It is interesting to wonder what people will think of when they one day look back on the early 2020’s. (My wife and I were recently talking about what a person might someday wear to a “2020’s” party once it becomes retro, and we settled on an “oodie” and a face mask – what do you reckon?) But there is no doubt we will look back on these first few years of the 2020’s as defining time. 2022 was once again a year, that at least for the first half, continued to feel the strong effects of the pandemic, which finally made its way to WA. And across the third year of feeling its effects, there was a certain fatigue that I think many felt in common.

Mark Sayers was recently in Perth (author, pastor, podcaster from Melbourne) and spoke about the words “languishing” and “flourishing.” For many, despite now being past the pandemic in some ways, the challenge has been re-establishing patterns of life, relationships, and church life as well. Instead of thriving into the new season, many have wrestled with a feeling best described as “languishing.” But for followers of Christ, we know instead we are called to “flourishing.” God’s picture of life in His Kingdom, and the ways of His Kingdom, as best described as flourishing, and the ability to flourish independent of the circumstances around us.

The challenge before us today as God’s people is to become those who flourish, even when circumstances feel aligned against it. I saw this theme at play reading in Jeremiah 17 a few weeks back, where it describes those who will ‘dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives” on the one hand, and those on the other had of whom it says “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” I find this idea so encouraging, to realise that even in tough years, or seasons of great heat or drought, that the answer is not to wish those years away, but rather to send my roots down deep into the Lord. As we pursue His Presence, and keep our roots in him, that is what can enable us to thrive no matter the circumstances around us.

No doubt our future as a movement will likewise be defined not by the circumstances we face as this decade unfolds, how hot the heat that comes is, but by being a people who send their roots deep into His Presence.

Personally, this is what helps me to stay present to God and others around me even when life gets disrupted. And I hope that we as God’s people will one day look back and see the early 2020’s defined as a time where we pressed deeper and deeper than ever before into our connection with God and the things of His Kingdom.




How quickly things change! It was only in March our state borders reopened to the rest of the country and the world. This was accompanied with constant shifts in regulations and mandates causing disruption and confusion in our society and church communities. We were faced with decisions that unfortunately caused anxiety and division in our churches.

At the time I wrote a short piece about reading and reflecting on Romans 12,13 and 14 which clearly outlines how God calls us to see and treat each other.

Going back to Scripture and pursuing my time sitting with and listening to the Holy Spirit has been the most significant thing I have been able to do to remain present with Jesus. It still amazes me no matter how often it happens that when I am seeking to hear from the Father, he speaks clearly through His Word, a prompt or a trusted friend. One of the statements I have held onto and used regularly is “God is faithful and he is good!”

From Genesis to Revelation we are constantly told and shown how God is faithful and good. It is God who keeps inviting us to be present with Himself. Throughout the year in the midst of much disruption I have found myself more and more in conversations about how God is present and loves to show us his faithfulness and goodness. Many of you have shared your own stories of how you and your church have experienced our Heavenly Father’s faithfulness and goodness.

Moving forward may we celebrate and support each other as we seek to be present with God and to be present with each other.

Your COCWA board has made some very intentional decisions to support missional ministries across our movement. It has launched three key strategies in the hope of stimulating creative thinking and igniting fresh initiatives. With the goal of helping churches be missional and continue growing as the light of the Gospel in their own communities and beyond.

The year ahead is an exciting opportunity to pursue our three key strategies of Church Planting and Health, Leadership Development and Collaboration.

We continue to have churches approach COCWA seeking affiliation as they look for an umbrella of support and the benefits of being part of a bigger family.

We are currently undergoing an independent review for the Resource centre to help us identify what we are doing well, what we can improve on and what we can change. The outcome of the review will help us staff and set our missional priorities for moving forward.

To stay abreast with changes in regulations and compliances we have continued to offer Church Safe training and Board development training.

I encourage you to make attendance at these training opportunities a high priority.

I also encourage all our ministers to move towards Professional Supervision. This is not mandatory as yet but it is highly likely in the near future. If you want to know more about Supervision, please contact Bill or myself.

I have continued to work with our partner organisations addressing changes in MOU’s and working on issues that are impacting COCWA on a state and national level.

At national council there have been exciting initiatives seeking to work together on a variety of missional endeavours in the midst of our diversities.

I want to thank the Resource Centre staff for their commitment and passion to doing their best to help our churches however they can.

May you know the peace of the Father, the love of Jesus and the Power of the Holy Spirit!



Church & Ministry Support

The last 12 months have certainly been, for me, a year of disruption both in terms of Covid-19 and a number of personal issues.

Staying present with God has been a struggle and reflecting upon this time several things stand out.

Firstly, I believe that I have a greater appreciation of the reality of God’s presence and grace, even when I am overwhelmed by the complexities of life and His Being is far from my focus.

Secondly, I have revisited the practice of seeking to think about those things for which I can be thankful. I have found that they are present because God is present.

Thirdly, I have valued greatly from walking with a couple of trusted confidants, who continue to remind me of God’s love and grace.

Reflecting on my year of ministry, I continue to value the privilege of journeying with pastors, leaders, boards and many of our local churches.

A growing area for me has been offering professional supervision to a number of our pastors. I firmly believe that it is an area of ministry that can help build resilience and overall well-being, important aspects of any sustainable ministry.

I have continued working on and with church boards, engaging in areas that have included ministry appointments, board development, facility usage, conflict resolution, church consultation and church affiliation.

The last 12 months I have engaged with a large number of church leaders and members as I have presented Safe Church workshops and training events in a variety of country and city locations.

I continue serving in the area of Ministry Accreditation and Renewals which offers a point of connection with our pastors, as does my involvement at all of our COCWA retreats and training events.

It remains an honour for me to continue to serve with John and the members of the Resource Team.


Retired & Retiring Ministers

No one has been exempt or escaped the challenges brought on by the pandemic and everything that has developed because of this. It would seem to me that our focus determines our outcomes as a person and as a movement. The words of Scripture have been a strong guide for me as a “Support for the retired and Retiring ministers”. Acts 20:28 “ Look after yourselves and everyone the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be like shepherds to God’s church. It is the flock he bought with the blood of his own Son.”

There has been a greater responsibility for myself and any Christian to take care of their own well-being in all aspects of our lives. Technology has been a great friend in this period of time where I have been able to access spiritual nurture and motivation from world renowned speakers who have become like a mentor. The most difficult part for me is being a people person, interpersonal restrictions due to COVID and my health issues have been frustrating. A lot of motivation and creativity comes when we connect with others. Much of that though can be navigated through various forms of modern technology, even then I could recount many “God Moments” because of situations I found myself interacting with others. The pandemic has been an opportunity for leaders and congregations to shine, “to be mature and complete and lacking nothing.” James 1:3-4

Several things have gelled in my mind because I have had more time to reflect on this aspect of retired ministers, yes and it also goes for all retirees. Firstly, we need an operational theology instigated in our churches as we have a whole wealth of experience and time and finances. Our culture should not determine our theology or we will just merge into the world and not be distinctive. Secondly, all of our retirees want to see the kingdom grow and want to be a part of it because we love what Churches of Christ stand for. I am excited when I hear retired ministers supporting smaller and less resourced churches with preaching and encouragement. Several also do interim ministries making a way for the next senior pastor to come along. Some go overseas and run seminars and teaching. Others come alongside their pastor and encourage and offer support in a variety of ways. Even when physically incapacitated we can remain prayer warriors when we know the needs. Please trust and utilise this opportunity. Thirdly, What I have deeply appreciated among the retired ministers is their desire to pray for one another as they go through challenges especially of health and personal loss. Many of the ministers and their wives are passionate about praying for their church and one another. Fourthly, a vital lesson I have observed is just how responsive the retired ministers are when they sense deeply they are valued and loved which is seen in our words our care and intimate connections.

A reflection point: if the Church is a family, how well do we integrate all generations and all congregations so renewal and appreciation are alive?


Church & Sports Development (Youth/Young Adults/Associate Pastors)

The thing that has kept me present with God when life can seem disruptive has been years of spiritual disciplines. This may not be the most interesting statement but it’s been the truth in my life. Christ has to be the centre in the good times and the bad, in the hard times and the easy. I try to not let my season of life determine whether I stay present with Him or not.

When I was studying at Bible college and hearing about missionaries who seemingly had a very rough life by the worlds standard, but God did amazing things in their ministry either during their life or after they died. I used to ask myself, “If my life was as hard as these people, would Jesus be enough”? I know the Christian answer is always Yes but there have been seasons for sure that has made saying Yes very hard. This is why regular practice (e.g. reading, praying, fasting, etc.), a great core group of Christian friends who I study with and challenge, and a supportive home has helped sustained me through difficult times.

This has kept me presence in my role with COCWA too. Trying to think through all the ways we can support those up and coming leaders who will be running our movement in the next 5 or 10 years has been something consistently on my mind. This year I had the privilege of taking 6 emerging leaders in our movement plus 2 mentors over to Sydney to take part in a national incentive to run a leadership event for Churches of Christ Australia. I have had the chance to be a part of a team that has been planning this event for the last 2 years, from the initial dreaming phase to seeing 80 emerging leaders and mentors attend Rise 2022. The whole purpose of the event was to create a national identity and know that we are a part of a movement of God and secondly be a watering hole for leaders to come to be filled and to head back out in their ministry. Off the back of Rise there are quite a few objectives flowing into 2023 so I am excited to see how God continues to build on what he is already doing in W.A.


Finance Manager

On the first day of this year, passing by Swan Valley on my two wheels God prompted me with His word in John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. Although I have heard this verse many time, it just struck deep into my soul that day and I have been keeping it close in my heart since then. The word ‘remain’ carries an intention, and ‘nothing’ literally means no single thing. I asked myself this question, have I involved God in every part of my life? I know I haven’t. I often take life routines running smoothly for granted and from time to time I will only bother God when I really need help. I realised that both big and small matters can be a distraction that pull me away from being connected to God. This definitely doesn’t do me any good when a large part of my life is routines.

So this year I have been learning to switch my heart attitude; to be intentional in everything I do as a way to connect to God. In my personal life and work routines, letting God be the focus and the reason for all I do. Desiring to bring His presence into my days. God’s presence gives life, wisdom and peace that enable me to serve joyfully.  It hasn’t been easy, but one thing I know, God continues to invite me back into His presence.

COCWA finance team remain honoured for the trust given to provide bookkeeping services to 14 churches this year. We will continue inviting God’s presence into our ministry for churches, serving together providing support, confidence and peace to their financial circumstances. May this ministry be a blessing to churches as it has always been to us.



As 2022 draws to a conclusion, I can reflect back with fond memories.

Yes fond memories, despite of the Covid interrupted start to the year.

Then for my birthday present, as a family, we got Covid. That changed my big plan of staying in a dream fishing location that was planned for a year ago.

Shortly after Covid said goodbye, the extremely nasty Influenza A decided to drop by. It makes Covid look like a featherweight.

In the meantime, there is a crazy war happening in Ukraine. This in itself is a reminder of how far people have fallen from God, since the days of the Garden of Eden. Every day on the news, I see atrocities that fill my heart with sadness.

Higher living cost, supply shortages, so where are the fond memories?

Despite all that said, God’s provision far outweighed the entire negative encounter.

I get to celebrate my mum’s 90th, Praise the Lord.

My son just played his first season of rugby and he enjoyed it.

I get to wake up every morning next to my wife. Need I say more?

But wait, I got more!

By staying close to the source that provides for my every need, God ensured I lacked nothing. Choosing to read His words, spending whatever time I can squeeze out with Him, I learned more of how I fit in His puzzle. Serving others through obedience, I get to experience more of Jesus in my life. It is pure joy!

Throughout this year when life got overwhelming, be it at home or at work, I simply let Him lead the way. Then everything is possible.

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John15:4



How to be present? This is an ongoing problem for me, not only for my time with God but being present with family and people I meet along the way.  It’s a real discipline that I have to work on all the time.  So many things that get in the way not to mention the way my brain works, always on, always thinking, mulling things over and over. One of my biggest distractions is social media. It’s great to keep in touch with what family and friends are doing with social media but it can be a real distraction with how everyone else is doing and that feeling if you don’t check it you’ll miss out on something! That notification will get me every time!

The phone itself is neither good or bad, it’s how we use it. So many apps that can help with so many different life challenges. I even have my daily devotion come by email as I know I’ll read it. But if we are always looking down we will miss out on what God has for us. We should be looking up and forward.

Sitting outside in the sun by myself with no phone lets me be present with God and allows me to just be and breathe.  Making an effort to not look at my phone when with family or friends. Putting it on flight mode at night. These are some things I try to do. If you’re reading this, ask yourself, could you go a day without checking social media of any kind? How about a week? Kind of puts things into perspective on how you live your life.



Senior Minister of Newspring Church


Senior Minister of Lifestreams Church South Perth


member of Warwick Church


member of Church @ the Stadium


Graeme Jones-01

As I write these few thoughts I’m sitting in my lounge room on my third day of COVID imposed isolation, reflecting on what today was supposed to bring – commencement of a hike on the Bibbulmun Track between Walpole and Albany.  This is no big deal – I worked out that one week in isolation represents 0.02% of my life.

But it is a reminder that our plans sometimes come adrift through some outside interference.  For me the inconvenience is minor.  However, others have suffered real hardship – and this includes people in our churches through loss of income, social isolation, ongoing family separation, mental health challenges, etc.

At times like this when uncertainty seems to surround us, I am so thankful that God is the one constant who is never changing, and I am encouraged by the words from Hebrews 10:23 – ‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful’.


Another 12 months has passed and with that a time to reflect on what I have learnt, lost and gained comes to mind. With such a busy schedule wearing many hats in my roles as a; husband, father, business owner and volunteer in many ministries these roles can seem so important at times that they can disrupt us from what is truly important. It’s through these activities that I have learnt that being present with God is vital, and I am gently reminded of His presence when times get tough. It’s through times of loss, whether it is missed opportunities at work or moments with my family that have passed I realise that by focusing on Jesus will centre in my focus to truly see the correct direction I should head in. With my time on the Properties Committee over the past year I have learnt that through all the distractions we need to continually rely on God for the decisions we make. None of us know the future of the economy and none of us know with absolute certainty the best property investment but with God’s direction, peace and grace, we can be sure to know that He is in control.


It is important for us to invest our time wisely and that can be done well when we know what is truly important. In other words, it is essential that we know what our priorities are and that is mostly determined by us having an eternal perspective, as opposed to a short term view of what is before us. With that in mind, what we should choose to dedicate our time towards becomes quite clear.

When we set our eyes on Jesus, and maintain a daily routine in prayer and waiting upon the Lord, our perspective will change. Quite often, we are pulled in many different directions and feel overwhelmed that there is too much to do, and too little time to do it. When that happens, the first thing I do is stop and pray. Counterintuitive – but it works! I know that God will help me sift through the things that are important, and those that aren’t (even though they may feel pressing at the time). There is peace in praying and dedicating our time to God. I view the time I spend with God in the morning as crucial because that is when I take care of myself and my heart. The flow on effect of that is I, in turn, can be present for others throughout the day.


Some events and activities that happened over the past year across various ministries.

  • Sunday 28th August, the Warwick Church of Christ was full as folk gathered together to formally acknowledge John Hutchinson as our Executive Minister.
  • Governance training sessions were held to upskill and inform church boards of their responsibilities and what it looks like to govern well, so ministry can be effective.
  • Connect Retreat – An overnight retreat held each year for newly accredited ministers to connect and learn about our movement.
  • Senior Minister’s Retreat. A time for our church leaders to gather, connect and spur one another on and build into the movement of COCWA.
  • Safe training sessions were held throughout the year at various city and country churches. These sessions are aimed at equipping church and ministry leaders of the importance of implementing church safe policies and procedures.
  • Ongoing collaboration with Masters & Co. Psychology as we aim to better inform and equip our youth and young adult leaders of the complex issues of mental health in our younger generations.
  • Hagar Morning Tea – The Executive Director of Hagar ministries, Merewyn Foran, shared with us how the money COCWA donates when you undertake Governance training with Churches of Christ WA is used to see communities free and healed from the trauma of human trafficking, slavery and abuse. 
  • This Is Your Life Dinner- celebrating the life and ministry of former and current ministers
  • COCWA Staff Retreat. A weekend away down south bonding as a team and sharing our faith journey.
  • Youth/Young Adults/Discipleship. Over the year there have been discussions, coffee catch-ups, Rise leadership event in Sydney and the annual highly anticipated Youth Vision Edge Camp and State Youth Games.
  • Overnight Board Retreat – the Board spent extended time together to prayerfully and strategically discuss a plan for our three main focus points; church planting, next gen leadership and collaboration.


Albany | Basso | Beckenham | Bridgeley | Bridgetown | Bruce Rock | Bunbury Aboriginal Christian Fellowship | Carnarvon | Church @ the Stadium | City | Collie | Cornerstone- Busso & Vasse | Corrigin | Dalkeith Road | Dowerin | Dunsborough | Eastlake | Elevate | Encounter- Wangara & Tapping | Esperance | Foothills | Freo | Geraldton | Harvey | Hedland Aboriginal | Oikos Church (Indonesian) | Jesus Central | Jesus Is The Way | Kalamunda | Kalgoorlie | Kingsley | Lake Gwelup | Lifestreams- South Perth, Bentley, Bull Creek, Karawara & Stirling | Living Grace Dianella | Maylands | Merredin | Morawa | Mount Pleasant | Mukinbudin | Mundaring | Narembeen | New Spring | Nollamara | Noranda | Norseman | Perth Arabic | Redeemer Church | Rockingham | Roleystone | Serpentine | Shalom House | South Bunbury | Southern River | Subi | Star Gen | The Rocks-Cannington & Baldivis | Thornlie | True North- Mullaloo & Merriwa | Valley | Warnbro | Warwick | Wembley Downs | Westcity | York 


The Bethanie Group
Bethesda Hospital
Blue Sky Pilbara
Building Extension Mutual Fund (BEMF)
Churches of Christ Sport & Recreation Association (CCSRA)
Crossways Community Services
Initiate Australia
Masters & Co. Psychology
Moorditj Keila
Riverview Church
Shalom House Group
Sonlife Ministries
Cosmos Healthcare Inc.


22 Plantation Street MENORA WA 6050

Mail to PO Box 458 DIANELLA WA 6059

Phone 08 9471 8500


Office Hours Tues-Thurs 9am-3pm.