Disciples embark on 30th Synod adventure

Chaplain Gary Stone and Moderator Kaye Ronalds. Photo: Holly Jewell

Members from Uniting Churches across Queensland gathered together at Alexandra Park Conference Centre to commence the Queensland Syond's 30th meeting.

Moderator's celebrates unity

On the first full day of business at the 30th Synod Rev Kaye Ronalds reflected on the first half of her journey as Moderator.

Ms Ronalds said her position as Moderator has enabled her to partake in many events and celebrations amongst the life of the church in Queensland.

"There have been various openings, dedications, centenaries and all kinds of opportunities to gather with the church family when it is in a celebration mode," she said.

"We need to be always uniting in Christ, acting with love, living with hope, witness in faith and working for justice."

General Secretary reshapes funding

Queensland Synod General Secretary, Dr Shirley Coulson, addressed members of the 30th Synod calling them to continue to live out the Vision 2020.

Dr Coulson's report told a story of the Church in Queensland on its own discipleship journey, defining the best way to use our valuable resources and the importance of exploring "how we provide resourcing models that provide ministry where it is needed, rather than where it can be afforded".

Dr Coulson finished her report by reminding people of the President's call at the recent NSW/ACT Synod meeting: "We are being invited and resourced afresh to share in God's mission today."

Moderator-elect encouraged by church leaders

Bremer Brisbane Presbytery Minister, Rev David Baker, was selected as Moderator-elect of the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod.

Mr Baker said he is greatly encouraged by the leadership in the life of the Uniting Church.

"My hopes for the Synod is that it would continue to grow in finding its hope, its life, and its rest in the faithfulness of its Lord's capacity 'to come, address, and deal with people in and through the news of his completed work' (Basis of Union, para 4)."

Mr Baker will begin his three-year term as Moderator at the 31st Synod in October 2014.

Synod celebrates great servants

Jubilant pilgrims from the Uniting Church in Australia waved coloured flags at the beginning of a service of celebration of people in ministry (graduated, retired and passed away) at Unity College in Caloundra.

The service also celebrated the Moderator's Community Service medals.

Members and visitors of the 30th Synod enjoyed a morning of discipleship and song as Moderator, Rev Kaye Ronalds, commented on National Sorry Day.

"The God in community invites us to express our sorrow and seek reconciliation so that the whole community can be restored."

UnitingCare Queensland CEO, Anne Cross, said there were record nominations for the Moderator's Community Service medals from which 11 recipients were selected.

Four people were in attendance to receive their medals.

As the disciples departed Ms Ronalds encouraged attendees to "love God's world, bring friendship into our work and courage into our politics".

Synod finances stable, but not happy

Synod Director of Finance, Investment and Property, Robert Packer, reminded 30th Synod members that the Synod is not a simple organisation able to give a straightforward overview of its financial health.

During the report from the Finance Investment and Property (FIP) Board, Mr Packer indicated that the 2011-2012 audited financial statements were included in the Synod information, but spoke to current results.

"The Queensland Synod remains in a stable, but still not happy financial position," he said.

While the Synod's financial position is a lot better than a few years ago, a small deficit is forecast for the year ending 30 June 2013.

Assisting the continuation of services of the Congress Community Development and Education Unit (CCDEU) will likely cost around $8 million.

While this is a worthwhile expense, it means the Synod is less able to plant new congregations or sustain similar financial costs without borrowing internally or externally.

Andrew McBryde, FIP Board chair, said that a recently discovered, significant fraud had reinforced the need to constantly remind office bearers across the whole of the Synod of the importance of following policies and procedures.

Read all the reports from the 30th Synod at ucaqld.com.au.

Podcasts:

Synod Bible studies by Trinity Theological College facility

Chaplain Gary Stone's Norman and Mary Millar lecture [download]

Impacts of mining on communities and the environment Q&A [download]

Proposals all passed by consensus

General proposal 1: Establishment of Synod Post Disaster Recovery Team/s

General proposal 2: Disbanding of the Synod Bioethics Committee

General proposal 3: Supporting Micah Challenge's FINISH THE RACE campaign

General proposal 4: Closure of the Housing Acquisition Fund

General proposal 5: Commend the report of the House Standing Committee on rural and regional Australia

General proposal 6: Support for candidates for ministry

Read all the proposals.

Resolutions available on ucaqld.com.au.

See the 30th Synod photo gallery.

Photo : Chaplain Gary Stone and Moderator Kaye Ronalds. Photo: Holly Jewell

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