Thank you for wanting to explore more about our church.
We believe Jesus Changes Everything. This statement encapsulates the heart and vision of PGUC and why we exist as a gathered community. We have a vision that everyone who calls PGUC home would know that God has a purpose and plan, and that He longs for you to outwork your passion for the good of the world around you and the glory of God.
Ministry Leadership TeamMinistry Leadership Team
Rev Barry Littleford – Lead Minister
Ps Elissa Inglis – Assosciate Pastor
Nathan Pullman – Youth Connections Worker
Amy Aherns – Playgroup Coordinator
Jeff Jones – Chair of Elders
Paula Warnes – Administrator Caretaker
Inviting people, growing lives, shining Christ.
Our vision is a twofold vision that applies to both our corporate and individual lives
We have a calling to invite people into the family of God. This is more than inviting people to come to our gathering. It is inviting people to become a part of our family; to become a part of our lives. To do this we believe we are to show increasingly radical hospitality as a church and as individuals. We see ‘inviting’ as invitation, welcome and inclusion. Therefore our invitation is to be open and non-judgemental, our welcome is to be authentic and warm, and our inclusion to be embracing and sacrificial.
We have a calling to grow more like Jesus, with a serving heart and sacrificial love. To do this we believe that we are to live authentic lives that embrace our uniqueness and the gifts and graces God has given us. Therefore we seek to invest in and encourage each other through our small groups, teaching and internships to live a life worthy of our calling in Christ, spurring each other on to love and good works.
We have a calling to shine the light of Christ wherever we are. To do this we believe that we have a responsibility to reflect the character of God, and to offer the hope, love and truth that comes through the gospel. ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’ and we are to display the goodness of God within us. Our faith therefore is a public affair: our light will shine in our work, in our play and in our families, shining God’s love and reconciliation to our world.
The Church We SeeThe Church We See
We see a church where people come to faith in Christ every week, where the presence of God convicts, renews and restores people into God’s love and grace.
We see a church where healing is common and where people worship God with their whole heart, in spirit and in truth. A church that takes the word of God seriously.
We see a church that is known for generosity and hospitality and lives in the abundance and blessing God has for it and blesses the community around it.
We see a church that embraces joy and celebration.
We see a church that plants other churches, that plant other churches, that raises up new disciples, new leaders and new communities of faith to impact this nation.
We see a church that always has another jar that is ready to be filled. 2 Kings 4:1-7
What We BelieveWhat We Believe
- There is one God, revealed as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who took on our humanity, is the crucified risen Lord. He lives and reigns for ever and calls all people into a personal relationship and to follow Him in faithful obedience.
- Although created in the image of God, humankind has become separated from God and God’s ways. Salvation from sin is by God’s freely given love and undeserved favour alone, through faith in God’s reconciling act in the death and resurrection of Christ.
- The Bible is the unique testimony of humankind’s encounter with God, in which we hear God speak, and by which our faith and obedience are both nourished and held accountable.
- The church is a body, of which Christ is the head. It is a world-wide fellowship of believers, a pilgrim people on the way towards the promised goal of the Kingdom of God.
- The church, by its very nature, is called into mission in which every Christian is called to participate. The mission includes the call to personal faith, ministry of healing, deeds of kindness and addressing injustice. Such mission is expressed both locally and globally.
- Baptism is the sign of new life in Jesus Christ. We are baptised into union with Christ, and called to His ministry in the world. We baptise those who confess the Christian faith, and/or their children who are presented for baptism and for whose instruction and nourishment in faith the Church takes responsibility.
- In Holy Communion, we celebrate Christ’s death and His continuing presence. We have communion with our Saviour, grow together in Christ, are strengthened for our participation in the mission of Christ in the world and, giving praise and thanks, rejoice in the foretaste of the coming Kingdom of God.
- The Spirit of God equips the church by supplying diverse gifts, and empowers believers to continue the ministry of Christ in community.
- In God’s timing, Jesus Christ will come again to bring about the fulfilment and restoration of all things according to God’s purpose.
Our Discipleship ValuesOur Discipleship Values
Assume God will use you
The assumption is that in every circumstance and every opportunity God will use you in some way. This assumption keeps your eyes focused not on you but on what God can do through you. This mindset takes you out of being a bystander and puts you in the playing field. Imagine that you walk into a room and you assume God will use you, you will look around the room and pray “what now God?” There is no time to let fear grab you, no chance for selfishness to consume you and no chance for doubt to take hold. While we might not always get it right, what if this were our first thought in every conversation, in every activity and in every environment, that God wants to use me?
The assumption is that God’s Spirit is always at work and if you listen and are available then you will have opportunities to be used by God for His glory’s sake. Even in the darkest situations we should assume that God will use us in some way. It might be a word in season, it might be an action or it might be our caring presence.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 NLT
Believe God is bigger
At it’s core, the belief that God is bigger is about God being God in your life. If God is always bigger then you have your heart and faith in the right place. If you think that something is too big, or that something is beyond what God can handle then that something is your God. Trust that God is bigger than your circumstance, that God is bigger than your oppression and that God is bigger than your limitations, then you will be constantly looking to God for a way forward. This doesn’t mean we believe that God will give us everything we desire but it does mean that whatever position in life we find ourselves in, that God is working for our good and is making a way forward for us somehow. This might be miraculous as in a healing, it might be in a timely provision or it might be in a direction for the next step to be made. If God is bigger, God always as a way forward for us. This does not eliminate suffering; suffering is a part of the Christian journey but it does mean that God is working through our suffering somehow.
Imagine yourself walking into an oppressive work place; the bosses are terrible and the workers are gossipy and unkind. If you believe that God is bigger you come with the attitude that you can turn this place around. God, I might have to suffer for a bit, I might have to endure for a season but you can do miracles here.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 ESV
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT
Cultivate intimacy with God
To cultivate our relationship with God is core business for a Christian. Our intimacy with God is what sustains and grows us. It is this intimacy that encourages us to cast off the things that hinder us and walk faithfully with God. As we go deeper with God so our walk becomes richer and more rewarding. As Christ moulds and shapes us we then shine our light brighter and our heart reflects the heart of our Father in Heaven. We need to be people immersed in the Word, people who love to pray and people who love to follow the Spirit’s lead. If we can’t hear the Master’s voice we are not really following God, we are following rules or assumptions.
Imagine if you are in a conversation and someone asks you why you follow Jesus. The depth of this answer will match the depth of your intimacy with God. It is out of this deep wellspring that we communicate and experience the Love of God.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” John 15:4-8 NLT
Develop others around you
To develop others is to recognise that our job of discipling others starts as soon as we become a disciple ourselves. As soon as we start following Christ we are on the playing field and need to be working in a team. As people invest in you, you should also invest in others, so being a part of the body of Christ and investing into it is important. You might not think you can do much but as you outwork the rest of these elements you can intentionally invest in others. Discipleship includes walking with people to become Christians as well as what we do with them after.
Imagine you come to faith: you assume that God wants to use you, you believe that God is bigger than your short comings and you are cultivating your relationship with God. There is no reason why you should not be investing in other people straight away. As you do these and teach these elements to others, and they in turn teach it to others you get a multiplying effect which God always intended.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-21 NLT
We are a proud member of Generate Presbytery
Parafield Gardens is a congregation of the Uniting Church in Australia
We are a founding member of Propel Network