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The Uniting Church is at a crossroads and the next Synod in Session will be one of the most important decision-making events in the history of our church. Critical decisions will be made that will shape the life of the church in the decades to come.

This imperative is echoed in the theme “Grow”, based on Ephesians 4:15–16.

“But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”

I urge you to carefully consider who you will nominate in 2020. Whose voices will we hear as we gather at the crossroads?

Now, more than ever, our youth and young adults have a voice to offer. They will drive future strategy and they must be part of these discussions.

What is the Synod in Session?

The Synod meeting, or the Synod in Session, is a gathering of around 400 members of the Uniting Church in Queensland and happens every 18 months.

The Synod in Session has responsibility for the general oversight, direction and administration of the Church’s worship, witness and service in the region allocated to it with such powers and authorities as may from time to time be determined by the Assembly (Basis of Union Paragraph 15).

What happens at Synod?

It is not all hard work. In our Synod meeting we celebrate the grace of God in Jesus Christ and we worship God together. It is a time when we can share with one another our experience of the work of God and share hopes and disappointments. We hear of the ways in which God is inspiring, guiding, shaping and empowering other parts of the church. We commit ourselves to continue together on the way, enriched through our renewed fellowship in Christ and the commitments we are challenged and inspired to make through our own informal decisions and our formal resolutions.

Between Synod meetings the elected and ex-officio members of the Synod Standing Committee act on behalf of the Synod and deal with specific issues that come out of the Synod.

The Synod is a significant Council of the Church that exercises important responsibilities as described in the Basis of Union, the Constitution, and the Regulations. The Basis states that the Synod has “responsibility for the general oversight, direction, and administration of the Church’s worship, witness, and service in the region allocated to it” BOU Para 15 (d).
The Uniting Church in Australia calls for a synod to gather so that the people of God may share together in the successes and struggles of the ministry of the church; be accountable to one another and encourage one another. At Synod we also worship and delve into the Scriptures and the Christian tradition. We gather so that out of sacred story and contemporary experience we may discern how we might grow in fulfilling our calling as the people of God in this Synod; in all the variety of our ministry contexts.

35th Synod (23–25 October 2020)

COVID-19 has put us into uncharted waters when it comes to gathering across the life of the church. So, we are thinking about all those times when we usually meet and how we need to adjust the way we gather as a church.

Taking into account all the factors that are impacting on our communities, the Synod in Session due to be held in October, is a meeting were business as usual will not be possible. We will be unlikely to be able to gather in unregulated large groups for any length of time until a vaccine or a treatment for COVID-19 is found. We also must pay heed to the expectation that anybody in a “vulnerable” category is being urged not to gather except for essential services.

The current conditions require agility and the Business Committee of the 35th Synod have agreed to extend some preparation deadlines for registration and reports as we prepare for the Synod meeting. Dates to be aware of are listed below.

7 August – First mail out and registration opens
21 August – Reports and proposals on reports due
9 September – Registrations close followed by orientation and training sessions
24 September –  Questions submitted
24 September – General Proposals due
25 September – Nominations close

On 30 April 2020, the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) determined that the 35th Synod in Session will meet primarily in a virtual (online) space. As we readjust to a virtual Synod, here is a summary of what we know at this point:

  • Dates/Duration: The induction of the Moderator will be held in the evening of Thursday 22 October 2020 before the 35th Synod in Session commences at 1pm on Friday 23 October 2020 and finishes at 6pm on Sunday 25 October 2020.
  • Cost of attendance: The cost will be $100 per member.
  • Member numbers: The number of people eligible to attend the 35th Synod in Session will not be altered.
  • Reporting: Written reports will still be requested and expected, as normal. A select few will provide a live-streamed presentation at the 35th Synod in Session—specifically Synod Standing Committee, Finance Investment and Property Board, the Moderator, the General Secretary, the Assembly General Secretary and the National President. All reporting bodies be asked to prepare a pre-recorded presentation which will be available prior to the 35th Synod in Session initial meeting. Guidelines and templates for this will be distributed shortly. All reporting bodies will be available for a live question and answer session during the 35th Synod in Session meeting.
  • Renomination of the General Secretary: Will be brought as a proposal to the meeting.
  • Nominations and elections: Essential elections of members to boards and committees including to the Synod Standing Committee and nominations for the 16th Assembly will occur at the meeting.
  • Information/orientation: We plan to hold various sessions in the lead up to Synod in Session to show you around the portal, orient new Synod members and small group leaders, and prepare everyone as best we can.

God’s blessings be with you as we prepare together.

The theme for the 35th Synod

The biblical theme for the 35th Synod in Session is “grow”.

Ephesians 4:15-16 “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”

Invitation to contribute pre-recorded music

The Queensland Synod worship planning team are pleased to invite congregations to contribute pre-recorded music for use during the 35th Synod in Session in October 2020. As the Synod will meet digitally, local ensembles are invited to record one or two songs as an .mp4 (video file) which will then be streamed during the online gathering. For more information, read the music invitation and music list or contact Music35thSynod@gmail.com.

Interested in attending?

If you are interested in attending the 35th Synod in Session, speak to your congregational minister and your presbytery minister.

Nominations and balloting

35th Synod nominations process

Nominations are now open for Synod governing body positions which will be appointed at the upcoming 35th Synod. Nominations close 4pm on Friday 25 September 2020.

Please refer to the Synod Appointment Process document for the nomination deadlines.

To nominate for a position on a Synod governing body you do not need to be on the roll of the 35th Synod, except for nomination to the Synod Standing Committee.

Information on all governing body nominees will be available on this page once nominations close.

The Remuneration and Nomination Committee recently approved a Governance Recruitment and Selection Policy and Governance Recruitment and Selection Procedure which summarise the nominations process. Adjustments have been made to the nomination form to reflect the procedure, including interviews now being undertaken by exception only. Nominees are however required to submit a brief video prior to the 35th Synod, further details of which are below.

Nomination forms

Nominations are sought for positions on the following governing bodies:

Please forward your nomination or any questions regarding the nomination process to governance@ucaqld.com.au. For a confidential discussion, please call Belinda Bones on 07 3377 9768.

Nomination forms are due by the nomination close time of 4pm on Friday 25 September 2020.

Nominee video

All nominees are required to self-record a 60–90 second video prior to the 35th Synod. Please ensure the video is recorded in landscape format. The following questions should be addressed during the recording:

  • How your previous roles have prepared you to be a member of the nominated governing body?
  • Your personal aspiration for serving on the nominated governing body?
  • What you identify as your strengths?

If you are nominating to the position of chairperson, the following questions should be addressed during the recording:

  • The governing bodies most significant challenge over the next 12–18 months?
  • What skills, attributes and perspectives would be of value to the governing body?

The recordings will be made available to Synod members to assist in their discernment.

Please forward your recordings to governance@ucaqld.com.au.

Nominee videos are due by the nomination close time of 4pm on Friday 25 September 2020.

Program

35th Synod program

Minutes

Information will be added post Synod in Session.

Reports

Appendices

Information will be added post Synod in Session.

General proposals

Information will be added post Synod in Session.

Procedural proposals

Information will be added post Synod in Session.

Worship and Bible study

Information will be added during or post Synod in Session.

35th Synod information and additional resources

Manual for meetings

Digital assets

Templates

Online

Bible verses

  • Bible verse 1
  • Bible verse 2

Videos

Past Synod Meetings

The theme for the 34th Synod is “SOW” based on 2 Cor 9:6-8

We’ll be exploring how the Queensland Synod can rededicate itself to fruitful life so that we can participate in God’s abundant mission in the years ahead. We want you as part of those conversations.

Who of those among you want to be part of our vision to “sow bountifully”? As you are considering who should attend, you are encouraged to think in a culturally inclusive way–will we have a broad representation of gender, age and multi-culturalism at the Synod. We also encourage you to think of those who are passionate about the life of the Uniting Church over the next ten years, younger people and people aged between 25-45 especially should be part of this planning.

We will be considering our next planning process as we come to the end of the Together on the Way: Enriching Community journey. Reports, conversations and discernment will help shift our focus to beyond 2020 as we reflect on our journey over the last ten years.

Minutes

Download the 34th Synod minutes.

Reports

or

Download all 34th Synod reports

Appendices

Information will be added post Synod in Session.

General Proposals

Information will be added post Synod in Session.

Procedural Proposals

Information will be added post Synod in Session.

Worship and Bible Study

34th Synod Information & Additional Resources

Digital Assets

Online

Bible Verses

Videos

Blogs

Hear from Past Attendees

Minutes

Download the 33rd Synod minutes

Reports

Appendices

General Proposals

Procedural Proposals

Proposals from Reports

Worship and Bible Study

Minutes

The 32nd Synod minutes have been amended following notification that the results of the ballot for Moderator-Elect had been omitted from the minutes. The amended minutes can be downloaded at the link below, with resolution 16.64A being the sole amendment.

Download the 32nd Synod minutes

Coverage

Now available on JourneyOnline.

Reports

Moderator Report
R01 – Board for Christian Formation
R01.2 – Trinity College Qld 32nd Synod Report
R02 – Finance Investment and Property Board
R03 – Gen Sec 32 Synod Report
R03.2 – Gen Sec Synod Standing Committee
R03.3 – Gen Sec Finance and Property Services
R03.4 – Gen Sec Uniting Communications
R03.5 – Gen Sec Project Officer Mission Engagement
R03.6 – Gen Sec SAC Ministerial Placements
R04 – Governance Nomination Remuneration Committee
R05 – Presbytery of Bremer Brisbane
R06 – Presbytery of Calvary
R07 – Presbytery of Central Qld
R08 – Presbytery of Mary Burnett
R09 – Presbytery of Moreton Rivers
R10 – Presbytery of North Qld
R11 – Presbytery of South Moreton
R12 – Presbytery of The Downs
R13 – Presbytery Finances
R14 – Schools and Residential Colleges Commission
R15 – Synod Chaplaincy Commission
R16 – Synod Ecumenical RelationshipsCommittee
R17 – Synod Interfaith Relationships Committee
R18 – Synod MultiCross Cultural Reference Group
R19 – UnitingCare Queensland
R20 – Wesley Mission Brisbane

Appendices

A1 – APPENDIX I Ministerial Changes Final
A2 – APPENDIX II Appointments
A3 – APPENDIX III Ministerial Retirements and Memorial Minutes 32nd Synod Final

Questions from Reports

Question from Report R3 – GenSec 32 Synod Report – Q1
Question from Report R3 – GenSec 32 Synod Report – Q2
Question from Report R3 – GenSec 32 Synod Report – Q3

Presbytery Video Reports

To download these videos, right-click the hyperlink, save as.
Bremer Brisbane
Central Queensland
The Downs
Moreton Rivers
Northern Queensland
South Moreton

Procedural Proposals

Procedural Proposals 32nd Synod
Roll of the 32nd Synod as of 17.05.16
Procedural Proposal 32nd Synod – 1.31 Discernment Process

Proposals from Reports

R03.2 – Proposal from GenSec Report (SSC) 2.05a
R17 – Proposal from MultiCross Cultural Ref Group 2.20b
R17 – Proposal from MultiCross Cultural Ref Group 2.20c

General Proposals

GP1 – Comprehensive Testing in CSG Areas
GP2 – Comprehensive Baseline Testing in Mining Approval Processes
GP3 – One in Christ Covenent of Intercession
GP4 – Communications from Property Committee
GP5 – The Future UCA in Qld
GP6 – SSC Communications
GP7 – BlueCare Processes

Worship and Bible Study

Synod Bible Study Outline-Final
The Norman and Mary Miller Lecture – Uniting Church Synod 2016 – Dr Neil Preston

Minutes

Download the 31st Synod minutes

Podcasts

Bible Study 1 Janice Rees: Audio (10 MB)

Bible Study 2 Malcolm Coombes: Audio (12 MB)

Bible Study 3 Wendi Sargeant: Audio (11 MB)

Norman and Mary Millar Lecture Brendan McKeague: Audio (20 MB), Powerpoint (2 MB)

Song list

Synod 2014 song list and liturgy sources

Minutes

30th Synod minutes

Podcasts

Norman and Mary Millar lecture Catholic deacon, Chaplain Gary Stone, speaks on the many and varied discipleship opportunities throughout his life.

Impacts of mining on communities and the environment QandA Phil Smith hosts a panel discussion and Q&A with Rev Dr David Ferguson, Dr Jim Cavaye, and Dr Libby Connors.

30th Synod Bible study 3 Trinity Theological College’s Rev Dr Malcolm Coombes explores the ministry of prayer in Luke’s gospel. Join us on the prayerful way.

30th Synod Bible study 2 Trinity Theological College’s Dr Aaron Ghiloni asks which way and whose path we, as disciples, are on? Join us on the debatable way.

30th Synod Bible study 1 Trinity Theological College’s Rev Dr Geoff Thompson asks: When have you had to unlearn ways of thinking about and relating to God? Join us on the surprising way.

Song list

Synod 2013 song list—liturgy sources web