Regulation 126.96.36.199 requires that the Assembly Standing Committee provide advice to the Church on the challenges and issues which may be faced by the President and the Assembly in the next seven years. This is to assist the discernment process as the Church nominates and elects the President – elect.
In July 2017 the ASC addressed itself to this responsibility and offers this guidance to the Church.
“As the Uniting Church continues to move through a season of significant change, the ASC believes that the challenges and issues likely to be faced by the President and the Assembly in the next seven years will include:
- The Covenant relationship with UAICC
- Sovereignty and how we understand this in the practices of the Uniting Church
- Ways in which we can be a people of hope where God’s grace upholds us
- Call to the renewal of God’s church by listening to what the Spirit is saying to the Uniting Church
- Being, and identifying as, members of the Uniting Church and what this means
- Holding our identity as the Uniting Church in amongst diversity
- Call to disciple-making
- Importance of investing in leadership for now and the future
- The changing form of faith communities, and the importance of resourcing them
Being the Church in the public space
- Being the Church as a prophetic voice in the public space
- Re-establishing our place of trust in civil society
- Managing and critiquing how we understand the relationship between Church and State
Responding to changing contexts
- How we are the Church in a changing world, including the importance of having a national perspective
- Responding to demographic forces in the Church eg changing membership profile
- Understanding and educating ourselves about the world of social media
Name: Krikor Youmshajekian (Rev. Dr)
Nominated by: Rev. Gaby Kobrossi and Mr Michael Kharrat
Synod of residence: NSW/ACT
Age range: 60 - 69
- Organisational Leadership
- Establishment of partnership within and beyond
- Missional and Administrative domain
- Current placement at St. Andrew’s Uniting Church Longueville
- Minister of the Word
- Congregational placement in Syria, Lebanon and Australia (Sydney)
- General Secretary Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East
- Uphold the Word of God and His mission
- Serving with commitment and dedication
- Living our values based on the Christian and Biblical principles.
Vision for the UCA
In light of the advice provided by the ASC on the challenges to arise in the next seven years, I will endeavour to fulfil my duties, being faithfully guided by the biblical principles. With God’s grace, I will work driving people to give hope to the hopeless, be faithful to the call and, while preaching the Gospel, be a functioning body of Christ, fulfilling the duties assigned to us in love and dedication.
The church should be the living expression of the mission and strive to be the embodiment of the life-giving Gospel message. It should continue to be the prophetic voice, which not only speaks, but acts to become the functioning body of the Christ in the spirit which is clearly outlined in the Basis of the Union.
As a diverse church, working with people of different backgrounds and respecting the church with all its members is essential. I will endeavour to continue the tradition of being an all-inclusive church, by upholding its multicultural pillars and leading people towards hope without discriminating any group or culture.
To do this, the people should be encouraged to understand and accept that we belong to one another. There is no me and you, or us and them. Regardless of gender or colour, we are the pilgrim people, journeying on the same path and supporting each other, while accepting all to be members of the same body. And in the spirit of reconciliation, uphold the strengthening of the covenant relationship with the UAICC.
One of the priorities of this role should be to keep in step with the real world. Scriptural examples should give us the principles to guide our practice in contemporary ministry, knowing that the patterns outlined in the scriptures are pragmatic and pertinent in our times.
We should remind ourselves that the church is the new family of God that initiates and produces strong forces of cohesion and solidarity, but at the same time, releases behaviour which needs to be tamed or controlled if the church is to continue to function and operate as a missionary entity. Always we have to bear in mind the image of the “body” which Paul used, suggesting that differentiation does not compromise, but rather promotes the idea of unity in the body of the church. Even though we give the impression that a hierarchy exists in the church, but we should stress the idea that even the weak and small members have important roles to play to keep the body functioning. We as Christ’s community are the “body of Christ” animated by the “the Spirit of Christ”. The identity and the life together “in the body” of the Christians is grounded in Christ and it is not of this world. The communities should be addressed as brothers and sister, in an inclusive language.
On our way to the promised end, we should continue to look at the Uniting Church in the spirit of the Basis of Union, to be a source of Christian nourishment, challenge and inspiration to the whole people of God. God calls us to participate in His mission of creation, reconciliation, healing, preservation and transformation. We are called to be a sign and instrument of the coming reign of God.
Being a missional church, we should always remember that God is the author of mission, Jesus Christ has embodied its content, the Spirit is the enabler of mission, the world is the arena and the church is an agent of mission. And finally to realise that the church has not a mission, but rather the mission of God has a church.