The Uniting Church believes the latest version of the Federal Government's Religious Freedom Bills won't adequately balance the human rights of all Australians.
In a submission on the Religious Freedom Bills – Second Exposure Drafts, the Church said it could not support “blanket provisions that would permit statements and actions that demean and unjustly diminish the rights of others on religious grounds”.
“People should be able to enjoy their right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief – however, the manifestation or expression of their religion and beliefs should not harm or demean others, nor should it automatically be privileged over other rights,” said the Church.
A number of people associated with the Uniting Church and our agencies have been recognised in today's 2020 Honours List.
God has blessed us with their service and we convey heartfelt thanks for their part in our part of the body of Christ.
A special thank you to Geoffrey Grinton who has been the Business Manager at every Assembly meeting since 2003, who has received a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division.
As many bushfire emergencies move into the recovery phase, President Dr Deidre Palmer has spoken to National Disaster Recovery Officer Rev Dr Stephen Robinson on the chaplaincy response ahead.
We share their discussion in a special podcast.
God’s grace and peace be with you.
The bushfire emergency that has unfolded across our nation in these past weeks is unprecedented in its scale and the devastation caused.
As President and Moderators of the Uniting Church in Australia, in addition to our earlier communications, we offer this Pastoral Letter to our Uniting Church members and communities across our nation as an expression of our shared grief, our deep gratitude to those involved in the incredible emergency response and our commitment to be part of the long-term recovery in communities.
As unprecedented bushfires sweep across Australia, tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes.By the end of the first week of January, more than 8.4million hectares have burnt, at least 25 lives have been lost and 1500 homes destroyed.
Integrated into the emergency response is the largest scale disaster chaplaincy response on record.
Uniting Church ministers and members are playing a key role in the coordination of pastoral support and serving alongside ecumenical and interfaith colleagues as chaplains.
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.”
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.”
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.