March 2022 Presbytery Meeting

Members of Presbytery gathered at St Paul’s Uniting Church Mackay, on the weekend of 12 & 13th March. Rev Scott Ballment, Presbytery Minister welcomed a number of invited guests including Moderator. Rev Andrew Gunton, Rev Bruce Moore, Rev Peter Armstrong, Scott Guyatt, Rev Dr Adam McIntosh from UnitingCare, Rev David Baker, Past Moderator and General Secretary at Queensland Churches Together, The Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph, Anglican Bishop of North Queensland, Steve Drinkall, Synod Office Mission Engagement Manager, Neil Ballment, representative of the Synod’s Schools and Residential Colleges Commission and Rev Nigel Rogers, Dean of Formation and Dispersed Learning, Trinity College, via zoom. Presbytery values and appreciates the willingness and enthusiasm of all these visitors to come to Central Queensland.

You might say this weekend was a meeting point of ‘dual purpose’ as the congregation of St Paul’s Uniting Church chose this weekend to launch their celebration of thanksgiving for 150 years of worship in the Mackay region of the Uniting Church and its former denominations. Past Moderators Rev. Dr Ray Reddicliffe, and Rev Ian Kerr, and Rev Barbara Bailey spoke engagingly of their time at St Paul’s.

Worship is the thread and focal point of Presbytery Meetings. From morning worship, led by Rev. Dr Julia Pitman, minister at St Paul’s, in Bible Study with the Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph, Anglican Bishop of North Queensland, to Rev Paula Hukehuke, minister at Fitzroy Congregation, leading us in the close of evening, worship framed our conversation, discernment, and deliberation.  During Sunday morning worship with members of St Paul’s Congregation and visitors, a myriad of voices joined in harmony as our voices rose in songs of praise.

Advances in technology have definitely made attending Presbytery more accessible, enabling several people to join us on screen, with the ability to comment or raise questions, engage in the deliberation process, and join in worship.

Presbytery is not just about ‘business’. The means by which we have conversations about business happens as we share our faith, care for one another, pray for one another, hear how the Spirit is leading congregations, and the wider church. This learning and listening, building relationships, is the process of the Presbytery discerning God’s will together. The end of the process is enabling and supporting congregations as they engage in the mission of God. Inevitably this work occurs between the gathered meetings.

Reporter: Pastor Donna Muston, Rural Mission Ministry