Pulse means that there is a sign of life
“Pulse means that there is a sign of life. Having no pulse doesn’t bare thinking about. Pulse is a way that we have to take the Church forward.”
This was Rev. Graham Perry’s — Acting Chair of the Uniting Mission and Education (UME) Board — audacious introduction to Pulse on the first day of Synod.
“Yurora has been and gone and was a transformative moment that refuses to remain a memory, “ said Bradon French, Next Gen Consultant for UME. “Yurora has given us a vision of the Church that we were mean’t to be. Young people have sought opportunities to contribute and Yurora reminded them to keep passionate about their faith in the life of the Church. Yurora attendees were reminded not to lose their passion. There was a rallying cry to the whole church that young people see themselves moving into their common calling.”
Bradon went on to speak about the inititial ideas to start a movement of young people dedicated to building life-supporting relationships between young people and the Uniting Church. A whole-of-church movement that recognises the importance of emerging generations within the life of the church, Pulse seeks to grow vital Christian communities where emerging generations thrive.
The aim is to develop a sustainable, vibrant movement where communities are strengthened and effective leadership is developed.
Pulse is the refocused work of Uniting Mission and Education and the whole Synod of NSW and the ACT of the Uniting Church, investing in existing congregations and leaders, the further development of campus-based ministries, and exploration of new models for communities of faith.
A website has been launched (ucapulse.org.au) as a hub for conversation, media, leadership training, opportunities, innovation, mission and discovering how the Uniting Church can be strengthened by an upcoming and emerging generation of entrepreneurs who understand how God can speak into the society in which we live.
This blended digital village will initially be a resource hub for leaders and young people for discipleship in local congregations.
Pulse has three main objectives:
- Strengthen existing communities with our distinctive Uniting Church ethos
- Resource school and tertiary campus ministry
- Plant new communities
Liuanga Palu invited members to dream about what this model of leadership would look like in congregations. She spoke about a re-developed formational process that will equip leaders.
“This will contribute to transformation and faithful Kingdom building in local areas,” says Liuanga Palu. “I invite you to dream with me what this might look like for local congregations. It will provide robust training and strategic resources to grow their capacity and to establish best practice models for effective ministry.”
Pulse isn’t a program, but it is a whole of Synod innovation movement that would seek to identify how resource and discipleship opportunities can grow the leadership that the Uniting Church needs.
After deliberation across the floor about resourcing and local capacity and the need for more training in the ordination phases for ministry, the Pulse proposal was given the ‘orange card’ for more discernment and discussion.
“I just wanted to comment on the fact that we believe how important Pulse is,” said Rev. Simon Hansford at the close of the Pulse presentation. “The challenge with this project is we all go ‘What a great idea’, up come the orange cards and we move on. We are asking you to consider in discernment groups how we can best make this work as a decision for our Church into the future. We don’t want to come back in 18 months’ time with a new idea. If we decide this we are actively making a number of decisions that will affect the whole life of the Church. One of our weaknesses in the Uniting Church is that we don’t stick at stuff. This presents an opportunity for the future of the Church.”
On day three of Synod, discernment group feedback about Pulse ranged from funding and branding, to ensuring its reach was well into rural areas.
“The Synod budget oversight committee has considered funding models and can ensure phase one objective can be made. I welcome how our diverse and innovative communities can be places where we can engage…. outside Sydney and wherever we are invited. We will use new technologies. There is always opportunity to uncover what we haven’t yet found,” said Bradon in response to question and concerns from the Synod floor.
In support from the floor, a member said, “As a young person in a rural community there are not that many young people in my church. I think it will allow for travel, to have camps and have peers our own age. It would allow you to create a network of people to talk to have camps together.”
The Pulse proposal was passed unanimously.
Pictured: Bradon French, Next Gen Consultant Uniting Mission and Education