Editorial: taking a stand towards justice and peace

It wasn’t too hard to find content for this edition. The concept of ‘taking a stand’ sometimes feels like it’s etched into Uniting Church DNA; at least it does for me as my work sees me sent out to a range of different church events and activities, and speaking to all sorts of interesting and inspiring people. The idea is not so abstract though, as in 1977 members of the first Assembly of the Uniting Church released their first Statement to the Nation.

In it, they pledged to “uphold basic Christian values and principles” including “to seek the correction of injustices wherever they occur.”

This included in the areas of poverty, racism, health care, personal dignity, environmental protection and freedom of speech. Since then, the Uniting Church has spoken up on all sorts of issues.

In 2012, a group of young adults in the Uniting Church, including myself, also created a statement to the nation, from their young adult context, set in a new time. In it they too committed to working towards justice and peace.

I remember at the time, many of the young adults involved said the reason they were part of the Uniting Church over other denominations was because of the way it encouraged faith in action.

This edition includes lots of examples of people putting their faith in action to take a stand, and could have included more if we had the space.

But our theme was inspired by our feature article (pg 2), exploring proposed (at the time of going to print) ‘anti-protest laws’ which could affect the way many people of faith, and of none, choose to peacefully protest. Our right to take a stand is at risk, and should be taken seriously.

As Rev Ruth Vertigan says (pg 3), Jesus calls us to take a stand, and we can’t let our rights to do that be taken away.

In other news, in this edition we welcome Elaenor Nield who has recently started as the digital communications officer with us in the Uniting Church WA Media Team. As part of her role, Elaenor will be contributing to Revive, both printed and online, as well as looking after the Uniting Church WA website and social media.

We hope this edition helps to inspire you to take a stand for what you believe in.

Heather Dowling


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