It’s been an interesting process, over the last few weeks, for me to have been involved in a number of conversations where the focus has been on discernment … conversations with colleagues in different roles, in different places, with different responsibilities, about different issues and regarding different possibilities.
I have been doing some further reflection, in recent days, on the decision about marriage made at the 15th Assembly, in July, and the ongoing discussions about this matter that have been taking place within the various Congregations and Presbyteries and Synods around the country.
There has been a lot of discussion that has taken place. There have certainly been some intense conversations about this, over the past few weeks.
I think it is important to note that the decision of the Assembly gave due weight and specifically honoured the position of those who hold to the traditional view that marriage is a relationship involving a male and a female.
A few days ago, I joined with some colleagues to meet with a group of overseas visitors from the church in West Papua. They were spending some weeks in Perth, as guests of the Uniting Church, interacting with local UCA people and participating in church and community events, as a part of their Masters studies in community development.
Three of us from the UCA WA Education Team had opportunity to talk with the visitors over the course of an afternoon. We had been asked to speak about what education and training we offer people in the church. As a part of that, we set out to offer a short explanation of the Uniting Church, what our core values and commitments are, and what training we offer to people.