Australian and New Zealand New Church Assembly

Back Row: Philip Richards, Ken Barns, Julian Duckworth, Cor Visser-Marchant, Trevor Moffat, Carolyn Heldon, Darren Brunne, Randall Rabone, David Millar.

Next Row: Kevin Attwater, Lesley Longstaff, Tammy Rush, Graham Hanna, Lyn Rocke.

Next Row: Richard Keyworth, David Moffat, Graham Hall, Wayne Kasmar.

Front Row: Ruth Duckworth, Bev Shepherd, Judy Robinson, Pauline Merrit, June Johnson, Ros Taylor, Gaye Heldon. Photo, Len Robinson

Ian Arnold was also present at times over the two days.

The Assembly in Canberra was successful in being time for representatives from around Australia and New Zealand to meet up, to speak out, express feelings, suggest plans for the future and hear quite a number of varied presentations. The various motions and decisions that were made will be taken to a General Meeting later this year, for action. I believe everyone who was there was very pleased to have been part of it. Everybody contributed.

The Presentations that were given at the Assembly included the following:

New New Church Models; “What’s Gone Wrong?”; Churches, Education and Young People Today; Are you an internal person or an external person?; Baptism and its relevance to the organised New Church in Australia; Our organisational structures, communications and activities; Where have all the young people gone?; The Writings and the Word.

Other agenda items included:

Where do you see the New Church in the future? (Strategic Plan); Succession planning for NCIA Directors; The Swedenborgian Church of North America; The Ordination of Women; The Australian New Church College Business Plan; The name of the College; Individual/Associate membership of the NCIA; NCIA Constitution and By-Laws; NCIA Trading Name; Bereavement and Wedding Cards; National Register

I felt that the Assembly gradually picked up its own momentum and it became closer together over the two days. I also felt that the relationship between the Board and local Societies will have been very much helped by having the Assembly.Assembly2

It was said and agreed that we should hold an Assembly every few years, to keep the process going and to bring people physically together.

I had the enormous pleasure to step down from my national Presidency and to induct Rev. David Moffat into the Presidency early on the first morning. It was very moving. David did an excellent job of chairing the Assembly for virtually the whole of the two days.

The induction included a well-worded service and the laying on of hands, and the presentation of a President’s copy of the Word which includes inscriptions of three previous Presidents.

After the service everyone came in a circle around David and gave him their blessing, a hug, and some  encouraging words. This was a significant moment for the New Church in Australia and New Zealand.

We all wish David well in his new position for the church.


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