“love is the key” … preamble embraced in blessing

4585327f3ddc7931c15015bd15d58f95A momentous afternoon … in which a new preamble to the UCA Constitution was approved, recognizing the First People of our land, the church’s implicit/explicit participation (however noble it seemed at the time) in acts of injustice on our indigenous brothers and sisters, the Covenant established between the Congress and the Uniting Church … and so on.   Additions to one of the clauses of the Constitution too.

In a time together which was for me clearly liminal, Assembly was as one – Congress and non-Congress members of Assembly were all on the one shared level (literally & symbolically) together.  “Together we can be a free church,” said Ken Sumner, Congress Chair.   Calling forth President Al Macrae, GenSec Terence Corkin and also Chris Budden, a spontaneous time of worship , blessing, solidarity and celebration unfolded.  Blessing came as several congress folk and Terence and Al moved through Assembly brushing members with eucalyptus branches.

Together we sang: Love is the key of everything we do, Jesus is the source of it all. Together we sang, Let there be love shared among us …  Together, we were invited to get down on our knees as Congress Chair Ken led us in prayer.  Said Ken, this decision (Proposal 55) “helps set us free.”

This of course, means implications with further conversation now needed in synods and presbyteries.  Considering the really difficult space and place we found ourselves in just 24 hours earlier (see earlier blog), we had made a really significant step forward.

On a couple of unrelated notes, important decisions of this day included:

  • the removal of the intern phase for people who’ve finished theological college but have 12-18 months internship before ordination.  Now, provided they have the endorsement of the college that helped form them and have a placement to go into, they can be ordained – without the oft-clumsiness of an internship
  • the adoption of a revised ministerial Code of Ethics

One more sleep now … and then I’m home.  I look forward to sleeping in my own bed for weeks on end, showering in my own shower, watching my own TV, spending time with Dale and our boys, enjoying my final 5 months of ministry with the good people of Indooroopilly UC, writing some songs, learning to play that mandolin we bought in Nashville, watching some cricket, resuming my morning walks … and just being grounded in a whole lot of ways.

Cheers

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