Executive Council of Australian Jewry – Uniting Church in Australia Dialogue
The Assembly Standing Committee (ASC) at its first meeting of the new triennium in August re-appointed the UCA members of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) – UCA Dialogue.
Appointed for the three years of the triennium, the members are:
- Tara Curlewis (UCA co-convener)
- Alison Bleyerveen
- Rob McFarlane
- Edwin Carter
The ASC also approved the key areas of work for the Dialogue for the triennium. These areas of work include:
- Maintain relationships between the ECAJ and UCA, and so model mutual and respectful relationship between the Uniting Church and Jewish community.
- Provide advice to the ASC on matters that might arise.
- Provide a platform for the Uniting Church and the Jewish community to learn more about each other’s beliefs and traditions and to share this learning with the national church.
- Look for creative ways to encourage and resource interfaith engagement in local congregations
- Explore opportunities for the dialogue to engage with and invite contribution and participation from women and younger generations.
Update from the Dialogue
The outgoing UCA Co-convenor Rev Dr Matthew Wilson also presented a report of the work undertaken in the last triennium.
Highlights of this report included:
2021 will mark the 30th anniversary of the first meeting of the UCA-ECAJ Dialogue.
The dialogue has provided the foundation for a longstanding relationship between the two faith communities. The Dialogue was established to provide a forum between the two faith communities to learn and appreciate each other’s beliefs, and particularly to explore and address concerns regarding issues in the Middle East. This dialogue is particularly significant to the Uniting Church because of the unique relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Jesus was born, lived and died a faithful Jew and cannot be fully understood apart from the Jewish faith of his time.
This Task Group sits amid a range of strategies for maintaining the relationship between the Uniting Church and Jewish communities including the relationship between the UCA President, Moderators and other church leaders with Jewish leaders, other dialogues including at the Synod/State level and local community engagement and events that bring the two faith communities together.
With some long-term members, significant relationships have formed.
During the triennium the dialogue members have shared in prayer, interpretation of scripture, awareness of each other’s religious and cultural practices and discussion of social, political and national matters of concern.