Identity: our ecumenical Church
September 6, 2022
“The Uniting Church believes that Christians in Australia are called to bear witness to a unity of faith and life in Christ which transcends cultural and economic, national and racial boundaries ... the Uniting Church declares its desire to enter more deeply into the faith and mission of the Church in Australia, by working together and seeking union with other Churches” (Basis of Union, paragraph 2).
The Uniting Church in its founding document The Basis of Union declares its commitment to ecumenism – the intentional pursuit of Christian unity that also inspired the formation of the UCA itself.
Being an ecumenical Church, in which we seek to share more fully the unity, identity and common ground we have with other Christians in Christ, is a key part of who we are as the Uniting Church.
In these relationships we open up beyond ourselves to broaden the horizon of our vision, grow mutual understanding and give and receive the unique insights of our traditions. We become enabled to speak with one voice about things that matter, and to partner together in serving our communities, working for justice and seeking the common good.
It is driven by a theological vision that life in Christ unites us beyond all doctrinal, social and cultural difference.
From membership of global ecumenical bodies right through to grassroots cooperation and joint mission between local congregations and parishes, the Uniting Church is an active participant in the ecumenical movement in Australia and beyond.
We belong to a range of ecumenical bodies, including the National Council of Churches in Australia, the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Global Christian Forum, the Christian Conference of Asia and the Pacific Conference of Churches.
Over the life of the Uniting Church we’ve sought to engage constructively in national dialogue with various denominations. Many Synods, congregations and other groups participate in local ecumenical groups and activities.
Through UnitingWorld, the Uniting Church is in partnership with churches across the Pacific, Asia and Africa.
Councils of Churches in each state also provide a space for collaboration and cooperation between the churches. At this time, these ecumenical bodies in three states of Australia are led by Uniting Church people: Rev David Baker in Queensland, Rev Anne Hewitt in South Australia and Rev Sandy Boyce in Victoria.
We asked them each about their roles, how they understand ecumenism as part of UCA identity, and the future of the ecumenical movement. Click through to read what they said.