Working and praying for peace in Korea

A high-level representative from the Uniting Church’s partner denomination in South Korea was on hand as the 15th Assembly committed its support to the peace process on the peninsula.

In the wake of the meeting between the North Korean and South Korean leaders earlier this year the Uniting Church pledged to support moves towards a peace treaty by prayer, through partnership with Korea churches and the World Council of Churches and by engaging with the Australian government and the Leader of the Opposition.

General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Korea Rev. Chang-bae Byun thanked the Assembly for the resolution and joined with UCA President Deidre Palmer in a prayer for peace.

Rev. Byun was one of three international visitors from partner churches who were invited to share their greetings and observations with the 15th Assembly.

Chair of the Congregational Christian Church in Samoa Rev. Elder Tautiaga Senara and Rev. Joshua Lian who is Ecumenical Secretary to the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan also gave short addresses to Assembly.

Elder Senana said he had been impressed by the Uniting Church process of consensus decision-making and that was something he would like to take back to Samoa.

He commended the Assembly on its courage, honesty and openness in addressing difficult issues.

The session saw a number of other proposals brought before Assembly and one withdrawn.

A proposal to allow UnitingCare to begin a national consultation across the life of the church on the potential responses to laws allowing voluntary assisted dying, as have been passed in Victoria, was withdrawn after consultation with working groups.

Proposals on the recognition of UCA languages and National Conference conversations with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Conference were deferred to Standing Committee.

Another proposal on the powers of a presbytery standing committee is still being considered.