The Uniting Faith and Families Project
For children and young people, having opportunities to gather intentionally on a camp, regional events and in worship is a key to nurturing their spiritual growth. It is also an opportunity for leadership development, and skills in relationships building. With the decline in local Uniting Church congregations and a generational movement away from church participation, opportunities to gather with peers in faith communities synod-wide are currently limited.
The Uniting Faith and Families Project aims to establish a Uniting Church Faith Community in order to build on the relationships established through the Victorian Synod Social Justice Family Camp and provide opportunities for children, young people, young adults and their parents to gather for worship, faith formation and growth as a community of people choosing to follow the way of Jesus. Members of this community will not be based in a single geographic location, rather they will utilise communication technology to enrich their ability to connect, learn and lead as a “dispersed” community of faith.
The intention of this project is to develop and document a new way of being a faith community that may better adapt to the rapidly changing society we live in and continue to carry the stories and gifts of our faith tradition into the future.
A steering committee representing people from the Synod Camp community, staff from the Youth, Children and Families arm of Synod, and a community already recognised by the Uniting Church as a “Faith Community” according to Uniting Church Regulations, has been formed. Funding has been sourced to employ a project officer for 6-12 months from the Wild Duck Community and the Habitat for Spirituality congregation is auspicing the project and Robyn Hodge has been employed as the Uniting Faith and Families Project Officer.
Currently the Synod Camp Community gather annually for camp on the long weekend in March, and are committed to gathering quarterly in different locations around Victoria for worship and fellowship.
The Uniting Faith and Families Officer will explore ways to gather the family camp group and wider network of families in the UCA to form a dispersed faith community. They will do the administrative and advocacy work required in the UCA to become recognised as a faith community and apply for seed funding for a ministry placement. Alongside this developmental work, the worker will support the existing family camp and regional gatherings. The project officer will also provide a written report documenting the experience of family camp as a dispersed faith community, identifying the outcomes and containing recommendations for others interested in this model of church.
How to get involved
There are a few ways you might like to be involved in this project:
- As a community participant
- As an interested observer and person who may wish to adopt a similar model of “dispersed faith community” for your own faith networks
- As a supporter/advocate for the project in the wider councils of the Uniting Church
- As a donor to the project – we are looking to supplement our current funds by $5,000 to ensure that the work required to establish the Faith Community and document the process for others can be completed properly.
Register your interest using our contact form below and Robyn, our project officer, will make contact with you.
If you or your congregation is able to contribute to support this work, donations can be made to:
Wild Duck Mission Fund (administered through UCA Funds Management)
Account number: 106333008
Or BPay: Biller code 16089 Ref. 106333008