Where does Uniting fit as part of the Uniting Church?
Uniting is a service and advocacy arm of the Uniting Church.
They work closely with other Uniting Church organisations active in Victoria and Tasmania including Uniting AgeWell and Uniting Housing.
Uniting has its foundations in the congregations and former denominations of the Uniting Church which have, some for over 130 years, taken action to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
The Uniting Church’s long-standing commitment to work with vulnerable and disadvantaged people will not change – it is reflected in our purpose “to inspire people, enliven communities and confront injustice”.
Their foundation statement, “Christ invites us to serve humanity by creating an inclusive, connected and just world” is derived from the Basis of Union and the Church’s first statement to the nation in 1977 and is reflected in the Synod’s vision and mission principles.
They are deeply committed to continuing to strengthen our relationships with local congregations and communities to support people experiencing disadvantage.
How will Uniting remain connected to congregations?
The rich heritage of presbytery and congregational initiative and collaboration with the founding agencies to provide programs in local communities that people need will continue under Uniting.
In establishing the new organisation, the Synod committed Uniting to create models which support congregation and presbytery community services.
In November 2016, the Uniting Board established the Church and Community Engagement committee. The Committee will develop and recommend to the Board a sustainable and effective model of church and community engagement.
Embedded in the organisation structure are several layers of connection with presbyteries and congregations:
- A Director of Mission and two Mission and Ethos Partners with oversight of Uniting’s church engagement
- Each member of the Executive Team will be a primary contact point for one of the eight Presbyteries
- Each congregation that Uniting partners with in mission will have a designated staff member as their relationship partner
- MOUs will continue to assist Uniting and congregations to define and develop their relationships as they work together to address disadvantage in our communities.
Uniting recognises the distinctive value that volunteers from congregations bring to our community services and we welcome and are grateful for their continued involvement in our programs and services.
Who is the Director of Mission?
Rev. John Clarke is the Director of Mission at Uniting VIC.TAS.
John was an engineer in the Northern Territory and Victoria before his first placement as a minister in Geelong in 1995. This was followed by ministry with Alpha Australia and most recently three years as Director of Mission for Uniting AgeWell.
John and his wife Hilary attend Healesville Uniting Church in the Yarra Valley, east of Melbourne.
Where can I go for more information?
Director of Mission John Clarke welcomes opening conversations via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0427 994 972.