UCA Statements

Ministry and Membership in the Uniting Church Australia

01 July 2003

The Assembly Standing Committee, acting with the powers of the Assembly, resolved to:

1. note the following extracts from Assembly minute 00.25.03:

(a) we celebrate that the Church's faith is in the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that the Church's work and unity are built upon the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ;

(b) we affirm the authority of the Scriptures as defined in the Basis of Union, acknowledging that within the Church there is a range of views on questions of Biblical interpretation on various matters of Christian faith and practice;

(c) we affirm we are bound together by Christ, and because we love the Uniting Church as part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church we will continue to work together in our diversity as servants of the living God.

2. noting that:

(a) within the Church people of faith have wrestled with integrity to interpret Scripture in relation to the issue of Christian sexual ethics and have on some issues come to mutually exclusive positions;

(b) membership of the Uniting Church is open to all persons subject only to the guidance of the Basis of Union, the Constitution, the Regulations and policies of the Assembly,

call upon members of the Church to seek to live together in peace as people of faith, notwithstanding differing views in the matter of same gender relationships.

3. remind Presbyteries of the decisions of previous Assemblies that:

(a) in considering issues related to candidature, ordination or commissioning for specified ministries, and the placement of persons in specified ministries, decisions should only be taken on a case by case basis; and

(b) a decision on the suitability of an applicant or candidate depends upon a wide range of criteria and may include consideration of the manner in which the applicant's or candidate's sexuality is expressed.

4. request the Standing Committee:

(a) to provide guidance for Congregations and Presbyteries on how to conduct discussions on contentious issues in ways that comply with the Church's policy on vilification and harassment;

(b) to seek advice for the Church on the legal implications of the relevant legislation, eg anti discrimination legislation, anti vilification legislation, etc; and advise councils of the Church of this advice; and

(c) to amend, on the advice of the Legal Reference Committee, Regulation 2.7.16(l) to make more explicit the role of presbyteries in the placement of people in specified ministries.

The Assembly Standing Committee:


informs the Church that congregations and councils of the Church who wish to state a sexual ethic may elect to do so after prayerful consideration and study of the Scriptures providing that

  • there is respect for and acknowledgment of those who hold a different view;
  • such statements do not prevent the consideration on a case-by-case basis of individuals related to candidature, ordination or commissioning, and placement, according to