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 Synod Strategic Implementation

In June 2016 the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania recognised the new and hopeful ways in which God is working, and responded to a call to move into a new and renewed form to continue to participate in this work.

We seek to shape and execute a future-focused model of Church in the working of God’s Spirit. We worship a God who renews and replenishes. 
Latest news

June 2017

Executive officer for new Mission and Capacity Building Unit (working title) appointed

The Synod Standing Committee (SSC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev Dr Jennifer Byrnes as the inaugural Mission and Capacity Building Unit (working title) Executive Officer, for a five-year term commencing on 1 September 2017. 
Upon the recommendation of a Nominating Committee for the Executive Officer, the SSC discerned that Jenny Byrnes has the considerable gifts and graces to embody and implement the leadership and change that is being envisaged in the Executive Officer role, and indeed the life of the unit. Furthermore, it was discerned that Jenny has gifts and graces in leadership, education and theology, to enact these ‘disciplines’ in profoundly accessible ways to enrich discipleship and mission in personal and communal faithful living. 

A key aspect of establishing the MCBU is the bringing together of all the missional-based Synod functions (including the Commission for Mission, Centre for Theology & Ministry, support for the Placements Committee, and some Board of Mission & Resourcing responsibilities) into a completely new unit focussed on ‘Mission & Capacity Building’.

Jenny is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Theology and Ministry (CTM). Arrangements will be made for the responsibilities of the Executive Director role of the CTM to be undertaken during the transition time to the commencement of the MCBU.​​

Background Information about the Synod's Strategic Implementation work

From June 2016 to June 2018 the strategy adopted by the Synod is being implemented. The strategy supports a coordinated, intentional focus on mission.  

 This includes promoting the Vision and Mission Principles​ as aids in spiritual and strategic discernment grounded in the way of Jesus Christ; and ​reshaping Synod-based ministries and operations. The work is underpinned by key aspects of the Synod’s resolutions to enhance the Synod’s cooperation with, and service to, the wider Church; and takes account of the whole Church’s need to be financially sustainable.​

An Implementation Team has been formed with the responsibility of implementing the strategy. This team is chaired by the General Secretary (through a Standing Committee resolution). It is undertaking and/or overseeing a number of specific tasks, which will ultimately be reported to the Synod Standing Committee for consideration. 

These tasks include:



  • developing a project plan and budget;
  • developing a range of resources to promote the Vision and Mission Principles and Statements of Intent across the Synod;
  • assisting institutions of the Church to proactively discuss and develop strategic plans based on the Vision and Mission Principles and Statement of Intent,
  • inviting congregations and presbyteries within the Synod to undertake the same;
  • working closely with the Presbytery Transition Team as it develops a flexible new model/s of Presbytery resourcing and ministry, based on the core relational expectations resolved by the Synod; 
  • undertaking work to implement the Strategic Governance concepts; including drafting by-laws and delegations to be presented and approved by Synod Standing Committee;
  • considering other elements of the Major Strategic Review​ reports and recommendations and bringing proposals progressively to Synod Standing Committee for approval as appropriate;
  • reporting to each meeting of the Synod Standing Committee.
Implementation Team members:

 The team has a balance of senior staff within the Synod, as well as members of the Church. ​
The Implementation Team members are:

Rev Dr Mark Lawrence, Chairperson and General Secretary
Dr Jason Talbot, Implementation Team Director and 
former Program Director of the Major Strategic Review; 
Rev Dr Jong Soo Park, minister at the Ocean Grove Parish;
Rev Sue Withers, Field Education Co-ordinator, 
Centre for Theology and Ministry
Rev Paul Stephens, Convenor, Presbytery Transition Team;
Dr Mark Zirnsak, Director Justice and International 
Mission, Commission for Mission;
Rev Claire Dawe, minister at the Chelsea Parish;
Leanne Keam, member of Warrandyte UC and 
former MSR Team member;
Pauline McGillivray, Executive Director,
Finance and Administration;
Stephen Mullen, Director People and Culture;
Penny Mulvey, Director Communications and Media Services.

Our Church
powerful but not containable, effective but not limited to our ‘vision’

The Church is, at its essence, a community that expresses the life of Jesus Christ in the context of a world that is experienced as both wonder-ful and broken. 

In this sense it finds its source of life in ‘whose it is’ (Christ’s) and ‘who it is’ (church). This sense of ‘being’ is found in the life of Jesus Christ reflected on in moments of stillness, prayer and communal worship, discovered in encounters with the least, the last and the lost, and surprising us in unexpected ways and places.

The Church finds its hope and faith in Jesus Christ, recognising that its best strategic plans and visions are both shaped and executed in the working of God’s Spirit who Christ likens to the wind (John 3:8); powerful but not containable, effective but not limited to our ‘vision’. 

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he reminds his readers that they need each other. He says in chapter 12, that the body of Christ is made up of many parts, but there is only one body, and as such we are called to take care of one another. “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honoured, every part shares in its joy. 

“You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.”


The Synod's Vision and Mission Principles provide a focus and starting point for spiritual discernment.  Above is an image of our Vision and Mission Principles.  You can find lots of resources about the Vision and Mission Principles here​, including versions in different languages, videos and booklets.

Can you help us live out the Synod's vision?
Expressions of interest for five Synod committees close on Saturday 15 July 2017.
Find out more about how to apply and how you can contribute your skills and gifts by visiting this page. Previous committee experience is not a prerequisite.

Introducing the Vision and Mission Principles
Do you​ have a copy of this booklet yet? If not you can download a copy by visiting this page.​ You will also find other resources at the same web location. 


Do you have any questions about the Synod's strategic implementation?

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Earlier updates