Governance & Administration Review

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The Governance and Administration Review reaches its third and final round of consultations.


Background

The LCA General Convention of Synod in 2013 adopted the following resolution:

THAT the GCC, consistent with the Strategic Direction of the LCA - especially regarding improving our 'Governance and Leadership capability' and being 'good stewards of our available resources' -  undertake a review of the current governance and administrative structures of the LCA including  at the National level, District level, Boards, Commissions, Councils and Agencies during the next  synodical  term.

In December 2013, General Church Council (GCC) appointed Dr Maureen Cleary as the external consultant to lead the Review Process. Maureen is a Sydney-based consultant with experience in church and non-profit organisations for over 40 years — a contribution that was recognised when she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2009. [read more]

As we consider possible changes that are impacting the LCA, it is vitally important that we listen as widely as possible to the views and opinions of people within it. While it is not possible to engage everyone, it is considered essential that there is a process of consultation with leaders at all levels of the LCA.  

Starting in early March and continuing for two months, the first round of consultation meetings were held at 19 locations around Australia and New Zealand, involving over 280 people. The aim of these two-hour consultations was to enter into a conversation with the participants about the Review in order to obtain their feedback and insights. The meeting process included:

  • reflecting on the purpose of the Review and why it was necessary at this point in time
  • looking at the proposed plan for the Review
  • hearing the participants’ hopes and fears for the Review
  • obtaining possible change outcomes from the Review.

Maureen also met with over 50 key personnel at district and national level. A further 30 written responses and Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) documentation have been received and reviewed. [close]

The Story So Far …two rounds of consultation meetings

At the commencement of the review it was decided that there would be three consultation processes. Electronic invitations to attend one of the meetings for the First Consultation were sent to all pastors and chairs of congregations/parishes, boards, commissions and committees via the Lutherans in Australiasia Members Portal (LAMP).

Invitees were also advised that they could complete a response sheet either online or in hard copy if they were unable to attend a face-to-face consultation meeting. Because of the time limits required to complete the whole consultancy, some invitees felt that the time between receiving the invitation and the opportunity to attend a meeting was too short.

Despite these reservations, 280 people met with Dr Cleary and the meeting facilitators in 23 sites1  across Australia and New Zealand.

The Review Consultant also met with over 50 key personnel at District and National level in Australia and New Zealand. A further 30 written responses were received. These meetings considered the paper Lutheran Church of Australia Governance Review: First Consultation Paper (3 March 2014).

Hard copies of this paper were also sent to anyone who could not attend a face-to-face meeting and wished to participate in the process. The First Consultation process commenced at the end of February 2014 and was completed by the beginning of May 2014.

The results of the First Consultation process were provided to the General Church Council at the end of June 2014. This paper was entitled Lutheran Church of Australia Governance and Administration Review: Second Consultation Paper (28 June 2014).

In the Second Consultation process, pastors, leaders of congregations, parishes, boards, commissions and councils at every level of the Lutheran Church in Australia and New Zealand were sent this paper together with a response sheet, a consultation meetings schedule and an RSVP form for those intending to attend a consultation meeting. Meetings were scheduled for 242 sites and about 290 people attended these meetings.

In addition, consultation meetings were held with the District Church Council members in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, Perth and Queensland. At a national level, meetings were held with the chairpersons and executive officers of the national boards, committees, commissions and councils. Twenty-three written responses to the consultation paper were also received and considered.

The results of the Second Consultation process were provided to the General Church Council in November 2014. This paper was entitled Lutheran Church of Australia Governance and Administration Review: Draft Final Report (November 2014).

Third Round of Consultation Meetings

The third and final consultation process of the Governance & Administration Review is now in process. The first two consultation processes primarily consisted of face-to-face meetings. The third and final consultation is an online consultation. Those participants who do not wish to use the online process can choose to complete a written response.

The Paper entitled Lutheran Church of Australia Governance and Administration Review: Draft Final Report (9 December 2014) contains Dr Cleary's Draft Final Report and Review Recommendations and forms the basis of the third consultation.

This Third Consultation Paper has been sent to everyone who had received previous invitations, to those who attended the face-to-face meetings and to those who sent back written responses. Dr Cleary has endeavoured to ensure that the contact information for all these people and groups is as accurate as humanly possible within the limitations of the LCA information systems.

Apologises to anyone who has been overlooked, but LCA members in Australia and New Zealand will understand the communication issues of a church that is small but spread wide geographically.

The invited participants will be responding to the recommendations only either online or in hard copy between the beginning of December and 9 January 2015.

Dr Cleary will collate these responses and provide the Final Report to the General Church Council in February 2015.

More information

For more information about the review process please contact Dr Maureen Cleary: info@governance.com.au or 02 9554 8660.

A Prayer for Guidance

Participants in the second round of consultations were invited to pray this ‘common prayer’, prepared by ALC Principal Rev James Winderlich, at the commencement of their discussions. Please continue to keep the review in your prayers.

 

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1 The 23 sites for the First Consultation Meetings were Albury (NSW), Berri (SA), Blair Athol (SA), Box Hill (Vic), Buderim (Qld), Canberra (ACT), Glenelg (SA), Hamilton (Vic), Horsham (Vic), Morley (WA), Mountainside (NZ), NSW District Office (NSW), North Adelaide National Office (SA), Nuriootpa (SA), Queensland District Office (Qld), St Marys (NSW), Sth Australia & Northern Territory District Office (SA) Toowoomba (QLD), Vic & Tas District Office (Vic), WA District Office (Perth), Wagga Wagga (NSW), Wellington (NZ), Wudinna (SA).

2 The 24 sites for the Second Consultation Meetings were Albury (NSW), Alice Springs (NT), Berri (SA), Blair Athol (SA), Box Hill (Vic), Buderim (Qld), Canberra (ACT), Glenelg (SA), Hamilton (Vic), Horsham (Vic), Morley (WA), Mountainside (NZ), NSW District Office (NSW), North Adelaide National Office (SA), Nuriootpa (SA), Queensland District Office (Qld), St Marys (NSW), Sth Australia & Northern Territory District Office (SA) Toowoomba (QLD), Vic & Tas District Office (Vic), WA District Office (Perth), Wagga Wagga (NSW), Wellington (NZ), Wudinna (SA).