6 February 2016
Dear Members of Synod, Congregations, Schools and Agencies
Thank you for upholding the church in prayer in the lead-up to the Special Meeting of the Synod of Western Australia, Uniting Church in Australia as we gathered today, Saturday 6 February to discern God’s will for us.
I am delighted to announce that the Synod decided by at least a two-thirds majority to appoint Rev David de Kock as general secretary of the Synod of Western Australia.
David is currently in placement at Lighthouse Uniting Church in Geraldton, a member of General Council and the chair of the Pastoral Relations and Placements Commission (PR&PC). He also served at Merredin Uniting Church for five years.
General Secretary Elect, Rev David de Kock
David brings to the role a life of prayer, a love of people, a desire to ignite passion in others to use their gifts and skills, implementation of programs in planning, strategy and direction, and proven experience in keeping financial costs and budgets in balance.
David has been admitted as an ordained minister from the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA). He holds a Bachelor of Theology and a Bachelor of Commerce, as well as a Master of Business Administration. Prior to entering ministry, David worked in senior leadership positions, including as Managing Director, of large companies.
David is married with three adult children and moved from South Africa eight years ago.
At the 39th Western Australian Synod meeting held in September last year, I gave a verbal report as the General Secretary Selection Committee convenor and advised that the search for the best person to fulfil the duties, functions and responsibilities for the role of general secretary would continue.
Since September 2015, the Committee again advertised the position nationally and conducted interviews.
Members of the General Secretary Nominating Committee: Rev Cathie Lambert; Margaret
Martin; Dr Alec O’Connell, Scotch College headmaster; Rebecca Cody, principal, MLC; Vaughan Harding, Juniper chief executive officer; Rev Dr Andrew Williams, General Secretary NSW/ACT, advisor; and in consultation with Rev Sealin Garlett, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, have worked diligently on this important appointment and I thank them for their significant contribution.
Since the conclusion of Kay Dowling as General Secretary on 1 July 2014, we have given thanks to God for the faithful people, lay and ordained, staff and volunteers, who have been generous with their gifts and skills, as they have faithfully served the church in their local community, as well as through Synod, Presbytery and Assembly. In particular, Bob Seinor who prepared the extensive background work for General Council.
I also acknowledge the enormous contribution of those that have acted in the role of general secretary over the last eighteen months: Rosemary Hudson Miller, Rev Dr Ian Tozer, Rev John Dunn and Rev Rick Morrell. In particular, Rosemary Hudson Miller acted in the role throughout 2015, as well as for numerous months in 2014. Rosemary has sacrificially given her time, gifts and skills throughout.
There are many dimensions to the role of General Secretary as they walk alongside and share the love, faith and hope of the wonderful people within the Uniting Church family: congregations and faith communities; schools and colleges; agencies; boards, committees and commissions; as well as our partner churches and other faiths.
We pray this appointment will bring renewed life, health and unity within the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Western Australia. We ask for your prayerful and practical love and support of David as he grows into the role of General Secretary.
Grace and peace
Rev Steve Francis