The Assembly Standing Committee met online on 18-19 July 2020.
President Dr Deidre Palmer led opening worship, reflecting on Jesus' words in the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest," noting the fatigue that many people are carrying as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Prayers of intercession were offered for those in Victoria and parts of NSW where a second wave of infections has broken out.
The Australian Government’s Pacific Step-Up initiative aims to change the way Australia engages in the Pacific region, strengthening partnerships and enhancing commitments to help address the challenges facing Pacific people.
UnitingWorld has been consulting with Pacific partners and the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) on recommendations to guide genuine engagement and listening.
Uniting Church members with sewing skills are stepping up to meet the looming demand for face masks in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.
Maxine Gray and her friends from Tuggeranong Uniting Church in Canberra’s south are among the first to answer an urgent call from Uniting community service agencies in Victoria.
The Uniting Church Assembly in partnership with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will host an online interfaith service on 6 August marking 75 years since the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The horrific explosions resulted in more than 200,000 deaths and countless injuries. The impacts are still felt today, with many survivors requiring ongoing care.
Around 100 people across the Uniting Church participated in the first in a series of webinars looking at how COVID-19 has challenged and changed us as the church.
Presented by the Assembly Resourcing Unit and the Being a Multicultural Church Circle, the webinar on 9 July explored the topic “Church Post-Covid-19: Ecclesiological, Missiological, Historical and CALD Perspectives”. You can find the recording below.
An invitation from the ARU team to join us on Zoom.
NEW DATES FOR AUGUST + SEPTEMBER
|Monday 24 August 6:00 PM|
|Monday 31 August 6:00 PM|
|Thursday 3 September 6:00PM|
|Monday 7 September 6:00PM|
|Thursday 17 September 6:00PM|
|Monday 21 September 6: 00PM|
COVID-19 has impacted us all differently, but for many in ministry across the Church it’s been a challenging time, and it’s not over yet.
On 10 July 1994, the 7th Assembly of the Uniting Church formally entered into a binding covenant relationship with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.
Why was this necessary, given the Church had recognised the UAICC in 1985?
That very year, 1985 the same Assembly meeting that recognised the UAICC reversed a promise of the previous Assembly in 1982 to not support Australia's Bicentennial celebrations in 1988 if there had not been significant advancement in land rights and justice for First Peoples.
On the 26 January 1988 Rev Charles Harris with other First Nations leaders led a Bicentennial protest rally and march calling for Justice for First Nations Peoples.
Uniting Church members are encouraged to support a campaign urging the Federal Government to ensure children seeking asylum in Australia are not left homeless and hungry by the impacts of COVID-19.
In Australia there are around 16,000 children in families seeking protection. For many of those children, their parents or carers have lost work as a result of the pandemic and have been left with no income and no support.
Assembly Associate General Secretary Rob Floyd, Chairperson of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT) encouraged Uniting Church members to join others around the country calling on the Government to step in and offer support.
“This week, as we face the awful news of Melbourne returning to lockdown, we are reminded that going back to work is just not possible for many Australians. For many the financial impact will continue to be devastating and long lasting,” said Mr Floyd.
The Uniting Church in Australia has joined global churches and ecumenical bodies calling for immediate steps to formalising peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In a statement issued by the World Council of Churches on the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953), churches and councils of churches from countries that played a role in the conflict have urged a formal declaration of the end of that War and the adoption of a peace treaty.
Dr Deidre Palmer has encouraged Uniting Church members to apply the difficult learnings of 2020 to shape the way the Church pursues God’s mission in the world.
In her annual message to coincide with the foundation of the UCA on 22 June 1977, Dr Palmer said the Uniting Church was responding with creativity and compassion to COVID-19 and other crises, embracing new opportunities to be the Body of Christ.
The national leaders of the UCA and UAICC are encouraging members to stay active in support of racial justice, as the movement against racism continues around the world.
This week UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer and the Interim Chairperson of the National UAICC Pastor Mark Kickett, met to reflect on recent events, the issues in Australia and the ways church members can address these in the short and longer term.
“Together we grieved Aboriginal deaths in custody that continue, despite the Royal Commission that happened 30 years ago,” said Dr Palmer.