Facing Change as a City Church

The building Hobart Baptist Church meets in is just on the fringe of CBD of Hobart. It is a stately stone building modelled on Baptist Tabernacle in Stockport, England, and is uniquely located on the main road linking Hobart and North Hobart.

Hobart Baptist Church
Hobart Baptist Church is one of the original ‘tabernacles’ built in Tasmania with help from Spurgeon’s grandson

As a city church the congregation is drawn from across Hobart and across many nationalities. It is the oldest remaining Baptist church in Hobart with links back to the first Baptist church established in 1835.
At various times through its history the congregation has struggled to fit into the building, and at other times it has felt quite empty. Today, the church is made up of three congregations numbering nearly 250 people.
As a church we are on a journey . . .
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Christianity in Australia

Despite what you read in the newspaper, Christianity is far from dead in Australia.
The last census figures released last year showed that the numbers calling themselves Christian have grown from 12.8 million in 2001 to 13.1 million in 2011. While the percentage of Christians declined from 66% to 61% it is significant overall numbers increased. Being a Christian may no longer have the social status it once had, however, these figures show us it is far from abnormal.
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Facing the Challenge

I’ve recently returned from leading a study tour of the Middle East with a focus on Israel and the areas where Jesus lived and ministered. It certainly was a special, and challenging, time for everyone as we connected with the land and the people of the Bible.

At the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem with yours truly leading the discussion
At the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem with yours truly leading the discussion

Staying in hotels run by the local kibbutz provided insights into the lives of modern orthodox Jews. One evening meal had beef on the menu which meant that only soy milk was available for tea and coffee (consuming mixtures of cow’s milk and beef are prohibited according to Levitical law, Ex. 23:19, 34:26; Deut. 14:21).
Then there was the Shabbat (Sabbath) elevator which . . .
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