Synod Standing Committee - July 2020 update

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Below is the brief summary of the Synod Standing Committee meeting held on Friday 3 July 2020, to inform the wider Uniting Church in SA community of the discussions, deliberations and decisions arising from that meeting.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting was constituted using MS Teams video conferencing.

The Synod Standing Committee approved that forthcoming meetings will be held face-to-face. The General Secretary, Moderator and Associate General Secretary met and suggested that 14 August 2020 will be the next meeting and all Ministry Centres on that occasion are to provide a report. The following meeting dates will be 25 September and 27 November 2020.

General Secretary Rev Felicity Amery spoke to her report, including the Staff Climate Survey Report. The survey noted that even though there is always work to do, there is also much to celebrate. The Synod (Office and Campus) Leadership Teams were commended for the good work that they are doing to grow effective teams and a strong work culture. The Synod Standing Committee also commended the ongoing work of the Strategic Planning Working Group, as well as the ministry and mission of the Noarlunga Parish Mission. The Committee continues to support the Noarlunga Parish Mission’s endeavour to seek a suitable property for its ministry and mission. The allocation of $500,000 from the New Church and Ministry Development Fund was also approved to support the 5- year appointment of a second placement with the Noarlunga Parish Mission.

Rev Tim Hodgson presented the UnitingCare report and spoke to the proposal. The appointment of the Chair of the Board of Helping Hand Aged Care Inc. was made for an initial term of three years, commencing on 13 July 2020.

At its meeting on Friday 24 April 2020, Synod Standing Committee agreed to reduce the Synod portion of the Congregation’s Mission and Service Fund (MSF) contribution rate by 50% for the period of 1 April to 30 June 2020. It was noted that effective from 1 July 2020, the MSF contribution returned to the pre-existing contribution rate of 6%. However, congregations with a significant financial impact due to COVID-19 can apply for a variation to the agreed MSF congregation contribution rate. In September 2020 the Synod Standing Committee will review the decision about this matter and determine if any reduction of the Synod portion of the MSF congregation contribution will be necessary for the period of October to December 2020.

The meeting also approved the variation of the placement for Craig Bailey at Uniting College for Leadership and Theology to 0.8 FTE from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2022.

The Moderator thanked members for their perseverance in doing things differently as a result of COVID-19.

The minutes from the meeting will be posted here when available later this week.

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