Synod Standing Committee Update 3rd February 2023

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The highlights from the 3rd February 2023 Synod Standing Committee Meeting are as follows:

Prior to the meeting the elected members of the Committee took part in a Professional Development Workshop with Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes. The purpose was to strengthen their service as a governing body of the Uniting Church, faithfully discerning the way of the Spirit, utilising gifts and skills in a community of mutual respect, care and competence for carrying out this work, to which God has called them.

Dr Deidre Palmer was co-opted to the Synod Standing Committee until the Synod meeting in June 2023.

Professional Development Task Group
The Task Group who did much of the work on the General Secretary Position Description gave an overview of the insights they had gained during conversations about the role and noted how the work of the General Secretary was reliant on many people to fulfil the responsibilities of the role. The Task Group was thanked and discharged.

Interim General Secretary and Associate General Secretary
The reports from the Interim General Secretary and Associate General Secretary included the following.

Assembly had requested time at the Synod June meeting for a presentation and deliberative session regarding Acts 2 Act2 Project ( The Acts 2 project team are preparing to hold conversations with key leaders around Australia.

Covenanting Committee is in the process of filling the membership. Dr Deidre Palmer and Rev Peter Morel were co-opted and the Terms of Reference were amended to name the Moderator or their nominee as a member.

UnitingCare Australia Board - it was agreed to recommend to the Assembly Standing Committee that Mr Mark Waters, Director UnitingCare, be appointed to represent the Synod of South Australia on the UnitingCare Australia Board.

Synod Strategy & Planning Mission & Property Working Group further appointments

  • Rev Mike Wardrop
  • Rev Dianne Holden
  • Mr Mark Elford.

It was noted that following the collection of data phase that the Synod Strategy & Planning Mission & Property Working Group would continue to be expanded.

General Secretary Joint Nominating Committee

  • Rev Rob Brown (Convenor)
  • Mr Bruce Ind
  • Rev Diane Bury
  • Rev Naomi Duke
  • Mr Malcolm Wilson
  • Rev Jane Fry (General Secretary NSW/ACT Synod).

    NB: HR expertise would be available as a resource as required.

Change of titles
From 1st March 2023, the following title changes were approved:

Associate General Secretary to Associate General Secretary Governance and Operations.
Executive Officer: Placements and Safe Church to Associate General Secretary Placements and Safe Church.

UnitingCare SA
Mark Waters, Director UnitingCare SA introduced himself and spoke about his journey and hopes for his new role. The report from UnitingCare SA contained appointments to the Boards and Councils of Lincoln College Inc., UnitingCare Wesley Bowden Inc. and Westminster School.

Mission and Leadership Development Board
Updates were provided as to various aspects of the future of Uniting College for Leadership and Theology (UCLT) and staffing including the continuing interviews and the following appointments:

  • Dr Rosemary Dewerse as Academic Dean (0.5FTE) & Missional Research and Resourcing
    Co-ordinator (0.5FTE)
  • Rev Nick Patselis 0.8FTE placement as Vet Coordinator.

Presbytery Matters

Buckingham UC and Mundulla UC
The decision was noted of the Generate PRC on the 18th August, 2022 to recognise the amalgamation of the Buckingham and Mundulla Uniting Churches which will now be known as Buckingham Mundulla Uniting Church.
It was recognised that the formal amalgamation took place on 8th January, 2023.

Smoky Bay Community Church
The decision was noted of the Smoky Bay Community Church Association (SBCCA) on the 23rd January 2023 to dissolve the Association.
It was noted that the Smoky Bay Congregation had previously advised (2021) they were not a UCA Congregation.

Synod Standing Meeting Dates 2023

31 March

11 August

5 May

1 September

2 June

3 November

30 June

1 December


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