Welcome to the website of the Social Issues Committee (SIC) of the Baptist Union Churches of NSW & ACT. We hope you find this site interesting and helpful. The SIC is a subcommittee of the denominational Executive Committee. Our brief is to serve the denomination by providing resources to the churches on a range of social issues. Please think of us as a clearing house for information and ideas rather than a source of definitive pronouncements on contemporary issues.
We have some priorities for the year. The first has been to set up our long overdue and much needed website. The second is to generate some substantial resources for use by the churches. We have chosen two topics that will be our particular emphases for this year. They are gambling and climate change. Thirdly we want to lift our profile with the churches. In order to achieve this we will be presenting a workshop at Revive 2011. We also hope to work with MSD to help them achieve their goal of making churches places where justice and compassion are given practical expression.
We welcome your engagement with us. We need you push us to explore areas of life that we may not have thought about. It is our hope that you in turn will be provoked to expand your understanding of the demands of Christ’s call on your life by the material presented on this site.
Kristine Morrison (Chairperson) works as a midwife and is a part of Ashfield Baptist Church. She is married to John and is a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother. She describes herself as a “known Baptist tragic” and had contributed to various denominational taskforces and groups. She is interested in, and has an opinion on, a wide range of topics but gender issues always make her heart beat a little faster!
Rod Benson is is an ethicist and public theologian with the Tinsley Institute, based at Morling College. He previously pastored Baptist churches in Queensland and NSW, and from 2004-2007 was founding Director of the Centre for Christian Ethics, now part of the Tinsley Institute. Rod serves as Public Affairs Director for the NSW Council of Churches and consultant ethicist for the Baptist Union of Australia. He writes regularly on ethics and public affairs for print and online publications, and his social and political commentary airs every Sunday on Sydney radio 2CH (1170AM) after the news at 9.00am, 12.00pm and 5.00pm. Rod is Secretary of the Baptist Union of NSW Social Issues Committee, the Baptist Historical Society of NSW, and the Christian Ethics Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. He represents Baptists on the NSW Council of Churches, the NSW Ecumenical Council, and the National Council of Churches in Australia. Rod is married to Michelle and they have three sons, Michael, Samuel and Zachary. He is a member of Dural Baptist Church.
Kevin Hummell is the director of a consultancy company mainly working in the vocational education field. He is a member of Epping Baptist Church and has been on the SIC for approximately 18 years. His particular interest is care for the environment.
Ian Packer is Assistant Director of ETHOS–EA Centre for Christianity & Society (www.ethos.org.au), a joint-venture between Australian Evangelical Alliance and Zadok Institute for Christianity & Society. He is a Baptist minister, married and the father of four children. He is currently working on a PhD in theological ethics.
Christine Redwood is studying a Master of Arts at Morling College and is on the pastoral team of Hornsby Baptist Church. She also serves on the Ethics Committee for Baptist Community Services. She is passionate about communicating God’s story and encouraging Christians to live out their beliefs in every aspect of their lives.
Heather Reid is an active member of Women to Women, the NSW Baptist Women’s ministry, and has been a member of the SIC for many years. Among her interests are problems surrounding gambling and substance abuse.