The first in-person meeting of the NSW Synod and ACT since the start of the COVID pandemic will take place from September 15-18. The meeting will take place at the Katoomba Christian Convention Centre.
The growth agenda will be a major theme of the meeting. In 2019, Synod agreed to prioritize growing impact, numbers, and discipleship, and the 2023 meeting will seek to renew this commitment.
The synodal meeting will consider eight proposals from various sectors of the Church. Topics range from gambling reform to raising the age of criminal responsibility from 14, as is currently the case in New South Wales and the ACT.
Synod Mission Director Glen Spencer will present a paper on church planting. According to Rev Spencer, the document will call on the Uniting Church to increase its efforts to encourage, support and resource the panting Church across New South Wales and the ACT.
“Church planting as such is not the work of an organization, it is the work of the Spirit,” he previously wrote.
“However, God invites those of us who are called to serve the organizational life of the Church, through its various interrelated councils, to prayerfully and proactively join in God’s mission to create the culture organization and the practical ways, systems and resources in which new expressions of the Church can be sown, take root and ultimately thrive.
Among other things, the proposal calls for four to five new churches to be planted in key growth areas. This will include ministry teams (rather than individual planters) seeking to develop an expression of worship, witness and service in these areas.
“There is a growing sense that seeking to fund just one new congregation each year simply will not provide the momentum needed to catalyze a culture of church planting and revitalization within the uniting church,” said Reverend Spencer.
“The task force is convinced that what is needed is a cohort of strategic new congregations that are clear in their call to become resource congregations for the wider church.”
Reverend Alimoni Taumopeau will present another proposal.
“We propose to the Synod to commit to living interculturally as a multicultural and intercultural Church,” Reverend Taumopeau said.
“Living interculturally as a multicultural and intercultural church can contribute significantly to building a contemporary, courageous and growing church in several ways. »
“By living cross-culturally as a multicultural, cross-cultural church, you create an environment that embraces diversity, fosters inclusion, promotes unity, and connects with the wider community. These qualities contribute to the growth of the Church by attracting new members, promoting understanding, and empowering individuals to make a positive difference in the world.
The Reverend Dr. Rob McFarlane will present a report on the Rectory project.
He said Knowledge that the report has three parts: “A look in the mirror. A look into the crystal ball. A way forward.
“The mirror shows us who our presbyteries are, in all their diversity, including their strengths and challenges,” he said.
“The crystal ball gives us some ideas for model parsonages in New South Wales and the ACT. The path helps us embark on a year of discernment through 2024 to find our preferred future for mission-focused, disciple-making, healthy, and sustainable presbyteries.
Uniting Creative will present some of the songs from their upcoming album, which will be officially released in October.
The synodal meeting will be the first with Reverend Mata Havea Hiliau as moderator. Reverend Hiliau will be installed in office the day before the start of the synodal meeting on Thursday, September 14. The installation service will take place at St Stephen’s Uniting Church, 197 Macquarie Street.
The mandate of the former moderator, the Reverend Simon Hansford, was extended at the 2019 synodal meeting.
Mark McCrindle will speak on Generation Alpha and the future of the Church. Mr. McCrindle is a bestselling author, social commentator, TEDx speaker and director of McCrindle Research.
Rev. Dr. Seforosia Carroll and Dr. Alexandra Robinson of Uniting Theological College will lead daily Bible studies.
Parts of the meeting will be streamed online, including the opening address by Mark McCrindle and the report by the General Secretary, the Reverend Jane Fry.
The 2023 Synod meeting will take place at the Katoomba Christian Convention Center from September 15-17. Insights will have full coverage on our website. The next print edition will also feature a cover.