Insights asked leadership across Uniting Financial Services, Uniting, Uniting Resources and Uniting Mission and Education to reflect on the year that was and the year that will be. Together they hope that Christmas will be a time of blessing and renewal. This time, we hear from Uniting Executive Director, Tracey Burton.
The highlight for me in 2018 is joining Uniting! It has been an absolute privilege to take on the role of leading the organisation, and working with a team of passionate people in both Uniting and the Uniting Church who are so dedicated to making a difference to the vulnerable and disadvantaged. I am very grateful to everyone for the warm welcome, and to the Synod for welcoming me to its leadership team.
Since joining, I have seen and become a part of the movement to make the world safer, fairer and brighter, one precious person at a time, in both big and little ways. I have been able to discover the depth and breadth of services we offer to people and the way we change the community; it was definitely a surprise to me to see just how much we do.
I have also seen the entrenched disadvantage in our society and the work we have ahead of us in 2019 and beyond. In this time of discovery, I have been inspired by the Uniting Church’s capability to tackle big issues, such as drug law reform, that others choose to steer away from. In this I see our foundation brought to life, with Christ inviting us to serve humanity by creating an inclusive, connected and just world.
In 2019, I’m looking forward to working with the Presbyteries’ leadership group and Congregations to strengthen our collaboration, particularly in our Future Horizons work with its focus on making a difference for children, young people and families in communities facing hardship. The Royal Commission into Aged Care will also be a key focus for us.
This is something that, with the Uniting Church and UnitingCare Australia, we have welcomed. With an aging population, changing expectations of care and changing funding models, the time is right to have a conversation about how we support older Australians to have the life they want, to be physically and emotionally safe, and to be treated with respect and valued for the contribution they make to our communities and society.
There’s a difference between listening and waiting for your time to speak 👂
Here’s the simple, free gift that can help someone in need, but not all of us are using it https://t.co/5FlvAxDHdW #Spirituality #seniors #helpothers pic.twitter.com/Igtx67qOCZ
— weareuniting (@weareuniting) November 9, 2018
Christmas is a time to remember Christ’s love and invitation to serve others, and what I want for Christmas personally and professionally is to see more compassion in the world; it is something that is sorely lacking at a global, national and local level. Sometimes it’s easy to forget in our busy lives that a smile, a helping hand, a listening ear can make such a profound and lasting difference to people. I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.