Project Reconnect assists congregations to develop and maintain a vibrant witness to Christ in their communities. In the planning stage of Project Reconnect, the themes heard from worship groups were of memories of the “good old days” when their congregations were full and their communities were vibrant. Then along came TV, the seven-day working week, dwindling congregations and the Royal Commission.
Rather than small numbers being a liability, there is greater opportunity in smaller numbers for meaningful dialogue on matters of life and faith. The unique strength of small congregations is that they are effective small groups. Small groups have time and again been part of the reformation of the people of God.
Click here for a short video by Rev Tom Stuart on how Project Reconnect came about in responses to a need in rural NSW.
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Small groups were integral to the life of Israelites at the time of Moses. Project Reconnect is about empowering small congregations to realise their full potential.They were also vital to the survival of the early Christian church. Of the 2,000 Uniting Churches in Australia, 800 have less than 45 members. The principles that drive Project Reconnect are simple and distribution by download or DVD is easy Australia wide. We are now offering Project Reconnect online, which means you can download whatever you want whenever you need it and wherever you need it.
There is great potential for small churches to be a very real and hope-filled presence of the kingdom of heaven in their place.
Whether you opt for DVD or download you will receive two messages – a short “all-age” and a longer main message, discussion points, hymns and choruses. The theme each week is built on the Lectionary and is specific for each Sunday. We use Seasons of Creation for five Sundays starting the first Sunday in September. The discussion time invites faith-sharing, helps people to be fully engaged in their worship, challenges set ideas and encourages them to consider what they really believe.
Our presenters are current or retired Uniting Church ministers and lay preachers with a wide range of life experiences. This gives the Project Reconnect Family a varied selection of theological viewpoints.
The Project Reconnect Volunteers
Project Reconnect began in 2004 at Parkes in the central west of NSW. In 2014, we moved from Parkes in NSW to the Uniting Church in Charlestown, a suburb of Newcastle. We have a management committee, volunteers planning and filming plus a growing library of choir-led songs – most from “Together in Song”.
Rev Tom Stuart
Tom is the minister at Charlestown/Garden Suburb. He was the visionary founder of Project Reconnect at Parkes in 2004 as a way of bringing the word of God to small rural congregations in rural NSW. Tom also presents a number of messages each year.
Eldrene produces the information packs accompanying DVDs and downloads and also provides quality checks on DVDs.
Lorraine is our Treasurer and an insightful presenter.
Charles – Committee Chairman and struggling webmaster.
Paul – secretary and cameraman as well as video production.
David works with Paul in processing and production and is a frequent presenter.
Congregations in our Network
Project Reconnect has provided worship resources for congregations Australia-wide.
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