Anzac Day Reflection for Queensland Baptists 2020
ANZAC Day is a time for many Australians to reflect on what Service and Sacrifice really mean, and it is also a great time to speak about the Service and Sacrifice of Jesus, who lay down his life in Service of his friends; all of us.
Commemorations have changed greatly over the years, including the resurgence of attended and a range of video streamed options over the last decade. This, year, 2020 will be different again, with Australians making the sacrifice of not physical gathering, in order to protect life.
Currently, serving members of the ADF continue operations, adjusting as government requires, but without the comforts and camaraderie of eating and meeting together. Queensland Baptist Pastors, serving as chaplains in the ADF continue to minister in these ever changing circumstances. Here’s a brief note from some of our QB chaplains:
I’m the Regional Minister for Australian Defence Force (ADF) Chaplains and I’ve been a registered minister with QB for nearly 25 years. I remember a question from my ordination interviews; “Is God calling you to serve in QB Churches for life?” (or words to that effect). My answer was that I felt called to serve for life wherever God calls me, and I’m glad I did.
Since 2001, I’ve been a QB Minister serving as an Army Chaplain. It is one of the ministries that we as Australian Baptists are involved in cooperatively.
I’ve deployed multiple times to Timor and the Middle East, and served as chaplain at recruit training, chaplain training, Army Headquarters, and now as Command Chaplain of Joint Operations Command.
I get to be in people’s workplace, talk with them about their life, work and family and encourage them to consider the meaning and purpose of life in an environment that regularly puts them at risk, or faced with the realities of death and conflict.
ADF Chaplains serve average Australian women and men in office environments, on exercises in Australia, and overseas on operations. We are with people when they face life without access to their usual coping systems and support; away from home, working long hours, and potentially in fear for their lives.
The great news is that we are able to help people explore their faith / world view and ideas about the meaning and purpose in life, as well as connect them to practical resources and help in their circumstances.
We pray with people, listen to their story, and are present with them; positioned to serve alongside those men and women who serve our nation.
This year I enter my fourth year of service and my second year of ministry at RAAF Base Williamtown, the home of the fighter jets and 3800 uniformed Air Force members. Each day I meet people who see the crosses on my shirt which starts a conversation.
In ADF chaplaincy I’ve found a challenging and exciting place to minister. A place where my uniform gets me in the door but I need to make every conversation count to earn the right to speak into people’s lives. Members will give me a chance, but as they face mortality, strained relationships, difficult work and tough decisions, they need compassion, wisdom and insight, quickly!
Most members learn in the first conversation that I’m from Queensland. If my expressions don’t give me away, it will be that I’ve somehow managed to talk about the place I learned to trust in Jesus.
Hello there, my name is Haydn Lea, one of the QB ADF Chaplains. I was ordained at Forest Lake Baptist Church in 2017, before beginning my role as an Air Force Chaplain.
As of this year, I am ministering to the Air Force Headquarters in Canberra. This means that I get to serve the great men and women here in a variety of ways, including weddings, baptisms, dedications, funerals, and military services such as ANZAC Day or memorials. Day-to-day I talk with a range of people about any faith issues, as well as providing confidential support and guidance for any personal or workplace issues they may be facing.
Overall, God is giving me a great opportunity to minister to His people here in Canberra. I love the role into which He has placed me, and ask that you continue to pray for me and the other ADF Chaplains.
My name is Michael and currently I’m the ADF Chaplain posted to Army’s Kokoda Barracks Canungra. I have the awesome responsibility of being part of one of Army’s Training Centres, seeing over 10% of the Army come through our Barracks each year, which gives me a great opportunity to position myself to serve all that I can who come through the leadership training.
I’ve been in Army for 15 years and having been a soldier previously I felt God’s strong call back to this amazing incarnational ministry after pastoring different churches. I can honestly say each day is different. I love what I do and would not want to do anything else in the service of our Lord.
With Anzac Day rapidly approaching I ask that you remember and pray for our ministry.
I am Wayne Ross, a Queensland Baptist ADF Chaplain posted to the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Just this January I was deployed to Las Vegas for a month-long exercise in support of the Royal Australian Air Force contingent. While at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, I worked side-by side Chaplain (Major) Jason Kim, the senior base chaplain and appointed Red Flag chaplain.
It was a great time of fellowship and friendship to work together in the care of our people. In addition to often long hours walking the hangar floor I took the time to explore local attractions such as Hoover Dam, while also attending the Base Sunday services.
As a chaplain in the Air Force I train and deploy with Air Force members. I’m not a visitor or a guest but rather trusted colleague and friend who works beside other ADF members. As a chaplain it is a privilege to share the hazards and enjoy the highlights – we are primed for hope and designed for purpose.
Finally to you:
This Anzac Day, as you reflect on the wars fought and operations undertaken by the Australian Defence Force, we ask you to also pray.
- Pray for those serving in uniform and the families.
- Pray for veterans that they would be welcomed to and into a civilian life of meaning and purpose. Pray for your church’s welcome to veterans.
- Pray for our chaplains, including Queensland Baptist chaplains who seek to follow Jesus in their service of members of the ADF.
Blessings to you,