The Living Church – Synod 2019 drew to a close with a powerful and poignant closing celebration.
The celebration was open to the wider church as well as Synod members and saw more than 200 people come together to worship and celebrate God’s leading during Synod 2019.
The Living Church – Synod was a three-day gathering that saw more than 360 members gather together at Sydney’s Knox Grammar to tackle vital issues such as climate action, the church’s advocacy priorities and its growth strategy.
Earlier in the day in the morning’s opening worship, members were encouraged to write a note of love and encouragement to their loved ones, the family members who support members’ ministry in so many ways. Members were then asked to channel their inner-child and fold the message into a paper plane, to hold it up as prayers were said and then send it on its flight of love.
A Synod highlight was the three-part, three day devotional series delivered by Rev. Peter Walker which focused on ‘the purpose, the focus and the identity’ of the living church.
“The purpose, the focus, and the identity of the living church are not about us. They are all about the living Lord; whose gospel is our purpose, who is the focus of our unity and who, when we allow the same mind to be in us – when we are minding Christ – becomes our identity,” Rev. Walker said.
“Our calling is to bear witness to Jesus Christ who, in his own strange way, constitutes, rules, and renews [us] as his Church. Then, by his grace, we become the living church.”
Synod members were also challenged to think differently through the messages of guest speakers – Wayside Chapel’s Jon Owen; climate campaigner Joshua Gilbert and author Karina Kreminsky.
There were also well-attended ‘extra-curricular’ events during Synod including the screening of the powerful documentary ‘Half a Million Steps’ that highlights the plight of people struggling to access drug treatment as part of the Uniting-led Fair Treatment campaign. On Saturday night, members embraced the Revivfy Worship Event in which Jon Owen spoke.
Synod also decided to extend Moderator Rev. Simon Hansford’s term by three years. His term will now finish in 2023.