Presbytery of North East VictoriaThe Body of Christ from across the region, meeting to worship, pray, study, learn and do business.
The Presbytery of North East Victoria covers a large area of north eastern Victoria and reaches into southern NSW. The western boundary stretches from Mathoura to Colbinabbin, and the eastern boundary from Corryong to Alexandra with Broadford as the southern most community. Our northern boundary is through the Murray Valley region to Mathoura, and then south-east to Broadford.
The presbytery has responsibilities under the Basis of Union and regulations for the ministry and mission within its bounds. In the rapidly changing context of the church and the world, PNEV was concerned to find ways to care for all congregations and people, regardless of size and financial stability and capacity. Strategic directions were developed and agreed to early in 2013 and are subject to ongoing review.
The presbytery has endeavoured to remain true to its values and role in aiming to care for both small and large congregations. However this is a challenge in a presbytery with many congregations whose members are aging and declining in numbers and thus who are experiencing a reduction in financial resources. Many of the lay leaders are also aging. Ensuring that new possibilities are nurtured and that the outreach to younger people and families is valued and celebrated is also vital. Recognising that small groups and tiny congregations have much to share along with the larger ones, ensures that all feel valuable and make their contribution to the whole.
The desire to support all congregations resulted in a set of directions for the presbytery, where it identified six centres of population, Seymour, Shepparton/Mooroopna, Benalla, Wangaratta, Albury/Wodonga and Echuca, with a priority to try and ensure that congregations in those centres retained placements as far as possible and became centres of resourcing for smaller congregations around them. The strategic direction also identified the need for education and the equipping, support and nurture of lay leaders in smaller congregations for the future, and for some new thinking around worship and leadership. This helps PRC and M&E committees in particular to identify where they need to put their focus.
Presbytery Meetings and Governance
Representatives and ministry workers usually met four times a year for formal Presbytery meetings. The Presbytery in Council is much more than a business meeting: it is the Body of Christ from across the region, meeting to worship, pray, study, learn and do business.
Our present practice is to hold the meetings on either Thursdays or Saturdays to enable different people to participate. We rotate around various congregations across the Presbytery to give depth to our relationship together. The Presbytery meets for other special occasions such as the ordination or induction of a new ministry worker, or on the rare occasion when an extraordinary meeting is called. Between Presbytery meetings, Standing Committee deals with the business of the Presbytery and is able to make decisions on behalf of the wider Presbytery.
The Presbytery has gained richly from a number of ministers from non-Anglo cultures serving amongst us. The presbytery greatly values the ministry of its Lay Preachers and other lay leaders.
The Presbytery operates through four main committees:
- Standing Committee – meets monthly
- Pastoral Relations Committee – meets monthly
- Mission and Education Committee – meets quarterly
- Property, Finance and Administration Committee – meets quarterly
The UCA Presbytery of North East Victoria (and friends) are producing a series of worship resources to support our congregations to minister those who have experienced such deep loss in the fires that have destroyed so much this summer. These resources are linked to the church year and to lectionary readings and are freely available for use by ministry agents, lay preachers and congregations.
Starting with Ash Wednesday and Lent, we will provide liturgies, hymn suggestions, prayers and meditations. There will variations from formal liturgy, including resources and ideas for Messy Church and contemporary worship.
You can download the Ash Wednesday service as either a MS Word document or as MS PowerPoint slides from https://www.northeastvicuca.net.au/recovery/