The 43rd Annual Meeting of the Uniting Church Synod of WA was held over the weekend, Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September, at Scotch College Perth.
Members of the meeting, including representatives from Uniting Church WA schools, agencies, congregations and faith communities, made a range of decisions, including to:
- support the 2017 Statement from the Heart, and urge the Commonwealth Government to listen to it and establish a First Nations’ Voice in the Constitution, and the Makarrata Commission;
- call on the Commonwealth Government not to expand Cashless Debit Card trials, and instead work with communities on transitioning to a voluntary scheme co-designed with communities that includes holistic and coordinated support services;
- call on the Federal Government to begin restoration of overseas aid cuts and commit to achieving the internationally agreed target of 0.7% Gross National Income (GNI) by 2030, beginning with a return to the top half of rich country aid donors by the end of the next parliamentary term;
- call on the Federal Government for a compassionate and generous refugee sponsorship program; supporting the introduction of a new Community Refugee Sponsorship model to assist refugees to resettle in Australia.
The Uniting Church is committed to involvement in the making of just public policy that prioritises the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society.
In 1977 the Inaugural Assembly issued a Statement to the Nation. In this statement, the church declared “our response to the Christian gospel will continue to involve us in social and national affairs.”
In 1994 the Uniting Church formally entered into a relationship of Covenant with its Indigenous members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (Congress), recognising and repenting for the church’s complicity in the injustices perpetrated on Australia’s Indigenous community, and pledging to move forward with a shared future.
Congress’ generous response to this statement, among other messages, called upon the broader church to take up the mission of reconciliation.
The ongoing and continually renewing nature of the Covenant calls the Uniting Church to continually act to remove the systems and structures of discrimination and oppression in Australia.