The church is a community where people of different perspectives and varied commitments gather together in fellowship. It has always been the case, and it is especially evident in the present time, that the church is marked by diversity—a range of cultures, a range of skills, a range of theologies, a range of understandings.
This diversity is in focus in a particular way, in the life of the Uniting Church in Australia. The decision of the recent Assembly, to acknowledge two distinct understandings of marriage, reflects this diversity. The range of views across this diversity has led to some challenges.
Continue reading “Recognising Pain, Working for Reconciliation”
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.
Continue reading “Continuing faithful discernment”
The Uniting Church has a long engagement with matters of sexuality, stretching over more than thirty years of conversation. The most recent stage in that process took place in the middle of July, at the meeting of the 15th national Assembly. In decisions made at that meeting, the church has decided to move forward on the issue of marriage of same-gender couples.
This was the first national meeting since last year’s change to Australian marriage laws, so there was a clear opening for considering the church’s understanding of marriage, and to move to permit the marriage of same-gender couples within Uniting churches.
Continue reading “A diversity of religious beliefs and ethical understandings”
Today, I celebrate diversity. My church has been wrestling in an intense process for a week (and for many years before that, through numerous conversations and processes), regarding “a diversity of religious beliefs and ethical understandings” that are held amongst its members.
We have determined that “the Church is able to accept this diversity within its life and make the decisions necessary to enable its ministry and members to act with integrity in accordance with their beliefs”.
Continue reading “In celebration of diversity”