An Open Table where Love knows no borders

WelcomeLogoThe South Yarra Community Baptist Church would be honoured to share our worship with you at any time you are able to visit us. At present, during the COVID-19 health crisis, our worship service is only happening online, but as a small boutique church, we think we can do much better than just one-way streaming to a passive audience. Click this link to learn a bit more about how we are worshipping together online. We are a small congregation with deep roots in the ancient traditions of Christian spirituality. Our worship weaves the wisdom of our forebears with the vitality of our own contemporary Australian experience to create a powerful and intimate experience of worship.

The Weekly Eucharist

Until he comesOur main weekly worship service is held at 5:00 pm each Sunday, and goes for about an hour and a half. We usually serve a light meal afterwards and we would be honoured to have you join us in sharing it.

The Eucharist is central to our journey together, for from the shared table we are drawn with all creation into communion with God. We find ourselves welcomed to the banquet table of heaven to be fed with the bread of life and the wine of the new age which sustain us and nourish our growth into the fullness of life in Christ.

Sensory aids such as icons, incense, candles and music help us to worship as whole beings. A cycle of scripture readings ensures that we are kept in contact with the earliest foundations of our faith. A “sermon of silence” gives us the quiet space to allow God to reach us. Prepared prayers help imprint the rhythms of prayer into our hearts, thus equipping us to live throughout each week in the thankful spirit of the Eucharist. A published essay describing and analysing our worship service in more detail is available here.

Children in Worship

Our children participate actively in the whole of our Sunday worship service. We haven’t dumbed it down for them – active, multi-sensory rhythms of worship are actually highly attractive and accessible to children. Children actively lead some of the prayers and actions, and a weekly children’s study sheet and the resources from the craft trolley give then practical ways of expressing their engagement with the worship and proclamation. You can read more here about how and why children engage in worship in our church.

Languages other than EnglishLaying on hands

Although most of our worship is conducted in English, we value the inclusion of other languages. Members whose first language is not English regularly lead parts of our worship in their own language, and the English translation is provided for the rest of us. On a good week, you may hear languages is diverse as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, German, Japanese, French, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Jamaican Creole during the service.

Is it right for you?

There’s only one way to find out! We would gladly welcome you to join with us any time in the Sunday Eucharist.

IMGP0887.JPGA word of warning though: our approach is quite different from what many people are used to and most of us felt quite uncomfortable during our first few experiences of such prayer. Those from church backgrounds found that the experience unsettled many of our previous ideas about prayer, worship and the activity of the Spirit. Those without church backgrounds found the experience very foreign to the hypnotic, high-tech entertainment culture all around us. You will need to come long enough to get past the initial discomfort before you will know if it’s right for you.The Baptism of Christ

Another word of warning: Some of us found it even more uncomfortable after we thought we’d gotten used to it. As many had discovered before us, once the rhythm of prayer began to work its way into our hearts, our defences and illusions began falling apart. We saw ourselves and our surrounds through newly opened eyes and were often deeply disturbed by what we saw. For some it took great courage to go on.

No one has ever found a road to resurrection that does not first lead to the cross. But we have begun to taste the first fruits of the fullness of resurrection life and we have no intention of going back!