Dear Friends,

As I shared at church, last Saturday was an exciting day!

It was the first General Meeting of the Open Baptists, and at that meeting Canberra Baptist Church and South Yarra Community Baptist Church became the first member churches of the new association. The significance of what we are doing hit home for me at the end of the meeting when Phil Smith (who shared his story with CBC at the time of the same-sex marriage plebiscite) said to me, “Thank you, Belinda, for being part of making a church where I am welcome.” And I said, “Phil, there should be a church where you are welcome!”

There should be a church where all people – who love and want to follow Jesus – are welcome! We want to be part of that church.

This week is National Reconciliation Week, and I am reminded of the apology and ongoing commitment this church made to the reconciliation process in December 1997. In that sense, we want to say that there should be a country, that Australia should be a country,  where all people – especially its original inhabitants – can flourish.

We want to work for reconciliation in this sense – because we are part of God’s reconciliation of our world – in another sense. As we read at morning prayers on Tuesday, “All this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”

As part of that ministry of reconciliation, we continue to work for reconciliation and to offer CBC as a community of genuine welcome – believing that God reconciles all people without qualification to Godself through Christ.

I have kept this note short as I wanted to repost (below) the reflection on National Reconciliation Week (with some excellent resources) that came from Baptist Mission Australia this week. Please read on!

Grace and peace,


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