News, Notices & Prayer points - 12 May 2020

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News & Notices – 12 May 2020


Below are the news and notices from congregations, the Synod of South Australia and the wider Uniting Church submitted for the Tuesday 12 May edition of UC e-News.



Prayer Points for the week

  • All those taking action for the whole creation over the next few weeks in Climate Action initiatives and any other way they are able. 
  • Health workers and other essential service providers who continue to provide vital care and support to the most vulnerable.
  • Churches in the Northern Territory including congregations in our UCA Northern Synod who will be preparing for the possibility of face-to-face Sunday worship with physical distancing and hygiene measures from 17 May. 


Grants SA - New COVID-19 Support Grants  

Grants of up to $10,000 are now available for community organisations so they can continue to provide services to vulnerable and disadvantaged South Australians in response to COVID-19. A total of $3.35 million has been committed towards the Department of Human Services’ Grants SA COVID-19 Support Grants as part of the State Government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications are now open and close on 30 October 2020. Please visit for the COVID-19 Support Grants guidelines and application form.

For more information contact Malcolm Wilson by email at or the Grants SA Team at the Department of Human Services on 1300 650 985 or by email:">


Standing Committee Update

 Below is the brief summaries of Synod Standing Committee meetings held on Friday 24 April 2020, to inform the wider Uniting Church in SA community of the discussions, deliberations and decisions arising from each meeting. Due to COVID-19 circumstances, the meeting was constituted using MS Teams video conferencing.

The Synod Standing Committee discussed and considered the UC Foundation Grants Committee’s proposal regarding the 2020 round of grants to be allocated to assist congregations in responding to the COVID-19 ministry challenges.

The Synod Standing Committee resolved to endorse the name “Presbytery of Southern SA” for Presbytery B. Consequently, the request from the Presbytery of Southern SA for a 0.2 FTE Chairperson role as a placement was approved.

A report from the Resources Board Executive meeting on 16 April 2020 was presented. In response to Congregations’ financial pressures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Synod Standing Committee agreed to reduce the Synod portion of the Mission and Service Fund Congregation contribution rate by 50% for the period of 1 April to 30 June 2020. Any reduction agreed will be reviewed by June 2020 to determine if any further reduction is necessary for the July to September quarter. An additional proposal to invite Congregations who have sufficient resources to contribute up to the full amount of 10% to the Mission and Service Fund was also agreed.

The minutes from the meeting will be posted here when available later this week.

 It was decided that the Synod Standing Committee meetings will be held more frequently with less business meetings for the immediate future. The next meeting will occur on Friday 15 May and the future dates will be determined as the situation and need arises.


The Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry Courses are going online!

Course 1: The three-day “Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Leader” FTM(L) via Zoom, will be held Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 July.  Registrations are open now:

Cost: Reduced to $200 early bird (full price $250). Early bird registration closes on 15 June.

This initial three-day course is especially helpful for:

  • People in Presbytery leadership roles
  • People in the latter half of Third Phase of Ministry
  • Ministers intending to do significant amounts of supply
  • Ministers moving from chaplaincy/agency roles into congregational ministry
  • Ministers in placements going through significant transitions, such as looking for new mission directions, contemplating combining/closing, moving to resource ministry.

Course 2 for those who have completed Course 1: “Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Congregation” FTM(C) will also be held by Zoom in the latter part of the year, but will be separated out into 5 days over several months, about two weeks apart.  Email: Rev Dr Rob McFarlane if you are interested and details will be sent as they come to hand.


Support UnitingCare Emergency Relief Centres

The UnitingCare Emergency Relief Centres (ERCs) are continuing to grow amazing relationships in the communities where they operate. Only two are funded by the State and Federal Governments, with one further receiving support from a generous grant. The rest operate on donations from the church and community. You can help make a difference by donating food or by making a tax-deductible (over $2) to the UCSA Relief Fund UnitingCare ERC appeal. Find out more:


UCA Assembly Newsletter

Read the latest news from the UCA Assembly, including articles on: Climate Action, Vale Rev Bernard Thorogood, Frontier Services members’ reflection on the upcoming National Reconciliation Week and more. Read it here.


Letter to PROK

The year 2020 marks 30 years of the partnership between Uniting Church SA and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK.) In 2014, members of PROK arrived in Adelaide to visit Uniting Church congregations and participated in an enjoyable 6-day itinerary in which the highlight was learning about the connection Aboriginal People have to the Land and God.

This year, representatives of Uniting Church SA had hoped to travel to South Korea in November to celebrate the partnership’s 30th anniversary. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 this is not possible. The local support group were saddened to hear of the high volume of cases of Covid-19 in South Korea. In response, this letter was sent to PROK showing solidarity and offering prayers.

The team looks forward to visiting the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) sometime in the future and sends prayers of solidarity and good health to the PROK members.


NCCA welcomes new General Secretary

Ms Elizabeth Stone has been appointed as the next General Secretary for the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA). She was the part-time Interim General Secretary.

Read the letter from NCCA President Bishop Philip Huggins here.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The international resources for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by colleagues in Malta. The 2020 theme, “They showed us unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2), remembers the historic shipwreck of Paul on the island of Malta and calls us to a greater generosity to those in need.

Read more and find resources here.


ARRCC climate action

Nationwide Multi Faith Service for the Climate Friday 15 May 2020.

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) invites you to attend a Multi Faith Service via Zoom and also live streamed on social media at 9:30am on Friday 15 May. 

If you would or your faith community would like to support ARRCC please visit the ARRCC web page for details on how to join the service. 

More information is available from the ARRCC website



Didn’t read the last “News & Notices”? The items below will keep you updated.


A letter from the General Secretary to Congregations and other ministries

On 1 May Uniting Church SA General Secretary Rev Felicity Amery sent a letter to congregations and other ministries detailing, among other topics, the COVID-19 financial relief measures that are available to them from the SA Synod. Read Felicity’s letter here.


What do you miss about church life?

New Times is looking for photographs that show what Uniting Church members from across our state are missing most about church life. Do you have a picture that you think fits the brief? If so, please email it to us at We are also running the campaign through Facebook here.


COVID-19 devotions from UCA leaders

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer and the Moderators of the six UCA Synods have released a seven-day devotional resource for the Church. What Sustains Us is a collective reflection on faith and spiritual practice, shared with love and hope.  The President is also inviting UCA members to share about how their faith is sustaining them. Read more here.


Federal COVID-19 response measures failing church community services

Uniting Church agencies have joined other major not-for-profit providers in a battle to get Federal Government COVID-19 support applied to their work in the community sector. Read more here.


UAICC Update

There are some major changes in the UAICC national leadership. National President Rev Garry Dronfield has tendered his resignation to the UAICC National Executive and the Assembly Standing Committee.

Rev Mark Kickett of the South Australian UAICC has been appointed as Interim Chairperson until the next Congress National Conference in April 2021. On behalf of the National Executive, Mark thanked Garry for his commitment to Congress over the past two and a half years as President, and as Deputy Chairperson from 2015 to 2018.

“We wish Garry God’s blessing in his journey ahead. We look forward to his ongoing engagement in whatever capacity God leads him”, Mark said.

Garry has given extended notice to allow for a hand-over of his ongoing commitments to the National Executive.

“It has been a privilege for me to work within the National Executive Committee and with the wider UAICC family, and it has taught me to value people’s stories and to acknowledge that we each have our own story,” he said. “May Creator God continue to bless the work of UAICC, from our national body to the grassroots communities.”


The #SAythanks Campaign

The State Government has launched a social media campaign to applaud the workers in the social services sector – including those who work around the clock – such as social workers, call centre staff, domestic violence and child protection workers, workers in aged care, in housing and homeless services, and workers supporting people living with a disability.

 We can show our support by celebrating the contribution of this workforce using the hashtags #SAythanks and #thanksforcaring on any of our social media platforms.


Calling for social impact sector contributions

The Australian Department of Social Services is undertaking a scoping study focused on outcome and impact measurement within the social impact investing sector. A key part of this work is hearing insights and perspectives from the sector and we are all invited to participate in the national consultation process.

This consultation paper explains what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and what they would like to hear about from us.


Book Review: An Eco-Stoic reading of Colossians

Read a review by John Littleton of Rev Dr Vicky Balabanski’s latest book, Colossians: An Earth Bible Commentary, An Eco-Stoic Reading. The book was launched by Rev Dr Andrew Dutney after a Sunday worship service earlier this year at St John’s, Halifax St.  The book is available from Bloomsbury here.



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Synod Meeting Update

Members of Synod, please note that many of the reports for consideration at our Synod meeting are now available on the Synod website.


Kangaroo Island Disaster Recovery Update

As we approach the anniversary of the extinguishing of the disastrous bushfires on Kangaroo Island and after many delays, we are pleased to announce that Rev Mark Dickens will work with the Kangaroo Island community on behalf of the Uniting Church in a half time capacity.


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