Monday, 24 February 2020


Written by Rob Floyd

 The World Council of Churches and the UCA Assembly renewed our commitment to share resources and work together on important global issues earlier this week.

The 57th session of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) met in Brisbane from 19-21 February.

Founded in 1946, CCIA is comprised of 35 commissioners drawn from WCC's member churches around the world. It carries the responsibility for providing advice to the WCC on pressing issues in international affairs, including environmental issues.

CCIA Commissioner Rev. Gunilla Hallonsten from the Church of Sweden and CCIA Director Peter Prove met with the President Dr Deidre Palmer and staff to discuss areas of shared interest in the work we do.

During their meeting in Brisbane, climate change and nuclear disarmament were two major issues. Uniting Church Disaster Recovery Chaplain Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson provided a briefing on the unprecedented bushfire season Australia had just experienced, while visitors from the Pacific Islands also shared on both the impacts on climate change in their region and the ongoing impacts of nuclear testing across Oceania.

Dr Palmer shared the Uniting Church’s stance on nuclear disarmament and our recent participation in work to bring about the total prohibition of nuclear weapons. She also spoke of work being undertaken nationally, regionally and locally across the UCA in addressing climate change.

The conversation then touched on our shared commitment for justice and human rights to be upheld for the indigenous peoples of West Papua, where some of the work of UnitingWorld with our partner church in West Papua was shared.

Rev. Gunilla bought greetings from the Church of Sweden, a Lutheran Church, and shared some of the work her Church is undertaking in these areas as well.

Dr Palmer presented the visitors with the UCA’s “Vision for a Just Australia” as well as a copy of the UCA-Uniting Church Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Covenant.

The meeting concluded with a commitment to continue to share resources and work together wherever possible on these important issues that are impacting across the world.