One Blessing After Another

Published: Monday, 17 November 2014

This address was presented by Geoff Pound at ABC’s worship service and 80th AGM on Sunday 16 November 2014. It was accompanied by photos featuring ABC’s life and service in the last church year.

Reading: John 1: 14-18 (NIV)

As we’ve told the story of how Ashburton Baptist Church got going 80 years ago, I’ve loved the thought that we started in the Great Depression! With the help of a few Bible College students the little fellowship meeting in the Ashburton community hall in the early 1930s was hiccupping along.

When one of those students, Sam McKitterick, put in his resignation, the three foundation members I P Abbott, Norman Sibley and Mary Upton met at 6 Sherwood Rd., Glen Iris to find a replacement.

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Defined by Compassion

Published: Monday, 03 November 2014

matthew-25This address was presented by Joe Pinkard at ABC on Sunday 3 November 2014. The bible reading was from Matthew 25:31-46.

Bob the Builder,
Can we fix it?
Bob the Builder,
Yes we can!

I calmly sing to Jay, a 6-foot, 30-something, with an intellectual disability. The first time I met Jay I was conscious that he could squish me if he wanted, now I consider him a gentle giant.

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80th Anniversary Thanksgiving

Published: Wednesday, 29 October 2014

ABC Blog PicThis script for the Thanksgiving Service contains links to photos of banners, quilts and other memorabilia that was used to present the richness of our ABC story. In telling the story, Geoff Pound is indebted to I P Abbott’s ‘Founding and History of Ashburton Baptist Church, 1965 (reprinted in 2005 as Ashburton Baptist Church… “…Wasn’t Built in a Day.”, to Ros Otzen’s forthcoming book, ‘So Great a Cloud of Witnesses: Ashburton Baptist Church 1934-2014, to conversations with Ken & Rhonda Edmonds (and her captions on ABC banners) and to many ABC people for their anecdotes. 

Acknowledgement of Country—Geoff Pound

On this special day in the life of our church,
We acknowledge aboriginal people as the traditional owners of the lands and waters on which we live, work and play.

Acknowledgement of The Great Cloud of Witnesses—Keren McClelland

As we gather on this 80th anniversary of the Ashburton Baptist Church,
We acknowledge the ‘Great Cloud of Witnesses’:
Those who have served here in this place and have passed on,
People who are part of the heavenly grandstand
Who continue to inspire us and cheer us on.

Read more: 80th Anniversary Thanksgiving

God and Our Health and Wellbeing

Published: Tuesday, 21 October 2014

wellnessThis address is part of the Spring ‘Connections’ series at ABC. It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 19 October 2014.

Scripture Reading: James 5: 13-18 (NSRV).

A husband asked his wife what her greatest birthday wish might be. She looked in the mirror and then said with a laugh: “I wish I could be ten again.”

On her birthday her husband drove her to a Theme Park and took her on all the rides and thrills. Before she could say ‘Thanks’ he took her to McDonalds for a milk shake and a big Mac. Then he produced the tickets and took her to see a children’s movie, capping off the day with a load of popcorn and ice cream, all washed down with soft drink.

Collapsing into bed her husband asked: “What’s it been like to be ten again?” She said: “I’ve got no idea. I was referring to my dress size.”

Read more: God and Our Health and Wellbeing

God and Creativity

Published: Monday, 13 October 2014

tabithaThis address is part of the Spring Connections series at ABC. It was presented by Keren McClelland on Sunday 12 October 2014. There is also an accompanying small group or quiet prayer resource here.

Acts 9: 36-43

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.  Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up.  He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.  Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.

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God and the Earth

Published: Monday, 06 October 2014

Marysville GP 1014

This address, ‘God and Our Earth’, is part of the Spring Connections series at ABC. It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 5 October 2014. It is accompanied by a ‘Time to Talk’ discussion sheet and a ‘Time to Pray’ guide as discussion and prayer followed the worship service.

Reading: Genesis 1: 26-31

The cellist Yo Yo Ma was recently asked about his cellos.[1]

He said each of them has a different quality.

The Stradivarius is more of a tenor instrument while the Montagnana, the Venetian instrument is more like a bass baritone. It’s like … different human voices.

And you try and balance out what needs to be used in a different space.

If it’s a theatre it has dry acoustics because you really want to hear words.

But in an orchestral hall you want reverberation and blending the sounds of various instruments.

So knowing the space you’re in is really important…not necessarily matching the instrument to each hall but you want to know the characteristics so you can start to work in a way that works for the listener.

So you’re never just working with the instrument. You’re working with the instrument and the environment.

Read more: God and the Earth

Caring for the Earth in Practical Ways

Published: Friday, 03 October 2014


Geoff Pound requested these ‘headlines’ from John Weir knowing of John and Cathy’s concern for the earth both in the suburbs and on their farm.

Identify a piece of the earth that you have some connection with and influence over (it may be your garden, or nature strip, or a nearby park or watercourse or stretch of beach), and inwardly "sign up" for it, agreeing with yourself and with God that you will take responsibility, to the extent you are able, for caring for it, preserving it, healing it, watching over it, contemplating it.  Think of the life that it supports: flora and fauna; native, introduced and human.

List the threats and challenges to your piece of the earth.  In our case, our 40 acres of semi-bush farmland is faced with bushfire, some feral pests (rabbits and foxes), and mild infestation from three main weed species (gorse, scotch thistle, and capeweed).  The land is marginal quality farmland and currently supports some domestic stock (a breeding herd of 42 very gentle Boer goats), and so is potentially subject to overgrazing.  It is also home to an echidna pair, a hare and his family, numerous kangaroos intermittently visiting from the nearby Cobaw ranges, and an array of birdlife.  Oh, and countless grubs, ants, termites, worms and crawlies who keep the topsoil alive and vibrant.  And around 700 big old eucalypt trees, mainly peppermint gums, under a lot of stress from the long drought that ended 3 years ago and is about to start again.

Read more: Caring for the Earth in Practical Ways

God and Our Work/Study

Published: Monday, 29 September 2014

Collins St 5pmThis address, ‘God in our Work/Study’, is part of the Spring Connections series at ABC. It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 28 September 2014. It is followed by some questions used in a ‘Time to Talk’ discussion that followed the service.

In his book Christianity and Real Life, William Diehl makes this statement:

“I am now a sales manager for a major steel company. In the almost thirty years of my professional career, my church has never once suggested that there be any time of accounting of my on-the-job ministry to others. My church has never once offered to improve those skills which could have made me a better lay minister, nor has it ever asked if I needed any kind of support in what I was doing. There has never been an inquiry into the types of ethical decisions I must face, or whether I seek to communicate my faith to my co-workers. I never have been in a congregation where there was any type of public affirmation of a ministry in my career. In short, I must conclude that my church doesn’t really have the least interest in whether or how I minister in my daily work.”[1]

Read more: God and Our Work/Study