Standing Committee - December 2018 update

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Standing Committee – December 2018 update

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.

Synod office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide) on Friday 14 December, 2018.



Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Sue Ellis welcomed Standing Committee members, especially new members, at the Friday 19 October meeting, giving an Acknowledgement of Country. Dr Peter Gunn led the devotions, whereafter the Moderator prayed for pastoral concerns.


Interim General Secretary’s Report

The Interim General Secretary, Rev Rob Brown, spoke about the outworking of Proposal 28 from the November Presbytery and Synod meeting, including membership of the Restructuring Task Group.

   The Restructuring Task Group

The Standing Committee agreed to appoint a Restructuring Task Group. The following people were appointed to be members of the Restructuring Task Group: Rev Rob Brown (Interim General Secretary), Ms Susan Burt, Rev Diane Bury, Rev Dr Graham Vawser, Mr Peter Battersby and a yet unnamed nominee from the Non-Geographic Presbytery Steering group.

A survey will be sent to all congregations to gain indicative advice on the Presbytery they wish to be assigned to. This would be indicative only to assist with ‘mapping’ the road ahead and not a final decision.

For more detail please see the minutes of the meeting here.

   The Non-Geographic Presbytery Task Group

Proposal 28 (2.12) from the 2018 annual Presbytery and Synod meeting appointed the Non-Geographic Presbytery Task Group that included, amongst others, the General Secretary (or delegate), one person appointed by the Standing Committee and one person appointed by the Resources Board. The Standing Committee appointed Mr Malcolm Wilson as the General Secretary’s delegate, appointed Ms Leanne Davis on behalf of Standing Committee and a delegate will be appointed on behalf of the Resources Board.

   Associate General Secretary Appointment

The Standing Committee formally agreed to appoint Rev Sue Page to the position of Associate General Secretary for a five-year placement commencing 1 January 2019. She replaces Mr Malcolm Wilson.

   Financial Contributions to the Redress Scheme

Rev Rob Brown signed the final agreement necessary for the Uniting Church in SA to join the Redress Scheme. He signed on behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of South Australia on behalf of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.), in his capacity as the Interim General Secretary.

   Deferred proposals

Consideration of all the proposals that were not dealt with at the November 2018 Presbytery and Synod meeting were deferred to a future Special Synod meeting that will also serve to appoint a new General Secretary.


UnitingCare Report

Mr Chris Headland presented the UnitingCare report and all proposals therein were accepted by the Standing Committee. These include several appointments to school councils and boards, and the boards of affiliated organisations.


Associate General Secretary’s (Planning and Management) Report

Mr Malcolm Wilson spoke into his report and the Committee agreed on appointments to the Board of Morialta Trust and Discipline Committees.


Resources Board/Property Trust

Ms Astrid Kuivasaari, General Manager Resources, presented the 2019 Resources Board Report on behalf of Mr Peter Battersby. She spoke about the Mission and Service Fund Financial Report as well as its five-year rolling forecast, the 2018 budget for Uniting Venues, sale of two United Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) properties and amendments to the UCSA Relief Fund Rules.

As noted by Standing Committee at its meeting in October, and advised to the members of Presbytery and Synod at its meeting in November, the Mission and Service Fund has not included, and has very limited capacity to absorb costs associated with UCA Redress Ltd. The Board discussed possible funding possibilities and concluded that requesting congregations to make a Redress contribution is the most appropriate funding source and reflects a shared responsibility for the costs associated with Redress. Congregations will be contacted about this process in the New Year.


UAICC Report

Mr Ian Dempster and Rev Ross Honey attended for the UAICC Report. Mr Dempster spoke about the Congress Review, the Centre for Aboriginal Spirituality and Youth Ministry, including NYALC. The 2019 UAICC Budget was approved by the Committee.


Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning

The Standing Committee resolved to put in place processes to enable the Peterborough and Fish Gate Congregations to leave the Uniting Church.

Rev Philip Gardner explained the need for Ministry Agents to attend Code of Ethics Refresher courses more regularly. As a result the Committee endorsed the decision that all Ministry Agents are to attend Code of Ethics Refreshers annually. Failure to attend these refresher courses will lead to an agent needing to complete the whole course again.


Moderator’s Mid-term Report

Dr Peter Gunn spoke to the Moderator’s Mid-Tem Review report. The Moderator was affirmed and thanked for her contribution to the life, witness and work of the Church thus far in her term of office.


2018 Annual Presbytery and Synod Meeting

The Committee approved the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Presbytery and Synod, held on 15 – 17 November 2018.

The minutes from the meeting have been posted here. This was the last Standing Committee meeting of 2018. The next meeting will take place on Friday 1 February 2019.




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