Peter Schirmer (chair)
Paul Argyle (NZ)
Ralph Brinkmann (Tas)
Nancy Fox (NSW)
Bruce Lockwood (Qld)
Faye Schmidt (Vic)
Rev Mark Vainikka (Qld)
Rev Andrew Vanderwal (SA)
Bishop John Henderson (ex officio)
Les Stahl (team leader)
Rev Terence Corkin
LCA/NZ Constitution Review (Phase 1)
After 50 years, our church has commenced Phase 1 of a major review of its constitution. We give thanks to those church members who prayerfully drafted the constitution and to those who have provided ongoing stewardship and maintenance of it.
Our constitution has served us well for many years but it is now in need of a review for a number of reasons, including enabling us to better witness and thrive in the 21st century.
Over the last 25 years, multiple amendments have turned it into a somewhat complex and cumbersome document, difficult in places to use and interpret. Over 50 years we have added 27 pages of additional information. In summary, it was considered the exercise of providing further bandaids to the current constitution may only result in further risk of confusion and non-alignment.
The purpose of this Phase 1 Review is to identify and analyse the key issues and establish the key principles that will be presented for approval as the framework that will guide the development of a new constitutional structure. The aim is to achieve a constitutional framework that has longevity and reflects who we are, why we exist, how we are governed, is consistent with contemporary standards, and be of such a nature that requires minimal changes over time.
The LCA/NZ Constitution Review (Phase 1) Interim Report is now available: Volumes 1 and 2.
Over three months (between September and December 2020) further opportunities occurred for church members, pastors, members of church boards and those involved in church agency mission and ministry to participate in this review by providing feedback on the Interim Report. In Communiqué 5, dated 7 September 2020, Bishop John Henderson encouraged everyone to read at least the first part of the Interim Report and join in the discussions which took place at district and churchwide levels.
In December 2020 districts passed on your feedback about the Interim Report and its recommendations to the review team. In February and March 2021 the review will evaluate this feedback and then finalise a report.
In 2021 the church will decide if, when and how we will move into Phase 2, planning for the actual updating of our constitutional framework.