We worshipped sat our home congregation at Wembley Uniting Church this morning. We are frequently visiting other congregations on a Sunday but it is always good to get back to “our” people. Its a small congregation of mostly elderly people but they love and serve the Lord. Our minister was late this morning – the car battery was flat – so we sang hymns until she arrived.
Today is the Sunday after the 40th anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia (June 22nd). The service didn’t particularly focus on that (I was glad – too many anniversary events this week) but we did use the Statement of Faith from the Uniting in Worship book which is based on the Basis of Union (the founding document of the Uniting Church 40 years ago).
We believe in God,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We proclaim Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen One, confessing him as Lord
to the glory of God the Father.
In the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
we acclaim Jesus as the Lord of the church, the Head over all things,
the beginning of a new creation.
We acknowledge that we live and work between the time of Christ’s death and resurrection and the final consummation of all things which he will bring.
We are a pilgrim people,
always on the way towards a promised goal;
on the way Christ feeds us with words and sacraments, and we have the gift of the spirit
in order that we may not lose the way.
We will live and work within the faith and unity of the one holy catholic and apostolic church, bearing witness to that unity
which is both Christ’s gift and his will.
We affirm that every member of the church
is engaged to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
Together with all the people of God,
we will serve the world for which Christ died and we await with hope the day of the Lord Jesus.
Gathered in Melbourne for a 40 hour prayer meeting with the Moderators and General Secretaries of the Uniting Church In Australia to launch the 40th Anniversary of the UCA.
The UCA was officially launched as the uniting of three denominations in Australia (Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational) on June 22, 1977
I read this as I began to pray. It was a lament, a confession of where we had gone wrong.
Another 20 years on … reflections by Davis McCaughey 20 years ago ..
1. what we may have inadequately appreciated was that the governance by inter-related councils was not intended to be an ecclesiastical expression of populist democracy.
2. We made a mistake in assuming that Minister of the Word, would be recognised as Minister of Word AND Sacrament.
3. We have neglected to recognise that ministers have the leadership responsibility to hold the congregation together in the healthy and obedient ways of the gospel
4. We have not encouraged candidates for ministry to offer when young. We must and should expect great things from them.
5. We must give our ministers time to pray and there needs to be a praying group supporting the minister.
Perhaps prayer alone will be enough, he says.