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The Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod


9 October 2018


It is our hope Uniting News continues to help you grow, transition and innovate as the people of God.

Rev Heather den Houting
General Secretary, Queensland Synod

From the General Secretary

Peer support for ministry agents

As part of the Queensland Synod’s commitment to providing resources to support ministry agents, we are intending to develop a specific program of work based on the peer support model.

It is envisaged that this work will occur within the next three months. If you are interested in either being trained to provide peer support for ministry agents generally in Queensland, or receiving ministry support at this time, please contact me with your availability or requested time frame for support.

Access to free professional counselling services for ministry agents

The Queensland Synod’s Employee Assistance Program policy provides for individuals to access confidential professional counselling services of up to three one-hour consultations free of charge. 

The Synod is extending this service to all ministry agents (Deacon, Minister of the Word and Ministry of Pastor).  The provider can assist with short term intervention strategies to help resolve a range of matters, such as coping with stress and anxiety.

The current provider is Change Futures (07 3857 0847; The provider is based in South East Queensland, but can provide counselling services by phone or telephone conferences (which they set up).  You will need to advise Change Futures that you are a ministry agent and they will invoice the Queensland Synod directly.

Alternatively, you can use another nearby provider which you can locate through relevant professional associations such as “Find a Psychologist” or “Find a Registered Counsellor”. If the alternative provider does not agree to invoice the Queensland Synod, you will need pay for the consultation and seek reimbursement from the Synod.

The Employee Assistance Program policy contains a list of additional resources and Ministry Agents can raise matters as part of your professional supervision (resources are on the Queensland Synod website). 

Please contact Grant Weaver, Manager People and Culture on 07 3377 9867 or via for further information.

Get involved in the National Professional Standards project

The National Professional Standards project is underway, and participation is invited from all interested parties.

The principle aims of the project are to undertake a comprehensive review of professional standards for ministry agents in the Uniting Church, to enhance consistency in processes and operations, to provide clarity over the role of ministry and to help define the relationship between the minister and the church.

I encourage you to contribute to this project by contributing to exemplar work, being involved in feedback groups and/or by taking the survey.

To find out more, read the press release or the Frequently Asked Questions produced by the project team.

Rev Heather den Houting
General Secretary, Queensland Synod

From the Moderator

Synod-wide recovery scheme

Earlier this year consultation across the life of the Queensland Synod was undertaken to identify how the church may best provide for payments associated with redress and civil litigation relating to historical instances of child sexual abuse.

We appreciate the substantial and thoughtful responses that came from many parts of our church.

As a result, Synod Standing Committee has considered how best the church may provision for financial redress. In doing so, it has determined that the Synod office will continue to administer the total costs for claims for historical abuse, and the costs of these claims will be funded by a Synod-wide recovery scheme. Read the full statement.

Rev David Baker
Moderator, Queensland Synod

Monday morning prayer

Join us for the Monday morning prayer in October:

Lord, strengthen us to stick up for the truth of the gospel; may our speaking and living be done in faith, hope, and love. Amen

Synod office

Changes to Building Regulations 2006

The Queensland Government recently amended the Building Regulation 2006, requiring certain buildings to register and complete a combustible cladding checklist.

The Risk Group is currently in consultation with the Regulator to determine which congregation buildings need to be registered and further information will follow. In the meantime, if you are contacted by the regulator or others about this please notify the Risk and Compliance Team on 07 3377 9953.

Terry Selva
Manager Risk and Compliance, Queensland Synod

Inspired Disciples registrations are open

Inspired Disciples promises to inspire and invigorate you on your discipleship journey and registrations are now open!

With sessions led by amazing presenters from across Australia, this week-long festival of discipleship will have something for you.

Check out the program and register for the sessions you wish to attend. Some sessions have limited spaces, so register today to ensure a spot.

Emma Holmes
Project Officer, Queensland Synod

Presbytery and congregation news

Induction service for Rev Peter Blake

All are invited to the induction service of Rev Peter Blake as the Minister of the Word at Fassifern Uniting Church (10 Macquarie St, Boonah 4310) on Saturday 13 October at 3 pm.

Melloney Braithwaite
Adminstrative Officer, Bremer Brisbane Presbytery 

Commissioning service for Duncan Barlow

All are invited to the commissioning service for Duncan Barlow as the minister of Laidley and Hatton Vale congregations on 14 October at 2:30 pm. The service will be held at Hatton Vale Uniting Church, 143 Zischke Rd, Hatton Vale.

Melloney Braithwaite
Adminstrative Officer, Bremer Brisbane Presbytery

Learning news

Trinity Unplugged: Dr Sam Chan

Sharing Jesus with our friends requires a lifestyle change, not merely learning a new technique.

Jesus commands us to make disciples. But are we all equipped for the job? How do you talk with your friends about following Jesus?

Join us as Dr Sam Chan (gifted evangelist and trainer in evangelism) helps us explore the key steps to telling our friends about Jesus. 

Register today and invite your congregation, friends and family. Cost: $10 (discount for groups of five or more). Held 7–9 pm, 1 November at Trinity College Queensland, Level 1, 60 Bayliss St, Auchenflower. 

Belinda Hoadley
EA to the Principal and Office Manager, Trinity College Queensland

Reaching out and speaking out

Mental Health Day of Prayer – Sunday 14 October

New resources have been prepared to help congregations, youth groups, church councils and others to recognise and pray for mental health issues.

Thanks to Rev Monique Coughlan from Bremer Brisbane Presbytery, who put together a liturgy as well as activities for children and adults.

All congregations are urged to recognise mental health issues, particularly in prayer on Sunday.

NDIS an illusion for some

Victoria’s Public Advocate says that many National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recipients with complex and challenging support needs are not seeing the benefits the NDIS is meant to deliver. The consequences can be detrimental and sometimes devastating.

The Queensland Community Alliance is engaging in a public advocacy program to put pressure on governments to correct current issues with the NDIS and ensure people with disability are fairly treated. Sue Hutchinson from the Synod office is involved with this action. If you, a family member or friend have a story you can share about applying to access the scheme or how the roll-out process has gone, please contact Sue.

Sue Hutchinson
Research and Policy Officer, Queensland Synod