Doing Life Together

What does "life together" look like at The Billabong? Below are some reports and stories from our various groups and programs about what they have been up to in the last year (2023). We hope you enjoy reading these, and that it piques your interest in joining a group or serving in one of these ministries. 

Looking for our 2023 annual report? You can find it here

Nigel & Georgina Jones

Doing Life Together 2023 - Aegis Church Service

Each 2nd Thursday of the month, we arrive at Aegis at approx. 10am, to sign-in and set-up for the service that starts at 10.30am. Aegis staff play hymns on their laptop until 10.30am. When it is the Billabong Church service, we bring a laptop with PowerPoints of Bible reading passages, prayers, and hymn lyrics for the residents to follow along with. 

Any volunteers must be aware that the worship song ‘Blessed Assurance’ is on permanent weekly request from the Aegis residents and staff, and cannot be forgotten! 😊 

The service runs for half an hour, and although recent Covid restrictions affected staying after the service to speak to, and pray for residents, these restrictions have now eased, and we are now being invited once again to join the residents after the service for a cuppa and a chat. 😊 

Three other local churches provide services on the other weeks of the month, including Anglican and Catholic churches, which provide communion as part of their services for residents. If there is a 5th Thursday in a month, Aegis residents and staff organise the service that week.

With the easing of restrictions that are occurring, we are not sure if volunteers will still need to show evidence of Covid vaccines, and/ or annual flu shots prior to entry, in future. Until very recently we have also had to show evidence of a current, negative RAT test, have our temperature taken, and wear a face mask.In answer to prayer, this year we have had access to a beautiful ‘new’ room to hold the church services in… the cinema room! Which comes complete with sparkling ‘stars’ on the ceiling!

As in previous years, the church services have continued strongly, and have received positive feedback from residents and staff. As we always say to the Aegis congregation, it is an honour to be invited to worship God with them, and we experience a Holy Spirit led, and blessed service together. If you feel led to visit, join, or help with this ministry, we’d love to hear from you.

And thank you to previous visitors and helpers! God Bless.

Frances David

This small group of ladies ( 6 or 7) met every fortnight on a Wednesday morning during the school term for encouragement, prayer, Bible study and discussion, challenge and accountability. We chose a study guide, “Christian Character”, designed to help us grow in godly character during the first half of the year, which interestingly followed the same subject matter as our weekly sermons. Following on from that we began reading and discussing, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” and we will continue and complete this in 2016.

We are flexible with our timetabling and are always open for more ladies to join us. There is lots of laughter and food, and sometimes it seems like not much progress, when we get together but there is a genuine searching for God and what He is saying in our lives.

We continually ask each other these two important questions; “What is God saying to you?" And "what are you going to do about it?”

Dinah Lacey

A recent initiative, the ladies prayer group was born out of a small weekly gathering, including myself and a couple of other Christian friends. Recently, I felt the Lord wanting me to extend the invitation to all women in our church congregation.We started with just three of us, meeting each Monday morning, from 11am to around 1pm, at my house in Canning Vale. Recently a few more ladies have attended, however it fluctuates from week to week.

I view the Ladies Prayer Group as an important part of the ministry for women at the Billabong. A reasonably unstructured time, we begin with a coffee and chat, then move into conversation around prayer needs for ourselves, our families, friends, neighbours, the Billabong etc. We aim to provide a loving, confidential and supportive space for us to enjoy connecting with each other, through conversation and prayer.

Kevin Tan & Terry Halse 

We are a group consisting mainly of retirees - but always looking for younger members! We meet 2nd and 4th Sundays after church in the Church Cafe (byo lunch). 

We have lately been studying the book of Romans. Meetings usually start with fellowship and prayer. Study and discussion follow, usually finishing about an hour later. 

Prayer is a regular part of out time together. We have seen some of our prayers an- swered - (accommodation for someone in need). Health improvements for some, though this is ongoing. We continue to pray. 

Sharing meals together is a noteable feature of our group. On the Sundays that we are not meeting we often go out as a group for lunch at a cafe. 

On occasions Joanne & Jo offer a 'Cafe 51' meal and get-together. Always a good time. 

New members (or visitors) welcome! 

Sarah Robinson & Martin Dodge

Breakfast for Good is a group of around 14 people, not all who attend The Billabong, connected to each other through God’s Spirit and our friendship. The aim of our life group is to fuel each other so we can fuel others wherever we may be in our daily life.

We meet monthly, sometimes more frequently, over breakfast where one of our group leads a conversation around a topic on their heart. Such topics have included living more environmentally aware, the meaning and importance of dignity and how we can grow gratefully.

The group have encouraged each other and at times we simply enjoy being together, walking or supporting each other through life. We have also enjoyed the occasional camping trip, most recently to Jurien Bay.

Through the encouragement of each other, we are better equipped to serve, remembering that through serving, God gets the glory and us, as servants, get the joy of living a life of purpose.

Andrew Hunter

Our Life Group continued to meet when we could through 2023 and into 2024. LIfe circumstances, both blessings and challenges, sometimes meant there were gaps between meetings but we adapted and met when we could. We met in several of our homes and in other places when it suited. We’ve continued to care for each other and explore how to follow Jesus in our lives. While meetings were mostly focused on fellowship we also reflected on the content of the message from the previous Sunday. 

We’ve enjoyed having a new couple join us this year. We’ve been able to meet often this year, partly through continuing to be flexible.

Vince & Karen Stagno

Sunday Taco’s Life Group is a multi-generational group meeting fortnightly on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month at 12 pm. This year, we have been meeting in various homes for BYO lunch, fellowship, prayer, discussion, and fun.

We consider ourselves a friendly, flexible and supportive group that actively speaks into each other’s lives, participating in prayer and sharing our thoughts on various topics. We encourage all members of our group to contribute and share their thoughts, experiences, and struggles, to encourage and support one another.

We warmly welcome any new people who share our love of the Lord and reading our favourite book i.e. The Bible😊   

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Marhun Limpah

Prayer meeting starts at 7.30 am on Thursday each  week in the Billabong prayer room. It has been a regular prayer meeting with just two of us for many years, but with a few others joining us occassionally.

Prayer is one of the forms of communion to our Almighty God. From time to time, we received answers prayer, but of course, we are still waiting for others' answers to the prayer to come. We pray for our leaders, members of  Billabong, who need support in prayer and also praying for the wider community around us.

We would like to encourage our brothers and sisters at Billabong to join the regular prayer. 

Let prayer become part of our lives. God bless.

Georgina Jones

The Sunday Morning prayer group meet between 9 to 9.55am in the Billabong Prayer Room.

We pray for that day’s Sunday Celebration services, the congregation, the volunteers in all the serving areas, and the wider community. We also aim to pray as led by the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 8:14 (NIV) For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

We support Luke, our Minister, and the church with any prayer requests received throughout the year.

If you have a heart for prayer, or just want to learn more, you are most welcome to come along and join us in the Prayer Room on Sunday mornings before church, or send a message via the Billabong Admin Office. 

God bless you and your families! 😊

Georgina, Karen, Anita, Erina, Juliann, Glenice, Ros, David & Julie.

Kerin Williams and Anneliis Harries

In 2023, The Billabong Playgroup was composed of 17 families including lots of little friends from about 5 years old all the way down to "awaiting debut". 

We had a busy year! We tried to do something special each term, and we took walking excursions twice to attend the City of Gosnells' Park Play events down the road at the Sanctuary Waters lake. Two highlights of the year were catching a bus and a train into the city together to visit the museum, and attending the city of Cockburn Teddy Bear Picnic- both of which were a massive morning out! 

We opened our doors a few times to welcome our community in. The Yr11 Children, Family, & Community class from Providence Christian College joined us one week, and we participated in PlaygroupWA's "Senior Week" by inviting grandparents and special senior friends to join in on some playgroup fun. In August we had a kids' clothes and toy swap, and used 2 local "buy nothing" pages to invite families in the community to come help themselves to the items left over. 

Outside of the usual Wednesday morning Playgroup sessions, we got together for a "mums night out" paint and sip evening at the Harries house, and hosted a bring & share Family Feast in the Billabong's Cafe space. It was so much fun spending time with some of the mums, dads, grandparents, aunties and uncles, and especially the big brothers and sisters who used to come to Playgroup.

At our Christmas Party at the end of the year, we gave 4 Jesus Storybook Bibles to our graduates as a gift from The Billabong, and 25 children received a wrapped Christmas book from Playgroup. We are always so grateful to the members of the Billabong family who come along and help make the Christmas party happen by helping with the Christmas story, craft, supervising the activities, and cooking and serving the sausages! 

A special thank you too to the wonderful volunteers who came along in 2023 to help set up and pack up with marvellous organising skills, made countless cups of coffee and tea, gave warm encouragement to young mums, made the kids smile, and held all the babies. We love you!