Rights and Responsibilities of Presbytery and Synod members

Rights

  • Bringing proposals
  • Voting
  • Participating in discussion/debate/working groups
  • Participating in other committees of the Presbytery and Synod.
  • Bringing information to the floor of the meeting
  • Representing the group that has sent you

Responsibilities

  • You are expected to have read and understood the Manual for Meetings, in particular the consensus process.
  • You are expected to have read the reports and submissions which have been published for the meeting.
  • You are expected to attend every session of Presbytery and Synod – unless a medical or other urgent matter prevents you. To be absent from any session of Presbytery and Synod without good cause is to dishonour those who have elected you and those with whom you gather.
  • You are expected to prayerfully consider the subjects being discussed at the meeting. You are a representative of the body which appointed you to membership, NOT a delegate. The Uniting Church doesn’t use the language of ‘delegate’ lest it suggest that the appointing body is delegating you to vote in a particular way. No council or body of the Church has a right to tell its representatives how to vote on any issue. Your responsibility is to exercise the freedom, privilege and trust given to you by your appointing body to listen to the discussions, to speak as you feel led and to indicate according to your perceptions of how the Holy Spirit is leading you during the Presbytery and Synod.
  • You are expected to be open to the Spirit. “The processes we use to create community and communicate in our meetings can themselves assist in the discernment process. This will be enhanced if people come expecting to be open both to the Spirit and to each other. By creating and sustaining effective communications in the context of a Christian community, we will be more likely to discern the guidance of the Spirit and reflect this in our decision-making.” (MFM)
  • You are expected to communicate in a way that honours the other members, even in disagreement. "Christian community develops when members of a group share the life they have in Christ. Community is strengthened as members are open to each other’s insights and feelings in pursuit of the ideals and practices around which the group is formed.” (MFM)
  • You are expected to communicate the events, discussions, and decisions with the group whom you represent. It is important for your community to be given a chance to understand what happened at the meeting and