Boards of Mission and Education to merge
The Uniting Church Synod of New South Wales and the ACT Standing Committee on November 27 approved the merger of its Boards of Mission and Education and the formation of a new structure under one board with a single Executive Director.
The restructure, precipitated by a $1.3 million shortfall in funds required to carry out existing work, will see many consultant and administrative positions made redundant and the creation of a new relationship and resourcing team.
Ministry areas with designated or independent funding will continue as before. These include the Leadership Institute, Synod Mission Resource Fund, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, tertiary ministry, Uniting Venues, Camden Theological Library and United Theological College.
A new team of five will service five priority areas:
- presbytery liaison,
- next generation and first third of life,
- lay ministry/discipleship/rural, and
- congregational development and initiatives.
The Boards of Mission and Education approved redundancy provisions and processes in line with Synod employment guidelines and organised pastoral support and career planning services for affected staff. Staff will have the option of applying for new roles or taking redundancy by December 30, 2011.
In their report to Standing Committee the Boards expressed their commitment to shape a sustainable and productive structure and ministries that would take the church into the future.
The new structure would have a diverse skill base to assist the church to be flexible in its response to changing ministry styles and mission contexts.
They said the mission of the Uniting Church would be best served if there was a generosity of spirit, the work was well targeted and cooperation with presbyteries increased. The new team would be directed towards presbyteries, collaboratively assessing needs and drawing together resources.
That finance impelled the action was not denied but both boards sought to work with opportunities that might flow from that push for change. It was felt that resourcing the church to develop congregational life should be integral to the focus of the new entity. That involved developing current congregational forms and new ways that God was calling the church into community.
Presbyteries would be the councils with which the new entity would connect and through which resources would be channelled.
A focus on discipleship for all members was to be a critical activity and reconciliation and renewal was to be the focus of mission.
Summary of new Uniting Mission and Education structure
Personal Assistant to the Executive Director/Office Manager.
Admin istration support (3)
Accounts team (3.5)
Relationships and Resourcing team (5):
(Five fulltime positions in these priority areas )
- Team leader, presbytery liaison;
- Next Generation/first third of life;
- Lay Ministry, Discipleship, Rural;
- Congregation Development/new initiatives.
Synod Mission Resource Fund
Special Religious Education & Vulnerable persons Protection
United Aboriginal & Islander Congress
National Church Life Survey
Camden Theological Library
United Theological College
Pastoral Counselling Institute
Multicultural Ministry Reference Group
Uniting Church Adult Fellowship
Day Mission Support Group
Positions to cease
Moving into the new structure, the following positions (a-n) in the Board of Education will cease December 2011:
a. Executive Director
b. PA to the Executive Director
c. Administrative Support to Children’s, Youth and Tertiary
d. Children/Family Ministry Consultant
e. Youth Unit Coordinator
f. Ministry to Youth and Young Adults
g. Director: ELM Centre
h. Lay Education Consultant, ELM Centre
i. Administrative Support to the ELM Centre (including part-time support)
j. Director: Continuing Education
k. Administrative Support to Director: Continuing Education
l. Dean of Candidates
m. Administrative Support to the Dean of Candidates
n. Accounting positions will reduce from 5 to 3.5. Redundancies apply to:
- Divisional Accountant
- Financial Accountant
- Accounts Clerk
o. Library & Archives, staffing reductions as per budget cuts to be determined by the Library Manager in consultation with the Executive Director.
p. Resource Ministry Consultant concluded November 1, 2010.
q. Ministry of Pastor Consultant concludes March 2011.
r. Director: Tertiary Ministry concludes December 2011. Synod funding continues for tertiary ministries on campus.
s. It is anticipated that for 2011 the Special Religious Education/Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection position will continue to be employed.
t. Position of Director: Schools Ministry will continue to December 31.
u. Uniting Venues will continue under the direction of the Executive Officer.
v. The United Theological College will continue under the governance of the Ministerial Education Board and the direction of the Principal.
w. Pastoral Counselling continues supported by its own funding.
x. Links with UCAF, Wesley College & Uniting Network will continue as currently operating.
The following positions (a-j) in the Board of Mission will conclude December 2011:
a. Executive Director
b. PA / Office Manager to the Executive Director
c. New Congregation Consultant, (position currently vacant)
d. Cross Cultural Consultant (Pacific)
e. Cross Cultural Administrative Assistant
f. Rural Ministry and Evangelism Consultant
g. Rural Ministry and Evangelism Administrative Support (regional location)
h. Two Rural Chaplains (Note: these are funded by Special Distribution and will cease by December 31, 2011)
i. The Accountant position
j. The Accounts (NCLS)/Reception position
k. Living is Giving administration moves to Uniting Creative (funded separately by the Synod Fund).
l. The Synod Mission Resource Fund. This is separated by Synod from the remainder of the Synod Fund for a specific purpose. The Synod Mission Resource staff (SMRF), Administrator and two full-time consultants service the Synod Mission Resource Fund and are funded from its resources. These positions will remain and continue to be attached to the new entity.
m. NCLS Research. Funded by the Uniting Church and the other three ecumenical partners currently for three years.
n. Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. This is funded separately from the Synod fund and thus will face similar funding reduction. The staffing will be determined by UAICC.
o. Leadership Institute is funded from a specific sales proceeds.
(NREMA approved) fund plus income generated by the Institute through programs and thus staff will remain. It is intended that this ministry will move to being self supporting in the next few years.
p. Living is Giving Consultant moves into Uniting Creative (currently funded separately by the Synod Fund).
All new positions will be developed and advertised in 2011.
Committed to model change the church desires, the boards are accepting the challenge to be renewed and reshaped and hopefully provide leadership to other parts of the church, so they may review and reshape their life also.
“We move forward in faith that this is Gods leading for us at this time. We do this as servants of a gracious and renewing God and living out our mission and discipleship through the life of the Uniting Church.”