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Current Queensland Synod moderator, Rev David Baker.
Queensland Synod moderator, Rev David Baker. Photo: Supplied

Moderator Musing – 9 April

As a wonderfully successful Easter Madness comes to its conclusion up on the Sunshine Coast, I’m reminded that it’s Queensland Youth Week this week.

The theme is, ‘Jump in; make a splash.

Sounds like fun.

The Uniting Church in Australia’s schools and colleges in my experience form young people to do just that.

The Synod Standing Committee last week approved a policy statement which articulated why the Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod is engaged in education of young people.

One key purpose is “to support the growth and development of children and young people who are discerning the meaning, identity, belonging, and purpose of their lives such that they can participate in just society and lead creative and compassionate lives”.

We are saying, we want them to jump in, and make a splash. At every school and residential college function I attend, I see the whole school community encouraging and enabling leadership and the flourishing of creativity.

In work of UnitingCare QLD and Wesley Mission Queensland, the hard work of rebuilding young people’s lives out of very challenging backgrounds is being done every day.

Many communities of faith are rising to the challenge also. If your congregation hasn’t yet, why not encourage a conversation with the leadership about how you can encourage young people to “jump in, and make a splash”.  What kind of young disciple of Jesus Christ is your community being called to form? What are young people wanting to say to your community? What are the aspirations and hopes of parents and guardians for their young people? 

A couple of weeks ago I was at a workshop in Sydney where one church shared how they were concerned about mental health in young people. They teamed up with a mental health service specialising in supporting young people. The church’s young people were surveyed, and the youth programme was tailored to address some of the issues that the survey revealed. That church will have an ongoing relationship with the mental health service to see how they are tracking. They don’t want to “have a youth ministry”; they want to help young people grow into all the fullness of life Jesus wants for them.

Are you ready to jump in, and make a splash?

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