It’s a wrap! Thank you to all our pastors, leaders and delegates who were able to join us for our very first online Members’ Meeting last Friday evening. A special thanks to NewHope Baptist Church for hosting our event and providing technical support. For those who were unable to attend, you can watch the meeting here.
A highlight of the evening was the live Chat line which gave us the opportunity to welcome one another and provide feedback throughout the night even though physically distant.
Jo Bradshaw, Chair of BUV Union Council started the evening by acknowledging the unprecedented year we have experienced so far and congratulated churches and leaders for their leadership, resilience and faithfulness in the unchartered territory of 2020. She encouraged church leadership to keep seeking opportunities to grow, adapt and flourish as we look towards a brighter 2021.
Eligible members were sent voting papers by email following the meeting and voting closed on Sunday at 5pm. Voting Results – all appointments and resolutions were passed.
2021 Strategic Direction
Our Director of Mission & Ministries, Rev Daniel Bullock, presented on the BUV 2021 strategic direction, which is in line with previous years – the main difference being the addition of a new digital lens.
In line with our vision to be a Union of Churches with Christlike followers that redeem society, the BUV Support Hub staff have developed a tool to help the BUV church leadership reflect and assess the extent to which your church is flourishing in a number of areas. The BUV’s Flourishing Church Framework has 12 areas that are grouped into 3 sections – Congregational Life, Congregational Character and Congregational Mission, with Spirituality at the centre. You may have seen the 12 week devotion series we have recently concluded, focussing week by week on an aspect of the framework. Click here to read the devotion series.
Daniel also discussed the concept of BUV and church partnerships to assist new missional initiatives and church planting, as seen in the model used for the Orbost missional community, born out of a partnership between the BUV, Lakes Entrance Church and NewHope Baptist Church. Our BUV community placemaking project at the Mirvac development, Olivine, is another example of a new missional initiative that it is hoped will flourish into a church. This is the sort of project that could form a partnership with an existing church(es) to help with resourcing. Contact Andrew Naylor, BUV Partnership Pastor for more information.
Debbie, Director of Finance and Admin provided an update on the BUV Support Hub financial forecast for the year which indicates a reduction of $159,000 to the projected deficit. Debbie also thanked the whole union for coming together in a powerful way to raise over $575,000 for bushfire ravaged communities. These funds are being used to assist affected communities through the great work of our churches in Bairnsdale, Corryong and Lake Entrance. You can see video updates on our Bushfire Project here.
Always an exciting part of our Members Meeting is the opportunity to welcome and learn a little about some of the new churches and faith communities that have joined the BUV family in the last year.
Welcome New Churches and Faith Communities
We welcomed five new churches:
- Melbourne Thadou Baptist Church
- New Vision Baptist Church
- Melbourne Matu Baptist Church
- Htoo Moo Plaw Baptist Church
- Radiant Church
and five new faith communities:
- Melbourne Karenni Baptist Community Church
- Sion Church
- Shepparton Chinese Christian Fellowship
- Shepherd Centre Church
- Cloverdale Karen Baptist Church
We also celebrated and prayed for our 2020 Ordinands: Kathry Jensen, Robyn Song and Christine Wanstall who will be formally recognised in 2021 when a physical gathering with family, supporters and friends can be held. You can watch their videos here.
We hope to see you at next year’s Members’ Meeting on 21st May 2021!