From Rev Andrew Smith
Presbytery Minister - Congregation Futures
Over the next few weeks there will be bite sized chunks of information about each of the four days of the recently reconvened meeting of the 16th Assembly of the Uniting Church.
The 16th Assembly officially reconvened on Gubbi Gubbi Country on the Sunshine Coast on May 6th-9th 2022. Around 200 members from around the country came together to continue the business of the triennial meeting which first met online in July last year.
The meeting began with a Welcome to Country from the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troupe who shared a number of traditional songs and dance from their Country.
Members then shared in worship led by Uniting Church President Rev Sharon Hollis which included a historic renewal of the covenant between the Uniting Church in Australia and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress. In gesture of deep humility, those Second Peoples who participated in the worship and all who were watching online, were invited to kneel for an Act of Confession, and read the words,
“We pray that our commitment to this covenant will be renewed and enlivened. Kindle in us a flame for justice and equity in these lands known as Australia, and remind us to work in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder, with our First Nations siblings."
During worship, Bible readings were shared from Ezekiel (36:22-28) and Genesis (1:1 – 2:3). Prayers were shared in Fijian, Dinka, Korean, Tongan and English. The worship included joyful song and dance led by liturgist Megan Laurie-Thomson.
In an exciting new initiative, the Assembly’s Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle is inviting people to commit to living the Covenant locally. Living the Covenant Locally is a movement, made up of congregations, faith communities, schools and agencies, who are committed to growing their understanding and deepening relationships to faithfully live out our covenant relationship as First and Second Peoples
The Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circles invites you to explore listed resources at the following link for study, worship, advocacy and more – Living the Covenant Locally - Uniting Church Australia
Your community is asked to register and commit to undertake study and engage in one or more of the ways suggested - Listen and Learn (Introductory Resources), Going Deeper (Bible and Theological Resources) and Action (Liturgy, Advocacy, Partnering).
Further information about the Assembly meeting can be found at 16th Assembly - Uniting Church Australia, including the documents for the meeting, videos, articles and the Bible Reflections booklet from Nungalinya College.