The Road to November

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The 28-29 June 2019 Presbytery and Synod meeting has come and gone. It has brought with it, a real sense of positivity for the way forward, but trepidation for the amount of work that still lies ahead. Here’s what we can look forward to, over the months leading up to the 14-16 November Synod meeting.

There’s a Moderator-elect in office

Bronte Wilson has been chosen as the Uniting Church SA Moderator-elect and will be taking over as Moderator from Rev Sue Ellis at the November Synod meeting, to serve for a period of three years. His role as Moderator will include providing spiritual and pastoral leadership to the Synod and Presbyteries, as well as assisting and encouraging expression and fulfilment of faith and the witness of the church.

Bronte’s current role in the SA Synod is as the acting Region Minister, Rural and Remote South Australia, within the Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning Team. He is a man with country roots and has, throughout his life, served in various positions within the life of the church.

Working as a Regional Minister and with the Pastoral Relations and Placement Committee has brought him into contact with a large number of people across the Uniting Church in South Australia, giving him some understanding of the issues that matter to those in congregations.

Bronte’s hope is that the newly established Presbyteries will celebrate their differences and continually work together to the glory of God. It will be during his term as Moderator that the Presbyteries will evolve their identities, and he sees his role to be a conduit between the various groups.

"What’s important is seeing God’s love in action, caring for each other and advocating for one another in love and truth. I believe the Moderator is a listening role: listening for the Holy Spirit and what God has in store for the Uniting Church," said Bronte during his presentation to those gathered at the June Presbytery and Synod meeting.

“We need to ask ourselves, about everything we do ‘how does this further the mission of God?’ We can also ask ourselves of every action and word ‘how does this affect our connection – our relationship with both our church neighbour and the wider community?’ In this we are all disciples of Jesus with particular gifts and abilities to do his work.”

Hello new Presbyteries

Two new Presbyteries have been established and they have chosen their office-bearers at separate meetings which both occurred on Saturday 29 June.

Generate Presbytery also elected a small standing committee. The office-bearers for Generate are Rev Dr Graham Humphris as Chair, Rev Stephanie Tai as Secretary and Rev David Hoffman as Treasurer. Chosen as representatives on the Standing Committee are Rev Ian Clarkson, Rev Simon Dent, Rev Dr Jonathan Davies, Rev Christine Manning, Jenni Wardrop and Stephanie Hogarth.

Generate Presbytery will have its next meeting on Saturday, 14 September.

The Transitional Presbytery of South Australia will only be in existence until the November Synod meeting, after which it will cease to exist and more Presbyteries will be formed in its place. For this Presbytery there are still many decisions that lie ahead, but their needs in the interim will be looked after by the Presbytery Restructuring Task Group and the following elected office-bearers: Malcolm Wilson as Chair, Susan Burt as Secretary and Barry Atwell as Treasurer.

The Transitional Presbytery will meet next on Saturday, 21 September.

The Networks were also formerly farewelled in a touching service where representatives from each former Network spoke about the work they had been involved in over the 16 years. They lit candles in celebration of this work and the people who had served in it.

Consider the impact

After many months of anticipation and hard work, there is still much to achieve and consider before the Uniting Church in South Australia can fully embark on the future it has set out to change. Administratively, the move back to Presbyteries have repercussions on several processes, policies and procedures within the Synod office, as well as a severe impact on the workload and job security of several people.

“We are on the brink of a new and exciting time in our journey as a church. Now is the time to persevere with the huge number of tasks that still needs to be done, give praise where it is due and to pray for God’s blessing over it all,” motivates Moderator, Rev Sue Ellis.

There’s much more to know about Bronte and his vision for the Uniting Church in SA, as well as what happened at the June 2019 Presbytery and Synod meeting.  It will all be reported on in the August/September edition of New Times, which is planned for distribution in the second week of August.

 


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