On Saturday 18th March, 68 people from PPE gathered together at Glen Waverley Uniting Church, and were joined by 17 people via Zoom for our first Presbytery in Council meeting of the year. What a joyous occasion it turned out to be!

The meeting started with a combined Worship and Commissioning of our new Presbytery Standing Committee, consisting of Joy Blamires, Ira Budiono, James Douglas, Gavin Faichney, Jeff Gardner David Higham (Deputy Chairperson), Sam Joo, Ennis Macleod, and Tom Spurling (Chairperson). The worship was led by Fiona Winn (Retiring Deputy Chairperson)and the reading from 1 Samuel 16: 1-13 was read in Bahasa Indonesian by Daniel Sihombing.

Moderator, David Fotheringham preached using 1 Samuel 16: 1-13. David then commissioned the Standing Committee.
The music was led by Craig Mitchell, Jay Robinson and Graham Bartley, accompanied by Matthew Boldiston from Glen Waverley UC. The Tech was handled by Warren Greenwood and Jeff Gardner.

In the business part of the meeting David Fotheringham talked about the work he has instigated, bringing together all parts of the Synod to work on a common strategy for the future of the Uniting Church in Victoria & Tasmania. Alex Sangster Minister at St Kilda South Port talked about how dreaming of what might be had brought together the St Kilda, South Melbourne and Port Melbourne Congregations. A session in table groups followed, with members invited to talk about the Annual Report for 2022, and think about what they would like to see happen in 2023.

After a break Craig Mitchell gave an interactive presentation on Community Engagement and “Being With” in Mission.

The opening song was “A Thin Place” by Craig Mitchell, from his book “Deeper Water,” and the closing hymn “Called as partners in Christ’s service” by Jane Parker Huber. Robert Johnson gave the closing reflection. I gained the impression Robert would make a very good Minutes Secretary as his summing up of the work of the day was so good.

A big Thank You to everyone mentioned above and all who helped on the day, setting up, tidying up afterwards, providing refreshments, Joanne Boldiston Office Manager and the members at GWUC, Anne Kim and especially to those I should have mentioned and haven’t, my apologies.

David Higham

Note: The 2022 Presbytery Annual Report is now available here.