The opening worship of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Synod of Western Australia, Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) was led by moderator, Susy Thomas last night, Friday 10 September in Scotch College Chapel with the triennium theme from Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The focus of this second year are the words, ‘Trust in God’.
A small community gathered in Scotch College Chapel joined online by guest preacher, Assembly General Secretary, Colleen Geyer currently located in Queensland.
Musicians from across the Presbytery of Western Australia: Cameron Harries and Yoy Alberastine, The Billabong; Adele Williams, Nedlands; Tony Solomon, Mount Pleasant; and Joe Sapri, GKI led the Synod in joyfully singing, ‘Great is your faithfulness’, ‘Come as you are, that’s how I want you’, ‘As the deer pants for the water’, ‘You are holy’, and ‘Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder’.
Moderator’s chaplain, Alison McCubbin led a responsive reading of Psalm 121 and Beth Shalom Tongan Uniting Church’s Kalo Fotu read scripture from Romans 15:13 and Mark 8: 27-38.
As Colleen offered her reflections on God’s word she said, “The early church was formed in a time of disruption and uncertainty. It would seem that ‘disruption and uncertainty’ are appropriate descriptors for the world we are currently living in.
“If you are with me, this is what it will mean. If you are truly with me, deny yourselves, take up your cross, follow me. You must be wholly for me. In this he shows them a glimpse of what the life journey will be for them, what they can expect. In this he is also showing his trust in them, he is speaking plainly for a reason, they will be his witnesses, his truth sharers, his foundation for the reign of God.
“As we look to the future, we are given the certainty of the Creator’s presence and shelter. The sureness and constancy of the One that keeps us, surrounds us, holds us, does not falter, does not stop, will not stop. This is ‘around the clock’ presence and protection from a God who is for those who are faithful and loved, presence and protection from a God who is for us, who we can trust.
“The future realities that were laid out for the disciples by Jesus were tough to hear. Some of the future realities for the Uniting Church are tough to hear too. As disciples of Jesus, in a world of disruption, injustice and uncertainty, we have to be open to speaking plainly with one another, to telling the truth of what is now and will come, for our Church, for ourselves, for our country and for the world.
“In our journey of faith, remember, we are given the certainty of the Creator’s presence and shelter. It keeps us, surrounds us, holds us, does not falter, does not stop, will not stop.
“Trust in God. Not a blind trust, but trust in God while our eyes are wide open, understanding the reality of what is happening in our world and in our church, so that the life flow of the Holy Spirit transforms our life in hope and we know the abundance of God’s love in everything we do.”
More than 100 lay and ordained members elected from Uniting Church WA congregations and faith communities of the Presbytery of Western Australia, three caring agencies, Good Sammy Enterprises, Juniper and Uniting WA, seven independent schools and colleges, Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC), Penrhos College, Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC), Scotch College, St Stephen’s School, Tranby College and Wesley College; and Trinity Residential College and Conference Centre located at the University of Western Australia, will come together for fellowship, to discern, and to discuss issues of importance in the life of the Uniting Church in Australia, Western Australia, and the wider community at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Synod of Western Australia this weekend, from Friday 10 to Sunday, 11 September 2021.