eNews – October 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Welcome to the October 2015 edition of eNews

Staying present to achieve our long-term goals

Executive Director Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes talks about the need to stay strong and focused during difficult or stagnant patches of work and ministry. 

Steven Covey, in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, notes one of the seven habits is “begin with the end in mind”. Ministry experience may broaden that to suggest “work and minister always with the end in mind” – not just at the beginning!

In further reading Sharon Welch suggests that this is a habit that Western society has interpreted in a particular way. Welch suggests that individuals and groups in Western society find it difficult to work for a goal in which we will not participate. In her work The Feminist Ethic of Risk, Welch claims that the Western world is captured by achievement and measurement and that unless we can see and experience the achievement or goal for which we have been working then we have difficulty ‘staying the course’ (my paraphrasing of Welch’s opinion).

Perhaps we have become too focused on immediate results – within our political life as well as other aspects of the world in which we live. Quick fixes may work – however for deep cultural change and formation we will not be surprised that longer strategies and ‘staying present’ to the goal currently out of reach is crucial.

Easy answers appear on the surface to be welcome yet the habit of working and ministering with the end in mind is to enable us to stay strong and focused during the difficult or stagnant patches of work and ministry. Those patches where achievement or the goal is not visible or experienced.

One of the dilemmas in the educational sphere is the encouragement of learning that is not necessarily ‘just-in-time’ learning (- learning in the space of necessity and with urgency). This ‘just-in-time’ learning feeds into the Western habit of only doing the obvious and immediate to achieve goals, whereas life-long learning is enhancing learning and education for the longer term goals.

Over the next weeks there are numerous CTM-sponsored opportunities to feed your soul and your mind and your heart for the longer journey – for the goal that is not within easy reach, for the formation that is life-long not a quick fix to a current dilemma or challenge. I look forward to seeing you at these opportunities.


Val Webb’s visit

October 26 will see acclaimed author Val Webb at the Centre for Theology & Ministry to deliver her Finding Your Own Voice Workshop.

Are you struggling to find your own theological voice in the face of ancient creeds and dominant Church traditions? Do you find it difficult to express your faith because you have doubts and questions about certain doctrines and are unsure of what thinking underpins them? In your role in the church, how are you able to engage with its theological foundations?

If this describes you, you’re not on your own. This special workshop with internationally recognised speaker Dr Val Webb is an ideal chance to discover your own voice within your unique context and experience, and to network with other lay people and local leaders.

Early registration is encouraged so please visit the event page and sign-up for what will be an extremely interesting and thought provoking workshop.

s life-long not a quick fix to a current dilemma or challenge. I look forward to seeing you at these opportunities.


Pilgrim Theological College Open Day

Interested in doing degree-level theological studies at Pilgrim Theological College? Make sure you come along on October 20 and you can get all of the information on courses and units you need to study at undergraduate and postgraduate level. You’ll be able to chat to our friendly staff and faculty members, hear from students and explore our courses.

The Open Day kicks off at 5pm. There’s a welcome presentation from the Sean Winter, presentations from students, a tour of the facility and information stalls with Rohan Pryor (lay ministry) and Sharon Hollis (continuing education for ordained ministry), as well as admissions staff, followed by refreshments. The evening finishes at 7pm, but attendees are warmly welcome to attend two evening lectures:

So whether you’re ordained or a lay person in the Uniting church there are study options to suit. Visit the Open Day page at Pilgrim Theological College for more details.


Upcoming Exhibition: Caught in the Moment

The VicTas Art and Spirituality Network’s second group exhibition, Caught in the Moment, will be run from October 17 to December 10 at the Centre for Theology & Ministry.

The moment freezes one fragment of time, but also invites us to explore the wider context of before and after, past and future, now and not yet. Popular culture advises us to “be in the moment” yet Thomas Merton claims “we live in the fullness of time.” Artists will explore and express the tensions and freedoms of being caught between chronos and Kairos in a diverse range of visual media.

The exhibition will be launched 2.30pm Saturday 17 October at the Centre for Theology & Ministry. The exhibition will be opened by Rev Dr Anne Mallaby, Lecturer in Pastoral Studies at Whitley College, who ministers at Box Hill Baptist Church and the Chapel on Station Art Gallery. The afternoon will be enriched by festive music and afternoon tea. All welcome but please RSVP to attend the launch.

In the new year the exhibition moves to the Warrnambool Uniting Church, 115 Koroit St, Warrnambool, where it will run from 22 January to 17 February 2016.

Image at top of newsletter: Michael Donnelly, Splash (detail), acrylic and oil on linen, 2015


Upcoming Events


7,14, 21 Oct
& Nov 11,18
Intentional Interim Ministry
7-9 Oct
& 4-6 Nov
Spring 2015 Living Leadership Intensive
13 Oct Geoff Thompson presents Reading Barth Reading Job
16-18 Oct Lay Education Intensive 2/2
17 Artist Network gathering – Caught in the Moment Exhibition Launch
17 – 10 Dec Caught in the Moment Exhibition
19-23 Intentional Interim Ministry
20 Pilgrim Open Day
21 Moynagh & Flett: A Dialogue
23 Mike Moynagh: Leadership on the Frontier
26 Finding Your Own Voice Workshop with Val Webb
28 Cafe praxis
30 2015 Valedictory Service


6-7 Lay Preacher Formation weekend
7 2015 Victorian Messy Church Conference
13 Thesis Bootcamp
25 Cafe praxis

Intentional Interim Ministry ProgramRunning Monday, 19 October to Friday, 23 October, our IIM Program will enable participants to:

In order to enrol in this program you need to have completed FTM-The Work of the Leader. If you wish to be accredited as an IIM Minister you also need a reference from Presbytery, Synod or equivalent. Visit the program page for details. Two opportunities to meet MikeWe’ve got two opportunities this month to engage with UK Fresh Expressions’ Rev Dr Mike Moynagh and explore the significant challenges and opportunities of our time. Mike is one of the UK staff responsible for developing leaders, and is a consultant on theology and practice of Fresh Expressions of church.

Moynagh & Flett: A Dialogue

7.30pm-9.30pm Wednesday, 21 October, 2015
Mike Moynagh and John Flett engage in a theological dialogue focused on Mike’s book Church for Every Context.Visit the registration page for details

Mike Moynagh: Leadership on the Frontier
3.45pm-9.30pm Friday, 23 October, 2015
Wondering why the Church is no longer at the centre of local community life, and what we can do about it? Interested to explore alternatives to worship-centred discipleship in order to develop authentic Christian community? Want to better understand how the Church changes depending on its context, and what forms of leadership are needed for fresh expressions of Church?This event includes a light dinner, as well as an in-depth look at finding faith, starting a Fresh Expression, and making Disciples in Fresh Expression.Visit the event page for details and to register

Lay Preacher Formation Weekend 2015

Formation is an ongoing life-long process, since we are continually formed and re-formed by the communities and other influences that surround us.Candidates for the specified ministry of Lay Preacher are required to participate in a ‘formation’ day for accreditation as a Lay Preacher by the candidate’s presbytery. Sessions include the Basis of Union, the Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice for Lay Preachers, supervision, continuing education and support structures for the lay ministries of the Uniting Church.Visit the event page for details and to register for the Friday, 6 November to Saturday, 7 November Lay Preacher Formation Weekend.

2015 Victorian Messy Church Conference

With the 3,000th Messy Church now registered world-wide and Messy Church approaching the 200-mark in Australia, Messy Church continues to play a major role in helping people of all ages become a part of local congregations.Make it Messy! will assist those already engaged in Messy Church, churches contemplating beginning a Messy Church and people genuinely curious about the Messy Church phenomenon take the next step in their Messy journey.Join with others from churches across the state on Saturday, 7 November, for a day of active engagement, stimulating discussions, encouraging stories and helpful electives that will empower your ministry in your local context.Visit the event page for details and to register.

2015 CTM Advent Resource

And if all of that isn’t enough to slate your appetite we’ll have the popular 2015 Centre for Theology & Ministry Advent Resource available from the website in early November so make sure you check our site regularly for that and other resources.