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Faith Runs Deep - Join Karl and Jane Faase as they travel across Australia unearthing stories of faith. You’ll meet and hear about Christian leaders, missionaries, indigenous elders, sports people and armed service personnel who share stories of sacrifice, courage, forgiveness, acceptance and faith.
Jesus the Gamechanger 2 - To the Ends of the Earth - a 13-part documentary about how the gospel went from a small group of followers in the backwaters of the Roman Empire to become a global faith in the 20th century
Jesus the Gamechanger a 10-part documentary series on how the life and teaching of Jesus changed the world and why it matters
Towards Belief - Defusing the Belief Blockers of our Time - a 10-part series seeking to defuse the belief blockers of our time.
The Family Series - 10 sessions which look at the key issues facing families today
David Hay sent their November newsletter
The Newsletter contains:
- News of their Home assignment
- Details of Rachel's successful open-heart surgery and recovery
- David's mother passed away in October
- David returned to South Africa and visited iKhethelo Children's Village to collect their much-awaited visas
- Christmas plans
- Return date to South Africa set for January 2023
Last Saturday over 400 delegates and pastors gathered in 7 locations around NSW/ACT for our Gathering incorporating the Ordinary Assembly.
For many people present the day was very challenging, on multiple fronts. It highlighted some significant differences of perspective in the matters being discussed. I want to honestly acknowledge the concern and the hurt that is present among us as a movement at the moment.
What Assembly Decided
We dealt with 2 significant sets of matters. The first was in respect of the representation of women. Assembly resolved to ask Assembly Council to develop strategies to address the underrepresentation of women in pastoral and related ministries. It also resolved to establish a minimum 30% quota of female participation on our councils and committees, with the requisite number of places remaining unfilled if female members were not elected to them. A further motion to establish a target of 50% female representation on these councils and committees from 2027 was not passed.
The lengthier matters before us were 22 recommendations regarding Affiliation, Baptist Values and Marriage. These motions came from Assembly Council following instructions to it from the Special Assembly in February 2021. You can find the document prepared for Assembly HERE.
Assembly dealt with the first 8 of these motions. The first motion, to make these decisions by a 2/3 majority, was narrowly lost. Assembly agreed to synthesise our 2 existing statements on marriage into a single statement. It also approved in-principle motions that churches and accredited ministers need to support our marriage statement. Position statements on Congregational Government and Local Church Autonomy/Healthy Association were passed which reflect our long-held practices in these areas. In all, the first 8 of the 22 recommendations were voted on, but we ran out of time to discuss and decide on the remaining ones.
A summary digest of the Assembly and its decisions will be circulated when it is available.
Assembly Council will also meet soon to discuss the process from here, and a further update will be brought after that meeting.
Some pastoral comments
As things stand, we sit with tension on multiple fronts. Some of us want these remaining matters to be decided as quickly as possible, others want further reflection and discussion. Differences of view were very evident in some of the votes last Saturday, and those differences are strongly held. These matters connect to deeply held values about who we are as Baptists and how we move forward. Being God’s people and finding his way forward for us here is hard, and for many of us, emotionally costly.
We wish it were different.
Yet the call is to remain committed to prayerfully and humbly seeking God’s will together. To do so honouring and respecting one another even when we differ. And to continue to believe God is with us and working his purposes through us (Ro 8:28).
We also have the privilege and responsibility to minister to one another in this season. Can I invite you to reach out to others who you may sense are feeling the weight of these matters – to listen and support. I know this is already happening to some degree. The Association is also working as we are able to provide some assistance to people to pastorally process the decisions that have been made. More information will be made available about this shortly.
And of course, let’s continue praying for one another, and for the Lord Jesus to be glorified through our life together as his people.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 1 Cor 13:11
Director of Ministries
18 November 2022
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