Jul 14, 2018 Assembly 2018, News
At Assembly – Rev. Prof Andrew Dutney, Professor of Theology, Flinders University and Past President, Uniting Church in Australia
Reflection: Uniting Church Allows Same-Sex Marriage
The headline, [Uniting Church allows Same-Sex Marriage] conceals what actually happened in Melbourne this week. Without setting out to do so, the Uniting Church recovered its stated vocation of making visible unity in diversity.
Of course, the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia did indeed make decisions that will allow ministers to conduct same-sex marriages. But it also reinforced the rights of ministers and congregations who remain committed to the traditional understanding of marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.
No minister will have to conduct same-sex marriages if it conflicts with their beliefs. No congregation will have to make its property available for same-sex weddings if they don’t believe gay marriage is valid for Christians. In fact it is very unlikely that many ministers and congregations will see any difference in the teaching and practices that they are used to.
John Williams and Vanessa Crimmins as Co-Chairs of Canberra Region Presbytery write:
Good morning Presbytery Colleagues
A pastoral message from the Moderator regarding the 15th Assembly’s marriage decision announcement can be read below or, along with a copy of the Assembly’s media release, can be downloaded here.
Moderator’s PASTORAL MESSAGE – 15th Assembly
180713 Uniting Church MEDIA RELEASE – Freedom to decide on marriage
As you all process or continue to reflect, meditate and pray on the decisions we have made as the Uniting Church with regard to Same Sex Marriage, know you are very much in our prayers for wisdom, grace and love. I am confident that with much prayer, listening and love, blessings not imagined will come.
John and Vanessa
Co-Chairs, Canberra Region Presbytery
The Moderator’s message: Continue reading
To keep up with what is happening at the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church, please go to the Assembly news link https://uniting.church/news/ or read the NSW and ACT Synod Weekly Insights https://www.insights.uca.org.au/
Homeless Connect Canberra is a winter event based on a one-stop-shop model of service provision to homeless people. On August 8 at 11am- 3pm, private, public and community sector organisations will come together to provide free services and products to Canberrans experiencing homelessness. More importantly this event aims to connect people with services to help them access housing. VOLUNTEER: Contact: Early Morning Centre Team firstname.lastname@example.org 6247 5041. DONATE Contact: Northside Community service: Events@northside.asn.au Ph 6171 8000
Where will this event be held? Pilgrim House, 69 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City.
Pilgrim House is home of Canberra City Uniting Church’s Early Morning Centre which provides breakfast, support and referral every day of the year for people experiencing homelessness. How you can contribute items to the Early Morning Centre (EMC). Please note delivery points:
The Presbytery Social Justice Group is looking for representation on this working group.
Churches and other religious organisations are playing an increasingly prominent part in Palm Sunday rallies and other public events in Canberra organised by the Refugee Action Committee (RAC) which call for a fair and humane treatment of refugees in Australia.
Several Uniting Church congregations participate in these rallies etc but currently there is no Uniting Church representative on RAC’s faith-based group (one of a number of working groups which contribute to RAC policy and activities). The faith-based working group links RAC and faith organisations and is an example of ecumenism in operation. Uniting Church representation would be desirable. The working group meets of a week night once a month.
If you are interested in belonging to the faith-based working group or would like to know more, please contact Evan Mann, Convenor of the Presbytery Social Justice Group, at email@example.com