That the Assembly resolve to
authorise the Assembly Standing Committee, on the advice of the Working Group on Worship, to
(a) include in the Charge to newly ordained ministers the requirement to work within the Covenant between the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and the Uniting Church, and
(b) add a new question to induction and commissioning services in which the respondent affirms the covenant between the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and the
In the last 30 years the Church has embraced a new relationship with the First Australians. This has been expressed in the formation of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (1985), the signing of the Covenant with the Congress in 1994 and at the last Assembly (2009) adopting the new Preamble to the Constitution of the Uniting Church.
At the time of the Covenant being signed in 1994 it was hoped that congregations of the
This proposal seeks to do a number a number of things, including:
- To create a consciousness of the Covenant and the expectation that people of the
will seek to live itThis consciousness would come through the question being asked regularly of people in set apart ministries as well as commissioning of Elders, Church Councillors, Leaders in various congregational activities, Board members of Uniting Church agencies and schools and many more. Uniting Church
- To generate a practical commitment to the Covenant by the people of the
. The very important reason for seeking to add another question to the services for ordination, inductions and other services is to challenge and enable the leaders of the Church to make a commitment to theThrough their leadership and faithfully seeking to work out this commitment along with others, the whole Church will be led into a commitment to the Covenant. Uniting Church
- To enable the Church to live out the great prayer of Jesus that we might be one in him (John 17) and to do so by the leading of the Holy Spirit that in the first Pentecost (Acts 2) brought people of diverse backgroundsIt is urgent in
Australiathat the gives practical expression to the Covenant so that the whole nation can see it is possible to live as one people and racism will be consigned to the past. Uniting Church
We are aware the
Definition of Terms used in this document have been taken from the Constitution of the
Covenantal relationship is the relationship which exists between the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress and the Assembly, which began in the invitation of the 1988 and response of 1994, in which both groups commit themselves to developing more just, inclusive and equal relationships in the Church that recognise the place of First Peoples, the difficult history of this nation since invasion, and the particular responsibility of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress for ministry with and among Aboriginal and Islander peoples.
First Peoples are the Aboriginal and Islander peoples of
Second Peoples are all those peoples who have come after the First Peoples and who are beneficiaries in some way of the invasion and dispossession of the lands of the First Peoples. Among Second Peoples within the Church are many whose racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, experience and expression of Christian Faith are not those originating in Western forms of thought and theological expression.