A strategic review of UCA VicTas

The Major Strategic Review (MSR or Review) concluded in June 2016.

In May 2013, the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Standing Committee was asked by the Synod in Council to undertake a major strategic review of the Synod to form a vision and plan for the future of the Church and undertake a holistic financial sustainability review to support that vision and plan.

The MSR team began its work in early 2014. For over two years the MSR team worked across the Synod prayerfully listening, worshiping, consulting, researching, analysing and discerning.

The MSR team presented their final report to the June 2016 Synod. This report, along with other papers, reflections and resources published by the Review are available in the Resources and Documents section.

A Strategic Review Implementation Team will be established to implement resolutions resulting from the MSR.

Please contact the Synod secretariat - 9251 5210 - if you have any questions about the MSR or implementation work.


The Major Strategic Review (MSR or Review) concluded in June 2016.

In May 2013, the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Standing Committee was asked by the Synod in Council to undertake a major strategic review of the Synod to form a vision and plan for the future of the Church and undertake a holistic financial sustainability review to support that vision and plan.

The MSR team began its work in early 2014. For over two years the MSR team worked across the Synod prayerfully listening, worshiping, consulting, researching, analysing and discerning.

The MSR team presented their final report to the June 2016 Synod. This report, along with other papers, reflections and resources published by the Review are available in the Resources and Documents section.

A Strategic Review Implementation Team will be established to implement resolutions resulting from the MSR.

Please contact the Synod secretariat - 9251 5210 - if you have any questions about the MSR or implementation work.


News

  • Outcomes of the MSR

    26 days ago

    The Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania has a vision and has set a direction for the renewal of the Church.

    Members of the Major Strategic Review Team presented their final report to the Synod 2016 meeting. The wide ranging report and recommendations were considered over the five days of Synod in three workshops and numerous plenary discussions.

    The Synod was invited to recognise the new and hopeful ways in which God is working and to respond to the call for the Synod to move into a new and renewed form to continue to participate in this work. Following on... Continue reading

    The Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania has a vision and has set a direction for the renewal of the Church.

    Members of the Major Strategic Review Team presented their final report to the Synod 2016 meeting. The wide ranging report and recommendations were considered over the five days of Synod in three workshops and numerous plenary discussions.

    The Synod was invited to recognise the new and hopeful ways in which God is working and to respond to the call for the Synod to move into a new and renewed form to continue to participate in this work. Following on from this the Vision and Mission Principles were received as a primary aid over the next 3 to 5 years for spiritual discernment and a focus for the Synod.

    All MSR-related proposals presented to Synod were resolved with some amendments. These resolutions set a clear direction for the Synod over the next six years centred on the Vision and Mission Principles, which provide a focus to thoughtful and prayerful discernment for this journey.

    Read a short summary of the outcomes MSR, or the full MSR report available in the Resources and Documents section.

    The MSR concluded at the end of June 2016.

    A Strategic Review Implementation Team will be established to implement resolutions resulting from the MSR. Updates will be made via other Synod communications, such as Crosslight and Synod E-news, when further information becomes available.


  • MSR report to Synod 2016

    about 1 month ago

    The Major Strategic Review will be reporting to the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania meeting 3-8 June 2016.

    In April 2016 the Synod Standing Committee approved the Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent as a strategic framework for the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. An implementation team is being established to help develop resources and tools for the Church community to engage with them.

    The Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent will be a reference point for proposals being considered at Synod 2016, including changes to Synod governance, priority areas of focus, and presbytery relationships & models of... Continue reading

    The Major Strategic Review will be reporting to the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania meeting 3-8 June 2016.

    In April 2016 the Synod Standing Committee approved the Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent as a strategic framework for the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. An implementation team is being established to help develop resources and tools for the Church community to engage with them.

    The Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent will be a reference point for proposals being considered at Synod 2016, including changes to Synod governance, priority areas of focus, and presbytery relationships & models of resourcing.

    Access copies of the MSR report to Synod 2016 and the Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent from our resources and documents section.

  • Vision for our synod

    2 months ago
    Vision_orange

    The Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent have been approved as a strategic framework for the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.

    In April the Synod Standing Committee said the Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent should act as a guide for “the purpose of prayerfully engaging in spiritual and theological discernment regarding the future direction of the Synod".

    Other councils, institutions and groups in the synod will be invited to dream, wonder and explore with prayerful open discernment how their current and future activities live out God’s purposes as reflected broadly in the Vision and Mission... Continue reading

    The Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent have been approved as a strategic framework for the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.

    In April the Synod Standing Committee said the Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent should act as a guide for “the purpose of prayerfully engaging in spiritual and theological discernment regarding the future direction of the Synod".

    Other councils, institutions and groups in the synod will be invited to dream, wonder and explore with prayerful open discernment how their current and future activities live out God’s purposes as reflected broadly in the Vision and Mission Principles.

    In terms of the MSR’s wider work the Vision, Mission Principles and Statements of Intent have been the reference point for recommendations already approved and for other proposals that will be considered at Synod 2016.

    Download a copy or read more about the Vision, Mission Principles and Statement of Intent from our resources and documents section.

  • Shaping a 21st century church. Overview and report from information sessions

    4 months ago
    Shaping21c

    The Major Strategic Review has been travelling across Victoria and Tasmania during February and March 2016, to provide an update on the task provided to it by the 2013 Synod (13.6.5.6 a ii-iii) to ‘form a vision and plan for the future of the Church and undertake a holistic financial sustainability review to support that vision and plan’.

    Read an overview of the information shared at the events.

    Most people were supportive of the direction proposed and have encouraged the MSR team to complete the task. Read a summary report on how the updates were received.

    ... Continue reading

    The Major Strategic Review has been travelling across Victoria and Tasmania during February and March 2016, to provide an update on the task provided to it by the 2013 Synod (13.6.5.6 a ii-iii) to ‘form a vision and plan for the future of the Church and undertake a holistic financial sustainability review to support that vision and plan’.

    Read an overview of the information shared at the events.

    Most people were supportive of the direction proposed and have encouraged the MSR team to complete the task. Read a summary report on how the updates were received.

  • Shaping a 21st century Church. MSR information sessions 2016

    6 months ago
    Listening-post-700x___

    The Major Strategic Review has listened, reflected, discerned and discussed. We’ve moved through understanding to preparing and planning for change. Before the first steps are taken in shaping our Synod for the 21century, we are out on the road again with information sessions across Victoria and Tasmania.

    These information sessions have now concluded.

    Here is your opportunity to hear and provide feedback on the vision and plans of the Major Strategic Review. Everyone is invited to join us to discuss the findings of the Review and explore the possible changes for the Church.

    The details to date are:

    Concluded -... Continue reading

    The Major Strategic Review has listened, reflected, discerned and discussed. We’ve moved through understanding to preparing and planning for change. Before the first steps are taken in shaping our Synod for the 21century, we are out on the road again with information sessions across Victoria and Tasmania.

    These information sessions have now concluded.

    Here is your opportunity to hear and provide feedback on the vision and plans of the Major Strategic Review. Everyone is invited to join us to discuss the findings of the Review and explore the possible changes for the Church.

    The details to date are:

    Concluded - Monday 15 February 2016

    Hoppers Crossing UC


    Concluded - Saturday 20 February 2016

    Longford UC, TAS


    Concluded - Tuesday 23 February 2016

    Noble Park


    Concluded - Saturday 27 February 2016

    Benalla UC


    Concluded - Saturday 5 March 2016

    Traralgon UC


    Concluded - Tuesday 8 March 2016

    Heathmont UC


    Cancelled - Thursday 10 March 2016

    Wycheproof UC

    **Cancelled due to forecast dangerous weather conditions for the Mallee**


    Concluded - Thursday 17 March 2016

    Ararat West UC


    Concluded - Saturday 19 March 2016

    130 Little Collins St, Melb


    Please rsvp to help us plan and cater for the events - call 9251 5479 or email msr@victas.uca.org.au

  • Insights

    9 months ago
    Msr_leafs

    Two reports – from our engagement with presbyteries and congregations, and research with ordained ministers – are now available. Also a reminder that the summary report from the culture survey conducted earlier this year is also available.

    The MSR has engaged with the Church in different ways and in different contexts. We have explored the various elements of the Church’s life and mission through conversations, prayer and retreat, workshops, meetings and formal research. These reports are two such examples.

    Discerning and developing future opportunities for Presbyteries and Congregations is a summary of the combined wrap-up information session which was held... Continue reading

    Two reports – from our engagement with presbyteries and congregations, and research with ordained ministers – are now available. Also a reminder that the summary report from the culture survey conducted earlier this year is also available.

    The MSR has engaged with the Church in different ways and in different contexts. We have explored the various elements of the Church’s life and mission through conversations, prayer and retreat, workshops, meetings and formal research. These reports are two such examples.

    Discerning and developing future opportunities for Presbyteries and Congregations is a summary of the combined wrap-up information session which was held on 15th August 2015 at the Centre of Theology and Ministry. The document outlines what the MSR team heard from its focused engagement with a sample of congregations and all eight presbyteries, and the resulting discussion amongst participants during the session. The paper updates the MSR’s next steps and includes suggestions for further reading.

    The McCrindle Executive Summary Report Minister Inquiry summarises the results of an inquiry into the perspectives of ordained ministers and chaplains within the UCA Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. The MSR commissioned McCrindle Research to conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews with 60 ministers across the Synod during June and July 2015. The report provides key insights and recommendations covering ministers’ hopes for the future, thoughts on change or stability, views on workload and resources, and suggestions about vocational support and development.

    All of these reports and other MSR documents are available in the Resources and Documents section.


  • Exploring a future Church

    10 months ago
    Signposts

    Two papers commissioned by the MSR about our environmental context and future signposts are available for people to read.

    Last year, Rev Dr Philip Hughes from the Christian Research Association wrote a review of the environmental context for the Uniting Church and implications for ministry. Earlier this year the MSR also asked Scott Guyatt, who has served the Uniting Church in a variety of roles across Australia, to explore the current reality and potential future for congregations and presbyteries.

    Both papers form part of the broader understanding and discernment being undertaken by the MSR - along with engagements with... Continue reading

    Two papers commissioned by the MSR about our environmental context and future signposts are available for people to read.

    Last year, Rev Dr Philip Hughes from the Christian Research Association wrote a review of the environmental context for the Uniting Church and implications for ministry. Earlier this year the MSR also asked Scott Guyatt, who has served the Uniting Church in a variety of roles across Australia, to explore the current reality and potential future for congregations and presbyteries.

    Both papers form part of the broader understanding and discernment being undertaken by the MSR - along with engagements with presbyteries, congregations, ordained and lay ministers, and other synods. Read these papers and other MSR reports available in the Resources and Documents section.

  • Vision statement and mission principles affirmed

    12 months ago
    Vision_red

    The Synod Standing Committee (SSC) affirmed on 24 June 2015 a vision statement and mission principles for the Major Strategic Review.

    The MSR will use the vision and mission principles to inspire and direct our proposals.

    They can also be used as a framework for discussions by councils and groups within the Church and beyond. They offer us a space to discuss our diversity, unity, faith and mission. They also offer us a clear, accessible resource to engage and interact beyond our already formed community.

    You are invited to engage with, reflect on and apply the vision and mission principles... Continue reading

    The Synod Standing Committee (SSC) affirmed on 24 June 2015 a vision statement and mission principles for the Major Strategic Review.

    The MSR will use the vision and mission principles to inspire and direct our proposals.

    They can also be used as a framework for discussions by councils and groups within the Church and beyond. They offer us a space to discuss our diversity, unity, faith and mission. They also offer us a clear, accessible resource to engage and interact beyond our already formed community.

    You are invited to engage with, reflect on and apply the vision and mission principles in your local context.

    We would welcome your feedback regarding your approach and experience of using the vision and mission principles before we include them in our final report.

    Following Christ, seeking community, compassion and justice for all creation

    God in Christ reaches out to the world and calls the Church in the Spirit to:
    1. share the Good News of Jesus Christ
    2. nurture disciples in life-giving communities of reconciliation
    3. respond in compassion to human need
    4. live justly and seek justice for all
    5. care for creation
    6. express the Gospel in fresh ways for each generation and culture
    7. pursue God’s mission in partnership


    More on the vision and mission
    The vision statement is intended to lay the foundation and influence the activities of the Synod with its responsibilities for the general oversight, direction and administration of the Church’s worship, witness and service.

    The mission principles seek to capture God’s big purposes for the loved creation and God’s call to the Church. They are not a creed but a tool to provoke questions and examination of the mission of the Church as relevant within your own context.

    The inspiration and challenge of the vision statement and mission principles will not come from the words on the paper but from the reflection and discussions initiated.

    Approaching that sort of statement with some rigour and determination would lead to some wonderful things – and some fantastic conversations on the journey.

    (Vision and mission testing group, June 2015)

    Inviting your response

    We would welcome your constructive feedback on the vision statement and mission principles as we look to refine before forming our final report.

    We'd like to know:

    • how you have engaged and used them,
    • if you think something is missing,
    • if something does not resonate in your context,
    • if they have stimulated evaluation and action in your mission planning?

    Leave a comment, share a story or ask a question on this website.

    Join in the conversation in our facebook group – www.facebook.com/groups/msr.ucavictas

    Email us directly – msr@victas.uca.org.au

    Resources available
    Browse the 'Resources and Documents' section (right-hand column of the home page) to access the vision and mission principles in various formats, including translations in Traditional Chinese, Indonesian, Korean and Vietnamese.

    We have also produced a PowerPoint presentation and a ‘how to guide’ offering suggestions on how you could approach the vision and mission principles.

    A summary sheet shows what resources are available.
  • New strategic direction for UnitingCare Victoria & Tasmania network

    about 1 year ago

    One area of focus for the Major Strategic Review over the past nine months has been the mission and operation of agencies across the UnitingCare network.

    From October 2014 the MSR team has met and talked with people across the network. Much valuable information was collated and made available to the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) during this process before they considered the final MSR report and recommendation at their 24 June 2015 meeting.

    At this June meeting the Standing Committee approved a new strategic direction for the UnitingCare agency network, affirming the Church’s ongoing role in the delivery of community... Continue reading

    One area of focus for the Major Strategic Review over the past nine months has been the mission and operation of agencies across the UnitingCare network.

    From October 2014 the MSR team has met and talked with people across the network. Much valuable information was collated and made available to the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) during this process before they considered the final MSR report and recommendation at their 24 June 2015 meeting.

    At this June meeting the Standing Committee approved a new strategic direction for the UnitingCare agency network, affirming the Church’s ongoing role in the delivery of community services as an expression of God’s mission in the world.

    The new strategic direction moves overall governance of community services provided within the UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania network from the Commission for Mission Board to a single governance body (‘agency board’). This new board will be responsible for overseeing delivery and support functions for Uniting Church community services in Victoria and Tasmania.

    This change provides significant opportunities for the network. It allows for a single governance board to better champion the capacity and skills of the network as a whole. It will allow the network to work and speak as one unified voice for social advocacy and to share best practice and specialist skills across a range of agencies.

    The SSC resolution acknowledges the importance of developing a clear ethos and culture of practice for Uniting Church community services within Victoria and Tasmania. The proposed changes provide opportunities to enhance connections to the whole of church. The new ‘agency board’ will be required to develop a model of support for congregations and presbyteries currently providing, or seeking to provide, community services in their local community or region.

    A Project Control Group will be established to oversee the changes needed to achieve the envisaged changes. More information is available at: www.victas.uca.org.au/unitingcareupdate


  • Key findings from culture survey 2015

    about 1 year ago
    Msr_leafs

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the online survey in February and March. More than 1000 responses were received from people across the Church. The survey results have given us some deep insights into our life together as a Church across the Synod.

    Read a report on some of the key findings from the culture survey available from the resources and documents section.

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the online survey in February and March. More than 1000 responses were received from people across the Church. The survey results have given us some deep insights into our life together as a Church across the Synod.

    Read a report on some of the key findings from the culture survey available from the resources and documents section.