One of the best tools we’ve come across to help you understand your community is the capacity to generate a customised Regional Profile for any area within Queensland. The document draws on ABS Census data along with a number of other sources and is offered by the Queensland Government Statisticians Office.
The process is a simple one, taking only around five minutes to define the area you are interested in, and then produce the report ready for downloading in PDF format.
Options (apart from defining the geographic area of interest) including choosing what sorts of data you want to consider, with choices including:
Demographic data including gender, age, language, culture, dwelling, family
Society including education, volunteer, socio-economic indicators
Economy including rent, income, employment, occupation, remoteness indicators
Industry development including building approvals, residential sales
When thinking about the future, the science (art? mathematics? guesswork?) of population projections can tell us a lot. How many people are likely to live in a particular place? What kind of housing will they occupy? What jobs will they work in? Will they have kids…and what schools are planned?
All these questions (and the associated answers) can help us think about how we join with God in mission in a particular locality.
And there’s a whole bunch of places where we can start looking for the data. Click through for a few options to pursue when it comes to tracking down population projections for your community. Continue reading →
(What if? is an occasional feature, sharing real-world stories from churches and faith communities to encourage your imagination.)
Toowong Uniting Church are trialling the A Big Year digital discipleship resource in an all-age pastorate (mid-size group) meeting regularly during early 2014.
A Big Year is a digital discipleship resource being developed by a partnership that includes the Uniting Church Synod of Queensland. For more info see our summary here, or the Big Year website.
Toowong’s well established pastorate program includes a number of mid-size groups that meet regularly to explore faith, fun, food and fellowship. The all-age pastorate is a new experiment that includes active participants of all ages, including kids.
A Big Year is a new digital discipleship resource aimed at helping small groups explore 12 themes of Christian discipleship over a one-year period.
First developed in 2013 by the team from Postcard Radio, it’s now being further expanded in a partnership that includes the Uniting Church, Synod of Queensland under it’s Grow Faith project.
A Big Year introduces a new theme each calendar month with a short video or audio clip to break open the topic – and then invites participants to participate in a series of challenges to try and explore the topic in real life. Small groups are encouraged to maximise the opportunities to support each other and explore the challenges and topics together.
A Clear Call is a national conference for the Uniting Church to have opportunity to engage in how we share our faith contextually where we each live, love and have our being. Our hope is that it will engage heart, mind and practical applications of sharing the great love of God that was first extended to us.
It is for everyone who would like to share their faith and would benefit from conversation, information and practical examples. It is for all people: lay people, ordained, teams, young adults, all cultures and the full spectrum of theology of the Uniting Church.
It will be be fun, deep, thoughtful, energetic, thought provoking and practical. It will approach faith-sharing from every angle.
This will be an excellent conference for anybody interested in exploring mission and evangelism.Â it’s in Adelaide 28-30 March 2014. Head over to the website for more information and to register, or to the event facebook page to interact with others thinking of attending.
Last week marked a special occasion with the first Australian national Fresh Expressions/Mission Shaped Ministry Conference taking place.
Fresh Expressions is a term describing creativity and innovation in approaches to church and faith community. It (the term) emerged from the UK over the last 10 years after a ground breaking report (Mission Shaped Church) set the Church of England, Methodist and later the United Reformed Church on a path exploring fresh approaches.
One of the training tools developed in the UK to help local leadership groups plan and establish fresh expressions is called Mission Shaped Ministry. The course has been trialled in Australia (specifically in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne) by a collaboration of churches (Lutheran, Anglican, Uniting, Baptist at least) over the past few years.
This year’s conference grew from that collaboration and drew a variety of participants including (a) ‘pioneer’ leaders planning or leading ‘fresh expressions'; (b) ministers or leaders of the traditional church wanting to make space for fresh expressions; (c) denominational mission staff; and (d) those who have been involved in the pilot MSM courses.
The gathering was resourced by the UK’s Dave Male and Ben Edson. Dave and Ben both have broad experience in both leading fresh expressions themselves, and in supporting or training other pioneer leaders. Between them they explored a range of topics around the task of pioneering. Here’s a few of the highlights (at least from where I sat): Continue reading →
“Does Leadership Matter? A Retreat exploring power, change and innovation in Christian communities”
Trinity Theological College are offering a 3 day intensive leadership retreat in Townsville in March, 2014.
“Does Leadership Matter?” A retreat exploring power, change, and innovation in Christian communities.
Date: 20-22 March
Location: Townsville – at the Yalga-binbi Institute.
Presenters: Dr Aaron Ghiloni & Mr Scott Guyatt
Who for?: Ministers (continuing education), lay leaders, congregation members interested in exploring the leadership topic
The content of the course includes exploration of leadership models, theology of leadership, contemporary leadership context in the church and a range of workshops to bring a practical edge and valuable take-home ideas and information.
If the full three day retreat is not suitable, the final day (Saturday 22nd) will function as a stand-alone leadership seminar to enable additional participants to join in for the third day only. We’ll finish by 5pm Saturday to enable travel home for Sunday worship, or heading out to watch the Cowboys play on Saturday night.
Please lodge expression of interest, or enquiries for more information with Alice at the College office on 07 3377 9958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Uniting Church Queensland Synod has just released a set of 2013 Christmas/Advent videos containing short reflections on Christmas. The set (currently containing five videos) are now all available to watch on YouTube and download from the Synod website. Here’s an example from the set: