President elect profile – Sharon Hollis

Regulation 3.7.5.1 requires that the Assembly Standing Committee provide advice to the Church on the challenges and issues which may be faced by the President and the Assembly in the next seven years. This is to assist the discernment process as the Church nominates and elects the President – elect.

In July 2017 the ASC addressed itself to this responsibility and offers this guidance to the Church.

“As the Uniting Church continues to move through a season of significant change, the ASC believes that the challenges and issues likely to be faced by the President and the Assembly in the next seven years will include:

The Covenant

  • The Covenant relationship with UAICC
  • Sovereignty and how we understand this in the practices of the Uniting Church

Belonging

  • Ways in which we can be a people of hope where God’s grace upholds us
  • Call to the renewal of God’s church by listening to what the Spirit is saying to the Uniting Church
  • Being, and identifying as, members of the Uniting Church and what this means
  • Holding our identity as the Uniting Church in amongst diversity

Discipleship

  • Call to disciple-making
  • Importance of investing in leadership for now and the future
  • The changing form of faith communities, and the importance of resourcing them

Being the Church in the public space

  • Being the Church as a prophetic voice in the public space
  • Re-establishing our place of trust in civil society
  • Managing and critiquing how we understand the relationship between Church and State

Responding to changing contexts

  • How we are the Church in a changing world, including the importance of having a national perspective
  • Responding to demographic forces in the Church eg changing membership profile
  • Understanding and educating ourselves about the world of social media

Name: Sharon Hollis (Rev.)

Nominated by: Rev. Margaret Mayman and Rev. Suzanne Stanton        

Synod of residence: Victoria and Tasmania

Age range: 50 - 59

Personal Interests: Reading and attending my book club, spending time with friends, visiting art galleries, movies

Placement / employment:                     
Moderator, Synod of Vic/Tas (2016-2019)
Continuing Education Coordinator (2007-2016)
Congregational Minister St.Columba’s Balwyn (1998-2005)
Congregational Minister Mont Albert (1995-1998)

Relevant church experience:                
Member, Assembly Education for Ministry Working Group (2012-2018)
Member, Queen's College Council (2013-2015)
Chair, Synod Terms of Placement Committee (2003-2009)
Member, Synod Legal Reference Committee (2005-2010) Convened several Synod meeting Facilitation Groups
Chair, Presbytery of Westernport Presbytery (2006)

I have a theology degree and post-graduate studies in Adult Education and Leadership

I am a Fellow of Queen's College, Melbourne University 

Passion:                                               
Parenting my daughters
Reducing the stigma of mental illness and suicide

Vision for the UCA                                

My vision for the Uniting Church is grounded in a belief that God's self revelation on in Jesus Christ heals and renews each of us and the whole creat on. The Spirit of Christ is constantly at work in the world calling us to newness of life and hope. Our embrace of diversity is grounded in the unity of God's call to worship, witness and service.

My Vision for the UCA is that we grow our capacity to be a church that:

Honours the Covenant with the UAICC, is committed to the Preamble shaping our theology and polity and is actively engaged in advocating for reconciliation in our nation.

Lives prophetically the vision of the Statement to the Nation on seeking both to engage in public advocacy for justice and peace nationally and internationally and grow communities of radical justice who are engaged with issues of justice in their local communities.

Learns to live faithfully with our growing marginality in society. Where our marginality results from our failure as a church may we confess, here our marginality is the result of faithful choices may we continue to live faithfully and where our marginality is the result of changing society may we learn to be the church in new ways.

Embraces the gift of being a multi-cultural church and continues to develop ways that make it possible for a diversity of languages and cultures to actively participate in the church.

Is committed to being a church of lifelong learners who take learning about faith and the contemporary contexts in which we minister seriously. We will encourage and mentor young adults to develop their gifts for ministry and mission and be open to learning from their wisdom.

Is willing to experiment and take risks in order to discover how to minister more faithfully in the multi-cultural, multi-faith, secular world.

In light of the advice provided by the ASC (this will be developed at the July 2017 meeting of the ASC) on the challenges and issues likely to be faced by the President and the Assembly in the next seven years I can/will 

The Covenant

I can build on relationships I have developed with Congress in the Vic/Tas Synod and will commit to developing relationships with Congress and learning from First Peoples. I acknowledge this is an area of Assembly work that would require me to develop new relationships, knowledge and skills which I am willing to do.

Belonging

In my own life I have experienced the grace of God calling me to hope when I didn't think it was possible and life when I was broken. I will seek to lead from this experience, inviting others to encounter the grace of God and join the body of Christ. As Moderator I have demonstrated a capacity to communicate clearly where I see God at work. I am able to articulate with clarity who we are as Uniting Church and what our key commitments are in both to the church and in public spheres. I am committed to regular worship and prayer to sustain my own belonging to the church and to aid my discernment of the Spirit.

Discipleship

I will work with the Assembly Resourcing Unit to encourage discipleship and can bring my adult education training to encourage ever member to grow as a disciple.

Being the Church in the public space

As Moderator I have demonstrated a capacity to speak prophetically in public and I am committed to continuing to developing my skills in advocacy. I am committed to the Uniting Church being engaged in the public sphere campaigning for justice and a fair and compassionate society.

Responding to changing contexts

In my previous role I regularly taught courses on change and during this time developed both knowledge of and skills to lead through change. I am willing to continue to grow my skills in engaging contemporary society and seeking to hear how God is at work in the world. I understand that parts of the church are ageing, and in decline, while other parts of the church are growing and renewing and we will have to make changes to take account of this. As Moderator I have gained some insight into the national perspective but would need to develop this perspective which I have both the will and skill to do. I actively engage with social media and use it skilfully to share my current ministry and will continue to grow and develop these skills