On Sunday 26 June, 1977, a celebration to mark the Inauguration of the Uniting Church WA and the Induction of its first Moderator was held at the Perth Entertainment Centre. A free ticketed event, members of the newly formed Uniting Church WA enjoyed a moving and joyous service at the venue, which has now been replaced with Perth Arena.
Following from the national union of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, the Methodist Church of Australasia and the Congregational Union in Australia to become one Uniting Church, the event recognised the union of the WA bodies of these organisations.
The formation of the Uniting Church meant that it became a uniquely Australian church, called to live in unity with God and each other. Conversations around the union of these three churches was happening for quite some time before the event, and even to this day, ecumenism remains a strong focus of the Uniting Church.
The Basis of Union, the Uniting Church in Australia’s founding document, states: “In this union these Churches commit their members to acknowledge one another in love and joy as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, to hear anew the commission of the Risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, and daily to seek to obey his will.” Paragraph 1.
The late Sir Ron Wilson, the namesake of the Ron Wilson room at the Uniting Church Centre, was inducted as the first Moderator for the WA Synod. Ron was originally from the Presbyterian Church in WA and achieved a lot throughout his career. With a background in law, Ron also held positions as president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, president of the Uniting Church in Australia, and more.
Bishop John Sadiq was the guest preacher at the Inauguration, visiting from the United Church of North India.
To download a copy of the Basis of Union visit http://uca.org.au/about.