Rising HOPE New Season Mission Report # 1

Good Monday Evening Family  

Before we get into some info you will need in the aftermath of the Commissioning, here is the stuff you crave to enable you to order your 2021 Yummy Pies in support of the Northern Illawarra Scripture Teachers / Chaplains; with thanks to Bakers Rounds in Albion Park Rail.

All funds raised go directly to supporting scripture at Bulli, Woonona and Corrimal High Schools. Here is the link to order

We will also have hard copy order forms at the gathering from this Sunday if you can’t access this link or the one that will be posted to our online platforms later this week.


Now that important work is done, PLEASE READ ON FOR JUST A COUPLE MORE MINUTES because this is the first of the NEW season mission reports or sitreps and it contains a crucial reminder or two.

Thank you! We thank God for you as we journey this call to arms together. We are seeking God’s help, under the inspiration and empowerment of His Holy Spirit, to miraculously pursue at the same time, the 4 Pillars of Prayer and Care and Prepare and Share.   

I just want to take this opportunity whilst yesterday’s Commissioning is still fresh, to encourage you as we step out on this road, and to thank you all so much for the effort (in Christ’s strength) we put in together as a NEW ‘mission company’, to warmly welcome and host visitors representing a number of churches and ministries across our region – some local and others who have since tuned into proceedings via our YouTube Channel.

I will provide a list of guests invited yesterday at the end of this report, so you know who was supporting us and how they are connected to us. The guest numbers were constrained by the maximum numbers allowed for our Covid-safe venue, so we tried to invite as broadly representative a bunch of people as we could. But firstly ……

A Reminder About What Happens in the aftermath of the Commissioning Yesterday, was a starting point to launch the NEW season mission vision and so, because we still have a fair bit of work to do in response to the input we’ve received from a majority of our covenant partners, we went ahead and commissioned the WHOLE MISSION COMPANY in anticipation of what will unfold and, as a minimum fiduciary responsibility, we set apart those referred to by our constitution and ‘Leadership Development Policy and Procedure’, as the ‘recognized leadership team’.

This ‘recognition’ has changed a little because the previous team was representative of a paradigm shift in the way we develop, and shape church leadership and the new team is about developing a broad based mission effort.

Now, in accord with our policy, those named and commissioned yesterday who DO need to be affirmed by a consensus of our covenant partners over the next 3 Sundays are David McLean, Carol McLean, Andrew Fisher and Reuben West. So, BEFORE the Monday of the June long-weekend (14th), please ONLY contact Heather by emailing if you have concerns about one or more of the above 4 nominees that you would like the current ministers to address.

ALL of the other team members have previously been affirmed and according to our framework, unless there is a genuine momentum of concern or check in your spirit, these servants continue as affirmed even though their particular functions may have been sharpened and refined since 2018.

The TWO elders I didn’t mention yesterday and for which I sincerely apologize are our emeriti / honorary elders who pray for us and care for us in consultation with the senior ministers; June Blanch and Dot Freeland; both of whom are ministry leader’s intercessors and will more and more as time proceeds, do this remotely. We thank God for these saints and ask His blessing and favour upon them for this new season of life and mission.

Beyond the Policy pertaining to the ‘recognized team’? As mentioned during my introduction yesterday, we regard all those who serve and ‘share the responsibility’ of the mission as leaders BUT it will take some time to put the meat on the bones of such an ambitious project as we have sought to intentionally undertake (in the way the apostle Paul uses the word ambition in Romans 15 = ‘generous service’).

Most of the Ministry Facilitators (deacons) and Assistant Ministry Facilitators (task team members/fellow workers) are yet to be determined and so in the coming days I will initiate prayerful dialogue with you (probably by email in the first instance) so we can progress this exciting chapter in our church’s life.

Thanks for your prayers and your patience as we embark on this adventure.

The Southern HUB In this new season, one of the key strategies towards achieving the 4 pillars will be the establishment / planting of ‘Communities of H.O.P.E’, primarily by the emerging ‘Summit Team’.

God works in multi-dimensional, multiplying and exponential way; dynamic rather than static and as such over time we will need the emergence of Hubs being reproduced by our mission Hub.

We commissioned Jono and Nicole yesterday (and wished them a happy first anniversary) because we have been working with them for some time towards the establishment of ‘a southern hub’ to help support this disciple multiplying and reproducing effort for kingdom advance.

This terrific couple has put their hands up as early adopters and so ‘The Sanctuary’ as it is currently known, is already in its formative stage.

There WILL be more of this important planting work in other target harvest fields but for now we thank God for the Hyratt’s and the team that will grow around them by the grace and favour of God, being led each day by the Holy Spirit.

If you’d like to follow the progress of this work for prayer and support, you can most effectively do that via this Facebook link where the latest posts are updates on the progress or have a coffee, chat and pray with Jono or Nicky if you can.    

That’s it for this Monday Mission Report. More soon … in the meantime I have included below that list of commissioning Day guests I promised ….



Invited Guests

I thought it might be helpful and interesting for you to know who was supporting us and how they are connected so just FYI, the guests we intentionally invited to yesterday’s commissioning (constrained by the maximum numbers allowable in our room), to represent the kingdom beyond us are as follows:-

Hayley Barr – Gordon’s daughter and Graeme’s god daughter who served us as our Barista for the Morning Tea – a deacon representing Port Kembla Baptist Church she brought with her Gordon and Helen’s greeting and encouragement. Gordon is the Deputy Chair of the Board for Graeme’s ministry (Heartland Ministries Inc.) and as such he will join the ‘apostolic reference group’ that was introduced yesterday and explained again below under Jason Potter. The group consists of 6 invited leaders apart from us.

Greg Shipp – Vice Chair / Treasurer Northern Illawarra Combined Churches Christian Education (Scripture Board) – a leader at Bulli Anglican Church

Jennifer and Will Tibben – Jennifer is Secretary of the Northern Illawarra Combined Churches Christian Education (Scripture Board) and she and Will are leaders t Northern Illawarra (Bulli) Uniting Church (Jennifer has sent a lovely letter today that I’ll make available for anyone who would like to read it.

Mark Beaton – Mark is in a transition to a new leadership role with Corrimal Region Uniting Church and was happy to represent that church and our close partnership. His wife Lou sent her apologies as she stayed with her interstate family guests so Mark could join us.

Jason Potter – Community Leader / Chaplain / Author who preached at our first gathering and represented our new ‘apostolic reference group’ by facilitating the ‘commissioning charge’ for and on behalf of that group. This is a bunch of people that we have asked to be a sounding board for us as a church leadership so that we have a kingdom accountability framework (not just a denominational one), that draws us to look beyond our own interests intentionally. We thank God for utilising Jason so helpfully in both gatherings yesterday. He was accompanied by his eldest daughter Hannah.

May Housler – represented River of Life Church Dapto. We have committed to serving the Dapto church through worship and preaching ministry and May, like Jason, is a member of our new ‘apostolic reference group’.

Michael Bate – Minister Woonona Baptist Church and Regional Coordinator for the Illawarra and South Coast Baptist Ministers Network. We have asked him to prayerfully consider joining the ‘apostolic reference group’, partly because he represents our affiliated church denomination but mostly because we trust him as a Godly servant.

Nigel and Beverly Holmes – invited by Jono and Nicky to represent the Righteous Christian Motorcycle Club, who have invited the Hyratt’s to journey with them.

We also invited and received apologies, commissioning greetings and solidarity from ……

Leanne and Bruce Begg – Leanne is our scripture teacher and chaplain at Corrimal High School and sent an apology for she and Bruce on Sunday morning when she awoke unwell. Leanne checked in via YouTube and messaged me to see how we were and how sorry she had been to not be able to be in the room with us.

Brad and Louise Blacker – Brad is the minister at Helensburgh Baptist, the church who gifted us the commercial coffee machine.

PJ and Michaela Bedwell – these guys are leaders at Hope Church Helensburgh and have journeyed for a few years with us on the Scripture Board. PJ is one of Graeme’s prayer partners and the Bedwell’s sent their apology BUT promised that during the Commissioning time frame over a dozen young people in their care, would be praying for us.

Tim Hall and Sharon Parsons – Tim has been part of the Heartland Ministries crew for decades and he and Sharon hosted Graeme and Karen in their Robertson reno when the Hush’s desperately needed cheap and accessible accommodation a few years ago. Tim helps coordinate our annual National Day of Thanksgiving breakfast provision events for the Wollongong Police and Firies. He also served us as an associate minister a few years ago and conducted the commissioning charge for us back in 2019.  

Sue Walker – Sue sent greetings and an apology due to other ministry commitments. She is the Director of Intercessions and on the Advisory Board for Impact Nations International and has journeyed with us for 4 or 5 years, particularly in mentoring and supporting our prophetic ministry activation. Sue is a member of our ‘apostolic reference group’.

Brian Medway – Brian sent a greeting and followed up today with an encouragement. Brian is among many other things, National Chair and Leader of the Crosslink Christian Network International, the network that Graeme is a director with and acts as Secretary of the company for. As such, Brian is not only Graeme’s mentor, he is, in a very real sense, his earthly boss. Brian will travel over to minister with us in about a month or so and is a member of the ‘apostolic reference group’.  

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