The other Easter Sunday

Happy 5th day of Easter! I have been reading up on the church calendar and, did you know, this Sunday coming, the 8th day of Easter, has at least different 8 names! In Western Christianity it is often referred to as Low Sunday and I can understand that! After all the excitement and special celebrations of Easter Day, most churches and ministers (and choir directors!) are happy to take things a little more quietly on the Sunday after Easter. Since Read more…

Easter giving

Christmas, we say, is the ‘season for giving’, but perhaps Easter is an even better season for giving! At Easter we reflect again on Jesus giving his life for us, not as an isolated event, but as the completion of a lifetime of giving himself to God’s vision of love and inclusion and justice and compassion – all the things that come together in the biblical concept of salvation. As we reflect and celebrate at Easter, we think about how Read more…

Building a house upon the rocks

What wild weather! I don’t think any of us will forget the sight of the poor couple in Taree’s house floating down the river. I found myself thinking about Matthew 7:24-27 this week – or the old song, “The wiseman built his house upon the rock…” – but having just preached on this passage for the World Day of Prayer, I am rethinking its sharp dualism and condemnatory tone. After all, we are all foolish people who build our lives Read more…

Creating safe communities

With the Womens March 4 Justice taking place on Monday, it was good to hear some good news yesterday about the Baptist response to this issue. Steve Barlett, Director of Ministries for the Association wrote:  The increasing groundswell of reporting of violence and abuse against women and girls in recent times, from allegations in our parliamentary environment to reports of sexual assault and abuse in schools to revelations of misconduct by leaders in Christian organisations, bring again into sharp focus Read more…

Ministry models

Well, there is definitely one thing I do not miss about Sydney – Sydney traffic! I have spent the last three days making my way across the city to Ashfield and negotiating tram lines to access Central Baptist, looping around Garigal National Park to visit St Ives, driving all the way back through the northern suburbs to Crows Nest and making a trip through Neutral Bay and Mosman to Seaforth – far too close to peak hour for my liking! Read more…

What does it mean to be Baptist?

Sunday to Sunday, 28 Feb to 7 March Dear Friends, It will take a while to process all that happened last weekend! As most of you know, there was a Special Assembly of the Baptist churches of NSW and ACT to discuss motions that had been brought by five members churches; Campbelltown, Castle Hill, Chatswood, Newtown and Wollongong. The wording of the motions changed in the days leading up to Saturday (and changed again on the day) but what was Read more…

Scriptorium

Dear Friends, It was so lovely last Sunday to welcome Cecelia, Tara and Richard into membership and to hear how their faith journeys have brought them to Canberra Baptist Church. They told us beautiful stories of feeling welcomed and included; of their joy at finding a community that was passionate about the love and justice of God – a community that felt like they had come home.  As I reflected on the service, however, I was reminded of a story Read more…

Farewell

Dear friends Last Sunday was my penultimate morning service with you and my final opportunity to preach. I chose to speak on discipleship from the day’s Gospel reading — John 1:43-51. I said that “discipleship is about following Jesus and learning from him. It is about laying open our prejudices before him and being willing to deal with them. It is about embracing the possibility of transformation as Nathanael did.” This week we have SMAD with a couple of dozen Read more…

Helpers

Dear Friends, I love the passages we looked at last Sunday – Genesis 1:1-5 and Mark 1:4-11 – the image of the Spirit of God moving on the waters, the dove hovering over Jesus at his baptism, bringing light and hope and life out of the darkness and hopelessness and chaos of our world. In other words – the promise that the Holy Spirit is our helper. I don’t want to make assumptions about you, but thinking about my life, Read more…

12 days of isolation

Dear CBC friends You all know the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, but do you know what the 12 days are? They are the 12 days from Christmas to 6 January, which is the twelfth day and known as Epiphany. Epiphany is one of the Christian church’s three principal and oldest festival days, the other two being Christmas and Easter. The term comes from the Greek word epiphanea, which means “manifestation”. In the Western church the festival primarily commemorates the Read more…