Standing Committee - October 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 11 October 2019 at the Synod Office (Level 2, 212 Pirie Street, Adelaide)



Uniting Church Moderator Rev Sue Ellis welcomed Standing Committee meeting members with an Acknowledgement of Country. Ex-Moderator, Rev Dr Graham Vawser, led the devotion which focused on the story of Jesus cleansing ten lepers from Luke 17:11-19. He reminded us that no matter what our responses are, Jesus always accepts and blesses us. He closed the devotion with a song by Skye Riessen called “Take us to the edge”.


UnitingCare Report

Rev Tim Hodgson, Executive Officer UnitingCare, presented the UnitingCare report and all proposals therein were accepted by the Standing Committee. These include several notes and appointments to school councils and boards, as well as the chair and boards of affiliated organisations. It was noted that the position of a Synod representative to the Pedare Christian College Inc. Board is now vacant. Standing Committee also noted the appointment of Belinda Taylor as the Chief Executive Officer of MediaCom Education Inc.


Resources Board Report

Peter Battersby, Executive Officer Resources, started the Resources Board Report by presenting the Mission and Service Fund financial statements for the quarter ended 30 June 2019. Peter informed the Committee that the performance of the Fund is as expected and on track for a balanced result at year end.

Peter continued with the review of Uniting Church SA DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) Fund rules, including The Uniting Church SA Relief Fund, The Uniting Church SA Arts and Cultural Development Group Inc. and The Uniting Church SA Building Fund. The review was previously requested by the Resources Board in order to address inconsistencies and reflect changes within the Uniting Church in SA. The Standing Committee has approved all the amendments and changes to the rules of those funds.

The proposal and recommendation that Susan Raw, General Manager Resources, be appointed as Director on the Board of Ecumenical Endeavours Pty Ltd as well as the Director on the Board of Citicom Pty Ltd was approved. Subsequently, the proposal of Matthew Wilson, Manager Property and Projects, to be the Alternate Director of those incorporated bodies was also approved.

Peter also presented the proposed 2020 Mission and Service Fund budget and notified the committee that the budget has a break-even result. He closed his report with acknowledging the work of Andrew Fechner, Manager Financial Services, and Sarah Kon, Financial Accountant, who have dedicated significant hours towards developing the budget.


Associate General Secretary Report

Rev Sue Page, Associate General Secretary, reported that more congregations have voted to join either of the Presbyteries.

The Privacy Policy and Procedures v3 document was adopted and the UCSA Relief Fund By-law, the Revised Mission and Leadership Development Board and Placement Committee By-laws as well as the UCSA Synod Foundation Grants Committee By-law were also approved.

The Standing Committee has determined the date for the Annual Meeting of the Synod in 2020 to be 15-17 October 2020.


General Secretary Report

The General Secretary, Rev Felicity Amery, started her report by thanking everyone for their support and prayer. It is with joy and privilege that she will continue to lead the Synod of Uniting Church in South Australia.

The Standing Committee approved the appointment of Rev Tim Hodgson to be the initial representative of the SA Synod on the National Task Group of the Royal Commissions into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

The dates for 2020 Synod Standing Committee meetings were approved as follows:

  • Friday 7 February
  • Friday 3 April
  • Friday 12 June
  • Friday 7 August
  • Friday 27 November


Restructuring Task Group Report

Membership of Synod, Assembly and the Synod Standing Committee were determined and Presbyteries will be informed of the decisions taken in this regard.

Membership of Presbyteries was also discussed in regard to inviting the Moderator and General Secretary to each Presbytery as non-voting participants.

The Annual Presbytery Funding Model for 2020 and beyond was adopted.


Mission and Leadership Development Board Report

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney spoke to the Mission and Leadership Development Board Report. The meeting approved the appointment of Dr Peter Gunn as the Uniting College representative to the Uniting College Grants Committee for another term concluding in September 2021.  Standing Committee also approved all current Candidates as members of Synod.


Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning Report

It is noted that all records of Apsley Uniting Church are removed from Uniting Church in South Australia to be transferred to the responsibility of the Synod of Vic/Tas.

Transitional Presbytery decisions to dissolve and/or cease to recognise Koolywurtie UC, Minnipa UC, Parilla UC and Corny Point UC were all noted.


The minutes from the meeting will be posted here when available later this week. The next meeting of the Standing Committee will occur on Friday 6 December 2019.



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