I'm recovering from the triennial national Assembly of the Uniting Church which was held here in Adelaide last week. 250+ voting delegates (including me), plus visitors and overseas guests. It's a wonderful, inspiring, challenging and tiring week of dealing with the national business of the church.
- the richness of the worship and music - see some video from the Installation Service
- the gentle and wise leadership of our new President, Andrew Dutney (who also sang some tunes, including "Then The Quail Came", an old favourite of mine)
- the opportunity to hear from and offer support to our indigenous brothers and sisters as theyl ive with the injustice of the federal govenment's invervention into aboriginal communities (photo above shows the Assembly holding a prayer vigil on the steps of SA's parliament house)
- receiving a discussion paper about living in friendship with people of other faiths
- agreeing after much debate to talk about our theology of marriage
- catching up with friends from across the country and making new ones
- having a couple of my songs sung
- hosting an 'unofficial' Facebook group that about 40% of Assembly members ended up joining
- seconding the resolution to change the way that we give oversight to ministerial education nationally!
- organising and playing in the band for the final night party
- the Cato lecture by Prof Kirsteen Kim on how the church's thinking about mission has changed in a changed world
- the Reconciliation statement from the National Young Adults Leaders' Conference - video version here
- playing in the worship band for the week
- getting elected to our 18 member national Standing Committee
Yes there was a lot more, including a great address from Richard Dennis from The Australia Institute...
While I'm not always happy with the way that such meetings are run (too little time in table group conversation, not great choices about what issues were discussed in working groups, sometimes too much facilitation of proposals), overall I appreciate being in a church that seeks to make decisions by consensus! And as always quite overwhelmed by the amazing people and the amazing ministry that is undertaken across this country and beyond.
A book of worship resources (text and music) was produced for the Assembly and if you contact MediaCom asap you might pick up one of the leftover copies. Some excellent stuff.
Check out the 13th Assembly website for more info.