12th Assembly 2009

Conversations: 18th July 2009

Sharing the passion

Stella Moosoon Kim is originally from Korea and is at the Assembly representing the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT as a coopted member. This is her first Assembly meeting.

We can show the way forward

Ame Pocklington is a Youthful Delegate and voting member from Melbourne Glen Waverley Church.

 

 

july18_am_voxpop1stellakim_je

Stella Moosoon Kim

How would you describe the atmosphere and the sense of community here so far?

First of all, because this is a new place for me, it takes a bit of time to get to know it. But, of course, people are filled with passion for God so I share the same kind of feeling.

How have visitors from overseas impacted the Assembly?

At the Installation Ceremony I noticed a few overseas guests and the next day they were introduced one-by-one shaking hands with the President. They came from many different areas of the world and it was quite surprising to see so many of them in the Assembly. It is very good to have many overseas visitors and for them to share in what the Assembly is doing. We are living in the one world with a common Christian point of view. So I think we are sharing the same spirit with the guests.

Has anything emerged so far that has been a surprise to you?

This is my first Assembly and I am in a learning process. So many things have been a surprise for me.

What do you think is likely to be the most significant achievement of the Assembly?

I think they are continually shaping the future of the Uniting Church. So, as someone said, it shouldn’t be what we need it to be, but what God is calling us to be. In that sense, that is the ultimate achievement that all of us in the Assembly should strive for.

 

july18_pm_voxpop ame pocklington_jeAme Pocklington

How would you describe the atmosphere and the sense of community at the Assembly so far?

It is very embracing and very welcoming. Being a young member, I have had a lot of older people ask me around the table, “What do you think of this?” and “We want to hear from you because you are a young person and we really care about your opinion.”

I found that the older people are genuinely interested in what we think and how we think. It is just really beautiful. Everyone here is so friendly and so kind. There is a great sense of community.

How have the visitors from overseas impacted the Assembly?

I think that the multicultural aspect of the Uniting Church is the future of the church. The visitors have brought so much spirit and so much wisdom to this Assembly. I think they have so much to teach us about spirituality and about God. And tell stories about their struggles, especially Zimbabwe and the Philippines, where there is violence and the church is being oppressed. It is eye-opening to realise that we are part of that story and that we are connected to them. So it has brought a wider sense of who we are as God’s church in the world. Not just in Australia — we are actually everywhere. And, while we are comfortable in Australia, it is eye-opening to see that overseas some people are persecuted for their faith. It affirms me and is inspiring for my faith journey to see that people can go out and believe in Jesus and spread the gospel in the face of all the violence.

Has anything emerged so far that has been a surprise to you?

Not so much a surprise, but something I expected to happen was the disagreement about the changing the preamble to acknowledge Indigenous people. I have heard a little dissent and some complaining about it. I might be wrong but I think there has just been a proposal made up to say that we shouldn’t think about this for six years. I was surprised and hurt that someone would go to that amount of effort to prevent it.

So your stance is that the preamble should be changed?

Yes. I am not completely educated on the issue but I think we have got to do something, whether or not it is perfect. People are always going to say “I don’t like this part” but I think that we need to do something, even if it is not perfect so we can grow and become what the Kingdom should be. We do need to acknowledge that and if we do not I think it is really sad.

What do you think is likely to be the most significant achievement of the Assembly?

If we can accept the Congress changes and embark on that journey it will be an amazing thing and a turning point for the church. I think the Uniting Church should be an example to the rest of the country about how we can reconcile with Indigenous people. I think we should be a leader on that, I really do. That would be the biggest achievement: that we can show the rest of the country the way forward.