Responding to the Census and Elvanto

The latest Australian Census has just been released with some interesting statistics relating to our part of Melbourne. For instance, the city of Wyndham was Victoria’s fastest growing municipality; our population increased by 55,000 people to 217,000. Across the other side of the Princess Freeway, Point Cook is the fastest growing suburb*.

Other interesting data include religion and places of origin.

Religion: Statistics point out that 60% of the population have a religion, that is, Christian or other. An interesting piece of data was the breakdown of affiliation with the Christian faith by age groups:

  • 70% of people aged 65+ are Christian. 16% are not religious.
  • 60% aged 50-64 are Christian. 25% are not.
  • 50% aged 35-49 are Christian. 31% are not religious.
  • 40% aged 18-34 are Christian. 39% are not.
  • 48% aged under 18 are Christian. 34% are not religious*.

Place of Origin:

  • 66.7% (15,614,835) were born in Australia, up by nearly 4% since 2011.
  • 26.3% (6,150,191) were born overseas, compared to 5,280,802 in 2011.
  • 907,570 from England.
  • 518,466 from New Zealand.
  • 509,555 from China.
  • 455,389 from India.
  • 232,386 from the Philippines.

Nearly half of Australians were either born overseas, or one or both parents were born overseas.*

Statistics such as these help the government and local authorities to shape policies to respond to its ever-evolving and diverse population, the question for us as a congregation is how might we be informed by statistics such as the Census to connect with our own ever-changing and diverse HXUCA community and to the wider community in terms of programs to proclaim the good news in both deed and word.

Last Sunday saw the roll out of the Elvanto online management system which has been developed for our church to be more efficient in its online communication as well as streamlining of information to all members of the congregation. Having recently spent some time being instructed in the use of the program, I was really struck by the amount of data that was available at the push of button which, in some places, comes up in easy to read pie graphs, bar charts etc, and it got me thinking how such information can help inform ourselves as to where to put resources into and where we need to pay more attention to, say for example, such things as nurturing and developing leadership to reflect the diversity in the congregation in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and so forth. I’m rather excited in the potential the digital world can offer in supporting and strengthening our ministry and mission.

I’m reminded that “EMBRACING the digital world to enhance connection with the congregation and community,” is one of the Four Pathways of Mission adopted by the congregation. Let’s stay connected!

Peace.

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