Getting to the heart of the matter

Mark Berry, guest speaker, from Telford, UK.

From institution to movement, practising the faith.

This was the theme of our Presbytery gathering on Saturday 15th August 2015; a theme prompted by the presentation of our guest, Mark Berry, on the ‘new monasticism’.

The gathering, followed by the Presbytery meeting after lunch, was hosted by Gungahlin Uniting Church, whose hospitality and relatively new building ensured a warm, open and welcoming place in which to meet on a cold winter’s day.

About 70 of us gathered in the morning to hear Mark speak of how safespace, the missional community he founded in 2005 in Telford, UK, has developed into what has become known as a ‘new monastic’ community; one which seeks to base its life on spiritual disciplines and patterns of Christian discipleship.

Video A video of Mark Berry’s presentation was taken and is currently being edited. As soon as it is available we will let all congregations know.

For photos and more…

Draft vision statement inspires three proposals

(view draft vision statement here)

The formal Presbytery meeting was held in the afternoon with information shared about the current situation across the Synod. Members were informed of the responses of our Presbytery as approved by our Standing Committee. Central to our response is the recommendation we adopt a vision statement that is about encouragement and support of congregations rather than “institutional demand”.

The proposed vision statement received strong support and the presbytery meeting ended positively.  Members agreed to three proposals.

  1. Representatives to presbytery agreed to encourage their Church Councils to engage with the Presbytery’s draft vision statement.
  2. The Presbytery would place a full page notice in the Synod magazine Insights giving a sense of the Presbytery’s future and encouraging the rest of the Synod to similarly move forward with a spirit of affirmation and commitment to the mission of Christ .
  3. The Presbytery undertook to do something remarkable to engage with the Synod in an encouraging and affirming  way.

perspective_frontThe articles in the Winter 2015 issue of Perspective allow further exploration of our theme, From institution to movement, practising the faith. As Presbytery Minister (Pastoral and Admin), Kevin Dilks, explains in his article: ‘Mark’s invitation is to rediscover the heart of our faith by exploring what he calls the ‘New Monasticism’. Don’t forget to pick up your copy or view online here or on the Publications page of this site.

In future issues we are hoping to include stories (not reports) about the good things that are happening in congregations. Such stories would encourage us and help us discover who we are as a movement rather than an institution.

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