MINUTES OF NUMURKAH – NATHALIA PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
28th JANUARY 2016
8.00PM HAMON PARISH CENTRE, NUMURKAH.
Welcome and Opening Prayer – Rev’d Sally Boothey
Present – Rev. Sally Boothey Wendy Watson, Bev Leaf, Norma Shepherd, Nola Smith, John Stammers, Judy James, Rob Elliott, Lou Hamon.
Apologies – Brian Devenish, Mary Muntz, Keith Schier.
Minutes of meeting held 17th December 2015 were confirmed.
Moved John Stammers, 2nd Bev. Leaf.
Business arising from the minutes
- Antiques Roadshow – to be discussed in General Business.
- Workshop led by Rev. Geoffrey Poliness
- Hall Hire Charges, advise funeral directors after new carpet laid.
- Parish Centre storm damage. Further details supplied to insurers.
- St George’s altar damage – Jeff Gittens contacted.
- Toilets – Barmah and Wakiti Creek – pending.
- Broughton Publishing. License renewed.
Inwards: 1. Ansvar Insurance: Request for property claim details.
- Registrar: Death of Margot Ballard.
- Registrar: Fr Lyall Turley 50 years of priesting.
- Registrar: ABM On a Mission.
- Parish of Yea: Treasures from the Vestry.
- Palm Cross orders.
- Grassroots/ABM Projects.
Outwards: 1. Property Insurance Claim.
- Application to withdraw Trust funds – Colourbond Fence Nathalia.
- Solar City Locksmiths.
- Palm Cross order forms to 28 past customers.
Moved Nola Smith, 2nd Norma Shepherd.
At the end of 2015, we reached the end of the Parish 5 year Strategic Plan.
It is time to take stock again, and to look to the future. We do this whilst firmly grounded in the realities of the present. Our past plan served us well and the aims of proclaiming the gospel, working together and continuing as a joyous worshipping community are well met.
We can continue to maintain these values of Christian ministry and encourage attitudes of co-operation, friendliness to others and joyful worship, whilst remaining confident in God’s goodness, faithfully obedient to Christ’s call and hopeful, in our trust in God’s love for us and for all.
Our last Strategic Plan determined a series of ‘domains’ within which to work and these have been helpful. They should continue to be check points held up to assist in the effective planning of any ministry proposals we make.
There is much in our life together which is good and worthy of celebration and praise and joyfulness. There are, though, recurrent financial concerns and questions about being able to continue, without change, in the face of fewer people in our congregations.
CHANGES MADE THUS FAR….
These changes have come about in response to decreasing numbers of worshipers.
- The regular monthly Sunday service at Holy Nativity and All Saints has been cancelled.
- The weekly Tuesday services of Holy Communion at Holy Trinity have been reduced to two per month. One, on the fourth Tuesday, coincides with the MU meeting where 8-10 regularly attend. The other is the second Tuesday of the month.
- Fortnightly Anglican Services of Holy Communion at Pioneers Lodge ceased and now we share responsibility (with the UCA) for a fortnightly ecumenical service. The 3rd Tuesday of each month at 4.00pm is our time slot.
- In co-operation with the Uniting Church in Nathalia, the third Sunday of each month will be a combined service, alternating between churches. This will continue until there is a minister at the Uniting Church, when it will be reviewed.
Unintentional but perhaps inevitable changes, which may also reflect the age group of many parishioners, include…
- Stress on rosters and in finding more (or younger, as is sometimes needed) volunteers for in church and inter-church jobs and committees.
- Cancellation of traditional programs of spiritual growth and study such as Lenten and Advent studies, Bible studies.
- Low attendances at non Sunday, special services such as Maundy Thursday.
- No realistic ‘succession plan’ in place and no-one ‘learning the ropes’ to fill important lay positions.
- Low attendance at, or little interest in, strictly social gatherings of the parish such as parish lunches or combined services.
OUR FINANCIAL POSITION
So far, few changes have been made deliberately in the light of our difficult financial position. With extraordinary fundraising, we have continued to meet our commitment.
But there are some incidental changes, particularly in our outlook…
- Fundraising has become one of the main church activities for many people, taking time and energy – and often, personal resources.
- The treasurer and concerned others live with the worry of ‘making the assessment’
- 3. The lack of money, more perhaps than falling numbers, makes people anxious about the future of the church.
In the light of these concerns, Parish Council members have written to Bp John, and have been addressed by the Registrar, Tim Williams, at the Bishop’s suggestion. Rev’d Geoffrey Poliness has also addressed Council (again recommended by Bp John). The final suggestion was that Susan Benedyka, who has been facilitating a Diocesan Strategic Plan process, be invited to assist the parish. The cost, of about $3,000, could be covered by the diocese.
Bishop John suggested that the Parish needs to focus on evangelism, ministry and mission to the local community. Find the local needs, identify the parish gifts and marry the two. Needs + Gifts = Mission.
Registrar Tim similarly pointed out that if we cannot grow our numbers, there is not much to look forward to.
Neither Bp John nor Tim suggested that we try to engage younger people, rather that, our realistic new members would be between 50 and 90 years old.
(A fuller exposition of the suggestions from these meetings can be found in previous Parish Council minutes)
Rev’d Geoffrey Poliness spoke to Parish Council and made some suggestions around the mission and financial profitability of business ventures such as Op Shops. Rev’d Geoffrey has offered to conduct a Parish Workshop on these issues early this year.
THE THREE ISSUES FOR A STRATEGIC PLAN
As I see it, there are three separate issues that our strategic plan needs to engage with. Each is important in our present circumstances. Each should be considered independently. All should be engaged with across the parish at the same time.
All are ‘whole parish’ matters and are equally important
- Growing our numbers
- Improving our financial situation
- Mission and evangelism to the local community
This is a broad overview and summary of the current circumstances of our Parish. The work is ahead of us to take each issue and develop some workable strategies, to begin as soon as possible, and which form part of a longer term (3 year) plan.
This is our humble, human, sincere attempt to live for God’s glory and kingdom in this time and place. In the end, we are part of something much bigger and we can only ‘do’ within the limitations of our circumstances, and according to the providence of God’s enabling.
Regardless of plans or strategies, our ‘being’, our life in God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – continues on eternally. There are no limitations to our ‘being’, regardless of our circumstances. We are Christ’s own, the church. Everything is grounded in, enlivened by, hinges on, is enabled though, is possible because of, our love of God.
It is in prayer, worship, prayer, Holy Communion and prayer, that we know ourselves drawn into God’s love. When our ‘being’ is so lovingly nurtured, then our ‘doing’ – small and inadequate though it may seem – is aligned with the kingdom of God, and it is enough.
Rectors Report moved: Rev’s Sally, 2nd Rob Elliott.
Cheque Account 5062.78
Investment Account 0.79
Holy Trinity Ladies‘ Guild 799.17
Holy Trinity Strawberry Festival 259.53
Holy Trinity Diocese of Wangaratta 243.82
Betty Daniel Term Deposit 8133.74
Accounts payable 1138.21
Moved W Watson, 2nd K. Judy James
GST Business – Move that the following fundraising activities be input taxed.
Catering: 8 January Bev Kaye Langford Funeral.
Moved Lou Hamon, 2nd J Stammers
St George’s Warden’s Report
- Parish Centre storm damage.
- Damage to altar.
- Plumber to give quote for extra downpipes for Parish Centre.
Holy Trinity Warden’s Report
- Strawberry Festival meeting.
Holy Trinity Ladies’ Guild.
- World Day of Prayer 4th March
- Morning Coffee 11th April.
- Multi Prize Raffle.
Mother’s Union Report.
- Lady Day 16th March
St George’s Ladies’ Guild –
- No report.
- Lenten Studies – 5 studies on Psalms. Names to be added to lists.
- Evensong at Cathedral Sunday 22nd May. Commence with a tour of Cathedral, Afternoon tea, Evensong.
- Palm Cross dates: Start making Sunday 28th February, Post 7th March.
- Strategic Issues Dates: Sunday 14th February. 12 noon pizza lunch followed by discussion on “Growing Our Numbers”.
- Valentine’s Day Biscuits.
- Film Night – April 13th.
- Antique Roadshow – May or June. A day at both Numurkah & Nathalia.
- Shrove Tuesday – 9th February. 5.30pm Nathalia, 7.30pm Numurkah.
Meeting closed 9.42pm with the Grace.
NEXT MEETING: THURSDAY 18th February 2016. Nathalia.
Minutes confirmed ……………………………………… Date ………………………..