Friday, 08 March 2019

Mapping remote area ministry

The Uniting Church’s Remote Area Ministry Working Group has spent time together mapping a vision for ministry in remote parts of the nation.

The group includes representatives from Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), Frontier Services, Synods and Presbyteries and UnitingCare Agencies working in remote areas.

Meeting in Sydney 26-28 February, the group explored the ways the Uniting Church is currently serving people and communities in remote areas and looked at the possibilities for this work to be expanded into new areas.

Another key focus of the conversation was how further collaboration can be explored between the different parts of the Church which are tasked with remote area ministry, for example building on connections between the Frontier Services Bush Chaplains and Regional Councils of Congress.

“Coming together as a national network really highlights the extensive work the Uniting Church is doing in remote parts of Australia,” said Frontier Services National Director Jannine Jackson.

“There is much we can learn from each other and the collaboration opens to consider new models of ministry and service delivery.”

Below is a prayer which you might like to use.

Prayer for Remote Area Ministry

 Today we pray for all those working in remote area ministry.

 We give thanks and praise for the resilience of the first and second peoples living in remote areas. We also remember the pioneers of ministry in the outback and all those who have followed in their footsteps to stand with and advocate for the people of remote Australia.

 Loving God, undiminished by distance, unconstrained by place or time, forever seeking, forever calling, forever drawing humanity to yourself and to each other, we glimpse your Spirit in the brooding silence of awesome landscape, the ancient law of traditional custodians and the unspoken trust of honest friendships.

 We pray for all who live beyond our cities, especially for people and communities in the grip of disasters natural or human made, economic hardship or despairing for their future. Come with your Spirit of hope.

 We pray for those, including itinerant and fly in/fly out workers, who are feeling disconnected from their families, from their communities and from their God. May their loneliness be replaced with a sense of belonging and relationship.

We pray for those suffering the impact of our unpredictable climate and those who are burdened with the darkness of mental health illness. May your peace encircle them, strengthen them and bring them consolation.

We pray for all who stand with remote communities, reflecting your compassion and love to all they encounter.

Amen.