Annual Report 2021
"So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."
- Romans 12:5
A message from
Chairperson of the Board, New Peninsula Baptist Church
I realise my focus can often be looking forward. Asking what is coming up the pipeline? What are we moving towards? However, an annual report is looking back and as I reflect, I am reminded of many of God’s blessings.
We celebrated and welcomed Paul Crothers as our Senior Pastor. On behalf of the board, we would like to say a special thanks to Paul as he commenced in a time of Covid lockdowns. He diligently managed to connect with staff and our church family, as well as looking towards the future and what that holds for New Peninsula.
Our church's overwhelming approval to proceed with our Rosebud building development gives us the opportunity to reach generations of believers and to enable them to hear God’s word. The generosity of our people means our debt remains very reasonable. We thank Mim Gaetano and the team as they continue to lead this development.
Solar panels were installed at the Mt Martha facility in 2021 and our hope is to realise the financial and environmental benefits. A further blessing relating to our church finances, in a second year of COVID, is that we finished the year in a sound financial position, and we give thanks for our church families’ generosity.
As a board we would like to thank John Williamson who retired as our Church Secretary after 3 years of committed service. The time John served was in a particularly busy season with organising on-line Church meetings and as Secretary for the Search Committee. Thank you, John! We would also like to give thanks for Dave Underhill and Glenda Holbrook as they led us diligently and commendably while we sought a Senior Pastor.
Finally, thank you to everyone who calls New Peninsula home. There have been so many people who have given in many and various ways throughout the year. Thank you to each one of you.
1 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you:
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
- Psalm 9:1-2
Elders met regularly with Paul as we considered future directions for our church under the direction of the Holy Spirit. This year we welcomed Jim Goddard to the Elders, and his contribution and insights have added much to our discussions.
Over the last twelve months, despite the many difficulties of COVID, there has been building a sense of excitement and emerging growth in our New Peninsula church family around the area of connection:
reconnecting and reestablishing relationships again with each other after COVID lockdown by face to face gatherings
increasing prayer in the church leading to deepening of our awareness, focus and dependence on God
welcoming Pastors Andy Simpson and Lucy Kenshole, who we believe will be strategically important in the area of strengthening connections in youth and young adults (Andy) and pastoral care and life groups (Lucy)
welcoming Christina Ward to our office in her role as church administration and communication "connector"
the faithful work of our Pastoral, office and volunteer staff in difficult times, for which we remain so grateful
seeking God for wisdom around careful shepherding of bruised or broken connections within our church family
looking to strengthen areas of connection such as our online presence, life groups, mission partnerships and increasing prayer.
The Elders believe New Peninsula church is incredibly blessed to have Paul Crothers lead us as Senior Pastor over the last year and we look forward to the next year ahead. Our ongoing prayer is that all of us will increasingly grow and experience God in our lives individually and as a church family, so that we can be "salt and light" to our community.
Chair of Elders
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
- Matthew 18:20
Weekly Average Attendance
Mount Martha Service
Total avg per week
Note: Melbourne lockdown restricted in-person attendance for 21 weeks of 2021.
"The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
People in Life Groups
"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
- Matthew 5:16
"Getting older is like climbing a mountain, you get a little out of breath,
but the view is much better." - Ingrid Bergman
Click on the arrow on the bottom right of each picture to scroll through the various Seniors Ministries.
KiDS AND FAMILIES MINISTRY
"Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6
Amid frequent and sporadic lockdowns, the Kids and Families ministries kept spirits up with Zoom events, like Lock Down Lunches and Kids Zoom get togethers.
When Melbourne did open up again from COVID restrictions, organised winter walks and beach nights helped keep families connected. Thankfully by October kids were able to meet together at Kids Church and dig deeper into God's word.
"We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power,
and the wonders he has done." - Psalm 78:4
A note from Julia Fulton, the Youth Pastor in 2021:
2021 was yet another different year. Term 3 and the mega lockdown was particularly difficult. At Youth we still managed to have lots of laughs and grow together.
Reflecting over the year, the Youth Leaders had the privilege of being a part of a Youth Group that would not stop meeting together, would not stop encouraging each other and would not stop seeking God. The maturity and joy our young people displayed, even in the low points, was such an encouragement to us in our faith as their leaders.
I know 2021 will have proven to be really formative for a number of our young people as we see them emerge as disciples who make disciples.
Getting to come together finally in Term 4 was so much fun and whilst 2021 closed a chapter on a number of things for New Pen Youth, it also marked the beginnings of the new things God has in store for this particular group of young image bearers on the peninsula.
In 2021, among navigating through COVID lockdowns, we also said farewell to our Youth Pastor, Julia Fulton. Julia has done an amazing job keeping our youth and the leaders connected and accountable. We were extremely sad to see her go, but wish her and her family well in the next chapter of their lives.
"He [Jesus] said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."
- Mark 16:15