Report: Presbytery Annual General Meeting

18 Nov 2020 by Rev Dr John Squires in: Letters, Thoughts, News

Report on the 2020 Presbytery Annual General Meeting 

 From Rev Dr John Squires
Presbytery Minister - Wellbeing

Canberra Region Presbytery met last Saturday morning online by ZOOM. It was the third time this year that members of Presbytery had gathered in this way. The Presbytery is a council of the church which meets for discernment and decision. Its meetings are always shaped by gathering in worship as a community. This meeting began with a reading from Psalm 90 and a gathering prayers and concluded with pastoral recollections and a sending prayer.

The Past Co-Chairperson, Dr John Williams, inducted the incoming Co-Chairpersons, Judy McKinlay and Dr Ross KinghamJared Mitchell was re-elected as Deputy Chairperson and John Sutton as Treasurer. Robbie Tulip was elected as Secretary of the Presbytery. Elections for these positions and for vacancies on Presbytery committees took place using the ZOOM poll facility, and a good group of new committee members were then welcomed. John Goss was elected to Presbytery Standing Committee, and five new members of the Pastoral Relations Committee were elected (Irene Lund, James Ellis, Jean Shannon, Neil Millar, and Daniel Mossfield). Others elected to positions were Aimee Kent, Graeme Brown, and John Goss (to the Candidates Subcommittee), Keith Thomas (to the Property Committee), and Janise Woods (to the Pilgrim House Management Committee).

With great joy and delight, the UCA Chaplain to the Canberra Hospitals, Andrew Mead, was recognised as a Uniting Church Minister, through the process of admission of a Minister from another denomination (Andrew was ordained in the Anglican Church). Andrew was present complete with his COVID beard! A recommendation from the Pastoral Relations Committee, to approve the amalgamation of the Congregations of St James Curtin and South Woden as from 14 February 2021, was approved by consensus. People from these two Congregations have been working hard on this process during the year.
Annual reports from all committees were received. Harold Small, Chairperson of the Greenhills Board, reported on the most challenging year ever for the campsite. Greenhills is located in a glorious place beside the Murrumbidgee River, as it runs alongside the Brindabella mountains. Bushfires and pandemic have hit the campsite very hard. He looked forward to a better year next year.
Presbytery remembered those with connections to the Presbytery who had died over the last year:
Robert Sommerville, husband of the Rev. Jackie Sommerville, living at Batemans Bay, d. 12 January 2020
Rev. Sydney Taito, former minister at Moruya-Tilba and Mount Dromedary, d. 29 January 2020
Rev. Alison Todd, former minister at St Ninians Lyneham, d. 24 February 2020
Mrs Jill Perkins, wife of the late Rev. Harvey Perkins, a member of Canberra City, d. 21 March 2020
Mrs Loraine Reid, the mother of the Rev. Niall Reid, resident at Clare Holland House, d. 10 April 2020
Rev. David Webster, long-time member of Canberra City Church and supply minister in various Congregations in Canberra, d. 6 July 2020
Rev. Kerry Bartlett, former minister at St Margaret’s Hackett and supply minister in various Congregations in the Presbytery, d. 8 October 2020
We pray for those who continue to grieve, knowing that the Gospel offers us all hope.
Presbytery acknowledged the transitionsthat are taking place for quite a number of ordained and lay people in ministry leadership roles:
Rev. Andrew Smith and the Rev. Dr John Squires each moved into the roles of Presbytery Minister early in the year
Rev. Tim Jensen (North Belconnen) took up a position with Saltbush in March 
Rev. Duncan McDiarmid commenced in placement at Eurobodalla in March
Rev. David Russell (Sapphire Coast) moved to a regional role in the Illawarra Presbytery Rev. Jean Shannon commenced in placement at Sapphire Coast in September
Rev. Chris Lockley (St Margaret’s and St James) moved to retirement as from November
Rev. David Stuart (Yass Parish) is moving to a placement at Keiraview in the Illawarra Presbytery in January 2021
Rev. Julie Lawton-Gallard (Goulburn Multi Centre ) is moving to a placement at Southport in the Queensland Synod in January 2021
Rev. Christine Moimoi has moved into retirement and is now living in Mirinjani in Canberra
Ms Delia Quigley and Dr John Williams completed terms as Co-Chairs of our Presbytery, and Ms Judy McKinlay and Rev. Dr Ross Kingham have been elected to those positions
Ms Carolyn McAllister has laid aside her role in editing Viewpoint after many years of faithful service in that role
We look forward to the ordination of Geoff Wellington as a Deacon in the UCA later in November (1pm on 28 November at Gungahlin; the ZOOM link is
We hold each of these people and their families in our prayers.
Uniting Church Congregations are in communities that have been impacted by the summer bushfires, including Eden, Bega-Tathra, Sapphire Coast, Mount Dromedary (especially Cobargo and Quaama), Eurobodalla, Braidwood, Monaro, and Alpine. Disaster Response Chaplains, along with ministers and lay leaders in each of these Congregations, have served above and beyond the call of duty at a time of need.
We continue to hold these communities in our prayers as they regroup and rebuild.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every worshipping community, community service activity, youth group, food pantry, meals programme, and Op Shop, as well as Safe Shelter and many other community programmes. People of every Congregation have adapted to participate in online worship, online meetings, and a whole range of other ways of doing things differently. 
We continue to adapt and reshape the ways that we meet and serve, and we rejoice that this huge challenge has spurred us to reimagine our future together.
Finally, the Presbytery recognised the 17 people who have completed the full Mission Shaped Ministry course (initially meeting in person, then morphed to an online course). We celebrated with Anne Wilkes, John Goss and Simon Clarke (St Margaret’s Hackett), Campbell McKnight (St Columba’s Braddon), Lesley Irvine and Peter Crimmins (O’Connor), Rinda Scott and Dennis Martin (Canberra City) , Saane To'Uli, (To e Talatalanoa), Amy Junor and Martin Harris (Queanbeyan), Evan Mann and Janet Kay (St James Curtin) , Dorothea Wojnar (Tuggeranong), Riana Kok (Yarralumla), Robert Day (Kippax) and Andrew Smith (Presbytery Minister). We are looking forward to the ways that they will “confess the Lord in fresh words and deeds” in the time ahead.
Rev Dr John Squires
Presbytery Minister—Wellbeing

Canberra Region Presbytery
Uniting Church in Australia
0408 024 642
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