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The Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod


13 February 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

Queensland Synod By-law amendments

The Synod Standing Committee has approved amendments to the Queensland Synod By-laws.

Following the changes to the committee structure approved by the 33rd Synod in Session, the By-laws have been updated to remove reference to the Governance and Nomination Remuneration Committee. Charters have been finalised for the Audit and Risk Committee and Remuneration and Nomination Committee created by the 33rd Synod in Session.

The updated By-laws and the new charters can be found here.

For further enquiries, please contact Governance Secretary, Belinda Bones

National General Secretary gathering

The Uniting Church general secretaries gather every quarter to discuss a range of issues arising within the church and Synod operations. Every gathering includes a time of spiritual development and reflection, this time ably led by the Rev Jenny Tymms. We also gave thanks for the service of Rev Nigel Rogers who has moved on from the general secretary role in South Australia.

Photo: Rev David de Kock, Rev Rob Brown, Rev Nigel Rogers, Rev Heather den Houting, Peter Jones, Coleen Geyer, Rev Dr Mark Lawrence (absent: RevJane Fry). Supplied

From the moderator

Tropical Cyclone Gita

In recent days Tropical Cyclone Gita, the strongest cyclone to hit the Kingdom of Tonga in its history with winds of 230km per hour has caused extensive damage with an estimated 75 per cent of homes in Nuku’alofa (the capital city) destroyed and unconfirmed reports of two deaths.

Tropical Cyclone Gita is expected to head towards Fiji with a possibility that it will hit New Zealand in coming days.  

Our thoughts are with the people of the Kingdom of Tonga and those who have connections to the country.

Moderator Rev David Baker urges Uniting Church congregations to pray for those affected.

Share this prayer on Facebook / Twitter

Moderator's diary

This week Moderator Rev David Baker will be attending the opening of the Queensland 56th Parliament where all 93 Members of Parliament will be sworn in and the election of the new Speaker will then occur.

Next Monday David will join the Presbytery ministers for a two-day retreat at Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre.

Moderator's musings

This week Rev David Baker writes about the Queensland Synod’s residential colleges and what spiritual function they serve for young people about to enter the next chapter of their lives.

Synod office news

Placements Committee webpage

Further information has been placed on the Placements Committee webpage. These process documents will assist ministry agents, Joint Nominating Committee members and others in matters relating to placements. Please continue to refer to this webpage as further information will be uploaded in the future.

Rev David Fender
Associate General Secretary, Queensland Synod

Multi-Cross Cultural Reference Group members

The Multi-Cross Cultural Reference Group (MCCRG) serves the wider synod by celebrating and resourcing the multi-cross-cultural nature of the Uniting Church. The reference group meets bi-monthly to plan and reflect on the way multi-cross-cultural ministry is taking place within the Synod.

Nominations are sought from people who wish to be considered for membership of the reference group. Expressions of interest should be directed to the chair of the reference group, Ms Akesa Racava, through the Synod office on 07 3377 9822.

Rev David Fender
Associate General Secretary, Queensland Synod

Easter resources now available

Take heart this Easter!

To help you celebrate this Easter, Communications and Marketing have produced the following resources:

  • A3 poster (editable)
  • Invitations (editable)
  • Social media banner
  • PowerPoint template
  • Easter video (coming soon).

Please download these resources from the Synod website.

Phillip Hay
Communications and Marketing Manager, Queensland Synod

Youth and young adults news

Next Gen Arise worship gathering

Next Gen Arise is a Queensland Synod initiative to support young people from all cultures to develop their leadership, connect with each other and corporately worship Jesus.

Our mission is to develop leaders (or disciple-makers) who can inspire a movement of young people from all cultures to passionately follow Jesus, selflessly build each other up, faithfully take places of leadership in the church and beyond, and fearlessly change the world.

Our first worship gathering of the year will be held on 25 February 7 pm at Sunnybank Uniting Church, 22 Hillcrest St, Sunnybank Hills. All youth and young adults are welcome.

Noah Kim
Multi-Cross Cultural Next Generation Leadership Development Project Officer, Queensland Synod

Country Madness

Connecting young people across the Central Queensland/ North Queensland boundary, having fun, growing faith together, and breaking new ground.

Country Madness camp for high school and young adults to 25-years-old is being held at Seaforth Pines campsite 4–7 May. Details on the Country Madness website.

Contact Rev Wayne McHugh 0438 688 422 or

Rev Wayne McHugh
Camp Director, Convenor Youth Task Group, Central Queensland Presbytery

Presbytery and congregation news

Conclusion of placement service

The Queensland Synod Chaplaincy Commission together with the Moreton Rivers Presbytery and Princess Alexandra Hospital has the pleasure in inviting you to a conclusion of placement service for Rev Henry Swindon.

The service will be held 11:30 am on 20 February at the Worship Centre (ground floor of main building), Princess Alexandra Hospital, 199 Ipswich Rd, Woolloongabba.

There will be light refreshments following the service

For catering purposes, please RSVP to

Rev Keren Seto
Executive Officer, Synod Chaplaincy Commission

Learning news

Leadership Development Framework

The Uniting Church in Australia Leadership Development Framework has been designed to guide and support the development of leadership capabilities within the church. The Framework outlines five key areas for leadership development that are able to be applied to leaders at all areas of leadership development.

For those interested in leadership development, the framework is available for downloading from the Queensland Synod website. Leadership development workshop guides to support the framework will be available shortly.

Ken Hyndman
Project Manager, Queensland Synod

Reaching out and speaking out

Ten years ago today

On 13 February 2008 Australia offered its Apology to the Stolen Generations. Relive that historic moment with this short video. For the full speech see the longer version.

David Weddell
Research and Policy Officer, Queensland Synod

2018 Carbon Fast resource

With Lent starting tomorrow, Uniting Earth Ministry has developed a Lent resource with a creation-friendly suggestion for each day of lent. Download it and see which ones you could do.

David Weddell
Research and Policy Officer, Queensland Synod

Looming humanitarian crisis

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) reports that around 12 000 people seeking asylum in Australia are at risk of losing lifesaving services due to government changes. Case management, income support (89 per cent of Newstart) and access to specialist medical care including torture and trauma counselling.

The refugee sector is deeply concerned about the impact on the thousands of clients left without lifesaving support since the government ended a large contract with Red Cross recently. More and more people are seeking help when they can’t afford rent or food. RCOA is “calling on the government to do the right thing and reverse these changes".

Sue Hutchinson
Research and policy officer, Queensland Synod

Assembly news

A moment of healing

First and Second Peoples in the Uniting Church have marked the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, by calling for urgent action on sovereignty, treaty and Indigenous education.

President of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Rev Garry Dronfield says the Apology shows that Australia can address the injustices of past and present.

“This was a moment of healing in our nation's history,” said Rev Dronfield.

“This anniversary of the Apology should remind us all of the journey that we are on together. As the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, we see the hope of a positive future under God's direction with the guidance, support and commitment of all our communities.”

Read the full article on the Assembly website.

Photo: Rev Garry Dronfield speaking at the UAICC national conference. The Uniting Church in Australia, National Assembly.

Agency and service provider news

Conclusion of placement service for Rev Jenny Tymms

The Queensland Synod together with UnitingCare Queensland has pleasure in inviting you to attend a conclusion of placement service for Rev Jenny Tymms in her role as Associate Director of Mission with UnitingCare Queensland.

The service is being held at 10 am on 1 March at UnitingCare Queensland's central office, level 5, 192 Ann Street, Brisbane.

There will be light refreshments following the service. For catering purposes please RVSP to

Patricia Patterson
Executive Assistant to Director of Mission, UnitingCare Queensland 

Church partner news

Join the celebrations!

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is turning 70 on 23 August this year. This is an opportunity to mark the achievements of the past 70 years in working for Christian unity and action, and to look to the challenges ahead as a fellowship of churches responding to God’s call for unity, mission, justice and peace.

Congregations are invited to contribute to the anniversary or hold your own WCC celebration (contact Rebecca Beisler of the Assembly Resources Unit). Resources and more information are available at the WCC website.

Rebecca Beisler
Communications and Resources Officer, the Assembly Resources Unit

Photo: Supplied.