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Douglas Jones is new Synod Secretary

Nominating Committee Chairperson Rev Stuart Cameron (left) congratulates new General Secretary of the Queensland Synod Rev Douglas Jones
A special three hour meeting of Uniting Church members and ministers from across Queensland today appointed Rev Douglas Jones as the next General Secretary of the Synod.

Chairperson of the Nominating Committee Rev Stuart Cameron described Mr Jones as having the ability to hold the big picture and detail in creative tension.

“Douglas has not been afraid to prophetically speak out when called on issues facing both church and world,” said Mr Cameron, himself a former General Secretary of the Synod of South Australia.

“Both from his personality and his training [Mr Jones] seeks to educate as well as inspire, and challenges the church towards positive change."

The appointment of Mr Jones brings to an end a long saga which commenced when the May meeting of the 26th Synod at Alexandra Park failed to appoint a new General Secretary to replace Rev Jenny Tymms.

The 26th Synod had requested the Council of Synod to urgently commence a new search process and appoint a Nominating Committee which would present two names to a Special Synod recalled for the purpose of appointing the General Secretary.

Mr Cameron said the Synod had advertised across Australia to find candidates with extensive experience in the management of large organisations and complex systems and with an understanding of church governance.

Applications were received and, because the Committee considered the pool of applications to be small, additional people to were approached to make themselves available for interview and consideration for the position.

Following and extensive interview and selection process the Committee brought the names of Synod Mission Consultant Rev Dr Graham Beattie and Rev Douglas Jones who is currently Director of Old Testament Studies at Trinity Theological College

The process for the appointment of the General Secretary was conducted by a written ballot with both names on the voting paper following presentations by the Nomination Committee and nominees.

The Synod spent fifteen minutes in prayer and silent reflection prior to the ballot which was held at midday.

A former professional engineer, Mr Jones has previously served the church as Director of the Department of Community Service, the precursor to Uniting Care, and as a Minister in the Tablelands Parish.

He is currently an active member of Cleveland Uniting Church and father of five adult children.

Mr Jones spoke of the “magnificent vision” that God gave the Uniting Church in the Basis of Union.

“My vision for the position of General Secretary is of someone to both strategically lead and serve the Synod, in partnership with the whole Synod team, Presbyteries, Congregations, communities of faith and UnitingCare, as the whole church continues to both live into and live out of that magnificent founding vision.

The Nomination Committee described Mr Jones as “a deep thinker and an insightful conversationalist with the ability to summarize a complex issue and to ask the thought-provoking questions.”

The report of the Committee said Mr Jones would bring to the role “extensive experience, trust earned across the diversity of the Synod, excellent management skills, the ability and experience to work with complexity and a passion for the ministry of the Church.”

Mr Jones will commence his new appointment in 2008.

Photo : Nominating Committee Chairperson Rev Stuart Cameron (left) congratulates new General Secretary of the Queensland Synod Rev Douglas Jones