< Back to Latest news

New initiative launched at UCA history conference

28 Jun 2017


Held in early June, the National Uniting Church History Conference witnessed the launch of the Church’s first National Historical Society.

Individual Synods within the Uniting Church have previously had their own dedicated historical societies, but this is the first time a national society has been formed.

The launch of the new society was held on Sunday 11 June at Pilgrim Uniting Church during the National Uniting Church History Conference hosted by the Uniting Church SA Historical Society.

A small committee comprised of representatives from across the Synods was elected to guide the fledgling National Historical Society through its first steps – including the publication of their first journal, which will contain all of the conference papers and presentations.

The conference itself was a time to celebrate the rich history of the Uniting Church in Australia in the lead up to its 40th anniversary on 22 June.

Worship was led by the Moderator of NSW Synod, Rev Myung Hwa Park, and other church leaders, including SA Moderator Rev Sue Ellis, the President of the Assembly, Stuart McMillan, and the President-elect, Dr Deidre Palmer, were also present.

The conference’s keynote speaker was Associate Prof Renate Howe AO, who called for a reinvigoration of the theological debate on ecumenism. She also spoke of her concern for the increasing corporatisation of the Uniting Church and the decline of the fundamental interconciliar nature of the church.

On the Saturday night, the topic of “The church in the public square” was addressed by a panel that included Rev Prof Andrew Dutney, Rev Dr Dean Eland, Rev Prof the Hon. Brian Howe AO, Dr Deidre Palmer and Pastor Mark Kickett.

Sixteen people presented individual papers on topics as diverse as Methodism’s influence on public policies, the “unfinished” business of the Diaconate, John Wesley and the Uniting Church, and the role of former missionaries in shaping the Church.

All of the papers presented, including the keynote address, will be printed in the first edition of the National Historical Society’s new journal.

For further information, contact Dr Judith Raftery, President of the Uniting Church SA Historical Society (judith.raftery@adelaide.edu.au), or the journal’s editor, Rev Robert Renton (robert.renton@bigpond.com).

< Back to Latest news