The affiliation process recognises and affirms churches seeking to partner with us. It is this combined work that has led to the establishment of our church-planting movement, quality leadership training and development services, networks, resources and groups that could not have happened without the contributions of churches to a common cause – and a belief that we can make a greater impact for the kingdom of God together! At this year’s Annual Assembly, held on October 31st, we welcomed two churches newly-affiliated with the Baptist Association of NSW & ACT: Graceway Church, and Sanctuary Blue Mountains. They have embraced our movement’s beliefs and values, and their addition brings us one step closer to our ‘Gen1K goal’ of 1000 healthy churches in a generation.
We thought we’d give a formal introduction to one of them: Sanctuary. As a GEN1K Church plant lead by Adam & Cath Osborne, Sanctuary Blue Mountains is committed to see the good news of Jesus shared in every corner of the NSW Blue Mountains (and beyond). What began as just a handful of people in a living room back in 2014 has erupted into a multi-generational, multi-cultural and passionate kingdom family! At Assembly, Adam said: “Throughout the process of being recognised…We’ve felt an incredible sense of support and help. Our transition and heart of becoming affiliated was a natural path for us, as we know the love, the care, and the prayer and support the Association had for us – and will continue to give us into the future.”
On a ‘Sanctuary Sunday’ at this church, they have a time of extravagant and spontaneous worship and singing, deep-delving into teaching on the kingdom of Yahweh (and how to live it out daily), the sacrament of communion, and fellowship over food. They have a monthly creative group called ‘MakeMassive’, where people can explore, engage, equip, support and inspire each other with whatever projects, media, movements or endeavours desired. And this year, they also launched a new expression of ministry with ‘Friday Praise – Fire in the Night’: a fortnightly service of spontaneous worship, writing, dance/movement, drawing, art and prayer.
The church also has the ‘Sanctuary School Of Ministry’, where people – taught deeply-grounded theology by men and women with vast experience in christian ministry – can be equipped into maturity. There’s ‘Foundations of the kingdom’ (a monthly gathering for men and women of all ages and backgrounds to learn the principles of Yahweh’s kingdom and how to apply them into life), and ‘Sanctuary bible college’ (which gives people the opportunity to grow in Christ through registered and accredited courses from Cert IV through to masters programs in the fields of ministry, leadership, theology and more, in partnership with Alpha-Crucis College).