The final day of Synod 2019 brought a close to a jam-packed three days that looked at how we can be the Living Church.
Day three came with key decisions the first deciding to develop and implement a Synod-wide Climate Action Strategy. The Synod has also agreed to work towards a new formation process and the Synod approved a new Growth Strategy.
UTC Principal Rev. Peter Walker gave his final Bible Study of Synod 2019 titled, ‘The Identity of the Living Church – Philippians 2:1-13’.
“Our calling is to bear witness to Jesus Christ who, in his own strange way, constitutes, rules, and renews his Church. Then, by his grace, we become the living church,” said Rev. Walker.
Guest speaker, minister and Lecturer in Missional Studies at Morling College, Karina Kreminski, addressed Synod urging congregations to re-engage with the local community as we live out God’s mission in the neighbourhood.
“When we embody the gospel locally, only then will people begin to see the church as a place of refuge, transformation, peace and beauty in our world,” said Dr Kreminski.
Hear the Statement from the Heart
The Synod has agreed to a proposal to listen to the 2017
Statement from the Heart made at Uluru and commends the statement to
congregations, presbyteries, and agencies.
It urges the NSW and ACT governments to “establish a process of agreement making between those governments and First Nations, and provide a means for truth-telling about the history of Australia’s first peoples.”
It also urges the Federal Government to implement a First Nations Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the constitution so as to “empower First Peoples to have a greater say in policy and legislation which governs their affairs.”
Rev. Dr Amelia Koh Butler and Rev. Dr John Squires spoke to the proposal.
The newly appointed Scattered Community Minister, Rev. Geoff Wellington gave an update on Saltbush, an initiative focused on revitalising rural ministry in small congregations across NSW/ACT Synod.
Rev. Wellington also announced the launch of the new Saltbush website and the upcoming app.
Pulse Team Lead Rev. Karen Mitchell Lambert and Pulse Field Worker Joyce Tangi presented a report to Synod on their ongoing mission to grow vital communities where emerging generations can thrive.
Both began work in the Pulse team at the beginning of the year. In the last six months they have been travelling across the Synod meeting with Presbyteries, culturally diverse communities, UAICC, UCA chaplains and congregations discussing how the Church can assist emerging faith generations.
The Pulse Team will also be employing two additional Field Workers, as Pulse moves into its next phase which includes, developing support networks for discipleship and mission, create resources and support, develop and train leaders.
Synod attendees took part in several practical workshop sessions that were tailored to equip and empower Congregations and Presbytery representatives.
The workshops included:
- Living Church, Growing Church, Welcoming Church
- Enabling Mission in Your Context
- Living Church: Growing Young led by the Pulse Team
- Advocacy as Mission Together led by Uniting, UME and Sydney Alliance
- Cultivating Leadership for Mission, Ministry and Discipleship
- What to Communicate and How- A Synod and Presbytery Perspective
New Standing Committee Elected
A new Synod Standing Committee (SSC) has been elected. Four members of the SSC will remain on the committee until 2022: David Barrow, Sharon Flynn, Danielle Hemsworth-Smith, and Ian Lawrence.
The members elected until the 2020 Synod meeting include: Tauafola Anga-aelongi, Irene Bowrie-Johnson, Hayden Charles, Kent Crawford, Greer Dokmanovic, Robert Griffith, Tammy Hollands, and Amonaki (Langi) Suli.
A whole of Church celebration closed out Synod 2019 to the music and worship. See the UCA Facebook page for more.