Synod Standing Committee - December 2019 update

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Mr Bronte Wilson, Uniting Church SA Moderator, welcomed the Synod Standing Committee  members with an Acknowledgement of Country. Rev Andrew Robertson led the devotion about “Diversity & Unity” from Act 2:1-13. “Unity in Diversity” is a well-known phrase in the UCA. However, Andrew reminded us that the “unity” comes second, while the “diversity” comes first. He prompted everyone to emphasise diversity, and to celebrate and appreciate the different cultures and backgrounds in our midst..

An orientation session for the new members of the Synod Standing Committee was led by Rev Sue Page, Associate General Secretary. It started with a short ice-breaker game led by Rev Felicity Amery, General Secretary.


Associate General Secretary’s Report

Sue Page presented her report and proposals, including: approval to the changes of the Parkin Mission of South Australia’s Incorporated Deed of Settlement; appointments of Rev Sandy Boyce, Rev Rebecca Purling, Rev Lyn Leane and Rev Do Young Kim as the members of the Synod Admission of Ministers from Other Denominations Committee; the co-option of Mr Robert Backhouse as a member of Synod Standing Committee until the 2020 Synod Annual Meeting. All these proposals were passed by consensus. The Synod Standing Committee also recognised the Burnside City Uniting Church’s decision to fall under the oversight of the Generate Presbytery.


Mission and Leadership Development Board Report

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney spoke to the Mission and Leadership Development Board Report. The Synod Standing Committee members recognised deep appreciation and gratitude to Rev Jenni Hughes for her leadership and diligent service as the founding Chairperson of the Mission and Leadership Development Board.

The Synod Standing Committee also approved the Position Description for Academic Dean, ACD and Lecturer, UCLT. A Joint Nominating Committee for this position which includes the UCLT Principal, a member of the UCLT faculty, an elected member of the MLD Board, a member of the Synod Standing Committee, a representative of the ACD Council or Academic Board, as well as the Chair of the ACD Council (subject to consent), was correspondingly approved. Dr Pam Bartholomaeus was selected as the representative of the Synod Standing Committee on that Joint Nominating Committee.


Resources Board Report

Mr Peter Battersby, Executive Officer Resources, began the Resources Board Report with notes about the Mission and Service Fund, including the Fund’s financial report for the quarter ended 30 September 2019 and the “Five Year Rolling Forecast”. The Committee then approved amendments to the Uniting Venues By-Laws. The nomination of Mr Bronte Wilson and Rev Rob Stoner as the members of Uniting Church SA Investment Fund Ltd was accepted and the Synod Property Officer is subsequently authorised to provide the nomination notices to the Secretary of Uniting SA Investment Fund Ltd.

The Resources Board recommendation of the Synod’s 2021 to 2023 contributions to the UCA Assembly was noted along with the quarter ended 30 September 2019 Work Health Safety Incident Report.


Establishment of Parish Mission Council at Hare St UC

Representatives from Hare St Church Council, MediaCom Inc. and the Resources Board spoke to the rationale. Standing Committee affirmed the proposal that a Parish Mission Council be formed. The Moderator and General Secretary will write to Presbytery B to progress the establishment of this PMC.


Uniting Care Report

Rev Tim Hodgson, Executive Officer, Uniting Care SA, began his report with an expression of gratitude to Mr Brian Hern who served as a Uniting Care Board member for 28 years and as Chair of Clayton Church Homes Inc. for 20 years. This was followed by the approval of the appointments of Dr Janet Young to the Prince Alfred College Council, Ms Ruth Sims to the Board of Uniting Communities, as well as Mrs Joanne Court, Ms Sue Park and Mr Peter Hollister to the Board of Uniting Country SA Ltd.

Tim then made a presentation about the governance and relationships of Uniting Care. He also gave a quick overview and review of Uniting Care’s networks. The presentation showed the 4 points of 2019-2022 strategic priorities of the organisations.


Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) Report

Rev Mark Kickett, Congress SA Development Officer, spoke to his report which presents the adoption of the 2020 UAICC Budget. He acknowledged the work of Rev Ross Honey who has graciously continued to help the Congress with its finances. It was also noted that the expenditure of up to $4000 from the Congress Capital Fund will be contributed to purchase a new air conditioning unit for the Port Augusta Congress Church.


Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning Report

The request from the Joint PRC brought by Rev Philip Gardner, Executive Officer, Placements and Safe Church, to approve the name change of Northern Suburbs Dinka Speaking Faith Community to South Sudanese Uniting Church, was endorsed by the Synod Standing Committee. Philip also indicated that the names of the representatives from the two new presbyteries to the Placements Committee will come to the next Synod Standing Committee Meeting on 7 February 2020.


General Secretary’s Report

Rev Felicity Amery began her report by thanking everyone who worked many hours to ensure the recent Synod gathering was a special time, especially the Moderator and the Associate General Secretary. The Synod Standing Committee members were encouraged to continue to be proactive as that council of the Church. All proposals were presented and approved by the Synod Standing Committee. A General Secretary’s Liaison Group and a Moderator’s Support Group were established until the next Synod Annual Meeting in October 2020.

The meeting closed with the approval of the Annual Synod Meeting Minutes (14-16 November 2019) which will be available on the Synod website in the near future.



The minutes from the meeting will be posted here when available later this week. The next meeting of the Synod Standing Committee will occur on Friday 7 February 2020.



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