Our submission to a NSW and ACT Baptist Association Taskforce on Baptist values and same sex marriage

Canberra Baptist Church Response   Context At the 2019 September Baptist Assembly a group of member churches brought a series of motions proposing disaffiliation of churches and pastors who no longer hold to the Association’s Foundational Beliefs, Objects and Values as outlined in the Constitution of the Association. These motions were prompted by the response of some of our member churches to the legalisation of Same Sex Marriage in Australia.  Assembly Council appointed a taskforce to shepherd a process of Read more…

SMAD Camp

Dear Friends   We had a plan. Well, in fact, for SMAD Camp we had several plans. We had a plan for the day. We had a plan for smoke haze. We had a plan for wet weather. What we didn’t plan for was hail. We can’t plan for everything that happens in life but what we can do is choose our attitude. We were blown away by the positivity after the storm. Once we had counted all the campers Read more…

Faith isn’t fireworks

Dear Friends You know how from time to time a passage of scripture gets stuck in your brain and stubbornly refuses to budge! For me, over the past few months, that passage has been Luke 17: 5-10, our lectionary reading from the beginning of October, particularly verses 7-9: “Who amongst you would say to your slave who has just come in from the fields, ‘Come and sit and eat.’ Wouldn’t you actually say to him, ‘Prepare and serve my meal. Read more…

A cup of cold water

Dear Friends Like you, I distinctly heard John and Kristine say they would not be returning to Canberra Baptist. In Kristine’s words, “Pilgrims never go back!” There’s been a few attempts to explain why they have come back (and gone back on their word!) but I have been thinking lately about the context of the original statement, the story Kristine told of how she and John had purchased some rather nice double walled stainless steel camping cups for the Camino Read more…

Climate action

Dear Friends Last Sunday – specifically Sunday night – was twelfth night. The Christmas trees are packed away. Christmas is officially over. But as we continue to think long and hard about the magnitude of the fires our country is currently experiencing, I wondered if there was a way to make the season of Christmas – the season of celebrating that the Word became flesh, that God loves and cares for and shared the flesh of all living things – Read more…

Responding to fires

Dear Friends ‘Happy New Year’ doesn’t sound like the right thing to say just now when so much of our country is burning, when so many human lives and other life has been lost and homes and livelihoods destroyed. But the prophet Jeremiah (not known as a Pollyanna in the Old Testament!) reminds us that we worship and serve a God who gathers up those whose lives have been shattered, who are the most vulnerable. “See, I am going to Read more…

Thank-you volunteers!

Dear Friends I had been attending Canberra Baptist Church for a little over a year when I took on the role of Office Manager. It wasn’t until I was in the office, day in and day out, that I realised just how integral volunteers are to the running of the church. I have commandeered this week’s pastors note to take a moment to highlight the work that is done, and to thank everyone for their contribution to another year of Read more…

Blue Christmas

Dear Friends As we struggled to take in the news this week that Australians and others on holiday in New Zealand had lost their lives in an unexpected volcanic eruption, our Prime Minister Scott Morrison made reference to, “a time of great innocence and joy [being] interrupted by the horror of that eruption…” There is something ‘especially hard to bear’ as poet Helen Jesty says in her poem about ‘disappointments in December’. December is for a difficult diagnosis as well Read more…

Reflections

Dear Friends   I was reading a reflection this week by English actress Emily Watson which reminded me a little of my sermon last Sunday and the litany of fears that we hold for our world at the current time; climate change and conflict, and the ensuing human dislocation and poverty. And according to Watson, at least initially, much of the blame for these things should be laid at Christianity’s door; “every act of violence that has been, is and Read more…

Advent

Dear Friends What are you longing for this Advent? I must confess that the time of Advent, the weeks leading up until Christmas, are often more about ticking off lists for me, doing what has to be done (or what feels like it has to be done) rather than thinking about what I long to see happen in the world. And yet, ‘adventus’, the Latin word, literally meaning ‘coming’. Advent is a season where Christians symbolically await Jesus’ birth – Read more…