Unconfirmed Minute - Marriage and same-gender relationships

UNCONFIRMED MINUTEResolution of the Fifteenth AssemblyMarriage and same-gender relationshipsThe Assembly resolved:(a) To acknowledge:(i) that within the Uniting Church there is a diversity of religious beliefs and ethical understandings, developed through continuing faithful discernment and held with integrity on matters relating to sexuality and marriage; and(ii) that marriage is a gift God has given to humankind for the […]

Pastoral Letter from the President on Marriage

Pastoral Letter from the President in Different LanguagesClick on tabs below to read in your languageEnglishChineseFijianIndonesianKoreanSamoanTonganNiueanFilipinoVietnameseEnglishTo all congregations and faith communitiesMarriage and same-gender relationshipsMy dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,The Assembly, the national council of the Uniting Church, has been considering the issue of marriage and same-gender relationships.This long conversation over almost 30 years in our […]

Assembly Wraps Up

The Uniting Church in Australia’s 15th Triennial Assembly has concluded, after considering some final business.This marks the end of a busy and historic Assembly, with a packed agenda.Assembly started its business for the final day by discussing Proposal 11, the affirmed member proposal. This was ongoing business regarding a proposal to insert a new definition of […]

A Reflection on the marriage decision

Rev. Prof Andrew Dutney, Professor of Theology, Flinders University, Past President, Uniting Church in Australia”Uniting Church approves same-sex marriage.”The headline conceals what actually happened in Melbourne this week. Without setting out to do so, the Uniting Church recovered its stated vocation of making visible unity in diversity.Of course, the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia […]

We all stand on common ground

Guests from other churches and other faiths joined members of the Assembly Resourcing Unit at a Seeking Common Ground Circle session on Day 6 of the 15th Assembly.Each of the guests were asked to share an example of “Seeking Common Ground” from their life experiences.Fr Ruwan Palapathwala, an Anglican priest in the Diocese of Melbourne […]

Freedom to Decide on Marriage

The 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia has agreed to hold two equal and distinct views on marriage to honour the diversity of Christian belief among its members.Meeting for the first time since last year’s change to Australian marriage laws, members of the Church’s national decision-making body, the Assembly, resolved to allow its […]

Working and praying for peace in Korea

A high-level representative from the Uniting Church’s partner denomination in South Korea was on hand as the 15th Assembly committed its support to the peace process on the peninsula.In the wake of the meeting between the North Korean and South Korean leaders earlier this year the Uniting Church pledged to support moves towards a peace […]

Weaving the kingdom of God

Weaving and re-weaving were employed as a powerful way to understand the God’s love and Kingdom as Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll and Rev. James Bhagwan led their final morning Bible study on Friday at the 15th Assembly being held at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne.After opening worship led by Rev. Dr. Julia Pitman from […]

Uniting Church Recognises First Peoples’ Sovereignty

The Uniting Church has affirmed that the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Islander Peoples, are sovereign peoples in Australia.On 13 July, the 15th Assembly meeting approved the statement affirming sovereignty by consensus at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne.After consultation with working groups an earlier proposal was amended to give an expanded definition […]

Standing Committee Elected

The elected members of the next Assembly Standing Committee were announced on Friday morning at the 15th Assembly meeting at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne.Felicity AmeryDavid BakerRob BrownHayden CharlesSteve FrancisGeoffrey GrintonAndrew JohnsonJason KioaElaine LedgerwoodClare LigtermoetFie MarinoKath Merrifield  Nicole MugfordCatherine PepperElaine RaeGeoff ThomsonYuko Tonai-MooreIan Tozer

"What a beautiful church we have"

What a beautiful church we havePeople gathered for a time of talanoa at the lunchtime session for the Being a Multicultural Church Circle.The room was filled with people representing the rich cultural diversity of the Uniting Church and a space was created for sharing and listening to one another.Rev. Salesi Faupula and Rev Amel Manyon […]

Seeing people as Jesus sees them

Seeing people as Jesus sees themIt was a sombre morning worship at 15th Assembly on Thursday as black-clad Assembly members were invited to symbolically reflect on the brokenness of the world and ask for communal forgiveness.Assembly members wore dark clothing to support Thursdays in Black, an international campaign backed by the World Council of Churches […]

Sharon Hollis named as UCA President-elect

Rev. Sharon Hollis was announced as the Uniting Church in Australia President-elect at the 15th Assembly on Thursday morning.Rev. Hollis, who is Moderator of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, will be the third woman to be National Assembly President and first who has been ordained.“I am humbled and I am grateful,” Rev. Hollis said […]

Raising Our Voices for Justice

The lunchtime session for the Working for Justice Circle considered ways to engage with members of Parliament and the wider community in order to create a just world.Rev. Craig Collas from Perth Uniting Church in the City spoke about the impact of the sanctuary movement when churches across Australia offered a safe place for refugees […]

Rev. Dr Ken Carter's Cato Lecture

“Abundant Grace and Liberating Hope”The Cato Lecture at the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in AustraliaWhat is Abundant Grace and Liberating Hope?In his  Practical Divinity, one of my teachers, Thomas Langford offers a reflection on the grace of God:  “In a basic sense, grace is Jesus Christ.  Grace is the specific expression of God’s nature […]

Sustained by God's Abundant Grace

Rev. Dr Ken Carter has called us into fresh expressions of faith through prayerful listening and service in his Cato Lecture to the 15th triennial Assembly meeting.His address focused on the Assembly theme, “Abundant Grace, Liberating Hope” – reminding us how important it is that the church takes time with its prayerful discernment.“If we are […]

All of This Is Us on a platter

There was certainly no shortage of cake being served at Uniting Church venues and gatherings last year.That much was made clear as the immediate past President Stuart McMillan and six moderators took the stage to report on 40th anniversary celebrations of Union that took place last year under the banner of “All of This is […]

Uniting Church President Expresses Condolences

Members of the Uniting Church’s 15th triennial Assembly have fallen silent to honour Australia’s most senior Muslim cleric, who passed away in Melbourne today.“I have some sad news to pass on to members of the Assembly,” President Dr Deidre Palmer told the Church’s three-yearly national meeting.“The Grand Mufti of Australia Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi passed […]

Sovereignty Matters

Former UCA president Stuart McMillan said a new book by Rev. Dr Chris Budden demonstrated the past theological failures of the Church in not recognising the central importance of recognising the sovereignty of the First Peoples in Australia.Mr McMillan launched Rev. Dr Budden’s book Why Indigenous Sovereignty Should Matter To Christians on Wednesday morning at […]

President Hosts Young Adult Dinner

At the 15th Assembly this year the cohort of young adults makes up 10% of the delegates.During the meeting the President Dr Deidre Palmer took the opportunity to have dinner with the young adult group and discuss the things that matter to them. Of course they had questions for Dr Palmer as well, particularly how […]

Marriage Update

Members of the Fifteenth Assembly continued their consideration of proposals on marriage and same-gender relationships.In response to requests from Community Working Groups, the Evening Session of Day 3 was set aside to hear further information. Fifteenth Assembly members then had the opportunity to make two-minute statements in response to the information, proposals or anything else.The matter will be revisited […]

Out of Brokenness Comes Relationship

“Are we as Second Peoples in Covenant with First Peoples because it makes us feel good, or are we in covenant because something needs to change?”That was the challenge from Rev Dr Chris Budden, Training Coordinator with the UAICC, at the lunch time gathering for two circles – Growing in Faith and Walking Together as […]

A Vital Connection to the Outback

The gap between metropolitan areas and the bush is widening, becoming a deep area for concern for Frontier Services.Currently resourced with 13 Bush Chaplains, Jannine Jackson, the National Director of Frontier Services would like to see this grow to 25.“There has never been a greater need for chaplaincy in Australia’s outback,” Ms Jackson said.Airlines flying […]

The call to holiness and justice

President Dr Deidre Palmer has launched the book Holiness and Social Justice, a teaching document which has emerged from six years of dialogue between the Salvation Army and the Uniting Church in Australia.“It is with joy that I launch this book and I commend it to you,” Dr Palmer said.“Holiness and social justice are very […]

Restoring A Shattered Trust

The church has lost the community’s trust and restoring it is the most urgent task if the gospel is to be preached and listened to, 15th Assembly members heard at Box Hill Town Hall on Tuesday. This was the sober message brought by Rev. John Cox, Executive Officer of the National Task Group, which is […]

"All voices should be heard"

Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll and Rev James Bhagwan rolled out a Pacific mat to lead the first of a series of morning Bible studies at the 15 Assembly, held at Box Hill Town Hall. The woven mat represented the Pacific tradition of having a space of hospitality to tell stories. “All stories are valued and […]

Uniting Church can ‘provide moral leadership on sovereignty’

Affirming the sovereignty of the First Peoples in Australia would provide moral leadership to the nation, immediate past president Stuart McMillan told the 15th Assembly meeting at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne on Tuesday morning. Mr McMillan brought the proposal: “To affirm that the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Islander Peoples, are […]

Candidates for President-elect

The five candidates for President-elect of the Uniting Church have introduced themselves to members of the 15th Assembly via video.In pre-recorded interviews, Rev. Dr Apwee Ting, Rev. David Baker, Rev. Krikor Youmshajekian, Rev. Sharon Hollis and Rev. Dr Vicky Balabanski responded to the same four questions.  What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ all about […]

Liturgy Resources Available

Liturgy and video resources are now available to download for leaders and Congregations from the 15th Assembly Installation of Dr Deidre Palmer as President of the Uniting Church in Australia.Download the video of the installation for Dr Deidre Palmer from the Vimeo Channel for use in your Congregations.Download the liturgy from the installation service for […]

Growing in Circles

Growing in Circles.  .  .Youthful members of the 15th Assembly have schooled their elders on making the Church a more welcoming place for young people.Ben Tupou and Merenaite Aiafi shared their insights at the Discipling the Next Generation Circle session over lunch on Day 2.  “Millenials have a different way of thinking and approaching life,” […]

Assembly Hears Marriage Proposals

Assembly Hears Marriage Proposals.  .  .The 15th Assembly has heard a variety of proposals regarding the Uniting Church’s policy on marriage and same-gender relationships.Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer acknowledged that the topic had been difficult for the church. She commended the Working Group On Doctrine for their work on the Report on Marriage and […]

Hope in times of crisis

Two speakers from Uniting Church partner Churches in Maluku, Indonesia and Beirut, Lebanon shared with grace and vulnerability at today’s UnitingWorld lunch.Rev. Hrayr Cholakian and Rev. Elifas Tomix Maspaitella may be separated by very different geographical locations, but their shared stories demonstrated many similarities, with both responding to difficulties in their home countries with grace […]

Standing Committee reports to Assembly

The 15th Assembly got down to business on Monday Morning at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne.Dr Deidre Palmer, who was installed as UCA President on Sunday night, welcomed Assembly members and commented that the upcoming week “would be a marathon one for us all”.“As we progress through Assembly week I hope we have a […]

Uniting Church Takes Strong Stance Against Domestic Violence

Uniting Church Takes Strong Stance Against Domestic Violence.  .  .The 15th Assembly has adopted a statement that commits the Uniting Church to repudiate all teaching and theologies that justify domestic violence.Monday morning sessions heard emotional testimony from some of those affected by violent acts.Standing Committee member Bethany Broadstock brought the resolution to tackle what she […]

Stuart McMillan and the heart of the church

Stuart McMillan and the heart of the church.  .  .In his report as retiring President of the Assembly, Stuart McMillan spoke about the importance of relationships and issued the Uniting Church in Australia a number of challenges.On Monday Mr McMillan told the 15th Assembly meeting at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne that one of […]

Immediate Past President’s ‘Hearts on Fire’ Report to 15th Assembly UCA 2018

I acknowledge with deep respect the sovereign First Peoples of the lands and waters where we meet the Bulluk Clan of the Wurundjeri Nation. We honour their elders past and present and all descendants of this nation and all the Kulin Nations. Further I respectfully acknowledge all other Aboriginal and Islander Peoples here today.I began […]

Abundant Grace, Liberating Hope: Installation Sermon

Abundant Grace, Liberating Hope: Installation SermonDr Deidre PalmerIn 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. Some of you may recall being part of celebrations that greeted his release. Mandela was a leader in the African National Congress and had been in Robben Island prison for his activity opposing apartheid in South Africa.After […]

Assembly Underway

Assembly UnderwayThe 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia opened on 8 July at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne with worship, prayer and an invite to take home some free woollen wear.In the Town Hall’s large central meeting room UCA President Stuart McMillan welcomed Assembly members as they took their designated chairs around […]

Grace & Hope as Uniting Church Gathers in Melbourne

Grace & Hope as Uniting Church Gathers in Melbourne.  .  .More than 300 members of the Uniting Church in Australia from across the country will gather at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne over the next week for the Church’s 15th triennial Assembly meeting.The week-long meeting celebrates the work of Australia’s third largest Christian denomination […]

Ready Steady Assembly

Ready Steady Assembly.  .  .Melbourne’s Box Hill Town Hill is a hive of activity as Uniting Church members from around the country arrive for the Church’s 15th triennial Assembly meeting.Incoming President Dr Deidre Palmer greeted youthful members, answering some probing questions about the Uniting Church’s public voice and what excited her about the job ahead […]

Deidre's Discipleship

Deidre’s Discipleship .  .  . Dr Deidre Palmer chooses her words carefully when asked about her call to church leadership. “I’m probably more called to discipleship than leadership,” she says. “As an educator, as someone who contributes to people’s formation in faith, I see leadership arising from inviting people into a deeper relationship with God. […]