Last November, church leaders from across Tasmania came together for the Building a Discipleship Culture Workshop in Poatina. Set at the Poatina Lodge, those attending were greeted by the magnificent views of the Western Tiers and surrounds. We were made welcome and immediately felt at home with the 1960s decor and open fireplace. This was no ordinary ‘conference centre’ but this was going to be no ordinary conference. Participants came from the north, south, east and west of Tasmania and ranged in age from young university leaders to those with many years ministry experience. Meal times in themselves were an event as people gathered and shared ideas and stories they were absorbing from the event.Read More
This interview with Rick Warren is really inspiring and challenging. Nicky Gumbel asks one question, about Rick's advice to a small, struggling church with no resources who nevertheless feel God is calling them to mission. The following forty minute answer (!) is worth watching and re-watching and has much to say to our family at Barney's - and no doubt plenty of others in small churches around our state.
The English Language Cafe at Barney’s has been up and running since the new year and is in full swing! There are two cafes operating; on Monday evenings and Wednesday afternoons and both are going well. We are welcoming people from many different nations including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Bhutan and Nepal, to name but a few! One of the team writes...
I am involved in the Monday evening group and have really enjoyed getting to know some of the many international people. There is a growing sense of community among the group and it is evident that those who come along enjoy not only practising their English but also getting to know people, being made welcome and belonging. We have been trying to increase this sense of community by organising other fun activities that people can join in with such as fishing, beach trips and lasertag.
Last Saturday we celebrated Christmas in July with the English Language Cafe. Barney’s looked very festive with Christmas trees, lights and wreaths, and everyone brought something delicious to eat. We played some games, sang some Christmas songs, and were able to share with all those there the story of Christmas. Everyone enjoyed themselves and thought it was a great idea!
I have been really encouraged by the relationships that are being built with international people and the welcoming atmosphere at the cafe. As well as this, the volunteers themselves are becoming a community together as we meet monthly to pray and worship and encourage one another. This is really important if we are to keep motivated and keep remembering why we are doing this.
Here are some photos of what we get up to at the cafe.
Over the next few weeks at Barney’s, we’ll be thinking again about our vision as God’s missionary people. To read more about who we are and how you can join in, read our ‘Welcome To Barney’s’ brochure.
Sunday Kids here at Barney's has been exciting over the last few months. We've come from just 2 or 3 children a year ago to as many as 15 under 11's now! It's really exciting for us as a community to be able to pass on the good news that we all share to the next generation. Sunday Kids is coordinated by Liz, with a number of great helpers involved in the team as well. If you would like to get more information about Sunday Kids, or register your child to come along, please click on the links below.
Here is the story I shared at Barney's on Palm Sunday which a few people asked for a copy of: The Ragman by Walter Wangerin. It is really worth reading and reflecting on this week. If you'd prefer, you can watch this video of Walter Wangerin reading his story (followed by some, er, interesting music - an acquired taste for sure... :) )