12th Assembly 2009

Uniting Church partners thank Assembly

Three representatives of Uniting Church overseas partners stood before Assembly on July 20 to express gratitude for the friendship shown by the Uniting Church in Australia.

The Rev. Kuntadi Sumadikarya, Moderator of the Christian Church in Indonesia’s West Java Synod, said that being at Assembly “widens and sharpens our understanding of being churches of the Lord.

“Through the ministry of UnitingWorld, we recognise the friendship of the Uniting Church in Australia.

“When we cry, you cry; our struggle, you take on as your struggle also.”

The Right Rev. Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, Bishop of Amritsar of the Church of North India, congratulated Assembly on the adoption of the preamble saying, “I am going back to India with a lot of jubilation in my heart; we in India have things to learn from you.”

In a warm and amusing address, Bishop Samantaroy remarked that that often in meetings of his own church, he was disappointed that discussion was so restrained and at his own church meetings was obliged to ask questioners, “Sit down or I will be forced to expel you!”

Uniting Church President, the Rev. Alistair Macrae rejoined, “Good idea!” to general laughter.

“I appreciate your sense of humour here,” commented the Bishop.

“I laugh with you — and laugh again when I understand what was said. Then I laugh a third time when I realise I laughed without understanding.”

The third speaker was the Rev. Dr Finau Ahio who brought greetings from the people of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.

“It cheers us and challenges us to know there are churches like yours who draw so many people and traditions together in one body of Christ.

“I can assure you that that the Free Wesleyan Church in will continue to stand with you in love and prayers.”