Below is a summary of the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) meeting—held on Thursday, 2 December 2021—to inform the wider Queensland Synod community of the discussions, deliberations and decisions arising from that meeting. This meeting was held at Wesley House.
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
A draft policy was presented to the meeting for approval and the SSC resolved by consensus to approve COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, Vaccination Procedure, and a Vaccine Exemption Application form. The SCC recognises the Queensland Synod has a role under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Queensland) and the D1.1 Synod Wide WHS Framework requirements to continue providing a healthy and safe working environment so far as reasonably practicable for all workers regardless of placement or position.
Effective 1 February 2022, all ministry agents, Office of the Synod staff and enterprise staff are required to be double vaccinated.
Project Cooee proposes a two-staged approach to address the shortcomings of the Uniting Church’s office building at 60 Bayliss Street (“Synod office”). The upgrades will provide the three entities sharing the site (Office of the Synod, Trinity College Queensland, Raymont Residential College) and the building’s users from the wider church and external customers with improved resources and services.
Stage 1 has been approved and will address the need for adequate security upgrades, a permanent relocation of the reception to the ground floor and the upgrade of the combined reception and café area into a multifunction space for social gatherings, collaboration, and dining.
A Flourishing Creation
The SSC resolved by consensus for Synod wide engagement and feedback, leading to a Final Report for “A Flourishing Creation: Queensland Synod Action and Advocacy Plan to 2030”, which will be presented at the May 2022 Synod in Session meeting.
Updates from the Moderator and General Secretary
The Moderator summarised his movements throughout November, such as attending the UnitingCare Queensland Full Circle and Reconciliation awards with the General Secretary and congregational visits to The Downs, South Moreton and Bremer Brisbane Presbyteries to provide context on the SSC’s decision on mandatory vaccinations. He also met online with the Assembly President and moderators from other states to discuss common themes and challenges. The Moderator will be taking leave from the 1-16 January.
The General Secretary informed the SCC of her recent visits and engagements, including a trip to Far North Queensland to attend committee and group meetings, participating in a national General Secretaries meeting and appointments with schools. She also was a part of the Inaugural Chaplaincy Transition Reference Group, of which Dave Wu, the new Executive officer for Chaplaincy, has strategic oversight.
Finally, 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.
These people include:
- Dr Natalie Smith as a Board Member of the UnitingCare Queensland Board for three years from 1 April 2022
- Ms. Susan Rix as a Board Member of the UnitingCare Queensland Board for three years from 1 April 2022
- Dr Adam McIntosh as a member of the PMSA Board for three years from 3 December 2021
- Rev Karen Ross as a member of the Grace College Council for three years from 3 December 2021
- Mr. John Lister as a member of the Grace College Council for three years from 3 December 2021.
The Synod Standing Committee will next meet in person on 3 February 2022.