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Rev Heather den Houting. Photo: Megan Haryanto

Sowing the seeds for the next generation

The Synod Standing Committee has approved the roll-out of a new whole-of-Synod strategic planning exercise that will shape the Synod for the years to come. James O’Callaghan reports.

Queensland Synod General Secretary Rev Heather den Houting has said that as we near the conclusion of the Together on the Way: Enriching Community journey, we are starting to develop the next wave of long term thinking for the future of the Synod.

With the working title of Project Plenty, this will be an 18-month process underpinned by the intent for the Uniting Church to be “for the world”—contributing to a stronger, healthier, more vibrant Queensland community as part of our understanding of God’s mission in the world.

The project is a positive and collaborative platform for embracing the future and enabling our next generation of leaders.

This project is about more than just the Synod office; rather it is about the entire Synod. Project Plenty will involve consultation with presbyteries and congregations and collaboration and alignment with agencies, schools and all other activities of the church in Queensland.

Lessons learned from the Together on the Way: Enriching Community process will be applied to develop a simplified process and framework to enable the best engagement and contribution from across all parts of the church.

This process will seek to draw in all people connected with the church to obtain a holistic view. A range of events will be held during 2019, including seminars throughout the state and at the 34th Synod in May. A survey will be released in 2019 where people will be asked a number of compelling questions, including how we as one church can walk most effectively with God in the discernment of our mission in Queensland and the world.

This process will culminate at the 35th Synod in Session in October 2020.

“We are excited about the potential to work collaboratively across the life of the church,” says Heather. “God’s grace is given to us in abundance and by working together we can sow the seeds for new ways of expressing a healthy, vital ministry of the church in our communities.”

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