Standing Committee Meeting - June 2018 update

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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 June meeting of the Standing Committee, which took place in the Synod office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide) on Friday 1 June, 2018.



Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Sue Ellis welcomed Standing Committee members at the Friday 16 February meeting, giving an acknowledgement of country and referring to Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June). Rev Alison Whish then led devotions, which also focussed on reconciliation.

Special mention was made that the June meeting would be Dr Deidre Palmer’s last as Ex-Moderator as she takes on the role of President of the Uniting Church in Australia in July. Rev Graham Vawser will take Deidre’s place on Standing Committee for future meetings.


Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Report

Ian Dempster and guest Ross Honey spoke about the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) Report. Topics covered included an update on the recent Congress Regional Council meeting held from 10-12 May at Port Augusta, repairs needed at the UAICC property in Port Augusta, and the UAICC budget.

The budget was the key focus of the discussion, as the UAICC have been examining their expenditures with the assistance of Ross Honey (Resources Board), Malcolm Wilson (Associate General Secretary, Planning and Management, Uniting Church SA) and members of the national UAICC.

At their May meeting, the Congress Regional Council made the decision to request the help of the Congress National Office and the SA Synod to assist in undertaking a review of UAICC ministries and structures in SA. Ross has worked on a revised budget to assist in this process. Standing Committee noted the revised UAICC Mission and Service Fund budget and a planned expenditure to cover work need on the UAICC church property and buses in Port Augusta.

Standing Committee and the UAICC formally and informally recognised Ross Honey for his ongoing work on the budget.


Resources Board Report

The Resources Board Report included unconfirmed minutes from a meeting of the Resources Board on Thursday 17 May, the Mission and Service Fund Financial Report, a 2017 financial overview and reports, and a discussion of the UAICC budget.

Peter Battersby (Executive Officer, Resources) presented the Resources Board Report and fielded questions on the topics covered and the associated proposals. All of the proposals were passed by consensus.

Reports on 2017 finances and the Mission and Service Fund will be presented at the next meeting of the Presbytery and Synod from 22-23 June.



Rev Sue Ellis presented correspondence from the South Australian Council of Churches (SACC) and from Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan.

Speaking about the letter from the SACC, Sue spoke about the wonderful work being achieved ecumenically and the need to find people for various ecumenical boards.

The letter for Stuart McMillan was on the topic of the Mapoon Appeal. Standing Committee determined they would continue with their previous decision of fundraising to support the appeal.


Associate General Secretary (Planning and Management) Report

Rev Rob Brown (Interim CEO/General Secretary, Uniting Church SA) presented the Associate General Secretary (Planning and Management) Report on behalf of Malcolm Wilson, who was on annual leave at the time of the meeting.

After presenting the report, members were referred to a proposal related to correspondence from Seeds Uniting Church in Aberfoyle Park. Standing Committee resolved to recognise Seeds Uniting Church as a member of the Grace Connections mission network.

Also on Malcolm’s behalf, Rob presented a report from the Executive Officer UnitingCare Joint Nominating Committee. Standing Committee appointed Rev Tim Hodgson as Executive Officer, UnitingCare SA. Tim’s placement will commence no later than 1 January, 2019.


National redress schemes

Rev Rob Brown gave a preamble to a discussion on redress for survivors of child sexual abuse. This is a continuing conversation, which has been conducted with Standing Committees from other Uniting Church Synods and Assembly.

Discussion centred on the Commonwealth Redress Scheme and on UCA Redress Ltd, a separate legal entity that has been created to help facilitate a nationally consistent redress scheme across the Uniting Church. Rev Phil Gardner (Executive Officer, Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning) and Peter Battersby (Executive Officer, Resources) provided some insights related to their ministry areas.

All points of the proposal related to UCA Redress Ltd and the Commonwealth Redress Scheme were passed by consensus. More information about these decisions will be communicated as it becomes available.

After the meeting, on Monday 4 June, Assembly announced that the Uniting Church in Australia will opt in to the Commonwealth Redress Scheme.


Mission and Leadership Development Report

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney (Executive Officer, Mission and Leadership Development [MLD]) presented the MLD Report, which focussed on three main areas – faculty reviews, KCO (Kids Camp Out) and the name of the new building at Brooklyn Park.

Andrew spoke about two UCLT faculty members (Rev Dr Vicky Balabanski and Dr Elizabeth Boase) whose contracts are due to end in late 2018. Standing Committee voted to endorse the extension of both faculty members’ contracts.

Rev Mark Schultz (Team Leader, Mission Resourcing) spoke about KCO in 2018. He mentioned the different highlights and challenges faced in the lead-up to KCO and at the event. There were no proposals related to this part of the report.

Finally, Andrew spoke about naming the new Brooklyn Park building. When it was established by three Christian denominations, the site was called the “Adelaide College of Divinity”. The Adelaide College of Divinity is now a small tenant of the refurbished building, but other organisations and communities have found a home in this space.

To reflect these changes, it was decided that a new name should be given to the building. As the UAICC and Training Aboriginal Christian Leaders have space on the site, the MLD Board asked Ian Dempster to speak to the Kaurna naming committee, Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi, on their behalf. The name “Yarthu-apinthi”, meaning “to educate, to grow”, was awarded for use as a name for the building.

Standing Committee resolved to adopt the name “Uniting College for Leadership & Theology / Yarthu-apinthi” as the name for the Brooklyn Park building.


Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning Report

Rev Phil Gardner presented the Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning Report. He spoke about the Child Safe Policy document adopted at the Standing Committee meeting in April 2018, which has been well received by others working in this area. Further information and resources related to the Child Safe Policy will be shared at the June Presbytery and Synod meeting and sent to congregations.

The minutes from the meeting will be posted here when they are available.

The next Standing Committee update will be provided after the August meeting, which is scheduled for Friday 17 August. 


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