The Uniting Church in Australia

Picture1Established in 1977, the Uniting Church in Australia brought together people from the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church and the Congregational Union. It is a truly Australian and indigenous, contemporary Christian church. The Uniting Church stands with the people of this other lands in their search for spiritual life, justice, identity and dignity. Its call is to be a fellowship of reconciliation, a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole, and an instrument through which Christ may work and bear witness to himself.The church confidently believes that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God brings us into right relationship with God, whereby in faith we can:

– live in a close, loving, personal, dynamic relationship with the living God;
– participate in a worshipping, caring and serving community of Christians;
– receive God’s gifts so that life can be what God means it to be — loving, purposeful, joyful and eternal; and
– tell others of this good news and live it out in acts of compassion, service and justice in the community.

The Uniting Church aims to be an inclusive community of different views, cultures and expressions of faith. As one of the largest non-government providers of community services in all parts of Australia, it is committed to reflecting the love and grace of God in caring for people, in advocating for those with special needs and for the equitable and appropriate provision of social services.

The Uniting Church is committed to the ministry of the whole people of God, and to discovering the gifts that each person brings to the service of Christ and the church. Church people gather regularly as congregations. Congregations in each local area are central to the church’s life. They provide caring faith communities to which all people are welcome. They aim to unite people with each other and with God.

The Uniting Church is the third largest Christian denomination in Australia. It has around 2,800 congregations, 51 presbyteries and seven synods. Uniting Church members number 300,000 while 1.3 million Australians claim an association.

Uniting Churches are found throughout Australia.

The church has a special ministry, through Frontier Services, to the people of the outback – some of its ministers are “patrol padres” and “flying padres”.

The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress is the Aboriginal arm of the church, with 10,000 to 15,000 Aboriginal and Islander people involved.

From 5-7 per cent of Uniting Church members worship in languages other than English, in 25 different language groupings plus various Aboriginal tribal languages.

The church is diverse, with a range of views and practices in theological and spiritual emphasis, worship style, social opinions and mission focus.

It has 48 schools, ranging from long-established schools with large enrolments to small recently established low-fee schools.

More than 20,000 people are employed by the church in community services work, particularly in aged care, Lifeline, hospitals, nursing, family support services, youth services, and care for the homeless.

A national agency guides the way the church tries to live with understanding, peace and harmony with people of other faiths.

The church is an active member of the National Council of Churches in Australia, the World Council of Churches http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/english.html, the Christian Conference of Asia, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches http://warc.ch/, and the World Methodist Council.

For further information about the Uniting Church in Australia contact the synod office in your state http://uca.org.au/synods,  or the National Assembly inquiries@nat.uca.org.au.

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