During our service on Sunday November 11, our church member and deacon Dr Ros Otzen offered this reflection, prior to our observance of one minute of silence and remembrance.
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, one hundred years ago today, an armistice finally brought an end to WW1.
Peace came to an exhausted world.
No family in Australia was untouched by this war. As remote as our country was from the rest of the world, and as young and new our small European-descended population was on this great continent, war found us even so. It dragged even our indigenous families into an alien horror.
Our young men died – and today we name the men of this church who never came back:
Frank A Dixon
We also remember the arrow of grief and loss driven into the hearts of their families sitting in the very pews we are sitting in today.
War comes so easily all over the world. The struggle for peace, for shalom between peoples so equally valued by our loving Father God is a hard road, but one we will walk with him, and must walk with him.
Ever-living God, we remember those whom you have gather from the storm of war into the peace of your presence. May that same peace calm our fears and guide our actions.
May the memory of this and other wars strengthen our efforts for peace.
May the memory of those who died inspire our service to the living.
May the memory of past destruction move us to build for the future.
O God of peace, O companion for our souls,
O builder of love and justice and shalom in the world:
Hear our prayer.
At the recent gathering of Victorian Baptists, three members of Collins Street were among those honoured for their distinguished service to the churches of our state.
It is now 40 years since Rev Bruce Tudball was ordained to the Baptist ministry and his contribution to the churches and agencies of the BUV was acknowledged.
Also celebrating 40 years of ministry, Rev Dr Marita Munro was the first woman to be ordained in Australia. Now Professor of Baptist Studies at Whitley College, Marita continues to invest in our movement.
And celebrating an extraordinary 60 years since his ordination to ministry, Rev Len Lewis was honoured for his faithful service across two states, concluding here at Collins Street in 2011.
This Sunday is a day to give thanks.
Preceding our Annual General Meeting, Sunday’s gathering for worship provides an opportunity to name all that has been good in the life and ministry of our church this year. It’s also a time to recommit ourselves for the year ahead.
All the documents for our AGM and the special members’ meeting that will follow, can be found here.
In 2017, Australian Baptist Ministries (ABM) sought to increase the awareness of Baptist churches in regard to issues of domestic violence. Further, ABM committed to supporting churches in responding to incidents of family and domestic violence in their churches and communities. This included encouraging churches to become better informed about support services available in their local communities.
As a consequence of these efforts, ABM has just released a report on the current state of support services across Australia. Titled No Room, the report details the failings of our present systems of support and makes recommendations to strengthen them.
You can access the report here.
This Sunday we begin a new four-week series of sermons from Paul’s letter to the Romans.
In just two weeks’ time, the community of Collins Street will gather at the Amberley Retreat Centre for its annual community weekend.
Amberley is a just a 30-minute drive from the CBD, a beautiful place set on the banks of the Yarra River. The weekend provides a great opportunity to get to know each other better and to spend time reflecting on the faith that holds us together.
There are registration forms available in the narthex this Sunday or you can contact the church office for more details.
The community of Collins Street gathered on Saturday night (Aug 4) for the church’s 175th Anniversary Dinner. The final event in our season of celebration, we met to feast! Together we told stories, shared memories and expressed our gratitude for God’s continuing presence with us.
With a three-course dinner provided by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, music from the Flinders Quartet, and stories from special guest and gifted storyteller Rev Jim Barr (minister of Collins Street 1994 – 2000), we celebrated in style. Weaved through the night were reminiscences from members of our community, new and old, and our very own quiz show hosted by Quiz Master Nigel Smith.
The generous hospitality of neighbouring Scots Church was a gift. Our thanks to all of those who contributed so beautifully to the night, and to Geoff Maddock for these wonderful images.
This Sunday we begin our sixth annual festival of films.
You are invited to watch each of the films in the comfort of your own home or with a group of friends, then come to our Sunday service to reflect on the meaning of these stories through the lens of faith.
On Saturday July 21, Collins Street joined with the Victorian Baptist Historical Society to mark the 175th anniversary of the church.
Historian Dr Ros Otzen offered a keynote presentation, Calling the Roll: What we can learn from the membership roll of CSBC. A document dating back to 1851 — just eight years after the church was formally constituted — this grand old book contains thousands of names, each one representing a story of faith that is now part of Collins Street’s extraordinary heritage.
Interwoven in Ros’s presentation were reenactments of some notable sermons (for good and for ill) preached at Collins Street by its pastors, Revs Samuel Chapman, Samuel Pearce-Carey, FC Spurr and TE Ruth. Playing the roles of these past preachers were Rev Jim Barr, pastor of the Welsh Church of Melbourne, and actor Benjamin Newall.
Two further papers were also presented, one by Dr Liz Rushen on the life and work of Margaret McLean, and the other by Sandra Thwaites on the ministry of Rev Thomas Elias Ruth.
You can access podcasts of these presentations, along with other resources related to our anniversary celebrations, here.