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 – 5 December 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 5 December 2018

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

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  1. The pastoral review on Nathan’s provision of pastoral care and counsel is underway using an online survey. Please respond as soon as possible - the deadline is Tuesday December 15. Alternatively you can respond using a hard copy or digital version - let Samara know if you want to receive a hard copy.
  2. For our annual giving recipients, we have sent the Nagaland Healing Garden gift which they used immediately to buy a milking cow! The other gifts will be transferred soon.
  3. We have paid this year’s contribution to opt in to the National Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse as part of the participating group in the Baptist Union of Victoria. This means that if there was a finding of sexual abuse within our church, the redress (financial compensation) owed to the survivor/s would come out of the Baptist Union redress support fund as well as church funds. Participating churches will make an annual contribution of $400 + 0.01% of their insured asset value (this means buildings, not land or contents). More detail on the scheme is here.
  4. Our overhead data projector has been playing up again. We've got our original repaired one back and returned the loaned one which was really bad, so it didn't cost us. We are getting a technician to check the settings - work in progress!
  5. We have received a first quote on solar panels for $8800 - $9500 but with minimal detail. Ian is following up a second quote.
  6. Ian has received helpful feedback on details for the kitchen renovation, including options for ovens, sinks and air circulation. He will display the most recent really cool looking proposal board at church for further comment. We are aiming to have the work done by mid-February.
  7. The Ancient Wisdom for Tomorrow’s Worship workshop was held with about 10 participants, 4 from outside the congregation including one who came via online promotion. When organising the workshop, we realised that we should have checked in more closely with those in our congregation who initially expressed interest to ensure those people had a good chance of attending - our apologies for this oversight.
  8. Our most recent working bee saw some good work done, and the Advent retreat was much appreciated by those who attended.
  9. The church activities calendar for 2019 has been finalised and it can be downloaded here.
  10. At our Christmas Eve service (9pm) and Epiphany service (6 January, 5pm) we will ask people to bring a plate - details to follow.
  11. Nathan will be on leave from 7 January to 1 February for a week’s holiday, a liturgy conference and a 13 day retreat.
  12. Upcoming dates for your diary:
  • December 24 Christmas Eve service, 9pm
  • January 6 Epiphany ecumenical service, 5pm

Next meeting: Wednesday 6 February 20198, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 7 November 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 7 November 2018

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

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  1. There was a question raised about whether Nathan should have had to use his annual leave time to finish his chapter on Baptist Spirituality for the forthcoming book on Protestant Spiritual Traditions. We revisited this with Nathan and confirmed that, as this writing work was Nathan’s personal decision, it was most appropriate that he do it in his own time (Nathan is fine with this).
  2. Our church gives away 10% of its facilities hire income each year. We choose four recipients, one overseas, one national, one in Melbourne, and one supporting asylum seekers. The AGM approved two recipients and delegated the task of finalising the other two to the Host Group. For our new annual giving recipients, we have decided to give to RISE (asylum seeker and refugee advocacy group), and fund the purchase of a milking cow and some bamboo planting with the Healing Garden in Nagaland.
  3. We have confirmed the decision that our church should opt in to the National Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse as part of the participating group in the Baptist Union of Victoria, and have authorised Nathan to sign the declaration to this effect on our behalf. We are now going ahead with joining up. Our church’s contribution this year will be $564.10.
  4. Ian has circulated a short survey for feedback on final details for the kitchen renovation, feedback welcome.
  5. Now that we have air conditioning in the church, the cost/benefit of installing solar panels has changed. A $7000 investment would be recouped in just over five years (it was previously more than ten years). We approve installation of a 6kw system, which will substantially cover our usage across spring, summer and autumn based on the past year’s readings.
  6. We were delighted to support Alison as she was ordained this month, and to celebrate with a range of congregation members, friends and family at the after-party! We congratulate her on this significant recognition of her call to pastoral ministry, and the strength and passion of what she offers her congregation and the wider church and community.
  7. The ‘Connecting Stories’ conference for LGBTIQA+ Christians and allies was a significant event for participants, and great place to learn and connect. Everyone appreciated the ice-cream on our sponsor table, and we sold several of Paul Gahan’s books!
  8. We have received some feedback and alternative proposals regarding our membership and covenanting structures. We will explore these, and continue to welcome further ideas.
  9. A first draft of church activities calendar for 2019 is being circulated for your information, feedback and suggestions.
  10. Upcoming dates for your diary:
  • November 11 Ancient Wisdom workshop
  • November 18 Working bee
  • December 3 Advent Retreat Day
  • December 24 Christmas Eve service, 9pm
  • January 6 Epiphany ecumenical service, 5pm

Next meeting: Wednesday 5 December 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 10 October 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 10 October 2018

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

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  1. Ian is preparing a short survey for feedback on final details for the kitchen renovation. Stay tuned
    if you have strong opinions about bench top material and the colour of cabinets!
  2. At the Delegates’ Dinner on Friday 19th October, a motion will be presented that the BUV and participating local churches apply to join the National Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. This means that if there was a finding of sexual abuse within our church, the redress (financial compensation) owed to the survivor/s would come out of the Baptist Union redress support fund as well as church funds. Participating churches will make an annual contribution of $400 + 0.01% of their insured asset value (this means buildings, not land or contents). More detail on the scheme is here. We recommend that our congregation participate in this scheme. The deadline for opting in is 14 December 2018.
  3. The Connecting Voices conference for LGBTIQA+ Christians and allies is this weekend (13-14 October) at Darebin Arts Centre. Samara, Acacia, Alison, Sylvia and Margie will be attending to host the SYCBaps table. If you would like to help or attend the conference, tickets are available at the venue, and feel free to promote – it will be an important ‘safer’ place to explore intersections of gender, sexuality, theology, faith and practice.
  4. The Advent Retreat Day is December 3 with Ros Wright – venue to be confirmed.
  5. Nathan finished his chapter on Baptist Spirituality for a forthcoming book on Protestant Spiritual Traditions. He took 1.2 weeks worth of annual leave hours across a four-week period to meet the deadline.
  6. Nathan will prepare a short liturgy for use by people who might want to host a story-sharing session in their home. We encourage people to initiate other ideas or activities that they favour coming out of the open space discussions on membership and covenanting.
  7. Upcoming dates for your diary:
  • October 13-14 Connecting Stories Conference
  • October 20, 2pm Alison’s ordination
  • November 1 (time t.b.c.) Feast of All Saints, St martins
  • November 11 Ancient Wisdom workshop
  • November 18 Working bee
  • December 3 Advent Retreat Day

Next meeting: Wednesday 7 November 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Congregational Annual General Meeting – 16 September 2018

Minutes of the Congregational Annual General Meeting on 16 September 2018

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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. Host Group Report
    2. Pastor's 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. Election of BUV Delegates
  6. Acknowledgement of those doing necessary tasks
  7. Matters for Discernment
    1. Congregational Trends
    2. Practices of Membership and Covenanting
  8. Date for Next Meeting

Host Decisions – 5 September 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 5 September 2018

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

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  1. Our AGM is Sunday September 16 at 2:30pm, with lunch beforehand for those who wish to share it at the Flying Duck at 12pm. We will be discussing our giving recipients, and there will also be a talking circle to continue to hear from people about ideas for our membership and covenanting structures, and where we’re going as a congregation.
  2. We will be hosting a table at the Connecting Voices conference on 13-14 October for LGBTIQA+ Christians and allies who are committed to cultivating churches where LGBTIQA+ people are fully welcomed and accepted. If you would like to attend the conference sessions, you can buy tickets online for 1 or both days (equalvoices.org.au/conference). (Samara can provide a draft program if you want to see what’s on offer.) If you just want to be at the table for people to talk to during the breaks, that’s an option. We will provide some snacks for delegates (there are not many food options inside the venue) and information about our church. Please let Samara know if you are attending, are willing to be at the table for some of the time, and if you can contribute some snacks. There are conference flyers at church so feel free to promote and invite others.
  3. Church camp was a good time! There was kite flying, artwork, opshopping, knitting, table tennis, a Sanctuary-style liturgy, a friendly and flexible cook, and the camp manager commented: “I was mightily impressed by the in reach work being done in your group. I can see that you are answering a real need and your congregation provides a safe place for some very vulnerable souls.” Thanks to all who attended and contributed to the weekend. We plan to re- book for the same weekend (August 23-25) in 2019.
  4. Our conversation about current trends in our congregation will continue together at the AGM. Some further questions or observations that have come up over the past month: Our recent decline in numbers has not occurred in the aftermath of a crisis (compared to other drops in the past), and the shift from an even spread of ages to a significant majority of over 50s is new for us. How do we interpret this? Where is the energy already at work amongst us? How can we encourage this? We are unlikely to initiate much local mission given the geographic spread of our congregation. How can we continue to nurture people for the work of their daily lives? How can we make known the interesting lives of discipleship already being lived out among us? We continue to seek your observations, responses and ideas!
  5. Our conversation about membership and covenanting structures also continues! We have had some feedback on the draft that Nathan circulated. Some additional ideas that have come up: could covenant commitments be tailored for individual people’s circumstances? Can we begin some of the suggested activities anyway if people are keen, as this discussion continues? We probably can’t ask those preparing for baptism to commit to more than what the rest of us are willing to do in our ongoing lives of discipleship, although we may ask for more focused attention for that period of preparation. Keep sharing your thoughts and feelings!
  6. Nathan is writing a chapter on Baptist Spirituality for a forthcoming book on Protestant Spiritual Traditions. The deadline is less than 4 weeks away so he will be cutting back on SYCBaps work during that time.
  7. Upcoming dates for your diary:
  • September 16, 2:30pm AGM (Flying Duck lunch at 12pm)
  • October 20, 2pm Alison’s ordination
  • November 11 Ancient Wisdom workshop
  • November 18 Working bee

Next meeting: Wednesday 3 October 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 1 August 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 1 August 2018

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

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  1. Nathan is still working on some draft proposals for changes to our membership structures.
    Stay tuned!
  2. We received a letter from Equal Voices, a national grassroots movement of LGBTIQA+ Christians and allies who are committed to cultivating churches where LGBTIQA+ people are fully welcomed and accepted (www.equalvoices.org.au). Equal Voices is running a conference called “Connecting Stories” on 13-14 October and have asked affirming churches for support in promotion, prayer and financial donation. In light of the healthy budget surplus we have received this year (particularly through hall hire), we want to donate $1000 to the conference which would sponsor hiring of AV equipment. As a sponsor we would have a table for information or promotional material at the conference, and acknowledgement in their welcome booklet. (Disclosure: one of the organisers, Teash, is Samara’s housemate!)
  3. Sanctuary is being recognised as a “faith community” by the BUV, which indicates that they are more established than a church plant but not yet a fully independent church congregation.
  4. Andaman is getting ready to move overseas and has offered her good quality 2 seater couch to replace the large green one we currently have – thanks Andaman!
  5. In maintenance news, after the sparks on Sunday, electricians are currently working on 3 separate faults in our electrics, one which includes some kind of fried animal interrupting the circuit 🙁 We also had a plumber this month to deal with a blocked sewer which was partly a South East Water problem with roots in the pipes.
  6. Welcome to new babies Lior Fillipi and Neave Gray! We are delighted that Lior is coming home from hospital this week and the family are very grateful for everyone’s support.
  7. We had a sparsely attended working bee this month, but windows were cleaned and rust spots on the roof covered up!
  8. End of year financial reports show that we had a healthy surplus this year, primarily due to an increase in hall hire income. Sanctuary broke even this financial year as well but will need to increase income to cover Alison’s increase to 0.6 time fraction in the coming year.
  9. Ecumenical service at St Joseph’s for the Transfiguration is Monday 6 August at 7pm. All welcome!
  10. Church camp is approaching 24 – 26 August. Please let Shelley know asap if you can come for some or all of the time (we need to provide numbers to the venue by 12 August). Do not let financial concerns be a barrier – it’s an event we value even if we do not cover costs. You are welcome to invite friends. There will be no scheduled program other than what the participants organise, so be thinking about whether there is an activity you would like to run – it could be a walk along the beach, a board game, some singing, some art, a discussion...the space is open!
  11. We would like to begin a conversation about current trends in our congregation towards an older demographic, and our sense that there is also a stagnation of energy. We wonder whether there is some complacency about what we have and whether our active sense of discipleship and growth has diminished. We don’t have anyone currently who is shaking things up and challenging us. Nathan feels that he has probably become “too much part of the furniture”, and he thinks that without the creative energy that comes from constantly having to work things through with a second pastor, he may now be more likely to be part of the problem than the driver of a solution. We discussed what we offer that people might be hungry for, such as rich liturgy, silence, participative worship. We discussed ways that we could make ourselves known to people who might be interested, including hall hirers. We wondered why our exposure during the marriage equality debate didn’t result in anyone new attending regularly. We asked about the impact of having our meal in the worship space on those seeking prayer after the service. We would like to hear your observations, responses and ideas!

Next meeting: Wednesday 5 September 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 4 July 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 4 July 2018

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

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  1. The meeting for feedback on the draft plan for the kitchen renovation indicated that there is general support for the renovation going ahead, and for the basic plan of the kitchen. There is still a range of opinions on some of the details of materials and design. Ian will distribute information and questions about some of the options that require decision for feedback in order to progress the design.
  2. We did not receive offers of help to document local services supporting people affected by family violence, to assist with advocacy on this issue by A Just Cause, and we also did not approach our ecumenical partners in time. The deadline has now passed.
  3. We had our church anniversary service - a celebratory event with abundant food! Thanks to Merryl, Samara and Yvonne who assisted with the meal, and others who pitched in for organisation, set up, clean up and contribution to costs.
  4. Nathan is still working on some draft proposals for changes to our membership structures. These will soon be shared for feedback.
  5. Church camp is approaching 24 – 26 August. Invitations and forms will be distributed in the coming weeks – please consider if you can come and let us know! Do not let financial concerns be a barrier – it’s an event we value even if we do not cover costs, and it’s better to have people attend and contribute what they can, than stay away and miss out. You are welcome to invite friends, and to only come for part of the time. There will be no scheduled program other than what the participants organise, so be thinking about whether there is an activity you would like to run – it could be a walk along the beach, a board game, some singing, some art, a discussion...the space is open!

Next meeting: Wednesday 1 August 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Special Congregational Meeting – 10 June 2018

Minutes of the Special Congregational Meeting on 10 June 2018

Ballots conducted after worship

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Attendance

Daniel Stott, Dom Filippi, Eliz Cook, Gilbert Joyce, Glennys Williams, Ian Cook, John Sampson, Liesl Filippi, Mark Moroney, Merryl Gahan, Nathan Nettleton, Paul Gahan, Robert Toseland, Samara Pitt, 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, 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 Decisions – 6 June 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 6 June 2018

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

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  1. A meeting for feedback on the draft plan for the kitchen renovation will be hosted by Ian on
    Sunday June 24 at 2:30pm.
  2. The response to Jill Friebel’s letter of apology has been sent, and the BUV has been updated on this. We have also contacted the two main spiritual direction bodies, Australian Network for Spiritual Direction and the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction, regarding their processes for accrediting potential Directors wishing to use their websites. which has been received with appreciation.
  3. The BUV has requested help from Baptist churches to document local services supporting people affected by family violence, to assist with advocacy on this issue by A Just Cause. If you are interested in helping Sylvia with this, please let her or Nathan know – resources on how to find and approach services will be supplied. We are also approaching our ecumenical church partners to see if they have anyone who would be willing to assist.
  4. We will have our church anniversary dinner main meal catered this year, while Yvonne will provide her wonderful desserts. Please let Nathan know if you are attending, and any dietary requirements. If you wish to contribute to the cost of $20 per person, there will be an offering bowl available on the day.
  5. The church covenant and host covenant for the coming year have been circulated for approval. Sylvia has stepped down from her host group role after many years of generous contribution in this capacity. Hosts continuing are Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Shelley Taylor and Samara Pitt.
  6. The second Open Space conversation on membership pathways was well attended, thanks for your contributions and for initiatives that have come out of the conversations. Nathan will draft some proposals for changes to our membership structures based on the discussions, which will be shared for feedback.

Next meeting: Wednesday 4 July 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 2 May 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 2 May 2018

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

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  1. Ian has received some informal feedback on the draft plan for the kitchen renovation. If you wish to provide more detailed feedback in person, Ian will host a meeting on Sunday June 24 at 2:30pm.
  2. The planned storeroom refit has become less urgent with the departure of the hall hirer who was the biggest user of storage space.
  3. The hosts have drafted a response to Jill Friebel’s letter of apology, as well as a letter for our congregation containing more information in response to concerns raised about this situation. Nathan will circulate these to anyone who wishes to see them, with the opportunity to voice any serious concerns about the letter to Jill before it is sent.
  4. Church camp (August 24 – 26) will include members of Sanctuary Baptist this year.
  5. Chris Barnden will continue as Visiting Pastoral Overseer for the congregation during his secondment to Global Interaction which ends in December, when he will return to his role as Regional Minister.
  6. The Ancient Wisdom workshop has been scheduled for Sunday October 14.
  7. The combined churches feast of Ascension is at Christ Church on Thursday May 10, 7pm. All
    encouraged to attend, let Nathan know if you are able to do the bible reading.
  8. The second Open Space conversation on membership pathways is on Sunday May 20 at 12:30pm. Nathan will email the list with some themes that have emerged from our discussions so far. Please read the report that has been circulated and come with your thoughts, ideas and questions about how we can better live out our call to be Christ’s people at South Yarra. All welcome, even if you didn’t attend the first Open Space gathering on this topic. Let Nathan know if you are coming and if you can bring some food to share.
  9. Thanks to Daniel and Lydia for organising tea and cake in the church garden last Sunday, the lemon meringue pie was delicious!

Next meeting: Wednesday 6 June 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 11 April 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 11 April 2018

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

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  1. Ian has drafted a plan for the kitchen renovation. This will be circulated to the congregation and you are invited to meet with Ian to ask questions and provide feedback. A time will be organised with those who are interested. We are also seeking feedback from a hall hirer that uses the kitchen.
  2. Thanks for John F who has offered to purchase cheese and dips for suppers for the next 3 months.
  3. Chris Barnden, who was our regional minister and a Visiting Pastoral Overseer for the congregation, has been seconded to Global Interaction. We are contacting him to find out if he is willing to stay as VPO during his secondment.
  4. As part of our Safe Church responsibilities, we are arranging it so that updates from the Commission for Children and Young People go to all members of the Host Group.
  5. Thanks to everyone for your participation in and contributions to the Holy Week worship services, and we welcome Acacia Nettleton, Uncle Den Fisher and John Stanshall into membership of South Yarra!
  6. A number of us attended and enjoyed the Maundy Thursday dinner at St Martin’s. We were asked at the door to contribute $10 per person which we had not known about – a confusion that was probably due to the changeover of priest. We will clarify this for 2019.
  7. This Sunday from 12:30pm is the first of our Open Space conversation on membership pathways. Please let Nathan know if you are coming and if you can bring some food to share.
  8. Tea and Cake in the church garden will happen on Sunday April 29 at 3:30pm.
  9. We will not run the Ancient Wisdom workshop in the workshop slot on June 24 in the church calendar, as the weekends leading up to that slot are already quite full. We will propose an alternative date after the next host meeting.
  10. If you are wondering if you might become a designated host of our congregation, please contact Nathan or a host group member. Anyone is welcome to come to a meeting to check out what we do, just let us know when you would like to come!

Next meeting: Wednesday 2 May 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Special Congregational Meeting – 25 March 2018

Minutes of the Special Congregational Meeting on 25 March 2018

Ballots conducted after worship

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Attendance

Eliz Cook, Ian Cook, Cameron Cutts, Dom Filippi, Liesl Filippi, John Fowler, Mark Moroney, Nathan Nettleton, Samara Pitt, John Sampson, Sylvia Sandeman, Daniel Stott, Shelley Taylor, Robert Toseland, Margie Welsford, Glennys Williams.

Apologies

Merryl Gahan, Paul Gahan, Gilbert Joyce, Yvonne Joyce, Steven Wong.
The five people who sent apologies also sent word that they were in support of the acceptance of the three proposed new members.

Approval of the proposed new church members.

1. Acacia Nettleton

Motion: That we approve the acceptance of Acacia Nettleton into the membership of the congregation upon her baptism.

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

2. Dennis Fisher

Motion: That we approve the acceptance of Dennis Fisher into the membership of the congregation upon his baptism.

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

3. John Stanshall

Motion: That we approve the acceptance of John Stanshall into the membership of the congregation by reaffirmation of his baptismal vows.

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

The Meeting was closed with the closing of the ballot.

Host Decisions – 7 March 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 7 March 2018

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

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  1. We encourage congregation members to consider as part of our Lenten reflections how we give to the church financially and in kind. Nathan will send out more on this soon. We also encourage people to consider whether they might become a designated host of our congregation. Please contact Nathan or any host group member if you wish to discuss this.
  2. We are looking for someone to take on purchasing of cheese and dips on a permanent basis, using church funds (preferably someone who is not on the soup roster). Please contact Sylvia or Nathan asap if you could offer this. If no-one takes this on, we will return to having those on the soup roster also purchase cheese and dips, although they will be reimbursed.
  3. The letter of apology to the congregation from Jill Friebel was read at a congregational meeting on Sunday 4 March, and will continue to be made available to those who wish to hear it and were unable to attend on that day. Please contact Nathan to organise this if you have not already done so.
  4. For the purposes of the Reportable Conduct Scheme, Samara will be designated the Head Of Organisation, responsible for ensuring that we have systems in place to prevent child abuse, and for ensuring that complaints or suspicions of child abuse are dealt with appropriately. The work of this role will be carried out by the host group as a whole and with the support of the BUV.
  5. We have agreed to continue our auspice of Sanctuary Warrnambool by providing administrative support (mostly bookkeeping) for an additional 12 months once the current arrangement expires mid-year.
  6. A congregational ballot to approve those seeking membership of the congregation this Easter will be held on Sunday March 18 during supper.
  7. The Lenten readings discussion will be held on Palm Sunday (March 25) – more details to follow.
  8. In response to expressions of interest, we will have an Ancient Wisdom workshop later in the year that introduces and explores the elements of our liturgy.

Next meeting: Wednesday 4 April 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 7 February 2018

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 7 February 2018

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

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  1. We are continuing to research options for our kitchen refurbishment. If you come across other comparable churches who have redone their kitchen in the past 10 years to a level less than a full commercial kitchen, Ian would be interested to hear about details and cost.
  2. The 2018 church calendar has been distributed. Please let us know if you spot any issues!
  3. A special working bee will be organised soon to tackle the storeroom refit in order to store hall hirer belongings more effectively (and our own).
  4. We have received a letter of apology to the congregation from Jill Friebel, former pastor at South Yarra Baptist. She has requested that it not be distributed in writing, so there will be an opportunity to hear and consider it on March 4 after supper for those who wish, or at another time to be organised individually with Nathan if you are unable to attend on that day. This option will also be available to former members of the congregation.
  5. The annual pastoral review on Nathan has been completed with 8 people responding. This year’s area of focus was the areas of preaching, teaching and worship. The report will be distributed via email and hard copies made available for those who require it.
  6. The Lenten reading this year will be a booklet of short excerpts for reflection compiled by Nathan. We are cancelling the Lenten Retreat Day as no venue or leader has been organised.
  7. Uncle Den is leading a discussion this Sunday from 2:30pm on how Aboriginal people experience some of the structures of non-Aboriginal society, and how we in this church might respond. [*This has been postponed.]
  8. We are considering scheduling an Ancient Wisdom workshop that introduces and explores the elements of our liturgy. Please let Nathan know if you would like to attend this so we can decide whether there is enough interest to go ahead.

Next meeting: Wednesday 7 March 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 6 December 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 6 December 2017

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

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  1. The Safe Church policy that complies with the new Child Safe Standards has been ratified by the congregation and is now available on our website.
  2. Thanks to those who gave ideas on kitchen refurbishment options. We will seek a quote for initial advice from Fred Batterton, an architect who works a lot with churches and specialises in sustainable design.
  3. The electrician has done a thorough inspection to try and find the reason for the recurring problem with circuit breakers and our lights. He didn’t identify the problem, but replaced several items that were likely suspects – we will monitor the situation!
  4. The church camp has been booked for August 24 – 26, 2018.
  5. We decided to take down the church signs supporting the marriage equality campaign once the law has been passed by Parliament.
  6. In order to store hall hirer belongings more effectively (and our own), we will refit the storeroom with adjustable shelving and charge a small fee for storage. This will be done in two stages so we can assess how the shelving is working before completing the refit.
  7. The annual pastoral review on Nathan is underway, focussing on preaching, teaching and worship. A questionnaire has been distributed by email, and Samara and Sylvia are available to take verbal responses if you prefer to participate in this way. Please return feedback to Sue McDonald by Friday 15 December.
  8. The final Advent service and Vigil for the Feast of Nativity is on Christmas Eve Dec 24. The (shorter than usual) Advent service will begin at 5pm, followed by a shared meal, and then the Vigil will begin at 9pm, followed by celebratory food and drink.
  9. We host the ecumenical Epiphany service on Saturday January 6, please mark this date and attend to welcome visitors from our neighbouring churches.
  10. Our church and laughingbird email has been moved to the free non-profit Gmail platform,
    hopefully the problems some people were experiencing with emails not getting through should
    now be resolved.
  11. The 2018 annual dates calendar will be distributed once final changes are made.
  12. Nathan is acting as moderator for Footscray Baptist, which means he will assist them as they search for a new pastor. He plans to use Open Space as part of the process!

Next meeting: Wednesday 7 February 2018, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Special Congregational Meeting – 19 November 2017

Minutes of the Special Congregational Meeting on 19 November 2017

Ballots conducted after worship

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Attendance

Daniel Stott, Dom Filippi, Eliz Cook, Gilbert Joyce, Glennys Williams, Ian Cook, John Fowler, John Sampson, Liesl Filippi, Margie Welsford, Mark Moroney, Merryl Gahan, Nathan Nettleton, Paul Gahan, Rita Wang, Robert Toseland, Samara Pitt, Shelley Taylor, Sylvia Sandeman, Yvonne Joyce.

Approval of the “Safe Church Policy”

Motion: That we approve and adopt the “Safe Church Policy” (as recently distributed) for our church, and that it replace our previous Safe Church policies (27 October 2002 & 7 December 2016) and Safe Children policy (16 February 2014).

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

The Meeting was closed with the closing of the ballot.

Host Decisions – 8 November 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 8 November 2017

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

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  1. The second data projector came back from being repaired for the second time but had yet another new fault. In light of the ongoing problems, we have proposed to the repair company that we just keep the loan projector as a permanent replacement for the one they haven’t been able to fix properly. We’re awaiting their reply.
  2. Repair on the faulty oven is still underway. We are seeking advice on refurbishing the kitchen to update it and make it more appropriate for the use of the congregation and hall hirers. For this reason we will delay replacing the fridge until we know how an alternative kitchen arrangement might affect our choice. We are also seeking an electrician’s advice on the recurring problem with circuit breakers and our lights.
  3. Our church and laughingbird email is in the process of being moved to a Gmail platform to address the issue of messages not getting through to some members. Gmail is free for non- profits.
  4. The church camp date for 2018 will be booked for August 24 – 26, based on feedback that this weekend is better than July 27-29 for a few people. If you strongly prefer the July date, please let Sylvia know immediately as we need to book within the next week.
  5. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped at the For Crying Out Loud service to support LGBT+ people during the marriage equality campaign. We have had feedback that it was much appreciated by those who visited, and had a significant impact even on people just knowing that it was happening.
  6. The Advent Retreat Day will be held from 10am to 3:30pm on Sunday 3 December in the Himbury Centre at Whitley College. Peter Bentley will be our facilitator.
  7. The final Advent service is on Christmas Eve Dec 24 this year. The (shorter than usual) Advent service will begin at 5pm, followed by a shared meal, and then the Vigil for the Feast of Nativity will begin at 9pm, followed by celebratory food and drink.

Next meeting: Wednesday 6 December 2017, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 4 October 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 8 Octber 2017

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

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  1. The final Safe Church policy will be circulated and put to congregational vote in the coming weeks. Thanks to everyone for your input. As part of the policy, hosts will be indicated on the photo board so that the church leadership is clearly identifiable.
  2. The faulty oven is being repaired this week, and work towards replacing the fridge will proceed after that. Thanks to Ian for this work.
  3. The church camp is being booked at Araluen in Anglesea for 2018, final dates to be confirmed once we know their availability.
  4. To support LGBTIQ people during the marriage equality campaign, signs have been put up on the property, and also on the church website and Facebook. Engagement with the church on this issue via our social media is high and increasing, and requires a significant element of pastoral care. A liturgical event for those feeling caught in the crossfire is being discussed this week.
  5. The Advent Retreat day scheduled for December 3 will proceed according to our usual format. We will approach Peter Bentley about leading it for us.
  6. We are interested in revisiting our catechumenate and membership processes and exploring their purposes and how well they are working. We will plan a time for discernment and discussion on this` in 2018.
  7. Our church and laughingbird email is becoming increasingly unreliable with messages not getting through to some members, so we are looking at moving to a paid server for email only.
  8. Our next working bee is scheduled for October 15, and the All Saints Day ecumenical service is on Wednesday November 1st at St Martin’s Anglican, 6pm.

Next meeting: Wednesday 8 November 2017, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Congregational Annual General Meeting – 17 September 2017

Minutes of the Congregational Annual General Meeting on 17 September 2017

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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. Host Group Report
    2. Pastor's 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. Election of BUV Delegates
  6. Acknowledgement of those doing necessary tasks
  7. Matters for Discernment
    1. Church Camp
    2. Marriage Equality Support
  8. Date for Next Meeting

Host Decisions – 6 September 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 6 September 2017

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

Download PDF 

  1. The report on our Open Space gathering will be distributed soon. Thanks to everyone who attended – some enlightening conversations were had!
  2. We have just today received our second projector back from the workshop after almost three months. The first one has been returned to the workshop, to address the new fault that it was returned with – a greenish hue across the whole image. They think they have identified the fault and we may have it back this week. We won’t be returning the loan one until we are sure that both are working properly.
  3. We will be discussing the future of the church camp at our AGM after we had a great time but also made a $1600 loss this year – please come prepared with your thoughts on this as we decide whether to book for 2018.
  4. The church AGM will be held on Sunday September 17 at 2:30pm. All are welcome to meet for lunch at the Flying Duck from 12noon before the meeting.
  5. We are starting to look at the church’s use of social media and any guidelines we may want to put in place. We started this conversation at the Open Space day, but please let Nathan or Samara know if you have further thoughts to contribute.
  6. After the great appreciation expressed for the story sermons over the past weeks, we will keep offering this opportunity to congregation members on a regular basis. Samara will send around some information about the intentions of story sermons and how they can be developed. Please contact Samara or Nathan if you would like to explore this possibility.
  7. Sanctuary Warrnambool celebrated their one year anniversary on August 27, and 19 people covenanted for the coming year.
  8. We are looking at replacing the fridge, which is old and uses a lot of power. Please talk to Nathan or Ian if you have ideas about what we should consider for buying a more efficient replacement.
  9. We have an Advent Retreat day scheduled for December 3. Samara is interested in whether congregation members would like to run a smorgasbord of Open Space style activities on Advent themes (Art? Lego? Meditation? Story circles?), and also whether an alternative date would be possible. Please talk to Samara if you would like to contribute an activity or discuss possibilities.
  10. Our next working bee is scheduled for October 15.

Next meeting: Wednesday 4 October 2017, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 9 August 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 9 August 2017

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

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  1. An Open Space gathering is coming up on August 20, 1pm to 4pm to discuss how we can live out the aspirations of our Safe Church policy in the day-to-day life of the church. Some areas for discussion might be:
    * What does “respecting confidentiality” actually look like in practice?
    * When does identifying a particular group as in need of special care actually feel like an unfair highlighting of their difference?
    * When is it appropriate to intervene to address the behaviour of someone else’s child?
    * What’s the difference between an appropriate natural friendship with a child, and the favouritism that is part of “grooming”?
    * How do we support those among us who have suffered traumatic experiences?
    * How do we create a safe culture in our church’s use of social media?
    Come, bring your own questions and experiences to contribute to a deepening culture of care at South Yarra. 
  2. The new supper roster has been distributed – thanks to all who have joined up to share in the work of our common meal.
  3. Sanctuary Warrnambool have their one year anniversary service on Sunday 27 August at 4pm. If you are planning to attend the service, please let the host group know...we might send a little something along with you!
  4. Thanks to Daniel for organising the indigenous planting day – we got a good number of plants in the ground and look forward to seeing them grow over the coming months.
  5. Thanks to everyone who contributed to and attended church camp – another enjoyable weekend – the kite flying was a particular hit! If you have not yet done so, please forward payment to Shelley as soon as possible. This year a significant financial subsidy came from our common church funds, so we will discuss ways ahead for camp at the AGM in September.
  6. Great appreciation to Liesl, John Fowler, Danielle and Roslyn who have contributed sermons and stories over the past weeks, including the ecumenical service at St Joseph’s for the Feast of the Transfiguration. We have been blessed by what you have shared with us.

Next meeting: Wednesday 6 September 2017, 7.30pm, at Nathan's place

Host Decisions – 5 July 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 5 July 2017

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

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  1. We will host a modified Open Space gathering on August 20, 1pm to 4pm to discuss how we understand and live out our Safe Church policy. An invitation and the policy will be circulated this week.
  2. The hosts have all completed Safe Church refresher workshops in the past 12 months, which means we are up to date with our requirements.
  3. Our new supper roster will begin in August which we hope will spread the workload and expense out more manageably. Please contact Sylvia if you can assist with cooking, clean up or purchasing cheeses, crackers and dips (the latter will be reimbursed from church funds). Thank you to all who have already offered their help.
  4. A reminder that the ecumenical Transfiguration Service will take place on Sunday August 6, 6pm at St Joseph’s Church, 30 Fitzgerald St South Yarra in place of our usual service. Rev Roslyn Wright, our pastoral overseer, will be preaching as our representative, and we encourage you to come!
  5. Forms have gone out for church camp – please return them to Shelley ASAP to assist with planning. Payment can be made closer to the Camp, but as soon as you are able to is great. We have some spare spaces, so if there is anyone you would like to invite, please see Sylvia.
  6. Nathan is away until 16 August. His usual tasks will be covered by the host group and various other congregation members. Any questions, ask a host!
  7. Jobs looking for people: Thanks to Acacia for picking up the task of keeping the noticeboards and brochure table tidy and up to date. We are still looking for people to collect flowers, leaves, gumnuts etc for our creation station each week – it’s a fun job!
  8. Samara has been added as a new bank account signatory to replace Paul Holdway.
  9. The next working bee has been rescheduled to Sunday 15 October.
  10. Sanctuary Warrnambool are coming up to their 1 year anniversary in August. Samara will be assisting them to review their first year as a congregation.

Next meeting: Wednesday 9 August 2017, 7.30pm, location to be confirmed

Special Congregational Meeting – 11 June 2017

Minutes of the Special Congregational Meeting on 11 June 2017

Ballots conducted after worship

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Attendance

Cameron Cutts, Daniel Stott, Danielle Stott, Dom Filippi, Eliz Cook, Gilbert Joyce, Glennys Williams, Ian Cook, John Sampson, Liesl Filippi, Margie Welsford, Merryl Gahan, Nathan Nettleton, Paul Gahan, Rita Wang, Samara Pitt, 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 Decision – 7 June 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 7 June 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. The host covenant has been reviewed and revised, and is ready for affirmation at the church anniversary.
  2. The new Child Safe standards have now been incorporated into our Safe Church policy. We will host a modified Open Space gathering on August 20 to discuss the questions of how we create and uphold a strong culture of care and respect that reflects our deepest desires for the flourishing of God’s people in this place.
  3. The data projectors are in the process of being fixed due to a number of issues. Some components were not under warranty ($600) and we also purchased a second hand Apple TV unit to enable the iPad to connect wirelessly ($110).
  4. Thank you for everyone’s ideas and offers towards our suppers – it is clearly a much valued and appreciated activity for us all! While not every idea or preference could be taken on, the hosts have tried to respond to the key messages we were hearing. When the next roster period begins on 7 August, we will have more people rostered on each week so that the workload is spread out more manageably. We will also commission someone to purchase cheese, crackers and dips to the value of $50 weekly using church funds so that the tithing congregation is contributing to the costs even if they are not able to be on the roster. Sylvia will send information about the new arrangement and invite you to contribute as you are able.
  5. The Church anniversary dinner will take place on 18 June. Please let Nathan know of your attendance and any dietary issues, and contact Sylvia about assistance you can offer with tasks on the day.
  6. An early reminder that the ecumenical Transfiguration Service will take place on August 6 at St Joseph’s, in place of our usual service. Roslyn Wright will be preaching as our representative, and it would be good to have a strong presence from the congregation there as well.
  7. We discussed our welcome to Rainbow families and congregational feedback on this question. It seems like we are on the right track with our current practices, and we encourage people to identify us as an LGBTIQ friendly church where relevant. We will keep being aware of this question.
  8. While Nathan is away (3 July to 16 August), his usual tasks will be covered by the host group and various other congregation members. Any questions, ask a host!
  9. We have identified the need for a new space to pray for and with people after the service. Nathan is working on a way for people to indicate during our stational ‘prayers of the people’ time that they would like prayer, so that pray-ers can be available after the service in the chapel to pray with those who request it.
  10. There are a couple of jobs looking for people: 1) keep the noticeboards and brochure table tidy and up to date and 2) collecting flowers, leaves, gumnuts etc for our creation station each week. Please let Shelley (noticeboards) or Samara (creation station) know if you can take either one on.

Next meeting: Wednesday 5 July 2017, 7.30pm, place to be confirmed

Host Decisions – 3 May 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 3 May 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. The liturgy booklets have been updated with additional images to assist people in recognizing where we are up to in the liturgy.
  2. Nathan’s time fraction has been increased to 0.8 beginning 1 April 2017.
  3. We have received a range of feedback and ideas on how we do suppers so that we can continue to share abundant and generous meals together, while enabling all who wish to contribute to do so in a way that is manageable for them. We are considering using money tithed by congregation members to the church to pay for the cheese and dips so that the financial load is spread more evenly. We are also considering having more people on the roster each week so that the workload is lessened. Please continue to send us your feedback over the next month.
  4. Church camp is going ahead on July 28 to 30 at Araluen Lutheran camp in Anglesea. Please contact Sylvia if you are willing to assist in planning the camp.
  5. There have been some concerns raised about the risk to children from cars in the carpark area. We are sourcing some signage to raise awareness for drivers. We also ask all congregation members to respond if you see children leaving the building unsupervised, and to be aware of children and others moving through the carpark area. Please drive slowly and carefully at all times. Let’s take good care of our kids!
  6. During Nathan’s absence in July/August, Cameron and Samara will be organising some storytelling in the ‘sermon slot’. Stay tuned!
  7. A heater is being purchased for the prayer chapel.

Next meeting: Wednesday 7 June 2017, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

Host Decisions – 5 April 2017

Summary of the Decisions from the Host Group meeting on 5 April 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. The plaque acknowledging the traditional owners of our land, the Boonwurrung people, has been ordered.
  2. The company who installed the data projectors have now visited and inspected them. The problem is in the projectors themselves and they are still under warranty from the manufacturer, so the claim process has been commenced.
  3. The Host group recommends that Nathan’s time fraction be increased to 0.8 beginning 1 April 2017 given that he regularly works this many hours to cover his current job description. We have no expectations of additional work in increasing his time fraction. Nathan made it clear that he doesn’t want to be paid full time because he doesn’t want to have to do more hours than he presently does. This decision will be implemented unless we hear a request from the congregation for further consideration.
  4. Suppers in Lent have been well received, with some interesting conversations about whether elements of this simpler meal might be worth carrying over into the rest of the year. At this stage, we will revert to the usual arrangement after Lent, and we will investigate what barriers might exist to people continuing or becoming involved in the supper roster. Would you like to be involved, but cannot commit to the current expectations? We’d like to enable all who wish to contribute to do so in a way that is manageable for them, and that our meals together continue to feel abundant and generous but not wastefully extravagant. Samara would love to hear your responses and will be in touch!
  5. We have asked Sanctuary Baptist Warnambool to provide us with a report on their first year. We will continue to provide admin support until their newly formed leadership team is ready to take this on themselves. You can check out their new website.
  6. Church camp is scheduled for July 28 to 30 at Araluen Lutheran camp in Anglesea. We are waiting for final indications of interest to see if we have the numbers to go ahead. Please speak to Sylvia ASAP if you are planning to attend.
  7. The issue of how we might, as a congregation, more actively welcome rainbow families (the LGBTIQ community) to the church has been raised. We ran out of time to discuss it at this meeting, but we are keen to hear further ideas and suggestions to bring to our next meeting.
  8. The issue of what space is available for people to request personal prayer or ministry during or after the service has been raised. (Now that we have supper in the worship space, that location is busier after the service.) We ran out of time to discuss it this meeting, but we are keen to hear further ideas and suggestions to bring to our next meeting.

Next meeting: Wednesday 3 May 2017, 7.30pm at Nathan’s house

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