Saturday, 12th of August, 2017.

Worship.

We began the meeting by sharing in worship led by deputy chairperson Rev. Vinnie Ravetali. We were also blessed and challenged by Rev. Fie Marino (Multicultural Ministry Consultant for NSW/ACT Synod) who shared a sermon on the story of the Syrophoencian Woman in the Gospel of Mark. We also shared together in the sacrament of Holy Communion before beginning the business of the day.

Wesley Mission.

Andrew Chin from Wesley International Congregation gave a fantastic presentation on the life and work of Wesley Mission.

Here are some highlights:

Celebrating diversity, building unity.

Inclusivity and diversity are at the core of Wesley Mission and this is reflected through their bright and vibrant congregations.

In recent years, there has been an intentional effort between congregations to collaborate and support one another. This has led to increased learning and growth, the sharing of resources and the planning of more joint ventures and activities.

Wesley Connect: Ministry on the margins. Combined project.

Coming out of this shared vision is an initiative called Wesley Connect, which was created to be a loving and encouraging environment where people who are in need could come and find community.

Andrew told the story of one young woman who was helped to stability and safety by the good folk at Wesley Connect.

For more information on this great program, click HERE.

Discipleship opportunities register: Integrating word & deed.

Andrew also spoke about the discipleship opportunities register that the Wesley Centre Chaplain has been working hard to develop. This would connect the diverse set of congregations that make up Wesley Mission with community services such as aged care, disability, family crisis, homelessness and addiction. These are all areas Wesley Mission has been involved in for many years.

Wesley Mission has also been investing time and energy in partnerships and has been working with The Bible Society, Heart for Kids International, Kidsreach and City Bible Forum.

For more information on all the good works of Wesley Mission, please visit: www.wesleymission.org.au

Pastoral Relations Minister.

The Presbytery was pleased to issue a call to a new Pastoral Relations Minister by a unanimous ballot. The new role will begin later in the year. As the minister is currently in placement within Sydney Presbytery, their name must remain confidential until they have had the opportunity to inform their congregation. We look forward to sharing the name with you soon!

NOTE: Just a reminder to all those who attended the meeting to keep the name confidential until further notice!

Strategic Plan Focus: Effective Presbytery Meetings.

Kent led this session with the focus being on feedback and ideas about improving Presbytery meetings.

The Presbytery staff also introduced an interactive program called Poll Everywhere, which allows live interaction with meeting participants. This was used to garner responses to a set of questions to do with the purpose of Presbytery meetings.

For example:

  • Almost all members of the Presbytery wanted to participate in training with practical application to their role in the Presbytery, but were evenly split on whether it should happen during Presbytery meetings or at a different time and place;
  • By a 2 to 1 margin, Presbytery members wanted to hear from engaging speakers on the issues facing the current and future church;
  • At least 40% of Presbytery members did not want Presbytery Meetings to be a space for negotiating joint statements or advocacy on social issues.
  • Feedback received from Presbytery members will be collated and presented to the Standing Committee for reporting back to a future Presbytery meeting, though clearly good coffee and good food are considered essential!

Budget.

The Presbytery’s 2017/18 Budget as approved by the Standing Committee was received in summary form. The Presbytery heard that the budget formation process is aligned primarily to the Presbytery’s Strategic Plan 2016-19 and involves input from staff and committee with all assumptions documented and tested.

The Presbytery’s Main Operations are forecasting a minor deficit of about $17,000 for the financial year and our ministry and mission amongst tertiary students continues to require significant investment, especially given our Synod’s removal of funding at the end of this calendar year.

Ian noted that the Annual Financial Returns from Congregations are due on October 31st.  Another area he is focusing on for the future is seeking a group of interested Congregations to explore obtaining renewable energy using our collecting buying power. Anyone interested in this area if invited to contact Ian at ian@sydneypresbytery.org.au

Mission + Resource Strategy.

Kent gave a brief update on our work with Congregations to identify possible solutions to our targeted contribution towards the Synod loan repayment. He highlighted progress is being made, and outlined that it is not an inexpensive exercise. He also discussed the necessary investment in relationships that ought exist in any discernment conversation founded on a Congregation’s missional goals and vision.

The Hepisipa Congregation of the Tonga Parish has moved from Redfern to Marrickville and the Redfern site will be sold with proceeds, after costs, given to the Synod. Along with this, pre-DA plans and conversations at Rose Bay and South Strathfield are continuing.

The next meeting.

The next meeting will be held at Paddington Uniting Church (395 Oxford St. Paddington) on November 14 at 5.30pm. This will be the Presbytery’s AGM and election of new members to committees of the Presbytery will be part of the meeting.