Act2: calling all submissions
December 21, 2022
It's key to the success of the Act2 Project that we engage as far and wide as possible across the whole Uniting Church. We are having important conversations about how we can work together as a whole Church and shape our life in for the future, and every person that calls the Uniting Church home is invited to take part.
Our commitment as the Project Unit is to make meaningful opportunities available for you to engage. Whether you will look to take part in online focus groups, face to face conversations, or a local conversation in your part of the Church, we want to invite and resource you to take up the opportunities that work best for you and your home community in 2023.
One key opportunity is ready to go right now. Any person, community, committee, council or other body within the Uniting Church can now make a submission to the Project. This is an important way of influencing the Project as we gather insights and ideas from across our Church. If you have something to say that the Church should hear, this is a great opportunity. Read the guidelines and see the various ways you can submit.
What could I make a submission about?
The Act2 Project recognises that our context is radically different from the time when many of our current structures and practices came into being. Our society has changed and we have changed as a Church. Technology, patterns of work, age and cultural demographics, relationships to institutions, governance expectations, government policy and services amongst many other changes have all worked to confront our assumptions and patterns of church life. Throughout that same period, a lot of innovation and exploration has taken place in parts of our Church.
How can we adapt to these changes and harness new opportunities? What things are working and what needs to change? You could write to us with your specific ideas.
You could also write to us if you have passions or insights about one of the four key areas the Project is focussed on. These areas, called workstreams, are shaped by the decision of the Assembly. What are your responses to the four key questions?
(1) Local Communities of Faith and Discipleship
How we order our life has a significant impact on the life and health of our local communities of faith and discipleship. In certain ways, our current structures and practices hinder us building life-giving communities of faith. We also know there are things we can do to help support and strengthen these communities. This workstream informs all the others. It is foundational to the Act2 Project.
Key Question: How can we do more to help and less to hinder life-giving communities of faith and discipleship?
(2) National Identity
We are a truly national Church, working across the country in all sorts of diverse contexts. We also have a voice on issues of national significance grounded in who we are and the commitments we have made together over time.
Key Question: What is most valuable about being a national church and how do we resource it?
(3) Governance and Resourcing
We have governance structures and a resourcing model which has not adequately responded to our changing context. We want a model which is directed towards supporting effective ministry and mission and allocates resources based on need, responsibility and opportunity.
Key Question: How do we order our life and distribute our resources to support our ministry and mission, particularly local communities of faith and discipleship?
(4) Theological Culture and Education
Our theological culture is shaped by the institutions and practices of theological reflection and action. We want to explore the theological culture to which we aspire and how we shape institutions and practices that support that culture. We look for a culture which equips us all to be ministers of the gospel in whatever ministry and context we are called.
Key Question: How do we enable a sustainable set of institutions and practices that cultivate a vibrant theological culture?
In 2023 there will be many opportunities to explore these questions and how we rethink and reshape our life to respond to them. In the first half of the year, we will be exploring ideas for how we could shape our life differently. In the second half, we will be engaging in collective discernment, exploring specific directions and options to collectively strengthen our life as a Church.
Our work is shaped by prayer, and we will invite the whole Uniting Church to join us in prayer between Pentecost (28 May) and the Uniting Church Anniversary (22 June) in 2023.
As we listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit, it may just be your voice that has the insight we need to find the direction God is calling us.
Make sure you explore the current opportunities to get involved and stay tuned through the Act2 website, the Assembly's social media pages and National Update (the Assembly’s weekly e-news) as more opportunities become available.
Prayer is at the heart of the Act2 Project. Through Advent, the Project team is inviting people across the Uniting Church to share their prayers of hope for this process, for the Uniting Church or our future. Go here to share yours.