“Uniting, as part of the Uniting Church’s Synod of NSW and the ACT, is called to respond to God’s mission to strive for an inclusive, connected and just world. Our people, our commitment, and our resources place us well to access emerging opportunities and to face the many challenges ahead, including the complexity of regulation, growing funding pressures, changing customer expectations and increased competition.”
The Uniting NSW.ACT Board acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First Peoples. This year, the Board renewed its commitments to the First Peoples of NSW and the ACT through adoption of the Uniting Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2021, outlining aspirations and goals from both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal voices, declaring a future together under Uniting stewardship.
In December 2018, the Uniting NSW.ACT Board endorsed an ambitious vision of Uniting in 10 years’ time, that balances mission, social impact and sustainability. The strategy journey was undertaken by the Board and Executive over an 18-month period, to give life to the Uniting Church’s pledge made at the Inaugural Assembly of June 1977 – to strive for an inclusive, connected and just world that seeks to eradicate poverty, and identify and correct injustices.
Uniting’s vision for 2030 builds on the Future Horizons principles endorsed by the Board in December 2017. These principles, co-created with the Synod, identify innovative strategies and programs in locations and communities where we have the greatest social impact, and the opportunity to reverse the cycle of disadvantage. They commit us to maximise the social impact of the work of the Uniting Church and articulate our vision for positive social outcomes.
In parallel, the Board endorsed a set of Theological Mission Principles to which we have committed. These principles guide our work to inspire people, so that everyone is valued, particularly those most excluded; enliven communities, so that all people contribute and have life-giving relationships; and confront injustice, to ensure all people are included as they are, and experience ‘life to the full’.
Our 2030 vision aligns with the NSW.ACT Synod’s ‘Living Church’ Strategic Framework priorities of growing healthy congregations, developing vital ministry, and creating transformative community engagement. We continue to collaborate with the Synod to support and grow new and existing missional focus in and through congregations and service agencies.
During the year, the Board also endorsed a refreshed Advocacy Strategy to address social justice issues, with and on behalf of the wider Church, by actively engaging with Uniting Church congregations and their respective communities. Through our 2030 vision, Uniting continues to be a leading advocate for, and agent of, social change to create the inclusive, connected and just world that we strive for.
The Board has established governance practices and organisational structures which are designed to support our effectiveness, responsible stewardship, integrity, accountability and robust risk management on behalf of the Uniting Church in NSW and the ACT. For details on how the Uniting NSW.ACT Board governs, click here.
Throughout the year, the Board and its committees undertook regional and metropolitan site visits and held Board meetings in Newcastle and Greater Western Sydney. Engaging with our customers, employees and volunteers gave us the opportunity to witness firsthand the many ways that our people demonstrate the Uniting values of being compassionate, respectful, imaginative and bold, living out our mission through their actions every day.
I acknowledge and thank my fellow Board members for their commitment to all matters considered throughout the 2018/19 financial year and on behalf of the Board, express thanks to the Uniting Executive and their teams for their continued passion in serving individuals, families and communities, often those most vulnerable and disadvantaged.