The Buzz in Busselton

Youth at front of church

2015 has been a great year of growing in our vision and heart for our community here at Cornerstone Church in Busselton.  For those of you who don’t know where we are, we are the city that you drive through (or around, depending on the road you take) on your way through to Margaret River, which is about 30 minutes away.  Busselton is a fantastic location with a fast growing community, and we are blessed to be a part of it!  Trying to sum up some of what has been happening this year is hard, but we’ll try and give you the highlights.

Much of 2015 has been spent completing refurbishment works to our building and physical surrounds to help us to make our environment more relevant and attractive to our guests.  It is great to hear people new to our church regularly say things like ‘this doesn’t look like a church’ or ‘it feels like I am sitting in the foyer of a pub’.  Our heart behind these changes is about doing all we can to make sure nothing within our control gets in the way of people feeling welcome and at home in our church so that they can hear the life changing message of God’s grace and mercy for our lives.

Inspire Women’s Conference
We have been running an annual Women’s Conference for a number of years now with approximately 200 women attending from all over the state.  This year was the first time we have held this event in our own auditorium, and it was a fantastic time considering the theme of ‘Resilience’.  Our speakers were Jade Lewis (Founder of ‘The Yellow Ribbon Project’ working with ex-offenders) and Yvonne Kilpatrick (Psychologist and Women’s Pastor at Carey Baptist), and both brought messages that taught and challenged the women attending.  Highlights included four ladies at different stages of life sharing their testimonies of how they had learned resilience from their experiences.  We were also blessed to have the vocal group ‘Iris’ perform for us throughout the day.

Our Youth Ministry (CORE Youth) has seen significant growth this year with attendances averaging between 50-80 each week, and numbers of those attending coming from unchurched homes.  Each week a faithful team of volunteers works to provide an arena where these young people (Years 7-10) can come together, have fun, build friendships and hear a message of how much God loves them.  One of the highlights of this year has been seeing a number of these young people make decisions for Jesus and get baptised, with more on the way later this year!  Our Youth have been active in ministry this year also, with a team serving as our Host team once a month, running Youth Services once a term, as well as being involved in Winter Camp, State Youth Games and the upcoming Break Free conference where more than 60 young people from our community will be travelling to attend.

mainly music
mainly music is a music based program designed for pre-school aged children and their caregivers.  Run by a small team in our church, this ministry has seen many people coming from the local community to be a part of this program, and in particular we have seen it become a great place for the new migrants in our community.  These families come and are a part of an interactive music time with their children, share morning tea, and build relationships with some of the families from our church.  For many of them this can be their first personal experience of our church, or of ‘Christian people’!  We regularly see some curious parents and carers come out to our Sunday services each week, and it is such a blessing to see how God is revealing Himself to them through the relationships built through this program.

Swap Meet
This event was a community focussed Swap Meet for women and children’s clothing and accessories, where items were donated by locals (including a number of businesses and second hand clothing outlets) and brought together for one night of entertainment, fun and fundraising while shining the light of Jesus into our local community.  The event was designed to raise funds for the SHINE program, which works with young women at risk of disengagement with the educational system and society, helping them to develop ‘life skills and tools to ensure their future is in their hands’.  With support from our local newspapers and social media, the news of the event was spread through the local area, and our building was packed with approximately 280 people on the night as they heard a message of hope through the SHINE program promotions.  Women of all colours, shapes, sizes and tastes catwalked some of the clothing for sale (with representatives aged from 10 to 72 on the stage!), and a number of testimonies from different ladies throughout the night brought things together well.  It was inspiring to see a huge team of volunteers work together to pull this night off and make an impact in our local community, and for the SHINE program.  We’re looking to do this again next year!

Cornerstone College
Cornerstone College started in 1986 with 17 students and one teacher, and is now the educational institution of choice for almost 550 students and over 80 teachers.  With a focus on building Christlike character in the students, Cornerstone College has been impacting our local community through community service, and building a quality testimony in the local area.  Thanks to the continued growth of the College, and some incredibly generous donations, the College will be opening a new campus in Dunsborough in 2016, which will initially service Kindy to Year Two, before growing to cover the full range of Kindy to Year Six.

Men’s Breakfasts
A grass roots movement for Men is rising up in our church community at the moment, with a number of Men’s Breakfasts having been run so far this year.  These events start with some form of sporting activity (including Stand Up Paddle boarding, Volleyball, Beach Runs and Soccer to date) before a slap up breakfast (sausages, bacon, eggs, toast).  We finish up the morning with a number of guys sharing testimonies, and this has proven to be a really valuable time with numbers of men allowing themselves to be vulnerable with their peers and sharing some powerful stories.  With our first Men’s Camp coming up in November, we are excited about what God is doing.

Geographe Christian Leaders Network
This group is made up of pastors and leaders across the South West region who work together to build unity among the churches in our region.  They meet each week to pray together, and have been hearing the ‘story’ of the different leaders and churches involved to better know how to pray for one another.  Recently this group invited Tim Costello (CEO of World Vision) to come and speak on the topic of reconciliation.  This was a really powerful time in the lives of the local church community and also saw a number of representatives from our local indigenous population come along to hear Tim Costello speak on this topic.