SHAPED BY JESUS
The story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet found in John’s Gospel (John 13:1-16), shows a wonderful example of the kind of ‘Servant Leadership’ Jesus expects of his followers, working humbly for reconciliation and justice for our whole world.
Jesus is a Champion for Justice
Jesus lived out the prophets’ calls to care for those on the margins . He regularly stood up for those who were oppressed or treated unjustly – whether at the hands of the Roman empire or of the religious elite. Jesus always seemed to focus on the welfare of the individual rather than the maintenance of the system.
The Uniting Church describes itself as a “Justice-oriented Church”, we seek to follow our teacher in our work in advocacy for a just world.
Find out more about Working for Justice
As Christians who live in Australia, a core justice issue for us is our relationship with the First Peoples of this land. The Uniting Church has a heart for First Peoples - we see that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, nurtured and sustained by God before colonisation, should be celebrated at the very heart of what it means to be Australian.
The Uniting Church amended its Constitution to add a preamble specifically addressing the relationship between First Peoples, and the colonising oppressors. We have affirmed the sovereignty of First People and seek to understand how that is to be lived out within the Church.
Our desire is that as First and Second Peoples, we walk together, creating socially just and culturally safe relationships, listening and learning from one another.
Find out more about Walking Together as First and Second People
Jesus is the Reconciler of the World
The Uniting Church’s foundational document, the Basis of Union describes God’s great mission in the world as “that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation.” As God’s ‘Messiah’, or Chosen Person, Jesus’ pre-eminent role in that mission is to bring peace between human beings and to reconcile human beings with God.
Our three founding denominations came together to better serve in God’s mission, and the Uniting Church today continues to see being Missional as integral to our existence.
Find out more about Seeking Common Ground
In the reconciled and renewed world Jesus is bringing about, we look forward to a future where a vast crowd from every nation and tribe and people and tongue will be gathered together in worshipping Jesus (Revelation 7: 9–10).
In 1985 the Uniting Church declared itself to be a “Multicultural Church” celebrating our rich cultural diversity. Every Sunday people worship in Uniting Churches using 45 different languages, including 15 First Nations languages.
Around 200 congregations across the country represent particular cultural backgrounds, and increasingly Uniting Church members, leaders and Ministers come from a wide diversity of backgrounds.
We also see cultural and linguistic diversity as a goal – worship, witness and service ought to happen across cultural boundaries as we become a genuinely intercultural Church.
The Uniting Church lives and acts with a deep and wide appreciation of diversity because we see the enormous diversity of humanity which God has created and whom God will gather together in the reconciled and renewed community.