Thank You Tailrace Community!

Thank you Tailrace Community for doing what you do.

As I reflect back over 2017 and look at the plans that we have for 2018, I see a church community that loves and serves well.

If spiritual maturity is measured in terms of how well we love Jesus and love and serve our neighbours and broader community, rather than how long a person has been a Christian or gone to church, or even how much we know, then as a church community we have done well.

It’s a privilege for Sharon and I to serve you as senior leaders of Tailrace Community.

I can’t thank everyone here, but I do want to mention a few who have been outstanding in the way that they have served and the way they have impacted others. I know that I will miss out on mentioning some, so I ask for your forgiveness in advance!

Let’s start with Alana. I love the way that Alana loves the little ones, not just in kids church on Sunday, but at Date Nights, at Play Group and at times unseen when the cry for help goes out. I also love the way that Alana has stepped up and grown in so many ways as she serves in so many ways. Alana has done a brilliant job organising so many Kids activities and is the Risk Management Officer under our Child and Youth Risk Management Policy.

The way that Kelsea and her team look after the youth at Tailrace is absolutely amazing. We are unusual as a church in that probably 75% of the youth in our youth group haven’t grown up in a Christian home. The way that Kelsea and the team love upon them is outstanding. Thank you Kelsea, Rachael, Mat, Brenton, Jack, Lachie and those I’ve missed!

The work with youth spills out in a number of other ways. I love the way that Rachael has a mum’s heart to the kids in youth and her small group that she shepherds so well. And the work that Holly and Kelsea do in running Shine in Riverside High School is producing incredible results with the participants reporting a 13% increase in how participants regard themselves and a 10% increase in their emotional control and understanding over the course of the group. No wonder the teachers value the work the Shine facilitators do! Thanks also to Mat for the awesome volunteer work he does in Trevallyn Primary School.

And then we have those who run the School Holiday Program. Mat and Alana and their teams have excelled here. in 2017 we had over 1200 day long attendances in the programs. Not only does every child have a great time, but there is a gentle faith connection made as seeds are sown by way of the reading and discussion of a story from the bible. Thanks to the volunteers that include Kathy, Betina, Olivia and her girls and many more who make such an important program possible.

John Date NightThose running Date Nights must be thanked. There are families who have stayed together because of the way that you serve and create space for mums and dads to spend quality time while you not only take care of the kids but run quality programs for them. Thank you for all who put in the hours here no matter how tired you are at the end of the week. What you do has made a huge difference to many families.

Thanks also to Kelvin, Kat and the many staff who have served so well not only on Date Night but in the cafe, at birthday parties, at engagement parties and weddings, and at training events and conferences week in week out. You are an amazing team! Special thanks to the man many clients see as our star player, Davo. They are right! But we have had many other star players this year including Sophie, Lauren and Tam.

What you do and how serve brings to life our value of hospitality; extending love to strangers; and to the core value that People Matter. Tens of thousands of people have experienced the hospitality that you have provided this year and that somehow understood that they matter.

Thank you to those who have organised our big events this year; the enchanted Evening, Warrior Night, Christmas Party, Buffets and other smaller events. What you have done has been amazing! And Mary, thank you for the work you have done in Kids Paradise with activities during the year. It’s the people interaction coming out of the events that helps see lives changed.

Alta, thank you for taking the initiative to approach us about providing services to the aged care facility where you work. It’s a wonderfull blessing that a team from Tailrace can visit to put on special services for the aged.

Christine, thank you for the way that you serve A2A, our national movement of churches in providing support for the National Leadership Team of A2A as well as churches and their leaders all around our nation. What you do matters and I love and have had much feedback about the sweet way in which you serve.

And now we come to the more traditional church activities.

Small Group Leaders, thank you for shepherding the  people in your care to faith, to growth, through life storms and into community. You have pastored the people in your care this year with amazing wisdom, grace and maturity. Thank you. Small groups are a critical part of who we are as a church. I love the diligence, commitment, care and love that you show.

KKate Worshipate thank you for the way that you have developed and led the creative team. You and the team lead us with excellence week in and week out. It’s a big load that you and your core carry. Thank you for your devotion and the way that you do what you do! Thanks also to Michael and his team who do the behind the scenes work on the tech side of things. It’s an amazing ministry that you have!

Al and Emma and the teams who do set up and greeting on Sundays, thank you. The way that you serve week in and week out helps make Tailrace such a welcoming and friendly place to be.

Liz, for all the organisational things that you pick up on, not because it’s your job but because you love Jesus and His church and what He is doing through Tailrace Community in so many ways, thank you.

It’s been wonderful seeing the interns this year continue to grow and take on responsibilities both in disciple making and ministry leadership. Jeffery, Sarah, Mat, Kelsea and Holly, others have commented on how you have grown this year and on how well you have taken on leadership responsibilities. I totally agree and am so proud of you!

Thanks to all those who serve on our board. You do much work that is often unseen. Some of it is the heavy lifting of pastoral, prayer and planning. Great will be your reward in heaven! Thanks also to Michael and Ciona who serve behind the scene helping with the finances. Your contribution is invaluable and greatly appreciated.

For those who pray continually for the ministry of Tailrace Community, thank you! What you do makes way for what we do.Version 2

Without our financial partners and supporters, we wouldn’t be around. You serve the vision and ministry with the finances that God has blessed you with. Thank you for being an integral part of all that we do at Tailrace Community. You bless Tailrace Community so we can be a blessing to many others.

Thanks also to those who gave so generously to the work of Empart in Asia. Communities will be transformed as a result of your generosity.

Now for some ministries commenced over the last 6 months and that we are planning to commence in 2018.

Sarah, thank you for the amazing commitment you have shown and work you are doing through the CAP Debt Centre. It’s amazing to realise that after our first year, nearly 50 families will be on the path to being relieved of financial stress and being debt free. Thank you Ros for putting up your hand to join in this important work that sets families free.

Sharon, what you have done with Soul Keeping has been amazing. Women have experienced healing, pastors have decided to stay in ministry. People from around the world are watching as your heart and wisdom is taken beyond Tailrace, beyond Launceston and beyond even Australia.  Thank you also for being the key architect of what happens at the Tailrace, of managing what needs to be managed, of your incredible and insightful teaching and wisdom, and of the way you love so sacrificially. Tailrace wouldn’t exist without you.

It’s exciting to know that from second term in 2018 we will have English Speaking Classes that will be made available to the broader community. Thank you Mel, Joel and Emma for working to make this dream become a reality. This will become an important ministry that impacts many.

We are also excited to see Work Without Barriers in progress to be launched in the new year with training and processes being put in place to see long term unemployed and disabled given employment opportunities, skills, confidence and hope for the future through the Tailrace Cafe. Thank you Kat and Sharon for carrying this in your hearts.

Also in 2018 we will be working on new developments in our work with children that will provide wonderful new ministry and employment opportunities. More on that later.

And we can’t go into details yet, but there is a likelihood that we will be putting together a team to take on a ministry to an at risk segment of women in our society. Another exciting possibility!

Last but not least, we are on the brink of launching New Works, a new non denominational, nation wide church planting ministry that we are establishing out of Tailrace. Much work has gone into this and we have received the support of key leaders of 5 denominations / movements of churches. This ministry has huge potential to see our nation impacted.

Thank you to everyone who is engaged with the ministry of Tailrace Community. We are much more than church on a Sunday.

When someone asks me “how was church?”, my mind goes into overdrive trying to think of how to answer given all of the above, when all they probably meant was “how was the service on Sunday?”

Our mission is
to make disciples
who will change cities
and impact nations.

And with God’s grace, that is what we are doing.

Our city is being impacted in many ways through what we do; through what the people of Tailrace Community do. Churches are being planted around Australia and pastors and leaders are being re-envisioned and finding fresh hope and strategy with help and inspiration from what we do and workshops and equipping that we provide.

Also, nations in Asia are being impacted, and we are partners in this. A church planting movement is being established in islands off the coast of Africa and we are again playing a small part in this.

We are a church that invites you to engage rather than just attend; to engage in the church community as followers of Jesus who will then engage in ministry as we take the love of Jesus to those who need to receive it.

Thanks to all who serve, pray, given, encourage and engage. We couldn’t be Tailrace Community without you!

Love and Blessings!

Tim O’Neill,
Senior Leader
Tailrace Community