The Saltbush is a hardy plant that can be found worldwide and usually grows in rough, dry, rural areas. It withstands great heat and drought and can be used year round for stock feed.
The Saltbush is our symbol for an enduring presence, life giving, in the rural landscape.
Uniting the Scattered Community is our hope that through our work we can encourage smaller Christian communities, irrespective of size or location, to be connected, to be affirmed, and to be challenged within their faith lives in our contemporary world and society.
The Christian Church is at a significant time in history both as an organisation and in its place within society. This is true globally for multiple reasons; some to do with the lack of change in the church and some to do with huge change within society. It has been easy for the Church to cling to tradition and ritual without thinking why. It has been easy for the Church to spend more time surviving and organising itself than telling its story. It’s been easy for the Church to believe in black and white, right and wrong, us and them, and amongst the panic of “the Church is dying” fall back on all of this.
The Church has also fallen into the trap of affirming those congregations that are big, famous, wealthy and well positioned, while struggling to support and value smaller Christian communities. Amongst the struggle many have also looked for a saviour in programs and courses, workshops and strategy.
Saltbush – Uniting the Scattered Community simply affirms:
That all Christian communities, irrespective of size or location, are equally a part of the wider body of the Church and can vitally live out their faith within the place and time in which they find themselves.
That being a scattered community is exactly as the church should be, but being disconnected is not as we should be. Being “sent” is an expression of Christ, but being separated is simply an expression of brokenness or at worst, self-empowerment.
That the future of the Church is not within the institution, but within the Christian community gathering in diverse ways. That within each Christian community they already have everything needed to both gather and be in mission.
That human needs exist in all locations and that the Way of Christ and Word of Christ are as vital today as ever. Within our wider communities those Christian communities who are genuine, welcoming, hospitable and creative will be significant within the lives of others.
That hospitality around the table, active compassion and inclusion, faithfulness and genuine Gospel reflection are life giving in the face of structure, regulation, tradition and self-comfort.
As we unfold the work and place of Saltbush – Uniting the Scattered Community we begin with each of these practical actions:
Ruminations – The triannual publication that seeks to encourage the telling of our story through the lives of smaller Christian communities. For information on Ruminations find it here.
The Creative Word online – This is an unfolding challenge to provide full time online Ministry of the Word so as to connect and encourage smaller Christian communities without a present Minister. This should not be “resources”, or “links”, or “third hand text”, but relational, creative, Gospel Word and encouragement.
Scattered Community Gatherings – Opportunities for smaller Christian communities to gather in rural locations, not for meetings, or planning, or lectures, but for encouragement, community and hospitality.
A voice in the wilderness – Being an advocate for the rural church and smaller Christian communities. Reminding the wider Church that it’s not about the separation of Urban and Rural, but about all of us together and the encouragement of smaller faith communities through the Ministry, resources and practical example of those who have much.
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Saltbush Project | Welcome
Saltbush Project | Uniting the Scattered Community
Saltbush Project | Rural Ministry Unit
Saltbush Project | Contact Us
Saltbush Project | Ruminations
Saltbush Project | Supporting the project