Presbytery in Council Meeting March 2024

Last Saturday 16 March 2024, we had our first Presbytery in Council meeting of the year at the Presbytery office in Noble Park. This time we gathered in person. We welcomed our new members Lisa Stewart (Minister at Southern Morning Peninsula UC), Riak Kiir (new Standing Committee member and member of Pakenham) and Alisa Dent (Hamp UC).

Jay Robinson, PM TL

David Higham, our new chair of Presbytery acknowledged the Standing Committee 2023 for their input and support in producing the Annual Report 2023.

The worship was started by Anneke Oppewal, our Presbytery Minister Pastoral leading us in prayers followed by a beautiful praise song ‘We are Marching’ accompanied by Riak playing drums. The members danced around the hall in time with the beats of the drums. The reading from John 12:20-33 was read in Arabic by Paulo Kwajakwan. Our Presbytery Minister Team Leader Jay Robinson preached on ‘Wanting to see Jesus’.



In the business part of the meeting, we received the Presbytery Annual Report 2023, had reflections on the report based on the questions asked “what would you  like to see happen in 2024?and what would you like to see on the Agenda for future Presbytery meetings? Discussions took place in small groups within the meeting and were shared with the whole meeting.

After a break we heard about the updates on the Casey Cardinia Regional Mission Project, presented by Robin Yang on behalf of the Interim Project Team Leader Ji Zhang including a Q&A session. We had table groups who shared the thoughts about the future of their congregations and what their dreams would be over the next 5 years or so. Jay presented a Draft Presbytery Communication Strategy emphasising that the Presbytery in Council would be one of our biggest communication tools. Jay informed the Presbytery that we were seeking a new person for the communications officer position.

Presbytery in Council Meeting March Discussion

The highlight of the meeting was watching the video Aboriginal Culture and Spirituality produced by Craig Mitchell as part of his production task which he had started at the beginning of last year, a set of six videos showing conversations with Garry Deverell (Lecturer of University of Divinity), which was about the history of the land on which we stood. John Tansey shared information about the book ‘The Years of Terror: Kulin and Colonists at Port Phillip, 1835-1851 (Marguerita Stephens, with Fay Sterwart-Muir)’ which explored the history of cross-cultural interaction between the Indigenous Kulin peoples and the invading colonists at Port Phillip from 1835 to 1851 particularly Wurundjeri and Bunurong People we are on.

The meeting went smoothly and it was a good experience with people all gathered in one place, showing the value of meeting in-person. A huge thank you to everyone mentioned above and all who helped the meeting, especially to the members of St Columba’s Noble Park congregation who provided a beautiful morning tea and assisted with the sound and PPT Presentation during the worship.

Anne Kim, Presbytery Secretary

Note: The 2023 Presbytery Annual Report is now available HERE.