I just read the line ‘there is no God’ when Richard Dawkins walked behind me to take his seat for his interview. I had to muster all my strength not to laugh.
Every summer, literary pilgrims gather in a field in Wales to celebrate writers and their works. With its valley of tents, the Hay Festival looks like a wellattended revivalist meeting. Except here the faithful are drawn not by the Word, but by a belief in the power of words. Once upon a time literature and faith more readily shared the same tent. Questions of doubt and belief found a natural place in novels such as The Brothers Karamazov, The Outsider, The Power and the Glory. For writers there was no fear of, or literary embarrassment in, addressing what are sometimes called the first order questions – Does life have meaning? Is evil an entity? Is there life after death? Is there a God? But then the culture reached a rough consensus that these questions had been settled (by science, psychology and philosophy) and that the answer to all of them was ‘no’. Faith as a subject for literature was pushed to the margins of the page. Redemption, if it existed, was something a person had to find for themselves, without the help of outside agency. The miraculous was not to be trusted. This life may be a wonder, but it is random and finite, and there is no God to thank for it. The experience of faith is still an everyday reality for millions of people, a vital part of the drama of their lives. But it’s rarely reimagined as a creative, attractive or subtle thing. When it is depicted in stories it’s often extreme: the overbearing religious parent, the abusive spiritual leader, the dystopian theocracy. Perhaps the nature of belief – the inner workings of the soul,
the encounter with the transcendent – eludes easy capture on the page. Or maybe we just need new ways of imagining these things. The strapline for Hay this year was ‘Imagine the world’. And it’s an important idea, for imagination is a space where professor, poet and priest can all pitch their tents. A scientist needs imagination to envisage unseen outcomes, a reader relies on it to believe in the world of a novel; and it’s essential to exercise imagination when trying to understand the divine. Faith, like literature, can’t survive without metaphor, symbol or story. Faith without imagination becomes dry, legalistic and humourless. It’s why fundamentalism (of the believing or unbelieving kind) fears it; it’s easier to follow rules and believe in measurable certainties than in life’s ambiguities and possibilities. Imagination is one of humanity’s great gifts. It allows us to perceive that reality is not just about what can be seen or quantified. Writers instinctively know this and rely on it because there really are ‘more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.’ A novel requires and tries to justify the assent of its readers, asking them to believe in its world. Writers need readers to be believers. And when this happens a small miracle occurs. Author – Rhidian Brook
Rhidian Brook is the author of The Killing of Butterfly Joe, an award winning novelist, screenwriter and broadcaster.
10 world news AUGUST 2018
Where are the Christians? Remon Zakhry plays football for a small club in Assiut, Upper Egypt and said that Christians do not play football in Egypt. “This is the first thing I would always hear when I’d apply to play football in clubs,” he said. Once Remon was about to sign a contract to join a second division club, El Gouna Football Club, with coach, Ismail Youssef. “I presented my ID to complete the contract and Youssef saw my name – he was surprised to learn that Remon is my real name and not a nickname,” Remon said. “He returned my ID and left the room.” “The contractor attending the meeting told me later that Youssef doesn’t like to work with Christians.” Mina Milad, a Christian, said Christians face discrimination on all levels. “Football is a popular game and it is widely believed that Copts should not get the fame and wealth that comes with being a successful player,” Mina said. Michael Jones*, a Christian Egyptian businessman, said it is sad to see young Christian children growing up with the dream of representing Egypt in a World Cup and knowing that unless something is done to change the systematic discrimination, that will never happen. There has been only one Christian player in the national team, Hany Ramzy, and very few in Egypt’s local teams. Hany is mentioned whenever there is a complaint of discrimination against Copts. But Christians cite him as the exception that proves the rule.
Though Christians are about ten per cent of Egypt’s population, not one of the 122 athletes who competed for Egypt at the 2016 Olympic Games was a Copt. Coptic Solidarity filed a complaint with the International Olympic Committee, stating the absence of Christians was the ‘product of deep-rooted discrimination that exists in the administration of athletics and football in Egypt, and in Egyptian society at large’. Egypt ranks 17 on the Open Doors 2018 World Watch List. A rise in violent and deadly attacks caused the deaths of 128 Christians last year and left many injured. According to Open Doors, the so-called Islamic State targets Christians and the government’s low regard for fundamental rights means there is little protection. Muslim-background believers face enormous pressure to recant; official recognition of conversion is almost impossible. Building places of worship is difficult because of administrative restrictions, communal hostility and violence. Church leaders are monitored by the state. Believers, especially women, face discrimination and abuse at work. * Name changed for security reasons.
Systematic discrimination is preventing Christians from participating in professional sport in Egypt meaning there are no Christians in this year’s World Cup team.
Christians are not able to play football in Egypt due to systematic discrimination.
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international briefs Scripture distribution report United Bible Societies (UBS), the global network of Bible Societies, has reported that more than 20 percent of all Bibles distributed by the network in 2017 were downloaded from the internet. For the first time, downloads have been recorded separately by Bible Societies, with a significant increase for online distribution. “While overall Scripture distribution fell by 12 percent globally, the number of full Bibles made available around the world topped 34 million for the third year running,” UBS reported.
“Of these, more than 7.9 million Bibles were downloaded, primarily on apps such as YouVersion. In total, more than 107 million full Bibles have been distributed by the UBS fellowship since 2015.” For more information, visit www.unitedbiblesocieties.org
Hope for Christians in North Korea Historical talks between President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un took place in Singapore in June, with the main topic being that of denuclearisation. Trump
also noted that the subject of Christians in North Korea had been discussed and indicated that he was hopeful of change. John Choi*, a Christian and a human rights advocate who has escaped from North Korea and now lives in the UK, said he hopes that if there is economic advancement it will pave the way for more freedom for the people of North Korea – freedom of thought, opportunity and religion. “I think this is likely to take 25 to 30 years but I also hope in light of Trump’s comments today it will be much quicker than that,” he said.
According to President Trump, North Korea’s human rights record was discussed. “This is the beginning of the process – the first steps have been taken,” John said. “Trump hasn’t clearly spoken about the human rights issues, but he has spoken about denuclearisation.” “Hopefully denuclearisation will lead to more money available to feed the everyday citizens of North Korea and provide them with a better life.” “President Trump said that the human rights issues are a continuing process – I am glad it is now on the agenda.”
“But Kim Jong-un has to be committed to it too. Kim Jongun has not yet referred to the prison camps or religious freedom.” “This is an ongoing process and I will continue to advocate and pray for it.” * Name changed for security reasons. For more information, visit www.opendoorsuk.org
world news 11 AUGUST 2018
Sermon watched by billions An estimated two billion people worldwide watched the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle live on television. The service included contrasting elements of Anglican tradition and African-American tradition, most prominently the fiery sermon given by Bishop Curry. Bishop Curry, the first African-American leader of the United States Episcopal Church, an offshoot of the Anglican Communion, preached on ‘the power of love’, based on ‘God is love’ [1 John 4:8]. In his 13-minute sermon, the Bishop spoke passionately about God’s love for the world and its change-bringing power: “We were made by a powerful love, and our lives were meant to be lived in that love.” “Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history, grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world.” “Jesus of Nazareth taught us that the way of love is the way to a real relationship with the God who created all of us.” “He sacrificed His life for the good of others, for the wellbeing of the world, for us. That’s what love is.” After the service, the crowds outside greeted the Bishop with cheers as he walked past, but while he was preaching, the Bishop reportedly was unaware of the public stir his message had caused. “When I sat down from the sermon I remember thinking to myself, I hope that was okay,” Bishop Curry shared. Among the thousands of people who tweeted about the
sermon during and after the service was BBC commentator Jeremy Vine who said: “The preacher is doing 50 in a 30 zone and it’s brilliant.” However, not everyone agreed with social media’s enthusiastic reaction to the sermon and Christian commentators were among its strongest critics. To some, it was a ‘fluffy’, ‘feel good’ sermon that was more about worldly love than God’s saving grace. Reverend David Robertson, of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, said it was so postmodern that everyone could take their own meaning from it. “Atheist, agnostic, or Christian – it didn’t matter. You could take that sermon ‘all you need is love’ and quote it in support of your own views,” Rev. Roberston said. Others disagreed with the choice of speaker in the first place due to the US Episcopal Church’s support of same-sex marriage. Using a pinch of British humour, the editor of UK magazine Premier Christianity Sam Hailes met the critics’ discussions with a cunning remark: “To be frank, after the last royal wedding, the major topic of conversation in the tabloid press was Pippa Middleton’s bottom. This time round, many of the papers printed the transcript of Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon. If that isn’t progress I don’t know what is!” “If you had 13 minutes to talk to two billion people, what would you say?” Author – Ramona Ötting
Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was the most tweeted about moment of the entire ceremony.
Many called Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon the highlight of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
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12 in conversation AUGUST 2018
Ancient wisdom, modern world On 28 and 29 August, Vose Seminary will host a conference on wisdom literature in the Old Testament – in particular Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs – with special guest Professor Tremper Longman. Vose Seminary Director of Vose Research and Head of the Christian Thought Department, Dr Michael O’Neil caught up with the distinguished scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Westmont College, California to ask him a few questions prior to the conference. What sparked your love for the Old Testament in general and the wisdom literature in particular? I love the whole Bible of course. In it, we hear the voice of God. It is our canon, our standard of faith and practice. I was attracted to study the Old Testament in particular because, when I first entered the field 40 years ago and up to today, I think Christians tend to ignore the Old Testament. I felt it was important for the evangelical church to recover its appreciation for the Old Testament and I wanted to be part of the effort to help people see its continuing relevance for our lives. To be honest, my interest in the wisdom literature was sparked by the invitation to write a commentary on Ecclesiastes at the beginning of my career. Careful study of that book helped me see the enormous benefit of not only that book, but also Proverbs and Job, to our knowledge of God and also our Christian life. For many Christians, the New Testament is where all the important stuff happened. Is the Old Testament relevant for today? Do we still need the Old Testament? The New Testament does not replace the Old Testament, which remains the Word of God and relevant for our knowledge of God and our lives today. Reading the New Testament without a deep knowledge of the Old Testament is like going to an exciting movie 15 minutes before the end. Of course, unless you know what happened beforehand the ending makes no sense. And in any case, Jesus Himself told His disciples, and through them us, that the whole Old Testament is about Him [Luke 24]. If you want to know Jesus well, read the Old Testament! Also Paul reminds us that the events of the Old Testament ‘occurred as examples to us’ [1 Corinthians 10:6]. We could go on, but the bottom line is that it
should be obvious that the Old Testament is immensely relevant for Christians in the 21st century. Some Christians know the stories from Genesis, but then pretty much skip through the Bible to the Gospels. Where would you encourage them to start in reading the Old Testament? What advice would you give them? I would encourage them to read through from the start and all the way through and then go back and do it again, then again, then again, and never stop. Of course, I read the Old Testament all the time as part of my professional life, so I need to discipline myself to read the New Testament. Apart from my work, I try to read a chapter of the Old Testament history, a chapter of poetry, a chapter of prophecy, a chapter from the Gospels and Acts, a chapter from the epistles a day. If you run into a section that you find boring, read it anyway and pray that God will show you its relevance. If you don’t understand it, then get some good recourses (e.g. study Bible, commentary) and start studying it. You will be giving lectures on wisdom literature at the Vose conference. How do you hope people might engage differently with it as a result of this conference? I put a lot of emphasis on teaching principles of correct interpretation and application of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. I want people to go away with a good idea of how the original author wants us to read these books. They are often misunderstood or misapplied. Are proverbs always true or are they intended to be applied to specific situations? Do proverbs make promises and if not what are they intending? What in the world is a book that keeps talking about the meaninglessness of life [Ecclesiastes] doing in the Bible? And how does the story of the suffering of Job inform us about God and our lives? In addition, in keeping with what Jesus says in Luke 24, how do the wisdom books of the Old Testament point us to Jesus? In addition to your expertise with wisdom literature and the Old Testament, you have had a fruitful collaboration with Dr Dan Allender, having published many books together on relationships, emotions, marriage and sexuality. How did your friendship and collaboration with Dan come about? Dan and I have been best friends since we were in eighth grade almost 50 years ago. We have journeyed through life together becoming Christians
around the same time, being college roommates, best men at each other’s wedding, and more. In the mid-1980s, at the beginning of our careers, we decided to work together on projects – he was a counsellor who wanted to be biblical and I was a biblical scholar who felt that the Bible had relevance to our lives. We continue to teach and write together up to the present day. In the book you co-authored with Dan, God Loves Sex, you address how our sexual struggles take us deeper into the purposes of God. Could you share a synopsis of this with our readers? We believe that God created us as sexual beings, not just for the purpose of procreation, but for how sexual relations bring two people together in an intimate bond in marriage [Genesis 2:24]. Of course, our impulse to turn in on ourselves (sin) distorts our sexual desires and behaviour [Genesis 3]. But thanks to God and His redemptive work, we can have glimpses of the joy of sex [Song of Songs]. Marriage and the sexual act is often found in the Bible as a metaphor of our relationship with God, emphasising passion, exclusivity and intimacy.
Photo: Tremper Longman
‘Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.’ [Proverbs 4:7]
Vose Seminary hosts Professor Tremper Longman at its Ancient Wisdom, Modern World conference on wisdom literature in the Old Testament.
What do you think is the biggest pressure facing our churches with respect to the current debates around gender and sexuality? The biggest pressure is to conform to our culture’s changing attitudes towards gender and sexuality. As I explain in my forthcoming book, Wrestling with the Old Testament: Confronting the Challenges of Evolution, Violence, History and Sexuality (Baker, 2019), the church needs to be countercultural on these issues, while learning how to love those who reject God’s vision of gender and sexuality.
Of all the books you have written or co-written, which is your favourite? How would people benefit from reading it? Wow! That is like asking which of my three sons is my favourite! I love them all equally. Indeed, for those who are interested I would simply say get a list (perhaps on Amazon) and see if there are any which are appealing. I have written some of my books for scholars, others for clergy, and still others for laypeople. My purpose in writing books is to get people excited about the relevance of the
Old Testament and to help people know how to interpret it in a way that gets at the purpose of not only the human author, but the divine author as well. For more information or to register for the Ancient Wisdom, Modern World conference, visit www.voseconference.com
Our church is looking for a Pastor who loves God, walks closely with Him, loves the people around them and is able to ﬁt in and be a part of a diverse rural community. Manjimup Bappst Church is located in the Southern Forests Region of Western Australia, 300km south of Perth. The community of over 5000 is served by numerous schools through to Year 12, a TAFE campus, comprehensive medical faciliies including a new $32m hospital, major supermarkets and a range of specialty shops. As part of the wider community, our church aims to create an environment where people will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and can grow and mature in their relaaonship with God. To ﬁnd out more about this role and the church, please contact Gordon Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an informaaon pack. Final applicaaons close 7 September 2018. For further assistance, calls may be made to Ross Bremner on 0438 711 316.
growth 13 AUGUST 2018
‘That bloke’ and ‘those people’
A Friday evening beach walk with his dog resulted in Andrew Hamilton facing that darkness that lurks in all of us.
As I walked towards the food vans that were doing their thing, I saw the other people and their dogs 100 metres or so in front of me. As I got nearer, they crossed the road to get some food and suddenly there was a choice – to follow and apologise for being an idiot – or to walk on and let the ugliness remain. The problem with doing nothing is that the ugliness never goes away. It’s like a stain that never gets washed out and every unresolved neighbourhood conflict becomes another dark mark on the community. When you get enough unresolved stuff the place can feel nasty and dark. I hope to live in a community in which people rise above pettiness and stupidity (including my own) so I ended up walking across the road and catching up with them, apologising for the harsh words and discovering that they weren’t those people either. They were as embarrassed by their own response and the conversation that followed was one of healing and reconciliation – one that meant the next time we see one another on the street, we can say ‘hi’ rather than avoiding or seeing one another as the enemy. Let’s be honest … the truth is we are all that bloke and those people, because there is a darkness that lurks in all of us, but we also have the ability to be more. It’s just down to the choices we make. Author – Andrew Hamilton
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As I walked up the hill towards the beach I saw an older couple with two dogs and what I am guessing was a granddaughter. They had stopped to do a poo pick-up when one of their dogs managed to get free and bolted towards Lucy, jumping on her, snarling and appearing to attack. In the heat of the moment, I instinctually responded by kicking the dog to break them apart. The dog returned to the owner and he apologised for the incident, then add firmly, “but you don’t need to kick my dog mate!” It was only a couple of months previously that a large aggressive dog had got off the lead and attacked Lucy and I had responded similarly then. The dog got the message and backed off so my response was somewhat reflexive. I’m not a random dog kicker … Hearing the reprimand in his tone, I responded with: “If you kept control of your dog, it would never have happened!” ‘’She’s a pup – she just got away,” he responded loudly. I started to explain that Lucy had been attacked before and that his dog was a big ‘pup’. But the words came out like bullets and they were received as such. “She jumped on my dog and was being aggressive,” I said. The tone had begun to escalate and voices had been raised. Suddenly both of us were ‘right’, both of us were ‘wronged’, and my neighbour had become my enemy. A short argument ensued and finished with me telling him that if his dog ever came near mine again in that way, I’d “kick the s**t out of it”. (Yeah – proud moment) before we went our separate ways. I wandered up to the old surf club to sit and chill for a moment like I usually do, and they went the other way. What was normally a place where I enjoy some quiet reflection, became a place where I found myself asking: What just happened there? Where did that come from? I thought, I’m not ‘that’ bloke and they probably aren’t ‘those’ people. But both of us were ‘that bloke’ and ‘those people’ at least for a short time. Both of us had something primal and dark inside that rose to the surface when threatened. I began to walk back feeling a bit rueful at my fairly poor showing in that moment. I can’t remember the last time I have flared up aggressively like that at a random stranger.
Photo: Andrew Hamilton
It was one of those perfect, warm Yanchep evenings and I was strolling past our new surf club with my dog Lucy in tow.
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14 news AUGUST 2018
Phil Wickham’s living hope
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Phil Wickham’s latest album, Living Hope, is due for release on 3 August.
through these songs. It’s more for the church,” Wickham explained. Phil Wickham is not only a Christian musician but has also led worship at Harvest Christian Fellowship, California. Living Hope will be available on 3 August for digital download, stream or purchase. Author – John Igglesden
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Jacob Wylde releases EP Local Perth singer/ songwriter, Jacob Wylde, released his latest EP, The Moon Is a Memory, at the beginning of July. The release comes two years after his debut EP, Words. The EP was recorded at Wylde’s home studio and Fable Productions where it was mixed and mastered. “Essentially, I was trying to sonically capture, with both instrumental textures and lyrical imagery, everything I was feeling at the time I wrote the songs,” Wylde said. “Loss, regret, pain, and at the very end – hope. A hope in something greater than myself.” Jacob Wylde is a member of the music team at Providence Church, Midland and also works at Providence as an Operations Coordinator, helping with the day-to-day running of the church. Wylde has been performing across a variety of venues around Perth for many years now, playing shows with established artists like Riley Pierce and Hayden Calnin. The Moon Is a Memory is now available for streaming and digital download on iTunes, Spotify or Bandcamp.
Photo: Jacob Wylde
Four singles from the album have already been released, including ‘Great Things’, ‘Living Hope’ (the title track), ‘Till I Found You’ and ‘Song in My Soul’. The single, Living Hope, was co-written by Brian Johnson (Bethel Music). Currently, the four singles have together amassed over five and a half million streams on Spotify and millions more views on YouTube. “I love singing the truth of ‘Living Hope’, and this song has already become an anthem at both of the churches where we lead,” Wickham said. “I hope anybody who hears it not only sings along, but their hearts’ cling to it as well.” The album took a year to create, with 19 different writers and six producers working on the music with Wickham. The album grew from Wickham’s want to serve the local church through his music. “So many songs on the record were born out of wanting to write the language and the prayers that go along with what God is doing in the community already,” Wickham shared. “The goal wasn’t to write songs that were my expression necessarily of what is God doing in my life or what is my vision or what am I supposed to say
Photo: Brickhouse Entertainment
Two years since his last album release, Phil Wickham is set to return on 3 August with his latest album, Living Hope. With 13 tracks, this release will be Wickham’s ninth album since his first in 2003.
Wylde plays a variety of acoustic, electric and nylon stringed guitars
Author – John Igglesden
throughout his music.
intermission 15 AUGUST 2018
read A minute with ...
Stay the Path Bobbie Houston Bobbie Houston has inspired me for many years since attending Colour Conference at Hillsong some time ago. She seemed larger than life and therefore must have it all together, right? Not even close! Bobbie shares her heart in Stay the Path on how to navigate the challenges of life from the perspective of not always getting it right but getting back up and going again with God. She wants others to learn from what she has done well but also from the mistakes she has made, and to help readers feel better about the ups and downs of their walk with God. Written in a conversational style it is easy to read, but poses challenges to go further, dream bigger and pursue what God has for each individual, as His hands and feet building His Kingdom.
Harry Findling attends Mount Hawthorn Baptist Church and looks after the Leavers Entertainment Zone construction in Dunsborough. Tell us about your background. For 35 years I’ve been grateful to experience the difference it makes to have Jesus as Lord of my life. I’m 54, married to Anina, and our adult children are Lucas and Ellie. I grew up in Canada, with the four of us immigrating to Perth the day before September 11, in 2001. In your third year, what keeps you coming back to serve each year at Leavers? I have really enjoyed working with the Leavers Zone Construction Manager, Damian Virgin each year, being able to use my giftings to help make this event a blessing to others. Plus, the dinners provided each night for the volunteers are exceptional!
Why do you think this ministry is important? I imagine that the thing many Australians know about the church is the bad press it’s been getting recently. This proudly Baptist-run event makes a major difference to counteract this and provides a tangible experience of love in action. What other event do you know of that doesn’t advertise, sells tickets two days before the event, and immediately sells over 6,000 tickets, is drug, alcohol and smoke free, is run by the church and supported by the police?
I Can Only Imagine Touched by the song ‘I Can Only Imagine’ so long ago, it was very moving to now see the story behind such beautifully crafted lyrics. Bart’s story is sure to touch the viewer’s heart as he endured much pain as a child at the hands of his father, but also the abandonment by his mother. Although he pursues the pathway God has set before him, things just don’t go to Bart’s plan and much of that seems possibly due to his unresolved bitterness and unforgiveness of his father. Dennis Quaid plays Bart’s angry, abusive father brilliantly, but is just as amazing as the repentant dying man seeking his son’s forgiveness. It is just after his father’s death that Bart pens the emotional lyrics which are so well known. It is also this song that kicks off the career of MercyMe and helps bring comfort to Bart and so many others over the years.
What is one aspect about the Leavers ministry that you wish more people knew about? This event cannot operate without volunteers. You can hire DJs, medical staff, security guards, bus drivers, carnival ride operators, but you can’t hire people that show sacrificial love by giving up their time to serve. Leavers feel that, know it, and express their gratitude to us. What is the most important lesson that you have learned while serving? Prayer makes a difference. Last year, driving each morning, Damian and I would pray for the day and all that we needed to accomplish. We hadn’t done this in the previous years. The result was tangible; it was the first year that we had minimal problem-solving to do each night. We were then able to interact with the Leavers most of the night rather than ‘putting out fires’. This was also the year with the least number of Leavers requiring medical attention. Should others consider volunteering at Leavers? If you have never stepped out of your comfort zone to benefit others at your own expense, then this is a great way to do that. No matter how well someone can describe the Zone, you never really get the real idea of what it is like until you are actually there.
listen I Can Only Imagine – The Very Best of MercyMe
This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – August 2018
Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley Assistant Manager Dorothy Waddingham Website: www.koorong.com Address: 434 Lord Street, Mount Lawley Phone: 08 9427 9777
After seeing the movie of Bart Millard’s story, listen to all the very best of MercyMe and hear them with a new perspective, considering his story. For those new to MercyMe’s music, listen to awesome songs such as: ‘Flawless’ – we are not worthy but the cross of Christ causes us to be seen as flawless by our merciful God; ‘Word of God Speak’ – resting in and listening to God’s voice in quiet times with Him; ‘Dear Younger Me’ – what would we say to our younger selves or would we stay quiet knowing now what character those hardships have developed; and ‘I Can Only Imagine’ – how will we respond when we stand and the end of our days in front of our Lord and Saviour? These and more really are the very best of MercyMe.
16 sport AUGUST 2018
Reaching millions with football Different to previous World Cups, no large campaigns were held handing out soccer-themed evangelism tracts like there were on Brazil’s Copacabana Beach. Since its inception in 2016, Russia’s Yarovaya law has placed restrictions on the churches’ evangelistic activities, resulting in wide-ranging challenges for believers in Russia. Local and government authorities have labelled a wide range of activities as ‘terrorism’, causing churches to tighten mission activities outside of their doors. Members of over 200 Russian registered evangelical congregations seeking creative ways to share the gospel used the World Cup as an opportunity to invite members of their community into their buildings. Churches opened their doors, offering hospitality and an opportunity for sports fans to watch the tournament. It was hoped that this would create a space for conversations not just about soccer, but also faith. The campaign to open doors was an initiative of US-based Mission Eurasia. “They hope the excitement of international soccer and warm hospitality will create an atmosphere in which eternal conversations can take place,” Mission Eurasia President Sergey Rakhuba said. “With an anticipated three million people expected to be reached, central to the initiative will be the distribution of as many as 600,000 pieces of Scripture, published in partnership with
Photo: Mission Eurasia
Ministries in Russia were creative in finding ways to share their faith during the world’s most viewed sporting event – the FIFA World Cup.
Mission Eurasia had a different kind of goal for the 2018 World Cup, the beginning of God’s transformation across Russia.
several other organisations, including 100,000 copies of a special edition Russian-language New Testament.” Each copy of the New Testament will include discipleship materials to nurture a beginner’s faith, with links to the NewLife app developed by ShareWord Global. The app includes a directory of local churches, for new believers or those interested in learning more about Christianity. “This tremendous opportunity comes at a critical time for the country, which finds
itself increasingly isolated on the world stage,” Rakhuba said. “Clearly, Russia needs real, lasting spiritual transformation.” “Though Russia is a culturally and historically Orthodox country, the Russian people are searching for a real relationship with God that can only be found through His Word.” Born in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Rakhuba believes that the hope for Russia is not in its government, but it is in the gospel and its young Christian leaders who, free from the influence of
the former Soviet regime, are committed to spreading God’s Kingdom in their country. “I’ll never forget the first time I held my own Bible in my hands. As a young believer living in the Soviet Union where God’s Word was restricted, I was grateful to Western Christians who had smuggled Russian-language copies of the Scriptures into my country,” Rakhuba said. “That is why I am so passionate about our unique campaign to put the Bible into the hands of thousands in my former homeland.”
Rakhuba said that at a time when the Russian government is increasing its restrictions on religious freedom, Mission Eurasia view the 2018 World Cup outreach as a strategic moment to equip the evangelical church in Russia for potentially reaching millions of lost men, women, and children. “That’s the different kind of goal we have for the 2018 World Cup – that it will be more than just a tournament, but the beginning of God’s transformation across Russia.” Author – Matt Chapman
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The Advocate - August 2018