Photo credit: Nicole Mugford
November 15, 2023
This meeting was the final ASC meeting for current General Secretary, Colleen Geyer. A Minute of Appreciation was recorded acknowledging the ASC’s deep gratitude for Colleen’s ministry as General Secretary. Messages of thanks were given by ASC members Geoff Thompson, Nicole Mugford and Mark Kickett. Colleen will take up the role of Director of Mission at Wesley Mission Queensland in February.
The President and the Interim Chair of UAICC reflected on the outcome of the Voice Referendum in their reports to the ASC; and of the importance of continuing to walk together under the Covenant. The President noted, “The result of the referendum was heartbreaking. As a Church we committed not just to supporting the Voice but to examining our own life and to reflect on how well we are living the Covenant. We must not allow our disappointment at the result to distract us from the work of living the Covenant more faithfully and fully. There is much work to do in the Church.”
Assembly General Secretary (Interim)
According to the Regulations, the ASC advised the President to appoint Rev Lindsay Cullen (Associate General Secretary) as the Assembly General Secretary (Interim) from January 2024 until the next General Secretary is elected.
Assembly General Secretary Recruitment
ASC approved members of the Joint Nominating Committee for the recruitment of the next Assembly General Secretary. Information for this placement will be available later in November. Members of the 17th Assembly will consider a nomination for this role when it meets in July next year.
Frontier Services Reported
Chair of the Frontier Services, Lisa Sampson, and National Director, Rob Floyd, attended the ASC and brought the annual report from Frontier Services. ASC members heard of new Bush Chaplains and the volunteer activities of Outback Links. Connecting to the broader Uniting Church about the work of Frontier Services and how people can be involved has also been part of the National Director’s priorities.
ASC was updated on preparations for the 17th Assembly which will take place in Parramatta next year, 16-21 July 2024.
As Presbyteries and Synods finalise their members to the 17th Assembly, planning for the work of the Assembly meeting is also underway. Members of the Business Committee were appointed by the ASC, with Rev Heather den Houting to serve as the Chair.
Act2 Collective Discernment
Act2 Project Lead Andrew Johnson reported to the ASC on the progress of the Act2 project. In particular the Collective Discernment phase and discussions that have taken place in Synod meetings and with Presbyteries and Congregations (Submissions for the Collective Discernment phase are due by 30 November 2023). Councils and members have been asked to respond to the Directions and Options included in the report. (You can read the report and see how you can contribute here)
National Safe Church Unit
ASC endorsed changes to the Charter of the NSCU, including broadening the scope of the unit to include safeguarding of vulnerable adults and work on National Standards.
Net Zero Emissions Working Group
The Working Group which was established following resolutions of the 16th Assembly reported on activities to date. These have included a Round Table of interested people to discuss commitments, resolutions and statements that have been made across the UCA; and a survey that will be distributed across the UCA to discover more about what is happening across the Church.
UCA Assembly Ltd Annual General Meeting
UCA Assembly Ltd held its Annual General Meeting on the Sunday of the ASC meeting. ASC members are also members of UCA Assembly Ltd, and considered the report of the Chair, John Graves, and the accounts of the company.
ASC approved the following nominations to the UCA Assembly Ltd Board – Dale K Ham and David Cousins.
ASC approved the following nominations to the Frontier Services Board – Renata Paliskis, Stephen Webster and Rev Andrew Syme.
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