Uniting Church in Australia Assembly - News

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.

“They showed us unusual kindness”

The theme for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity comes from verse 28:2 in the Book of Acts. When the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked off the island of Malta, the local people greeted him with welcome and care. Paul reciprocates the kindness and compassion shown by the Maltese people, and we too are called to greater generosity for those in need.

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer shared the following speech at the UCA and Affinity Building Harmony Virtual Iftar on 13 May 2020.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Sharing your stories

President Dr Deidre Palmer has issued a Pastoral Letter to all congregations and faith communities encouraging people with disability within the Uniting Church to share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission.

“The 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church affirmed that all people are created in the image of God and along with all members, the faith, gifts, hopes and dreams of people with disability are to be valued and honoured,” writes Dr Palmer.

“To understand the prevalence and toll of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability, it is essential the Disability Royal Commission hear directly from people with disability, their families, and support people.”

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Asian Churches uniting in hope

The Christian Conference of Asia is working through the COVID-19 crisis by engaging its membership through a series of online conferences and webinars.

I attended the second of a series of CCA events "Churches in Asia responding to the COVID-19 Crisis" on 7 May 2020.

The virtual conference saw engagement from 100 registered participants and also had an audience of over 4,000 viewers who observed the proceedings via the CCA’s social media platforms.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Hospitality unconstrained

This year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Building Harmony Iftar Dinner hosted by the Affinity Intercultural Foundation and Uniting Church in Australia took place in a virtual format.

While people could not physically share the meal together, the spirit of friendship and hospitality was shared in abundance as people joined live via the UCA Assembly Facebook page.