Rev Heather den Houting reflects on the listening phase of the Project Plenty discernment process.
Over the past six months, more than 600 people from across the life of the church have attended consultation and engagement sessions throughout Queensland.
We have heard that people care deeply about the Uniting Church and want to see it prosper into the future. That sentiment is widespread throughout the whole-of-Synod, including our Property Trust schools and our childcare centres, who truly value the relationship that they have with the church.
However, there is widespread recognition of the need to develop more effective ways to encourage growth within our congregations. At the same time, effective strategies must be developed to support the whole-of-Synod in managing community issues like mental health, drought, refugees and the emergence of technology.
While the consultation sessions have been taking place, the Project Plenty team have been analysing the insights received in order to develop a draft set of mission values and priorities. We will reengage with the whole-of-Synod as part of the third phase of the process to refine and test.
This is the opportunity for members of the church and Queensland communities to think about how the proposed mission values and priorities will apply to their own context and support the Uniting Church in contributing to a stronger, healthier, more vibrant Queensland as part of our understanding of God’s mission in the world. What may work in an aged care centre in Townsville will inevitably be different to a congregation in Roma or a school in the heart of the Brisbane CBD. We want to ensure that the outcome of Project Plenty accurately represents where the church is at the moment and where we want to and need to be.
Project Plenty outcomes will be presented at the 35th Synod in Session in October 2020.