Nourish – Knowing, Loving and Being Led by Jesus
On Friday, 21 May 2021, almost 200 Baptist pastors and leaders from all over Victoria gathered together in person for Nourish! Nourish is a day for all pastors and leaders to be enriched through messages, stories, fellowship, connections and of course, good food!
This year, the theme for Nourish was Knowing, Following and Being Led by Jesus. A powerhouse duo of younger pastors took the helm with Youth Pastor, Jessica Kristianto from Crossway Baptist Church, opening up the sessions with Knowing Jesus and Pastor Lance Blythe from NewHope Baptist Church following up with Loving Jesus.
“I felt quite nourished and enjoyed it,” said Pastor Arohn Kung about the messages. He was particularly grateful and humbled to be reminded that to know Jesus deeply requires a constant and ongoing personal relationship with Him.
Knowing the difficulties, setbacks and struggles that every pastor and leader has faced individually, and have collectively shared together during 2020, Nourish continued to enrich and encourage everyone throughout the day. A moving moment of solidarity was felt as we prayed for, and with, our brothers and sisters from Myanmar; BUV Partnership Development Pastor, Andrew Naylor shared a song; a panel discussion was led by Rev Daniel Bullock and pastors had the opportunity to engage with and listen to one another at their tables and during connection times.
When asked about what particular things he enjoyed about the day, Pastor Ken Westwood from Aberfeldie Baptist Church was excited about being “nourished by that lunch!” and was particularly grateful that any special needs were all taken care of.
Celebrations were at hand as we recognised and celebrated the Ordination Anniversaries of those who have served for 30, 40 and 50 years and a standing ovation was given as Rev Peter Jenkin took the stage, ordained 60 years ago.
It was truly a wonderful day for everyone to finally gather together in-person, worshipping, encouraging and being enriched by one another as they continue to Know, Love and Be Led by Jesus.
In the evening, we had a full house of 300 attendees at the Members’ Dinner. The night opened with Andrew Naylor leading the praise and worship once again — it was a real highlight of the evening to hear a choir of voices from the floor sing their praises aloud in worship.
Both of the appointments to be voted on were successful – Jo-Anne Bradshaw as Chair of BUV Union Council and Rev Prof René Erwich as Principal of Whitley College.
Rev Daniel Bullock presented the BUV Support Hub Strategic Direction for 2021 along with the BUV’s Vision, mission and strategic focus areas and lenses and highlighted 4 major projects that line up with the strategic focus areas
- Mission – Micro Church Network
- Health – Flourishing Church Framework and survey
- Leadership – Creating Safe Spaces (new online safe church training)
- Relationship – Together on Mission – church planting partnership programme
We welcomed the following new communities of faith to our Union:
- Melbourne Matu Baptist Church
- New Vision Baptist Church
- Htoo Moo Plaw Baptist Church
- Melbourne Thadou Baptist Church
- Radiant Church
- Earthen Vessels Church
- Melbourne Karenni Baptist Community Church
- Sion Church
- Shepparton Chinese Christian Fellowship
- Shepherd Centre Church
- Cloverdale Karen Baptist Church
- Venew Church
- GT Church
And farewelled Kingsville Baptist Church.
The delegates were particularly moved by the Beyond COVID-19 panel with Geoff Caldwell Director of Baptist Camping Victoria and Graham Dangerfield, CEO of Baptcare, who both spoke about the difficulties and challenges they faced during 2020, and coming out of it hopeful for this year and beyond.
The discussion topic (and available as a devotional series here) was centred around Welcoming Communities / Who is my Neighbour, led by Rev Gayle Hill, Head of BUV Mission Catalyst team. She presented a conversation around the tables on God’s expansive heart for all humanity with a particularity for the stranger and neighbour. “Our various Baptist communities are most faithful to the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ when we practice Christian love and it is integral that we all celebrate and treasure our differences as we come together in emulating the radical hospitality and welcome of God to each other—our communities, our neighbours.”
Thank you to all who attended our Nourish and Members’ Dinner this year. We are grateful to God for the opportunity to gather together again in person and we are looking forward to see you at our next gathering in October.