By NIGEL TAPP
All church members have been invited to a series of synod-wide information sessions to inform and provide feedback on the vision and plans of the Major Strategic Review (MSR).
Sessions have already been held at Hoppers Crossing, Longford, Tasmania, Noble Park, Benalla and Traralgon.
This month meetings are planned for Heathmont, Wycheproof, Ararat and 130 Little Collins Street .
An information session has also been held for staff of Synod-based ministries and operations.
The MSR seeks to respond to the Church’s context in a contemporary – multi-faith, multicultural and increasing secular – society with greater expectations on governance standards as well as the church’s changing reality. This changing reality revolves around a smaller and ageing church with an openness to new expressions of life and mission which places a greater strain on people and financial resources.
It is being framed around the need for financial sustainability with a focus on budget processes, risk management and financial oversight, asset management and dealing with reducing resources.
The MSR’s work is guided by a shared vision of “Following Christ, seeking community, compassion and justice for all creation” and mission principles which proclaim that God in Christ reaches out to the world.
The sessions will present possible operational and governance changes throughout the church.
While there are no recommendations for boundary changes or amalgamations of the eight presbyteries, models of support and resourcing of presbyteries will be discussed.
The focus is on greater collaboration between presbyteries and the synod to support the life and mission of gathered communities.
The structure, practices and logistics of the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) – including its size, length of terms and meeting protocols – will be discussed as well as the role of the various synod boards and committees and the general secretary.
Time will also be devoted to exploring the structure of synod-based ministries and operations, the roles and reporting lines of senior leaders and the relationship between the various units.
Recommendations from the MSR will be taken to SSC meetings in March and April this year with a three to five year plan to be presented to the Synod in June.
For more information go to: www.listeningpost.uca.org.au/msr