Welcome to the new look Insights magazine.

We’ve incorporated the General Secretary’s Newsletter so you won’t see a separate publication this month. We look forward to your feedback.

April was a busy month for the Synod. Among other issues, we held Synod 2013 at Wahroonga, introduced our preliminary Leadership Charter, and showcased our new Telling Our Story Guidelines.

Overall, the message seems to be coming through that it was a positive Synod. Some people even commented that it was the best and most hopeful Synod for 20 years, which is encouraging.

We faced some challenging and, at times, contentious topics but I believe it all held together well and a true sense of uniting for the common good was felt by those who attended.

My sincere thanks go to everyone who was involved with organising and presenting at the event this year and for making it so memorable.

When I take a moment to consider the implications of Uniting for the Common Good – the theme that will carry us through to the next Synod in 2014 – I am reminded of our legacy and our roots.

We have a history of silos, of people and teams looking after their own interests separately. Over the past 18 months we have recognised the need to break this down and for the Synod to see itself as a whole and to work
together for the common good. This has resulted in us changing how things are done and has given us licence to look at other areas.

This thinking has lead us to cast off the ‘silo mentality’ and to start thinking and acting in a cooperative and collaborative way. This lends itself nicely to the theme of uniting for the common good.

Admittedly this thinking is still in its embryonic stage. I think the next step is determining how to deploy resources – not just for running our own office or enterprise but resourcing also for
congregations and presbyteries. Once this is defined I believe the whole church will get a sense of “when we work together, we can serve the common good”.

Choosing a new Moderator is always a special moment and I am particularly excited about the election of Rev. Myung Hwa Park. We are a multi-cultural church and at Synod 2013 I am convinced that we saw a greater demonstration of that. Perhaps in the midst of that we became more confident about saying, “the time is right to have a female, Australian Korean moderator”, and so it was done. I look forward to living out the theme and seeing it embodied in all that we do.

Rev. Dr Andrew Williams

General Secretary


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