Kingaroy Uniting Church minister Rev Dr David Ferguson at the 32nd Synod. Photo by Ashley Thompson.
Kingaroy Uniting Church minister Rev Dr David Ferguson at the 32nd Synod. Photo: Ashley Thompson

Synod agrees to improved reporting changes

This afternoon Rev Dr David Ferguson and the Mary Burnett Presbytery put forward a proposal (general proposal six) to the 32nd Synod related to better communication of Synod Standing Committee decisions.

After some discussion, Dr Marilyn Healy of Bremer Brisbane Presbytery suggested the proposal be broken into two parts—the first half of which she had no issues with and the second half of which she did.

The first part of the proposal requested that “the Synod Standing Committee develop and implement a mechanism for publishing and reporting changes to Synod By-Laws or policies that affect congregations and/or presbyteries”.

The second part asked that congregations and/or presbyteries be able to “request such decisions be referred to the next Synod in Session for further discussion prior to their implementation”.

“Communication is more than just saying we need you to make a decision and then you saying this is the decision,” said David Ferguson.

Marilyn asked, “Why have a standing committee if you are then going to question their decisions?”

Tim Bennett of South Moreton Presbytery questioned whether giving congregations and presbyteries the “ability to disrupt the process of decision-making” would make the process less effective by adding 18 months to each referred decision.

David clarified it was a “request not an instruction”.

The first part, a mechanism for publishing reporting changes, was passed by consensus. The second part, that congregations and presbyteries be able to request Synod Standing Committee such decisions to be referred to the next Synod in Session, was not passed.

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