Making connections on the Southern Beaches

David Horne, Field Staff Tasmania

Dave & Lauren Horne and their kids Elka, Posy and Lennox have served on the Southern Beaches of Tasmania since December 2020. It has been a time where they’ve been encouraged but also challenged. Here Dave tells us a bit about his role and how you can be praying for them.

The Horne familyYou’ve been on the Southern Beaches for over a year now. What have been some of the highlights?
There are so many highlights, God has been so good!

Ministry-wise, I’m always so encouraged when someone new walks through the door at one of our services or connects with one of our ministries. Those decisions are rarely spontaneous, and usually are the fruit of weeks, months, or years of God’s work in that person’s life to turn their heart toward him. We’ve been blessed to see quite a lot of people poke their head in for a week or two, so we keep praying that God will continue that work in them so they can learn to connect and love our church community.

What does your day-to-day role involve? I’m not sure that any two days are the same. In a large regional parish with only a few staff, I’m constantly responding to different needs. For instance, today I am planning the service for Sunday, then running a burial service, then helping at our after-school kids’ program. In the car today before school drop-off, Elka asked me what I was doing today, and when I told her, it did make me wonder what sort of things get shared in her classroom, and if her teacher must wonder what on earth I do for a job!

How has the family settled into life on the beaches? Our family has integrated into the community, through Elka attending the local school and getting into sporting activities, but also with Lauren taking the younger kids to community activities where she has made some great friends. The Southern Beaches area has a community garden, a nippers program, a junior soccer club, and a small pool which offers swimming lessons, so once we signed our kids up to all of them we can’t help but bump into the same people and get to know them.

How have you made connections in the community? In 2021 the local surf lifesaving club indicated that they were looking for a chaplain. So when Life Saving Chaplaincy Australia got in touch with me I was excited to accept that role! I’m now a qualified Life Saving Chaplain and have just finished my first season. It was simultaneously great, and awkward! People tend to steer clear of someone wearing a ‘Chaplain’ shirt until or unless they really need to. So there were some great moments of supporting people, getting to know them and helping out at the club, as well as lots of moments of standing around. But overall it was a great way to get into the community and have some really fantastic interactions with parents and club members.

What have been some of the challenges since the loss of your senior minister? When I arrived at Southern Beaches, I came with vision, strategies and dreams. I quickly realised that most of those wouldn’t fit, so I had to re-dream and re-plan. In late 2021 when our Rector announced he was leaving, that became a bit of a crisis for the parish, and me! So, my re-dreaming got shelved, and all of my energy has gone into keeping our main ministries ticking over. It can be frustrating and disappointing at times to feel like nothing is getting past the planning stage; so I’m learning to manage my expectations, to be content with God’s timing, and trust that good things are happening even if they are different from the things I had hoped and dreamed.

What does the financial and prayer support of BCA mean to you? This Southern Beaches area is growing so quickly; the school is overflowing, every block of land is sold, old houses are being bought and renovated, the mediocre surf breaks are packed with kids, women, grandpas… and yet, we are the only church in area. We wouldn’t be here without the support of BCA. Our church wouldn’t exist without BCA. God is using your generosity, your prayers and donations to directly impact the lives of men, women, and children in Southeast Tasmania, and what a beautiful picture of the body of Christ that is!

What can supporters be praying for you?
Please keep praying for people who know and love Jesus to come and minister alongside us. The ‘small group’ that Lauren and I lead has 13 adults and seven children: it’s basically a church plant! We would love to multiply, but many of our members are still young in their faith. By God’s grace, they are growing in their faith and will one day be leaders, but right now the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.

 

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