UCA Statements

Reconciliation People: A Statement from the National Young Adult Leaders' Conference

16 July 2012

12.10 It was resolved to:

a) receive the statement “Reconciliation People”;
b) express support for young leaders to find their voice and welcome their leadership in the life of the Church; and
c) commend the statement to Synods, Presbyteries and Congregations for study, reflection and action.

RECONCILIATION PEOPLE: A Statement from the National Young Adult Leaders’ Conference
of the UCA (February 2012)

We, young leaders in the Uniting Church in Australia, believe in a God of love, whose will for the world is justice, reconciliation and peace. As “pilgrim people”, we are called to continually discern where God calls us to act. We feel passionately about these issues and we commit ourselves to action.

We are concerned by domestic policies that punish already vulnerable people, such as compulsory income management in Northern Territory Indigenous communities, and the indefinite, mandatory detention of asylum
seekers who arrive by boat. With God’s help, we choose to be foolish enough to attempt what many see as impossible: we stand in solidarity with the victims of injustice and discrimination, in particular the First Peoples
of this land, refugees and asylum seekers. We do this following the example of Jesus, who teaches that nonviolent action is the path to peace.

As future caretakers of the land that we live in, we are upset at the misuse of the natural environment for greed and consumerism and the lack of compassion towards those affected. Our country is not responding enough.
Knowing that our country is positioned to make a significant international commitment to climate change, we will act responsibly by advocating for investment in renewable energy and endeavouring to make responsible,
ethical decisions in our day to day living.

We believe in a God who seeks for the reconciliation of all people; we are also members of a church that is still “Uniting”. We challenge our church, our government and our nation to listen deeply to the knowledge and cultures of our First Peoples. The continued displacement and oppression of the Indigenous people of Australia must stop. We believe that recognition of the Indigenous peoples as the First Peoples in the Australian Constitution is essential for the continued reconciliation journey for all Australians. We must be open to continued conversation and dialogue, if we are serious about pursuing genuine relationships with the First Peoples. In Christ, we are sisters and brothers, and we commit ourselves to stand alongside each other in love and friendship.

We believe that we were all created equal and are one people in the eyes of God. We encourage our country to embrace and celebrate our diversity. We challenge our government to welcome, with empathy, those who seek refuge in our land. There is no supremacy of any culture or gender; rather, when we work together as a united people, in recognition of, but regardless of difference, we will bring about change.

JULY 2012

As young leaders of the Uniting Church in Australia, we will continue to be daring in decisions, to push boundaries, and to take pride in achievements of those past and present, while continually discerning how to be God’s Church in a 21st century multicultural and multi-faith Australia. We, too, are part of the problems of the world, but we commit ourselves to work towards God’s promised goal of the reconciliation of all things by working for justice and for peace in our nation and beyond.