Standing Committee - October 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.

Synod office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide) on Friday 19 October, 2018.


Uniting Church SA Moderator Rev Sue Ellis welcomed Standing Committee members at the Friday 19 October meeting, giving an Acknowledgement of Country and request to pray for others including prayers for congregational strength at this time.

Ken Burt led the devotions and the Moderator thanked several Standing Committee members who concluded their two year term at the end of the meeting, all of whom are eligible for re-nomination.

Hope Valley name change

The Hope Valley Church Council communicated with the Standing Committee that the Church council had agreed to change their name to Hope Valley Church from Hope Valley Uniting Church. As it is the Standing Committee that approves the naming of congregations, the correspondence was brought to Standing Committee. The name change was approved by agreement provided the requirements of the Naming Policy are fulfilled. The Naming Policy can be accessed via the Media Communications Policy here.

Moderator Elect Nominations

The Standing Committee decided to extend the process for the Moderator-elect nominations in order to bring an adequate number of nominations. This Standing Committee decision will be reported at the upcoming Annual Presbytery and Synod meeting and recommendations for Moderator-elect will be brought to the June 2019 Presbytery and Synod meeting.

Strategic Moment

Any resolution of the Assembly may be questioned on the basis that it includes a matter vital to the life of the Church or that there was inadequate consultation before the decision was made. Clause 39b of the Uniting Church constitution sets out the process to be followed. If a decision is made on this matter at the 2018 Presbytery and Synod meeting, Assembly will need to reconvene and same gender marriages within the Uniting Church will need to be suspended.

The Assembly Polity Reference Group and the Legal Reference committee are currently assisting the South Australian Synod with regulatory clarity on several proposals that will come to the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Mission and Service Fund 2019 Budget

Astrid Kuivasaari, General Manager Resources presented the 2019 Mission and Service Fund Budget and acknowledged the work of Sarah Kon (the Uniting Church SA Accountant) in preparing the budget. The Mission and Service Fund Budget was first balanced in 2015 and is on track for a balanced budget for 2018. Astrid informed members that there are some budgetary challenges in the Governance, Innovation and Communications ministry centre with extended executive leadership roles. The 2019 budget allows for the transition of new leadership and handover processes. The Church Planting officer role that Graham Humphris occupies was extended for a further two years. The Standing Committee approved an allocation of $30,000 from the new church and ministry development fund to partially support the costs of this placement until the end of 2020. The budget remains balanced in 2019. The 2019 Mission and Service Fund budget was approved by consensus.

It was also noted that the Mission and Service Fund has limited capacity to absorb any costs associated with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse including the proposed Safe Church Uniting and UCA Redress. The Standing Committee noted that funding for Redress, if needed, should come from a new income source or cost recovery outside the normal activities of the Mission and Services Fund. 

Other Resources updates

A telecommunications infrastructure policy was adopted by Standing Committee by consensus (Proposal 3). Recommendations of appointments to the Property Trust and Resources Board were approved and then again by agreement and will be presented to the November Presbytery and Synod meeting for approval.

Uniting Venues

The Tarooki campsite management committee will conclude their service at the end of the year. They will be acknowledged in an appreciation service. A local venue management Committee (LVMC) will be established for the Emmaus and Thuruna campsites.

Safe Church Unit

John Cox, the Executive Officer: Royal Commission Task Group, spoke via telephone to the Standing Committee to update the group on the outcome work of the Royal Commission. He spoke about the centralisation of the Safe Church Unit as well as the financial and other implications for each Synod. The Standing Committee referred the cost sharing mechanism decision responsibility to the Interim CEO/General Secretary in consultation with the Executive Officers.

The Child Safe Policy and all of the affiliated points were passed with consensus. A list of these are documented on the minutes which can be sourced here.

Mission and Leadership Development Board (MLDB) Report

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney spoke to the MLD Board report. He noted that Rev Dr Tim Hein was extended for a further 5 years in his role as Associate Principal of the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology. The Standing Committee agreed to extend Tim’s placement to 31 December, 2023. Andrew also advised that Flinders University intends to discontinue the Bachelor of Theology course in 2020 but will continue to offer post-graduate coursework. A Centre for Aboriginal Christian Spirituality will be established at the Adelaide College of Divinity and the Uniting College of Leadership and Theology.

Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning (PRMPT) Report

The PRMPT Executive Officer, Rev Phil Gardner, spoke to the PRMPT report and noted that the Noarlunga Parish Mission Council will lose Judyth Roberts as a committee member. The Standing Committee agreed to elect Rev Ian Dow and Rev Mark Schultz to the Parish Mission Council.

The Standing Committee passed by consensus that the Cadell faith community and the Kingston-on-Murray close.

Moderator’s Mid-term Report

The Standing Committee received the Moderator’s Mid-term report and agreed to defer the discussion of the report to 14 December, 2018

The minutes from the meeting have been posted here .

The next Standing Committee update will be provided after the December meeting, which is scheduled for Friday 14 December.


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