What to expect
The Synod meeting provides an opportunity to come together with others from across all eight presbyteries to worship, determine the policies and direction of the Synod and its agencies, and to consider reports from institutions, committees, task groups, presbyteries, Synod Ministries and Operations, UAICC Vic, UAICC Tas and other reporting bodies. For the duration of the four days of the meeting, the members of Synod become a community, listening respectfully to each other as they seek to discern God’s will. It is important for members to come open to the movement of the Spirit which leads to hearts and minds being renewed, challenged and changed.
To foster community and to make and affirm friendships, the plenary sessions of the Synod are conducted with members seated in allocated table groups for the duration of the meeting. At various times during the course of business sessions, the Moderator might ask the table groups to discuss a proposal that is before them. This enables members to voice concerns, ask questions, or seek clarification from each other.
Members are also placed in designated working groups of approximately 12 people. These groups will meet once online prior to the Synod meeting and twice during Synod, to work through significant business matters. A facilitation team receives the feedback from these working groups and if required will reframe proposals to better represent the will of the meeting as expressed through this feedback.
Having a voice
The Moderator chairs the meeting and wants to hear from a diversity of members. Each member’s voice is important. In seeking to discern God’s spirit, the smallest voice can effect change. Additional time at the microphone will be given to members for whom English is their second language. A hearing loop is also provided. Make sure you read the Manual for Meetings and you will understand how you can engage effectively in the meeting.
The Synod expects that you will have read all the papers prior to arriving for the first day of business. All reports and some proposals are accessible on the Synod meeting hub which you can access via the website and/ or App (an application which is downloadable to your smart phone or tablet and can also be opened in a web browser on a laptop computer).