Monday, 19 December 2011

Spring cleaning and giving thanks

Our Spring work day at the end of November was a time of thankfulness of the year that has passed and building on foundations already prepared. 

Our family had celebrated the American holiday of Thanksgiving just two days earlier, and we served the volunteers at our workday some traditional dishes to thank them for their help (turkey legs on the grill, cranberry relish, cornbread dressing and sweet potato pies, if you're curious). 

Some more work was done on the base of the iconic PH table (see the video here if you don't know what I'm talking about), with specialist advice from Mick Elliot, the pastor at Redeemer in Huonville.

The area around the 'bespoke' pizza oven - built for us by our friends the Tullys (doing a different kind of gig!) - needed a bit of love and care, and it was amazing to see how well it cleaned up after being attacked by half a dozen people with shovels and mattocks for an afternoon.

To our delight, Seth Isham put together a beautiful improvised dry-stone retaining wall from on-site mudstone. Finished with a railroad tie, the wall doubles as seating. There was also brush cutting, wood cutting and shovelling of alpaca manure (let me know if you want some - it's great for the garden).

Thanksgiving is a time to remember and be thankful for God's care for us and for the blessing of both work ("In all labour there is profit" Prov. 14.23) and rest, and to share our thankfulness with each other -  a fitting theme for our workday.

Thanks to Fiona Lockett for the snaps.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Launch - in photos (courtesy of Anna)

We had a lovely, lovely launch.

I played the harp.

Joe prayed for us and afterwards served Hartzview wine and Lucaston Park Apple Juice to the guests.

Peirce told a choose-your-own-adventure story putting the audience
in the shoes of a future visitor to Pilgrim Hill

Will interviewed us urbanely.

Luke gave a TED talk.  (Actually, it was about our Association and the financial needs.)

Margaret made amazing food. (Honey-caramel apples, right here.)

Shiloh did all the graphic design and served food with visual aplomb.

Over 100 people came. They listened, laughed, prayed, feasted and filled in response cards. 
Pilgrim Hill friends, old and new.

God is good.

Thanks, everyone.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

She'll be apples

So there's this little thing coming up this Saturday night (Oct 22nd).
It's the launch of our association AND YOU HAD BETTER BE THERE!!

Pilgrim Hill Association Launch
7 pm, Saturday, October 22nd 
Hope Christian Centre
25 Tasma Street, North Hobart

We're doing a few things to bless you during the evening:

Music.  I'll be playing a Huon Valley-inspired harp piece I wrote for the Cygnet Folk Festival that hasn't been recorded yet. I don't get out as much as I used to since I'm having so much fun here at home with the mini-Baehrs, so don't miss a rare Christina Baehr (née Sonnemann) appearance.

Wine. Rob and Anthea Patterson at Hartzview Vineyard have donated two boxes of their beautiful local wines. The Pattersons are a Christian family who are pioneers in the Tassie wine industry and run a wonderful business in the Huon. (Their Tasmanian Apple-Honey Mead is a Tasmanian icon.)

Apple juice. Ah, but not just apple juice. Lucaston Park Apple Juice.  I've got your attention now, haven't I? The Griggs Family at Lucaston Park Orchards has been super encouraging to us and we thank God that in His providence they are the commercial orchard nearest to PH. We have so much respect for their integrity and commitment to living like Jesus.  

Food. There will be light 'nibbles' with a fresh, seasonal, Huon valley theme. Featured will be Margaret Sonnemann's creamy home-made ricotta. 

And apples, of course.

Friday, 7 October 2011


A while back - after a lot of research, thought, prayer and advice-seeking - an application was submitted for Pilgrim Hill to become a non-profit incorporated association. In short, our reason for incorporation was to provide financial transparency and accountability for the work of Pilgrim Hill.

On the 20th of September we heard back from the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs. From now on you can call us "Pilgrim Hill Association Inc."! (Yep - the dot looks weird next to the inverted comma!)

The association is comprised of 12 founding members and a seven member committee, which includes a four member executive committee. The 12 founding members are Christina (me) and Peirce Baehr, Dan Shepherd, Luke and Amy Isham, Dave and Shino Durdin, Margaret and Jack Sonnemann, Joe Ware and Will and Shiloh Longbottom. Among these, Peirce, Christina (me again), Margaret, Joe, Dave, Luke and Will are the committee members. Peirce is president, Christina (yep, you guessed it), vice president, David, treasurer and Luke is the secretary, making up the executive committee.

So drink a glass of Lucaston Park apple juice in honour of the Association, will you?

(Oh, the photo is snagged from our amazing promo video - about which much more soon! It didn't make it onto the new-look website because we all look kind of harried and stressed-out that there might not be enough wood-fired pizza to go around. We looked much happier after we'd eaten a bit.)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Alpacas await you

...on our updated website

Peirce has been slaving over the site at all hours, so please take a peek (and let us know if there are any bugs).

As an added enticement, the new site features stills snatched from our beautiful 4-minute promotional film by Joshua Lamont. 

The film itself is being kept strictly under wraps until our Official Launch on Saturday, October 22nd at 7 pm at Hope Christian Centre on Tasma Street. 

Come see it...and us!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

It takes 5

Last year, Peirce was spending a lot of time praying for someone else - maybe another couple - to commit to Pilgrim Hill full-time. The ever-resourceful Mikey Lynch, on our board of advisors, made the helpful suggestion that we tap on the doors of people who might be willing to donate some time now, rather than lots of time later.

So, thoughtfully and prayerfully, Peirce began to talk with some brothers and sisters in Christ who had expressed a keen interest in PH and had skills which would complement ours.

Not too long later, the Group of 5 was formed. We meet with them every five weeks for a lunch at our house. Here's a photo of them looking serious (sorry about the poor camera work).

And here's a photo which shows that they listen attentively to Peirce.

I'm going to introduce them all individually over the course of a few blog posts, so stick around.

Here are some of the ways in which they've contributed to Pilgrim Hill so far:

  • Praying
  • Setting up this blog
  • Organising work days on the Hill
  • Working at our work days
  • Aiding our incorporation (writing paperwork, checking paperwork, etc)
  • Designing the new website (release date: October)
  • Managing the PH promo video shoot (more on that soon!)
  • Planning our Pilgrim Hill launch
  • Encouraging us
  • Getting others excited about PH

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Designing Pilgrim Hill

Finding the designers for the Pilgrim Hill buildings has been a journey that went right around the world.

First of all, we fell in love with this graceful building by 1+2 Architecture, profiled in a coffee table book found in a Los Angeles bookshop.

...only to discover that it was on Bruny Island, just a ferry-ride away from Pilgrim Hill!

At the time we were praying that we would find an architect who would be willing to do some designing for us 'pro-bono'. We found our answer in the wonderful Craig Handy, a Canadian who had put his career on hold for theological studies at Regent College, Vancouver, and was intrigued by our vision for PH. He gave us invaluable help in crystallizing our vision for life at PH and drawing up an inspiring set of conceptual designs which helped us and others to understand the scope of the project.

At the conclusion of a visit to Tasmania, Craig felt it was time for the project to transition into the hands of someone with local know-how, given the complexity of the site. Meanwhile, we had met architect Michael Verdouw (it's Hobart, so of course we had about a million friends in common) - none other than the "1" of 1+2 Architecture!

After several meetings (and a lot of prayer), this team of award-winning architects -indisputably one of Tasmania's finest - offered to design the entire complex "on spec". (This is huge: they are willing to work unpaid until we can raise enough funds to both build and pay them.)

We're so thankful to God for this partnership, and for 1+2's enthusiasm for PH.

Prayer points:

  1. For openness, integrity and understanding in all of our dealings with the architects.
  2. For designs that reflect the glory of the first Designer.
  3. For a smooth road to Council approval. (Are you laughing yet?!)

Friday, 29 July 2011

Winter Work Day

Pilgrim Hill was blessed with a successful Winter Work Day.

Pilgrim Hill enjoyed a good turn out of supporters; including friends of the Baehrs and folks from Crossroads, Cornerstone and St George’s Churches. We even had some Pilgrim Hill first-timers. Margaret and Christina provided a delicious BBQ lunch for the workers.

As well as having a good time enjoying one another’s company, we completed a number of small projects – all small, but important steps on the Pilgrim Hill journey. We took down the remaining fences. Helpers sanded down the large outdoor table ready for a clear coat of oil. Visitors to the Hill will now be able to have a sit-down lunch. The shrubs and undergrowth around the pizza oven area were cleared ready for future landscaping. “Foreman Joe” fitted the outhouse with roof, floor and seat, so now they’ll be an element of comfort for future Pilgrim Hill work days.

We thank our Lord Jesus Christ for the generous blessings of help and support from people. Please pray that we would follow His guidance and submit all our work and plans before Him.