Janine van den Tillaart – Communications Coordinator
James & Brittany Daymond have been in Cobar for eight months now, building upon the foundations laid before them. They are excited to see how Cobar can be reached for Christ.
“It has been very satisfying continuing to build a church,” says James. “I’m not starting from scratch, I’m not rebuilding, and I appreciate the labours of the faithful and those who have come before me. I’m respectful of the fact that I’m the next person adding another layer (1 Corinthians 3). I’ve been seeking to establish good church ministry in terms of preaching, teaching, pastoral care and evangelism – some of the essentials for church life.”
James is the first full-time Anglican minister in Cobar for 20 years. Previously a locum visited once a month and in the other weeks the seven faithful congregation members met together with a lay minister. Since James & Brittany arrived more people have been added to their number. “We are so grateful for some new people coming along, some have come to church for the first time and some have returned to church.”
Each Sunday there is a 10 am service followed by morning tea which often does not finish until around 12.45 pm. “Doing Sundays well is a real priority for me,” says James. “It is a huge joy in writing sermons, but also a huge challenge. The word of God is so serious and being clear is vital. The word has been resonating with our congregation and I’m very encouraged by that. People have said they really enjoy coming to church each Sunday.”
Apart from regular Sunday ministry, James & Brittany started a new Bible study in June. Bible study has enabled the faithful to have good discussions and James feels that he has developed stronger relationships. “One-on-one pastoral care really established trust and now we can dig deeper through Bible study.”
Cobar is predominantly a mining community with some agriculture, and there are about 3500 people in town and 4700 across the district. As in Narromine and Mudgee, James hopes to reach the community through outreach visiting.
“I am increasingly convinced that outreach is vital and serious evangelism will be a key factor in developing the church to the next level,” says James. “I personally find outreach visiting exciting, recharging and life giving. I still must continue to offer good preaching, teaching and pastoral ministry, so I’m thinking through all of this and the appropriate ministry model for growth to occur.”
James was able to commence outreach visiting in late June with the help of two BCA Nomads, John & Judy Vine. Since then, Greg & Marion Creek have come along and helped. As James doesn’t have anyone to draw upon in Cobar for outreach visiting, having Nomads visit and accompany him is a great way for this ministry to occur.
“We started on the land and in due course we’ll visit people in town and the shops,” says James. “In theory it would be wonderful to have a conversation with everyone about Christ.”
James & Brittany would value your prayers that outreach visiting will develop strongly with regular methodical visiting. They also want to reach out to the mining community, children and youth, and travellers. “I’m convinced that travellers are a group we should be concerned for even though they won’t add to the congregation. We are at the crossroads of two highways so there are quite a lot of people with caravans coming through.” Most of all James & Brittany want to make sure that all the channels for outreach are open and all their fishing lines are set. Please pray that they can have a miraculous catch in Cobar.