31st October 2015
It so happened this month that, with one or two people having become aware of our Milpara vision of integrating churches with their local communities I was approached by Rohan Salmond, the Editor of UCA Queensland’s Journey magazine. He was writing an article on church planting and it was thought that with our thrust on nurturing existing congregations Milpara might have a contribution to make.
This is the way Rohan put it on page 6 of the November issue of Journey:
“New shoots from root stock.
A renewed focus on church planting may leave established churches feeling left out. Not everybody can start over in a new suburb, and traditional congregations also have communities to which they need to minister. But another project is already underway to revitalise older congregations.
Rodney Eivers from Acacia Ridge Uniting Church is part of the Milpara Project, developed to assist local congregations to become integrated with their local communities.
“I’m not talking about the church doing things in the community, “says Rodney. “I mean you hear stories of that in Journey and so on all the time.
“I’m talking about the community getting involved in the church, right? Coming from the other direction so the community actually comes to feel that the church belongs to them, and they will work to support it.
“This is why we are trying to integrate the community into the church, so that the community see that the church is relevant to them in their particular geographic community.”
Milpara invites visitors of this site to send in their experiences in supporting the viability of small congregations and instances where they have earned the support of their local secular community.
In awaiting your responses, however, it has been suggested that I relate the moderate success my own congregation Acacia Ridge Uniting Church has achieved in maintaining and increasing its vitality since its low point some 15 years ago.
I’ll spread this discussion over the coming weeks and we shall welcome your responses as you seek to either bring new life back into your congregation or faith community or seek to discover the seeds of an interest in spiritual and social concerns which might lead to the formation of a new faith community in your local area.
At the technical level please bear with me as I develop some familiarity with the management of this Milpara website.