Presbytery Meeting Feb 16 2019

Five Dock–Drummoyne Uniting Church


Opening Worship was full of life as we kicked off the first Presbytery meeting of 2019.

Rev. Jenny Ducker preached on the theme – ‘Ordinary Love’.

Congregational Christmas Sharing

Ian Goff shared a presentation on how various congregations celebrated Christmas through, which highlighted the unique and vibrant mission activities and celebrations over the festival of Christmas. The Presbytery saw a snap shot of what went on at the Petersham Tongan congregation, Woollahra-Double Bay, Mustard Seed, Ashfield, Burwood-Croydon, Hurlstone Park and Lugar Brae.

Life & Mission of Five Dock-Drummoyne UCA

Rev Don Everhart noted the numerous opportunities of community engagement that the congregation is undertaking, with a particular emphasis on young families. Further to this, the congregation has an onsite Pre-School and works to make connections with the parents. 

Another area of past (and future) interest is the relationship with the Baptist Aged Care facility (which is currently being rebuilt on an adjoining site, from a 34 to 70+ unit building). This represents a great opportunity for the congregation.

Many Cultures, One in Christ

Dr Glen Powell spoke to the Presbytery about the ‘Many Cultures, One in Christ’ youth worship event series.  Glen explained that the event is all about Young Leaders Putting Faith in Action.

Church Council Engagement Update

Rev Kent Crawford updated the Presbytery on the status of this initiative. Kent explained that the Presbytery staff and Committee members are half way through visiting each Church Council. Of the visited groups, Kent highlighted that 11 felt affirmed by Presbytery, 3 were neutral and 4 experienced some elements of frustration. The information gathered will help inform the new Strategic Plan.

UME Introductions - Mission Enablement Team

Rev Jorge Rebolledo introduced the newly formed Mission Enablement Team, which includes: Falepaini Maile (working with the Parramatta-Nepean, Middle North Coast and Far North Coast Presbyteries), Cameron Eccleston (working with George’s River, Illawara, Macquarie-Darling, New England and Canberra Presbyteries) and Raymond Jaso (working with Sydney, Hunter and Korean Presbyteries). Jorge will work with Sydney-Central Coast as well as support the rest of the team.  An emphasis will be on being user focused, so that relational strength allows for greater knowing and focused responding.

Towards a New Strategic Plan

Kent spoke on the current Strategic Plan, based on the Mission Statement: Leading the Church to Life.

Kent explained that the Strategic Plan informs everything that happens on a staff level. This involves tracking the progress through our staff and committee’s work as well as reporting to the Presbytery Standing Committee. This allows for evaluation and for focused work and specified resourcing. The current Strategic Plan ends this fiscal year.

Foundational to moving to a new plan is the feedback from the Church Council Engagement Strategy, as well as feedback from Presbytery Members.

Two questions were discussed in groups:

1. What would make the biggest positive difference for your Congregation/School/ Service towards its own plans over the next three years? (What big move? What new way of operating? What opportunity could be grasped?)

2. What role is there, if any, for Presbytery to play in assisting your answer to #1.

Welcoming Tash Holmes

Tash Holmes, Uniting's NEW Church Engagement Leader for our Presbytery was welcomed. Tash shared that she is hoping to have great connections with congregations and others in the Presbytery.

Mascot Wesley Update

REV. Jenny Ducker noted the steps being made by the congregation and the blessings being discovered through the leadership of the new minister, Rev Jason Kioa. Jason passionately spoke from a place of optimism about the future of the congregation.

Mission & Resource Update

In 2015, Sydney Presbytery, after a request from Synod, committed to raising $30 million within a process focused on achieving missional goals and in keeping with our values.  Paddington, Marrickville and Hepisepa Congregation’s site in Redfern have helped towards this contribution.

One principle is ensuring we reap the value of a site including the possibility of developing a site. Rose Bay and South Strathfield are two properties we are currently focused on. A decision will be determined regarding Rose Bay as it proceeds to the Land and Environment Court.  At South Strathfield, affordable housing in micro apartments is envisioned with seemingly robust support from the local Council; 45 apartments along with an additional 3 parking spaces is envisioned.

There are two other conversations ongoing. The process is that such conversations are not reported on until there is some agreement or the Presbytery is needed to assist with moving to some decision.