Church family needs input from all
The Uniting Church needs to be like a supportive family that looks after its membership, cooperates and keeps an eye on mutual interests.
But this is not always the reality, Synod members heard during the Living is Giving stewardship program’s report to Synod on September 27.
“Unfortunately, instead of reflecting on what the Uniting Church stands for, too often we mirror the values of the society around us,” said Promotions Officer Marije Nieuwenhuis.
“Little ones have to fight for their share, blessings and services provided for the household (by the Synod) are taken for granted — until they become available no more.”
Living is Giving is the major fundraising initiative of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, described by Ms Nieuwenhuis as being the “glue” in the Uniting Church that “helps find the resources that can prevent the saddest of all statements: ‘If only’”.
If we all contributed a fair share, she continued, the church would be less likely to face the loss of Synod funded evangelists, mission workers, chaplains, youth events and resources.
Living is Giving represents the life and future of our church, said Ms Nieuwenhuis, and is a way for the church to act in mission, together.
“If we stopped thinking about our contribution to the church’s mission and service as being somehow unimportant, as just an administrative task for a few people in our congregations or as not worthy of our time and energy, we would realise the potential of Living is Giving is the potential of the Uniting Church.”
She quoted the former Moderator of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, the Rev. Niall Reid, who said that when people entrust some of their resources to the Synod they are supporting others as they walk along new and risky paths.
Ms Nieuwenhuis asked people to consider what might not be available if congregations and individuals had not donated generously.
She said that alongside financial contributions and prayers, in order to thrive the Living is Giving program needed positive stories from congregations and ambassadors across the Synod.