Home > Features > Embracing a Mission-Driven Approach – Jillian Ross, Lay Preacher at St Paul’s Uniting Church Stafford

Embracing a Mission-Driven Approach – Jillian Ross, Lay Preacher at St Paul’s Uniting Church Stafford

By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod Writer and Content Creator

St. Paul’s Uniting Church in the suburb of Stafford is a congregation that seeks to worship, connect, and serve. They are a diverse and inclusive group of people who value relationships and thrive amongst the challenges of the modern world, guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ.

According to Lay Preacher Jillian Ross, the church is embracing a mission-driven approach to be more relevant and engaging to the community. “We need to be out in the community more,” she said, “but how do we do that, and what does that look like?” The catalyst for the change was declining numbers and an aging congregation. 

Jillian discussed how the church is exploring new ideas, “The one thing we have implemented is a monthly Morning Tea Church. We are currently part of one of the councils working with Moreton Rivers Presbytery to take us through a reimagining process, which we’re right at the beginning of.” The church is looking for a new minister to assist in reimagining, and financial constraints and the need for volunteers are the biggest challenges the church faces in making its new ideas happen.

Jillian is grateful that members of the congregation have stepped up to help lead worship and Bible studies, and she believes that focusing on engaging with young people is essential and can help benefit the faith of all ages. “It’s been a long time coming,” she said, “and COVID has accelerated the need for the change.” 

Read the companion article featuring Mark Cornford, Presbytery Minister at Moreton Rivers Presbytery, here

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