Update Eleven: Monday 10 July

We’ve spent the last week interviewing some people from within the UCA SA and beyond about their experiences of mission – providing expert resourcing into our Review of Missional Needs and Opportunities.


We’re also working through all the data we have – from conversations at Synod, from focus groups, and from our two surveys.


From our main survey (which everyone who is a part of the UCA SA is invited to do!), respondents have spoken about the way mission should focus on more than ‘bums on seats’. 


We’ve received such great feedback on our survey and have decided to extend it until Friday 14th July. Please take the time to fill it in here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2023RMNO.


If you have any questions about the survey, please refer to this document for some FAQs.


If you have further questions, or feedback, or you would like to provide your thoughts, please contact the review team at: reviewmissional2023@gmail.com

Update Ten: Monday 3 July

Thanks to those who have responded to our questionnaire so far. Below are some interim results.


In response to “How would you define mission?”, responses so far have emphasised the importance of people and community.

“[Mission is] reaching to our community to show and tell of God's love and grace”

“[Mission is] Looking for where God is working and joining in.”

Reflecting on mission they were glad to be a part of, responders have mentioned different forms of mission and missional engagement including (but not limited to!): caring for the disadvantaged in their communities, prioritising worship services, forming relationships with unchurched people, and establishing a community group to support the Uluru Statement.


Haven’t completed the questionnaire yet? No worries – it’s open till Monday 10th July: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2023RMNO.


Got some questions about the survey? We’ve got the answers! Take a look at this document for some FAQ about the survey.

Got more questions, or feedback, or thoughts? Get in touch: we’d love to hear from you! reviewmissional2023@gmail.com

Update Eight: Monday 26 June

Wow – what a big week we’ve had! It was such a privilege to be back on Kaurna land and to see so many familiar faces in Adelaide.


Over three days at Synod, we hosted nine different ways to engage and held conversations with 109 people over these. We held lunchtime conversations about disengaging from church, agencies, pathways for emerging leaders, covenanting, ministry centres, and different shapes of church. Thanks to those who joined us in those conversations – we enjoyed your input and conversation. We hosted three electives about changing patterns of ministry – and it was so wonderful to have so many enthusiastic participants. Our resident historian, Kayli, who is quite good at reading different handwriting types is working on typing up your notes and we look forward to sharing summaries with you shortly.


While in Adelaide, we hosted two extra focus groups with key stakeholders within the UCA SA and nine interviews. Thanks to those who joined us for conversation.


We also launched our main questionnaire. This questionnaire is for anyone within the UCA SA. This means you – and the people in your congregation. Anyone who is a part of the UCA SA. The link is here and will remain open till Monday 10th July. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2023RMNO


Got some questions about the survey? We’ve got the answers! Take a look at this document for some FAQ about the survey.



Got more questions, or feedback, or thoughts? Get in touch: we’d love to hear from you! reviewmissional2023@gmail.com


Thanks again for having us at Synod – we loved meeting you and spending time with you all. Thanks for your engagement, your honesty and your reflections.

Update Seven: Monday 12 June


We’re looking forward to Synod next week. We look forward to sharing some updates with attendees and hearing more from you. We’ve been preparing our engaging material too - see below an image of pure excitement at our functioning linktree!

The newsletter analysis project is well underway: thanks to those congregations who have sent newsletters through. We hope to share some preliminary findings at Synod.


We are engaging in other ways too: ministers survey, general survey (launching soon!), interviews, and focus groups. And of course – your thoughtful comments via email. Keep them up! reviewmissional2023@gmail.com

Update Six: Monday 5 June

We had four focus groups last week, and it was an absolute privilege to hear from members of the Uniting Church about their experiences of mission and vision for the Uniting Church. Thank you to participants and we look forward to hearing from more groups in the weeks to come.


A final reminder about our survey for ministers and others in placement. The survey is open until Friday 9th June. Access it via the link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/23MinQuest.


We are so pleased with the way people have been engaging with us so far and look forward to talking to you further. We will be at Synod and look forward to chatting to people there. In the coming weeks we are launching a second survey: gathering perspectives on mission, needs, and opportunities from people across the Uniting Church in South Australia. We also welcome comments via our email: reviewmissional2023@gmail.com

Update Five: Monday 29 May 

A reminder about the questionnaire we announced last week. This questionnaire explores how ministers and other in placements are resourcing themselves – particularly around mission. We hope to hear from people across the UCA SA. We’re glad to the 35 people who have so far responded, and look forward to hearing from more of you. The link to access is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/23MinQuest. The questionnaire will be open until Friday 9th June. 


Another element of the Review of Missional Needs and Opportunities is examining newsletters of congregations within the UCA SA to understand what mission resourcing congregations are promoting in their newsletters. This phase of the research offers a congregation-based contextualisation. Congregations have been randomly selected to participate. Your church might have received an email inviting them to participate. If so, please send us a copy of your newsletters so we can add them to our dataset.


We have four focus groups coming up this week with established and emerging leaders. We’re looking forward to chatting with these folk and testing our draft questions for another of our questionnaires (coming soon!).  


We are loving the engagement so far – it’s been wonderful to hear from people across the UCA SA about your understandings of mission. We’ve gathered several case studies of mission in your communities and would love to hear more. How does your community do mission? What have you learnt? Get in touch with us: reviewmissional2023@gmail.com


Update Four: Monday 22 May

We have launched our ministers questionnaire! This questionnaire explores how ministers and others in placements are currently resourcing themselves. It is particularly interested in what mission-related resources are being accessed. We hope to hear from people across the UCA SA. All responses will be anonymised and are used as part of the Review of Missional Needs and Opportunities. 

If you are a minister or in another placement, please complete the survey at the link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/23MinQuest 

If you are not a minister or in placement, please hold tight! There are more ways to be involved. 

Update Three: Monday 15 May

Last week, we shared some emerging themes from the literature we have observed so far and encouraged you to share more literature with us. Thank you to those who have shared literature and perspectives with us – this is greatly appreciated.


We are testing our messages from the literature with focus groups. We are hoping to have conversations with established and emerging leaders across each of the three Presbyteries to test our questions and hear from leaders in the church. Our thanks to the Presbytery who has chosen their representatives – we look forward to chatting to you soon.


We’ve also sent emails to churches across the three Presbyteries seeking copies of newsletters to understand the form and focus of churches’ appetites for mission resourcing. We are seeking to understand what mission resourcing churches are promoting in their newsletters. This phase of the research offers a church-based contextualisation for the literature, questionnaires, and focus groups. We plan on reviewing four newsletters per church from 10 churches from each Presbytery: 30 churches in total.


We also booked our flights to Synod and look forward to engaging with Synod attendees in June.


As always, you can get in touch with us via reviewmissional2023@gmail.com


Update Two: Monday 8 May


The AngelWings team has spent the last week reading the recent literature about missional needs and opportunities. We’ve looked at writing from South Australia, Australia, and internationally. So far we’ve read 21 different sources: reports, academic journal articles, and books.


Our list of sources is below. We’ve found these through a Google Scholar search with combinations of terms like ‘church’, ‘covid’, ‘change’, ‘cultural change’, ‘demographics’, ‘South Australia’, ‘Australia’ and ‘mission’.

So far, we’ve identified six main themes in the recent literature: renewal, vitality of faith, being local and being flexible, looking back and looking forward, diversity as strength, and partnering. These themes are explored more in the image below.

Do you have more literature we should be reading? Email us at reviewmissional2023@gmail.com

Literature we’ve engaged with thus far:

South Australia

Goh, Paul, Cyrus Kung, Daniel Phan, Micky Dermawan, Karen Vanlint, Eric Love, Martin Lee, Dean Eland, and Sam Chan. "Mapping Intercultural Neighbourhoods in SA: Intercultural Ministry Survey." 2021.

Huckel, Matt. "Reflections on a Post-Covid-19 Church: Perspectives from Trinity Pasadena." Lutheran Theological Journal 54, no. 2 (2020): 132-133.

Hughes, Philip, and Audra Kunciunas. "Rural Churches in the Uniting Church in South Australia: Models for Ministry." Christian Research Association, 2021.

Kennett, Brett, David Schmidt, and Stephen Schultz. "The Impact of Covid-19 on the Mission of the Church." Lutheran Theological Journal 54, no. 2 (2020): 82-83.

Littleton, John. "The People of God, Discipleship and Ministry in the Anglican Church Today and Tomorrow." Journal of Anglican Studies 23 (2023): 3-20.

Riessen, Mark Daniel. "Constructing a Theological Framework That Revitalizes the Missional Nature of Churches of Christ in South Australia.”  DMin, Abilene Christian University, 2023.

Stevens, Michael. "Missional Renewal in a Large and Established Suburban Western Church.”  DMin, Abilene Christian University, 2023.




Chapman, Rob. "‘Impending Doom’ Facing the Uniting Church of Australia." 2023.

Cronshaw, Darren. "“Growing Young” in Australian Baptist Churches: Surveying Formation, Belonging and Mission." Exchange 48 (2019): 156-181.

Edwards, W.H., and B.A. Clarke. "From Missions to Aboriginal Churches: The Uniting Church in Australia and Aboriginal Missions." In Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions: Ethnographic and Historical Studies, edited by Tony  Swain and Deborah Bird Rose. Bedford Park, South Australia: Australian Association for the Study of Religions, 2022.

Reid, Duncan. "The Mission of the Church on Stolen Country: An Australian Perspective." In Holding Fast to the Mystery of the Faith: Festschrift for Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church, edited by Daniel  Munteanu and Sorin Şelaru. Brill/Schoeningh: Paderborn, 2022.



Hill, Graham. GlobalChurch: Reshaping Our Conversations, Renewing Our Mission, Revitalizing Our Churches. Westmont, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2015.

Francis, Leslie J. , and Andrew Village. "The Pandemic and the Feminisation of the Church? How Male and Female Churchgoers Experienced the Church of England’s Response to Covid-19." Journal of Beliefs & Values 43, no. 2 (2022): 207-216.

Jeong, Esther. "The Response of Faith-Based Organizations to Covid-19 and Its Impact on the Community.” Baylor University, 2022.

Johnson, Ronald W. "Mission in the Kingdom Oriented Church." Review and Expositor 101 (2004): 473-495.

Lin, Peirong. "Strengthening Unity for the Missional Church: The Role of Theological Education in Overcoming Racism." International Review of Mission 111, no. 1 (2022): 43-55.

Sastrohartoyo, Ardi, Rubin Adi Abraham, Jantje Haans, and Tjahyadi Chandra. "The Priority of the Church’s Ministry During a Pandemic." Evangelikal 5, no. 2 (2021): 164-174.

Taylor, Lynne. "Reaching out Online: Learning from One Church’s Embrace of Digital Worship, Ministry and Witness." Witness: Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education 35 (2021): 1-14.

Tettey, Smith Francis, and Malan Nel. "Discerning the Essence and Mission of the Church in the Midst of Covid-19." Stellenbosch Theological Journal 7 (2021): 1-21.

van der Merwe, Johan. "Poverty and the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Challenge to the Church." HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 76, no. 1-6 (2020).


Update One: Monday 1 May

This week, we are reviewing literature from South Australia, Australia, and internationally. We are engaging with academic and non-academic literature to gain an understanding of missional needs and opportunities, as well as how changing contexts (for example the Covid19 pandemic or changing demographics) have changed the way churches engage in mission. 

Do you know of literature on these topics? Feel free to send us anything you think is relevant, we'd love to hear from you. reviewmissional2023@gmail.com