Here is a brief summary of our first day here at the Victoria and Tasmania Synod 2016. I am writing this with my two congregations in mind as a way of keeping everyone informed of this very important and necessary part of our life together as a Church.
I have shared with some of you how excited I am to be here at the Synod 2016 not only as a member of the CTM Board, the Synod Business Committee, but also as your minister bringing your blessings, prayers and best wishes to this council of the Church. Over the next 5 days I will provide a brief summary of the daily business of Synod in the hope that you will be inspired by the work of God through out the life of this Synod.
The day started with a short devotion and a very helpful reminder by the Rev Dr Geoff Thompson of why we meet the way we do and the theological underpinnings that guide and informs our meeting.
Here are very rough notes taken during presentations today. I am just too exhausted to put it in a more legible form but I present these hoping that you may be able to gleaned a nugget of thought or inspiration for your personal benefit or a seed for the way that we may do things differently as a congregation.
A few points from the reports
Placement committee report
Concerns around increasing number of part time placements.
New profile for congregations to fill out on Synod website and all congregations are encouraged to use the updated version. , updated profile for minister to fill out.
Presbyteries finding it hard to deal with congregations who only need part time ministers.
Ministers are waiting for a long time especially from the CALD background. Exit students have been waiting for 2 or 3 years. Issue raised as she is not experienced. Limitations include appropriateness of placement, limitation placed by students on the condition of their call.
Why are not the placement profiles are not online, so that ministers are able to know what are the requirements from particular congregation. Answer, national process and guidelines dictates, discernment process is not fully utilised, ministers write their profiles to reflect the placement needs.
Board of Mission Report (BOMAR)
Mission support fund, congregation encourage congregation to maintain giving as for this Church Mission fund depends on this. 23% total income,
Expenditure: synod support 29%, CTM %13.
2016: Budget deficit $2.363 mil, these are due to Child sex abuse commission, Major Strategic Review, current economic environment affect on investment, frontier services propped up until permanent arrangement, Solution: Increase income,
Growing expenditure: Reasons lack of strategic advice on what to reduce from expenses, need better planning.
Therefore solution: Cost reductions. short term measures – synod based ministry and operations, target of 2 mil savings for 2017, and income generation, measures changes recommend by MSR.
20 chaplains across 20 residential sites, hawthorn and Preston major projects, open 33 bed in Manor lakes, accreditations audits passed, Age advisory community initiative, leading in this field. Age well demonstrate advocate t ageing, leader of this field, call staff to action. focus enabling older people to live meaning life. easy access to care when needed. focus on well being of people. Age well assist, provides support to enable people to stay longer at home. _NED TO EXPLORE THIS AS PARTNERSHIP WITH LOCAL GEELONG UNITING CARE, age well care, home, assisted living in nursing home,
Runs by Board answerable to standing committee. Plan Strategic: an expression of church, increasing relationship and links with congregation, empower people, 66 mil projects completed 2009 -1014, master planning – 176m project next 10 years.
Director of mission, working with congregations in the care of the aged, CTM involves in developing and run workshops and resources to assist congregations. Cash Reserves of 164m People and culture 152 diff roles, 2500 staff over 600 volunteers, LGBTI program, how about cultural specifics service.
Dan Wotten Report ex-Moderator: Inspiring Speech
Thanks key people, Mark , Isabel, Deb penaluma, Claire Boyd macrae, chaplains 3,
Some points: To rest is to give up care and anxiety casting those care upon God, Church needs to restore rest, this means to be holy, desert provides that for us, come away to a lonely place and rest a while. Church not to fear this period of decline but see it as a profound change, in between times. time of uncertainty,
In his experience as a moderator he acknowledged that not everyone he dealt with have been behaving well, not dying as evolving. We are not to prefer anything than than to do the work of God, to be open and welcome what God is doing to us. We need to patiently bare one another’s weaknesses for these are works of the soul.
MSR should not be predicated as the logic of results. We are being called to embrace a spirit of detachment, finance absorb so much of energy. Detachment nurtures freedom from , freedom to, to live in the world, not become worldly. Everything is secondary to following Christ.
Dan points out that we need to need for us as Church to attend to the work of the soul, even in our meetings, we need to change the way we meet inorder to experience a sense of God in our meeting.
Major Strategic Review 2016 Report Theme of Synod 2016
Letters of recommendation invites each of us to journey with God. MSR has had 2 and a half years, undertake responsibility of responding to Synod resolution on strategic review. Synod elected the group from across the Synod to undertake this work.
Offers ways to use our resources in the changing context of the church
More coordinated, integrated response to the context where Church is.
Discipleship partnership, risk taking.Invites new ways of supporting ministry agents: Team working together, sharing skills, direction and support. Placement process does not encourage this model, where one minister support one congregation. Team ministry to be explored going forward, pastoral care, support, supervision are better offered in this team environment.
Need for more partnerships between congregation and other agencies, school, chaplains, presbytery, synod based resources. What if our story of partnerships becomes our future story. True partnership and trust, accountability is the highest desired by our church.
New stories of agencies, and congregations in partnership. Agencies is connected to the mission of the local congregation. Sharing resources. Deeper cooperation, existing congregation or new and emerging church. Concerns around the church finance, church buildings, money too much being spent on these. What if our story is an intentional support for freeing resources for missional response. Synod structure needs to enhance these stated missional goals.
Whether you believe it to be true or not rain is often seen as a blessing, On this first day of Synod, the light but constant drizzle of rain can be a welcome relief for those From the murmuring of colleagues and friends around the corridor of the Box Hill Town Hall on this first morning of Synod 2016, Synod business divine favour would
Restructuring of Synod, placement, CFM, CTM, BOMAR,
Mission resources and mission provide nurture and leadership.
Concern about finances is real. There are varying buckets of finances, was difficult to see the overall finances – A global budget will now establish for Synod. Allowing priorities of finance to missional priorities.
We are church rich in asset and good will, Leadership team have done some work, reduction of deficit by 2 million by next year. Additional revenue raising and revenue reduction. A balanced budget by 2019.
New and renewing ministry:
There are evidence of more stories of discontent, despair, we need to encourage more faith communities to experiment with messy church, sacramental ministry, care and worship in other spaces such as pubs or schools.
Intergenerational and inter-Culture.
Decline in numbers of attendance in churches. A new reality, growing ethnic congregations, ethnic focus, multicultural voices with wisdom, despair in young ones not represented in gathered community. Our processes to reflect our hopes. How to we listen more to young voices, from groups diverse, how might we grow together in our faith.
A fresh story: How do we become the new story?