Mission focused-future

HOW presbyteries will carry out their pastoral ministry of supporting congregations and ministers and encouraging mission is an important issue facing the church.

The Presbytery Transition Team (PTT) is talking with presbytery standing committees and presbytery ministers and office bearers throughout Victoria and Tasmania.

Formed following a resolution of the 2016 Synod meeting, the PTT works with the Strategic Implementation Team to “develop a flexible new model or models of presbytery resourcing and ministry”.

Rev Paul Stephens is convenor of the eight-person team and has ministered  in congregational, agency and presbytery settings.

He said the team is still at the information gathering stage, and is busy listening and learning from the experience of presbytery and synod leaders and the wider church.

Mr Stephens said the team has been greatly impressed by the energy and commitment of presbytery leaders, especially during this time when presbyteries were unclear about the future shape of their ministry teams.

“Our aim is to help the Church reflect on how presbyteries will operate in the future, recognising that we are living in a time of enormous change and challenge for the life and ministry of the Church,” Mr Stephens said.

“We have engaged in conversations with other churches and other synods, and had a lengthy discussion with the moderator of Queensland.

“We are also seeking to learn from the experience of partner churches overseas and have been in communication with the United Church of Canada and also well-known theologian Darrell Guder from the Presbyterian Church USA.”

Team members were appointed by the Synod Standing Committee (SSC). The team is designed to be representative and includes members with rural and metropolitan experience, a member from Tasmania and someone from the CALD community.

Mr Stephens said common themes are already emerging and the team will present a report to the Synod Standing Committee in August with suggested recommendations for the September Synod meeting.

For more information contact  Paul Stephens E: paul.stephens@victas.uca.org.au

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