The Healthy Churches Expo is an opportunity for various parts of the NSW/ACT Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia to:
  • highlight ways we can equip, support and empower presbyteries, congregations, ministers and lay people in areas of discipleship, mission, leadership, and governance; and
  • connect and engage people within the wider Uniting Church community.
Keep reading below to find out all about the sessions and presenters that are with us at the Expo this year!

Still need to register?

UME Executive Director

Dr Glen Powell

Dr Glen Powell is the Executive Director of Uniting Mission and Education.  He is a dad and husband who has worked in various mission roles in the Uniting Church, as a community organiser with the Sydney Alliance, and as a professional musician among other things.  He has qualifications in Economics, Business and Theology and a research interest in leadership development and social inclusion.

The Gospel Project

w. Dr Glen Powell, Rev Peter Walker, Rev Fiona Blair and Rev Dave Gore​

4.15 pm - 4.45 pm

The Gospel Project aims to build the Church’s confidence to witness and speak gospel into the public square by working with leaders across the Church to develop a shared understanding of the gospel from a Uniting Church perspective.  We hope to equip disciples for confident mission with a clear, contextually relevant message to organise their life and witness. 

Plenary Speaker

Rev Simon Hansford

10.25 am - 10.45 am
Rev. Simon Hansford is the Moderator of the Synod of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in the Uniting Church in Australia, and was installed as Moderator on 29th September, 2017. Simon is the 28th Moderator of the Synod.The Moderator is elected to give prophetic and pastoral leadership to the people and congregations of the Synod, by assisting and encouraging expression of our hope in Jesus Christ, offering challenge because of that same hope, and reminding the church of its call and the God who calls each and every person.

As Moderator for the next three years, Simon said of his vision for the Uniting Church: “Our Church has a vital place in our community, and we have a long experience of seeking to engage our community with the gospel, through advocacy, service, and the ministry of individuals and congregations.Our lives – and our words – proclaim the hope we have found in Jesus, and this echoes in our worship together, in our challenges for our community and in our service for all those around us.”

Simon has served in ordained ministry for more than twenty-five years, serving in rural and regional communities across New South Wales.

Healthy Churches Expo Streams and other Sessions

Below are the elective sessions on offer at Healthy Churches Expo 2020.  You can either scroll through, or select the area you’re interested in by clicking the links below: 

1 – Before the Expo via Email

You can email your questions to –
try to have them in by Thursday the 3rd September so we can include them on the

2 – Before the Expo –OR– Live on the day

Slido is another way you can ask us questions – no account needed! We’ll be opening up the floor for questions one week out and stay open throughout the day, so you can ask questions while you watch!

CLICK HERE for some quick instructions to get you started!

Got questions for any of our presenters?

Stream 1: Administration and Governance

Growing Healthy Church Councils

11.00 am - 12.00 pm

This session is all about weaving relationships and courageous discipleship through church council roles and responsibilities. It explores the meaning of spiritual oversight for the life and shared expression of faith within the congregation and is focused on discussing the kinds of leadership required from church council in a covid/post-covid world.

Through this session you will come to know the role and purpose of Church Council; the expectations of the regulations and what might be needed to guide our congregations into the future. How to strive for a more functional and effective church council – in meeting procedure, focus and an decision making.

Safe Church

12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
This sessions looks at the responsibilities of the Safe Church Unit and what each member of the church can do to ensure a safe place for all. In this session you will:
  • Refresh your understanding of why safe church is so vital to discipleship and community
  • Learn who to contact and meet the Relationships Minister and the Quality and Compliance Manager
  • Learn the difference between Reportable Conduct and Mandatory Reporting as well as who is a mandatory reporter.
  • Be able to ask questions around Safe Church, Persons of Concern and Scripture in Schools.
  • Hear the plans for safe church training delivered in modules online and how to access an on line version now.

Rev Bronwyn Murphy

Rev Bronwyn Murphy is the Associate Secretary of the Synod. She has a background in rural/resource ministry and spent seven years teaching and supporting lay education across the Synod.

Managing Jobkeeper and Annual Financial Returns

2.00 pm - 3.00 pm

Take a look at the JobKeeper initiative and how that might affect congregations and Presbyteries in the immediate future.  We’ll also cover some of the changes to the Annual Financial Returns process, and any questions you may have related to this.   

Gary Grantham, Hubert Delgorge, and Ling Luan

Ways Of Giving

3.00 pm - 3.30 pm
This session looks at questions and issues relating to ways congregations can encourage their members to contribute financially on-line. We’ll explain what’s available now, and what we’re exploring for the longer term.

Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is the Head of Partner Solutions and Support for Uniting Financial Services. Linda took over leadership of the team in June 2018, after acting in the role for the previous 6 months. She has been with UFS since August 2006, working in partnership with various church entities in a number of different roles. This has meant she has gained a good understanding of the Uniting Church structure as well as the opportunities and difficulties faced by church organisations in achieving their financial goals. Linda enjoys building relationships and uses her expertise to assist in not just providing solutions, but also to identify potential issues in relation to the investment and lending strategies of our church partners. Prior to joining UFS, Linda had extensive experience in the Banking and Finance sector, including 30 years with the Commonwealth Bank in various roles.

Property – Open Forum

3.30 pm - 4.00 pm

This session provides a short introduction to the newly appointed Director, Strategic Property who will give a quick wrap up of the current market, and discuss ways the Synod can help frame thinking about property. 

Luke Doo Hwan Lee

Luke is the newly appointed Director, Strategic Property for the Synod Office. He has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services and real estate industries. Previously, Luke has worked at the ANZ Banking Group, National Australia Bank, Challenger Group and Cedar Pacific Investment Management.  Prior to returning to the current role at the Uniting Church Australia Synod NSW & ACT, Luke worked for UFS, as their Senior Portfolio & Credit Risk Manager responsible for alternate asset investments and credit risk.  

Stream 2: Mission and Growth

Growth During Covid

The pandemic presents many challenges for churches, not just how to continue to worship together. How do we grow in discipleship, relationship, number and impact during these uncertain and changing times? Join with ministry practitioners as they share what they’ve experienced, tried, learnt from and seen growth in during the pandemic – and join in the discussion on how we can build a growing church together.

11.00 am - 12.00 pm

Facilitator: David Cornford
// Rev Dr Jason Kioa - Mascot Wesley Uniting Church
// Rev Phil Swain – Turramurra Uniting Church

Saltbush: Uniting Our Scattered Communities When the Future Is Not the Past

Available by live-stream on the internet only
12.00 pm - 1.00 pm

Join with your Saltbush team (Mark, Geoff and Tim) and explore our reality that … the future is not the past!  This will be an interactive session to discuss our current context as Australian Christians in 21st. Century, the work of Saltbush in building the missional relationship as a foundation for any healthy Christian community and ways that Saltbush can practically encourage your own Uniting Christian community gathering.  Bring along your questions, billies to boil, but no purse, staff or cloak.

Saltbush - Uniting the Scattered Community

The Saltbush team seeks to encourage and connect Uniting Christian communities, irrespective of size or location. Saltbush endeavours to enable us as a broad church to embrace the reality of being Christian community in the 21st. century and to affirm diverse ways for people across the land to belong and both to gather and be in mission together. Saltbush seeks to work with individuals and Christian communities who are willing to confront traditions and habits of the past to shape new intentional gatherings for the present future!  Find out more:

Mission Shaped Ministry: Spirituality for Mission

2.00 pm - 3.00 pm

This session looks at the concept of ‘missional spirituality’, the defining characteristics of a missional person/group/community and some practical ways to engage in mission-shaped ministry. We will explore four shifts in thinking that can help us to be missional, four biblical bases for missional spirituality and some suggestions for missional practices that we can live out in our own neighbourhood. Our hope is that you will be both inspired and equipped to partner with what God’s Spirit is doing in your community. 

Dr Karina Kreminski and Dr Armen Gakavian

Karina and Armen are a husband-and-wife team committed to loving their local neighbourhood and seeing it flourish through their Neighbourhood Matters initiative. Their goal is to help people look beyond the four walls of institutions and develop the ability to listen deeply to what the skills and gifts are in their own communities, as it’s only after we listen that we can discern contextualised opportunities to bring about peace, justice and mercy in the ecology of the neighbourhood.

Through Spirit-inspired relationships and initiatives we can embody transformative love in our world. Karina and Armen believe in the goodness, diversity and complexity of the urban space, even though this is sometimes a forgotten area for engagement. Their philosophy is that cities are places that need “salt and light” and good deeds so that they become resilient and places where all can live, work, learn and play together.

Creating Fresh Expressions: Introduction to the Mission Shaped Ministry Program

3.00 pm - 4.00 pm

This session serves as an introduction to the Mission Shaped Ministry course. It will briefly explore the questions of:

  • “What is mission?”
  • “What is Church?”
  • “What is a fresh expression?”

Delve into what the MSM program has to offer, and ascertain whether the Mission Shaped Ministry course is something you might be interested in for yourself, your congregation or your presbytery. 

Rev Dr Cameron Eccleston

Rev Dr Cameron Eccleston is a Mission Facilitation Consultant with Uniting Mission and Education.  He has been in ministry for over twenty years, both in local church placement as well as representing an aid and development agency. He studied a doctorate around organisational development with the topic of “Breathing life into dry bones: how Appreciative Inquiry can help a church rediscover their missional call”. He has a passion to see God bring life to the church. He loves his family, Thai food, the St George Illawarra Dragons and God, but not necessarily in that order.

Stream 3: Leadership and Discipleship

Vital Leadership: Developing Mentors and Communities of Practice

11.00 am - 12.00 pm

Leadership development does not happen by itself. In this session we will explore two critical tools of the VLP leadership development framework; Mentoring and Communities of Practice. Come and learn at an introductory level what these are and how they can enhance your congregational leadership development.

Rev Ben Gilmour

Rev Ben Gilmour is the Head of Vital Leadership at Uniting Mission and Education.  Ben has been in ministry practice for 20 years in both city and regional contexts. He is passionate about encouraging and support growing ministry practice in teams and communities of practice.

Healthy Consultations: Life & Witness / Vital Ministry

Have you been asked to participate or lead a congregational or minister consultation by the Presbytery, and you are seeking a little more confidence, have questions, or want to understand the importance of these consultations? Then this session is for you. This is an introduction to the how and why of these consultations. Understanding them will assist you, not only to understand when these consultations happen in your church but also how they can support other churches in your Presbytery to thrive.  

Vital Ministry Consultations | 12.00 pm - 12.30 pm

Rev Ben Gilmour
with Rev Jenny Ducker and Rev Graham Perry

Rev Ben Gilmour is the Head of Vital Leadership at Uniting Mission and Education.  Ben has been in ministry practice for 20 years in both city and regional contexts. He is passionate about encouraging and support growing ministry practice in teams and communities of practice. He is joined in this session by Rev Jenny Ducker who is Pastoral Relations Minister at Sydney Presbytery and Sydney Central Coast Presbytery Minister Rev Graham Perry

Life & Witness Consultations | 12.30 pm - 1.00 pm

Rev Dr Raymond Joso

Raymond is an ordained Uniting Church Minister and currently the Head of Mission Enablement at Uniting Mission and Education (UME). Raymond has significant experience in facilitating strategic mission planning and change processes in both presbytery and congregational contexts. He loves to encourage ministers and lay leaders to explore new forms of ministry and to challenge the church to make space for new things to grow. He also contributes to leadership for missional thinking and new expressions for the church engaging with the community.  At present, Raymond is leading the Mission Enablement Team to facilitate and support the development and building of capacity for mission in presbyteries and congregations in the Synod of NSW and the ACT.  Raymond is committed to sharing good news stories and learnings to inspire and encourage the broader church in their missional activity.

Rev Fiona Blair

Fiona Blair is a minister of the Uniting Church serving as Presbytery Minister Growth and Mission in Syndey Central Coast Presbytery. This role is an exciting journey walking alongside different ministry contexts (congregations, faith communities, schools, fresh expressions) to build capacity for innovation, change and for growth. Fiona is passionate about equipping groups to engage in different ways to reach new people in new places and in new ways with the gospel.

Presbytery Minister Growth and Mission role is key in the strategic developement of the Presbyrtery. This includes providing resouces into the Life and Witness Committee.

Prior to commencing this role in March 2017, Fiona was Pastor of Avalon Beach Village Church, she was also Youth and Missions Pastor at Pittwater Uniting Church and before that Fiona and her family served in India with Ywam (working largely with YWAM Church Planting teams).

Growing Young

2.00 pm - 3.00 pm

Churches are both shrinking and aging as more young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain young people. It profiles innovative churches engaging 15- to 29-year-olds that are growing–spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and numerically. The Growing Young program shows ministry leaders how to position their churches to reach younger generations in a way that breathes life into the whole church.

The Pulse Team

Pulse is the refocused work of Uniting Mission and Education and the whole Synod of NSW and the ACT of the Uniting Church, investing in existing congregations and leaders, the further development of campus-based ministries, and exploration of new models for communities of faith. The Pulse team is dedicated to building life-supporting relationships between young people and Uniting Church communities.

Pulse is a whole-of-church movement that recognises the importance of emerging generations within the life of the church, seeking to grow vital Christian communities where emerging generations thrive. Our aim is to develop a sustainable, vibrant movement where communities are strengthened and effective leadership is developed.

Weaving Our Stories of Intercultural Intergenerational Worship

3.00 pm - 4.00 pm

This session focuses on how we can grow cross cultural awareness by exploring our own personal stories and models of communities within the UCA in how we and local congregations have approached ministry with a focus on worship and building community from a migrant perspective.

Through this session you will develop greater awareness and skills to understand the significance of peoples different cultural backgrounds and experiences and reflect on biblical themes that undergird our commitment to celebrating diversity and respecting difference: the call to justice and sharing, the challenge to build cross cultural communities of love, acceptance, inclusion where the gifts of all are valued.  You will also learn to identify some of the bridges needed to bridge intergenerational and intercultural divisions in the local church.

Rev Charissa Suli

Rev. Charissa Suli is one of the National Consultants in the Assembly’s new multidisciplinary team, the Assembly Resourcing Unit. Charissa brings to us her experience in mentoring youth and young adults and is committed to investing in their personal growth by creating space for them to lead in the Uniting Church.

Rev. Suli is a second generation Tongan Minister of the Word, ordained in 2014 to serve in Dapto Uniting Church on the NSW South Coast up until 2017. From a strong Methodist family tradition and part of a supportive Tongan community, Rev. Suli was called into ministry by Dee Why Uniting, Cecil Gribble Tongan Congregation. In her spare time, Charissa enjoys walks along the beach with her husband Langi and spending time with their four children Susitina, Liekina, Latu and Azariah.

Rev. Suli has previously served as a Cross Cultural Consultant in the NSW/ACT Synod’s Board of Mission, Youth Leader in Dee Why on Sydney’s northern beaches and as Convenor of the Tongan National Conference (TNC) for 9 years. Her role on TNC was to mentor emerging young leaders, lead programs for youth and young adults and bridge the gap between the first and second generation Tongan community.

In her role as an Assembly National Consultant, Rev. Charissa Suli will spend her time in the many different cultural communities across the Uniting Church, encouraging UCA to be disciples of Christ and building networks of trust along the way.

Rev Dr Apwee Ting

Rev. Dr Apwee Ting is the National Consultant Assembly Resourcing Unit.  Rev Ting brings a strong understanding of what it means to be a multicultural church and to live out the Christian faith cross-culturally.

Apwee has been a member of the Assembly’s National Reference Committee for Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry for 12 years including three years as Chair (2006-2009). He also held a specific role of liaison with the Assembly’s Relations with other Faiths Working Group.

Before his appointment, Apwee was a Minister of the Word at Dandenong Uniting Church in Victoria, in one of Australia’s most culturally diverse and multifaith communities. The congregation includes Fijian and Hindi speaking ministries and is also home to Christian communities whose cultural heritage is Arabic, Ethiopian and Cook Islands.

Stream 4: Healthy Congregations

Praying With Your Feet - Advocacy in Healthy Congregations

11.00 am - 12.00 pm

Why do people get involved in anything? Develop an understanding of the personal motivations, triggers, resources and opportunities that move people from apathy to activism. Develop an understanding how you can apply these lessons to make your congregation vibrant through involvement in advocacy. Learn more about Uniting’s Fair Treatment and Climate campaigns and other ways to get your congregation praying with their feet.

Emma Maiden

Emma Maiden is Head of Advocacy for Uniting NSW.ACT.  Emma coordinates a team of five that steers the social justice advocacy for Uniting. Priority campaigns are drug law reform and climate change. The team also campaigns on people seeking asylum, affordable housing and homelessness and aged care reform and conducts training sessions on influencing MPs, handling objections and telling your story to support campaigning. Emma is a former Assistant Secretary at Unions NSW. She is also a Director of legalsuper and the Sydney Community Forum.

Rev Alimoni Taumoepeau

Rev Alimoni “Moni” Taumoepeau is Minister at Strathfield Homebush Uniting Church.  A missionary to Asia and the Pacific before entering ministry in the Uniting Church. He feels called to be a voice for the voiceless and is passionate about Jesus and justice issues such as climate emergency, ending modern slavery, mental health, violence against women and children, homelessness, and refugees.

NCLS: 30 Years of Research on What Makes Churches Healthy

12.00 pm - 1.00 pm

What is church health? Who decides and why? What makes congregations healthy? What does this mean for the Uniting Church? NCLS Research has been researching church health for some 30 years. In this session we will look at and discuss findings from the National Church Life Survey, the Uniting Church Census of Congregations, and the Enliven Churches Project – an interview study about how churches have strengthened their vitality. Participants will learn about different perspectives on church health, features of healthy churches, and ways that churches grow their vitality.

Dr Miriam Pepper w. Dr Glen Powell

Miriam Pepper is a researcher at NCLS Research and a research fellow with the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre, Charles Sturt University, She is also a sessional lecturer at United Theological College, teaching social research methods to students enrolled in the Master of Ministry/Doctor of Ministry program. Miriam researches a range of areas in the social scientific study of religion, including church health, Christianity and multiculturalism, contemporary Australian spirituality, domestic and family violence, and views and activities related to issues of social service, justice and environmentalism. Miriam is the chairperson of the church council at South Sydney Uniting Church.

Life After COVID: Effective Church Communications

2.00 pm - 3.00 pm

What will the comms landscape look like on the other side of this pandemic? What has changed that won’t change back?

This workshop will cut to the chase and look at the comms must-haves for a congregation or Presbytery in the COVID-era. We will discuss and unpack what effective communications looks like.  There will be plenty of time for discussion and Q&A.

Jonathan Hirt

Jonathan Hirt is the Communications Manager for Sydney Presbytery.  Jono started with Sydney Presbytery in 2017 and was brought on to design and implement the Presbytery’s communication strategy to support the Strategic Plan.

 Jono has 10 years experience in the not-for-profit space, in a variety of roles – primarily in a start-up setting and considers himself a comms generalist.

Supporting First Nations peoples and communities - Covenanting in 2020 and beyond

3.00 pm - 4.00 pm
You will gain a broad understanding of the Covenanting Statement, what we believe this statement represents, and how to take practical steps to bring this Statement to life. You will gain some insights in terms of how to respectfully and effectively engage with Aboriginal peoples and communities, hear about some of the current issues impacting Aboriginal communities, and have the chance to ask questions.

Nathan Tyson

Nathan Tyson is the Relationship and Service Manager for the Synod. Nathan is an Aboriginal lawyer with heritage from the Gomoroi and Anaiwan peoples, and experience working for NSW and Australian Government agencies, as well as in the Banking, Community and University sectors.

Nathan has over 20 years of experience working with Aboriginal people and communities, in areas of advocacy, consumer rights, human rights, and community development. Nathan has worked for Uniting for over 3 years, particularly working with Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and more recently on Uniting’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Nathan is currently on secondment with the Synod of NSW.ACT to assist with Covenanting, Cultural Learning and Advocacy related initiatives.

The Chaplaincy Zone

Ever wondered what chaplaincy is all about, or what it takes to become one?  Drop into our ‘Chaplaincy Zone from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm to talk to a team of Chaplains from all areas of chaplaincy to find out more about this unique ministry.  

Our chaplains will also be popping into a Zoom session to talk with remote attendees throughout this time frame.  This will be in addition to the Healthy Churches Expo web link you are viewing through your Internet Browser.  You will need to have a Zoom account; this is a free app which will work on either  computer or any smart device.  Find out more about Zoom here:

Register now for the Chaplaincy Zone Zoom by emailing the Expo admin team on:

Chaplaincy as Cutting Edge Mission

Rev Graeme Tutt and Craig Corby

  • 11:00 am – 11: 30 am (Live at at the Expo)
  • 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm (via Zoom)

Learning to Preach, Teach and Care in Schools

Rev Jon Humphries

  • 11:30 am – 12:00 pm (Live at at the Expo)
  • 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm (via Zoom)

Chaplaincy in the Rural Fire Service

Rev Nich Cole

  • 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm (Live at at the Expo)
  • 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm (via Zoom)

Introduction to Chaplaincy in Tertiary Education

Kathryn Lynch

  • 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm (Live at at the Expo)
  • 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm (via Zoom)

Please note all Zoom sessions will be recorded; however, you have the option to turn off your video and audio if you prefer.  If you are concerned about the recording for any reason, let your session host know before the session begins. 

Ready Leadership Series Intro

11.00 am - 12.00 pm

Ready Leadership: Leadership To Turn The Church Around

This talk offers fresh perspectives on the challenges faced now in mainstream churches and what we have available to be able to adapt enough in mission.This seminar also introduces viewers to Ian’s “Ready Leadership” Zoomcast series happening September 21-24. 

You can register for this session and the rest of the series here:

Please Note:  This session will not be streamed on the Healthy Churches Expo web link through your Internet Browser.  You will need to have a Zoom account; this is a free app which will work on either  computer or any smart device.  Find out more about Zoom here:

Ready Leadership Zoomcast Series
Sept 21 10:00 am: What Now is Christian Mission and Evangelism?

5:00 pm: Why – The Basis of a Holistic Gospel
Sept 22 10:00 am: Reaching today’s Pluralist Neighbourhoods

5:00 pm: Processes: Get to Go and Into the Life Cycle
Sept 23 10:00 am: Twenty Tools for Turnaround Leadership – Part one

5:00 pm: Twenty Tools for Turnaround Leadership – Part two
Sept 24 10:00 am: The Hard Part About Church Leadership Today

5:00 pm: The Dimensions of Leadership in Growing Churches

Rev Dr Ian Robinson

Rev Dr Ian Robinson has been a minister, chaplain, consultant, church planter, spiritual director  and is now an Alan Walker lecturer in Mission and Evangelism and Leadership,