Meeting report : 10 December 2006



We met at Don and Marianne’s house in Maddington this week.

The main discussion was about the possiblility of helping Bessie, the director of Oikos ministries to come over to the Anabaptist Conference in January. I felt it would be important to have her there, as she can encourage people who are interested in beginning house churches – the best way, we are convinced, to have a chance to ‘live Anabaptism’ (the theme of the conference). I wasn’t sure how everyone felt about this idea, but when it was time to write down pledges toward the cost, we quickly had nearly enough to cover the airfare, and so this showed real enthusiasm!

A lot of house churches, I have heard, avoid money altogether. Yet we have been glad to have the opportunity to take up a weekly offering and help people with it. When we’re just spending our money as individuals, we lose the corporate nature of the decisions and have less accountability. To know that together we can enable ministries makes us feel like we’re doing something as a church. We’ve kept it simple, though – we take up an offering and then instantly give it away to the things we’ve decided it should be used for. No bank accounts and no bureacracy that way.

Meeting report : 3 December 2006

We met at Tim’s house in Huntingdale, and were lucky enough to have three visitors – a German couple, Daniel and Katerine, and Kristo Newall. One of the things that came out of the discussion was a desire to improve our prayer life.

In the top photo are Brad, Katerine and Daniel. In the bottom phot are Ian, Nathan and Kristo. Thanks to Marcia for the photos.

Katerine and Daniel are travelling around Australia and are hoping to find models of being church and living in Christian community to take back to their ministry to youth in Stuttgart.

Kristo is a Christian activist looking for a church.

Body Politics Simplified

I have just posted the simplification of John Howard Yoder’s Body Politics : Five practices of the Christian Community before the watching world.

www.geocities.com/savageparade/body_politics_simplified

Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder published Body Politics in 1992. The five practices he writes about are the framework for the 2007 AAANZ Conference’s theme of living Anabaptism. Yoder recovers the Lord’s Supper and baptism as essential parts of the church’s common life, practices with political and social importance. He adds to them the ministry of all believers, admonishment and discernment, and the open worship meeting to give us an exciting picture of living Anabaptism together. I have simplified and shortened the book to make it easier to understand and more relevant. It includes discussion questions at the end of each chapter.

In order to get the most out of the conference, we suggest you try to read the simplification so that you can come ready to share how you think we might try to live the practices today.

Print copies will be available from January and at the conference for less than $10.

Hosting 2007 AAANZ Conference

PAF is currently hard at work making preparations for the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand’s 2007 Conference. It will be held from 15 to 19th January at Fairbridge near Pinjarra. Brad, Matthew and Don have set up a website : www.members.iinet.net.au/~donmari/aaanz . Here’s an extract from the brochure:

We invite you to live in worshipping community for a weekend to explore this vision in a series of discussions and interactions.
The main talks are structured around the practices of the church identified by Anabaptist theologian John Yoder in his book, Body Politics. Yoder recovers the Lord’s Supper and baptism as essential parts of the church’s common life, practices with political and social importance. He adds to them the ministry of all believers, admonishment and discernment, and the open worship meeting to give us an exciting picture of living Anabaptism together.
You may wish to read this book ahead of the conference; a study guide and summary will be available online by December 2006. Follow the link from http://www.iinet.net.au/~donmari/aaanz.
You will also be asked to choose small group electives exploring other aspects of living Anabaptism. Potential topics include caring for creation through permaculture; Anabaptist house churches and small groups; Anabaptism and art; living in community; and Anabaptist worship.