Friday, November 15, 2013
crowdsourcing evangelism in Australia today
In April 2014, Uniting College are hosting a one week intensive, titled Evangelism, Conversion and the mission of God. In preparing for this course, I thought it would be helpful to gain some wider feedback on what people consider to be the issues that need to be explored in such a course.
So, could you give me a few minutes, to provide, from your perspective –
What are the 3 biggest issues regarding evangelism, conversion and the mission of God in Australia today?
Responses by Tuesday 19 November please …
Sunday, November 03, 2013
the changing landscape of agencies and mission
David Bosch is one of the worlds finest thinkers on mission. His Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission is a remarkable book, surveying 2000 years of mission. The book is divided into five paradigms. Bosch borrows here from Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm theory
- Primitive Christianity
- Patristic Period;
- and Ecumenical (or postmodern)
Bosch argues that as a paradigm changed, mission changed. In changing times, the mission of the church took different shape. His argument is strengthened by the research he does, asking what Scriptures were being quoted in these paradigms to motivate mission. He argues that each paradigm was shaped by a different dominant Biblical text.
- Primitive Christianity – the letters of the New Testament
- Patristic Period – John 3:16 in the patristic Period; the love of God, seen in the sending of Jesus, is extended by God’s messengers
- Reformation – a shift from Luke 14:23 in the Middle Ages; compel them to come in! to Romans 1:16; God’s rightliving means grace and mercy, not punishment
- Enlightenment -the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
With regard to the ecumenical/postmodern, Bosch suggests the immense challenges of our contemporary world are signs of a transition into a new period. This has huge implications for churches thinking about mission today. There is widespread agreement that culturally we are going through another paradigm shift. The world of today is vastly different from the world of 40 years ago. So any discussion of church and mission today needs to keep stepping back, keep watching the paradigms.
Stanley Skreslet (Comprehending Mission: The Questions, Methods, Themes, Problems, and prospects of Missiology and Picturing Christian Witness: New Testament Images of Disciples in Mission). He notes how not only the motivations (the Scriptures used), have changed, but so also have the forms of mission. So, pushing Skreslet into the paradigms of Bosch, we get something like this
- Primitive Christianity – the radical communal compassionate care for the sick
- Patristic Period – the monastery
- Reformation – religious orders
- Enlightenment – the voluntary society, based on the shareholder model, by which lay people became voluntary participants. And the institution, the large scale constructing of schools and hospitals, which offered care and cure.
Which of course, raises the question, what might be the modes for the ecumenical/postmodern period. Skreslet argues for the NGO – the Non-government organisation. He cites examples like Greenpeace and Amnesty International. These offer a physical presence, based on a extensive networks and clear, instant lines of communication. These NGO’s harness public opinion, building pressure to bring about change. They thus offer a very different model for mission.
Over the last few days, I’ve been part of debates about the changing landscape of agencies and mission. All the time, I kept wondering if these debates are part of the same worldwide questions about the forms of mission into a new ecumenical/postmodern paradigm. Bosch writes:
“The transition from one paradigm to another is not abrupt … This produces a kind of theological schizophrenia, which we just have to put up with while at the same time groping our way toward greater clarity … The point is simply that the Christian church in general and the Christian mission in particular are today confronted with issues they have never even dreamt of and which are crying out for responses that are both relevant to the times and in harmony with the essence of the Christian faith …. The point I am making is simply that, quite literally, we live in a world fundamentally different … The contemporary world challenges us to practice a “transformational hermeneutics”, a theological response which transforms us first before we involve ourselves in mission to the world.” (Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 188, 189.)
What will it look like to see the shape of the church and mission formed by NGO models? To prioritise smaller bodies, with a premium put on their ability to be nimble, to cultivate networks and communication? Skreslet notes a number of advantages of the NGO paradigm: “a new model of mission would also have its own distinctive organizational structure” (“Networking, Civil Society and the NGO: A New Model for Ecumenical Mission,” Missiology 25 (1997): 307-319, p. 310). These can apply globally, to international mission. They can also apply locally, to how a local church might operate in their community. Networking as a mode of action contrasts with the worst parts of colonial mission. It encourages behaviours that are flexible, egalitarian and wholistic in orientation. They allow multiple partnerships, at local, regional, national, global levels.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
A Clear Call mission and evangelism conference + intensive
Next year, Uniting College are delighted to be partnering with the National Assembly Mission and Evangelism working group – in a conference and intensive on mission and evangelism.
A Clear Call is a national conference engaging in how we share our faith contextually where we each live, love and have our being. It is for everyone who would like to share their faith and would benefit from conversation, information and practical examples. It is for all people: lay people, ordained, teams, young adults, all cultures and the full spectrum of theology of the Uniting Church. It will be be fun, deep, thoughtful, energetic, thought provoking and practical. It will approach faith-sharing from every angle. Speakers, program, registration is here.
The conference is followed by a week long intensive, Evangelism, Conversion and Mission of God. This course is designed to assist participants in forming and developing churches and faith communities in the task of evangelism. Participants will examine the nature of Australian society and its implications for evangelism and the growth of the Church. They will explore understandings of the value of evangelism as integral to the mission and ministry of the church. They will develop skills and practices in implementing local church evangelism. They will explore some of the important issues around evangelism, conversion and the mission of God, including pluralism and postmodernity. Content could include theologies of evangelism and conversion, the Australian context in history, contemporary challenges, models and practices of evangelistic churches, evangelism and special events and resources for evangelism today.
Taught by Olive Fleming Drane and John Drane for Uniting College of Leadership and Theology, they will use creative and inductive approaches, including storytelling, to help participants process and ground learnings for their own mission and ministry.
Course Costs: credit $1600 for Bachelor of Ministry; audit $275 (tbc); $1450 for Master or Doctor of Ministry
Course time/venue: 9-5 pm with an hour for lunch. Possibility of offering two evening rather afternoon sessions as opportunities for wider public engagement.
For more info, talk to Uniting College or register through Adelaide College of Divinity.
Saturday, September 07, 2013
being church in mission on election day
A few weeks ago, a local Australian pastor asked my advice. He’d heard a rumour that I might be creative and outward looking. So, he asked, “how can we as a church maximise the fact our buildings will be used on election day as a polling booth?”
“Give the money away,” I replied, knowing that many Australian churches offer a barbeque to folk lining up to vote and that many charge a gold coin for the sausage and sauce.
In fact I said, warming to my new role of creative mission advisor, “Why not choose 3 local charities. And have your own vote. Invite everyone to whom you sell a sausage to choose what charity they most want to support locally. That’s a very different way of being church. Participating in mission by serving the community.”
He looked slightly crestfallen, so I asked how much they earned last election. Around $700 he said.
“That’s around $200 a year. If you keep the money, you simply reinforce the message that all the church cares about is itself, it’s own concerns and agendas. If you give it away, you’re inviting your local community to participate with you in mission.
“That’s a very different economic policy,” I concluded.
I’m looking forward to meeting post-election and seeing how the vote for mission might have played out in that local church
Friday, July 05, 2013
I like the sound of Chaplaincy Everywhere. It is mentioned on a recent post on Sanctus 1, a fresh expression in the UK, in which they are placing chaplains in shopping centres.
So this is more than historic notions of chaplains as at hospital or prison. We need ways to empower people to see themselves as chaplains in their streets, communities and workplaces. It is what we worked toward at Opawa Baptist at one point, calling them community chaplains, and we appointed three into the local community.
I suspect it requires another understanding of ecclesiology, in which the local church commissions and nurtures, rather than the wider (synod).
One of our DMin students at Uniting College is exploring a theology of street chaplaincy, based on his experiences over years as a Main Street chaplain. Plus there is the fabulous chapter in Darren Cronshaws book on ministry models in Australia, including Michael Leunig as a chaplain to the culture.
All by way of saying, I wonder what a Chaplaincy Everywhere course at Uniting College would look like?
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
On Friday, I ducked away to a seaside cafe to do some writing (another 1,000 words on the Sustainability and mission project).
As I took a break, I looked at those around me in the cafe. At one table was a grandmother, struggling with two lively pre-schoolers. At another was a group of friends, grey-haired, sharing travel plans. At yet another was a similar group, obviously regular weekly gatherings.
The day prior, I’d been part of a presentation of NCLS data on the Uniting Church in South Australia. The average age is 62. That Friday morning, I’d found parking at this seaside suburb outside a local Uniting Church. It is a church I’ve been a few times, to find myself surrounded by a good number of elderly folk.
Cause for concern?
Not if you consider the demography of those surrounding me in the cafe. Surely a denomination of retirees is superbly placed to incarnate the Gospel among grandmother struggling to babysit, retirees planning a worthwhile future and searching for relationships.
Fresh expressions can, frankly be ageist. It can assume that the new, young, hip are the future. Well, the young and hip will struggle to meet those seated around me on Friday.
It reminds me of the claim by Mark Lau-Branson, that Pentecost is for the geriatric.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Walking on country: student participation
Walking on Country: an initiative of Uniting College for Leadership and Theology (UCLT), supported by Pilgrim Uniting Church and Ken Leaver Scholarship Fund (edited by Danica Patselis with contributions from other participants)
In February this year, a group from UCLT went to Camp Coorong for a ‘Walking on Country’ Indigenous Immersion experience, with the gracious Ngarrindjeri people. The group was guided by (Rev Dr) Tracey Spencer and Aunty Denise Champion and consisted of students, candidates, a business owner, farmer, community workers and faculty. The initiative is an important part of the college’s formation process for ministers, and is extended to family and members of the wider church. Steve Taylor, Principal of the College says “We hope it’s the start of an annual event and an ongoing partnership both with Pilgrim and local indigenous communities.”
As a group we came with various apprehensions, pre-conceived ideas and for some of us feelings of shame, growing up in a culture where we as a second people have not recognised the people of this nation. We haven’t been reconciled within our nation and we have not heard the stories of the first peoples of the land who have lived here for so long. With a gracious and loving smile, Aunty Denise, calmed our fears as she guided us over the weekend. Her warm welcome encouraged us, that we are “Walking on Country” with friends, who long to be in relationship and share with us.
Uncle Tom, welcomed us to Camp Coorong, and began our time by asking us why we had come and what we longed to learn from our time with the Ngarrindjeri people. Uncle Tom’s first response, to listen, spoke deeply to us. Over the following days we followed Uncle Tom out onto the land listening to his stories and the stories of his ancestors who had lived and thrived on this land for many years. A young farmer in the group reflected “[the Ngarrindjeri peoples’] cultural practices have been so well developed over the many years of learning…The indigenous culture is much more interested in co existing with the environment. I felt more and more of their pain from the irreversible damage second peoples have inflicted on their land in such a short amount of time.” Ngarrindjerri women also sat with us and taught us their traditional weaving of baskets, hats, bags and art with the reeds found by the River. In response to our thanks they looked into our eyes and said “We are Ngarrindjerri people, we want to share these things with you, that is what we do, we share.”
After listening to Uncle Tom’s stories of our nation’s sad history, we lamented at the slow and pitiful recognition of the Indigenous peoples, and their rights and dignity as custodians of this land in the constitution. We lamented at the horrific stories of displacement, abuse and stripping of cultural heritage. For many of us the experience of participating in the “racism game” one afternoon with Tracey Spencer, unveiled our eyes to the institutionalized racism within our society. We began crying out – not for a change to the rules of the game, but a doing away with the value and playing of the game, imagining a new future, without ‘teams’ and a society founded in love and reconciliation. Later that night, Aunty Denise, brought us together, lit a candle and playing her guitar she shared with us a song in the Adnyamathanha tongue of her people “The light of Christ has come into the world.” She reminded us that first and second peoples can be the light of Christ in the world, standing in reconciliation together and then also with God.
Returning home, we have all had much time to reflect on how we will follow the example of Aunty Denise and Uncle Tom, in listening, sharing and engaging with reconciliation. We are thankful for communities like Pilgrim who encourage all people to covenant with the UAICC. Many of us have taken steps to share our experiences in our own communities and begin new relationships with people in Congress and the wider indigenous community. For each of us we have realised that reconciliation begins with relationship and that continuing action, justice and change begins here.
This was a copy of what was recently shared by Danica Patselis, student at Uniting College, as part of Reconciliation Sunday, at Pilgrim Uniting.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Go Danica, Go Pilgrim, Go indigenous immersion
Sunday was Reconciliation Sunday here in Australia. A week to focus on partnership with indigenous people and communities.
Earlier this year, Uniting College partnered with one of our local churches, Pilgrim Uniting, to begin Walking on Country – a long weekend immersed in a local indigenous community, supported by pre-readings and post-trip debrief. This was part of a non-formal teaching plan to ensure our ministry candidates and their families (optional) experience cross cultural immersion among Australia’s indigenous peoples.
Sunday was a fitting time for this new venture to connect back with the local partner church. Danica Patselis (student at Uniting College, currently in a Period of Discernment and married to a candidate) spoke, reflecting on what the experience meant to her. As she later emailed me –
Thanks for prioritizing this trip for the formation of ministers. Nick and I were both renewed and transformed in our thinking and actions from our time with Uncle Tom and Aunty Denise. We are hoping to take a group from Hope Valley to the Congress church to begin conversations, worship together, and learn from the vibrant spirituality of these peoples. But we’re taking small steps as we want it to be long-term action not reactive.
As part of the service, as Principal, I offered a greeting (which I emailed sitting on a Melbourne motel floor)
Uniting College have been delighted to partner with Pilgrim Uniting in the Walking on Country initiative. It has been life changing for some participants. It has enabled ongoing conversations about the Preamble, justice, partnership across cultures. It has both broadened, yet humbled, our understandings of mission and ministry. We hope its the start of an annual event and an ongoing partnership both with Pilgrim and local indigenous communities. Maori culture has a proverb “He tangata, he tangata , he tangata” – the people, the people, the people. That was our experience with you and at Camp Coorong. A Pentecost gift to cherish – Principal Steve Taylor
Monday, May 27, 2013
mission research (post-graduate)
One of the joys of my current season is the opportunity to work with a good number of post-graduate students, on some really interesting aspects of mission research. At Uniting College, we’re seeing a growing number of post-graduate students wanting to focus their time on mission. What is even more interesting is that a good number of the projects are empirical in nature, actually working with real people, reflecting on what is happening on the ground, in lives and communities.
These are some of the projects I’m currently involved in supervising
- Phil (DMin) is interviewing pioneers. Dianna Butler Bass has argued for a pastoral imagination. So is there a pioneer imagination? What are the implications for formation?
- Gary (DMin) is exploring new monasticism. He has pioneered a course, one that helps people apply Benedictine spirituality to their everyday life. But does it? And what would Benedict say about how one might live monastically in today’s society?
- David (PhD) is analysing the cultural intelligence of ministers. What factors contribute to cross-cultural expertise? Can they be taught, or is it caught?
- Lesley (PhD) is analysing how migrants do theology. How is it different from Western approaches to theology? What might be the implications for theological education, especially as Australia sees increasing numbers of migrants call this place home?
- Fred is investigating male spirituality. He has used the Australian film Mens Group, as a window and is then reflecting missionally on ways to develop male spirituality, whether inside or outside the church
- (There are two more PHD projects who’ve spoken to me regarding supervision, both currently working their way through university entrance processes. Both will also be empirical projects, exploring the practice of mission and ministry. But I will hang off on naming those until they are a bit further down the track.)
One of the advantages of Uniting College is that we can offer qualifications both at PhD level, through Flinders University and at Doctor of Ministry, through Adelaide College of Divinity. It’s a great combination, allowing us to encourage a range of student interests, all while cultivating a growing research culture in mission and ministry. It’s great in the midst of a busy day, filled with meetings about the College, to suddenly be able to spend an hour with a keen and thoughtful mind, discussing mission, based not on theories but on actual around research.
Friday, May 03, 2013
Festival spirituality stories: Spin and Fibre Festival
I’m starting a research project, wanting to collect stories of Festival spirituality. It is an extension of a brief idea I sketched in my The Out of Bounds Church?: Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change (emergentYS) and which I recently developed further.
Festival spirituality (working definition): an occasional period of community gathering for celebration, in which Christians intentionally participate, seeking to make the shalom of God more visible.
This Festival spirituality story – Spin and Fibre Festival comes from Frontier News, May 2013, 8-10. It relates to the 35th Bothwell International Highland Spin In and Fibre Festival, a biennial event held in Tasmania and comes from an interview with Rev Meg Evans, Patrol Minister, Midlands, Tasmania.
Held every two years, Meg is the unofficial chaplain for the festival, which was started by a group of Uniting Church women who were spinning wool to raise funds to restore the church tower. Bothwell is one of the smaller communities in the Patrol located in the Central Highlands, 70 km northwest of Hobart. It has a long history in Merino wool production and the festival remains a huge event for both local and international visitors showcasing crafts and skills associated with superfine wool.
“On the Friday, we shear a sheep for the fleece, and then we hold a ‘Blessing of the Fleece.’ The wool is given out to people to spin during the weekend. On the Sunday I hold a service in the school gym, surrounded by all this wonderful creativity. It is just a great community celebration.”
“People come and tell me how much they enjoy it. I think the fact that the Church is there speaks to people.”
Some interesting things to note
- gift – the involvement of the church begins with “Blessing”. This suggests a thankfulness. What is blessed (the Fleece) is then given away to participants
- risk – This clearly involves risk, that the gift might not be “unwrapped,” might not be utilised. Or it might be “wrapped” in a way contrary to the values of the giver.
- theology of creation – the connection to wool, as the product of local industry, as the lifeblood of what this community, this land, produces. A celebration both of the gift of wool, but also of the creative gifts that surround wool – “crafts and skills associated with superfine wool.”
- being church as spun (interwoven) presence, first in being close enough to the land to be aan initiating participant, second in being a worshipping presence through the festival, both from the initial blessing through to the service, third in the theology of Meg, “the fact that the Church is there speaks to people.” The church began this event, but was willing to give it away. The church is willing to be one of many participants, many strands, in the fibre of this event. It does not need to own it nor control it.
So this Festival spirituality is mission as chaplain, celebrating creation, with particular attention to presence, participation, gift and risk.
Questions for discussion
- I wonder what things might be worth celebrating in your community – what gifts of “creation” and “creativity” you could bless?
- I wonder how you might take risks and invite people to participate in these gifts?
- What might an authentic presence look like? Think about this both from your perspective as a church and from the perspective of visitors and locals.
Friday, March 22, 2013
when it’s broke, there are ways, not to fix it, but to refound it
This has been part of my world this week – Methodist history.
With the guidance of President Andrew Dutney, I’ve been reading about John Wesley (and trying to avoid the interesting diversions like Moravian financial collapses and the resultant impact on mission). I’ve been following a research hunch and testing a research theory. Gerard Arbuckle, From Chaos to Mission: Refounding Religious Life Formation talks about the difference between renewal and refounding. Renewal modifies old methods. Refounding goes back to first principles and allows them to become imaginative resources in the radical rethinking of the way we do things.
Arbuckle thus encourages a focus on the stories, the fundamental questions and the founding vision of the group. Hence my research. If Fresh expressions is about mission what are the mission stories that lie in British soil? How might they be re-found? I’ve been looking at three areas, with Methodism being one. Hence the pile of books.
Take one example: a founding story
“The Wesley emphasis on mission as determining order.” (Rack, The Future of John Wesley’s Methodism)
So the refounding story:
“To determine its shape and structure the future Church may have to return to Wesley’s insight – that such matters be decided by mission.” (Rack, The Future of John Wesley’s Methodism.)
(For another, and very contemporary example, I think this is a superb example of refounding, Andrew Dutney returning to the Basis of Union,)
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
National conference on mission and evangelism
A national conference on mission and evangelism in Adelaide next year: 28-30 March 2014. Uniting College for Leadership & Theology is planning to a five day intensive course on mission and evangelism immediately following the conference for those who are interested and available to participate.
The conference will be open to anyone in the Uniting Church, but it is intended to be particularly helpful for people involved in missional innovation, leadership, community development, training for ministry, and in service across a variety of contexts – congregations, agencies, schools, presbyteries, synods, and global connections. And we’re particularly keen to ensure that the young adult leaders who initiated the idea get to address their agenda in the gathering.
But why would we want to call a national conference on mission and evangelism for the Uniting Church anyway? Well, it’s really all about who we are.
The Uniting Church was formed around the realisation that the Christian movement is all about mission. In paragraph 3 of the Basis of Union the mission God is identified as “reconciliation and renewal…for the whole creation”. Moreover, “The Church’s call is to serve that end…” The church exists for the sake of that mission of God, as a sign, instrument and foretaste of what God in Christ has done as is doing by the power of the Holy Spirit. It exists for mission and evangelism, to live and share the Gospel that heals and transforms broken people and societies.
The Copernican insight that resulted in the formation of the Uniting Church was that in the church of God everything revolves around mission and evangelism – and that none of the things that were keeping the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian churches apart could be justified in terms of the mission of God. It was hard, risky, but there could be no more excuses. It all had to go and a new Uniting Church in Australia inaugurated with the prayer that “God will use their common worship, witness and service to set forth the word of salvation for all people” (Basis of Union paragraph 1).
It’s still true, however, that a lot of what we do, enjoy and are comforted by as a church is not about mission at all – even less about evangelism. A lot of it is just habit, nostalgia, vested interest, or merely a lack of imagination. The need to discern what participation in the mission of God requires of us is ongoing – and so is the need to measure what we are already doing against it.
The Uniting Church is going through a time of tremendous change. Some of it we have chosen but much of it is simply generated by the force of circumstances. In this time of change it is critical that we keep in front of us the point of it all – mission and evangelism or, more properly, participation in the mission of God in Australia today.
In recent years most of our presbyteries and synods have engaged in some kind of process intended to do just that. A national conference on mission and evangelism is a means of acknowledging and encouraging that work. It is also a means of bringing together the insights of the different councils of the church into a fresh national process of missional discernment. It is an opportunity to articulate a shared vision of mission and evangelism linking the church’s congregations, councils and community service agencies.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
mission matters – Uniting College Missiology stream news
Just out is the latest (February 2013) comings and goings from the Missiology stream at Uniting College. It includes description of the Walking on country indigenous immersion experience, with a wonderful participant experience, told as story –
God looked down upon the lands of Australia and saw that things were not well with the Land and its People and something had to be done.
God looked more closely and saw a Mob of good people who each had stories to tell, but they were scattered across the Land, so they were brought together.
People from the coastal area of Queensland, from the lands of the Snowy Mountains, from across the waters to New Zealand, and from the red sands of the interiors, and they came from the southern coastal areas and the plains of the hills. They were black and white, students and teachers, young and old, male and female but they had all come to learn and experience the ways of the land.
Followed by some emerging missional reflection –
They also learnt that the past could not be changed but the present and future is where change can take place. God saw this and called upon the Creator to gather these people, and with one big hand the Creator picked up these people and moulded them into a tall strong tree that produced beautiful brightly coloured flowers and a sweet tasting fruit that attracts the birds and animals of the area.
The seeds of the fruit are carried far and wide some falling onto fertile soils others not, but in time more trees grow and more seeds are produced, all learning and carrying away the stories of the good people and in time the Land becomes well and also the People of the Land. Then God looked down and said, “all is good.”
Ecclesiology mixed with eschatology! Rich indeed.
It also includes various teaching experiences being offered in 2013 – Reading Cultures (online option); Mission then, mission now; Multi-cultural Worship, Leadership and Mission – which makes you appreciate how missional the stream is becoming. (But they did miss out promoting the Sense Making Faith course.)
Anyhow, for the entire newsletter – Mission Matters Feb 2013
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Walking on country: Uniting College Candidates Indigenous Immersion
News via email overnight of funding approved for Walking on Country, an indigenous immersion experience, which we want to have as a compulsory part of our training for candidates for ministry at Uniting College. It’s a project that I’ve been quietly working away on for well over a year – first in going ourselves as a family, then in seeking partnership with Uniting Church Congress, then in approaching a potential funding partner, then in finding a person to provide leadership, including to write up the bid ….
• That a three day/three night educational and spiritual experience of Indigenous culture, history, politics and contemporary lifestyle be incorporated into the training and education of Uniting Church (of South Australia) candidates for Ministry.
• That this occur in different locations each year, based with an Indigenous community.
• That over a three year cycle, with up to 10 candidates attending each year, this program will be attended by the entire Ministry candidate cohort.
• That the program consist of Preparatory reading, an Immersion experience, and a post-trip forum.
1. For participants to become informed and educated about life in particular Indigenous communities
2. For participants to explore ‘decolonisation’ of their colonised thinking and relationships,
3. For participants to develop conceptual, emotional and spiritual foundations for covenanting and friendships with Indigenous communities and the UAICC
4. For participants to commit to a journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Australians, and to the vision for Covenanting in the Uniting Church.
Three days is nothing.
Although it might be better than nothing.
And it fits with a number of other intentional processes we’re working on – looking not for a one-off tokenist experience, but consciousness raising on multiple fronts.
Because missional leaders need to experience boundary crossing – in their guts and bodies and in their contexts – as well as their heads.