This has to be our passion for the decades ahead
Newly appointed Director of Rural and Remote Ministry Initiatives, Rev. Mark Faulkner, addressed Synod about the revival of the rural church focussed proposal Saltbush.
The Saltbush proposal was accepted at the last Synod and is a collaboration of Riverina, Macquarie Darling and New England North West Presbyteries, the Rural Ministry Unit UAICC and Uniting Mission and Education.
“Saltbush is not something from last year, and already in the past. This has to be our passion for the decades ahead,” said Rev. Faulkner in his presentation to Synod.
The Saltbush focus is on the reality of struggling rural ministry in small congregations across NSW/ACT Synod. Saltbush encourages diversity of Christian communities of faith, irrespective of size, location, ability and outlook.
The induction service of Rev. Faulkner was held at Dubbo Uniting Church on 27 August during Rural Ministry field Days.
“Saltbush raised the reality of the disconnection of rural communities. Rural ministry is a part of who we and what we value. I took on this role because people are not projects. It is my passionate belief that there will always be as place for people to live out their faith in the communities in which they find themselves,” said Rev. Faulkner.
“Saltbush will be called Saltbush: Uniting the Scattered Community. It is about us all. It is about our congregations and communities.”
Rev. Faulkner has already begun a relationship with Project Reconnect and how to bring this ministry into the 21st Century. Project Reconnect is an essential rural ministry that is and can be vital in connecting current projects with remote congregations. He will also be running a conference in January 2018 gathering rural representatives together to begin making connections across rural New South Wales.