Report to the congregation
From Chairman John Williamson
The Church Council has been considering a number of matters that we feel should be reported in detail to the Congregation.
Firstly, as you would be aware the Manse has been leased to Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group (BWNG) since January 2018 and has been used by them to support a disadvantaged family.
Late last year BWNG approached the Church Council and asked whether the Church would consider a longer-term lease arrangement and whether the manse could be used to house people with disabilities with a 24/7 carer in residence.
The Church Council considered the request and agreed in principle subject to a number of conditions;
1. That the current tenant family be relocated to suitable premises.
2. 2. Any alterations to the Manse to meet NDIS requirements be funded by BWNG and prior approval from the Church be obtained.
We are pleased to report these conditions have been agreed to and you will notice that the manse is currently empty as the previous tenant has been successfully relocated to an appropriate house in Gloucester owned by BWNG.
The manse is being cleaned and prepared by BWNG for occupation by new tenants.
Secondly, the Church Council has been considering whether there is a current or future need for disabled toilets within the Church complex.
After much discussion and thought the Church Council would like to recommend to the Congregation that we install a disabled toilet.
There is a diagram available outlining where a proposed “wet room” with shower and a disabled toilet be located. (In the existing “blue” room).
This plan will be placed on the notice board and we are seeking comments and/or suggestions, so please talk to any of the Elders if you have any comments.
The next steps would be;
1. Hold a congregational meeting to; a. Seek in principle approval to the proposed plan b. Seek authorisation to obtain detailed costings
2. 2. Hold a congregational meeting to approve the expenditure prior to signing contracts for construction.
If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to speak to any of the Elders.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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).