14th Assembly round-up

The 14th Triennial Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia was held in Perth from Sunday 12-Saturday 18 July. Uniting Church members of the Assembly came together to discern the will of God and the direction of the church for the next three years. Following are some of the decisions that were made at Assembly. For in-depth coverage of these decisions and more visit http://assembly2015.uca.org.au.

  • Uniting Church in Australia Assembly staff will no longer be eligible to seek election for the Assembly Standing Committee.
  • The role of Synod General Secretary has been altered and now incorporates that the General Secretary is the Executive Officer of the Synod, bringing it into line with the General Secretary of  the Assembly.
  • Colleen Geyer was appointed as the incoming General Secretary for the Uniting Church in Australia. A minute of appreciation was also approved for Rev Terence Corkin, who will step down  from the position after 15 years of service on Thursday 31 December this year.
  • Dr Deirdre Palmer, moderator of the Uniting Church in South Australia, was elected as the new president-elect. A minute of appreciation was approved for retiring president, Rev Prof  Andrew Dutney.
  • The Uniting Church in Australia has formally acknowledged that Armenian massacres and forced deportations carried out 100 years ago constitute genocide.
  • The Assembly adopted an updated refugee and asylum seeker policy, calling on the Australian Government to adopt policies which genuinely seek to support, rather than demonise, asylum  seekers and refugees.
  • The Uniting Church will establish a memorial to Aboriginal activist and Uniting Church minister, Rev Charles Harris. Charles Harris was instrumental in the formation of the Uniting  Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress in 1985.
  • The Week of Prayer and Fasting in solidarity with First Peoples on their journey towards justice and reconciliation will become an annual event.
  • The Uniting Church has moved with strong support to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and its theological foundations as a relic of colonialism, feudalism, and religious, cultural, and  racial biases that have no place in the treatment of First Peoples.
  • The Assembly has noted the call for a treaty for the Yolngu People of Arnhem Land and the Standing Committee will consider how the church will engage with this call.
  • The Uniting Church in Australia has encouraged church members to advocate strongly for increases in Government overseas aid funding.
  • The Uniting Church will establish an awareness-raising campaign throughout the church on the plight of Palestinian Christians and the Palestinian people, including promotion of the  boycott of goods from illegal settlements in the West Bank.
  • The Uniting and Anglican Churches of Australia have adopted a historic ecumenical agreement, Weaving a New Cloth, which outlines opportunities for shared hospitality, mission and  witness in local churches and communities.
  • WA members appointed to the Assembly Standing Committee are Alison Atkinson-Phillips and Rev Dr Ian Tozer.

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