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New President calls for an end to ‘Demonic preoccupation with survival’

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Rev Alistair Macrae BA, BTh, MPhil (Ecum), was officially installed as the 12th President of the Uniting Church in Australia on 15 July at the moving opening ceremony of the 12th Triennial Assembly, which took place at the Clancy Auditorium, University of New South Wales.

Christians from every state of the nation, the countries of partner churches and guests from other faiths gathered to witness the opening of the Assembly and the installation of the new President.

The opening ceremony kicked off with the Gathering of the People of God, led by Rev Rronang Garrawurra with Mr Howard Amery translating.

In a poignant speech before screened images of dry cracked land and pools of water, Mr Garrawurra spoke about two sources of water in his country of Elcho Island in the Northern Territory — ordinary water and sacred water that only old people with knowledge have permission to access.

He asked those present to ponder the blessing and significance of the different kinds of water — ordinary and sacred —given by the creator and to remember their responsibility to care for the land, encouraging Assembly members to reflect on provision of that water in a dry place, its blessing and their responsibility to care for the land.

In a ceremony that included outgoing President, Rev Gregor Henderson and Rev Terence Corkin, National Assembly General Secretary, Mr Macrae answered questions about his calling and commitment to the presidency before being accepted by those gathered on behalf of the church and its friends.

Read the full story here.