What's Happening At Paddington Uniting Church in 2021
Happy New Year and welcome to 2021 at Paddington Uniting Church!
I am super excited to begin a New Year of ministry with you!
The purpose of this newsletter is to lay the foundations of vision for the Paddington Uniting Church Community for 2021 and to let you know what is happening in the next few months. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0432 924 626 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I have set aside loads of free time in my diary to meet with those wanting to discuss all of the things mentioned in this news letter. Please make a time to come and talk to me if you have any ideas, concerns or want to contribute.
2021 at Paddington Uniting Church
Faith - Inclusiveness - Justice - Creativity
In 2021 Paddington Uniting Church’s core values of Faith, Inclusiveness, Justice & Creativity will be front and centre in all we do through three key strategies:
Paddington Uniting Church as a place of alternative and experimental worship.
Paddington Uniting Church as ‘Sacred Space’ for the whole community
Paddington Uniting Church as an intentional learning community
Paddington Uniting Church as a place of alternative and experimental worship
Paddington Uniting Church as a place of alternative and experimental worship will have two key focus areas - Saturday Spirit Space and Sunday Evening Worship.
Spirit Space each Saturday at 11am will include:
Devotion style short service of worship followed by an informal discussion in the markets
Emphasis on kinaesthetic worship experience- embracing scripture, sharing communion, quiet spaces for reflection, creative connection through music and art
For more information on Spirit Space, click here.
Sunday Evening at 7:30pm worship will include:
Experimenting with alternative forms of worship both new and old
Intentional regular planning and reflective practice (praxis) over a community meal
For more information on Sunday Evening Worship, click here.
Paddington Uniting Church as 'sacred space' for the whole community
Paddington Uniting Church as 'Sacred Space’ for the whole community will have three focus areas- Open Table, Paddington Markets as a place of creativity and justice, and Paddington Uniting Church as a place of community connection.
Our Open Table program will continue to be a place of connection and community. Open Table seeks to encourage the wholeness of individuals through peer support and an intentional focus on wholeness through community connection. This year we will be working towards developing a focus for each month. We would love to have volunteers from the Paddington Uniting Church community to assist with meal preparations, activities and being a welcome presence for participants .
Paddington Markets as a place of faith, inclusiveness, justice and creativity
Over 2021 we hope to further develop Paddington Markets as a place for the local community to gather to explore what matters with a particular focus on justice and creativity. In addition to Spirit Space this might include:
Saturday Soapbox @ Paddington Markets;
Q & A Style events;
Showcases highlighting what matters e.g. drug & gambling reform, LGBTIQ+ advocacy, climate change, refugee advocacy and justice for First Peoples;
'How To' creative sessions with stallholders and other creative people in the hall;
Music Jam sessions, ‘Pub Choir’/ Flash Mob Choir & dance style events;
Plays, music events, slam poetry competitions etc;
Paddington Markets Gallery- hall space for local artists, educational facilities and others to showcase their art;
Faith and spirituality initiatives.
Paddington Uniting Church as a place of community connection
Over 2021 Paddington Uniting Church will be intentional about the way that we make our spaces available for community groups. We will make it easier for the broader community to use our spaces for initiatives that align with our core values of faith, inclusiveness, justice and creativity. This might include:
Music and art classes for young, old and everyone in between
Community choir events
Weddings and funerals
Conferences and seminars
We will also start to encourage community development in areas of faith, inclusiveness, justice and creativity through our spaces. In addition to the initiatives in the Paddington Markets highlighted above, this could include:
A community garden in the front flower beds
More external spaces for murals and urban arts
Enhanced signage that promotes issues of social justice
Paddington Uniting Church as an intentional learning community
Paddington Uniting Church will be positioned as a place of intentional learning and discipleship for all. In addition to the learning activities outlined above this would include an intentional program of discipleship through study groups throughout each calendar year. It is hoped this will be inclusive of all stages of Christian formation and discipleship including:
Those who are curious about faith and new to Christianity
Those returning to faith after a period of exclusion or intentional absence
Long-term disciples who are interested to learn more
There will be a strong emphasis on unpacking and understanding the Christian tradition with a strongly progressive flavour. Questions, exploration and collaborative learning will be encouraged. Our programs will be intentionally designed not to compete with our neighbouring Uniting Churches with the hope that we can encourage community and collaboration across our local area. Empowering our spaces to allow for weekend long conferences and one-off Sunday events will be a key component of our vision.
Questions you might be asking
What about COVID?
All activities will be planned to be COVID safe. Hybrid options will continue for activities where this is possible. This may mean that things start slowly. Please be patient. Volunteers are required ASAP for both Spirit Space and Sunday evening to ensure that we meet our requirements for physical distancing, registration and basic sanitation
How can I be involved?
There are lots of ways you can be involved.
Simply come along and be part of the community to one or all of the activities above
Volunteering at Open Table: Peer Support companions are needed now for Open Table. If you are able to volunteer on a weekly or fortnightly basis your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Assistance may include meal preparations, partnering and assisting with activities and being a welcome presence for participants
COVID Marshalls: Volunteers are required NOW for both Spirit Space and Sunday evening to ensure that we meet our requirements for physical distancing, registration and basic sanitation. As more activities begin there will be more opportunities to help.
Contributing ideas: for liturgy, programs, events, Justice and creative initiatives
Participate in liturgy: choose a week to contribute to reading the scripture, contributing a prayer or offering a suggestion for music
Will there be Sunday morning worship?
Not at this time. Worship will be held on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings in a way that compliments rather than competes with other local Uniting Churches and allows our space to be used differently on Sundays. If you would like to attend worship on Sunday mornings options you might like to consider include Pitt Street Uniting Church at 10am, Double Bay Woollahra Uniting Church at 10am, South Sydney Uniting Church at 10am and Mustard Seed Uniting Church (Ultimo) at 9:30am.
When will all this start?
Sunday evening worship will start on 31st January 2021
Spirit Space will commence on Saturday 13th February 2021
Open Table is every Thursday from 11am in 2pm the Church Hall
Other initiatives will begin slowly across the year.
Where can you give feedback?
Danielle has lots of time in the coming weeks to have conversations with you. Please make a time to meet with her at a time of mutual convenience by calling on 0432 924 626 or emailing email@example.com.