This is the first Journey of the New Year, so I want to outline for you again the discernment of the 31st Synod regarding the broad priorities for the church’s life going forward.
Synod discerned the following:
- making our worship accessible and attractive
- growing our members in their passion and ability
- to share their faith
- planting new communities of faith
- developing leadership that can grow new
- communities of faith
- allowing the Holy Spirit to revive us
- forming candidates for ministry
- sharing resources between rural and urban faith communities
- growing ministry with children, youth, young adults, and families.
Between now and the next Synod in Session, Journey will feature articles which will inspire, provoke and engage you in these priorities.
I think they’re exciting priorities because they address what is core about our life as church and as disciples. They also connect into our Together on the Way Enriching Community journey, and our Call Statement—go to ucaqld.com.au to find out more.
Some of these priorities are more about what’s happening in our hearts and minds than about where money needs to be spent. As we reflect on them we will be asked what we ourselves, in our corner of the vineyard, can be doing about them.
Worship is our “flagship” activity; it is called to be the source of renewal and re-orientation, where we, through word and sacrament, find our identity and purpose anew and afresh.
If we listen well, we’ll have the right to share our hope and compassion, and we’ll talk about what’s relevant. But being able to articulate our faith in these challenging days, when everything is questioned, is something we should be able to do.
Queensland’s population is changing rapidly; if we are to fulfil our calling, we will have to plant new faith communities, and find new ways of doing that.
Fundamentally, the church is a communion of the Spirit; we are established and kept alive by the Spirit’s presence, and kept open to where God may be leading.
Leadership development is something we have let go of in the past few years, and I’m reminded, particularly in the stories of St Francis, that building the church isn’t about bricks and mortar, it’s about people!
Having the resources for discernment is vital for our work. One of our great strengths has been our commitment to work together across Queensland—UnitingCare demonstrates that so well—and we want to keep that up.
Churches across the state are renewing their ministry to families through Mainly Music and the Synod will continue to help that ministry grow.
I pray that as you take the journey with us, we all will be renewed in our life as disciples of Jesus.
Rev David Baker
Queensland Synod Moderator