ASC Update November 2020
Picture: The Assembly’s Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd and General Secretary Colleen Geyer at the November 2020 online ASC meeting (photo credit: Dr Deidre Palmer)
The Assembly Standing Committee (ASC) met online from Friday evening 6 November to Sunday afternoon 8 November 2020. This followed an extra online meeting on Saturday 6 September.
ASC members received a report on the Act2 Project – a project to engage all stakeholders in the Uniting Church in an open-ended conversation on sustainable structures, practices and ways of working in the lead up to the 16th Assembly and beyond. An Introduction paper inviting members to consider the future of the UCA ‘as a people of God on the way’ (BoU, para 18) and an online survey are available on the uniting.church website. A series of open Zoom conversations to canvass a wide range of views will be scheduled soon and resources to reflect on the Basis of Union will be made available in 2021.
Arrangements for Holy Communion:
The ASC considered a report about the practice of online gatherings for worship with Holy Communion since the approval of temporary arrangements at a special ASC meeting in April 2020. The report included the results of an online survey for presiders and participants. Of the 114 presiders and 186 participants who took part, a majority found it to be a holy and sustaining experience.
A webinar held as part of the report will be made available via the uniting.church website. The ASC approved the extension of the arrangements for gatherings for worship with Holy Communion until the end of June 2021.
Sovereignty Affirmation-Practical Outcomes:
A task group to explore practical outcomes of the 15th Assembly’s resolution to affirm First People’s sovereignty reported on progress. Further consultations will take place with a view to bringing proposals to the March 2021 ASC.
The Continuing Witness Task Group reported to the ASC, sharing the text of the Belhar Confession, Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si and The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation. A discussion ensued of options for the UCA to consider recognising these documents as a contemporary witness to fresh words and deeds as envisioned in the Basis of Union. Resources will be developed and further proposals will be referred to the March 2021 ASC.