Recently Neighbourhood Matters participated in the Out of the Box Missional conference run by the Uniting Church. The conference was open to all who were interested in exploring the theme of mission and even deconstructing the term. What does mission look like today?
We heard from Ellie Elia who has a creative community in Glenbrook. Covid forced her congregation to reorient around the community in different ways and also to work with other denominations. The church building was not as important as most things went online and they had to use different spaces for gathering. It also instigated more creation of art and the community had to discern carefully what God was saying to them. She described herself as not really “following the book” when it came to mission and emphasised how important relationships are.
We also heard a lot about “umu spirituality” from the lighting of the Pacific Islander umu to a panel that represented various people from cultures around the Pacific and Korea as well as our indigenous peoples. We celebrated communion with taro and coconut juice.
Neighbourhood Matters led a workshop around pioneering which was well received. We had a panel of on the ground pioneer replicators, innovators, adaptors and activists. Our questions were;
What is a pioneer?
Why do institutions like the church, need pioneers?
How can we identify, nourish and develop pioneers?
Why do pioneers struggle in institutions?
There was lots to think about there! We loved hearing different people telling us stories about their journey of starting up new and creative ventures in existing contexts.