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Hunter Bible Church's 5 Top Tips for Magnification Team Success!

Singers: Niemah Jones

1. Practice singing the songs.

The difference between preparing and not preparing is big. Sing the songs throughout the week and note the difficult phrases. Work on them so that at church you aren't distracted by concentrating on how to hit the note, but rather what we're singing about.  

2. Technique:

Just like any other instrument, the voice takes practice and time in order to improve your skills and ability. Think about your posture, breath and support. Take the time to properly warm up your voice to reduce the risk of fatigue throughout practice and the service, singing for extended periods of time can put stress on the vocal folds. Also, HYDRATE.

3. Confidence: Have confidence in your voice. 

Embrace it for its unique sound and don't compare it to others in your team or at church. Remember that you are singing for God.

4. Be Humble: Again, remember why you're singing.

Your aim is to sing clearly so the congregation can follow. Keep it simple, focus on making the melody clear to someone who wouldn't know the song, so that they can joyfully follow along. That might mean losing the trills and runs.

5. (From Amanda W) Have Fun!

Don't be afraid to show emotion while singing. If you are up there leading the congregation and they see you having joyfully praising God then they will pick up on that vibe and their joy will reflect yours. We want to encourage others through what we do so that we can make a joyful sound to the Lord!

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Hunter Bible Church's 5 Top Tips for Magnification Team Success!

Soundies: Andrew 'Dewy' Bridge

1. Communication is key.

Sound isn’t a hide away by yourself job, the better the communication is between other soundies, musicians, staff and support the better the experience is for all. When something needs to be made more clear or you are unsure about something (be it a structure, roles or equipment) initiate a conversation with the appropriate parties, I have not been good at this.

2. We do this because we want God to be glorified, not me.

Some days it is hard to turn up on time and not be bitter or whingey about giving your time for something that does not seem to benefit yourself, we are sinful, it happens. On these days it is important to remember why we are all here.

3. Going on from the last point it is important to be relying on God.

Things go wrong… often… and when you are relying on your own strength and skills its hard to not take it personally when everything is falling apart. God humbles you real quick when you are cocky.

4. When faced with an issue, breathe.

It sounds silly but I found early on that when something would happen (sudden feedback and the like) I would freak out and as soon as that happens my mind goes blank and I can’t even solve the most simple of problems (turn down the gain to reduce the feedback). Like the last point, God is in charge and will be glorified even when I’m slightly incompetent but you have the gift of glorifying through sound.

5. There is always something that can be done.

I have found that the weeks that are slow for me, the setup goes smoothly, sound check takes no time at all and the band is just jamming, I make the most mistakes and end up forgetting to check the batteries in the wireless mics or something simple like that. Even if everything has been done, check to see if the stage is tidy, the lights are in the best locations possible and if everything is dope then you could be brainstorming ways that mag could be improved, pray or tinker with some of the features on the desk that you have not used before (compressor/expander, EQ, FX).

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Hunter Bible Church's 5 Top Tips for Magnification Team Success!

Drums: Hamish Batley

1. Stay humble, bury your head in the bible.

Let’s be honest, have you ever been more amazed at God (the heart of true worship) than when you were soaked in the word and saw how epic God is?

2. Be skilful. 

Practice, practice practice. Bash that pad till your hands bleed, then do it some more. Build your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Know your kit like the back of your hand. Play with the lights off. Play blindfolded. Change your set up and play with less kit available. Play along with a click at a bunch of different tempos.

3. Listen to music like you breathe oxygen.

Watch YouTube videos. Listen in the car. In the shower. At work if you can. Drum along on whatever you can get your hands on. Make beats out of anything. Learn the values of sitting back in silence and summoning a ferocious frenzy.

4. Learn music theory, learn another instrument.

This will help you understand what your band mates are doing plus leave you floored with a new appreciation of how this thing called music works!

5. Hang out with your band and soundies.

Your band should be tighter than Sweatman’s grip on a reformation commentary. If you can’t identify each other by BO in a crowded room you’re not gonna have the same propensity to play and sound awesome together. Hanging out with people in general will also help you know when it is better to shut up and listen, or humbly speak the truth in love.

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Hunter Bible Church's 5 Top Tips for Magnification Team Success!

Bass: John Stark

1. Play to the kick drum (and the drummer).

Kind of a bass fundamental, but working with the drummer is a must to lay a solid rhythmic structure - also always stand where you can see the kick drum (or the drummers foot). As bass playing is playing to a rhythm (not melody) you’re working with the drummer and the kick rhythm. Don’t work against it.

2. Go high when the song dynamics allow.

Playing bass in church is really different from playing music purely for performance, because often there will be more dynamics in the song to allow the congregation’s voice to be heard (i.e. the band backs off - sometimes completely). Sometimes this can be a significant portion of the song. In these periods the drums may not play, and playing the bass down low will simply overpower the song and disrupt the feel, so the question comes; “What should the bass do?" In these times the bass can still play a role to help those singing by keeping the melodic-rhythmic link going, but it can do this by going high into the solo register of the bass (anything higher than the 12th fret). Getting comfortable in the top frets can really help the band and the congregation if used correctly (and sometimes its still best not to play at all).

3. Follow the melody when building a bass line.

This one is a little subtle, but when building a bass line, the temptation can be to stay in one area of the bass, particularly as many songs are cyclic in their chord patterns. There are many ways to build a solid bass line, but when the goal is to support everyone singing, a good idea is to follow the melody. If a verse ends high - follow up the octave rather than returning to the low note (even go above 12th fret!). Again - the goal is to help people to follow the melody, have your bass pattern follow the melodic movement (great walking bass lines do this all the time).

4. Practice in the right key.

Maybe this is obvious, but probably the single biggest thing to help me was to use an iOS app to transpose a piece of music into the specific key to played on any Sunday (yeah - I’m old - but trust me - its painful to retune to a cassette player!) - sometimes its not always easy to transpose only one hour before church starts. There are a number of apps to do this - they are worth the investment. This most importantly helps with the last tip (which is the most important of all)….

5. Free yourself from your music (practice practice practice).

Playing as a band is a team effort. To be a tight unit (which ultimately helps people to sing to), its essential to work together, all instruments as one. That means having eye contact with each other (and watching that kick drum!) and genuinely playing together (not just the same song at the same time and hoping it works). The only way to do that is to be familiar enough with the song to be free from your music, it doesn’t mean not having ANY music on the stage, but the music on stage is only a safety net, a memory jogger, not something you need to watch slavishly to actually make sure you know where the song is going. That means practice (in the right key) until you don’t need your music; then walk away for 24 hours, then practice some more. This is where your band leaders can really help by getting the songs out early.

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Hunter Bible Church's 5 Top Tips for Magnification Team Success!

Keyboard: Melody

1. Purpose: Draw people to God, not to our skills

- Think about how our accompaniment could facilitate people to focus on the message of the songs

- Our mind-set will show through our accompaniment.

2. Communicate: Any expectations/ideas of the keyboard accompaniment

- It could be reinforcing the lead lines, reinforcing a few words in the lyrics, filling in gaps between verses, playing chords in the background, playing the lower end/higher end of the keyboard to complement other instruments etc.

- After learning the expectations, it'll be easier to prepare what we'll play during practices, but remember not to limit ourselves to a specific box (i.e. only practising background chords for the entire set).

3. Build our foundation by familiarising ourselves with all the chords

- Learning the chords will reduce the possibility of playing notes that will clash with the song.

- It'll help us to be fluid and flexible with our accompaniment/improvisation  (There are so many combinations of notes that we can discover and use to create lines within a single chord)

4. Be bold in creating and experimenting various lines or ideas

- Understand the song then create variations to suit the message and build up of the song (Have tip #1 in mind all the time!)

- The worst case scenario is for the band to say no, but we can learn so much from the reasons behind it.

5. Learn from various keyboardists and song recordings

- I started by adopting/mimicking some lines, then I improvised them to fit into songs better.

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Hunter Bible Church's 5 Top Tips for Magnification Team Success!

Strings: Brea Ryan

1. Be prepared for key changes.

The band leader may change their mind about the key on the day and it's helpful for them if we can help this change happen easily. Ways you can do this include knowing your key signatures, knowing the instrumental your playing well enough that you can put it into another key. If you struggle to do it by ear, have the sheet music and a pen ready.

2. Play confidently and loud.

This will help the quality of your sound and tone. It'll also help you have more body movement and expression, which is helpful for the congregation. If you're too loud through the mike the sound desk guys will turn you down.

3. No music stand is preferable.

It's better if you know the music off by heart so you can focus more on how what you're playing fits into the band.

4. Be aware of the harmonies

Other band members are playing around you. You don't want to clash with them.

If you have enough time, it can great to work out what you can play in the instrumental with other musicians involved. Then you can come up with a more interesting instrumental.

5. Sing if you can while playing, definitely when you're not playing anything.

Even just knowing the words is helpful for you to know

6. Bonus Tip! Listen to the arrangements that your band leader sends out.

If there's a melody or harmony you can hear on that track that you think you could play, have a crack at learning it and have a go on the day.

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HBC Association AGM and Building Info Night

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Even though our church is much more like a family than an organisation, our AGM is a great opportunity to hear how God has been at work around us, as well as review the more formal side of our church. It's a bit like one of those special family meetings that get called around the dinner table! :)

Plus we'll also get an update from the Building Acquisition Committee to hear about recent progress in fund-raising, research and sites we've looked into.

We'll be meeting at 7:30pm on Wednesday 18th April at the HBC Hub.

The agenda for the AGM can be found here, while the minutes from the 2017 AGM can be found here (we'll accept this at the AGM). If you have any questions that you'd like to be asked at the AGM, please email secretary@hunterbiblechurch.org so they can be included in the agenda.

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February Church Family News

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The Better Together Series

Throughout February our Newy am, Newy pm and LakeMac congregations have been looking at what the bible says about friendship, especially friendship in Church. There's been lots of great feedback, as well as lots of great questions.

To listen to the talks, go to our SoundCloud page.
https://soundcloud.com/hunterbiblechurch/sets/better-together

 
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O-Week @ UoN

Last week, thousands of new students started university at Newcastle. Unichurch held a bunch of outreach events and activities during O-Week.

It was a great week where they were able to let new and current students know about Jesus and church. The Team had some awesome conversations and 50 new people came along to Unichurch for the O-Week BBQ. 

Pray for Unichurch as they continue to welcome and encourage new students both at church and through evangelistic conversations.

 

 
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The Life Series

It’s been a cracker start to the year with the Life Series. There has been 19 people coming along to check out Jesus! 

Church is doing a stellar job of chatting to their friends about Jesus and inviting them along.

Pray that God would use his series to save many people for his glory. 

 
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NextPhase 'Living with Dementia'

On the 3rd of February, NextPhase held a seminar on ways to love and dignify people with Dementia as well as care for them as our Christian family. It reminded us that Jesus offers hope beyond Dementia.

Please be praying that people over 55 would continue to be exposed and challenged with the Gospel regardless of their illness. And, that in spite of people’s debilitating illness, we are able to show them hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 
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LakeMac Men & Meat

The guys at our LakeMac congregation got to invite their mates along to a great night hearing from Liam Doyle, a butcher turned pastor.

These have been really well attended and the prayer is that it will lead to guys coming along to Life or Christianity Explored to keep checking out Jesus.

 
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Cupacke Decorating Afternoon

Alongside the Men & Meat event, the LakeMac congregation held a cupcake decorating afternoon. A bunch of people's friends came along and met one another while having fun with icing and treats.

Again, please pray that these events would lead to more conversations and invitation to come and check out Jesus.

 
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Mag team gathering

Magnification Team Gathering was an evening where members of the Mag Team cam together for a night of fellowship, praise and learning new skills.

This was an opportunity for the Mag Team to spend some time improving their communication and skill base. Pete Munday gave a compelling talk on prayer where the Team was challenged to change their attitude towards prayer and its place in our life.

Please pray that the Mag Team can continue to work together at growing in their love of talking to God, and sharing this with our church.

 
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MaTURITY Team Training

The Unichurch Maturity Team met for training, planning and team building on Saturday, Feb 17.

This team of 50 or so guys and girls will be leading groups for the hopefully 300 people at Unichurch this year.

Pray for lots of sign ups and healthy and growing groups.

 

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January Church Family News

Building Update from Greg 

February is when everything kicks off at church. As I write, I'm sitting in a corner of the HUB watching the setup for Women's Growth Group. I'm struck by how generous and content our people are.

But I’m also struck by the leaves blowing in, the hard concrete floors, the insulation peeling from the ceiling... the fact that we have to wrestle with every venue to make it work for people.

Won’t it be great to have a venue that works! A venue that’s bright, clean, comfortable to be in, comfortable to invite people to…. Of course it won’t be perfect. We wouldn’t want a building that’s perfect: imagine putting that first mark on a wall! But we are praying for a home that helps our family life rather than hinders it.

Keep praying for the search. New buildings come onto the market all the time and our Father knows exactly what we need. I’m excited to find out what he has in store.

- Greg

So far over $1.13m of the pledged donations to the building fund have come in. That means there's just over $700,000 in pledged donations still to come in before August. We'll be sending out a Donation Summary to people who pledged in the next few weeks (if you haven't got one, please email building@hunterbiblechurch.org).

You can still pledge online, and all the details about how to fulfil your pledge can be found online http://www.hunterbiblechurch.org/building#donate-or-pledge 

 
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WAVE Mission Week

Thank God for the Leaders, the Volunteers, the helpers, the kids, and all the work that went into WAVE. We had over 600 unique kids and there's been a bunch of kids come to Youth and Rush and adults who've come to Life!
Please pray that God would keep using the work done through WAVE to bring people to himself.

 
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Summer Sessions

Summer Sessions is the unichurch Summer Bible Study. It's a great chance for Unichurchers to invite friends along and kick-off the year well.
Pray that those kicking around Newcastle for holidays would not give up studying the Bible together, and Summer Sessions would help Unichurch prepare for O-Week.

 
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Mag TEAM and Maturity Team Training

AS 2018 starts, several of our Ministry Teams have been gathering to get prepped and trained for the months ahead.

Please thank God for our Growth Group Leaders (and those who lead and look after them). And thank God for our musicians, sound techs, singers, etc. who love us each Sunday as we gather to rejoice in the gospel.

 
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MTS G8 Conference

We have 5 new MTS Apprentices starting at HBC this year. In January they started their training by going to the National MTS Orientation Conference called "G8".

Please pray for all 9 of our MTS Apprentices and their trainers! 

 
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Myanmar Pastor's ConferenceS

A small team from HBC went to Myanmar in January to visit Lincoln and Leah, the RBI college and Dave P. Dave Moore ran several Pastor's training conferences, helping them become better bible teachers and challenging some of their ideas too.

Please pray that the gospel would grow in Myanmar; that those who are culturally "Christian" would know Jesus truly, and that millions of others would hear about Jesus.

 

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December Church Family News

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CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN LAMBTON PARK

On the 17th of December, we hosted Carols in Lambton Park. It was a wonderful evening of singing and remembering the birth of Jesus.

Praise God for the thousands of people who attended from across Newcastle and for everyone who made the evening work.

Pray that those who attended would join us for WAVE or our Summer series on 'The Real Jesus.'

 
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Christmas with HBC

Over Christmas, we celebrated the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We had over 600 people come and hear how Jesus is their saviour. 

At Christmas Eve at Lake Mac and Christmas Day, we had an all-ages church service that the whole family was able to enjoy. Thank God for the team of people and preparation that went into making these services accessible for everyone.

Pray that the visitors over Christmas would continue to consider the importance of Jesus's birth, and would consider investigating Jesus further.

 

 
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Baptisms

On the first Sunday of December, Newy pm and Unichurch gathered for baptisms. It was a great afternoon of joining with our family as they declared their trust in Jesus.

Thank God for Yazmin and Will, and pray that God would help them to endure for the rest of their lives.

 

 
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Youth Summer Camp

Over the first weekend of December, HBC Youth went away for Summer Camp. They dug into 2 Timothy and were challenged to consider how their identity was shaped by living under God, and how they walk in their faith.

Thank God for the Youth Leaders who have taught the Bible faithfully over the last year. Pray that Youth, particularly those finishing up high school, would make Gospel-centred choices and find their identity in Christ.

 
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PM & Unichurch Family Dinner

Before Baptisms kicked off, PM & Unichurch gathered for a family dinner. They were able to share a meal together, and spend time with their extended church family.

Thank God for the people who cooked and provided food.

 
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AllNations

In 2017, 40 individual non-Christians came along to All Nations Life and Investigating Christianity. This represented 10 countries and 11 languages with 5 people becoming Christians!

Praise God for our international brothers and sisters. Pray that all those who have heard about Jesus through AllNations would be convicted of the Gospel and share it in their home countries.

 
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Carols clean-up

After Carols, we had a team of volunteers join together and clean up.

Thank God for all those who willingly gave up their time to serve our church and the local community.

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Update from the Building Committee

Over the last month the Building Acquisition Committee has continues to progress on their various projects involved in this phase. We've continued to keep an eye on potential sites for sale and we've contacted various commercial real estate agents to let them know the type of properties we're interested in.

Collecting Traffic Data

We're aware that whatever property we eventually buy, we'll be required to submit a Development Application which will need to include some traffic reports and studies. With these in mind, we're planning to conduct some current traffic surveys around our Sunday services and Hub events.

Further Legal Advice

Now that pledges have begun to be filled, we've continued to get further legal advice about managing the fund and ensuring we're fulfilling all our legal requirements. Please thank God for people like Neil who can help navigate these waters.

Financial management while we look

In conjunction with the HBC Finance Committee, the funds received so far have been put to work in a stable high-interest account. This means they're earning over $2200 in interest a month towards the building.

 

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November Church Family News

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Lil' Buds LuncH

We have a wonderful team of people who love our little kids at Lil's Buds every week during Women's Growth Group, teach them about their Heavenly Father and serve women who wish to read the bible with others.  Women's Growth Group and the leaders enjoyed lunch together after their weekly meeting on the 31st of Oct and 2nd of Nov.

It was wonderful to spend time with the Little Buds leaders, a chance for mums to get to know the team better and enjoy a meal together.  

Thank God for the ministry of Lil' Buds that frees up women to read the bible, grow their relationship with God and encourage each other to live for Jesus. Thank God for the Lil' Buds Team as they love and serve our 0 - 5 yr olds.

 
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Gospel Investment Afternoon

Earlier in November, we had our Gospel Investment afternoon where we gathered to hear the plans and prayers for our church in 2018. Greg looked back on the highlights of 2017, we heard an update from the Building Acquisition Committee and announced our new budget for 2018.

Pray that as a church we would continue to be driven by a vision to see people grow in faith and to reach Newcastle and Lake Macquarie with the gospel. 

You can see the budget for 2018 here.

 
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Reality Farewell

On the 8th of November, Reality, the college bible study, had their farewell. We said goodbye to those moving off college next year and those going back to their home countries.

It was a great night eating food, playing games and listening to God's word.

Please pray that as Uni breaks up for the year, the students will keep digging into God's word, and growing in their love and knowledge of him.

 
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Senior Staff Mini Conference

During mid-November, some of our senior staff gathered for a few days to pray and plan for the next season of serving Jesus' people at HBC. 

This time together included reading God's word, thanking God for the his work in and through our church over the past few years and asking for his help in the future.

This came after attending some encouraging conferences over the past few months, including the FIEC (Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches) Conference, and gathering with past MTS Apprentices at MTS Mission Minded.

Please thank God for our pastors and pray that God would keep them and use them for his glory. 

 
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New Youth Pastor Starting in 2018

We're very pleased to announce Anthony Allen will be joining the staff team to fill the Youth Pastor position.

Anthony and Laura have been around HBC for years and he's been working at Compassion after completing MTS with us a few years ago.

Please pray for the 30,000+ youth aged kids in Newcastle and Lake Mac... that God would use HBC to reach many with the gospel of Christ.

 

Births & marriages

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October Church Family News

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WAVE Training Day #2

The WAVE Team gathered for the second time on Oct 14th. They learned from Luke 9:52-61 that Jesus was gracious to those who rejected him, yet had stern rebukes for those who wanted to follow him for selfish reasons.

Pray that the team would desire to proclaim the kingdom of God rather than be part of the ‘in’ crowd on the WAVE team, and be gracious with those we encounter during evangelism. 

Now is also the time to be making deliberate plans to invite people along to Carols, Christmas church and WAVE!

 
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MTS Mission Minded

Over the October Long Weekend about 70 HBCers (including old friends) gathered with brothers and sisters across Australia for a conference focused on the value of Gospel Ministry.

Pray that as a church we would raise up more and more Gospel Workers, not for the sake of HBC, but for the sake of God's Kingdom. Pray for our brothers and sisters considering paid Gospel Ministry. Pray that as a church we would continue to invest generously in the Gospel and God's Kingdom both with our own time and money.

 
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Big Ideas Night: Marriage & Divorce

On the 25th, we gathered for the final Big Ideas Night of the year. We heard from Dave Allen, Greg and Jo on  God's plan for marriage and divorce. 

Pray that our understanding of marriage and divorce would be built on a solid foundation of biblical truths.

 

The Connect Series

The Connect Series has been running for the last three weeks to help new people join church well, to meet other people from around church and to learn what our church is all about.

The Connect Series helps people see what God is passionate about, and therefore what our church is passionate about. Pray that all the people checking out church will join well, and that we will all be living for Jesus as part of our church.

 
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The Life Series

The Life Series kicked off two weeks ago and is designed for people to investigate who Jesus is as it's only through Jesus that people can be saved.

Give thanks for the 12 people at regular Life and the 5 people at AllNations Life.

Pray for the team and their friends as they share the gospel with them and that God would have mercy on them. 

 
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Building committee update

The BAC (Building Acquisition Committee) has begun to turn it's attention to the next stage of the plan to find a property. Some news to let you know about; We've invited Kirsty Tepper to join the committee to help advise as we look at sites. We've looked at several sites for sale but none presently meet our needs. 

Financially, of the $1.9m pledged, the Building Fund already has just over $1m deposited.

Praise God for the generosity of his people and keep praying we find a great site to buy or develop.

 
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Church Finance Update

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us" 1John 3:1

The love of God is such a great encouragement to be generous and support gospel work.

For our church, at the end of September we're about $50k into our savings.

Start giving now and help us make up the difference... 
http://www.hunterbiblechurch.org/giving-finances/

 
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Financial Plans for 2018

Come along to the Gospel Investment Arvo on November 12 - 1pm at the Hub. We'll be going through the plans to invest God's money into God's kingdom in 2018.

One of the BIG news items is about plans for a new Youth Pastor!

 

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September Church Family News

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HBC:LakeMac Birthday

LakeMac congregation got together for dinner at Warners at the Bay to celebrate turning 1! It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past year and how God has been using LakeMac congregation.

Thank God that the congregation has united as one, for people who have joined us and for those who have become Christians.

Pray God will continue to build and grow the people of LakeMac.

 

 
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wave training day #1

On Sept 10th was WAVE Team Training Day where the Kids and Rego teams gathered for Bible teaching and training.

From Luke 4:14-30 we saw the Jews from Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth become furious when he didn’t put on a show of miracles, and reminded them that God is the one who chooses to bless, and he blesses his way. This was important to remember as we prepare for WAVE 2018..

Please pray for the Horse, Liv, Matt and the section leaders as they lead their teams and be praying for who YOU might invite to WAVE or talk to about Jesus, for His glory.

WAVE 2018 is on Mon 15th Jan - Fri 19th Jan.

 
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postal vote info night

On the 21st, we gathered for an information night on the same-sex marriage plebiscite.

Greg talked through some of the issues that might affect the way that we vote and how we should approach the survey as a Christian.

Pray that we might consider how we vote in light of what the Bible says about marriage.

 
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AIm mission awareness tour

During the last two weeks of September, 13 people from HBC visited Aboriginal Christians and AIM mission workers in Outback Australia.

The Tour provided valuable insight into what cross-cultural ministry in Outback Australia looks like and some of the challenges that mission workers are facing.

Give thanks for the Aboriginal Christians and missionaries who welcomed the HBC Team into their communities, and continue to pray that the Gospel would be proclaimed in Outback Australia.

 

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August Church Family News

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Big Sunday

Our whole church family gathered together in one place on Sunday 27th. It was awesome! Loads of little groups eating together, kids running around… jumping castles! We asked God to glorify Jesus though us, and through any building he might choose to give us. Please continue to pray for these things.

You can listen to the talks online.

In the meantime it’s not too late to tell us your pledge. Lots of us are still thinking and praying for wisdom about how much to give or increasing our gift. Every pledge and donation helps our building team have a better idea what we have to work with.

 

 
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A Home with purpose Prayer + Q&A

In the lead up to BIG Sunday, our whole church family had the chance to gather and Pray for A Home With Purpose.  This included an opportunity to ask Greg (and the Building Acquisition Committee) any questions that were floating around.

They were both great times of fellowship, thanksgiving and prayer.

Please keep praying for the Building Acquisition Committee: Greg Lee, Dave Moore, Steve Elliott, Shaun Hassall and Andrew Barnard

Please keep asking questions about the building plans by emailing building@hunterbiblechurch.org 

 
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ALLNATIONS

Throughout the year many international students come and go from Unichurch and the AllNations group. One of the students talked about his return and how the government opposes the house church he attends. He would normally remove the sim card and battery from his phone to avoid being tracked while at church. 

Please pray for our International brothers and sisters as they spend time with us in Newy and that they return home stronger, or in many cases, saved in Christ!

 
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LIFE Series

The Life Series has just finished up after 5 weeks of people coming along to check out who Jesus is. The Series is so important because there’s no other name in heaven or on earth by which mankind can be saved.

Praise God for the 21 people heading along to both The Life Series and AllNations Life. 

The next LIFE Series starts on 12th October at 7:30pm.

 
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AIM Mission Awareness Tour Training

AIM Training day was held on Saturday 12th August for the team of 13 people who will be travelling on the Mission Awareness Tour around outback Australia for two weeks, in the September holidays.

The training day helped the team get to know one another and to think through Gospel mission in different parts of Australia. The team is looking forward to seeing how God is growing his kingdom through various ministries around Australia.

Please pray that the team will develop a passion for mission, and grow in their understanding of Indigenous mission work. Pray also that the team will be preparing well prior to their time away.

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July Church Family News

Unichurch Mid Year Conference

Unichurch spent five days at Mid Year Conference (in Toukley) digging into the Bible and what it says about the Cross and how it's the most critical event in human history, the pivotal point of the Bible, and it's ALL about God's glory.

Pray for Unichurch as they've have heard an earth shattering message and above all thank God for the opportunity to run this camp every year as it grows beautiful, God glorifying fruit.

You can listen to the set of MYC Talks online.

 

Live @ The Hub

On Saturday the Hub hosted the 2nd Live @ the Hub arvo. It was a great night with live music, fire-pits and fun. It was a great opportunity to invite friends along and help our friends become their friends.

Thank God for the wonderful talent we can enjoy at HBC and that relationship will keep developing through events like this.

 

Home with Purpose Series Starts

This Sunday saw the launch of our Home with Purpose series across all 4 congregations. We're hoping most people have got their hands on a Information Pack too.

We've put a whole lot of information online:

www.hunterbiblechurch.org/building

 
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Newy am Ladies' Christmas in July

On Saturday the 15th, Newy am ladies gathered for a Christmas in July dinner.  

It was an opportunity for AM women to enjoy growing friendships, in a relaxed & cosy environment.  They also enjoyed a delicious 2 course meal while connecting with our sisters in our church family.  It was a lovely evening for the 38 women who attended to mingle and chat. 

Give thanks for a lovely evening spent growing relationships. Pray that women from around HBC will continue to take time in their busy lives to connect and build friendships that are anchored in Christ.  

 

Souper Sunday

This past Sunday, Unichurch welcomed the new semester and a whole bunch of new people with SOUPer Sunday. Everyone braved the cold before church and hung out having varieties of Soup together. 

Please ask God to help Unichurch reach more students on campus with the message of Christ as Lord and Saviour.

 
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new family members

As term 3 started last week, we also started a new Connect Series; a relaxed series of group studies that help newish people at HBC get a clearer idea about the type of church family we are and why we believe it's important.

Every time we run the Connect Series we see how it helps people feel like HBC really is their church and that they really belong here.

Please pray for the current group doing the series and for al the new people who've joined HBC in the past 6 months!

 

The LIFE SERIES

Please keep praying for your friends and join in praying for the LIFE Series kicking off this week.

As the Life Series Starts at the Hub on Thursday nights, there is also a Christianity Explored Course starting at Women's GG on Tuesdays and Thursdays (10am), and at Mark's Point Cafe on Wednesday nights.

 
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Kids Team Training

On Sunday Many of our Kids Team Leaders gathered at Eleebana Public School to keep getting trained as teachers of God's word along side our parents.

Our Kids Leaders cover a huge range of programs (Newy am, Newy pm, LakeMac kids, Rush, School SRE, etc). Please pray for them and for many more to join them telling kids the awesome news of Jesus.

 

BUILDING Prayer Q & A

As we go through the Home with Purpose series and think about a church building, we've really loved hearing all the questions people have raised. Questions are great! They help the Elders, Staff and Building Team be careful and faithful.

You can always email questions to building@hunterbiblechurch.org. But we'd really appreicate your prayer. Come and join us on Aug 9th to pray for a building, our city and ask more questions.

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May Church Family News

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Equip Women's Conference

HBC's women had a great opportunity to gather as a family and watch a live stream of the Equip Women's Conference at the Hub on the 27th.

This year they got into 1 Corinthians 11 and looked at what it means to be a woman in the sight of God

One of the best things about Equip17 LiveStream is that ladies from AM, PM, LakeMac and Unichurch get to spend time together, encourage one another and spend time in God's Word.

Pray that we would value Gods word and listen to it. Pray that we would continue to think through the roles of men and women in church and how we can glorify God.

 

Finance update

Please take a moment to pray about our church finances. After a good start this year, our giving has struggled to meet budget and cover all our expenses for the past few months.

Please prayerfully consider God's desire for every Christian to cheerfully and generously give to their church. If you haven't started giving regularly, or you think you should be giving more, please act soon to arrange a regular gift to the church bank account or set up a direct debit to church.

See some thoughts on God's giving principles.

 
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HBC Marriage Seminars

30 couples from different services attended the HBC Marriage Seminars. They looked at how to create deeper intimacy through meaningful communication and explored relationship roles in a Christian marriage. There was laughter, some tears and, at the end, many beaming couples.

Dave Allen even arranged for free babysitting so many were able to go on a child-free date that night!

Give thanks for the people who came to babysit children and thank God for the opportunity these couples had to come together and work at deepening their relationships. Pray for them as they seek to apply what they learnt in the coming months.

 
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SMBC Kids Ministry Training

Earlier in May, many of our wonderful Kids Ministry Team woke up early to go to SMBC's Kids Ministry Training Day. The whole day was based on the book of Acts, best summarised as “The message of the risen Lord Jesus cannot be stopped!”

The day challenged our Kids Team to keep handling God’s Word carefully and make sure passages are distilled for children rather than watered down. Everyone came back with a heap of practical tips that they can put into practise. 

Keep praying for all our leaders to keep being grown by God’s Word themselves, to be diligent in their preparations and for energy to keep engaging their kids with the wonderful message of the risen Lord Jesus, even when it is hard.

 
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Little Buds Lunch

The Tuesday Little Buds Team were the guest of honour at a Tuesday Women’s Growth Group lunch on the 16th. Butter chicken, salad, roast chicken, chocolate raspberry muffins and much more was enjoyed by the Little Buds Leaders alongside the Women’s Growth Group ladies and the kids.

The ladies were keen to show their appreciation to the team for loving and serving the kids each week.

Please keep praying for Sam Koster, Laura Reed and their teams that they would teach the Bible clearly to the kids each week.

 
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AIM Mission awareness meeting

Rob and Jenni Alley from Australian Indigenous Ministries visited us on from Taree. They ran an info session with a bunch of people who are interested in attending the Mission Awareness Tour they are running in September.

It was a great afternoon of getting to know Rob & Jenni better and hearing about their work raising awareness of the opportunities for cross-cultural mission in our own backyard! If you would like to know more email aim@hunterbiblechurch.org

Please pray that the trip in September will be a great time of growth for those who attend, and that they will come away from the trip keen to live for Jesus and passionate about the work God is doing in Aboriginal communities. 

 
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Prayer for our pastoral staff

Please keep our pastoral staff team in your prayers. Over the past few months, we've been getting help from other Christian groups, as well as being able to provide support to others also. We recently hosted a church management forum with pastors from England, Australia and America involved. Please join in praying for our leaders and for the growth of faithful churches around Australia and the world.

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Register for Big Sunday

As we approach buying a building, August 27 is going to be an important day in the history of HBC. We're planning a Big Sunday; all 4 congregations together from 9.30am - 3.30pm. And it's the type of day that you move mountains to come to.

Big Sunday is FREE, but we need to know you're coming so we can organise catering. Please register now.

 
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MTS Apprenticeships 2018

At HBC we're keen to raise up the next generation of gospel workers who will plant and lead churches and ministries across Australia and beyond. We partner with MTS to offer two year hands-on ministry apprenticeships. Contact MTS@hunterbiblechurch.org to find out more.

 

June Church Family News

All-in Church at AM, PM & Lake Mac

The last two weekends of June, our AM, PM and LakeMac congregations did church with kids-in! Each meeting saw kids and adults singing, learning and doing actions as they looked through John 5.

Thank God for the chance to have all-ages in church and for our wonderful kids team leaders.

 

 
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Lake Mac Weekend Away

On the 2nd-4th of June, LakeMac had a weekend away to Toukley. It was a an opportunity for the LakeMac congregation to get away for the weekend, to sit under God's word and invest time into one another as a family. Greg preached five great talks on Jesus as God's Right Hand Man (The Session of Christ) and they had some fantastic seminars on living for Jesus in marriage and singleness.

Pray for the HBC:LakeMac congregation that their lives - their godliness, their mission, and their decisions - would be about Jesus and His glory.

 
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New Members Dinner

Joining a church is a big deal because God loves us and gathers us together as his people. The New Members Dinner was an opportunity to celebrate with people who have joined us this year. We had around 25 people come along and we got to chat about what God has done in the life of our church so far and what we are looking forward to God doing in and through us. 

Give thanks for all the people who have come along and decided to join us this year. Pray for them to keep making deeper and deeper connections with people and to feel part of HBC.

 

Big Ideas Night: Men & Women in Ministry

In May and June we gathered for two events (men and women) to explore what the Bible says about men and women in ministry. At the women's Big Ideas night Jenny Jefferys and Rach Munday did some great teaching on 1Timothy 2 and a reflection on feminism. A long Q&A with Jenny, Jo, Rach and Greg was very helpful.

This topic creates controversy among Christians and in the world, but we were able to see the goodness of God's way: men and women are equally valuable in God's church but at times serve him in different ways in different roles.

Pray that as a church both men and women would be glorifying God in all kinds of ministry.

 

UniChurch marriage seminar

On the 10th, Unichurch couples attended a marriage seminar at The Hub. It was an awesome afternoon which allowed them to think about how their marriages help them do the ministry of building God’s kingdom.

They were encouraged to love both singles and married couples around Unichurch, remembering that their job is firstly to serve Jesus.

Pray that all our married couples would be seeking to glorify God in their marriages.

 
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Winter Warmers

Winter Warmers has kicked off whilst Unichurch Growth Groups are on pause over the holidays. Unichurchers have been meeting at the Hub every Tuesday to share a meal together and spend some time studying God's word.

Winter Warmers is a great chance for our Unichurch congregation to stay focused on God's word while they are on break from uni and their regular routines. It is a great time of fellowship as a congregation.

Please be praying that people will be coming along and continue to grow in God's word over the mid year break.

 

New Mobile Phone App?

We've been considering a HBC Phone App and we'd love your feedback and ideas! Would you use it? What would you use it for? Should we do it? Let us know!