Living at the edge of hope

Presbytery gathering 15 July 2017 – a brief overview 

Theme: Resourcing the movement

Guest Speaker: Rev Jane Fry, Acting General Secretary of Synod NSW.ACT

Presentation: The Pathways Project 

    • Jane spoke about the 40 year milestone reached since the formation of the Uniting Church and how we need to look ahead to the next 40 years. She spoke of the church living at the edge of hope. She asked how often does our managing the business get in the way of telling the gospel story.
    • As a means of focusing on mission, Synod has been developing the Pathways Project to empower mission in its congregations and presbyteries. The focus is on congregations sharing their stories from which we can celebrate and build upon our strengths. 
    • This project and its sub-project Stepping Stones is being piloted in two NSW presbyteries. To learn more please go to the Pathways link https://nswact.uca.org.au/the-pathways-project where questions are answered and there are helpful links to help us reflect on where we have come from and who we are called to be. 
    • Pathways Consultation Process – four questions were asked of those at this Presbytery meeting and the responses will be shared via email with all Presbytery members.

Perspective – sharing stories  While on the subject of congregations sharing stories, this Presbytery would welcome such stories in its next issues of Perspective for encouragement and to help us build on our strengths as the Pathways project link explains. Provide a paragraph or two with photo/s for the page: Glimpses of Presbytery. Or tell us a longer story – no more than 300 to 600 words – plus photos, high-resolution if possible. Email to office@cruc.org.au . The current Perspective is available in your church foyers or can be downloaded here and will give you more on the theme, “resourcing the movement”.

See a photo gallery and find out about other presentations at the Presbytery gathering. 

Rev Jane Fry, Acting General Secretary of Synod Rev Aimee Kent, Grace Faith Community Briony Griffiths, Church and Community Engagement Consultant, Uniting Pastor Daniel Mossfield, Crookwell John Williams, Co-Chair of Canberra Region Presbytery
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Briony Griffiths, Church and Community Engagement Consultant, Uniting

The Presbytery meeting was held at the Wesley Uniting Church in Goulburn which, with many other smaller UC congregations in the district, forms a Multi-Centre. The day was freezing but the room we met in – used for cafe church at other times – was lovely and warm. The soups, sandwiches and slices/cakes were delicious. Thank you Goulburn for your generous provision.

Faith formation is a focus in Presbytery this year Geoff Wellington, Presbytery Minister – Congregation Futures, encouraged us to make use of a website he has developed with links to resources for faith formation in the church and at home: www.canberraregionpresbytery.com  He also suggested another website www.vibrantfaithathome.org . Geoff’s presentation is included in Perspective.

Faith formation in Grace, Goulburn and at Crookwell  We heard from Rev Aimee Kent, minister of Grace Faith Community in the Goulburn/Crookwell district. Aimee continues to foster new creative forms of Church. She spoke about some natural, unthreatening ways for faith formation amongst the members of that community; for instance rather than praying to God directly in the traditional manner, people make statements about concerns etc and there is the knowledge that God is listening and caring. Daniel Mossfield, Pastor at Crookwell Uniting Church, has developed a website which includes faith formation tools for his church at crookwelluniting.org/faith-formation He encourages others to use it.

Briony Griffiths, Church & Community Engagement Consultant Briony is working in Uniting whose role is seeking to meet needs in the community – the Uniting Church in action. This year Uniting is on a ‘Future Horizons’ journey to discern which needs in the community it should focus on, due to complex competing needs and limited resources. Your response would be most appreciated by Uniting. Briony needs the responses within the coming week (before 22 July). The survey is online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/uniting-survey

Congregation members meet Uniting representatives John Williams, Presbytery Co-chair, spoke of the recent consultation between Uniting and congregations in this Presbytery which took place on the 11th July. 11 people from different congregations attended. The consultation was part of the Future Horizons strategy planning process, seeking to determine in the light of God’s Mission, whatIwhere Uniting’s work should be into the future. 

Speak to Ministers and Congregation representatives who were at the meeting to find out more about the presentations as well as the business meeting which is not reported on here. Our next Presbytery meeting is 11 November at Greenhills Conference Centre ACT.

Thank you to Lesley Irvine whose notes of the Presbytery meeting helped considerably in writing this overview.