The Uniting Church in Australia is committed to a covenanting relationship with the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) which fosters just, inclusive and equal relationships, recognising the place of First Peoples in Australia.
To acknowledge this, revisions to the Preamble of the Uniting Church Constitution were developed and adopted after extensive consultation throughout the Church and UAICC. The new Preamble was adopted at the Church’s 12th Assembly in 2009 and subsequently endorsed by the Synods and Presbyteries throughout 2010.
Sovereignty is about honouring those who were here first and starting to negotiate a new way for us to occupy this land together.
It raises many issues and questions, challenging assumptions and beliefs.
Maybe if we can name what the issues are for us – what we are curious about, what we fear, what we want to know - we can have a more open conversation.
In August 2018, the Assembly Standing Committee (ASC) resolved to establish a Task Group to consider the practical outcomes for the Church arising from the 15th Assembly's affirmation of First Peoples as sovereign peoples.
Resoluton 65 of the 15th Assembly states the the Uniting Church:
A Week of Prayer and Fasting
In July 2012 in Adelaide, the members of the 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church listened to members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) tell stories about the effects of the Federal Government’s ‘Stronger Futures’ legislation (and the ‘Intervention’ before that) on their lives and their communities.
The Assembly members were very moved by the stories of harm and exclusion and responded in two ways. The first was to ‘down tools’ and make a silent procession through the streets to the South Australian Parliament to pray and sing in a public vigil of lament. The second was to adopt a resolution calling on the Church to engage in a week of prayer and fasting for justice for the First Peoples. Read more