12th Assembly 2009

The ‘new face’ of partnership with Indonesia

The Uniting Church in Australia is forging a “new face” of partnership with the Indonesian Church said the Rev. Kuntadi Sumadikarya, Moderator of the Christian Church in Indonesia, (Gereja Kristen Indonesia or GKI).

july 18_am_overseas visitors sumadikaria_ma 9Based in the West Java Synod of GKI, Mr Sumadikarya said poverty was by far its biggest concern.

“We have richer people but that’s only a few. Most of our people live in poverty,” said Mr Sumadikarya.

“Fortunately the GKI is not a poor church so it’s our mission to help the poor church and society.

“There are critical situations and we have a vision that the GKI has to help other churches in those regions,” he said.

“They have plans and customs and culture that should be maintained but they have no power so we ask ourselves what God has planned for GKI that God gives us so much potential and materials. We try to answer that by seeing that maybe God has placed the GKI there to help.”

He points to a project underway to aid the Papuan people through the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua.

“We have economic and church empowerment. It’s similar to what the Uniting Church does with Papuan people so we are talking about working together in Papua.”

The GKI has had a pastor exchange program with the Uniting Church in Australia but it is now seeking new avenues for the budding partnership that began in 2006.

In attendance at the 12th Assembly with his wife, Mrs Indiriani Kurniadi, Mr Sumadikarya said it was “a good Assembly.”

“I think this is more than a Uniting Assembly — it’s an ecumenical Assembly.”