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Inspiring a new generation of mission-minded people

At UnitingWorld, we know that young people in Uniting Churches and UCA schools are incredibly passionate about injustice. We also know how important it is for young people to develop a deeper understanding of mission and how we can do it effectively and responsibly.

UnitingWorld Donor Relations Manager, Mardi Lumsden, has the privilege of sharing our work with young people in schools and Uniting Church gatherings.

One of Mardi’s outreach activities is a simulation game exploring the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It places groups of young people into a scenario where they imagine they are in a community in India, Tuvalu or Papua New Guinea; facing different challenges including floods, COVID, and well-intentioned churches sending second-hand goods. The participants explore what is most important for their community’s survival.

Mardi runs this activity each year as part of the Senior Religion Curriculum at Moreton Bay College in Queensland at the invitation of the College Chaplain, Rev Peter Lockhart.

“The engagement by UnitingWorld in the simulation with Year 12 students is an excellent opportunity to build a sense of global citizenship as students are encouraged to think about the UN development goals and look at the world through a completely different lens,” Rev Peter said.

Mardi also ran the activity with 80 campers and 20 leaders at the Moreton Rivers Presbytery youth camp, Easter Madness, in Queensland in April.

Camp Director and Presbytery Youth and Young Adult Minister, Rev Fa Matangi, said it was a great experience that linked well to the camp theme of ‘Redefine’.

“We love having UnitingWorld come and share what they do with the young people at Easter Madness,” she said. “This was important for the campers to know that we are part of something bigger than our local churches, that awesome work is getting done outside their own suburbs.”

Having run the activity in many different places, Mardi said it is always enjoyable and inspiring to see how people respond.

“I’ve run this activity with people from the age of 8 to 88 and each group is different. They always bring their own experiences to the activity and ask different questions,” she said. “I love seeing lightbulb moments when people realise the world isn’t on a level playing field when it comes to injustice or poverty, and that there are sustainable ways the church can help.”

By inspiring a new generation of mission-minded people, we think we can help young people gain a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives as they continue our shared journey, changing lives in partnership with
the global church.

Contact us if you are interested in running a UnitingWorld activity with your group, or inviting a UnitingWorld speaker to your church. Phone 1800 998 122 or email info@unitingworld.org.au.