Friday, 23 June 2017

A Pilgrim People: 40 Years On

Written by Christine Gordon, Assembly Archivist

The National Uniting Church History Conference was a remarkable gathering of storytellers, historians and archivists at Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide.

We came together to celebrate 40 years of the Uniting Church in Australia and acknowledge the contributions of our predecessors – the Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists.

The conference highlight was the launch of the UCA’s National History Society by President Stuart McMillan.

After calling upon God’s blessing for the work of the new Society, Mr McMillan spoke on the importance of remembering our past as we look to the future.

He referred to the Maori proverb “Ka Mua Ka Muri” that essentially translates to “walking backwards into the future”.

“We can’t see where we are going, but we can see where we have been,” said President McMillan.

“We can remember those who have guided us before and the lessons learnt along the way.”

“All these experiences shape us. They shape our character as individuals and as communities and nations.”

“We learn so much from the past which equips us, a pilgrim people, for the journey into the unknown future, but a promised end.”

The National History Society will reinvigorate a passion for understanding the rich history of the Uniting Church.

Through the teaching of church history we can contribute to the important processes of understanding, recording, debating and celebrating our history.

It is our history that informs our future journey as a pilgrim people of God on the way.

For those of us already engaged in Synod UCA Historical Societies, this new National Historical Society affirms the value of our historical interest.

During the Conference, the Society held its inaugural meeting to discuss its Constitution and to elect an executive.