Standing Committee Meeting – October update

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Standing Committee Meeting – October update

New Times online will now feature 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 October meeting of the Standing Committee, which took place in the Synod office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide) on Friday 6 October, 2017.



Rev Peter Morel led the devotions at the beginning of the meeting. Moderator Rev Sue Ellis shared bereavement notices for Elizabeth Finnegan, Margaret Johnston and Frank Hutchinson and led the gathered members in prayers for others.

CEO/General Secretary’s Report

Rev Nigel Rogers presented the CEO/General Secretary’s Report. He presented draft versions of a refreshed organisational Presbytery and Synod staff chart and a booklet listing the councils, committees, trust, funds and other reporting groups of the Presbytery and Synod. Whilst these documents are currently in draft from, they clearly articulate the way groups report into the Presbytery and Synod, Standing Committee and Resources Board. The final document will be made available at the upcoming Presbytery and Synod meeting.

Nigel also informed members of a Climate Survey that has been scheduled to take place in the first half of 2018. The survey will be completed by Presbytery and Synod staff to form part of a wider strategy focussed on strengthening a culture of inclusivity across the Presbytery and Synod of South Australia.

A Team Leader is currently being recruited for Mission Resourcing within the Mission and Leadership Development ministry centre. The International Mission and Covenanting areas of Mission Resourcing are currently being covered by short term contracts. Other short term contracts include Sam Chan in CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) ministry and Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler, who is focussing on justice related matters until 31 December 2017.

Uniting Leaders initiatives continue to develop, with plans for the 2018 Uniting Leaders Conference to be held on the Gold Coast in the latter half of 2018. The Uniting Leaders Plus course will welcome a third cohort in February 2018 with an aim to expand enrolments to all Uniting Church members. Developments are underway for a Uniting Leaders Project Task group to meet late in 2017. The project is an initiative of both the SA and QLD synods.


Governance Framework for Executive Leadership

The Standing Committee approved a new governance framework document prepared by Rev Rob Brown titled “Governance within the P&S”. The document outlines the “who, what and why” of the Uniting Church in Australia, outlining the tasks and responsibilities of the Standing Committee, CEO/General Secretary and Moderator. The document will complement and facilitate the work of the Task Group formed to review the roles and responsibilities of the CEO/General Secretary and Moderator. It will also inform current and future Standing Committee members of their governance responsibilities.


Associate General Secretary’s Report

The Standing Committee agreed to adopt a consent agenda approach to future meetings of the Standing Committee. The meeting practice will provide precious time savings as it allows agenda items to be grouped together, but only if members of the Standing Committee agree.  Business will be dealt with more efficiently whilst allowing more time for significant decisions to be discussed.


Resources Board and Property Trust Report

Peter Battersby presented a report on behalf of the Resources Board. He mentioned three additional statements to be received for approval at the annual meeting (23-25 November). The statements were from the Stillpoint Community, 3D Mission Network and Uniting Venues Thuruna campsite, the latter of whom reported an $8,000 surplus at the close of the 2016 financial year.

Peter also presented for Standing Committee approval, a “Policy for the Disbursement of Funds when Congregations Close”. This policy will ensure responsible stewardship of the way funds are dispersed when a congregation ceases operation.


2018 Budget Report

The Standing Committee endorsed the 2018 Mission and Service Fund (M&SF) for approval of the Presbytery and Synod. The 2018 M&SF budget comprises a break-even operating budget (on an accrual basis) and a capital expenditure budget of $139,700.


CEO/General Secretary’s Appraisal Report

The Standing Committee endorsed the preparation of a report summarising the outcomes of the CEO/General Secretary’s yearly appraisal process, with feedback also being given to the CEO/General Secretary after the process has been completed. The Standing Committee also approved the creation of a template, to be produced by the Associate General Secretary, for future appraisals. This will help to ensure the consistency and integrity of the process.


Another of these updates will be provided after the next meeting of Standing Committee which will take place in the Synod office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide) on December 8, 2017.

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