A Justice-Orientated Church
The Uniting Church in Australia has always understood itself as being oriented towards justice, sharing in God’s mission which is the reconciliation of the world.
Since its inception in 1977, the UCA has spoken out on social and environmental issues of concern and engaged with governments on matters of public policy.
Statement to the Nation
At its first Assembly meeting in 1977 the UCA made a Statement to the Nation. This Statement was a declaration about the nature of the Church, what it would uphold as important in the world and how it would contribute to building a better world.
- Affirmed the importance of every human being and a concern for the welfare of the whole human race.
- Pledged ourselves to seek the correction of injustices wherever they occur.
- Committed itself to the protection of the environment.
How justice is expressed
As a large national church in Australia, the UCA expresses its commitment to justice in many ways.
Advocacy – speaking into the public arena and directly to government on issues of justice. Some of these issues have included:
- Justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
- Human rights broadly and Australia’s commitments
- Environmental concerns including climate change
- Refugee and Asylum Seeker Policy
- Fair and adequate provision of social services for all Australians
- Australia playing its role as a good international citizen, participating generously in issues of global concern and responding to particular situations of need in other countries
- Statements on war and peace, militarism and disarmament
Practical Expressions – through national and regional bodies, provide meaningful services to the Australian and international community. Some of these have included:
- UnitingCare Australia and its expansive network of community service agencies providing many types of social service and care to people in need across Australia
- Frontier Services – providing chaplaincy and care for remote communities
- UnitingWorld – providing support and building local capacity among overseas partner church communities
- Congregations, groups, schools and other agencies across Australia directly involved in acts of justice, care and service
Our vision for a Just Australia
In 2018 the Uniting Church developed Our vision for a Just Australia, a statement expressing our hope for Australia as a just, compassionate and inclusive nation. In 2020, a new document, Build Back Better, considered new priorities and lessons learnt from the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. It draws on our vision, as articulated below.
- We see a nation where each person and all creation can flourish and enjoy abundant life.
- The Uniting Church in Australia believes the whole world is God’s good creation.
- Each person is made in God’s image and is deeply loved by God. In Jesus, God is completing the reconciliation and renewal of the whole creation.
The Uniting Church is continually developing resources to assist our people to be informed and engaged in important issues of justice, locally, nationally and globally.