The participation of over 50 guests from 34 overseas churches and partner organisations in the Uniting Church in Australia’s National Assembly in Adelaide next week reflects its determination to cooperate with churches in Asia, the Pacific and Africa as they pursue fullness of life for all people.
“We stand with partners as together we discern God’s presence in an increasingly inter-connected world”, says UnitingWorld’s National Director Dr Kerry Enright.
A notable example is the visit to the Assembly of some of the most senior leaders of the China Christian Council, the Protestant Church in China. Their presence is a response to the Uniting Church’s historic journey to China last year and a step towards formal partnership.
“In the Uniting Church we recognise that our identity can never be complete without our sisters and brothers from other churches throughout the world”, Dr Enright says. “This is what catholicity means and it’s one of the Church’s treasures.”
The Rev Amos Ndhlumbi, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, will be another guest at the Assembly and will be able to share something of the Church’s role in revitalising the politics and economy of that fragile state.
“The Australian Church itself is becoming more and more diverse”, Dr Enright says. “As the centre of Christianity moves from Europe and the United States to Africa, Asia and Latin America, the images of the vitality of our faith will increasingly move with it.
“Our partners, including those in China and Zimbabwe, will be the ones to help us understand what is going on in the world and to be part of what God is doing.”
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