To try and speak of one ‘belief’ in the Uniting Church in Australia is incredibly difficult. As in any large people-based organisation there is an enormous (and sometimes bewildering!) range of beliefs among UCA people. But there are key things which we passionately hold in common, and which we try to reflect in the way we live.
We follow in the faith of Jesus the Christ, in whom we believe humanity glimpsed a unique revelation of the one whom we name as GOD: creative presence which is the heart of all creation across time throughout time and place.
We seek to follow not only the faith of Jesus, but also the way of Jesus. He pointed the people of his day beyond himself to the GOD of their faith and stories. He challenged the institutions of his day, religious and socio/political, whenever “the way things are” denied people justice and compassion, whenever the name of GOD was used to alienate people from the love of GOD.
Jesus’ determination to be true to the way of GOD -love- led him to the cross on Calvary, an act of sacrificial love, and refusal for the love of GOD to be silenced.
‘The Christian story’ has at its heart the twin stories of death and resurrection. We seek to give expression to this in our life together and apart, living compassionately with the reality of death, and being part of the means where we can by which God’s Spirit brings resurrection.
In the Central Hobart churches, we are interested in the Christian practices like prayer, worship, hospitality, service, justice-making, and generosity (among others) which enable us to do this. We are keen to grow as missional communities, responsive to the needs and opportunities in the wider community in the name of Christ. In worship, we practise the ‘open table’ of Holy Communion, where all people are welcome to receive the bread and wine. In daily life, our people are involved in a wide variety of ministries and activities which enable them to use their particular gifts and passions for life and service.
Perhaps the best summary of all of this might be the opening verse of a favourite worship song for many of our people, Richard Gillard’s The Servant Song, which opens with these great words:
“Brother, sister, let me serve you, let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too”.