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Migrant leaders express concerns over proposed Assembly of Confessing Congregations

The leaders of nine migrant communities have publicly declared they will not join the proposed Assembly of Confessing Congregations and have sent an open letter to their communities urging them to consider the impact it will have on the unity of the Church.

The open letter, signed by leaders of the Indonesian, Tongan, Samoan, Tamil, Vietnamese, Filipino, Niuean and Fijian National Conferences and the Korean Commission, follows a meeting in Sydney on September 22 between the migrant leaders and leaders of the Assembly.

The President of the Assembly, Rev Gregor Henderson, invited leaders from the migrant communities to meet with him for a pastoral conversation about how migrant communities were feeling after the 11th Assembly.

“It was a very positive meeting. The commitment of our migrant leaders to the unity and diversity of the Uniting Church is very strong. They conveyed to us very clearly the affirmations, concerns, and hopes of their communities,” Mr Henderson said. 

Mr Henderson said the migrant leaders were keen to discuss the proposed Assembly of Confessing Congregations. At their own initiative they then decided to issue an open letter to tell their communities of their commitment to the life and mission of the Uniting Church and of their concerns about the proposed Assembly of Confessing Congregations.

In their letter the signatories said the Uniting Church was their spiritual home and was a place where their views were respected and where migrant communities would continue to help shape its future and contribute to its life

They said they would not be joining the Assembly of Confessing Congregations and asked their communities to “seriously consider the consequences of such a move for the unity of the Church”.

“We do not support the establishment of an ‘Assembly of Confessing Churches’. We do not want to see the setting up of separate structures that undermine the work of the Councils of the Church. We are concerned that this move will create confusion and divided loyalties and be harmful to the unity of our church.

“We need to nurture and build our sense of togetherness. The Uniting Church contains a diversity of biblical and theological understandings. Showing that we can hold together a variety of perspectives and respectfully live together with our differences is a witness to the wider community.”