12th Assembly 2009

What's on today: Friday 17th July

Key events at the Assembly today include task group on Jewish relations giving it's report, consideration of changes to the constitution and the launch of an interfaith website.

Task Group on Jewish Relations

In an Assembly with a particular focus on interfaith relationships, the Task Group on Jewish Relations will today give its report.

The report describes the journey of dialogue between Uniting Church representatives and leaders of other faiths, outlining the key points that have arisen from that dialogue and its recommendations to the wider church.

Check the website later today for more information.

Spotlight on the Preamble

A highlight of the 12th Assembly on Friday, July 17 will be consideration of changes to the Constitution of the Uniting Church in Australia.

The 265 voting members of the Assembly will this evening be introduced to the proposal developed by the Assembly Standing Committee Task Group in consultation with Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.

Key proposed changes to the Preamble involve acknowledging the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders as the first peoples of Australia and that they have a unique spirituality and understanding of their place in God’s creation.

Discussion of the proposed changes have been keenly anticipated. The Constitution is a vital aspect of church life. Congregations across Australia depend upon it as the foundation and framework for united Christian community and ministry.

Check the website later today for more information.

New interfaith resources to be launched

The President, the Rev. Alistair Macrae, will today launch a new website and a DVD titled Neighbourhoods of Difference: the Uniting Church in Australia and Interfaith Relations.

The DVD was developed to foster relations with people of other faiths.

Produced by the National Assembly Working Group on Relations with Other Faiths, the new resources address growing concerns about how peoples of many faiths can live peacefully together.

The website include guidelines and resources for planning interfaith gatherings, interfaith etiquette from each of the major faiths in Australia and tips for learning more about Australia’s religions, interfaith dialogue, and theology.

The DVD, with a theme of neighbourhoods of difference, is about valuing diversity and living with difference.

“It expresses the simple but integral message that loving the neighbour who is different is part of the Uniting Church’s identity and mission,” said Shannon Dillon, Education Assistant of Relations with Other Faiths. 

The books and DVD are on sale during Assembly and available on the Assembly website thereafter. Check the website later for more information.