Friday, 31 August 2018

15th ASC holds first meeting

Members of the Fifteenth Assembly Standing Committee met for the first time in Sydney from 23-25 August.

President Dr Deidre Palmer led opening worship with Rev. Fie Marino. The President preached on Ephesians 4: 1-16 Unity in the Body of Christ and communion was offered.

Assembly Standing Committee members were given a thorough briefing on the operations and governance of the Assembly and its Agencies.

Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd facilitated a Q & A session with the National Directors of Assembly Agencies, UnitingCare Australia, Frontier Services and UnitingWorld, as well as leaders of the Assembly Resourcing and Support Units.

Two proposals that weren't dealt with by the Fifteenth Assembly were considered and approved. Proposal 45 - National Conference conversations with UAICC and Proposal 58 - Pastoral Support for Seasonal Workers were both approved. Proposal 56 for a Major Strategic Review was not supported. Other proposals have been referred to the Assembly Legal Reference Committee.

The ASC endorsed a number of actions in response to Fifteenth Assembly resolutions:

Domestic and Family Violence. The Assembly Resourcing Unit (ARU) is to liaise with Synod/Agency personnel to scope educational and theological materials relating to the Statement on Family and Domestic Violence.
Day of Mourning. The Assembly Consultant Covenanting to work with UAICC and ARU to develop resources for the Uniting Church for Sunday 20 January 2019.
Sovereignty. A Task Group will be established to consider the practical outcomes for the Church following the Fifteenth Assembly affirmation and to bring a progress report to the March 2019 ASC meeting.
Climate Change. ARU to develop the contents of Proposal 66 as an action plan.

Nominees for Chairs and members of Assembly Boards and Committees, Circle Advocates and Panel Members, and Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogues were all endorsed. (See full list below).

 The next ASC meeting takes place from 9-11 November 2018.

Assembly Committees and Boards

Chair: Dr Andrew Glenn FAICD Andrew is a former Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) at Murdoch University and the University of Tasmania. When he retired in 2007 he was made an Emeritus Professor. He has been a member of 20 company boards including as chair in the research and technology or educational services sectors, and has worked as a consultant advising universities or state governments around the country on research management. Andrew has been a member of the Uniting Church in Australia since union. He was commissioned as a lay preacher in 1990. He is a past Chairperson of the Presbytery of Tasmania, a former Member of the Assembly Standing Committee and a Member of the Major Strategic Review team of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. He is a member of the Hobart North congregation. Andrew also chaired the UnitingWorld Church Connections National Committee for over five years.

James Batley
David Hodges
John Manning
Tina Rendell-Thornton
Rev Paul Swadling
Margaret Watt


UnitingCare Australia:
Chair: Bronwyn Pike Following an early teaching career, Bronwyn joined the Victorian Uniting Church as Director of Justice and Social Responsibility. She managed the delivery of a broad range of health, social and educational services through more than 100 UnitingCare agencies. Bronwyn was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 1999 and held the portfolios of Housing, Aged Care, Community Services, Health and Education. She retired from Parliament in 2012. Bronwyn is currently Chair of Western Health; Chair of Uniting in VicTas; and Chair of UnitingCare Australia. She is also president of the Australian College of Educators. Bronwyn joined the Uniting Board in July 2015 and is Chairperson of the Board’s Governance and Church Collaboration Committee.

Members of the current National Committee will continue to serve in this role until the new UnitingCare Australia Mandate is approved and a new Board is appointed in November 2018. They are:
Colleen Geyer, Claerwen Little (ex-officio), Rob Brown, Craig Barke, Robert Watson, Paul Linossier, Daphne Read AO, Tracey Burton (Synod representatives), Richard Hearn, Libby Craft, Chris England (appointed members).


Frontier Services:
Chair: Rev Will Pearson  Retired Minister of the Word with lifelong association and interest in rural Australia. 20 years’ experience as Wool and Portfolio Manager for Elders Ltd. in NSW. Spent five and half years in Far Western NSW, half time Presbytery Minister with Macquarie Darling Presbytery and half time with Broken Hill Congregation. Member of 10th and 11th Assemblies, various NSW.ACT Synod meetings and a member of NSW ACT Governance Nomination Remuneration Committee before joining Board of Frontier Services. Chair of New England North West Presbytery.

Lisa Sampson
John Baxter
Dorothy Creek
Dianne Torrens
Rev Garry Dronfield (liaison for Ms Torrens)

Standards for Ministries Committee: Chair: Dr Kaye Roberts-Thomson  Kaye is a distinguished academic in the field of dentistry and an active member of the UCA. She is currently Chairperson of the Education for Ministry Working Group and  Chairperson of the Adelaide College of Divinity Council. From 2000 to 2007 she was Convenor, Selection Panel for applicants for ministry in the UCA SA Synod, where she is also a previous Chair of the Committee for Discipline. 

Rev Benjamin Gilmour
Rev Dr Christine Sorenson
Rev Prof Andrew Dutney
Isabel Thomas Dobson
Rev Dr John Squires
Rev Jorge Rebolledo
Dr Leigh Trevaskis
Emeritus Professor Ross Chambers
Rev Denise Savage
Rev Dr Sean Winter
Rev Salesi Faupula
Rev Dr Anne Wright


Church Polity Reference Committee:

Chair: Rev Gordon Ramsay  Gordon is a Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, representing the electorate of Ginninderra. He is the ACT Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Arts & Community Events, Veterans and Seniors, Building and Quality Improvement. He was elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in October 2016. Before that he was the Executive Minister at Kippax Uniting Church from 1997 to 2016. Gordon formerly chaired the Board of Uniting (previously known as UnitingCare NSW.ACT). and is a former Chairperson of the Presbytery of Canberra Region. He was a member of the 13th Assembly, associated with the 10th Assembly and a Member of the 7th Assembly Worship Committee. Gordon has been a member of the Assembly Church Polity Reference Committee since 2006. He is a former member of the Assembly Development Committee and the UnitingWorld National Committee.

Rev Prof Andrew Dutney
Rev Dr Ian Price
Rev JennyTymms
Rev Dr Chris Budden
Rev Michelle Cook
Rev Haloti Kailahi

Assembly Legal Reference Committee Chairperson
Chair: Warwick van Ede  Warwick has been a member of the Assembly Legal Reference Committee for 20 years. He is a previous member of the NSW/ACT Property Trust, was formerly the legal adviser to the NSW/ACT Committee for Discipline, and was the founding Convenor of Appeal Panels for the NSW/ACT Synod. He is currently the National Convenor of Appeal Panels. He is a lawyer of over 25 years’ experience, currently practising with JS Mueller & Co, a specialist Strata Law firm.

Malcolm Gledhill
Karen Keogh
Peter Butt
Andrew Johnson
Rob Ewing


Assembly Finance Audit and Risk Committee
Chair: Stuart Woodward GAICD  Stuart is a member of Cherrybrook Uniting Church in NSW. He is recently retired from the Commonwealth Bank where he was General Manager, Payment Representations. Stuart is a former member of the North Sydney Regional Aged Care Board, UnitingCare Ageing, and a former Councillor on the Northern Sydney UnitingCare Ageing Council. He is also a former member of the Frontier Services Transitional Aged Care Board. Stuart has been a member of AFARC since 2014. Note: The ASC appointed Stuart Woodward in July 2017. He continues in this role.

Rev Peter McDonald
Tony Engel
Ben Cohen

Assembly Investment Committee
Chair: Vivienne Lee Vivienne has held several senior positions at investment firms, Perennial and BT Investment Management and is currently a Senior Product Manager with NSW Treasury Corporation She has long experience working in credit markets and property investment.

Members (all current):
Matthew Moore
Jason Bryan
Chris Dickman

Defence Force Chaplaincy

Chair: Rev David Thiem  David is an ordained minister in the Uniting Church with 40 years’ experience. He has served in Parishes, Congregation and Assembly placements during this time. David has been associated with the Navy for over 30 years both full-time and as a reservist, including service overseas. He has chaired Defence Force Chaplaincy for the past six years.

Rev Dr Murray Earl (UCA rep on the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services)
Rev Charles Vesely
Rev Robyn Kidd (Secretary)
Rev Gary Whelband (Treasurer)
Rev Alan Williams
Rev David Jackson
Rev Phil Anderson
Rev Murray Lund
Rev Andrew Delbridge
Rev Nikki Coleman

Assembly Circles: Advocates and Panels

Being a Multicultural Church Circle
Advocate: Rev Dr Matagi Vilitama
Trained in Niue and New Zealand, Matagi began his ministry in the Ekalesia Kerisiano Niue (EKN) serving for 12 years in a number of roles including President. While at EKN he was a member of the Pacific Conference of Churches, involved in cross-cultural, multicultural and ecumenical programs. Since moving to Australia, Matagi has served in the UCA for nine years at Carlton-Ramsgate Uniting Church in the Georges River Presbytery in the Synod of NSW & the ACT. He has a PhD in ecclesiology from Charles Sturt University.

Panel Members:
Rev Angie Griffin
Rev Bryan Gilmour
Rev Emmanuel Audisho
Hee-jeong Sylvia Yang
Rev Jason Kioa
Rev Kisoo Jang
Levon Kardashian
Moses Leth
Steve Bernaudo
Rev Viniana Ravitali

Discipling the Next Generations Circle:
Advocate: Steve Molkentin
Steve currently works for the UCA Queensland Synod as Mission Officer (Generation Next).
An IT professional for 25 years, Steve has been engaged in ministry with young people particularly through music throughout his church life. He worked in Laidley/Hatton Vale Parish with Rev’s Ian and Margaret Stehbens in 1994 under the Order of St Stephen, developing a deep understanding of pastoral life, dynamic church planting and the importance of lay ministry. Steve is also an experienced videographer.

Panel Members:
Bradon French
Robin Yang
Sione Hehepoto
Virginia Lavaki
Leviana Tuiloma
Nicole Mugford

Growing in Faith Circle
Advocate: Rev Ann Perrin  Ann is a Minister in the UCA in the Synod of Victoria/Tasmania where she is in placement with the Clarence Uniting Church, Hobart. She is the current Chairperson of the Presbytery of Tasmania. Ann has served the Church in many roles including as a Member of the Doctrine Working Group since 2010. Ann has also been a Lecturer in Double Bass (Part Time) at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and has contributed articles to a number of publications and conference papers.

Panel Members: 
Dr Margaret Campbell
Rev Kylie Crabb
Liam Miller
Matthew Julius
Rev Peter Walker
Rev Rachel Kronberger
Tau’alofa Anga’aelangi

Seeking Common Ground Circle
Advocate: Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler  Amelia is both an accredited Youth Worker and Minister of the Word currently working for Parramatta Mission in the Synod of NSWACT, where she is an Interfaith Chaplain at Western Sydney University. Amelia has served the Church nationally in many roles including as a member of Assembly Standing Committee, the Multi/Cross Cultural Reference Committee, Education for Ministry Working Group, and Worship Working Group. Amelia is currently the Worship and Liturgy Chairperson for the World Methodist Council with a primary focus on multicultural and intercultural expressions of worship. She is currently a member of the Western Sydney Indigenous Advisory Group and participates in Interfaith events, such as the Affinity Intercultural Foundation's annual Abraham conference. Amelia has also served in a variety of Congregational, educational and community placements.

Panel Members:
Alison Bleyerveen
April Kailahi
Geoff Boyce
Rev Heather Griffin
Rev Marie Wilson
Siosiana Joyce Tangi
Rev Tara Curlewis

Transforming Worship Circle
Advocate: Rev Alexandra Sangster
A minister in the UCA for over 12 years, Alex is committed to opening up worship to all people and finding ways to connect people into God’s story incarnated in Jesus Christ. Alex has lead worship in Iona and Portland USA and worked with a number of networks in Australia and the USA on worship. She also played a significant role in the organisation of the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church as part of the organising group, and was the author of the 40 Days of Prayer leading up to the Assembly. Alex is also active in a number of spheres within the church and beyond including in justice and environmental issues.

Panel Members:
Alison Whish
Rev David McGregor
Rev James Aaron
Rev Dr Paul Walton
Rev Radhika Sukumar-White
Rev Warwick Cadenhead

Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle

Advocate: Stuart McMillan Stuart McMillan is the ex- President of the Uniting Church in Australia, serving in that role from 2015-2018. Stuart and his family moved to the Northern Territory in 1982 to serve in the Northern Synod of the UCA as an accountant. Since then he has held many roles in the Northern Synod and associated organisations including operations manager, general manager of the Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA) - now the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, pastor, cultural awareness trainer, resource worker, community developer, and Moderator. Stuart was adopted into the Gupapuyngu clan of the Yolngu nation with the skin name bulany meaning red kangaroo. He worked as an advisor to the former Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia's Northern Synod, the Rev. Djiniyini Gondarra, for 12 years through the period after the High Court’s Mabo decision established Native Title. He was involved in researching the claimants' situations and making trips to Canberra to assist Gondarra and others as they gave their input on the drafting of the Native Title Act. 

Stuart took on the role of pastor at the Humpty Doo Uniting Church, a role he served in for around 11 years.
At the 15th Assembly, Stuart was the Proposer of the Proposal 29, which led Assembly members to affirm that the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Islander Peoples, are sovereign peoples in this land.

Panel Members:
Rev Thresi Mauboy Wohangara
Rev Dr Gewa Au
Rev Jennie Gordon
Rev Michelle Cook
Rev Seungjae Yeon

Working for Justice Circle

Advocate: Rev Loni Vaitohi Born and raised in Tonga, Loni has undertaken all his theological and ministerial training in Australia and has served in a number of Uniting Church congregations for over 20 years. Loni is currently in placement in Shepparton Uniting Church in the Synod of Victoria/Tasmania. He describes this placement as a multicultural Christian community in a very complex and diverse wider socio-political environment. The region is involved in hosting refugees in the government ‘pilot’ program and is also a provider of employment to low-and semi-skilled migrant labourers, including Seasonal Workers from the Pacific Islands. Loni is actively involved with both of these groups and the issues of justice that arise for them. Having worked with migrants and refugees and engaging First Peoples with/and their struggles has given Loni a clearer perspective on issues of dispossession, slavery, assimilation, racism, sexual exploitation of the poor and the powerless, climate change, drug abuse and domestic violence.

Panel Members:
Rev Bea Skippen
Cindy James
Rev Do Young Kim
Zac Hatfield-Dodds