News about Gloucester Uniting Church and its people
Church Council annual report
The Church Council has continued to meet monthly during the year discussing various aspects of congregational life. Each Church Council begins with a short devotion led by one of the elders which we all find challenging and interesting.
The Elders have a diverse background and different views on many subjects, but it is very pleasing that we can work together always seeking God’s will for the congregation and the community that we live in.
The Church Council has continued to partner with the Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group and we were able to secure a $15,000 grant from Uniting that will allow BWNG to purchase a mobile cool room for their Blue Print kitchen in Britten St. The Church Council is also looking at other areas where we would be able support BWNG in their service to the local community and is investigating other funding sources.
The Elders have been discussing over several months various suggested concepts on how to provide better access to the toilets and the installation of disable toilets and hopefully a proposed solution will be presented to the Congregation soon for comment.
A review has begun on the Church’s electricity usage and costs to analyse whether there is a more productive and cheaper solution.
During the year we were fortunate to have Keith Robinson as a field placement from United Theological College attend Gloucester and the Church Council felt that this placement was beneficial not only to Keith but to our Church as well, consequently if the opportunity arose again the Church Council would support another field placement.
I would like to thank all the elders for their support, grace and compassion and in particular those elders retiring and not seeking renomination. As a congregation we are fortunate to have many individuals willing to participate in the corporate life to the Congregation and serving on the Church Council is only one of many opportunities.
God’s grace & peace.
Chairman – Gloucester Church Council
Prayer chain and cards
The church’s prayer chain and sympathy/get well card distribution system will be split into two entities from now on.
Fay de Witte will continue to manage the prayer chain while Claire Reynolds will take on the distribution of cards. Fay's phone number is 0428 582 720.
Claire can be contacted on her mobile 0428 852 966 which she checks every day, or contact her on email email@example.com
Many thanks for your giving
Many thanks for your financial commitment to God through the offerings to your church.
For those who may be interested in electronic giving the bank details of our church are below. You may organise your payment for weekly, fortnightly or monthly giving.
Name: Gloucester Uniting Church
Reference: Your name or “offerings.”
Church Council minutes
A copy of the church council minutes will be pinned to the notice board each month.
They are also available for emailing. Just see secretary Kerry Chisholm.
Similarly the Church's Congregational minutes will be available on the notice board, and emailed to anyone who wants them from secretary Shirley Hazell.
Your input required
The Elders have begun an investigation into the best use of the church hall and the limitation and impact that the existing toilets' configuration has on the kitchen and hall.
Your input in finding the best solution would be welcomed so please speak to any of the Elders if you have any suggestions.
Presbytery annual general meeting
The following is a brief report by Mr Jeff Kite on the Presbytery AGM held on November 17.
Rev Mark Faulkner provided an excellent report on the new ‘Saltbush’ Project the Synod has launched for ‘Uniting the Scattered Community’.
Its aim is “that all Christian communities, irrespective of size or location are equally a part of the wider body of the Church and can vitally live out their faith within the place and time in which they find themselves”.
More information can be found at the website ume.nswact.org.au/our-work/rural/saltbush-welcome.
After a two year trial, it has been decided that having a combined Standing Committee and Pastoral Relations Committee (PRC) does not meet the needs of congregations. A new PRC was established and six new members were appointed to the Committee.
Elections were held for positions on Presbytery Standing Committee:
Chairperson is Rev John Thornton, Deputy Chairperson Stephen Nicholson, Secretary Penny Archer, Treasurer Marie Battle, Assistant Secretary Madelaine Parish, Property Officer John Williamson and Social Justice Contact Person Jeff Kite.
Two members of the Port Macquarie congregation submitted the following ‘private’ proposal:
“That the Mid North Coast Presbytery notify the President of Assembly that their decision to hold two equal and distinct statements of belief on marriage was a matter vital to the life of the church and there was inadequate consultation prior to the decision. Consequently they wish the proposal passed to be rescinded.”
Three people spoke for the motion and three against the motion. It was decided that the proposal would require a two thirds majority to be carried and that the vote be by secret ballot. Only members of Presbytery could vote.
The result was: 75% against the motion, 25% for the motion.
The motion was therefore lost.
At this stage in NSW, the number of Presbyteries that support the rescinding of the Assembly decision is one Presbytery out of 14. (Note: I mistakenly said that it was one out of 9 Presbyteries).