Uniting Church congregations in South Australia will soon be required to formally vote (by end of May/early June) on which presbytery they wish to join when, on July 1st 2019, the existing single SA presbytery dissolves, to be replaced by two presbyteries:- the so-called Transitional Presbytery; and the Missional Non-Geographic Presbytery now known as ‘Generate.’ (which was approved for formation at the Nov Synod)
It is important that our church be as fully informed of our options as we can.
The Generate presbytery has already outlined its ethos, as follows:-
Why does the Generate Presbytery exist?
- To vigorously pursue the Great Commission
- To strongly encourage effective mission and discipleship that leads to conversion growth, disciples being made, leaders being empowered, churches being planted and churches being renewed and growing.
- To passionately stimulate Gospel renewal in the Uniting Church, starting with congregations, who are the embodiment in one place of One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (B of U Para 4 and 15(a))
- To hold the position that marriage is the covenantal relationship of one man and one woman while at the same time recognising the integrity of each minister and / or congregation/church council to make its own decisions on this matter.
Whilst the Transitional Presbytery has yet to finalise its statement of ethos, preliminary discussions with interested people held at Rosefield UCA and The Corner UCA have made some progress in establishing a proposed way forward, including the setting up of a website (https://lookingahead.unitingchurch.org.au/), and the raising of a summary statement by Rev. Jonathan Barker in a document entitled TOWARDS AN INCLUSIVE VISION FOR NEW PRESBYTERIES: Being the Church of the twenty first century which follows:-
“The following seeks to express an unapologetic inclusive vision for the life and mission of the Uniting Church in South Australia at this moment in its history. It espouses the recognition of both the evangelical and reformed streams within the church as well as noting the many affirmations in the Basis of Union which emphasise a “unity of faith and life on Christ” (BoU#2). It is good never to forget the ecumenical movement’s inspiration to respond to God’s call to unity for the sake of the Gospel, which inspired the framers of the Basis of Union. This unity needs is to be reflected in all councils of the Uniting Church.
The following affirmations are submitted as possible characteristics which may help to shape the identity of renewed Presbyteries within the Synod of South Australia.”
- AFFIRM THE MISSIONAL VISION OF SERVING THE WORLD (BoU #s 1&3)
– Understand mission to be in response to the human, social and spiritual needs within the bounds of Presbyteries and their various sub-regions.
– Motivated by compassion (God so loved the world) we are called to be “for others”.
- CELEBRATE THE RADICAL INCLUSIVENESS OF THE GOSPEL OF GRACE (BoU #2)
– Have a firm commitment to inclusivity: social, cultural, ethnic, gender, age and
– Affirm the Assembly decision concerning marriage; accept all who struggle with this decision.
- RESPOND TO THE WHOLISTIC GOSPEL IMPERATIVE (BoU#3)
– Own the evangelical imperative which recognises that personal and social
transformation are integral to the witness of the “kingdom (new order) come among us”
– Respond to the challenge to “confess the Lord in fresh words and deeds.” (BoU#11)
JUSTICING LOVE (apologies for the abuse of the English language!)
- COMMIT TO A JUST, PEACEFUL AND RECONCILED SOCIETY (BoU#3)
– Courageously witness truth to power, combat social exclusion and all forms of
– Respond boldly to the social and existential threats facing all life on the planet
- EXPECT EMPOWERING SERVANT MINISTRIES (BoU#13)
– Reclaim and affirm the rich diversity of gifts for service of all members of the
– Recognise the basic dynamics of the LIFE and the MISSION of the church also
expressed in the complementary ministries of Minister of the Word and Deacon
- ESPOUSE A UNITING PRESENCE FOR ALL TOWNS AND SUBURBS
– Recognise the unique identity of the Uniting Church as a potential gift to all
– Regenerate local congregations and the formation of new inclusive faith
- REJOICE IN DIVERSE NARRATIVES WHICH EXPRESS THE REALITY OF THE CHRIST EVENT
– Seek meaningful and diverse ways to tell the liberating truth of the Christian story.
– Encourage an openminded readiness to explore the faith and reinterpret the
- DISCERN THE PRESENCE OF GOD AS INTERIOR CALL AND EXTERNAL DEMAND
– Sustain compassionate lives in times of darkness and peril
– Make spaces for retreats, pilgrimage and the practices of meditation, contemplation and prayer.
For people interested in obtaining more information, please consult the UCA SA Synod website (https://sa.uca.org.au/presbytery-and-synod/restructure). There will be an information session, run by the Synod:-
To find out more about the process of Presbytery restructure, come along to one of the following information session (supper provided):
14 May 2019 Spicer Uniting Church, 7pm – 9pm 44A Fourth Ave, St Peters
Please RSVP by Wednesday 1 May 2019 to Rev Sue Page, Associate General Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 8236 4217