The life of the Tasmanian church community has been largely shaped and molded by its celebration of the Sunday. In the worship services we hear the heartbeat of God’s children who join together to worship, to be nourished, and to enjoy the communion with God and with the brothers and sisters.
After the service ends the communion radiates onto the personal level: intensive communication, ranging from the sermon just heard to the babes just born. Close interaction is characteristic of our medium-to-small congregations. The bond between members of the Body is strong.
That’s evident also in what goes on during the week. Bible studies see the members get together at someone’s home on a weekly basis. There we listen to what the Spirit says to the churches, and help each other to apply the Word to our lives. The young people, too, have their regular meetings, at two age levels. Several of the young mothers see each other at the John Calvin School where they help out as volunteers.
It goes without saying that the school is the focus of much activity – teachers, students, volunteers, service personnel – on any school day.
The John Calvin School, started by the congregation members without government subsidies in 1965, assists the parents by providing Covenantal education to the children at levels K to 8.
In all these aspects of life our training for service is central. The Reformed inheritance is being passed on (Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78).
Serving our Lord is a joyful business when it comes to giving mutual support. The brothers and sisters like to share their involvement in cases of hardship, grief and illness. More often than not, physical help, as a ministry of the women, is part of the process.
Looking beyond the confines of the local congregations is the mandate of our Mission and Evangelism Committees. They supply the information and the incentives needed to channel the radiation of the faith of our members to those around us. The Tasmanian churches actively support the mission work of the sister church of Armadale at Lae in Papua New Guinea.
For those who wish for practical help in their study of the Bible or of church history, the confessions and the calling of the church in the world, there are church libraries at Launceston and Legana. The Free Reformed Bookshop Association runs a bookshop where Reformed resources are available. It is situated in the Launceston church building.
An annual tradition stretching over 40 years is our Church Day at Myrtle Park, some 25 km up the road to Scottsdale. In this stunning part of God’s creation we enjoy sports and games and brotherly/sisterly conversation, occasionally until after sunset…