The theme of Rev Sue Ellis' Moderatorial term is Grow, Nurture, Flourish.
This is based on the parable of the Mustard Seed tree in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a tiny mustard seed being planted and that grows into a huge bushy tree, where the birds of the air come and make their nests.
“The kingdom of heaven is what the church is called to be and bring to the world,” Sue says, as she calls the church to participate in her theme.
2017 was the Year of GROW. Congregations were asked to grow their relational evangelism, by inviting people to deepen their own relationships with God, one another and with people in their work and community. Growing relationships through active listening, genuine caring and respectful engagement, prepares the ground for questions of faith to be raised by people who are not in a relationship with Jesus. Our personal stories of Jesus in our lives helping us and blessing us, can bring hope and healing to others.
2018 is be the year of NURTURE, where we are called to intentionally nurture our discipleship.
2019 will be the year of FLOURISH, where we will be invited to take risks and consider creative ways of being church in our contexts.
We can nurture our discipleship through education and resources focussed on intentional discipleship. The Moderator has compiled this list of upcoming training opportunities and useful resources:
Living Water Tour, 11-14 September, 2018
Through the generous 40th Anniversary Ageing and Wellness grant and the support of Berri & Barmera Uniting Churches, the Living Water tour is being offered at the low cost of $350+GST per person (shared accommodation) or $500+GST (single accommodation). Costs include accommodation, transportation and meals. Spaces on the Living Water tour are limited. Click here to pay for the tour. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have queries regarding the Living Water tour.
UnitingWomen 2018 will be a time for Christian women to gather, grow and be inspired. Held in Brisbane from 27-30 of September, UnitingWomen is a diverse event for young women, older women and women in-between. It will be a chance to share your wisdom and your story. Whether you are a traveler on the way or a seeker, at UnitingWomen you will find acceptance, encouragement and revelation as women come together in God’s name, weaving wisdom and wonder. To find out more, visit the website>
Uniting College for Leadership & Theology
College in the Community is a program of Uniting College for Leadership & Theology (UCLT) which delivers high quality theological training in local church settings in conjunction with local churches. The training can be tailored to meet the needs of host churches. Some units available include preaching, scriptures (interpret and apply), communication, group work, Gospels, Christian leadership, pastoral care (non accredited), Christian belief, Christian life, Christology, worship and Uniting Church heritage and polity. These units can be taught over 2.5 hour sessions over 4-6 weeks or over 2 full days.
Find out more about courses on the UCLT Facebook page> or contact Jessie Sanders, VET coordinator, on 8416 8421 or email email@example.com
Beyond Sunday: Intro to Faith, Life & Work is an undergraduate unit focused on integrating faith with work and the wider aspects of modern life, which will be held on Wednesdays from 2pm to 5pm during Semester 2, 2018. Weekly topics cover theologies of work and rest, Christian vocation, economy and finances, culture-making and much more. For more information, please contact Uniting College on 8416 8420.
Intern Year is a program for young adults seeking to grow as disciples and live with purpose. The course is studied part-time over a year, at the end of which participants will have achieved a Certificate IV in Christian Life & Ministry. To query about the next enrolment, email Mike Wardrop at firstname.lastname@example.org
Period of Discernment: Is God calling you to step out in a new direction in faith and ministry? Find out more here>
Customised training & ESL opportunities through Uniting College
Customised training opportunities also exist for congregations and faith communities who are interested in running a particular Uniting College course or unit within their church. If you are interested in this or would like to find out more, please contact Jessie Sanders via email at email@example.com
Uniting College also offers a course about the Bible and leadership for people for whom English is a second language (ESL). This course> is designed to build the confidence and knowledge of individuals so they may feel able to study at a higher level, and to be involved in ministry in their own church. If this sounds interesting to you, or if you think it may interest someone in your church, please contact Karen Vanlint via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stillpoint Spirituality Centre
Visit the website here for upcoming courses and retreats.
A Community Prayer for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
On 22 October, 2018, the Prime Minister of Australia, Hon Scott Morrison, will makes a National Apology to Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
The following prayer has been prepared by the Uniting Church SA Moderator, Rev Sue Ellis and has been adapted from the Uniting Church President’s congregational prayer for use on Sunday 21 October, 2018.
In deep sadness,
we pray for the lives of people who, as children,
were entrusted to the care of churches, government agencies and schools,
where abuse occurred and where care and nurture should have been expected.
We lament when, as community,
we failed to hear the cries
and failed to listen to the stories of such children.
We pray for listening ears, for justice, strength and healing
for all who have suffered.
We pray for wisdom, courage and resilience
for all who provide care and support to survivors.
We pray comfort, kindness and peace
for all who have lost loved ones as a result of abuse.
We pray for help in creating safe communities for every child
We pray for help to be people
who can care appropriately for one another
with sensitivity and respect.
Rev Sue Ellis, Moderator, Uniting Church in South Australia, October 2018
Download the prayer here
Display this prayer in an appropriate public space as an aid for wider community lament and a sign of solidarity with survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.