A series of studies being released next month will invite people to explore how they can apply Synod’s Vision Statement to their own lives and faith community.
Strategic framework minister Rev David Withers has compiled and edited the six stand-alone studies intended for use by small groups.
They can be studied in or out of sequence and should take approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete.
Each study is the work of different authors drawn various locations and ministries across the synod. Assembly materials were used for the ‘Walking together as First and Second Peoples’ study.
The fourth study ‘Seeking compassion’ was prepared by UnitingVic/Tas director of mission Rev John Clarke.
The sixth study ‘For all creation’ is a collaborative effort of ministers, synod staff and a team from Castlemaine District Uniting Church and Presbytery of Loddon Mallee. It employs a creative approach that varies from the format of the other five.
Mr Withers said the Synod’s Vision Statement, Mission Principles and Strategic Priorities are not intended as directives but rather as a supporting framework to enhance contemporary Christian life and community.
“We are in unchartered territory,” he said.
“There is no map but there are some signposts.”
He said the framework, and the supporting materials such as the studies, should help prompt new ways of thinking.
“It’s about having those conversations, asking questions and being open to hearing the answers,” he said.
“We have to be able to see signs of what is already present, nurturing those signs of life that are already among us.”
Mr Withers said a recent conversation with a young woman at a presbytery gathering was a good example of the importance of encouraging new and renewing ministry. The woman said although she wasn’t comfortable in the traditional Sunday morning church service, she was keen to organise outdoor faith gatherings of young families.
The new study booklets will be available to download from the synod website in April but there will also be a limited number printed which can be requested.
Three new videos have also been added to the Vision and Mission Principles resources. The videos highlight how the Deepdene Uniting Church, which worships and conducts church business in both Korean and English, is exemplifying the synod’s three Strategic Priorities.
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