Around 100 people across the Uniting Church participated in the first in a series of webinars looking at how COVID-19 has challenged and changed us as the church.
Presented by the Assembly Resourcing Unit and the Being a Multicultural Church Circle, the webinar on 9 July explored the topic “Church Post-Covid-19: Ecclesiological, Missiological, Historical and CALD Perspectives”. You can find the recording below.
An invitation from the ARU team to join us on Zoom.
COVID-19 has impacted us all differently, but for many in ministry across the Church it’s been a challenging time, and it’s not over yet.
Many in ministry have experienced their workload double as they master new tech skills on the run and learn how to do worship and ministry in a completely different way. With the extraordinary effort of keeping communities connected virtually and pastorally, and with so much logistical planning around the return to worship, it’s no wonder some of us feel exhausted.
For many it’s been a time of deep thinking about mission and identity, and you might like the chance to share that thinking with others, including the Assembly team. Or perhaps it’s nothing to do with COVID but there’s an issue you’ve been wanting to share with someone from the Assembly, or a question you have and you’re wondering whether the Uniting Church nationally has a perspective to share.
The Assembly Resourcing Unit (ARU) is offering the opportunity to for people to check in with others across the Church in the company of national Assembly leaders from the ARU team.
It will be a time to listen, lotu (pray) and cinta (love) one another with the gift of being present.
At each session two members of the ARU team will be present. Bring your own cup of coffee or other preferred beverage.
|Monday July 13 6:00 PM||Thursday July 16 12:00 PM|
|Monday July 20 6:00 PM||Thursday July 23 12:00 PM|
|Monday July 27 6:00 PM||Thursday July 30 12:00 PM|
ARU Team Members present across the sessions:
Join us by logging into Zoom on the following link https://uca-nat.zoom.us/j/99429696232
On 10 July 1994, the 7th Assembly of the Uniting Church formally entered into a binding covenant relationship with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.
Why was this necessary, given the Church had recognised the UAICC in 1985?
That very year, 1985 the same Assembly meeting that recognised the UAICC reversed a promise of the previous Assembly in 1982 to not support Australia's Bicentennial celebrations in 1988 if there had not been significant advancement in land rights and justice for First Peoples.
On the 26 January 1988 Rev Charles Harris with other First Nations leaders led a Bicentennial protest rally and march calling for Justice for First Nations Peoples.
Uniting Church members are encouraged to support a campaign urging the Federal Government to ensure children seeking asylum in Australia are not left homeless and hungry by the impacts of COVID-19.
In Australia there are around 16,000 children in families seeking protection. For many of those children, their parents or carers have lost work as a result of the pandemic and have been left with no income and no support.
Assembly Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd, Chairperson of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT) encouraged Uniting Church members to join others around the country calling on the Government to step in and offer support.
“This week, as we face the awful news of Melbourne returning to lockdown, we are reminded that going back to work is just not possible for many Australians. For many the financial impact will continue to be devastating and long lasting,” said Mr Floyd.
The Uniting Church in Australia has joined global churches and ecumenical bodies calling for immediate steps to formalising peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In a statement issued by the World Council of Churches on the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953), churches and councils of churches from countries that played a role in the conflict have urged a formal declaration of the end of that War and the adoption of a peace treaty.
Dr Deidre Palmer has encouraged Uniting Church members to apply the difficult learnings of 2020 to shape the way the Church pursues God’s mission in the world.
In her annual message to coincide with the foundation of the UCA on 22 June 1977, Dr Palmer said the Uniting Church was responding with creativity and compassion to COVID-19 and other crises, embracing new opportunities to be the Body of Christ.
The national leaders of the UCA and UAICC are encouraging members to stay active in support of racial justice, as the movement against racism continues around the world.
This week UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer and the Interim Chairperson of the National UAICC Pastor Mark Kickett, met to reflect on recent events, the issues in Australia and the ways church members can address these in the short and longer term.
“Together we grieved Aboriginal deaths in custody that continue, despite the Royal Commission that happened 30 years ago,” said Dr Palmer.
The national leaders of the Uniting Church and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress have shared grief, outrage, and prayers of solidarity with civil rights protesters in the United States, where the murder by police of African American man George Floyd has sparked global anger against racism and police brutality.
Assembly President Dr Deidre Palmer and the Interim UAICC National Chairperson Pastor Mark Kickett have issued Pastoral Statements.
“I join with Christian leaders from around the world to express my outrage and deep sorrow over the murder of George Floyd, and the evil of racism, which gives birth to such acts of inhumanity,” said Dr Palmer.
“I offer prayers for the Floyd family and for all those in the US who live in fear and ongoing discrimination because of the colour of their skin.
President Dr Deidre Palmer has warmly thanked Uniting Church members for their creative responses to being the Church during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a special message for Pentecost, Dr Palmer said it had been "a joy to see the ways you have adjusted to these dramatically changed circumstances."
"I give thanks for all of you – members of the Uniting Church, sisters and brothers in Christ, who are faithfully expressing the ministry of Christ through this time of pandemic."
The Assembly Resourcing Unit has produced a National Reconciliation Week resource for 2020.
The resource includes reflections from UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer and Interim National Chairperson of UAICC Pr Mark Kickett, and endorses the Reconciliation Sunday material produced by Tarlee Leondaris, Covenanting Officer at the Synod of South Australia.