49. ELDERSHIP IN THE UNITING CHURCH (Standing Committee)

REPLACEMENT FOR PROPOSAL 17

That the Assembly

1. receive the report of the Task Group on Eldership;
2. authorise the Standing Committee, on advice from the Legal Reference Committee to
(a) amend Clause 19(b) 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.
(b) amend the Regulations to include of a new regulation 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 share with the Minister in oversight and building up the Congregation in faith and love, sustaining its members in hope and leading them into a full participation in Christ‟s mission in the world”.

(c) amend Regulation 3.1.2 (b) to say
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 the spiritual oversight of the Congregation;
(xi) exercising oversight of the appointment of officers and leaders of Congregational organisations, committees and task groups;

(d) amend Regulation 3.3.1 to say
MEMBERSHIP OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL
3.3.1(a) The membership of the Church Council shall consist consists of:
(vi) any Minister who is appointed as an Associated Minister to the Congregation under Regulation 3.1.3(m);
(vi) other confirmed members or members-in-association elected by the Congregation (See Reg. 3.9.1(b) and (c))
Subject to paragraph (b), the The Church Council may co-opt not more than two other confirmed members or members-in-association of the Congregation to membership of the Church Council for such term not exceeding two years as the Church Council shall determine up to two years.
Unless the Presbytery authorises otherwise, Elders shall be are members of the Church Council and shall comprise at least one half of the membership of the Church Council.

(e) amend Regulation 3.3.2 to say
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.
(b) Election shall be by written ballot in a meeting of the Congregation. Prior notice of intention to hold such a ballot must be given and the names of nominees and those expressing interest shall be publicly announced at least two weeks prior to the ballot being held.
(c) The meeting shall declare to be elected only such persons as receive the support of a majority of those participating in the ballot, or such higher percentage of those participating in the ballot as the Congregation may have determined prior to the call for nominations.
(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.

(f) to 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
(ii) those who hold membership of a Church Council shall continue to do so until the Congregation appoints a Council consistent with these Regulations.