Eating Heaven

Published: Friday, 28 March 2014

Eating HeavenLed by Dianne Taylor, a group of us have been meeting to discuss a recently published book “Eating Heaven”, by Rev. Simon Holt, Senior minister at Collins Street Baptist Church.

Simon Holt not only writes of the experience of eating and enjoying food, but of the significance of sharing food together.  Previously an experienced chef, in his book Simon Holt gives us glimpses of elegant cuisine in high social circles.  He also describes a fascinating variety of eating experiences at many levels of Australian society.  He suggests that it can be a way of meeting people on ground where they feel comfortable, and a natural way of sharing the Faith, when an opportunity arises.

Our Insights Group agreed that this was happening in their experience, too, and stories were shared about some of those special moments.  On this first meeting of the Insights Group- a wonderful collection of home-grown herbs was on a display table- ready to be shared at the end of the session.

The group keenly looks forward to a future meeting when “Eating Heaven’s” author  Simon Holt, has promised to join us.

                                                                                      Margaret Perrin.

ABC Strategic Plan 2014

Published: Friday, 28 March 2014

Have you heard the saying “fail to plan then plan to fail”?  If we apply this to ABC then it means that we should be intentional about our spirituality, community and mission in the way we review the ministry areas we undertake and the facilities in which we undertake them.  This also applies to the ways in which our various groups operate and how we might reach out to both the local community around ABC and support particular work in the wider global community.

Deacons this year have been planning ahead and encouraged each group to also have their own plan.  This has resulted in the ABC Strategic Ministry Plan for 2014 which is now available on the ABC web site in its long form.

A summary of the major initiatives is as follows –


  • Engage others on ethical issues, faith issues and relevant topical issues through special forums and worship sessions
  • Further develop opportunities for parents to learn about and share experiences of nurturing faith in children (soul parenting)
  • Get young people more involved
  • Further develop linkages with other communities of faith, including multi-cultural linkages


  • Complete “Safe Church” arrangements for ABC leaders
  • Develop an improved model for Pastoral Care
  • Establish a Youth & Young Adults Team
  • Establish a Fellowship Coordinator
  • Establish a Hospitality Team
  • Research  framework for a Children & Families Team
  • Research framework for a Girls Group
  • Further explore participation in the Alamein Community Garden project
  • Further explore participation in the COACH mentoring program
  • Respond to changing needs by planning and progressively implementing facility improvements aimed at improving the catering / café area and making the sanctuary multi-purpose
  • Review audio-visual needs


  • Explore ways to support the new Warrandyte Baptist community
  • Create and strengthen ways of getting alongside people in the local community, including theatre, visual arts, Playful Market, CRE
  • Plan to better coordinate Community Ministries through the new Community Ministries Team
  • Strategic further development of Kids Hope at Ashburton Primary School
  • Visit the education work sponsored by Lawamena in Ambon (2015)
  • Continue financial support and communication with Global Interaction and other particular Christian groups engaged in reaching out to people outside of ABC’s local community.

Introducing the COACH Programme at ABC

Published: Wednesday, 26 March 2014

You're Invited

COACH PhotoLiz Jones (ABC Community Ministries Coordinator) and I are convening a meeting this Sunday 29 March at 9.00am in the Church Lounge and we'd love you to come. Should be finished by 9.40am although the coffee may carry on until 9.55am!

This is an open meeting but it follows a session we had at ABC when we had a Community Ministries Expo (August) and a one later in November when Mark Matthews came to ABC.

You may have expressed an interest in finding out more about COACH Community Mentoring but you may know nothing so here's your opportunity to find out more.. 

Read more: Introducing the COACH Programme at ABC

Cultivating Community through Gardening

Published: Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Ashburton Garden PhotoYou’re Invited

Feel free to join a small group of people who are becoming a part of the Ashburton Community Garden (Markham Reserve).

This Monday 31 March 2014 at 2.30pm the group is attending an orientation at the garden run by Shau Teo (Craig Family Centre) so we understand the principles and practices of working in this garden.

There are plots that have been allotted and you can go anytime with your key.

The Vision

It’s about growing lettuce and tomatoes but because it’s a community garden it’s about striking friendships and propagating new relationships.

Do you have to be an expert gardener with green fingers to be involved?

No, in fact the greatest qualification we need is to be a learner and this is a great opportunity to learn about gardening.

To learn about people and to engage with people where they are planted.

Digging Deeper

Check out these introductory slides on the Ashburton Community Garden (private plots) and within this the Growing Together Project (community plots).

The Northcote Baptist Church has found that gardening is a great way to connect with people in their community. Check out their growing story.


Speak to Liz Jones or Geoff Pound if you’d like to share in the orientation next Monday afternoon or at some other occasion.

Geoff Pound