The Uniting Church in Australia was formed on June 22, 1977, as a union of three churches: the Congregational Union of Australia, the Methodist Church of Australasia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
In uniting, the members of those bodies testified to “that unity which is both Christ’s gift and will for the Church” (basis of union, para. 1). Ecumenism remains a vital aspect in all of the church’s life and work – in congregations, national commitments to work together with other churches, and relationships and partnerships with churches of various denominations in Asia and the Pacific.
What we believe
The Uniting Church’s beliefs are drawn for the Bible and from the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. The church also takes heed of the Reformation Witness in the Scots Confession of Faith (1560), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647), the Savoy Declaration (1658), and of the preaching of John Wesley in his Forty-four Sermons (1793).
It affirms the place of ongoing theological, literary, historical and scientific study. The church’s Basis of Union (1971) brings together aspects of these writings and traditions and sets out the church’s way of living and being.
What we do
The Uniting Church’s commitment to love of God and neighbour has sometimes drawn it into controversial situations. It has long taken a role in the political arena, encouraging moral, social and ethical integrity. The Uniting Church has been at the forefront of Aboriginal rights issues including the Native Title debate and reconciliation.
It has taken a stand on environmental issues, and supports the equality and dignity of marginalised people such as ethnic minorities, disabled people and homosexual people.
It is a multicultural church, striving to treat people on an equal basis and seeking to give a voice to the poor, outcast and needy.
However, only some of the Uniting Church’s discipling is viewed in public. Much of its role is to stand alongside the individual, inside and outside the church. Its congregations nurture spiritual, social and educational growth. Lay people are encouraged in leadership roles, including preaching the Word and leading congregational worship.