This week is the Uniting Church's triennial national Assembly, being held here in Adelaide with about 250 elected delegates from across the country (including me), plus a significant number of overseas guests and visitors. I've been to 7 or 8... some as a delegate and some as a staff worker. It's an enriching, inspiring, sometimes challenging but rarely dull week. Our College Principal, Andrew Dutney was installed as President at the opening worship service last night. A bunch of friends were involved in planning and leading a wonderful event, rich with multicultural participation, great music and imagery, and a timely sermon about being a church of reconciliation and inclusivity.
My small contribution was to invite photographers from around the country to contribute images to an audio-visual to accompany an affirmation of faith based on the new Preamble that our church added to our national constitution.
[Photo by Dean Whittaker]
We say God created the universe,
and the world we live in,
and every living thing on this earth.
We believe the Creation shows us the power and presence of God,
and makes us want to praise and give thanks to God,
and take good care of the earth God has made.
We are full of joy that across the world
different peoples have their own culture and language,
and that in God we are all united together as one.
We say God is Spirit,
breath of life,
who is always working to bring people to life in God.
We believe the Spirit has been alive and active
in every race and culture,
getting hearts and minds ready for good news:
the good news of God’s love and grace that Jesus Christ revealed.
We are full of joy that from the beginning
the Spirit was alive and active,
revealing God through the law, custom, and ceremony
of the First Peoples of this ancient land.
We say Jesus is Saviour and Lord,
and that he began the church,
and prayed that the church might be together as one.
We believe that in the risen Jesus
we are all brothers and sisters in the one great family of God,
and that God calls us to live in faith, hope, and love
for the sake of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
We are full of joy that we can learn,
grow and serve together as a pilgrim people
in the name of Christ.
I am grateful to Ian Ferguson, Darren Wright, Michelle Cook, Dean Whittaker, Megan Thomson, Alan Mathews, Denise Savage, Robin Yang, Tom Kerr, Mike Emmett, Joh Knijnenburg, David MacGregor - and to Jenny Tymms who consulted with a bunch of indigenous people in the writing of the affirmation.
I also want to acknowledge that it was Steve Taylor whose questions some time ago encouraged our national worship working group to begin work on worship resources related to the Preamble. The group will be making a bunch of images available along with the worship resources for use in congregations.