The Uniting Church Assembly Acting General Secretary Rev Glenda Blakefield has released a statement in response to requests from some members, congregations and presbyteries seeking Assembly comment about the proposed “Assembly of Confessing Congregations”.
Assembly officers have welcomed the fact that the Steering Committee of the proposed Assembly of Confessing Congregations (ACC) has stated its desire to remain within the Uniting Church and adhere to the Basis of Union.
“We believe this provides us with a firm basis for positive relationships between councils of the Uniting Church and the ACC,” Ms Blakefield said.
She expressed concern that aspects of the proposed ACC may lead congregations to believe they can pick and choose which parts of the Uniting Church’s polity and discipline they can abide by and which they might reject.
“We remind all ministers and members that every congregation in the Uniting Church is under the pastoral and administrative oversight of the Presbytery and the general oversight of the Synod.
“Joining the ACC will not alter these relationships of oversight and accountability.”
The statement expressed concern at suggestions that the ACC might seek to fulfill functions which belong to the Uniting Church National Assembly.
The President, General Secretary and two Synod Moderators expect to meet again with the ACC leadership in September.
“In the meantime, we encourage church members and congregation to take care in their decision-making,” said Ms Blakefield.
“We trust that all decisions taken in the church are surrounded by prayerfulness and by respect for others whose convictions on particular issues may differ from our own.”
The Moderator of the Queensland Synod Rev Dr David Pitman will be making a statement in the next (October) issue of Journey.
To read the full text of the National Assembly Statement regarding the proposed Assembly of Confessing Congregations download it as a PDF HERE.