Period of Discernment (PoD)

Discerning your gifts for service in the ministry of Christ = your life's purpose and vocation

The Uniting Church’s Period of Discernment is about exploring the various ministries of the Uniting Church (“the priesthood of all believers”, both lay and ordained), articulating your own growing sense of call or vocation, and providing some further steps towards discernment by you and the councils of the Church.

Discernment is the intentional practice by which a community or an individual seeks, recognises, and sets out to take part in the activity of God in a real-world situation. In the Uniting Church discernment of gifts for ministry is both individual and communal, and uses the Period of Discernment (PoD) to explore the shape of personal vocation and its expression in the world and the Church. This page includes a range of useful resources for participants and guides.

Information kit

  1. Period of Discernment booklet (“info kit”) – FREE download from CTM Resourcing
  2. Guidelines for the Period of Discernment (UCA Assembly)

Participant resources

  1. PoD registration form (UCA Assembly – Word .doc document)
  2. PoD discernment plan template (VicTas Synod – Word .doc document)
  3. PoD timeline template (VicTas Synod – Word .doc document)
  4. Ministry in the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA Assembly 1991)
  5. Report of the Task Group on the Review of Ministerial Education (UCA Assembly 1997)
  6. Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice (UCA Assembly)
  7. Sexual abuse and sexual misconduct complaints policy (UCA Assembly)
  8. Safe Church policies (VicTas Synod)
  9. Preparing a Personal Rule of Life (Rob Bos)
  10. Basis of Union (UCA Assembly 1992)

Mentor resources

  1. PoD Mentor training handout 2017 (VicTas Synod)
  2. John Mallison’s classic book ‘Mentoring To Develop Disciples and Leaders’ is now available for download as a PDF, and includes a lot on mentoring approaches and leadership development.

Presbytery / congregation resources

  1. Liturgy for PoD beginning (VicTas Synod)

Presbytery contacts

Gippsland: Caro Field, carofield@gmail.com

Port Philip East: Tim Angus, fordangus@fastmail.net

Port Philip West: Temukisa Amituana’i-Vaeluaga, temukisa.av@gmail.com

Tasmania: Denise Savage, denise.savage@victas.uca.org.au

Yarra Yarra: Geoffrey Willis, willisgm@netspace.net.au

Period of Discernment PoD information kit

The Uniting Church affirms the priesthood of all believers: that every member of the Church has gifts for service, and that all ministries have a part in the ministry of Christ. The Uniting Church provides for the exercise by men and women of the gifts God bestows upon them, including through specified ministries and the everyday vocations of Christian disciples in the world. (see Basis of Union, par 13)

The Uniting Church recognises that the type and duration of ministries to which women and men are called vary from time to time and place to place, and that in particular it comes into being in a period of reconsideration of traditional forms of the ministry, and of renewed participation of all the people of God in the preaching of the Word, the administration of the sacraments, the building up of the fellowship in mutual love, in commitment to Christ’s mission, and in service of the world for which he died. (Basis of Union, par 14)

Calling disciples, by He Qi

Calling disciples, by He Qi