The growth in mission of the church is important in our Synod. Our focus on Growing Healthy Churches, Developing Vital Leadership (lay and ordained) and Enabling Transformative Community Engagement will support the growth and missional focus of existing and new congregations, and our service agencies.

At the request of the Synod Standing Committee, over 2018 Uniting Mission and Education (UME) has been reorienting to more specifically focus on discipleship, mission and education in ways that will support the church as it serves Christ over the next decade. One outcome has been the identification of a new structure and over the last few months the new team has been coming together to support that vision. The UME Board are pleased to share the vision and welcome new members of staff to the team at UME.

The new structure is supported by four key pillars, or areas of activity:

    • PILLAR 1 | Mission Strategy and Support
      • In June this year UME was strengthened by the addition of David Cornford to the team, who has played a significant role in coordinating the evolution of the UME structure and support for Synod.
      • This team considers and coordinates future initiatives and directions and is mobilising the ministry of the Pulse Team.
      • The Pulse team is expanding and includes Rev Karen Mitchell – Lambert as Pulse Leader and a Field Officer with a focus on investing in emerging generations.
    • PILLAR 2 | Mission Enablement
      • The Mission Enablement team, led by Rev Jorge Rebolledo, will focus on listening to and supporting presbyteries, congregations and others to encourage the development of effective and distinctive mission experience.
      • One focus of Mission Enablement will initially be to build on the Mission Shaped Ministry Programme embraced by Parramatta Nepean and Sydney Central Coast Presbyteries this year. A second focus is supporting Presbyteries as required in developing a healthy approach to regular Life and Witness Consultations. At this time we welcome two of three Mission Facilitation consultants to the team being Rev Dr Raymond Joso and Ms Falepaini Maile.
      • The Saltbush Team led by Rev Mark Faulkner also has plans to expand, and sits in this space of Mission Enablement with a focus on the three western rural presbyteries and gathering the scattered communities. Saltbush includes identifying ways to be church where resources are scarce, and the distances are great.
    • PILLAR 3 | Vital Leadership Team
      • The Vital Leadership Team, to be led by Rev Ben Gilmour, will have an intentional focus to equip and empower disciples for the many different approaches to missional leadership needed across the church.
      • The identification of people to train for ordained ministry remains a significant focus for Vital Leadership in the Church. The Dean of Formation, Rev Dr Christine Sorensen provides leadership in the oversight of formation in the Synod.
      • Broadening our equipping of lay leadership is a key team role, and will be led by Liam McKenna as the Lay Pathways Educator.
      • Education Coordinator for UME and Uniting, Rev Clare Brockett, continues to resource Ethical Ministry, Ministry of Pastor, and pastoral care training for Chaplains and Pastoral Practitioners.
      • Growth and discipleship sit at the heart of the Vital Leadership Team, in every way.
    • PILLAR 4 | The United Theological College Team (UTC)
      • 2019 sees the re-introduction of a Principal of United Theological College and we welcome Rev Peter Walker to the position.
      • UTC continues to be critical to the Synod for the theological education and formation of ordained ministers. It is tasked with enacting UME’s purpose to lead and resource the Synod in discipleship, mission and leadership in a range of ways including; the provision of theological education at Higher Education level, theological insight, support for leadership formation, and to enable the emerging shape of theological education to serve the future mission of the church. This work is supported by our faculty; Professor Gerard Moore, Dr Jeff Aernie, Rev Dr Rhonda White, Dr Anthony Rees, Rev Dr Ian Robinson and Rev Dr Christine Sorensen continue to be leaders in their field. Additionally the faculty will welcome Dr Michael Mawson from the University of Aberdeen in mid 2019 as the new lecturer in Systematic Theology.

The leaders of these four teams will join the Executive Director’s Leadership Team and have a role in the overall leadership of UME.

The administrative staff at UME continue to provide quality support to staff, students and communities engaged in the life and work of UME and Camden Theological Library will continue to support the educational needs of theological students and others.

We welcome new staff to UME and ask the wider church to support UME as it in turns endeavours to support the church in mission, discipleship and leadership.