Sue Withers paid lively tribute to all the number crunchers, regulation sticklers and report readers who have been the backbone of governance in the Uniting Church of Victoria and Tasmania as part of a busy Synod 2017 Wednesday morning.
Ms Withers presented a minute of appreciation to give thanks to God for the ministry offered by people who have served on seven boards and committees which are either being wound up on November 30 or having their terms of reference changed as synod restructures.
At that date the Property Board, Board of Mission and Resourcing, the Centre of Theology and Ministry board and Commission for Mission board will be wound up.
The Finance Committee, the Risk Management Committee and the Audit Committee will change their terms of reference.
“The Uniting Church might well be acronym heaven,” Ms Withers observed as BOMAR, CFM and CTM will soon RIP.
However, she said that in alphabet soup “many people have offered their times gifts and graces to the work of the church”.
A sustained round of applause was offered to thank all those people who had served past and present.
Ms Withers reiterated comments by Moderator Sharon Hollis that this did not mean the work done by those boards and committee would stop.
“Many of the people who have served will still offer their talents but the work will take on a different shape,” Ms Withers said.
Before the minute of appreciation Synod approved two proposals by consensus.
One was to congratulate the Victorian government on establishing a $600,000 housing fund to help asylum seekers with accommodation and other survival needs, plus to fund caseworkers for those facing being sent back to Nauru.
Synod also agreed by consensus that Synod Standing Committee nominating processes and the skills matrix ensures rural experience and outlook is highlighted and assessed.