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 firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be included in the agenda.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com).
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
HBC Annual general meeting
On the 12th, HBC had its Annual General Meeting. We gathered at the Hub to look back on 2016 and give thanks for how God has used HBC over the past year.
You can access the AGM documents here..
Easter with hunter bible church
Over Easter, 600 people gathered to celebrate Jesus's Death on Good Friday with Hunter Bible. There were heaps of new people and families with us across the weekend.
Give thanks for the chance to come together as a church and for all the people who came along. Pray that they all felt welcomed and were challenged by Jesus's death and resurrection.
Good Friday BAPTISMs
On Good Friday, six of our congregation members were baptised as an outward declaration of their love for Jesus to their family and friends.
Pray that those who were baptised would continue to grow in their love for God.
UniChurch Men & Meat
On the 6th, the guys from Unichurch brought their friends along to the Men & Meat night, to see how a lamb carcass is butchered into it’s various cuts of meat, BBQ it and eat together.
Liam Doyle, the butcher, also gave his testimony about being confronted by death and what this meant for his relationship with Christ. The night gave all those who came along an opportunity to think about why they might want to consider Jesus in a relaxed environment.
Give thanks for those who came and who brought friends. Pray that they might be challenged by what they heard and want to consider the claims of Jesus in more depth.
Youth at kyck
From the 7th - 9th, HBC Youth headed along to KYCK at Katoomba. They heard talks from the Book of Daniel and what it meant to be a bold believer.
Pray that the youth who went along would be challenged to live lives for God.
NewyPM FAMILY DINNER
On Sunday, NewyPM gathered for dinner after church. It was a great to spend some time together and share a meal.
Give thanks for all the people who provided food and for the opportunity to strengthen church relationships.
After 16 years studying medicine, Rhys found himself on the other side of the consultation room and facing a uncertain and possibly short life ahead...
Ash had some basic experiences of church as a kid but when she left home, life filled up with work, study, partying and relationships; church just didn't fit in...
AM: Connect 17
AM:Connect17 was a great day at Swansea for the Newy:AM family to hang out on the last Saturday of March. Young and old had fun playing cricket, paddling canoes, drinking tea/coffee, riding bikes & billy carts, sliding down hills on ice-sleds, drinking tea/coffee, playing tennis, etc.
It enabled conversations and relationships to be deepened, the sort of thing that comes just through time and shared experiences.
Pray for connections to strengthen between our Newy:AM family members, to laugh together through the fun times so we can cry and pray together through the tough times.
On the 6th, PubSessions returned for 2017. PubSessions is a two hour weekly gathering where HBCers are able to participate in ministry training and hear a 'PubTalk,' where we address a current big issue in our world and how the gospel speaks into it.
Living our lives shaped by the Gospel gives us competence, confidence and conviction to serve Jesus in a world that is hostile to Jesus. Pray that through PubSessions HBCers would be equipped for a lifetime of making disciples and serving Jesus.
Our musicians from across all four congreagations gathered for a day of song-writing on the 25th, with Trevor Hodge. We were encouraged to write songs that glorified our great God.
Thank God for providing our church with talented people to help us praise Him every week and the time to gather for a song-writing day.
Live at the GT Bar
On the 8th, musicians from HBC put on a free music gig at the GT Bar on-campus. Live at the GT bar was a chance for our friends who don’t know Jesus to rub shoulders with people from church.
Our hope is that it’ll help merge the worlds' of non-Christians with Christians and that in doing so will provide opportunities for us to share the gospel and our lives with them, that they might be saved.
Pray that we’d keep having opportunities to tell those who came along about Jesus.
Big Ideas Night: Scripture
60 people from all 4 congregations met to learn about the doctrine of Scripture at the first Big Ideas Night on the 15th.
Scripture is God's word to us - authorative, inspired, sufficient, infallible and clear - so it's right that we thought hard about our convictions here!
Pray that we might value Scripture as a church and be reading it regularly personally, in families and in all aspects of church.
DumplinGS with the girls
Last Wednesday, the women of UniChurch gathered with their friends for a night of homemade dumplings and had good quality time together.
The night provided a way for Unichurch girls to invite a non-Christian friend along, and by God's grace there were 12 non-Christian girls who came along!
Please be praying for them to be having gospel conversations in the following weeks with their Christian friends.
Building Acquisition Committee
March kicked off with the Building Acquisition Committee meeting to discuss HBC's plans to buy a building in the future.
Please thank God for the spaces HBC has been able to meet in over the years and ask God to provide the funds and the facilities for a purpose built HBC home.
There'll be more info about our prayers and plans at the HBC AGM on the 12th.
what's coming up...
HBC Annual General Meeting - 12th April at the Hub
At our Association AGM we go through some formal requirements for our legal association, but we also get the chance to thank God for the year that's been.
This year we'll also be going through some more info about our plans for a HBC Building.
Good Friday: 10am 14th April at Lambton High School
We'd love to invite you to come and celebrate Easter with us as we dig into what Jesus means when he says, "It is finished."
There's a full kids program that will run for ages 0-12.
Unichurch Men & Meat - 6th April
Youth @ KYCK - 7th-9th April
HBC:Lake Mac Picnic Lunch - 9th April
HBC Public Bible Reading Club - 19th April
LIFE Series Starts!! - Wednesday 3rd May
Equip Women's Conference (Life Streamed from Sydney) - 27th May
HBC:Lake Mac Weekend away - 2nd-4th June
Youth BreakAway Camp - 30th June-2nd July
Unichurch MYC - 19th-23rd July
Big Sunday - all 4 congregations - one day conference - Sunday 27th August
18 people (5 international students) have come along to check out the claims of Jesus at the Life Series during February!
Praise God for his compassion in bringing them along. Ask that he would have mercy on their souls and that we might continue to do a good job of sharing the good news with them.
On the 18th, our Unichurch congregation gathered for Launch17. Here, Unichurch had the opportunity to refocus and prepare for the new students arriving and a year of proclaiming Jesus’ name in Newcastle.
Pray that Unichurch would make a real commitment to see their primary focus for this year ito fulfil the purposes of God in this world for God's glory alone.
Pray that Unichurches will continue to do a good job at welcoming and loving people into church.
Pray that God would be pleased to use Unichurch to bring many to himself.
PM FAMILY BBQ
Last Sunday our church family stuck around after church to share a meal and chat together.
It was a great time for regulars and new/ish people who've recently joined us this year to spend time together.
Pray that we would continue to spend time with one another in our day to day lives as well as thanking God for the good and hard times we share together.
Unichurch & O-WEEK
O-week kicked off last week at the University, with hundreds of new students filling the campus for orientation.
It's also a week where Unichurch gets to meet these new people through a load of activities such as leafleting, walk up and door knocking. We also ran a girls high tea, a beach hangout, park soccer and a BBQ dinner before church.
Pray for all the people that came into contact with Unichurch, and that we would love them into our family and help them connect with HBC.
Growth groups kicked off
Growth Groups have now started across all congregations including, for the first very time, Lake Mac!
Being part of a Bible study group is a great way for us to be growing together to become more like Christ and to love our brothers and sisters.
Pray for all our Growth Groups and wonderful leaders, including your own.
Chinese New Year
All Nations and Reality hosted Chinese New Year on the 11th, where they cooked dumplings, ate delicious food, played games and conversed with one another, before kicking off Unichurch in 2017.
The night was a great way for our International and Australian students to meet and build relationships, as well as providing an opportunity for non-Christians to meet Christians.
Thank God for bringing together people from every tribe and nation into his family through Jesus and pray that the non-Christians who came along might be saved.
ELDers and Association News (AGM Notice)
Notice of HBC Association Annual General Meeting. 12 April 2017 at the HBC HUB.
Please try to come along to the AGM of the HBC Association. There's always some formal things to get through, but we'll also be talking about the plans and prayers for a HBC Building.
The other news is that the wonderful Bronwyn Thomas has decided to take a well-earned break from being an Adviser to the Committee of Elders. Bronwyn has been part of the Committee since May 2013 and has served our church with faithfulness and wisdom. Please join us in thanking God for Bronwyn.
WAVE Kids Club
In the third week of January, the WAVE Kids Club with Sideline Cafe kicked off. Over 600 kids came along throughout the week, with over 100 different adults sticking around at the coffee tent. All who came along got to hear and learn about how they could be friends with Jesus and what the gospel means.
Thank God for the 200+ people who helped WAVE happen and pray for all those who heard the gospel.
Men & Meat Night
On the 25th, a stack men gathered at The Hub to hang out with friends, cut up and eat lamb and hear about Jesus.
Pray for the non-Christians who were invited along, and that they would continue to investigate who Jesus is.
Over Summer, Newy:PM has been meeting on Tuesday at Summer Nights to hang out, let the kids play, eat together and listen to a story from the Bible, because it's easy to let God slip to the side when Growth Groups have come to an end.
Pray that Newy:Pmers would practice and remember these Bible stories so they can lovingly share the Gospel, as well as think through what it means for their own lives.
Last Tuesday, Summer Sessions kicked off again for our Unichurch congregation. Summer Sessions is a great chance for Unichurch to continue to meet and study the Bible whilst on holidays. It will run every Tuesday until the 14th of Feb, at The Hub from 6pm-9pm.
Pray that the Unichurchers would be challenged and equipped for another year of serving Jesus at uni.
Over the Summer, all four congregations have been looking at four big questions about Christianity. These have been a big hit with non-Cristians thinking through the claims of Christianity as well as for Christians to consider how to answer wisely on their own.
We're planning to put these up online soon!
Growth Groups Kicking off
Over the past week or so, 100s of HBCers have been signing up for Growth Groups for the year. As a church, we're really keen on gathering around the bible in weekly groups to grow more like Christ together.
Please pray for our 70+ Growth Group leaders and their support teams. Please pray for our Newish Groups starting the Connect Series too! The hope is that those Newish Groups will become their own Growth Groups soon.
Our Extended family
At HBC we partner with a bunch of people and organisations who we love, and are doing some ministry + evangelism that we can't do, but are really excited about. To keep things manageable, and to help deepen relationships between people in our church family here in Newcastle + Lake Mac and our family serving in other places, we divide them up amongst our 4 congregations.
- Chris + Karen Webb | CMS Broome, WA. (visiting us in March!).
- Kingsley + Veronica Box | CMS, Slovenia.
- Stu + Isabella | CMS, South Asia.
- Rob + Jen Alley | AIM.
- Shem + Grace | HSJC
- Kelly Landrigan | CMS, France.
- Josh + Sarah Allen | Laneway Church, Footscray Vic.
- Lincoln + Leah Bill | HMP, Myanmar.
- Mike + Katie Taylor | CMS, Tanzania.
- Ross + Lyndal Webb | Wycliffe Bible Translators, Vanuatu.
- Dave Payne | Pioneers, Myanmar.
- Dene + Rachel Hughes | CMS, Japan.