17. ELDERSHIP IN THE UNITING CHURCH (Standing Committee)

That the Assembly

1. receive the report of the Task Group on Eldership;
2. amend Clause 19 of the Constitution to say:

ELDERS

19. Unless the Presbytery shall authorise otherwise:
(b) the Elders shall be are members of the Church Council and shall comprise at least one half of its membership.
3. authorise the Standing Committee, on advice from the Legal Reference Committee, to amend:
(a) Regulation 3.1.2 (b) so that it reads:

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL (See Para 24, Constitution)

3.1.2 (b) The responsibilities of the Church Council include:

(i) sharing with the Minister(s) in mission and in the pastoral care and spiritual oversight of the Congregation sharing with the Minister(s) in the oversight of the congregation;
(vii) ensuring the proper management of managing the financial affairs and the general administration of the Congregation including the reception, preparation and presentation of all necessary budgets, statements and reports;
(viii) ensuring the arranging for audit, presentation and examination of the accounts of all the funds of the Congregation; (See Reg. 3.8.7)
(ix) ensuring the proper management and control of managing and controlling property in accordance with the Regulations; (See Reg. 4.4.1)
(x) ensuring the preparation and presentation preparing and presenting to a meeting of the Congregation an annual report concerning the life and work of the Congregation including its worship, mission and service, and making recommendations with regard to the program for the ensuing year;
(xi) exercising oversight of the appointment of officers, and leaders and committees and task groups of Congregational organisations;
(b) Regulation 3.3.1 so that it reads:

MEMBERSHIP OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL

3.3.1 (a) The membership of the Church Council shall consist of:
(add a new clause (v) and renumber the successive clauses)
(v) Ministers, being members of the Congregation, who are an Associated Minister appointed under Regulation 3.1.3 (m);
(b) Unless the Presbytery authorises otherwise, Elders shall be members of the Church Council and shall comprise at least one half of the membership of the Church Council;
(c) Regulation 3.3.2 so that it reads:

ELECTIONS OF ELDERS AND CHURCH COUNCILLORS

3.3.2 (a) In electing Elders and Church Councillors, the Congregation shall recognise and appoint confirmed members or members-in-association who are endowed with gifts fitting them for the responsibilities of the office.
(d) The maximum number of Elders and other Church Councillors to be elected, in addition to any Elders holding life tenure, shall be determined by the Congregation from time to time after advice from the Church Council.
(e) Elders and other Church Councillors shall be set apart by prayer in a service of worship conducted by the Minister of the Congregation, or if unavailable, by another person appointed by the Presbytery to perform this duty.
(f) The term of office of an Elder and an elected Church Councillor is for such period from one to five three years as is stipulated by the nominee and for which period the person is then elected by the Congregation. At the expiry of the term the Elder or Church Councillor shall be eligible for re-election;
4. authorise the Standing Committee, on advice from the Legal Reference Committee, to amend the Regulations to:
(a) include of a definition in Section 2 of the Regulations to define the role of
Elder in the Uniting Church, noting that this might include a phrase such as “Those recognised as Elders will exercise their gifts of leadership in the worship, witness and service of the Church”;
(b) amend Regulation 3.1.2(b) by the addition of a new clause to provide for the appointment of committees and task groups with defined terms of reference;
(c) add a clause (c) to Regulation 3.3.1 to allow the Council to associate persons with particular expertise for such business as it considers appropriate; and
(d) add a provision to Regulation 3.3.2 to provide for expressions of interest as well as for nomination;
(e) provide a process, with appropriate Regulations if necessary, to ensure that at the effective date for changes to the Regulations made pursuant to this resolution,
(i) those recognised as Elders shall continue to hold office for the term for which they were elected; and
those who hold membership of a Church Council shall continue to do so until the Congregation institutes new arrangements, but for no more than twelve months from the effective date of new Regulations; and
(f) make other consequential changes which may be required for consistency with this resolution of the Assembly.