Day Two of Synod 2019 began with an opening worship led by Rev. Ellie Elia, Rev. Charissa Suli and Rev. Seung Jae Yeon.
UTC Principal, Rev. Peter Walker’s bible study was titled ‘The Focus of the Living Church – 2 Corinthians 3:1-18’.
“Fighting among yourselves? Remember that your focus is on Christ. Perplexed and driven to despair? Remember your focus is on Christ. Starting to think that church is all about you? Remember that your focus is on Jesus,” Rev. Walker said.
Agriculture, Indigenous rights and climate change
PWC Indigenous Consulting Manager and author, Joshua Gilbert, was the guest speaker on Day Two. A Worimi man, Joshua shared his experience as a young Indigenous man alongside agriculture and the environment.
Synod celebrates ministers
General Secretary Jane Fry has led NSW and ACT Synod in celebrating a number of ministries. Synod has acknowledged those who have previously served the Uniting Church, started ministry, or joined the Synod. This acknowledgement is a tradition at every Synod meeting.
Rev. Dr. Paul Chalston, Rev. Amelia Koh Butler, Rev. Sarah Agnew, Rev. Dr Rob McFarlane, Rev. Elisabeth Raine, Rev. Dr John Squires and others were acknowledged for moving into the Synod or returning.
Rev. Dr Peter Powell, Rev. Caroline Thornley, Rev. John Barr, and others were acknowledged as retiring from ministry. Jubilarians (those who have been in ministry for 40 years) and those in ministry longer were also acknowledged, as were those ordained 50 and 60 years ago.
Synod Climate Action
Jessica Morthorpe and Rev. Jason John tabled a proposal that the Synod develops
a Climate Action Strategy to reduce carbon emissions across all levels of the
Church. The proposal also calls on the Synod to actively advocate to advocate
to the Federal and State Governments to take decisive steps to reduce the
overall nation’s emissions.
Synod attendees heard from Uniting Church school students who sent in video messages on what they hope the Synod does address climate change. Uniting Church schools that sent in messages included Kinross Wolaroi, Knox Grammar, MLC, Newington College, Pymble Ladies College and Ravenswood.
One of the messages was from one of Ravenswood’s 2019 Environmental Prefects, Meg.
“As a school and church it is so important that we help raise awareness for this issue as we are the younger generations and we are the ones who have the power to change the environment around us,” said Meg.
Assembly Reports to Synod
Uniting Church Assembly President Dr Deirdre Palmer and General Secretary Colleen Geyer provided the 2019 Synod meeting with an overview of Assembly’s current activities and focus points.
indicated that one of her priorities as President was meeting with Uniting
Church young people. She mentioned that the upcoming roundtable discussions
with young adults was one way she will be doing this. The first takes place at Canberra
Wesley Uniting Church on 25 July.
Dr Palmer also reflected on the Free Wesleyan Methodist Church’s national conference in Tonga, which she recently attended.
“Our important connection with this church remains strong,” Dr Palmer said.
The presentation detailed how Circles of Interest works and encouraged members to consider what circles might be best for them. You can find out more about Circles of Interest here.
Moderator Simon Hansford and Associate Secretary Bronwyn Murphy introduced a proposal that would alter the way that Ministry agents undergo formation in NSW/ACT Synod. The proposal would see the Synod work with Presbyteries to come up with formation processes appropriate to their unique needs.
The proposal has gone to discernment groups for their consideration.
Read more about this proposal here.
Revivify: Many Cultures One in Christ takes center stage in this contemporary worship led by second generation Tongan, Korean, Indonesian, Cook Islander, Chinese young people (and more!). You can still register to attend this event here.