Friday, June 22, 2012

35th Anniversary of Uniting Church in Australia

Congratulations and bucket loads of  blessings to the Uniting Church in Australia as it celebrates its 35th anniversary this weekend. As a Catholic I have been inspired by the commitment, theology and vision of  this young faith community.

The anniversary has featured in a number of Facebook posts and some tweets. However it seems that ecumenism  doesn't really have a strong following among the bloggers and passionate contributors to discussion forums. Over at Catholica Forum they seem to be absorbed in naval gazing anxiety about the Vatican. The urbane David Shutz virtually lives in Ecumenicaland but most of his typing is about apologetics so this event hasn't scored a mention at this stage. Australia Incognito does have 18 entries for ecumenism on her blog but according to her research nothing has happened in this field since December 2011.  The Blog of a Country Priest doesn't bring up any search results for ecumenism or Uniting Church. At this point I gave up the search for online solidarity on this issue.

The inauguration of the Uniting Church in Australia  (1977) was one of the  great milestones in Australian religious history. The uniting under one "banner"  of three Christian faith communities across the nation challenged all Churches to examine their commitment to collaboration, renewal and contemporary witness to the words and deeds of Jesus.

Over the 35 years of the Uniting Church in Australia's story I have been inspired by personal contact, collaboration and reading of  some of the  "history makers of this community. Among those who have influenced my spirituality and faith journey are:
Robert Harriman
John Bodycomb
Dorothy McRae-McMahon
Stepheanie Dowrick
Jason John
David Busch
Robert Bos
Heather Den Houting
Noel Preston


The sacred spaces of the Uniting  Church that are now places of regular pilgrimage for me include:
Pilgrim Church
Albert Street Uniting Church
Pitt Street Uniting Church
St Mark's Church Mnt Gravatt


The worship tradition of the UCA has  provided new and appropriate models of langauge and ritual for our day.
Sacred Union Ceremony
Amnesty International 50th Anniversary Service

I have found inspiration and solidarity in the UCA with
Uniting Network Australia
Rainbow Spirit Theology
UCA Qld Synod Journey Online
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