12th Assembly 2009

What's on today: Thursday 16th July

Key events at the Assembly today include celebrating the covenant, the retiring president's speech, and leading the way on indigenous spirituality.

Celebrating the Covenant

This morning, in the opening session of the first full day of the 12th Assembly, the Uniting Church in Australia will renew and celebrate its Covenant with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and the Indigenous people of Australia.

The Uniting Church is bringing focus to the Covenant and its commitment to reconciliation on the heels of some particularly eventful years. On one end of the spectrum the controversial interventions in Indigenous communities in northern Australia threatened to divide the nation and on the other an emotional government apology to the Stolen Generation brought some healing.

Listed as the first key direction for the coming triennium, the church looks set to continue and strengthen its partnership with the UAICC, seeking to find new and effective expressions of covenant.

Farewell to Gregor Henderson

The Rev. Gregor Henderson, the outgoing President of the Uniting Church in Australia, will address the 12th Assembly tonight as he steps down and offers his views on the state of the church.

A popular President, Mr Henderson fulfilled his role despite having to deal with the terminal illness and subsequent death of his beloved wife, Alison, during his term.

Having travelled far and wide and participating in countless important conversations, both domestically and abroad, Mr Henderson’s thoughts on the church and its place in Australia and the world will attract keen interest.

Leading the way on Indigenous spirituality

A new book, Following Christ in Invaded Space: Doing Theology on Aboriginal Land, will be launched by Rev. Alistair Macrae at the University of New South Wales today.

With the reaffirmation of the Covenant a focus of the 12th Assembly, the book, by Rev. Dr Chris Budden, is an exciting and timely opportunity for the church to examine the unique qualities of Indigenous spirituality and the church’s relationship with it.

We live in a nation in which reconciliation remains a matter of urgency and the matter of how we, as Christians, understand and relate to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters is a responsibility we are called to address.

Check the Features section of the website later in the day for more on Following Christ in Invaded Space: Doing Theology on Aboriginal Land.