Standing Committee Meeting - February update

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Standing Committee Meeting – February 2018 update

New Times online features brief summaries of Standing Committee meetings to inform the wider Uniting Church SA community of the discussions, deliberations and decisions arising from each meeting.

This update refers to the February meeting of the Standing Committee, which took place in the Synod office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide) on Friday 16 February, 2018



Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Sue Ellis welcomed Standing Committee members gave the acknowledgement of Country at the Friday 16 February meeting. 

After devotions led by Dr Pam Bartholomaeus, Sue prayed for local and world pastoral needs. A special welcome was given to Rev Rob Brown as the Interim CEO/General Secretary and to Chris Headland as the Acting Executive Officer, UnitingCare SA.


Interim CEO/General Secretary report

Rev Rob Brown presented the Interim CEO/Gen Secretary report. He updated Standing Committee on the transition document that the Committee approved from Ex-CEO/General Secretary Rev Nigel Rogers at the December 2017 meeting.

Rob updated the meeting on the Uniting Leaders Project which is currently seeking a South Australian replacement representative to replace Ex-CEO/General Secretary Rev Nigel Rogers on the Uniting Leaders Project Task Group and the Uniting Leaders Conference Task Group 

The Pastoral Relations & Mission Planning team are progressing the Resourcing Congregations model, an initiative previously affirmed by Standing Committee. This includes continued conversations with congregations around their responsibilities as Resourcing Congregations.

Rob shared news of some of the exciting developments that have been happening as part of the Generate 2021 project, including the progression of the Encounter Uniting Church and Mitcham Hills Uniting Church faith communities. The Outpost Faith Community was also approved as a church plant in McLaren Vale. Further strategic thinking around church regeneration is still needed.

Rob also advised he would be on leave from 31 March, returning on 20 May, 2018.


General Secretary Position 

Prof Kaye Roberts-Thomson and Rev Dr Ian Price presented the CEO/General Secretary Position Description, on behalf of the CEO/General Secretary & Moderator Role Review Group. There will be a change of role title to “General Secretary”. The Position Description was approved with some minor additions by Standing Committee members, and the review group was thanked and discharged.

The Synod Standing Committee appointed Rev Sue Page, Rev Dr Mark Lawrence, Rev Diane Bury, Rev Dr Ian Price, Elizabeth Megaw and Karen Granger to the Joint Nominating Committee for the General Secretary placement. The position will be advertised locally and nationally, and a commencement date for the new General Secretary was set for 1 August, 2018.


Seymour College: Constitution changes and Memorandum of Understanding

Assoc Prof Vivienne Brand (Chair, Seymour Governance Committee) and Rosina Hislop (Chair, Seymour Board) met with Standing Committee to answer questions relating to the constitutional changes for Seymour College. A new Memorandum of Understanding has been developed to more accurately reflect the day-to-day operation of the College’s relationship with the Uniting Church. A summary of the key changes include:

  • An expanded description of the Seymour’s purpose and its ongoing link to the Uniting Church
  • The removal of a mandatory Church appointee on the Board, and associated Visitor rights
  • An improved nominations process for Board appointments and Board terms of office
  • The creation of stakeholder engagement obligation
  • The removal of the requirement for Synod approval for changes to the Constitution
  • Updating of a number of usages (e.g. ‘Chair’ instead of ‘Chairman’)

Standing Committee agreed to recommend the approval of the Constitution of Seymour College Inc. and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Synod and Seymour College Inc. at the Presbytery & Synod meeting in June 2018.


Other items

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney (Executive Officer, Mission & Leadership Development) provided an update on Uniting College for Leadership & Theology. He spoke about the recent completion of the Brooklyn Park refurbishment, college staff, and the busy schedule of upcoming events and courses.

A report was received from the Uniting Church Roman Catholic Dialogue Group, which included news of 2017 meetings, key papers, ecumenical engagement, and website changes. The new website is available online here.

Standing Committee endorsed the Uniting Church Adult Fellowships (UCAF) Committee members, including Lesley Williams as the 2018-2019 UCAF President.


The next Standing Committee update will be provided after the April meeting, which is scheduled for Friday 20 April. Standing Committee will be discussing the redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse at the April meeting.


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