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 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
The Uniting Church seeks to be an intercultural and intergenerational church, with people of different cultures and ages living out their faith as God’s people together.
But what does this look like in practice?
What are the challenges?
More importantly – how do we meet those challenges together as the body of Christ?
These questions were at the heart of a three-day workshop which we led at the Beenleigh Uniting Church in the southeast of Brisbane from 14-16 November.
Australians are bracing for more fires and extreme temperatures after a week of deadly bushfires.
The Assembly’s National Disaster Recovery Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson says it’s been a very, very difficult time for a lot of people.
“Over 300 houses now destroyed and a lot of other outbuildings and a lot of property and stock loss as well as that."
“A lot of people are out of their homes. There've been quite a few evacuation centres opened - up to 15 or 16 - over the week the total number has been up to 20.”
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Pastor Bill Hollingsworth on Thursday 7 November 2019.
Bill was a lay pastor in Calvary Presbytery in the Queensland Synod and is well known as a founding member and former Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.
Bill began his life in lay ministry around Cairns in 1959 and from the late 1960s was a lay pastor in a number of Pentecostal churches in the Cairns and Gordonvale areas, and on Thursday Island.
President of the Uniting Church in Australia Dr Deidre Palmer has recorded a message of solidarity with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).
The past week has seen the Philippines Government tag the NCCP as part of "front communist organisations" it says are working to undermine its government.
In her message Dr Palmer said that "calling the work of the body of Christ terrorism is an affront to all Christians".
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia and the President of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress have expressed reservations about the Federal Government’s plans for what it calls an Indigenous voice to government.
Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt says the “voice to government” will ensure that First Peoples are heard at all levels of government - local, state and federal.
However the proposal falls short of “the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution” which was the specific request of First Peoples leaders in their 2017 Statement from the Heart.
President of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress Rev. Garry Dronfield says he has mixed feelings about the Federal Government proposal.
Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer has joined Frontier Services staff on a visit to drought-stricken areas of outback New South Wales.
Dr Palmer and Frontier Services National Director Jannine Jackson made a pastoral call to three farms around Tottenham and Nyngan with Bush Chaplain Rev. Phill Matthews who is caring for farm families facing the worst drought conditions on record.
The Uniting Church has warmly welcomed church partners from Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) on a commemorative visit to Australia.
A 30-strong delegation led by PCK Moderator Rev Dr Taeyoung Kim and General Secretary Rev. Changbae Byun travelled to Melbourne and Sydney from the 2-11 October 2019.
Their purpose was to remember the historic Australian Christian mission to their country in 1889, and honour the lives and work of those missionaries.
Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer has reminded Church members of our commitment to be a safe place for all, on the anniversary of the national apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
“The Uniting Church has expressed its deep regret for the harm that was perpetrated on children who were abused in the care of our Church,” said Dr Palmer.
“We recognise the terrible breach of trust and the damage done to individuals, communities and relationships. This is part of our story that we will continue to acknowledge so that we never forget, and never become complacent, about the care and safety of all vulnerable people in our Church and wider community.
Women in Church leadership were the focus of this year’s gathering of the Niue National Conference (NNC) of the Uniting Church.
Women led the worship and bible studies from start to finish and for the first time Holy Communion was presided over by a woman minister, Rev. Fieta Ikitoelagi-Faitala of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ), assisted by Niue women Church Elders and Pastors.