Who is the Uniting Church in Australia?
The Uniting Church is the third largest Christian denomination in Australia and the first church to be created in and of Australia. On any Sunday more than 2,000 congregations worship at a Uniting Church including many congregations that worship in languages other than English. Our churches can be found deep in the heart of our cities, or in our most isolated and outback towns. Many congregations have existed for years while others are new and worship in different ways. Even though our congregations can be vastly different, each is a community in which people seek to follow Jesus, learn about God, share their faith, care for each other, serve the local community and seek to live faithfully and with real joy. This is the kind of engaging church that we are.
What does Uniting Church in Australia believe?
The Uniting Church’s beliefs are drawn from the Bible and from the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds. The Church also heeds the Reformation Witness in the Scots Confession of Faith (1647), the Savoy Declaration (1658), and the preaching of John Wesley in his Forty Four Sermons (1793). It affirms the place of ongoing theological, literary, historical and scientific study. The UCA’s Basis of Union (1971) brings together aspects of these writings and traditions and sets out the church’s way of living and being.
The Uniting Church confidently believes that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God brings us into right relationship with God, whereby in faith we can:
- live in a close, loving, personal, dynamic relationship with the living God;
- participate in the worshipping, caring and serving community of Christians;
- receive God’s gifts so that life can be what God means it to be – loving, purposeful, joyful, eternal; and
- tell others of this good news and live it out in acts of compassion, service and justice in the community.
The Uniting Church’s commitment to love of God and neighbour has sometimes drawn it into controversial situations. It has long taken a role in the political arena, encouraging moral, social and ethical integrity. The Uniting Church has been at the forefront of Aboriginal rights issues including the Native Title debate and reconciliation. It has taken a stand on environmental issues and supports the equality and dignity of marginalised people such as ethnic minorities, disabled people and homosexual people. It is a multicultural church, striving to treat people on an equal basis, and seeking to give a voice to the poor, outcast and needy.
However only some of the Uniting Church’s discipling is viewed in public. Much of its role is to stand alongside the individual, inside and outside the church. Its congregations nurture spiritual, social and educational growth. People are encouraged in leadership roles, including preaching of the Word and leading of congregational worship.
For more information about the Uniting Church, visit the National council of the Church (known as The Assembly) https://www.assembly.uca.org.au