As part of the Act2 Project, you’re invited to join a conversation about where God is calling the Uniting Church. Since the UCA began its journey 43 years ago, things have changed, in our Church, in our country and in the world. In this new context, as we consider afresh the ordering of our lives, it’s helpful to consider what strengths we have to draw on and the challenges we face.
- The Uniting Church at its best has many diverse expressions of who it is as a church.
- The clear markers of our identity, including the centrality of Christ, connectedness to the world, particularly local communities, the diversity of our people and our justice orientations
- Along with the Basis of Union we have a rich collection of resources to guide and shape our life. These include both those documents that shaped the journey to Union,1along with statements such as the Statement to the Nation (1977), the Covenant Statement (1994), The Uniting Church is a Multicultural Church (1985), and the revised Preamble to the Constitution (2009) which have continued to shape and define our life.
- At our best we have participated in the reconciling work of Christ and been able to harness our inclusivity and diversity to be a risk-taking, flexible and adaptable Church, open to renewal in our life.
- Externally there is a loss of trust and confidence in the Christian church, this has never been more clearly demonstrated than in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
- Alongside this has been a declining membership and an aging demographic. This has led to an underutilised property base and a constrained financial environment.
- These factors are all leading to strains on the structural sustainability of our Church as a whole and therefore our ability to live out our calling. A critical part of this project’s work is to understand both the causes and consequences of these strains so that effective solutions can be identified and implemented.
How we respond to these challenges will say something about who we are as the Uniting Church, our identity. We need to stay true to who we are, as we need to open ourselves to God’s guidance and direction, recognising that Christ constitutes, rules and renews the Church.