The voice of Queensland Baptists December 2012
Where is your Bethlehem? How to finish well Real hope
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In this issue Comment: David Loder Speaking out: John Sweetman Baptisms Around the regions Milestones Intentional ministry series Persecution brief QB Conference 2013 Called home Reviews Fun zone Classifieds
QB ministries Make time to learn (QB kids & their families) Looking back; looking forward (QCCC) Ending the year on a high note (Malyon College) What makes a great event (QB Women) Short-Term Mission: A dangerous endeavour or a God-given opportunity? (QB Youth) The Archives celebrates 30 years! (QB Archives) Chaplains: the ‘ministry of presence’ (QBC) Who has potential? (MTQ)
05 06 08 09 14 16 22 23 29 44 45 46
18 20 27 28 30 32 34 36
QB partners Real hope (BWAA)
Articles Where is your Bethlehem? Hush, not rush Christmas—God’s gift to us
40 41 42
Our cover: Hamida’s story is about hope. Through Baptist World Aid’s partner organisation, PARI, Hamida gained access to a small loan that allowed her to set up her own small business. ‘I didn’t think I would ever be able to afford to send my daughter to high school,’ Hamida said. ‘Now I have been able to provide this opportunity because of my shop.’ Read more in BWAA’s article, Real hope.
www.qb.com.au December 2012
News, views & issues
From the Editor As an encouragement to me as editor of The qb, David Loder related a recent incident. He and his wife Ann were staying overnight in Tambo, which is a small town (pop. circa 400) situated between Augathella and Blackall on the Matilda Highway that stretches to Longreach and Mount Isa. It’s approximately 930km from Brisbane; it’s surrounded by many sheep and cattle properties, and it’s the home of the Tambo Teddies. In fact, if you mention Tambo to me, those teddies are the first thing that comes to mind! After dinner that night, as David and Ann made their way back to their motel room, a woman who was walking towards them, looked closely at David and exclaimed, ‘I know you!’ It transpired that she visits her family in Brisbane from time to time and back issues of The qb are put aside for her to read. It was good to hear this story which reminded me that it’s not possible to know just how far and wide each issue of this magazine travels, or the impact it has on people’s lives. More importantly, I am reminded that every inclusion of Scripture in these pages can be used by God to speak into the deepest of needs: ‘It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it’ (Isaiah ‘Love and life— 55:11 NLT). that’s why he I trust that this issue of The qb will benefit your soul. If you’re not already in the habit of passing it on, think about who might like to receive it. And, as this busy year draws to a close, I wish you a safe, peaceful and blessed Christmas.
came, and what he offers; Christmas isn’t just for children—it’s for the world’ (Unknown)
The qb is a member of the Australasian Religious Press Association, published bi-monthly by Queensland Baptist Services Group in February, April, June, August, October and December. Editor: Robynne Milne Advertising: Emily Twible Design: Shell Graphix Print: Printcraft This magazine is printed with soy based inks and paper from sustainable forest plantations. We welcome reader feedback and opinions about our articles. Remember to include your full name and postal address. Articles and advertising in The qb express the opinions of the authors, not necessarily the editor or publishers. Every effort is made to ensure the correctness of facts and information however we cannot accept responsibility for errors. The publishers reserve the right to accept or decline any advertising. Deadline for advertisement and copy: 10th of the month prior to the month of publication. PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Qld 4053 Ph (07) 3354 5633 Fax (07) 3354 5646
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May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Loving God ... BETTER—Intentional Ministry Holidays! We had a great break, but the memory is fading rapidly – except for one stand-out. Thinking it would be relaxing to read a novel, I wandered into a secondhand book store to peruse the numerous titles, finally settling on what appeared to be a thriller ‘whodunit’. It took a couple of days to read. The book ended on page 235. Note the book ended on that page, the story didn’t! Either by accident or sadistic design, the last few pages were missing from the story. Consequently, I have no idea how the drama reached its climactic conclusion! Of course I have created, in my own mind, a few different endings, but I still wonder how the author brought this cliff-hanging saga to a conclusion. In some ways, this resembles life. How will this year end for you? Who knows?! How will life end for you? Unknown. How will this world end? Mystery! There is one Person who can answer all of these questions—Jesus. As we’ve heard it said, and seen it written over the years: ‘We don’t know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future!’ Ministry Matters: It is great to be a part of a larger family. Too often we get so involved in our ministry that we take our eyes off the bigger picture—what is happening around our state, nation and world. Recently, I have been involved in a couple of events that remind us of our wider responsibilities. South Seas Evangelical Church In October, it was a joy for me and my wife Ann to be present at the Biennial Conference of the SSEC, held near Honiara in the Solomon Islands. This is the key event in the life of this vibrant movement, and
Image: David Loder and Matthias Lima
it was delightful to be observers, to see how our brothers and sisters discern the heart and mind of God for their functioning. Important decisions were made and people appointed to key leadership roles. The Rev Matthias Lima was re-elected as Bishop for another term. It was also great to hear many affirmations of the involvement of our Regional Consultants during their recent ministry visit to SSEC. The SSEC Bishop and Conference have asked me to convey their greetings to Queensland Baptists. Australian Baptist Ministries By the time you receive this issue of The qb, I will have attended meetings of Australian Baptist Ministries (formerly known as the Baptist Union of Australia) held in Melbourne. These meetings provide an important opportunity for networking and planning for key leaders in our movement. A number of meetings take place, including sessions for State Leaders, Administrators, Youth, Ethnic and Multicultural Ministries. The National Council also meets at this time. Sabbatical Stephen Ball, one of our Regional Consultants, recently spent some sabbatical time with a part of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. This was a valuable and mutual learning experience for him and those he connected with, and he has brought back concepts for us to consider. Finally… Ann and I, along with the Ministry Team and staff of the Queensland Baptists Services Group, trust that you will have a great Christmas and New Year as you journey with Jesus—who knows everything from before all time and for eternity! David Loder General Superintendent, Queensland Baptists firstname.lastname@example.org
www.qb.com.au December 2012
These days, I seem to get asked to speak a lot on maintaining your passion for Christ and finishing well. I can’t understand why they ask me when I’m only midway through the journey! It must have something to do with my bald head, greying hair and, hopefully, a little of my passion. These requests certainly are motivated by concerns that many Christians are not finishing well. I think that finishing well has a lot to do with healthy theology. It’s difficult to stay long-term in Christian service without a good understanding of God and how he works. Here are a few of the thoughts that I have been sharing—healthy theologies that I believe are important for longevity in Christian service. 1. A healthy theology of grace I have written much about this. Grace means that although we deserve nothing, Jesus died and rose so that we can be right with God. If we don’t deeply grasp this, in the end, sin and weakness are going to be too great an obstacle. We finish up either overwhelmed with guilt and inadequacy, or we try to hide and ignore our weakness. We are all incredibly weak, broken and defective (1 Timothy 1:15-16). But a healthy theology of grace means that we keep confessing, believing and obeying. We serve through God’s grace (it’s got nothing to do with our ability or goodness), while recognising how flawed we are, but enjoying and revelling in his grace. 2. A healthy theology of suffering Suffering for Christians is normal and purposeful (Hebrews 12:7-11). Every Christian suffers. Every effective Christian grows through suffering. This is Christ’s way. We share his
December 2012 www.qb.com.au
sufferings (Philippians 3:10). It seldom appears that other people suffer as much as we do. But they mostly do, and many suffer a lot more. This is God’s calling. If we view suffering as wrong or unfair or dreadful, we’ll never last in Christian service. The Bible makes this clear, and I’m sure as you look back, you can see good in your life that has come out of pain. Suffering is your lot, and it’s good for you. And no, to be honest, I don’t like this either. 3. A healthy theology of purpose Some theologies emphasise that God is in control; we can do anything we like within his revealed will (in Scripture), and that is okay with God. There’s an element of truth in this. I don’t believe that there is any ‘perfect’ will of God for me. But such theology tends to emasculate our theology of purpose, as though God doesn’t really care what we do. There is plenty of biblical evidence that God does call, guide and lead. Oh, he gives us plenty of choice, but we’re not free agents. We have jobs, ministries, callings that God has asked us to fulfil. This gives purpose to serving God in our work, church and community. I’m serving at the College because this is what God has told me to do. And I don’t dare pull out until God gives permission. My service is significant because I know it’s what God wills. 4. A healthy theology of reward Paul, the champion of grace, keeps emphasising the idea of a reward for faithful service (e.g. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Whether this is more responsibility (Luke 19:17), or the joy of seeing the fruit of our labour (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20), or the pleasure of being able to offer to God our lifetime of service,
I think that finishing well has a lot to do with healthy theology. It’s difficult to stay long-term in Christian service without a good understanding of God and how he works.
I’m not sure. But the fact remains that everything we do for God will be remembered and rewarded. What you are doing for God does matter. It does make a difference. It won’t be forgotten. We serve and lead out of our love for God and people, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be rewarded for our faithfulness. This reward seems to be particularly for those who see less fruit on earth (Matthew 20:1-16). Hold on to this theology. Paul saw it as an important reason for finishing well (1 Corinthians 9:27). 5. A healthy theology of community We were never meant to do it alone. God didn’t, and doesn’t. He was always Trinity. We weren’t designed to serve God by ourselves. This is God’s way. He intentionally put us in a body (1 Corinthians 12). When Jesus was preparing leadership for his new church, he didn’t look for a superstar, he built a team. Jesus didn’t send his disciples out to minister by themselves. They always had at least one buddy. There is no place for the Lone Ranger in Christian service. Lone Rangers are too vulnerable, too unwise, too weak, too exposed, too alone. Every Christian needs a real community (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). 6. A healthy theology of seasons The disillusioned writer of Ecclesiastes talked about seasons (3:1-8). I think that he was being pessimistic about good times not lasting, but his point remains: life comes in seasons and so does serving God. Successful seasons eventually become disappointing, and depressing seasons eventually turn to joy. We live in a world that has lost sight of the cycle of seasons. It believes that things should just keep getting better and easier. They won’t. This is not God’s way. Jesus clearly experienced the change of season (Matthew 16:21), and so will you. There
is a lot outside of our control in church, and in life, and we have to live with the blessing and frustration of that. There will be great times and tough times. It’s inevitable until Jesus returns. 7. A healthy theology of thankfulness I was preaching recently on Ephesians 5:18—Paul’s challenge to be filled with the Spirit. In this passage, Paul doesn’t say that the results of being filled with the Spirit are power, or holiness, or knowledge of truth (although these are mentioned in other Scripture). According to Paul, the Spirit’s filling results in heart music and thankfulness (5:19-20). Thankfulness forms the centre of Spirit-filled living. In biblical times, every day the Jews would remember what God had done for them. We know they struggled immensely, but their lives were framed by thanks. If we don’t stop to thank God and celebrate, eventually we lose sight of what God has done and what he is doing. Thankfulness not only blesses God, but it blesses our heart, reorients our thinking and grows our faith and expectation. This is what God intends through the presence of his Spirit in us. Well, there’s a start on maintaining your passion—pretty straightforward really. It’s just believing and practising God’s truth. I would like to say this is easy, but of course, it’s a big challenge at times. Thank goodness God loves us so deeply and treats us with such grace. John Sweetman Principal, Malyon College John.email@example.com
www.qb.com.au December 2012
Baptisms We encourage you to pray for those baptised in all our churches around Queensland, including: All Nations Revival Gloire Birikunzira Eric Birikunzira Eritier Birikunzira Jean-Marie Cubahiro Joseph Moke Birkdale Joshua McNaughton Tim Rackemann Rachael Reynolds Burpengary Steven Binnion Emily Day Herbriella George Hannah Lewis Matt Newhousen Luke Newhousen Hannah Newhousen Skye Nosworthy Jimmy Powell Zac Preston Joshua Preston Jasmine Stranaghan Elder Ukarangi Cleveland Rebekah Davey Andrew Dunstan Tom Marshall Hayden Mole Martin Zerk Fairfield Hugh Smith Fraser Coast Barbara Allwood Lorna Fielder Juliana Hancock
Fraser Coast Catherine Labancz-Paulin Wayne Padget Paulette Renouf Danielle Roan Gatton Marc Bischoff Rebekah Clissold Elyse Smith Slavic Ivan Gurmeza Sunnybank Eddy Chow Jayde Frehmann Rachelle Frehmann Luke Hicks Steph Hicks Simone Hohaus Peta Hood Jojo Hung Jenny Jing-Mei Wu (吴景美) Darren Jones Hannah Joye May Ke Xu (徐可) Sam Lowe Robert McLellan Ton Phuong Laura Schipper Sharon Setiadi Winnie Ya-Hui Xu (徐雅慧)
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Around the regions
Where else but Longreach? Pastor Barry Edwards writes:
Handel’s Messiah in the CBD Margaret Reid writes: Around August the enquiries begin—is this the year City Tabernacle will present Handel’s Messiah? Every second year since 2004, the City Tabernacle Baptist Church choir has presented excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by a string Orchestra. The choir is based around the regular Choir at the Tabernacle, which sings in the morning worship service every Sunday, from February to mid-December. This group is joined by others from within the church for this special occasion. We also invite people to join from other churches and the community. People may hear of the event from friends, advertising, or through Carols in the City. Some have sung in each presentation, and we look forward to renewing friendships that have grown over the years as we rehearse, even though we only get together every second year. It is a great opportunity to encourage each other in our faith, and to introduce people to the gospel message so eloquently written by Handel. Over time the repertoire has increased, and in 2012 the presentation will comprise Part 1, most of Part 2 and significant sections of Part 3 of the work. It is a special thrill for the choir to be able to sing with the well-known Sinfonia of St. Andrews, who will participate with us for the third time. We are also joined by some wonderful soloists, and the congregation, who are encouraged to sing the triumphant Hallelujah Chorus as each evening concludes. We invite you to join us for excerpts from Handel’s Messiah at City Tabernacle Baptist Church, corner of Wickham Terrace and Upper Edward Street, Brisbane. Two performances are planned: Saturday 15 December at 7.30 pm, and Sunday 16 December at 6.30 pm. Free parking will be available both nights in the multi-storey car park at 41 Astor Terrace. More information can be found on the Church website at www.citytabernacle.com.
If you are squeamish, or a person who thinks meat comes quietly wrapped in plastic on foam trays from sanitised supermarkets, then please avert your eyes. Where else but in Longreach can a group of 18 men get together, shoot a bull, cut up some sheep into chops, make some sausages and cook them on the barbie for lunch (minus the bull, that is) and follow up with an afternoon of clay target shooting. In September, a group of our blokes, young and old, had a men’s camp at ‘Royston’, a property about 75 km south of the town. It wasn’t all blood and guts though; there was a more serious side where our men were challenged through video and audio messages to become godly men of courage and faith.
www.qb.com.au December 2012
Around the regions
Thinking pink Now for a change of pace after reading about the men at Longreach … When it comes to a worthy cause, too much pink is never enough! Recently The Gap Baptist Church was decked out in pink, pink and more pink, for the seventh annual Pink Ribbon Breakfast. One in eight women (and 1% of men) will be affected by breast cancer at some stage in their lives. When you factor in the families and friends who surround them, the odds are that all of us will face this challenge in some way. Pink Breakfast organiser, Lurelle Murphy, has a passion for supporting the organisation that supports so many. A crowd of more than 70 enjoyed breakfast together, and heard about lessons learned from the challenges of living with breast cancer. The lucky ones got to take home something special from the Cent Auction, and the generosity of supporters and attendees resulted in $1100 being raised for vital research undertaken by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
On the move • • • • •
Rev Phil Walker has concluded at Narangba Rev Rowan Evans will conclude at City Tabernacle (effective end 2012) Rev John Anderson has commenced with Tahlee Ministries (NSW) Rev Matt Anstey has accepted call as Senior Pastor to Kruger Parade (effective Jan 2013) Correction: Last issue it was reported that David Daniels had accepted a call as interim pastor to Ulverstone, Tasmania. David has concluded his interim at Ulverstone and returned to Queensland.
December 2012 www.qb.com.au
Light the world at Lifepointe Now in its ninth year, the Sunshine Coast Christmas Lights at Lifepointe Baptist Church is a Christmas event like no other. Held over 10 nights up to Christmas Eve (15–24 December), this family event has grown from a few thousand attendees in its first year to an expected audience of over 30,000 people this year. In preparation for the event, the Lifepointe Baptist Centre undergoes a radical transformation from 21st century church building to 1st century Bethlehem. Against this unique backdrop, visitors are introduced to the sights, sounds (and smells!) of 1st century Palestine via an interactive performance of the Christmas story, as drawn from the Gospel of Luke. Building upon the birth of Christ, the event progresses through his life, death, and resurrection, and his saving grace is shared with visitors. It is here that visitors are exposed to the real story of Christmas, and they are given opportunities to meet their Saviour, or be blessed with prayer. This year, new sections have been added to help present the gospel to people today. Christmas: The Whole Story takes people on a contemplative journey into the challenges of today. You will travel from Christmas today back to where it all began; with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. People will have an opportunity to reflect and write prayers as they walk through a mosaic of challenging DVDs and testimonies to finish with prayer in a beautifully created garden. Another attraction, a contemporary musical production that shares the Christmas message, will draw visitors to reflect on our Saviour and King; this year’s focus is ‘Light the World!’ Christmas Lights is well catered—a Coffee Shop is situated in the entrance foyer and taste buds will be tantalised by the beautiful food offered all evening in the Food Court. Last minute Christmas gifts will be available in the Expo of Hope, and delights for the children include an animal farm where they can nurse and pat the animals, and have their photos taken; free fairy floss; popcorn; face painting and fabulous balloon creations. The ‘Expo of Hope’ hosts many para church organisations which are bringing hope to people across the world including: Compassion, Watoto, Bloom, CVC, Scripture Union, Destiny Rescue and more.
Many, from far and wide, come to experience this superb event. It’s a great opportunity to bring family and friends to celebrate together and build a wonderful family tradition. Make the journey to 1st Century Bethlehem this year!
Around the regions
Helping the poorest of the poor
Treasure on earth doesn’t last!
At the end of 2012, Annerley Baptist Church will farewell the Rev Jim Johnston and his wife Jennifer after a ministry at the church lasting for more than 16 years. They will be dearly missed.
Holiday Kids Club has been a part of Annerley Baptist’s ministry in the community twice, sometimes three times, a year for 16 years! For a week of the school holidays, a simple program of games, stories, songs and craft provides fun and biblical input for children from Prep to Grade Seven. The older kids love a game of duster hockey, while the younger kids enjoy some less aggressive play in the other hall. Pastor Jim presents a story that goes for the five days of the week. The kids who listen well win lots of points for answering questions from the previous days. Bethany Puffett tells a shorter story each day as well, and the Bible Society’s ‘Read the Bible with Scruff and Ros’ videos are a huge hit. Craft packs from ‘Children for Christ’ provide a chance to get creative and covered in PVA glue, as the kids construct a helicopter, a boat, a teddy bear driving a train, or one of many other wonderful choices. Kids earn points for good behaviour and participation, and some collect 200+ points over the week. On Friday, parents and grandparents come along to hear the children perform some songs and recite the memory verse, and then have hotdogs for lunch with them. Members of the church get involved in the team, through sponsoring children, sending along home-cooked treats for morning tea, and, of course, praying.
Those involved with Annerley Baptist (past and present), and other friends of Pastor Jim and Jennifer, are invited to join in celebrating God’s work through this special couple on Sunday 30 December at a service commencing at 9.30 am, followed by lunch. Although officially retiring, Jim and Jennifer are looking forward to investing their time in helping the poorest of the poor through the ministry of Children and Charity Myanmar. Children and Charity has been a growing passion for them—they have visited Yangon twice over the last few years, and helped the ministry in many and varied ways. Imagine life in the slums of Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). You live in a one room hut, squeezed in between the back walls of multi-storey buildings, the local garbage dump, and the wide expanse of the river. Your hut is on little stilts, hopefully high enough to stay above water level as the river floods through the wet season. The thatched roof leaks and needs replacing every year. If you can find work, it is irregular and only provides one meal a day for your family. Your drinking water is dirty, medical care is unaffordable, and there are no toilet facilities apart from the river itself. Primary schooling is available at a low cost, but only if your child has graduated from a private preschool and already has basic maths skills, as well as knowing the alphabet in English and Myanmar. There is no way you can ever afford that. Enter Gabriel and Thai Vang, founders of Children and Charity Myanmar. This couple offers your child a free preschool education. Books, materials, breakfast and lunch, simple clothing to wear to kindergarten—all costs are covered. Graduates of this preschool have gone on to win academic awards in the government primary schools! Your child comes home able to teach you about basic hygiene, and even helps you learn to read. The team at Children and Charity help you find employment or offer a small amount of money to establish a small business. In dire medical situations, they offer financial and practical help. The widow in your community, who struggles the most, has her house reroofed in tin; no more replacing it every year! And there is a wonderful gift for your whole community—a clean water supply with a tank and a pump. A toilet or two to share in your part of the slum lifts the health of the whole area and is a great cause for joy. Such simple things, such a small financial investment in Australian dollars, but for you, it is something else. It gives you a hope, and a future. Already working in two slum communities, Children and Charity has dreams to expand to help many more of the poorest people of Yangon. If you would like to know more, Jim would love to talk to you! firstname.lastname@example.org or mob 0430 006 405.
At the end of this September’s Holiday Kids Club, Bethany asked the children to share what they had learnt: ‘To have treasure in heaven, because treasure on earth doesn’t last’, ‘to not lie’, ‘that we should do what we say we will do’, ‘to never give up’, ‘how to make cool things’, and ‘the colours of the Jesus story’ (a reference to the gospel presentation through the Wordless Book). Other comments: ‘I’ve been reading my Bible’ and ‘it’s not too hard to get a hundred points!’ The team thanks God for the chance to minister into the lives of children and their families, and looks forward to many more Holiday Kids Clubs to come. www.qb.com.au December 2012
Around the regions
Bloom Training Centre, located in the heart of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a very significant project that is supported by Gateway Baptist Church. At the heart of Bloom is a passion to empower women who are at risk of, or are survivors of, the tragedy that is human trafficking. The Centre works closely with aftercare shelters that rescue survivors of trafficking. When they are ready to be reintegrated into the community, Bloom provides essential skills and vocational training to enable them to find employment in the workplace. This not only provides them with an alternative source of income, but also restores their dignity, value and a renewed hope for the future. Bloom Directors, Ruth and Murray Larwill write: Bloom has received final approval to open a second Training Centre next year, in the tourist city of Siem Reap in Northern Cambodia! Siem Reap is a city filled with casinos, brothels and karaoke bars. Shelters in Siem Reap are desperate for a safe place for their rescued girls to be able to train and find a good future. One shelter has four girls who were rescued in 2010. The girls were 13 years old when they were rescued. They will turn 16 next year, and according to Government legislation they must Image: L-R: Ruth & Murray Larwill, Jason Elsmore (Senior Pastor, Gateway) & Susan Elsmore. Jason is presenting Graduation Certificates.
December 2012 www.qb.com.au
be reintegrated with their families. The shelter has said that they are very worried for these girls, as they are still extremely traumatised and their families expect them to provide an income immediately. We are so honoured to be able to provide a safe place where these girls can gain skills and a job, yet still be in a loving environment that will understand their trauma-related issues. We are reminded that it was a similar situation five years ago for many of our current Bloom girls. In 2006, when God started whispering his rescue plan into our hearts, Miss N was only 12 years old—for three years she had been raped over and over; night after night in a brothel that catered to pedophiles in Svay Pak. No wonder God moved in so many hearts to make sure that not only would she be rescued, but that she would have a beautiful future! Now five years later, Miss N is 17 years old and is one of our senior decorators at Bloom— an artiste extraordinaire. She has come a long way from the shy little girl who joined us last year! So pray for the girls wherever they are right now in Siem Reap, that they will stay strong and know that they haven’t been forgotten. God is fighting for their destiny with a vengeance; and it is an honour to be part of his plan. Bloom Training & Café www.bloomasia.org Empowering survivors of trafficking through vocational training and employment...
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The little church building was previously a livery stable on the property of an affluent home on the north side of Brisbane. It was relocated, placed lovingly on its new stumps, and converted into a suitable place of worship for the congregation who had been holding their services on the footpath, in the open air. The history shows that Lindum Baptist Church was a very active and live church. Just prior to World War II, there were 68 children on the Sunday School roll and 45 children attended Intermediate Christian Endeavour. But circumstances change, and the congregation has dwindled. Wynnum Baptist Church is hopeful that the Lindum congregation will now join with them for services so that, together, they can continue to worship God and serve the community.
Final service at Lindum
Lindum’s final service:
The Lindum Baptist Church’s final service was held on Sunday, 7 October 2012.
Guest Speaker—the Rev Dr Stuart Robinson, ex ABMS Missionary in Bangladesh and later Senior Pastor of Crossway Baptist Church Melbourne, who first heard the Gospel message as a young lad attending the Lindum Sunday School, and later, heard God’s call upon his life.
Church member Jack Sands remembers the stump capping ceremony that kicked off the building works for the new church back in 1920. He was only about four years old at the time, but he remembers the day clearly and the fact that he arrived late. (For younger readers, you’ll still find metal stump caps on top of wooden or concrete stumps under buildings. They are there to provide a barrier against ants and termites.) Stump capping ceremonies were very popular in the past, and the Lindum event was a big day for the community. People were invited to place cash under a stump cap—a clever way to fundraise towards the cost of the building project.
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The Rev Dr David Loder sent a greeting acknowledging the important role the Lindum church played in his early years of ministry and that it was there that he met his wife to be (Ann Rainbow), whose parents were very actively involved in both the Wynnum and Lindum churches.
Image: Niebling family
The Niebling family—150 years in Queensland On 3 November 1862, a German immigrant named Ludwig Niebling arrived in Queensland. On 3 November 2012, his descendants gathered at the Boonah Showgrounds to give thanks for his legacy. About 150 of his descendants, varying in age from those in their eighties to toddlers, descended on the showgrounds for a day of celebration. Many of them had not met before. ‘It was wonderful that so many of us could make contact and reflect on what it was like for our ancestors when they settled in Queensland, all those years ago,’ said Lynne Stringer, one of Ludwig’s great-great-grandchildren. The day commenced with registrations and a lot of reminiscing, before a Thanksgiving Service where the Rev Don Niebling, pastor of Nanango Baptist Church, spoke about the family’s heritage. ‘Ludwig and Rosine first settled in Walloon, when it was nothing but scrub. The conditions were primitive, and they did it tough and did the hard yards to make it work. But that’s only part of the heritage they have left us. They had a faith in the Almighty God. And I don’t think they would have made it without that faith.’ Ludwig and his wife, Rosine, had 15 children, 13 of whom lived to adulthood and had children of their own. As a result, thousands of their descendants now live all across Australia and overseas. Ludwig and his first wife and son set sail from Bavaria in 1862, but only Ludwig survived the journey. He met and married Rosine after his arrival and they eventually settled in the Boonah area, along with many other German immigrants.
‘Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that he gave his only Son. The only requirement is to believe in him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life’ (Corrie Ten Boom)
A reunion was also held at the Boonah Showgrounds in 1987. This time, the attendees have decided that they need to meet more regularly. ‘We’re thinking of having a reunion every five years or so,’ Lynne said. ‘We have a Facebook group set up for any Niebling descendants and we do a lot of liaising through that. We’re glad we took the opportunity—it was a great time to get together, reflect, and be thankful.’
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Intentional ministry series
Rough and smooth ‘Sue Peters is the State Director of Queensland Baptist Women, and a passionate follower of Jesus. Sue is currently loving life in the small rural community of Stanthorpe on the Granite Belt in Southern Queensland where she serves alongside her husband who is pastor at Stanthorpe Baptist Church ... She is mum to two pre-teen daughters. Sue knows what it is to be lost without Jesus, but her story is testament to his saving grace and powerful, transforming presence’ (www.sheis.net.au). During the year, several people have contributed their thoughts about what it means to be intentional in ministry, in line with the QB Board’s theme for 2012, ‘Loving others better—Intentional Ministry’. Sue Peters concludes our series: We’re off on holiday next week, and I’m sure that, at some stage, we’ll have the same conversation we always do when we travel somewhere new. You see, my husband Darryl and I have a love-hate relationship ... with our GPS. If you have the pleasure of owning one of these little machines (where you put in your destination address and it directs you there), you’ll know what I mean. Whenever our GPS takes us somewhere familiar, down roads that we know and the way we would chose to go, we talk to it nicely and thank it for its help. We have even given our GPS a name—Margo—because of ‘her’ British accent. But when our GPS leads us down roads that are unfamiliar, or that seem to us to be going in the wrong direction, trust issues come to the surface. We start to ask Margo all kinds of questions. ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Why are you telling us to turn here?’ ‘You have no idea where you’re taking us, do you?’
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Even if you don’t use a GPS, you’ve probably had the same conversation with the person who reads the UBD in your car! It’s at those times, when we’ve been led into places that are totally unfamiliar and make us uncomfortable, that we have a choice. Do we trust the one who’s leading us, or do we go back to the way we know? When it comes to ministry and our personal walk with Jesus, we can have the same kind of choice. We can have a destination in mind, like how we want to see the ministry we’re involved in grow, or where we would like our relationship with God to be next month, or next year. But if we’re to be intentional in our ministry and in following where Jesus leads us, there will be times when he will lead us down roads that are strange and out of our comfort zone; roads that are bumpy and full of potholes. It could be that Jesus leads us through a time of conflict (perhaps within our own teams) or a season of personal spiritual dryness. Maybe it’s a journey that will teach us how to deal with criticism or how to manage unrealistic expectations. Being intentional about ministry isn’t just planning the destination; it’s also about following Jesus down the roads he chooses to lead us there. It’s tempting, when the road gets unfamiliar and uncomfortable, to turn back to the way that is easy and welltravelled. It’s when things get bumpy that we need to remember that Jesus is there with us, to help us through, comfort us and lead us to the destination he has for us. If we stick to the road that is easy, we can rely on our own strength and ability to get us through. But when we’re in unfamiliar territory, we are forced to rely on our Saviour for his strength. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about his personal struggle on the road where God led him, and how he prayed for a detour to an easier track. Jesus’ response was, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ The further God leads us from our places of comfort and security, the more
Intentional ministry series
his power is seen in our ministry and in our lives, as we depend on Jesus. Times of discomfort and detours to our plans are actually opportunities for Jesus to be glorified. When Jesus leads us down bumpy roads, he also provides people along the way to travel with us. Ministry is never something we can do in isolation. Being intentional about our ministry and following Jesus means that we look out for those who Jesus has placed on our journey to care for us, pray for us and give us advice. God has placed people around us who are gifted in prayer, who can listen with confidentiality, and who can speak into our journey. We just need to be willing to approach them for help. This might mean that we need to swallow our pride and admit that we don’t have all the answers (just like asking for directions!). Finding a ‘support crew’ of pray-ers, trusted listeners and mentors will help us to stay on the road that Jesus chooses. Sharing our weaknesses, fears and concerns about our journey might be tricky at first, but it doesn’t take long to find out that people around us have been down similar roads, and they can help us through with their wisdom, support and prayer.
So when we’re struggling on the road of ministry, let’s not take the next turn back to what’s comfortable and familiar. Instead, let’s be intentional about reaching out to Jesus in our weakness and depending more on his power. Let’s be intentional about reaching out to the people he has placed along the way to help us. Isaiah 26:7-8 says, ‘You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.’ Let’s be a people who glorify our amazing God as he leads us down the path less travelled, in ministry and in life together.
EDUCATING YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME? WHAT WE OFFER AT A GLANCE Prep to Year 12 accredited Educational Service Provider Christian curriculum designed for schooling at home Individualised program for every student Support and advice from registered teachers Access to fully qualified Special Needs teachers Workshops, camps and other student events Library and educational resources
Sue Peters State Director, Qld Baptist Women www.sheis.net.au
‘If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us”. We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is his deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!’ ((John MacArthur)
GROVES CHRISTIAN COLLEGE DISTANCE EDUCATION
www.groves.qld.edu.au l Phone: (07) 3827 6527 l Fax: (07) 3808 3755 l Email: email@example.com 70 Laughlin Street, Kingston QLD 4114
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QB kids & their families
Make time to learn! Grab a pen and your diary. It’s time to put a fence around some time for you to learn and be inspired in 2013! Here are three excellent training opportunities. Make sure there’s something in your plans before Christmas comes round again. Thousands of volunteers minister faithfully to parts of our church congregations each week—with little or no opportunity for formal training. Many make the most of weekend conferences or mentoring from those with more experience. But many long for an opportunity to be better equipped for a ministry that potentially has longer lasting results than any other church ministry. That possibility is about to become a reality. As from Semester one 2013, Malyon College will offer an elective as part of the Bachelor of Ministry and Master of Divinity programs called ‘Introduction to Church-Based Children’s Ministry’. This unit provides participants with an opportunity to explore the theory and practice of church-based ministry to children. Students consider the biblical, theological and historical foundations of ministry to children, and explore child development theories which impact on programs and relationships with children. Various practical aspects of children’s ministry in the contemporary local church setting are discussed, including:
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• the role of parents and other significant adults in a child’s faith development • how to evaluate curriculum • understanding the values which inspire different models of children’s ministry • cultural influences on 21st century children • outreach to children beyond the church. As part of the B.Min (and M.Div) programs, this unit will be available by distance to all those enrolled at Malyon College who are equipping themselves for ministry. However, it will also be available to participants to audit (completing the course without gaining credit for an award), and it will be available on-line, so you don’t need to live in Brisbane! The lectures and extra resources for the 13 modules will be available to enrolled students online. The excellent book Children Matter: celebrating their place in the church, family and community by Scottie May, Beth Posterski, Catherine Stonehouse and Linda Cannell (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2005) will be used as a reference text. This unit has been developed by members of the QB Kids and their families team, all of whom have extensive experience and training in children’s ministry. If you need help with your local children’s ministry, please contact qbkids@ qb.com.au For information on how to enrol in ‘Introduction to Church-Based Children’s Ministry’ for semester one 2013, either for audit or credit, please contact Malyon College info@malyon. edu.au or phone 07 3354 5656.
Leaders to Go Conference Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st May 2013 Theme: Lost in Transition Our current Twitter, Google, iDevice, FaceBook (TGIF) generation of young people who are more connected and more isolated than previous generations, are walking away from church and/or faith in early adolescence. ‘This drop out problem is, at its core, a disciple-making problem. The church is not adequately preparing the next generation to follow Christ faithfully in a rapidly changing culture’ (David Kinnaman in ‘You Lost Me’). The Leaders To Go Conference is committed to reversing this trend. Join eminent speakers, intentional conversations and constructive collaborations to be part of the solution, discerning God’s wisdom and direction for the future of our children. Hear a range of speakers touching on this theme. Explore and discuss what this all means for your context including playgroups, parenting, schools and churchbased programs. Share the culmination during the Friday plenary sessions.
Four Keynote Speakers LEAD our conference LEAD: Leadership … Evangelism … Advocacy … Discipleship Each LEAD topic will be presented by speakers passionate and experienced in their field. If necessary, they will be assisted by a Children’s and/or Families Ministry Specialist to help interpret their presentation to our contexts, and help facilitate the discussion processes. At this point we have engaged Andrew Ball (Leadership) … Mike Frost (Evangelism) … Paul O’Rourke (Advocacy) … Terry Williams & Tammy Tolman (Discipleship: Lost in Transition). L2g website: leaderstogo.org.au Leaders to Go Conference is a children’s and families’ ministry leadership conference for paid or voluntary leaders of leaders (leaders of those who lead) church and school based ministries to pre-school and primary children and families. Our 7th conference since 1999 will be held at The Tops Conference Centre (1 hr south of Sydney) Stanwell Tops, NSW. Please reserve these dates and promote this conference to your networks. Sign up to eNews: If you haven’t already, please sign up to receive eNews updates of our conference. They will be posted regularly with information about speakers and workshops. Sign up at: http://leaderstogo.org.au/conferencenews/
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What’s your story? Send your story about how Mapleton has contributed to your spiritual life and growth. Help celebrate QCCC Mapleton’s 30th anniversary. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or send your contribution to email@example.com. Stories in writing, or as an mp3 or video will be welcomed!
Looking back; looking forward Looking back: The date is 16 April 1983. Resplendent in a polka-dot dress (possibly having arrived in a Kingswood, with pumpkin scones in the boot), Lady Flo Bjelke-Peterson addresses a large crowd gathered to celebrate the opening of a grand new venture of the Baptist Union of Queensland, The Mapleton Holiday Centre. Yes, it’s nearly thirty years since the QCCC Mapleton opened its doors! Back then it was envisaged the site would be a holiday destination for families and a Convention Centre for the north side of Brisbane. Over three decades it has morphed into one of the busiest and most sought-after Outdoor Education Centres in Queensland. In that time, it has hosted hundreds of thousands of people for a huge variety of events. These days, Mapleton hosts more than 25,000 guests each year, including nearly 16,000 school students from around the State. QCCC exists to create life changing experiences through excellence in hospitality, service and teaching. Many people have come to Mapleton and had a transformative encounter with their Saviour, in their relationships with those around them, and in their inner world. In 2013, Mapleton has also been given the honour of hosting the Queensland Baptists’ Conference, including the Pastors and Spouses (P&S) Retreat, Leadership Day and QB Weekend Convention. For the P&S Retreat, it’s a return to a venue with a long pedigree hosting the 20
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event. Often when I talk to Baptist pastors who were around in the 1990s, talk turns to how much they enjoyed the P&S events at Mapleton, particularly the one when Arch Hart was the speaker. As the dates for the 2013 Conference (2–7 April) are so close to the 30th anniversary of Mapleton’s opening day, there will be an opportunity to celebrate this special milestone. As part of that celebration, we’re asking anyone who has had a lifechanging experience at Mapleton to contribute their story. We would love to gather together a harvest of stories about how God has used this beautiful venue, and to celebrate his work during our special anniversary year. If you would like to contribute, please contact Andrew Grant or send your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have been a member of the Mapleton staff, a volunteer, or one of the ‘Friends of Mapleton’, please set aside 6 April to attend QB Convention where Mapleton’s thirty years of ministry will be celebrated. Looking forward: We are privileged to enjoy high demand for each of our sites and most groups who stay with us automatically re-book their event for the following year. However, we think it’s really important to continue to add to our activities and facilities so there’s something fresh and new each year. Banner image: The island will become ‘Van Dieman’s Land’! Image: Lady Flo at the official opening of QCCC Mapleton
Australian Curriculum activities at QCCC Mapleton: In 2013, QCCC Mapleton will introduce seven new activities focused at both school and weekend groups. To give some context, this is a 150% increase on the current number of activities at Mapleton and the focus is on the Australian National Curriculum. The activities will incorporate team building and problem solving focused on Australian history, our connection with Asia and the glory of God’s Creation. Here’s a quick summary of the new stuff: • Dreamtime—an activity looking at indigenous Australia prior to colonisation incorporating a bush walk and a camp experience • Indigenous Art workshops • Van Diemen’s Land—a raft-building activity replicating the Transportation System • Legends and Larrikins—a problem solving and nation building game reflecting on the 19th Century • Eureka! —specifically targeted at Year 5 groups who have to cover Eureka in their curriculum. This is a multi-faceted, team building challenge course. • Days of Sail—another team building exercise looking at various waves of migrants to Australia. • Destiny—QCCC Mapleton’s Environmental programs get beefed up to make the most of our amazing Nature Display
and Rainforest Walk. This is part of a long-term plan to establish an ecological unit at Mapleton, with a brief to restore the old-growth rainforest on the property. Please pray for us as we work to get all of these activities ready by February and that they will have a profound impact on students participating in them. Weddings at QCCC Tamborine (CMS): Of all our sites, QCCC Tamborine is the most visually breathtaking. The CMS Centre on Tamborine Mountain, and particularly its dining room, sits on the very edge of the escarpment enjoying jaw-dropping views through a National Park over Moreton Bay and Brisbane. Due to several requests to use this site as a wedding venue, QCCC Tamborine has put together a very competitive package for brides and grooms on a budget. The starting point is to hire CMS for a weekend for $5,000. This includes a buffet-style reception for 80 people, the possibility of holding the ceremony in the gardens onsite (and there are several other popular wedding ceremony venues on the mountain) and all the onsite accommodation (80 beds) for Friday and Saturday night. This package can be tailored to your needs—e.g. the reception venue can cater for up to 120 people. See advertisement for more information, email@example.com.
Brookfield: During 2012, QCCC Brookfield established itself as the busiest of the QCCC sites, overtaking Mapleton. Most likely this also makes it the Queensland campsite with the highest occupancy levels. The third bathroom in the Brookfield Retreat House has been renovated, in December a new deck area will be added to the swimming pool, and there is growing interest and momentum gathering behind Brookfield’s Encounter Brisbane programs. Next year, an Urban Expedition program will be developed around Brisbane, using Brookfield as a base, and we have a fully developed concept document to transform the library area at Brookfield into a Leadership Studio. It’s all happening at QCCC! Andrew Grant firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Camping Queensland Conference and Camping Centres www.qccc.com.au
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Please pray NIGERIA Christians in Nigeria continue to be the victims of unspeakable violence at the hands of Boko Haram, the militant group who are seeking to wipe them out completely from the North, in order to create an Islamist state. At least 46 people were massacred on 1 October after the election of a Christian student in a students’ union poll at Federal Polytechnic Mubi, in Adamawa state. The perpetrators went from door to door at a college housing complex, calling out their victims by name before they shot them, stabbed them, or slit their throats, shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ (‘god is great’). One eyewitness said that the gunmen were first asking their victims if they were Christian or Muslim, then ordering Christian students to renounce Christ. Those who refused were instantly killed, and the bodies of the massacred students were lined up in front of the student accommodation.
is thought to be attacking Christians in retaliation for the Kenyan capture of the strategic Somali port of Kismayo. Kenyan troops have been fighting al-Shabaab since November 2011, in response to kidnappings and cross-border attacks. IRAN The Gospel is continuing to spread in Iran despite the threat of arrest faced by Christians. There has been a significant increase in arrests in recent weeks, as the authorities continue to crack down on the house-church movement of Muslim-background Christians. This action has not managed to prevent the good news of Jesus Christ reaching more and more people in Iran, however. A report in a government-backed Iranian newspaper acknowledged that house-churches in Mashhad were spreading, and said that there are now around 200 in the city. A senior Islamic cleric also warned against the growth of Christianity, saying that 600 people have become Christians in Neishabour alone.
SOURCE: Barnabas Fund, www.barnabasfund.org
KENYA Christians in Kenya continue to face the terrifying prospect of attack by al-Shabaab sympathisers. Most recently, a nine-year-old boy, John Ian Maina, was killed in an attack on a Sunday school class in Nairobi. A grenade was thrown at a classroom in St Polycarp Church as the children were waiting for their Sunday morning session to begin on 30 September. Several other children were seriously injured. This attack comes after five churches in Mombasa were attacked at the end of August, during rioting over the death of a radical cleric with links to al-Shabaab, the Islamist group that controls most of southern Somalia. The group
Theological and leadership education for the 21st century. www.malyon.edu.au
...developing Christians of influence for the 21st century. ‘Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding’ (Jeremiah 3.15).
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Extending God’s Kingdom
Queensland Baptists Conference April 2013 at QCCC Mapleton (70 Obi Obi Road) Incorporating
QB Pastors & Spouses Retreat 2-5 April QB Leadership Day 5 April QB Convention 5-7 April
P&S Retreat Guest Speaker
QB Convention Guest Speaker
National Ministries Director, Australian Baptist Ministries
‘We are delighted to offer a conference that caters for everyone, including families, during the school holidays. Godly input from our guest speakers and a range of study electives and activities will blend with time for fellowship and prayer to ensure that Conference 2013 is a real blessing to all who attend’ (David Loder, QB General Superintendent).
QB Conference 2013 Program
Singles . Couples . Families . This event is for everyone!
More about our speakers Keith Jobberns has a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus at local, national and international levels, and understands the missional challenges of our contemporary world. Keith has bachelor’s degrees in economics and theology, and diplomas in education and ministry. For eight years prior to his appointment to Australian Baptist Ministries, he was the General Director of Global Interaction, and before that he was a high school teacher, theological student, cross-cultural worker with ABMS, and senior pastor of a thriving church. Keith and his wife, Marilyn, joined ABMS in 1982 and served with distinction in Irian Jaya (Papua) until the end of 1989. Keith was a lecturer and subsequently Dean at the Baptist Theological College of Irian Jaya and Field Secretary. In his sessions with pastors and their spouses, Keith will draw on his wide experience to discuss ‘Extending God’s Kingdom’ in 2013.
Allan Meyer was born and raised in the Lutheran Church in Melbourne. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Diploma in Education and entered the teaching profession where he served for seven years. He went on to Bible College, during which time he became the first Youth Pastor at the Life Ministry Centre where he ministered to the youth of both the church and Oxley College, the school established by the Life Ministry Centre. In 1983 Allan became Pastor of the Mount Evelyn Christian Fellowship, now Careforce Church Mt Evelyn. In 1992 Allan and his wife, Helen, established Careforce Lifekeys, a ministry that releases healing, discipleship and evangelism in more than 2300 churches and organisations in over 20 countries around the world. Allan concluded his doctorate with Denver Seminary in 2005. His project produced a new program to restore and fortify the moral and spiritual integrity of men.
Accommodation options If you want to travel further afield, there are numerous accommodation options:
On-site at QCCC Mapleton: Premium (Limited availability) 10-bed cabin incl bathroom facilities 4-bed room (ensuite)
Distance from QCCC
Lilyponds Holiday Park 2km www.lilyponds.com.au
Budget Dormitory accommodation
Tanglewood Gardens, Montville 4.5km www.tanglewoodgardens.com.au (10% discount available - mention QB Convention)
There are no caravan or camping spaces available on-site at QCCC.
The Falls Cottages 5km www.thefallscottages.com.au
The Mapleton Cabins & Caravan Park—just across the road— offers:
Country Lodge Motel 6km www.countrylodgemotel.com.au
• Air-conditioned cabins and bush chalets for up to six people with fully equipped kitchens, ensuite, TV, DVD, & private decks • Powered and unpowered sites
Tree Houses @ Montville 8km www.treehouses.com.au
8-bed room (no ensuite)
For bookings and enquiries, please contact them direct: Ph 07 5445 7135 Fax 07 5478 6935 email@example.com www.mapletoncabinscaravans.com.au
Montville Mountain Inn Resort 10km www.montvilleinn.com.au Montville Holiday Apartments 10km www.montvilleholidays.com.au Montville Country Cabins 15km www.montvillecabins.com.au
Ph 07 3354 5600 PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Q 4053 QB Centre, 53 Prospect Road Gaythorne Q 4051 firstname.lastname@example.org www.qb.com.au
Ending the year on a high note Everyone knows that when the Jacaranda trees flower around Brisbane and environs—it’s ‘exam time’. It can be a tense time for students and for their families. But, it’s oh, so great when exams are over and it’s time to relax and celebrate a year of hard work and learning. Malyon students and staff enjoyed their Students’ End-of-Year Celebration in early November.
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a s e k a hat m
? t n e v e t grea W
‘The content of each She is… is essentially the same, but each event has its own atmosphere.’
She is… conferences and camps were created for the purpose of linking Baptist and Christian women across Queensland, and sharing the powerful message about who each woman is, in Christ. This year the conference focus has been on the love of God: She is… made with LOVE.
the greater purposes of the kingdom of God. The excitement and expectation transcends how many are registered, how gorgeous the platform looks, how good the coffee is (though this should not be underestimated). There is an excitement that God is here.
One of the pleasures of being part of the She is… team is that I get to attend a variety of She is… events in different places. The content of each She is… is essentially the same, but each event has its own atmosphere. Additionally, I travel during the year as a speaker to different women’s events in different denominations, in different states and countries. Consequently, I have been able to observe and experience a diversity of worship and ministry styles that are effective and powerful. What strikes me most powerfully are not the differences, but the similarities. These similarities include:
The need for love No matter where I go—no matter the message, the songs, the decor—when it is all peeled back to its essence, it’s about love. There is a pervasive ache for a true encounter with Love Himself—God. For every woman who rushes up to share what God has done for her that day, whether it is healing, a call to mission, or freedom from unforgiveness, if you source the origin of her experience, it comes from an overwhelming sense that God loves her. In turn, she desires to love him more deeply, more freely, and more passionately.
The need for the power of the Holy Spirit to dominate The most impacting events are those where the presence of the Holy Spirit is sought and welcomed openly and honourably. There is a sense that something greater is at stake than just the event itself—an understanding that this event is just one event in a series of events, coordinated by the Holy Spirit to fulfil
The need for healing and restoration There are hurting people everywhere. These hurts are deep, debilitating and painful. The most common issues at women’s events are depression, dying marriages, history of abuse (especially sexual abuse), fears for family (especially children), domestic violence and anxiety. Events such as She
Image: She is … team member Tracy Cossgrove
December 2012 www.qb.com.au
is… are a wonderful, if not a crucial, avenue for women to seek healing and restoration. Sometimes these events provide the culminating moment where to live with the pain is no longer viable; these events can mark the day for a new beginning. The need for intercession There is one tell-tale mark that nearly always proceeds a powerful time of ministry: prayer. I get excited at the beginning of the event when prayer supersedes the need to have the sound right, to have the registration desk set up, the coffee and tea laid out—all this submits to, and revolves around, prayer. A good leader will call everyone together—not just the leadership team, the sound crew, the worship team, the administrators, the speakers, and the volunteers—everyone ... to pray. The best events have been soaked in prayer for months and weeks leading up to the event. Then, during the event, prayer warriors are in constant and alert prayer. The need for the culture of heaven One of the warning signs that we are in for a rough ride is when I overhear, ‘They don’t understand our culture’. While it is true that the expression of God’s message may vary, the substance of the message does not. I have been to places where people worship while sitting down, to demonstrate they are low to the ground before God, yet in other places people sing standing up, reaching closer to heaven. I have been to places where flags are waving, and places of quiet meditation. Yet all these experiences have been rich because at the heart is the culture of the Kingdom of God; that is, the glory of God and the values of love, hope and faith. In other places, the culture of humanity has subverted the culture of heaven. Humility is drowned by pride, service is lost to self- interest, and faith is dampened by a critical spirit. In these times, I feel I am ministering through spiritual mud. However, over the course of the event, you see hearts softening, repentance and the restoring power of God. Time and again I have seen God’s sovereignty envelop an event because of the faithful prayers of those who persistently seek God’s culture, against the onslaught of a negative atmosphere. The need for devotion This leads to my final observation: all across our state, our nation, our world, across denominations are women who serve God with diligence, humility and passion. These women are often unrewarded and unobtrusive. They are often cherished, respected and encouraging to those privileged enough to do life with them. I am constantly inspired and humbled by these women, who serve God to their fullest, with joy and with tenacity. The She is… team salutes these precious women. Elissa Macpherson She is... team www.sheis.net.au
Darcy William Hohnke 24.06.1916—28.05.2012 Tag: Called home Heading:
Darcy was born in Marburg; the only child of Carl and Louise. The family bought a farm and moved to South Nanango when he was two years old. In 1940, he married Joyce Metzger and five children were born: Bevin, Narelle, Wayne, Glenda Michelle: image supplied in word doc. Restrict article to half page if possible. Image: Darcy with one of great granddaughters. and Wendy. Inhis1967, Darcy, Joyce, Wayne and Wendy moved to Tipton near Dalby where they continued to Darcy William Hohnke 24.06.1916 farm.- 28.05.2012 Darcy was born in Marburg; the only child of Carl and Louise. The family bought a farm and moved to South Nanango when he was two years old. In 1940, he married Joyce Metzger and five children were born: Bevin, Narelle, Wayne, Glenda and Wendy. In 1967, Darcy, Joyce, Wayne and Wendy moved to Tipton near Dalby where they continued to farm.
Darcy had three passions in life: Jesus Christ and his church; family, and farming. With his parents, he Darcy had three passions in life: Jesus Christ andChurch his church; family, and farming. With his attended the local Methodist at Hazaldean (South parents, he attended the local Methodist Church at Hazaldean (South Nanango) until, with others in the district, they started a Baptist work at in Nanango 1929. Darcythey committed his Nanango) until, with others the indistrict, started life to Jesus that year, at a mission conducted by Mr Jack Sloan. Following this, he was baptised by his uncle, Ben Hohnke, at Marburg. At Nanango, he served as a Sunday a Baptist work at Nanango in 1929. Darcy committed School teacher, deacon and lay preacher, as well as playing the organ for many years. In the 1950s, Darcyto andJesus his father, that Carl, pioneered Church work in Kingaroy. his life year, the at Baptist a mission conducted by When the Jack family moved to Dalby, Darcy served as secretary and treasurer at Dalby Baptist Mr Sloan. Following this, he was baptised by his Church. He was the last Life Deacon, and for many years he welcomed everyone at the dooruncle, at services, offering them a church After retiring, he accompaniedhe Joyce to Ben Hohnke, at bulletin. Marburg. At Nanango, served the craft group, washing up after morning tea and playing bowls, and they also attended the Young at Heart Group. He continued these activities up until 1 ½ weeks before his as a Sunday School teacher, deacon and lay preacher, death. He regularly took time to visit folk from the church who were unable to make it to services. as well as playing the organ for many years. In the At the time of his Darcy death, Darcy washis survived by his five children, 14 grandchildren 21 1950s, and father, Carl, pioneered the and Baptist Church work in Kingaroy. When the family moved to Dalby, Darcy served as secretary and treasurer at Dalby Baptist Church. He was the last Life Deacon, and for many years he welcomed everyone at the door at services, offering them a church bulletin. After retiring, he accompanied Joyce to the craft group, washing up after morning tea and playing bowls, and they also attended the Young at Heart Group. He continued these activities up until 1 ½ weeks before his death. He regularly took time to visit folk from the church who were unable to make it to services. At the time of his death, Darcy was survived by his five children, 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. Towards the end of her life, Joyce became very frail, and Darcy was her carer until she passed away in 2009, after 68 years of marriage. His son, Wayne, passed away the day after Darcy’s funeral, after a 21/2 year battle with cancer. ‘To live is Christ—to die is gain’ (Philippians 1:21). Image: Darcy with one of his great granddaughters.
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A dangerous endeavour or a God-given opportunity? In a world made accessible by technology and affordable air travel, the overseas mission field is no longer a one-way journey or even a large commitment—it’s now accessible to almost everyone. Enter the ‘Short-term Mission Trip’. Once the very idea of ‘short-term mission’ was logistically impossible, and ‘cross-cultural mission’ required a whole-oflife commitment. Now the amount spent on quick visits and projects from the West to the developing world has reached billions annually. Potential dangers of short-term trips The opening up of borders has not been an entirely positive experience for everyone, including the poor and those unreached with the gospel.* Critics of the proliferation of short-term trips point to the following dangers: • Money spent on short-term trips can be taken directly from the support of longer-term strategic work
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• Practical projects may not be locally appropriate, given the mobility of a group or the necessary upkeep of the project • Practical projects undertaken by unskilled young people may be taking jobs away from local people and further reinforce stereotypes of helplessness or incapacity of the poor to take responsibility for their own futures • Visitors with very little understanding of the local culture can cause offense, harming the cause of the gospel and damaging the credibility of long-term workers • Visitors encountering poverty and drastically different cultures may not reconcile this with a good and just God, and leave with a damaged faith, or a loathing of their home culture and church. Potential positives Proponents of short-term trips argue that the potential positives are undeniable:
Our Xposure program has some unique aspects that we’ve found make a great difference. The program is: • Resourced by Global Interaction’s training materials, cross-cultural staff, Australian staff, insurance and good processes • Undertaken by church teams, in the context of eight months’ preparation and debrief time • Led by pastors and leaders who have already untaken the Global Xposure program • Undertaken with a priority of learning and discerning what God is doing among those visited, and in the hearts of the visitors themselves. Lifting capacity In 2013, the year when Queensland Baptists seek to ‘Extend God’s Kingdom’, Global Interaction wants to increase our state’s capacity to lead Global Xposures. To this end, Global Interaction, in partnership with QB Youth and with the endorsement of the QB Board, will undertake a Pastoral Leaders’ Global Xposure. This Xposure experience will equip all of the participants to run Xposure programs of the highest possible quality.
• Christians can have their view of God broadened and affirmed as they see him at work elsewhere • Long-term workers can be encouraged and their work better understood and supported • Christians may be inspired to give generously, pray diligently, share the gospel at home and go into longterm cross-cultural work. Global Xposure So what should we do? Give up because of the complexity? Have a prayer meeting and hope for the best? At Global Interaction, we have developed a program called ‘Global Xposure’. This program acknowledges and mitigates the dangers, while trying to achieve all the potential positives. We know that a group of visitors on a two week trip won’t change the world, but perhaps, with reliance on God, their world will be impacted for the better.
The Xposure will be to the Thailand team, with travel in late September/early October 2013. Pastoral leaders, especially those who work with young adults, can submit an expression of interest to Karen Haynes (email or phone) by January 2013. Applications and Interviews will be conducted in February 2013. *Further resource: ‘When Helping Hurts’, Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert. Karen Haynes Young Adults Consultant Global Interaction email@example.com Mob 0433 550 960 www.globalinteraction.org.au
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ARCHIVES After about ten years, the Baptist Union moved to 518 Brunswick Street, New Farm. Here the Archives were kept in storage for many months until quite good, although temporary, arrangements could be made. Then, after about five years, the material was shifted to The Baptist Archives is 30 years old this month! In cramped conditions in the basement, making it difficult December 1982, the Rev Dr David Parker began sorting even for the archival team to do and organising the Baptist its work. Union’s historical records, which were In 2005, the move was made housed (at the time) to the present location at the in a small strongroom QB Centre at Gaythorne, where in the basement of there is more space and much the BUQ building, better facilities. Meanwhile, the near Fortitude Valley collection had grown in size with Station. He had first more BUQ material, records of used the records a few older, often closed churches, years earlier during PhD and publications from various studies, but they were other sources—all indexed piled in an out-of-theand carefully arranged for way cupboard in the back preservation and access. The of the main BUQ office. next major expansion is now
The Archives celebrates 30 years!
well underway—digitising The records themselves were existing material and adding a in good order, dating back to lot more original digital material. the beginnings of the Baptist There is a steady stream of Union in 1877. They included requests for information, and a minutes of Assemblies, volunteer staff of three answer the Executive, Council questions, carry out research and and other BUQ bodies, develop the services offered by the as well as copies of the unit. Queensland Baptist (The qb), Yearbooks, many photographs Good support is offered by Baptist and lots of correspondence. There were even a few Heritage Queensland (BHQ) which older documents going back to Wharf Street, the first was established a couple of years after the Archives church in Queensland, and some records of churches began. At its recent annual meeting on 3 November, which no longer operated. BHQ members celebrated the 30-year development of the Archives, with anticipation of further growth and All this material had been well preserved by a succession development. Visitors are welcome at the Archives by of denominational leaders, but it was not organised, and prior arrangement. there was a danger it would deteriorate or even be lost. So David Parker offered to develop it into a more useful BHQ is a voluntary organisation dedicated to collection. He was officially appointed to the position preserving, promoting and publishing Baptist heritage soon after and has continued ever since. There were in Queensland, and assisting the work of the Archives. many enquiries and frequent visitors wanting to do Annual membership is open to individuals ($10), research for academic, local church or family history families ($15) and churches ($20) and includes the purposes. newsletter, Forum. BHQ is seeking more members
Images top to bottom: The Archives team celebrates. L-R: Ken Smith, David Parker, Bill Hughes, Rosemary Kopittke, Eric Kopittke, Beris Pfeffer / David Loder inspects some of the oldest records in the Archives
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and helpers. For more information, email the Archives, check our webpage from the link on the QB homepage www.qb.com.au (or use smart code), or phone 0488 532 290.
The first Baptist minister—online discoveries The first Baptist minister in Queensland was the Rev Charles Stewart, chaplain on the Fortitude, the original migrant ship arranged by Dr John Dunmore Lang in 1849, whose passengers made such a big impact on the Moreton Bay colony. Many of these people set up the United Evangelical Church (UEC) and Stewart became its minister, serving until the end of 1854. He was a Scot who had studied at Glasgow University and then at a Baptist college in Yorkshire, and he was a pastor in Birmingham before sailing to Brisbane. After returning to England in ill health, he joined his younger sister, Elizabeth, in Bermuda where he died in 1858, aged only 38. When his story was researched at the time of the 150th anniversary of the UEC, nothing much more was known about his family, except that an unnamed older sister had come to Brisbane with him to be his house-keeper; this arrangement did not work out and she left to go south. Also, there was a report in the Brisbane newspaper of the death in 1851 of Charles’ brother, Robert, who was a Presbyterian minister near Edinburgh; he was only 33 years old.
Recently, it became possible to look at Robert’s will on a Scottish site online, and the name of the older sister was at last discovered—she was Anne or Anna. Then searching on the Australian National Library newspaper site, Anne’s death in 1858 in Sydney was found, and then her marriage to a coastal ship’s captain in Shoalhaven in 1851. Anne, too, died young—at 38 years. A sad story of three siblings dying young! What about Elizabeth? A further search on the Scottish site found her death in Edinburgh in 1893—thankfully at 65 years of age. Her military husband died in 1898. Digital sources have helped tell us about the siblings; there were no children. So now we have to find out about the parents! The Baptist Archives, firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 07 3878 3178, 07 3354 5642, 07 3256 8897 The Baptist Archives, QB Centre, PO Box 6166, Mitchelton Q 4053
Images top to bottom: The Rev Stewart’s will reveals his faith and testimony / United Evangelical Church / The Archives on the move
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Chaplains: the ‘ministry of presence’ Queensland Baptist Care’s chaplains play a vital role in helping people, in hospitals and in aged care homes, to cope with feelings of loss, grief, loneliness and distress, and to find strength to face the future in difficult circumstances. According to Queensland Baptist Care’s Chaplaincy Co-ordinator, the Reverend Don McPherson, they help put people in touch with their own personal resources, and with spiritual resources, to meet the challenges they face. Chaplaincy is characterised, he added, for its ‘we come to you’ approach. Whereas many faith-based movements are now emphasising the value of a missional approach, chaplains have always gone where the people are, rather than waiting for people to come to them.
on in their lives. With chaplaincy, you set the agenda and we listen to your need. Often, because we are neutral, people tell us things that they haven’t told anyone else, and it can be a huge relief to get those things off their chests,’ said Don. Queensland Baptist Care offers chaplaincy services in all of its aged care centres, as well as the main hospitals in the greater Brisbane area. Of their 31 chaplains, more than half are volunteers. Often the ‘ministry of presence’ is the most essential aspect of the job, as people just want someone to be with them during anxious times.
‘Jesus left heaven and came to us, and following in his steps, chaplains go where people are. Unlike people in the health and medical industry who focus on fixing a specific problem, chaplaincy is about meeting people at the point of what’s going
‘We act as human representatives of Christ and we want people to know that even in their suffering, God is with them. We don’t always fix things, but we help them to find new answers, so that this difficult situation doesn’t derail them. Faith gives people perspective in difficult times and can help them make sense of things when nothing makes sense anymore. We try to help people find peace with God. A connection with God
Image: Chaplain Carol Lewins with Clifford House resident Margaret Hunt (Photo—Chloe Bartram)
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QBC makes life liveable in times of illness, duress, dislocation or fear, and enriches it in times of joy.’ According to Don, it’s not always a ‘win win’ situation and chaplains are sometimes shut out by people whose faith is being tested by suffering. ‘It’s not for us to force the issue, but in some cases chaplains have found out later that they were a link in the chain that brought someone closer to God. ‘Recently a hospital visit led to a partnership with a woman’s local church that resulted in an outreach to her family when she was baptised. We have also had people, with no previous indication of any faith connection, coming to Christ. Reassuring people of God’s love when they are struggling with major life issues can have a profound effect on them. But sometimes you need to build up a friendship over a long period before they are ready to talk,’ he said. Don added that faith is a great help in dark times, and God continues to be people’s strength, comfort and hope. ‘No two cases are the same, though, and if you see 100 people, you’ll get 100 different stories. Hospital chaplains may be praying with a 95-year-old woman who has lived a full life and is waiting faithfully for the Lord to take her home, then in the next instance, comforting the family of a teenager who was killed riding a motorbike. You also witness joyous situations, such as family reconciliations and people’s elation after receiving good news. As a chaplain you laugh with those who laugh, and weep with those who weep,’ he said. Chaplains also play an important role in helping people to address the bigger questions in life and find the strength to get through the night ahead when they have heard bad news. In aged care homes, chaplains help residents and their families with the initial transition into residential care, and also with issues of deteriorating health and mobility. And they also help people find and maintain faith, meaning and connection in their well times. ‘In a broad sense, ageing is like an enforced spiritual retreat; you can duck and weave your whole life and get caught up in the rush and not think about life’s big issues, but in God’s merciful plan he makes provision for people who have been on the run all their lives, and lets them slow down in older age, or maybe even in sickness, to think about these things. People want answers to the fundamental questions, “Why am I here?”, “Why can I hope?” and “Where do I find strength for living?” Our work is to help them explore answers when they Image: Rev Don McPherson
are ready. Chaplains have the training to deal with questions of faith, to be good listeners, and to respond appropriately,’ he said. Asked what his chaplaincy work has taught him over the years, Don said that he is convinced that ‘God does see people through everything in life’. ‘You sometimes see a person going through horrible things that people shouldn’t have to endure. And yet they find that God’s love is helping them through and comforting them, which is so inspiring. The other thing I’ve learned is that there are no guarantees in life, you could think that you are healthy today, have an ache tomorrow, and then be told that you have a limited time to live.’ One important issue that comes up in chaplaincy is people having regrets over family issues and wanting forgiveness for a past that haunts them. That’s why Don feels it’s important to ‘pay attention to the big questions in life and clean up the things in your life that need cleaning up’. ‘Recently one of our chaplains saw a very ill and weak man, who appeared to be asleep, and when he approached the hospital bed, the man grabbed his hand and said, “I’ve been waiting for you to come”. He was a believer and he wanted someone to share with him for spiritual strength and reassurance. Times like this make the job very worthwhile. ‘We pray for each other and our ministry continually, and welcome the prayer of others for us and the people we care for,’ Don concluded. Mary Earls Queensland Baptist Care Chaplains play a role in the holistic wellbeing of residents, patients, staff and their families, and are an integral part of the health care team, offering spiritual support and/or conversation in good times and in times of loneliness, distress or anxiety, or if someone just needs company. Queensland Baptist Care’s chaplains minister to people of all faiths and no faith. They also conduct devotional and church services, funerals and memorial services, and sometimes act as a referral to put people in touch with other services or organisations. How can you support hospital and aged care chaplaincy? If you are interested in becoming a volunteer hospital or aged care chaplain, please email email@example.com If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.qbc.com.au or phone 07 3550 3737
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Who has potential? Many people think that church planters need to be extroverted evangelists who have hides like a rhinoceros. Thankfully, that is a very poor caricature because church planters are diverse. However, this misconception often stops potential planters from thinking that they could be used by God to start a new faith community. Everyone is unique, and God uses all sorts of people to plant churches. For everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news! (Romans 10:13-15 NLT) In 2013, the theme for Queensland Baptists will be ‘Extending God’s Kingdom’, and one of the most effective ways to do this is through planting new churches—identifying an unreached group of people and seeking to connect with them in contextually relevant ways, with the aim of helping them become followers of Jesus, joined together in a new faith community. How this is achieved can vary widely, depending on the context, but there is not one of our regional areas of churches where a new church could not be planted next year. One of the greatest issues hindering church planting is a lack of people willing to rise to the challenge of involvement. In my last article, I wrote about the challenge of becoming a generous sending church when it came to training up and releasing people into mission, both in our state and beyond. So how do we identify the people who should be encouraged to consider such a call on their life?
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A few spiritual signs that they may be potential church planters are: • Their own relationship with Jesus, and faith in him, inspire others • They show a high level of commitment to whatever they sense is Jesus’ call. Jesus said, ‘If anyone would come after me, they must take up their cross daily and follow me’ (Luke 9:23). This is not something that can be added into your life—it has to be your life! • They are deeply concerned about those who do not know Jesus, and are prepared to do something about it.
1. Have you ever initiated something that you had no idea how to start? 2. Do you enjoy being around people? 3. Can you start things without the prompting of others? 4. Are you at ease in the presence of strangers? 5. Can you hold a conversation with people who are from different backgrounds to you? 6. Are you able to share the gospel in ways that people understand in their context? 7. Do you allow disappointments and failure to teach you new things? 8. Are you reasonably optimistic? 9. Are you able to change when things don’t work the way you planned? 10. Can you accept opposition to your viewpoint without taking offence? If someone shows potential to be a church planter, what are the next steps? Testing on a small scale in the local church context is one option; for example, start a small group involving mostly people who are not connected with your church. Or, if someone is already demonstrating their potential to be a church planter, what about some serious training options? • From 18 to 22 February 2013, Malyon College will conduct a Masters level intensive on church planting, taught by Martin Robinson from the UK. Students can choose to audit the subject (complete the course without gaining credit for an award) or if eligible, take the subject for credit. Visit www.malyon.edu.au • In semester 1 next year, Northreach Bible College (Townsville) is offering a church planting subject for those interested in rural and regional church planting. The subject can be taken at various levels for credit up to Vocational Graduate Certificate and distance education is offered. Visit www.northreach.qld.edu.au In addition, how do we discern if God has gifted them with the personality and capabilities for such a purpose? Ron Turner (Outback Connections) put together a list of questions to help people explore whether God might have gifted them to become church planters. How do you think the person you have in mind would answer these questions, or better still, could you share the list with them? Or perhaps the question is: ‘What would your responses be?’
I would love to hear from anyone who has the potential to be a church planter so that I can help them explore where God might lead them. Extending God’s Kingdom through planting new faith communities is an exciting journey! James Baker Leader of MTQ Coordinator of Church Planting firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 0418 124 862
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Real hope In Jesus, God has given an incredible gift of hope to the world. His love is renewing creation: bringing an end to extreme poverty, exploitation and injustice. As we share his love and live out this hope, amazing change is taking place... In the last twenty years, the number of women dying in childbirth has halved, the proportion of people living in absolute poverty has halved and now, 89% of all people have access to clean, safe water. These remarkable numbers represent the experiences of real people living in our world; people like Hamida, who used to struggle through each day with very little hope for the future. ‘I had nothing before this shop,’ said Hamida. ‘But now I am doing well.’ Living in rural Bangladesh with four daughters to provide for, one income was never enough. Hamida and her husband often had to borrow money from their neighbours just to get by. Determined to do something to help her family, Hamida and her husband decided to start their own business. Together they built a small stall at the front of their home so that Hamida could run a grocery shop. However, with no money to invest into the new business, Hamida’s shelves were very empty and she couldn’t attract many customers. It all seemed like wasted effort until Hamida heard about a savings group, run by Baptist World Aid Australia’s partner organisation, PARI. She immediately joined the group, taking
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part in training and contributing a small amount to the group’s savings. As the savings began to build up, Hamida applied for a small loan to kick-start her business. With some capital, she was able to stock her shelves well, so that her neighbours could buy what they needed from her, rather than walking several kilometres to the next town. With better knowledge about how to run a business and some funds behind her, Hamida’s shop is going from strength to strength. Because of her income, she can now buy more nutritious food and good clothes for the family, and often her neighbours come to her when they are in difficult situations. The most important thing for Hamida and her husband is the difference this has made for their fourth daughter. ‘I didn’t think I would ever be able to afford to send my daughter to high school,’ she said. ‘Now I have been able to provide this opportunity because of my shop.’ There is hope for families like Hamida’s. With support and training from our partners overseas, lives are being transformed and whole communities are beginning to experience the fullness of life that God intends. Be Hope this Christmas... The Christmas Appeal is so important because it is your support that funds the majority of our projects*. Give today using the response form in this magazine, or visit www.baptistworldaid.org.au. *48 of the 66 projects run by Baptist World Aid do not receive government funding.
Through the Baptist World Aid Christmas Appeal you can be hope to children, families, communities, even nations! Give today using the form below, phone 1300 789 991 or go to www.baptistworldaid.org.au Contact Details (PLEASE PRINT)
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Where is your Bethlehem? ‘Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem… He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child’ (Luke 2:4, 5). As the crow flies, it was a journey of approximately 100 kilometres but travelling over hills, through villages and around rivers would likely have made the trip even longer. Christmas pictures always show Mary riding a donkey but we really have no idea of their mode of travel. In any case, whether on foot or on the back of a swaying brown animal, it wasn’t an easy journey, especially for a women nearing the end of her pregnancy. Why did she go? True, government officialdom decreed a census and that everyone must go to one’s ‘own city’, the place their families called home, for this official registration and counting. Perhaps Mary was also quite ready to leave the village of Nazareth where tongues were wagging about her pregnancy and unmarried status. But Mary and Joseph knew they were going far from family and into a city whose streets would be clogged with travelling strangers. They were assured of no warm welcome, no cozy place to birth the expected child. Perhaps they hoped for a small house or a distant relative or a way for Joseph to earn money for their keep, but in almost every way, they were travelling into the unknown. The journey was long and hard, the destination uncertain. Nearly nine months before their arrival in Bethlehem, Mary spoke life-changing words to God, words that were to comfort her in the many uncertain years ahead. ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.’ With those simple words of faith, she could endure the long journey on the back of a donkey, the cold streets of Bethlehem, the staring faces of strangers, and even the crude stable with its straw-lined manger. Where is your Bethlehem? Has the path been long, the people uncaring, the circumstances burdensome? When we submit ourselves as servants to a loving God, we can—in quietness and confidence—add ‘May it be to me as you have said’ no matter the place or position in which we find ourselves. Marilyn Ehle Used with permission: Thoughts About God website www.thoughts-about-god.com
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Hush, not rush I could do with a little help! Christmas, the most joyous season in our Christian calendar, is looming. Every year around this time, I want to make more space for the season; I want to expand my capacity for thinking, learning and feeling God’s presence ... I want to really tune in to the awesome and majestic first arrival of Jesus Christ. And, every year, so much gets in the way: my life just clutters up! It’s hard to pinpoint it. You’d think that with kids all grown and gone, there would be a little more serenity on offer. But no! And I’m not sure if it’s the fault of the Type A hard-chargers living at our house, or whether it’s the ‘ON at high speed, all the time’ culture we live in. There’s no getting away from everything that causes over-busyness during the lead-up to Christmas, and to be honest, who would want to? Would I want to spend Christmas just like any other day, without the joy of special food and gifts (however simple), and sharing the celebration with loved ones and friends? Of course not! I’m always mindful that I am so blessed; that there are many, many people for whom the season is sad, or challenging.
There have been years where I have come to the big day quite ragged, and not feeling the real joy of the season. Last year was a case in point. After losing our home in Brisbane’s January floods, we spent the year as ‘urban gypsies’, then made the final move to our new home, just three weeks prior to Christmas Day. It was hectic, it was hot, but if I had taken the time for preparation of heart, I’m sure I wouldn’t have felt quite so unready when Christmas Day arrived. And it is a big day! It’s a HUGE day! No matter whether it’s Jesus’ actual birthday—I don’t think that’s important. What does matter is that every year we celebrate God Incarnate: a holy and righteous God who became a helpless baby, then grew to manhood to die as the absolute sublime sacrificial Lamb. And more than that—this same Jesus will come again, but next time his arrival on this earth will be quite a different story. Each of the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day that constitute Advent has a focus that helps to prepare believers for the coming celebration. If you would like to take a personal Advent journey this year, so that you build your preparedness and anticipation prior to the Nativity, here are some verses to get you started on the themes most commonly used:
So I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about ways to prepare for, and enjoy, Christmas. I’m not going to mention the practical things like shopping for gifts all year so there is no last-minute rush (yeah, right! Every year I plan to do this and I haven’t pulled it off yet. Well done you, if you manage it). And I am in awe of those amazing people who bake and preserve and all that good stuff in the run-up to Christmas. I’m just delighted if we manage to order the ham and turkey before the butcher closes off his books! No, I’m trying to focus my attention on my meditative processes, which are never where I’d like them to be, but I continue to strive. I’ve been giving some thought to the season of Advent, which is not usually practised in Baptist churches, and it seems to me that we’ve largely discarded something that has some real merit. Naturally, any form of worship that loses its meaning through repetition or a person’s unthinking participation is unhelpful, but is there a case to make for a thoughtful inclusion of prompts, if you like, that lead us into and through the weeks before Christmas Day?
HOPE—‘Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long’ (Psalm 25:5). PEACE—‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you’ (Isaiah 26:3). JOY—‘Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy’ (I Peter 1:8). LOVE—‘This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him’ (1 John 4:9). Robynne Milne Editor www.qb.com.au December 2012
Christmas— God’s gifts to us Christmas is an expression of the love of God—embracing not just the birth of Christ, but also his life, death and resurrection. During recent visits to Israel, I experienced, in a profound way, something more of the richness of God’s love and the gifts he has for each one of us. Visiting Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born, and standing in the Shepherds’ Field, where angels proclaimed the arrival of the Christ-child, brought a fresh awareness of the Christmas story. I understood anew the wonder of my Lord and my God—Immanuel, God with us. As I sat in the magnificent church on the Mount of Beatitudes, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the words of one of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) captured my heart: ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ Many people find Christmas particularly difficult; the grief of their lives intensifies in the midst of the heightened air of excitement and anticipation. There are those who are mourning—those who are bereaved, those with broken relationships, and those who have lost their hopes and dreams. To each of us, Jesus brings his gift of comfort. He gently says: ‘Blessed are you who mourn, for you shall be comforted.’ As I walked the streets of Jerusalem, where Jesus once walked, I was reminded of how he reached out to the poor and needy, those who lived on the edge of their communities. Jesus reached out to all in need—and he does that for all of us today. At Christmas time there are those who feel alone. To them, Jesus brings his gifts of love and acceptance.
As I talked with Jesus in the serenity of the Garden of Gethsemane, the words of an old hymn came to mind: I come to the Garden alone While the dew is still on the roses ... And He walks with me And He talks with me And He tells me I am his own. The words of the contemporary Christian song, Servant King, also capture the pathos of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane as he awaited his arrest and pending crucifixion. It speaks of the ‘garden of tears’ where Christ chose to bear our heavy load, where his heart was torn with sorrow, but in obedience to his Father, he declared: ‘Not my will, but yours be done’ (Luke 22:42). At Christmas time, there are those who are carrying heavy loads. To them, Jesus offers his gifts of empathy, kindness, care and compassion. He invites us to give him that heavy load, and receive his love, joy and peace. Christmas is a time to reflect upon the love of God, demonstrated to us through the birth of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—our Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace—the One who knows us intimately, loves us deeply, and who offers us Life with a capital ‘L’. In the person of Christ, we experience a host of gifts that touch every part of our lives. At Christmas time, may each one of us accept his gifts and embrace them in all their fullness. Irene Frances worships with Greenslopes Baptist Church http://irenefrances.wordpress.com
December 2012 www.qb.com.au
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B O O K S . DV D S . M U S I C
Music: CD ‘We have a Saviour’ (Hillsong) Price: $15 (at WORD) In what may define the sound of Christmas 2012, Hillsong has released its new Christmas collection, ‘We have a Saviour’. The album is an emotional mix of traditional favourites with modern twists and new sounds, while remaining true to the intense worship feel that underpins Hillsong’s projects. ‘We are excited that the album will help people celebrate this important time of year, but equally we want to resource the local church, so that the sound of worship resonates across the world this Christmas,’ Hillsong Music’s Reuben Morgan said.
CD & DVD: ‘King of Christmas’ (Buchanan) Price: $19.95 each (at WORD) About the DVD—Colin Buchanan’s landmark ‘King of Christmas’ CD was a runaway Christmas success. Now Colin’s joyful celebration of Jesus’ birth comes to DVD, bulging with gift-wrapped, tinseltrimmed energy and fun for the whole family! Join Colin as he gathers the Christmas clues as the CSI guy, raps his way through the story of Luke 2; brings the good news to the nation from the King of Christmas news desk, and triumphs in the glittering grand finale of Dancing with the Dummies! Based solidly on the biblical account of the very first Christmas, Colin cooks, skates, clip-clops, sings and dings his way through his most ambitious DVD yet.
BOOK: ‘God’s story, your story’ (Lucado) Markdown price: $5.99 (at WORD) Is there a cohesive storyline to the chaos, confusion, and clutter of your daily life? According to well-loved author Max Lucado, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’! So what is the text of your life? With his unequaled warmth and honesty, Lucado plumbs the depths of your storyline and comes up smiling. ‘Your story indwells God’s,’ writes Lucado. ‘This is the great promise of the Bible and the hope of this book ... Above and around us God directs a grander saga, written by his hand, orchestrated by his will, unveiled according to his calendar. And you are a part of it ...’ Join Max for an unforgettable journey woven with New Testament stories and contemporary examples of God’s beautiful story-making skills.
December 2012 www.qb.com.au
BOOK: ‘Unstoppable’ (Vujicic) Price: $24.99 (at WORD) Nick Vujicic says that to fully experience a ‘ridiculously good life’, you must assess your limitations, plan your path to success, become your own best friend—then take action. Building upon the best-selling success of ‘Life without limits’, Nick explains how you can release the power to become all you can be. He addresses the issues of selfconfidence, healing relationships, pursuing your passion, health challenges, dealing with destructive emotions, cruelty and criticism, self-assessment, self-motivation, and surrounding yourself with positive influences.
COMPETITION ‘Not a fan’, the movie. Experience the journey of Eric Nelson, a nominal Christian living a compartmentalised existence. His faith took second place to the pursuit of pleasure, money and lifestyle, until a confronting moment of realisation led him to take up the calling of truly becoming a follower of Christ. If you would like to receive a copy of the movie, be one of the first three to email firstname.lastname@example.org
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LIKE A CHALLENGE? COMPLETE THESE TO WIN PRIZES! Sudoku Challenge Sudoku rules: Each row, column and block must contain one of the numbers from 1 to 9. No number may appear more than once in any row, column or block. When you’ve filled the entire grid, the puzzle is solved. Sukodu solutions to: QB Magazine, PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Qld 4053 Two correct entries will be chosen to receive a $30 Word bookstore voucher. Don’t forget to include your full name and contact details.
Congratulations to Betty Benge and Marilyn Partridge a $30 Word Bookstore voucher is coming your way!
October 2012 solution:
Hey Kids, Look for Lucy!
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Last issue: ‘The bold and the beautiful!’ Congratulations to Sheila Grant (but we’re wondering which is which?)
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www.qb.com.au December 2012
Subscribe to POSITIONS VACANT Order by phone: 07 3354 5633 Payment via credit card.
YOUTH WORKER PART TIME (2 DAYS/WK) Tent Hill Baptist Church (Situated in the Lockyer Valley – 10mins from Gatton / 25mins from Toowoomba)
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Tent Hill Baptist Church is seeking an appropriate Christian person to develop and expand the congregation’s existing youth ministry. The suitable applicant will need to: • Relate well with teenagers both in the church and those in the local community. • Work well with a team of leaders towards agreed vision and goals. • Understand the needs and values of a rural ministry setting. For further information please contact Pastor Iain Russell on 5462 7253 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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BAPTIST CARE (SA) INC Serving to transform lives… Job reference: 121107 Full-time position • • • •
Salary $100,000 plus car allowance Full salary sacrificing options Based at Wayville, South Australia Member of Executive Team reporting to the CEO
Baptist Care (SA) Inc is a not for profit Community Services, Aged Care, and Employment Services organisation, with a team of 650 staff and volunteers working to make a difference in people’s lives across South Australia. We are seeking an Executive Manager for our Corporate Services office to lead a team that provides efficient and effective corporate services for Finance, Payroll, Asset & Property Management, Contract Management, Information Technology and Communication (ITC) to support Baptist Care’s operations. The role also contributes to the strategic direction of the organisation as part of the Executive Leadership Team. In addition, the Executive Manager Corporate Services will contribute to the faith based ethos of the organisation. Please contact Marie Davis, Executive Manager Human Resources on 08 8273 7141 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Position Description or for more information. Applications, including a covering letter and CV, should be submitted by close of business 31st December 2012 to email@example.com.
CALOUNDRA: Seafarer Chase luxury 2 b/r holiday apartments on the Sunshine Coast. Ocean views, heated pool, BBQ, security parking, close to beaches, shops, cinema and bowling club. Contact Marianne/Martin Burton, phone/fax 5491 7155. CALOUNDRA - GOLDEN BEACH: Highset three bedroom holiday home. Weekends or weekly. Pets OK. Close to beach. Phone 0402 077 822 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CALOUNDRA - KINGS BEACH: Holiday unit, modern, pool, 100m from Kings Beach. From $390 pw. Phone Ray 0427 990 161. FAIRFIELD CHRISTIAN FAMILY: Fairfield Christian Family (www.fcfchurch.org.au) is located in a vibrant inner city suburb close to universities. From 2013, there will be vacancies for up to 4 students in two share accommodation houses adjacent to the church. Please contact Pastor Neil Pattemore (tarragindipats@ yahoo.com.au) if you are interested.
FOR HIRE Large Auditorium: Seats 290. Qld Baptists’ Centre at Gaythorne. Phone Claire or Emily 07 3354 5600 for more information or visit www.qb.com.au – venue hire.
A will to end poverty Do more than you ever thought possible by leaving a bequest in your will. Call us on 1300 789 991 or visit baptistworldaid.org.au
BUNDABERG BAPTIST CHURCH ASSOCIATE PASTOR (YOUNG FAMILIES, YOUNG ADULTS, YOUTH AND CHILDREN) Bundaberg Baptist Church is seeking to appoint someone to serve alongside our current Pastoral Team to oversee and continue to develop the above ministries. This is a full time position and a comprehensive Role Statement is available from the Church. Office: PO Box 3014 BUNDABERG QLD 4670 Ph 07 4151 8222 or Mr Adrian Landbeck (Church Secretary) Ph 07 4155 6858 (a/h)
www.qb.com.au December 2012
knowing your money is safe and working hard for you, and at the same time, helping to support much needed local projects.
Simply deposit your savings and investments in BAPLink, the investment fund of the Baptist Union of Queensland. BAPLink was set up to give people like you the opportunity to enjoy healthy interest returns, while creating a pool of funds from which Baptist churches and ministries can borrow to grow and serve their local communities. BAPLink provides: • Competitive interest rates • Security of a guaranteed return on your investment • Friendly service • No account keeping fees on savings and investment accounts
Facilities available: • Internet banking (for churches only) • Savings accounts at call and term • Partnership accounts - a new way of giving • Electronic transfers for both deposits and withdrawals • Deposit facilities through the Westpac Bank • Cheque accounts for churches • Loans to churches and ministers Join the growing number of ‘Baptists making a difference’ by depositing with BAPLink.
For more information or an application form contact BAPLink: Building 1, Level 2, 53 Prospect Road, Gaythorne PO Box 6166, Mitchelton 4053 Phone: 3354 5611 or 1800 650 062 (outside Brisbane) Fax: 3354 5605 email@example.com www.qb.com.au/baplink
Published on Dec 10, 2012