The Assembly's National Disaster Recovery Officer Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson is providing regular updates on disaster chaplaincy responses to bushfire and heatwave emergencies across Australia. In a number of states of Australia, the UCA and its agencies coordinate ecumenical and interfaith chaplaincy for state governments. Uniting Church ministers are front and centre of what is historically the largest scale chaplaincy response on record.
Bookmark this page for regular updates:
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia Dr Deidre Palmer has urged Australians to work together for life on Earth in a Christmas message focused on environmental themes.
“Jesus calls us to be agents of the love and care that he embodies. This call leads us to work compassionately for the life of our planet as well as the flourishing of all people,” said Dr Palmer in her 2019 Christmas message.
The annual video message features Uniting Church members taking part in September’s Global Climate Strike, drought-stricken farmers being cared for by Uniting Church agency Frontier Services, and coverage of Dr Palmer’s 2019 Uniting Church President’s conference in Nadi, Fiji.
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia Dr Deidre Palmer has called for good will and constructive engagement in the national conversation around religious freedom.
Second drafts of the Federal Government’s Religious Freedoms Bills were released this week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter.
“The right, particularly of minority religions in Australia, to exercise their faith is a right worthy of serious public consideration,” said Dr Palmer.
“A number of vulnerable groups have already expressed their concerns about the latest version of the legislation, so I wanted to address these concerns in a pastoral and timely manner.
Pacific Church leaders have asked the Australian Government to respect their countries as equal partners in our region at a historic meeting at the Federal Parliament in Canberra.
“We do not seek a hand-out or a hand-up,” Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) General Secretary, Reverend James Bhagwan told Prime Minister Scott Morrison and others gathered for the launch of the annual Voices for Justice campaign.
“We of the Pacific are a resilient people. We seek to journey hand-in-hand, for as we do so, we will contribute to the flourishing of both peoples.”
Uniting Church chaplains in the Australian Defence Force have welcomed the first ordained woman into their key leadership role.
Former Queensland Moderator Rev. Kaye Ronalds will serve as the Uniting Church Representative to the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services, or RACS for short.
RACS members advise the Chief of the Defence Force and the Service Chiefs on religious matters.
The Committee is made up of chaplains from Catholic and Protestant denominations, and includes Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu representatives.
The Christian Conference of Asia’s first ever Asian Ecumenical Women’s Assembly (AEWA) concluded with a resounding call for women to be advocates and catalysts of reconciliation, renewal and restoration in the world.
In a communique issued at the end of the AEWA, participants affirmed:
“At this critical time of our history, when the whole of God’s creation is groaning due to irresponsible human action, greed and continuing discrimination, violence and exploitation of women and children, without repenting from the sin of greed, and without reconciling and doing justice to God’s creation, women and the marginalized communities in particular, the world will not experience justice and peace.”
“We are with one voice in asserting No to a culture of violence and exploitation of earth’s resources. We affirm that we need to stand together in solidarity towards realising justice and peace at this Kairos moment of our planet Earth.”
Every year from 25 November to 10 December, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign rallying people across the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
This year, the Uniting Church will add its voice to the campaign through the voices of Uniting Church women.
Every day for the next 16 days, we’ve asked Uniting Church women to share a message on why it is important for them and for us as a Christian community to stand strong against gender-based violence.
Our hope is to shed a light on the issue and start conversations about how we respond.
The Assembly Standing Committee (ASC) met in Sydney, 8-10 November.
National Climate Action Plan: The ASC received an update on the Assembly’s response to climate change, through the development of a National Climate Action Plan. ASC member Catherine Pepper and Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd presented a draft Plan which identifies three areas of focus – the Prophetic, the Practical and the Pastoral. The draft Plan sets a target to reduce emissions by 5% per annum across all parts of the Assembly with a view to reaching zero net emissions by 2040. Further engagement with Synods, Agencies and the UAICC will take place alongside identification of operational pathways to implement the Plan.
Former National Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Pastor Bill Hollingsworth is being laid to rest at a funeral service in Cairns today. As we remember Bill and send our condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues, we’re sharing some archival material from Bill’s amazing life.
The following is a Minute of Appreciation prepared for the Queensland Synod ahead of Bill’s retirement in 2002. The Minute was compiled by John Adams, Lurleen Blackman and Andy King – and captures his unique ministry.
Minute for Pastor Bill Hollingsworth — Retiring 31.12.2002 for UCA Synod 2002