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37th Synod Daily Summary: Monday, Oct 23

Exploring the idea of ‘Growing, not building’, the 37th Synod continued into its penultimate day.

Opening Worship & Bible Study

Drawing on arresting imagery of a tree planted by the water (Jer 17:5-8) Mandy Smith led the Synod in a deep and at times challenging reflection on what it means to live and depend wholly on God. “What does it mean to live” Mandy asked, “as if we really believe He is the answer to every question, the resolution to every crisis, the preacher of every sermon, the chair of every church council, the leader of every community?” Going further, she observed that renewal starts with us each individually taking this posture: “Fundamentally renewal is a human heart turning to God once more, remembering that habit”. Mandy closed with a powerful call to prayer, noting that “every renewal movement I have heard of through the history of the church has not happened without prayer.”

Reports: Finance, Investment & Property

Chair Geoff Batkin updated the Synod on the operations of the Finance, Investment and Property Board with two particular focus areas. Firstly, Uniting Early Learning has been rapidly developing over the last term of Synod and is reaching exciting stages in its growth and maturity.  Secondly, Geoff outlined the current deficit budget and financial position of the Synod’s operations, together with a trajectory over the next five years to bring the budget into a healthier position. The Synod received a Minute of Appreciation for Geoff’s work marking his conclusion as Chair.

Reports: Board for Christian Formation

Aiming to inspire and equip everyone within the Qld Synod to live a life of purpose modelled on the way of Jesus, the Board for Christian Formation report brought the Synod up to date with developments for the Board and for Trinity College Queensland. Chair Gary Adsett outlined a fresh vision for the Board and expressed a commitment to work across the Church to identify and develop curriculum and learning opportunities to fit the Church’s current experience and future needs. The Synod also thanked outgoing Chair Rev Gwen Fisher for her extraordinary service, commitment to excellence, and warm, positive outlook over many years as Chair.

Reports: Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress

Muth Aarak is the name given to the new Queensland Regional Council of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. Muth Aarak brought life, energy and enthusiasm to their report to the Synod. Priorities for the Council include Napranum Community Chaplaincy, Prison Ministry, Bible Studies, relationships with First People’s leaders in the Anglican and Catholic Churches and supporting cultural and spiritual well-being in the member congregations of the Council. Synod heard of the establishment of Kluthuthu Christian College in Napranum and mission updates from Zillmere Congregation in Brisbane’s north.

Reports: Uniting Education Schools and Colleges

A report on the health and life of schools and residential colleges within the Synod shared exciting news about missional, operational and financial performance. Creative developments in education, facilities, staffing and governance were described. Uniting Education Schools and Colleges seek balanced educational and spiritual formation of the learner. The Synod additionally passed a minute of appreciation for outgoing Chair Noela Lister. Noela served on the Board for 10 years, including 2019-2022 as Chair. Noela’s commitment to education, discipleship and young people was honoured, together with her expertise and passion for the Church’s involvement in education.

Tuesday, October 24

After closing in a shared (and live-streamed) prayer evening tonight, the 37th Synod concludes Tuesday. Themed “For the Sake of the Forest”, day five includes worship and bible study, final business sessions and a closing Holy Communion service.

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