Telling our story
When we think of our favourite stories, we’re transported to another place. One that is warm, or happy, or thrilling, or peaceful. No matter what memories the story triggers, there is always one thing in common. A connection.
Each time we come into contact with our audience, our members, our community, we have the opportunity to build the Uniting Church story. The extent to which people understand and respond to our story is dependent upon their affinity with the Uniting Church experience. This is formed by a number of things – our behaviour, the things we say and the way we look.
Recently our identity has undergone a metamorphosis. You’re getting your first glimpse of it throughout this edition of Insights.
We’ve drawn from some of the best parts of the history and interpreted them in a new and exciting way. The result is the new “Telling Our Story” guidelines.
These guidelines provide the basic elements of the Uniting Church identity – logo, colours, font, language and visual style. They are the component parts which, when put together, form the foundation of telling our story in words and visually.
Why the change?
Our history is built on unity, but we have struggled to speak with a unified voice. It is accepted throughout the Church and Synod that this needs to change. We need to break down the silos, build lasting connections and ultimately, unite for the common good.
In his presentation to the Synod, John Kitchener, Executive Director Uniting Resources, spoke of the need for change and how that would be reflected in our identity. Specifically, he said we need to deliver:
• Inspiring messages to build faith and a vibrant community.
• A unified story about what we bring to our members and society.
• A way of connecting with people who need, and want to know, who we are and what we’re doing.
• A clear direction for the way the church tells it’s story.
What better way to demonstrate this thinking than with an identity that imbues these qualities?
Who we are – defining our ethos
We are a Christian, inclusive, generous, welcoming, purposeful, supportive and humanitarian organisation. We work together for one cause. We are proud of our foundations, but not boastful.
We assist those with less and speak for a more just and inclusive society. We offer a strong sense of belonging and leadership, but stand beside those in need. We represent faith, hope and love.
We use the phrase ‘Uniting from the inside out’ to describe our purpose.
Uniting = in uniting with faith we connect with God. Sharing faith unites us with others.
Inside out = From within our congregation out into the community, faith begins within and emanates out.
How we look – the ribbon of unity
The ribbon symbolises a common thread. One that binds us to God, our Church and the community. The ribbon embraces our idea of ‘uniting’ and is woven into our photography. The two tones of colour in the ribbon represent faith and mission. The tones also reflect our multicultural community – in tones of red representing people from the land, and in tones of blue/green representing people from the water.
How we sound – speaking with one voice
Our story is one of our most valuable assets. It’s part of what makes us unique. How we tell our story visually and how it sounds speaks volumes about who we are and what people think of us.
Our voice fosters an emotional and spiritual connection between our members and our church. Our values of integrity, inclusion and diversity mean we must communicate in a way that is inclusive, honest and supportive, and which does not exclude particular groups of people. This means simple, honest language.
It means talking with people not at them. It means talking about ‘you and us’, not ‘we’ and ‘them’. And our voice needs to be inspiring to build faith.
Download https://nsw.uca.org.au/church/Uniting-Church-Guidelines-DD07.pdf or find out more from firstname.lastname@example.org
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