Welcome to the Billabong Newsletter, the Tuckerbag (February 2019, Edition 353). Access this newsletter at any time at thetuckerbag.com or for sermons online and more info, visit thebillabong.org.au

A Thriving Family of God, Transforming Our Communities

Our vision

What exactly does "a thriving family of God, transforming our communities" look like? Only God knows the specifics, but there are certainly some key distinctives at the heart of our church that explain why we express our vision this way.

We don't just treat each other like a family, we are a family. If God is our heavenly Father (and he is!) it means we're not just "sort of" brothers and sisters, we are! Real, honest, 'warts and all' relationships are core to who we are.
We want to be a church full of healthy, loving, life giving families and individuals. Whether you're part of a family with a Mom, Dad and 2 and half kids or whether you're single, widowed or separated, your 'family', centred on Jesus and his love is an essential part of this church family.
Our expression(s) of family extends to the community around us. If people are to know the Father, they need to see that His family is a good one and that they are welcome in it! May our love for one another overflow into the world.

We are grounded in the love of God, secure in our identity in Christ. We know that we are known and loved unconditionally by the Father - this is the most important thing.
We believe in the unrestricted, unfathomable, unimaginable power of our almighty God. He is bigger than we could ever imagine and we dare to believe that he can accomplish far more than our minds can even comprehend!
We immerse ourselves in his living, life transforming word, the Bible. Infallible and full of wisdom and truth, Jesus (the living Word) is revealed to us in these scriptures, so we go to them daily for spiritual food.
We are led by, filled with, obedient to and trust in the Holy Spirit, the one who gives us life and guides our every step. He gently reminds us we are loved and wrecklessly tears away the chains of sin in our lives.

Finally, we join in the Spirit's work in the world as he transforms people's live and whole communities. We don't try and do it on our own, because it's in glorifying God that we find joy. We are made to bring glory to our creator, the master artist who is making us into a masterpiece more and more each day. We get involved in the beautiful transforming work he is doing so we can say "look at what the Lord has done! Isn't he wonderful! Isn't he beautiful!" 

This is why our vision is to be a thriving family of God, transforming our communities. How do we get there? That's what we shall explore and practice over the course of this year. In a nutshell - we live and love like Jesus. I hope you'll stick around for the ride!

God Bless, and happy Chinese New Year!
If The Billabong is your church family, please commit to giving regularly as you are able. 
Direct Debit: BSB 036224 A/C Number 131848 
or for credit card giving or a regular cash/cheque commitment, contact our treasurer at accounts@thebillabong.org.au. 

Life Groups

Cinnamon Donuts - Girls age 14+ bible study. Mondays 7-8.30pm in the Library. Led by Bek and Rachel

Billabong Lads - Boys year 11+ bible study. Mondays 7-8.30pm in MPR 3 & 4. Led by Josh

Ladies Bible Study - Thursdays 12pm-2pm (during term time) in the Library. Led by Frances

Saturday Life Group - 8pm in Harrisdale, fortnightly. Led by Nat
Spice of Life - a monthly group of over 40's Ladies meeting in various locations. Led by Tina
Retirees on a Roll - first Friday of the month (various times, locations). Led by Margaret
BfG Breakfast for Good - first Saturday of every month at 8am in various locations. Led by Sarah R. Challenging each other to get out of our comfort zones.
Pancakes and Play - Alternate Saturday mornings at The Space. More details coming soon.

Programs & Activities

Playgroup Runs during school term at The Billabong. To volunteer or for more info call the office on 9455 6474
Amplify - a community of teenagers led by young adults, helping them in faith & life. Cam & Anneliis: 0401 787 626
Billabong Crafters - 4th Saturday of the month 8.30am-12pm at The Billabong. Bring your craft and share ideas and skills. facebook.com/billabongcrafters
Toy Library - Open alternate Saturday mornings and Wednesday mornings. More details coming soon.
The Space - Details coming soon regarding food prep classes and english as second language classes!

Need prayer?

Do you need a community of praying people to pray for you or someone close to you? You can simply email prayernet@thebillabong.org.au and your request will be sent to a prayer network of The Billabong. (If you'd like to join the PrayerNet list so you receive these requests, please email admin@thebillabong.org.au)

Admin and Bookings: 9455 6474, admin@thebillabong.org.au
Minister: Revd. Luke Williams. luke@thebillabong.org.au 
Children and Families: Anna Bandiera. anna@thebillabong.org.au
Facilities: Aaron Tan. facilities@thebillabong.org.au
Leadership Team: Marilyn Burdett, Martin Hill, John Whaley 
and Teresa Beauglehole. leadershipteam@thebillabong.org.au

Clean up Australia Day

Meet us at the Billabong on Sunday 3rd of March from 8am - 9.30am to help clean up our surrounding neighbourhood! We have special bags and gloves (if you don't have your own). Coffee/tea and a muffin will be available in The Space for those taking part, courtesy of the BfG Life Group.

China Partnership Tour

If you missed out on the Bible Society talk being held at The Billabong, there is another opportunity to hear Kua Wee Seng speak at Lifestreams Christian Church in Como, on Monday 11 March from 7.15am - 8.45am. Register online at weesengwabreakfast.eventbrite.com.au by Tuesday 5th of March. Kua Wee Seng will be speaking about the challenges and impact of supplying bibles to China. 

Billabong Busy Bees

The schedule for the Busy Bees this year are as follows: Saturday 16 March, Early June, Early Sept, and End Nov.
We'd love for you to put the first one in your diary and for you to come along and help from 8am.

Treasure Hunters Program

Would you like to reach children in primary school with the good news of Jesus? 'Treasure Hunters' is a program by Youthcare, who train volunteers to run the program at lunch times in local schools. Training happens every last Thursday of the month. More info at https://www.youthcare.org.au/cve/treasure-hunters/ or speak to Luke.

Gosnells Region Youthcare Council

Would you be interested in joining the Gosnells Region Youthcare council as a Billabong representative? It includes attending about 8 meetings a year on a Thursday afternoon to support the work of chaplaincy and Christian values education in the local area. For more info contact Luke. 

Walk for Women's Cancer

On 4th May 2019, Tanya Orchard is participating in the Walk for Cancer. She is hoping to raise over $1500 and help defeat women's cancer. She will be walking 35km in support of her friends who have/had cancer, including Nicole Sampson. If you would like to support her you can donate at www.walkforwomenscancer.org.au/my-fundraising/89/tanya-orchard

Jesus and Sexuality

'Jesus and Sexuality' is a 4 week learning and discussion opportunity to explore issues of sexuality and how to approach them as followers of Jesus. Whether you are a follower of Jesus or not, we all live in a cultural moment with an unprecedented focus on sex and sexuality, much of which is difficult to navigate with moral and relational integrity. Jesus and the Bible speak to these issues in ways most of us have not considered but are worth exploring.

Over the 4 weeks, we will watch 4 video talks by Jon Tyson (Australian Pastor and Author based at Church of the City, New York) and discuss the topics over lunch: Week 1: Singleness, Week 2: Sexual Formation, Week 3: Jesus and the Gay Community, Week 4: Jesus, Gender, and the Trans Community

Lunch is provided - Please RSVP to admin@thebillabong.org.au for catering purposes. First 4 Sundays in March, 12 - 2pm in The Space

Tear Breakfast

TEAR is hosting a breakfast at Mt Pleasant Uniting Church on the 9th of March, from 8.30am to 12.30pm. There will be a time to hear from a variety of speakers, and engage in a workshop of your choice on a range of topics. It costs $20 for the full morning or $10 for the half-morning. To RSVP or for more info visit https://interserve.org.au/go/seedsofhope/ 

Chrysalis & Emmaus

Chrysalis is a camp or retreat for young adults age 18-30yrs. It's a great weekend full of encouragement, listening to God and lots of yummy food! This year it is being held on the 25th to the 28th of April

Emmaus is a similar camp for those over 30yrs. The Mens weekend is from the 2nd of May to the 5th of May, and the women's weekend is on the 23rd of May to the 26th of May

If you would like to register or find out more about either camp, please speak to Anneliis. 

KCO 2019

Kids Camp Out or KCO is a 24 hour, over night camp aimed at kids from Year 2 - Year 7. It is run by the wider Uniting Church. Church groups bring the kids, along with junior leaders (Year 8 - Year 12) to experience a wider church community. The program incorporates shared meals, worship, sport, art and craft activities. It starts at 12.30pm Saturday 23 March until 12 noon Sunday 24 March at Advent Park, 345 Kalamunda Road, Maida Vale. Contact Anna for more info or to register. 

Ways to Volunteer in 2019

Have you considered how you can help Sundays happen, or be part of the day to day running of The Billabong? Volunteer cards for serving areas in 2019 (Jan - June) are available on our flyer rack, or head to thebillabong.org.au/serve

Life at Work Conference

Historians say the key ingredient to the explosive growth of the church after Jesus' death and resurrection was the distinctive lives of believers. "The beautiful life" they lived bore a powerful and attractive witness to the difference the Christian faith makes for good. How do we not only declare the Gospel with our lips, but also display it with our lives? Come along to the annual Life at Work conference on March 15 & 16, to consider these questions. For more info and to register visit lifeatwork.org.au/conference