2016 Uniting Church Anniversary Message

Posted By on September 19, 2019

I’m Stuart McMillan, the President of the
Uniting Church in Australia. The 22nd of June 2016 marks 39 years of faithful service for us as the pilgrim people of God. Anniversaries are always a time of reflection about where we’re going and how far we’ve come. This reflection was part of a video we produced 29 years ago “The Uniting Church will virtually disappear from many significant sections of our cities if it fails to become seriously involved with the increasing multicultural character of urban Australia.” At that 10 year anniversary the Church leaders
expressed concern about our ageing and diminishing membership, and in particular young adults. Importantly they noted the need to engage
with multiculturalism. The same wisdom and some of the same anxieties
– are with us today. Let me share with you what the Spirit of
God is doing in the Uniting Church in Australia right now as we enter our 40th year. Every Sunday there are 185 specific
language worshipping communities not to mention First Peoples
language worshipping communities. Second Peoples in our Church worship
in 25 different languages. This is amazing! There is increasingly
a desire for us to become a truly intercultural worshipping community. The Uniting Church in Australia is being transformed into a rich tapestry of diverse cultures and languages with experiences and contextual
understandings of God through which the Holy Spirit
is renewing us as a people of God, to shape our intercultural community as a sign and a foretaste
of the reconciliation and renewal of all things. This excites me and it’s a great reason
to celebrate on this 39th anniversary. Well I want you to look around and to see
what God is doing in our midst and like the prophet Isaiah I say to you
“Now it springs up, do you perceive it?” Will you with me imagine our Church First and Second Peoples together a true intercultural community of Christ? Seeking justice and peace in our nation and
globally with our partners Reaching out to serve those
most disadvantaged and marginalised and offering hospitality to all. “Now it springs up, do you perceive it?” Thank you for being part of
this community of love who worship, witness and live
in the abundance of God.

Posted by Lewis Heart

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