Praying for the Plenary Council
UCA President Rev Sharon Hollis has written to Uniting Church congregations and ministers inviting them to pray for the Australian Catholic Church as it begins its historic Plenary Council next month.
The Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches in a country and will dialogue about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
The first Assembly of the Plenary Council, postponed last year, will take place from 2-10 October 2021, both in-person and online, followed by Assembly 2 in Sydney on 4-9 July 2022.
Rev Hollis has invited Uniting Church congregations and ministers to think about how they can be in prayerful solidarity with their local Catholic parish as the Plenary Council meets.
The invitation follows a decision by the 15th Assembly to stand in solidarity with the Catholic Church as it prepared for the Plenary Council and “to call on God’s Spirit to accompany the Australian Roman Catholic Church during this period as it listens to the promptings of the Spirit and seek to discern what God is calling it to as a Church for the future.”
“I encourage congregations to take time one Sunday in the lead up to the Plenary Council to pray for the Plenary Council and their local Catholic Parish and bless a symbol of that prayerful solidarity, which can be sent or taken to a local Catholic Parish,” writes Rev Hollis.
Congregations might like to present a candle, prayer card or record a video with a prayer and greeting as the symbol of solidarity.
The President has also invited Uniting Church Agencies to take part by contacting a Catholic agency they work with.
Rev John Hughes, a Uniting Church minister at Brougham Place in Adelaide, has written this prayer for use by a local Uniting Churches to pray for their neighbouring Catholic Parish.
Let us pray:
Creator God, in your great love you have given us the gift of your Spirt. As the Roman Catholic Church in Australia enters this time of discernment, we pray that your Spirit would guide and encourage those involved in the Plenary Council. May we all stand together as we seek to be your people on the way of Jesus.
We pray this through Christ Our Redeemer. Amen
Read the President’s letter