Humans of the Uniting Church
January 25, 2023
The Uniting Church is full of wonderful stories.
Across the country, there are thousands of faithful people and communities sharing in life and faith, growing disciples, nurturing faith and places of belonging, leading change, experimenting with new things, working for the common good and making God’s mission in the world a reality.
In a new regular series this year, we’re excited to be telling these stories as we invite different people and communities each week to share in their own words about faith, community, the Uniting Church and how we can pray for them.
If you know of a great story we should tell - or someone with a great story to tell! - contact us and nominate them to be featured.
This week, we hear from Sam Gledhill, proud Murri woman and Senior Adviser - First Peoples for UnitingCare Australia.
"Music and worship feeds my soul."
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What’s your Uniting Church story?
I grew up in church and have always had a faith and when this job was advertised I saw it as an opportunity to combine my two passions, which are serving my First Nations community and my faith and passion for God. I love getting paid to do things I’m passionate about.
What enlivens your faith?
I grew up in a family of singers and often sang in choirs or school and church events. So music, worship, prayer and the word are all interconnected and help me to bring my faith life! Music and worship feeds my soul.
What’s one thing happening in your community that’s really exciting for you?
The Referendum and the Voice to Parliament. It’s a chance for our people to be recognised in the Constitution and for us to have a say in the issues that directly affect us.
What’s one thing you love telling people about the UCA?
UCA is an innovative church which thinks outside of the box. It is very progressive in what it is doing for First Nations peoples and other disadvantaged groups in the community.
What’s one thing you’d like to change, or something you hope for?
I would like to see more First Nations people working in leadership positions across the church. I would also like to see dedicated First Nations roles in all the Synods.
What's one thing you would like the rest of the Uniting Church to pray for?
The full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart by the Government and all organisations across our nation to fulfil our obligations to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Australia in spite of the outcome of the Referendum.
Hear Sam in conversation with Uniting Church President Rev Sharon Hollis on her podcast Dwelling. Sam speaks about a Voice to Parliament and the life-changing difference it would make to First Nations people, and the importance of faith and hope. Listen here.
Read the UnitingCare Australia submission to the Senate inquiry on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) here.