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What We Believe


  1. The Basis of Union declares in paragraph two that the Uniting Church "...believes that Christians in Australia are called to bear witness to a unity of faith and life in Christ which transcends cultural and economic, national and racial boundaries, and to this end she commits herself to seek special relationships with churches in Asia and the Pacific." The Uniting Church accepts the same challenge to witness within the Australian community recognising that there are many who have different cultural, economic and racial identities. It also accepts the particular challenge to witness with Aboriginal people who have been dispossessed by our occupation and disadvantages by our policies as a nation.
  2. The first paragraph of the Basis of Union commits the Uniting Church "...to make disciples of all nations...". Thus the Congress will give high priority to holistic evangelism. The Congress will be " ...mindful that the Church of God is committed to serve the world for which Christ died, and that she awaits with hope the day of the Lord Jesus Christ on which it will be clear that that kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ...". Therefore, the Congress will share the vision of this kingdom with people in their needs; it will offer hope to the hopeless and apathetic; it will seek to empower the powerless to break the chains of their oppression and seek to build the community on the basis of justice for all people.
  3. In order to bear witness to this unity of faith and life, and to enter more fully into her mission, the Congress will seek to identify and encourage Aboriginal and Islander people with gifts in ministry to witness to the Aboriginal and Islander people of Australia; to settle ministers and appoint lay people for this purpose. The fourth paragraph of the Bais of Union reminds us that "Through this human witness in word and action, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ reaches out to command people's attention and awaken their faith; He calls them into the fellowship of His sufferings, to be the disciples of a crucified Lord; in His own strange way He constitutes, rules and renews them as a church." By settling and appointing personnel to work amongst the Aboriginal and Islander people of Australia, the Congress will assist the Uniting Church to ensure the Gospel in the context of their own culture and in their own language. It will establish congregational life which holds before Aboriginal and Islander people the hope of the Kingdom and will struggle with them to bring forth justice for Aboriginal and Islander people within our Australian community. It will break the long history of dependence upon others, and begin the process whereby all members of the Uniting Church belong with one Lord, in a diverse, but unified church which lives out its mission to Australia and to the world.
  4. The Basis of Union declares in paragraph thirteen that the Uniting church will "provide for the exercise of men and women of the gifts God bestows upon them, and will order her life in response to His call to enter more fully into her mission". The Congress will reflect on the life of Aboriginal communities and congregations around Australia in the light of the Gospel, and shall inform the church of unique theological and cultural elements in ministry to Aboriginal and Islander communities; it shall advise the Ministerial Education Commission and the Synod Boards on the cross cultural implications of ordination, the requirements for lay training for people who are to minister in Aboriginal and Islander parishes. The Congress will initiate a lively sharing of their Christian experience, their liturgy and their theological reflection thus contributing to the study of the World of God, the creeds and our heritage to which the church is already committed.
  5. The third Assembly of the Uniting Church resolved that the Commission for World Mission "co-operate with the synods and Commission for National Mission in making resources available to Aboriginal groups to help them in their struggle for human rights, dignity and community. It supports the building up of Aboriginal congregations, with theologically trained Aboriginal leaders developing their worship, witness and service in their own ways." The Congress must assume responsibility for these tasks, but welcomes Assembly's assurance of support from the Uniting Church, including the sharing of resources.
  6. In the Basis of Union, the Uniting Church "sees in pastoral care exercised personally on behalf of the church, an expression of the fact that God always deals with people personally; He would have His fatherly care known among men; He would have individual members take upon themselves the form of a servant". The Assembly therefore, commends the Aboriginal and Islander congregations and communities, the minsters, lay pastors and church workers to the pastoral care of the Congress, and asks the whole church to discover how to serve and be servant to one another, across the hurts of our common history. It asks Congress, from its work and experience, to advise the Assembly on those issues which directly affect Aboriginal and Islander people, and draw all members of the Uniting Church into their struggles for justice as fellow Australian people.