Archived Blog

This Sunday we sadly say farewell to our two ministers Mark and Mary Hirst and we do so with a very heavy heart. They have served us very well, despite our size they have challenged us anew to follow in the ways of discipleship and love of our God and creator. We wish them every blessing and God’s strength as they seek new areas of ministry in their “retirement” . You will always be welcome in our church community and homes when you get a chance to return, God bless.

Last week we had the delightful privilege of being a part of Sydney Hirt and Jonathan Freeston’s wedding. Most of us remember Sydney with great affection and we wish them both a blessed, joyful  and fulfilled union in their commitment not just to each other but also the One who has called them into His service.  God bless you both and all those that walk with you.  Here is a link to some snippets of the wedding

Amnesty and ABPMCurch would like to invite you to another

Loosely Woven “Feeling Good”  next Sunday Aug 12 at 4pm. Yes it is FREE,


As you may know this is an Amnesty International fundraiser organised by the Avalon group. There will be light refreshments served at the end . All Welcome!

We look forward to a couple of important film events in the next few months, all are welcome.

Our second film will be shown this Sunday 5pm

The 5th Eye

This is a story of a peaceful anti-war protest by three New Zealanders –   A teacher, farmer and priest break into the Waihopai spy base deflating a giant radome in an act of disarmament, against New Zealand’s role in the US-led War on Terror While New Zealanders thought they were not involved in the Middle Eastern wars – the spy base was in fact aiding war and also spying on New Zealanders.

This story is important to Australians –  as we are also vulnerable. More info

The first  on Sunday 1st July at 5pm.  It is:

CHAUKA PLEASE TELL US THE TIME  –   filmed in Manus detention.

Amnesty  International  has said that the detention of Asylum Seekers is a form of torture, and certainly that is used to deter other refugees from attempting to come to Australia.   What is more this method is being adopted by other countries as a way to stop refugees seeking refuge.

Chauka Please Tell Us The Time”  is  filmed by Behrouz Boochani  a journalist who spent several years in Manus detention and watched men suicide in despair .  This film was taken there and shows us the hopelessness of life in detention where the men waited to hear the bird Chauka sing to know the days were passing- a symbol of despair to the imprisoned men, where it was the name of the solitary confinement unit.     At the same time the Chauka is  a symbol of beauty to the people of Manus.

On March 4 we will be having a service/picnic at Governor Philip park in Palm Beach. We will have a short communion reflection and an opportunity  for a catch up after. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Our latest LOOSELY WOVEN CONCERT will feature 21 instrumentalists and singers on March 11. Please feel free to join us for this Amnesty International fundraiser. This is a free concert with a few refreshments in the intermission.

Wayne Richmond, the leader of the group, is one of the Peninsula’s inspirational leaders in giving live music to the community. The group will include 21 instrumentalists and singers. Wayne and his musicians have been contributing to Amnesty’s great work for more than 23 years. Last year Wayne received an award from Amnesty International for his wonderful work! This concert will celebrate those 23 years of making music and helping human rights work. Some of the items will be very relevant.

Loosely Woven encourage audience participation in their concerts which are always lots of fun, and you can enjoy a musical treat and also support human rights by coming because voluntary donations will go to Amnesty International.
21 instrumentalists and singers will bring to Avalon their new concert, ’Fly Away’. This is a very special celebration of the group’s 23 year old past reliving some real gems!
The program includes a number of songs which address social injustice and other important issues. There are also some
well known songs made famous by The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Barnes, Wilson Pickett and Neil Young, and some really beautiful folk songs and a bit of fun with Tom Lehrer’s hilarious ‘The Irish Ballad’.

Instruments will include violins, flutes, saxophones, harp, clarinet, concertina, accordion, harmonium, recorder, melodica, guitars, keyboard and percussion





SUNDAY   10th Dec.   4 p.m.      “RIVER”


Sunday, 8 October 2017 – 10 am – Screening of Guarding the Galilee

About Guarding the Galilee

Presented by Queensland born actor Michael Caton, Guarding the Galilee is a 30-minute documentary on the battle to stop the biggest coalmine in Australian history, Adani’s Carmichael project.

The award-winning documentary team captures the raw beauty of Central Queensland, where Adani’s mine threatens essential water resources.

Just downstream from the proposed mine, a grazier fears for the impact on the river that quenches the thirst of his cattle, and flows through to the Coral Sea.

On the coast, a boat owner operating out of the Airlie beach tourist hotspot worries about the hundreds of extra ships steaming through the Great Barrier Reef each year.

Meet these and many others engaged in this fight and find out exactly what mining billionaire Adani has planned for Australia.

Marriage Equality Plebiscite …. what ever your stand remember this 

Very helpful also is the following chapter from the book :

Speak Now : Australian perspectives on same-sex marriage

Our prayers, thoughts and condolences go out to the Harrison family as you negotiate the difficult emotional waters of Keith’s passing. His funeral/memorial service will be held on Thursday at the War Veterans village in Collaroy Plateau at 2pm in the chapel  Edmondson Drive there. There will be a wake following the service. All welcome.


Amnesty presents HOME” by the

The  local music group  LOOSELY WOVEN”, led by Wayne Richmond. They  will be giving a free community concert in  Avalon Baptist Church (2 George St.) on  Sunday  6th Aug at  4  p.m

Wayne Richmond, the leader of the group, is one of the Peninsula’s inspirational leaders in giving live music  to the community .    Wayne and his musicians have been contributing to Amnesty’s great work for more than 20 years and helping those who suffer injustice ,unfair imprisonment , torture, execution and other human rights abuse.



A big thank you goes the Munoz family for inviting the church to their home last weekend. It was inspiring to see the letters that Victor had collected proving how powerful letter writing can be in helping to change the minds of authorities and bring about justice in very unjust situations. That is how Victor and Beatrice managed to get out of wartorn central America

For more


We’re all looking forward to our next Loosely Woven coming up on  Dec 11th called


From Kath: “On  Sunday  11th Dec  local music group Loosely Woven – led by charismatic Wayne Richmond – will perform their new concert  ‘Touch the Sky”  at  4 pm at  AVALON BAPTIST CHURCH.  This will be a free, light-hearted acoustic concert  and features 19 musicians and singers ”

Along with the sad news we also had some exciting news for the church as 4 new members joined us on Sunday. Welcome to you Sarah, James, Christine and Brett and may you be drawn into the joy of descipleship as we journey together being faithful to the One who has gone before us and left very large footsteps to fill. We together thank God for the Grace we find and share in Jesus.


There will be a video and more photos of Pat’s funeral available on this blog by the end of next month. We said a fond farewell to Pat as over 150 family and friends packed into the church. It was a very special service for a very special person and we give thanks to our God for the grace we experienced through Pat’s life with her. We look forward to the day when death can no longer keep us apart. A big thankyou to all who gave of their time and resources to make Pat’s farewell truly memorable.IMG_6849


We lost a very special person in Pat Taylor this week and our world will be the poorer for her absence. She has been such a blessing to so many people over the years and our hearts go out to Roy as he comes to terms with his loss. We do know she is now in a better place, released from the constraints of her frail body, free to worship and enjoy her God as she always wished. Her funeral will be held on Tuesday 2pm at our church. All are welcome and there will be ample opportunity to share with all of us what Pat meant to you. Refreshments will be served after the service and time to reflect on Pat’s life more informally.
As you already know we have our AGM this Sunday and I would like to encourage everyone that can to attend. I’m delighted to announce that we have three new members being accepted into the church family. So I have attached the AGM to this letter. Please have a read and let me know if there is anything else we need to consider or if there is a position in the church you would be happy to be nominated for.
God Bless and see you tomorrow!

Accessible and Inclusive Community Garden:    

Children’s Party for all!

Avalon Baptist Peace Memorial Church is building an accessible and inclusive community garden which it hopes to make available to children and adults with disabilities, their families and friends to enjoy.

The garden is flat, has raised garden beds, is fenced with a child safety gate, has accessible parking, toilet facilities and a hall with a modern kitchen for groups and events.

The garden is overflowing with vegetables and fruit trees and there is still room to plant more!

On Saturday 27th August from 1pm – 4pm

Avalon Baptist Church will open the Garden to children 3 -12 years and their families and friends to “come and try” planting, picking, baking and of course eating from the Garden with the theme of:

 ‘A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ to add to the fun!

Children will also have the opportunity to make a crazy hat and take home their own seedling flower in a beautiful recycled tea cup (of course!)

There is no cost for this free community event but bookings are essential.

Limited Numbers so please book ASAP

Avalon Baptist Street is at 2 George Street Avalon

Please phone Elisabeth/Lucy on 0432 101 277 or 15.9997 18

Some great news from the  Refugee Initiative Northern Beaches Churches support network. Wonderful to see churches working together on this: July ’16 RINBC Update Letter Final

Welcome again to Amnesty’s Loosely Woven “Burn” concert July 31

We thank Greens candidate Mike Hall and Independent Julie Hegarty for taking part in the human rights forum held tonight. Report and photos:

Julie Hegarty Independent and Mike Hall Greens. Candidates forum on human rights organised by Avalon Amnesty and the Avalon Baptist church

Julie Hegarty Independent and Mike Hall Greens. Candidates forum on human rights organised by Avalon Amnesty and the Avalon Baptist church

Julie Hegarty Independent and Mike Hall Greens. Candidates forum on human rights organised by Avalon Amnesty and the Avalon Baptist church

Julie Hegarty Independent and Mike Hall Greens. Candidates forum on human rights organised by Avalon Amnesty and the Avalon Baptist church

Candidates Forum – Amnesty and Avalon Baptist  join  to give the candidates for Mackellar the opportunity to explain and answer questions on where they stand on Human Rights at a forum this Tuesday 14th June 2016 at the Avalon Baptist Peace Memorial Church, George St., Avalon. For more…


Here’s an important note from Mark:

The 2015-2016 webinars organized by the Centre for Anabaptist Studies explore the seven core convictions of the UK Anabaptist Network, which summarize the heart of Anabaptism and its contemporary significance… This event addresses Core Conviction #7, “Peace is at the heart of the gospel. As followers of Jesus in a divided and violent world, we are committed to finding non-violent alternatives and to learning how to make peace between individuals, within and among churches, in society and between nations.”… Presenters are Mark and Mary Hurst, pastors of Avalon Baptist Peace Memorial Church and pastoral workers for the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand. Have a look:

Shalom / שׁלוֹם

Pray with us that at this court appearance will create more publicity about our government’s disgraceful treatment of asylum seekers.

Love Makes A Way at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's office calling for release of children from detention

Loosely Woven is on again on the 28th Feb. Theme is for ” King and Country” Please feel free and welcome, take in the music and enjoy some tasty morsels as you contribute to the cause of justice in this world

You make us proud Mark and Mary. Thanks for your commitment to truth,peace and justice!turnbullsofficenov15

Come join us for our Amnesty fund raiser:

Loosely Woven presents  “Bright Eyes” on Dec 13, 4pm

All welcome

Olive turns 80


More photos here

Just whose side is God on?

Come on Sunday morning 28th June and find out! We will be screening a film called

“With God on our Side” and enjoy a little brunch to go with it. More Info:


Pray In at Malcolm Turnbulls Office:

 mark mary sydneyWell done guys ….. we’re proud of your stand!

For more check out “Love makes a way” on facebook or twitter #lovesmakesaway.

The BBC recognises our Gwen

Australian pair keep book-making alive

26 April 2015 Last updated at 20:15 BST

Digital content may dominate popular reading habits but two Australians have found a market for the gentler art of bespoke book-making.

Gwen Harrison and Sue Anderson would prefer not to tally the hours it takes them to create just one of their finely printed tomes.

In their Sydney studio, they use printing techniques more familiar to Johannes Gutenberg than the 21st century and a single fine press book can sell for up to Australian $8000 (£4000/US$6000).

The pair recently returned from California where they showed their work at an annual international fair, the Codex Book Fair and Symposium.

They spoke to BBC News about the appeal of making books by hand.


Last Friday we farewelled John and Jude Hirt’s father. John led the service and there were plenty of memories to mourn and rejoice over. Our prayers are with the Hirt’s as they start a new phase of their lives without dad/grandad.


Report on Loosely Woven Concert March 14

Everybody dance

DANCE UP THE SUN … Loosley Woven returns on December 7, 4pm. Please invite your friends and join us in an afternoon of fun and music. More

If you struggle with with one of the biggest issues facing the church across the globe today: How to approach same sex marriage, I would encourage you to read a wonderful and heartfelt letter written by 96 year old Chester Wegner, a christian all his life, in full time ministry all his life but still young and open enough in his mind to question old held opinions. 

We joined in the celebration of Christine and Brett’s wedding today. What a wonderful occasion shared with so many of their friends and relatives. God bless you both as you stake out this new part of life’s journey together. Have a look at the happy couple here

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This last Sunday 19th October we had to sadly say goodbye to Jo and Stan. After decades with the church, having come through good times and the difficult times we thank Jo and Stan for their wonderful contribution to our family over the years and wish them the God’s blessing and closeness as they embark on a new phase of their lives. You can find Jo’s speech here. Part 2 here. It is in two sections so please watch both., it is well worth a listen, and in the words of Vernon it is a  sermon in itself!!!  Have a look at some photos on their farewell page, if you would like to leave a message, email me and I will post it on their page.


A great film night tonight. Sparked plenty of discussion and was very informative. Thanks to all for the wonderfully tasty soups and effort by all to set up and clean up after. For report and photos see here

Last weeks service on FORGIVENESS can be found here by Mark Hurst

This is really a terrific look at how we can deal with forgiveness

A   very enthusiastic  audience of nearly 100 applauded  the  new concert  from  “ Loosely Woven” which was  performed by 26 musicians and singers  at  Avalon Baptist Peace Church last  Sunday  (31st Aug.).  “DREAMS”  was a great hit with the audience  who insisted on several encores. Photos

Don’t forget only 2 weeks to go to get in your donations to                                             WORLD VISION’S 40 HOUR FAMINE . Join us or donate here:

Photos from Roy’s 90 celebration

_AML3823 Well done everyone especially Lynne for organising such a wonderful evening. Great photos Virginia, thanks.

Dates for your Diary,

Next Sunday Aug 24,  Jon Owen from Urban Neighbours of Hope Community at Bidwell (near Mt.Druitt) will be speaking. He and members from the community have been with us before and we look forward to sharing with him again.

We have a great film night coming up in September. If you feel the situation in the Middle East is without hope this film is for you. Called “Two Sided Story” the film explores grass-roots peacemaking, the road to understanding the others story. Enjoy the film, join the Q & A session and try out our tasty soups. September 28th, 5pm put it in your diary now.

Here’s a site worth checking out : A Just Cause

ROY turns 90. Lynne is organising a party for him in the back hall on  16th August. All are welcome. More info to come.

Loosley Woven returns to Avalon with DREAMS on August 31 at 4pm. Make a note in your diary now and come and join the fun.


Dear Church family – Roy has sent news about our Guringai Festival Events. However I thought I would send more details, and perhaps you can tell/show your friends, families, and anyone who might be interested. I am sure you will enjoy Ruth’s talk, especially since our church family has discussed for so many years about how to help Aboriginal people find some equality in their own country. It will be a great opportunity to learn more .June the 8th will also be a great opportunity and I am so glad to have the director of “88” Adrian Wills coming to talk about the doco and answer questions about Aboriginal rights and opportunities. He has won a great deal of praise for his episodes of “REDFERN NOW” and also of those episodes he directed in “GODS OF WHEAT STREET”. Adrian has been to our church several times in past years.     Peace and Blessings from Kath

See the Magic of Latin America comes to Avalon. Wow!!

Congratulations to all those that helped organise this event. Many hours were spent by Juan, Marta Elva, Paula and Victor and others before hand, and then by many more on the day including Richard and Daphne, Mark and Mary, Jo and Stan, Robyn, Virginia, Lucy, the Narrabeen Baptist coffee team, and scores of others that helped. A big thankyou all round.



Photos by Martin Lange


More on the Latin American Festival 18th May

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Loosely Woven Report : What a great afternoon. Thanks Wayne again

Sonia Bennett and Loosely Woven

Next Weekend Join the Walk for Justice for Asylum Seekers in the city ..  2pm

Also fundraiser for Friend of Victor Hugo Munoz who is suffering a brain tumour.            For more info:


There will be a LATIN AMERICAN festival held in Avalon Sunday May 18th. Our worship will take to the streets as we help to make this a special day for our South American friends. There will be NO service at the church that morning.

The GURINGAI FESTIVAL in June will feature 2 special services dedicated to our indigenous heritage.

June 1: A presentation by M/s Ruth Brigden who has worked in the remote community of NUMBULWAR in the NT

June 8:h      SCREENING OF DOCUMENTARY   ‘88’   and   Q & A with Director Adrian Wills

Fantastic response to Loosley Woven last week. Church was packed .. photos to come.

IMPORTANT if you can do this!!

Important Information From NSW & AT Baptist Churches
View this email in your browser

Hospitality: Let’s Open our Homes to Asylum Seekers Under Threat of Transfer

Dear friends, I write to alert you to an opportunity for our Churches to minister compassionately and specifically around an urgent need at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is planning to move up to 83 long terms detainees out of Villawood IDC to Curtin IDC near Derby in North-West Western Australia.
The stated rationale behind this is for the ‘refurbishment of the Villawood IDC’.
Moving detainees away from their support networks (built up for some over five and six years) will be absolutely devastating.
It is also economically wasteful.
My desire is to build a data base of willing families and homes who would be prepared to take in an asylum seeker – including the cost of feeding and housing – for the period of the refurbishment.
It is very possible that once detainees are moved to Curtin (which is desperately remote) they may simply be left there, out of sight out of mind, and so action is vital in this regard.
To offer homes in good faith makes a substantial statement of commitment on our part as Churches and representatives of Jesus to provide genuine solutions and not simply critique.
Please distribute this document and request to your Church and email with offers of support.
Your fellow servant, Ken Clendinning Director of Ministries

For those of signed onto Facebook check this out:!/Asylum.Seeker.Resource.Centre.ASRC                         Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).They are doing some inspiring work with refugees in Melbourne.

In May we will also be taking part in a Mexican Fiesta: A day to celebrate Latin America in the Avalon Recreation Centre. Details to follow.

A film we would like to recommend: Waste Deep . As tenants on this globe here is part of the christian’s response.

Another wonderful Loosely Woven this Saturday March 29th 1pm to raise money for Amnesty and just celebrate music and song. Please join us and enjoy this extraordinary experience.

On-the-road-2014-Avalon-Poster -email

LOOSLEY WOVEN returns on December 15th, 4pm at our church.


This article really brings to light the hypocrisy of all the breastbeating about the deaths at sea of these desperate asylum seekers by the government and the opposition.

kitchen end of day 4


Kitchen end of day 2

Cottage Point accident Cottage Point accident

KITCHEN is under way … Thankyou Paul Taylorkitchenemprtyday2 kitchenemprtyday2bw

Pittwater Famine village is now finishing up.

Dear Church  family   –   I   just want to thank  you for  the wonderful  effort you have made to help  World Vision provide help to the children of Malawi.     Avalon Baptist have raised $1,700   so far.  That is really impressive!   Congratulations!
Church Members  and Team Members –    if  you  or your sponsors have more to donate you have until about 20th September  to collect it and add to our result.
  • You can leave cash in the collection box on the table in the church and I will transfer it to WV
  • You can collect cash and transfer it by credit card or Bpay  to our site on the WV website
  • You  can pay your donation  (even as small as $2)  by credit card on the website in support  of our Church effort, or a member of out team.

The Pittwater Famine Village has so far  banked over $21,000     Here is  a  very  good report  on the Event (organised by St. John’s) to break the fast on Sunday the 18th August.   It  was covered in Pittwater online News.

Thank you all –  I  am touched by your compassion.


Loosely Woven. – great concert see pics and report here here

Please Note: AGM is now 29th September. Be prepared ….Nomination forms here.

Today we were priveledged to have Julie Brackenreg come and share with us her experiences in ministry at Glebe. Their work called “The Heart Of Glebe” needs our support and anyone who can please follow this link and find out more

AN article worth reading: A hearbreaking tale hope and deceipt, Alysum Seekers!

Sad News: Today we grieve with Peta Relton and family for her much loved Dad. We pray you Peta will find comfort in the One who bears our grief with us. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you this week and beyond as you face life without your father God bless form all of us here at ABPMC.

To understand the Zimmerman case have a read of  this:   and weep!!

WANT to help reduce poverty .. join the Pittwater Community of Churches raise funds for World Vision in the 40hr Famine,

Congratulations to Jessica Nicholson and Ben Carlisle who were married today. For more photos:jess&ben

Not For Sale report: take a look!!

AGM has been set for the 8th September. Please give prayer and consideration now for nomination. What can you contribute?Who would you like to represent you? Please fill in the attached nomination form by the 1st Sept. Thankyou

Roll up, Roll up …. AUG 4th to : “ Never Forget You ”  our Loosely Woven Concert , have fun and raise money for Amnesty. 4pm Start, Supper will be served

Please join our Refugee Forum, check links and contribute. Latest Northern Beaches Refugee Sanctuary news letters and links. Here’s an extract from this newsletter:                 “We also assisted a man who has been in Australia for 13 years without his family. Sadly for much of the time he wasn’t allowed to work. It was a very slow and stressful process for him to get his visa. He became unwell and is now recovering. He applied for the family under the Special Humanitarian program. The application was very slow and after two years he was told that he should apply for the spousal visa. He approached us looking for a loan for the application fee of $2,680. He also had to wait for some time before we could help. When I told him that we had the money available he was overcome with emotion. We have now helped him with the application fee for the spousal program. The application has been lodged and hopefully he will be reunited with the family in the next year. We will also help with the airfare when the visa is granted. He is overjoyed that he will be reunited with the family but no doubt is very sad about the lost 13 years.”

Report on Film Night

Next Film night on June 16th will feature  “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ” by Jessie Taylor. You can hear a wonderful interview with her on the ABC with Richard Fidler on the 28th Feb 2013.

behind bars

Loosely Woven Concert hit all the right notes and fun was had by all. For more:

Wayne and Gial-

Our church was shaken some weeks back by the news that our former minister, Dr.John Hirt, has been diagnosed with advanced and aggressive prostate cancer. Our prayers go out to you John and the family as you face this battle together. Know that you are always surrounded and immersed in God’s love and the love of all of us around.

For some very moving comments by Ched Meyers (US) and Ben Myers (Aus)

Our Christmas service will be at 9AM Christmas day.

Our AGM is on the 18th November, straight after a shortened morning service. Please attend if you can. We are looking to keep present church positions unless advised otherwise by those holding a position they would like to vacate. Please let us know your intention before this Sunday so that we can canvas and nominate for that position Thanks

Loosely Woven is back .Another great concert. Universal Child”  Amnesty International.

The Garden at the End of the World” . What a film, what an inspiration. A great evening at Av Baps was had by all : more info about the film and report on the evening

For those crafty among us .. craft evening to raise money and knit blankets for communities in PNG, will take place at Jo Nagiello’s next Thursday(1st Nov) night 7:30pm

This week we welcome home Mark and Mary. You have been sorely missed and we look forward having you again in our midst.

Thankyou Dave Calcraft for our new cross and thanks too to Lindsay and Richard for getting it back in place. Great job, much appreciated.

We were very privileged this week to have Jonathan Hirt speak to us about NOT FOR SALE and how we can become activists in support of the 10s of millions  physically enslaved in this day and age. If you would like more info  search Not For Sale in facebook or here

For those of you who have not yet had a chance to meet Shirley and Kenton. You will be very disappointed if you miss them. We have been challenged and thoroughly spoilt by their ministry and look forward to 3 more Sundays with them.

“Shirley Yoder Brubaker begins as Conference Moderator” 

Dr. Kenton K. Brubaker – Professor emeritus of biology at Eastern Mennonite

University – Writing: “Science, Technology, and Creation” in Creation & the

Environment: An Anabaptist Perspective on a Sustainable World

See Gwen Harrison’s exhibition “Quaranta Australis” in Manly. Congratulations Gwen on a truly remarkable and thought provoking exhibition.

OUR NEXT FILM NIGHT  features “Garden at the End of the World”.                                 28 October 5 -7:30 pm here for more info

In case you want to join the alternative Christian voice on marriage equality join Baptist minister Rev.Carolyn Frances  ….sign

Great Loosley Woven concert .. see report and photos

We have been very privileged over the past few weeks to have had Dr.Vernon Jantzi, Professor Emeritus/Sociology, Eastern Mennonite University and his wife Dottie with us. Vernon has been sharing with us his insights into restorative justice, a real alternative to punitive justice. Books that you might find helpful are:

How do we respond the government’s new/old  policy on asylum seekers. Read what Amnesty has to say.

Invitation to Tim Bose’s wedding. 14th August. You’re invited

Over the next 6 weeks we are priveledged to have Dr.Vernon Jantzi, Professor Emeritus/Sociology, Eastern Mennonite University and his wife Dottie with us on Sunday mornings. Vernon will be exploring restorative justice and other areas of peacemaking with us. More info

Thankyou to everyone who so beautifully participated in Iris’ funeral. It was a real priveledge to be there. For those who were not able to attend here is a short tribute to Iris      
Tribute to Iris Wellings from martin lange on Vimeo.and a shortened version of the funeral has been posted Photos  Video of Funeral
Shalom Martin

The Eastern Alyawarr Region Peoples and more have joined the many Churches, Organisations and Groups calling to abandon the Stronger Futures Legislation and supporting the Yolŋu Nations Assembly Statement. You can read their wonderful statements at 

Join us this Sunday as we  write a statement to support of the Yolŋu Nations Assembly Statement . It doesn’t have to be a lengthy statement. More importantly is to issue a statement of support even a short one, in order to openly express our concerns and support, making it clear to Aboriginal peoples living under the NT Intervention that we care and are prepared to voice our opposition to the Stronger Futures legislation which is violating international human rights.

from Sabine         for more click here I also urge you to read Jeff’s letter here.

PS: Jeff McMullen wrote :

My comments on the Arena Magazine website. We must urge people to speak up now.



For those concerned for the welfare of our feathered friends and find it really hard to see chickens so cruelly treated in batteries. Sue Nicholson has requested we get involved Check this out and lobby a pollie.

Sadly  as most of you will already know Kassie Nelson passed away last Friday. Her funeral was held  Friday June1 at North Ryde, She leaves us with many fond memories of great humour and plenty of passion of peace and justice. She was a real treasure and we will miss her.

MEMBERSHIP. We are inviting everyone to let us know how current and past members and associates view their relationship with our church now. We have mailed out letters to all the addresses we have, so if you don’t receive a letter please fill in this form and send it back to us. Thankyou.

“The Hungry Tide”  film night was a great success. Have a look at the photos and video of the night.

Pictured here are Phil Glendenning and Tom Zubrycki

Working Bee Photos

If you are following the debate on same sex marriage check this out or watch Q&A from Monday 14th May and see what Penny Wong has to say.

Briefly: In response (sic), (Penny)Wong began with: ”Well, there’s almost nothing I can say.”

”When you say those things, Joe (Hockey), what you’re saying to not just me but people like me is that the most important thing in our lives, which is the people we love, is somehow less good, less valued,” she said. What is the imperative for those that beleive God is love and all are equal in God’s eyes?

Read more:

The Community garden is well on it’s way. I encourage everyone to come and have a look at the progress Mary, Mark, Richard and Lindsay have made and find out where you can join in.

Express your support of the Yolŋu Nations Assembly Statement in their call to abandon the Stronger Futures legislation. also read what Jeff McMullen has to say.

…….  The crises among our Aboriginal brothers and sisters is evident again, as the state with the most money, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, fails its own people. read and pray.

…….   Update on gender neutral marriage, add your voice to the government survey.

Check out  NOT FOR SALE in Thailand

Good News for Humph Hall. It seems Warringah Council has seen fit to pass Wayne’s development application allowing that valuable community asset to continue. Wayne and his musical companions regularly raise money for Amnesty International by putting on concerts around the place. We applaud your work Wayne and wish you all the best in your continuing endeavours and look forward to the next Loosely Woven concert.

A big thankyou to Sally and Jim Longley and Doug Sewell who spoke at our services this Easter.

Easter has come to Burma as democracy advocates celebrate 

Aung San Suu Kyi election win.

What wonderful news and we pray that she will be given the chance to bring peace and reconciliation to a nation that has been at war with itself for decades.


“Marriage is founded on the wonderful fact of sexual difference and its potential for new life. Without this there would be no human beings and no future.”1

That’s what Catholics across the country are being told this weekend, in a letter calling on parishioners to campaign against same-sex marriage.

The letter, signed by six Bishops, goes on to argue that marriage equality would undermine family life and damage society. It comes just four days before the Senate Inquiry into Marriage Equality closes for submissions, in the largest push yet to convince members of the Senate Committee that the majority of Australians are against marriage equality.

We know this isn’t true. The majority of people with faith don’t support this view and are for ending marriage discrimination.2

We have just four days to convince the Committee to remove all discriminatory references from the Marriage Act – to allow all people, regardless of sex, sexuality and gender identity, the opportunity to marry.

Let’s make sure the Committee understands the weight of public opinion is with us, make a submission here:

The Senate Inquiry is an important political process built to better canvass public opinion. We know public opinion is on our side, now we need to turn that support into action so that the Inquiry can pressure Parliament to finally do the right thing.

It’s as easy as taking two minutes to share why this change is important to you:

Whether you’re gay or straight, single, in a relationship or married, taking the time to tell the Parliamentary Committee why you support the rights of all couples, and why you support full legal equality, could make all the difference.

Let’s not let the bigotry of a small number of close-minded Bishops misrepresent the Christian community and Australia more broadly – take a few minutes to share your story and stand up for equality!

Members of Parliament are still undecided and will make up their minds based on the Committee’s evidence.

By reminding them that legalising same-sex marriage is fundamentally a question of fairness and equality your voice can help convince them of why such a chorus of Australians are calling for change.

Thanks to the  GetUp team , if you don’t subscribe it is worth your while to subscribe now.

Movie Night was here again and we discovered what the church as a whole has been missing out on by not empowering women. This film “Pray the devil back to hell” proves beyond doubt the power women have in the pursuit of peace. . 

A big thankyou to the AAANZ group for introducing us to the movement. It is wonderful to find “soulpartners”. We pray that through Mark and Mary’s connection and Sunday’s challenge we will again be fired up to follow Christ as we know we should.

Check what’s on in February and March

Consumerism and faith, how do we live out our faith by the way we spend? Explore this with Walter Brueggerman in a 4 part series and challenge yourself to a new way of looking at your “belongings”

Kath mentioned the program series on the SBS about modern slavery. If you are interested Thursday 8:30pm SBS 2, well worth a look over the next 2 weeks. See review by Doug Anderson

 Thankyou Mark and Mary for your wonderful contributions the last year and as we enter a new year we pray God will come anew to all of us, guide us and reveal where and how we can be Jesus in our community and world.

Iris Wellings turns 90. Congratulations Iris


We will kick off the new year with services centred around “peace making” women, which will then culminate on March 18th in an evening showing of the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell a film  that chronicles the remarkable story of the courageous Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country. Inspiring, uplifting, and most of all motivating, it is a compelling testimony of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations. More info

Avalon Baptist Church and  Avalon Amnesty International Group hosted a great event last Sunday (11th Dec) Local talented musicians “Loosely Woven”  gave the community an exceptional Christmas feast of music last Sunday  (11thDec) at Avalon Baptist Church. Everything was free!

Wonderful Sunday 4th Dec with the folk from UNHO community in Mt.Druitt. Thankyou for coming and being part of our service and sharing your community with us.

John Owen speaking and their dance troup below

HELP! We support Loosley Woven, Wayne and the team. Humph Hall needs to be supported for it’s work for the community and Amnesty international. See how you can stop Warringah Council from closing them down

Kath Moody writes: Please find link to a 13 minute video that Chris and Bev Manton took on a trip to the lands out from Utopia. It is incredibly moving and develops the theme explored by “Our Generation”

Hopeful news on Burma read this

Terrific film night with Budrus 23rd October, have a look at photos and video of  Dr.Vacy Vlazna ‘s contribution. Wonderful to see faith and hope at work.

A must see 4 Corners last night, 24th October, see also Mediawatch, if you’re outraged sign this petition

If you didn’t see Q&A last night 17th Oct, this is a must! Fantastic ABC

What a wonderful farewell to the Relton family, thanks to all for the effort put into the night. See photos

For the many who were not able to share in Sunday’s service this is well worth a look. Thanks Mark and Mary

If you had any doubts about why we should be supporting Jonno Hirt in his work for “NOT FOR SALE” read this with this unbeleivable follow up

Saturday, October 15th, 6:30 pm. RSVP by Friday please! Progressive Dinner and Farewell for Peta, Bill and Noah. For Details Also Peta has asked that instead of a farewell present we make this a fundraiser for the Horn of Africa

Thanks to everybody that turned up at our working bee. Lots of laughter and fun as we painted and talked. Thanks Richard for all your hard work in organising and cleaning up etc. Great day all around. It even became an interdenominational event as my brother from St.Mark’s joined us. Thanks Rob.

Sunday 18th  Camille Wellings, daughter to Matt and Audrey, was dedicated with the service led by Rev.Robyn Richardson. It was  a delightful service and we rejoice with the Wellings family as they enjoy the growing presence of another addition to the family. For photos see:

We need your support. Australian Baptist Ministries, along with the majority of Christian denominations, believe poker machine reform is vital. You would be aware that the clubs and certain politicians are pushing back on the major reform which is mandatory pre-commitment on poker machines. There are so many vulnerable people in our community impacted by addiction to poker machines it is time to act. Attached is a press release setting out the position of ABM and if possible and appropriate it would be good if this could find some space in your church newsletter or the like. The Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce is a helpful site and their website address is and you may wish to refer this to your people. Thanking you in anticipation of your support. From Ross Clifford, ABM Gambling Taskforce

Good News story worth having a look at: It’s not all easy street on north shore              Read more:


FROM THE UNION: Thanks to all our Baptist church friends around the country. To date, we’ve receipted 1,625 donations for $500,000. More than 350 Baptist churches are represented through donors’ gifts. Your support as church leaders has made a great difference to the take up of this appeal so thanks so much. Here’s a brief glimpse into the initial food distribution carried out by our partner.
Famine Response
Last week on Wednesday, 17th August 2011, our Kenyan partner, UCCS, did the first distribution of food aid to Mukaa Location where 270 households each received 40kgs of Maize, 8kgs of Beans and 2Litres of cooking oil as the ration for the month. It was realized that due to the situation, the beneficiaries shared their rations with others since the situation is getting worse and they wanted also to save their friends, neighbours and relatives. It was revealed that one beneficiary was sharing with two which made each to take home 20kgs of Maize, 4kgs of Beans and 1 Litre of cooking oil which can rarely last for two weeks. The beneficiaries apart from the very vulnerable have continued to meet three times a day to prepare themselves for the sand dam construction through collection of local materials. TO CONTRIBUTE:

Things are happening on the Homelands front: JOIN IN

I am disturbed by the fact that as christians we seem to be so much more concerned about abstract morals ie being anti samesex marriages, than standing up for real moral issues like stopping the mandatory detention of already traumatized asylum seekers. This was well illustrated over the last weeks by the outrage of churches (including the baptist union) showed against samesex marriage by pouring into Canberra to make a statement to our politicians. I received emails from the union wanting our support for their “christian” stance on marriage and yet I don’t believe I have received one email of outrage over the real moral issue of our time .. the locking up of thousands of innocent people, including children for years. That is truly inhumane and absolutely against the humanising intentions of Jesus. Agree? then sign this:

Really want to understand why same sex couples want to marry?  Watch this

Please feel free to start a conversation: make a comment below!

Thanks again to Mark and Mary for Sunday’s service. The “parallel but different” tension is so much more difficult than “the straight and narrow”. However it is so much truer to where we should be as people of faith.  It would be great to have the transcript of your sermon up here sometime. Thankyou.

El Salvador . For Juan particularly this may be of interest. David Rodriguez was a catholic priest. In the early eighties he took up arms and led guerrilla fighters during El Salvador’s 12-year civil war. Today he is a member of parliament. This is his story

Walking in the footsteps of Archbishop Oscar Romero” Thanks Roy for picking this up.

I love this quote: ” The Archbishop saw David entering politics as dangerous for the Church and sent an excommunication request to Rome. The request complained that David, ‘adapted the Bible to fit reality’. .



Dear Church Family – The Loosely Woven concert went well, despite the sadness that went with it, since it was a tribute to Wayne’s Mum who died just 3 weeks before. A mixture of happiness and sadness!!
Thank you so much for your help. Special thanks to Mark and Mary who always support the Amnesty Group and work so hard in so many ways. Mary you are a souce of strength and are both inspirational!
We raised $240.20 in donations which has gone to help the innocent victims of injustice around the world. And we are able to send signed petitions to Malaysia about the imprisonment of 6 human rights workers there; and to Vietnam about a Priest who has been imprisoned for years for asking for freedom of speech and is now suffering from a brain tumour.
I have put up some pictures of our night – thank you Roy, Iris and Pat – always so faithful in working for others. AND it was just wonderful to see Juan enjoying the music. Thanks for coming Juan.

Last Sunday we had the privilege of Susie Lee from Tear sharing with us her experiences in Nepal and the challenges of need appropriate aid. It was terrific to see how aid delivery has changed over the years so that now we actually ask  locals where they see a need. Something the federal government could well heed in their arrogant and patronizing “help” through the northern Territory intervention. Thankyou Susie.

Wednesday Lindsay, Richard and Malcolm were rising to the challenge of the cross. Here are some pictures to document the event

A big thankyou to Jeff McMullen who came to introduce the film “Our Generation”


Sad News this week .. Our much loved previous minister Barry Higgins lost his father last week after a long illness. Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to you and your family, Fiona, Visarl and Narin and of course Barbara and all the family.

ACT NOWAung San Suu Kyi  Needs You To Act NOW!!

Really want to understand why same sex couples want to marry?  Watch this



4 Corners on the ABC worth seeing on mining interests and so called negotiations:



Discussion on what we do and where we’re going as a faith community,

Here is what we came up with:
Welfare Industry
Loosely Woven Concerts
Keep the place functioning
Art Classes
Craft Night
Sunday School
Surf Life Saving
Open Church to other uses ie: band practice
Call and Connect to others
Weddings, funerals, baby dedications, celebrations
What do we dream about doing in the future?
• Youth-Chaplain for youth, work with Point Zero, Barbeque at Skate Park
• Movie night to raise awareness of justice issues – 5th Sunday of 5 Sunday months
• Community Garden – Richard and Mary
• Special Guest speakers
• Art and Spirituality workshops
Practical Start:
. Prepare space to explain who we are
. Back wall- children, Sandy and Robyn
. Photo of Congregation- use the one from Micah and Carla’s goodbye gathering
. Poster with info about who we are statement
. Drawings by children
. Posters about issues with which we are involved: refugees, environment, justice, peace, etc.
Brochure (for visitors, Relationship Australia, and others) – Lucy, Daph, Mary (computer program)
. Website- Martin
. New safe, play equipment/ play area
Ideas/Plans For The Future from Mark’s sermon
• Film Night – 5th Sundays; raise social issues, invite the public, soup and bread
• Website/Blog – announcements, info from Sunday worship, info about the church, etc.
• Event with Mark Bin Bakar/Mary G – link with Aboriginal support group
• Partner with UNOH community – invite to Mary G event
• Start a community garden
• New Brochure describing ABPMC

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