Across our synod there is rapid population growth on the fringe of greater Melbourne and in regional cities and towns – including Ballarat, Bendigo, Phillip Island, Inverloch, greater Geelong, the surf coast. The rate of growth of new housing estates in our presbytery alone is mind-boggling. The Casey-Cardinia region is expected to grow by 50% in the next 20 years. The Presbytery Standing Committee, Mission and Leadership Development Committee and Presbytery Ministers team are working together to explore possibilities for mission.
When people move into a new suburb or township, they are creating a new life. They are open to new possibilities. People seek new friendships and a local community life together. They often have new jobs. They form and join sporting teams, parenting huddles, and all kinds of interest groups. They also bring family and financial challenges – it’s not all sunshine and freedom. People also bring their own richness of culture, abilities and wisdom to a community. If you’ve been to new suburbs, you’ll know that they are also often jam packed with designer-cloned homes, small yards, and little in the way of community spaces and facilities. Certainly no churches.
Here is my recent post on our presbytery website about our evolving work in this area.