A Pastoral Letter for distribution to ACC Congregations (emailed 14 July 2018)
Note: A reflection on the 15th Assembly is now available and provided by Peter Bentley here
Important Update about the proposed ACC Blog: 8 July 2018
Dear ACC Members
I am sorry to inform you that I will not be able to provide a daily blog and update with a focus on the Marriage Proposals during the 15th Assembly meeting. I have been informed by the Manager for the Assembly Media and Communications Matt Pulford, of a decision regarding communication arrangements. For myself, this means that I am welcome to be present as a member of the church (as a visitor), but not in any ‘reporting’ capacity as this will be deemed ‘media’. The reason given is to protect the discernment process of the Assembly by ensuring that there is no ‘parallel reporting’. I understand this arrangement will apply to anyone seeking to ‘report’. A link to the official Assembly news is provided here, so you can check for information and news as it is provided.
Assembly members themselves have some social media capability. Further information about this is provided on the Assembly Website Social Media Guidelines.
As a past Assembly staff-person (observing the 1994 and 1997 Assembly meetings), Presbytery observer (2000 Assembly), a member of the 2003 Assembly and observer at the last four Assembly meetings for the RA/ACC, I am of course keen to observe the proceedings of the 2018 Assembly meeting and will thus be present as a visitor. I will be able to prepare a report and analysis following the Assembly meeting.
With appreciation for your understanding, grace and peace
Rev Dr Max Champion provides an overview of Scripture in the context of The Basis of Union of the Uniting Church
Download as a PDF (Four pages)
Peter Bentley provides an overview and information about the focus and operation of the 15th Assembly, with a comment on the membership (three pages PDF)
James Haire is Professor Emeritus of Charles Sturt University, Australia and Past Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. He was formerly the fourth President of the National Council of Churches in Australia and the ninth President of the Uniting Church in Australia. Professor Haire's response to the Assembly Standing Committee (and Doctrine Working Group) Report on Same-Gender Relationships is included on the ACC website for the information of all members of the Uniting Church, and also now includes an Addendum in response to the Doctrine Working Group's response to Professor Haire. The full document can be downloaded as a PDF (five pages).
ASC/Doctrine Working Group Report on Marriage and Same-Gender Relationships: What does Science really say?
N.E.Whitehead is a semi-retired research scientist who worked with The New Zealand Government, Japanese Universities, and the United Nations. He has more than 150 published papers, and about two dozen of these relevant to same-sex concerns may be found at mygenes. These emerged from about 25 years of research on the subject. A book examining the possible innateness of same-sex attraction may also be downloaded from there cost-free. Dr Whitehead provides a two page reference document here.
During January, February and May 2018, Rev. Rod James distributed 'Open Letters to Leaders the Uniting Church concerning Marriage'. Rod would be well-known to ACC members as a former ACC Council Secretary and long-serving UCA minister in South Australia and in a wider itinerant ministry. Noting the matters highlighted were being discussed widely, the initial Open Letter was printed with Rod’s permission as a ‘letter to the editor’ in the March 2018 edition of ACCatalyst. Rod's Open Letters are included in this section on the ACC website for the information of members.
(Peter Bentley, ACCatalyst editor)
Rev David Kowalick provides a theological analysis of Western culture. Download as a PDF (four pages)