The Uniting Church confidently believes that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God brings us into right relationship with God, whereby in faith we can:
- live in a close, loving, personal, dynamic relationship with the living God;
- participate in the worshipping, caring and serving community of Christians;
- receive God’s gifts so that life can be what God means it to be – loving, purposeful, joyful, eternal;
- tell others of this good news and live it out in acts of compassion, service and justice in the community.
If you want more detail, this is what we believe about Jesus, the church, the bible, our calling:
Built upon the one Lord Jesus Christ
The Uniting Church acknowledges that the faith and unity of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church are built upon the one Lord Jesus Christ. The Church preaches Christ the risen crucified One and confesses him as Lord to the glory of God the Father. In Jesus Christ “God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19 RSV). In love for the world, God gave the Son to take away the world’s sin.
Jesus of Nazareth announced the sovereign grace of God whereby the poor in spirit could receive God’s love. Jesus himself, in his life and death, made the response of humility, obedience and trust which God had long sought in vain. In raising him to live and reign, God confirmed and completed the witness which Jesus bore to God on earth, reasserted claim over the whole of creation, pardoned sinners, and made in Jesus a representative beginning of a new order of righteousness and love. To God in Christ all people are called to respond in faith. To this end God has sent forth the Spirit that people may trust God as their Father, and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. The whole work of salvation is effected by the sovereign grace of God alone.
The Church as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit confesses Jesus as Lord over its own life; it also confesses that Jesus is Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity. God in Christ has given to all people in the Church the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation. The Church’s call is to serve that end: to be a fellowship of reconciliation, a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole, an instrument through which Christ may work and bear witness to himself. The Church lives between the time of Christ’s death and resurrection and the final consummation of all things which Christ will bring; the Church is a pilgrim people, always on the way towards a promised goal; here the Church does not have a continuing city but seeks one to come. On the way Christ feeds the Church with Word and Sacraments, and it has the gift of the Spirit in order that it may not lose the way.
Christ rules and renews the Church
The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church is able to live and endure through the changes of history only because its Lord comes, addresses, and deals with people in and through the news of his completed work. Christ who is present when he is preached among people is the Word of God who acquits the guilty, who gives life to the dead and who brings into being what otherwise could not exist. Through human witness in word and action, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ reaches out to command attention and awaken faith; he calls people into the fellowship of his sufferings, to be the disciples of a crucified Lord; in his own strange way Christ constitutes, rules and renews them as his Church.
The Biblical Witnesses
The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church has received the books of the Old and New Testaments as unique prophetic and apostolic testimony, in which it hears the Word of God and by which its faith and obedience are nourished and regulated. When the Church preaches Jesus Christ, its message is controlled by the Biblical witnesses. The Word of God on whom salvation depends is to be heard and known from Scripture appropriated in the worshipping and witnessing life of the Church. The Uniting Church lays upon its members the serious duty of reading the Scriptures, commits its ministers to preach from these and to administer the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as effective signs of the Gospel set forth in the Scriptures.
As a people journeying together we affirm our calling under God:
- to preach Christ the crucified and risen one and confess him as Lord
- to bear witness to the unity of faith and life in Christ, rising above cultural, economic, national and racial boundaries
- to engage in fearless prophetic ministry in relation to social evils which deny God’s active will for justice and peace
- to act with God alongside the oppressed, the hurt and the poor
- to accept responsibility for the wise use and conservation of the finite resources of this earth for the benefit of all
- to recognise, treasure and use the gifts of the Spirit given to all God’s people for ministering and to live a creative, adventurous life of faith, characterised by openness, flexibility, hope and joy
(based on a statement from the inaugural worship service of the Uniting Church in Australia June 1977)
A Commitment to Justice for All
“We pledge ourselves to hope and work for a nation whose goals are not guided by self-interest alone, but by concerns for the welfare of all persons everywhere.”
Statement to the Nation, Inaugural Assembly, June 1977
The Uniting Church upholds the Christian tradition of justice and equity for all people and is committed to honouring the dignity of all people, working toward the social good in the community, restoring human relationships, and advocating for the most disadvantaged in society. Our commitment to social justice and advocacy and the provision of community services reflects our response to the Bible’s call to care for and protect the marginalised and vulnerable.
A leading edge in our mission for justice is our commitment to bring indigenous and non-indigenous Australians together and to support the indigenous community. The Uniting Church recognises the pain and damage caused to our country’s first peoples through European settlement and beyond. In 1997, recognising its past mistakes, the Uniting Church made a formal apology to the Stolen Generation. We work for reconciliation and land rights and provide training for indigenous leaders.
This mission is carried forward through the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) which was established in 1985 as the indigenous arm of the Uniting Church. The UAICC is dedicated to seeking the spiritual, physical, social, mental and emotional wellbeing of indigenous Australians.