A new set of resources is available to encourage conversations to help the Uniting Church community discern their part in God’s mission.
The resources can be used by gathered communities as well as synod-based ministries and staff.
The resource website describes a mission conversation as “a focused and facilitated conversation about what a community of people believe they are called to be or to do.”
Five Mission Conversations resource sheets are available to download.
They suggest useful questions to start a mission conversation, outline the background and vital threads of such conversations, describe how conversations fit into the Synod’s Strategic Framework and list additional resources.
Strategic framework minister Rev David Withers said mission conversations are an ongoing process.
“They should be seen as a way of life that involves creating regular and intentional spaces for such conversation,” he said.
“For gathered communities, mission conversations will explore purpose, engage context, and discern signs of vibrant life.
“The resources support our gathered communities in learning how to talk more reflectively together, and to seek outside assistance when needed.”
Mr Withers said mission conversations are also vital to synod-based ministries.
“Mission conversations invite staff into a deeper understanding of the purposes of the Uniting Church in general and the responsibilities of the synod in particular,” Mr Withers said.
“They are needed as synod governance committees shape their decision-making processes and policy development.
“They are needed by senior managers as they shape the strategic directions and operational plans of their staff and teams, as they determine measures by which progress can be evaluated and goals can be reviewed.
“They assist in deepening partnerships and strengthening accountability.”
The new resources are designed to complement the discernment invited by the Synod’s Strategic Framework.
“The Synod Framework is important because it articulates the effort of the whole synod to give focus and direction to the Church’s participation in God’s mission in our day,” Mr Withers said.
“It is in mission conversations that the ‘hard yards’ of communal discernment may be fruitfully advanced.”
Mr Withers, who will be finishing as strategic framework minister in September, said that the new resources are just a starting point.
“I hope that further resources may emerge as we strengthen such leadership, and that we see increasing signs of vibrant worship, witness and service in our gathered communities and councils,” he said.
The Mission Conversation resources are available here: https://ucavictas.org.au/visionandmission/mission-conversations/