An exciting new ministry beckons for Liam Miller in Sydney’s Central Coast, where he will be the new Northern Hub Mission Worker. Mr Miller will work alongside churches in Warnervale, Wyong, and Toukley as they think about their future as part of a larger regional mission plan.
“The Sydney Central Coast Presbytery has… taken some exciting steps to employ a bold and positive strategy in the area,” he said.
“They are thinking regionally in an effort to foster partnership, and the flourishing of mission and witness in an area undergoing significant change. Part of this plan is to employ mission resource workers (and other kinds of workers) to work with zones (usually comprising of three churches) in bringing the vision to reality.”
The role also serves as Mr Miller’s practicum in his formation as a candidate for Minister of the Word.
“It means sitting and dreaming with the saints in these churches about what church and mission look like/might look like in this rapidly changing area (changes that are not without their tensions).”
This, Mr Miller says, might mean new forms of church, or developing transformative partnerships with other organisations that share a vision of the common good.
“It is also about encouraging the incredible relationships and work already taking place and wondering together about how that might be built upon so that the transformative, liberating work of God can take hold.”
“It’s a role of prayer and potential – discerning together with the Spirit the way we are to live and move and have our collective being in this place. I keep coming back to the response of Jesus to the disciples of John the Baptiser when they ask if he is the one who is to come, And he answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.’”
“Even if taken symbolically (and sidestepping concerns of ableism), can these kinds of markers, of the in-breaking, world-upturning, profoundly good and joyful kingdom of God be our measure when we think about living, active, and faithful churches participating in the mission of God in this place? And if so, how do we move in that direction? Did I mention I’m still trying to work it out?”
Mr Miller described the area as, “Full of hope.”
“In my conversations so far there is much excitement at the expectation that business is not as usual and new possibilities are about to be uncovered. Many people have relayed to me their visions and hunches that this is the kind of thing that needed to happen up here even before the ‘official language’ began to be developed.
“The area is changing and many openly admit that this is not yet reflected in our churches. But this kind of robust commitment and vision coming from the churches and Presbytery has energised many. And even though “the picture of the future” is not yet in view, there is trust and expectation that something will happen, and, with God’s grace, that something could be more wonderful than we can yet envision!”
Mr Miller was previously the Uniting Church Chaplain at Macquarie University.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor