ASC Update November 2021
The Assembly Standing Committee (ASC) met for the last time in 2021 via zoom on 12-14 November.
The meeting began with a governance training session led by Heather Watson. The ASC is committed to reviewing and building its skills in governance and will be undertaking training throughout the triennium. Prior to the November meeting, Information Sessions were also provided for members in finance, risk and Act2.
The meeting was chaired by the President, Rev Sharon Hollis, and began with worship, which also began and ended each day. The ASC also acknowledged the First Peoples of all the lands we were meeting on, and the significance of the Covenant between the Uniting Church and the Congress.
A number of issues were discussed at the meeting and decisions made.
ASC Governance Advisory Committee
Following a review of the ASC Governance Reference Committee, new Terms of Reference were agreed on for a renamed ASC Governance Advisory Committee. This Committee advises the ASC on the fulfillment of its governance responsibilities.
Finance and Risk
The Assembly Finance Audit and Risk Committee reported to the ASC as it does each time it meets. The report included the annual external audit outcomes. The ASC considered the Assembly Risk Register and Risk Appetite Statement and whether there needed to be any changes when considering the issues before the ASC.
The ASC received a report from the Act2 Task Group regarding the current round of consultation across the UCA. It also participated in conversations about the questions in the online survey that connects with the Considering Afresh Our Life Together report. (see Considering Afresh - Uniting Church in Australia)
Online Gathering for Worship with Holy Communion
The ASC approved the extension of permission for UCA Congregations to hold online gathering for worship with Holy Communion in accordance with the guidelines approved by the ASC until the reconvened meeting of the 16th Assembly in May 2022. This takes into account that there is still some uncertainty about whether future lockdowns will occur and will allow for some work to be done on what has been learnt from congregations during the time of the pandemic.
Climate Action Plan Annual Report
For the first time, the Assembly and its agencies reported to the ASC on progress against the Assembly Climate Action Plan. The report included the first Carbon Emissions Report of the Assembly and agencies. This report will be made annually and give the ASC oversight of how the Assembly will work towards and achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Standards for Ministries Committee
The Standards for Ministries Committee reported on its consultation with the South Australian MEB and the Uniting College of Leadership and Theology. The ASC determined that the courses offered under the SA MEB through Uniting College of Leadership and Theology be recognised as fulfilling the Regulations of the Uniting Church for the ministries concerned and the Standards of formation, education and training for the specified ministries.
National Safe Church Unit and UCA Redress Ltd
The National Safe Church Unit and UCA Redress Ltd reported to the ASC on their operations and issues being faced in their areas of responsibility.
UCA Assembly Ltd AGM
UCA Assembly Ltd is the legal body for the Assembly. In accordance with requirements the Annual General Meeting was held as part of the ASC meeting.