General Secretary Addresses Synod
General Secretary Rev. Jane Fry has delivered her address to the 2023 Synod meeting.
“This meeting is the closest thing we have to a gathering of the whole church in New South Wales and the ACT,” Rev. Fry said.
“Fundamentally, it’s a gathering of disciples.”
“These are the seeds of our collective hope and our desire to share God’s hope in mission.”
Rev. Fry recalled the last three Synod meetings, which featured proposals that have helped shape the 2023 agenda. These included her first meeting in 2017, which included the Pulse proposal and discussion anticipating the marriage conversation which the whole church later considered.
She also mentioned the 2019 meeting which approved the Synod’s climate agenda as well as the growth proposal. The Synod meeting agreed to prioritise growth in number, impact, and discipleship.
“I still think that growth proposal is one of the most significant proposals [the Synod has ever heard],” Rev. Fry said.
Rev. Fry then recalled the Synod 2021 meeting as being “Synod in the wilderness” held remotely across multiple meetings. The meeting approved an update to the growth proposal as well as the first Walking Together Action Plan.
“How do you tackle an action list? It’s related to the question, ‘How do you eat an elephant?’” Rev. Fry said.
“How I eat an elephant is with friends.”
“The decisions we made in 2021 were huge decisions.”
“This is hope and courage and faith [in action].”
“The future directions for the people of God on the way has some spacious goals which could guide us on the way.”
“The Future Directions Resourcing Framework…is mission critical. We need the resources of the church to be liberated, not hoarded.”
“We have made some progress. Money has started to flow [from the Synod’s Growth Fund].”
Rev. Fry said the church had also had to deal with COVID-19, natural disasters, and other constraints, which had impacted its mission. However, she said the church had made progress on an ambitious agenda.
“The Synod action list…is not the only action list. There are still…reverberating COVID complications across the Synod,” she said.
“If I say the period since the rising of the 2021 Synod meeting has been busy…please know that has been the understatement of the year.”
“I have a sense of progress…and a strong sense that the transforming spirit is alive and at work in this Synod.”
Rev. Fry highlighted the updated Walking Together Action Plan, the Presbytery project, and the proposal towards a blended ecology as being the 2023 Synod meeting’s agenda.
Rev. Fry also stressed that it was more important than ever for the church’s various councils to work together.
The General Secretary’s report was accepted by consensus, after some questions.
Watch the General Secrertary, Rev. Jane Fry’s report here.