Speak up for the future

The Strategy and Mission Planning Commission are in a process of conducting ‘scenario planning’ for the Uniting Church in WA. This is the second article in a series on this vital  project.

Perth is a changing city. The Committee for Perth, a think tank and advocate group for the Perth region say that Perth is experiencing such a high rate of growth, that by 2050 the city  will have a population of 3.5 million, up from 1.9 million. This obviously has major repercussions for the community, traffic and housing – but what about the church?

Rev David Kriel, mission planner for the Uniting Church in WA, believes the church needs to think seriously about this future.

“It’s very clear that there will be population growth in Perth,” David said. “Think about the implications for the church! We’ve already had significant growth in the last ten years. It  seems that the church really did not take full advantage of that situation.”

David added that currently the Uniting Church in WA does not reflect the same demographics as the wider community, with the average age of church members much higher than the  average age of the population. These influences form part of the reason why the Strategy and Mission Planning Commission are undertaking this major scenario planning project.

The first Listening Workshop for the strategy and Mission Planning’s ‘scenario planning’ for the future of the Uniting Church in WA will be held on Saturday 12 April at Applecross  Uniting Church. A workshop which was to be held on 22 March was unfortunately cancelled due to a clash of dates, so now the two workshops will be held on one day. The Listening  Workshop is a vital event in the future of the church and all people associated with the Uniting Church in WA are invited to come and have their say.

David explained that the workshop will consist of a morning session where people are invited to look inwards at our organisation, while the afternoon session will be an external brainstorm looking at potential influences in the wider community that will affect the church.

“It’s important that people feel safe to speak out,” David said.

The data will then be collected, analysed and strategic directions for four scenarios will be planned.

“Our core purpose of the congregations is to worship, to witness and to serve. Now the question for us is how we are going to do that, and that’s where the key strategic directions will  help us.”

For more info and to register to be a part of the Listening Workshop contact Alice Boomer on (08) 9260 9800 or 1300 736 692 (country callers) or email alice.boomer@wa.uca.org.au.

Heather Dowling

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