Presbytery August 2018

Presbytery met in Leeton Uniting Church on Saturday 18th August 2018.

The gathering as usual started with morning tea and a chance to catch up with people who live a long way from each other, the Riverina Presbytery is large.

Pictures and captions by webmaster John Milnes,
written report by IIM Pastor Andrew Thornley, retiring chairperson.

L to R – Moderator Rev Rev. Simon Hansford, new Chairperson Sheila Ayliffe, retiring Chairperson Pastor Andrew Thornley.
During the service the new chairperson Sheila Ayliffe was commissioned, Pastor Andrew Thornley handed the accoutrements of office to Sheila.
The preacher at the service was our NSW Moderator Rev Simon Hansford.
During the service the sacrament of Holy Communion was celebrated.
The new presbytery chairperson welcomes Janet to the roll of Chair of the Pastoral Relations Committee, many delegates can be seen in the background.

Riverina Presbytery Meeting: Saturday 18th August.

Each year, Riverina Presbytery holds two full meetings – in February and August – when representatives from all congregations in the five regions gather together to be brought up to date with the life of the Presbytery. All church members are welcome to the Presbytery meeting though any voting which takes place is confined to the elected reps.

On Saturday 18th August, Leeton Uniting Church hosted the meeting, and we thank them for their provision of food and warm hospitality. The meeting started in the church with a welcome from Roger Hester, Congregation Chairperson and this was followed by a worship service, with the liturgy led by Rev. Carolyn Thornley. One new song and two modern hymns were well led by the Leeton singers. We were honoured to have as our preacher Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator of the NSW/ACT Synod, who was commencing a week’s visit to the Riverina Presbytery. His presence was greatly appreciated and probably contributed to a healthy roll-up to the meeting, 23 of the 27 congregations being in attendance.

During the church service Sheila Ayliffe of Tumbarumba was inducted as the Presbytery Chairperson for a term of two years, following which Paul Creek delivered a Minute of Appreciation for the outgoing Chairperson, Pastor Andrew Thornley. Later in the meeting, Janet Elliott of Cootamundra was elected Chairperson of the Pastoral Relations Committee, a very important committee which oversights the work of the ministry agents and, generally speaking, the life of the congregations within the Presbytery. It was further noted at the meeting that the Treasurer Allan Weeden has had to step down for reasons of health and John Rumens summarised Allan’s considerable contribution to the life of the church in a Minute of Appreciation.

The Moderator delivered the keynote address. He spoke about ministry formation for rural Presbyteries, matters coming out of the recently-held National Assembly and the church’s response to the drought situation: informing us that the Synod’s Disaster Relief Fund had released $20,000 to Riverina for assistance with church-sponsored drought relief. Sheila Ayliffe then directed people into Table Groups to comment on Simon’s address but also to suggest appropriate strategies for the use of drought funds. A small committee, led by Paul Creek, has been established to coordinate distribution of the drought funds.

Dorothy Creek who (with Rev. Keunil Ko) was one of our delegates at the Assembly held in July spoke to her Report which can be found on the website. She made us aware of the many diverse subjects covered at the Assembly; Sovereignty of First Peoples, Disability Access, a Statement about Family and Domestic Violence, A New Climate. In conclusion, the Presbytery meeting ended with Reports from the four Committees of the Presbytery: Pastoral Relations Committee, Presbytery Standing Committee, Discipleship and Education Committee, Finance and Property Committee. The Presbytery Chairperson, before closing with Benediction, called on all those present to gather for the next meeting at Narrandera Uniting Church on 16 February of 2019.

Andrew and Carolyn Thornley (IIM)     

The next Presbytery meeting is scheduled to be held in
Narrandera on the 16th February 2019.
arrive 9:30 am for morning tea and a chat,
Presbytery meeting starts with Worship service at 10:00 am.