Synod meeting hears minute of appreciation
The 2023 Synod meeting has heard a minute of appreciation for Albert Olley, Clarrie White, Rev. Michael Thomas, Scott Stanton, and Dr Glen Powell.
Mr Olley was previously the Synod’s Chief Operating Officer, stepping down from the role in May after five years’ service.
This time included the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the Synod needed to shift to work from home arrangements.
The Synod meeting heard that Albert joined the Synod at a time of significant change and brought valuable senior executive experience in organisational transformation, strategy and business planning, enterprise risk management and corporate governance.
“Albert was a key contributor to the development and implementation of the Synod’s Future Directions for the People of God on the Way and the Future Directions Resourcing Framework,” the minute said.
“In particular, Albert was responsible for the development of the Synod’s Property Stewardship Policy and the review of the Sales Proceeds policy, both of which are key components of the Resourcing Framework.”
Clarrie White passed away in August 2022. He served Parramatta Nepean Presbytery as Presbytery Treasurer, and was a member of the Property and Business Committee and Standing Committee over two years, but his service goes back further. He is remembered as a truth-teller, always challenging Presbytery and Synod to good financial practice and decision making. He was passionate about proper practice and the church being the best it could be. He was deeply supportive and proud of his wife Rev. Rhonda White and her ministry.
The Synod thanked Rev. Michael Thomas for his work in the role of Chairperson, Committee for Counselling.
Rev. Thomas started in the role of Chairperson, Committee for Counselling (C4C) on 23 August 2016.
A minute of appreciation written by Associate Secretary Rev. Bronwyn Murphy recalled that, “the seven subsequent years, most, if not all of the cases that came before the Committee for Counselling have been complex and painful.”
“Your leadership and guidance consistently provided wisdom, insight and balancing compassion with accountability. On several occasions Michael went above and beyond in assisting other Synods with difficult cases. Your objective assessment for processes and decisions as well as your ability to listen and guide was deeply appreciated.”
The Synod thanked Scott Stanton for his work as Chair of Synod Audit and Risk Committee, which he undertook from 1 January 2020 until May 2023. During that time, Mr Stanton applied his professional expertise to significant matters facing the committee.
The Synod recorded its appreciation of the contribution made by Dr Glen Powell as Executive Director, Mission and Education from 2019 to 2022. In the early part of Dr Powell’s time at UME, the organisation was in a substantial flux, with a UME Transformation Project already underway. Dr Powell took on the role of piloting the organisation through complex change and sought to keep it true to new directions that had been set.
The 2023 Synod meeting is taking place at the Katoomba Christian Convention Centre until 17 September.