The Synod has accepted a proposal to embrace a blended ecology as part of its approach to planting new churches.
The proposal was introduced by Dr Damian Palmer, Rev. Christine Palmer, and Rev. Glen Spencer on behalf of working groups that developed it.
Dr Damian Palmer said he was keen to emphasise that the proposal was, “A framework and not a strategic plan.”
“If this framework is improved when it is implemented, this process will be continued,” Dr Palmer said.
“We hope it will enable the councils of the church to work together.”
The proposal invited the Synod to affirm three core areas for our collective effort in order to live into a blended ecology approach for missional innovating and church planting: Faith Communities, New Congregations, and Parish Missions.
“A Blended Ecology creates a culture where different approaches to ministry and mission are celebrated and mutually supportive,” the proposal document said.
“It is a way of living into being the church. This is the type of thinking that we need in this complex and ever-changing world, as we look to see new communities of faith formed.”
“We [all] have a vital role to play,” Rev. Spencer said.
“Let’s live into a vision to be a contemporary, courageous, and flourishing church.”
“Let’s do that with curiosity, creatively, and collaboratively.”
The Synod has set aside funding for five new church plants as part of its growth agenda.
Synod members expressed excitement about resourcing new life and opportunities, new ways of worshipping and gathering, with a range of diverse styles and places, and excitement in resurrecting communities, engaging new communities, and growing disciples and communities of faith.
Some Synod members expressed concern about the nature of the intensity of church plants, the importance for teams, and the nature of what accountability might look like and how our current structures might be resourced.
After discussion regarding these, and other questions, the proposal was accepted by consensus.
The proposal is available online here.