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Standing Committee - August 2019 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 is the update from the meeting held on Friday 2 August, 2019 - Synod office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide)
Uniting Church Moderator, Rev Sue Ellis welcomed Standing Committee meeting members and new members, Alice Kroker and Rev Dean Brine. Moderator-elect, Bronte Wilson shared a devotion relating to Psalm 107, highlighting our common purpose to undertake the work of God. Bronte prayed for the gathering together of Uniting Church members to serve God and for people to be equipped to undertake the work of God. In closing, Bronte reminded those attending the meeting to remember their purpose for being.
The Moderator prayed for the family and friends of Rev Lindsay Faulkner and also others who have lost loved ones within the Uniting Church community.
General Secretary Report
The Standing Committee heard from General Secretary, Rev Felicity Amery who shared an update on her activities over the past two months. Felicity reported across various projects including her to desire to hear from people at the November Synod meeting regarding the Strategic Plan which was implemented and accepted at the November 2013, Presbytery and Synod meeting.
Felicity has been busy travelling the state for congregational consultations with different representatives from the Restructuring Task Group and the Transitional Presbytery. This has provided a timely opportunity to meet people and hear stories of ministry and mission along the way.
The Standing Committee also passed a request to review the role of Rev Professor Andrew Dutney before the end of the year in his role as Executive Officer, Mission and Leadership Development and Principal, Uniting College of Leadership and Theology. This was approved by consensus.
A letter of resignation as Chair of the Property Trust and Resources Board from Rev Dr Graham Humphris was received and a process was agreed to for the search and recruitment of a replacement Chair.
Associate General Secretary Report
Rev Sue Page, Associate General Secretary shared about the work of the Restructuring Task Group (RTG). At the first meeting of the Generate and Transitional Presbytery, there was a request for 2 members from each presbytery to join the RTG. There have been four additional members following this request. This includes: Malcolm Wilson and Ann Philips from the Transitional Presbytery and Graham Humphris and Jonathan Button from the Generate Presbytery.
Sue also shared information about the congregational consultations which are currently underway across the State. Approximately one-third of the consultations have been undertaken and there are 160 congregations which make up the Transitional Presbytery, 60 congregations or 37% have attended a congregational consultation thus far.
The Restructuring Task Group has divided into two groups. One group will lead the consultation process with the Transitional Presbytery, and the other group will work out the details around governance, regulations, etc. Further information about the restructuring task group can be found on the web page here.
The Standing Committee passed two proposals, recognising the following churches as coming under the oversight of Generate Presbytery: Cherry Gardens Uniting Church, Flaxley Uniting Church, Houghton Uniting Church, Ironbank Faith Community. Wirrabara Uniting Church and for Pastor Brenton Smith - County Jervois to be associated with the Generate Presbytery. Brenton ministers to congregations in both Presbyteries.
The Standing Committee also passed a proposal to request the Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning Team to conduct a review of how ministers are undertaking Professional Development with a report back to Standing Committee before the February 2020 meeting. This will assist the Stipends Committee in setting the Professional Development Allowance in the future.
Rev Tim Hodgson, Executive Officer UnitingCare is currently working with the Communications and Events team to develop a strategy to recruit new UnitingCare board members comprising a wide age range to represent the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) on organisation boards. Tim is targeting UCA members in the 30-60 year age bracket with skill-based backgrounds in law, finance, health, and/or education.
Tim has also been assisting the Moderator with her intent to reduce ‘mission creep’ in UCA schools (and organisations). As a result of this, a UCA School Chaplains Innovation Group will be established. The group will consist of UCA School Chaplains and Wellbeing Coordinators. The purpose of the group is to consider a new model of school chaplaincy that focuses on student and staff spiritual formation, resilience and diakonia.
Standing Committee also approved continued terms for five different people to the Prince Alfred College Advisory Committee.
Mission and Leadership Development Board (MLDB) report
In August, Prof Rev Andrew Dutney and Rev Felicity Amery will travel to Sydney to hear the results of a nationwide theological college review. The scope of the project was to analyse what each of the Uniting Church educational facilities currently has in place to meet the future needs of UCA.
On 4 July, MLD Board Members and members of all MLDB subcommittees plus the General Secretary and Moderator met for a morning tea and collaborate gathering to share a big-picture overview of their work. The MLDB Subcommittees include: Formation Education & Discipleship Subcommittee, Leadership Development Subcommittee, MLD Operations Subcommittee and the Public Theology & Mission Subcommittee. The event was hosted by MLDB Chairperson, Jenni Hughes and provided an opportunity to highlight strategic areas for the committees to serve the whole church.
Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning report
Rev Philip Gardner shared information relating to pastoral relations and mission planning, including an update on church plants, providing a summary of their activities.
The Standing Committee adopted the revised Safe Church Duty of Care Policy. They also resolved to dissolve and cease to recognise Mundoora Uniting Church from 24 June, 2019. A change of name was passed for UCity Uniting Church to CityView. The Synod Standing Committee ceased to recognise the Uniting Church for Leadership and Theology as a faith community at their request and also accepted the resignation and withdrawal of recognition of a minister for Rev Susan Doughty as a minister of the word in the Uniting Church.
Property Trust and Resources Board report
General Secretary, Rev Felicity Amery was approved by Synod Standing Committee to be a member of Uniting Church SA Investment Fund Ltd.
The minutes from the meeting will be posted here when available. The next meeting of the Standing Committee will occur on Friday 11 October, 2019.
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