News
Wednesday, 09 October 2019

Weaving and singing the Lord’s song

Women in Church leadership were the focus of this year’s gathering of the Niue National Conference (NNC) of the Uniting Church.

Women led the worship and bible studies from start to finish and for the first time Holy Communion was presided over by a woman minister, Rev. Fieta Ikitoelagi-Faitala of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ), assisted by Niue women Church Elders and Pastors.

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer preached at the opening worship of the 2019 Tongan Conference 

More than a thousand Tongan members of the Uniting Church came together in a joyful celebration of faith and fellowship for the 2019 Tongan National Conference (TNC).

With the theme “Liberating by faith in Jesus Christ”, the annual gathering was held in Katoomba NSW from 27-29 September.

The Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia has made a submission to the Federal Government’s proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer said the Uniting Church supported the Government’s efforts to improve protections against religious discrimination for all people in Australia.

The Australian newspaper has published an article today on the Uniting Church’s decision on same-gender marriage.  Regrettably, the story includes a number of allegations in relation to a congregation in Queensland which are untrue.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

A True First Nations Warrior

WARNING: This story includes the name and image of a deceased Aboriginal person.

The Uniting Church and Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) are mourning the passing of Indigenous rights “warrior” Tauto Sansbury this week.

The Narungga elder, who was born at Point Pearce Mission on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, dedicated his life to advocating for justice for First Peoples.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Report documents violence in West Papua

The Uniting Church in Australia has co-signed a report that was sent to six special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council regarding recent violent crackdowns of anti-racism demonstrations in Papua and West Papua, Indonesia.

Local churches have documented that during one demonstration in Deiyai Regency, at least eight indigenous Papuans were killed and more than 50 protestors sustained serious injuries when security forces fired into the crowd using live ammunition.

October 22 marks the first anniversary of the historic National Apology to Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

A year on from the landmark apology to survivors and their families, the Uniting Church in Australia acknowledges and laments the role of the Uniting Church in causing harm to children and renews its commitment to be a Church that is safe for all people.  

President Deidre Palmer acknowledged the Church’s ongoing role in correcting the wrongs of the past.

“We must continue to hear the voice of survivors, so that these terrible things never happen again,” Dr Palmer said.

 “The Uniting Church is committed to redress for survivors and the safety of children continues to be at the forefront of our Church’s work with children and families.”

Uniting Churches across the nation have been invited to mark the anniversary with a Liturgy of Acknowledgement and Lament to be adapted and used on or near 20 October.

“This liturgy has been developed to mark the anniversary, to acknowledge and lament the role of the Uniting Church in causing harm to children,” said Dr Palmer.

“It acknowledges the terrible breach of trust and the damage done to individuals, communities and relationships. This is part of our story that we will continue to acknowledge so that we never forget and never become complacent.”

“Through this liturgy, we also look to the future, renewing our commitment to living the Gospel of Christ by being a Church that is a place of safety for all people.”

“We are living this out daily, by our participation in the National Redress Scheme, by our establishment of the National Safe Church Unit, by the commitment of resources to child safety in our Synods, congregations, schools and agencies,” she said.

President Palmer said, “While it is difficult and distressing to talk about and it can be hard to hear, it is important that we engage in these conversations.”

“The Royal Commission showed that for too long, these harmful acts took place in the dark with survivors being dismissed or silenced. It is only by continuing to speak openly and honestly about the abuse and its impacts that there can be growth for survivors and communities, and ongoing diligence in protecting children in the future.”

The Liturgy of Acknowledgement and Lament can be downloaded below along with a letter from President Dr Deidre Palmer. Please feel free to draw upon this resource and adapt to your local context. 

If individuals in your communities are distressed, it is important to remember that specialised services are available at https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/contact.

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