Loving the Neighbourhood

The purpose of this series of articles is to record the stories of missional congregations in Australia. They will explore the what, who and the how of churches that are engaged and love their context, their local community.  Send me your notes and thoughts to add to this collection as there is much to learn from each other’s experience.

One aim is to demonstrate how the Uniting Church is missional when working in collaboration with others for the common good. Asset-based community development (ABCD) principles affirm the value of working with others with a focus on community strengths and assets rather than deficits and problems. Members and church buildings are a great asset, accessible seven days a week as neighbourhood centres. On location community gardens, art projects, murals, music groups, meals, hospitality programmes, interest groups and op shops become a way to build relationships and grow a sense of belonging.

This form of ministry has theological and missional assumptions that emerge by affirming the context and learning from experience.

Send your suggestions and ideas to the Editor Dean Eland at djeland@bigpond.com 0419 112 603.