ACR JournalMinistry

A View from the Pew – Sarah Cameron

The seventh in our series on lay synod reps…

Mrs Sarah Cameron has served since 2021 as a lay representative for St Barnabas’, Fairfield with Bossley Park.

1.     Why do you serve on the synod?

It’s a position that’s hard to fill at our church in south-west Sydney, and our senior minister asked me if I’d be willing to give it a go. I know it’s important because the decisions made by synod affect ministry on the ground. Seeing the ‘behind the scenes’ working of the Diocese has made me thankful to God that he has given people the skills and gifts to make wise decisions that help us share Jesus. 

2.     What role do you see lay people having in this ministry? (i.e., How do you believe this ministry serves the Kingdom?)

It’s important that the lay people in our churches are represented at Synod as they make up the majority of our church families. 

3.     Do you need a specific skillset to serve as a lay representative? (i.e., Do you need formal theological or legal training to be useful?)

Ideologically no, we need all kinds of people involved in Synod. Unfortunately, due to the pace of Synod and the reading required, many in our churches are excluded from being able to participate. I’d love to think more about how a wider range of people in our church communities could be involved in Synod. 

4.     Do you have any lessons for new lay representatives?

It’s ok if you feel out of your depth! I sit with friends and my senior minister to ask questions and chat about the discussion. I find it helpful to read the papers beforehand to understand a bit of what’s going on even if I don’t always understand the intricacy of decisions and points of view. 

5.     How can clergy help foster a desire and vision for lay folk to get involved in governance issues (i.e., Parish Council, Wardens, Synod Reps)? 

Helping them understand what’s going on in accessible, relevant terms. Showing a love for Jesus and joy in being able to do ministry together.