Below is the brief summary of the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) meeting—held on Thursday 4 February 2021—to inform the wider Queensland Synod community of the discussions, deliberations and decisions arising from that meeting. This meeting was held in person at Grace College.
The Synod Standing Committee endorsed the nomination of both lay and ordained members of the Uniting Church in Queensland to the 16th Assembly. Successful and unsuccessful nominees have been advised. The Synod Standing Committee passes on the thanks to those who decided to nominate for their careful discernment.
General Proposal 2
Due to time constraints, the 35th Synod in Session was unable to consider General Proposal 2 at the October 2020 meeting. The proposal which considers the Composition of SSC: Standing Associated was subsequently considered at the February 2021 Synod Standing Committee meeting. It was Resolved by Agreement that General Proposal 2 – Composition of SSC: Standing Associated be defeated. The Moderator has written to all Presbytery Ministers in recent days, offering points of clarification and a proposed path forward.
Hearing from the Moderator and General Secretary
Moderator Rev Andrew Gunton provided an update to SSC. Andrew highlighted the Synod’s submission to the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s work on Voluntary Assisted Dying and work with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress with a meeting planned for later in the year. The Moderator also sought feedback from the SSC on the mode of Synod Standing Committee meetings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The General Secretary provided an update on a number of operational matters, including COVID-19, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability, Plenty and the Plentiful Leadership Program.
Reports from commissions and entities
The SSC received a report from the Finance, Investment and Property Board and Barnabas Council Durack. It was tremendous to hear the fantastic work that is occurring in these spaces and the broader contribution to the mission of the Uniting Church in Queensland.
An update to the chaplaincy review was also provided. This is an important body of work, aligned with the developing and discipling pathway as part of our Shared Life: Flourishing Communities and highlighting the vital role of chaplaincy within the life of the church. Further updates on this review will be provided in due course.
Risk appetite statement
The draft risk appetite statement for the Synod was also presented to SSC for discussion. This tool assists us in navigating those things that might disrupt our missional plans. Working together to understand the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the nature of the Synod with agencies and entities operating in a number of different sectors is a key focus. An updated version of this document will be tabled at an upcoming SSC meeting.
Congratulations to those who received extensions or nominations to positions within several Synod boards, commissions and committees. The ongoing service of these members to the mission of the church is gratefully acknowledged.
The next Synod Standing Committee will next meet on 4 March 2021.