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Camp Revive, 50th Anniversary Belmore Road, Toowoomba Lectureship, Bankstown Family Lectureship

Toowoomba Lectureship, QLD

 

Camp Revive, VIC

 

In early October, 35 people came together at Lyrebird Park, about 70km east of Melbourne, for Camp Revive. The theme this year was Around the Bible in 48 Hours, and we were blessed to have Nathan Wilson from The Point Church in Brisbane as our main speaker. A special mention goes to Joanna Banyard, who battled flight delays and weather to be our only other interstate camper this year!

The format of the camp was quite different to our normal fare: while Nathan did a little bit of teaching, he and his wife Katrina filled the bulk of the sessions with interactive exercises designed to immerse small groups in different elements of God’s redemptive plan throughout the Bible. Nathan and Katrina used their theatrical backgrounds to great effect to put us into the shoes of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, Moses, David, and Jeremiah, culminating in each group performing a ‘critical moment’ in the stories for the whole camp. Nathan then brought everything together on Sunday morning to show how it all pointed towards the coming of Christ and his salvific gift.

On Saturday night, Bryce Christensen took us to the story of Esther and showed how it fits into God’s wider plan. Campers also participated in crafts, soccer, games both physical and mental, singing, and a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. We left camp with friendships made and strengthened, a deeper understanding of God’s unfolding plan throughout history, and our place in his continuing story.

Dale Christensen     dale.christensen.a@gmail.com

 

50th Anniversary
Belmore Road, VIC

More than 160 people participated in the 50th anniversary lunch celebration of Belmore Road Church of Christ in Melbourne on Saturday, 24 August 2019. Fifty years earlier on Sunday, 24 August 1969, the fledgling congregation held its first worship assembly at the current premises. (Prior to that, the congregation was known as the Balwyn Church of Christ and met in a rented hall in nearby Balwyn.) Present at that first assembly were three families: the Hardcastles, Sheas, and Montgomerys. The building had been purchased from the Presbyterian church earlier in 1969 for $22,000. 

Five decades later, among those celebrating were Christians from sister congregations, former members, and visitors. Former members Michael & Norainie Bargholz, now with the Eastside church in Sydney, were present and Michael delivered the sermon the next day to a combined BRCOC English and Chinese assembly. There were 117 present. It was a wonderful time of worship, praise, and reminiscing. 

Not unlike other churches, BRCOC during the past five decades has experienced good times as well as challenging times. Signs of growth include becoming self-supporting by the mid-1980s; the appointment of the first eldership (Trevor Baker and Charles Hooi) in 2004; the launch of a Chinese ministry in 2008; and building extensions in 1976 (five classrooms), 1992 (new auditorium), and 2010 (expanded auditorium and office). 

Today BRCOC has around 90 congregants in the English assembly and 20 congregants in the Chinese assembly, with more than a dozen ethnicities represented. God has indeed been gracious to his people!

Benny Tabalujan     b.tabalujan@gmail.com

 

Toowoomba Lectureship, QLD

The 2019 Gipps St Lectureship was held on the last weekend of September. Over three days, the lectureship consisted of 10 encouraging and spiritually insightful lessons focused around ‘The Big Picture’ of the history of the world and God’s redemptive plan. So often, Christians are distracted and discouraged when we focus on our immediate surroundings and forget the eternal perspective. 

 

The lessons traced the history of time, reminding the audience what God was doing to bring about redemption: Eternity, Paradise and the Fall, Promises, Deliverance, Disobedience, Exile, Good News, Redemption, Reconciliation, Eternity. 

We had numerous visitors from Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, and New Zealand. For our Sunday morning service we had over 120 attend. The speakers included: Albert Gyamfi, Ian Coker, Brett Rutherford, Daniel McDonald, Trevor Major, and Daniel Smith. We were truly blessed by the visiting brothers and sisters who came and encouraged us with their presence and example. The lessons and manuscripts are available at www.gippschurch.com

Daniel Smith      gipps.church@gmail.com

 

Bankstown Family Seminar, NSW

The Bankstown Family Seminar, held on the 29 September 2019 in Campbelltown, NSW, was a joint effort of the Bankstown, Southwest, and Windang congregations. Lessons were presented by David Payne and Michael Bargholz. Around 76+ people attended including visitors from the community. David Payne spoke about establishing and maintaining a godly marriage. Some of his key points included: marriage is a momentary existence in the context of eternity; marriage points to God being united with man; our goal whether married or single is undivided devotion to God; the point of marriage is to put the Gospel on display and we must establish and work on a mission in our marriages. 

 

Michael Bargholz spoke about raising godly children, explaining that ‘instead of thinking in terms of raising godly children, it may be better to think of raising children godly’. We also need to make time to talk to our children about everything! It’s also useful to create a network of Christian parents to share ideas with one another. Finally, the participants were reminded to always keep God at the forefront and seek first his kingdom.

Lavinia Totman       lavinia.totman@gmail.com 

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