Holidays Above and Beyond
As we jump into the mid-year school holidays, the rector of Broome Anglican Church, the Rev Michael Baines, wants to encourage Sydney Anglicans to stop and think about ways they can use their “time, talent and treasure to serve the Lord in another part of Australia”.
The value in spending your serving others
And he ought to know how valuable it is. In the April school holidays a group of six men and women from St Clement’s, Mosman came to his church to run a kids’ club and revamp the parish’s ministry centre – and three months later he’s still talking about it.
“It meant such a great deal to us,” he says,
“Because we don’t always have a lot of resources in churches in North West Australia, and so we’re really grateful that the people from Mosman came up to help us out."
“They not only helped us with ministry with a kids’ club but did a huge amount of work to renovate the building we use as our ministry centre. There had not been any work done on it for a long time and some members of Mosman church contributed money that helped to buy paint and other things we needed.”
They said "YES" straight away
The trip came about after Mr Baines’ sister, the Rev Bec Baines (who is in charge of kids’ ministry at St Clement’s), visited her brother a year ago and talked about it afterwards to her rector, the Rev Stuart Smith.
“I spoke to him about the wonderful experience visiting Mike and what he does there, but I also told him about the indigenous ministry and how I’d connected with the young boys there,” she recalls. “And I think through sharing all of what was going on, he then suggested we do a mission.
“So I called Mike and he said ‘Yes!’ straight away. He was stoked that we could do this, and so towards the end of last year we asked for expressions of interest and had five people who were able to come – and they were all people in their 70s. They were so keen to come and serve.”
Bec Baines ran the kids’ club with the help of the women in the group, and all of them got stuck into repairs.
Going above and beyond
“All Mike was thinking about for the ministry centre was a fresh coat of paint and bit of a clean-up,” she says. “The team just went above and beyond anything that was asked of them – they pretty much fixed the whole centre, and put a lot of detail and thought into how they cleaned, repainted and repaired.
“There were gaps in the walls and holes in the floor – you could see outside, anywhere you looked! They fixed up a lot of it and sealed it all in, cleaned it all up, rebuilt the bathroom vanity and just made it a much more attractive place that’s useful for kids’ ministry and events during the week.
“And the team loved doing it. [They said,] ‘This is what we’re called to do – to serve. We love serving – we do it with joy’. It was amazing.”
Mr Baines says a lot of retirees travel to Broome as it’s a popular tourist destination, but he encourages those who’ve hung up their official work boots to think like the group from St Clement’s.
“They’ve got plenty to give churches, and we’re certainly beneficiaries of that – and lot of church in the North West are, through groups like the BCA Nomads,” he says.
“God gives gifts to all of his people, however young or old they are, for the benefit of the church, and I find that some of the people who serve this way have a better time coming for the purpose of serving than they would if they just came for a straight-up holiday!”