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The Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod


27 November 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 Moderator

Monday morning prayer

Join us for the Monday morning prayer in November:

We thank you, Lord for the people who revealed the living presence of your son to us; may your spirit enable us to bear witness to him also. Amen

Moderator's diary

This Wednesday, Moderator Rev David Baker will visit Shalom Christian College to attend the annual award ceremony and handover service.

Synod office news

Help struggling families this Christmas!

The Queensland Synod is partnering with UnitingCare and Wesley Mission Queensland to support the 2018 Target UnitingCare Christmas Appeal and Wesley Mission Queensland’s Red Bag Appeal.

See how you can get involved in spreading the wonder of Christmas! The Synod office will be collecting gifts on behalf of both appeals.

Please bring unwrapped gifts and/or gifts of non-perishable food to Level 2 reception, 60 Bayliss St, Auchenflower before 14 December. For more information please email Chief Fundraising and Marketing Officer, Raushen Perera.

Raushen Perera
Chief Fundraising and Marketing Officer, Queensland Synod

Congregational bookkeeping service

The Synod office is currently proposing to set up a centralised bookkeeping service that is opt-in (no compulsion to join). The service can assist presbyteries and congregations that cannot easily obtain people to perform bookkeeping services or may choose to outsource these tasks.

We are asking all congregational treasurers, presbytery treasurers and presbytery ministers to complete this survey to ascertain whether there is sufficient interest.

The survey will take approximately three–minutes and should be completed by 11 December.

Peter Cranna
Executive Director – Strategic Resources, Queensland Synod

Presbytery and congregation news

Risk assessment template available

An Appeal Court in August has found against an Australian church over the failure to conduct a risk assessment of a go-karting activity and upheld awarded damages.

The court found that a reasonable risk assessment would have resulted in the activity not being held because there was foreseeable risk of injury.

Does your congregation require risk assessments before approving activities? This case emphasises the need for a documented risk analysis for all events where injury or harm is foreseeable.

A risk assessment template is available from or

Terry Selva
Manager Risk and Compliance, Queensland Synod

Rediscover the wonder: premiering tomorrow

In celebration of Advent and Christmas this year, the Synod office has partnered with Unity College to present a wonderful rendition of the Christmas classic "O Holy Night". 

Premiering tomorrow on the Queensland Synod Facebook page at 7 pm—you won't want to miss this!

The Communications and Marketing team has also produced a number of free resources to assist congregations and faith communities reach their local communities.

Ben Tupou
Marketing and Communications Officer, Queensland Synod

Ordination service for Neil Storey

Please join the Moreton Rivers Presbytery at the ordination service for Neil Storey on 1 December at Redcliffe Uniting Church, 3 Ritchens St, Redcliffe. Followed by afternoon tea.

To RSVP please notify Kathy Wright at the presbytery office on 3366 0236 or

Kathy Wright
Office Administrator, Moreton Rivers Presbytery

Position vacant news

November placement vacancies

The list of current vacant placements is now available.

People in specified ministries who are seeking a new placement are invited to make contact with the nominated person if they would like their names considered for any of these placements.

Rev Keren Seto
Secretary, Queensland Synod Placements Committee

Reaching out and speaking out

Listening to Queensland's children

The Queensland Family and Child Commission’s new report—This place I call home—brings together the views of 7000 children and young people aged four to 18 years about their community, their hopes and dreams and their most important issues.

QFFC found children and young people have an intense desire to be included in decisions impacting on their lives. They value face-to-face connections with people. They want to have conversations with the adults in their lives to help them make decisions about their future and deal with the things they worry about.

Read the full report or look at the east to read summary document

Preparing for a Day of Mourning

On Sunday 20 January 2019, Uniting Church congregations will join together in lament, recognising the tragic events of colonisation together with the devastating effects for the First Peoples of Australia. This will become an annual event in the Uniting Church in Australia liturgical calendar.

Queensland congregations are requested to observe this day of mourning in the spirit of the covenant between the Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).

This will be a key social responsibility date for the Queensland Synod next year. Worship resources will be available in early December.

Help get children out of prison

Across Australia, including Queensland, children as young as 10 are charged, brought before a court, sentenced and locked up behind bars. There is overwhelming evidence from health experts, social workers, Indigenous leaders, legal experts and human rights organisations that putting kids into detention is harmful.

Children in prison are less likely to access what they need to grow up resilient—such as education, mentoring and community support.

Amnesty International is asking people to add their name to a petition and call on governments across Australia to raise the age kids can be locked up to at least 14 years old.

Sue Hutchinson
Research and Policy Officer, Queensland Synod 

National Uniting Church news

Fairness on our farms

Mark Zirnsak, a leading Uniting Church voice in social justice, recently travelled to the Solomon Islands for a meeting about guest workers in Australia.

"When the programs work well, the people from the Pacific gain much-needed money and they often pick up skills while in Australia ... On the negative side, since the seasonal program started in 2012 there have been 14 deaths of people from the Pacific on the program … In some cases the Australian labour hire company or the farmer have ripped the people from the Pacific off, usually through over-charging on accommodation and transport. In the worst case we have dealt with the workers were only clearing $50 a week despite working more than full-time."

Sue Hutchinson
Research and Policy Officer

Call for papers: Uniting Church National History Society Conference

A call for papers and expressions of interest has been issued for the Uniting Church National History Society.

The second national conference will be held in Melbourne 8–10 June 2019. The theme is "Finding a home in the Uniting Church".

Please contact Robert Renton 0427 812 606 or for further information or to lodge early notice of a paper or presentation.

Robert Renton
Committee Member, Uniting Church National History Society

Agency and service provider news

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift?

Give a gift of love, peace and hope not only to family, but to people overcoming poverty around the world! You remember the idea—buy a gift, give it to a loved one and thereby support whole communities to break the poverty cycle.

Gifts include clean water, chickens and nutrition supplements for kids. With each purchase, the donation funds one of UnitingWorld’s life-giving projects throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Watch this fun video to see it explained by a very entertaining goat!

Fiona Johnson
Fundraising and Marketing Manager, UnitingWorld