Baptists on Mission Blog (BoMb) is where we bring focus to how we as Victorian Baptists engage in mission, and intentionally consider our various key priority areas. By giving a strategic focus to our discussions, learning, and resourcing, our Baptists on Mission Blog is designed to galvanise effort towards advancing the Kingdom of God.
Articles and videos telling the stories of our people and mission activities, church life and community engagement are posted to Baptists on Mission Blog. We are always keen to share either written or video stories of Baptists on mission – baptising new believers, reaching out to local communities, discipling people, growing as welcoming, inclusive faith communities. If you have stories to submit and share with others in our BUV please submit these (articles with pictures or video files) to email@example.com
Please also continue to use our Around the Churches section to post all your church news so others can share and pray for you.
In 2010, LifeCare was incorporated as Crossway Baptist Church’s response to the increasing needs of people struggling in the local community of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Since then, we’ve seen an increasing demand for LifeCare’s services and created a vision to see our programs grow. So in 2012, plans for the LifeCare Centre were formed. Construction of the building was completed in September 2016, and LifeCare moved in just after Christmas of the same year. In celebration for the opportunities this new building will provide LifeCare held a Building Launch on March 19.
Urban Seed, a community development organisation has been enriching the lives of residents in Norlane, thanks to the support of a Baptcare Community Grant.
More than 30 Baptist leaders from around Australia are in Canberra this week calling for action to stem the rising tide of violence against women.
One of Baptcare’s Sanctuary residents, Abdul, 20, recounts the hardships he has overcome whilst seeking asylum in Australia, culminating in a job offer with a leading employer.
Going from high school to university can be a daunting prospect, especially for those moving away from home to study. The Kew Student Residence provides fully catered accommodation to students coming to Melbourne to study.
In the early hours of October 4 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Haiti.
Imagine living through that terror. Howling 230kmph winds screaming through your neighbourhood, destroying everything in their path.
Cynthia Maung, a medical doctor who has devoted nearly 30 years to providing healthcare to refugees from Myanmar living on the Thai-Myanmar border, will be the 2017 recipient of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award.
Baptcare’s Sanctuary community recently opened a stunning exhibition at the Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre, featuring artwork completed by some of the residents in art therapy sessions over the past 12 months.
Leadership has almost become a reality TV topic over the past year, with the various political elections around the world taking up prime time space in every media source and news feed. The debate over who will make a difference is keenly watched throughout the globe. It has become very obvious that every world leader impacts not only their state/country but other countries and economies either positively or negatively. Finding a suitable leader is not always easy to achieve.
Have you ever thought about going to a nudist beach? We have never enjoyed the fresh air at any of Australia’s 52 nudist (or officially labelled “legal clothing optional”) beaches, let alone thought of going regularly. We imagine we would be welcome. We do not judge those who do go. Maybe one day we might go to one, as a dare, or to see what all the fuss is about. But we don’t spend our waking moments thinking about what we are missing. We don’t honestly think we have a “nudist-beach shaped vacuum” in our life.
Baptcare’s Home Start program is a voluntary home visiting service that offers practical support and friendship to families with children under the age of five. Emily*, aged 22, was one such mum who benefitted from the program. With no family support and a difficult and traumatic childhood, Emily struggled to care for her two boys, aged two and four, as well as her newborn twin girls.
Baptcare’s first brand advertising campaign launched with a TV advertisement on Channel 9 last night. This TV advertisement is one of a series of initiatives aimed at boosting our brand awareness over the coming months.
Two years ago, the BUV held forums at 3 different locations in order to find out what the most important issues our BUV LOTE (Language Other Than English) Churches were facing. These were held at Yarraville, Footscray and Croydon.
Meet Mark Purser, your Baptist World Aid Australia State Representative. Mark is a man who’s passionate about his faith, his family and a good game of footy… And he’s a real answer to prayer too! Mark joined the staff of Baptist World Aid in July this year, a happy end to a long search for the right candidate. As the former Senior Pastor at Clovercrest Baptist Church in Adelaide, he brings with him a wealth of experience to this role.
The Corryong community has flourished with the development of a renovated community hub thanks to funds received from a Baptcare Community Grant.
I am Ah Eh Soe. I was born on 17th May 1970 in Myanmar. I’m married with six children. I have three daughters and three sons. The eldest is 20 years and the youngest one is 5 years old.
As each school year comes to a close, so too does the nigh on 13 year long education of the graduating year 12 students. It brings a profound experience of relief, joy and excitement (as I have experienced finishing year 12 this year). Schoolies for many is a great time to hang out with friends and experience the fun and freedom that comes with graduating. For other people it can become a harrowing experience with alcohol abuse, drugs and/or violence.
In 2016 we celebrated and acknowledged the service of Cath Solomon to the Indigenous people of Gippsland and her work over many years with the Baptist Union of Victoria.
Leaders from across faith traditions in Australia and around the world are calling for massive government-controlled investments to be moved from fossil fuels and into renewable energy and other solutions to climate change. This would affect government superannuation funds and sovereign wealth funds like the Future Fund.
As Christmas becomes increasingly commercialised and secular, it is refreshing to celebrate the season with traditional Christmas carols and remember the story behind the holiday. On the evening of December 4th I went to Kew Community Carols by Candlelight. It was organised by the Kew inter-church council, with churches involved including Kew Baptist, Holy Trinity Anglican, St Paul’s Anglican, Melbourne Chinese Baptist, Sacred Heart Catholic, St Joachim’s Catholic, St Anne’s Catholic and East Kew Uniting. Assistance was also given by the City of Booroondara. It was originally planned to be in the park in Petrie Square, but was changed to the Kew Baptist church building when the rain set in.
The Kamba tribe has a saying: “share a bird together”. And when I met Josephine earlier this year while visiting some of our projects in the Kitui County in Kenya, I experienced this incredible saying for myself.
Nothing like a bunch of young enthusiastic people inspiring our young people with their faith and friendship.
When you choose an Adult Literacy Big Gift, you do more than help women like Shyamkala learn to read and write… you give them the skills they need to start a small business!
One of my favourite nativity characters is Herod. I know the bloke is a Type A Jerk and a devious psychopath. But I appreciate his appearance around the beginning of Jesus’ life. In contrast to heretics who suggest trusting God guarantees peaceful pleasures and solved problems, Herod’s presence in Jesus’ life reminds me Jesus is an ordinary person, surrounded by misunderstanding, frustrating circumstances and downright evil maliciousness. I appreciate the anti-consumerist phrase “Keep Christ in Christmas”. But I also value the anti-super-spiritual reminder to “Keep Herod in Christmas”. Herod shows me that when God was coming close to the world in Christ, it was not without pain and abuse in the background.
Our Soup kitchen has now been running for over five years and is open every Friday except for Good Friday and New Year’s Eve week. Numbers are regularly between 25 to just over 40. Every year we put on a special treat for our Christmas dinner, including all the trimming one would expect of a normal family Christmas dinner.
BLESS is not a new program, but a framework for being attentive to what God is doing in the world, and joining in with that. As part of our identity as Baptists, and even more importantly as followers of Jesus, we are called to be moving with God in adventurous mission.
Over the past two years Warracknabeal Baptist Church has grappled with what it means for a small country church to have an impact for the Gospel in the local community.
Over 200 Christians, from all around Australia, including some Victorian Baptists, representatives of Pacific communities and Members of Parliament gathered in front of Australian Parliament House this morning calling on Australia to be a better neighbour to our Pacific brothers and sisters.
For some of us, death, especially so premature, is a reminder of our own limits on life. We sit in the presence of eternity, and reflected on what we are living for, and whether we are prepared for life with God.
In the process of reducing our foot print on this earth we have been working on a plan to go solar.
Move to Change is an a-political group, whose vision is to see a greater value placed on the intrinsic value of human life. The group emerged around the recently submitted “Infant Viability Bill” that was introduced by Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins, into the Victorian Legislative Council (upper house) earlier this year.
In June this year, Maku and 122 other men and women, mainly young, were baptised. This was the second large-scale baptism in the region, with more scheduled among the Enga people in the Baiyer area of Papua New Guinea in the days ahead.
Countries in South-East Asia are seen as colourful tourist destinations, but beneath the postcard image lies a grim reality for many.
“This hour has changed my life. And I think all of our lives in this group. I don’t think we will ever think about each other or the world in the same way again. And it won’t just affect us. We will pass it onto our children if we have them. EVERY STUDENT in Australia should get the chance to learn this stuff.”
The leadership team at a local Baptist church set a goal in early 2012 to double in size over three years, from an average of thirty on a Sunday to an average of sixty. Unfortunately, over the year the church declined from thirty to twenty.
The St Kilda Baptist Reconciliation Action Group (RAP group) transformed our church into an intimate concert space. A full house of 120 people came and were blown away by the wonderful music and genuine community atmosphere and spirit of the afternoon.
At Granite Community Church, alongside Boort Baptist Church, we have been encouraging our Church Families to explore Michael Frost’s BELLS missional rhythm of life.
This article reflects a tension with which many Baptist Churches grapple. Our BUV Mission Catalyst and Church Health & Capacity Development Teams exist to support Victorian Baptist Churches to be more missional.
Our BUV is a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) union of churches. As we consider how we create safe spaces for those who are victims of Family Violence, we need to give special consideration to other cultures where particular customs and attitudes to women create environments of abuse.
The Kilsyth South Baptist Church (KSBC) has been truly blessed by God in the planning, development and building of the new Worship Centre, new offices and meeting rooms which were officially opened in February, 2016.
The 2016 National Church Life Survey (NCLS) is the world’s largest church life survey and takes place in October and November. “The 2016 NCLS will provide a national snapshot of the Australian church, capturing its social, theological and geographic diversity. This survey extends the reach since the first NCLS which took place 25 years ago. This is the latest wave of the largest and longest-running local church survey in the world” said Dr Ruth Powell, Director of NCLS Research. In 2016 more than 400,000 surveys have been ordered by around 3,000 local churches across 21 Christian denominations or movements.
A new study of more than 1000 Australians has revealed that those who identify as church-going Christians experience less stress than their colleagues.
The moment you are born, your life story begins unfolding – and as you age, recounting your personal journey can be a grateful reflection on a life well lived.
Crossway LifeCare’s services were created as a Christian response to the growing needs of the people in our local streets and neighbourhoods around Melbourne’s south east. As the world braced against the Global Financial Crisis, we were sensing God’s call to go against the tide with a bold and expansive plan to bless our community. The needs in the community were obvious and the challenges were enormous, both logistically and financially. LifeCare was envisioned to strengthen our response, providing opportunities for volunteers to work alongside professional counsellors and support staff to help families and individuals in need. This would be achieved primarily through Counselling, COACH Community Mentoring, B-Empowered Financial Care (financial mentoring and budgeting advice) and regular, community-building events.
The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT) today announced its disappointmet with the much anticipated pledge that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took to the Obama Summit.
Baptist Camping Victoria (BCV) Internships have been setup to offer a Gap year to VCE Students before entering University or the work place but also for any young person searching after VCE. This program is run in conjunction with Whitley Theological College and Victorian Fitness Academy.
Melanie Joosten begins her fascinating series of essays on old age, A Long Time Coming, by quoting Germaine Greer: ‘Nobody wants to be old. Most people don’t want to be dead either, but there comes a point when one has to accept one or the other.’ Germaine Greer suggests that, ‘If we were more aware of death we would possibly be less resentful of ageing. If we were more familiar with older people, we might not be so unprepared for the inconveniences that accompany the winning of extra years of life on earth.’
National faith-based organisation Baptist Care Australia says this week’s commendable Senate decision launching an inquiry into offshore detention must be used by the Government and the Parliament to break the deadlock condemning asylum seekers to indefinite confinement in inhumane conditions in Australia’s offshore detention centres.
We often receive queries from our constituents asking if a particular event or group/body (eg a separately incorporated ministry) linked to the church is covered.
An ongoing challenge for churches in Australia is how to engage and connect with today’s youth. This is an issue for Anglo churches and also churches from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Werribee Karen Baptist Church has a large and growing Karen congregation, led by Rev Gail Moe Dwai. He has provided this exciting story of a missional outreach of their church.
Over the last 12 months, Victorian Baptists have been discussing issues around environment and sustainability. Some have already done energy audits on their properties and others have indicated interest in the bulk buy Churches Solar Panel Project partnering with Baptcare and A Just Cause. Consider how churches in the UK are doing in reducing impact on the planet, and maybe our Australian Churches need to lift our game?
Last year's Academy Award for Best Film went to Spotlight, a true story of the sexual abuse of children by clergy and an attempt to cover it up by the Catholic Church in Boston.
A new study of more than 1000 Australians has revealed that those who identify as church-going Christians experience greater job satisfaction than their colleagues.
OUR dedication to improving the lives of individuals living with dementia
During 2016 our BUV is discussing and discerning around issues of Environment and Sustainability.
The interdenominational interchurch sporting competition, which attracts some 3000+ people from 65 churches and youth groups...
Transformed to provide the latest model of aged care.
Around 400 hundred people attended the conference in total.
Julie Hunt shares with us how an elderly congregation recognised their bleak future – and chose to change.
Ashburton Baptist Church is leading the way in reducing their environmental footprint and saving on power expenses.
A new study of more than 1000 Australians has revealed that those who identify as church-going Christians see their faith as a significant factor in their day-to-day work.
We are Kachin, an ethnic group from Myanmar (Burma).
Deb Ware, a member of Tanti/Jigsaw church plant on the Mornington Peninsula talks about the impact of “Pay it Forward”
Meet Pastor Stephen Field who shares his heart and experience of ministering in Boort.
Participants in our recent Ignite2016! Conference were blessed by the worship leading of our brothers and sisters from The Terminal Baptist Church.
At the very least this NAIDOC week, why not help your church better understand more about our indigenous brothers and sisters and the importance of a Name?
A team of BUV Pastors & Leaders is currently in the US learning how others engage in innovative mission to reach people who are not reached through our traditional model of church.
At our May 2016 Delegates Dinner our BUV family resolved together to take a stand against Family Violence.