Real excitement and joy across Australia and the South Pacific
“What is life all about?” was the question churches around Australia addressed in their communities this Easter, as they took part in Bible Society’s Jesus. All About Life Campaign.
The campaign, facilitated by Bible Society Australia (BSA), was owned and run by the individual churches who signed up. Almost 1,000 churches and individuals from across Australia and denominations participated in varying ways, asking their communities to consider whether there is more to life, and specifically, to consider the fullness of life that Jesus offers.
The campaign spoke hope into the weariness and fatigue felt by many after more than two years of the COVID pandemic. With Easter came the opportunity to celebrate life, and the eternal hope which Jesus offers, captured by the core Scripture of the campaign, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b NIV)
One of the core intentions of the campaign was BSA’s desire to encourage and refresh ministry leaders and congregations in providing ministry resources, including the recently published New Beginnings Bible, of which over 2,000 have been ordered to date. Churches who signed up for the campaign were given access to a range of resources to help run Easter services for their local communities.
“I ordered copies of Dave the Donkey & Easter kids’ books and bookmarks to give to churches across our Diocese,” a church leader shared.
“I was fortunate to be at three different small churches to give out the books directly to the children there. It was a privilege to see their joy at receiving a gift. These small churches really benefited from being able to receive and give out these gifts for free.”
Another church representative said, “We created invitation cards for the Easter weekend with the design offered and hosted a beautiful community engagement event. So many local mums and dads and families were blessed to have something so beautiful created for them. There were meaningful conversations where the Gospel was shared throughout the day with some resulting in salvation.”
The campaign was wide reaching, with students at Nungalinya College in Darwin also receiving resources, posters with Bible verses in multiple Indigenous languages, developed during the campaign. Louise Sherman from BSA’s Remote and Indigenous Ministries team said, “Principal Ben Van Gelderen told all the students about the posters, which ‘went like hotcakes’. Students were instructed that they could take the posters back to their communities in whatever language spoke best to them. Our prayer is that these will not only bring blessing to these language communities but also open the door to further Bible translation work in more languages.”
Following on from the Jesus. All About Life campaign is Bible Society’s end of financial year appeal, which is focused on Opening The Bible with your Neighbour. Bible Society is excited to announce the Oceania Alliance, a partnership between Bible Society Australia, Bible Society South Pacific and Bible Society Papua New Guinea. This alliance will strengthen the work of Bible Society in the Pacific region, sharing resources between Bible Societies, collaborating in Bible translation and Bible engagement projects, and building the capacity of each Bible Society.
Geoffry Miller, the General Secretary of Bible Society South Pacific says, “We are thankful for the partnership, because we believe that working together, we will be stronger going forward into the future, but not only that, we have the confidence to serve the people who are there within our communities and churches.”
Bible Society of the South Pacific also ran the Jesus. All About Life campaign in their communities in Fiji. For them, the campaign was an opportunity to remind their communities, in the face of the pandemic and all the suffering it brought, that
“God sees you, he cares about you, he wants to journey with you through what you are facing, and to bring out the best in you.”
Churches around Fiji were supported with the same resources as Australian churches, encouraged by the revitalising message of Easter, and provided with a platform where all churches could work together, worship together, and find strength together as the body of Christ.
The highlight and focus of the campaign in Fiji was the two-night production, He Sees You, which saw capacity crowds both nights, with over 1,400 in attendance and livestream audience of 3,200. Volunteers ran the evening: 150 young people from across the Christian churches in the country.
“The Jesus. All About Life campaign has motivated and brought us together as churches after COVID for two years,” says Geoffry. “This has probably been the biggest event that has first taken place after COVID for Fiji, especially for the church. We saw young people from different denominations working together … and that has been a real excitement and a joy for myself and the Bible Society.”