Dear Friends,

It was wonderful to hear an update Sunday on our project ‘Improving the Lives of People with Disabilities’ in Bangladesh. Mike Bartlett from Baptist World Aid mentioned they are experiencing a downturn in donations due to cost-of-living pressures. I know these are real concerns, but can I encourage you to give generously to people who are facing much greater living pressures! And remember – our Thank Offering closes this Sunday, 26 May! Your generous donations can be made online [LINK] or

Another significant moment on Sunday was Megan William’s announcement of the upcoming 156th Annual NSW/ACT Assembly (14-15 June).

As you know, since 2021 the NSW/ACT Baptist Association has been moving towards a process for removing churches and pastors who will not support the following position on marriage: “that marriage is a covenant relationship ordained by God as a lifelong union of one man and one women; that sexual intimacy outside such a marriage relationship is incompatible with God’s intention for us as his people (November 2022).” In doing so, I believe, the Association has abandoned Baptist values of freedom of conscience, the autonomy of the local church and the authority of Scripture for our lives as it points us towards Jesus, in matters of faith and practice.

CBC has consistently argued against going down this path. We believe that the Good News of Jesus is for all people without qualification, and we are deeply committed to creating a community of genuine welcome. We have expressed our grief that the NSW/ACT Baptist Association has decided to disaffiliate churches and disaccredit ministers who do not support the statement on marriage. We have been part of the Association since our inception in 1929 and we remain committed to association with other Baptist Churches. For more on our position – please read – Same-sex Marriage and the NSW/ACT Baptist Association.
The process for disaffiliating churches and disaccrediting pastors will be finalised this coming Assembly. CBC is entitled to have 6 delegates (including our accredited ministers) and our church building is a regional hub over the two days – so it is not far to travel! If you are a member of the church and would be interested in representing us at these meetings, please speak to me or to Kathy Joyce soon!

Being part of an Association – where we can encourage one other and share in the ministry of the gospel together – is extremely important to our church. For that reason, since 2022, we have been having conversations with other church leaders here in NSW/ACT, and Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand, about a new Association – the Open Baptists. At our church meeting in November, we voted to seek affiliation with the Open Baptists.

This coming Saturday (25 May) at 5:00pm, as Megan also announced on Sunday, is the first General Meeting of the Open Baptists Association. CBC and South Yarra Baptist Church will be the first two churches welcomed into membership. If you would like to join us online as part of this wonderful and historic occasion – you are very welcome.

As I’ve been reflecting on the progress of this new Association, the verse that keeps coming to mind is from Psalm 30, “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” It has been a hard three or so years, dealing with the increasingly hardline policies of the NSW/ACT Baptist Association, the rejection of former colleagues and friends. There has been a lot of weeping! But “rejoicing comes in the morning!” The Open Baptists is a sign of a new dawn when we can worship God together, serve God together, love God together and be the people of God together – believing that the Good News of Jesus is for all people without qualification!

Grace and peace to you all,


Categories: Uncategorized