Southern Cross MAY-JUNE 2022

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aP rnrships or h gosp Build, dance, toboggan, create, hang out: kids have Easter Camp fun at The Village Church in Jindabyne.

Judy Adamson While most of the rest of us with their experience and energy in NSW, the Jindabyne church is starting to be accepted, and

were preparing to celebrate Easter at home and at church – or taking the opportunity for a few days’ away – a group from Figtree Anglican joined a mission partner, The Village Church in Jindabyne, to help run a kids’ Easter camp for enthusiastic primary schoolers. Trent McGrath, who leads the Bush Church Aid-supported church plant in the Snowy Mountains town with his wife Alice, says “it’s just huge” to have the extra support. “Some of the people in our community have been Christians for a long time but have not had regular discipleship training – that just hasn’t been available to them,” he explains. “So having a mission-minded team come from a church like Figtree to help shape our culture of mission 10

is massive. “Sharing their resources and their experience running kids’ camps helps emp ower our people to think, ‘We can do this more regularly’, and ‘I can do this on my own’. I’m hoping it creates more enthusiasm for kids’ ministry at The Village, because we have lots of kids that need to be discipled!” The McGraths, who had been regular visitors to Jindabyne and had family living locally, joined BCA from St Faith’s, Narrabeen in early 2020 after hearing about the opportunity to start new Anglican ministry through church planting. Keen locals initially met in the McGraths’ living room before they officially launched The Village Church in October 2020. Despite COVID issues elsewhere

built momentum over Christmas and into the following year. “Easter [2021] was a real high point,” Mr McGrath says. “By then we had a growing community of about 55 people, I had the privilege of preaching the gospel to 230 people at the combined churches’ Easter service on the Sunday, and then basically Delta came through and halted everything. “This year we’ve worked hard to reset our ministry priorities to simply reconnect in solidarity. With our Kids Village Easter camp we had a bunch of registrations and more than half of them don’t come to our church... people are entrusting their kids into our community space, which I think is a positive step forward. Our presence in the community

that’s encouraging.” When Figtree came on board as a mission partner of TVC last year, its leadership wanted to support the work in Jindabyne prayerfully and financially but also in a hands-on way. The children’s worker at Figtree, Jenny Horsley, had been keen for the parish’s younger members to have their own mission connection – one that offered opportunities for the kids to take part in mission themselves. Fellow congregation member Rachel Dirks, who works for Bush Church Aid, suggested making the connection with Jindabyne and potentially helping with kids’ ministry in the partner church. Says Mrs Horsley: “During COVID last year we made some SouthernCross

May–June 2022