The Presbyterian Assembly in Aotearoa New Zealand featured some wonderful music that as new for me, and some rich prayers, led by Malcolm Gordon. You can download the resources for free here.
In Auckland and then in Dunedin, I met up with Matt Chamberlin, Presbyterian Youth Ministry Co-ordinator. Matt works with Gordon Fitch in PYM and connects with 5 staff (full-time and part-time) in pakeha/palangi synods across New Zealand, plus the Pacific Island Synod and the Maori Synod. PYM has regional youth committees who relate with the regional staff.
Their website is here.
PYM is involved in training, resources and events. PYM is seeking to develop a focus on discipleship that is Christ-centred and grounded in practices that grow disciples.
Stepping Stones of Formation is offered to help leaders plan ways to grow young people over times, and covers Belief, Practices, Justice and Life. In each area, PYM offers a suggested range of resources for different age groups and a planning tool.Continue Reading
In October we’re launching the first Series of “We are the Uniting Church” videos telling something of the life, story and mission of the UCA. They’re designed for newcomers to agencies, schools and congregations – members, staff, volunteers.
The project arose from talking to people in UCA agencies and schools about how they induct their staff, and the need to give them a better sense of who we are as the Uniting Church. Last year we visited congregations, agencies and schools in various locations across Australia to gather stories and comments about the breadth and depth of the church’s life and mission. It was wonderful, inspiring and at times challenging to see and hear who we are as the people of God.
The aim is to give a broad brush view of our values and commitments, our people and programs, our faith’s words and deeds. The videos last for about 7 minutes each. They are designed mainly for use in groups, but can also be embedded in a church or agency website.
We also filmed 6 videos for Series 2 on the faith of the UCA. These will be released early in 2017. We worked with flipcreative in Brisbane on the project.
The videos are all be available to download, share or embed in websites for free – details at assembly.uca.org.au/weareuca.
- An Australian Church – an overview of the Uniting Church
- Partnering in Mission – nationally and overseas
- Our Congregations – growing faith communities
- Supporting Communities – services across Australia
- Ageing Well – providing for elderly Australians
- Educating for Life – Uniting Church schools
Series Two: Our Faith (available early 2017)
- Believing in God – Dr Janice McRandal
- Believing in Jesus Christ – Rev Dr Geoff Thompson
- Believing in the Spirit – Dr Ben Myers
- Shaped by the Scriptures – Dr Monica Melanchthon, Rev Stuart Cameron
- Living as God’s Church – Rev Prof Andrew Dutney, Rev Denise Champion, Rev Jason Kioa
- Serving God’s Mission – Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler, Rev Alistair Macrae
The videos will also become part of new baptism, confirmation and discipleship resources for the UCA.
We hope they’re informative and useful. We hope to find ways to build on them into the future.
Last week I was in Melbourne for a meeting about the Uniting Church’s next About FACE event – a cross-cultural faith and culture exchange involving non-indigenous people spending time in indigenous communities. The next About FACE is scheduled for mid-2017. Further information will be available on the About FACE website shortly.
I interviewed four previous About FACE participants about their experiences – Hanna Dungan, Mary Dixon, Rohan Pryor and Marissa Homes. Wonderful stories which I’ll be sharing with you shortly.