What is the measure of an effective chairperson and leader in the life of the Synod? Members of the UCA Vic/Tas Synod were asked to ponder this question on day three.
Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes, in her previous role as executive director of the Centre for Theology & Ministry (CTM) was giving a minute of appreciation for the CTM’s retiring chairperson, Dr Jill Tabart.
Dr Byrnes then answered her own question, suggesting that such a leader creates an environment and culture that enables the organisation they are leading to reach its full potential.
Dr Byrnes said that under the leadership of Dr Tabart, both the CTM and she, as its executive director, had been able to work to the best of their abilities.
However, Dr Byrnes said that Dr Tabart had unique attributes beyond the necessary requirements of board chair, which had been much appreciated by CTM staff.
One was a ministry of presence, which was underpinned with easy and frequent attendance at CTM. The second, Dr Byrnes explained was a leadership of congruence: fully integrating her faith, her passion for lifelong learning, always inclusive of many voices and seeking out those who hadn’t found their voice.
Dr Byrnes reiterated Dr Tabart’s “energetic and joyful responses to responsibilities of governance” as displayed in her regular CTM reports to Synod Standing Committee.
A suddenly bashful Dr Tabart expressed thanks for the minute of appreciation, deflecting attention back to those she has worked with.
“Having board members whom I admire, and working with staff whom I’m in awe of has enriched my life as chair.”
Dr Tabart received rousing applause for her years of service to the Synod.