Canberra Pathways conversations creating important relationships

As Pathways conversations continue across the Synod, Uniting’s Church Engagement Leader Briony Griffiths is finding out just how passionate Uniting Church members are about the Church.

An enthusiastic group of UC members from Congregations in the South of Canberra came together on Sunday 5 May and 17 June for two lively Pathways Conversations.

“We enjoyed much discussion around what a Fellowship of Reconciliation means, we shared views on diversity and the essence of the Uniting Church,” says Briony. “This was a group who are passionate about the Church, what it stands for, and the freedom for expressions of faith it encourages.”

The Pathways Conversations allowed UC members who otherwise very rarely participate in Presbytery-wide activities, to come together and to think about the Church in a way that is bigger than their own Congregation.

“Our congregation has not been especially well linked into Synod and Presbytery activities and thinking.  Nor are we especially close to other congregations in South Canberra,” explained Evan Mann of St James Uniting Church in Curtin ACT.  “Pathways altered our thinking even if in a minor way with respect to these relationships.  We have become a little more linked-up.”

“The opportunity provided by the conversations and the example of sister congregations entering, seemingly enthusiastically, into congregational planning encouraged us to do the same.  Without too much urging we had six and nine from the congregation attending the two sessions. We also did some work in between and have another planning session scheduled for this week. None of this would have happened without the external stimulus from Synod and Presbytery.

“We were able to compare some of our own thinking with ideas from other congregations and from the material provided by Synod.  That will help us in our own planning.”

Pathways has assisted in making some links between congregations in the South of Canberra, between congregations and the Presbytery and congregations and Synod. The conversations also encouraged deeper discussions for Mission Planning at the Congregational level, with several congregations feeling supported in the progression of their current planning, or in identifying the benefit of commencing.

Pathways conversations will continue across the Canberra Region over the next couple of months.

“Overall the conversations were enjoyable, warm and hospitable,” says Briony. “Participants look forward to hearing more on the Pathways journey.”

If your Congregation in the Canberra Region would like to be involved in the Pathways conversations contact Briony Griffiths, Uniting Church Engagement Leader by email at bgriffiths@uniting.org

Read more about how Pathways here.




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