Rev Jamie Long, Chair
“The Lord is my Shepherd…” Uncertain and challenging times bring a heightened consciousness of our need for God’s presence, guidance, and protection. Any leadership group is wise to recognise its dependence on God for fruitfulness. This is certainly true for the Assembly Council.
The Assembly Council (AC) was able to continue its work and pattern of regular meetings throughout 2021, despite the many disruptions caused by the ongoing pandemic. While zoom meetings are not as effective as face-to-face gatherings, they do provide an opportunity to continue discussions and decision-making in a time when that would otherwise be impossible.
For much of the year, Assembly Council was a few members short. This was not because of a lack of nominees at the Annual Assembly but rather because of an abundance of fine nominees. We had so many nominees that votes were split and therefore most failed to get the required majority. AC is looking at amending the election process to ensure this situation does not happen again. We had hoped to fill the vacant positions at the September Assembly but were thwarted by the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent cancellation of that Assembly. We are now looking to the Annual Assembly in May 2022.
AC spent much of its time dealing with relatively routine governance issues required for the healthy operation of the Association and support of local churches. However, some of the most significant time is spent wrestling with complex issues such as affiliation and seeking to discern the best way to implement the decisions of Assemblies and help clarify direction and priorities as we seek to move forward.
2021 marked the end of Steve Bartlett’s first 5-year term as Director of Ministry. Assembly Council organised a comprehensive review of Steve in his role and was enthusiastic in its recommendation to Assembly that Steve be appointed to the role for a further 5-year term. Steve provides diligent and godly leadership for our Association and under his leadership, we believe real progress has been made in moving our Gen1K vision forward despite the very challenging times. Steve leads a great team of Association staff who do a great job in supporting and equipping the local churches.
Shelley Cattell has concluded in her role as Secretary to the Assembly Council a position she has held since 2019. Shelley has shown great competence, charter, and grace and she will be missed.
2022 brings numerous challenges. The pandemic continues globally and in our Association, there continues to be complex and difficult issues to work through. Yet we are full of hope. If nothing else, these times should remind us that real hope and strength are found in God. Jesus has promised he will be with us and we can be certain of the ongoing empowering of the Holy Spirit. The safest place for the sheep to be is close to the shepherd. Pray that 2022 will be a year of drawing close to God for our Association and its leaders.
The Assembly Council has included the following people in 2021
- Sarah Daniel Parkside Baptist Church
- Andrew Hall Epping Baptist Church
- Beth Jackson St Ives Baptist Church
- Jonny Lam Eastwood Community Baptist Church
- Jamie Long (Chair) Wyong Baptist Church
- Scott Morrison (Deputy Chair) Georges River Life Church
- Des Ong Parramatta Baptist Church
- Allen Sibley Parramatta Baptist Church
- William Rusin Windsor District Baptist Church Appointed; Chair Morling College Council
Steve Bartlett (Director of Ministries), Ross Clifford (College Principal), and Geoff Moore (Honorary Legal Advisor) play important roles in all council meetings.
Rev Jamie Long, Chair
The Nominations Committee has the responsibility of helping find suitable candidates for the Assembly Council, the Committee for the Ministry, and some of the other boards in our Association. One of the most important challenges we face now and moving forward is ensuring that AC and other boards and committees have appropriate diversity in background, experience, age and gender. Our conviction is that a diverse voice submitted to the Lordship of Christ and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit can be of great advantage.
The prayer of the Nomination Committee is that we find the right people for the right roles.
Assembly Council does have the capacity to appoint 2 of its members. Mid-year, AC appointed Sarah Daniel to council. Sarah brings strong financial expertise and a fresh perspective to the council.
In 2021, the members of the committee have included Dr. Alan Rice, Rev Andrew Hall, and Rev Jamie Long (Chair) and Rev Dr. Steve Bartlett, our Director of Ministries.