Wednesday, 21 July 2004

'Milestone' covenant signed with partner churches

The Uniting Church recently signed a new covenant with Australian Churches that President Rev. Dean Drayton believes, would not be possible anywhere else in the world.

Rev. Drayton told the Assembly Standing Committee that the covenant, signed on Sunday July11 by National Council of Churches members was a milestone in the life of the Church in Australia.

“While I was sitting in the Cathedral on the night the covenant was signed, the realisation of what we were doing finally struck home.

“We had been able to put aside a range of differences and focus on the things that we shared together. I really had to ask myself in what other country could churches who are so involved in their communities sign such a covenant?”

“The covenant is wide and varied and includes things such as resource sharing, common mission and ministry, common sacrament and shared ordained ministers.

“The nature of the covenant varies between churches, but one thing that we all share is the common commitment to the process and an understanding that ecumenical renewal is integral to the church's mission.

“It acknowledges that within the one faith community – the body of Christ – we all have a wider responsibility to spread the word that God is totally committed to all humankind.

“The covenant will open possibilities, provide guidelines and give encouragement to congregations locally to covenant together.

“It is only by finding the limits of what is permissible between Churches, that we can define what is possible for all of us.”

The full text of the covenant is available at htttp://www.ncca.org.au/departments/faith_&_unity_commission