2017 is already with us. This inspired me to consider our 'year of mission' just past. Every reader will be able to put their own Christian highlights into such an article.
Country Town Tours
This past year saw a number of Country Town Tours, two of them happened to be in the Queensland regional city of Mackay, one in March at the Iona West Uniting Church which specialises in men's ministry and the second in November at the significant Baptist men's breakfast where I bought some art along.
Country Town Tours were established 30 years ago when as the Australian cricket team chaplain I took many athletes and coaches to rural and regional Australia where they spoke at many different locations – including schools, youth groups, service clubs, youth rallies, men's breakfasts and dinners, prisons .....
Laguna Quays Respite
We saw another very busy missions respite ministry providing a cottage (a beach house) on the Whitsundays (Midge Point), with some visits seeing one mission family leave in the morning and the next arrive that same afternoon. The missionaries bring their own food, the house is fully self contained, there is a washing machine, plenty of pegs, an entertainment barbecue area and a wonderful huge front veranda with a cooling onshore breeze.
Opened in 2011, we visit there four times a year to engage in any maintenance and have developed a number of community activities – a business luncheon in May, an art prize in July, a high tea for the art ladies in November and an online weekly newspaper for the community (one of our young writers Josh Hinds set this up). The same lady who did the hard copy which close in July 2012 now does the online version.
Plus a video was produced by Bridget Brenton on this missionary ministry
One Day in Melbourne
Reverend Bob Thomas editor of New Life magazine and I met over dinner at the 2015 ARPA conference and saw an opportunity for a different kind of day conference for those small publications such as Missions and ministries along with Christian bloggers. We put this together for Saturday 16 April at the Salvation Army headquarters in Melbourne.
It was a resounding day with 52 coming, 24 missionary societies were represented, along with Christian bloggers and others. Holy Trinity Melbourne provided the lunch, some funding was raised to help some people fly into Melbourne including Bridget Brenton who did the One Day in Melbourne video.
Young writers ministry
Press Service International is one of the ministries of our Well-Being Australia and PSI has 85 young people writing one article every 5 weeks (10 articles a year) published in Christian Today (part of CMCI – Christian Media Corporation International) the world's largest Christian news provider network.
This year we introduced 'week editors' to share the load who will take over completely in 2017 with chief editor Sophia Sinclair having her second baby. This is a remarkable ministry with huge readership, CMCI has 4.6m Facebook followers. In November CMCI approved my proposal for a Christian Today New Zealand which will be launched in 2017. Sophia Sinclair will eventually take leadership.
The annual conference in Sydney last August was another super huge event for the young writers with a full on program including a panel on arts and the church (arts referring to video, dance, paint, drama ....).
Once again Bridget Brenton produced a short video on the young writers
The art ministry takes various forms one of which is a monthly art work for the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce 'business card' draw, and other is an annual young writer art work for Mr Basil Sellers AM the major sponsor of Well-Being Australia, use of art at Country Town Tours speaking and as a ministry to others apart from a wonderful relaxant.
Adelaide Professional artist Justin Monaghan who spoke at the August young writers' conference visited Midge Point and did an amazing art work of dawn at Midge Point Beach.
Life After Cricket
Established in 2000 after my 17 years as the Australian cricket team chaplain, one special thing ministry is the Retired Australian Cricketers Bi-Annual Newsletter, published 30 March and 30 November each year – our latest 33rd issue. My editorial team is Allan Border, Greg Chappell, David Boon, Kim Huges and NSW & VIC Cricket.
My son Wes caught up with retired cricketer now commentator Ian Healy at a works Christmas function who mentioned to Wes he reads his dad's cricketers newsletter. The story behind this – when a teenager I'd take Wes on an annual treat to the cricket in Melbourne and one occasion at Melbourne airport I introduced him to 'Mr Healy'.
Delma's ongoing community ministry involves visiting a nursing home each week with designated oldies as a pastoral carer, a KYB weekly group, several craft groups including tutorials and in classes learning the ukulele, a pen and ink class along with many private home visits to those lonely and in need.
Now we look with much anticipation to this year of ministry, 2017 - this first week of January is family week with them all coming from various parts of the nation ....
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html