Uniting Mission and Education has begun
Uniting Mission and Education came into being on July 1, 2011, with the Synod Standing Committee affirming the bylaws for the new board in June.
The new division of the Uniting Church Synod of New South Wales and the ACT seeks to equip and empower the church to engage in God’s mission, grow lay and ordained leaders, and be an advocate for creative approaches to mission, education, discipleship and ministry.
During this year the work of the Boards of Mission and Education has continued and the Combined Boards Working group has provided leadership to the process of the merger.
Some areas of work continue unchanged, such as the Synod Mission Resource Fund, Leadership Institute, United Theological College, Uniting Venues, Schools Ministry and others.
Some are in transition to a new collaborative and relational team-based model and, in the second half of the year, are looking to consolidate learning and finish their current ministries.
These include the work of the Youth Unit, Children’s & Family Ministry, Rural, Cross-cultural, ELM, New Congregations and Continuing Education.
The process of appointing the new Executive Director is in train, with an anticipated announcement at the Synod meeting in September.
It is hoped that the Team Leader will be in place shortly and that person will have a pivotal role in the appointments of the other positions on the Relationships and Resourcing team.
Key financial and administrative roles are also becoming available.
Nominations for the new board have been invited from interested and qualified persons.
Under the direction of the Team Leader, the R&R team will be responsible for the development and delivery of resources, consultancy, networking and advocacy, and leadership development in order to resource and build capacity across the church.
In addition to working within a collegiate and relationally-directed team on a range of team projects, each specific role will focus on several areas.
This role will focus on children, families, youth and young adults, and will:
- Connect with and nurture current leaders, centres and networks to move forward an understanding of effective ministry practice in this area;
- Develop appropriate processes and relationships which create or respond to new opportunities to grow ministry and leadership capacity, particularly fresh or new expressions of church;
- Grow opportunities for cross-cultural work with the next generations.
Lay Ministry, Discipleship and Rural Ministry
This role will:
- Develop educational and other resources and deliver educational courses and events, particularly those which focus on growing discipleship and lay leadership, including strategies for evangelism and faith sharing;
- Resource and advocate for this focus area in relationships within the team, UME, with presbyteries, other agencies and congregations, and encourage action on issues and pressures experienced by those living in rural and remote communities;
- Ensure that Synod strategies and educational programs are suitable or adapted for rural contexts.
This role will:
- Develop strategies and resources that equip non-English and English speaking congregations and presbytery leaders to more effectively implement processes and practices that will grow an inclusive and multicultural church at mission in the Australian community;
- Develop appropriate processes and relationships which create or respond to new opportunities in multicultural contexts and with second generation leaders, particularly those which grow ministry and leadership capacity;
- Grow and encourage partnerships, particularly with UnitingWorld, and promotion and advocacy for people from different cultural backgrounds in Church processes, policies and strategies.
New Initiatives & Congregational Development
This role will:
- Connect with and nurture current leaders, centres and networks to move forward an understanding of effective and contextual mission and ministry practice;
- Develop relationships and processes which create or respond to new opportunities and which prepare the church to engage these;
- Initiate creative reflection about ongoing cultural and community change and explore future possibilities and models which empower individuals, congregations and the church as a whole to follow God’s call to mission and ministry.
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