The Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT, Rev. Simon Hansford, officially opened Synod 2021 tonight highlighting that this year’s meeting was very different from others.
“We are gathering in a new way,” Rev. Simon Hansford said as more than 170 delegates viewed proceedings via an online portal webcast from the North Parramatta Centre for Ministry.
Rev. Hansford welcomed delegates saying it was ‘joyous’ occasion as the church gathered together to discern how it can best lead, govern and support people across the synod.
The 39th Synod, Synod 2021 has the theme: Where the wild God is and will be held exclusively online in three stanzas over May, June and August this year.
During the opening worship service, Rev. Hansford, spoke about “the Light in the darkness shines’.
“Amidst fear and darkness the risen Christ comes and says peace to you,” he said as he recounted Jesus’ resurrected appearance to the women who had visited the empty tomb.
Rev. Hansford said in these unprecedented times of upheaval where could we look to create and grow a wildly imaginative church … “where the wild God is”.
The meeting kicked off with worship music led by members of Leichardt Uniting Church, as people gathered in North Parramatta and online held candles made by members of Mudgee Uniting Church.
Rev. Kent Crawford introduced the new format for the hybrid Synod, explaining how the Wednesday would feed into the Saturday sessions, with the discernment groups taking place during the latter, and motions would seek consensus during the latter.
“Please prepare yourself to be polled,” Rev. Crawford said.
The first such poll called for an amendment to the proposed timetable, so as to have the climate proposal heard during Saturday’s 1B service. The Moderator declared consensus for the first time.
Martin Thomas and Jonathan Foye
For all the articles written about Synod in Sessions 1A & 1B click here.