Queensland Synod General Secretary Rev Heather den Houting reflects on the importance of the whole-of-church discernment process, Project Plenty.
Project Plenty has commenced in earnest as the first consultation sessions are held in presbyteries and church entities across Queensland. These sessions will help us discern how we, as one church, can contribute most effectively to God’s mission in Queensland and the world.
As I speak to church members about Project Plenty, there is one question I am asked more often than not: “Why is this process important?”
The last time we undertook an intentional process to develop a shared vision was in 2010. Since then, the world in which we live and work and participate in God’s mission hasn’t stopped changing and evolving—and nor has our church.
In the Basis of Union we declare that the Uniting Church is open to ongoing change in our practice of worship, witness and service. For example, we know that the world has been significantly transformed by information technology. Ten years ago, we did not have universal access to reliable broadband (although some may argue the NBN has not quite got us there yet!).
Such a transformation requires us to consider how we connect with people. The way Australian people access information and gather in community has changed. So, the time is right for us to balance how we operate in a hyper connected world, even as the world cries out for meaning and belonging. Christ’s church should be grounded in responding to that cry.
The process is important because to respond well, we need to respond together. Project Plenty is about uniting people in this endeavour, because we know that working together means we work together for good.
We can inspire each other and hold each other accountable so we may all be witnesses to Christ. The promise of Jesus is that we do better together. That means the church can be better for people, better for the community we serve and better for the world that is the gift of God our creator.
Project Plenty invites you to be part of this collective “taking stock” of what’s going on within and beyond our church, and discerning the spirit’s guidance for our next steps together.
To find out more and to have your say, visit the Project Plenty website at ucaqld.com.au/projectplenty