Reflecting on the Basis in different languages
Written by Rod Floyd, Assembly Associate General Secretary
“And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.” (Acts 2: 6)
Right from beginning of Christianity, there was an acknowledgement and celebration of diversity among peoples. On the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit brought the gift of speaking in different languages so that all might hear and know the word of God. All were called to receive the Holy Spirit, and all were invited to break bread and be in fellowship.
Last week, the Assembly released a series of reflections on the Basis of Union to ground people in our identity as they respond to the Act2 project.
In a new initiative we are exploring, we have made the Studies available in 10 languages other than English on our website. The translations can be found here.
Central to the DNA of the Uniting Church, is a celebration of, and commitment to live out our lives as both a multicultural and multilingual church.
Right now, through the Act2 project, a critical conversation is taking place in our Church about where God is calling us. We cannot do this without listening to the voices and insights of people across our Church, in all their diversity, and in all their different languages.
It is our hope that the translated version of the studies will enable communities to meet and discuss the Basis in their own language and to provide feedback to the Act2 project.
We acknowledge these are not perfect translations. Work is continuing to help improve these translations to better reflect the terminology of our Church and the phraseology of different languages.
We’re excited about how this same translation tool might enable us to continue to build our language resources.
A strategic focus for the Assembly is to learn more about what it means to live our lives interculturally – in spaces where the cultural traditions, perspectives and languages we bring are shared together with each other and enrich one another.
A particular focus for the Assembly in its Strategic Plan is how we “learn from and enable diverse cultural groups within the Church to flourish together”.
One area of work under this focus is to collate and publicise language resources, to develop new language resources and to make our website more accessible to diverse communities.
This is a small step in that direction, and we acknowledge there is a long way to go, but we hope it is the beginning of something that will grow and enrich our understanding of each other, just as the Spirit intended.
We welcome feedback on these and all our resources in languages other than English. If members of the UCA have documents, liturgies, prayers or songs in their heart language that could be shared more widely, we would love to hear from you.
Read the Basis of Union in language
Find other language resources
Read more about our commitment to be an intercultural church.
Join an online study on the series of Basis of Union reflections with the Assembly Resourcing Unit: Register