Local Community Connections

Chaplaincy at The Childrens

Evelyn Heard, one of our Community Workers, serves as Baptist Denominational Chaplain at the Royal Children's Hospital, supporting children and their families in the hospital, and working with all the chaplains in providing care.

Sports Chaplaincy

Gary Heard, our pastor, has served as Chaplain to the Melbourne Tigers, a professional basketball team in the Australian NBL. He currently serves as Academic Dean at Whitley College in the University of Divinity.

Jim Knight, one of our deacons, served for many years as a trainer for, and is a life member of the North Melbourne Football Club, in the AFL.

Schools Chaplaincy

Gary has held part-time chaplaincy positions in schools.

The Spring Fling

For many years The Eighth Day has participated in the local community festival, building relationships with local residents, and raising funds for purposes outside of our church setting. Funds raised have supported a Widow's Purse for a community in Bangladesh, the Hotham Mission's Asylum Seeker Project, Errol Street Primary School and Abbeyfield, for example.

Local Community Connections:

 

About the Eighth Day

Our aim as a community is to assist and resource people in developing an intentional spirituality, engaging with every aspect of life. Whether it be through work, family, life in the community, or in engagement with the broader challenges facing the world community, The Eighth Day brings the resources of the Christian faith and other spiritual traditions through Life Coaching, Spiritual Direction, communal worship, prayer, and more informal engagement through art, cinema and conversation.

We have been reshaping our community in an effort to be more faithful to the life calling which breathes through our whole week. Our commitment is not to an institution but to a lifestyle and a passion.

Our aim as a community (situated on the edge of the Melbourne CBD) is not to bring more people into a building, but to enable us to live out intentional christian lives in the ordinary places, by supporting and resourcing one another. Believing that God is at work in our world, we seek to discern where God is at work, using the resources of the christian tradition to guide us. We seek to model our lives on the life of Jesus, to live as he called us to live, to reflect his life and teaching in our present context.

Our global sense of community is grounded in a partnership with a rural village in Southern Bangladesh, establishing an education project and a Widow's Purse. Details will soon appear on this site.

We would welcome opportunities to share with you, and share mutual support in the journey of spirituality. We recognise that different people learn and grow through different stimuli, and seek to deal with the visual, spatial, emotional, intuitive and creative elements of our being. We also recognise that different faith perspectives offer unique insights on our own, and seek to learn from one another.

If you can't join us on site, join us through our web site: feel free to start your own discussion topic on the forum, dialogue with the blog, or connect via email. We meet together in different formats with different focus during the week. Our 'intentionally' Sacred Space takes place every Sunday night at 5.30 pm.

We would love the opportunity to get to know you better and support you in living out a life of integrity and meaning in the everyday.

 

A Little Bit of History

The Eighth Day began life in the 1850s as the seeds of West Melbourne Baptist Church were planted. The church grew to be a community of about 1000 people by the turn of the century. One hundred years later, a small handful of people remained.

As the church building had been demolished in the 1960s, the church met in a local house until members had the foresight to build a small dedicated worship space in 1990, on the original property purchased at the outset.

In 2002, Rev Gary Heard was called to lead the church. Following community discussions a new direction was adopted. In 2003, Rev Marian Welford and Evelyn Heard were added to the team of workers. A decision was made to change the name of the church to "The Eighth Day" to better reflect where the community saw its ministry and presence. In 2014, Rev Marian Welford retired, and Rev Dr Gary Heard accepted an invitation to serve as Dean of Whitley College, the Baptist College of Victoria, in the University of Divinity. The church has been led in the interim period first by Rev Dr Martin Boutros and then by Rev Ken Luscombe. The church buildings were demolished in late 2015 in preparations for new premises for the church along with some housing opportunities. Construction is under way at present.

click here to continue reading about "The Eighth Day"

 

International Connections

The Eighth Day currently supports the work of The CARASA Foundation which supports the work of Freeset in West Bengal, helping young women and girls out of the sex trade in Kolkata, and establlishing educational and economic opportunities for young women in Murshidabad so that they are able to contribute to their family's financial situation and thus reduce pressures which drive the slave trade.

The Eighth Day has a long history of supporting works of global justice. It previously established a link with the village of Bharoshophur in Bangladesh, establishing two projects in an effort to empower the village in the battle against poverty.

The first project provided an allowance for students attending school. Older students were economically enabled to continue at school through being paid an allowance for tutoring younger students in the village. This project reported some very encouraging results.

The second project established a "Widow's Purse" for the village so that widows no longer need to beg for food. Each widow was given a daily allowance of rice, so that they are no longer an economic burden on their family, which enables them to remain with family.

Click here to read more about these projects.