Synod Standing Committee - November 2020 update

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Below is a brief summary of the Synod Standing Committee meeting held on Friday 27 November 2020, to inform the wider Uniting Church in SA community of the discussions, deliberations and decisions arising from that meeting.

General Secretary’s Report

Rev Felicity Amery thanked members of the Synod Standing Committee, some who will finish their membership term at this meeting and the General Secretary’s Liaison Group members for their support this year. The General Secretary reported on other aspects of her work including the Presbytery Officer Bearers and Synod Leaders meetings, the Draft Property Review Discussion paper, Strategic Priorities, the Crisis Management Team, Assembly matters, the National Church Life Survey 2021 and the celebrations for Rev Dr Denise Champion and the 2020 ACD Graduation Ceremony.

Associate General Secretary’s Report

Rev Sue Page, reported on congregational amalgamations and closures; a Group is to be appointed to review the Moderator’s term, FTE, remuneration and Position Description in order to bring proposals to the February 2021 Synod meeting; re-appointment of members to the UCA SA Historical Society Committee and approval of Schedule A – Stipends and allowances January – June 2021.

Executive Officer, UnitingCare Report

Rev Tim Hodgson reported on the work of his team including supporting UnitingCare Emergency Relief Centres; discussed skills based Boards; provided a number of entity Board appointments; an amended Constitution for Pedare Christian College; changeover of Principal at Seymour College Inc.; remembering Ms Judy Ditter; and facilitated a presentation from Pilgrim School.

Executive Officer, Engagement

Bridget Ransome, Executive Officer, Engagement provided an update on the key activities of the Engagement Team including the new YouTube channel, an ARPA Award and the 2021 calendar and postcard publications.

Executive Officer, Resources

Peter Battersby reported on the Property Trust membership; presented Minutes of Meetings for information; the M&SF Financial Report to 30 September 2020 and the M&SF Financial Forecast to 31 December 2020. He also provided an update on COVID-19 relief for congregations; additional 2019 Financial Statements; Uniting Venues SA Report; Business Plans 2021-2024; 2021 Budget and By-law amendments and facilitated a discussion pertaining to the Property Sales Proceeds Policy and the New Ministry Development Fund.

Sue Raw, General Manager Resources (Acting Property Officer for the Synod Standing Committee) spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on the 2021 budget, in that the Mission and Service Fund will not meet its balanced budget target despite significant efforts from all Ministry Centres to reduce expenditure. The forecast combined operating result of the M&SF for years ending 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2021 is an operating deficit of $38,496.

UAICC Report

Mark Kickett provided an update on the UAICC SA activities, celebrating Rev Dr Denise Champion and the 2021 UAICC budget for information.

Mission and Leadership Development

Rev Prof. Andrew Dutney provided an update on M&LD Board matters, activities of the UCLT and Mission Resourcing and the Centre for Aboriginal Spirituality including the creation of a placement for an Aboriginal Theologian in Residence within the faculty of UCLT.

Placements and Safe Church

Executive Officer, Placements and Safe Church, Rev Philip Gardner, presented appointments to the Synod Sexual Misconduct Committee and Advisers Committee.

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