SHAPED BY JESUS
The Uniting Church is a community of people who are shaped by Jesus’ teaching and example, by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We seek to be followers of the way of life Jesus demonstrated and encouraged. In our founding document, the Basis of Union, the Uniting Church describes Jesus as “Lord of the Church’s life, and as the beginning of a new creation, a new humanity”.
As a result, the key values of the Uniting Church come directly from our understanding of Jesus, how Jesus expressed God’s priorities and how Jesus taught us to live. Here are some of the characteristics we see in Jesus and try to express in our life as a Church.
Builder of Community / Friend to the Marginalised
In the miracle of feeding 5000 people, found in all four of the Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:32-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-14), Jesus demonstrated his concern for the community and desire to be welcoming to all people.
Jesus consistently asks his followers to love one another. He challenges us to reach out to others as well – the poor and needy, our neighbours, even to our enemies! The Uniting Church believes that Christ gives Christians unity, and calls them to live out that unity. That’s why ecumenism is part of our DNA.
“Ecumenism” is the commitment to promoting and working toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation. The Uniting Church heritage is of an ecumenical Church which arose from the coming together of three different denominations. We use the name “Uniting” rather than “United” because we believe we are still on a journey of coming together.
That journey might involve grass–roots co-operation between local churches of different denominations, joining in mission activities together, formal agreements between denominations, or even a further joining of whole denominations. We continually seek to work together with, grow in understanding of, and move closer to our Christian sisters and brothers.
The Uniting Church is also strongly committed to reaching out to those of other faiths in interfaith friendship and support. Finally, we seek common ground with all those of goodwill whether they have any faith commitment or not. As human beings we share many hopes, dreams and sometimes difficulties, and so we seek to join with others around issues of common concern — Uniting for the Common Good!
Find out more about Seeking Common Ground
Jesus is a Friend to those of us who are Marginalised
Jesus spent his ministry reaching out to the humble and marginalised — touching those with leprosy, speaking to Samaritans (traditional enemies of the Jewish people) and gentiles (those who aren’t Jewish), including women in his inner circle, eating and drinking with “sinners and tax collectors”. In every way, he included those often not included and made space for all.
The Uniting Church seeks to follow in Jesus’ footsteps by being inclusive — open to all people regardless of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, religion, economic status, differing abilities or political persuasion, and, importantly, to those of us who are on the margins.
Our focus on Justice issues is a way for the Uniting Church to live out God’s concern for those of us who are seen as insignificant or who are marginalised or discriminated against. We believe God calls us to advocate for those who often struggle to have a voice.
Find out more about Working for Justice