2.2 Missional Congregations Project (Fresh Expressions, MSM, Articles)

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The Executive Commission, at its July 2015 Meeting, approved the creation of a project called “The Missional Congregations Project” (MCP). The Rev. Dr George Marchinkowski was appointed to lead the project, noting that he would step down as Convener of the Committee at the Assembly at Assembly 2016 and give his time completely to the project. The project works under the Committee and reports through the committee’s report.

The aims of the project are:

  1. to facilitate the UPCSA’s involvement in Fresh Expressions (SA) (See our news items here and here) ;
  2. to encourage (in a deliberate and strategic way) the involvement of ministers and lay leaders in regional MSM courses throughout Southern Africa (offering bursaries where possible); (See our news items here and here.)
  3. to produce a resource for UPCSA congregations to assist them to look strategically at their future and help them become more missional; (See our articles here)
  4. to provide a research function into contemporary literature and endeavour in the area of emerging and missional models of Church including consultation with ecumenical partners;
  5. to produce a regular electronic newsletter for the UPCSA on missional Church;
  6. to distribute appropriate resources at the instruction of the committee;
  7. to seek opportunities to input on this subject at Presbyteries, Associations, PAT Conferences and in the INSPIRE Conference. (Look at our success stories)

We are pleased to report that the UPCSA is a proud member of the Fresh Expressions (SA) organisation. Here we join with the Dutch Reformed Church, the Anglican Church, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Vineyard Churches. Our General Secretary represents us on the National Board and the Revs. Z Mfene and GW Marchinkowski represent us on the National working group.

Several of our ministers across South Africa have completed or are currently completing the MSM Course and we have provided bursaries for most of them. The MSM course seeks to provide a theological underpinning for Missional Church as well as some practical models for pioneering.

The project will soon produce a simple resource to assist congregations to have a missional focus. In the
past years, there have been presentations to the Ministry and Priorities & Resources Committees as well
as the Presbytery of the Western Cape. The Inspire Conference has again been run on the theme of Missional Church as well as offering a specific workshop focused on this.