The trouble with the Uniting Church is that we have taken too literally the biblical principle of not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. Not only that, we are not good at blowing our own trumpet in the community.
On the one hand, in Blackall a part-time youth worker is supported by his congregation. Scott meets with the young people in town to talk about life and introduce them to Jesus.
On the other hand, we have lots of congregations that have no young people at all, but their ministry with seniors is legendary.
There are lots of quiet achievers in our church. Without any fanfare they give their time volunteering at the local church or they turn up at work, week after week, in one of our schools or serve on a board.
People in the community know about Lifeline, Blue Care and Frontier Services and many have been treated at one of our fabulous hospitals. Many Queenslanders have a relative in aged care provided by Wesley Mission Brisbane or UnitingCare. Yet the Uniting Church is not the first name that comes to mind if you think of welfare services.
One thing that I appreciate about our church is that it is brave enough to have difficult conversations about sexuality and leadership and marriage. In Caloundra the congregation holds together members of widely differing theological perspectives but rather than focussing on their different points of view they work together to support our partner church in Tonga.
Our church is prepared to take risks—like having a female moderator.
Our church invites people to be passionate in speaking up and reaching out. Right now a bunch of dedicated youth workers are planning Summer Madness, the youth camp which will include Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people from the Cape to the border.
There are so many fantastic people and great things happening in our church.
So put your hands together and celebrate the stories, gossip the good things and be proud of our church.
North American preacher, William Willimon wrote: “One of the great gifts of God is God’s ability to come to us. To catch up our little lives in God’s purposes, to transform job into vocation, work into witness and life into adventure.”
Thank you for the adventure and privilege of being your moderator for the past three years.
Rev Kaye Ronalds
Queensland Synod Moderator