There’s something special about birthdays. Maybe depending on our stage of life they look different (and might be celebrated with different levels of enthusiasm!) but it is still true that significant birthdays are important markers in life – a time for reflection and celebration.
Well, 2018 is a very significant marker for our NSW & ACT Baptist movement.
In 1868 a handful of Baptist Churches in the NSW colony decided to connect in an Association, to support and encourage one another in their mission and witness. That means 2018 is our 150th birthday!
From small beginnings, under God’s hand, we now comprise over 340 churches across the state and territory, unique in context and ministry but part of the same family. Our story has been one like that of most families – highs and lows, times of great challenge and others of real blessing. But more than anything else it is a story worth celebrating. We want to give God the glory for what he has done, is doing and will do through this family of over 30,000 people he has connected together.
So, in 2018 we will celebrate! We will also create space to look to the future with energy as we continue to press into the vision God has put before us. Some special ways of doing this are being planned – new publications and digital media focusing on our story, opportunities for connection and recording of what Baptist life is like now, and other initiatives. But I want to particularly let you know about the highlight event – Celebrate 150 in May.
Celebrate150 will run in place of our Revive gathering in 2018. It will begin over dinner on Thursday 17th May and that evening’s programme will include our Annual Assembly. Then on Friday 18th we will gather for a day of inspiration and equipping, culminating in a final celebration rally for all ages in the evening. The location will be Le Montage, a fantastic venue in Sydney’s inner west.
It will be a massive celebration!
But Celebrate 150 is not just about the birthday. It’s where we gather to meet with our tribe, to be inspired by how God is at work across our movement. We will be challenged and equipped in our walk of faith, and engage with some powerful questions: Who does God call us to be going into the future individually and collectively? And will we live that out, to His glory, in our generation?
You are invited to mark off the dates, and come and be inspired and challenged to live for Christ in our changing times – celebrating our story but fixing our eyes on Jesus as we look to the future with faith and hope. Celebrate150 will be an experience not to be missed!