Seeking and Sharing the Fullness of Life

Decisions and Minutes of Meetings

Listed below are the reports from Congregational Business Meetings and Host Group meetings.
For Host Group meetings, these reports are not the full minutes but a summary of the main decisions. In line with our church policy, these decisions are circulated not only for your information, but to allow you to consider the decisions and, if you have any concerns about any of them, to seek more information or ask for them to be reconsidered. Where possible, we will not implement the decisions for at least seven days, in order to allow time for people to respond. Questions or concerns can be raised with any member of the Host Group, or by emailing all of them at once at address shown.

Host Decisions – 7 March 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 7 March 2017

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor, Ian Cook and Samara Pitt.

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  1. An updated congregational contact directory is on the way!
  2. The Aboriginal Heritage walk at the Botanic Gardens with Uncle Dennis was strongly appreciated by the group who were able to attend. We thank him for his warmth and his honesty with us, and also for making the time for us on a busy day! We encourage those who couldn’t make it to organise an alternative date - the walks are offered almost everyday.
  3. Church camp is scheduled for July 28 to 30 at Araluen Lutheran camp in Anglesea. This is always an enjoyable time. We need to confirm with the venue that we have the numbers to go ahead, so you will soon be asked if you are planning to attend.
  4. Nathan is taking leave for 6 weeks in July and August to attend conferences and join Margie on the Camino! A preaching roster will be organised for this time.
  5. Margie is due to finish at Whitley in December and will no longer have housing at the College, so at this stage the plan is for Nathan and Margie to move back into the manse in December.
  6. We will arrange for a plaque acknowledging the traditional owners of our land, the Boonwurrung people, to be installed inside the church. The plaque will be sourced through the BUV.
  7. We are delighted that Leisl has volunteered to begin compiling a booklet on the saints that we refer to in our liturgy and icons.
  8. We have received several excellent suggestions for common reading material this Lent. Nathan will email our recommendation to the congregation for those who want to participate.

Next meeting: Tuesday 5 April 2017, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Decisions – 1 February 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 1 February 2017

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor, Ian Cook and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Ian and Eliz have generously offered to refurbish the chairs that have torn fabric at no cost. This will occur in lots of 12 over the coming months.
  2. We have received further feedback on the “Safe Church – Rights and Responsibilities” policy that we provisionally adopted in December. Ian, Nathan and Samara have formed a working group to examine the feedback and bring a draft and plan for discussion of key issues to a congregational gathering as soon as possible.
  3. In light of feedback from the congregation, we are overturning the previous decision to suspend suppers during Lent. Instead, a Super Simple Supper of Soup during Lent will be offered, to shift the focus of the meal to our relationships and basic nourishment. An email will be sent out with details and inviting people to join those who have already offered to contribute to those suppers.
  4. The piano needs tuning! This is being organised.
  5. A number of new people in our congregation will be invited to begin the process towards membership that starts with the Lenten season.
  6. Uncle Dennis Fisher has suggested that we gather a group to do an Aboriginal Heritage walk at the Botanic Gardens for which he is a guide. Nathan will email the congregation to determine interest and a possible date in February.
  7. The 2017 church activities calendar is on its way!
  8. Open Space actions have been progressing. Margie is inviting people to read 1835 about the founding of Melbourne and the conquest of Australia, to be discussed in May.
  9. We have received several excellent suggestions for common reading material this Lent. Nathan will email our recommendation to the congregation for those who want to participate.

Next meeting: Tuesday 7 March 2017, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Decisions – 7 December 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 7 December 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor, Ian Cook, and Samara Pitt.

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  1. We have provisionally adopted a “Safe Church – Rights and Responsibilities” policy to ensure that we meet the January 1 deadline for compliance with the new Child Safe standards. Nathan will circulate the policy to the congregation for feedback, and we will aim to present a revised and improved version for formal adoption at a February congregational meeting.
  2. The congregation voted via online ballot to approve the installation of air conditioning for the church hall (16 for and 1 against). The electrician has been contacted for installation dates.
  3. Licence agreements for the carpark lease to MIA, and for passenger vehicle access through our property to the neighbouring property at 11 Cromwell Road have been negotiated for the next 5 years and will be sent to the BUV for execution.
  4. Nathan contributed to Andrew Woff’s memory book on behalf of the congregation. Andrew Woff was our regional minister in the past and has just concluded at the BUV after 16+ years.
  5. We had positive feedback on directed input and time alone at the Advent retreat, and the venue worked well.
  6. John B was sleeping in the church toilets, preventing access. After three warnings the toilets have now been locked again and he appears to have moved on.
  7. Open Space actions have been progressing with contemplative prayer in the chapel on Wednesday evenings (Peter), a discussion on connecting with the LGBTIQ community (George), a group reading ‘Talking to my Country’ (Margie), and in the same spirit, a proposed art exhibition (Acacia). If you want to part of any of these actions, or have further ideas of your own, we encourage you to contact the appropriate people and get the ball rolling!
  8. Sylvia has requested volunteers to organise and contribute to supper after the Christmas Eve service. If you can help out, please let her know.
  9. We are seeking ideas for some common reading material next Lent for the congregation. Please send suggestions to Nathan.
  10. We incorporated some additions (indicated in red) to the draft host group covenant based on feedback. The host group will continue to reflect on the covenant in future meetings.

Host group covenant (draft)

Through our prayerful discernment and the affirmation of the congregation, we believe that God has called us together to host the congregational life, prayer and ministry of South Yarra Community Baptist Church as its Host Group. To this end, we make the following agreements with one another:

  • To develop ourselves as prayerful people so that we can seek the will of the Lord in all our activities.
  • To trust the Spirit of God to make God’s will known to us, and to trust each other to work together in good faith.
  • To act with love and respect towards each member of the group, with all our skills, strengths and weaknesses.
  • To be actively present in host and congregational gatherings, modelling a pattern of full participation in the life, prayer and ministry of the church.
  • To tend to the physical, emotional and spiritual environment of the church.
  • To encourage the congregation in discernment of visions, dreams and the undertaking of tasks.
  • To foster practices of care and safety which enable the congregation to share problems and concerns.
  • To be transparent in all our actions - except where confidentiality or protection of privacy is required. 
  • To carry out our responsibilities and tasks with diligence and close collaboration with each another, communicating regularly; and to be willing to be graciously called into account if we fail to meet our agreed commitments.
  • To support each other, as sisters and brothers in God’s family, to address grievances promptly and respectfully, and to seek forgiveness and reconciliation across anything that divides us.
  • To be aware of, promote, and comply with all aspects of the church’s “Safe Church – Rights and Responsibilities” policy. 

We stand together in this covenant, acknowledging that there will be times when we will stumble as we struggle with ourselves, each other and our calling, and knowing that all our efforts are dependent on the guidance, love and grace of the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ.

Next meeting: Wednesday 1 February 2017, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Decisions – 2 November 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 2 November 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt. Apologies were received from Ian Cook.

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  1. Our Advent Retreat Day will be on Sunday 27 November, 10am to 3:30pm. Maria McCormack from the WellSpring Centre will lead. Venue has been changed to the Whitley College's Theological Studies Centre at 52 The Avenue, Parkville.
  2. Our BUV Delegates will report back on the topics discussed at Gathering once minutes are made available.
  3. John B has been sleeping outside the building. Nathan is working with him to ensure other church users are able to access the facilities, and to encourage him to find appropriate accommodation.
  4. We have now made the shift to Powershop as our electricity provider with 100% green energy.
  5. We will replace the struggling office printer and broken scanner with a new Brother MFC- L9550CDW A4 Colour Multifunction Printer to be purchased for $468 after a current $200 cash back offer from the manufacturer.
  6. Nathan will look to see what’s involved for us to become compliant with the new Child Safe Standards, and will ask for help if required.
  7. After our lively open space church review, we encourage everyone to take the next steps on anything you are passionate to see happen! That next step could be getting a group together, talking it over with another person, doing some research or just giving something a go. Nathan will send out an email to help get things rolling, and we will create an Open Space Action Space on the whiteboard to let others know how our open space ideas are coming to life.
  8. We feel that the lectionary illustrations by Chris Booth are too small to work well in our notice sheet, so we will discontinue once the trial period has ended.
  9. We will farewell Fan on her final Sunday with us on November 13 before she returns home.
  10. We will update our contact list and photo board which have become quite outdated! Sylvia and Nathan will be in touch about this.
  11. We have drafted a new host group covenant based on host group discussions of the old one over the past year. If you think anything significant has been omitted, please let someone on the host group know.

Host group covenant

Through our prayerful discernment and the affirmation of the congregation, we believe that God has called us together to host the congregational life, prayer and ministry of South Yarra Community Baptist Church as its Host Group. To this end, we make the following agreements with one another:

  • To develop ourselves as prayerful people so that we can seek the will of the Lord in all our activities.
  • To trust the Spirit of God to make God’s will known to us, and to trust each other to work together in good faith.
  • To act with love and respect towards each member of the group, with all our skills, strengths and weaknesses.
  • To be actively present in host and congregational gatherings, modelling a pattern of full participation in the life, prayer and ministry of the church.
  • To tend to the physical and spiritual environment of the church.
  • To encourage the congregation in discernment of visions, dreams and the undertaking of tasks.
  • To foster practices of care and safety which enable the congregation to share problems and concerns.
  • To carry out our responsibilities and tasks with diligence and close collaboration with each another, communicating regularly; and to be willing to be graciously called into account if we fail to meet our agreed commitments.
  • To support each other, as sisters and brothers in God’s family, to address grievances promptly and respectfully, and to seek forgiveness and reconciliation across anything that divides us.

We stand together in this covenant, acknowledging that there will be times when we will stumble as we struggle with ourselves, each other and our calling, and knowing that all our efforts are dependent on the guidance, love and grace of the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ.

Next meeting: Wednesday 7 December, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Decisions – 5 October 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 5 October 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Our Advent Retreat Day will be on Sunday 27 November, 10am to 3:30pm. Maria McCormack (who led a good retreat day for us in 2012) from the WellSpring Centre will lead. Venue will probably be the Centre for Theology and Ministry, 29 College Cres, Parkville.
  2. At the BUV Delegates dinner, there is often a topic for discussion in which delegates from each church are meant to represent the views of their congregation. We will make the discussion topics available to the congregation for comment before the gathering to assist our delegates (currently Shelley and Ian) to do this.
  3. The company was good but the food disappointing (or completely absent!) at our pre-AGM lunch, so we will change venue next year. The AGM went well with the new format of receiving reports with minimal discussion, to leave time for more in-depth discussion of key topics.
  4. Thanks to all who attended Tony Mathew’s funeral to support Jill. We were very impressed with Bereavement Assistance which is a non-profit organisation for people who may have no or few funds for funeral expenses.
  5. Nathan will keep a detailed record of hours worked over the next 3 months to analyse which activities are contributing to his average overtime of 10 hours per week. We may need to have a broader conversation about which activities we want him to complete in his paid work for the church, and whether his current paid hours are sufficient.
  6. John who was sleeping at the church has moved on. He cleaned up the space well before he left.
  7. Ian is investigating whether we could refurbish the chairs by replacing the foam and the side areas only, which could be cheaper. Stay tuned!
  8. We will change to Powershop as our electricity provider with 100% green energy once we have found out some final details about off-peak rates and contracts.
  9. In response to our congregational listening circle on solar panels and air conditioning, Nathan and Ian will research proposals to present to the congregation.
  10. Given the range of reflections and questions about how we use social media as a church, we will refer this to a congregational meeting for discernment.
  11. This month, the lectionary illustrations for the news sheet will be by local artist Chris Booth (also Samara’s housemate!) They are being made available free for October with a range of other lectionary resources through VCCE (Victorian Council for Christian Education), but there will be some subscription charge after that if we want to continue using them. Feedback welcome.
 Next meeting: Wednesday 2 November, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Congregational Annual General Meeting – 11 September 2016

Minutes of the Congregational Annual General Meeting on 11 September 2016

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The full minutes and reports are not reproduced here, but are available for download via the button above.

Outline of the Meeting
  1. Attendance and Apologies
  2. Minutes of previous meetings
  3. Reports
    1. Pastor's Report
    2. Host Group Report
    3. Property Matters
    4. Membership Report
  4. Financial Reports
    1. Report for past year
    2. Budget for coming year
    3. Recipients of our Annual Giving
  5. Commitment to Ongoing Reconciliation
  6. Elections
    1. Treasurer
    2. BUV Delegates
  7. Acknowledgement of those doing necessary tasks
  8. Revision and Re-adoption of our Church Constitution
  9. Property Use, Power Consumption and Environmental Footprint
  10. Date for Next Meeting

Host Decisions – 7 September 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 7 September 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Church camp 2017 will be 28-30 July.
  2. The BUV have provided a template letter for Baptist churches to send a letter to Malcolm Turnbull seeking a more humane asylum seeker policy, to be signed by the pastor and congregation members. Samara will organise the letter for signing at church.
  3. John, a recent guest at our service, is homeless and has been sleeping at the church. As we do not have the facility to provide a home, Nathan is encouraging and supporting John to find suitable accommodation.
  4. We are researching options to refurbish our chairs as a number of seats have torn cloth but we do not want to send them to landfill if they can be repaired. New lighter chairs were considered, but even good quality plastic chairs cost $100+ each and would be less comfortable. Initial research indicates that re-covering and replacing the foam on the current chair seats (and maybe backs) could cost $40 - $85 per chair, and should extend their life by another 20 years. We recognise that the current chairs are heavy, but we have enough people who can lift the chairs safely, so we encourage only people who are physically capable to do this.
  5. We will discuss matters to do with our electricity consumption and environmental footprint at the AGM, including switching electricity provider, installation of solar panels, air conditioning and church hall use.
  6. We will run our church review on Sunday October 16, from 12:30pm to 4:30pm, using a creative consultative process called ‘Open Space’. More details to come.
  7. Advent Retreat Day is on Sunday 27 November. Details on venue and leader to follow.

Next meeting: Wednesday 5 October, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Decisions – 3 August 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 3 August 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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    1. We are proposing to change to Powershop as our electricity provider to support the commitment to renewable energy sources. Prices are comparable and they also give one off donation to Oxfam if we switch. We will check implications for our gas supply, and if the solar panel scheme (see point 2) is tied to particular providers.
    2. We are looking into a scheme run by Baptcare to help churches install solar electricity panels by arranging quotes for inclusion in a large discounted group purchase plan. Further information to follow.
    3. We have had positive responses to the “Congregational Input to the Agenda” tool trialled for this month’s host meeting. The “Congregational Notification of Decisions” will now be trialled in a similar format so that people can more easily affirm our decision or express their reservations.
    4. As considered at the discernment workshop, we will change our current arrangement of two scheduled congregational meetings per year to a pattern of calling congregational meetings for significant discernment matters as they arise. One meeting per year will include the AGM.
    5. We received positive feedback about the church camp, and will book the venue again for 2017. Thankyou for everyone’s input and participation, especially the organising group of Sylvia, Cameron and John Sampson.
    6. Car park restoration work by the builders of the neighbouring property should begin before long. We have also requested that the basketball pole be straightened.
    7. Our Church Constitution is due for its five-year review and re-adoption. Nathan has prepared a document proposing some suggested amendments to better reflect our present practices. We approved the document for circulation to the congregation in preparation for our AGM in September.
    8. We have a working bee scheduled for Sunday 21 August. Tasks include painting ceiling, looking at women’s disabled toilet door, usual tasks.
    9. We will conduct our major church review this year as an Open Space event on Sunday 16 October, 12:30-4:30pm. More details will follow.

 

Next meeting: Wednesday 7 September, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Decisions – 6 July 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 6 July 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. A big thank you to all who attended and helped out at the Anniversary Service.  It ran smoothly, we renewed our covenant, the food was wonderful (the chocolate cake was described as ‘heaven on a plate’ – thanks Yvonne!), we shared with old friends, and six unexpected guests, and farewelled the Sampson-Holdway family.

  2. Nathan has begun negotiations with the mortgagees of the neighbouring property at the rear of our carpark regarding access and payments.  They have made an initial payment of $15,545 into our account which covers some of the debt, a bond to cover further works on the carpark and the first month’s rental so that they can begin works prior to selling the property.  The discussions have been proceeding in good faith.

  3. Church camp is coming up July 29-31.  Please see Shelley to fill in a form if you want to come.  Paul Gahan is planning to launch his new book at camp!

  4. The discernment workshop will be held on July 17 at 2pm at the church.  We will not seek to conclude the baptism discussion on this date, but this will be revisited in light of our learnings about discernment.

  5. Alison will begin her Warrnambool role at the start of August.  A new Warrnambool bank account has been set up to receive contributions towards her wages from that date.  Nathan will send the account details to the congregation for anyone who wishes to contribute.

  6. The Stott family are looking at next steps for the Indigenous garden planting.

  7. The large oven in the kitchen has a broken part which can’t be replaced.  Ian is seeking a replacement oven on Gumtree.

  8. At this stage, we are not seeking someone to replace Anne Spence as a Visiting Pastoral Overseer(VPO).  We have two valued VPOs in Roslyn Wright and Chris Barndon, and we initially instituted three VPOs when there was no functional lay leadership group amongst us.  If we see a need for a particular type of input or eldership in the future, we will seek someone on those grounds.

Next meeting: Wednesday 3 August, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Special Congregational Meeting – 12 June 2016

Minutes of the Special Congregational Meeting on 12 June 2016

Ballots conducted after worship

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Attendance

Alison Sampson, Cameron Cutts, Eliz Cook, Francisca Cubillos, Francisco Naranjo, Gilbert Joyce, Glennys Williams, Margie Welsford, Nathan Nettleton, Paul Holdway, Rita Wang, Samara Pitt, Shelley Taylor, Sylvia Sandeman, Yvonne Joyce.

Approval of the Covenants

Church Covenant

Motion: That we approve the Church Covenant (as recently distributed) for the coming year.

Outcome: The vote was taken by secret ballot and the motion was unanimously approved.

Host Group Covenant

Motion: That we affirm the Hosts’ Covenant (as recently distributed) by which they seek to govern their ministry for the coming year.

Outcome: The vote was taken by secret ballot and the motion was unanimously approved.

Affirmation of the Hosts

Motion: That we affirm the ministry of the following people as our Host Group for the coming year (noting that the Group is open to new members joining it at any time): Eliz Cook, Samara Pitt, Shelley Taylor, Sylvia Sandeman and Ian Cook.

Outcome: The votes were taken by secret ballot and all were affirmed.

The Meeting was closed with the closing of the ballot.

Host Group Decisions – 1 June 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 1 June 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson (until 10pm), Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Thanks to Alison for her role chairing the host group and for redoing the host liturgy, which has introduced a valuable culture of discernment into the host meetings. Nathan will take over compiling agendas and chairing the host meetings for the coming months while we continue to think about the best approach in the longer term.

  2. Sylvia Sandeman will remain as coordinator and spokesperson of the host group.  She will also take on a new voluntary position as Coordinator of Pastoral Hospitality and Care.

  3. Daniel and Danielle will take over the Hall hire task from Eliz.  Thanks to Eliz for her faithfulness in this role for a long time!

  4. Alison will finish at South Yarra on 19 June, and will then be paid a number of extra weeks by South Yarra to cover her outstanding leave entitlements.   After that she will be paid from the grant from the Baptist Union for 1 day a week of wages for 1 year (available from 1 July) and from our new Warrnambool bank account which will receive contributions from the Warrnambool mob and from any members of the South Yarra congregation who wish to contribute.

  5. The Church anniversary service will take place on June 19.  Sylvia will organise the meal, and Nathan will plan the liturgy, taking feedback from last year’s service into account.  We will alsocommission Alison and the whole Sampson-Holdway family at this service.

  6. We will hold a Discernment and Membership workshop on 17 July at 2pm, which will follow on from the baptism workshop in April.

  7. Suggestions after the Pentecost service included making the peace greetings slide available for people to practice, and an audio version for pronunciation.  Next year we would also like to prepare parts in other languages for people who haven’t learnt a second language, but would like to have a go.  The languages on the church sign would be a good place to start.

  8. A good number of people attended the Enneagram workshop.  Peter covered it well in the available time.  It was useful for the group to learn how we can work together.   We note that there are a lot of 6s in the host group at the moment!

  9. After trialing the Pascha and Pentecost music setting in a higher key we thought it improved!  We are willing to do it again next year.

  10. Plans for Church camp are progressing. Merryl and Sylvia are also investigating possible alternative campsites that we could consider for coming years.

  11. The Indigenous garden planting was planned for autumn. Sylvia will contact the congregation with possible next steps.

  12. We will be installing LED downlights in the church hall to replace the aging halogen downlights when the faulty circuit is being fixed.  They are much more energy efficient that what we currently have.

  13. potential buyer for 11 Cromwell Rd contacted us for a preliminary conversation about access through our property for renovations.  Nathan mentioned the outstanding debt and how we would approach negotiating access so it can be factored in to any deliberations.

Next meeting: Wednesday 6 July, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 4 May 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 4 May 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Samara Pitt, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, and Shelley Taylor.

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  1. Our pastors’ superannuation payments will be set up to be SuperStream compliant from 1 July.

  2. Thanks to all who participated in the Baptism workshop, it was a rich conversation.  A summary of the recommendations has been circulated. We would like to offer another opportunity for people to tease out some of the implications of these recommendations, in particular how baptism relates to membership and how members participate in the decision making of the church.  The July 17 workshop will be on how we do discernment communally, and this will include discussion on the recommendations from the baptism workshop.

  3. Church camp will go ahead on July 29-31 at Araluen Lutheran camp, Anglesea.  Please let Sylvia know if you are coming or would like to help with organisation.

  4. The church website has been revamped – check it out at southyarrabaptist.church.  Thanks to Sina and Nathan for their work on this.  If you notice anything that needs changing, please let Nathan know.

  5. Alison will finish her work at South Yarra on June 19 (church anniversary) and will take some of her accrued leave before she begins at Warrnambool on July 17.

  6. We have received no suggestions for any change to the church covenant, so we will readopt it as is at the anniversary service in June.

  7. The Enneagram workshop will be held on Sunday May 22 from 10am to 4pm at the church.  Those who want to participate will need to pay $10 and complete an online survey before the workshop.  Nathan will circulate information on this.

Next meeting: 1 June at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 20 April 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 20 April 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Some responses to Alison’s letter to the congregation regarding her call to plant a church in Warrnambool suggest that it may have been better to provide more time and space for people to express their emotions at the time.  The host group will consider ways we could help the congregation to process big announcements, and would value any ideas that people have about how to do this well in future
  2. The details of Alison’s employment through South Yarra as she begins the church plant in Warrnambool are being drafted in consultation with the BUV. Alison will move to Warrnambool in early July. She will remain employed but not paid by South Yarra for up to two years. We are applying for a BUV church planting grant for 0.2EFT, and will seek contributions to cover the rest of her time. This arrangement will begin once she has moved. South Yarra will also provide ongoing administrative and liturgical support as set out in the attached document ‘Expectations v2’.
  3. The hole in the ceiling of the supper room was caused by a leak through the central guttering on the roof.  The whole length of gutter will be replaced as it is rusting in several spots, and once this is completed, the hole in the plasterboard will be repaired.
  4. Samara will provide an update to the congregation on the Sanctuary movement for the 267 asylum seekers at risk of being returned to offshore detention.
  5. We are looking at numbers and plans for the church camp.  Thanks to Cameron and Paul Gahan who have offered to help.  Sylvia will contact the congregation as soon as possible to see if we have enough people to go ahead with the booking.
  6. We are seeking feedback on the church covenant before we readopt it at our covenanting service on June 19.  Please let Nathan know of any suggestions.

Next meeting: 4 May at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 2 March 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 2 March 2016

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Offering Sanctuary to Asylum Seekers – Gracetree Baptist Church in Coburg was pleased to receive our offer of financial and people support as a potential Sanctuary location.  At this stage, it is hard to know what will be needed and most useful.  Samara will continue to provide updates as appropriate and as things develop.
  2. The workshop on baptism will be held on April 24.  Its key aim will be to work out how we make decisions on who we baptise, and who decides.
  3. We need volunteers to organise the church camp in July.  Sylvia will send an email to the congregation.
  4. St Martin’s usually have a Maundy Thursday service and meal that we attend. A request for rsvps for this, other Paschal services, and the Herring Island boat trip on Resurrection Sunday will be emailed around soon.

Next meeting: 6 April at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Congregational Business Meeting – 14 February 2016

Minutes of the Congregational Business Meeting on 14 February 2016

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The full minutes and reports are not reproduced here, but are available for download via the button above.

Outline of the Meeting
  1. Minutes of the AGM
  2. Pastors’ Reports
  3. Pastoral Review
  4. Host Group Report
  5. Property Matters
  6. Membership Proposals
  7. Financial Reports
  8. Commitment to Ongoing Reconciliation
  9. Offering Sanctuary to Asylum Seekers
  10. Rest from Supper Roster
  11. Church Giving: Discussion of possible recipients
  12. Date for Next Meeting:   AGM - 11 September 2016

Host Group Decisions – 8 February 2016

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 8 February 2016

Those in attendance at the recent meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Offering Sanctuary to Asylum Seekers – a number of churches have responded to the call from the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce to offer Sanctuary to asylum seekers currently in Australia who are under threat of being returned to offshore detention.  We will discuss whether is anything we want to offer at the congregational meeting on Sunday.
  2.  The Lenten Retreat will be held at the Centre for Theology and Ministry in Parkville on February 28., 10am to 3:30pm.
  3. While we appreciated the rest from the supper roster over January, we thought it would be better to have this break over Lent from 2017.  This will be discussed at the congregational meeting on Sunday.
  4. Lenten booklets have been distributed, you are welcome to pass them on to any friends who are interested.  (Alison had this great idea while on ’leave’, so she may take some actual leave later in the year!)
  5. Supper music preferences are in, and gentle instrumental music is the winner!  Thanks to all who gave feedback.

Next meeting: 2 March at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 9 December 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 9 December 2015

Those in attendance at the recent meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Daniel Stott is taking on the newssheet.  Thanks Daniel!  Please contact him with anything that should go in.
  2. You are invited to sponsor a plant for the Indigenous planting in our garden.  Alison will provide more details.
  3. Nathan’s annual review has been completed – thank you to those who contributed.  Feedback will be circulated early in 2016 before the congregational meeting in February.
  4. A workshop on the Enneagram (a personality indicator) is being planned for 22 May 2016.
  5. Alison will be coordinating catering for the Christmas Eve Vigil service at 9pm.
  6. Sylvia will be organising catering for the Epiphany service on January 6 at our church.
  7. Even if you can’t commit to the supper roster or a weekly task, we always appreciate help in the kitchen or packing up the hall after the service.  Feel free to steal a teatowel off a host!

Next meeting: 3 February at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 4 November 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 4 November 2015

Those in attendance at the recent meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt

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  1. Lauren is ready to hand over the preparation of the weekly notice sheet.  If anyone is interested in picking this up, please let her or the host group know.
  2. We are seeking a new Visiting Pastoral Overseer.  Please let the host group know if you think of anyone who might be suitable and willing.
  3. The workshop on Confession, Lamentation, Repentance, Atonement will be run on November 15 at 2pm by Matt Bell from the Indigenous Hospitality House.
  4. The Advent Retreat is on 29 November, 10am – 3:30pm at the Centre for Theology and Ministry in Parkville.  Lynette Dungan will focus on teaching a variety of methods of prayer.
  5. Nathan’s pastoral review is in progress. Feedback due Monday November 9.
  6. The supper music experiment continues – please give any feedback to Nathan or anyone on the host group.
  7. Annual leave dates for pastors – Alison will be on leave January 4 - 9, and Nathan will be on leave January 9 – 16.
  8. Maintenance – some slipped tiles on the manse will be repaired asap.  The church hall resurfacing will occur between Boxing Day and New Years Eve.

Next meeting: 9 December at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 7 October 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 7 October 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt

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  1. Steven Wong has resigned from the host group due to family commitments. We acknowledge with appreciation his contribution to the host group, and we would be very glad for him to return at another time.
  2. Anne Spence has resigned as a Visiting Pastoral Overseer, also due to family commitments. We acknowledge her faithful and helpful contributions during her time as VPO including conducting pastoral reviews, leading retreats and meeting with pastors.
  3. We will thank and farewell Jenny Gillan as music director during and after the service on October 25.
  4. The new church sign design has been finalised, will be installed soon.
  5. We are also installing an external noticeboard on the front of the church listing hall users.
  6. The Advent Retreat is on 29 November at the Centre for Theology and Ministry in Parkville.  We will focus on teaching a variety of methods of prayer.
  7. Nathan’s pastoral review topic is ‘Leading by example’.  Questionnaires will be distributed soon.
  8. Daniel, Danielle and Lydia Stott are the new manse tenants – hooray!  They will begin moving in on 9 October.
  9. The hall floor will be repolished in January at a cost of $4500.

Next meeting: 4 November at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 9 September 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 9 September 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Samara Pitt, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman and Shelley Taylor.

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  1. The Host group is preparing a letter to inform the congregation of our response to Jill Friebel’s visit to the service on August 9.
  2. The Host group review is happening Sunday 13 September.
  3. All Saint’s Day is on Sunday November 1. A combined service will be held at 6pm at St Martin’s, so there will be no service at South Yarra on that Sunday.
  4. On November 15 at 2pm there will be a workshop on “Confession, Lamentation, Repentance, Atonement: how non-Indigenous Australians are wounded by our history, and the Christian traditions that offer a path to healing”. It will be run by Matt Bell from the Indigenous Hospitality House and ANTaR Victoria.
  5. The Advent Retreat is happening on Sunday 29 November. If you have any suggestions for who could lead the retreat, please speak to Nathan.
  6. Jenny’s music tasks will be divided up among a number of congregation members. Thanks to all who volunteered. Samara will be following up with you all.
  7. Nathan, Margie and Acacia are not going to be moving back into the manse after the Gillans leave, so we are exploring suitable tenancy options.

Next meeting: 7 October at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Congregational Annual General Meeting – 16 August 2015

Minutes of the Congregational Annual General Meeting on 16 August 2015

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The full minutes and reports are not reproduced here, but are available for download via the button above.

Outline of the Meeting
  1. Minutes of previous meeting
  2. Pastors' Reports
  3. Host Group Report
  4. Property Matters
  5. Membership Report
  6. Financial Reports
    1. Report for past year
    2. Budget for coming year
    3. Recipients of our Annual Giving
  7. Commitment to Ongoing Reconciliation
  8. Elections
    1. Treasurer
    2. BUV Delegates
  9. Acknowledgement of those doing necessary tasks
  10. Date for Next Meeting

Host Group Decisions – 5 August 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 5 August 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Samara Pitt, and Ian Cook (from 9pm)

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  1. SYCBC adopted the BUV Safe Church policy in the past, but it has been superceded by a new Safe Church policy, so the congregation needs to formally adopt the new one. It commits the host group to going to a safe church training session once every 3 years. Everyone except Alison, Steven and Samara has been in the last 2 years, but we agreed we should all go within the next 6 months. Samara to send around dates.
  2. Church sign: it was suggested that the sign could include ‘welcome’ in a number of languages that reflect local immigration/language patterns. Nathan has drafted a version and we will check that the words are appropriate with speakers of those languages.
    Alison will check the accuracy of the words where she can, the rest others can follow up or we can leave until Nathan gets back.
  3. Church Camp: The church camp was very successful. Araluen works well for us and is now also part of the history so we would like to continue there. Eliz to book for 29/7/2016- 31/7/2016.
  4. Advent workshop: Matt Bell is booked to run this Confession to Atonement workshop on November 15.
  5. Host group review: Nathan will ask Chris Barndon to Anne Spence to run this review on Sunday September 20 at 2pm with the host group.
  6. Lunch before AGM: As the Flying Duck still seems to be closed for renovations, Sylvia will investigate Bridie O’Reilly’s, the old South Yarra church site!

Next meeting: 9 September at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 1 July 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 1 July 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.

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  1. Baptist marriage rites: The BUV Gathering affirmed that marriage is defined for Baptist pastors as being only between a man and a woman. Our congregation will need to decide whether we want our pastors to refrain from doing state paperwork for marriages which would mean that marriage ceremonies conducted by our pastors are available to all. Nathan will prepare a discussion paper in preparation for the August AGM.
  2. Church sign: The wording and design for the new sign outside the church has been approved, which includes an acknowledgement of the traditional custodians. Sylvia and Nathan will organise for it to be made and installed.
  3. Nathan’s leave: Nathan will be overseas at a conference from 9 August to 2 September.
  4. AGM: The date will remain August 16, as advertised.
  5. Website income: Income from the laughingbird website will continue to be used for conference costs for contributors, and will be split 75:25 between Nathan and Alison.
  6. First Aid box: Eliz will maintain the church’s first aid box. Please contact her if you notice something is missing or has run out.

Questions to the Congregation

Eucharist at the Anniversary dinner: We are keen to hear feedback from the congregation on the Anniversary dinner. In particular, we would like to hear whether people feel that it is important that the Eucharist element of the meal be more clearly identified in the liturgy. For example, would it be better to use the some of our usual words and actions (such as serving bread to each other, and toasting with wine and water) in the midst of the meal? Are there other things that we should consider?

Next meeting: 5 August at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Special Congregational Meeting – 14 June 2015

Minutes of the Special Congregational Meeting on 14 June 2015

Ballots conducted after worship

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Attendance
Alison Sampson, Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Jenny Gillan, Margie Welsford, Mark Moroney, Nathan Nettleton, Paul Gahan, Paul Holdway, Rita Wang, Robert Toseland, Samara Pitt, Shelley Taylor, Sylvia Sandeman.

Approval of the Covenants

Church Covenant

Motion: That we approve the Church Covenant (as recently distributed) for the coming year.

Outcome: The vote was taken by secret ballot and the motion was unanimously approved.

Host Group Covenant

Motion: That we affirm the Hosts’ Covenant (as recently distributed) by which they seek to govern their ministry for the coming year.

Outcome: The vote was taken by secret ballot and the motion was unanimously approved.

Affirmation of the Hosts

Motion: That we affirm the ministry of the following people as our Host Group for the coming year (noting that the Group is open to new members joining it at any time): Eliz Cook, Samara Pitt, Shelley Taylor, Sylvia Sandeman and Steven Wong.

Outcome: The votes were taken by secret ballot and all were affirmed.

The Meeting was closed with the closing of the ballot.

Host Group Decisions – 3 June 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 3 June 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, and Shelley Taylor.

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  1. The Church Covenant and the Host Covenant will be circulated to the congregation this week, in preparation for a vote seeking confirmation of the Church Covenant and the Host Group for the coming year.
  2. Nathan reported that Margie has been told that her contract at Whitley will only be renewed until the end of this year. When she finishes at Whitley, they will have to move house. Margie will continue to seek a further contract extension, but if no extension is granted, their family will probably move back into the manse at the end of this year in accordance with the Host Group’s preference that Nathan live in the manse if possible.
  3. The Church Directory has been printed and will be circulated over the next few weeks.
  4. The Host Group will engage in a self-review over a half day on 20 September.
  5. The BUV Gathering voted to affirm the decision already made nationally that Baptist pastors will not be able to marry gay couples even if the law changes.

Next meeting: 1 July at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 6 May 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 6 May 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, and Shelley Taylor.

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  1. The Hosts accepted a provisional quote for new signage: $500 plus GST for the larger sign at the front, and $300 plus GST for the smaller sign on the building, making $800 plus GST in total. In consultation with the Boonwurrung Foundation and the reconciliation action group, we are finalising the format and wording of an acknowledgement of traditional custodians. Changes and/or re-doing the artwork may lead to an additional cost of $100 or thereabouts. Once finalised, the new signs will be ordered.
  2. The Covenant has been lightly edited to reflect suggestions made by church members, and to remove redundancies. A copy will be distributed to the congregation for comment.
  3. We have found a rug specialist to advise us regarding a new rug for the sanctuary. Nathan and Ian will finalise the research, and make a recommendation as soon as possible.
  4. The Citizens Advice Bureau is the new agent for government emergency relief in this area, and does not wish to collaborate with SWERNI. The CAB will distribute relief in the form of supermarket vouchers; there will no longer be assistance for utilities, pharmaceuticals or other things. Stonnington Council is considering options, particularly since the funding has dropped from $56,000 to about $26,000 p.a. We decided that, for the time being, Nathan’s time and expertise is our church’s contribution to the situation.
  5. The Boonwurrung Foundation was contacted regarding an acknowledgement of traditional custodians. The Foundation expanded our draft wording to read “Long before the South Yarra Community Baptist Church purchased and occupied this building, the Yalukit Weelum (people of the river) of the Boon wurrung language group of the Greater Kulin Nation were and still are a part of the 10,000 generations that went before. We acknowledge with respect their Elders past and present and to the future, and commit ourselves to work together for recognition and justice for the First Peoples of this country.” We will use this wording inside the building.
    Boonwurrung Elder Aunty Carolyn Briggs would like to talk with us about appropriate artwork. Representatives of the reconciliation action group will meet with her.
  6. We will include a rite of belonging for our Junior Catechumens in the annual covenanting service.
  7. The Host Group will undergo a review in August and September 2015.

Next meeting: 3 June at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 15 April 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 15 April 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Alison Sampson, Chair, Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor , Steven Wong.
Ian sent an apology for being unexpectedly detained at work and arrived late.

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  1. The BUV has asked for prayer points from our Church which will be included in the May BUV Better together in prayer. They are asking 20 Churches for each time. We agreed Nathan write up and send in a paragraph on our workshop, Interfaith Jewish dialogue,SWERNI and ongoing work on reconciliation.
  2. Update of congregational photos on wall and congregational directory: Alison is working on the update of the congregational directory and is checking the privacy issues with the 60 people she currently expects to include.
    We agreed the directory be without photos and that people be asked to supply a photo for the wall if necessary.
  3. Replacement of rug in sanctuary: Nathan has circulated Hosts a quote for $4790 for a comparable carpet to what we have from the business who originally supplied it.
    We discussed the possibility of rectifying the problems or replacing the carpet . Ian and Eliz agreed to get another quote for new carpet and Ian to look at possibilities for repair.Nathan to provide detail of current rug.
  4. We agreed last meeting to hold off replacing the Church signs until we were sure our wording of our acknowledgement of traditional custodians was acceptable. We agreed Alison check the wording with our reconciliation working group and with Aunty Caroline Briggs. Sylvia will get details on sign-writer used by another Church.
  5. Church camp is booked for the end of July and we need someone to organise it. Sylvia will circulate an email asking for volunteers to act as an organising committee.
  6. We usually have an anniversary lunch coupled with a long regular service because of the conventing rite. We agreed we have a special one off shorter liturgy integrated with three courses of dinner, instead of lunch and later service. The Pastors will reorganise the liturgy. Food organisation also needed.

Next meeting: 6 May at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 2 March 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 2 March 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Steven Wong.

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  1. The host group has decided to develop a new prayer station dedicated to offerings of money, time, and other resources (for example, material gifts to the ASRC; abundant fruit harvests to be shared out after the service, etc.). The placement and structure will be considered over the coming months.

Next meeting: 15 April at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Congregational Business Meeting – 22 February 2015

Minutes of the Congregational Business Meeting on 22 February 2015

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The full minutes are not reproduced here, but are available for download via the button above.

Outline of the Meeting
  1. Minutes of the AGM
  2. Pastors’ Reports
  3. Host Group Report
  4. Pastoral Review
  5. Property Matters
  6. Financial Reports
  7. Pastor's Statement of Understanding: Alison
  8. Commitment to Ongoing Reconciliation
  9. Church Giving: Discussion of possible recipients
  10. Date for Next Meeting:   AGM - 16 August 2015

Host Meeting Decisions – 11 February 2015

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 11 February 2015

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Steven Wong.

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  1. The Host Group has received and endorsed Nathan’s Review prepared by Ann Spence. The Review will be distributed to the church for comments in time for the next Congregational meeting on 22nd February 2015.
  2. The Host Group received and affirmed “A Commitment to Reconciliation” prepared by the Working party. We acknowledge that it will always be a work in progress and should be reviewed each year. The Commitment will be distributed to the church for comments in time for the next Congregational meeting.
  3. Concern has been expressed that when offering drinks after the service, we should not prioritise the offering of wine to the neglect of non-alcoholic drinks. This concern has been noted by those most involved in offering drinks. It was also noted that the new supper table arrangements may have partially taken care of this anyway.
  4. The Host Group completed its work on the changes to Alison’s Statement of Understanding that were required after her position was changed from a completely honorary one to a paid one. After discussing the symbolic implications of various ways of understanding and expressing the arrangement, it was agreed that the “appointment consists of 0.2EFT which is paid, and 0.2EFT which is honorary and is gratefully received by the church as a gift from Alison” and that “remuneration for the paid component will be per the BUV recommended stipend.” A copy of the revised Statement of Understanding will be distributed to the church with these decisions, and with the revised sections highlighted.

Next meeting: 2 March at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Meeting Decisions – 3 December 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 3 December 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor. Steven Wong sent an apology.

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  1. We received the following letter regarding Alison’s candidature for ordination:14 November 2014 

    Rev Nathan Nettleton
    2 Leonard Street
    Parkville VIC 3052 

    Dear Nathan, 

    Thank you for the reference you provided the PLSC  for Alison Sampson and for your contribution to  her DSG Report. The PLSC met with Alison and  Paul on the 7th November. I am pleased to notify  you officially that the committee provisionally  accepted Alison as a candidate for the ordained  Baptist ministry and we look forward to meeting  with her again in 12 months time. I know that you  and the members of the South Yarra Community  Baptist Church will continue to encourage and  support Alison in her ministry among you as she  embarks upon the ordination track. Please convey  our appreciation to the members of the DSG for  their very thorough and constructive report. We  would not be able to fulfill our responsibilities  without the DSG’s feedback. 

    Grace and Peace 

    Marita Munro Chair PLSC 

  2. The design of the invitation postcards has been done, using one of Paul Gahan’s paintings and an invitation to the church. Printing was waiting for confirmation of the new church website URL, but that confirmation arrived by email during the course of the meeting, so production of the cards will now go ahead.
  3. A call for interest in being part of a Working Group on Indigenous Reconciliation went out to the congregation, and Alison, Samara, Sylvia & Margie have expressed interest in being part of it. That’s enough people so it is underway.
  4. Ian and Nathan reported that the electrician who was involved in the data projector installation has been back and has been able to solve the long running problem we had with a one of the electrical circuits in the church which kept shorting. Not only is the problem fixed, but we were pleasantly surprised by how reasonable his bill was, so we will be sticking with this electrician in the future.
  5. We sorted out the main content of the program for 2015, and Sylvia will complete it and distribute it after her holiday.
  6. Hall hire rates have not been increased since 2009 so we authorised Eliz and Nathan to review and raise the rents as they see fit. We agreed that one-off parties are usually more stress than the are worth, and we authorised Eliz to not accept party bookings.
  7. We need to provide a supper after the ecumenical Epiphany service that we are hosting on January 6. Sylvia will coordinate the food with a bring a plate approach. 
  8. We discussed plans for the Lenten and Advent retreats next year. We agreed that Alison will lead the Lenten Retreat. We agreed to look for different venues next year, and Alison will seek out venues for both retreats. We will give some more consideration to how we promote it to the congregation. 
  9. Some questions have been raised about whether we should include members of our congregation who have died, such as Lindsay and Frances, in our gallery of Saints icons. It was noted that we presently put people who are absent on the right hand side of the second beam, and so members of the congregation who have died could be similarly shown on the left hand side. We agreed to go ahead with this, and that they would remain there as long as seems relevant. Nathan will arrange for the pictures. 
  10. Alison shared a basic description of an idea she has for open-to-the-public story telling nights in the school holidays, perhaps after Easter. She reported that Samara had experienced something similar in the UK and was excited about trying something like that here. We discussed logistics, timing and advertising, and agreed that we like the idea and it should be further explored. Alison and Samara will have further discussions about this and begin planning. 
  11. The question has ben raised about food after worship, and perhaps having soup again, at least sometimes, instead of the nibbles. We noted that the nibbles had grown into a meal sized event which makes it more work and more expense that originally anticipated. We discussed ways that the supper could be symbolically linked more strongly to the Eucharist, by setting tables that run from the communion table through to the present nibblies space. We agreed to introduce the changed table set-up in February, and to encourage the rostered caterers to consider soup or other options.

Next meeting: 11 February at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Meeting Decisions – 6 October 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 6 October 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Steven Wong.

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  1. We have only received one expression of interest so far for the Ancient Wisdom workshop on 16 November despite advertising on the Laughing Bird website and printing out flyers. It will be advertised in the next BUV Communications.
  2. We have decided that if sufficient numbers are not forthcoming for the Ancient Wisdom workshop, we will instead use that day to run a workshop for our own members on Christian – Muslim relationships. This workshop would have only some brief input from Nathan and Nur, and then be mainly an opportunity for questions and discussion prompted by the ideas that Nathan has raised.
  3. On discussing the content of the proposed new street front signboards, we have decided to include an acknowledgement of the traditional indigenous owners of the land on the board.
  4. Nathan and Eliz reported the AA Group, who are using the hall on Sunday mornings have booked and paid up until Christmas. They have been tidy in cleaning up and have requested the use of a presently unused cupboard in the kitchen. We agreed to allow the AA Group to use this cupboard and will have it labelled for their use.
  5. Nathan and Alison have just received the draft Mission Review report. It will be circulated to the Hosts and then the final version will be circulated to all members.
  6. Discussion of the garden redevelopment has been deferred to next month because Alison will meet tomorrow with the coordinator of the local community gardens.
  7. Anne Spence (one of our Visiting Pastoral Overseers) has accepted the invitation to receive the questionnaires for Nathan’s annual review and to write the summary report. The focus of the review will be on Leadership and Teamwork. The questionnaires will be distributed for completion and return to Ann by late October.
  8. We concluded our discussion of the ownership of the laughingbird.net website domain name. We agreed that the site and its domain name belong to the church, but if Nathan leaves AND the church no longer wishes to maintain the site, Nathan will be given first right of refusal on taking it over.
  9. We discussed printing postcard size invitation cards containing details of the Church service times including a welcome to all people. We will explore the costs and the design of the postcard, and speak to Paul Gahan about including some of his artwork on it.

Next meeting: 3 December at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Meeting Decisions – 3 September 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 3 September 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Steven Wong.

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  1. The next BUV Delegates meeting will take place on Friday 10 October . Nathan, Alison, Shelley and Ian will be representing us at the meeting.
  2. The new Data Projectors have been purchased. Installation is scheduled to take place on 25 & 26 September. The changeover of the fluorescent lights to LED lights in the hall & the repair of a powerpoint in manse will be done by the same contractors at same time.
  3. We are working on replacing the increasingly tired looking signboards at the front of the property. Please contact us soon if you have suggestions for additional information that should be included on them.
  4. The Working Bee has been postponed to the afternoon of Sunday 5th October (previously 14 Sep).
  5. Our annual Advent retreat is scheduled for Sunday 30th November and Anne Spence, one of our Visiting Pastoral Overseers has agreed to lead it for us.
  6. The idea of making the lawn area at the back of the church available for a community garden was raised. Stonnington has very few of these, and the Armadale Baptist Church is now providing space for one. It was noted that of the few that Stonnington does have, two of them are very close to our church, but we will explore whether there is more demand here and consider this further.
  7. We agreed to relax our previous policy of not allowing permanent hall-hire bookings on Sunday mornings. A local AA group, who were meeting in the old Uniting Church property that is about to be demolished around the corner, have approached us about a Sunday morning meeting.

Next meeting: 6 October at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Congregational Annual General Meeting – 17 August 2014

Minutes of the Congregational Annual General Meeting on 17 August 2014

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The full minutes are not reproduced here, but are available for download via the button above.

Outline of the Meeting
  1. Minutes of previous meeting
  2. Pastors' Reports
  3. Host Group Report
  4. Property Matters
  5. Membership Report
  6. Discernment and Support Group Report
  7. Financial Reports
    1. Report for past year
    2. Budget for coming year
    3. Recipients of our Annual Giving
  8. Elections
    1. Treasurer
    2. BUV Delegates
  9. Acknowledgement of those doing necessary tasks
  10. Date for Next Meeting:   15 February 2015

Host Group Decisions – 6 August 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 6 August 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman and Steven Wong.

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  1. Nathan has been obtaining quotes on installing data projectors to replace the old overhead projectors. The Host Group agreed that we should now proceed with this. Nathan will send an email to the congregation outlining the decision and the reasons. If there are concerns from the congregation, we will provide an opportunity to discuss the matter further at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
  2. Nathan wrote to the congregation about a proposal to change the service times for the Easter Services in 2015, but had received no response. We agreed to go ahead with the proposed change of times.
  3. A funeral workshop will be held on 31 August 2014 from 2pm to 4pm. Nathan will write to the congregation explaining the content of the workshop and to call for expressions of interest.
  4. The Host Group discussed the success of the camp and proposes the church rebook the same camp site for next year.
  5. There have been no suggestions for new recipients for our giving. The Host Group proposes we continue to provide financial support for our existing charities and to put this to a vote at the next AGM.

Next meeting: 3 September at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 2 July 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 2 July 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, and Shelley Taylor. Ian Cook, and Steven Wong sent their apologies.

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  1. Alison reported that she and Nathan had met with the BUV consultants about our review of the congregation’s mission. They are going to write up a report based on the information we have provided them from our conversations.
  2. The camp committee has done the groundwork for the camp and all is underway. Shelley is taking the registrations.
  3. Nathan reported that both he and Alison will be on leave during the week that commences next Sunday, 6 July. Nathan will still be at church on the Sunday’s and his leave will be time in lieu. He will remain on call for any pastoral crises.
  4. We discussed the church’s website, noting that it has been identified by many people during the mission review as an important aspect of our church’s mission. Nathan reported that Sina has offered to redesign and rebuild our website for us. We agreed that this was a wonderful offer and we decided to accept it. In finalising that with Sina, we want to check what it will mean for other people doing regular updates of the material on the site. We also agreed that at the same time, we should separate the church and resources sites into two separate domains.
  5. Nathan proposed that while our funeral rites are fresh in the congregation’s memory, it might be good to hold a Sunday afternoon workshop to allow people to learn more about what we do and why, and to consider how to make and communicate their own choices for their own funerals. It was noted that there is often difficulty after a death sorting out who is responsible for how the rites are to be done - the family or the congregation. Communicating preferences beforehand can help ensure a smoother handling of the arrangements. We agreed to go ahead and offer such a workshop, perhaps in late August, and to prepare some paperwork to help people make decisions about their own funeral preferences and communicate them to those who need to know.

Next meeting: 6 August at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Special Congregational Meeting – 8 June 2014

Minutes of the Special Congregational Meeting on 8 June 2014

Ballots conducted after worship

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Attendance
Steven Wong, Sylvia Sandeman, Samara Pitt, Ian Cook, Margie Welsford, Eliz Cook, Robert Toseland, Paul Holdway, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Mark Moroney.

Approval of the Covenants

Church Covenant

Motion: That we approve the Church Covenant (as recently distributed) for the coming year.

Outcome: The vote was taken by secret ballot and the motion was unanimously approved.

Host Group Covenant

Motion: That we affirm the Hosts’ Covenant (as recently distributed) by which they seek to govern their ministry for the coming year.

Outcome: The vote was taken by secret ballot and the motion was unanimously approved.

Affirmation of the Hosts

Motion: That we affirm the ministry of the following people as our Host Group for the coming year (noting that the Group is open to new members joining it at any time): Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Shelley Taylor, Sylvia Sandeman and Steven Wong.

Outcome: The votes were taken by secret ballot and unanimously approved.

The Meeting was closed with the closing of the ballot.

Host Group Decisions – 7 May 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 7 May 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor. Steven Wong was absent due to illness.

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  1. The working bee, originally scheduled for next Sunday has been postponed until the following week, 18 May, so as not to clash with mother’s day.
  2. The investigation of changing the fluorescent lights in the hall to LED tubes looks promising and the installation is likely to go ahead.
  3. Sylvia agreed to take on the central coordinating role for this year’s church camp and will be contacting a number of people about organising particular activities. It was agreed that the camp worship service might use a different liturgy to our normal Sundays. It was also agreed that we will make a decision before this year’s camp about whether to rebook the site for the next year.
  4. Ian had circulated a Financial Report for the first three quarters of the financial year which showed that things are about where they were expected to be.
  5. New offerings pledges to enable us to begin paying Alison have been enough to pay a stipend at close to 50% of the BUV recommendation. This will now be set up, with payments backdated to 17 February. Changes to her statement of understanding will be made to reflect this.
  6. We have been investigating the possibility of installing ceiling mounted data projectors. A quote has been received from a company recommended for their work at St Kilda Baptist. The quote is around $7500, which is considerably more than we had hoped and budgeted for. We will seek further quotes before deciding whether to proceed.
  7. We decided not conduct a review of the Music Director’s work this year, because the last review was a major one and the implementation of its outcomes has only just been completed. We will do Jenny’s next review in June next year.
  8. The Church Covenant is reviewed annually, but since no suggestions have been received for changes to it this year, we agreed that the covenant be readopted, unchanged, for the next year.
  9. This year’s Church Anniversary lunch will be organised as a potluck, and Sylvia and Alison will coordinate it.

Next meeting: 2 July at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 2 April 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 2 April 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Steven Wong.

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  1. Baptist Financial Services have offered a scheme of anonymous receipt of electronic offerings at no cost to the church and the Host Group agrees to follow up. Ian will include a notification to the congregation if we proceed with it.
  2. Church camp is booked at the previous venue from 25 to 27 July 2014. Sylvia will send an email seeking volunteers for the camp committee.
  3. Host Group reaffirms decision from last meeting  to pay Alison as close to 60% of the stipend as we can achieve commencing 17 February 2014. Host Group agrees up to $100 per week of this can be from existing church funds. Nathan will send another email to the church with a cut off date for the new pledges.

Next meeting: 7 May at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 19 March 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 19 March 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor and Steven Wong.

  1. Due to the problems with our aged fluorescent lights, Ian is looking into acquiring suitable LED tubes for the hall. He advised there are the gold standard tubes which cost $65 each and have a life standard of 50 years. It would cost approximately $2,000 to buy these tubes and about $500 for an electrician to install them. Ian advised there are $12 tubes which theoretically have a life span of 30 years. He will replace a tube in the kitchen to check how it works. If he is happy with the tube, the Host Group have given him the authority to arrange an electrician to fit the cheaper tubes. The cost of the cheaper tubes and an electrician could cost approximately $1,000.
  2. Alison has been in the role of Associate Pastor for a month. She has preached twice and met with her Discernment Support Group (DSG). She has been keeping a record of how she spends her time. About a ¼ of her time has been on sermon preparation and she has also been doing some pastoral visits. She is working towards ordination and has met with representatives of the Pastoral Leadership Selection Committee (PLSC). The DSG will write a report that will go to BUV and congregation on 6 August 2014. She is arranging an external supervisor, as required in her job description, which the church will pay for if required.
  3. Alison has met with Chris Wanstall about gathering information for our Mission & Direction review. She will use pastoral visits to ask mission & direction questions & Nathan to do it with home group. It was suggested it would be good to talk to people who aren’t regular attendees to get their views on mission and to look at people who visit our website but don’t attend our church.
  4. Ian is handing over the responsibility for manse maintenance, and it will be a Host Group responsibility with Nathan as first point of call until we have someone else willing to take it on.
  5. There was a recent incident with cash stolen from offerings. We will now provide the opportunity for people to lock handbags in the office, and the offering will also be locked away after counting.
  6. Acacia is again co-ordinating the Easter Morning Herring Island trip.
  7. Alison’s Honorarium was discussed, and she absented herself from this discussion. Some members of the congregation felt a misgiving about Alison not being paid for her position. The BUV’s recommended minimum stipend for a student pastor 0.4EFT is $373 per week (including superannuation). Host Group felt that we should seek to pay as much of this as we can raise. Nathan to write an email requesting members to make a pledge for Alison’s honorarium.

Next meeting: 2 April at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Congregational Business Meeting – 16 February 2014

Minutes of the Congregational Business Meeting on 16 February 2014

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The full minutes are not reproduced here, but are available for download via the button above.

Outline of the Meeting
  1. Minutes of the AGM
  2. Pastor's Report
  3. Host Group Report
  4. Financial Reports
  5. Pastoral Review
  6. Property Matters
  7. Mission and Direction Discussion
  8. Special Business - Appointment of Associate Pastor
  9. Safe Children Policy
  10. Policy regarding “WWCC Interim Negative Notices”
  11. Church Giving: Discussion of possible recipients
  12. Date for Next Meeting:   AGM - 17 August 2014

Host Group Decisions – 6 February 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 6 February 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor, Steven Wong.

  1. Statements of Understanding
    Host Group approved the Statements of Understanding for Nathan Nettleton, Alison Sampson and Jennifer Gillan. The Statements of Understanding will be circulated to the congregation.
  2. Proposed appointment of Associate Pastor
    Host Group unanimously recommends the appointment of Alison Sampson as Associate Pastor under the terms and conditions of the Statement of Understanding. The proposed appointment will be brought to the next Church meeting on 16 February 2014.
  3. Mission & Direction Consultants
    Following initial discussion with Chris Wanstall , BUV Mission & Direction Consultant at Host Group meeting on 22 January 2014, the Host Group wishes to invite Chris Wanstall and Antonio Rodriguez to assist the Church in planning our Mission work. Nathan will formally invite them.
  4. Packing up the Church after the worship service
    We discussed the importance of allowing those people who wish to have a quiet moment after the service the space to do so. The time in the circle after worship is a space for people to seek prayer if they wish, or to sit in contemplation if they wish.
    In recent times, it has been noticed that in their eagerness to help, a number of people have commenced tasks such as clearing of the communion table, rubbing off of the prayers, taking down the photos, blowing out of candles, putting up the screens, and moving of the curtains straight after the worship service. As we spend some time setting up the hall to have a worshipful space, it seems that we should not be wanting to start and pack it away the moment Nathan finishes the sending out.
    The question was asked whether all those who have a hand in starting to pack up after worship could be encouraged to "hang 10" on starting these task . After discussion, it was suggested that the cue for starting to pack up should be when there was no longer anyone praying or contemplating in the Worship space.
    Decision: Newsletter notice to remind congregation members to wait until the worship space is completely clear of people praying or contemplating before starting to pack up. Nathan to remind people of this.

Next meeting: 19 March at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Group Decisions – 22 January 2014

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting held on 22 January 2014

Those in attendance at the meeting were Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Nathan Nettleton, Sylvia Sandeman, Shelley Taylor, Steven Wong. Apology from Alison Sampson.
Visitor: Chris Wanstall, BUV Mission & Direction consultant

  1. Expression of gratitude to Eliz.
    The Host Group records its gratitude to Eliz Cook for her work on keeping the minutes of our meetings for the past 3 years or so. Eliz took over the role, somewhat reluctantly, in September 2010, when there were no other Host Group members who were willing or able to do it. Her commitment to the Host Group and the Church has been evident in the uncomplaining diligence and reliability with which she has fulfilled the task over that time. Now that she is able to be relieved of the task, we wish to express our gratitude for her faithful service through this formative time in the group’s development.
  2. We received a note from George Warren, our Advent Retreat Leader, expressing gratitude for leading retreat.
  3. We agreed to use “God on the Cross: Reflections on Lent & Easter” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer for this year’s Lenten studies.
  4. BUV Mission & Direction discussion
    Chris Wanstall, BUV Mission & Direction Consultant facilitated discussion with Host Group to assist us to identify our goals for mission.

Next meeting: 6 February at 7.30pm at Nathan’s house