The Uniting Church is not a political democracy. We do not have election campaigns. We do not make pitches for votes. We do not promise money, or capital works, or particular favours, in response for votes. We do not set up political parties and vote en bloc for people that we may, or may not, not know personally, on the basis of an ideological commitment. We do not look to “win” or “lose” on specific issues.
Here is a guest blog by my friend and colleague, Chris Walker, from a service held during The Perth Peacemaking Conference 2018.
Being Peacemakers (Isaiah 2:1-4 and Matthew 5:1-10)
A sermon preached by the Rev. Dr Chris Walker at St George’s Anglican Cathedral, Perth, on 11 November 2018
Let your gentleness be known to everyone (Philippians 4:5)
I have been thinking in recent days about modes of speaking; ways of proclaiming deeply-held beliefs, ways of engaging in constructively and fruitfully with people who hold different opinions from me. Life these days in the church—and life these days in the public arena, with political debate and social media interaction—seems always to be challenging me, in the way I think about ideas, and speak with other people about those ideas.
This time, one year ago, I was one of a number of church leaders who entered the Ellenbrook office of the Hon Christian Porter MP. We went to ask Mr Porter and the Federal Government to bring to Australia all people imprisoned in offshore processing centres. We took this action in solidarity with the more than 400 men on Manus Island who, at that time, were refusing to leave the ‘closed’ processing centre.
We went there in love, because we believe that Love Makes A Way.
This is the blog that I wrote for the UCA WA magazine, Revive, in reflection on the experiences of that day. (Note: the four years in detention has now stretched to five years in detention, with no end in sight … the injustice continues.)
Elizabeth and I attended The Perth Peacemaking Conference today, being held to mark the centenary of the end of World War One. We heard the Gospel proclaimed with clarity and passion by our colleague, Chris Walker, during the morning Eucharist in the Anglican Cathedral. We listened to representatives of a range of religious faiths express how their faith informs their commitment to peace; people from Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Indigenous Australian, Baha’i, and Christianity (Quaker, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Church).
There was a good interchange of ideas. I jotted down some of the most striking and insightful comments made during the forum. Here’s my top twelve.
Continue reading “Blessed are the peacemakers”
It’s 100 years, this weekend, since The Armistice was signed to end The War to End All Wars. In theory, that meant that war would end, and peace would prevail. It is an important moment, to recall that event, and to assess the consequences. Sadly, it has not been a century of peace; far from it.
So, this weekend, I am pondering peace, and worrying about war.
I’ve recently written about adding to, or modifying, the classic creed of the church, the Apostles Creed.
In this blog, I turn my attention to the process of interpreting this creed, and other classic creeds of the church.