‘Does the Uniting Church in
Australia have a future?’ Dr Keith Suter
New PhD thesis calls the churches future into question. Using ‘scenario planning’, Dr Suter sets out four possible scenarios for the churches future.
Word and Deed
The ‘Word and Deed’ scenario examines how the Uniting Church could become a church of a small number of large parishes providing both spiritual activities and social welfare. This would require the enforced amalgamation of small churches into ‘regional’ ones.
The ‘Secular Welfare’ scenario examines how the Uniting Church could let the parishes just continue to fade away.
Instead they could focus on the provision of social welfare (albeit derived from a Christian tradition).
Return to the Early Church
Examines the scenario in which the Uniting Church could react against the corporate managerialism required by government to run social welfare programmes, and instead could reinvent itself, returning to being smaller and focussed on winning souls for Christ.
Recessional, the End of Church
The final scenario, ‘Recessional’ examines the Uniting Church fading out of existence.
In this scenario the Uniting Church is wound up and its assets dispersed. The Uniting Church would need an explicit exit strategy.