As a church, we begin 2020 in a good place. Over the past three years we have been blessed by a strong vision - a vision which focuses on:
- Faith and Discipleship - deepening our own faith and discipleship and growing faith and discipleship in others.
- Children, Youth and Families – building faith and discipleship in children, youth and family
- Generations – pastorally and spiritually supporting those who are moving through key transitional points in life, especially our seniors
- Community Engagement – building a sense of community and connection within both our church family and local community
While we recongnise that as a church we still have short-comings and things that we need to improve on ... we also want to give thanks to God for the growth that we have seen at TUC:
- Spiritual Growth through intentional teaching, preaching and exploring the Bible together.
- Relational Growth through hospitality, small groups, prayer and social events
- Growth in Impact and the way we engage the local community.
- Growth in numbers. Last year we continued to grow both worship attenders and people connecting with our church.
We celebrate that God has brought us to this good place where we can, with God’s continuing help and guidance, move forward into 2020 with confidence.
Refining or Renewing Our Vision
As acknowledged, as a church we are in a good place and we believe that our Vision focus is strong and valid. We do not feel the need to be changing our Vision significantly, however, we have discerned that it is time for a “Vision Check-up”. This check up is a chance to review and refine our Vision so that we can continue to grow and for the Vision to be clear and effective.
Just like a phoropter, in the first part of 2020 we aim to take a closer look at how we are enacting God’s Vision within the many TUC programs, activities and groups - to see if some little changes can make the vision clear and effective. We hope to “tweak” things by using the lenses of:
- Spiritual Renewal / Growth. How are we helping people LOVE GOD - to grow in their faith and discipleship and find renewal and refreshment for their souls?
- Relational Connections. How are we helping people to LOVE ONE ANOTHER - to connect deeply with each other, with the church and with Jesus?
- Unfinished Business. Are there elements of goals or mission priorities from our 2018/2019 Vision that need to be completed?
- Impact vs Investment. What investment of resources are needed to create the biggest impact or effectiveness from a group, activity or program. How can we create the “biggest bang” for the investment?
This will culminate in a “refining our mission” planning day/session in May 2020 where we can all bring our voices and ideas to find the best way to renew, refine and refresh our vision.
Being a lighthouse church
TUC is one of the largest and strongest Uniting Churches in our region (and state) and we believe that God is calling us to embrace what it means to be a lighthouse church. Just as a lighthouse helps people that will never step foot inside the lighthouse itself, a lighthouse church reaches out beyond itself and helps people, communities and others churches. During 2020 (and most likely in years to come) we hope to discern what this might look like at TUC and reshape some of our mission and ministry to more reach beyond ourselves.
An example of this time of ministry might be TUC supporting the UCA Saltbush project - resourcing and encouraging rural congregations. We might be able to offer people, resources or even 2 weeks of our ministry staff to work and support in a rural church—benefitting the wider church, not just TUC.
As a lighthouse church we might consider how we better enhance local connections and relationship with schools,
day cares, new developments etc; bringing our social justice ethos into sharper focus; enhancing digital/ social media footprint; better connect with, support and grow other churches and congregations in our area/ region and
boosting our influence at a regional and national level.
How to Achieve 2020 Vision
At our February Church Council meeting we will be adding some structure and dates to this Vision following the broad plan of:
Feb - June 2020
- Appointing a new Seniors/Pastoral Minister
- Getting done any “unfinished business” from 2018/19
- Launching TUC 101 / Newcomers section on the website
- Strategic review of some of our groups/activities
- “Refining our Vision” Planning Day (May 2020)
July - Dec 2020
- Embracing what it means to be a lighthouse church.
We encourage you to be ready and willing to participate in the “Refining our Vision” process—especially in our mission planning days in 2020.