Hearings have begun for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, with the first hearing taking place in Brisbane on 16 September 2019.
The Uniting Church in Australia has welcomed the Royal Commission and its inquiry into what must be done to build a society in which people with disability feel included, supported and have their human rights respected.
The Uniting Church is home for many people from a Pacific cultural background, and those voices were elevated at a theological symposium dedicated to the stories and theologies of the Pacific.
The Tagata Pasifika Theological Symposium was held at Parramatta Mission in Sydney from 13-14 September, co-ordinated by Rev. Dr Matagi Jessop Vilitama, the Advocate for the Assembly Being a Multicultural Church Circle, and UCA theologians Rev. Dr Clive Pearson and Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll.
The aim of the Symposium was to highlight and open for discussion works completed by Pasifika theologians, highlighting their understandings of God, life, church and culture.
The event showcased 11 papers presented by theologians from the UCA and three from partner Churches on related themes, presenting topics such as the “Liquid Church” and “Remigrant” theology.
Matagi said he felt inspired by the two days because it provided an opportunity to raise the voices of Pasifika theologians on “very real issues” that were not being heard in wider society and especially in the Church.
The Symposium highlighted the rich theological perspectives of the Pacific and the gifts they bring to our Church and created the opportunity for passionate discussions It is hoped some of the papers might be published. You can read the abstracts here.
Matagi said it was hoped other cultural groups in the UCA might also have the same platform to share theological perspectives.
Watch this video of the highlights from Day 1
It has been an historic week with First Peoples Leaders from UnitingCare Australia’s network and Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) meeting together for the first time in Canberra.
It marked a new beginning for a Uniting First Peoples Voice within the Uniting Church of Australia.
Record-breaking dry conditions and high winds sparked a major bushfire emergency across New South Wales and Queensland over the last week, with scores of homes destroyed, many more threatened and hundreds of people evacuated.
The Uniting Church has co-ordinated chaplains to offer pastoral care and congregations have stepped in to support those communities impacted across both states.
By Rev. Meredith Williams, St David's Uniting Church Dee Why
The youth and young adults from three congregations on the Northern Beaches of Sydney combined voices to "sing and make melody to the Lord" at the Youth Parliament of World Religions on 8 September.
This was one of four interfaith gatherings of young people in the Sydney region commissioned to write 'The Sydney Statement" - in part a message of encouragement to our leaders in building bridges between world religions. We collaborated to articulate a youthful vision for a faith-filled, inclusive, compassionate, open-minded and respectful society.
Each year on the Sunday before Australia Day, the Uniting Church invites people to mark a Day of Mourning acknowledging and reflecting upon the effect of the invasion and colonisation of Australia’s First Peoples.
Established by the 15th Assembly in 2018, Sunday 19th January 2020 will be the second year for the Uniting Church’s Day of Mourning.
Momentum is building as people across the Uniting Church prepare to take part in the Global Climate Action on Friday 20 September.
UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has invited Uniting Church members to show their support for the Climate Action as an expression of our commitment to address the devastation of our environment and our active participation towards God’s renewal and healing of all creation.
In two weeks on Friday 20 September, Uniting Church members will join people across the world in calling for a more urgent response to the global climate crisis.
UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has invited all people of the Uniting Church to join the global climate action led by our younger generation in cities all over the world.
How can people of different cultures and generations live out their faith together, where everyone is welcome and valued?
Around 100 people came to three different workshops in Melbourne and regional Victoria to learn more about what it means for us to be an intercultural and intergenerational church.
The Uniting Church has an important role as a participant and a contributor to the global ecumenical movement.
This was clear for Assembly Theologian-in-Residence Rev. Dr Ji Zhang after an extended study trip to Heidelberg University, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and a theological gathering with the Christian Congress of Asia (CCA) in Indonesia.
Assembly Strategic Plan 2020-2023
In the last three years, the national work of the Assembly has been guided by its Strategic Plan.
It is time to review the current directions and initiatives and begin developing a new Strategic Plan that will guide the national work of the Church from 2020-2023.