It is a good time for the Synod of NSW and the ACT to take some time to reflect on where we have come from and who we are called to be. 

It is a good time to take stock and to ensure that we are aligned with the moving of God’s Spirit in the world today. 

It is a good time to dream a new dream for God’s people in the Uniting Church and to move with hope into God’s future.

It is a good time to be reminded of the energy that brought the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches into union and to inject new energy into our life together today. 

Pathways is developing processes that will enable us to listen to each other – to help congregations hear the stories of other congregations; to help Presbyteries hear stories of congregations within and beyond their bounds and of other Presbyteries; and to help the Synod hear a more comprehensive story of the church in NSW and the ACT.  From our stories, we will celebrate and build on our strengths, and we will also seek to give shape to ways we can address the challenges that we face together so that we might be well-prepared to embrace the next 40 years!

Pathways is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to the shaping of the Uniting Church for the next 40 years.  If you are a leader of a congregation, or if you are someone who has a passion for the gospel and has found a spiritual home in the Uniting Church, this is an opportunity to dream together and to begin to shape ways in which we might work together to share Christ’s story of love in the world.

The next steps

While individual groups start developing local plans, the next steps are to collate all that we have heard from the different groups who have participated and to develop themes and priorities for the whole Church to consider and work on together. 

In order to have this ready to enable wide consultation in the early part of 2019, we need to have received your input by the end of October.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to participate in a workshop and you would like to contribute, now is the time to be in touch. 

For more information about how your congregation can be involved:

 

Latest news and information

Pathways report to Synod 2017

The Pathways team presented at Synod after many months of hundreds of conversations with members of Congregations across two very different Presbyteries about the life of the church and how it is expressed at the grassroots.

  • Read more about the Pathways report to Synod (in an Insights article) here
  • Read the Synod report in full here
  • Watch the Telling Our Story video here

Watch the Pathways Pilot Presbytery video

The General Secretary initiated Pathways, which was then approved by Synod Standing Committee. The intention of the project is to discover the ways in which each of the Councils of the Uniting Church within the Synod bounds can best lead its members in Christ’s mission in the world.

It is a grassroots planning and engagement project which explores the way in which we can empower, resource and support the mission of God as it is lived out in Congregations and Presbyteries.

Leading on from our 40th anniversary celebrations, and equipped with lessons learnt from the pilot, it will identify shared priorities for the future that will feed into a plan for the next decade. Pathways will also establish an iterative planning process for the future.

The pilot in 2017 included two diverse presbyteries – New England North West (rural) and Parramatta Nepean (urban). The findings of the pilot process were presented to Synod in October 2017. At Synod 2017 Pathways was given support to be rolled out to all Presbyteries across NSW and the ACT.

  1. To develop bespoke grass roots Congregation and Presbytery (interrelated Councils) planning processes enabling the emergence of local missional and societal opportunities.
  2. To develop a planning framework and support Presbyteries and their congregations to develop and refine their plans, as well as an iterative planning process.

Pathways is staffed by Rev Kath Merrifield (kathm@nswact.uca.org.au), Ms Melanie Dicks (mdicks@uniting.org) and Ms Katie Fisher (katief@nswact.uca.org.au).  Facilitators from UME, Uniting Resources and Uniting  will undertake consultations across NSW and the ACT from March to October 2018 with some consultations continuing into 2019.

It’s time to take stock and talk about who and what we are called to be as a Church.  Pathways presents individuals with an opportunity to speak into the life and witness of the Church and enables us to hear a more comprehensive story of the Church in NSW and the ACT. From our stories we learn from each other, we also build on our strengths and experience the hope we have in Christ.

We would really appreciate your time. This is an exciting opportunity for you to contribute to and explore the future opportunities of how we live out the Church’s mission and share God's love as a body of Christ. God has called for us to continually seek renewal of our life as a community. Pathways will enable us to listen to each other and to help the Synod hear a more comprehensive story of the Church in NSW and the ACT.  We will celebrate and build on our strengths, and also give shape to ways we can address the challenges that we face together so we are well-prepared to embrace the future of the Church.

We understand your concern about giving up precious time to participate.  We are very conscious that the Church has done lots of talking.  However, we are committed to working through a process that delivers opportunities that will take the Uniting Church in NSW and the ACT into God’s future.  To do that, we need the support and engagement of Congregations and Presbyteries.  We need each other in order to fulfil the purposes to which God calls us and part of this process is to help us learn how to listen to each other, how to hear one another, and then how to discern together how we follow the prompting of God’s Spirit together.

Right now!  Pathways will be working directly with each Presbytery between March and October 2018, with some consultations continuing into 2019.  At any time you can leave feedback via the link below.  Pathways is due to report to the Synod meeting in July 2019.

We will keep you informed via the website, Facebook and email.

The workshops are run using table group discussions to enable people to engage with the questions and with each other. Feedback is recorded and then collated with the feedback from all the workshops across the Presbyteries. The workshops invite us to explore who and how we are church together.  In the workshops, we are particularly inviting people to share their hopes and dreams for God’s church.

Please contact us via the link below or by email or phone and Melanie and Kath will be happy to receive your comments.

Yes, the UAICC are an important part of Pathways and the consultation process.

Absolutely. Your ideas are welcome, if you would like to contribute please contact Rev. Kath Merrifield kathm@nswact.uca.org.au or by phone on 0409 650 118 or Melanie Dicks mdicks@uniting.org or by phone on 0407 009 051.