Assembly wrap-up

Posted in News

On Wednesday evening (Day 4) of Assembly, the Cato Lecture was presented by the Bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, Rev Dr Ken Carter. Rev Carter called the Uniting Church into fresh expressions of faith through prayerful listening and service. The full lecture can be read here.

The Thursday morning session of Assembly (Day 5), comprised a sombre worship service. Black-clad Assembly members were invited to symbolically reflect on the brokenness of the world and ask for communal forgiveness.

Assembly members demonstrated their support of #ThursdaysinBlack, an international campaign backed by the World Council of Churches to support the right of women to live in a world without rape or violence. Read more about the session here.

Also on Thursday, Rev Sharon Hollis was announced as the first ordained woman to lead the Uniting Church after being named President-elect. Rev Hollis, is the current Moderator of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania and will be the third woman to occupy the President's role.

“I am humbled and I am grateful,” Rev. Hollis said after the announcement was met with a standing ovation in the Box Hill Town Hall. Read more about Sharon and her appointment here.

On Friday 13 July (Day 6), the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia agreed to hold two equal and distinct views on marriage to honour the diversity of Christian belief among its members. Meeting for the first time since last year’s change to Australian marriage laws, members of the Church’s national decision-making body resolved to allow its ministers the freedom to conduct or refuse to conduct same-gender marriages.

Also on Friday, the Uniting Church affirmed that the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Islander Peoples, are sovereign peoples in Australia. Read more about the approved statement here.

The newly elected members of the Assembly Standing committee were announced on Friday morning. The members from South Australia include Nicole Mugford and Rev Rob Brown. A full list of the elected members can be found here.

On Saturday, the final day of Assembly (Day 7), the remaining proposals were discussed. The Voluntary Assisted Dying proposal was withdrawn, some proposals were passed, and others were referred to Assembly Standing Committee. A full update on the proposals can be found here. The Assembly meeting closed with worship and communion. The next triennial Assembly will take place in Queensland Synod in 2021.

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