It has been quite a heartbreaking start to the New Year as millions of Australians still try to comprehend the devastation of the bushfires which have affected every state in Australia. For many of us, there is a sense of helplessness watching on as weeks turn into months of fires continuing to burn and communities being devastated. We are deeply grieved, as faith communities, to see such a tragedy unfold in our nation. Our compassion and empathy for those who have lost moves us to respond.
We acknowledge that some of our Churches of Christ communities in the Adelaide Hills and South East have been directly impacted by emergency level fires. We have had no report of losses or need for assistance in these areas. However, we are deeply saddened by the loss of life and property in the Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island fires and our hearts continue to break for these communities as they recover and rebuild.
Members of our churches have been involved as volunteer firefighters with the CFS responding to fires in the Adelaide Hills, South East, Kangaroo Island and interstate. We give thanks for them and the thousands of others who continue to fight fires around the country.
As the fires continue to unfold in Victoria and NSW with the impact still being realised, we pray for the afflicted to be comforted, for the light of hope to break in, and for the goodness and generosity of God to work through the availability and skills of those who are able to assist.
In November last year our office began to receive requests from churches seeking advice on how they could partner with, and help, Churches of Christ communities affected by fires in the Eastern States. At that stage, it was unclear how much communities had been impacted or what assistance may be required. We can now confirm there is a need for assistance in multiple areas where Churches of Christ is present including GMP indigenous ministry activities. The most effective way for us to provide relief to these communities is through a coordinated national recovery fund.
Churches of Christ national disaster relief is now being delivered through Global Mission Partners Extend. GMP Extend provides relief, welfare and support to communities in need. It is the only national relief agency operating on behalf of Churches of Christ in Australia. GMP Extend has just launched a Bushfire Recovery Appeal. Funds from this appeal will be directed though agencies and churches with the capacity to respond to local needs. Churches of Christ Agencies and local churches will be prioritised.
Donations in excess of $2 can be tax-deductible and are to be given via GMP Extend either by:
1. Bank transfer to Global Mission Partners Extend
BSB: 063 130 Account No: 1047 0548 Customer reference line ‘Bushfire Appeal’ - please also complete the online donation form that can be downloaded on - https://www.extend.org.au/our-projects/bushfire-recovery-appeal
2. Or calling the GMP office on 1800 467 222.
At the moment the GMP Extend Credit Card facility is still being finalised and will be made available as soon as possible.
We encourage Churches of Christ congregations in SA to dedicate time in worship this Sunday to acknowledge and pray for all affected communities and to consider contribution to the GMP Extend Bushfire Recovery Appeal.
Thank you for your ongoing prayer, compassion and support.
Acting State Minister
Churches of Christ SA & NT
Brooklyn Park Church of Christ
As COVID restrictions kicked in, we sensed a rare opportunity dig deeply into this question and why God has us at Brooklyn Park.
It was encouraging to recognize that our purpose – a Jesus-centred spiritual family who are passionate about seeing lives change – was still the core of who God was calling us to be. Even if we couldn’t meet in the same space, there were so many ways in which we could still live those values out together.
However, our Board wrestled with what we would do if we were starting a church from scratch in August 2020. We imagined a scenario where we were given our fantastic facility and a diverse group of 80-90 people to kick off our new church. We settled on 2 key priorities. We would have a simple but intentional time of gathering together, where we took time to be reminded about who God is, what Jesus has done for us, share family stories, unpack and apply Scripture together and gather around the Communion table to reflect, remember and celebrate. We would also invest heavily in small groups – 3-10 people connecting regularly to share their joys and struggles, learn from each other, talk about their next steps in their walk with Jesus, how to serve and support our neighbours and pray together.
Earth-shattering? Not really! But we have been very challenged about how much of our focus, energy and resourcing goes towards both of those key areas and whether the other things we’re doing are helping or holding back those priorities for us.
We’re excited about the journey ahead and the continued refining that we believe God is doing in and through us at BPCC.
Can you drink nothing but water for one month to transform lives through safe water?
Safe Water September is a challenge to drink nothing but water for the entire month of September, to raise funds for safe water projects in rural Zimbabwe and Vanuatu. Yes, you can still eat food, but no coffee, tea, soft drink or milkshakes! For every $20 you raise, one person gains access to life-changing safe water. This means kids will go to school, child and maternal deaths will drop, and communities will be transformed!
Globally, 1 in 10 people don't have clean water close to home – we want to change this.
Gather a team and join us! Sign up to take the challenge now at [www.safewaterseptember.org.au](http://www.safewaterseptember.org.au/) You’ll also find some great resources online to help you get started, including a video clip, blog and simulation game.
When you participate in the challenge, donate, or even spread the word, you are helping to make a difference in the lives of people living in Zimbabwe and Vanuatu. Thank you!
Stirling Theological College is seeking a Principal to lead the college in 2021 and beyond. Stirling is a Christian theological college affiliated with [Churches of Christ in Australia](https://www.cofcaustralia.org/). A college of the [University of Divinity](https://divinity.edu.au/), Stirling teaches undergraduate and postgraduate (coursework and research) degrees to PhD level. Innovative courses in leadership, counselling, ministry, theology, biblical studies, pastoral education, spirituality, supervision, and Christian discipleship are offered through flexible learning programs.
Stirling’s vision is to be a Christ-centred learning community that equips people to advance God’s shalom for the flourishing of the world. Leadership, ministry and mission formation is a key aspect of Stirling’s life. It is also committed to providing a stimulating learning centre for people to engage in theological education with practical application in diverse cultural contexts within the church and the wider community.
The campus is located at 44 – 60 Jacksons Road, Mulgrave 3170 Victoria. The campus is closed until 31st January 2021 due to the restrictions of COVID-19. All courses in 2020 are being delivered on-line.
A generous salary and benefits package will be negotiated with the successful applicant.
Stirling Theological College is partnering with UniRecruit to undertake a national and international search for high calibre candidates for this position. Detailed information about Stirling, selection criteria, the position description, and the application process is available on the UniRecruit website http://www.uni-recruit.com.au/current-roles/
Confidential enquiries should be made to:
Michael Toohey on +61 (0) 418 883 807 or email@example.com; or to,
Ann Newton on +61 (0) 412 358 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are to be emailed to Michael Toohey by the closing date of Friday 21 August 2020.